The Disappearing Prime Minister 887


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.


887 thoughts on “The Disappearing Prime Minister

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  • 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.

      • AnonScot

        It took a while to track it back but I figured it was worth it.

        You should be proud you helped some of the less fortunate out there, albeit unwittingly, AND you really made my day.

          • AnonScot

            You’ll get a sainthood someday I’m sure.

            Anyhoo, must dash, gotta get down the Trussel FB for my Pot Noodle & beans.

            Chow now ;-D

          • Deepgreenpuddock

            wittingly unwitting? Stupidity by contrivance? Thinking hard about how to be dumb?

          • fred

            Do you think the Nationalist policy of sending their goons to intimidate people on the internet is going to work? I think it lost them votes last time.

      • JOML

        Well I did try and squeeze in the $20 WC Fields clip on the back of it! Good to see a charity benefit, although I doubt if much of the £14k came from this blog…

  • branches

    Well inflexible Theresa has totally taken Nicola’s bait and telt us Sweaties we’re no gettin’ ony indyref2 ‘cos it’s no the time.

    Now Nicola can round off a very satisfactory week at the SNP conference in Aberdeen.

    • giyane

      Gordon Brown got very tight over the expenses of the Labour Party’s natural supporters in the construction industry when he was Chancellor. Hammond seems to have a deep-down desire to screw over the Tory bedrock of entrepreneurs. I hope Hammond is less shorted than Brown , because while Brown was busy nit-picking over our expenses he was totally ignoring the 2007 crash.

      I forget. Was Gordon Brown a Tory or a Labour Chancellor? Keep them busy calculating their tax bills and they will overlook the gross embezzlement taking places in the upper tiers.

  • Habbabkuk

    Of Ms Nicola Sturgeon (First Minister of Scotland) and Mr A. Salmond (SNP MP at Westminster)

    – who is the ventriloquist and who the dummy?

  • Habbabkuk

    A question to Craig (and anyone else who might feel like engaging):

    was the Netherlands govt right to refuse to allow two ministers of the Turkish govt to enter the Netherlands in order to campaign for the votes of Turks for the forthcoming constitutional referendum in Turkey?

    • fwl

      I don’t see why the Dutch have to allow access to campaign. We like many Western countries do not permit Taiwanese ministers in to campaign; in fact they can only come in for private visits, which is even more draconian. However, it is not acceptable to prevent a minister already in the country from accessing their embassy (save in perhaps some extraordinary circumstances).

      • Habbabkuk

        Thank you for that. Anyone else? Craig?

        Re your last sentence: were the circumstances not extraordinary, in that had the minister been allowed to access the embassy it is more than likely that the word would have got out, resulting in a large-scale and probably violent demonstration by pro-Erdogan Turks outside the Embassy?

        • fwl

          I don’t know the details, nor do I know international diplomatic law and custom, but I was thinking something more extraordinary such as being on a war footing. It’s a poor precedent.

    • Iain Stewart

      Apologies, Habbabkuk, for the extract being in French: «Il n’est pas possible de faire une campagne électorale à l’étranger et dans les représentations turques à l’étranger» : l’article 94A du code électoral turc.
      I suspect that Turkish law was aiming at foreign based opposition parties (or one in particular) but what is sauce for the goose should also be sauce for the turkey.

    • Sharp Ears

      Transmitted last night by the state broadcaster.

      Marine A: The Inside Story
      Panorama

      Three years ago Alexander Blackman, better known as Marine A, became the first serving British soldier to be convicted of murder since the Second World War for the killing of a badly injured Taliban insurgent on the battlefield. He has now had his murder conviction reduced to manslaughter. Panorama re-examines the case to find out what really happened on that fateful day, six years ago.

      Film-maker and anthropologist Chris Terrill has been following the case since the beginning, including meeting Blackman a number of times in prison. Chris has spent many years working with the Royal Marines and was embedded with Blackman’s unit at the time the incident occurred in Afghanistan. He has tracked down some of the men who were with Blackman that day and they speak for the first time about the six-month tour that proceeded the killing and reveal disturbing new insights about the day itself. Questions are raised about whether there were other pressures on Blackman to act.

      Using material Chris shot in Afghanistan when embedded with Blackman’s unit, the film provides a stark sense of what it was like to be stationed in a ‘kill or be killed’ outpost set in what was then described as ‘the most dangerous square mile in the world’. The new evidence is presented for the first time and raises concerns about the way our soldiers fight wars and apply ethics on the battlefield. The outcome of the Marine A case could well shape the way we fight our wars in the future.’

      There was no mention in the propaganda piece that this was an aggressive/offensive war. Our boys should not have been there for the ‘Queen’.  Instead there was constant justification for the war. Note we are told that we will have other wars ‘in the future’. How reassuring.

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08hwmkg
      40 mins
      Unlike most other programming, this is available on the iPlayer for 12 months. Work that out.

  • michael norton

    I think Alex Salmond has been working Nicola Sturgeon for years.
    But why is she so nasty?

      • Habbabkuk

        Ms Nicola Sturgeon and Mrs May are equally elected – or unelected – in that UK constitutional practice provides that elections are not for Presidents but for parties, and that the leader of the party capable of forming stable govt is called on by the Head of State to form a govt and thereby become Prime Minister.

        It is of course understandable that a playful gadfly like “Republicofscotland” should pretend to misunderstand the constitutional position, but rather less understandable that the same nonsense should be voiced by Her Majesty’s Leader of the Opposition in the House of Commons, who has been a MP for more than 30 years.

        The logic of that particular bit of nonsense is that should a PM die in office, he or she should not be replaced by the new leader of the governing party but that there should be another general election. I suspect that even a joker of the RoS school would not defend that line 🙂

        • Republicofscotland

          Theresa May has become Prime Minister, with no mandate from the British Public. We did not vote for her as leader of Britain, she was chosen by the Tory Party alone.

          Contrastingly, Nicola Sturgeon was elected democratically, by over 44% of the voting public, twice that of the Tories in Scotland, add in that there’s only one Tory MP in the whole of Scotland.

          There’s no question as too who is the more legitimate leader of their respective countries.

        • Deepgreenpuddock

          You state the obvious. Condescending? Of course and pointless too.
          However you are avoiding the point. Just as Gordon Brown made a major error in NOT going to the country to validate his position, so Theresa May.
          We all also know about the fixed terms but there is almost certainly a way around this.

          With the question marks arising over the value of, (and adherence to the law ) in respect of the election expenses scandal, which targeted the constituencies most susceptible to a financial input, and the distinctly acrimonious relations between major sections of the population, there could well be a very good reason to move towards a general election.

          It is quite likely to be favourable to Theresa May, which I imagine would be pleasing to you. I can’t see why she is hesitating.

          • Deepgreenpuddock

            Just seen the article (Guardian) by Martin Kettle. Encapsulates /captures the fragile quality to politics at the moment. Corbyn and Labour have all kinds of problems, but so too do May and the Tories. There are quite serious splits in Tory ranks and May is looking distinctly shaky.
            One of the abiding truths about the right in British politics is that the Tories will coalesce around their class banner much more readily than the opposition. Heseltine and May are not in agreement but remain ‘friends’ in the parliamentary sense.
            The left is just so much more prone to bitter factionalism which renders them ineffective.

            However there is a great deal at stake at the moment and we all seem to have been ‘gamed’ by the far right of the Tory party+the Sanitary Fascist Party (AKA UKIP)+ a great deal of dirty money.
            Perhaps the scales will fall.I certainly hope so.
            One of the abiding curiosities of the British political scene is that individuals who are utterly unrepresentative(completely non-typical) of the general population seem to rise to great positions regardless of underlying quality.
            One prime example is Bodge O’ Johnson, a delusional megalomaniac schoolboy ejaculating twat, half-wit, and modern day Billy Bunter, the fat Owl of the Redoubt, but May herself is nothing much more than the elevated Head Girl of a Posh School,parachuted into preferred and cushy sinecures by her social contacts.Her abilities coincide with those of the average head teacher of a primary school but all seem in awe of this cultivated bluster.
            Her life is so utterly devoid of the kinds of experiences that consume the energies of so many much more gifted and morally connected individuals in the country. There is not a shred of doubt that such people are able to maximise their opportunity and dominate public discourse by virtue of their accumulated insider knowledge and their wealth and contacts but this polarisation is a real blight on any kind of politics that has any hope of addressing the fundamental, existential, problems of the current times, which are much more serious than such people, insulated financially, and deluded by their sense of entitlement, allow.

          • michael norton

            Quite well put Deepgreenpuddock
            March 17, 2017 at 08:49

            Put not to forget, Saint Theresa was, apparently for Remain, although, not a die-hard.
            She has taken the people’s batten and is running with it.
            The people more or less do not care who hold the batten, just that one of them runs with it towards the cliff.
            We want to go over that cliff, together, a one way journey.

          • Deepgreenpuddock

            Thank you michael but your metaphor of the baton carrying Ms. May charging over a cliff is….. well-quite a scary thought. It isn’t the going over that is bothering, it is the sudden landing at terminal velocity, cuasing all that acquired gravitational energy being directed inwards at all the essential organs and the skeleton that holds it all in place.

      • Habbabkuk

        ” the Telegraph calling for Sturgeon’s head is akin to IS, or Saudi executions.”
        ____________________

        or akin to your mate RobG’s threats on here? 🙂

        • JOML

          Rod Stewart was widely criticised for similar antics – I wonder if the Torygraph joined in with this criticism?

        • Iain Stewart

          To be fair, RobG has merely threatened shooting and hanging opposing commenters after a fair trial, without yet promising decapitation, despite the temptation to make sure.

  • michael norton

    Scottish independence: Sturgeon ‘determined’ to have second vote

    Ministry of Truth

    You just can’t gag the first minister, she has so much to say.

  • michael norton

    Ms. Nicola Sturgeon wants a referendum to be held in the autumn of next year or the spring of 2019, to coincide with the expected conclusion of the United Kingdom’s negotiations with the European Union.

    In an interview with BBC Scotland’s Jackie Bird, she said she had an “unequivocal mandate” to hold a referendum,
    and that a majority of MSPs at Holyrood were likely to back her call in a vote next Wednesday.

    Ms Sturgeon added: “You are asking me to accept that a Conservative prime minister who has one MP in Scotland has the right to lay down the law to Scotland’s democratically elected parliament. That is unacceptable”.

    ———-

    but what is most people in Scotland do not want another referendum Nicola,
    are u gonna force them to your will?

    • JOML

      If you have 56 out of 59 MPs and the majority of Holyrood (still to be secured), then you have a mandate. You get mandates from elections, not from 10-a-penny opinion polls – and 56 MPs out of 59 is an astonishing achievement.

  • Habbabkuk

    There are voices on the European mainland who feel that the Turks are getting too big for their boots.

    Of course, attacking other countries verbally (or even physically) is a classic ploy for diverting people’s attention from domestica ffairs, as Herbie will surely agree.

    But still.

    The latest weapon in the Turkish locker appears to be the threat to open the gates again for refugees and asylum seekers wishing to reach European countries.

    There are some in Europe who consider that should that occur, it would be reasonable for EU countries to repatriate an equivalent number of Turks back to their motherland in order to make room for those refugees and asylum-seekers. The first in line could be the retired and the unemployed.

    I wonder how the Turkish govt would react to such counter measure.

    • Republicofscotland

      What do you expect from a authoritarian regime, the Standard and Ethics Committee has downgraded Turkey’s rating from (E) to (E-) its lowest rating.

      I suppose it’s only to be expected as Erdogan tightens his grip on Turkey.

      Incidently China and Egypt are on (E-) ratings as well.

    • fwl

      It is next to impossible for ordinary people such as myself to come to a view on Turkey without understanding the failed coup, the alleged ISIS oil trade and the sudden improvement in their relationship with Russia. It is of course easy to condemn the crack down on basic civil liberties, justice and the media, but I don’t have a working big picture of what is happening.

      • Habbabkuk

        “but I don’t have a working big picture of what is happening.”
        ______________________

        Which is fair enough, fwl. At least you are aware of your limitations and do not rush into print with a job-lot of uninformed opinions. How unlike so many others on here who know fuck all about most things (except for what they hear on RT or read on various curious websites) but nevertheless fill the pages with reams of crap 🙂

    • Loony

      You are seemingly unable to keep up with the speed of change in our all new Orwellian world.

      Refugees and asylum seekers are deemed to be economically beneficial for the countries they settle in. Therefore should Turkey dispatch refugees and asylum seekers to Europe it would be economically beneficial to Europe and economically detrimental to Turkey. Under such circumstances the only reason for Europe to repatriate Turks would be an act of altruistic munificence to compensate Turkey for the economic harm Turkey suffered as a consequence of its initial act.

      Turkey is a largely Muslim country and therefore any criticism of Turkey is most likely the product of Islamaphobia. Hence the criticism (whatever it may be) should not be taken seriously and the only necessary response is to disparage the motives of the person offering the initial criticism. Most normally they should be smeared as racist, sexist, xenophobic ignorant bigots. If this is considered too mild it is possible to move onto calling them fascists or Nazi remnants. Pretty much follow the policy of Turkish government public pronouncements..

      In the unlikely event that Europeans decide to stop shaming themselves and frightening themselves then Turkey will most likely appeal to the US – perhaps demand that the US issue orders to bring the Europeans back into line otherwise they may well consider their position in NATO – hey don’t you know that Mr. Putin is offering us an interesting deal.

      Should all of this fail then I guess Europeans will finally get to understand what the Turks mean when they talk of Holy war.

      • fwl

        One needs a private intelligence service to keep up, which is far beyond me. I would be surprised though if the world has changed so much that it has become more able to adapt to large migrant groups from different cultures. That is never easy. Here is a question for you: is integration easiest (as I would hope) in an intelligent society, or in a dumbed down narrow minded consumer society. Ironically I suspect it might be easier in the latter unless the immigrant group is not as complacently acquiescing as the host as there is then tension.

        It is sadly true that parts of the EU have traditionally been hostile to Turkey on religious grounds. Remember in 1987 how not only were its overtures to the EU rebuffed but it entered and came last in Eurovision (possibly 0). To understand Turkey you need to learn not just Ataturk but reformers such ad Pir Nur al-Arabi of the C19 (very different to our concept of a reforming spirit) Young Turks and our encouraging of Greece in 1919. But you must also taste life in Turkey.

        • Loony

          What is integration?

          Look at this from a Western perspective. Would you integrate into Saudi Arabian culture? and if so why? Would you beat women, pray 5 times a day and attend public executions on a weekly basis? Probably not. Would you encourage your (male) children to integrate into this culture? Probably not. Therefore if you don’t value the culture you are not going to integrate into it.

          A lot of immigrants coming to the west are from very religious and conservative cultures. They will not be impressed by the post religious societies they find themselves in. They do not tend to think highly of promiscuity, or of drug and alcohol fueled leisure activities. A lot of them have low skill levels and questionable literacy – how does that help them fit in to an advanced, technologically sophisticated society which is exclusively based on the acquisition of money to drive a consumer economy and lifestyle. In many cases they will not want to fit in and probably view their lack of skills as a positive advantage that prevents them from fitting in.

          Look at South Africa – white people have been there since 1652. What kind of integration has gone on there? It is easy to come up with simplistic slogans to blame one party or another, but the reality is much more complicated. White farmers are being killed on an industrial scale, and no-one cares. It is not just white vs black there are massive outbreaks of “xenophobic violence” – where black South Africans take machetes to African immigrants.

          Look anywhere you want.and try and find an integrated society. Look at this blog and read some of the England vs Scotland comments. All very amusing, but just across the water is Northern Ireland – where historically things have not been so amusing.

    • nevermind

      Turkey has a decades long conflict with Kurdish separatists who aimed at an autonomous Kurdish south east of Turkey. Cutting off the smuggling routes which are used by both the grey wolves, a right wing Turkish group Erdogans seems to play up to, is and always has been part of the violence that is meted out. Both groups sell arms contraband tobacco and drugs to finance their actions and human rights concerns related to this all out war against the Kurdish indigenous populus it is one of the main points for the EU’s refusal for access and membership.

      Turkeys central position between the middle east and Africa, Asia and Europe makes it a strategically important country, even in modern times when air and sea transport could bypass it. But, with a moderate Government that is not trying to turn its president into a dictator, Turkey could flourish and have a pivotal point, be at the nexus of trade relations with its neighbours, as a valid UN member that respects Human rights, currently only on paper, Turkey could have a future and a chance to join the EU should it so wish.

      Those who for over ten years armed Turkey, sold it arms for monies that could have improved Turkish lifes, have given Erdogan all the powers he needs. Turkey’s membership of NATO, whilst toying with Russian approaches, should teach us about the unstable conditions its demagogic leader has created for himself. His threats to destabilise the EU some more, seems to be reciprocated by politically expedient politicians such as David Cameron and Boris Johnston who have repeatedly argued for the accession of Turkey to the EU and still are positively talking up relations with this rogue country led by a demagogue with visions to becoming a dictator.

      To mirror Mrs. May’s use of EU citizens as pawns in her ‘well prepared’ and fully planned negotiations with the EU, albeit the possibility that she leads a Government of cheats, would make the use of Turkish residents in EU countries as pawns in a tit for tat reaction a possibility, many EU countries are challenged to act up to right wing populism, BUT, it would be wholly wrong and would lead to an EU wide escalation in many other countries.

      The UK, as in so many times before, is providing the blueprint for more like for like inhumane actions, it is as if beelzebub has opened the gates of hell.

      Erdogan would have no answer to returning Turks, many who have for decades send money back home to better the lot of their families. Such a measure would hurt Turkey more than anything and probably lead to an outright civil war. Just imagine the return of all the well earning criminal fraternities returning to Turkey, with no prospects of large EU markets? and who would replace their position? the Albanian Mafiosi, Russian organised criminals?

      Keep your friends close and your enemies closer……

  • michael norton

    It has always puzeled me how Scotland can afford free university education and free prescriptions, where do they get all the money from?
    Will this continue, when they have to fund themselves, when they are free of The ENGLISH?

    Prescriptions to rise by 20p in England

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-39292909

    • Republicofscotland

      Michael.

      Scottish independence isn’t about being free of the English as you so quaintly put it.

      No it’s about being free of Westminster, controlling all levers of government, such as immigrant, defence etc. It’s about Scots making their own decisions, as to which direction the nation should take.

      I have immense respect for the good people of England, I greatly admire its architecture, St Pancras station hotel (by George Gilbert Scott) is a wonderful example. England has many beautiful works of art, museums, parks country house, the list is far to long for me to put up here.

      • fred

        “It’s about Scots making their own decisions, as to which direction the nation should take.”

        So how about they make the decision to stop subsidising the kids of rich Europeans and spend the money pulling some Scottish children out of poverty?

      • Habbabkuk

        RoS

        Your love of the “English people” is touching but you appear to forget that it is Westminster (aka the government) which subsidises Scotland.

        • Republicofscotland

          This exactly one of the reasons why independence is a must, to finally put myths like the above to bed for good.

        • JOML

          Habbabkuk, if Scotland is subsidised, it would be very easy for the Tories to let Scotland go. The big question is, why don’t they? Perhaps it is because they have information that they don’t share with us and that there is no subsidy. Eitherway, independence is about self determination and I believe it would be healthier if neighbouring countries are not joined at the ballot box.

      • michael norton

        RoS

        stop evading, you always answer, with yet more nonsense.
        If you don’t know the answers, just say you haven’t a clue.
        How will Scotland fund free university education, when Scotland if free of the ENGLISH YOKE?
        How will Scotland fund free prescriptions
        when Scotland if free of the ENGLISH YOKE?

        • Habbabkuk

          You are right – he can only evade. Never a straight answer. As dishonest as his SNP.

        • JOML

          I’d expect an independent Scotland to pay for public services through a combination of taxes and borrowing in the short term, with hopefully less borrowing in the longer term. I suspect this is the goal of any country, although borrowing here in the U.K. appears to be spiralling out of control.
          No doubt some people will say Scotland cannot do what many other newly independent countries have done many times before….. yawn…

        • Fence

          Michael,

          There is a very simple answer to your question of funding. If after 300 years of Union with England the Scottish are not in a viable economic position to pay their own way as you claim, then that Union has failed, is not fit for purpose and needs to end.

          A new, viable path is needed. Independence is that path.

          So which is it Michael, are the Scots wholly dependent on English charity or an equal partner and contributor to the Union you seem be shitting your pants over breaking up?

          Answer that.

        • AnonScot

          Who cares?
          Apart from you, who seems obsessed with Scottish affairs.
          Oh to be free of the NORTON JOKE

      • Loony

        You seem to be confusing Westminster with Washington. Scotland’s policy on immigration and defense is the policy that Washington instructs you to have. It is true that Washington uses Westminster as a conduit through which to transmit its orders.

        Washington has no intention of allowing Scotland to make its its own decisions as to which direction the nation should take. Therefore the only possible interest in Scottish nationalism is to foster anti-English sentiment. In this regard you are in luck as I am able to confirm that Washington does not care about either the English or the Scots and you free (even encouraged) to blame each other for all of your problems..

    • fred

      The rich get free prescriptions, the kids of wealthy Spanish lawyers get free tuition in Scottish universities but child poverty just rose 4% on last year.

      And all they can think about is another bloody referendum.

      • Republicofscotland

        Only narrow minded men like you would look at free education in that perspective. Solvenia has many free educational courses open to foreign students.

        Child poverty is of great concern throughout the UK not just Scotland, why don’t you take that point up with the unelected PM.

        Why shouldn’t the SNP give free prescriptions to the people? Isn’t it a government remit to help its people in any way it can?

        • fred

          In my opinion they should be helping poor children who need help not rich who don’t need tax payers money.

          You always make the same bullshit argument that things aren’t good in England either. Scotland has devolution, Scotland has the powers, Scotland should be standing up and accepting the responsibility instead of pointing the finger elsewhere while things go from bad to worse.

          • Republicofscotland

            “You always make the same bullshit argument that things aren’t good in England either. ”

            _______

            That’s because they are, and will get even worse after Brexit. Yet shallow minded men like you can’t get your fixation away from the SNP for five minutes to see that.

            Don’t you get it yet? We send all our money to Westminster, they inturn sent us back a bloc grant, a grant that has been cut year after year. We must have independence before the bloc grant reaches a critical stage, somewhere after we fall off the Brexit cliff.

            Bang! Bang! Hello!!!!! Is anybody there? I fear I’m wasting my time.

          • fred

            That’s why I was arguing against Brexit before the referendum why were you arguing for?

            The Scottish government has the money, it’s their choice if they spend it on the children of rich Spaniards or poor Scots.

            It’s easy enough to understand, no use pointing the finger at anyone or looking for someone to blame, that is the situation, plain and simple.

          • Republicofscotland

            So I take it with your lack of denial, that you are completely obsessed with the SNP. That you can’t take your mind away from them for more than five minutes.

            And I thought Craig’s comment to you on your morbid fixation with Sturgeon and the SNP was just banter.

    • JOML

      Michael, Holyrood has had a fixed budget and no borrowing powers when these decisions were made. Obviously, the money could have been spent elsewhere. You should direct your questions to your own MP, if you are unhappy with the choices / decisions they are making on your behalf.
      If you believe Scotland is getting more than their fair share, again you should contact your MP to get rid of these free loaders, to retain your taxes for your country.

  • lysias

    Senator Richard Burr, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, just said, “Based on the information available to us, we see no indications that Trump Tower was the subject of surveillance by any element of the United States government either before or after Election Day 2016.” http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-16/senate-intel-joins-house-no-indications-trump-tower-was-wiretapped

    Of course, if it was really GCHQ, that’s not an “element of the United States government”.

    I wonder if that’s why Burr phrased his denial in that way.

    • Habbabkuk

      Lysias

      Your “wondering” is – as so often – crap.

      Personally, I wonder why you’re always telling us what you wonder.

      Are you just one of those England-hating Irish-Americans?

      • michael norton

        I wonder id the S. N. P. are past their
        high-water-mark
        of popularity,
        I wonder if it is apparent that it is too thin, too little substance, too few answers to the real mess Scotland is in.

        Scotland is free to wonder off into the North Sea, the E.U. will not be your answer,
        you only have to look at Greece.

    • Habbabkuk

      I recall that just couple of days ago you “wondered” whether someone who’d contradicted you wasn’t “anti-Irish”.

      Very touchy-Irish under that US Navy officer (and so much other) skin! 🙂

    • Ben

      Let’s just sum it up without the window dressing…

      Trump is a prevaricating trollop lacking rudimentary humanistic qualities but excelling at lizard-brain gum-drop optimism. His hubris grows explosively in direct response to the spectre of his hamster hands groping for his own micro phallus.

      I think that was shorter…

    • Fence

      lysias,

      Nail on head. Out sourcing their surveillance to give a degree of separation so they can deny.

      Well spotted.

    • lysias

      White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer yesterday referred to the GCHQ accusation: Washington Post: Sean Spicer just suggested that Obama used British intelligence to spy on Trump. Not so much.:

      In his daily press briefing, White House press secretary Sean Spicer repeated a claim that President Barack Obama had used British spies to surveil President Trump.

      The last words of that headline, “Not so much”, are the Washington Post’s editorializing, not anything Spicer said.

  • michael norton

    Doctors want to end “free” prescriptions in SCOTLAND THE BRAVE
    THE S. N. P. faces renewed calls to scrap its flagship free prescription scheme after doctors warned it is placing a HUGE financial burden on the NHS.
    http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/650318/Doctors-end-free-prescriptions-Scotland

    What I find hard to understand is why do not the S. N. P. spell it out for the good people of Scotland, so they know how it will be, after you have freed yourself from the ENGLISH YOKE?

    • JOML

      The article you have linked to the Express includes several pop up ads for private health care. Is the English NHS really on its knees? That will be EVEL for you.

    • Kempe

      Ninety per cent of prescriptions in England and Wales are free anyway because the patient qualifies for some exemption or the other. In truth if NHS Scotland kept the same exemptions it wouldn’t make a huge amount of difference.

      • Republicofscotland

        Almost correct in reality in Scotland it would cost more to run the admin than the charges would bring in due to what you’ve already described.
        I have said that before in here, but no one wants to read the truth, it’s no sensational enough, for the decriers in here. ?

  • branches

    In 2014 Scotland voted to stay in the UK. A UK that was in the EU.

    In 2016 Scotland voted by a larger majority to stay in the EU.

    We didn’t vote in 2014 to stay in a UK that was out the EU.

    We didn’t vote to consent to have no veto in an EU referendum.

    Northern Ireland never voted to consent to be given no veto in an EU referendum.

    The United Kingdom was always an unfair mess. But at least when there was a residue of respect for Scotland from Westminster in post 1945 Britain and a shared experience of free health care then it worked after a fashion.

    When there was a residue of respect at Westminster for the post of Secretary of State for Scotland in pre-devolution days then the union worked after a fashion.

    When Thatcher damaged Scotland’s industrial base the union just held together because there was the struggle for devolution to give hope and also there was still that shared experience of free health care. Scotland also benefited from Europe.

    Now there is the prospect of being in a bleak UK. A City of London driven UK that is a European version of a tax haven. With privatised health care and low paid jobs. An immigrant despising UK. Where there is no residual respect at Westminster for Scotland’s democratic rights. Where Scotland is openly sneered at by a wealthy political class.

    All residents of Scotland who have the ability to be aware must now focus on the choice. An independent Scotland that makes it’s own decisions and continues with free health care in the tradition started by Nye Bevan. An outward looking green energy Scotland that is a valued member of the EU or at the very least a member of EFTA with single market access.

    Or Theresa May’s alternative for Scotland. An people exploited and disregarded in an undemocratic system.

    It’s become very clear this week.

    Only Scotland will decide if Scotland leaves the EU.

    Only Scotland will decide where we go as a nation from here.

    There is no middle course left open to us.

    • fwl

      The only way an independent post BREXIT Scotland could remain within the EU would be if it adduce a legal argument which meant it did not have to apply, or if it joined another member country eg became part of Ireland (!).

      • lysias

        Brilliant idea! Even though I have suggested on this forum the idea of a federation of Scotland, Northern Ireland, and the Republic of Ireland, It never occurred to me that this would be a way to keep Scotland in the EU.(I was thinking the fact that a federation included Scotland might be enough to make the idea acceptable to the Ulster Protestants), your idea just did not occur to me.

        • RobG

          You might even get the Welsh on board, since they are all essentially Celtic nations, which far pre-date the Anglo-Saxons.

          In historical terms, the Celts were the original inhabitants of the British Isles.

          And now we have a German-Greek royal family and a political class who are all totally in bed with the batshit crazies in Washington (ie, the English political class are all total traitors, as are the security services).

          • fred

            The last member of the royal family to be born in Germany was Prince Albert and he’s been dead over a hundred and fifty years.

            Don’t you think it’s racist to be still calling them German?

          • fwl

            Fred, place of birth is not everything when you have an ancient Saxon Wettin lineage. Consider the sad story of Charles Edward grandson of Queen Victoria and last reigning Duke of Saxe-Coburg & Gotha.

          • Zed

            “In historical terms, the Celts were the original inhabitants of the British Isles.”

            Ah, but..back in those same historical times, Scotland belonged to the Picts? Remember the Picts?

            As for the Scots:

            https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2012/aug/15/scotland-dna-study-project

            ‘Scotland, he told the Edinburgh international book festival, despite a long-held belief that its ethnic make-up was largely Scots, Celtic, Viking and Irish, was in fact “one of the most diverse nations on earth”.

            “The explanation is simple. We are a people on the edge of beyond; on the end of a massive continent. Peoples were migrating northwest; and they couldn’t get any further. We have collected them.”

            He and his colleagues have found West African, Arabian, south-east Asian and Siberian ancestry in Scotland. “The West African ancestry mostly originates in the 18th century, so it is almost certainly to do with the slave trade,” he said.’

            And of course, you conveniently “forget” that our “Islands” were originally the West coast of “Doggerland”

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

            HTH RobG

      • fwl

        Why would Scotland have to apply for membership?

        Would it be (a) because the UK had come out or (b) because the UK had split?

        If say Germany re-subdivided unto East and West but neither wished to leave the EU presumably neither would have to reapply.

        If so Scotland (if it should wish to be independent and I hope not) has a problem if it becomes independent after the UK leaves. I don’t know what effect A50 has in this context. It Scotland is independent at a date when its inhabitants are EU members how can the EU deny them? If it did then it would show that the EU is a facade for national interests and its welcoming of refugees would appear bizarre to the Scottish ie why them & not us.

        So the SNP have v little time.

        • MJ

          “independent at a date when its inhabitants are EU members”

          States are members of the EU, not individuals.

          • fwl

            Yes, that is why I posed the hypothetical eg of a country dividing within the EU without either part intending to leave. This could happen for example in Belgium and you can’t find a more European state than Belgium. Clearly Belgians are individually perceived as EU citizens. If Belgium splits and the EU says you are now Walloons or whatever and you are no longer EU citizens it would undermine its core philosophy of creating a federal Europe of Europeans. So too with Scotland. If Scotland becomes independent before the UK leaves then the Scottish have not left. If the EU rejects them it will have admitted that the EU has failed, and all its individual members should reflect on what it means.

            If Scotland declares independence without the agreement of England Wales and NI (ie Westminster) the EU could fudge and not recognise it.

            In reality.

    • Deepgreenpuddock

      Ruth Davidson as fm?
      A rotund (not so) mini-me for Ms. May. Really the references to ventriloquism and dummy apply more to that pair, for sure.

  • Sharp Ears

    Prince Harry attended this gathering today at King’s College.
    Veterans Mental Health Conference 2017

    Combat Stress @CombatStress 9 hours ago
    Our CEO @sjffour is debating the future of veterans’ mental health with @NHSEngland at today’s @kcmhr conf. #VMHC2017

    http://twitter.com/CombatStress/status/842347880409096192

    No Afghanis attended. Their mental stress acquired over years of being subjected to being bombed, seeing their relatives killed by missiles sent down from drones and they and their country otherwise destroyed is of nothing.

    Remember the mantra displayed on P Harry’s cap when he returned from the completion of his mission for his Gran.

    ‘We do bad things to bad people’.

    • fwl

      At least he committed. Not many politicians encourage their children to join up and perhaps it would be better if all defence secretaries’ children were conscripted.

    • RobG

      Good ole Prince Harry, in his helicopter, was firing depleted uranium munitions, which of course the presstitutes will never tell you.

      Uncle Sam and its poodles are also now using depleted uranium munitions in Syria, a country in which Uncle Sam & Co are taking military action totally against all international law (but don’t worry, you’ll get another ridiculous false flag ‘terrorist’ event sometime soon, just to make you go along with it all).

      For readers who are unfamiliar with depleted uranium munitions, search for “fallujah depleted uranium”.

      You probably won’t find much if you search on Google, et al, because you live in a police state.

      At the time of writing Duck Duck Go is a search engine that is still not compromised….

      https://duckduckgo.com/

      Also Yandex, which is a Russian search engine…

      https://www.yandex.com/

      What a totally corrupt shower the West has become when you have to go to a Russian search engine to try and find out what’s really going on!

      Cue the trolls/vermin who work for western ‘intelligence’ agencies, all on tax payer’s money, who will tell you that black is white and down is up.

      All of these scum are being carefully noted and will be held to account.

      • glenn_uk

        A “police state” that restricts google etc., but allows others – including this Russian search engine of yours? Odd police state that, wouldn’t you say?

        Anyway – about old Harry. Do you have evidence that he fired depleted uranium? And if firing them was the order he was given, should he have refused and faced a court martial? That might have been a bit dispiriting for the rest of the troops.

      • fwl

        I shall have a look at those search engines. I was making a simple point. After WWII most MPs knew how shitty war is because they had been there. If government wants to go to war they should be prepared to die in that war. I saw in the Times yesterday that Trump for all his professed oppo to the cia has handed them covert control of drone assassination. Obama had it with army so at least there could be some scrutiny. So I give Royal family some credit for not hiding in the drone control room.

        • Ben

          I love the smell of alt right racists who coddle the Trump. White supremacists love his orange ass.

          He refuses to bleach his ass..to his credit and humiliation..lol

        • michael norton

          Appologise to the Islamics.
          Looks like a right wing nutter from a family of right wing nutters.

      • Node

        probably Islamic, they will not give his name.

        I’ve read the link you posted and I conclude he was definitely NOT Islamic.

        …. but there again, I don’t have an agenda.

      • RobG

        None of it is ‘Islamic terrorism’.

        That’s all total bullshit.

        It’s just what you’re told, just like with the forthcoming French presidential election.

        Repeat: it’s all complete bullshit.

        We’ve just seen a far right candidate defeated in Holland, and I believe I’ve stated here numerous times who’s going to win the presidency in France.

        This is all against the backdrop of what’s happening in the United States. Most commentators, including those who were pro-Trump, are now all saying that there are only two scenarios: the total economic collapse of the USA or World War Three.

        This doesn’t bode well for the poodles.

        Which begs the question: why do you want to be a poodle?

      • RobG

        Not sure why you call France a ‘madhouse’.

        French workers are just standing up for their rights. Over the last year or so there have been massive protests. Hardly any of this has been reported by the western media.

        You lot in the USA and UK are the fecking egits, because you’ve allowed your employment rights to be decimated.

        These rights were hard fought for during the 20th century.

        And now, all pissed down the drain.

        “It’s the immigrants, innit!”

        How dumb can you get?

    • Anon1

      Would you prefer he did good things to bad people? Come to think of it, would you prefer that the 7th Century barbarism of the Taliban was given free reign over Afghanistan? I think you would.

      • Fence

        Wasn’t that the aim of the CIA and MI6 when they supported the Taliban for decades Anon1?

        • lysias

          I’m just now reading a new book that details Western support of the Taliban (and also Al Qaeda) in their early years: Christopher M. Davidson’s Shadow Wars: The Secret Struggle for the Middle East. It’s very informative, and tells me lots of things I had not been aware of.

  • branches

    In the 2015 election the SNP got three and a third times as many votes in Scotland as the Tories.

    Yet it’s May who thinks she has the right to deny Scotland a referendum.

    In Tsarist Russia a peremptory command from the Tsar that had the force of law was called a Ukase.

    Tsars of course weren’t elected. Theresa May hasn’t been elected into No 10. And like a Tsar thinks she can issue UK Ukases.

    • fred

      The Tories didn’t deny Scotland a referendum, Scotland had a referendum in 2014.

      Scotland voted to remain part of the UK.

      • branches

        You have no political philosophy Fred.

        You just relentlessly and tediously spout the same old slogans.

      • Anon1

        They’ll go on like this forever. Scotland demands…Scotland was denied…Scotland must have…Scotland was not…

        We’re all sick to death with it. They had their referendum and they voted to remain a part of the UK.

      • Sharp Ears

        It was as dire as usual. Blue Tory Rees Mogg. the treacherous red Tory Angela Eagle, pub chain owner and well known Brexiter Tim Martin, SNP MSP and opinionated Joanna Cherry and bringing up the rear Matthew Paris whose final contribution was to offer to pay for any NHS treatment because ‘I can afford it’. I am sure he can having toiled away for Murdoch for many years.

        The whole was transmitted from the theatre at Butlins, Bognor (how apt) was all about Brexit.

        Some entries from Wiki on this ex Tory MP.

        ‘On 8 July 2011, on Radio 4’s Any Questions, at the height of the furore surrounding the alleged illegal and corrupt activities of News of the World journalists, Parris eulogised the newspaper and gave an enthusiastic appreciation of what he considered the virtues and positive achievements of Rupert Murdoch.’

        ‘Parris owns homes in Spain, Derbyshire, and the Docklands in East London.’

        His civil partner is Julian Glover, a former speechwriter for Cameron. He scribbles in the Guardian occasionally.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_Parris

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08jmfd5 60mins iPlayer

        • Sharp Ears

          Nice little earner thanks to the BBC licence fee payers who lap the stuff up.

          TV company behind Question Time could sell for up to £300m
          Welsh-based international media firm Tinopolis is considered the UK’s last remaining truly independent television producer
          https://www.theguardian.com/media/2017/mar/15/question-time-bt-football-tinopolis-media-company-for-sale

          Their other contributions to the national fabric. Dire stuff. http://www.tinopolis.com/television/

        • Old Mark

          I thought the ‘opinionated Joanna Cherry’ as Sharp Ears calls her, handled a hostile southern English audience pretty well- until she was asked a question about the currency an independent Scotland would use, when she then went into heavy waffle mode.

          DeepGreenPuddock @08.49am today- spot-on cartoon portraits of Mrs May & Bojo; as a Brexiteer I do worry about the, at best, mediocre attributes of our present leaders, and their seemingly blase dismissal of an EFTA-lite option, as opposed to the hard Brexit they seem to be set upon. Madame May’s petulant refusal to consider an Indyref2 in late 2018/early 2019 also has the makings of an almighty clanger on her part.

  • Anon1

    Andrew Neil is on form tonight.

    “When Nicola Sturgeon said indyref was a once in a lifetime event, she meant a Glasgow lifetime. Which means she’s right on schedule.

  • giyane

    Brexit was a no-confidence vote in David Cameron. Why did an election winner take any notice of his loony racist right wing? If Jeremy Corbyn managed to unite his party, win an election and then hold a referendum on the agenda of his party’s loony right wing that wants to privatise the NHS, we’d kick him out too. I sincerely believe that the Brexit majority was a popular gut reaction against the Westminster political deception machine, just like the recent US election.

    Erdogan is a tin pot dictator, an Attaturk clone, whose extreme nationalism resembles Ukraine’s neo-nazis’. Nobody votes for Erdogan because they believe he is a Muslim or supports Islam. That is an extremely shallow political slogan, blatantly contradicted by his actions in supporting USUKIS Al Qaida and the IS IS. Turkey is a Muslim country. Do you really think the Turks are deceived by this joint of pork in crispy USUKIS crackling? Sadly, Zionists like Wilders and Boris and have to be blonde, these days.

    It is extremely likely that Jeremy Corbyn will deliver a 2020 victory for Labour , and that Nicola Sturgeon will win independence for Scotland in 2019, if the current revulsion for extreme political deception lasts. The idiots who govern us see universal spying as a means of exercising greater and greater control. They forget that we the people are human beings. We will not allow ourselves to be trussed up and devoured for Sunday lunch by a dominant class of super-wealthy citizens.

  • Dave

    The way to persuade Scotland to vote Remain is with another Royal visit to Dublin to help turn the ‘green’ vote Unionist as many are in Northern Ireland.

    • Laguerre

      You mean like the forthcoming charm offensive of William going to Paris, as reported yesterday? That’s likely to go down like a lead balloon.

      • Dave

        No another visit by Her Majesty is needed combined with an invite to re-join the Commonwealth.

  • fred

    5. THE GREENS’ COMMITMENT TO A SECOND INDYREF IS LUKEWARM.

    The Scottish Greens manifesto is clear that the party would campaign for a Yes vote in the event of a second referendum. It’s a lot more vague on actually bringing that second referendum about. The current stated policy is that a second vote would require a “citizens’ initiative”, taking the form of a petition comprising one million signatures, unless there was a counter-petition AGAINST a referendum with more.

    http://wingsoverscotland.com/five-hard-facts-about-the-election/

    Considering there is no petition for a second referendum and that there is a petition against another referendum which has received a remarkable number of signatures in a short time wouldn’t the Greens backing another referendum be blatant abandoning of their manifesto commitments? Could we ever believe them again?

    • branches

      You’re just blustering, trying to distract attention from Madame May’s Great Democracy Heist.

      • fred

        If the Greens vote with the SNP for a second referendum they will be breaking a manifesto promise.

        Strange how when the Conservatives try to raise NI contributions manifesto promises are important but when the Greens do it they suddenly don’t matter.

        • branches

          The manifesto you refer to was drawn up by the Scottish Greens just over a year after indyref1 and before the EU referendum result meant Scotland is being told it has to brexit against our democratic wish. So we’re in very different territory to when that manifesto was written.

          What’s even more important about that manifesto’s statement about a second indyref is that is actually not a pledge but a statement of the party’s position. The Greens say that citizens should be able to trigger a referendum through a petition. Then comes the important bit ” …this is the Scottish Greens’ preferred way of deciding to hold second referendum on Independence”.

          The phrase “preferred way” implies that the party would possibly be amenable to another way of triggering a second referendum.

          As I said fred, you are taking a statement by a party about it’s position on a matter and making it out to be a cast iron manifesto pledge.

          • fred

            Obviously the Green party misled voters before the election.

            At the time of the last election everyone knew there was likely to be a referendum on Europe and that Leave could win so nothing has changed.

            The Greens should stick by what they said in their manifesto.

          • branches

            It’s a refreshing change at least fred that you’re fixating about a political party other than the SNP.

    • michael norton

      The U.S.A. said it had carried out an air strike, killing several al-Qaeda militants, but had not hit a mosque.

      The U.S.A. military originally said the strike had taken place in neighbouring Idlib province, but later “clarified” that the precise location was unclear.
      ——
      “Not sure I would characterize that as a clarification”
      ——
      “We did not target a mosque, but the building that we did target – which was where the meeting [of militants] took place – is about 50ft (15m) from a mosque that is still standing,” spokesman Col John J Thomas said.

      The UK-based observatory, which relays information from sources on the ground, said the al-Jineh mosque had been packed with worshippers for evening prayers.

      The village lies in one of the main rebel-held regions of Syria.
      —–
      I am unsure why The Americans are bombing Syria, the Syrian Government had not invited them, therefore it is tantamount to war.
      I had thought that The Scottish Donald wanted to withdraw from The Middle East to concentrate on making America great, again?

      For the last four months or so, you could be forgiven for thinking the Americans were bombing the people that they had known as
      “The Moderates”

      • michael norton

        Off Topic

        things seem to be gathering pace in SYRIA.

        ISRA*LI military confirms jet strikes on several targets in Syria
        http://www.france24.com/en/20170317-israel-syria-airstrikes-jets-arrow-missile-civil-war
        Overnight Thursday, Syria and Israel engaged in the most serious incident between the two countries since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war six years ago, as Israeli Air Force Planes struck several targets in Syria.

        In response, the Assad regime deployed air defense systems and fired a number of missiles toward Israeli jets. None of the missiles struck the jets, though one of the projectiles was intercepted by Israel’s “Arrow” missile defense system north of Jerusalem.

        The Israeli army said the rocket fired toward Israel was not among Syria’s most advanced and the incident was the first confirmed instance of operational use of the Arrow system – meant to challenge the threat of ballistic missiles – despite being first delivered to the army in the late 90s.

  • Alcyone

    This is funny! Assange interviewed in English, documented in Spanish, translated presumably into Swedish, all on a 4-month slow-boat to China:

    “Swedish prosecutors have received a translation of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s interrogation four months after he was questioned on a rape allegation.
    The 45-year-old founder of the secret-spilling website has been at the Ecuadoran embassy in London since 2012, having taken refuge to avoid being sent to Sweden where he faces a rape allegation.

    He fears Sweden would extradite him to the United States over his website’s leaking of diplomatic cables and other classified documents.

    The Australian was questioned at the embassy on November 14th and 15th on the rape allegation which dates back to August 2010.

    Assange has denied the accusation brought by a Swedish woman.

    The Swedish prosecutor’s office said in a statement that a report, prepared by Ecuadoran prosecutors, on the interrogation, was translated and is “now almost finished”.

    They declined to reveal the next legal steps to be taken in the case.”
    https://www.thelocal.se/20170315/julian-assange-report-translated-for-swedish-prosecutors

    • Loony

      Isn’t it funny that when discussing the case of Julian Assange somehow Sweden manages to avoid scrutiny and no-one seems to notice that Sweden is now essentially one gigantic lunatic asylum.

      Anyone interested in how German society morphed from one of the most cultured and civilized societies on earth into the Nazi war machine would be well advised to look at modern day Sweden where a re-run of society wide insanity is well under way.

      Sweden – a country that wants to be a “humanitarian superpower” and yet produces more weapons on a per capita basis than any other country on earth.

      Sweden – a country that proclaims itself to have the worlds first “feminist government” – and turns blind eye to the rape and murder of its own female citizens, whilst government representatives bow down before Iranian theologians..

      Sweden – a land of all encompassing insanity.

      All civilized persons should shun Sweden and have nothing to do with it whatsoever.

  • michael norton

    What does BP know about The North Sea, they seem to be getting rid of everything, at breakneck speed?
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-39303392
    BP has confirmed it is in talks with chemicals group Ineos over the sale of the North Sea’s largest oil pipeline.

    The Forties Pipeline System (FPS) transports about 450,000 barrels of oil per day on average – about 40% of UK production.

    The pipeline is one of the oldest in the sector, having started operating in the Forties field in 1975.

    BP did not give further details about the discussions with Ineos, citing commercial confidentiality.

    In a statement, the oil giant said: “BP can confirm it is in discussions with Ineos regarding a potential sale of the Forties Pipeline System.

    “We remain committed to communicating openly with staff and our stakeholders as soon as we are able, and as commercial confidentialities allow, if any deal is confirmed or agreed.”

    The FPS system comprises about 100 miles of offshore pipeline from the unmanned offshore Forties Unity platform to an onshore terminal at Cruden Bay.

    From there it transports oil about 130 miles south to the Kinneil facilities, which are adjacent to the Ineos-owned Grangemouth refinery and chemical plant.

    Oil is processed and stabilised there before it is sent either for export via the Dalmeny terminal and Hound Point loading jetty or on to Grangemouth.

    About 300 BP staff operate and support the FPS business.

    • Loony

      Did you know that Ineos is owned by one Jim Ratcliffe a man estimated to have a net worth of $9 billion. For tax purposes Jim is based in Switzerland.

      Jim tends to acquire businesses where he believes it is possible to double earnings over a 5 year period. Ordinarily this involves some cuts to employees aggregate remuneration. This type of MO needs to viewed alongside the fact that any profits he makes arise, for tax purposes, in Switzerland.

      All in all should be good news for the SNP and their belief that Scotland can be a thriving independent country – with a low(er) wage economy and an offshore owner. If only the SNP were in charge of the Scottish government I am sure they would do something about this.

  • Doug Scorgie

    lysias
    March 15, 2017 at 18:12
    Looks like the surveillance on Trump and his people may have been done by GCHQ. Intelligence Sources Reveal: Obama Used British Agents For Trump Wire Tap Surveillance.
    …………………………………………………………………………..

    Yes Lysias:
    A GCHQ spokesman said: “Recent allegations made by media commentator Judge Andrew Napolitano about GCHQ being asked to conduct ‘wiretapping’ against the then president-elect are nonsense.”
    “They are utterly ridiculous and should be ignored.”
    …………………………………….

    As they say: Never believe anything until it has been officially denied.

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