Speaking Engagements 314

I am happy to say a busy time ahead:

18 January in Aytoun Village Hall, Berwickshire at 7pm for Yes Berwickshire documentary film London Calling talking about BBC Bias in the Independence Referendum, and how to prevent and counter it next time.

19 January Montrose, George Hotel, 7.30pm talking about Alexander Burnes just fifty yards from the family home where he was born

21 January 2pm Perth, Soutar Theatre, for Yes Perth City. London Calling, post film discussion also with Alan Knight and Allan Grogan. Register here.

23 January 2.30pm Jaipur India Sikunder Burnes. Talk at the Jaipur Literature Festival – the World’s largest with 330,000 visitors.

27 January 7.30pm Edinburgh for Edinburgh SNP Club. Talk on the situation in Iraq and Syria.

As I visit London, frankly, as seldom as possible, I thought I might give an early shout out for what seems to be an excellent event on 25 February at University College, London, a colloquium entitled “Noam Chomsky: The Responsibility of Intellectuals”. Half hour papers will be presented by Neil Smith, Milan Rai, Hilary Rose, Chris Knight, Krizta Szendroi, Nicholas Allott, Jackie Walker and finally by me; I am genuinely worried about following some brilliant minds. After which Noam Chomsky will respond by video-link. I can’t let this pass without noting my book Murder in Samarkand has an American edition, Dirty Diplomacy, which has strong cover quotes from Harold Pinter and Noam Chomsky commending it. My Edinburgh publisher wouldn’t put the Chomsky quote on the UK edition, arguing that nobody had heard of him!

The perceptive among you may have noted that I face a hell of a dash from Perth to Jaipur. It is however possible. But yesterday I received an email from Jaipur stating that they had changed my talk from 23rd to 20th, when I will get a larger audience. I have replied that this is impossible for me. I am waiting to hear back, but this has potential to go wrong.

When I published my offer to take over Bella Caledonia if the alternative was it folding, I received a surprisingly large number of offers from Independence supporters offering to write. Some – but by no means all – were excluded from writing for Bella because of what many perceived as that website’s rather specific ideological focus. As there are a number of good pro-Independence people anxious to express themselves in writing but with no outlet, I was wondering about starting up a new pro-Indy compendium site that gives a voice to every shade of opinion supporting Independence, providing it is not racist. It would run on the basis of minimal cost and not paying anybody, including me. I probably need friends to talk me out of this venture!

One place I am not speaking is at today’s Scottish Independence Convention. I asked but was turned down. This saddens me as I addressed the SIC by invitation twice when it was a bit in the doldrums, years before the referendum. I fear that this is another example of ideological narrowness taking hold.

I hugely enjoy speaking and the intellectual interaction of discussion with people in a meeting, and please do invite me to talk to your group. I do not charge any fee. I am however horribly disorganised, so do not be scared to keep sending me constant reminders. It is helpful rather than annoying. I am pretty sure for example there are engagements in Lanark and Aberystwyth I have lost touch with. Anybody expecting me do get repeatedly in touch!

Allowed HTML - you can use: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

314 thoughts on “Speaking Engagements

1 2 3
    • nevermind

      nevermind will be joining the ‘bridges not walls ‘event in Norwich this coming Friday 4-6pm and anybody is welcome.

      After last weeks speech by Mrs May, she is still waiting for a paddle, the pound has dropped even further promising another price rise for foods.
      Phillip Hammond has nothing better to do than to threaten the EU with import tolls and saying that Britain would become a tax haven, as if that isn’t already the case.

      This sort of sable rattlin’ before the negotiations might make you look tough, but it still does not make for any plans. Here is a take from Europe. When you have read the amount of work the Tory’s need to get on with, and despite advising the civil service not to do any preparations for it, you know that Brexit will be a shambles for all to see.

      Our council taxes are going up, they snipped their fingers and want to make us pay for more social care. Not a big deal if they’d had a plan on how to reform it, but they haven’t, so we can expect a yearly tax hike of 3-5%, so much easier for us to pay for the cuts to our services, innit?

      The apt headline duly describes the state of affairs we are under.

      “Brexit Confusion: A Riddle Wrapped in a Mystery Inside an Enigma

      Britain has six different areas it must negotiate in coming years, including the complicated split from the EU, a British-European free trade agreement, an interim agreement and the United Kingdom’s own seat on the World Trade Organization. It will also have to conduct talks with the 53 countries with whom the EU has reached trade agreements as well as consultations over future cooperation with the EU in areas of policing, intelligence and security issues. They will be the most complicated negotiations in British history, with thousands of pages of documents.”


      • MJ

        Just be grateful Clinton wasn’t able to steal the election. That would have been be worth protesting against.

      • Sharp Ears

        I will be with you in spirit Nevermind. Unable to travel unfortunately without access to a nebulizer. Best wishes.

      • Habbabkuk

        “Our council taxes are going up, they snipped their fingers and want to make us pay for more social care. Not a big deal if they’d had a plan on how to reform it, but they haven’t, so we can expect a yearly tax hike of 3-5%, so much easier for us to pay for the cuts to our services, innit?”

        The above neatly demonstrates one of the great truths about political life in the UK.

        It is that – whatever they may say(lie) to pollsters and in focus groups – people want various public services to be maintained or even extended and improved but are unwilling to pay higher taxes to achieve this.

        And those people obviously include left-wing activists, whose pronouncements on the subject could therefore be deemed to be hypocritical in the extreme.

        • bevin

          There is nothing hypocritical about protesting against an extremely regressive taxation system and an obscene ordering of priorities which puts subsidies for the White Helmets and military support for Al Qaeda above the provision of basic social services.
          It is ludicrous that cuts are being made in Norwich’s vital services in order that millions can be given to bomb Yemen, cut off the water supply to Damascus’s millions and back terrorist militias in Libya.

        • Old Mark


          I think most householders living in middling/modest homes wouldn’t begrudge paying an extra 3% on their Council tax to fund better social care arrangements- provided the cap on increasing Council tax is relaxed much further in homes in the 2 highest bands; say to increases of up to 25%.

          These are the households that have benefited massively from the abolition of the old rates under Thatcher, to be replaced initially by the disastrous poll tax, and then subsequently by the current Council tax arrangements- which are still a good deal less progressive at the top end that the rating system ever was.

          Such Council tax increases raised from households in the 2 highest bands would of course have to be remitted to the centre, for distribution to those Councils in the greatest need- otherwise you’d get areas like Elmbridge in Surrey awash with money, whilst old mill towns and mining villages in the North see next to nothing in extra funding.

          Quite why Corbyn isn’t arguing for a this as a source of extra funding in such times of crisis in inexplicable to me.

          • Habbabkuk

            Mon cher!

            “I think most householders living in middling/modest homes wouldn’t begrudge paying an extra 3% on their Council tax to fund better social care arrangements..”

            I fear this is where our opinions must differ.

            Most opinion has it that people will say this to pollsters and so on (in the same way as many people will not admit to pollsters that they are UKIP) but will, at an election, sanction any party which promises to raise the more obvious taxes, even if it were to make the (essentially dishonest) promise that such a tax increase would be hypothecated.

            It is for that reason that the Labour Party came into power in 1997 on the promise that it would not raise income tax and that it would keep to the previous Tory govt’s spending limits for at least the next two years…..and kept shy of raising direct taxation for the next 10 years.

            And that is, perhaps, because the people have no confidence that the extra revenue raised would in fact go to the social services or, if it did, that the money would be spent on front-line services rather on building up an electoral clientele likely to vote Labour at the following election (as is the case in swathes of Northern England, where the public sector accounts for almost half of all jobs).

            Having said that, one should also point to another great truth of political life: that, on general, it is easier to be in favour of tax increases if someone else will be paying or at least be paying (a lot) more than you. The continuation of your post:

            “.. provided the cap on increasing Council tax is relaxed much further in homes in the 2 highest bands; say to increases of up to 25%.”

            illustrates this latter point perfectly (I’m willing to fork out + 3% if the bloke next door forks out + 25%). Your equivalent for income tax would, presumably, read something like “raise standard rate by 1%, provided that you introduce further tax bands for higher incomes”


            You have proposed a solution on the Council tax front and expressed surprise that Mr Jeremy Corbyn (sometimes described as the “leader of the Labour Party”) has not taken it up.

            I have a far simpler and certainly more equitable solution, the popularity (or otherwise) of which with the voters might serve to indicate whether your belief that people would accept tax increases to fund social services and social security is correct.

            It is to proceed to the long overdue uprating of house values for Council tax purposes to reflect the considerable increase in market values. In this way, all will pay more, in line with a more realistic version of the value of their house.

            What say you?

            PS – useful idiots, Trots, assorted obsessives and serial insulters please keep away, I’m trying to have a serious discussion with Old Mark 🙂

          • Old Mark


            A general revaluation, perhaps with the addition of an extra band to cover very high value properties, is certainly worth considering as a longer term solution- essentially the move from rates to council tax was regressive fiscally, and a revaluation with a much higher multiple of tax payable in the higher bands would be both more progressive fiscally, and raise more money overall. Houses, unlike people, cannot vote with their feet and move to a lower tax jurisdiction.

            In the interim however, as money for social care is required now, a looser cap on the increases allowed for higher value properties seems a fair way to raise extra revenue.

            D’accord ?

          • Habbabkuk

            There is no one I should like more to agree with, Old Mark, but the ask is a very big one here 🙂

            I hesitate before the thought that your suggestion is precisely the sort of thinking I disapprove of, ie, the solution is to tax the “rich” rather than the generality of taxpayers, ie, “someone else” (on the itself somewhat doubtful assumption that certain problems can be solved simply by throwing more money in their general direction).

          • Jo

            I would like to see the entire connection between house value and paying for local services completely abolished as it has never made any sense to me. Here in Scotland the SNP had promised such reform but, unfortunately, did not see it through. Their early attempt, via Local Income Tax, LIT, was hopeful but flawed in that it involved HMRC in the process and, as we know, Council Tax is paid to local Councils and there was no clear link between HMRC and any number of local Councils when it came to remitting the tax direct to Council coffers.

            I have always felt that local services are used by all of us but that the amount payable should be based on household income rather than property value. I also have always rejected the idea that only householders are responsible for paying for local services.

            It disappointed me deeply when, last year, the SNP abandoned plans to reform the Council Tax and went back to the old, tired, useless property value model. It depresses me that we cannot come up with something that is more relevant when it comes to funding local services which are so vital.

          • Old Mark


            On taxation I’ve always held the view that the broadest shoulders can and should bear the heaviest burdens; when applied to property taxes that means those living in the largest and most valuable properties should pay much more. If a householder in a very large or very valuable property is asset rich but cash poor, s/he can (adopts broad Yorkshire accent) ‘cut coat according to cloth’ and more somewhere more affordable.


            I have always felt that local services are used by all of us but that the amount payable should be based on household income rather than property value. I also have always rejected the idea that only householders are responsible for paying for local services.

            I have some sympathy with that argument Jo- however the point I made earlier, namely that people can move to low tax jurisdictions but houses can’t, explains why progressive taxation is much more comprehensively applicable to property, as opposed to income,taxes.

            When the ‘community charge’ was under discussion in the late Thatcher years one of the options she rejected was to introduce the tax at a very low baseline figure and collect it alongside the existing rates. Had she chosen this option your wish to see all adults contribute to local services would have been met- and such a modified poll tax could well have been popular, and not the clunky career ending disaster it turned out to be for her.

    • Anon1

      “Dispatches: Trump’s Dirty Little Secrets” on C4 now.

      No chance of “Obama’s Shitty Little Secrets”, was there?

      Maybe next week’s episode will be “How Saudi nearly bought the Presidency: Clinton’s Filthy Little Secrets.”

      Don’t hold your breath, LOL. 😀

  • xAnonx

    Same stupid MSM that wonder why people go to alternative media instead.What kind of wake-up call do they need?

    • giyane

      On Friday I mentioned of CM blog that I had been blacklisted by the Union at Coventry University where I was working on one of their sites. The blacklisting did not come from the Irish company for whom I was working.

      I suspect 2 illegal sources for this unexplained blacklisting:

      1/ Most likely this is a remainder from a previous blacklisting by an Asian corporate CEO who did not like my politics, nor I his.
      2/ Coventry University is a close affiliate with Monash University in Australia which has strong Zionist links and they did not like my face.

      The Union threw 2 of us off site for no reason on Friday. At this present time where the political organisation called Islamic State, funded by the CIA and Saudi Arabia, controlled by Israel and populated by fighters from across the Indian sub-continent, there is obviously a close link between UK Asian politics and Mossad.

      So I am assuming that these 2 between them now have existential power to blacklist whom they like.

      • Habbabkuk

        Yes, blacklisting is a terrible thing, Giyane.

        Except, of course, when Israel’s the target (“BDS” refers).

    • John Goss

      It’s a good piece by Mark Doran. Of course nearly everybody who comments here knows what a load of tosh the BBC puts out. His clip of the child actors allegedly suffering from the effects of chemical poisoning is classic garbage made up by Pannell. They are children and Emma Stone never got her breakthrough right away. So there is hope for them yet. Not much for the BBC though.

    • Habbabkuk


      Who is this Mark Doran? What is his status? Is there any reason one should pay attention to what he writes?

      • bevin

        “Who is this Mark Doran?
        “What is his status?
        “Is there any reason one should pay attention to what he writes?’

        That pretty well sums up the reactionary worldview. “I don’t trust my own judgement, Nanny, Is this chap respectable? Are his thoughts approved by the powerful? Do I risk anything by reading him? Please assist me, my brain is very small.”

        • Habbabkuk

          No, I don’t think it sums up any worldview, reactionary or otherwise, Bevs.

          It just reflects the fact that Mr Doran’s blog says nothing at all about Mr Doran, whether biographical or ideological or motivational.

          Hence the question.

          I mean, for all the info his blog gives, the author might be the General Secretary of the CPGB, Boris Johnson, Macky, the Dean of Canterbury Cathedral or some deranged but well-known Trot.

          • bevin

            It really doesn’t matter who Doran is given that he makes an argument on the basis of easily verifiable evidence. He tells us that the BBC is biassed and then he demonstrates it: he actually provides recordings of the programmes that he criticises
            It is all there to be evaluated by anyone. And if he should be the General Secretary of the CPGB, the Flat Earth Alliance or the Illuminati-UK it is greatly to their credit because his argument is honest, cogent and, in my view, difficult to counter.
            But “Have a Go” as Wilfred Pickles, alas too early for Dad’s Army, used to say: you tell us how equipping the leader of the opposition with a Donald Trump cap and then one in the Mao style is par for the course and perfectly fair.

          • Kempe

            I think you have your answer, it doesn’t matter who Mark Doran is he says nice comfortable things the naysayers can agree with; and he actually provides recordings of the programmes he criticises! How radical is that?

            This is the age of relavatism, the opinion of the loudmouth in the pub carries as much weight as someone who’s made a career of the subject and most bloggers are nothing more than the online equivalent of the bloke down the pub. There’s no reason to necessarily hold their opinion as being more important or providing greater insight than anybody else’s.

          • John Goss

            Craig is a blogger Kempe. I thought, think, Mark Doran argues the case very well, clearly put and well-written. Bloggers are only not worth reading when they make shit up and pretend to have some kind of intelligence, like Bellingcat, to give one example.

          • bevin

            “This is the age of relavatism, the opinion of the loudmouth in the pub carries as much weight as someone who’s made a career of the subject ..”
            The opinion of the “loudmouth in the pub” carries as much weight as it will bear: if it is based upon sound reasoning and an honest evaluation of the facts, that is what matters.
            The problem with the opinions of “someone who has made a career of the subject” is that often they are shaped by the realities of career making and are less trustworthy than those of people who have no vested interest in the discussion. And that is one reason why some of us support democracy and free debate, rather than authoritarian government by ‘experts.’
            The millions who marched against the Iraq war, many of them loudmouths from the pubs, proved to be much wiser than the legions of experts and pundits who predicted that the war would be quick (it is still going on) cause few casualties and be enormously popular among Iraqis and Arabs in general.

          • Habbabkuk


            “So by your own measure everyone should discount your anonymous witterings”


            Well, virtually all of the witterings on here, including yours, are anonymous and yes, certainly, I wouldn’t expect any of them (including mine) to be cited, referenced and reverentially linked to in the same way as that imbecile Macky linked to Mr “Mark Doran”. 🙂

          • Kempe

            You can make a well written and well argued case for any old crap, ask any lawyer, but it’s still crap. Of course Bellingcat would meet with your disapproval no matter how well written and well argued because they demolished the Russian fairy tales (all four of them) around MH17. This didn’t actually involve a great deal of effort on their part.

            Problem is too many blogs aren’t argued from the point of sound reasoning and don’t contain much in the way of sound facts either. If you want to use the Iraq war as an example numerous military and legal experts warned that it wasn’t a good idea and illegal, including Scot Ritter, chief weapons inspector for the UN who knew more than most. It was the idiot politicians that went ahead with it.

        • Chris Rogers

          Who is this Habbabkuk?
          What is his status?
          Is there any reason one should pay attention to what he writes?

          I believe this corrects what you trying to say Bevin, all courtesy of one Mr Habakbuk

      • Habbabkuk

        Very similar to Sharp Ears. When rebuked for yet another bit of foolishness, she immediately does it again to show how unimpressed and unrebuked she feels 🙂

        One at least hopes there’s an age difference…. 🙂

        • Macky

          Have been a bit busy lately, so not really following the comments closely, but it seems that you are here non-stop posting silly comments to people who post views contary to your, well we are many, and you are one, but keep up the good work, it gives you someting to do & keeps the Public safe while you’re off the streets ! 😀

          • Chris Rogers


            I must concur with you, whilst others venture to other forums to help push the things that matter to them – such as extending democracy within the Labour Party, Mr Habbabkuk remains a ‘Rock of Contention’ on this forum, perhaps his web browser has issues finding other venues for him to haunt, or he’s paid to remain a focal point of dissent here?

        • Sharp Ears

          Leave me out of your comments if you don’t mind. I am not involved in your ‘conversation’.

        • John Goss

          And that from the man on the Julian Assange thread who questioned my morals regarding women. You really should hang your head in shame.

          But don’t set that little annoying bell on your hat ringing.

        • Sharp Ears

          Leave me out of your trolling, I am not engaged with any of your ‘conversations’ so why make mention of me.

          Mods. Please delete this ad hominem.

  • michael norton

    Trouble in The Eastern Mediterranean
    Turkish Parliament nods through Supreme Commander Erdogan.
    No longer any need for a Prime minister.
    Total power for a total nutter.

    • bevin

      You try flying a drone over Downing St, Fred and the Press in Vancouver island will take note.

  • michael norton

    Eurosceptics surge ahead in Italy and Holland as anti-EU parties set to WIN elections
    EUROSCEPTIC parties have surged into the lead in Italy and the Netherlands ahead of crunch elections as anti-Brussels sentiment sweeps Europe.

    What with The Scottish Donald, praising the United Kingdom for unshackling ourselves from Europe, the continuing improvement of our economy and the Remainer chancellor sticking it to the Germans,
    the writing for the E.U. is on the Berlin Wall.

  • lysias

    In honor of Martin Luther King Day, let me recommend the book by King family lawyer William Pepper “The Plot to Kill King”, which proves that a conspiracy involving federal, state, and local government agencies killed King. Persuaded by Pepper’s advocacy, a Memphis jury unanimously ruled, in a civil action brought by the King family, nearly 20 years ago, that such a conspiracy killed King.

    • Kempe

      The defendant in the case was proven fantasist Loyd Jowers who thought he stood to gain financially. No department of the US Government was indicted in the trial and were thus unable to offer any counter arguments or defence.

      • lysias

        Pepper’s book details what happened in the trial, and Jowers’s role in it. If you don’t believe there was the conspiracy that the half-white, half-black jury unanimously found existed, I suppose you would have to consider Jowers a fantasist.

          • Stu

            The real fake news.

            Last week the Guardian were publishing pieces about the ex MI6 agent which must have come directly from the security services because no trained journalist would have written in that style.

            The Times is obviously the go to publication for intelligence plants with Aaronativich and Anthony Lloyd being the most blatant examples.

          • John Goss

            I suppose Putin will get the blame for the whistleblower journalist who spilled the beans on bribing of journalists to write US shite.

            I’ve just seen a photograph in Russian with a man on the phone in Putin’s office. The man listening to the phone informs Putin that Jan Psaki is pregnant. Putin asks: “Are they blaming me alone, or the whole of Russia?”

          • lysias

            Ulfkotte did say in his book Gekaufte Journalisten that his health was bad, so it is quite possible that he died of natural causes.

        • Kempe

          Jowers has given several different names for who the real shooter was. It’s also incredible that with all their resources the US Government had to turn to a restaurant owner to find them a sniper. Even more incredible that they let them both live afterwards.

  • Anon1

    “Dispatches: Trump’s Dirty Little Secrets” on C4 now.

    No chance of “Obama’s Shitty Little Secrets”, was there?

    Maybe next week’s episode will be “How Saudi nearly bought the Presidency: Clinton’s Filthy Little Secrets.”

    Don’t hold your breath, LOL ?

  • RobG

    For anyone interested, here’s Mike Pence this morning on Fox News (10 minute clip)…


    I just love the news bimbo with her dress half way up her arse; not to mention the propagandised plebs waving through the window from outside.

    Mike Pence is Trump’s pick for Vice President and is, of course, totally batshit crazy. If Trump gets ‘grassy knolled’ this guy will become the President.

    You can do your own search to discover that Pence is madder than most in the geek show that is American politics.

    And we have a ‘special relationship’ with these psychos?!

    • bevin

      One thing that can be said in Pence’s favour is that, in 2011, he was one of the few Congressmen to speak out strongly against US aggression in Libya, “calling it hypocritical and demanding that the cover of humanitarianism be lifted” according to Horace Campbell.
      Then he was on the same side as Ron Paul, whether he still is I have no idea. He might very well be crazy, it would be something of an anomaly if he were not, but on this matter he was correct. And that is worth remembering.

      • RobG

        Mike Pence believes that the world was created 6,000 years ago, and that dinosaur bones (which have been dated back tens of thousands of years) are a ‘test of God’.

        I dunno, maybe Pence is right, and maybe he’s right about homosexuals and abortion (once again, do a search on it).

        They bang on about Iran, et al, but some of the most religious extremists run America.

        When you live in the Matrix you’re never told about it, though.

        Remember, Mike Pence could well be the next President.

        My latest odds on the assassination of Trump on or before inauguration next Friday are still Evens.

        • bevin

          Rob, I said “one thing that can be said in his favour.”
          As to his ideas about evolution etc, they are almost certainly weird, he comes from a weird place and is elected by very weird, politically, voters. The beauty of it is that it really doesn’t matter much whether he thinks the world is 6000 years old or that homosexual marriages are inadvisable, what matters is whether the US continues to seek full spectrum domination and is ready to bring the world to the brink of war to achieve it.
          Personally I don’t care whether traditional monogamy is legal or not. The idea of extending it to homosexual relationships seems unnecessary.

  • RobG

    Another clip from Fox News: an interview done yesterday with Kellyanne Conway (Trump’s spokesperson). There’s nothing significant in this interview. I include it because yet again we get a news bimbo (a different one this time) with her dress half way up her arse. You only need to watch the first minute of this to see what I mean…


    I shall resist posting anything recent from ‘Morning Joe’.

    People watch all this rollocks and many are totally brainwashed.

    I think it’s time I put out the cat for the night.

  • michael norton

    Istanbul Reina nightclub attack suspect captured
    Ministry of Truth
    Abdulkadir Masharipov is believed to have mounted the assault on the Reina club which left 39 people dead.

    The Uzbek national is said to have been caught in Istanbul’s Esenyurt district.

    Citizens of Israel, France, Tunisia, Lebanon, India, Belgium, Jordan and Saudi Arabia were among the victims, and dozens of people were injured.

    • K Crosby

      “Learsi” doesn’t have citizens, there’s a nationality law instead to deprive Palestinians of citizenship.

  • Alcyone

    So refreshing in politics to see the forthright Trump speak clearly and directly in language we can understand!

    This rankles the deep-entrenched-political-class.

    Even I didn’t expect him to say that NATO is obsolete; I’m not sure of his reasons though. Anyone on the ball here?

  • Sharp Ears

    Why Palestinian Children Throw Stones
    Jonathan Cook / January 16th, 2017

    Forget the empty posturing of world leaders in Paris yesterday. This photo tells us what the Israel-Palestine “conflict” is really about.


    Imagine for a second that the little boy – how old is he, eight, nine? – is your son, trying to adjust his keffiyeh because it keeps falling over his eyes and he can’t see anything. Imagine your small son surrounded by masked Israeli “soldiers”, or what looks more like a Jewish militia than an army. Imagine that the boy is likely soon to be bundled into the back of a military van and taken for interrogation without his parents or a lawyer present, or even knowing where he is. That he could end up beaten and tortured, as human rights groups have regularly documented.

    Maybe you can’t imagine any of that because you, a responsible parent living in Europe or the United States, would never let your child out to throw stones.

    Then you need to know more about the story behind this picture.

    This photo was taken in Kfar Qaddum last month. The boy and his friends aren’t there to bait Israeli soldiers or indulge a bout of anti-semitism. Jews from the violent – and illegal – settlement of Kedumim have taken over their farm lands. Kedumim’s expansion has been further used to justify the army closing the access road in and out of Qaddum. The village is being choked off at the throat. In short, these villagers are being ethnically cleansed.

    Parents living in such circumstances do not have the privilege of concealing from their children what is happening. Everyone in the village knows their community and its way of life are being extinguished. Israel is determined that they will leave so that the Jewish settlers next door can grab their land. Israel expects these villagers to join the rest of the aid-dependent Palestinian population in one of the ghettoised towns and cities in the bantustans of the West Bank.

    Even little boys understand the stakes. And unlike your child, this one knows that, if he doesn’t resist, he will lose everything he holds dear.


  • Alcyone


    Now you (still) coming soon…

    Typical Indian (dis)organisation, muddling through. They joke about Indian Standard Time, meaning several hours, days, weeks, even years late. Unmamageable blessed country, still recovering from being raped by Viceroy Nehru and Tyrant Indira Gandhi. Suppress and control; no public education or healthcare to speak of. The Indian people have a very raw deal.

    • michael norton

      I suppose The Scottish Donald is looking at most things through the eyes of America.
      Russia are not a direct threat to the U.S.A. so what is the point of NATO for America?

        • Alcyone

          Very good question Michael. Sturgeon? Craig Murray?

          Worthy of a post on subject from Craig.

        • giyane

          If the American century is premised upon deceit, it might take a little while for the world to realise what’s going on, and a little longer for it to align itself with Russia and China, but deceit will never prevail.

          For example Saudi Arabia has gone from being the most respected country amongst the Muslims to a pariah state which imprisons and murders its guests to the Hajj because it has been exposed as the financier for the assaults on Sunni Pakistan, Sunni Somalia, Sunni Libya, Sunni Syria and Sunni Yemen.

          There is a limit to how long you can attack your friends before they will attack back. Same with NATO. Its credibility since Libya and Ukraine is now so depleted that Russia and its ally China have asserted themselves as purveyors of honour and truth.

          Well done neo-cons, you have made your country weak , unreliable and internally unsafe.

    • Brianfujisan

      Bad Bad Alcy.. its no wonder Some of the Old posters Don’t come back..Fight…$$$$$$$$..£££££..Send your’e sons’s n Daughters……..$$$$$$ ££££..A Few Trillion’s here ..A few Trillion There…Enjoy your Trillion.s You Murdering Evil s..Don’t Look at YEMEN We cant handle That Genocide

  • Peter Beswick

    Maybe the new referendum question should be;

    Please place a cross next to your preferred choice for Scotland’s future (if you place a tick your ballot slip this will spoil your vote and it will be counted as a vote for the least thing voted for because this is an institutional issue not democracy at work)

    I would like to stay in the UK with equal rights and benefits but I want to keep free prescriptions and University education.

    I would like to leave the UK keep free the stuff, stay in the EU but leave NATO

    I would like to leave the UK, keep the free stuff, leave NATO and Leave the EU

    I would like to leave the UK, keep the free stuff, stay in NATO but leave the EU

    I don’t want any free stuff but stay in the UK and the EU but leave ……

    I want free school milk and free deep fried Mars Bars

    I want Scotland’s oil back

    I want the Vikings to be in charge again

    I want my mummy.

  • nevermind

    Anyone on the ball here?

    Well you claim to have the support of Mystic Meg, Alcy, why don’t you give it a go?
    Why should an expansionary and aggressive North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, in a state of some disorganisation if they contemplate letting D.Cameron at the helm, project itself in Afghanisatn Libya, Syria or yemen?
    Why should the US, one of its its members, further the enslavement and violence in Bahrain against the majority population, by leasing a massive harbour to keep its sixth fleet?
    Why should Ukraine, against the will of voters in the EU who have only been asked in Holland and have enough to bother about fascists in their own country, be allowed special dispensation and agreements with the EU, just to wind up Putin by stationing multiple weapon system at Russia’s doorstep?
    And why have NATO members conspired and funded IS actions? why else should Mr. Chastennet have been killed? was he about to reveal something of that order?

    that should keep you busy for a while and keep you away from sects and damaged guru’s.

    @ Brian, hope you wee granddaughter is doing fine and you can resist getting the ski’s out with all that snow about.

  • Peter Beswick

    Sorry if that was not helpful

    As a penance may I suggest anyone interested in understanding what the feck Chomsky’s on about they read John Lyons book on Chomsky or for a dip try this essay; http://www.academia.edu/14514356/John_Lyons_Chomsky_A_review_Essay

    Or perhaps more apposite for this site; https://philosophynow.org/issues/107/Noam_Chomsky_on_Institutional_Stupidity

    You see it is nearly impossible to understand what Chomsky is wittering about until yoy read Lyons on Chompsky

    Its the same with Craig, a good dose of Freud will assist in understanding the output.

      • giyane

        yam yam

        Person from the Black country which is in the west midlands, very close to birmingham. The Black country dialect is very unique. Yam yam derives from ‘you am’ e.g ‘yam coming with me ay ya?’

        A couple of drug smoking munch seeking yam yam’s in a car:

        “Yam gewin the wrung way! Where am yo gewin kid?”
        “I ay at all!”
        “Ye yam, yo day tek that last turnin ya saft get!”
        “Oh arr, soz I day realise”
        “yo’ll atta gew back im starvin I cor wait no longer kid!”

  • Sharp Ears

    Craig Murray is a ‘human activist’.

    Why therefore did my post of Jonathan Cook’s piece ‘Why do Palestinian Children Throw Stones’ go immediately into moderation where it remains?

    • Brianfujisan

      Did it Noo..

      And the Dying Children..No Food..No Money..A Genocide We Pay For..Yemen and the others..I’m sick and sad of this world…But i woul if i could.. And Possibly… GO TO STANDING rock… Sorry No I would Go first to Protect Yemen.. Cos Thsa’ts What Warriors Should do

  • Sharp Ears

    Lavrov calls Steele a crook.

    US poll hacking: Russia says MI6 ex-spy ‘runaway crook’
    41 minutes ago

    The UK ex-spy said to be behind accusations of Russian hacking in favour of Donald Trump in the US is “some runaway crook from the MI6”, Russia’s foreign minister says.

    Sergei Lavrov said Russia did not have to prove it was not behind the hacking.
    Ex-UK spy Christopher Steele is said to have prepared memos published last week alleging Mr Trump’s election team colluded with Russia which also had salacious videos of his private life.

    Mr Trump says the claims are “fake”.

    Mr Steele, who runs a London-based intelligence firm, was highly regarded by his bosses when he worked for the British foreign spy agency MI6, sources have told the BBC.

    He has been widely named as the author of a series of memos – which have been published as a dossier in some US media.


    • bevin

      Of course Steele was highly regarded by his bosses – he was a crook. Their crook. I am amazed by the way that Desperate Democrats rush to defend Steele and Brennan and all these legendary liars- and mercenaries- most of whom are tools of Prince Bandar.

  • Sharp Ears

    Mr Belhaj has won the fight to sue the UK Government and Straw who was Foreign Secretary when the abduction of Mr and Mrs Belhaj took place. Mr Belhaj was tortured. They were described as ‘air cargo’ in a US CIA document.

    Well done Reprieve and the Supreme Court who made the ruling.

    The BBC can’t even give him a name in their headline.

    Libyan wins right to sue ex-Foreign Secretary Jack Straw

    ‘As well as former Labour MP Mr Straw, the case brought by Mr Belhaj and his wife is against former senior MI6 official Sir Mark Allen, the UK security services, the Foreign Office and the Home Office. All have denied liability.’

  • mauisurfer

    “The international community must continue to stand as one against Russian coercion and aggression,” Biden told reporters, standing alongside Poroshenko, in remarks which did not include reference to Trump by name.

    “The Crimea-related sanctions against Russia must remain in place until Russia returns full control to the people of Ukraine.”

    “Together with our EU and G7 partners,” Biden said, “we made it clear that sanctions should remain in place until Russia fully, emphasise fully, implements its commitments under the Minsk agreement.”

    it is hard for me to conceive of where Biden is coming from
    his remarks about Minsk2 are so far from truth/reality
    Kiev agreed (under pressure from Merkel) and Kiev has refused to take any steps in compliance with its agreement
    indeed, some say the Kiev govt would fall if it attempted to comply with Minsk2


    • John Goss

      Although the ongoing civil-war in Ukraine is still going on it is no longer reported in RT. All the aggression is coming from Azov forces who have clearly been armed with heavy weapons. Poroshenko is a nasty piece of work. When Kiev finally falls economically we don’t want Proky coming to these beautiful shores. There are enough crooked Russian and Eastern European oligarchs already operating in the square mile. They should be sent home to pay for their crimes.

      Yes, if Porky’s forces cannot abide by Minsk 2 what future is there. By the way there were no conditions in Minsk 2 for Russia to hand back Crimea so what Biden and Poroshenko are talking about I have no idea if you have reported the Guardian article correctly. Haven’t got time to read the Guardian right now. 😀

      I suspect Porky is getting worried, with all the dosh owed to the IMF, a failing economy and soon a new president of the United States who may not nearly be as friendly towards the illegal coup government brought about through Geoffrey Pyatt and the US Embassy in Kiev.

      • bevin

        It has to be understood that the main reason why Biden never became President is that he was caught plagiarising another politician’s speech. And that the politician in question was Neil Kinnock.
        It is one of those things that tells you all you need to know about Joe Biden. And Neil Kinnock.

        • lysias

          The truth about that plagiarism from Kinnock is that, in that primary campaign, Biden had been repeatedly citing the Kinnock quote, correctly attributing it to Kinnock. Then, one time, he left out the attribution — very likely just because of carelessness and/or fatigue — and the media pounced on what they said was his plagiarism.

          Of course, the reporters reporting on Biden’s campaign had heard that stump speech numerous times, and knew very well that the quote was from Kinnock.

          • Sharp Ears

            Biden has been sounding off at the World Economic Forum, the meet for the gangsters-in-charge being held in Davos this week.

            His concerns are now about cancer since his son died from a brain tumour. Nevermind all those lives he and Obama ended over the last eight years.

            ‘Vice President Joe Biden said his “prayer” is that the incoming Trump administration will continue to support the fight against cancer, which kept Biden from running for president after it took the life of his son, Beau, the Delaware attorney general, in 2015.

            Biden was speaking Monday before the start of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, to promote his “Cancer Moonshot” initiative. He hailed bipartisan support in Congress for a bill that passed last year, allocating $1.8 billion for additional cancer research at the National Institutes of Health.

            Biden said he had spoken with Vice President-elect Mike Pence about his willingness to work with the new Trump administration to help it be as “committed and enthusiastic as we are in the goal of ending cancer.”’


    • Loony

      No-one cares about the Ukraine. The main aim of sanctions is to demonize Russia in the public mind and to hurt the EU – who are only imposing sanctions because Washington has instructed them to do so.

      Trump has opened a second front against the EU by basically telling them he does not care what they do just so long as BMW does not think it can export cars into the US from a base in Mexico.

      Aint it just so much fun to watch the EU so diligently construct its own funeral pyre.Just waiting for the match.

        • Laguerre

          Macron is making ground. Le Pen is losing ground. Today’s speech by May makes a populist victory in France even less likely.

          • Loony

            It is probably one election cycle too soon for Le Pen – but who knows? The only certainty being that anyone paying attention to opinion polls will be the last to know.

          • laguerre

            “It is probably one election cycle too soon for Le Pen”.

            More likely too late next time. Le Pen is at the top of her curve now. If the present trend continues, it looks like the French will prefer the Macron-type solution, that is, not the populist nationalist anti-expert, but the super-duper technological whizz-kid, who is not committed to any party.

      • Laguerre

        “Aint it just so much fun to watch the EU so diligently construct its own funeral pyre.”

        A death pyre of US domination is far more likely. The rival factions in the US are working actively on it. And Trump now wants to get rid of NATO, apparently. NATO is the arm by which American domination is exercised, much like the League of Delos became the Athenian Empire. Only Trump doesn’t understand its role properly.

        • Loony

          People (including me) blame the US for a lot. In this case the simple truth is that Europe has voluntarily subjugated itself to US hegemony. All it has to do is say no – there is nothing the US could do.

          That Europe so cravenly prostrates itself before the US is embarrassing to behold and obviously means that its institutions will be wiped from the face of the earth just as soon as the US gets bored with its little playmate

          • laguerre

            “All it has to do is say no – there is nothing the US could do.”

            Then you agree with me, and Trump is going to do the necessary himself for Europe. (If we believe what Trump says, which is uncertain of course).

  • lysias

    Neoliberalism does not help its victims. How long do U.S. retirees live compared to peers in other countries?:

    If you’re an American retiree worried about outliving your savings, you may have an (unwanted) edge compared to retirees in other countries: U.S. retirees are expected to live shorter lives on average compared to citizens of most other developed nations. That’s according to an analysis presented at the recent Living to 100 Symposium sponsored by the Society of Actuaries (SOA).

    Follow the link, and you will see that the UK does considerably better in this measure than the U.S. Thanks to NHS, presumably.

    • Loony

      Seems pretty biased to me. Take just one simple example:

      Warren Buffett is 86 years old – that is quite a good lifespan and as he is still alive his lifespan gets better every day.

      Who knows how long he can live? Another 30 years and he would be 116 – which would put him out on the ragged edge of probability for life expectancy. In other words it is highly unlikely but just about possible. So for the sake of argument let us assume that he makes 116. Given that he already has a retirement fund of $72.5 billion that would leave him with around $2.41 billion per year.

      It seems clear to me that Warren Buffett has a far higher probability of living to 116 than he does of outliving his savings.

      When viewed in its proper context It is hard to know whether you have posted sensationalism or fake news.

1 2 3

Comments are closed.