Never Trust a Man without a Waistcoat 391

Contrary to the usual mainstream media inaccuracy, Sir Ivan Rogers has not resigned from the FCO as he was a Treasury civil servant. The clue is in the phrase “resigned on principle”. FCO people are not big on principles.

Indeed, the FCO was almost as strongly against the Iraq War as it is against Brexit. Yet the only two British diplomats who resigned on principle over the War on Iraq/Terror, those disastrous Blair/Bush policies which have devastated the Middle East and multiplied a hundredfold the terrorist threat, were Carne Ross and myself. We were also among the very few British diplomats I knew of at the time who always wore waistcoats. Which just goes to prove that the lack of a waistcoat is definite evidence of deficient moral character. (I have not forgotten the resignation of Elizabeth Wilmshurst, who was an excellent FCO lawyer but not a diplomat).

Brexit is a disaster for the UK, but probably will not spread as much harm across the entire globe as the invasion of Iraq. I do not expect to see any FCO resignations over it, much as they may mutter in the canteen. The government continuing to pay the fees for their children at the UK’s most expensive boarding schools, continues to be the main motive in life for the vast majority of British diplomats. It is strange to think that 15 years have now passed since my first Ambassadorial appointment, and had I not suffered from a conscience I would now be on my final, and probably very senior, Ambassadorship. Tim Barrow, who takes over as British Ambassador to the EU, joined the FCO two years after me and I knew him slightly. He was a very humorous though somewhat earnest young man. Crucially, I recall he wore a waistcoat.

My two autobiographical books, Murder in Samarkand and The Catholic Orangemen of Togo, rather give the impression that the FCO is full of nasty bastards. In fact this is not true at all. I was just extremely unlucky in my two last postings. Before that I had some really admirable bosses including Brian Barder, Michael Llewellyn Smith and Christopher Hum. Like them, many other prominent FCO types including Jeremy Greenstock, Christopher Mayhew and Charles Crawford (who turns up to criticise this blog from time to time) are among the nicest people you could wish to meet. I am pretty certain all of them are horrified by BREXIT, but I am equally sure the institutional culture is such that their successors will all work on at the FCO to try to make the best of an appalling job. It is rather like a determination to slit your own throat neatly and accurately.

Ivan Rogers’ strictures on the lack of government planning and preparedness are quite correct. Brexit is a seat of the pants exercise resulting from a ruse to hide political divisions in the Tory Party. The only definite principle appears to be that the preservation of a pure stream of racist thinking on immigration is sacrosanct, and every other interest or policy must be sacrificed to that. In Liam Fox and Theresa May, the political leadership lies in the hands of two people lacking totally in the required intellectual capacity, while all the senior civil servants who support them – including Tim Barrow – are engaged in a policy with which they fundamentally disagree. I think we are about to see a pig’s ear of a policy with a pig’s arsehole as a result.

I am now back from holiday, and starting working again, though as you may have gathered still in somewhat whimsical mood.


Signed First Editions of Sikunder Burnes are now available direct from this blog! You can leave a message naming the dedication you want. Sold at cover price of £25 including p&p for UK delivery or £29 for overseas delivery. Ideal Christmas presents!!


Signing Instructions

391 thoughts on “Never Trust a Man without a Waistcoat

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  • Republicofscotland

    “The US House of Representatives has overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan measure to disapprove a United Nations Security Council resolution that condemned Israeli settlements on the occupied Palestinian territories.”

    “The congressional measure stated that the US should oppose and veto future United Nations Security Council resolutions that seek to impose solutions to final status issues, or are one-sided and anti-Israel”

    The Great Satan, will not abstain again or act against Israel in anyway, Trump and the powerful pro-Israel groups and businessmen/women, will see to that.

    • lysias

      However, it is most unlikely that the UNSC resolution that the Obama administration allowed to be passed will ever be repealed. So it will remain international law, and Israel will remain a pariah state.

      • Republicofscotland

        The resolution may have no immediate practical effects on Israel, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, or the peace process. That’s because the resolution is non-binding, effectively creating guidelines and recommendations. The resolution would require follow-up action at the United Nations for it to have an immediate effect.

  • mauisurfer

    re: usa bombing of syrian army at deir ezzor
    another in depth masterpiece by gareth porter
    read the whole story if you have time

    The report contains the incriminating revelation that the authorities at CAOC had plenty of intelligence warning that its identification was flat wrong. Before the strike, the regional station of the Distributed Common Ground System, which is the Air Force’s primary intelligence organ for interpreting data from aerial surveillance, contested the original identification of the units, sending its own assessment that they could not possibly be Islamic State. Another pre-strike intelligence report, moreover, pointed to what appeared to be a flag at one of the two sites. And a map of the area that was available to intelligence analysts at CAOC clearly showed that the sites were occupied by the Syrian army. Harrigan and his command apparently claimed, implausibly, that they were unaware of any of this information.

    Further evidence that Harrigan meant to strike Syrian army targets was the haste with which the strike was carried out, the day after the initial intelligence assessment was made. The investigation summary acknowledges that the decision to go ahead with a strike so soon after the target had been initially assessed was a violation of Air Force regulations.

    It had started out as a “deliberate target development” process—one that did not require an immediate decision and could therefore allow for a more careful analysis of intelligence. That was because the targets were clearly fixed ground positions, so there was no need for an immediate strike. Nevertheless, the decision was made to change it to a “dynamic targeting process,” normally reserved for situations in which the target is moving, to justify an immediate strike on Sept. 17.

    No one in Harrigan’s command, including the commander himself, would acknowledge having made that decision. That would have been a tacit admission that the attack was far more than an innocent mistake.

    The Deir Ezzor strike appears to have been timed to provoke a breakdown of the cease-fire before the JIC could be formed, which was originally to be after seven days of effective truce—meaning Sept. 19. Obama added a requirement for the completion of humanitarian shipments from the Turkish border, but the opponents of the JIC could not count on the Syrian government continuing to hold up the truck convoys. That meant that Harrigan would need to move urgently to carry out the strike.

    Perhaps the single most damaging piece of evidence that the strike was knowingly targeting Syrian army bases is the fact that Harrigan’s command sent the Russians very specific misleading information on the targets of the operation. It informed its Russian contact under the deconfliction agreement that the two targets were nine kilometers south of Deir Ezzor airfield, but in fact they were only three and six kilometers away, respectively, according to the summary. Accurate information about the locations would have set off alarm bells among the Russians, because they would have known immediately that Syrian army bases were being targeted, as the U.S. co-author of the investigation report, Gen. Richard Coe, acknowledged to reporters.

    “Who is in charge in Washington?”

    Gen. Harrigan’s strike worked like a charm in terms of the interests of those behind it. The hope of provoking a Syrian-Russian decision to end the cease-fire and thus the plan for the JIC was apparently based on the assumption that it would be perceived by both Russians and Syrians as evidence that Obama was not in control of U.S. policy and therefore could not be trusted as a partner in managing the conflict. That assumption proved correct. When Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin, spoke to reporters at a press briefing outside a U.N. Security Council emergency meeting on the U.S. attack on Syrian troops, he asked rhetorically, “Who is in charge in Washington? The White House or the Pentagon?”

    Seemingly no longer convinced that Obama was in control of his own military in Syria, Russian President Vladimir Putin pulled the plug on his U.S. strategy. Two days after the attacks, Syria announced, with obvious Russian support, that the cease-fire was no longer in effect.

  • Republicofscotland

    So the warhawk Tony Blair, is to set up the (TBI) the Tony blair Institute, using £10 million of his ill gotten fortune (believe that if you like) to fight populism.

    Blair said “I care about my country and the world my children and grandchildren will grow up in.”

    Does Blair forget his decision to “Be there no matter what” in the destruction of Iraq which left countless women and children dead.

    In my opinion the TBI, has a more sinister agenda.

    This is the official remit of the TBI, again believe them at your peril.

    “Its objectives include helping countries alleviate poverty, raising people’s standards of living, fostering religious and cultural tolerance and advancing peace and reconciliation.”

    Incidently Blair is pouring £10 million in to fighting populism.

    “At its root, populism is a belief in the power of regular people, and in their right to have control over their government rather than a small group of political insiders or a wealthy elite. The word populism comes from the Latin word for “people,” populus.”

    • nevermind

      ‘regular people?’ TB would not understand the word regular sitting on the bog.
      This is another wheeze to sell his magnificent expertise in enrichment of scoundrels, no doubt.

    • John Goss

      My guess is that Blair, who has allegedly called Jeremy Corbyn a ‘nutter’, is worried that if he gets to power Blair will face charges as a war-criminal. The likelihood is then that Blair would do a runner to some supportive regime and never enter the British Isles again. As far as I’m concerned the Yanks bought him, they can have him.

      • bevin

        “My guess is that Blair, who has allegedly called Jeremy Corbyn a ‘nutter’, is worried that if he gets to power Blair will face charges as a war-criminal.”
        I don’t think that there is much chance of that- Corbyn could be swept into an election victory, though whether he would have a loyal PLP behind him is dubious, but I can’t see him or any of them going after Blair. It would be nice. And he would be happy in Florida or Israel but I think that Corbyn and Co lack the intestinal fortitude.

        • Loony

          It is my understanding that in England and Wales the Crown Prosecution Service is responsible for prosecuting criminal cases that have been investigated by the Police.

          In the event that UK agencies were either unwilling or unable to bring a prosecution then it is possible that a case could be brought by the International Criminal Court.

          A prima facia case against Blair exists under Nuremberg Principle VI. This deals with the crime of planning, preparation, initiating or waging a war of aggression.

          Blair’s guilt or otherwise cannot be determined absent a full criminal investigation that is not subject to political interference. The determination of Blair and his supporters to ensure that no such investigation is ever undertaken is perhaps instructive as to their view of the likely conclusions of any such investigations.

          I do hope that this goes someway to clearing the fog of confusion that so often seems to envelop those of the anarchist persuasion.

          • Salford Lad

            The Malaysians paid dearly for that verdict,with the downing of MH17 and the disappearance of MH 370.
            You may say a sublimial message was made.

          • John Goss

            My suspicions too, with the complicity of the coup government of Ukraine (protected now from prosecution by the ludicrous Joint Investigation Team)

      • nevermind

        JC’s voting record in support of an indictment of TB says NO, he did not vote for that, John.
        Was just a few weeks back, so his gloves are still on, whilst new Labour and its proponent back stabbers still dreaming of prosperity in a finite world, with their icon leader showing us how to make money untouched by the law, have their sweaty palms on just about every attack that is amplified by the media.

      • Sharp Ears

        Any excuse to be as infantile as usual above. It is getting boring,

        Thanks John. BT is my internet provider. I cannot get any info out of their Indian call centre about it. The people there are very pleasant and helpful but they work from scripts.

        Back to last June when I had no phone or internet for five days. The line was dead although I have a Careline so I felt very vulnerable. Via a kind neighbour, friends and family were contacted and they all phoned for help but were told that there was no fault! Finally BT found something wrong in the local exchange. I received compensation of £2.

    • Alcyone

      He’s putting his own shitty-money where his mouth is? Incredible how he believes his own shit. Who’s egging him on?

      Has Rupert Murdoch forgiven him? Doubt it.

      I have a theory that I developed when Nick Leeson brought Barings down: people who are too-clever-by-half will self-destruct. Rajat Gupta, ex-CEO of McKinseys, elected, not appointed, by his own partners in a secret ballot, and like Blair re-elected is another fine example. Google him if you don’t recognise.

  • michael norton

    Responding to the investigation, Ms Le Pen said it was being carried out to ‘political agenda’ in ‘the middle of an election campaign.’

    She added: ‘The age-old methods of politicking, of persecuting opponents, do not die away.’
    So it is alright for Germany to rape Greece but not alright for the F.N. to get within striking distance of the Presidency in FRANCE

  • Tony_0pmoc

    I must admit, I was completely amazed at the time, cos for over 10 years, I thought they were nearly all corrupt and useless in Westminster.

    Yet the American crazies – have just proved that the UK Parliament occasionally does something useful. It’s a bit like comparing different breeds of rats, cos they have all been seriously infested and infected. Yes things really are that bad in the upper echelons of those who seek to be in control of us peasants.

    In case you haven’t noticed (see ICH) – the Americans have now gone total psycho.

    But this actually made The Daily Telegraph. However they are probably being seriously critical because the usual suspects didn’t quite get their full on war – and had to recruit a bunch of total outright extreme crazy SAS trained wahhabi mercenaries instead of just bombing yet another country to sh1t as normal.

    “John Kerry blames British Parliament for derailing US plans to strike Syria”


  • bevin

    There is no doubt that the current water crisis in Damascus is entirely the work of NATO funded takfiri militias, probably carrying out a plan hatched in London or Washington. It will certainly lead, and must already have led, to the deaths of large numbers of the most vulnerable- infants, old people, invalids. It is in short a real war crime.
    Unfortunately when wells are blown up and reservoirs poisoned, all the crocodile tears in the western world are insufficient.
    Perhaps one of our resident ‘dissidents’ would care to explain the rationale behind our supporting this terrorism?

  • Republicofscotland

    ITV teatime news.

    100 A&E departments in England close their doors or turn away patients, as demand far outstrips resources.

    Of course the sick and injured can always take great comfort in the knowledge, that billions of pounds are to be spent on renewing Trident.

    • Resident Dissident

      Another fake news link from the same source – anyone who has spent time in Russia and got over slathering support for its leaders and nomeklatura knows that claims in the link have little substance whatsoever.

      • Loony

        No need to worry, soon Russia will be begging for mercy.

        The US has just landed 87 Abrams Tanks, 20 Paladin Artillery vehicles and 146 Bradley fighting vehicles in Germany for onward transport to the Russian frontier. More than enough equipment to destroy the badly led, ill equipped, under trained and thoroughly demoralized Russians.

        Once those 87 Abrams tanks roll into Moscow cheered on by a Russian population desperate to be liberated they will appoint as many women directors as you feel is good for them.

        If those Abrams break down due to Russian hacking then we should go nuclear. The destruction of the planet is a small price to pay to teach the Russians a lesson about tolerance and equality that they will not forget.

      • John Goss

        I am quite prepared to accept that the one mention of the word Russia comes in an Appendix which appears to show that Russian women on director boards are second only to Qatar in world rankings. Many other countries, kingdoms and sheikdoms are absent from the chart.

        Can you please tell me from where these statistics have been created? Thank you. And if you do not respond can you please stop peddling this propaganda. Thanks again.

        • Resident Dissident

          If you bother to read the report you will find that the statistics are derived from all listed companies included in MSCI’s indices – details of the Russian index are here

          I think you will find that you have only bothered to look at the second page of the Appendix – if you look at the page before you will see there are many other countries included in the study.

          But hey you can be believe an unsourced figure from your pro-Putin website if you wish and dispense anyone who disagrees as peddling propaganda – I wouldn’t expect less from someone who promotes videos of ballot stuffing in Russia as being at Democratic primaries in the US. When it comes to making accusations of peddling propaganda might I suggest yet again a long hard look in the mirror.

      • John Goss

        Also if you know anything about Russia (I understand from past conversations your wife is Russian) you will know there has always been as the article says more equality for women over the years since 1917 than there has in thewest.

        You would also know that homosexuality is not a crime in Russia. This is one from a whole collection of transexual documentaries (40 perhaps). I’ve never watched one (apart from a few minutes) because it is not my cup-of-tea.

        Please enjoy if it is your cup-of-tea.

        • Resident Dissident

          Yes homosexuality is no longer a crime in Russia – that particular Soviet law was redeemed in Yeltsin’s law – but as Kempe’s Wikipedia link makes clear “child protection” laws are being used with relish.

          And in typical Goss fashion you also now seem to be confusing transsexuality with homosexuality demonstrating your ignorance on these matters. Quite what it has to do with being my cup of tea is of course just another cheap slur – one can stand up for the equality of sections of the community to which you don’t belong, in fact it is what socialists are meant to do.

        • Resident Dissident

          My wife disagrees with you on women’s equality – she could go further but she didn’t think it was worth bothering with an old sovok goat (her words not mine).

        • Node


          1. The law never mentions or uses the word gay, lesbian, homosexual or any other LGBT identifier. [Chapter 2 & Appendix]

          2. The law focuses on children, it’s title is “On Protections of Minors from Propaganda of Non-Traditional Sexual Relations”. The messaging and strategy to bring the ban on propaganda from the law of several regions to national laws is part of a larger family values push and is based on the successful anti-same sex marriage push in the United States. [Chapter 2]

          3. Russia is actually expanding protections of members of the LGBT community: On September 20, 2013 the official delegation of the Russia Federation announced their willingness to take all required measures to prevent homophobic hate crimes and discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation at the 24th UN Human Rights Council. [Chapter 2]

          4. There have been regional (much harsher) versions of the propaganda ban in effect for 7 years and there were only 2 convictions for violations of the regional laws and both were overturned. [Chapter 3]

          5. In 6 months of the Federal Law there have been 3 convictions: 2 were acts of civil disobedience to challenge the legality of the law, the other is a story which you must read. [Chapter 3]

          6. Statistically you are far more likely to be the victim of an anti-LGBT Hate Crime in the United States than in Russia. [Chapter 4]

          7. In Russia you cannot be fired from your job for being an LGBT individual, in the United States you can. [Chapter 4]

          8. Since 1993 gay sex was made legal in Russia, in 12 US States gay sex is a crime. [Chapter 4]

          9. While President Obama says “I have no patience for countries that try to treat gays or lesbians or transgender persons in ways that intimidate them or are harmful to them.” his policies demonstrate he has nothing but patience. [Chapter 5]

          10. The group impacted most if found to be inviolation of the law: Multinational corporations. [Chapter 6]

          • Node

            A reasonable person reading the above document (which was written by a gay American) will conclude that the LGBT community in Russia has better legal rights and is safer on the streets than if they were in the USA.

            An unreasonable anti-Putin propagandist will lie and twist facts to create his own conclusions.

          • John Goss

            Resident Дурак has his own ideas, not from genuine knowledge, but from Open Russia propaganda sources funded by NATO, Soros and the likes. Open Russia is sister to Open Ukraine which installed Yatsenyuk, Poroshenko and other criminals who have fucked up the country that nobody but the fascists want now. Its propagandists include Kara Murza who never thanked the Russian doctros for saving his life after possibly overdosing. Of course, according to RD, Putin poisoned him.

          • Resident Dissident

            Your dishonesty has been demonstrated here time and time again – all that is left is abuse.

          • John Goss

            People who know their Russian history will also know that, as the article I linked says, Russians do not openly flaunt their sexuality in general, but historically there have been many Russian and Soviet homosexuals. Mikhail Kuzmin was one who did flaunt his homosexuality and in his day was referred to as the Russian Oscar Wilde. He was highly intelligent and an accomplished poet. He did not suffer Дураки gladly as another homosexual poet, George Adamovich, discovered. But of course I don’t expect the Дурак family to know about Russian literary history.

          • Herbie

            Res Diss could get himself a job at the BBC with the amount of anti-Russian propaganda he comes up with.

            You have to laugh though.

            Especially at the fact that it no longer makes the difference they hope for.

            All those whom he and the BBC attack, just keep on winning.

            To such an extent that I’d say Res Diss and the BBC are deep undercover spies for Trump, Brexit and Putin

          • Resident Dissident

            “Russians do not openly flaunt their sexuality in general”

            Clearly you have not been to Moscow/Petersburg in recent years. There is plenty of flaunting of heterosexuality. Of course there have been homosexuals throughout Russian history literary and otherwise (and world history for that matter), I never said otherwise – it is a perfectly natural state of affairs.

            Insult me and my family all you want – it still doesn’t alter the fact that you are a serial liar for your sick little cause – as for fascists, anyone can look at your twitter account to see you are pushing a petition from the Larouche organisation or look at your earlier posts promoting the views of Zhirinovsky.

          • Herbie

            How do you work out that those who oppose the Bankers are fascists.

            Surely it’s the Bankers who are the fascists.

            They did fund the Austrian chappie, didn’t they.

            And the Russians fought against him.

            Seems yourself and your ilk are the fascists.

            I’ve noticed that the Banker supporters always accuse their enemies of that which they themselves are guilty of.

            We’ve seen that time and time again.

    • RobG

      For the record, OffGuardian seem to attribute this recording as being released by Wikileaks…

      “Full tape of John Kerry’s statements as released by Wikileaks”

      … which is incorrect. The recording was originally leaked to the New York Times last September. The NYT put out a heavily edited version of it. Wikileaks have linked to a full version of it that was posted on YouTube in October…

      Call me pedantic if you want, but with all the recent stuff with Assange and Wikileaks you have to be extremely wary of those who A) have not questioned what’s going on with Assange and Wikileaks, and B) are now promoting Assange and Wikileaks as though very strange things have not happened.

      • bevin

        I believe that OffGuardian publishes the full version as released by Wikileaks and the late Mr Assange (as you would call him). They specifically say that both the NYTimes and CNN distorted the original and removed the references to IS’s founding and training.

      • RobG

        I have no problem with OffGuardian, except to say that in these mad times we now find ourselves in they need to be very careful about who they publish. OffGuardian say that the piece originates from South Front, whose article they reproduce in its entirety, including the opening paragraph (whilst correcting spelling mistakes):

        “On Wednesday, Wikileaks released new evidence of US President-elect Donals Trump’s assertion that Barack Obama was the founder of ISIS – a leaked audio of US Secretary of State John Kerry’s meeting with members of the Syrian opposition at the Dutch Mission of the UN on September 22. The audio also is an evidence of the fact that mainstream media colluded with the Obama’s administration in order to push the narrative for regime change in Syria, hiding the truth about arming and funding ISIS by the US, as it exposed a 35 minute conversation that was omitted by CNN.”

        The premise of the Wikileaks angle is patently untrue. It seems to me that the article deliberately tries to give the impression that Wikileaks is still doing ‘ground-breaking stuff’, when in fact all they are doing is linking to old news (which is all they’ve been doing for months now).

        I wonder if we’ll ever get part three of the Podesta e-mails? which were due just as Julian did a disappearing act.

        • bevin

          You have very right to insist upon the absence of Assange and to warn the world against …(whatever it is that you are warning them against.)
          But we should be careful not to discredit the importance of the message in this audio-namely that the neo-con Obama is up to his ears in the blood of Syrians- and comforting the enemies of humanity by confusing the issues.
          If you question the authenticity of Kerry’s revelations because they depend upon the actual existence of someone whom you believe to be either dead, or imprisoned incommunicado,then the hobby horse that you are riding is becoming a traffic hazard.

          • giyane

            The majority of the imams in this country who have supported the USUKIS terrorist rebellion against Assad are also ” up to his ears in the blood of Syrians-“.

            Which I find rather sickening considering they are relaxing in the bosom of the benefits system of bread and circuses Brown and Cameron.

  • Anon1


    Now is the time for you to throw your immense diplomatic and human-rights-activist weight behind President-elect Adama Barrow of the Gambia.

    I know there is no West-hating angle to exploit here, but the despot Jammeh must go along with his revolting gold-digging wife (who is probably buying £4,000 dresses in Kuala Lumpur as I write and while her people starve in the 20th poorest country on Earth). She has the cheek to call herself “Mother of the Gambia” while she jets around the world on shopping sprees using the Gambian state jet.

    President Yahya Jammeh came to power as an army lieutenant on $40 a month in 1994. After 23 years in power he is now worth an estimated $8.5 billion. Go figure.

    Instead of whining on in an anti-democratic way about Brexit and the lost cause of Scottish independence you could, as a noted Human Rights Activist, be supporting a genuine West African struggle for freedom and democracy.

    On a human rights blog, and all that.

  • MR Millwall

    Dear Craig

    I really enjoy reading your blog and your insights. However I really think you need to move on regarding Brexit.

    This great country is going to leave the EU and be independent again. We should all work together become united and focused on the future.

    Being doom mongers is going to get us nowhere

    MR Millwall

    • Anon1

      If you hate the UK as much as Craig does then there is no way of being constructive.

      He pinned all his hopes on Scottish independence but since there is no chance of that happening he has backed himself into a corner.

      • Hmmm

        If you’ve been as badly fucked over by a country as Craig has you might be a little upset too. Its you who needs to get over it. Go get yourself a nice little blog too. I’m sure the masses will come flocking to read it

  • bevin

    A commenter on the emptywheel blog ‘h’ writes, re the ‘Putin done it!’ story:

    “It’s odd to learn Tim Geithner now Prez of Warburg Pincus, a private equity firm, invested $100M into CrowdStrike in July 2015 –

    “What are the chances Obama’s former Sec’y of the Treasury would be tied to an equity firm that invested $100M into the very cybersecurity firm that is now at the center of accusing Russia of hacking the DNC?”

  • RobG

    This is really being ramped-up…

    At the risk of sounding like the record’s stuck, I’ve never seen anything like it before.

    Perhaps we should start a book as to whether Trump will make it through to 20th January.

    My own odds would be:

    Trump becomes President on the 20th January – Evens.

    Trump gets assassinated before 20th January – 2 to 1

    A mega scandal about Trump is revealed before 20th January, forcing him to step down – 4 to 1

    Trump gets abducted by aliens – 500 to 1.

  • giyane

    A long time ago I was encouraged to take up CCTV installation, which I hate because I have been the victim of completely illegal and unwarranted spying by the mosque.

    I have a friend who loves his CCTV cameras, which show his customers stuffing cans in the back of their trousers in the shop where he works.

    He loves them so much he installed one overlooking the front and the back of his house, which alert his mobile wherever he is on the planet.

    But yesterday he called me to ask my wife if she had seen his wife. To cut a long story short, the phone signal at his house is no good, and he’d forgotten to install a camera to cover the bath.

    Moral of the story is that Obama can never admit he lost an election because of his own addiction to spying and he’s got to blame Putin to cover his own winkie, winking at the world in the bath.

  • Sharp Ears

    Please! No more of Michelle.

    Teary Michelle Obama’s final speech at White House
    06 January 2017
    Michelle Obama delivers her final speech as America’s First LadyVideo:
    The American Dream was defined in an emotional final speech as First Lady by Michelle Obama at The White House.

    But we haven’t seen the back of her. She’ll be back in 2020. Meanwhile the Obomber pair have to set up their foundation Clinton and BLiar style.

      • michael norton

        Why do we hear no more stories about The White Helmets from
        The Ministry of Truth.

        If these people actually existed in the thousands, can they still be hiding in the rubble of East Aleppo?

  • mochyn69

    US intelligence report: Vladimir Putin ‘ordered’ operation to get Trump elected

    Declassified assessment says Russia ‘had clear preference’ for Trump, who met with US intelligence chiefs on Friday but refused to endorse their findings

    But what is the substance of the allegation, and the supporting evidence? Here’s a clue, according to Brian Bartholomew of Kaspersky ..

    Bartholomew said he hoped the new report would contain at least some new technical details. Instead, it contains an analysis of Russian state news outlet Russia Today dating back more than four years, and the detail that among other tactics, the Russian GRU intelligence agency is said to have hired Twitter trolls.

    Well I never! Riveting stuff. I‘m sure that fixed it for wee Donald.


    • George

      This tactic behind this allegation is similar to that behind the WMD scam. The idea is to produce a BIG report so it looks well investigated and substantiated. But no-one is actually meant to read the report.

      • Salford Lad

        The ‘Russia did it meme’ is horseshit, as all right thinking folk on here are aware. But the anti-Trump faction are operating on the old Goebbels Principal. Tell a big lie and keep repeating it.
        They insult out intelligence ,but there are many dumbnuts out there who believe their Govt and Institutions would not lie.The same people believe in Father Christmas and the Tooth Fairy.
        The Old Establishment are in a blind panic and see their cozy looting and regime change operations coming to an end. This makes me think, maybe Trump will be a force for change. Or is it just a case of a New Mafia Boss in the neighborhood.
        It will be an interesting show from 20th Jan ’17.

        • lysias

          There may be plenty of people who still put blind faith in the mainstream media, but there are now plenty of people who trust Trump more.

      • lysias

        Allen Dulles was confident nobody would look closely enough at the evidence behind the Warren Commission Report to see how weak it was. “Americans don’t read,” he said.

        • Herbie

          He was right.

          The whole horrible history of the banking fraud is there for all to read.

          Not a secret at all.

    • George

      There have been many analyses of the murky machinations of the media – and they are all important for revealing the utter crap that gets thrown around. However, I keep thinking of that quote attributed to a Bush aide:

      “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

      The arrogance of this is jaw dropping. And unfortunately it sums up an effective technique: spread as much muck as possible and get it repeated as much as possible. Analyses will appear but you just ignore them. If you can no longer ignore them, deny them. If you can no longer deny them then issue a minimal retraction in limited circles. You can rest assured that the ratio of those who heard the original to those who heard the retraction will be about 100:1. And the crap will live on.

      • George

        I forgot to add the most important bit: The creators of crap don’t have to worry too much about getting found out because they are constantly creating crap. The new crap builds on the old crap – but also helps cover up potentially emerging weaknesses. And so it goes on.

        • Macky

          “And unfortunately it sums up an effective technique:”

          However the effectiveness is gradually eroding, accelerated by online alternative media, to the extent that I believe a sea-change is occuring. The disconnection between TPTB & the rest of us, manifested itself both in Brexit & Trump, and the fact that even most American believe Wikileakes over their own government.

          The Paul Craig Roberts piece I linked to mentions how credibilty in the MSM has been destroyed thanks to CIA infiltration with things like Operation Mockingbird, and that most of the people who repeat the CIA memes are either shills or trolls.

          • lysias

            The newly released report by the U.S. intelligence community purporting to show how Russia interfered in the U.S. election devoted half its space, I read, to what has been shown on RT. It objects to stories that made Hillary look bad.

            The powers that be are apparently really upset that outlets like RT have deprived them of their monopoly in the news business. They believe, or at least say they believe, that exposing the public to alternate accounts amounts to interference in elections.

          • George

            The Roberts piece is heartening. And consider this bit:

            “Some who champion truth hope that the shrinking influence of the CIA controlled print and TV media will impair the Deep State’s ability to control explanations. However, the CIA, State Department, and apparently the Pentagon as well, are already operating in social media, and they use trolls in comment sections to discredit truth-tellers.”

            Using trolls in comment sections. Now that gives you pause for thought.

          • Macky

            “devoted half its space, I read, to what has been shown on RT.”

            The same RT which some ridicule as a “fake news” outlet that nobody takes seriously, yet the report is claiming that it influenced the US Election !; and what’s more it actually verifies that RT has a higher viewership than the BBC or CNN ! 😀

            Telling that more Americans believe Wikileakes rather than their own Government; the tidal change is happening !

          • Habbabkuk

            “, the CIA, State Department, and apparently the Pentagon as well, are already operating in social media, and they use trolls in comment sections to discredit truth-tellers.””

            You would not expect Dr Paul to say otherwise, would you? He sees himself as one of those “truth-tellers” (others would call him a nutty obsessive, not one of whose prophecies has ever come about) and it is in the nature of people like Dr Paul to call anyone who has the temerity to disagree with them a “troll”.

          • Habbabkuk

            “Telling that more Americans believe Wikileakes rather than their own Government; the tidal change is happening !”

            You may be right but could you please back up that assertion with the results of an opinion poll or survey or something similar?

            (Same question to Lysias, who also asserted this earlier on).

          • Habbabkuk

            I read it but why should I weep?

            You’ve linked to someone tweeting and not to the opinion poll or survey I was asking for.

      • mauisurfer

        that was Karl Rove, the full quote is even worse than you describe

        The aide said that guys like me were “in what we call the reality-based community,” which he defined as people who “believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.” I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. “That’s not the way the world really works anymore.” He continued “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors … and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

      • Sharp Ears

        Correction. The letter was dated January 7th 2016 but everything Miko Peled said then still applies.

  • michael norton

    Two Years since Charlie Hebdo Massacre in Paris
    One of Charlie Hebdo’s most outspoken journalists said on Friday she is quitting the French satirical magazine because it has gone soft on Islamist extremism.

    Zineb El Rhazoui accused the weekly of bowing to Islamist extremists and no longer daring to draw the Prophet Mohammed.

    Her parting shot comes on the eve of the second anniversary of the jihadist massacre that almost wiped out the controversial magazine’s staff.

    “Charlie Hebdo died on January 7”, the day the gunmen attacked the magazine killing 12 people, El Rhazoui said in a damning interview with AFP.

    She said she felt Charlie Hebdo now follows the editorial line the extremists had demanded “before the attack — that Mohammed is no longer depicted”.

    El Rhazoui, 35, who is followed everywhere by police bodyguards and is known as the most protected woman in France, also questioned the magazine’s “capacity to carry the torch of irreverence and absolute liberty”.

    blimey, two years, already.
    France has gone through an awful lot of shit.
    So many tragedies, including the truly bizarre germanwings plane crash into the French Alps

  • Susan

    I admire anyone who is prepared to pay the price (and endure the vilification) of ‘resigning on principle’. Thank you Craig and Carne for your brave stands. Edward Snowdon, Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange have also paid the price – with their liberty. Dr. David Kelly and Robyn Cook also paid the price – ultimately with their lives, regardless of the truth of the circumstances of their deaths. Claire Short decided the ‘boarding school fees’ were more important.

    Should I have done more? I have given up even trying to talk to people about it. When I watch the veritable barrage of propaganda on N. American MSM about ‘Russian hacking’, I know it is all beyond the likes of me. Every day I am grateful that there are people who still have the stamina and courage to communicate with us and clarify events.

    • Peter Beswick

      “Should I have done more?”


      By knowing the real truth as opposed to the manufactured variety you are doing society an immense service and are helping destroy the lie makers.

      OK you might say what does it matter if I die a natural death or caught up in a nuclear Armageddon and I believe;

      WTC7 fell down with 360 deg perfect symmetry at the rate of gravity because it caught fire,

      bin Laden was hiding in Afghanistan but when he wasn’t found it was essential for world peace to hang around and assist poppy production

      Qaddafi was going to blow up the world (or whatever he was accused of),

      Saddam did have WMD and was intent on using it and/or distributing it to global terrorist organisations

      Assad gassed his own people

      Russia got the FBI to reopen their Clinton files and made that public just to make Hilary look bad during the election.

      Trump is Russia’s man in the White House

      Russia is going to invade Europe.


      If I die knowing the real truth?

      Yes it matters because as the truth gets stronger the lie gets weaker.

      The world is witnessing your part in that lie getting weaker.

      Hell yes it might lead to WWIII but the truth can’t be killed, the lie can and will be.

      Be proud of your part in that victory.

    • Habbabkuk

      May I point out to “Susan” that Mr Assange has deprived himself of his liberty by jumping bail in order to hole up in the Ecuadorian Embassy.

      And as for Mr Snowdon : I am surprised that you should consider his freedom to roam around unimpeded in Moscow to constitute a deprivation of liberty. I was under the impression after reading this blog for some years now that whereas the US and the UK are fascist states, Russia is a bastion of liberty. Anyway, be that as it may, I believe Mr Snowdon is there by choice so to speak.

  • michael norton

    Sir Ivan Rogers resigns from civil service, days after quitting role as UK’s ambassador to the EU
    Ministry of Truth

    • Sharp Ears

      Better fish to fry and more lucrative too. His lengthy resignation e-mail was a CV.

      • Habbabkuk

        Is there anything wrong with former civil servants doing something else after retirement rather than just sitting in front of the fire in their slippers reading the papers?

        After all, 62 is young these days.

      • michael norton

        Operation “Gladiator”
        (Graphene Layers: Production, Characterization and Integration)

          • Habbabkuk

            Actually, Norton, if you look at the figures for funding from the EU’s structural and social funds you’ll notice that Scotland doesn’t get that much from those funds.

            That is due to the (objective) calculation method applied to what are called “NUTS 3” regions. That calculation method in essence measures relative prosperity. Thansk to Westminster and Whitehall largesse over the decades, Scotland’s NUTS 3 regions are simple too well-off as compared to many other NUTS 3 regions to get much EU funding.

  • RepublicofScotland

    “The NHS has had its worst ever performance against Accident and Emergency and 111 targets, while missing swathes more standards, official figures show.”

    “Labour said the data showed the health service “on its knees” with patients stuck on trolleys for hours in overcrowded casualty departments.”

    Oh look the NHS in England is on its knees, but I don’t see Fred, moaning or complaining, no the fake handwringing from Fred is reserved for Scotland and the SNP in particular.

    Nor will you read about how badly NHS England is doing in the English owned newspapers, that put the word Scottish on their banners to placate the locals, and dupe them into believing the hypercritical attacks on Scotland’s economy and its government.

    • RepublicofScotland

      “The research by the non-partisan House of Commons Library compares how the two health services perform in key areas such as hospital and ambulance performance and waiting times.”

      “It found that the proportion of A&E patients spending four or more hours in emergency facilities is higher in Wales than in England, ambulance response times were worse in Wales and statistics suggested there were more people on waiting lists.”

      Oh look Fred, NHS Wales is in a worse state than NHS England, and that’s on its knees.

      I wonder if our unionist handwringer will decry with great gusto, the English and Welsh NHS bodies as he does the Scottish NHS. Then again there’s no SNP in England and Wales, so why bother eh!

      • Habbabkuk

        “Oh look Fred, NHS Wales is in a worse state than NHS England, and that’s on its knees.

        I wonder if our unionist handwringer will decry with great gusto, the English and Welsh NHS bodies as he does the Scottish NHS.”

        Puzzled by the logic of the above. I could understand why RoS would want Fred to decry the Welsh NHS, but why the Welsh AND the English NHS? After all, the comparison is between the two, isn’t it, so to decry both seems a rather illogical thing to ask for.

        • RepublicofScotland

          Ah Habb, just the fellow, for once, I must congratulate the Israeli justice system, Elor Azaria (a medic of all people, I doubt he took the Hippocratic Oath), murdered in cold blood a incapacitated Palestinian man.

          It is interesting to note that most of the military commanders in Israel, have condemned the killing, whilst the majority of the Israeli public back the actions of the soldier, in the “sane” (outside the Israeli seige mentality) world the that would be the other way around, even Netanyahu is calling for the conviction to be quashed.

          I eagerly await the brevity of the sentence, if there is one that is.

      • RepublicofScotland


        Just read the link, the NHS in England is in a worse state than I thought. With A&E units closing their doors to sick and injured patients 42 times in one week.

        No wonder the Scotsman news rags editor, Ian Stewart, has left his position with the ultra-unionst lickspittle, he probably couldn’t spin enough SNPBAD stories.

        • Sharp Ears

          Jeremy Corbyn is demanding that May comes to the HoC on Monday to say how she is going to deal with the crisis in OUR NHS.

          Jeremy Corbyn MP ‏@jeremycorbyn · 27 minutes ago

          1/3 The crisis in our #NHS is unprecedented. People are lying on trolleys in corridors waiting to be seen #RedCross #ToryFailure

          2/3 Hospitals have had to close their doors, unable to admit patients.
          The health service is at breaking point

          3/3 But this crisis isn’t due to an outbreak of disease. It’s a crisis made in Downing St by this government – a crisis we warned them about

          • Habbabkuk

            It is strange, is it not, that among all the Western European countries, only the British National Health Service appears to be at “breaking point” again?

            What could the reason be, I wonder?

            To be noted that the British NHS is the only national health service to be free at the point of use.

          • Sharp Ears

            ‘Mr Corbyn said on Saturday afternoon: “The crisis in our NHS is unprecedented. People are lying on trolleys in corridors waiting to be seen. Hospitals have had to close their doors, unable to admit patients. The health service is at breaking point.

            “But this crisis is not due to an outbreak of disease. It is a crisis made in Downing Street by this government – a crisis we warned them about.

            “The Red Cross yesterday announced it is providing humanitarian assistance to NHS trusts that simply do not have the resources to cope.

            “This is a national scandal – and Theresa May and Jeremy Hunt have to take both responsibility and urgent action to tackle it.

            NHS spends millions on private companies that block GP referrals

            “I’m grateful to the Red Cross volunteers who have stepped in during this emergency, as well as the hard working NHS staff who are being let down and undermined by this government. But we should not have to rely on the Red Cross to provide the basic care the people of this country need.

            “The fact is this government have repeatedly failed to put the necessary resources into our health service, while they have cut social care and wasted billions on a top-down reorganisation to accelerate privatisation. And despite finding billions of tax giveaways for big business and the richest, Theresa May’s Conservatives failed to find a single penny for the NHS in their autumn statement.

            “Our NHS cannot survive if this government does not change course. Labour is calling on the government to cancel their tax breaks for the wealthiest and fund our NHS instead.

            “The people of this country need an explanation for the state of emergency in our hospitals, and an account of what action will be taken to end it. The only person who can do that is the Prime Minister. So I am demanding that the Prime Minister comes to the House of Commons on Monday and sets out to the British people how she plans to fix her failure on the NHS.” ‘


            Well said Jeremy, We all agree.

            Return to the Cameron/Lansley Health and Social Care Act 2012 for the origins of the current crisis. This is the kind of thing it propagated.

            NHS spends millions on private companies that block GP referrals, investigation finds
            At least £57m has been paid to referral management centres since April 2013
            4 January 2017|

          • Michael McNulty

            Soon it will be the privatized sectors of the NHS turning people away, closing departments and denying treatments for the old because they’ve not long to live, and for the young because they’ve got too long. When it’s the likes of Branson and Virgin Care which decide somebody’s granny or someone’s grandchild will be left to die like it’s the 1800s, then maybe we’ll get the reactions needed to save our healthcare that should have come years ago. All too late, of course.

          • George

            Habbabkuk: “To be noted that the British NHS is the only national health service to be free at the point of use.”

            What does this imply? That when people are “at the point of use” e.g. with their head split open, they should pay up first before they get treatment?

    • fred

      My concerns are that the care home near to where I live has been closed, the only maternity unit for over 100 miles has been downgraded and usually there are only two ambulances to cover the entire county I live in.

      So go stick your newspaper reports about hospitals in England up your fat arse they don’t concern me. What concerns me is the health service where I live and the SNP government are letting us down.

    • Habbabkuk

      I am not sure if appearing ever more frequently on RT will do much for Craig’s credibility with the general public (insofar as the general public watches RT or is even aware of its existence).


      While on the subject of international TV broadcasters, a couple if weeks ago the Israeli international broadcaster ” i24news ” celebrated its third anniversary. I should put its general credibility higher than that of RT, although I don’t expect many on here to agree with me.

      A rather balanced and honest broadcaster in my opinion, and unlike RT(**), not adverse to broadcasting material which could be considered adverse to Israel and its govt (eg, it is happy to broadcast items on anti-Netanyahu demonstrations, the investigatory procedure currently underway against same, etc…).

      ** as always, happy to be proved wrong

  • Habbabkuk

    I wonder if Craig (and i mean Craig, not “commenters”) has anything he’d like to add to his current posts on the subject in the light of the release in Washington the other day of the declassified report on the hacking/interfering with the Presidential election?

    • bevin

      Why would he?
      The report is the same evidence free drivel, buffed up with some extremely amusing whining about the way that Russian financed English language media broke the rules by allowing critics of Clinton air-time and publishing the scandalous revelations (which the imperial media was busily suppressing) about the Democratic National Connittee rigging the primaries it was meant to be administering, and Hillary promising financiers that should would break all her election promises if they paid her enough “I have private opinions as well as public ones…” she told them.
      Coming from an agency which just spent $500 million on fake news videos for Arab TV stations, $5 billion for a coup in Kiev and has been bribing journalists and buying opinion formers since 1948, it is pretty rich.
      I guess there is nothing like hubris for providing the world with ridiculous spectacles as powerful men make idiots of themselves.

  • RepublicofScotland

    Andrea Leadsome, guaranteeing English farmers funding until 2020, as a consequence of Brexit.

    “We’ve been able to reassure farmers that they will receive the same level of financial support (as Europe gives) until 2020. Up to £120 million will be made available to help support rural growth.”

    That money is for England alone, and as yet no similar pledge has been made to help Scotland’s own Rural Development Programme.

    Also what will happen to the funding for English farmers after 2020.

      • RepublicofScotland

        It’s money they shouldn’t need to find from a dwindling block grant. The EU helped fund Scottish farmers.

        As far I know Fred many farmers havd received at least part payment, if I recall it was a systems failure.

        I see you didn’t comment on the disaster that is the English NHS or its Welsh counterpart, is then any wonder why you hide out in Scotland.

        Another good reason to vote for independence.

        • fred

          I don’t live in England and I don’t live in Wales, what happens in their hospitals doesn’t affect me.

          What affects me is the 1700 cancelled operations in Scottish hospitals.

    • MJ

      “what will happen to the funding for English farmers after 2020”

      That will depend entirely on the spending priorities of the government after the 2020 election. Isn’t reclaiming your sovereignty wonderful?

  • michael norton

    The Donald blasts ‘fools’ who oppose good Russian ties
    Ministry of Truth

    good for the Scottish Donald.

    • michael norton

      Has any body from the SNP asked the Scottish Donald, if he backs the SNP,
      does he want Scotland to be Independent from the rest of the United Kingdom?

  • RepublicofScotland

    “Armies guilty of terrible human rights abuses are sending their officers to learn soldiering at Sandhurst, Britain’s prestigious military training academy”

    “Sandhurst Royal Military Academy has been training despots and henchmen for some of the most infamous regimes in the world, including Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, and even Colonel Gaddafi’s Libya.”

    “The academy is so good at teaching repressive militaries, it has received £30 million ($37 million) since 2007, with Bahrain the biggest customer to date, having paid £2.24 million in ‘tuition fees’ to the British version of the United States’ prestigious West Point.”

    Not content with selling despots tyrants and dictators, billion of pounds worth of deadly weapons. Britain is also training their commanders as well.

    Is it any wonder Amnesty International are gravely concerned by this practice.

  • bevin

    Habb is mystified that the NHS is failing.
    No. He understands why :
    “… the British NHS is the only national health service to be free at the point of use.”
    And has been since 1948. So, for almost seventy years the NHS survived. Even after decades of sabotage by marketeers who regard it as a scandal that patients are protected from pick pockets when they are most vulnerable-and likely to pay.
    The erosion of the Health Service is part of the neo-liberal dispensation. Like commuters’ transport to work, fuel, electricity, water and education Health us service too vital not to be used as a profit centre.
    The work is well under weigh, almost completed: the PF Initiatives have turned hospitals into playgrounds for usurers, when half the world is operating under interest rates around 1% the NHS is paying through the nose for the money it was forced to borrow from capitalists. Half of the services provided are sub contracted to providers who are no more efficient, no better motivated, no easier to control than public employees but make profits. These are the cost plus cowboys of the medical system, with guaranteed profits, rents charged on every outbreak of disease or lapse into sickness.
    The NHS is in crisis because the neo-liberals, across the political spectrum, are serving their friends the rentiers and bugger the fifty million suckers,. All the Poor Bloody Infantry of working people and their families get is the warmed over ideology that teaches them that it is necessary for the rich to be paid well to work, and the poor to be reduced to starvation to be forced out of idleness. Part of that regime of starvation is being made to beg for medical help.
    Incidentally the Canadian Health Service-under exactly the same pressures from the rentiers-is also free at the point of use. My guess is that most European ones will be soon, too. And the same will be true of the USA before many elections are passed.

    • RepublicofScotland


      After the shambles known as Brexit is concluded, I think the NHS in England at one point will be pushed towards privatisation, by the Tories, who in my book will have another term in office bringing it up to 2025, before there’s a possible change. Though by that time, Len McCluskey will have pulled the plug on Corbyn, if no significant advancement is made by the Labour party.

      Does anyone really believe that this Tory government, wants to invest more in its NHS?

    • Loony

      That is all true, but you forgot one or two things.

      The NHS provides massive subsidies to private drug companies through overpaying for all manner of medicines.

      The NHS has a demand for for highly skilled staff willing to work for low wages. Some may think this would be a bit of a problem but immigration seems to be the cure all solution. A handy side effect is that it rips out the human capital from the third world and hence helps to ensure that the global south continues to fulfill its allotted role of resource provider to the entitled west.

      Thanks to the benefits of education anyone who points out what is happening is immediately labelled as a racist or a xenophobe. An unwanted complication of such education is that more and more people are accessing the NHS because their false nails have broken or because they inadvertently drank an entire bottle of whiskey prior to smashing the empty bottle into their former best friends face.

      As a consequence of political pressures the NHS has been dragged into a range of peripheral activities such as tattoo removals and various forms of elective cosmetic surgery. Social pressures coupled with technological advances means that the demand for NHS services is essentially infinite.

      Those that are demanding that the NHS do ever more in the name of fairness, justice, human rights or whatever are encouraged and egged on by the money men desperate for the system to collapse so that they can move in and monetize the carcass of the system.

    • Why be ordinary?

      The “free at point of delivery” isn’t really the issue. The fundamental problem of the NHS is that its budget is fixed by Government and not by user demand. The state backed insurance systems used in most of Europe mean that when you turn up at the point of treatment you are bringing the money with you (if you are poor it is state money, but it comes attached to your healthcare insurance number). In the U.K. Some NHS bureaucrats have to guess where and when you might turn up and if they get it wrong the system stuffs up completely.

      Similarly, “bed blocking” will remain a problem so long abs it is different people who pay according to whether or not you are in hospital. If it were the same insurance company paying in both cases getting people home from hospital would be much easier.

      • fred

        I don’t live in London. What happens to the London fire service will not affect me, nobody I know is going to die because of it.

        Do you live in London or are your posts motivated solely by your hatred of the English?

        • michael norton

          Fred, I have some Scottish relatives, who I like.
          I do not hate Scottish people or Scotland.
          I do detest that disgusting creature who malignly leads Scotland.

        • RepublicofScotland

          Wait a minute Fred, aren’t we all in this great union together, didn’t countless Westminster politicians claim that the “broad shoulders” of the UK, makes sure that all part of the UK will be fine and dandy.

          Yet here you are a die-hard nawbag, I mean unionist professing to not giving a toss about the health of the people of London.

          I don’t hate the good people of England, l do however dislike the British governments hold over Scotland.

          You do hate the Scots Fred, it wasn’t that long ago in the blog that you mocked homeless Scots, forced to sleeping rough on the streets of London.

          • fred

            So how come people in Edinburgh couldn’t give a shit about what happens in Caithness? Isn’t Caithness part of Scotland? How come the Natzis down south shout down genuine grievances from the North with cries of “don’t listen to them they”re a Unionist paper”.

            Someone I knew died just before Christmas, they choked to death while waiting over an hour and a half for an ambulance and yes, that does mean more to me than your constant grievance monkey whinging about Westminster.

    • bjsalba

      It’s the P&J – well known Tory anti-SNP Newspaper. What else – other than SNP Baaaaaad – would you expect?

      • RepublicofScotland

        Thank you bjsalba, I know the P&J is a unionist sell out rag. I’m merely pointing out to Freddy boy, that two can play at that game. ?

        Incidently have you noticed as well that like a bad penny Anas Sarwar keeps popping up on the foreign owned tv channels, like Willie Rennie another tumbleweed waiting for a good gust of wind to blow him away, Sarwar, is allowed to air his establishment views, which equate always to SNPBAD.

      • fred

        According to RepugnantofScotland every paper in Britain apart from the National is anti-SNP.

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