Tories Tread a Dangerous Path 793


I have always believed that Theresa May is likely to try to block a new Independence referendum – and it is extremely unlikely her defence secretary, the odious Michal Fallon, would have said this so categorically without prior agreement with May. Fallon, taking a break from supplying weapons to the Saudis for killing Yemeni children, displayed huge arrogance towards Scotland, which the Tories believe is firmly under the heel. They refuse to acknowledge that any difficulty arises from the contradictory referendum results in Scotland, where Scots voted both to remain part of the UK, and to remain part of the EU – the second more recently and by a much wider margin.

The Tory view is that Scotland is but a province of the UK. They are of course right – the UK Supreme Court decision makes quite plain that Scotland’s so-called “parliament” does not derive its power from the Scottish people, but only from what Westminster condescends to hand back. Indeed Westminster could abolish Scotland’s parliament tomorrow. For the Tories, a combination of that Supreme Court decision, their Brexit victory, and the elevation of the Tories to 21% in Scottish elections (Fallon quotes public support for Ruth Davison in his interview), mean that they don’t have to offer Scotland anything.

For God’s sake, let them not be proved right.

Do you remember the scene in Braveheart, where the nobles at Stirling Bridge are planning to negotiate and go home, and Wallace forces them into a fight? Well, I know which Sturgeon reminds me of more at the moment. If she is planning to fight eventually she is masking her intentions brilliantly. The problem that worries me is that the SNP is now the Scottish establishment, and as Scotland is still very much part of the UK, they are part of the British establishment too. A lot of our MPs seem to have their feet under the table very nicely at Westminster. The SNP as an institution has not just its Westminster MPs but their secretaries and research assistants and the group staff, and all the people paid with millions of Westminster “Short money”. That is a major group of party apparatchiks making a fat living out of the current system. Plus of course Holyrood and its power and jobs.

The SNP as an institution is doing very nicely out of the status quo, and that is why there are so many siren voices within the SNP arguing that it is too early for a referendum; “we might lose it”, “leaving the EU is not such a disaster”, “there are a lot of anti-EU Independence supporters anyway”.

There is a lot of self-fulfilling prophesy here. As there has been virtually no actual campaigning for Independence since 2014 and the media still spew anti-Independence propaganda daily, it is hardly surprising Independence support is not rising in the polls. It is a miracle it is holding steady.

The Tories are banking on leaving the EU being normalised. People are getting used to the idea, and the ill consequences of leaving the single market will not really bite until we do so. This is where Sturgeon’s Fabian tactics play in to the Tory agenda. Instead of a break with Westminster over EU membership, the Scottish government is allowing public interest to evaporate in a series of dull Joint Ministerial Committee meetings. There matters are kicked into long grass and mollifying but insincere words spoken about how seriously the devolved administrations are being taken. I can see no point in continuing with this charade unless the SNP itself intends to allow the issue to fizzle out in a drizzle of EFTA’s, EEA’s, CTA’s and other dull acronyms.

The racist majority in England and Wales are trying to force us out of the EU. The UK Supreme Court has ruled the Sewel Convention has no legal force. Now the Tories are arrogantly refusing the right of the Scottish people even to hold a referendum. I cannot imagine the degree of humiliation the SNP feels is necessary to pull the trigger on another Independence attempt. The time is now.

If the Tories do succeed in preventing another referendum from taking place, they are playing with fire. It is worth noting that there is no requirement for Scotland to hold a referendum to become Independent.

Independence is not an internal question. It is the existence of a state recognised by its fellow states, and that recognition is expressed by the General Assembly of the United Nations. A referendum is not a requirement for that UN recognition. Please note the rest of this paragraph very, very carefully. The majority of States in the world have achieved independence during my own lifetime. The vast majority of those did so without a referendum. Not only is a referendum not a requirement, it is extremely unusual. Of the 194 states recognised by the UN, only a tiny handful featured a referendum as part of the process of the formation of the state. This is also true within the EU. Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Croatia, Estonia, Slovakia, Slovenia and the Czech Republic all recently assumed their current form and none of them had a referendum to do it.

If the Tories refuse a referendum, the Scottish Government should respond by declaring Independence. My preferred method of doing this would be to convene a National Assembly, comprising of all Scotland’s MEP’s, MP’s and MSP’s, and for that National Assembly to make the declaration. This would broadly accord with international norms. Independence should be effective from the declaration, but that Independence could if desired be employed to hold the referendum which the Tories had refused.

I do not posit this as the best way to achieve Independence. My preference would be a new referendum now in the new circumstances of the UK leaving the EU, as fairly presaged in the SNP’s successful manifesto for the last Holyrood elections. I am convinced that once campaigning starts, support for Independence will surge as during the last campaign, only this time starting from a much higher base.

The Tories fought the Holyrood election on a manifesto saying no second Independence referendum. They got 21% of the vote. May and Fallon should be aware as they plan to block a referendum: other options are available.


793 thoughts on “Tories Tread a Dangerous Path

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  • bevin

    “…I would agree with CM if he was to claim Saudi Arabia is run by a majority of fanatical Islamist knuckle dragging cave men that have no place on this planet. Is that claim as delusional as the other???”
    And you pose as a critic of racism, Sally? These are the oldest racist memes known.

      • bevin

        Presumably in criticising Chris as a ‘racist’. But perhaps I am wrong, you are welcoming him into the club and he misunderstands you.

        • Chris Rogers

          Bevin,

          As I’ve stated elsewhere, Sally would last about 5 minutes in Pontypool, and in those five minutes, she’d notice a lot of Welsh families with very Continental surnames, be they Polish, French, Spanish, Italian, Irish, Scottish and a fair few others, of course in the course of more than 100 years the mix has become homogenised and our rather deprived area our home – so those Welsh Craig and Sally are slagging off are very much a composite of Europe, and that composite elected in a majority to leave the EU, which is quite funny given many in the mix originated in the PIIGS.

  • John Goss

    Thought I would share this with you. When he gets going this Mexican laughs like the clown at Blackpool Pleasure Beach. He was the one who before Trump became president said, he’s going to build a wall, and wants us to pay for it. (Starts laughing). But 40% of us fly from Mexico to the States. How’s that going to keep us out. We’ll be waving to his wall from the plane. Then he’ll need to build another wall to keep the planes out (by this time his laughing is uncontrollable). And he’ll do it. He’s stupid enough. Enjoy. Subtitles need a little work.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qB5gL9LUKvM

  • RobG

    Just released opinion polls for the French presidential election:

    Marine Le Pen – 25%
    Emmanuel Macron – 20.5%
    François Fillon – 18.5%
    Benoît Hamon – 16.5%
    Jean-Luc Mélenchon – 10%

    The other 7 candidates in the presidential race are all down to 1% and below in the approval ratings.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opinion_polling_for_the_French_presidential_election,_2017#February

    With the ‘Trump factor’, and other stuff I’ve banged on about here, I still can’t see Marine Le Pen winning the presidency. Emmanuel Macron is an arch neo-con, and I don’t see the French voting for that. François Fillon is mired in scandal and is part of the totally discredited Republican Party. Benoît Hamon of the Socialist Party is in no way a ‘French Bernie Sanders’ or a French ‘Jeremy Corbyn’: Hamon is way to the left.

    This of course leaves my favoured candidate, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who, if you can afford it, might be worth a five quid bet with the bookies. William Hill are presently offering odds of 20 to 1 on Mélenchon…

    http://sports.williamhill.com/bet/en-gb/betting/e/9831199/2017+French+Presidential+Election.html

    • RobG

      And by the way, the best odds you could get on Donald Trump shortly before the American presidential election were also 20 to 1; and this was in just a two horse race.

      • Anon1

        How shortly? The best I got on the night was 4/1 and that was just before Florida started to look iffy and the media pundits were putting a big downer on Trump’s chances. (I made a killing, by the way.)

        • RobG

          Anon1, I don’t know about the hours before the American presidential election, but in the days leading up to it you could get 20 to 1 on Donald Trump (and again, this was in just a two horse race; that’s how wrong they got it).

          It’s similar with Jean-Luc Mélenchon, although I’m not sure how Mélenchon squares with your own political views. Greed or ideology?

          • Sharp Ears

            I am sure that those struggling to pay the bills and those without work or a roof over their heads are able to afford a few quid to bet on the outcome of elections and politicians’ bids for power. Not.

            It’s obscene.

    • bevin

      As I suspected Macron, the candidate closest to the neo-liberals, and the one with the really blurred image is the main beneficiary from Filon’s troubles. Filon, by the way, is much less inclined to NATOism and Russophobia than Macron.
      As to Melencthon and Hamon it looks like a sectarian dispute between the CP and the people that frighten poor old Habbabkkuk so much: if they could cobble together a programme and toss a coin they might win. The trick is to make it into the run-off.
      What are the odds against that happening?

      • RobG

        bevin, it seems likely that the neo-cons will get absolutely slaughtered in the forthcoming French presidential election. The MSM talk about Le Pen and Macron and Fillon (all political minnows, by the way), but never mention Mélenchon and the fact that the CGT are behind him (the CGT are by far the biggest worker’s union in France), and Mélenchon also has the ‘Nuit debout movement’ backing him, the largest protest movement in modern-day French history.

        If Mélenchon doesn’t at least make the second and final round of the presidential election in early May, it’s almost certain that the election has been rigged. This will lead to even more massive civil unrest.

        The funniest thing is to watch how the presstitutes spin all this, both in France and the Anglo world.

        And by the way, Jean Luc Mélenchon is not a communist (if that’s what you were referring to). He’s a left of centre/socialist, a position that was quite normal in mainstream European politics three decades ago, before the neo-con headcases took control.

    • Laguerre

      My French friends don’t rate Le Pen’s chances much. She’ll certainly get into the second round. Macron looks like the man at the moment. I don’t think anybody is really a Neo-Con in France, and certainly not going to introduce a Thatcherite economy – it wouldn’t be tolerated and we know what the French do if they want to resist a move (as Sarkiozy found out to his cost.).

    • Pyewacket

      Thanks for the tip Rob. I’ve just checked Oddschecker, and Ladbrokes are offering 100/1 & Corals 80/1, so quite a range there. I suppose the real tip is to get a bet on early.

  • Sharp Ears

    As with the Tories treading ‘a dangerous path’, so is Trump.

    He is dismantling the protections that went in following the sub-prime mortgage/banking crash.

    Trump orders review that could relax Dodd-Frank bank rules
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-38858009

    Note the instant rise in the fortunes of JP Morgan Chase and Goldman Sachs and that the Goldman Sachs president/COO, Gary Cohn is at his side.

    As President and COO at GOLDMAN SACHS GROUP INC, Gary D. Cohn made $20,588,300 in total compensation. Of this total $1,850,000 was received as a salary, $5,745,000 was received as a bonus, $0 was received in stock options, $12,739,520 was awarded as stock and $253,780 came from other types of compensation.
    Compensation Information for Gary D. Cohn , President and COO of …
    http://www1.salary.com/Gary-D-Cohn-Salary-Bonus-Stock-Options-for-GOLDMAN-SACHS-GROUP-INC.html

    ‘Thanks to ex-Goldman ED Greg Smith, we know that Cohn likes to hitch up his leg when chatting to people (“He’d hike up one leg, plant his foot on the person’s desk, his thigh close to the employee’s face, and ask how markets were doing”).’
    http://news.efinancialcareers.com/uk-en/19247/9-life-and-career-lessons-from-gary-cohn-coo-of-goldman-sachs/

    That body language sounds pretty thuggish to me. Trump would approve.

  • Anonymous

    The Tories*, being good NATO/US poodles, are forever going on about Russia annexing Crimea, when, in fact, the Crimeans held a referendum and voted to leave Ukraine. Allowing the Scottish people to hold a referendum and leave the UK is going to put them in a tricky position. Therefore they will do everything they can to block it.

    * generic political term includes New Labour, New Liberal Democrap etc.

  • wallofcontroversy

    Craig, I still don’t hear you. I politely ask you to defend the EU and to justify your ludicrous charge that everyone who voted in opposition to being ruled over by an unelected coterie of neoliberal eurogarchs is a racist and you ignore me. A second time indeed (since you also ignored me when I asked a similar question a few years ago regarding the so-called Troika’s (2 parts EU) subjugation and sell-off of Greece). Do I take it that you have no answer?

    • glenn

      I don’t think Craig reads this far into the comments, not that often anyway. Catch him in the first dozen or so comments of a new post and you might get lucky.

      Personally, I don’t like the charge you mention either, that all LEAVE voters are ipso facto racists. Some of us did not like the very obvious neoliberal direction of the EU project, or the concentration of power towards Germany (as if they had won WW-II), and particularly did not like their imposing of austerity to Greece, Italy, Ireland and Portugal, among others.

      We most especially did not like the punitive action against Greece, who were threatened with “We will collapse your banks” by the EU, should they fail to impose ruinous, life-destroying poverty on their own people, as ordered.

      We don’t even have to go as far as to discuss untrammelled, effectively borderless nations which should welcome unlimited immigration, and declare anyone against that is racist. There is plenty else to dispute about the EU, and whether it would be better had we given them a huge thumbs up with a REMAIN vote – which would of course be taken as “Great work guys, please give us much more of the same.”

      • Chris Rogers

        Glenn,

        Its indeed sad that Craig and many others posting here are happy using highly divisive, almost Clintonesque type language, in referring to ‘racist majorities in England & Wales’. We can forget the EU part given Craig has not specified if he’s actually referring to the Electorate of England and Wales, or the general population. Indeed, I seem to remember that in September 2014 a majority in Scotland elected to remain within the UK, and that in June 2016 a majority in the UK elected to leave the EU, it being a UK-wide election. It seems to me that democracy only counts for something if you are on the actual winning side, and if on the losing side a plethora of excuses are dispatched – this process is exhibited in both the USA presently and the UK. Not being a Tory, one’s had to endure Tory Rule for the majority of my lifetime. Indeed, the last actual left-of-centre economically speaking Government our nation had ended in 1979, and since then its been full on neoliberalism that has impacted adversely both sides of the Atlantic, a neoliberalism baked into the Lisbon Treaty. Alas, because I’m opposed to neoliberalism, and indeed warmongering where ever it is found, allegedly one’s now a RACIST and pig ignorant about the workings and operations of the EU and its many Institutions, which would come as a shock to my university lecturers, but there we are, I must take Craig’s word for it!

        • glenn

          Chris: I don’t know if Craig’s thinking boils down to the economic arguments and everything else would make a REMAIN vote the logical decision, and only racism would sway you against that decision. I don’t know, because we haven’t had the opportunity for a proper chat about it.

          A solid campaign, answering questions like this in the run-up to the referendum – when there were nothing but lies and BS being put out, with no solid fact-checking that we could trust in that entire period – that might have been very useful and probably influential. But we’ll never know, will we?

          The absence of such a campaign is beyond my comprehension, but then – this isn’t my blog. CM is obviously far more knowledgeable, well positioned, schooled in politics and more clever than me. So I can only say I don’t understand the reason for not campaigning for a result one favoured.

          A _real_ cynic might think a longer game was afoot, which might lead to Scottish independence. It’s a good thing I’m not that cynical.

          *

          As to your point about the political direction a country heads off to, well… that’s because a few “undecideds” are swayed one way or the other for a bit, in this low-information, highly propagandised supposed democracy of ours.

          That means the government of the day assumes a mandate to push a country into a direction few actually want with some fervour, designed to benefit only the already privileged. Even though it gained only a small minority of eligible voters, it governs in a manner directly against the interests of the majority, and the country as a whole.

          What a system.

          • Chris Rogers

            Glenn,

            Having been acquitted with the operation of the then EC at a post-grad level from 1992, I must say until the Lisbon Treaty was enacted I was favourably disposed to the vision of Europe as set out by Jaques Delors in the late 80s, namely a social Europe – obviously Maastricht not only created the Single Market, but set in motion monetary union, a very flawed monetary union exacerbated by two key issues, namely German Reunification in the early 90s and the expansion of the EC to the East – you need to read up on the economic history of German reunification, but it cost West Germany a fortune, and still the five East German Lander are well behind economically their 11 Western Lander peers, after this we had the adoption by Germany of neoliberal economic reforms, as well as the outsourcing of jobs to the East, the combined result on this was not only increased unemployment across the EC, but falling living standards for the average working man. Its quite technical, but the long and the short of it, again on the economics front, was the Lisbon Treaty adopted some of the worst practices of the EC and set them in stone. Had all EC members had Referendums on the Lisbon Treaty, to be honest I don’t think it would have been adopted, or at least without significant change – the end result, as if you need reminding was a sovereign debt crisis across much of the Euro member states, the bailing out of bankrupt banks and debts passed on to the EU taxpayers and a rigid system of fiscal policy, itself laid out via the Stability and Growth Pact, which again was part of monetary union as adopted under Maastricht. Christ, I’ve not even touched upon the democratic deficit, or attempts at a foreign policy that seems alarmingly anti-Russia in nature. So, you are correct, the Referendum was a farce, we had no real discussion and it was far too late – you can blame Gordon Brown for that matter, whilst Cameron and Osborne were both way out of their depth. So here we are I’m afraid, but if wiser heads prevailed across Europe during the Referendum I don’t think we’d be leaving despite the vote. Regrettably, no wiser heads exist of a stature like Bismarck or De Gaulle, which really a let down.

        • fred

          @Chris.

          Look back over the topics discussed here and then imagine Craig was a Muslim Imam saying the same things to a Muslim audience, it starts to make sense then. Branding the English racist is just part of the process of radicalising Scots, just like when he said No voters were either evil or stupid. It’s what hate preachers do, it’s part of the process and so is generating a mistrust of the media.

          I think most people want to get on with others, want to see us all as one even if we do have differences it’s the similarities that bind us. But there are a few on all sides who want to separate, amplify the differences, fight against rather than work with others and they will do all they can to drag as many people along with them as possible. The way they do that is to tell them “we are better than they are, they are racist, they aren’t like us, we are superior”.

      • michael norton

        If you had lived in a street, all your life, anywhere in the world and your street became inhabited by people from other lands, speaking different languages and having different views on the world, if you were upset at the position you now found yourself in,
        would you be a racist?

        • michael norton

          If your people had lived in Tasmania for fifty thousand years and you were invaded by the British, would you be a racist, if you found this objectionable?

        • fred

          Do you know when I moved to Scotland many many years ago the thing I missed most about back home was a Karachi Social Club curry.

        • giyane

          What if you chose to live in a street inhabited by newcomers to the UK, but you didn’t know they don’t like you or your way of thinking. You can’t blame people for their culture, nor can you blame people for not knowing the darker side of human beings.

          The fact of the matter is that projection of the bits of ourselves we don’t like onto the ‘ other ‘ allows us to feel better about ourselves and our own culture, and if we don’t mix with the ‘ others ‘ we won’t find out what’s our cultural baggage and what’s theirs.

          It should therefore be compulsory for human beings to mix. It will cure them of their psychological defects and generate mutual respect. I can’t understand why people go on holiday in humungous, humanetically sealed motorhomes. Does travel broaden the mind without contact?

    • Squonk

      Craig tends often to the black and white “polemic” on his blog and he’s stated that explicitly here before. I believe he intends it to stimulate debate and he doesn’t mind if you disagree. His words over a whisky or two at his talks (many on youtube and linked from the blog) fill things in with a bit more colour!

  • K Crosby

    The problem that worries me is that the SNP is now the Scottish establishment, and as Scotland is still very much part of the UK, they are part of the British establishment too. A lot of our MPs seem to have their feet under the table very nicely at Westminster. The SNP as an institution has not just its Westminster MPs but their secretaries and research assistants and the group staff, and all the people paid with millions of Westminster “Short money”. That is a major group of party apparatchiks making a fat living out of the current system. Plus of course Holyrood and its power and jobs.

    It’s not just that they’ve got their snouts in the trough, it’s their determination to keep them there even if there is independence. Only on European political partei in the last 150 years hasn’t sold out to the state.

  • Node

    They control the media.
    They control the money supply.
    They control the military.
    They control the politicians.
    They control industry, medicine, science, education, …..

    Yet there are relatively few of them, they can’t relax, they have to constantly fire-fight revolution.
    So they weaken the power of the masses to act together.

    They attack anything that unites us – cultures, religions, families, communities …..
    They reward greed and mock altruism.

    Step by step they make us betray each other instead of supporting each other.
    Like this :
    http://govtslaves.info/car-park-app-offers-reward-to-snitch-on-people-parking-illegally/

    They are remorseless.
    They divide and conquer.

    • john young

      I would play them at their own game,fcuk them declare independence from them then let them deal with it,they are elected on around 33% of the vote,so fcuk them.

    • Loony

      Why do you constantly reference the BBC?

      Who cares what they say or do? They are master purveyors of fake news. Everything they say is a lie, What more does anyone need to know about the BBC.

      See how they spin US policy as being a “Muslim travel ban” and yet conveniently forget to mention that citizens of the 6 countries with the largest Muslim populations are not affected by this ban. Therefore it cannot possibly be about banning Muslims, and it must be about something else. Note that the BBC never even hints at what this is really about. Ask why, and then forget all about the BBC.

      • Sharp Ears

        You are ignoring the fact that the BBC is the state broadcaster and whatever the propaganda is that it puts out, it is watched and absorbed by millions.

        • Loony

          That the BBC is a state broadcaster is as irrelevant as the BBC itself.

          The BBC was in favor of killing people in Iraq – the people were not, and all the lies down all the years have not changed the opinion of the people.

          The BBC are in favor of the EU – the people are not. The BBC remains in favor of the EU – not noticing that it is dead. By making themselves political necrophiliacs the BBC merely succeeds in ridiculing itself.

          The BBC were virulently anti-Trump. The people were not and Trump is President of the US.

          The BBC were pro the English-Scottish union and so were the people. Those on the wrong side of the argument sought to blame the BBC thus compounding their own error by serving the agenda of the BBC and allowing it to claim that it is relevant.

          It is the case that the BBC lies about substantially everything and no-one can be an expert on everything. So some lies that it tells work – but only to the extent that they are lying to people about a subject matter that does not interest them.

          Ignore the BBC and it will go away. It will go away for you the moment you start to ignore it. If enough people ignore it then it will go away for everyone.

          • Aurora

            Yes the people were and are strongly against Trump, in the UK resoundingly, in the US he’s already deeply unpopular (and didn’t secure the popular vote). Defend him if you must, but don’t peddle complete fabrications.

          • Loony

            What kind of fabrications do you have in mind? Perhaps things like (Trump) “he’s already deeply unpopular” Says who? Oh I know fake news outlets.

            Or how about your reference to the popular vote. The US is a Republic based on democratic principals it is NOT a democracy per se. One consequence of this constitutional feature is that there is no such thing as the “popular vote” So why raise it, if not to assist in the peddling of complete fabrications.

          • Alcyone

            Aurora, Trump was put in place by the ‘Deep State’.

            Feel better now?

            I really do empathise with your struggle to keep pace with a fast changing world. After all, the only one that likes a change is a wet baby.

            PS Nice name by the way.

      • Aurora

        Which part of Giuliani revealing that Trump asked him how to impose a ‘Muslim ban’ is difficult to understand?

        • Loony

          If Trump sought advice on how to impose a Muslim ban then presumably he either intended to ban Muslims or he intended to create the impression that he was interested in banning Muslims.

          Facts reveal the likely answer.

          There are about 209 million Muslims in Indonesia, 178 million in Pakistan,167 million in India and 134 million in Bangladesh. The fact that Trump has not sought to ban citizens from any of these countries indicates that he is likely not interested in banning Muslims.

          Be careful…fake news is everywhere. Maybe fake news is just responding to a demand that people have that they be lied to.

        • Jo

          @ Aurora

          All this, “He didn’t win the popular vote.” stuff is pretty meaningless is it not when the reality is that Trump won the contest under the terms of US elections?

          Do you accept at all that the biggest problem was that the person nominated to stand against him was Hillary? My view is that he won the election precisely because he was standing against her and that even many democrats could not bring themselves to vote for her.

  • michael norton

    https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attaque_contre_des_militaires_au_Carrousel_du_Louvre
    The attacker is seriously injured by four or five balls , especially in the belly.
    The attacked soldier is, for his part, slightly injured to the scalp.
    The individual is in possession of two machetes and bombs of paint in the bags.

    According to Paris Prefect of Police , Michel Cadot , “The aggressor uttered threats, especially Allah Akbar !

    I am thinking that as it happened on the same day as Paris initiated its new bid for the Olympics, that this latest attack, would be linked.

      • michael norton

        The suspect bought two military machetes 40 centimeters long, for another 680 euros, in an armory of the 11th century, not far from the Place de la Bastille.
        What is the status of the investigation?

        In the dwelling, the investigators found, according to the prosecutor’s statement, 965 euros still in cash, invoice to buy machetes, prepaid cards, clothes for one week and an Egyptian passport with visas for Saudi Arabia And Turkey in 2015 and 2016.
        http://www.ledauphine.com/france-monde/2017/02/04/ce-que-l-on-sait-sur-l-attentat-du-louvre

        A few more countries for Donald Trump to add to his list.
        Tunisia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Dubai & U.A.E.

    • michael norton

      Not sure what’s going on but now the BBC thinks Paris is in Turkey
      unless the Russians have hacked it.
      Louvre saldırganın babası: Benim oğlum terörist değil

      14 minutes ago
      From the section Europe

      Fransa’nın başkenti Paris’teki Louvre müzesinde askerlere saldırırken vurulan militanın sağlık durumu iyiye gidiyor.

      Haber ajansı AFP, 29 yaşında bir Mısırlı olduğu söylenen saldırganın kaldırıldığı hastanenin yoğun bakım servisinden çıktığını duyurdu.
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-38868971

      • michael norton

        In the aftermath of the military attack in the Louvre, the investigation continues and leads to an Egyptian 29 years old, arrived in France a week ago with a tourist visa. The father of the alleged suspect testified that his son showed no signs of radicalization.

        The father of the Egyptian suspected of having attacked the military machete at the Louvre in Paris said Saturday that his son had shown no signs of radicalization and had not heard from him since Friday.
        “It’s a simple boy, we all love him”

        Reda El-Hamahmy, a retired police general, said he thought the assailant wounded in the attack on Friday was his son, Abdallah El-Hamahmy, while the investigators still try to formally establish the identity of the ‘assailant.

        According to his father, Abdallah El-Hamahmy works as commercial director in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, and “went on a business trip to Paris. And in the end, he went to visit the Louvre museum.

        There can’t be that many Jihadists , who have a dad, who used to be a police general?

  • Brian Hill

    Another excellent article from Craig Murray. This information re how to gain Independence with a Referendum should boost the spirits of Pro Indy people and send shivers down the anti Scots Indy(from the UK)/pro Brit Indy from Europe. Hopefully it will.

    I agree that Indy could wither on the vine through lack of ‘watering’ – dithering a la Bonnie Prince Charlie at Derby when he returned home empty handed instead of attacking a terrified southern English populous.

    Equally this current crop of leaders have taken us to the door of Independence, I have no doubt they will find the key to that door during the Brexit period, if not they have alternative methods as Craig points out.

      • michael norton

        That is a brilliant solution, no need for a referendum, I like, it is sound.
        Just take Scotland out of the United Kingdom, with out asking anyone, magnificent.

      • Dave

        When the SNP adopted “independence in Europe” it was both a non-independence message as it means devolution in EU, but still a stepping stone towards independence by encouraging the idea of leaving the UK without being “isolated”, but actual independence is leaving UK and EU.

        Therefore the first step towards an independent Scotland has been delivered by Brexit as outside the EU its easier for a small state like Scotland to leave UK than the EU. I don’t think the EU would have allowed Scotland referendums to Leave UK or EU, whereas a big state like UK could just do it.

        The fact that the SNP wants to belong to the EU, when its easier to leave the UK and become independent from outside the EU shows they are no longer (for a long time) a genuine independence party, but ironically Brexit provides them with a chance to rediscover their roots.

        • morag branson

          The fact that 62% wanted to stay IN the EU might also indicate that the direction of travel by the SNP is correct, wouldn’t you say?

          • michael norton

            I think Scotland should announce independence tomorrow,
            don’t bother ye heads with inderef2.

          • Dave

            The Unionist parties and UK government wanted UK to Remain in EU and Scottish voters agreed with their government. If the Unionist parties and UK government had campaigned to Leave EU and Scottish voters had voted to Remain, you would have a point.

    • MJ

      Be assured that I am shivering so violently I can scarcely type.

      A couple of things. Firstly, don’t you think that a Scottish UDI would be viewed by the grown-ups as a pathetic coup attempt and treated accordingly? Secondly, don’t you think that some regions of Scotland might do a Crimea and apply to join England, leaving a rather dimished Scotland? (Admittedly, Dumfries and Galloway might make a charming counterpoint to the Lake District).

      • morag branson

        Grow up.
        This type of nonsense makes no sense. Why on earth would a part of Scotland that voted to stay in the EU, as did every area, want to join a country whi h charges it’s citizens 8 pounds for a prescription, and which will take it OUT of the EU?

        • michael norton

          perhaps, you may give some consideration, to those, who voted to remain in the United Kingdom

          • morag branson

            I responded to the attempted partition of Scotland by mj. What are you responding to?

          • fred

            I was just reading that a clinically fit patient had to wait 508 days to be discharged from hospital.

            http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-38869573

            Yet the government are giving their filthy rich lawyer and banker mates mates free prescriptions.

            What is even more bizarre is that SNP supporters seem to be proud of this. It shows what can be done with spin. Like telling local authorities you are cutting their funding by £330mn doing a deal with the Greens that they would raise taxes and only cut funding by £160mn then telling everyone they are giving councils an extra £170mn.

            http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/politics/scotland-deserves-honest-politics-time-9753210#ICID=sharebar_twitter

            There is spin and there are downright lies but this must go beyond both. The local council funding cuts are going to hit the poorest and most vulnerable in society to lie and say they are increases is just despicable. .

          • Michael McNulty

            @Fred. You’re right. The first two things modern propagandists like the despicable Alistair Campbell did was to change the name of propaganda to spin, then change the title of propagandist to spin doctor. They’re all born liars who are so shameless at it they earn huge salaries from the establishment. And Campbell is a war criminal stood beside Blair.

          • fred

            “The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”

  • Dave

    A Leave “anti-racist” is offended at being called a “racist” by a Remain “anti-racist” who in turn is offended at being called “racist” by “Zs”, who in turn are offended at being called “racist” by “anti-Zs” and all patriots are racially offended at being called “racist” by “Zs and anti-racists”. I think it illustrates that the term has become a general insult used by everyone against everyone else with whom they disagree, but enshrined in law to create a culture of denouncement fit for a police state.

    Don’t call me a racist you racist, adopted from Pete and Dudley.

    • Chris Rogers

      Dave,

      I could not agree further with you, the word ‘racist’ is abused and bandied around far too much, as are the terms ‘anti-semite’ and ‘fascist’. Indeed, we have seen via some decent journalism how supporters of the present Israeli State have used ‘anti-Semitism’ tropes as a means of enacting political change in our country, with hardly a peep out of the government, and yet great harm done to certain factions within the Labour Party. The point I myself have tried to make is that Craig should never have used the word structure he did. Indeed, had CM had a decent editor or sub-editor he’d have been advised not to use the divisive language he used – which reads as if its out of the Clinton play book of political discourse. Many on this site, including myself place great value on national self determination, to the extent I supported Scottish Independence, and would not be opposed if Wales one day held similar desires, or indeed England for that matter!

    • Node

      An enlightening piece from Steven Daisley in the Scottish Daily Mirror.

      It was the Scottish Daily Mail, actually, and some of us didn’t need enlightening about their journalistic standards. In this self-contradictory attempted hatchet job, Steven Daisley blames his demotion on two SNP politicians who called his journalism “crap.” His employers didn’t support him. The National Union of Journalists didn’t support him. Other journalists didn’t support him. Scottish PEN, the campaign for writers’ freedom of expression didn’t support him. Even the anti-SNP BBC didn’t support him.

      Only JK Rowling supported him. Nuff said.

  • MrShigemitsu

    Could Craig, or perhaps someone who agrees with him, please kindly explain why it should be that English people who voted for the UK to leave the EU are defined as racists, and yet Scots who voted for Scotland to leave the UK are not?

    Many thanks!

    • Ken

      Bit of a straw man to claim that anyone said all English Brexiters voted on “racist” grounds but the difference you want illuminated hinges on the free movement of people.

      Even pre Brexit, English politicians were calling for a closed border with Scotland in the event of Independence. Here’s the wonderful Teresa May:
      Independence “…would mean border controls between a separate Scotland and the United Kingdom,” she said. “Passport checks to visit friends and relatives.”

      And of course no show without Punch: the delightful Miliband likewise stated that…border guards and passport checks : ‘…would have to be looked at.’

      Neither were envisioned nor called for by Independence supporters in Scotland who voted for an Independent country in the UK Common Travel Area and with EU free movement of persons.

  • Jimmy S

    First get a Scottish Broadcaster to take over the BBC’s functions
    Also get a currency established (use the dollar in parallel with the pound now)

    • Loony

      What a great idea. Get rid of one organ of state propaganda and replace it with another – although presumably one telling lies that are more to your taste. Not much of a voting inducement – Independence means a different set of lies. Maybe people might be interested in the truth.

      You don’t like the currency of the loathed English – but you do like the currency of the US (I assume you mean the US$). Take a look at how that worked out for Ecuador, and ask why it would be different for Scotland.

      New Zealand has a smaller population than Scotland but has its own currency – so why can’t Scotland have its own currency? Answer because no-one is interested in Scottish independence, especially those who claim otherwise. All you are interested in doing is in bowing the Scottish knee to the alter of power and claiming victory because you don’t have to take out your mat and prostrate yourselves toward Westminster.

      Why would anyone be interested in such a deal?

      • Aurora

        On this point you’re right, it’s laughable: a free Scotland either tied to the dollar, issuing fake dollars, or entirely submitted to the Euro banker cartel. All to free themselves from the ‘English’ yoke they were happy to be tied to when Empire was bringing in the colonial loot. That’s not against independence, it’s against ridiculous posturing that will end up making Scotland more dependent, not less.

  • Republicofscotland

    Donald Trump, has signed another two executive orders, which will roll back financial industry regulations. The regulations were put in place after the 2008 banking/finance crisis.

    The Dodd-Frank Act, was signed in 2010 and was seen as a government stamp-down on banks, after the administration was forced into a multi-billion dollar bailout to save the economy.

    “The Act will not be changed overnight; rather Mr Trump has solicited advice from the heads of regulatory agencies as to how the law should be changed.”

    “Mr Trump justified the move to reporters during a meeting with CEOs of large corporations, saying his friends in the business world had been affected by the law.”

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/donald-trump-wall-street-banks-dodd-frank-fiduciary-rule-barack-obama-a7562346.html

    Trump is effectively saying to the banking and finance industry, you’re off the hook, now go make lots of money.

    • Loony

      Maybe, or maybe you should ask who saw the Dodd-Frank Act as “a government stamp down on banks” – Did you? and if so why?

  • Republicofscotland

    Meanwhile US Defence Secretary James Mattis, has stated publicly that, Iran is the biggest state sponsor of terrorism in the world.

    The reality however is that the Great Satan (consecutive US governments foreign policies) have been, and still are the source of state sponsored terrorism (using proxy fighters) and causes of wars around the globe.

    Britain a compliant US minion, is also guilty.

    However the new found gusto to attack Iran, lies at the heart of Trump and his new administration, and the Republicans in general, along with US big business who see Iran as a trade threat. A rich Iran could destabilise the region and threaten Israel’s dominance in the region.

    Add in that Iran, aided Assad in Syria, and is currently aiding fighters in Yemen, and you can see why the focus of US aggression, is set to be fixed on Iran.

    • nevermind

      More meanwhile, EU citizens who have dealings with the Home office are being treated as bargaining chips in Brexit negotiations, a policy of ‘deliberate hostility is already in operation.
      People who have lived here longer than in their home country are being harassed with letters and demands to leave their families and husbands/wife’s and go back to their country of birth.
      So when politicians have failed for decades to take an interest in their partnership, are well known for sitting on the fence moaning, when they have no idea on how to achieve what they say they are doing, its their nasty side that wins over and the bully boy tactics of the helpless and sadly unable win over.

      Sad as it is, more alignment to Trumps more and more erratic behaviour can only make this lack of leadership and ideas worse.
      As much as I hate to quote this tabloid
      https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/jan/16/eu-citizens-in-uk-could-face-deliberate-hostility-policy-after-brexit

      • Loony

        Fake news just doesn’t cut it for you does it? You have to double down on the fake news agenda. None of this is happening, and it will not happen. All you have found is the Guardian prostituting itself to an immigration lawyer who is trying to drum up business based on fear and misinformation.

        All you do is compound that fear and misinformation. Should your comment have any purpose it is limited to ratcheting up the pressure on the most vulnerable – that would be the same vulnerable cadre of people that you claim to feel so ,much empathy for. Still everyone is expendable if there is a chance to fly the flag for fake news.

        The EU is a con and a lie. I have lived in an array of countries and my rights of residence have fuck all to do with the EU,

        • nevermind

          Lalalala, its only in your head and not true.
          and you’re a blind and lying loon, what do you know of EU citizens living amongst your fellow subjects?
          And the stumbling, fumbling performances of your Government have not disturbed you? bless.

    • Loony

      do the Republicans and US big business see Iran as a trade threat? What exactly is it that Iran has to trade?

      Most conventional analysis of Iran see it as the depository of cheap hydrocarbon resources that can be exploited by the powerful. Stealing resources markedly different to fearing its trading abilities. I do hope that this is not more fake news,

    • John Goss

      Quite right RoS. You cannot trust the US of A, not its presidents or its bankers or its military, all of which are connected. Trump is an autocrat. There is not much difference between an autocrat and a dictator. My understanding is that Trump will take advice. At least he will consider it. There are already moves in a different direction regarding Russia. For example sanctions are not going to be lifted against Russia until Russia withdraws from Ukraine.

      Russia does not seem to mind. Russia says that sanctions are one of the best things that have happened to Russia, at least the farmers think so. As they say the ruble is still a ruble. It’s a bit like Harold Wilson’s advice that the pound in your pocket will still be worth a pound. And exports from the corn and wheat producers mean big rubles.

      Anyway you need to read between the lines. Trump has met with ‘money launderer’ Yulia Tymoshenko before meeting with ‘Porky’ Poroshenko in a non-official capacity. She assures her faithful that Trump will not lift sanctions without Russia withdrawing from Ukraine. The fact that Russia is not in Ukraine could very quickly be established by OSCE so they could be lifted anytime. That’s my reading.

      http://www.politico.com/story/2017/02/trump-ukraine-russia-sanctions-234631

      • bevin

        It is the European Union states which lose most by the sanctions. By keeping them operative the US not only does Russia a favour but makes life difficult for its ‘allies’ in NATO, Italy, for example, and Germany which lust after those Russian markets.
        It is a moot point which of Clinton or Trump would have been more disastrous for US foreign policy aims.

  • michael norton

    Grexit? Greece again on the brink as debt crisis threatens break with EU
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/feb/03/grexit-greece-debt-crisis-eu-germany-us

    First there was the PIIGS

    but is France sliding into monster debt.
    A greater proportion of the population, directly work for the state in France, than in any other European country, including Russia.
    France is a big country with a big population but other than agriculture , there are almost no natural resources.
    At least Greece has the likelyhood of massive hydrocarbon deposits off Crete.

  • Republicofscotland

    Britain has been backing the losing side in the Saudi-led war in Yemen, and must change course to prevent a famine, Tory MP Andrew Mitchell told the House of Commons International Development Committee on Wednesday.

    Mitchell said the Saudi-backed regime in the country, has no support among Yemenis and that a disaster is on the horizon. He recently returned from a fact-finding trip to the country, which is being bombed by Saudi Arabia with British help.

    Of course this isn’t the first time a shameful Britain has backed the Saudi dictators over Yemen.

    “Yemeni King Ahmad, Arab nationalist army officers led by Colonel Abdullah Al-Sallal seized power and declared a Republic.

    The Royalists launched an insurgency to reclaim power, backed by Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Israel and Britain, whilst Nasser’s Egypt sent troops to support the fledgling republican government.”

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/02/01/britain-and-the-yemeni-threat/

    • bevin

      In that war the UK was supporting the “Houthis” against whom they are now fighting. It is an interesting aspect of the war in Yemen that it kept one of Egypt’s best armies, and about 100,000 men tied down in a counter insurgency operation at the time that, according to Israeli apologists, Nasser was also launching a war against Israel. The war, whose fruits have been the occupation of the West Bank and Jerusalem and the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, was based upon an obvious lie.

      • bevin

        So, in fact, Britain was not then backing the losing side but Israel, which is what it is doing now in Yemen.

        • Kerch'ee Kerch'ee Coup

          “Mad Mitch” of the Argyll and sutherland Highlands retook the Crayer district in an unauthorized attack named Stirling Castle , akin to ‘Carry on up the Khyber’.Previosly he fought against the Stern Gang and the Irgun in Palestine, so no Zionist(umlike Wingate).
          BTW, does anyone know whether the US is currently using Sokotra, a strategic island belonging to
          Yemen or have they been promised it by the Saudis.?

          • bevin

            Crater, that is. and it is an old volcanic crater too. Mad Mitch became a hero on the right, I think he was an MP briefly, too. There was a sort of Battle of Algiers flavour to Aden in those days.

      • bevin

        I haven’t seen that. It is also of significance that this all took place, quite openly, under the Harold Wilson government. It was one of those practical reminders that elections don’t matter, the Establishment rules-like it or not. And that the Saudis who financed it all were well aware that they were assisting Israel.
        Then as now the Saudis fear an independent Yemen much more than Iran or any other Arab country.

        • bevin

          I’ve seen it now. It looks as if my dates are a bit mixed up: the problem with being old enough to have been there is that memories fade and need to be checked.

          • Phil the ex-frog

            Your memory is reliable then Bevin. I haven’t watched it in years but possibly Curtis refers to the end of British involvement? He can tend to sacrifice clarity for narrative.

    • lysias

      I have read recently that the Saudus have suffered defeats at the hands of the Houthis in Saudi territory. I wonder if this debacle will lead to the fall of the Saudi monarchy.

      • bevin

        It could do, which is why the “west” is so desperately propping them up. One thing is certain: the Saud family have a hell of a lot of enemies in Arabia, their friends live a long way away and are very greedy.

        • Michael McNulty

          I think the House of Saud is still in charge because it’s useful to the Americans that way. When it’s useful for the Americans to take over, assuming their empire still exists of course, they’ll overthrow the Saud’s on spurious grounds such as Wahhabi extremists in charge, women’s rights, “for democracy!”, or some such nicety that never mattered to the Americans before.

          • giyane

            The day the POTUS kicks out the Sauds USUKIS will end up with a vast hole in its finances. He/she might find a bit of a hole in his/her tights as well.

      • Laguerre

        There are lots of videos of Houthis in Saudi territory, often linked on al-Masdar. But they don’t seem to go far inside. Whether that’s lack of capacity or political restraint, I don’t know.

        • giyane

          Craig referred recently in his Middle East talk to the US mistake of tipping the balance in Iraq in favour of the Shi’a through elections.. Either the Muslims are the filler in the sandwich between the jaws of Saudi Salafism and Shi’a Iran, or USUKIS thinks Mecca is for Bingo.

          • Laguerre

            I thought that Craig got that bit wrong. I was going to comment it at the time, but didn’t have the time. If you invade Iraq to get rid of a minority govt (of Saddam), you are likely to end up with a majority Shi’a government. Only the Yanks didn’t think things through properly; they wanted a colonial administration with an unelected local puppet (Chalabi, Allaoui among the different successive candidates). But it didn’t work, when Sistani called for elections (if I remember correctly), and Bush was forced to give way.

            That doesn’t mean that the Shi’a government in Baghdad is under the Iranian thumb. It isn’t; Craig gets that wrong. It is rather a nativist movement, of which Sistani is still spiritual and temporal guide. Allied with Iran, naturally.

  • fred

    A bit of light hearted humour on a Saturday night, Scottish supremacy on the Tracey Ullman show.

    • Old Mark

      Fred

      The amount of Scotch sneering and virtue signalling- arentwegoodantiracists- at Brexiteers South of the border (both English & Welsh) that Craig’s words in his 8th paragraph have elicited to date has been so great that clearly some deep psychological forces are at work here.

      The right wing English philosopher Roger Scruton characterised the main emotional wellspring of infantile leftism in the west as ‘the politics of repudiation’. Repudiation of your past (in some obviously Freudian cases that means repudiation of yer actual father) and patriarchal figures such as priests, ministers, headmasters and so forth is the main element of this, and is very prominent in the feminist movement, the green movement and among white antiracists (other factors are obviously at work in the case of brown and black antiracists- careerism in the equalities industry being one of them). So how does Scruton’s argument relate to the current holier than thou stance over racism now being extruded ad nauseum by ScotNats in 2017 ? Well here are some reasons-

      1.The most virulent and entrenched form of racism in Britain, dating back two centuries or more, is anti Irish racism- and that has always been stronger in Scotland than England. Celtic & Dundee Und fans who may be 3 or 4 generations separated from the Ould Sod still proclaim their overwhelming allegiance to the tricolour, not the saltaire. Gorgeous George Galloway’s downer on Scottish nationalism is another case in point- he’s a Dundee Irishman before he’s a Scotsman. (The Edinburgh Irish seem to be rather more deracinated- or ‘integrated’ if you prefer, S Connery being the obvious example- and perhaps some Hibs fans do indeed wave the saltaire rather than the tricolour)

      2. Oswald Mosley’s BUF, and later Union Movement, until the late 70s the main racist party in the UK, was choc full of Scots in the higher echelons immediately below The Leader himself, and these Scots, along with Mosley’s rather verbose offerings, provided that ‘movement’ (strongly pro Europe BTW) with what intellectual ballast it possessed. I’m referring to men such as-
      Alexander Raven Thomson
      Alfred Flockhart
      Hector George McKechnie

      3. As Craig himself proudly related in his talk in Jaipur, the Scots were disproportionately involved in creating ,sustaining, and propagandising for the British Empire (re the latter, this was often done at the level of popular culture; the Richard Hannay novels of John Buchan, and the gung ho stories of derring do by Ian Hay, being especially prominent)

      So,all in all, modern day Scotch virtue signalling over immigration and ‘race’ generally has a lot in common with Scandinavian antifascism. In the Scotch case, the antiracism is a repudiation of the sins of Empire, the hatred of the Irish, and sympathy of early forms of neofascism (in all of which the Scots are disproportionately implicated). In the Scandi case, it is clearly a result of their bad conscience over the adoption in their countries until fairly recently (and usually by Social Democratic parties) of eugenic practices, now tainted by their association with the Nazis.

        • Old Mark

          Glad you appreciated it Habba

          Just to expand on the bit about anti Irish racism, of course that is cognate to anti Catholicism in these Isles, which was once widespread everywhere, (and, despite Antony Julius’ arguments, probably more widespread than antisemitism) but in England & Wales this form of bigotry has virtually died a death. This bigotry was also of course in one sense officially endorsed by the laws ensuring the Protestant succession of all British monarchs since Queen Anne.

          A couple of addional observations-
          1.Scots highlanders back in the time of the Jacobite rebellions were often referred to by lowland Scots Prods as ‘Irish’ as they spoke the same language as their kinsmen across the North Channel. (BTW a couple of pages back in the thread I took Craig to task for claiming that most of SW Scotland was once Gaelic speaking – in fact Strathclyde, Galloway & Cumbria were once populated by Brythonic Celtic speakers, not Gaels- Gaeldom begins at the Mull of Kintyre & Argyll, but never extended further south and east).
          2. You don’t get third & fourth generation Mancunian and Scouse Irish waving tricolours at Man Unt and Everton games in the way Irish descended Glaswegians do en masse at Celtic games. (If you see tricolours at Goodison or Old Trafford they are more likely to being waved by present day Irishmen who support these once ‘Catholic’ teams). Indeed, the traditionally Protestant teams in these places- Citeh & Liverpool FC, have attracted support from many citizens who have Irish Catholic heritage. However north of the border the Irish atavism is kept alive by the nagging fear amongst quite a few Scots Catholics that they still aren’t fully accepted as fellow Scots by their Protestant neighbours.

  • John McLeod

    Craig, you are usually highly perceptive, but……”The SNP as an institution has not just its Westminster MPs but their secretaries and research assistants and the group staff, and all the people paid with millions of Westminster ‘Short money’. That is a major group of party apparatchiks making a fat living out of the current system.” You are completely misreading the situation in the SNP Westminster group. They are as committed to independence as anyone else. But they also have a job to do – representing the interests of constituents. And certainly the support and research staff are not highly paid in relation to the cost of living in London. Not a fat living. Hard and frustrating work.

    • Jo

      I agree with you John. I think the SNP group at Westminster have done very well so far. Some, indeed, have won admiration across the Commons for the work done on specific issues. Mhairi Black, on the impact of new pension legislation for women of a certain age, for example, has put in a power of work on that subject and brought it into the public eye. Many women my age are grateful to her for that when WM governments are ignoring the horror of having worked forty years only to learn you’ve another seven in front of you before you qualify for the NI pension. Black wasn’t just standing up for Scottish women in that situation but women throughout the UK. Other SNP MPs have done equally admirable work.

      I think it has been good for the wider UK to see SNP MPs conducting themselves well at WM and doing the job well too. Too often they are painted as possessing passion on only one issue – independence. I think they’ve shown that this just isn’t true by raising all sorts of issues like homelessness, poverty and more where they clearly demonstrate their concerns about how these issues affect people throughout the UK and not just in Scotland. While the system remains as it is it is important that they should do that and present a good account of themselves.

  • michael norton

    No more walls, let’s open the flood-gates.
    http://www.france24.com/en/20170204-france-emmanuel-macron-presidential-elections-lyon-speech-le-pen
    Macron also challenged US President Donald Trump, urging scientists and university researchers who feel threatened by the new White House administration to move to FRANCE, where their work “would find a new motherland”.
    “I don’t want walls,” Macron said in another slight at Trump. “I assure you there will be no walls in my programme.”

    So Macron is for the Eurozone, for the European Union, for Robots and for the Schengen Area.
    He sees his main rival as being Marine Le Pen.
    Marine is against the Eurozone, against the European Union, against Robots, against the Schengen Area.

    Looks like a straight choice for the voters of France.

    • michael norton

      Paris Machete Attack – French Election
      http://www.france24.com/en/20170204-france-terrorism-louvre-suspect-tweeted-islamic-state-group-attack
      President Francois Hollande said that “there is little doubt as to the terrorist nature of this act,
      ” an assessment echoed by Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve.

      Over the past two years, France has suffered a string of terror attacks and has been under a state of emergency since November 2015.

      During that period, the Louvre, a former palace in the heart of the city, has seen annual visitor numbers fall to 7.3 million, a drop of around two million.

      Security, immigration and the economy are all major issues for voters ahead of this year’s elections, which are expected to confirm the country’s shift to the right after five years of Socialist rule.

      I expect the voters of France, are well aware what their concerns are, however, who to choose to run their country.

      Over two million people are directly employed by the French State, whoever takes over, will have to drastically cut, cut, cut and cut again.
      I think Macron is the man for all this cutting.

      • bevin

        You couldn’t get much further to the right than Hollande.
        Le Pen’s appeal is to the left, at least on the economy which is what people really care about.
        You might vote for ‘cuts, cuts, cuts’ but no rational working person will because they add up to cuts in living standards-lower wages, shorter holidays, longer work weeks, worse conditions of work.
        As to the two million people employed by the French state there is no reason why they should not be productive. No doubt you were one of those who used to whine about the fact that millions in Britain worked for the Utilities and British Rail. But were not railways fares cheaper and more reliable when they did? Were not Gas and Electricity and Water delivered more efficiently at at much lower prices before the State employees were fired and their jobs given to less efficient, lower paid and worse treated employees?
        Are you looking forward to privatised medicine? And cuts to the NHS?
        The French only have to look over the Channel to see how bad things can become under neo-liberalism-they don’t want any more of it. You, evidently love every minute of the journey down to poverty and forelock tugging slavery.

        • michael norton

          ECONOMY The French State remains a very bad shareholder
          http://www.ledauphine.com/economie-et-finance/2017/01/25/l-etat-reste-un-bien-mauvais-actionnaire
          The state “struggles to be a good shareholder,” said Didier Migaud, first president of the Court of Auditors, presenting yesterday a report vitriol.

          “The state is not a shareholder like the others”, and the problem is that it “struggles to be a good shareholder”: the first president of the Court of Accounts Didier Migaud presented yesterday a very severe assessment of the State action in the enterprises of which it is a shareholder – enterprises employing more than two million employees. Review of some mistakes pinned by the report …
          The State against EDF in Fessenheim

          The decision to close the plant is political, and the state assumes it. But this does not necessarily correspond to the interests of EDF, of which the same state is a shareholder. A typical case of “conflict of objectives”, says Didier Migaud, where the State “confounds guardianship and share ownership”.
          The ineffective state in Alstom

          Even “conflict of objectives” when the state forces the public company SNCF to come to the rescue of Alstom-Belfort, by orders of questionable interest. In another report, the report stresses that holding 20% ​​of the capital of Alstom “did not prevent the State from being put in difficulty by the announcement of the closure of the site of Belfort”, illustration of a State Which “struggles to weigh effectively on the strategy of enterprises”.
          Renault and the boss’s salary

          The Renault shareholder’s finding of inefficiency is even more serious: the State has not succeeded “either in preparing the succession of the current CEO or in limiting his remuneration substantially”, a subject nevertheless “sensitive and mediatized” , Notes the Court.
          The blind state on Areva

          The report pointed to “defects in monitoring which had serious consequences”. The worst is the case of Areva, whose cumulative losses reach – all the same – 9.5 billion euros.

          Senior officials of the EPA (State Investment Agency) have “repeatedly played a role of alert, without the government taking the consequences,” said the Court of Auditors.
          PSA, time to leave

          The entry of the State into the capital of PSA Peugeot-Citroën in 2014, along with Chinese Dongfeng, is “a successful example of intervention at the right time”, says court adviser Marc Schwartz, who asks: Is the State destined to remain eternally in the capital of a constructor in a situation of absolute competition?

          And on and on.

          These two million state employees, how will the money be found for their pensions, when they retire at 57 years old?

          • bevin

            “how will the money be found for their pensions, when they retire at 57 years old?”
            They will print it. As long as society is producing profits it will be able to shouldrr the burden of keeping pensioners alive.
            The question you should be asking is why, in an age in which productivity is constantly rising thanks to computers and robots, all the dividends are going to a few dozen families and their servants, while the people who actually do the work are being instructed to work longer hours, retire later in life and pay rents for the basic services such as public transport, fuel and education which the, much less productive, generation before them took for granted and used to build better lives.
            It is a curious thing that while you believe mineral and other natural resources to be infinite you regard money and credit as being very difficult to discover. In fact it is all there, ‘hidden’ in the form of the mountains of wealth accumulated by the powerful and pissed away on such nonsenses as the F-35, Trident and trying to turn Syria into another Somalia.

          • Habbabkuk

            Bevs

            Given the demographics of most Western European countries (increasing numbers of old people whose state pensions are paid for by an ever smaller number of people of working age (absent fully-funded State pension schemes)

            and

            given the need to avoid ever greater state financial deficits, the interest charges upon would absorb an ever greater proportion of state income – income which could be spent to better purpose (eg on state pensions)

            is there any alternative to increasing the state pension age to take account of greater life expectancy?

          • michael norton

            Very, very soon, people of the United Kingdom will have to work ten years longer than the idle beggars of France, how fair is that?

          • Habbabkuk

            Norton

            I’m not quite sure where “fairness” comes into it.

            It is surely none of the UK’s business at which age state pensions kick in in France, and vice versa.

            The only thing worth noting is that those EU Member States which have increased pensionable age to reflect greater longevity tend to be doing better economically than those which have not (yet) done so.

            By the way, the UK (increase to 67 and then 68 in the distant future) is a laggard in this respect when compared to the Scandinavian countries, which are often held up as examples of economic fairness and probity.

          • Phil the ex-frog

            Sir Michel Norton
            “Very, very soon, people of the United Kingdom will have to work ten years longer than the idle beggars of France, how fair is that?”

            C’est incroyable! Just imagine if we organised our labour rather than blaming migrants our working conditions could be as good as the French.

            God bless the queen.

          • Phil the ex-frog

            Sir Michel Norton
            “Very, very soon, people of the United Kingdom will have to work ten years longer than the idle beggars of France, how fair is that?”

            Ooh la la! Just imagine if we spent less time shaving armpits our working conditions could be as good as the French. It’s so unfair!

            Who rules the waves? We fucking rule the waves!

          • Phil the ex-frog

            Sir Michel Norton
            “Very, very soon, people of the United Kingdom will have to work ten years longer than the idle beggars of France, how fair is that?”

            Mon dieu! It’s almost as if Waterloo had some meaning I can’t fathom below the bellow of Jerusalem. It’s so unfair!

            Two world wars and one world cup! Or something.

          • michael norton

            Well it does not add up, some say France is the fifth largest economy, some say the United Kingdom is the fifth largest economy, the population numbers are very similar.
            So how can it be affordable for people to retire at 57 in France but they have to wait till 67 in the U.K.
            Is France such an Economic marvel and the U.K. such a basket case?

          • Loony

            Strange to see a self avowed Marxist aligning with the neo-liberal rulers of the world and advocating more money printing.

            We have yet to see the end game with regard to money printing. Maybe things have changed or maybe they haven’t. There was a reason why during World War 2 both the British and the Germans had plans to counterfeit the currency of their enemy. There is a reason for the hyperinflation that gripped Germany prior to World War 2 and that is the same reason that explains the more recent hyperinflation in Zimbabwe.

            Even if money printing does not result in catastrophic collapse we have seen enough of it to know that it leads to asset price inflation and destroys fixed income. As the rich own assets and the poor tend to be on fixed incomes then naturally wealth inequality is widened. It is not so easy to redistribute wealth when that wealth is locked away in asset valuations.

            People can believe what they want – but when beliefs conflict with facts there will be a reckoning. If people want to believe that mineral and natural resources are infinite they can – but no belief in the world will change the fact that they are not. No theory be it Marxism, Capitalism or any other ism will operate for long in defiance of reality.

          • Phil the ex-frog

            Michael Norton
            “So how can it be affordable for people to retire at 57 in France but they have to wait till 67 in the U.K.”

            Oh OK. The answer is simple but you won’t like it. For a start it has nothing to do with which country can afford it. Both countries can afford it.

            Any effect on working conditions from immigration is tiny (if not positive), compared to what really has an effect on working conditions. Which is, of course, how organised the labour is in standing up for itself. That is the difference between the UK and France.

          • michael norton

            I remember Sarky tried to stick it to the French Workers and they hated him.
            There is a man who has taken the mantel from Sarky, I believe his name is Fillon.
            He hopes to be the most right wing French President, ever, if he gets in, he is going to stick it to the French Workers.

        • Sharp Ears

          Did I read that Hollande wishes to be the President of the EU Commission replacing Juncker?

          • Habbabkuk

            A sort of “Manchurian Candidate” you mean, a creation of the Bilderbergers or some equally sinister cabal?

          • D_Majestic

            My understanding also. Big salary, expenses, pension, in likelihood. What’s not to like? Fortunately there are still a few people on the planet who will not be bought.

          • Sharp Ears

            I would prefer that my genuine inquiry had not attracted such an asinine comment.

            How about using some politeness when addressing others? This is not a branch of some second rate public school where surnames are used.

    • Old Mark

      Macron also challenged US President Donald Trump, urging scientists and university researchers who feel threatened by the new White House administration to move to FRANCE, where their work “would find a new motherland”.

      Macron is an ENAarch- a fully initiated member of the French intellectual elite, and as such something of a turn off to the ‘deplorables’ in La France Profonde. His alma mater is also the only French university in the current top 50, which is dominated by universities in the Anglosphere, ie US/UK/Singapore/Australia/Canada. The ENA isn’t even the highest ranked institution in continental Europe, as it lags well behind ETH Zurich. So Macron’s Lyon challenge to Trump today is just ENA mental masturbation at its worst- wank on,Macron !

  • Mark Golding

    Excuse me, a recent tweet by Craig – “It’s a lovely feeling to find suddenly 20,000 people are reading a 16 month old blog article – on Stephen Daisley” – prompted me to reexamine this blog article here: https://t.co/F1MCiaFNuy – Craig’s attention to detail and acumen serves as an illuminative signpost pointing at the humdrum media enforcers of the establishment who are vital for their ability to keep the 99% working for the 1%.

    Please take to heart.

  • Mark Golding

    Twitter & Facebook – a dangerous path…the deadly ‘Smurf’ suite of ‘hacking’ tools and password recovery techniques.

    GCHQ has a unique faction of hackers with at least two bright math degree post grads trained for the most part to crack weak encryption and hack into Facebook and Twitter as required to inject backtalk before a request to both social media platforms to ‘suspend’ the account on the grounds of national security is made and sanctioned at senior government level. Any trace of a ‘hack’ is thus lost to the public.

    http://securityaffairs.co/wordpress/40779/hacking/smurf-suite-gchq-spy-phone.html

    A classic target and victim is the Louvre terror attack:https://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/news/2017/2/4/louvre-suspects-father-my-son-is-no-terrorist

    • Habbabkuk

      Golding

      A most interesting – and disturbing – post. I wonder if you believe that GCHQ has also penetrated the security of this blog with the result that the true identities of commenters (and perhaps even readers) are known or could be known if the need ever arose?

      • D_Majestic

        We are all really disturbed and scared, H. I am at present on my Ipad hiding in the extensive shrubbery. Who could have guessed that the UK would “Self-Morph” into the old Ceausescu regime without any outside influence at all? Amazing what happens by accident, isn’t it? ERofl.

        • Habbabkuk

          Good to discuss and debate seriously with you, D_Majestic, that’s what this blog is all about.

        • RobG

          D_Majestic, here’s Ceausescu’s final speech on 21st December 1989. Four days later, on Christmas Day, Nicolae Ceaușescu and his wife Elena were put up against a wall and shot…

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TcRWiz1PhKU

          I traveled through Romania shorty before the 1989 Christmas Revolution. They were incredible days that I’ll never forget.

          Ironically, more than 25 years later, there have recently been massive protests in Romania against the now neo-con government and its corruption…

          http://www.reuters.com/article/us-romania-government-corruption-idUSKBN15F29F

          When it comes to history, you really couldn’t make it up.

          • D_Majestic

            But some people, somewhere, are making history up-by their insider decision-making which flies in the interests of the vast majority of most people on the planet. Still even now I reflect on the recent US Presidential “Performance Art” and our last General Election. And ask myself-why in “Democracies” are the very rich always in charge? And in opposition?

          • RobG

            D_Majestic. it all comes down to the biggest propaganda machine in history, which makes Dr Goebbels & Co look like amateurs.

            All we can do is to keep speaking out and try to make people aware of what’s really going on. It’s an uphill struggle, but if we don’t do it the human race will be history.

            Just about everyone looks forward to the sun rising in the morning. That’s a good start.

        • lysias

          Without any influence from the U.S. and/or Israel? Are you sure about that?

          The Romanian language is the U.S. Air Force’s gift to me. I spent nine months learning it at the Army Language School (aka Defense Language Institute) in Monterey, California, and then they stationed me in Berlin as a German linguist. Military logic!

          • RobG

            lysias, hats off to you for learning the Romanian language. It’s not an easy one! I was never able to get much of a grasp of it, and always got by in French, which is (or was) the second language in Romania.

      • RobG

        Habba, I post under my own name and don’t give a jot what the totally corrupt little tossers in the security services are doing (all on huge sums of tax payer’s money).

        The lot of you are criminals and scum, and you are going to be brought to justice.

        • Habbabkuk

          My deepest apologies for upsetting you, Rob, I was merely asking Golding a serious question since he seems to have expertise in GCHQ/surveillance matters.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    I am still not quite sure what team – any of these politicians are on – but Vladimir Putin gives the distinct impression that he he thinks the rest of you t0ssers are bloody useless – embarrassingly so especially the replacement for Samantha Power. Even I was hoping for some improvement -but all we get are even worse lies – performed on the UN Stage to embarrassing silence (like wtf is Donald Trump going to come up with next??) Us British could subcontract Catherine Ashton to the job if you like. Is that the best you Americans could come up with – Oh Dear.

    http://thesaker.is/the-ukronazis-used-a-ballistic-missile-to-strike-at-the-center-of-donetsk/

    Meanwhile, I actually found this funny. It’s a bit like my wife and I walking home at 2:00am

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/02/05/british-warships-noisy-russian-submarines-can-hear-100-miles/

    Sorry about that.

    Tony

  • michael norton

    This should wipe the smirk off Frau Merkels face.
    Ministry of Truth
    German media reported that Deutsche See filed its complaint for “malicious deception” at the regional court in Braunschweig, near Volkswagen’s Wolfsburg headquarters.

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