Why is Melanie Phillips Mainstream Acceptable? 802

I have often pointed to Melanie Phillips to illustrate the fact that while left wing radical thought is excluded from mainstream media, you can be as completely mad, raving off the wall right wing as you wish, and yet still get invited onto every BBC panel or discussion series in existence. She still justifies the Iraq War. She thought Saddam did indeed have those WMDs and they were hidden in secret underground chambers underneath the Euphrates.

Less harmlessly, Phillips employs hate speech and was praised by Anders Breivik. Sweeping anti-Muslim Phrases such as “the Islamic enemies of civilisation” come easily to her. I was appalled by this particular example of Phillips’ hate speech four years ago. You can see how Breivik found her inspiring:

Romney lost because, like Britain’s Conservative Party, the Republicans just don’t understand that America and the west are being consumed by a culture war. In their cowardice and moral confusion, they all attempt to appease the enemies within. And from without, the Islamic enemies of civilisation stand poised to occupy the void.
With the re-election of Obama, America now threatens to lead the west into a terrifying darkness.

I called this out at the time as incitement to religious hatred. Interestingly enough it has now disappeared from Phillips’ own website: http://melaniephillips.com/america-goes-into-the-darkness. But you can’t hide your disgrace on the internet.

Today Phillips spreads the hatred still wider by telling us the Scots and the Irish are not real nations. Only Britain is an authentic nation (behind the Times paywall). Scottish nationalism, she states, is based purely on romance and a hatred of the English. As for Ireland:

The truth is that a large majority of the states in the world achieved independence after 1922. Even if you pretend an Irish nation did not exist until 1922, that still makes it one of the world’s older states. In fact of course Ireland, like most other states, re-emerged into independence following colonial dominance. Nationality is a human construct, not a fact of physics or geography – there never was a state before colonialism with the precise boundaries of India or Nigeria or almost any post-colonial state you can name. But there were autonomous peoples. And very few would describe them as not a nation now.

Even old states change their boundaries from time to time. Norman Davies has a beautiful phrase about Poland emerging again and again into statehood through the mists of history, but never in the same place twice. Yet despite radical boundary changes and having had political autonomy for only 50 of the last 250 years, nobody doubts Poland is a nation state. Nobody doubts Ireland is a nation state either, except Mad Mel. As for Scotland, not only was it a full nation state for hundreds of years until it entered into a voluntary union, it is possible to trace distinct political and cultural expressions of popular nationhood.

Phillips’ hate-filled opinions would be her own affair, were she not given such powerful platforms from which to expound them. I return to where I started. Phillips is evidence you cannot be too right wing for a media platform in the UK, even if you propound actual religious hate. By comparison, nobody as left wing as Phillips is right would ever be given airtime on the BBC or a column in The Times.

802 thoughts on “Why is Melanie Phillips Mainstream Acceptable?

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  • Habbabkuk

    I really wish there were a few younger people commenting on here, even if only occasionally.

    Listening to middle-aged people or people past retirement age all the time is not very inspiring but I understand why, on the whole, they are more negative and disaffected than younger people.

    It must be hard to be positive and optimistic when you know that time’s flying by.

    • Zed

      Maybe the Easter Bunny will grant you your wishes, but it’s very unlikely, because he just doesn’t exist. As for time, it only flies by when you’re having fun; everybody knows that, so I guess that in the world of a wailing prophet, or a Weeping Angel, time must really drag. You have my sincere condolences.

    • Anon1

      Well I am 32, so probably younger than most.

      In any free and democratic society you are always going to get losers. Most just accept it and deal with it, make the best of it. Some decide that it is the whole ‘system’, or their country, or ‘the West’ that is at fault for the sad state they find themselves in.

      The left are really just a bunch of sad losers who want to make the rest of us pay for the fact that they couldn’t get along in life. If they can claim that the whole system is corrupt then it helps ease the pain they feel at having failed.

      • Zed

        I guess what you are saying is that Habbabkuk just couldn’t get along with his parents? Poor Habbabkuk! My heart just bleeds for him. Now my Grandad was the heart and soul of any party, which, apart from the time theory which we already touched on, proves Habbabkuk completely wrong.

        • Habbabkuk


          Don’t obsess about me, it’s unhealthy. Become one of the lads and obsess about what they ovsess about (there’s lots of choice!).

          Anyway, what’s all this about my “hatred” of old people (22h24)?

          Not sure how you could read that out of my (deleted) observation, which seems to have been rather accurate given the general lack of contradiction and your own silly little attempts to divert 🙂

          I was just wondering why there are no young or youngish chaps and chappesses amoung the vocifierous regulars aka the Eminences.

      • glenn_uk

        Sorry Anon1, but that’s utter BS (after the declaration of your age, giving you the probably unwise benefit of the doubt).

        You seem to have decided that Lefties are all losers, and thus complaining about what’s probably their inadequacy, on account of our being in a democracy which obviously addresses any and all legitimate concerns.

        It seems yours is a “Libertarian” outlook, which supposed a fantasy land where opportunity is equal for all.

        The entire “Libertarian” setup was a cynical hoax formed by the Bircher Society in the 1950s, I assume you’re aware of that. It’s only purpose is to dupe the young into supporting policies favouring crony-capitalists.

        As to your specific charge that “The left are really just a bunch of sad losers”, that really is a rather childish statement. I was going to show some examples, and attempt some discussion, but what’s the point, when dealing with such a low integrity debatee?

        • John

          The entire “Libertarian” setup was a cynical hoax formed by the Bircher Society in the 1950s, I assume you’re aware of that. It’s only purpose is to dupe the young into supporting policies favouring crony-capitalists.

          Tish and piffle. The origin of the term may be as you describe, but restricting “it’s (sic) only purpose” nowadays to be as you suggest is laughable.

  • Tom

    It is allowed because our media is largely run by the CIA/NATO, whose policy to stir up trouble against Muslims. Phillips is just doing what the piper demands – if people blame Muslims or the EU, they won’t look to their own government or its American masters. I’ve never understood why anyone believes the phony patriotism of people like Phillips when they clearly despise, for one reason or another, most of the peoples of Britain. Perhaps, after all, Brexit will be the kind of wake-up call that so many still seem to need.

    • giyane

      We know from Craig that Russia did not interfere in the US election. Therefore the BBC has to produce false supporters of that false propaganda in order to set the lie in stone in our minds. Commonsense informs us that the BBC is a misinformation outfit for government lies. CIA and NATO appear to want Islam to be taken over by militancy, same as they wanted Ireland to be taken over by militancy. People consistently vote both for and against militancy, so the purpose of UK government policy is purely to divide and rule.

      Melanie Phillips and her sister loony Theresa May are walking weather fronts. Into each life some rain gonna fall, but too much been falling in mine. What we need is politicians who reconcile.

      • Bob Apposite

        “We know from Craig that Russia did not interfere in the US election. ”

        You assume 1. that Craig actually knows, and 2. that he’s reliable (not a useful idiot).

        • Bob Apposite

          What, pray tell, is Craig’s actual expertise in deciding matters of foreign influence on election that makes him an “authority” on this matter?

          • Bob Apposite

            “CIA and NATO appear to want Islam to be taken over by militancy”

            Really? You mean it’s NOT the people telling us that Islam is an inherently violent religion? (Republicans)

          • Bob Apposite

            Craig has never disclosed any details as to what he claims he “knows” about the DNC hack.

            But what’s “public knowledge” to Americans is a curious mess.

            Craig Murray says he met a “DNC insider” in a park and received materials. Murray reveals nothing about this individual other than a blind assurance that he’s definitely not-in-any-way-connected-to-Russia. LOL. Take his word for it, apparently.

            Now, there’s an alternative claim out there as well. John Podesta claims it was, instead, a hack – and points to a fishing email that exposed the information through his supposed negligence.

            Additional wrinkle – John Podesta’s brother – Tony Podesta – is actually compromised by Russia & ex-Ukrainian President-in-Exile. So the Podesta-accident-story isn’t even a solid story.

            So which story do we like?
            This mysterious hand-off in a park?
            Or a hack?
            Or both?
            Or neither?
            Frankly, at-the-end-of-the-day we know NOTHING concrete about the DNC hack.

            Plus, it was only one of 2 hacks.
            The OTHER hack -> the Hillary SERVER – the NSA said was Russia.


  • RobG

    I have no interest in a popularity contest, so I will say that I’m absolutely gobsmacked with the lack of reaction to Wikileak’s Vault 7 this week.

    What is the matter with you people?! Do you now accept totally illegal mass surveillance as a part of your life?! Are you that fecking stupid that you’ll allow these vermin to get away with this?! Incredible. Repeat: incredible.

    Incidentally, I’m still of the opinion that the CIA took out Julian Assange and Wikileaks last October, just as the Podesta e-mails started showing signs that high level paedophilia was taking place in Washington DC. A promised third release of the Podesta e-mails never came. Julian Assange was not seen or heard of for two months. Likewise with other high level members of Wikileaks. There were lots of other things that went on at the time which suggested that Wikileaks had become compromised. A good indication of this is the reaction of the presstitues. Last October, when the Podesta e-mail releases started showing signs of high level paedophilia, the presstitutes bent over backwards to discredit the e-mails and Wikileaks, calling it ‘fake news’. With the release on Tuesday of the Vault 7 documents the presstitutes have given it wide coverage. No cries of ‘fake news’ this time. They’re easing you into accepting 24 hour mass surveillance of everything you do.

    It’s unbelievable stuff, that the public are accepting. All the vermin in power have to do is create another false flag now and again, to keep you all trembling in your boots. The twerrorists are coming to get us! Da, Da, Dah!

    I give up and am going to bed.

      • giyane

        Anon 1
        Seriously , you are too young @ 32 to be as straight as you pretend to be on this blog. If I was you I would consult a medic. If you’re this straight now what are you going to be like when you get to retirement age? Fawlty Towers?

        • Ba'al Zevul

          He’s a rebel, Giyane. Against his dope-crazed promiscuous Commie hippy parents. If he has kids they’ll be great because they’ll rebel right back. Safe bet.

    • glenn_uk

      Well why are YOU letting them get away with it, RobG? What are you doing, apart from sitting back and berating us about it?

      • giyane

        Glenn_uk. to quote Milton and Meat Loaf in one sentence:

        They also serve who only stand and wait …I don’t remember if it was a Telecaster or a Stratocaster,
        but I do remember that it wasn’t at all easy.
        It required the perfect combination of the correct power chords,
        and the precise angle from which to strike.
        The guitar bled for a week afterward and the blood was – ooh –
        dark and rich like wild berries.
        The blood of the guitar was Chuck Berry red.
        The guitar bled for about a week afterward but it rung out beautifully,
        and I was able to play notes that I had never even heard before.
        So, I took my guitar and I smashed it against the wall,
        I smashed it against the floor,
        I smashed it against the body of a varsity cheerleader,
        I smashed it against the hood of a car,
        I smashed it against a 1981 Harley Davidson.
        The Harley howled in pain.
        The guitar howled in heat.
        And I ran up the stairs to my parents’ bedroom.
        Mommy and Daddy were sleeping in the moonlight.
        Slowly I opened the door, creeping in the shadows,
        right up to the foot of their bed.
        I raised the guitar high above my head,
        and just as I was about to bring the guitar crashing down upon the centre of the bed,
        my father woke up screaming:
        “Stop! Wait a minute! Stop it boy! What do you think you’re doing?
        That’s no way to treat an expensive musical instrument!”
        And I said “God dammit Daddy! You know I love you,
        but you’ve got a hell of a lot to learn about rock and roll!”

        • glenn_uk

          Wasn’t that from “Stark Raving Love” on the album Jim Steinman wrote and performed in, because Meat Loaf’s voice wasn’t too good at the time? “Bad for good”, if I recall. Damn, that takes me back… way before 32, of course.

          No, at that age I was heavily into sex, drugs & rock&roll – plus motorcycles of course.

          Wouldn’t have occurred to me to go hanging around blogs where I didn’t respect the view of the blog owner at all.

          Nor to visit support groups for causes I had no sympathy with, in order to disapprove of the members.

          So I suppose Anon1 is a rare exception to the excesses of youth! No wonder he’s such a breath of fresh air around here! 😉

          • Ba'al Zevul

            I like the implied distinction between Meatloaf and rock and roll there. Always, and still, a biker, I could never admit my admiration for these (expletive) Mods…


            Things they do look awful c-c-cold (Talkin’ ’bout my generation)
            Yeah, I hope I die before I get old (Talkin’ ’bout my generation)

            Then as now. Though care of the elderly was rather better then.

          • Zed

            I started off as a Mod and then became a biker because those pesky Lambrettas kept blowing up on me. ROFL Happiness is a Suzuki Bandit 🙂

          • glenn_uk

            My Yamaha RD-series (250, 350-YPVS) kept blowing up on me too, and I was never a Mod! (Although I liked some of their music)

            Never had a Bandit, although I found the GSX650F pretty good (which is a tarted up Bandit). Got a GSXR600 now which – as Ba’al will testify – indicates maturity, refinement and sophistication. Most bikers will sagely nod at this wisdom.

          • Ba'al Zevul

            That YPVS could move pretty rapidly between engine seal changes though, couldn’t it? Wouldn’t know about the wisdom and maturity at all. My SV1000S doesn’t quite cut it for those qualities, but I love the handling.

    • Loony

      The pedophilia story is one that will not go away and one that will not appear in the media.

      Since the inauguration of President Trump US law enforcement has arrested some 1,500 people on child sex trafficking charges. This compares with an annual rate of arrest on similar charges of 400 under the Obama regime.

      • Zed

        Still spreading hate Norton? No surprise there eh?

        Now what about those pie makers that you are putting out of work with your prejudices/

        • glenn_uk

          The Nazis used to compile lists of Die Verbrechen an den Juden, in order to amplify the supposed threat that J3ws represented.

          These lists were published regularly, and enthusiastically gathered and passed on by Good Germans.

          Why, Norton is just carrying on these fine traditions!

          • lysias

            I’m not a native speaker, but I believe “Verbrechen an den Juden” would mean “crimes committed against the Jews”, as opposed to “Verbrechen der Juden,” which would mean “crimes of the Jews”.

          • glenn_uk

            Appreciate the correction, Lysias – I’m by no stretch fluent in German. But I do recognise the language of Nazis as spoken most eloquently (at least to the masses!) by the likes of The Express, and people who like to compile lists of crimes of Jews, sorry, Muslims, sorry, _undesirables_ very well.

    • michael norton

      The arse is dropping out of The North Sea, just today it has dropped by 5% in value.

      • Zed

        Don’t tell us that you are stupid enough to still own shares in the North Sea? The boom-time is over; only Craig and RoS still believe that there are any viable North Sea reserves left. Have you tried consulting a geologist?

      • Zed

        Hey Norton, just for you, some geologists:


        “The United States is perhaps the most vulnerable to the coming crisis having farther to fall after the boom years, which themselves were largely driven by foreign debt and inward investment. The growing shortfall in oil supply since its own peak of production was made good by soaring oil imports, now contributing more than half its needs, and a move to gas. The rate of import cannot, however, be maintained as other countries pass their own production peaks, putting ever more pressure on the Middle East. The North Sea is now at peak, with the UK being off 7% in 2000 and 16% off October to October, meaning that production is set to fall by one-half in ten years. For every barrel imported into the United States, there will be one less left for anyone else, a situation inevitably leading to international tensions.
        The move to gas proved to be only a short-lived palliative. Gas depletes differently from oil. An uncontrolled gas well would blow it all away in one big puff. Production is, accordingly, capped by infrastructure and market, leaving a large, unseen balloon of readily available spare capacity. In a privatized market, trading on a daily basis, production becomes cheaper and cheaper as the original costs are written off and as this almost free spare capacity is drawn down. There were no market signals of the approach of the cliff at the end of the plateau. It accordingly came without warning, causing prices to surge through the roof, and bringing power blackouts to California. Canada is trying to make good the shortfall, but its stocks are falling fast too.
        The US has to somehow find a way to cut its demand by at least five percent a year. It won’t be easy, but as the octogenarian said of old age “the alternative is even worse”. Europe faces the same predicament as North Sea production plummets. Although it may draw on gas from Russia, North Africa and the Middle East to see it over the transition, assuming that new pipelines can be built in time, that creates a new and unwelcome geopolitical dependency.
        All of this is so incredibly obvious, being clearly revealed by even the simplest analysis of discovery and production trends. The inexplicable part is our great reluctance to look reality in the face and at least make some plans for what promises to be one of the greatest economic and political discontinuities of all time. Time is of the essence. It is later than you think.
        –Colin J. Campbell; “Peak Oil: A Turning for Mankind”

    • Republicofscotland


      32 years old hmm… I thought you’d be much younger than that. Some of your outlandish posts could quite easily be attributed, to say, a spotty young squaddie trying to impress.

      Ah yes the OBR, set up by probably the worst chancellor in living memory George Osborne, to massage the figures to fit the agenda, enough said I think.

      • Ba'al Zevul

        I think that’s deeply derogatory of spotty young squaddies. If there were a draft, your man would be evading it.

    • JOML

      Anon1 – your observations on the SNP’s oil predictions would only be interesting if these predictions differed greatly from Westminsters, which they didn’t. Westminster’s supporters aren’t saying, ‘I told you so’, they leave it to others to tell the SNP they predicted incorrectly, while no spotlight is put on Westminster’s predictions by unionists.

  • Kerch'ee Kerch'ee Coup

    Even after studying geology as a branch of geography and in the field, I have never been convinced that the fossil origin theory (biogenic) fully explains oil and gas formations . There seems to be a case for the abiogenic origin of oil and gas ,which would explain instances of the repletion of some dry wells.
    In referebnce to Scottish oil (proven reserves valued still at only $8 a barre)l, I would only say, pace the Scot Nats 1970 poster:”England Expects Scotland’s Oil”, that as with that of Burma and Persia,she was not disappointed and blew the lot.

    • Ba'al Zevul

      Christ. Another one. Tell you what, why not do carbon isotopes on some recharged oil and tell us what you find? A paper is the traditional way of conveying your earth -shattering conclusions to an amazed world.

      In any case, it makes no difference whether your magic oil exists: if we keep on burning it, we’re fucked.

      Now bugger off back to Exxon.

  • kingfelix

    There’s a state that only came into existence in 1948 that Melanie Phillips has no problems accepting as genuine.

    • Habbabkuk

      You sound somewhat indignant. Do you yourself have any problem with accepting the State of israel as genuine?

      • Ba'al Zevul

        I thought he sounded pretty dispassionate, personally. What’s your definition of genuine, in this context?

        • Habbabkuk

          Shouldn’t you be asking kingfelix for his definition of “genuine” since it was he who first used the word?

          • Habbabkuk

            Go where reason takes you – ask him! You know it’s the right thing to do.

          • Ba'al Zevul

            That would be unexplored territory for you. But I am already there. So you have no definition with which to compare Kingfelix’s?

          • kingfelix

            Genuine might perhaps be better as ‘legitimate’, but either word, when applied to Israel, is problematic. Ireland’s claim to nationhood does not involve cleansing a territory of its current, long-standing inhabitants, after all (while, for Unionists, discovering parallels between their predicament and that of the Palestinians would be anathema).

            Israel I would bracket with other settler colonialist enterprises, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the US, the only problem being for Israel is that they were very late to the party, and seem to believe that you can still do in the 21st century what was done in the 16th.

          • Habbabkuk

            Thanks, kingfelix.

            I somehow suspected that “legitimate” was the word you had in mind when you posted.

            So you belong to the “Israel is an illegitimate state” brigade, eh? As a toiler in the “Israel has no right to exist” vineyard you have found just the right blog for you.


            BTW, re your ” cleansing a territory of its current, long-standing inhabitants”, about one quarter of the citizens of the State of Israel (1967 boundaries) are Palestinian Muslims and Christians. Some ethnic cleansing there!

            And you are a full century out in your second para……


            NITE to BA’AL :- there you go, a definition of “genuine”. He might join you for a long hiss outside your local synagogue if you ask him nicely!

      • Republicofscotland

        “accepting the State of israel as genuine?”



        Don’t you really mean, by the above sentence, accepting Israel is in a genuine state? Dyslexia is a common difficulty. ?

        • Habbabkuk

          Complaints about dyslexia (BTW, tut! tut! I thought the SNP was supposed to be inclusive?) should be addressed to “kingfelix”, who wrote in the wee hours (04h31) :

          “There’s a state….that Melanie Phillips has no problems accepting as genuine”.

  • Habbabkuk


    “Well I am 32, so probably younger than most. ”


    That certainly means you’re a lot younger than the Eminences of this blog (but you’ll have noticed that I find you an eminent commenter but certainly not an Eminence).

    My point about the age of the Eminences stands though, doesn’t it. – the lack of any denial from them is indicative.

    What remains unanswered – directly or indirectly – is why the Eminences do not include any young people.

    Where, oh where, are the Mhairi Blacks of this blog….?

      • Old Mark

        I’d hazard a guess that over 90% of those commenting here are within 15 years either way of our host in age terms ie 43-73. The music links to youtube volunteered by regular commenters (including me) are a bit of a giveaway- hardly any of the links are to music post 1990.

        So Anon1 you are a bit of an outlier both in age terms and in where you stand politically and so, if there really is ‘strength in diversity’ your contributions here should be welcomed and not derided.

        • Ba'al Zevul

          With all respect, I don’t get the impression Anon believes in diversity, so he remains an irrelevance.

          • Habbabkuk


            You have posted quite a bit of common sense lately (eg on Putin’s useful idiots) and that deserves recognition. However, against that, one must observe that your former “Zeus on Mount Olympus” persona seems to be making a comeback. For example, I should not say that Anon1 is any more irrelevant than any of the more serious Eminences – including you.
            To borrow an expression you used recently : we are all pixels.

    • Dave Price

      This site’s rudimentary nature does not include a facility to review comments sorted by contributor. I have no intention of trawling back through pages and pages of comments to find out what personal details you have volunteered about yourself, so I’ll take a wild guess: none.

      • Dave Price

        Apologies Ba’al Zevul, I should have refreshed the page. My comment meant for Habbabkuk of course. I enjoyed your first comment, by the way.

    • D-Majestic

      H.-who cares a Flying-er-squirrel for whom you consider to be an Eminence or not? Who elected you as King? Are you the King Arthur of ‘Holy Grail’ fame? Do you look like Graham Chapman? I thought we were living in an anarcho-syndicalist commune. Lol.

    • Zed

      I can understand why you chose the name of a wailing prophet: whine, whine, whine.You remind me of somebodies ex-wife.

  • michael norton

    Crude still dropping this morning, yet another 1 1/2% since midnight.
    The game is afoot.

  • Habbabkuk

    Curious how my observation about the age of the commenting Eminences appears to have touched a raw nerve or two.

    No denials or rebuttals though. 🙂

    • Ba'al Zevul

      Curious how Habba spams sensitive topics such as the revolting Melanie Phillips. Even he cannot defend her excesses, so he diverts.

      Melanie Phillips is 104.

      • nevermind

        Enjoyed your casual interchange Ba’al, but 104 is calling it.
        She will deny that, its a woman’s prerogative, so lets be nice in response to her being allowed to foul the airways, she is ‘nearly 104’, so there…..

        After digging a few square meters of garden and setting some onions this glorious morning in the hottest year on record, (just wait for the announcement at the end of the year) I’m glad that I’m not a news junky who thinks every nasty news has to be amplified here.

      • snowdrops

        Ba’al Zevul

        “Melanie Phillips is 104”.

        That can’t be a reference to her IQ. Seeing as 100 is average.

    • Dave Price

      ‘Raw nerve’, Habbs? We’ve simply pointed out the inconsistencies in your ‘argument’ (Ba’al Zevul most entertainingly). Don’t be under any illusion we’d bother doing this if it wasn’t enjoyable.

      But that’s enough about us, tell us something about you.

      • Sharp Ears

        That will never happen. 🙂

        Eternally curious about the rest of us of course. I reckon files are being kept on us.

        • Bhante

          Sharp Ears March 9, 2017 at 13:01
          “I reckon files are being kept on us.”

          A relational database of course! Instantly crossreference-able by contributor, topic, date, timezone, political viewpoint, contribution history, personal biography, keywords, etc.

          He frequently exposes the ready access to this information through the detailed information he frequently gives on a person’s past contributions – information that would often be very tedious to search out for the rest of us! Sometimes there are complaints in the comments about lack of a search facility – for Habs and Co that is no problem, because they have the whole lot in their database with instant access according to any imaginable criteria. With three keypresses he can find out how many times you have mentioned ketchup in the last three weeks, with links to the relevant posts.

        • Laguerre

          “I reckon files are being kept on us.”

          It is not a question of reckoning. It is certainly the case that files are being kept on each of us. No-one else can pull out minute details on other commenters which they carelessly revealed months ago. It is really creepy. As to why we are being treated in this STASI-like way, is of course hard to say, though one can speculate.

    • snowdrops

      If the SNP have had a decade of failure why are they still so far ahead of other parties in opinion polls?

      • fred

        Because they keep the referendum carrot dangled in front of the nationalist donkeys noses.

        • JOML

          Fred, I thought “Scotland doesn’t want another referendum”? You better watch out that these “donkeys” don’t outnumber those with better wisdom, judgement and knowledge, like yourself and Ruth ‘I’m a celebrity, get me in there’ Davidson.

    • Soothmoother

      We had Robert The Bruce to inspire us. If at first you don’t succeed, have another referendum.

      • snowdrops

        If at first you didn’t get enough plunder from your British Empire, have another one. Empire 2.0

  • snowdrops

    New STV/Ipsos Mori poll has independence at 50%. Up 2% from last time by the same pollsters.

    Looks like the unionist misinformation campaign ain’t working.

      • Republicofscotland

        Oh that’s not too bad, I think support was in the mid- twenties at the beginning of 2014, and with the economic apocalypse that is Brexit, just around the corner, who knows what twists and turns, could yet take place, if Sturgeon fires the starting pistol on the next indyref.

        Add in the austerity-max touted by the media in some quarters, regarding the Autumn budget/statement by Hammond, and opinions could quickly change.


        • michael norton

          Holyrood row over ‘bogus’ oil claims in 2014 campaign

          50 minutes ago
          From the section Scotland politics

          Ministry of Truth

          Scotland’s politicians have clashed over the economic case for independence.

          Opposition leaders said new oil revenue figures had shown that the prospectus put forward in 2014 was “bogus”.

          • Republicofscotland

            “Scotland’s politicians have clashed over the economic case for independence”



            What that above sentence realy interpretates to is, the unionist parties in Holyrood, decrying Scotland’s economy. In a bid to show that Scotland would be a economic basket case, if Scots voted yes to independence.

            Scaremongering in one word.

          • Republicofscotland


            As far as I know, GERS figures, would not count in a independent Scotland, yes we run a defict, but, so does ever other nation on earth, and like every other nation we would borrow.

            In 2010 the UK’s deficit was a bigger share of GDP (11%) than Scotland’s is in the latest GERS figures (10%), but nobody said it proved the UK wasn’t a viable independent country.

            “(And remember – the UK, which still controls around 40% of Scottish spending, doesn’t just generously gift Scotland the money to plug its deficit because it loves us so much. It takes out borrowing in Scotland’s name, whether it’s for stuff Scotland actually wants or not.”

            ” Scotland gets no say in whether it wants or needs nuclear submarines or giant aircraft carriers or not. London makes the decision and puts it on Scotland’s tab.)”

            “If a sustainable deficit is (say) £10bn and your actual deficit is (say) £12bn, then the size of the “black hole” you need to address in a bad year – by generating extra income, borrowing or reducing spending – is £2bn, not £12bn. But that makes for a much less dramatic newspaper headline.”


          • Ba'al Zevul

            Deficit is still deficit, when the bailiffs call. I don’t think the next financial crash is far away.


            I saw in today’s Times (its journalism is still not bad by current low standards) that RBS directors have just awarded themselves gigantic share issues – which some of them have sold on in order to meet the equally vast tax charges on their similarly obscene salaries. Meanwhile RBS declares colossal losses to cover fines for its previous crimes. I can only wonder what rules the current management cats have been breaking to merit yet another bucket of cream.

            “We” “own” about 70% of this shambles, but “our” shares are non-voting. Pure genius.

          • Zed

            “like every other nation we would borrow.”

            Allow me to correct you RoS. That should read “like every other nation, with a good credit record, we would borrow.”

            But an independent (although in the EU ROFL) Scotland would have no credit record, and we all know what happens when you ask a bank for money in that circumstance, don’t we? They tell you to take a long walk off a short pier, me old china.

          • Republicofscotland


            According to Moody’s (circa 2014) a independent Scotland would obtain on independence a ‘A’ rating, slightly below the UK’s Aa1’s rating, which isn’t too bad.

            However interest on loans would be higher, in the beginning.

            I recall Standard & Poors stripping Britain of its triple AAA credit rating, not that long ago.

          • fred

            That was before the price of oil crashed and was dependent on Scotland using sterling and having the Bank of England as their central bank.

      • snowdrops

        Ba’al Zevul

        As well as the Ipsos Mori poll the recent BMG and Panelbase polls showed movement towards Yes.

        The No camp no longer have a majority and know the detrimental effects of hard brexit on Scotland will show during the campaign.

        May will have no confidence at all about a second independence referendum.

        • Ba'al Zevul

          Pffft. What will be will be. Alternative rosy future : Brexit results in boost to rUK’s economy while Scotland-in-EU goes phut.
          Speculation is free.

          • Zed

            “Speculation is free.”

            But unfortunately for RoS, creditworthiness requires effort.

  • harrylaw

    Melanie Phillips thinks the UK government are wrong in asserting the Israeli settlements in the West Bank are illegal under International law. Here is part of her article in last years JC https://www.thejc.com/comment/columnists/my-letter-to-the-prime-minister-1.53615 “Your government also maintains that Israeli settlements are illegal under the Geneva conventions. These prohibit an occupying power from transferring people en masse into occupied territory, a provision drafted after World War Two to prevent any repetition of the Nazis’ forced displacement of peoples”.

    Israelis resident in the disputed territories, however, have not been transferred but moved there through their own free choice. So over the settlements, your government wilfully misrepresents international law”
    Unfortunately for M Phillips A reading of Article 49 paragraph 6 is plain.”The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies”
    The Highest Court in the World the International Court of Justice [ICJ] in 2004 gave its opinion on the wall Israel is building. Before it gave its opinion it had to determine whether the Israeli settlements were legal. All 15 Judges agreed that all the settlements were illegal, including the US Judge Blumenthal. The same applies to those settlements on the Golan Heights when in 1981 the UNSC Resolution number 497 said “Decides that the Israeli decision to impose its laws jurisdiction and administration in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights is null and void and without International legal effect”. So much for M Phillips spurious legal arguments.

  • Doug Scorgie

    Can anyone explain this?
    I can copy and paste comments from any contributors on this blog but when I try that with Habbabkuk the copy and paste does not work and I get the message: “Craig Murray is not responding recover website” I click on recover website but it does not work. I re-boot and I’m back to square one where I can copy and paste any contributor except Habbabkuk.

    • Sharp Ears

      That’s weird. I can do it.

      March 9, 2017 at 11:36
      Curious how my observation about the age of the commenting Eminences appears to have touched a raw nerve or two.
      No denials or rebuttals though.

  • Bhante

    Craig, what does Julian think about Trumps allegations that Obama ordered surveillance against him during the election campaign? It would be pretty strong if true. The quote below is from a Zero Hedge report on this new Vault 7 CIA leak. It is not clear from the article whether the references to Trump’s iphone and android phone are references to the exploits against iphone and android in general, or something more specific (specific make and model for example; the quote does mention “specific” malware, but the word “specific” might be intended to mean a either specific instance or a specific class).

    ” “Year Zero” documents show that the CIA breached the Obama administration’s commitments. Many of the vulnerabilities used in the CIA’s cyber arsenal are pervasive and some may already have been found by rival intelligence agencies or cyber criminals.

    As an example, specific CIA malware revealed in “Year Zero” is able to penetrate, infest and control both the Android phone and iPhone software that runs or has run presidential Twitter accounts. ”


    • fred

      AIUI the CIA had his phone tapped legally, they had a warrant from some Senate security committee or something. His connections with Russia were so great they wouldn’t have been doing their jobs properly if they hadn’t been monitoring him. The POTUS isn’t allowed to authorise phone tapping, legacy of Nixon.

      That’s as much as I gathered from the radio the other morning.

      • Republicofscotland

        “The POTUS isn’t allowed to authorise phone tapping, legacy of Nixon.”


        Nixon had all the traits of a rascal from day one, as a young man worried about his grades in law school, Nixon broke into the deans office .Only to find he was top of his class, one wonder if that little episode inspired the Watergate DNC break in.

        Incidently, on Russia, the dialing code from Britain to Russia is 007, coincidental?

        • lysias

          If Nixon authorized the Watergate break-in (which is not clear,) it was because he was put up to it by assistants like E. Howard Hunt who turned out still to be working for the CIA. And the CIA (which Nixon had tried to blackmail using its involvement in the JFK assassination) proceeded to use Watergate to bring Nixon down.

          The give-away is the key role the Washington Post played in ending Nixon’s presidency. The Washington Post has been an instrument of the CIA ever since Operation Mockingbird started circa 1950.

      • harrylaw

        According to Judge Andrew P Napolitano the President can…
        Can a U.S. president legally spy on a political opponent or any other person in America without any suspicion, probable cause or warrant from a judge? In a word, yes.
        Here is the back story.
        The president can order the National Security Agency to spy on anyone at any time for any reason, without a warrant. This is profoundly unconstitutional but absolutely lawful because it is expressly authorized by the FISA statute. See more @ http://original.antiwar.com/andrew-p-napolitano/2017/03/08/congress-created-a-monster/

        • lysias

          It’s only legal in the sense that authorities in America now often overlook the legal doctrine that a mere statute cannot overrule the U.S. Constitution.

          • Ben

            You seem quite relaxed that the rule of law is sacrosanct to Trump and minions.

            Are you familiar with lhe legalistic contortions necessary before the Final Solution was dictated?

          • lysias

            Those legal contortions were the product of the labors of a bunch of civil servants like Werner Best. Much like the contortions that lawyers working for agencies like the CIA have to engage in to justify the misdeds of their agencies..

            When I read Ulrich Herbert’s book about Best, I was struck by the similarities between his reasoning and the reasoning then being engaged in by lawyers working for the Bush-Cheney administration to justify that administration’s atrocities.

    • Ben

      What did you take from the Assange visit by Farage? Did he carry a message from Trump as his newest bag man?

      • Bob Apposite

        I don’t know if you’ve noticed yet, but they

        1. purposely mis-characterize everything they release.
        2. time their releases for partisan purposes.

        What WikiLeaks does not do: operate as disinterested disseminating truth (whistleblowers).

        Ergo – they are a front for someone.

      • Ben

        I don’t give two figs for assange/wiki, but I am interested in Trump’s partners in treason especially Roger Stone.

        • ep

          Roger Stone was just interviewed on RT television. He says the surveillance over Trump is the biggest crisis in the history of the American Republic.

          • lysias

            I don’t know what happened to change my screen name there, but “ep” is lysias.

          • Ben

            Former Trump acolyte/former NSA John Schindler is convinced Trump will spend his remaining years in prison. Emolleuments are his minor issue, but the blinkered fascist in waiting can do much damage in the interim.

          • lysias

            I don’t think Trump can now be dislodged from the presidency without arousing violent resistance from his supporters. He is, after all, a legally elected president. You’re talking civil war. And a civil war in whicch Trump’s supporters include the bulk of members of the military and the police forces.

          • Ben

            If he and his team should be hanged by the necessary until dead..sobeit. We won’t tolerate a tyrant.

          • lysias

            What is rule by unaccountable intelligence agencies that can take down elected presidents if not tyranny?

          • Ben

            Neither you nor I know the id’s of the culpable, but I suspect Putin has the extortion goods on St Donaldus, an his bizness interests Trump his American patriotism.

            But please continue to enable our UK Trumpophiles.

          • lysias

            As Glenn Greenwald has been saying repeatedly, Trump is subject to legal constraints, limited by Congress and the courts. The people can vote him out of office at the next election.

            The intelligence agencies have been doing their best to escape all controls. They are unelected. If they succeed in toppling Trump, as they did JFK, Nixon, and Carter, that will greatly increase their power.

            Whatever wrongs Trump may have done, they are as nothing compared to the CIA’s long record of crimes and atrocities.

          • Ben

            I’m certainly going to reprise your long view when sufficient water has passed under the bridge.

            I think your moral relativism will be shown bankrupt within say 10 months. Mark your calender.

          • Ben

            Oh. And just for your own sake
            Mebbe you should cut back on currying favor with the locals. It’s rather embarrassing.

    • Bob Apposite

      I haven’t looked at the corpus of that leak, but I strongly suspect WikiLeaks is mischaracterizing those documents, as they so often do.

      From what I’ve read -it sounds like it’s just a bunch of known electronic vulnerabilities. Whereas, WikiLeaks is trying to make it sound like these are all CIA-developed techniques or something to bolster the Trump wiretap narrative.

      Personally I don’t know if the CIA is tapping Trump or not. I sure hope they are, though.

    • lysias

      The Vault 7 documents also show that the CIA had the capability to hack in such a way as to appear to indicate that somebody else (like Russian intelligence) had done the hacking.

      If Russian intelligence had had the smarts to do the hacking, they also had the smarts to cover their tracks. It’s hard to imagine a reason why they would want to make it obvious (or apparently obvious) that they had been the ones doing the hacking.

      The supposed Russian hacking could well have been a false flag mounted by the U.S. intelligence agencies.

        • Bob Apposite

          What WikiLeaks is offering here is a pure argument from implication.

          The CIA knows the Russian hacking signature, so could plant the Russian hacking signature.

          But they offer zero evidence that that’s what happened.

          And frankly, your argument “If Russian intelligence had had the smarts to do the hacking, they also had the smarts to cover their tracks” is illogical. If Russian intelligence was smart enough to cover their tracks, the CIA wouldn’t have their signatures, would they?

  • Sharp Ears

    Craig’s recent dealings with Leeds University are referred to in this article.
    Who had the Impudence to Change our Values Regarding Free Speech?

    Desperation tactics to shut down discussion of the Israeli regime’s mega-crimes reach new heights of absurdity
    by Stuart Littlewood / March 9th, 2017

    A fake anti-semitism campaign masterminded by the usual Zio suspects, their Israel lobby colleagues and their stooges in the corridors of power, continues to sweep across UK universities… and our political parties, especially shambolic and rudderless Labour.


    Pleased to read that Cork University are not rolling over to the Z lobby.

    I noticed the other day that the Irish Ambassador to the UK, Dan Mulhall, is an alumnus of the University of Cork.

    Speaking of ambassadors, Regev’s quiet. He’s in Israel with Bibi and Boris!

  • harrylaw

    The Rome statute now part of UK Law also incorporates the definition of population transfers..
    the International criminal court act UK 2001 (article 8 2b[viii]):-
    The transfer, directly or indirectly, by the occupying power of parts of its own civilian population in to the Territory it occupies, or the deportation or transfer of all or parts of the population of the occupied Territory within or outside this Territory.
    The Israeli government [all governments] encourage the settlement enterprise by promoting special area status, building schools, roads amenities etc etc subsidies for settlers
    Here is an extract from a court case in Quebec, Bil’in village and Yassin v Green Park International this is what the Prosecution said about the war crimes in question [settlements]…
    A war crime, to put it succinctly, is a very serious matter. Further, it is easy to see why the offence in question falls into this special category. Article 49(6) is essentially a law to prevent colonialism. One need look no further than the current condition of the indigenous peoples whose domain once spanned the entire expansive breadth of this continent to appreciate the gravity of the consequences territorial dispossession can inflict upon a population. Most war crimes deal with offences against individuals or groups of individuals, but the offence in Article 49(6) is one that threatens the integrity of an entire people. It clearly qualifies as an exceptional offence of higher order that is of grave concern to the global community as a whole. http://www.thecourt.ca/2009/10/14/bil%E2%80%99in-and-yassin-v-green-park-international-ltd-quebec-court-acknowledges-war-crimes-as-potential-basis-for-civil-liability-claim-ultimately-fails-on-forum-non-conveniens/

    • JOML

      What, she spoke in capital letters? Great emphasis there – you could get a job at the Express, creating their clever and imaginative headlines…

    • lysias

      And the facility at Frankfurt isn’t even an embassy (the US embassy is in the capital, Berlin), but a consulate. Which makes its size still more remarkable.

  • RobG

    With regard to the age of posters on this and other comment boards, I would hazard that the lack of younger posters is due to the fact that boards like this are plagued by insane, old white gits, right wing lunatics most of whom are trolls, Zionist, corporate or – particularly on boards like this – government trolls on tax payer’s money. These trolls constantly tell us that everything is wonderful and the government are really nice people.

    What could possibly appeal in all that rubbish to younger generations, most of whom have to live in the real world?

    And with regard to music, I always try to cover both old and new music, but there’s no new music anymore, because we live in a fascist lunatic asylum, an asylum where people seem to accept non-stop war and mass surveillance as being normal. All art withers in such an asylum. You know the old saying, they know the price of everything but the value of nothing, and Oscar knew a thing or two about living in a lunatic society.


    • Sharp Ears

      You refer to non-stop war RobG. Spot on. We are on a knife edge. Trump has sent in 400 personnel in a convoy of Strykers, armoured vehicles and a tanker to Raqqa. No US markings. Just the bloodied flag. Bring hell to earth and keep it going.

      The state broadcaster’s prop 2 hrs ago.

      IS conflict: US sends Marines to support Raqqa assault

      and 21st Century Wire yesterday which includes an RT video of the large convoy.

      Yesterday reports emerged of a US heavy armoured convoy heeding through northern Syria, heading towards a forward position near the flashpoint city of Manbij, near the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa.

      Not surprisingly, this news – which would normally be strewn across all headlines and TV news leader boards – has been completely blacked-out by the US media, aside from some website mentions.

      Naturally, Americans have to go to RT to get news about what the US military is doing in far-flung destinations. Here is a video report by RT’s Ruptly News Agency which shows the US servicemen leading a convoy of Stryker armoured vehicles in the Syrian countryside:


      They are invading a sovereign state without invitation.

      • RobG

        Sharp Ears, most commentators have recently let go of the ‘Donald Trump project’, both on the left and right of politics (whatever these phrases mean thesedays), most notably Paul Craig Roberts.

        I’ll go out on a limb and will say that I hope Trump still retains the presidency. It gets boring for lefties like me to keep saying that in no way do we support Trump’s political agenda. At the same time, though, Trump has said that he’s going to ‘drain the swamp’, and he does appear to be doing that against an unimaginable mountain of opposition (for example, see John Kennedy jnr and the anti-vaccine stuff, or the huge number of arrests of paedophiles over this last month or so).

        Whatever this guy’s politics, if Trump even manages to half-drain the swamp he will go down as one of the best US Presidents in history.

        Such is the vacuum of the left.

        • Ben

          Like most Germans in the 30s you have retained your ‘innocence’ in regard to untoward events, you personally eschew.

          Pure as driven snow, these semi- conscious enablers…

  • Sharp Ears

    Dave C is coining it. £100k for a speech etc. At least he has resigned as MP for Witney.

    Now we hear that in addition to his MP’s pay, Gideon is raking in £650k pa for 12 days’ ‘work’ a quarter.

    ‘Former chancellor George Osborne is set to earn £650,000-a-year working as an adviser to the US asset management fund, the BlackRock Investment Institute.

    In his latest entry in the Commons Register of Members’ Interests, Mr Osborne said he expected to be paid £162,500 a quarter for 12 days working as an “adviser on the global economy”.

    Mr Osborne, who continues to earn £74,000-a-year as a backbench MP, said he had consulted the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments which vets new jobs taken by senior former ministers, on the appointment.’


    Shame on the greedy trougher.

  • RobG

    Yawn. You use the ‘Z’ word and are immediately put into moderation.

    If moderators can’t accept the fact that a shitty little strip of land in the Middle East uses an army of internet trolls to push their propaganda, then I can only draw the conclusion that Mods belong in the same category as the insane old white gits who post on boards like this.

  • nevermind

    Michael crick has just set off a fuse underneath the Conservative party and two now ex members, then ‘battle bus’ activists have today spoken to Cornwall police about their experience.
    ‘ they do not feel comfortable having been used to break the law’.

    watch again channel 4 news…..

  • RobG

    Here’s the start of the official Wikipedia entry for the ‘Z’ word:

    “Zionism (Hebrew: צִיּוֹנוּת‎ Tsiyyonut IPA: [t͡sijo̞ˈnut] after Zion) is the national movement of the Jewish people that supports the re-establishment of a Jewish homeland in the territory defined as the historic Land of Israel (roughly corresponding to Palestine, Canaan or the Holy Land).[1][2][3][4] Zionism emerged in the late 19th century in Central and Eastern Europe as a national revival movement, in reaction to anti-Semitic and exclusionary nationalist movements in Europe.[5][6] Soon after this, most leaders of the movement associated the main goal with creating the desired state in Palestine, then an area controlled by the Ottoman Empire.”


    Are you going to moderate this, Mods? and I should point out that it’s heavily edited and manipulated propaganda in favour of the ‘Z’ word.

    Wikileaks is a complete joke when it comes to anything remotely contentious. I will add, though, that Wikipedia is good for basic knowledge of non-political stuff.

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