University Governance 701


I seldom post a reference to somebody else’s article, but I do strongly recommend John O’Dowd in Bella Caledonia on the “Scottish Democratic Intellect”. Long term readers will know that the changing of universities effectively into corporations, and the destruction of the democratic ethos in their governance, is one of my greatest sorrows. Several of O’Dowd’s themes are mirrored in my own Rectorial Address at the University of Dundee. Do read it. It starts with a good deal of knockabout comedy, but then gets serious, which is precisely how life at University should progress.

The University of Dundee refused to place my Installation Address in the University Library, thus ironically proving my entire point. It still is not there, and nor are Murder in Samarkand, The Catholic Orangemen of Togo, nor Sikunder Burnes – all of which proves precisely the point I was making. Long term readers will also be aware that the University Senate, at the urging of the Administration, refused after a debate to give me the honorary Degree routinely given to all Rectors, on the grounds I was “insufficiently distinguished”. They gave Honorary Degrees to Lorraine Kelly and Fred Macaulay, my immediate predecessors, so the yardstick for “distinguished” is somewhat woolly. I think it must mean “acceptable to the Establishment”. I do not crave honours, having turned down a LVO, OBE and CVO from the Queen. But the snub from the university hurt me deeply as I devoted much of my life to it, having been both Rector and President of the students union (twice). I think it is the only one of dozens of snubs from the Establishment to this whistleblower that actually succeeded in hurting.

Finally, I recommend as still very relevant the paper I helped write with Robin McAlpine, Allyson Pollock and Adam Ramsay for the Jimmy Reid Foundation on The Democratic University. I am in fact very hopeful that there is sufficient understanding among Scottish intellectuals of what needs to be done after Independence to root out the neo-liberal model from our universities. In this as in so much else, Independence will not be enough if we do not use it to institute radical government.


701 thoughts on “University Governance

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  • The Phantom of Columbia

    Anent Lysias comment of 12:53,

    http://www.boilingfrogspost.com/2012/07/05/barack-obama-his-mother-and-the-cia/

    https://www.voltairenet.org/article166741.html

    If you want to make a US Democrat partisan’s head explode, all you need to do is bring this up. Or ask how a humble young mixed-race fellow from a broken home got a recommendation for Harvard Law from no less a personage than Khalid Al-Mansour. Or what young Obama was doing in Pakistan, early in his career, at a time when it was difficult to get in and even harder to get out without getting your head sawed off. Or why the Vice President was ordering NSA surveillance of junior State Senator Obama long before he came out of nowhere to instant universal acclaim. It pricks the democratic pretensions of Americans when you rub their nose in the overwhelming evidence that CIA vetted and groomed third-generation spy brat Obama for the presidency.

    • Ba'al Zevul

      Been hearing a few GOP heads exploding today, as Flynn admits he lied about his little tete-a-tete with Putin, and walks the plank. Still, kind of you to let us know what the Russian response to losing an agent-in-place will be – as authenticated by Voltaire.net.

      LOL

      • bevin

        With Putin? Or the Russian Ambassador to Washington?
        And for whom were the agents who listened into, transcribed and ‘leaked’ the conversations, working? And can we take their word for it that the transcriptions were accurate? Or the ‘tapes’ untampered with?
        It is not the song and dance trouper in the White House but the forces marshalled against him, disappointed with his lack of enthusiasm for the Nazis in Kiev, that Americans should worry about.
        Them and the Vice President in the wings-there is nothing remotely entertaining about them.

        • Ba'al Zevul

          What Flynn did was unconstitutional and illegal as far as I can see. As to the rest of your diversion, try asking the same questions about the FSB and see where that gets you.

          I remain surprised to see a staunch ?Welsh? Socialist defending an article like Trump and his loony-Right staff though. Or for that matter the current power structure in Moscow. Perhaps you really think they will effect the brotherhood of man? Poor you.

          • Loony

            Who knows exactly what Flynn did or did not do. At the moment there is too much fake news around to determine the accuracy of anything.

            However this story is not really about Flynn. It is about the Trump Presidency versus the deep state. The demise of Flynn is the deep state fighting back – it is about getting the US back on track for war with Russia.

            People that want to die in a nuclear holocaust will be delighted at current events. People who admire the NYT will be delighted. The rest of us will not be so impressed.

          • Ba'al Zevul

            Glenn Greenwald makes a good deal of sense on this one, btw.

            https://theintercept.com/2017/02/14/the-leakers-who-exposed-gen-flynns-lie-committed-serious-and-wholly-justified-felonies/

            Conclusion, if you think the Snowden leaks were justified (whether or not illegal), you are bound to regard the CIA’s exposure of Flynn’s Russian contacts* in the same light. This was a public official betraying his public, without authorisation.

            * whether talking to the organ grinder or the monkey

          • Ba'al Zevul

            It is about the Trump Presidency versus the deep state. The demise of Flynn is the deep state fighting back – it is about getting the US back on track for war with Russia.

            Is it bollocks. Wait and see what ‘deep state’ measures Trump adopts to facilitate his fellow-oligarchs. Trump is all about US commercial interests – if he’s even that good – and he’s perfectly happy on current form to hand back the Baltics to an expanding Russian empire, if that’s what it takes. Tough shit, Balts, but you can console yourselves with the thought that you rolled back the ‘deep state’ in the US, eh?

          • lysias

            Snowden’s leaks were idealistic. He wanted to expose to the American public how massive government surveillance was, so that they would have a chance to tell their representatives to cut it back. Snowden gained nothing monetarily. He lost a cushy job and salary, and he ended up having to live in a foreign country.

            Today’s leaks are self-seeking. The intelligence agencies are seeking to maintain their power and funding.

          • Loony

            Who gives a flying fuck about the Baltic’s? Almost certainly not the Russians and definitely nor me.

            Sure Trump is concerned with US commercial interests. His basic plan is to go after creditor nations like Germany, China and Japan and force them to re-balance on terms more favorable to the US. He seems willing to basically steal all of the oil in Iraq on behalf of the US. If he achieves all of this then the US will be made great again for a while.

            The alternative strategy undeniably favored by the deep state is to steal every last resource in Russia. If the Russians object then no problem because we are such absolute tossers that we are quite prepared to destroy the planet if we cannot get our own way.

            Getting people like you to bleat about the Baltic states is evidence as to how effective the all encompassing propaganda really is. Screw the Baltic’s. You can dig the whole place up and bury it in the Mariana trench for all I care

          • michael norton

            Loony

            100% on target.
            It is the Deep State against the Trump Administration, therefore proving the Deep State are against the people who voted for Trump.

          • bevin

            Nothing that Flynn did, so far as I know was unconstitutional/illegal. Anyone recall what Reagan and Nixon did to stop Peace initiatives that might have hurt their electoral chances?
            But that really doesn’t concern me. Just as the nature of the Russian government, the latest variation of a bunch installed there by the US to keep the “commies” and their like out, is not something that bothers me much. Why should it? It is Russia’s business and I welcome the fact that, with all its faults, the Russian government is finally defending itself (and inter alia humanity() from the utter madness of US ambitions to Global Hegemony.
            Now as to Trump: bad as I suspect he will turn out to be he is better than a CIA installed, CIA dependent administration whose continued existence is dependent on its adherence to CIA dictated policies: regime change by spooks order has been coming to Washington since 1954 when the Iranian and Guatemalan governments were overthrown, it now looms very close indeed.
            As a Socialist, of course, I am not sorry to see Capitalism imploding and its democratic pretensions stripped away- it is what always happens when the system is in crisis. And now that the system is of unprecedented size the crisis is monstrous. There is much at stake for those who own the USA and they are not ready to change course after seventy years of aggressive foreign policy.
            And particularly not now with China on the verge of overtaking them in every area but military expenditure and with an alternative vision to Washington’s: elbowing Russia out of the way and crushing the possibility of a Eurasian settlement marginalising the Atlantic power, and neutralising its maritime strengths is America’s last best hope.
            And they ain’t gonna let any overblown song and dance grifter and TB celebrity get in their way. They have the momentum and they won’t be stopped. Trump is isolated, half of his party-2/3 probably- would sell him out tomorrow for a few favours and a cash gift, the only thing he has going for him is the certitude that, most Americans, outside of the narrow political class, and the tiny elite who are scamming the stock exchange, will back him if he does anything for them. And they will burn down Washington for the hell of it if that becomes necessary.

          • bevin

            “…if you think the Snowden leaks were justified (whether or not illegal), you are bound to regard the CIA’s exposure of Flynn’s Russian contacts* in the same light.”
            This really is nonsense: Snowden was revealing information which the state wished to keep secret. In the Flynn case the Intelligence agencies are leaking information that they wish to be revealed, in order to exert control over government.
            There is an enormous difference between telling the people that the State hears and reads everything that they say or write and the state using that ability to impose its interests on elected officials.
            The most shocking thing about this affair has been the knowing way that politicians like Schumer have warned Trump not to dare to defy the wishes of the CIA.

          • Resident Dissident

            Baal

            Not the first time that the Alt-Right and the Marxist Leninists have struck an alliance.

            As for Flynn having done anything wrong, they see no wrong in lying and breaking the constitution because the ends can justify any means for the compulsive believers – it is all a put up job by their opponents to stop then getting their way.
            Checks and balances mean nothing to them – and those that inform on and catch wrong doing are the real criminals in their eyes.

            As for the collapse of Capitalism etc. etc. perhaps they might reflect on why their little Marxist Leninist experiment in the Soviet Union failed so miserably well before Capitalism – which does rather negate the original theory.

        • philw

          Flynn seems to have done very little wrong. All incoming administrations talk to foreign powers they will have to deal with.Even Bloomberg is puzzled.

          https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-02-14/the-political-assassination-of-michael-flynn

          “A better explanation here is that Flynn was just thrown under the bus. ”

          The attacks only make any sense if Russia is seen as an enemy state. And that is what the Deep State is spinning. Russia has not committed or threatened any acts of aggression. It is the US which is attacking Russia, sending tanks and troops to its borders, dispatching warships to the Black Sea etc. The US is laying the groundwork for attacking Russia, and part of this is the constant vague propaganda about supposedly dreadful things Russia is doing.

          It was all good to go until Trump got elected instead of Clinton. He is in a war against the Deep State, and Flynn is an early victim.

      • lysias

        What Flynn admitted was that he could not be sure that he provided Pence with all the facts. That’s very different from admitting that he lied. He may have had a failure of memory. What he discussed with the ambassador may not have been clear. And even if it’s true that he didn’t tell Pence the whole truth, that’s not the same as lying.

        • Hieroglyph

          In ordinary circumstances, this was never a resignation issue. I am somewhat surprised that Trump let him resign, so can only assume that Other Stuff was involved, whose nature I cannot discern. It is clear, though, that Trump is now engaged in a 24/7 shit-fight – a potentially generation defining sewer brawl – with the Deep State. And the false left, neurotically obsessed with identity politics as they are, appear either to have missed it, or are aware, but happy to side with the Deep State. And so The Left is dead; long live The Left.

          It is the Libertarian right who see the shit-fight – and they have guns. They are not siding with the Deep State, putting many ‘leftist’ thinkers to shame. Not so deplorable, after all. And so it goes that I now have much more sympathy and respect for Libertarians than I ever used to. This isn’t about individual policy positions, it’s all about the corrupt, degenerate, cess-pit that is the entirely bought and paid for – and blackmailed – DC whorehouse. Argue the policy later, once the psychotics have left the building, people.

  • Vronsky

    Some time ago a group of scientists at Scottish universities signed a letter to the newspapers warning of the ‘dangers’ of Scottish independence. Notably, almost all were in the field of biochemistry, i.e. in the employ of Big Pharma.

  • fwl

    In uni in the 80s the union took various radical actions on the issues of the day, but what I remember is a professor dismissing the radicalism as light weight compared to 68. There seems to be an increasing head down I must fit in mentality these days across society and an increasing intolerance of dissent. I think that is the case in the mainstream just as it is among nationalists and the left. Be courageous.

  • Sharp Ears

    Nice little earners. No wonder the students are being caned by increased fees.

    Vice-chancellors’ salaries
    •The average salary for a vice-chancellor was £272,432.
    •The University of Salford splashed out £516,000 on vice-chancellors’ pay (for two incumbents during the year)
    •The highest single earner was Professor Andrew Hamilton at the University of Oxford who received £462,000.

    More items…UCU – Report reveals university heads’ pay rises and perks
    http://www.ucu.org.uk/article/8096/Report-reveals-university-heads-pay-rises-and-perks

    • Ba'al Zevul

      Yeah, yeah. Fucking iniquitous. And better yet, they’re paid that mountain of cash to change the institutions they’re running into intellectual Tescos (over the continuous protests of the shelf-stackers). It’s self-perpetuating. Question is, what can anyone DO about it? As the serf of a VC myself, I’m well aware of what ought to be, and that this isn’t it. But we’re no nearer realising the dream than we ever were. Answers, please. Please.

      • Ba'al Zevul

        2007: The financial world is in meltdown, ushering in an era of austerity to last at least ten years:

        http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/uea_boss_paid_nearly_200_000_last_year_1_694840

        2016: Nine years later:

        http://www.concrete-online.co.uk/vice-chancellor-pay-increased-6-3-percent-2016/

        Responding to the pay rise, a UEA spokesperson commented: “The university operates in a global market and the makeup of the Vice Chancellor’s remuneration reflects the size and international standing of the University of East Anglia. It is determined by a Remuneration Committee comprising independent members of the University’s council, and it remains at the lower end of Vice-Chancellor salaries across all UK universities”.

        That global meme again. However it doesn’t extend to support staff wages. Which do not depend on the global reach of any university, or its international standing. And are left pretty well alone except for the not-quite-automatic addition of 1% annually, just like nurses, and consistently below inflation.

        And you have to use FoI to get any idea of what’s going on. Meetings of remuneration committees aren’t published – even the composition of the committee is only guessable. At least the UCU is interested –

        http://www.concrete-online.co.uk/31268-2/

        We are told there are no funds for improving teaching and learning, for more staff or for better mental health support for students, but there seems to be money for first class flights for university senior management…

        Never mind updating, repairing or buying new equipment. Still, the picture’s not all bleak. If you’re sponsored by the Chinese government to do an MBA (which, if the uni can process enough, should sink the Chinese economy without trace) it will be more than happy to provide unlimited new facilities for you…business rules!

        • giyane

          Look Mr Sticky-out-tongue.
          The hospital where I was rescued from imminent death, Stoke General, is a University Hospital. It had the latest ultrasound technology and technical skills, and a yellow helicopter parked outside for long-distance emergencies. The doctor who did the stent was Japanese and I remember thinking how glad I was to be in a teaching hospital which could afford, by whatever means, the best possible treatment.

          I wasn’t thinking about the vast salaries of the senior staff while I was being given a few very welcome extra years of life.

          • Ba'al Zevul

            I’m sure you weren’t. Nevertheless, the percentage of managers in the NHS is apparently rather low by world standards (I learned recently, rather to my surprise). And you owe your survival primarily to the people in the theatre and the ward, many of whom are working incredible hours for ridiculously less than the VC of the university… and I wasn’t discussing the NHS per se anyway. But, if market forces had been allowed to operate freely, as they are well on the way to being, in the NHS, and if every procedure were costed and assessed against your private insurance, you might very well have not got that stent. And wouldn’t have had the opportunity to think about anything, least of all the profit being made by some offshore shareholders for doing fuck-all. This is the actual position of millions of Americans, and this is where we’re going, too.

            My point concerned gross income, and hence social inequality, driven not by needs but by market practice.. If you’re ok with that, whoopee. Personally, I reckon a bin man, out in all weathers and doing a smelly old job, is worth at least as much as an MP, and will agree to differ.

          • Anon1

            Bin *person*.

            Your comment will be referenced in “Wasted Spaces: Genderizing the waste-collection environment as a societal construct in a post-gender society”.

            Shortly to be written by some PhD who would be of far more value to society as a bin man.

          • Ba'al Zevul

            Wahay! Another citation! But, seriously, you raise the very important question of why, in practice, very few bin men (sic) are wimmin. Now the latter have taken over the BBC, and in particular most of R4’s programming, I think it is time to find out why feminists never agitate for shit jobs. In the interests of gender equality.

            https://www.oecd.org/dac/gender-development/1849277.pdf

        • Ba'al Zevul

          Thanks, Glenn, some useful thoughts, though I think Hutton was and is wildly overoptimistic, and the reviewer is closer to my own feelings. Central to which is the notion that if whizzo digital stuff, along with automation of most of industry, hasn’t given us a 20-hour working week with fair pay for all by now, it never will. Actually, working hours have lengthened, job security has crashed and burnt, and social welfare is being methodically removed. Society, for Hutton, as much as for any other capitalist, exists only to serve the market. The issue of expropriation is not addressed. The will to resist this process is minimal, and contradictorily expressed. At heart Hutton is a globalist too.

          Education is probably key to any change, and, given the nature of the mainstream media, along with the corporatisation of secondary, further and higher education and the unresolvable mix of mis-,dis- and genuine information churning around cyberspace, I think I’ll opt for total despair on the possibility of achieving that. But thanks anyway.

    • Anon1

      Universities are nothing more than businesses. Undergrads are the cash cows. There shouldn’t be any fees because 90% of students shouldn’t be there in the first place. All they come out with is huge debt and a huge sense of entitlement.

  • Republicofscotland

    What is it about the sleazy odious characters that inhabit UKIP. First we had a ex-leader of UKIP in Scotland put on the sex offenders register. Now the current British leader is forced to admit, he didn’t lose close friends at Hillsborough.

    This is a party, that is potentially going to eat up Labour seats in England and Wales, due to Labour’s inability to stop the infighting, and bickering. I doubt the Tories would worry about UKIP as a opposite force, if they became the main opposition in the House. In my opinion their agenda’s are similar.

        • michael norton

          Oh dear, it seems alcohol was involved, he has now signed the pledge.

          Bloody hell it was only abusive phone calls, I get them every day from people pretending to be from British gas or British telecom or wotever.

        • michael norton

          Arthur ‘Misty’ Thackeray, who was chief of staff for the party’s MEP David Coburn
          RoS
          Why does Police Scotland, which has a two hundred million pound black hole have LGBTI crime as its highest priority,
          is Scotland turning into Sweden?

          • michael norton

            WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange weighed in on the tension between the Trump administration and the U.S. intelligence community, calling it an “amazing battle for dominance.”

            “Amazing battle for dominance is playing out between the elected US govt & the IC who consider themselves to be the ‘permanent government,’” Assange wrote on Twitter Wednesday, one day after joining the social media website.

            Assange was referring to recent intelligence leaks about contact between Trump aides and Russian officials. The New York Times, citing current and former officials, reported late Tuesday that Trump campaign aides had repeated contacts with Russian intelligence officials ahead of the U.S. presidential election.

            http://thehill.com/policy/cybersecurity/319726-julian-assange-trolls-intel-community-over-flynn-leaks

            After the Washington Post reported last week that national security adviser Michael Flynn discussed sanctions with the Russian ambassador to the United States despite public denials by Trump officials, Flynn was forced to resign late Monday.

            President Trump himself took aim at the leaks on Wednesday, accusing the intelligence community of “illegally” giving the information to the publications.

            “The real scandal here is that classified information is illegally given out by ‘intelligence’ like candy,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Very un-American!”
            House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) signaled Tuesday that he would probe the leaks about Flynn.

            There has been consistent speculation about potential connections between Trump and Russia since the intelligence community tied breaches of systems used by the Democratic National Committee and former Clinton campaign chair John Podesta to the Russian government. Batches of hacked emails were published by WikiLeaks leading up to the presidential election, though Assange has denied have connections to Russia.

            Trump also fueled questions throughout the campaign by making complimentary statements about Russian President Vladimir Putin and indicating he would like to foster warmer relations with Moscow.

            Democrats and some Republicans have voiced support for congressional investigations into Flynn’s contact with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak ahead of Trump’s inauguration.

            Separately, WikiLeaks wrote on Twitter Tuesday that the transcript of phone calls between Flynn and Kislyak “should be released to the public so everyone can act with complete knowledge.”
            Julian Assange

  • Republicofscotland

    Now for those farmers in Scotland (or the UK for that matter) that are clinging to quaint, but potentially fatal notion that after Brexit, post-2020, that the British government will continue to subsidies farming well think again.

    Firstly the EU, discovered (awhile back) that Scottish hill farmers and crofters, were receiving a lower subsidy than continental farmers, with equally poor land. To redress this the EU, gave the British government a substantial amount of money to distribute between those affected in Scotland, however the British government, decided to split the grant up among all UK farmers, in turn the EU, threatened to fine the British government, for the misuse of grants.

    Secondly the British farming minister George Eustice, promised that farmers would still receive grants after 2020, from Westminster. However it’s alleged that at a farming conference in Oxford, that the same minister told farmers there, that after 2020, there will be no more subsidies.

    Coincidently the Westminster broadcaster the BBC aired a Sunday programme, interviewing New Zealand farmers, asking them how they adapted after their subsidies were withdrawn.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    “insufficiently distinguished” – huh? Guess when you get the Nobel Peace Prize, you will then become sufficiently distinguished to receive your honourary doctorate.

  • Republicofscotland

    The Great Satan *consecutive US governments) admits to firing thousands ypon thousands of Depleted Uranium (DU)shells in Syria, even though the shells hsve been linked to causing cancer, and poisoning soldiers.

    https://www.rt.com/usa/377345-depleted-uranium-isis-syria/?utm_source=browser&utm_medium=aplication_chrome&utm_campaign=chrome

    There have been several attempts by the UN to try and have (DU) shells band, but the most notable opposition to doing so comes from Britain, the US, Israel and France.

    Russia, abstained on the vote to ban (DU) shells, and like the afore mentioned countries, holds a stock of Depleted Uranium.

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/un-general-assembly-recognises-health-risks-from-depleted-uranium/5560579

    No doubt it was the Queens buccaneer, Tiny Rowland, that secured Britain’s (DU) stocks.

      • lysias

        A book that I am currently reading, John Newman’s Countdown to Darkness: The Assassination of President Kennedy Volume II, convincingly argues that Eisenhower authorized the assassination of Lumumba. Newman argues that this was to assure support from the U.S.A.’s European allies for Eisenhower’s Cuban policy, which also involved assassination. I suspect that at least equally important was the fact that the Congo was an important source of the uranium needed for the U.S.’s nuclear weapons program (the uranium used in the World War II bombs came from there) and that, if Lumumba stayed in power, there was a substantial danger that the Soviet Union would take over that source.

        • Republicofscotland

          Lysais.

          Are you referring to Patrice Lumumba? If so, there used to be a excellent documentary on Youtube, about his untimely assassination.

          It claimed that the Belgians, and a rival from a region (Katanga) of the Congo, colluded to have him murdered.

          Katanga is or was a mineral rich region of the Congo, and the Belgians, did not want to secede it, so the claim was that they backed a rival in the region.

          When you get a chance Lysais, I advise you to watch this. I watched it a few years ago.

          https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=2UkAFGecf-E

        • Stu

          Forty years after the murder of the Congolese independence leader Patrice Lumumba, evidence has emerged in Washington that President Dwight Eisenhower directly ordered the CIA to “eliminate” him.

          The evidence comes in a previously unpublished 1975 interview with the minute-taker at an August 1960 White House meeting of Eisenhower and his national security advisers on the Congo crisis.

          The minute-taker, Robert Johnson, said in the interview that he vividly recalled the president turning to Allen Dulles, director of the CIA, “in the full hearing of all those in attendance, and saying something to the effect that Lumumba should be eliminated”.

          Mr Johnson recalled: “There was stunned silence for about 15 seconds and the meeting continued.”

          Lumumba, the first prime minister of Congo after its independence from Belgium in June 1960, was forced from office as the country’s civil war deepened and was captured by rivals. He was killed on January 17 1961, becoming one of the key martyrs of the African independence struggle.

          No direct quotations were ever recorded at the national security council meetings, and Mr Johnson only revealed the exchanges in 1975, when he was privately interviewed by staff of the Senate intelligence committee’s post-Watergate inquiry into US covert action.

          The committee concluded that the US was not involved in the murder, though it confirmed that the CIA had conspired to kill Lumumba, possibly on Eisenhower’s orders. Recent Belgian parliamentary inquiries into the murder implicated Belgium but failed to come up with a direct US link.

          The transcript of Mr Johnson’s interview has only come to light because it was included in material sent to the US national archives in connection with the assassination of President John F Kennedy.

          https://www.theguardian.com/world/2000/aug/10/martinkettle

          • lysias

            Just as the U.S. government used the technique of plausible deniability to disguise the fact that Eisenhower approved of assassinating Lumumba at the time, they also concealed the extent to which they gave a go-ahead to the Belgians, after they had put Lumumba in a vulnerable position by giving Mobutu a go-ahead to mount a coup putting Lumumba out of office.

  • Geoffrey

    I suppose the anti Trident lot have seen the small article in Private Eye, appears that Trident is not in the slightest bit independent . as soon as it is launched it is in the control of private US companies,who could presumably redirect it as they wished ! (Is that better or worse than being controlled by the US government ? )

    • Republicofscotland

      Geoffrey.

      Speaking of Trident, the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) at Aldermaston, is two thirds owned by private American companies, Lockheed Martin and Jacobs Engineering, it wasn’t that long ago that the notorious Halliburton had a huge stake in the (AWE) using a subsidiary company.

      Is it any wonder the neoliberals at Westminster are pushing to renew Trident, and all the manufacturing components that come with it.

      The (AWE) also monitors or did monitor air quality, but refused to release the figures on air quality in 2003, they didn’t want the public to find out that (DU) Depleted Uranium particles in the atmosphere were at very high levels due to over a million (DU) shells fired in Iraq, and later Afghanistan, (DU) particles have been linked to cancer.

      I’m pretty sure there was a rise in cancer cases after the Chernobyl disaster in Europe, could there be a rise in Europe of cancer cases after the expenditure of a million (DU) shells? Or the Fukishima disaster? One would think yes.

      • Geoffrey

        Kempe, the Private Eye article is pretty clear…….” Clearly,once a missile leaves a submarine it is no longer under any kind of UK control,but entirely in the hands not just of the US government,but US defence companies. ”
        You must have misread the article.

        • fred

          No, that’s not how the missiles work. They are programmed with the coordinates of the target before they are launched then once launched no one has any control over them and no, they do not use GPS either, they use astro inertial guidance, unless the US government can move the stars the missile will land where it was told to land..

          • Geoffrey

            All the equipment is built by the US. I think that means that to all intents and purposes it will never be used without the US’s prior approval. So it is effectively controlled by the US,but paid for by the British.
            Do you really think that the US would not have made sure that it can ever be used against them.?
            Perhaps you and Kempe should read the Private Eye article.

          • fred

            The commanders of the submarines don’t even need approval from the British government. In the event of a nuclear war their sealed orders are in a safe, they are entirely independent in case London isn’t there any more.

            Private Eye is a satirical magazine, it isn’t intended to be taken seriously or be authoritative.

    • kailyard rules

      FFS. Everybody in Scotland knew/knows this. There are far superior sources of information on the subject than Private Eye. Is Sam Spade still the editor.

      • Geoffrey

        Everyone in the world assumes it perhaps. Have you ever seen it admitted to by a US defence source ?

  • michael norton

    What does “having faith in the justice system”
    actually mean?
    If you live in Saudi Arabia and the justice system cuts off your hand, do you have faith?
    If you live in France and the police use terror on you, do you have faith.
    If you are having faith onboard the Rainbow warrior and it is blown up by the French, do you have faith that the French Justice system will sort it out?
    Having faith in the justice system is a meaningless term in a country under martial law / State of Emergency.
    They can do and get away with murder, where is faith then?

  • Anon1

    FAO Ba’al and others.

    Interesting tweet from William (Bill) Kristol yesterday:

    “Obviously strongly prefer normal democratic and constitutional politics. But if it comes to it, prefer the deep state to the Trump state.”

  • michael norton

    from RT

    Kiev declares State of Emergency over nationalist blockade of coal supplies

    The Ukrainian government has declared a State of Emergency over a threat to its energy infrastructure posed by nationalist troops blockading the deliveries of coal from rebel-held areas in the east. Ukraine relies on coal from the east of the country to generate electricity and provide heating from its old Soviet coal power plants.
    The nationalists blockaded railroads from the rebel territories several weeks ago, claiming that trading with them is treason.

    looks like war, blown on to fan the flames by the American deep state – no doubt

  • Republicofscotland

    Did anyone watch the press conference with Trump and Netanyahu?

    Jeez they were sucking up to each other that much, I thought they were going to give each other a big sloppy kiss. The arse licking, made Theresa May’s fawning hand hold seem positively icy.

    Here’s a clip, have your sick bucket on standby.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ToVFX_syoS0

    • Dave

      It does illustrate the influence of the Israel lobby within America that the US is prepared to wage war on the world to save little Israel, instead of a peace deal, at the behest of their lunatic PM. Lunatic because what sort of Israel will result from their “end justifies the means” destruction of their neighbours?

      I know the Zionists operate on the basis that “everyone wants to kill us in our beds”, but it must take a gigantic guilty conscience or ancestral madness to think this is the case. A madness illustrated by Stephen Pollard on Question Time saying he was the victim of the Gaza bombing, that he supported, because it had led to a rise in “anti-Semitism”! I.e. complaints about the Israel attack on Gaza!

      • glenn

        Dave: “…saying he was the victim of the Gaza bombing, that he supported, because it had led to a rise in “anti-Semitism”!

        Indeed… the Israelis themselves complained bitterly about how hard the Palestinians were making it for them, because they (the Palestinians) were forcing the Israelis to kill Palestinian children (during operation “Cast Lead”, or “Eat Lead”, etc.), and that was such a hard burden for the Israelis to have to live with. What fiendish and absolute bastards these Palestinians are, forcing the poor Israelis to kill Palestinian children like that, just to make them feel bad.

    • Anon1

      It is as nothing compared with the arselicking that Scotland will have to give the EU in its quest to achieve independence by being dependent on Brussels. You’ll have to get the tips of your Scotch tongues right up some fat eurocrat arse to fulfill your ambition of becoming another failed EU state with no purpose other than to serve the economy of Greater Germany. There’ll be jobs for the SNP boys who want to take Scotland down such a route, for sure.

      “WE will NOT let YOU down!!!” springs to mind.

    • Tony_0pmoc

      Republicofscotland,

      I did watch a bit of it on Youtube – but I gained the distinct impression that they both hated each other’s guts and were merely going through the motions for those in control of them – and the TV audiences like the puppets they are on stage.

      When I was a kid we had John F Kennedy, Harold Macmillan and Harold Wilson.

      I actually saw Harold Wilson do a speech in Oldham Market on a Fruit Box.

      I was attracted to The Left Wing – whilst my older brother actually joined The Young Conservatives.

      Whilst there were obvious big political differences, no one so far as we were aware, were anything like the complete and utter scum we’ve got now.

      I honestly believe they were trying to do their best for the people who elected them.

      Where did we go wrong in allowing these complete and utter horrible people to gain power over us?

      If we are both better by Sunday (flu), my wife and I will be seeing a 100% Scottish band in London.

      They are all very nice people. One of them told me a few years ago, that they had been booked and were headlining a festival in Spain – where my wife and I had been the year before…He was a bit worried about what to expect..

      I said don’t worry – You guys will go down a F’kin’ Storm.

      And so they did.

      Tony

  • Alcyone

    I must confess that I have never really thought of a ‘Deep State’ in the UK. Aren’t we lucky?
    ________________
    https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/deep_state

    “Definition of deep state in English:

    NOUN

    A body of people, typically influential members of government agencies or the military, believed to be involved in the secret manipulation or control of government policy:
    ‘the deep state and its policy of allowing extremist ideologies to flourish may be the actual issues of concern’

    ISIS emerged under Obama’s (and Cameron’s) watch, in collusion with Saudi Arabia. So how much of it was Obama and how much the Deep State?

    America hates ISIL
    Britain hates ISIL
    Saudi Arabia sponsors ISIL
    Britain loves Saudi Arabia
    America loves Saudi Arabia and Obama bows to their King
    Israel is ok with Saudi Arabia
    Israel hates Iran
    America hates Iran
    Saudi Arabia hates Iran
    ISIS hates Iran
    Britain I’m not sure of, but not in love

    Russia laughs.
    Trump gets it.
    But then there is the Deep State.
    Wouldn’t Trump love to do an Erdogan-style purge.
    China laughs.
    The Devils look out at The Deep Blue Seas.

    • Alcyone

      And there are no Angels here.
      After all, we are Type Zero Man.
      Oh what a Lovely World.
      Organised religions; medieval.
      God created all this?
      As K said, must be a rather crummy little God.
      When the fuck will we take responsibility?
      When the fuck will we start with ourselves?
      When the fuck will we realise what fragmented human beings we are?

      (Ooops, sorry, please carry on with your ‘debates’. Petty lives, petty talk. Yes it has it’s place. But….

    • bevin

      “I must confess that I have never really thought of a ‘Deep State’ in the UK. Aren’t we lucky?”
      It’s called the Establishment.
      Didn’t K tell you that?

      • Alcyone

        K told me that you are a Master in Analysis-Paralysis, a fragmented human being with a petty little insecure life. 🙂

      • Alcyone

        I forgot, and that you are a historian living in the past which is as important as the ash of my burnt cigarette.

      • Alcyone

        Educating bevin:
        “Definition of deep state in English:

        NOUN

        A body of people, typically influential members of government agencies or the military, believed to be involved in the secret manipulation or control of government policy:
        ‘the deep state and its policy of allowing extremist ideologies to flourish may be the actual issues of concern’ ”
        ———-
        “Definition of establishment in English:

        establishment

        NOUN
        3 A group in a society exercising power and influence over matters of policy, opinion, or taste, and seen as resisting change:
        ‘he scandalized the Establishment of his day’
        [as modifier] ‘she became an establishment figure’ ”
        _____________
        Too late for you to go to Oxford now, maybe Dundee?

    • Alcyone

      Theresa, Brexit means Brexit was Phase One: you’ve handled that well.
      Now, Brexit means Business. Please shift gear.
      Trump up some Great Brexit Breakfasts at No.10 and invite the World’s top and British CEO’s.
      Of course the Unions too.
      And small and medium-sized businesses.
      And top EU business CEO’s.

      And who the fuck is Greg Clark?
      Has anyone heard of him?
      https://www.gov.uk/government/people/greg-clark
      (Mary will give us his Israeli and J connections and RoS and bevin his establishment roots.)
      Another fucking theoretical economist, Dr Clark, certainly no Superman.
      Start your firing shot by firing him.
      Shake, rattle and roll.

      (While the European ship wobbles, and the pound remains balanced, keep your head down and jump-start new business: Manufacturing, Processing and the New Economy. This is the land of the Rolls Royce and the Aston Martin and the premier semiconductor and software design company, ARM and Glaxo, and I can go on.

      Get over the Thatcher-destroyed-manufacturing-refrain and take advantage of starting with new technologies. Welcome to the 21st century now that Bush, Blair, Obama, Clinton and Corbyn are out of the way.)

      • Itsy

        Which “ad hominems/personal insults”??

        Because I can’t see any. What Alcyone said was: “Mary will give us his Israeli and J connections”.
        That’s a personal insult???

  • lysias

    Marine Le Pen has condemned the French authorities for their paralysis in the face of the riots in Paris.

    Just as De Gaulle won a big victory after the demonstrations in 1968, today’s riots may well be the route to victory for Le Pen.

  • bevin

    The most curious thing about O’Dowd’s piece is that he simultaneously denounces neo-liberalism and celebrates those who inspired it.
    This is the heart of a problem for nationalists: when you boast about the glories of the Scottish Enlightenment you are talking about an Academy which substantially founded the doctrines of imperialism and capitalism, the ideology of Political Economy, Free Trade and the fragmentation of labouring class communities which are revived in neo-liberalism.
    Smith, Dugald Stewart and their co-adjutors were all for the market . All for cash nexus. All for the bourgeoisie. And they spent their lives plotting the exploitation of workers.

  • RobG

    Re: the latest stuff with The Donald, I’m baffled that many commentators don’t realise that this is the same as two crime families battling for control of a business.

    Real representative democracy in America went down the swanny a long time ago.

    What planet are you people on?!

    • lysias

      One of the crime families seems intent on causing a presumably nuclear war between the U.S. and Russia, whereas the other one does not.

      • RobG

        Both crime families have sold-out to Russia. I don’t have the energy at the moment to give links, but you might look-up ‘Uranium 1’ with regard to Hillary.

        The new Cold War is a total charade, just like the old one was.

        The point here, though, is that thousands of thermo-nuclear weapons are on hair-trigger alert. The psychos in control of these weapons could well destroy our beautiful blue planet.

        And most people just sit there in a stupor and sleepwalk to their deaths.

  • michael norton

    The Scottish Donald, is a bit upset by the secret services of Amerika.
    He has said they are against democracy and they are acting in ways which are not legal.

    Now who would have thought that?

    it is good that the Donald is going to drain the swamp, he is apparently starting with the CIA

    Talk openly about their wrong doings Donald or they will snuff you out, speak soon.

    • Alcyone

      Good observation Norton.

      There are a fair few false idols in the process of falling.

      ” Gentlemen, he said
      I don’t need your organization, I’ve shined your shoes
      I’ve moved your mountains and marked your cards
      But Eden is burning, either brace yourself for elimination
      Or else your hearts must have the courage for the changing of the guards

      Peace will come
      With tranquillity and splendor on the wheels of fire
      But will bring us no reward when her false idols fall
      And cruel death surrenders with its pale ghost retreating
      Between the King and the Queen of Swords”

      Bob Dylan

  • lysias

    Very scary article on the thinking of CIA officials. It’s from Breitbart, which some people find unreliable, but, since this article reports what was said on publicly available CNN, it’s presumably accurate in what it says about the thinking of former CIA official and presidential candidate Evan McMullin (who apparently maintains contact with people still in the CIA). Evan McMullin: President Donald Trump Is a ‘Domestic Enemy’.

    • lysias

      Somebody who thinks like that is capable of things like assassination (which the CIA has a history of doing).

      • giyane

        The BBC slightly over-egged their case for Kim Jong-nam being assassinated by his brother today. I have come to the conclusion that the US is like an alcoholic as described in this article:
        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/carole-bennett/the-roller-coaster-relati_b_298632.html

        ” I had a client that was in a relationship with a man that she suspected might have a substance abuse issue. Every time she would bring up these concerns he would turn the tables and blame her for the instability in his life. He would accuse her of spending too much money, and when she cut down on the expenses, he switched gears to her appearance. Once again, in the hopes of him aborting this road toward substance abuse, she would lose the weight or cut her hair; but she finally realized it was all an exercise in futility for no matter what she did or did not do, he continued to indulge his addiction.
        Though it’s easier said than done, don’t buy into this. This is a complete cop-out on their part and a very useful and protective way for them to deflect their problem or issues back on to you. ”

        Another word for this is co-dependency. The US has a push-me-pull-you relationship with Russia, Iran, Germany, UK, NATO, Mexico etc etc. All the countries it has a relationship with end up with the blame for what is in effect a US addiction problem an addiction to arriving at a long-inhabited land, ignoring the customs of the indigenous people and using it entirely for their own benefit.

        The simple answer is for the world to name and shame this disgraceful behaviour and bring the US to acknowledge its bad behaviour and accept responsibility for its crimes.

        This is especially important in relation to Iran which the US alternately befriends and chastises. Iran is a bunch of good old-fashioned guru worshippers, like Christians and Hindus, but with a Muslim slogan. Every time the US gets fed up with Iran, Saudi Arabia wants to muscle in. It’s like listening to an argument between and alcoholic and their partner and thinking one is helping by taking sides.

        The US is the addict and the addiction is the cause of the problem. Others would be well advised to treat the addict as the problem, not the party who is trying to sort out the problem.

    • Alcyone

      With this kinda stuff:

      “Pressed by host Brooke Baldwin as to whether there were “too many leaks,” McMullin said that intelligence officers were bound by an oath to defend the country and the Constitution against “domestic and foreign enemies.” That included “a security threat coming from the White House.”

      This guy is as cuckoo as they come.

      I’m glad we share a healthy mutual dislike for WCWSHD3H-Hillary. Did you figure that, and it’s not her file no.?

      • glenn

        Hang on – “leaks”? I thought Trump/Bannon were saying it was all “fake news” ! How can it both be “fake news” and “leaks” at the same time?

        I don’t see any problem between someone defending against enemies both foreign and domestic, and being on guard from domestic enemies who might just happen to be working at the highest levels of one of the branches of government. Please explain why this is “cuckoo”.

        • Alcyone

          Hi Glenn, hope you’re well and healthy!? Your absence was noted over several weeks straddling Christmas and it’s good to see you back. Which reminds me, I still miss Dreoilin and Technicolour–it’s curious that we haven’t heard from either of them since about the same time.

          I noted your support for WCWSHD3H-Hillary in the lead up to the election. I’m out of touch with your personal politics atm. It would be good to engage with you. Please specify which leaks and which particular allegations of fake mews you are referring to. I believe Hannity dealt with the same issues last night–did you see that?

    • glenn

      Lysias – Breitbart is an “alt-right” website run by Steve Bannon. That’s the same Steve Bannon who’s just about running the show in this Trump administration.

      Credulous though one might be (not you, of course!), doesn’t it give a slight pause for thought that this publication might just be a _bit_ biased?

      Besides, were there not big cheers from the crowd when Trump went to address the CIA just the other day? Sounded like they really admired and liked him – didn’t it? 😉

    • Kempe

      Indeed. One of those Scottish banks whose “outstanding reputation for probity” means they should’ve been exempt from “Westminster’s gold plated regulations”.

  • RobG

    Mods, amidst all the bullshit that gets posted on this board, why do you delete posts by me (and a lot of others) that try to explain what’s really going on?

    Anyone would think that you are controlled opposition…

    • glenn

      You’ve been explaining what’s going on – is that what you’re doing, while telling us how we’re all going to be shot (make no mistake about it) right before being poisoned/irradiated by Fukushima? Damn. I thought you were just randomly cursing out and threatening all and sundry.

      • Itsy

        Well, that WAS what he was doing, until he decided to tell us that Julian Assange is dead, and his interviews with Sean Hannity and Amy Goodman were all in our imagination. (Not forgetting that Pizzagate is real, and not in HIS imagination.)
        I can’t make head or tail of him, to be honest. Except that he thinks we’re all deserving of being put up against a wall for some reason. Which doesn’t bother me. I won’t be here forever anyway.

          • Itsy

            Kind of depressing. The only bright thing there is that a lot of us will be kicking the bucket together, and there’s something vaguely comforting about that.

            I sometimes wonder — since the U.S. has done so little (besides what they *could* have done) to alleviate or slow down global warming — if they have some trick up their sleeve that they’ll announce in the near future. Some magic machine that will absorb acres of CO2 perhaps … Well, we can dream, can’t we?

        • giyane

          Re: RobG
          With liars, including political liars like our political leaders, it is necessary to reverse what they say.
          If they say there was a terrorist attack at a football stadium, and it turns out that the terrorists were using Bulgarian weaponry commissioned by the French intelligence services, it is better at first to say there was not a terrorist attack… They are lying> they always lie. This will bring you closer to the truth than believing any tiny part of the lies.

          As ordinary citizens we will obviously not be party to any accurate information about guns, police, shootings etc. But if we run with our instincts, our human accumulative collective intelligence and experience, we will eventually prevail.

  • glenn

    Itsy: “Kind of depressing. The only bright thing there is that a lot of us will be kicking the bucket together, and there’s something vaguely comforting about that.

    I sometimes wonder — since the U.S. has done so little (besides what they *could* have done) to alleviate or slow down global warming — if they have some trick up their sleeve that they’ll announce in the near future. Some magic machine that will absorb acres of CO2 perhaps … Well, we can dream, can’t we?

    It’s of the greatest possible concern imaginable, to humanity if not the individual. As individuals, we still have to make the decisions which keep us alive from minute to minute. Capitalism and our manner of governance ensures we will not stop prioritising short term expediency, therefore we will plough on to the bitter end.

    I imagine we’ll start taking it very seriously once the consequences of climate change are beyond the ability even of the deniers to wave away, maybe 2-3 years from now. Humanity is extremely resourceful, perhaps we could come up with something, but the problem needed to be seriously addressed decades ago, when we knew that this would happen.

    I’ve studied this, and followed the references. It seems quite legitimate to me.

    https://guymcpherson.com/climate-chaos/introduction/

    That’s part 1 of 3. It is heavily referenced to impeccable resources, whatever the deniers might like to claim. It talks about the many feedback loops, and explains the tipping point for anyone who might care to learn the actual truth, instead of slurs and BS conspiracies which surround this issue.

    Depressing, but worth knowing, reading through. We should know what’s going on, as well as we can. I suppose.

    • Anon1

      Ah yes, Mcpherson. The RobG of climate science. Isn’t he the one who said “I doubt there will be a human on Earth by mid-2026”? Or any life for that matter. Note, not just 2026, but “mid-2026”! This guy is accurate.

      Still, at least we will be around to see Mcpherson discredited. Malthusian doomsday predictions have a 100% failure rate so far.

      • michael norton

        I am not a big fan of the ludicrous hype put out by scaremongering global warming advocates.

        Our climate was very much warmer in Eocene, when maybe Carbon dioxide was many times warmer than now.
        At present we have very low levels of Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
        The Eocene was the time, when large mammals really took off, so not exactly awful for mammalian life.
        Why the panic stations Captain Mainwaring?

        • michael norton

          The trick with everything, is to suggest ways of reducing increasing numbers of humans
          and their insatiable demands for more shit the advertisers tell them they need, which they do not.
          When I was growing up we did not need central heating, air-conditioning, we were mostly outdoors, we did not need electric toothbrushes, sat-navs, television, phones, bamboo socks, deodorant, tablets or whatever,
          we also did not need to fly anywhere.
          Let’s just calm down and stop breeding like startled rabbits.

  • Alcyone

    “Let’s get straight to the point: No country gets close to a perfect score in the Corruption Perceptions Index 2016.
    Over two-thirds of the 176 countries and territories in this year’s index fall below the midpoint of our scale of 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean). The global average score is a paltry 43, indicating endemic corruption in a country’s public sector. Top-scoring countries (yellow in the map below) are far outnumbered by orange and red countries where citizens face the tangible impact of corruption on a daily basis.”
    http://www.transparency.org/news/feature/corruption_perceptions_index_2016

    The Uk comes in 10th, interestingly behind a number of mostly non-EU European countries.

    • Loony

      Apparently the cult of fake news is everywhere. Even corruption has been corrupted.

      What a complete joke this corruption index is. Take Germany as an example. It is demonstrably one of the most corrupt countries on earth – not that you would ever know by perusing the corrupt “corruption index”

      Just google “Siemens corruption” or “Deutsche Bank corruption” – You will get more evidence than you could read in a lifetime. What exactly motivated VW to systematically manipulate emissions data on a global scale? Take the German media – entirely controlled by the CIA – this is admitted and not contested. What do the Germans do about it? Nothing.

      German corruption has destroyed Greece. What is the deal with all of the migrants “welcomed” to Germany. There are laws governing such things – but hey we are German and no law applies to us.

      Take Saddam gassing Kurds in Iraq. Where did the gas come from? Germany! Think about it. German corruption was in part responsible for one of the most ludicrous and disastrous wars in history.

      No doubt this corruption index has been compiled by alumni of some of the worlds most corrupt universities – who have long since ceased to educate people preferring instead the inculcation of an all encompassing false narrative. A narrative so false that they are able to conclude the polar opposite of the truth.

      • Alcyone

        They this, they that, they, they, they. Can you never own responsibility?

        As for “worlds most corrupt universities – who have long since ceased to educate people “, who said:

        “Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.”

        • Loony

          Responsibility for what?

          You think I compiled this bizarre and mendacious index? You think I am responsible for the all embracing corruption that envelops the “advanced” world and which finds it rotten epicenter in Germany? You think I am responsible for forcing you to provide links to fake news masquerading as some kind of informed analysis of corruption?

          I am responsible for myself – I do not require a comforting tissue of lies which I can then weaponize and attack all those who seek to identify what is true.

          What do you mean who said “the worlds most corrupt universities – who have long since ceased to educate people” I said it, and I stand by it because it is true.

          A homily a day may keep the Dr, away but it will not keep the rapacious rulers of the world away.

  • michael norton

    Now would he say that if it was a candidate of the extreme far right feeling under threat?

    FRANCE said on Wednesday it would not accept interference by Russia or any other state in its presidential election, and would retaliate if necessary.

    The pledge by Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault followed complaints by the party of election frontrunner Emmanuel Macron that his campaign was the target of ‘fake news’ put out by Russian media, as well as internet attacks on its databases.

    “We will not accept any interference whatsoever in our electoral process, no more from Russia by the way than from any other state. This is a question of our democracy, our sovereignty, our national independence,” Ayrault told parliament.
    http://www.france24.com/en/20170215-france-election-russia-hacking-warning-retaliation

    Maybe the Socialist Regime in France are a little confused.
    Have they forgotten how they attempt to control the Sahel, with their Uranium mining and their drone centres, killing people.
    Rainbow warrior, how they were involved in Vietnam.
    Poor memory.

    Pointing out that candidates may have used French public money in a way which may not be fully legal, is not an infringement of French democracy, it is almost certainly the duty of honest citoyens

  • Alcyone

    Craig/Anyone, can you please explain the partiality of the US towards Saudi Arabia and against Iran (given 911, Al Qaeda and ISIS)?

    Is it just Iran’s rhetoric towards Israel? Is it a preference for the Sunnis? What is it?

    (Giyane? Suhayl? Anyone?)

    • MJ

      Saudi Arabia is a compliant producer that sells oil only for dollars, thus maintaining the dollar’s status as reserve currency. Iran nationalised its energy and financial sectors, sells in any currency and stopped piping cheap oil directly to Israel. Red rag to a bull. What can it expect?

      • Alcyone

        Thanks MJ. Are you suggesting Iran used to sell oil to Israel at a discount? Anyhow, oil is cheap these days anyway, so what’s the issue?

        As for Saudi, are you suggesting that that America rewards them for selling in dollars?

        Why is Trump so anti-Iran and apparently pro-Saudi? What do you reckon is his game plan wrt Saudi?

        • MJ

          Under the shah Iran indeed supplied Israel with cheap oil. The current oil price is irrelevant. The US rewards Saudi for selling in dollars by providing it with as much military hardware it wants and turning a blind eye to its many crimes. Can’t second-guess Trump, his view of the world is alien to me.

    • Loony

      The Post WW2 world was organized around a series of agreements reached at Bretton Woods. Part of these arrangements was that the US$ would act as the world reserve currency and that the US$ would be convertible into gold. At the time the US held something over 60% of global gold reserves.

      Over time the US ran increasingly large deficits – principally to finance the space race and the Vietnam war. This led to a number of countries (notably France and Germany) to lose confidence in the value of the $ and to exchange their US$ for gold. In order to prevent US gold reserves being depleted Nixon closed the gold window in 1973 – meaning that US$ were no longer capable of being exchanged for gold. This meant that there was no longer any reason for countries other than the US to hold US$ and hence the role of the $ as reserve currency was threatened.

      In order to shore up the value of the US$ Kissinger brokered an arrangement with Saudi Arabia. Saudi would agree to sell its oil only in US$, and to use its influence over other OPEC members to ensure that they also sold oil only for $’s.. In return the US would provide military protection to Saudi and ensure the survival of the House of Saud. Saudi would invest all of its surplus $’s in US treasuries and special arrangements were made so as to disguise the magnitude of Saudi holdings in the US. This arrangement gave birth to the petro-dollar and preserved the role of the US$ as world reserve currency.

      The Saudi regime is brutal, corrupt and indolent and could not possibly survive without US protection – and so the House of Saud basically bought its own survival. Unusually for the US it has stood by its side of the deal and hence the House of Saud continues in situ. The US has consistently looked the other way when it comes to Saudi financing of Madrases and the exporting of Wahabbi inspired terrorism.

      At one point Saddam tried to sell Iraqi oil in Euros – he was promptly overthrown. Sometime later Quadaffi also tried to move away from the $, and was investigating setting up a gold backed currency – he was promptly overthrown.

      Iran is a Shia theocracy and Saudi is a Sunni Muslim entity – albeit with a Shia minority who happen to live where most of the oil is located. This all results in sectarian tensions as between Iran and Saudi – and as a consequence of the petro-dollar deal the US is obligated to side with Saudi. It was never supposed to be like this as at the time of the ptero-dollar deal the Shah was firmly in control of Iran and the export of revolutionary Shia-Islam was not on anyone;s agenda.

      People would like to attack Iran – but if they did it is likely that the Saudi Shia minority would revolt. Such a revolt could threaten the House of Saud. Hence attacking Iran may be counter productive to the security that the House of Saud has bought for itself. If this problem can be solved then an immediate consequence will be that bombs will rain down on Tehran.

      Iran would like to break the stranglehold of the US$ – hence it is under long term sanctions. Russia also wants to move away from the $ – so it to is under sanctions. However the axis of Iran, Russia and China seem to be making progress in setting up alternative arrangements which do not involve the US$. Expect more war!!!!

    • Ba'al Zevul

      The Elephant In The Room is extremely insistent that Iran doesn’t threaten its elephantine status, although – and perhaps because – it is only a very small elephant. The Elephant buys enormous influence in US politics, and is rewarded by massive aid and protection from anyone iffy but bribable in the region, such as Egypt, by the US. And Iran backs Hizb’ullah, which for some years has kept the elephant out of Lebanon. These points are all relevant to why we are going to great lengths to alienate a country with enormous economic potential and which we (as opposed to the elephant) see as no threat.

  • Alcyone

    Craig, is America headed for a high-tech (verbal) Civil War? Are we already in it? Am I over-reacting? Look forward to your thoughts on the Deep State. The latter term is set to become one of the most widely used in 2017; that’s about as far as I can predict.

  • Mark Golding

    Ofttimes I am known here to write extraneous material, all the same, Craig’s post, especially ‘I think it is the only one of dozens of snubs from the Establishment to this whistleblower that actually succeeded in hurting,’ has obviated any thought of straying from topic.

    Can I say to Professor Sir Pete Downes the Saltire Foundation is all about people, people of integrity and leadership. People in fact like Craig Murray who exposed misery and suffering by the very Establishment he seeks to appease.

    I will also with other young people use the power of intention to create and restore a democratic ethos in our universities that will confer a right of input for undergraduates in the model of governance by means of the decision making process.

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