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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  • Doug Scorgie

    Habbabkuk
    March 9, 2017 at 08:54
    Anon1
    “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.
    ………………………………………………

    Habbabkuk my psychologist friend, after looking at your numerous comments, assesses your age as late 40s to mid 50s.

    So are you an Ovaltiner?

    • Why be ordinary?

      32 is a good age. My wife has been 32 for at least the last 15 years (hat tip to Oscar Wild)

      • Republicofscotland

        Why be ordinary.

        Speaking of Oscar Wilde, Brams Stoker, the author of Dracula, married Wilde’s first girlfriend, Florence Balcombe.

    • Habbabkuk

      Scorgie

      You once told readers you were a black (by which I suppose you mean Afro-Caribbean) lawyer living in Wimbledon. Do you stand by that?

      • Sharp Ears (ageless)

        I told you he kept files on the contributors.

        PS Don’t tell him Pike!

      • Zed

        You have something against lawyers or what Habbabkuk? Is not being a lawyer an honourable profession? I would much rather be a lawyer than..say, a spy for the man.

        • Habbabkuk

          The “or what” sums it up correctly, Zed.

          BTW, welcome to the blog (if you’re a new conrtributorn that is), your posts so far show that you’ll fit in perfectly.

    • Herbie

      “Habbabkuk, my psychologist friend, after looking at your numerous comments, assesses your age as late 40s to mid 50s.”

      Nah.

      Definitely nah.

      Habby is late 60s, at least!

      And maybe much more.

      Full on baby boomer, pandered generation.

      It’s easier to tell the lower limit from references, zeitgeist and so on, but harder to tell the upper limit from same.

  • Doug Scorgie

    Zed
    March 10, 2017 at 22:46

    “Scotland is a nebulous grey fuzz somewhere north of Oop North.”

    Worse than that, it is nebulous cold and wet grey fuzz somewhere north of Oop North.
    …………………………………………

    Zed, some Europeans I met recently think Scotland is an area in the north of England!

    • Zed

      “Zed, some Europeans I met recently think Scotland is an area in the north of England!”

      I might confess to having spent many a happy hour in Scotland, but then some of the Scots don’t hate the English the way that CM does.

      • Zed

        In fact, I am tempted to ask “Did somebody we all know have unresolved issues with his Mum?

  • Tonyandoc

    “With the re-election of Obama, America now threatens to lead the west into a terrifying darkness.”
    You have to concede this prophesy has come to pass. Not in the way Melanie Phillips predicted of course. But, by dumping Trump on the USA the Democratic establishment has certainly giving the descent into darkness a major boost and they seemed poised to double down on it now with their choice of party leadership.
    Just think we could be arguing about how best to implement single-payer healthcare now instead of “making America great again” at the expense of the living standards, quality of life and even life-span of millions of America’s inhabitants.

    • Zed

      “You have to concede this prophesy has come to pass.”

      No we don’t! The only thing America might lead the world into is….. “Mass Stupidity”!

      HTH!

  • Doug Scorgie

    Becky Cohen
    March 9, 2017 at 23:08

    “British journalism is institutionally Islamophobic, racist, transphobic, sexist, classist, anti-Semitic and ableist.”
    …………………………………………………………………

    I agree with that Becky except the anti-Semitic accusation. The Community Security Trust would be up in arms if that was true.

    ……………………………………………………………..

    “These people’s job is to turn the persecutor into the victim and the victim into the persecutor.”
    …………………………………………………………………

    Sorry Becky, That’s the job of Zionist propagandists. The persecutor (Israel) is portrayed as the victim and the victim (Palestinians) is portrayed as the persecutor.
    ………………………………………………………………

    “However, for anyone willing enough to spend some time to examine what’s really going on will find that the mainstream media are creating a deliberately distorted picture which is the exact opposite of reality.”
    …………………………………………………………………..

    Yes, I have to agree with that.

    • Dave

      The establishment must be “Semitic” as those who object to WWIII are called “anti-Semitic”!

  • fred

    I know you all have loads of money so please dig deed for someone less fortunate than yourself.

    On March 10th 2017, a court ruled that the amazing and beautiful Daily Mail columnist Katie Hopkins had libelled food blogger and poverty campaigner Jack Monroe on Twitter in 2015.

    This OUTRAGEOUS decision is set to cost Katie £324,000 in legal fees and damages.

    We believe that having to find such an enormous sum of money could jeopardise Katie’s glittering career in journalism, and we are not prepared to sit here and watch her disappear from our screens and newspapers!

    https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/justiceforkatiehopkins

  • Suhayl Saadi

    She once was a Loony Leftie who would brook no criticism – I recall reading her columns in the 1980s and people who worked with her would attest to this. She looked different then – big specs and an ‘Afro’. Now, she’s a Rabid Rightie. But as so often with these infantile posturers, the mindset remains in essence the same. The constant feature seems to be the lack of a sense of humour.

  • michael norton

    Scottish independence: Corbyn says indyref2 “absolutely dandy with him”
    Ministry of Truth

    so go for it as soon as you like.

    • Republicofscotland

      Well maybe his (Corbyn’s) constantly whining branch manager in Scotland Kezia Dugdale, will now shut up about attempting to block a further Scottish independence referendum.

      Corbyn was vehemently opposed to a second indyref not that long ago. I wonder what’s changed his mind? It could be that even he (although he’s somewhat anti-EU) realises that Brexit is going to be a unparalleled disaster, and that at least the Scots could escape the sinking ship, that is HMS Britain, before it hits the Brexit iceberg.

      • michael norton

        Well, it would seem Mrs. May has come to understand Scotland must be free.
        Article Fifty will be signed, sealed and delivered this coming week, without any involvement by Ms. Nicola Sturgeon.
        We have all had enough, you have worn us down.
        You will have your Referendum as soon as possible.
        Expect a very hard border.

        • Republicofscotland

          Michael.

          I really don’t understand your glee, at the prospect of a hard border between Scotland and England. Have you conveniently forgotten that trade is a two-way street?

          • michael norton

            RoS we can’t continue in the United Kingdom being held to ransom by Ms. Nicola Sturgeon and the massed ranks of the S. N. P.
            England and Wales have decided to Leave the hated European Union.
            You can have Northern Ireland, it costs money to keep it.
            Goodbye.

          • Republicofscotland

            JOML.

            Ha ha, very funny, and fitting, though I doubt Michael would really know the meaning of it. 😀

          • Republicofscotland

            Michael regarding Northern Ireland, from what I’ve read recently, the DUP, and the unionist parties no longer have a resounding majority, after the last election.

            That is a major shift in the consensus, of the voters, away from the DUP.

            If that trend continues, Ireland could unite in the not so distant future. Brexit may yet have a positive effect on the emerald isle.

          • michael norton

            Everyone in Scotland must be forced to vote in Indyref2, we can’t be doing with people saying it doesn’t count because only 45% turned out to vote.

  • michael norton

    Why is the U.S.A. deploying its troops now, when the Syrian army is close to winning its war against radicalism, asks Middle-East expert Catherine Shakdam, while noting that U.S.A. interventions have never been successful in fighting terrorism in any way.

    Damascus has not given the U.S.A. permission to be in Syria, President Bashar Assad said.

    “Any foreign troops coming to Syria without our invitation or consultation or permission, they are invaders, whether they are American, Turkish, or any other one,” he said in an interview with Chinese PHOENIX TV, as cited by the Syria’s state-run news agency, SANA.
    https://www.rt.com/op-edge/380295-troops-intervention-syria-deployment-us/

    Well when I read yesterday that the U.S.A. Coalition were to deploy hundreds of troops to Syria, I thought it rather odd.
    I had not even realized there was a U.S.A.Coalition fighting in Syria.
    Are they there to steal Syria?

    • Zed

      “Why is the U.S.A. deploying its troops”

      Because they are a bunch of cowboys, but then why are you asking silly questions that everybody, but the permanently stupid, know the answer to?

  • Habbabkuk

    Bevin to Habbabkuk:

    “The truth is that the only people who regularly publish ‘hate speech’ are those like yourself who celebrate the massacres of Palestinians and, defend the government’s provision of bombs to the Saud family for use in the Yemen.”

    ________________________

    It is well known that the Trotskyite way of dealing with opposition goes through three stages: firstly, attempts to ridicule; when that has no effect, attempts to intimidate through insults; and when that faiks, shameless lies.

    The above pleasantries from Bevs amply bear out the above.

    Bevs is a shameless liar. However, he is welcome to prove me wrong by quoting where I have “celebrated” what he chooses to call “massacres” of Palestinians and by quoting anything at all I have said about Saudi Arabia and Yemen.

    • bevin

      Do you not defend the massacres in Gaza by the government of Israel? I should be happy to learn that you do not.
      Do you nor support the US and British governments in the vital assistance they give to the Saudi war on Yemen? I would hope not but I suspect that you do.
      As to the rest of the guff in your post it is worthless.
      But I note that you still fail to cite evidence of the ‘hate speech’ which you claimed is to be found on this blog.
      My point was that you were libelling not only the commenters and the blog author but the moderators who do a fair job in my opinion and certainly are noyt tolerant of anything that a reasonable person would call ‘hate speech.’

      • Habbabkuk

        Bevs

        “Do you not defend { NB – the word has changed – was previously “celebrated” }the massacres in Gaza by the government of Israel? I should be happy to learn that you do not.
        Do you nor support the US and British governments in the vital assistance they give to the Saudi war on Yemen? I would hope not but I suspect that you do.”
        _____________________

        A nice try but not good enough to fool readers.

        Your claim was that I ” celebrate the massacres of Palestinians and, defend the government’s provision of bombs to the Saud family for use in the Yemen.”

        I called you a liar for saying that and invited you to quote where I have “celebrated” what you choose to call “massacres” of Palestinians and to quote anything at all I have said about Saudi Arabia and Yemen.

        Since you have been unable to so quote, you are revealed as a shameless liar. As one would expect from a Trot.

    • D-Majestic

      Well I know quite a lot about a lot of things-but your ‘It is well known etc.’ regarding Trotskyites had passed me by. Possibly because it is falsehood. Unlike false news, which I seek out at every opportunity. A bit more enumeration might help in these matters. Is it in the pages of ‘Trotskyism for Dummies’, by any chance?

  • Habbabkuk

    Messrs Erdogan and Putin appear to be friends again. I wonder if “President” Assad will still be around by this time next year?

    • Habbabkuk

      He will not, I imagine, decide to retire to any Western country for fear of being arrested as a war criminal and sent to the The Hague.

      • michael norton

        SCUM

        The United Nations has accused Turkey of ‘serious’ human rights violations during operations against Kurdish separatists in the south-east of the country.

        The UN says up to half a million people were displaced and at least 2000 people killed from July 2015.

        The town of Cizre is said to have seen destruction on a massive scale.

        Numerous disappearances and instances of torture were also documented in a report released by the UN human rights office on Friday.

        UN High Commissioner for Human Rights spokesman Rupert Colville said:“It appears that not a single suspect was apprehended and not a single individual was prosecuted for violations that occurred during this period.
        http://www.euronews.com/2017/03/10/un-accuses-turkey-of-serious-human-rights-violations-against-its-kurdish-south

        The only reason, I can think of why Putin is cavorting with Erdogan is to piss off the Americans.

        I’ve heard it said, that by the middle of this century Russia will be the most economically important country in the world.

      • Zed

        “fear of being arrested as a war criminal and sent to the The Hague.”

        Bwaaaaaaaaah! Nobody these days gets sent to The Hague, otherwise Blair would have been there ten years ago. The Hague is a dead horse!

    • Republicofscotland

      Habb.

      But Erdogan and the current Dutch, PM Mark Rutte, are not.

      Speaking of Dutch PM’s in 1672, the Dutch Republic at war with England and France at the time. A angry mob killed the Dutch PM ( John de Witt) and his brother, they then mutilated them and then it is said ate parts of their bodies, because they were unhappy at how he was handling things.

      I’m pretty sure though the same fate will not befall Mr Rutte. 😀

      • Habbabkuk

        Yes, RoS, but never mind. It is not the friendship or non-friendship between Mr Erdogan and Mr Rutte which will determine the fate of “President Assad.

        Gone by this time next year at the latest, says Habbabkuk. Start saving for your mourning clothes, RoS.

  • michael norton

    It is more important for England to leave the hated European Union,
    than it is to bother attempting to keep Scotland in the United Kingdom.
    You art free to find your own way in the world.

    • Republicofscotland

      Michael.

      Hated by whom? If I recall right the leave camp narrowly won, so that leaves quite a few Brits, who don’t hate the EU as you so crassly put it.

      Indeed to my knowledge, even several Tory backbenchers wanted to stay in the EU.

      • michael norton

        Remember the Slaves in America, said they wanted to be free.
        The Americans took them at their word and shipped them back to Liberia.

        • bevin

          err no, actually.
          What is it about history that makes people think that they can get away with drivel like this? Or do you really think that the black population of the USA and Canada are descended from Liberians?

    • Herbie

      Thing is, NI has an even crappier economy than anyone could ever claim Scotland had.

      Is the RoI going to bail them in the way West Germany did with its East.

      Ireland had its chance of an industrial economy in the early 60s when Lemass and O’Neill, the PMs respectively of RoI and NI, were making their economic agreements.

      Unforunately, something intervened, on both sides eventually, to make that natural organic and beneficial agreement an impossibility.

      Curious, eh.

      Both PMs were subsequently ousted.

      The RoI struggled on with its emigration and food economy, and the North went into industrial decline.

      Throw in 30 odd years of senseless destabilisation, and that’s the story of your vassal states.

      Yeah, the RoI got its place in the sun and financial wacko injection economy for about 20 years or so, from the early 90s on.

      But neither North nor South were allowed to make their own independent decisions.

      Failed, basically.

      The deal that Lemass and O’Neill were set upon would have ensured a solid future for all the people of the island.

  • michael norton

    Civilian staff at the Faslane and Coulport naval bases, Scotland, have voted in favour of industrial action in a dispute over workers’ rights.
    You can keep the naval bases too
    and the beligerent workforce
    and you can keep the aircraft carriers.

    • Fence

      You always this generous michael or have you gotten into the parents drinks cabinet again?

    • Zed

      Actually Norton, I can comment on this; on a visit to Faslane I discovered the man in charge of security came from…….Northampton.

  • glenn_uk

    Cormades – There are some odd points about Wikileaks and the Trump campaign worth considering, some of which I got from the Rachel Maddow show last Thursday.

    Earlier this week, the CIA had a huge document dump against it from Wilileaks. A couple of days later (on Thursday), Assange had a visitor at the Ecuadorian Embassy on Thursday – a certain Nigel Farage. He told Buzzfeed he couldn’t remember why he was there. (You may remember Farage’s visits to Trump Tower, his accompanying Trump on the campaign trail, having dinner with Trump at his Washington DC hotel a fortnight ago, and so on.)

    Now if we recall the campaign itself, Trump’s people were extraordinarily well organised around the Wikileaks releases – they really couldn’t have happened at a better time for them:

    – The day after the Republican convention ended, a Wikileaks bomb was dropped, right before the Dem convention began, highlighting rifts between various elements of the Dem’s leadership. These were documents stolen from the DNC, resulting in the Chair of the party resigning. Great start. This was the Trump campaign’s new message almost instantly.

    – Oct 27th, John Podesta’s Wikileaks dump (https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/) came out one hour after the “Pussygate” Hollywood tape featuring Trump surfaced.

    More of these Podesta emails were released on a daily basis until the election, thanks to Wikileaks.

    – Russian state TV (RT) got an extraordinary scoop : They were able to Tweet that the 6th batch of Podesta emails were released – at 8:09am. At 8:30am, Wikileaks actually released the emails in question.

    Every time Trump got into trouble, a new awkward Wikileak appeared, and the Trump campaign was already set up to take full advantage of it – quite contrary to the shambolic organisation we have seen from them otherwise.

    All very odd.

      • Republicofscotland

        Well Operation Barbarossa put a end to that feigning friendship, and like Napoleon, the Russian winter intervened dramatically.

        Incidently, in 1933 a blind beetle living in just five caves in what’s now called Slovenia, and found nowhere else in the world, was named after Hitler.

        Unfortunately the beetle is now on the endangered list, as they are collected, as Nazi memorabilia.

    • bevin

      There really wasn’t much odd or unusual about the election except that Rachel Maddow’s candidate was unbelievably inept so inept that she could not even beat the candidate that everyone knew could not win.
      There is an excellent piece by mike davis in the latest NLR- I receive the newsletter I am not a subscriber- in which davis goes through the election returns- trump did a bit better than Romney but Clinton did everythinbg wrong.
      So far as the wikileaks revelations were concerned they might even have helped Clinton if she had taken the excuse to rid her campaign of the idiots and time servers who thought that they could win any election by rigging it. Instead she just carried on, like a lemming.
      Seriously Glenn, don’t fall for the conspiracy theory- Clinton’s was a clear case of hubris.

      • glenn_uk

        Bevin, you seem to think the concepts of HRC being a poor candidate, and funny business going on elsewhere, are mutually exclusive. They are not.

        Perhaps you’d like to explain how RT broke the news of Wikileaks’ 6th tranche of emails 21 minutes before it happened, just for one, in terms of HRC being a poor candidate. Or why Farage, Trump (and his campaign), RT and now Assange appear to be so tight?

        If you want to wave all this away with “HRC was a bad candidate”, fine.

  • Sharp Ears (ageless)

    Some on here who shall be nameless will have been pleased that Scotland was trounced by England today at Twickenham. 61-21.

    • Republicofscotland

      Sharp Ears.

      I have to congratulate the English rugby team today, they were outstanding. Though Scotland having a man yellow carded and sent off for 10 minutes, in the opening exchanges, which he rightly deserved for raising an opponents legs above the level, didn’t help a already daunting task.

      Interestingly, the last time Scotland beat England at Twickenham, was way back in 1983. None of the current teams players that played today, were even born when that event happened. 😀

    • JOML

      I wasn’t pleased but certainly not surprised. England clearly have the better team and it would have been a major shock had they not won. Scotland did get 3 tries and so not all doom and gloom. England’s main concern will be can they keep playing at that level until the World Cup. Well done England and the game in Dublin should be a cracker!

  • RobG

    Nick Cohen is certifiably insane…

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/mar/11/farage-assange-shameless-illiberal-alliance

    This is all part of the ‘far right’ meme that’s being pumped out at the moment, to try and disguise the fact that we now live in fascist police states. The so-called ‘alternate media’ are almost completely infiltrated by the security services. It’s all a hall of mirrors. There’s now very little out there that is real.

    Here’s an example of what I’m talking about. Dear old Tara is a neo-Nazi who suddenly popped-up on the back of Pizzagate…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wE-MApF-gyU

    What you might notice about all these security service psy-ops is that they revolve around young/attractive people who seem to have unlimited time/money to make professional productions, often involving extensive traveling. I’m not going to name names here. Those who follow the alternate media will know who I’m talking about.

    During the Falklands War, after HMS Sheffield had been hit by an Exocet missile, the crew sang this song while waiting to be rescued (a friend of mine was serving on the ship at the time, and was badly burnt)…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHPOzQzk9Qo

      • RobG

        Classic response (and not a good idea to link to the BBC thesedays as a credible news source). I just love your American/Langley syntax.

        Perhaps we should allow people to make up their own minds…

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2la77Lvibec

        The Pizzagate stuff came out during the final weeks of the run-up to the US Presidential election last November. Ben Swann (linked to above) is an award-winning CBS reporter. He was the only one out of the presstitutes who reported honestly on Pizzagate. After making this programme, Ben Swann vanished. His Facebook and Twitter account were deleted, and his video was removed from all of CBS related websites. It’s now very hard to find his report on the likes of YouTube, which is why I’ve re-posted it on YouTube.

        So let’s hear what the government/fascist trolls have to say about this?

        You might carry out yet another false flag, or start another war, but we are coming for you. Make no mistake about that.

        Everything you are doing is being carefully noted, and you will be held to account, in a real court of law.

        Don’t say I haven’t warned you, or the other totally pathetic agents of the State who go around threatening people on boards like this.

        • glenn_uk

          Instead of the BBC (who have pointed out there’s no evidence, no investigation, and no victim coming forward) , I should just take your word for this crap, I suppose?

          Why are you insulting the intelligence of everyone a lot of us here, by pumping out this alt-right BS propaganda, RobG? Did you suddenly get an urge to be the bagman for white supremacists?

  • mike

    The rehabilitation of Butcher Bush continues. This is fucking unbelievable.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/books/george-w-bushs-best-selling-book-of-paintings-shows-curiosity-and-compassion/2017/03/11/f252174c-05af-11e7-ad5b-d22680e18d10_story.html?tid=sm_tw&utm_term=.fb0d291c3b2a

    Blair will be presenting the One Show next.

    Yemen is malnourished, we are told today, yet Blairite MPs wouldn’t vote against Saudi.

    JC4PM. Independence for Scotland. We can believe in both.

  • Habbabkuk

    I wonder if sales of Scottish whisky would fall further in the UK in the event of Scottish independence, all the more so since gin – a quintessentially English spirit – appears to be undergoing quite an upsurge in popularity. Drinking more gin and less whisky could even become to be seen as a patriotic gesture.

    Now it may well be that none of the above will happen, but if it did, it would not be good news for the economy of a newly independent and economically untested country.

    • RobG

      Obviously a quiet night in Cheltenham. Perhaps you should leave your computer screens for a while and go for a pint, or something; you know, the real world.

      And while you’re drinking your pint you could also ponder on what the term ‘traitor’ means.

      • Rob Royston

        There was no such thing as a quiet night in Cheltenham when I were a lad. I had the pleasure of spending the latter part of 1968 working at the NCB research plant at Stoke Orchard. Building a pilot pulverised coal reactor, we were working seven twelve hour shifts a week and earning the fabled £100 a week, clear, of the time.
        The other end of the candle was burnt in various hostelries, the Coopers was our favourite, which always all seemed to be buzzing, and eating in some of the fine restaurants in the town. A colleague and I got invited to attend the NCB Christmas social at the Pittsville Pump Rooms, a fantastic memory as was Chrismas Day, which was the only day off we had in months and was enjoyed with a family we had become friends with at the Coopers. Back then you worked Christmas Day in Scotland.so it was all a big novelty to us.

    • Deepgreenpuddock

      A ‘curiosity’ of producing gin, and whisky, and all those associated ‘cultural’ matters, “Islay Malt” “Strathspey” is that, when you discuss it with the people who actually make it, it is defined, reductively as an entirely technical process, over which they have 100% control. Long ago I discussed this with an actual distiler.He said that he could produce any particular degree of flavour more or less on request. He ran a distillery in the North East of Scotland and they produced a fairly standard if distinctive Spey style bit he said if he wanted he could make t taste like an Islay or Island malt. I was left with the impression that the flavour range of whisky is carved up in a ‘marketing’ sense, and different producers ‘respect’ others and tend to not transgress on other market shares.Of course the whole thin is something of a game-sort of a charade , where it is in all the established players interests to play along with it. Occasionally of course there are ‘disruptions’
      as some player emerges and tries to create new market share or muscle it spaces vacated by chance/accident etc.
      Gin is gin. It can be Scottish, Irish,Engish or Martian. Whisky is Scotch but it can be ‘Welsh’ or ‘Chinese’ or ‘Japanese’ or indeed English.

      • Anon1

        Very informative, thanks. Hopefully the Chinese will come up with some cheap alternatives to Scotch.

      • Herbie

        Yeah, the old mafia franchising operation.

        And that’s pretty much the way the world economy is divided.

  • RobG

    Very noticeable is that certain trolls keep UK time.

    Cheltenham has a lot to answer for.

    French time is one hour ahead of UK time. The only reason I’m up in the early hours (at the moment) is to make sure that some elderly people are ok.

    Let’s see how the UK security service trolls spin this one.

  • Sharp Ears

    I have just read this bleak record of a visit to Afghanistan. Hell brought to earth etc. http://dissidentvoice.org/2017/03/afghanistan-as-only-love-could-hurt/

    And Her Maj was only the other day unveiling the new £1m memorial.

    Prince ‘We do bad things to bad people’ Harry* was in the line up along with BLiar and the other war criminals.

    Queen unveils Iraq and Afghanistan war memorial amid fury at Blair presence
    Monarch pays tribute to military and civilians who served in countries during service attended by other royals and politicians
    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/mar/09/new-memorial-to-all-involved-in-iraq-and-afghanistan-conflicts

    She should read Andre Vltchek’s report to learn about our ‘legacy’ in that benighted country.

    The memorial is as hideous as the war itself by the way.

    * http://persophile.blogspot.co.uk/2008/03/prince-harry-does-bad-things-to-bad.html

    • Habbabkuk

      I find the memorial rather sober and restrained, actually, and not hideous at all.

      But perhaps I’m able to consider it on its aesthetic merits, uncoloured by political and personal prejudice?

    • Habbabkuk

      On the face of it, the incident described certainly puts Police Scotland in a rather peculiar light.

      I wonder if there have been any similar cases in England or Wales?

      Perhaps it’s due to some peculiarity of Scottish law and would not be possible in England and Wales?

  • Alcyone

    The Guardian seems to love Louise Mensch’s menses:

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/feb/17/louise-mensch-trump-russia-ties-media-scoop

    So Heatstreet is a Murdoch site https://heatst.com/ as is Fox. So is Murdoch playing both sides of the street or is he really objective?

    Anyway, I speculate that the Russia story is actually a non-story. If so, so much time and money wasted. As Dylan had prophesied, a fair few false idols falling. Takes a while to undo 16 years: that’s the bottom-line of Trump’s challenge.

    https://bobdylan.com/songs/changing-guards/

  • Habbabkuk

    Referring back just a moment to the topic of commenters on here all being middle-aged and older:

    I am sure that Ms Mhairi Black is a reader of this blog.

    Ms Black is a politician who, I’m sure, shares many of our host’s ideas and policies.

    Above all, Ms Black is not middle-ages or older – she is YOUNG.

    Would it not be a good idea if someone could prevail on young Ms Black to contribute at least occasionally to this blog?

  • Dave

    There is dishonesty in the black slavery narrative which casts it as worse than it was, which needs to be judged in the context of the time. Slaves were better off than many non-slaves, because they were looked after as a valuable commodity by their owners. Its similar to the hardship of domestic service, which nevertheless often provided better conditions than non-domestic service.

    Its cast as worse than it was for political rather than economic reasons, as another excuse to bash the “White Anglo-Saxon Protestant” that once ruled in the West with “race guilt”, similar but not as effective as the Holocaust narrative. But the initial plantation slaves were white and the new supply of blacks were facilitated by black tribal leaders in Africa and Jewish merchants, as pointed out by Jackie Walker, during a debate on “anti-Semitism”, resulting in her suspension from the Labour Party.

    Also slavery is given as the reason for the American Civil War that involved a colossal loss of mostly white lives. So the worst victims of black slavery was the white population and once the war was won, the black slaves were left destitute as their labour was replaced with machinery.

    • bevin

      “…the black slaves were left destitute as their labour was replaced with machinery.”
      This would have been news to the millions of ex slaves and their descendants who provided much of the labour force in the post 1865 South. In fact far from being ‘replaced by machinery’ they worked as share croppers and forced prison labour until the 1950s when, indeed, machinery began to replace share cropping.
      I would recommend the book Slavery by Another Name, by Douglas Blackmon but there are very many which show in detail that the mythology that you appear to be believe in, though it has many half truths, adds up to a a nasty lie.

      “Its cast as worse than it was for political rather than economic reasons, as another excuse to bash the “White Anglo-Saxon Protestant” that once ruled in the West with “race guilt”,”
      This argument is a wonderful way of combining the millions of those white people who had nothing to do with slavery-in fact suffered from a system which lowered all workers’ living standards, with the capitalists, most of whom were white, protestant and anglo saxon (in the US and the UK) who were responsible not only for the plantations but for the factories into which the cotton went. There is no reason why descendants of Oldham cotton operatives, for example, should feel either guilt over slavery or any sort of solidarity with the slave-owners.
      Why you identify with the slave owners and the capitalists is something you can probably explain for yourself,. The truth is that the victims of capitalism have much in common, much more than the incidental differences in skin pigmentation differentiate them.

      • Dave

        Yes, saying immediately replaced by machinery was overstating it as the south had to recover from the war first, so as worse off or destitute as the non-slave share croppers would be more accurate, although whether this shared fate with the white poor was worth the civil war is another matter.

        But my point was slavery, indentured labour, within a plantation could provide better conditions than the alternative of a “self-employed” share cropper. That’s not saying slavery was good, but in context, not as bad as cast and some black slaves became freemen and slave owners. And without the slave trade there wouldn’t be the large black populations in America and Caribbean or should they all be repatriated to make amends?

        Class consciousness can be strong as can racial consciousness and put together they’re a powerful combination that grew the trade union movement, but racial consciousness is a genetic inheritance that trumps the sense of solidarity with someone of another race who does the same job as opposed to the loyalty to a brother who does a different job.

        • John Spencer-Davis

          You seem to be saying that a person of one “race” will feel a greater loyalty to someone else of the same “race” than they will to a comrade in the same trade or trade union but who is of a different “race”. I seriously doubt it. Where on earth do you get that idea? I would feel a good deal more solidarity with a black psychotherapist than I would with a white managing director of a FSTE 100 company.

          • Dave

            Its not black or white, but yes there are a range of ‘sense of identities’ that shape our outlook and racial consciousness is one of them and becomes apparent when you in an alien environment. My point is its a genetic inheritance that is not easily trumped by economic interests.

      • Resident Dissident

        Would you concern about black prisoners in the US being used as forced labour extend to the use by Putin of Russian conscripts to do exactly the same thing.

        http://www.ebco-beoc.org/node/73

        This is something I have seen with my own eyes in Moscow many times with conscripts being marched to and from building sites.

    • Habbabkuk

      ” But the initial plantation slaves were white and the new supply of blacks were facilitated by black tribal leaders in Africa and Jewish merchants, as pointed out by Jackie Walker, during a debate on “anti-Semitism”, resulting in her suspension from the Labour Party.”
      _______________________

      Which is an excellent example of what I have called “hate speech”.

      Why?

      Because the new supply of slaves was facilitated not only by black tribal leaders but also by merchants who were Jewish, Christian (in all the different manifestations of that religion) and Muslim (= the Arab slavers).

      But it is typical of the haters and hate-purveyors to mention only the Jewish merchants.

      • Dave

        Except the non-Jewish participants had already been mentioned, so its hate speech to say its hate speech!

        • Habbabkuk

          The only non-Jewish participants mentioned in your post are the black tribal leaders (presumably animists).

          Where is there a mention in your post of Christian or Muslim traders?

          Nowhere.

          Just “Jewish traders”.

          So my point about hate speech (against Jews in this instance) stands.

          It would not have been hate speech had you said that Jewish, Christian and Muslims traders were involved.

          Capeesh?

  • Sharp Ears

    From the website of Veterans for Peace

    A gilded fiction is still a fiction
    http://vfpuk.org/2017/a-gilded-fiction-is-still-a-fiction/

    ‘Folding three wars of aggression into one fictional humanitarian aid operation is bad enough, I thought… and that was before I realised this latest extravaganza is the brainchild of the Murdoch press and was part-funded by global arms giant BAE Systems.

    This state of affairs rules the Iraq Afghanistan Memorial out of representing the reality of the wars for many of the veterans who served in them or, indeed, the forgotten people of the victim nations.’

    ‘In less than two minutes, the slick and emotively scored promo re-brands three wars of aggression – the signal foreign policy disasters of our time – as a 25 year long humanitarian aid operation carried out in uniform.

    In a masterclass of selective memorialisation, it appears there will be no references at all to dodgy dossiers, extrajudicial drone assassinations, massive refugee crises, oil, Isis, a re-energised Taliban, rendition, Tony Blair or any of the other tentacled horrors which have come to define Britain’s recent adventures in the sandpit.’

    https://twitter.com/DefenceHQ/status/839167006637244419 MoD video

  • michael norton

    Train /station attacks in Europe
    by people who the authorities describe as deranged /unhinged/mad but not terror.

    Düsseldorf, Germany
    The assailant was aboard a train when he suddenly began attacking fellow passengers with an axe. A fellow passenger managed to push him off the train, whereupon he attempted to get back on board by kicking and beating against the door. When he was unable to force the door open, he began attacking people in the central train station.

    If these ” mad ” people are inspired by Islamic State is there any real difference
    to the horror mad or bad,
    the outcome to the innocent victims is the same.

    • J

      “If these ” mad ” people are inspired by Islamic State is there any real difference to the horror mad or bad, the outcome to the innocent victims is the same.”

      Seems logical. And if Islamic State are a creation of the usual suspects from Saud to the USA not least by way of UK, why should the logical implications of that be so opaque to your otherwise willing suspension of disbelief?

  • michael norton

    With hindsight it is now accepted that the Würzburg train attack
    was coordinated from Saudi Arabia

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2016_W%C3%BCrzburg_train_attack
    lorry attack/ car attack /axe attack/knife attack

    there have been so many since the Madrid Train attacks in 2004
    it would be hard to believe they are mostly done by lone nutters.
    For the word mad to stick. surely these attacks have to be by only one person?

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