The Disappearing Prime Minister 878


UPDATE

I was delighted by Nicola Sturgeon’s announcement today, both the content and the manner of her making it.

I am unsure why she put the window for the referendum as far back as autumn 2018 to spring 2019. Autumn 2018 is fine but spring 2019 is late – Nicola Sturgeon spoke of Scotland needing to declare its choice for independence before the UK actually leaves the EU or very shortly thereafter. But very shortly thereafter is too late. In diplomatic terms, a miss is a good as a mile here and in diplomatic terms at the EU, negotiating to get back in will be much harder than negotiating to remain a part of the EU.

My suspicion is Sturgeon is giving May a ladder to climb down on agreeing the referendum by making it potentially post-Brexit. I see no need to have been so accommodating to May. I am frankly puzzled.

But my major observation is that Nicola’s performance was excellent, the decision sound. Yet what struck me most was the lengthy question and answer suggestion. The mainstream media lackeys laughingly called journalists were not really putting questions. They were emitting deep-seated cries of unionist belief, wild anti-Independence assertions, with the lightest disguise as questions. It is a fair warning of what we have coming.

Even Gordon Brown had a honeymoon period. The temporary popularity of a new Prime Minister evaporates as a morning mist searched out by strong sunlight. The budget tax increases, combined with fierce pre-planned benefit cuts, are evaporating May’s popularity before our eyes. The reality of Brexit debacle will shortly hit very hard, and people will start to notice she is not actually very good.

I have been listening out to determine the extent to which May’s Thatcher voice is a deliberate impersonation, and in consequence have been most forcefully struck by how little we hear her voice. Those packaging her, together with a compliant media, seek to present her as much as possible through silent images. She is repeatedly on television entering places and greeting people, but remarkably seldom is her voice heard. She does not give nearly as many media interviews as David Cameron, because she is not good at them.

Prime Minister’s Question Time has almost vanished from our screens. When David Cameron was causing animal guffaws of genuine delight from Tory MPs roused by his facile debating skills, no week went past in which the BBC News did not show a substantial clip of Prime Minister’s Questions, edited for maximum effect in making Cameron look dominant and Corbyn look out of his depth. I do not believe any reader in the UK can honestly say such an image is not seared on to their mind. But now Prime Minister’s Questions almost never make the news bulletins for more than a very few seconds, because May is hopeless at them and is arguably bested by Corbyn fairly regularly. She has no ability for repartee, no timing and wins mechanical guffaws purely by reading out pre-prepared attacks on Labour and SNP that do not pretend to relate to the questions asked.

How do the broadcast media respond? Prime Minister’s Questions are suddenly no longer newsworthy. Unless you happen to be free to watch live – which rules out almost the entire working population – you would very seldom see May flounder. Indeed, the entire plan for retaining her popularity appears to be based on the public hearing her as little as possible. Personally, I have no doubt her recent Glasgow speech attacking not just Scottish independence but the very notion of devolution, was extremely helpful to the Independence cause. I can understand why the establishment try to avoid us actually hearing her.

Jeremy Corbyn should not now be abandoned. I was saddened to see Owen Jones stab him in the back. Jones appears sadly set on the trajectory typically caused by the salary of a Guardian columnist. He will now increasingly retreat into identity politics rather than the cause of universal social justice. I give it eight years before he spends his entire time attacking the left as having “lost their way”.

I could not disagree more strongly with Jeremy on Scottish Independence or on his approach to Brexit. Nobody would claim quick repartee or even set piece oratory were his strongest suits. He interviews fairly well but is of course handicapped by the extraordinary stream of scepticism and deliberate misrepresentation with which journalists approach him. But the honesty and integrity of his beliefs are why he was elected, and those remain at the core of his leadership. For the English and Welsh voter to be given a real choice, rather than just Blue or Red Tories, has horrified the entire neo-con establishment.

It is most improbable that Corbyn will be able to deliver a Labour Westminster victory in 2020, but it is not impossible. The alt-right spasm gripping England and Wales will diminish by then and Brexit enthusiasm will meet the cold real world. I can assure you the Tories are already considering how to avoid having Leaders’ Debates on television for the next general election. For Corbyn to be able to put a radical message directly to the public, and May’s deficiencies in debate to be so directly exposed, is something they will not want at all. May should be seen and not heard, is their motto.

The European Union has put a fault line through the Tory and Labour parties. The chips have fallen in a way that leaves both parties with leaderships that were more sympathetic to Brexit than they revealed during the campaign, and certainly have no interest in trying to stop it. The 48% who voted Remain are therefore practically unrepresented in England and Wales. As I suspect that 48% will increase – and there is a curious lack of opinion polls – this will become an increasingly acute problem as the body politic recovers from shock.

The Lib Dems would be the obvious beneficiaries, but they will not so soon recover from popular revulsion at the alacrity with which they abandoned all pretence at restraining the Tories, in return for ministerial limousines. They also have the least able and least charismatic leader in that party’s long history. Indeed, possibly in any party’s history, anywhere. The never appealing Brezhnev was more charismatic than Tim Farron even when he was being wheeled out to parades propped up and effectively dead.

The Labour Party is in the abject position that its pro-Europeans are very largely the totally discredited Blairites. That the delusional Blair sees the EU issue as his chance of a political comeback, is only evidence of what a terrible state the pro-EU camp is in. There are plenty of pro-EU Tories but they too are more concerned with personal careers, except the Clarkes and Heseltines whose course is already run.

It is difficult to believe this situation is sustainable. On the biggest issue of the day, which will have a huge impact on future living standards, 48% of the population, the best educated and most politically active 48% of the population, have no effective representation. Only in Scotland have we a coherent pro-EU political force, but circumstances are such this cannot help England.

The democracy of the UK has become severely dysfunctional. I firmly believe that a crisis is coming, and that Scottish Independence will be a trigger for the resolution of that crisis. Not only will it remove Scotland from the subjugation that has sapped its energies for centuries, it will give a profound and much needed jolt to the political kaleidoscope in England and Wales and lead to new and more relevant political alignments. It may also finally break the obsession with being a world power that so damaged British people for so long.


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878 thoughts on “The Disappearing Prime Minister

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  • Velofello

    Fred: Do you have knowledge of, say, table tennis, or basketball, or indeed anything?The game of monopoly peut etre?

    “The Bank of XXX” promises to pay the Bearer… It is for the Bearer to decide on whether the bank is capable of meeting it’s promise. Now remind me, is the UK incurred debt £1.5 trillion? Note, not incurred by Scotland, incurred by Westminster. Just who/what organisation is underwriting this UK debt, and by inference promising to pay the Bearer, and why? Collateral? Ever thought about that? Foreign powers peut etre? refer to the first sentence above.

    In response to your foul-mouthed accusations of the SNP lying. Why not list them out again as a reminder, and “for balance”, the Vow, the Smith Commission deliberations?

    • Republicofscotland

      Velofello.

      The British national debt is £1.7 trillion quid, a humungus debt that will never be paid. It also has a whopping trade deficit of £133 billion quid, Labour’s John Mc Donnell, said that the Tory governments has now, borrowed more than all the previous Labour government put together.

      • giyane

        Yes but Tory borrowing is creative accounting, at which we in the UK are world class, while Labour borrowing is working class improvidence. Mind you know the difference. RoS does irony, I think.

        • Republicofscotland

          Lets not forget “quantitative easing” or its more common name printing money, at which British governments have been very adept at.

      • Geoffrey

        Of course about £500bn was used by the idiot (and Scot) Gordon Brown to bail out the Scottish banks RBS and HBOS. When he at the time doubled the National Debt from £500bn to £1000bn.
        Craig has frequently railed against the banker bailing.

    • fred

      Most of the money the UK government owes, over three quarters, it owes to people in the UK. The government issues bonds and people like pension funds buy them as a safe investment.

      Currency is issued by the bank of England, they have several ways of backing it, mainly over 400 billion in reserves and membership of the IMF which ensures that when they say they will pay the bearer you can bet your bottom dollar they will pay the bearer.

      An independent Scotland was thinking of using the Zimbabwe system were they?

      • Republicofscotland

        Speaking of long term debts, the First World War officially ended in 2010, after Germany paid of its last war debt known as reparations.

        However Britain only began paying its debt back from National War bonds it issued in 1917, back in 2014. Its first payment is £218 million pounds, the total due is £2 billion pounds.

        My point is Fred, a independent Scotland would borrow just like any other nation, and pay it back.

        • fred

          Scotland would have to borrow and borrow a lot, at high interest rates.

          But more worrying is what they would be borrowing for. If someone borrows to buy a house they have a house and if they borrow to do improvements on their house their house is worth more. Someone who borrows to buy food and pay the bills ends up with nothing but debt. That is effectively the sort of borrower Scotland would be, borrowing to cover the fiscal deficit.

          • Republicofscotland

            Oh that’s right Fred, I forgot, Scotland is Greece without the sunshine. Oh please give me a break.

            Borrow at a slightly higher interest rate yes, but the rest of your comment is laughable to say the least.

          • Zed

            “Oh that’s right Fred, I forgot, Scotland is Greece without the sunshine.”

            Well OK, so you get sunshine three days a year..at most!

          • fred

            Scotland would have two choices, honour their share of UK debt in which case they would be owing too much relative to GDP or default and nobody would trust them.

            It’s a lose lose situation.

          • Geoffrey

            According to RoS the Scottish debt which apparently has been agreed as at the same proportion as the population of the UK. relative to the UK national debt. Apparently this debt would still be held by the UK Government. Presumably they would then receive the interest from Scotland to pay the creditors.
            This is obviously a ridiculous arrangement. How would the UK government enforce payment etc. It almost certainly would lead creditors charging the UK higher interest rates,as it would be the guarantor of Scotland’s debt.
            This might mean creditors charging an extra 1% ie £20bn odd a year on £2 Tn.
            However,moving Scotland’s share of the National Debt would not be easy. Lenders would resist and certainly demand higher interest than the UK as a whole.
            As others have pointed out UK debt is enormous,and that is before you take into account unfunded government pensions,PFI,etc etc.. At some point interest charge will go up.

    • Ba'al Zevul

      It is greatly to be hoped that nice Mrs May will forgive Scotland its share of the national deficit to date when she hands it its packed lunch, pats it on the head and sends it off to its pre-booked holiday in Brussels. Maybe she’ll tuck a twenty in its pocket too. And maybe not.

    • Habbabkuk

      ´@ CasalsCello

      Hi, fello!

      “Now remind me, is the UK incurred debt £1.5 trillion? Note, not incurred by Scotland, incurred by Westminster.”

      Incurred by Westminster in respect of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, you fool.

  • Republicofscotland

    I have to agree with McDonnell on his description of Theresa May laughing, that she looks like a feeding seal swallowing a fish.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/youngvulgarian/status/839450026254413824/video/1

    What a sight it would’ve been if May didnt sack Osborne (no love lost their I presume) and he sat next to her c*ked out of his skull again (scroll to 4.48 to see him) whilst she did her performing sea lion act again.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=gG-7Ov8RiE4

    • giyane

      RoS

      Are you saying Osborne is naturally coked? You are surely not suggesting a senior Tory MP has ingested something, rather than by osmosis like smoked salmon, through being exposed to a public school education.

    • giyane

      RoS
      I’m sure you maintain a Rifkind rictus grin at all times. It is difficult to use one’s mouth for talking and smiling at the same time. Why take the pee out of Mrs Mee?

      • Republicofscotland

        Giyane.

        If it were up to the Tories, Scots would be wearing a Sardonic Grin. 😀

        Interestingly Homer first referred to the “Sardonic Grin” describing Odysseus’s grin, as he dodged one of his wife’s suitors attacks, in his Odyssey.

    • Sharp Ears

      You should have put a warning up on those two videos. I feel sick.

      Speaking of ‘sea lions’, didn’t that subject turn up on this blog’s comments a little way back? 😉

    • Habbabkuk

      Republicofscotland

      Why do you keep commenting in people’s appearance, whether in general or at certain moments?

      Is that the way in which middle-aged (or older) commenters should be making their points? It seems as childish as PMQs to me.

      • giyane

        ( this is a political blog, not a porn site. There are no clean metaphors for the disgusting world of betrayal and deceit, sometimes politely referred to as politics.)

    • Republicofscotland

      Lysias.

      I’m reminded of another government body, that would allow itself to be used by the security services, here in the UK.

      MI5’s Special Censor section, could often be found lurking in the back rooms of GPO buildings at one time. They would have row after row, of boiling kettles kept constantly on the boil.

      They would use the steam from those kettles to steam open letters, photograph the letters, seal them back up and then put them back in the mail bags, to go on their way to their unsuspecting recipents.

    • Herbie

      “Allowing itself to be used as an instrument of U.S. intelligence and the CIA in particular has long been one of the chief tactics the UK has used for keeping the “special relationship” in existence.”

      As you may have discovered recently, these intel agencies do not operate as servants of govt.

      They’re a bit more important than that.

      The correct way of looking at these intel relationships is as separate from govt.

      The ops ends of CIA, MI6, the Mossad and BND etc are all simply branches of the same thing.

      And they’re much more servants of corporates and bankers than of their respective govts.

    • Republicofscotland

      Sharp Ears.

      That groundhog day video, would actually turn me away from voting Libdem not towards them.

      Up here in Scotland we didn’t get Farron, no we got his branch manager wee Willie Rennie, it wasn’t a pretty sight.

      Wee Willie, has all the charisma of a wet blanket on winters night. 😀

      Apologies for the two earlier horror clips, they should be rated 18 only. 😀

      • Herbie

        The Lib Dem function is to split the left vote.

        The pro-worker vote.

        They’re simply pro-corporate Blairites.

        I mean. Let’s be honest.

        The whole system’s sewn up for corporate thieves.

        With media assistance.

        You can’t even have a mixed economy bloke running the Labour party, without endless grief from media.

        I mean, why like.

        What’s wrong with some opposition to the fundamental tenets of the corporate world.

        What’s wrong with discussing the real economic issues.

        Instead of wall to wall ismist nonsense.

        Media’s definitely the key chokepoint.

        They created the ismist nonsense, remember.

        Them and the universities.

        And the Foundations.

        Rockefeller, Carnegie, Ford etc.

        They’re the beginning of the big big corporate world.

    • branches

      Tim does a great take off of an automated voice there between 2.43 and 2.55.

      And here was I thinking he was talentless.

  • michael norton

    I am not sure what is going on with the mods.
    If you post something about the subject, it gets removed, if you post mindless crap like RoS
    it gets left.

    What are the S. N. P. afraid of?
    Prime minister Theresa May has said in Prime ministers questions, that Scotland is leaving the E.U. with the rest of us.
    end of.

    • giyane

      We always do what mummy says, even when we know she’s only saying it because the guy with the big bum cheeks told her to tell us to do it. We get the message . Not.

  • michael norton

    Why are the mods letting people post such mindless twaddle.

    This subject is very important, it is about the S. N. P. attempting to break up our country?

    • glenn_uk

      You certainly have some cheek – considering you probably “contribute” (I use that term in its loosest sense) more posts than anyone else, and virtually all of it is irrelevant, mindless twaddle. Or blessing us with your “Breaking News!” service.

      • michael norton

        Prime minister’s questions

        Mr. Robertson asked: “Does she not understand that if she does not secure an agreement before triggering Article 50, if she is not prepared to negotiate on behalf of the Scottish government and secure membership of the single European market, people in Scotland will have a referendum and we will have our say.”
        Mrs. Theresa May
        has claimed that Scotland will be leaving the European Union regardless of whether or not it votes for independence.

        • branches

          No wonder David Cameron looked and sounded so happy and carefree after he resigned. He knew what a vortex his successor was going to find themselves in.

          Between such forces as the anti-EU Tories and Ukip, the Brexit voters, the anti-Brexit majorities in Scotland and Northern Ireland, pro-EU British businesses, an angry EU that is in no mood for concessions and a renewed drive for independence in Scotland all against a backdrop of an impending financial crisis and a current health service crisis.

          Such a situation would require a politician of the highest skill. A shrewd chess player.

          Instead of chess, Theresa May is playing tiddlywinks and not even a very good game of tiddlywinks at that.

          However I think the gods are nevertheless granting her a measure of lucidity. The nervousness in her voice at PMQs today was unmistakable.

      • giyane

        glenn_uk

        I started the conversation about flabby bum cheeks, in reply to something Lysias said. You can’t just pick up the thread of one conversation and graft it into another one. You’re mixing the metaphor of the UK brown-nosing US foreign policy with the metaphor of schoolboy/girl Scotland being cheeky to Head mistress May. There’s a time for arse-licking and a time for telling the silly arse to get lost.

        All that is needed for Scotland not to wish to be independent is for England to stop poodling the US into criminal wars which inflict unspeakable cruelty on those ‘other ‘ types of humans called Muslims, while pocketing the revenues from the mineral resources they have been blessed with.

        If England was a civilised nation, it would not be being sued in the courts for divorce.

        • Herbie

          “England to stop poodling the US into criminal wars”

          The US is a War economy.

          War is business.

          No need for poodling.

          And they won’t be swayed by moral arguments.

          Actuarial and accounting arguments, yes.

          Like drones, for example.

          Bloke that came up with that kinda knew what they were looking for.

          Cheaper ways of slaughtering human beings.

          Made squillions.

          If you want to make it in this world mate, ya gotta lose that old pre-Nietzschean moral shit.

          We’re all Nazis now.

          • glenn_uk

            Herbie: “We’re all Nazis now.

            Steady now… you’ll be giving the headline writers at The Express/Mail/Sun/Sport/Star ideas!

  • giyane

    Anyway there’s a new way to do an interview for corporate jobs.
    Instead of meeting the people and discussing the job and your suitability…
    you invite them to extend their malware proboscis into your personal computer or mobile, have a good look round what you do in your spare time, while you send them a little video of just how nice you are, except you’re not nice…, you think. Oh dear don’t let’s give anyone with thinky thoughts a job.

  • Sharp Ears

    Breaking

    PM Mark Rutte’s party wins Dutch election, first exit polls say, with Geert Wilders’ anti-immigrant party trailing.

    Ha!

    • Loony

      You seem strangely pleased. Could it be that you share the same view as the Turkish President that Rutte is a fascist and Nazi remnant. Why would this make you happy?

      Or perhaps you disagree with Erdogan but see some benefit to the Netherlands hosting 400,000 Turkish nationals who believe Rutte to be a fascist and a Nazi remnant.

      It would appear that you either favor Nazi’s and fascists or you see merit in provoking some form of civil war in the Netherlands. Either way you appear a pretty dodgy character.

  • Sharp Ears

    The corruption within the partei will be exposed. Trust that the perpetrators are brought to book but no breath holding. I expect the phones are busy.

    Election expenses: CPS probes Tory claims
    Files from 12 police forces relating to expenses during the 2015 general election are passed to the Crown Prosecution Service.
    http://news.sky.com/story/election-expenses-twelve-police-forces-send-files-to-cps-10803023

    and
    https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2017/03/disappearing-prime-minister/comment-page-3/#comment-661333

  • Dave

    “Independence in Europe” was Jim Sellars idea as a way to grow the SNP by promoting the idea of Scotland leaving the UK without being isolated! And it worked, but I believe it was a tactic rather than a principle at a time when support for SNP was low and when they thought a more social democratic rather than nationalist message would expand their support in ‘green’ areas by changing their image as Tartan Tories.

    But the leadership have now embraced that tactic to gain office as a principle and confuse devolution in EU with independence that will be their factional undoing. Evidenced by the large number of SNP voters who voted to Leave the EU and Jim Sellars recent comment that he wouldn’t want Scotland to apply to join EU!

      • Loony

        That is one way of looking at things – although evidence would suggest that it is a false and dishonest way of looking at things.

        So “Scotland has always been pro-European.”

        Let us look at the 1975 Referendum result. On a national basis the UK voted 67% to 33% to remain in the then EEC. Scotland voted 58% to 42% to remain in the EEC. How can this divergence of opinion be explained? Possibly by reference to the SNP who opined that continuing membership of the EEC would “strike a death blow to Scotland’s very existence as a nation.”

        The then leader of the SNP, one Billy Wolfe, appeared on TV to advise viewers that continuing membership of the EEC would mean for Scotland “a political dark age of remote control and undemocratic government”

        You may well be a fan of the DPRK but for those interested in truth and accuracy you appear as repellent as sunlight to a vampire.

      • Ba'al Zevul

        No doubt that myth is now current in the SNP, and is passed from activist to activist, because it fits the current narrative. Glancing away from the narrative to the history shows a different set of facts:

        https://www.sussex.ac.uk/webteam/gateway/file.php?name=epern-working-paper-22.pdf&site=266

        Since the 1980s, (the SNP – BZ) has linked its political claim for independence to the European Union, assuming a clear pro-European position and asking to become the political representative of Scotland as an independent European member- state. However, in its historical and political evolution, it is possible to discern at least four different attitudes: in the 1950s the party had a pro-European position; in the 1960s-1970s it was against the European integration process; in the late 1980s it changed radically by becoming one of the 5 most EU supportive and enthusiastic parties in the UK; and since the beginning of the 2000s until the present it has been and remain 1975 it campaigned openly against British accession to the EC.

        In this period the European Community was judged by the party as an entity that, on a larger dimension, showed the same centralising aspects both in the political and in the economic fields as the United Kingdom. ins a pro-European party, but it cannot be defined as Euro-enthusiast, because it seems to show a “Euro-tepid” position [Lynch and De Winter 2008: 604]. Why did the SNP change its evaluation of the EU and the integration process?

        Much further on:
        in 1975 it campaigned openly against British accession to the EC. In this period the European Community was judged by the party as an entity that, on a larger dimension, showed the same centralising aspects both in the political and in the economic fields as the United Kingdom.

        That’s all changed completely, of course. Hasn’t it?
        (Now read on)

        • Habbabkuk

          Thank you for those clarifications, Ba’al. They would appear to show that the SNP in no less inconsistent and twisted than any other political party. Claiming it somehow operates on a higher moral plane than other political parties is naive twaddle.

  • RobG

    Here’s more mindless twaddle…

    http://truepublica.org.uk/united-kingdom/evidence-this-is-what-happens-when-the-nhs-is-privatised/

    To begin with, the great recession was blamed on the poor and disadvantaged. There were a plethora of tv programmes showing fat and lazy people living on huge amounts of social security. “It’s the welfare scroungers, innit!” As more and more people became poor and disadvantaged the emphasis shifted towards blaming immigrants. This was neatly tied into Islamic terrorism. The immigration issue is shamelessly used by politicians of all stripes to deflect attention away from the economic crash, which was caused by a bunch of spivs and barrow boys in Wall Street and the City of London. These spivs and barrow boys have never been held to account for their crimes, because they own most of the politicians. Instead, the plebs get spoon-fed ‘austerity’ and are told about the ‘recovery’. Britain and America are both completely bankrupt. They now owe so much debt that it can never be paid back. The vile creatures at the top of the food chain are stealing everything that’s not nailed down before the lie collapses.

    • giyane

      RobG ” which was caused by a bunch of spivs and barrow boys in Wall Street and the City of London ”

      The root cause was Thatcherism. The flaws in her ideas were glaring and obvious at the time but nobody wanted to listen then, and as you rightly say, the consequence of our inability to learn is a knee-jerk, racist Brexit.

      Like all projections of one’s own faults onto others the short-term benefits are followed by long-term headaches, compensatory binge episodes, hospitalisation, suicide or mental collapse.

      Watching May psychologically collapse the UK into blatant racism, Boris apply Trump reverse to 100 years of Winston Churchill colonisation of Kurdish oil, and Corbyn trying to inflate his lifejacket while treading water is desperate stuff. New Labour’s policy was to cling onto the Tories, who were clinging onto the US. In 2008 New Labour, Obama and the Tories should have gone down with the Titanic of New Liberalism, but they got on the lifeboats instead.

      What we need now from Corbyn is to declare Thatcherism dead.

  • michael norton

    BREXIT: Queen to give Royal Assent to Article 50 bill

    1 hour ago
    From the section UK Politics The Ministry of Truth

    The Queen will sign the Article 50 Bill into law on Thursday, clearing the way for Theresa May to formally start talks to leave
    the hated European Union.

    Bring it on, the harder the better.

      • Alcyone

        Ha, why do you ask Sharpie, do you want to be at the receiving end?

        I think you have finally, unwittingly, answered my question as to whether you are also a Remoaner, in addition to being a plain-vanilla Moaner.

        • Sharp Ears

          Do not make assumptions and stop tracking me. Why are you so interested in what I do, say and think?

          Why not consult Krishnamurti through the ether Villager.

          • Sharp Ears

            March 16 @17.11

            I actually feel rather sorry for you that you have such an empty life, you can spend so much of your time on here making pointless remarks.

            Try volunteering instead. You will definitely benefit from helping somebody.

      • Blair paterson

        I do not want to be in the e.u. Or NATO or the United Nations or a special relationship with America and out of the union with England I want independence to be just no one else having a say in our affairs no one will look after our interests better than we will this unity is strength is a myth it means others having a say in your affairs to me that is real freedom

    • D-Majestic

      Don’t think the UK population is going to be at all pleased when the pound is worth zilch and a carrot costs two quid, Michael. Could be a few slight problems for the facilitators and supporters of BrexitAltitudeLoss then. Bring it on, as you say. And happy landings.

      • Anon1

        I know you hate this country and desperately want it to fail, but unluckily for you, all the evidence is pointing towards a successful future for the UK outside the EU.

      • Habbabkuk

        D-Majestic

        “when the pound is worth zilch and a carrot costs two quid”

        ————————–

        Links, sources, references for that, please. Thank you.

  • Yemen is dying

    A George Galloway in Parliament armed with his tweeter barrel bullets would soon soon lay an un-elected Treeza to bed, to usher in an early General Election. The only problem is Lord Levine has not yet managed to install David Milliband at Labour, Corbyn seems to have some kind of Trump like divine teflon, anything the devils throw at him just doesnt stick?!

  • Sharp Ears

    I see that the troughers can keep spending taxpayers’ funding on employing their spouses and family members until 2020. There are 151 of them engaged in this rip off, a quarter of the total number.

    Like the parliament institution itself, the IPSA website is impenetrable and archaic. It took several clicks to get to this 58 page pdf. Just like the stuff Hunt and Stevens put out on the NHS websites, pdf after pdf, all designed to stifle debate as you can lose the will to live wading through the rot.

    This is the ninth edition. The previous one was 75 pages in length.
    http://www.theipsa.org.uk/media/1608/9-mps-scheme-of-business-costs-and-expenses-2017-18.pdf

    • Habbabkuk

      Given the little he actually does in the HoC (whether on the floor of the House or in committee or indeed elsewhere), is Dennis Skinner MP a trougher?

  • LMPG

    The petition against a second independence referendum has exceeded the 100,000 required for a parliamentary debate. More hot air, but does it affect the ability of the SNP to proceed with a referendum in any case? And if Westminster fails to grant it’s approval for a second referendum, what should happen then?

  • nevermind

    If you are able to cheat the electoral LAW and then win the election, turning the country upside down eroding public services and by p…ing on the poor and weak in society then you might as well be living in a banana republic. But you will have to pay £70.000 for cheating the system, the electorate and our childrens future…..

    to whom will you pay this? surely the electoral Commission is being paid for by us already.
    What will this £70.000 be used for, training electoral agents? ensuring that Independent candidates are not harrassed?

    Poor candidates, didn’t know what their masters were up to? It was never mentioned that this spending was to be on the national account? or was it?
    And the BBC is collaborating with this pathetic judgement, nobody will be hauled over or banned from standing, all is well for the next fraud to be committed.

    Those who think that another Indyref will be a fair event, forget it, the cheats are in power and they’ll do anything to stay there.
    The Conservatives are not the legitimate Government, if this cheating would have been undertaken by any other party, all hell would break loose, the bibice would go into overdrive to harangue the ‘law breakers'(its only electoral law, peeps, nobody gets killed, only Brexit and Scotxit to suffer) and so would the tabloids.

    Ambiguity and lawyers made this judgment possible, it has destroyed the publics vision of a fair and impartial electoral society, whatever they say to keep their hand outs.
    I

    • Sharp Ears

      Well said. ‘Where the law ends, tyranny begins’ to paraphrase John Locke.

      A question ref the Supreme Court ruling on Marine Blackman’s conviction for murder. Are the Geneva Conventions formulated by our forefathers after the WW11 bloodbath dead?

      http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/geneva_conventions

      ‘Moreover, the Geneva Convention also defines the rights and protections afforded to non-combatants, yet, because the Geneva Conventions are about people in war, the articles do not address warfare proper—the use of weapons of war—which is the subject of the Hague Conventions (First Hague Conference, 1899; Second Hague Conference 1907), and the bio-chemical warfare Geneva Protocol (Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or other Gases, and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare, 1925).’

      http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geneva_Conventions

    • Sharp Ears

      Sky News’ reporting of the frauds is more searching and fact based than that of the state broadcaster.

      Conservatives fined £70,000 over election expenses
      The party is fined £70,000 for failing to report £275,000 of election spending and its former treasurer is reported to police.
      http://news.sky.com/story/conservatives-fined-16370000-over-election-expenses-10803337

      Note the presence of NickTimothy, Theresa’s office boy, in South Thanet, so scared of a UKIP win were the Tories.

      And ‘more follows’!

  • michael norton

    The Economy of The United Kingdom continues to thrive.

    Toyota to invest £240m in UK operations

    Ministry of Truth

  • michael norton

    Up to 20 Tory MPs are in the firing line as police forces probing alleged election expenses fraud send files to prosecutors while watchdog fines party record £70,000 for failures to declare spending

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4319206/CPS-sent-files-election-expenses-20-Tory-MPs.html#ixzz4bTxlwTbw

    A general election is a distinct possibility.
    Mrs. May has a narrow majority, so much is happening, what with Brexit, simultaneously Nicola has begged for Indyref2.
    Something has got to give.

  • Donald Marr

    Educated and better off (implied) or not, the 48% could never convince me that unlimited immigration is a good idea .

  • michael norton

    As almost all the M.P.’s in Scotland are or were in the S. N. P. if they chat amongst themselves, I am sure they can convince each other that Sturgeon calling Indyref2 is a corker of an idea and presumably they have such a huge majority they could vote anything through, they like
    but what if a majority of the people who live in Scotland, do not want a second referendum, as only a few years ago they were asked and declined the kind offer.

    In short, do the S. N. P. have to take an notice of what the people of Scotland want?

  • Republicofscotland

    It’s a absolute disgrace that the Telegraph newspaper yesterday called for Nicola Sturgeon to be killed, by beheading her.

    The FM has already received numerous death threats from eager unionists keen on seeing Sturgeon dispatched.

    I’m reminded of the murdef of MP Jo Cox, over the EU vote. Yet here we are reading in a national newspaper, that calls for the beheading of a democratically elected politician.

    If the call had been by a independence supporter to carry out a similar attack on Theresa May, there woukd have been a terrible outcry from the media including the Telegraph newspaper.

    Surely the PCC must see that the Telegraph has overstepped the mark and take some form of action.

        • fred

          Undivisive politics would be politics who’s sole purpose wasn’t to divide.

          Nationalism is inherently divisive because it highlights perceived differences between people, emphasizing an individual’s identification with their own nation. The idea is also potentially oppressive because it submerges individual identity within a national whole, and gives elites or political leaders potential opportunities to manipulate or control the masses.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nationalism

      • michael norton

        So do the S. N. P. have to take any notice of what the people of Scotland want
        or is all that matters to them, what the S. N. P. want
        a simple yes or no
        will do.

        • branches

          David Cameron started the legislative process for the EU referendum bill when support for Leave was around 35% in the polls.

          Nicola Sturgeon is starting the legislative process for indyref2 with support for independence around 48% to 50%.

          • michael norton

            Don’t get me wrong, I really, really, really, really hope Sturgeon does not bottle it.
            I hope she forces the good people of Scotland to make a life-defining choice.

          • MJ

            I suspect that on this occasion support will drop off as soon as the SNP has to answer common-sense questions about currencies.

    • Ba'al Zevul

      What exactly did Alison Pearson say* in that Telegraph article, RoS? Context might be crucial.

      * Not many people know this – it’s behind the paywall.

  • Republicofscotland

    In a slap in the face to democracy Theresa May, a unelected British PM has told the Scottish people that they can’t have their refererndum until she says so.

    It is a insult to the people of Scotland, and in reality it will only serve to galvanise the people to hold it anyway.

  • Republicofscotland

    Rather sickeningly, I see neither Fred nor Michael has condemned the Telegraph newspapers call for Nicola Sturgeon to be beheaded.

    My god what manner of people are we dealing with?

  • nevermind

    Not a word about the moral and lawful probity of her Governments MP’s conducting themselves, or the ‘administrative mistakes they have made, deliberately and against the electoral law.

    But loads to bitch about how Scotland can’t have their indyref. 2 before the negotiations have proceeded, blah blah, and more blah.

    This PM is a hypocrite, the UK’s Independence from the EU can only be achieved by walking away, so maybe that is what Scotland will have to do.
    Don’t bother with a rigged referendum, just walk away and if there is a need for any negotiations about Faslane and or the retained wiski/oil receipts, just tell her to wait until she has completed her arduous negotiations with the EU.

    And ensure that English residents in Scotland feel as uncertain and insecure about their future as EU citizens feel here at the moment.

    UDI!

    • branches

      Your last sentence was a bit over the top nevermind. All Scottish residents will have Scottish citizenship on independence. Liked the rest of the post though.

  • Republicofscotland

    In a vote for common sense, the Dutch voted in their droves for Mark Rutte. The far right insurgent Geert Wilders, who dyes his hair white so he stands out in a crowd (pathetic if you ask me) didn’t get the votes he’d hoped for.

    I’m sure Michael will be very disappointed that the far right candidate didn’t win. it may be something he’ll have to get used to, for I don’t think Le Pen will fair much better in France.

    Common sense appears to fighting off the minority far right in Europe.

    • Loony

      Ah yes common sense as exemplified by the Dutch – a country of some 16.8 million who host 400,000 Turkish nationals. When the Foreign Minister of Turkey says that Holy Wars will soon begin in Europe I wonder what he has in mind.

      If I recall correctly the Germans only had about 3.5 million men scheduled to invade the whole of the USSR – a somewhat larger undertaking than starting a Holy War in the Netherlands.

      Leonardo da Vinci once observed that “It is easier to resist at the beginning than at the end” I wonder what he meant.

        • Loony

          I have no idea whether they are a giant sleeper cell or not. The Turkish government is quite explicit in their belief that they are. In these days of institutionalized racism I would think quite carefully before writing off the entire leadership of Turkey in such pejorative terms as “cuckoo, cuckoo”

      • Republicofscotland

        Looney.

        Who exactly is starting a holy war in your opinion, if Wilders would’ve won, the Netherlands would’ve become a country of tension.

        As for your Da Vinci comment.

        It reminded me of what Da Vinci said over one of his most famous works.

        Da Vinci worked on the Mona Lisa for 15 years but by the time he died in 1519, he still didn’t consider it finished.

        I could say that resonates with EU countries who’ve taken in immigrants and refugees, their absorption is still a work in progress.

        Interestingly on the Mona Lisa when it was stolen from the Louvre in 1911, one of the suspects was Picasso. 😀

        • Loony

          I am not a spokesman for the Turkish government – so I don’t know the answer to your question.

          All I know is that Erdogan is of the opinion that the Dutch government is comprised of “fascists and Nazi remnants” that Turkey has pointed out that there are 400,000 Turks in the Netherlands and compared this with the size of the Dutch military of some 46,000. It is the Turkish Foreign Minister who has said that Holy wars will soon begin in Europe.

          Ask yourself why Turkey would say all of these things.

          • Republicofscotland

            I think I can answer that question, so bear with me.

            Mark Rutte, saw that Wilders was winning the populist vote, and he was, so Rutte, (rightly or wrongly) moved to the right and the Turkish issues, were the closest thing at hand.

            By moving to the right and temporarily appearing to come down hard on immigrants in the Netherlands Rutte stole Wilders thunder, it was a masterstroke and the timing was perfect as well.

            The Dutch public saw that Rutte could be strong and hard on immigrants when he needed to be, and they voted for him.

            I foresee a easing of tensions between Turkey and the Netherlands, now Rutte has achieved his goal.

          • Loony

            All makes perfect sense except that the Turkish foreign minister made his statement about holy war after Rutte had won. Check out also some of the Turkish comments directed at Germany – in particular the one about the EU/Turkish migrant deal being null and void.

            It makes you wonder why, if migrants are so good for the economy, the Turks are pondering unleashing a further 6 million of them on Europe. Just imagine the damage to the Turkish economy of forcing all of these productive people out of Turkey and into Germany.

    • Soothmoother

      Some mainstream spin in action. Voted in droves is an exaggeration. In 2012 Rutte had 26% (41 seats) and Wilders had 10% (15 seats). In 2017 Rutte has 21% (33 seats) and Wilders has 13% (20 seats). Biggest losers were the Labour Party dropping from 24% (38 seats) in 2012 to 6% (9 seats) in 2017. The only threat from Wilders was whether he could overtake Rutte, which he failed to do, but he did gain ground. No matter the outcome, the other parties would not have formed a coalition, so it’s a bit of a non story other than the trend is towards anti-immigration populists.

  • Habbabkuk

    Republicofscotland

    “I have to agree with McDonnell on his description of Theresa May laughing, that she looks like a feeding seal swallowing a fish.”
    ________________________

    Well, actually you don’t “have to” – you could just remain silent for a change.

    You are one of the (thankfully few)”commenters” who is always telling us how people look, whether in general or at specific moments.

    Be honest for a moment – isn’t that rather children’s playground stuff from a middle-aged (or older) chap?

    • branches

      A central government not even beginning to address the concerns of a devolved government over the ramifications of the huge constitutional change that is brexit.

      Isn’t that rather children’s playground stuff from a middle-aged Prime Minister?

      • Ba'al Zevul

        I’m not seeing the devolved government beginning to address the concerns of the central government, either. And that devolved government’s being a lttle insensitive to the concerns of its non-separatist constituents, too, wouldn’t you say? No, you wouldn’t. You’ve heard that the Holy Grail is just over the Trossachs and you’re in full cry, just like the central government.

        NOT FAAAAIR! Miss, little Johnny Bull won’t let me secede!

        • branches

          Sturgeon from the brexit vote tried to explore every avenue open to Scotland to see what was on offer. This included trying to find out what ways Scotland could stay in both the UK and EU if that’s what a conceivable majority of the Scottish people wanted.

          Instead May has shown a marked degree of incivility to the Scottish Government. With the PM not informing Sturgeon of any details of her discussions with the EU despite requests for information and not even being honest.

          May has simply been dictating that Scotland is leaving the EU and that’s it.

          • Ba'al Zevul

            Some little hints as to where you got that opinion from would be welcome. Evidence of Sturgeon’s researches, even. We evil Sassenachs have the distinct impression that Sturgeon’s demand for a replay arose directly and connectedly from the Brexit vote. There has never been any doubt that what Sturgeon is after is an independent Scotland in the EU. In the EU,as that is the only way she can offer any economic hope to the waverers. Had the EU referendum gone the other way, there was still no chance that she would have hung up her saltire and joined JP Morgan. She’d have pushed for a rerun sooner or later, and you know it, or you wouldn’t be supporting her.

            Incidentally, most of what’s going on has the distinct savour of Salmond about it Sturgeon’s just the acceptable face of devious.

      • Habbabkuk

        It’s not ageism, D-Majestic, the comment was based on facts.

        The first fact is that it is children rather than adults who engage in “appearance insults” when arguing about something.

        The second fact is that “Republicofscotland” is middle-aged if not older.

        To note that a middle-aged commenter who uses appearances to support his “arguments” is doing what children tend to do is not ageism.

  • Republicofscotland

    “The Electoral Commission has fined the Conservative Party £70,000 over “significant” election campaign expenses issues.”

    “The independent elections watchdog said the party had made “numerous failures” in reporting its
    expenses for the 2015 General Election and three by-elections in 2014.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/conservative-party-fine-tory-tories-electoral-commission-70000-election-campaign-expenses-a7632516.html

    Surely this skullduggery will lead to a wide call for by-elections, that could see the Tories lose their slender majority.

    It may well be the case that several Tory MP’s are offered up as scapegoats. I would strongly urge those people to whistleblow, on their party.

      • Republicofscotland

        Ah putting aside that Guido Fawkes has harped on about the SNP, and in 2014 clearly stated it was against independence.

        Do you not read the links you post? at the bottom it says:

        “Unlike the Tories the SNP did not transport and pay hotel costs for party activists in marginal seats. Transporting the party leader around the country is national campaign expenditure and the SNP correctly registered it as such with the Electoral Commission.”

        I’m pretty sure that if irregularities could’ve been proved by the unionist parties in Scotland at the time they’ve would’ve.

        Now if you’re really concerned about the misue of choppers in Scotland by a FM, look no further than here.

        http://www.scotsman.com/news/how-jack-of-clubs-came-up-trumps-for-donald-1-1411884

        • Ba'al Zevul

          Back at you. You didn’t read the very last part yourself –

          But the Electoral Commission say that if a leader did any local campaigning, as Sturgeon did, the cost should be split…

          And I’m looking in vain for any pro-independence outlets with a bad word to say for the idea. Surprising, no? Surprising that an anti-independence site (and I’m no great fan of Guido’s either) is critical? Surprising to one whose major talent is for paraphrasing the National, frequently, at length, and unilaterally?

          I’m surprised at you…

          • Republicofscotland

            Oh but I did read the very last sentence, again I put to you where is the evidence of irregularities? If their were any they’d have been aired in the unionist national press and TV channels long ago, I think we both know that, to be true.

            Wel, it’s good to see that this old dog can still surprise someone every now and then. 😀

          • Ba'al Zevul

            O, they all do it. Shouldn’t think half the constituencies in the UK were won according to all the rules, as a matter of fact.
            And I certainly don’t carry a torch for the Tories. But it’s fun to watch the pot dodging accusations as to its sooty hue…

            Jo Coburn: “It’s been alleged that Nicola Sturgeon’s helicopter tour at the last election included some local campaigning. Are you confident that the cost of that helicopter was all properly declared?”

            Wishart: “Listen, we want national leaders to go to constituencies…”

            JoCo: “Yeah but that wasn’t my question. Are you confident it was properly declared?”

            Wishart: “There’s always what about if-ery and all this sort of stuff…”

            https://order-order.com/2016/05/23/snp-mp-swerves-questions-about-own-partys-spending/

          • Republicofscotland

            Oh Baal, I must give you ten out of ten for effort, but still it doesn’t constitute evidence of irregularities. However I agree all politicians and parties bend the rules on occasion to suit themselves- there I’ve met you half way, honour now saved. 😀

            It’s just that you picked the wrong subject (choppers) to tenuously try and prove your point.

            I’m sure there’s plenty more SNPBAD stories floating around in the unionist press, that will never have the right to be forgotten, as they say.

          • Ba'al Zevul

            And there are ten times as many UKBad stories to be found in your reading matter. Which you selflessly pass on to us. However, your audience mostly consists of (a) the converted, (b) the unconvertible and, in my case, (c) me. Who thinks that independence for Scotland could well be a good thing, but this is absolutely not the way to go about it. Particularly as you are proposing to simply exchange one hegemony for another.

          • Republicofscotland

            “And there are ten times as many UKBad stories to be found in your reading matter. Which you selflessly pass on to us.”

            ________

            Baal.

            Your above comment, doesn’t reflect that every newspaper (bar one or two) and every TV channel constantly pumps out anti-SNP rhetoric. Where Scottish independence is concerned journalistic integrity is a non-starter.

            You fail miserably to realise the sheer one sidedness of the campaign, but how could you know, when you’re not on the receiving end of the unionist bull horn, aimed at Scotland.

            Anyone anywhere South of the Tweed, would only read and see in the press and media, that the SNP are bad.

            This will be a even dirtier campaign than the last one, there’s no room for angels, on this rollercoaster only demons.

            Of course if we could settle the matter in a boxing match between Nicola and Theresa, I’d accept that.

            Ding! Ding! Round one. 😀

          • Loony

            You identify 3 groups of people: “(a) the converted, (b) the unconvertible and, in my case, (c) me. Who thinks that independence for Scotland could well be a good thing,..”

            You have forgotten a 4th (and probably the largest) group. Namely those people who could not care less whether Scotland is “independent” or not but find the lies, the distortions and the spin to be either amusing or irritating.

            “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss”

    • Loony

      Would a post Brexit UK be excluded from any bodies that currently have either Australia or New Zealand as members? Would the “unimaginably high tariffs” be any higher than tariffs that do, or would, apply to equivalent products or services from Australia or New Zealand?

      If the answer to these questions is no then what point are you trying to make? Both Australia and New Zealand seem to be doing a lot better than say Greece.

      • Republicofscotland

        Looney.

        The British government has caused great uncertainty, they have no idea what it will cost to leave the EU without a deal. They haven’t prepared a economic assessment on the impact of a no deal.

        In other words their position is already compromised, simply because a no deal is a unknown quantity, except we know tarrifs would be high, as Davis has already said.

        Bearing that in mind as May and Davis go into negotiations, they must consider that the EU will have the upper hand, knowing a no deal dumps the UK, into even more uncertainty with regards to the WTO.

        Where the British farming sector would face tariffs of 40% on exports.

        With the greatest respect to Australia and New Zealand, a EU deal is the better deal.

        Speaking of deals.

        Einstein gave his $32,000 dollars Nobel prize money, to his first wife Mileva, as part of their divorce settlement.

        I think the UK’s divorce with Europe will cost just that little bit more. 😀

        • fred

          Britain is a net importer of just about everything agricultural.

          If they put tariffs on us we put tarries on them, subsidise the farmers and have some change left over.

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