Thoughts from Ghana 1204


I spent today at the University College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences at Bunso and the nearby Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana. Those who have read my memoir The Catholic Orangemen of Togo and other Conflicts I Have Known will know that rural development in Africa has been the abiding passion of my working life. The good news is that for the first time a paperback edition of The Catholic Orangemen should be out in a week or so.

The abiding impression of today was the extent of local awareness of environmental issues and the need to maintain a fragile but wonderful ecology. This faces enormous challenges. I was intellectually aware of the extent of illegal gold mining in Ghana but unprepared for the evidence of its scale. Rivers that provide the drinking water for millions have been transformed into dead sewers of brown sludge. Having known them as live rivers, I was really shaken.

Ghana is looking to develop its bauxite industry and finally bring its aluminium smelters to life. This will impact the precise area I was visiting and I know from Jamaica that the environmental impact of bauxite mining is hideous. It is perhaps the most destructive of all extractive industries. It is a horrid irony that the bauxite scheme should impact the exact area where local traditional leadership (the Okyenhene) has pioneered environmentalism.

I feel conflicted. Our standard of living in the developed world has been based on the destruction of the forests which we conveniently forget once covered our lands. We wish to keep what remains of wild Africa as untouched as possible, because we know that otherwise it impacts us. But we are not prepared to expend serious resources into raising the standard of living of those who would be denied the immediate material benefits of industrial mining. My instincts are all to oppose the bauxite extraction on environmental grounds. But I am not so intellectually dishonest as to pretend that, with all the pollution and illnesses and destruction, the industry would not bring important wealth and employment. It would. I do not feel morally able to lecture poor communities on why they should remain undeveloped when they are excited by rare hope. I suspect many of you will think I am wrong.

On a more positive note, I was inspired by the commitment of the faculty of the University College, their research interests and their ability to deliver a first class curriculum to the students with minimal resources. It struck me how a major improvement could be made to their efforts by the injection of comparatively modest sums into laboratory equipment, for example. I shall be working on this and in the longer term on developing possible academic collaborations.

I loved the new canopy walk at Bunso built to promote eco-tourism.

It has five of these bridges, all of which are high, and one very high indeed as it crosses a valley. It is a great deal more adventurous than the one at Kakum. And yes, I did cross them all.

I am often very critical of the FCO, so it would be churlish of me not to note that Jon Benjamin leaves Accra this summer after an extremely effective and principled tenure as High Commissioner, including playing an effective and helpful role behind the scenes in the third peaceful transfer of power between political parties since Ghana became a real democracy in 2000. The more so since, most unusually, the UK was acting against the desires of the USA, and I suspect Jon was pivotal in that.


1,204 thoughts on “Thoughts from Ghana

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  • Jan Wiklund

    A country won’t get rich from raw materials extraction. Raw materials extraction is what the colonialists always have got the colonies to bury themselves with.

    • michael norton

      What do you think The United Kingdom used, if it wasn’t mineral wealth, to create the Industrial Revolution.
      It was Coal, Iron, Tin, Copper, Graphite, Lead, Zinc, Clay, Limestone, Sand.
      Building materials, power and metals.
      Britain was blessed to have all these minerals.

      • michael norton

        ‘It’s good to be back’: metal mining returns to south-west Britain
        £130m tungsten site beside Dartmoor to produce 3,500 tonnes a year and bring 200 jobs to the area

        https://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/jun/20/dartmoor-metal-mine-tungsten-britain-uk

        Drakelands will be producing 3,500 tonnes of tungsten concentrate annually – about 3.5% of the global forecast demand. Wolf Minerals, the Australian company building and running the mine, claims 200 jobs will be directly created and says the £130m project will plough millions of pounds into the Devon economy every year.

  • Republicofscotland

    “However Nicola Sturgeon said the prime minister still could not answer basic questions about what Brexit would actually mean.
    Brexit Means Brexit
    how hard is that to grasp?”

    ___________

    Well I’m glad you cleared that up Michael, “Brexit means Brexit” really does clarify things greatly.

    • glenn_uk

      That phrase – while meaningless to anyone with any sense – clearly gave Michael a profound insight into the whole process. He’s just trying to share this revelation, hoping it sounds as sagely to us as it did to him, the first time he heard it.

  • michael norton

    Looks like Trump and Putin are warming to each other.
    I think Trump has, had to be careful, so he did not get bumped off, by his own side.
    https://www.rt.com/usa/382839-tillerson-assad-syrian-people/
    At a news conference in the Turkish capital, U.S.A. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson appeared to suggest the end of Bashar Assad’s presidency was no longer a prerequisite for a way out of the Syrian crisis, in a U-turn from Washington’s long-held policy.

  • michael norton

    Do Scottish voters
    really back Ms. Nicola Sturgeon over Brexit? The polls suggest not!!!
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/mar/30/scots-back-sturgeon-brexit-polls
    Sturgeon claims
    whatever voters in England and Wales might want out of Brexit, people in Scotland want something VERY different. After all, did not voters north of the border vote by 62% to 38% in favour of remaining in the EU, whereas in England and Wales there was a 53% to 47% vote in favour of leaving? That would seem quite clear evidence of a very different attitude towards the EU north of the border.
    It turns out that Scots are not so keen on freedom of movement after all. As many as 64% believe that, post-Brexit, anyone from the EU who wishes to live in Britain should have to apply to do so in the same way as anyone from outside the EU. Even more, 72%, think that the same rule should apply to any British citizen who wants to go and live in the EU.

    I think the high-water-mark of S. N. P. enthusiasm, has passed.

    • giyane

      I think Michael Norton you might have become a troll. The high watermark in the Somerset levels carried on rising above Troll nose height. Similarly the high watermark of disgust at English, French, German, and US neo-imperialism has reached 2 metres above Guardian toilet seat height.

    • JOML

      Michael, as I mentioned to Fred earlier, scratch beneath the surface….
      “NCSR’s own Professor John Curtice caveated the poll by pointing out that it was not only up to two months old, but also a Scottish sub-sample of a UK group whose respondents are picked “entirely at random”, rather than scientifically weighted to be representative of the population as normal polls are.”

      • fred

        Yes, only 52% of those polled voted for independence instead of the 55% which would be representative.

        So fucking what? The poll still means something.That doesn’t make the entire poll null and void.

        Get real.

        • JOML

          Get regulated and do things properly, if you want to produce legitimate results. Otherwise, the results are suspect and undermines the position of those who try to use them to support an argument or position. A very basic and simple point.

          • JOML

            No, Fred, I wouldn’t. You mentioned a few days back about playing the ball but don’t appear to apply that to your posts – or do you just use that phrase periodically to get out of a corner?

          • fred

            When a referendum doesn’t go how the Nationalists wanted it to go then the referendum must have been fixed.

            When the government’s own figures don’t say what the Nationalists want them to say then the government figures can’t be of any use.

            If a poll doesn’t say what the Nationalists want it to say then the poll must be wrong, Professor John Curtice of Srathclyde University must be an idiot who doesn’t know how to run a poll.

            All reality has to be altered to conform with how the Nationalists say it should be.

          • JOML

            Fred, it was John Curtice who said that the poll wasn’t representative. Do you respect his comments or not? I can’t tell from your posts.

          • fred

            It makes no difference if it was representative or not.

            You are the one who doesn’t respect John Curtice, you are the one trying to rubbish his hard work because it didn’t say what you wanted it to say.

          • JOML

            Fred, John Curtice did not carry out the research – he was commenting on the findings, providing the important caveat that it was not representative. Did you think John Curtice actually carried out this research? I’m fully supportive of his comments – I don’t know what your position is, though, other than your usual mad dash to highlight anything you perceive as SNPbad, without taking the time to consider the bigger picture.

          • fred

            It was his name on the report.

            http://natcen.ac.uk/media/1361413/40kt-55a-brx1t-r%C2%A3p0rt_v5.pdf

            So which part of Scottish voters share similar views on Brexit as those in the rest of the UK, showing little demand for a special deal north of the border are you claiming is not true? That is what John Curtice says in the conclusion to the report and that is what I posted in the link to the Scotsman article.

            Are you saying that is not true and if so where is your evidence?

          • JOML

            Apologies, Fred – I had read John Curtice’s update here and hadn’t appreciated his name was on the actual report.
            http://archive.is/DlO5I#selection-125.70-129.76
            I still place great importance on the caveats he makes. Such research is hugely difficult and I believe it is wrong for the press to mislead with black and white headline.

  • reel guid

    The Confusing World of Theresa May

    EU ref campaign: Theresa says “I’m In”.

    Becomes PM: Theresa says “We’re Out”.

    Scotland wants EU deal: Theresa says “That’s Out, You’re Going Out Too”.

    Nicola phones No. 10: Theresa says “I’m Out”.

    Scotland wants indyref2: Theresa says “That’s Out, You’re Staying In”.

    E U nationals in UK: Theresa says “You’re Out”.

    Immigrants: Theresa says “You’re Not Getting In”.

    Eire/NI hard border: Theresa says “That’s Out”.

    Indy Scotland hard border: Theresa says “That Would Be In”.

    Repatriated devo powers: Theresa says “Staying In London”.

    Nicola phones No. 10 again: Theresa says “I’m Still Out”.

    • michael norton

      So are you suggesting that Theresa May is confused?
      Are you suggesting that Nicola Sturgeon in not confused?

      • JOML

        “Remaining inside the EU does make us more secure, it does make us more prosperous and it does make us more influential beyond our shores.” Teresa May, April 25, 2016
        Are you confused, Michael?

        • michael norton

          JOML

          you may recall, last May, there was a United Kingdom Referendum, the voters, plumped for Brexit.
          Now Dave Scottish Cameron, was all for Remain, so he fell on his sword.
          That meant, that another person had to step up to the plate, to undertake the job, of securing Hard Brexit.
          After all, it is the democratic wish of the voters of The United Kingdom.

          Yes, Theresa has changed sides.
          So what, somebody had to take the helm, that does not really mean she is confused, I am sure, she thought through the options.

          Why can’t the S. N. P. accept the settled will of the voters of The United Kingdom?

          • JOML

            Yes, Michael, I know, but your post asked if Teresa May was confused. I didn’t mention the referendum, nor am I a member of the SNP. You make many assumptions in your posts.

    • MJ

      You omit to mention that prior to the referendum campaign she was widely tipped to come out on the Leave side. She did not, but her Remain campaign was notably muted, just like Corbyn’s.

      • Zed

        You mean she kept her cards close to her chest and then played a winning hand, catching you, and many others, completely unawares! Some might call that “Being canny.”

      • michael norton

        Well, some had suspected that Theresa might be a closet Brexiteer, yes, so far, she has played her hands well.
        I also suspect that Jeremy was ambivalent on the E.U.
        Perhaps Theresa was a true E.U. fanatic – who knows, I doubt if we shall know till she retires and writes her story.
        She is now plying the Brexiteer with fever, the fever of someone who has seen the light.

  • giyane

    Lucius Driftwood
    March 30, 2017 at 15:46

    ” The god of islam does not love me the sinner, the unrighteous, the struggling. The koran does not say god loves me as the sinner i am. Because the allah of islam does not love me as the sinner i am.”

    Political Islam does not recognise politics i.e. lying as a sin. It only recognises sins it observes through spying.
    Political Islam is what Jesus peace be upon him found so revolting in the Gospels that he called it whited sepulchres, the rabbis who condemned everyone but themselves.

    • Republicofscotland

      Giyane.

      Speaking of condeming, during the Islamic Golden Age, there stood the House of Wisdom, in Baghdad Iraq.

      In it were works from the likes of Galen, Aristotle, Plato, Pythagoras, Hippoctates, and many other works by Persian and Indian scholars.

      It libraries were renowned, and its intellectual works coveted.

      In 1258, the Mongol hordes descended upon it destroying the House of Wisdom, they dumped all the books and scrolls into the river Tigris.

      It was said that the Tigris ran black for six months, from the ink from the books and scrolls that leaked into it.

      • giyane

        Philosophy was poison for Islam just as politics is now. Praise be to God that ” the wisdom { gasp } of the heathen philosophers was washed into the River Tigris. I pray to Allah the blood of political Islam is washed into it as well in our lifetimes.

        • Republicofscotland

          Giyane.

          It may have skipped your notice but Galen of Pergamon, was a brilliant pioneer in medicine, and Hippocrates (such is his importance still, that even new doctors have to take the Hippocratic oath) virtually paved the way for modern medicine.

          His book the Complicated Body, was referred to right up until the 19th century.

          Pythagoras’s Theorem, was and still is important in architecture and construction.

          I haven’t even begun to mention the great work by the Persian and Indian scholars.

          So many great works were lost to the barbarian horde, yet here you are praising them.

          • Zed

            But Pythagoras was a Greek, and therefore a Pagan. No way Jose was he was Moslem, like so many of the other names you appear to be bandying about. Let’s get what you are saying quite clear; their works, although nothing to do with Islam, appeared in The House of Wisdom, Bagdad. One could even say that their works appeared in The House of Wisdom despite it being created by a Muslim ruler.

  • lysias

    A paragraph from a book I am currently reading, Shashi Tharoor’s An Era of Darkness: The British Empire in India (page 41 of the Indian edition) that I think will interest readers of this forum:

    “There is an ironic footnote to the issue of Britain’s economic exploitation of India, in these days of Scottish nationalism and feverish speculation about the future of the Union. It is often forgotten what cemented the Union in the first place: the loaves and fishes available to Scots from participation in the colonial exploits of the East India Company. Before Union with England, Scotland had attempted, but been singularly unsuccessful at, colonization, mainly in Central America and the Caribbean. Once Union came, India came with it, along with a myriad opportunities. A disproportionate number of Scots were employed in the colonial enterprise, as soldiers, sailors, merchants, agents and employees. Though Scots constituted barely 9 percent of Britain’s people, they accounted for 25 percent of those employed by the British in India. Their earnings in India pulled Scotland out of poverty and helped make it prosperous. The humming factories of Dendee, the thriving shipyards, and the remittances home from Scotsworking in India, all stood testimony to the profitable connection. Sir Walter Scott wrote of India as “the corn-chest of Scotland”. With India gone, no wonder the Scottish bonds with England are loosening…”

    Tharoor is writing about India, so he has no reason to mention the importance of the dealings between Glasgow merchants and the North American colonies.

    I might mention that I have the impression, from former officers in the Indian Army whom I met during visits to Dublin in the 1960s and 1970s, from watching John Ford movies, and from reading Kipling, that Irishmen also played a disproportionate role in the colonial enterprise in India.

    • RobG

      lysias, if I understand what you’re getting at here, morality goes out the window when it comes to the root of all evil.

      There are many, many people throughout history, though, who disprove this somewhat cynical statement. Martin Luther King being a recent and obvious example…

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2I7hQHOqNI

      King’s complete speech can be found here…

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSIAHeQ01Wc

      Martin Luther King spoke this truth in 1967.

      Half a century later the world remains so crazy and violent that we still have to speak this truth, and we still find ourselves under as much threat as King was; perhaps even more so as the psychos consolidate their power.

    • AnonScot

      That may be because the mindset of the colonialist is never to actively partake in it’s own dirty work.
      It subjugates one people and through fear of further subjugation sends them out to subjugate others.
      Meanwhile it just sits back and collects the spoils.
      Oh, and if at a later date it is called to book for it’s involvement it can always absolve itself by blaming the original subjugatee for everything.

      • giyane

        AnonScot

        You’ve stuck the tail on the donkey. The Muslims have always lined up first to be delegated the positions of authority to keep their brothers and sisters in line. Muslim Brotherhood tosspots like
        Lucius Driftwood are fully paid up members of the USUKIS neo-conservative new world order, using spying on Muslims, shooting them out of their homes and exacting extortion from the homeless for their colonial masters. Dogs and thieves they endlessly repeat the mistakes of the earlier colonial times.
        USUKIS are laughing their cotton socks off.

      • Republicofscotland

        AnonScot.

        Sometime colonial subjugation backfired on the British empire, Gordon of Khartoum was a prime example.

        Gordon of Khartoum, or as he was also called Chinese Gordon because he crushed a Chinese rebellion, in China, was ordered to move his troops out by his peers.

        But instead Gordon sought fame and kudos as he did in crushing the Chinese rebellion. However the Sudanese Mahdi, saw it differently and fierce attacks crushed Gordon’s forces.

        Reinforcements arrived two days later, but Gordon’s fate was already sealed.

        There is an iconic picture of Gordon’s last moments, painted by George William Joy.

        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_W._Joy#/media/File%3AGeneral_Gordon's_Last_Stand.jpg

    • Republicofscotland

      Lysias.

      Sounds a interesting book Lysias, regarding the Darien Scheme, which basically forced the hands of the Scottish nobles, to foist the union on Scots, in which certain Scots were handsomely paid for their aye votes.

      It might be added that king William III sent out word, that not one barrel of water was to be given in aid to Scots, involved in the Darien Scheme.

      Before Anne acceded the throne in 1702, William III was king, he was the hammer of Jacobites.

      In 1702, king William, ventured out on his horse for a ride at Hampton Court, his horse put a hoof on a molehill, and it threw the king to the ground.

      William broke his collarbone, later infection set in and he died, the offical death was recorded as pneumonia.

      However the Jacobites gave the credit to the mole, they drank a toast to the wee fellow, known as the Little Black Velvet.

      • AnonScot

        Yes giyane,

        The middle east is a case in point.
        More broadly, it seems mankind hasn’t evolved much since the clubbed womankind over the head and dragged her off to his cave.

      • Zed

        So what you are saying is that those Scottish persons celebrated the death of a fellow human being?

        How very noble of them RoS!!!

    • bevin

      It is a good book. A very compact and readable summary of a history which is almost always romanticised in the UK.
      Tharoor, a Member of India’s lower house, is being talked about as a natural replacement for the current ineffective leadership of the Congress party.
      The number of Scots and Irish who served in india has to be understood from a classpoint of view: it is one thing to join the EIC as a cadet and come back to Scotland twenty five years later to be a laird. It is something very different for a peasant without land or prospects, in Ireland, Scotland or anywhere else in the UK to take the Queen’s shilling and go out to India as a private soldier- people in that position were certainly not imperialists, they were as much the victims of a system of exploiting the poor as the peasantry of India. And their lives were hard, dangerous and badly rewarded: the pay was bad, living conditions were atrocious and, in the end, there was nothing left but death in the workhouse.

      • michael norton

        The expert estimated that there are 2 million people of Chinese origin living in France, a country with a population of about 66 million.

        The recent killing and clashes came after thousands of people marched in Paris to condemn the alleged rape in February of a 22-year-old black man by police.

        The alleged incident in the Paris suburb of Aulnay-sous-Bois cast a new spotlight on the festering issue of police brutality towards members of France’s visible minorities.

        Police State

        • giyane

          Are you offended by African anal sex or are you supportive of it Norton? Maybe the French police were using their batons to make a heterosexual point. Please do clarify.

      • RobG

        All the massive protests in France over the last year or so (and barely any of them have been reported by the MSM) are illegal under the state of emergency.

        However, the Establishment are so terrified of this mass movement that they wouldn’t dare take action against them.

        Jean Luc Mélenchon is the political representative of this mass movement.

        Watch the most historic moment in European history (the forthcoming French presidential election).

        Whilst you total wimps in the UK are not battling for citizen’s rights. You’re just banging on about immigrants, and all the other total nonsense that the Establishment use to distract you.

        And all the while you are being totally raped by a bunch of gangsters.

        As a Brit born and bred in London, I would like to say that my fellow citizens would be at the forefront of this revolt against the neo-con/globalist madness.

        Alas.

        You seem to be stupid little patsies.

        Baah, baah, the twerrorists are coming to get us… terror, terror, terror, hate, hate, hate, fear, fear, fear.

        Are you really dumb enough to fall for this total bullshit?!

        The French aren’t dumb enough to fall for it.

          • RobG

            LOL (OMG).

            I’m trying to tell people what’s really going on.

            Alternatively you can take the red pill or the blue pill.

            My tolerance of junkies is zero at the moment.

            My tolerance of Uncle Sam’s trolls is also zero at the moment.

            The biggest propaganda machine in history is crashing to the ground, much like this…

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jH-mhZLuGRk

          • Zed

            Doesn’t he just? Hey RobG, when are you going to start using words like “Sheeple” to describe us “Unenlightened ones” wah wah wah!?

            Hey, way to go RobG; tilting at windmills like Don Quixote.

        • glenn_uk

          Oh what a surprise – RobG’s putting out his usual round of insults, threats, and denunciations, while claiming he knows exactly what’s going on while the rest of us know nothing.

          Don’t you ever get tired of this boring routine of yours, RobG? Because I – for one – am thoroughly bored of seeing this crap off you on a nightly basis for YEARS now.

          • RobG

            Ok, glenn-uk, tell us something.

            You never do.

            You’re a waste of space.

            You’re just one of the vermin trolls, all from the totally unaccountable security services, all total leeches on tax payer’s money.

            You lot might perhaps be put up against a wall and shot. I provide a plethora of links, which people can make up their own minds about. You vermin provide no links whatsoever, and are a total joke.

            We’re coming for you.

            (when it comes to tossers like you, I never make that threat lightly)

            You’re losing.

            No one believes the bullshit anymore.

            All you can do is make totally pathetic attacks on people like me.

            You-are-totally-pathetic, and you are also complete scumbags and vermin and criminals.

            I hope that addresses your post.

          • glenn_uk

            RobG: I don’t “tell” you stuff from whacked out websites, and then pretend I’m superior to you. That’s your game.

            You – on the other hand – never explain what makes you so superior, and what you’re actually doing about it – funny that!

            No – you didn’t address a thing. You never do. You just make denouncements, threats, declare yourself superior and… that’s it! I think that sums up your act pretty well.

          • Ben

            RobG, like Trump, is tired of ‘Winning”.

            Lol. I love the uber-positive self-talk.

          • glenn_uk

            Ben – RobG and, presumably, his vast army of something-or-others are all “coming for us” and we “should make no mistake about that”. Surely not, since we’ve been told this hundreds of times.

            I’m just worried that we’re all going to die of old age before they arrive…

          • Zed

            I think the only thing we are likely to die of is boredom. Hey David Icke is on RobG’s side dontchaknow?

            You know, as I’ll go buy a home in the hotbed of Freemasonry that is the IoW, and I’ll have a 60 inch TV in my living room, despite my warnings to everybody else how they are spying on you, Oh heck, I can’t stop laughing at the idea of RobG taking him seriously…….

          • D_Majestic

            That’s you, Glenn. Some others with an open mind will be interested in any alternative view concerning the present insanity stalking the world.

  • lysias

    NY Times Outs White House Sources Who Provided Intel Reports To Nunes.

    Nunez’s sources are Ezra Cohen-Watnick, the senior director for intelligence at the National Security Council, and Michael Ellis, a lawyer who works on national security issues at the White House Counsel’s Office and formerly worked on the staff of the House Intelligence Committee.

    Get this: NY Times’s sources, also apparently on the NSC, insisted on being kept anonymous “to avoid angering Mr. Cohen-Watnick and Mr. Ellis.”

    • lysias

      Ezra Cohen-Watnick was apparently brought onto the NSC staff by Flynn. After Flynn was fired, his successor McMaster tried to fire Cohen-Watnick, who is Jewish, but he kept his job by appealing to Stephen Bannon and Jared Kushner, and Trump sided with them.

    • Ben

      Was the post too profane for the masses…wor thy of deletion because….Nunes is part of the valid conspiracy of Russkie vs Yankee?.

      Let me repeat Nunes is, like Trump; Anti-Democratic scions seeking their best.personal advantage.

      Mark my words…Nunes is toast for the duration.

    • Sharp Ears

      Je suis ici.

      (Watching QT! Davidson, McCluskey, Nandy, Nuttall!, and this woman from the Institute of Economic Affairs –
      ‘Kate Andrews. spokesperson, Republicans Overseas UK; columnist for CityAM on the American Presidential race. Kate is news editor at the Institute of Economic Affairs. She joined in February 2016 having previously worked as head of communications at the Adam Smith Institute.’ The IEA, ‘a neo-liberal think tank’ promotes ‘free market economics’, ie a gathering place for vultures and sharks . Enough said.)

      To be followed by Alastair Campbell with Andrew Neil on This Week and Mad Mel has just been on Sky News reviewing the papers which all lead on the so called Great Repeal Bill.

      All that’s missing is BLiar himself.)

    • glenn_uk

      What are you doing to protect human rights, RobG?

      Oh that’s right – you’re endlessly posting vague threats online to ordinary people. On a nightly basis for many years. Well, I – for one – am glad to see someone working so productively on these pressing matters.

  • bevin

    Justin Raimondo is having fun watching the Democrats in Congress going completely mad.
    http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2017/03/28/a-tale-of-two-protests/

    So is OffGuardian: “Experts” reveal their “evidence” of Russian “hacking”
    https://off-guardian.org/2017/03/31/experts-reveal-their-evidence-of-russian-hacking/

    And the truth is that the Democrats were always inclined to these insults to the human intelligence- this is a pary which trult holds the working people in complete contempt. In their view there is nothing so outlandish that a sweet talking con man like Bill Clinton cannot sell it to the great unwashed.

  • giyane

    Talking of people who ‘ like ‘ their own websites, the US neo-cons who are in league with Russia and Iran against Islam and who have therefore to publicly pose as hating Russia and Iran by instruction from their Ixxxxi advisors are going to use Trump insider Michael Flynn’s testimony against Trump to convince us that their ally Putin interfered with US elections.

    Well I suppose if you can ‘ like ‘ your own blog you can ‘ hate ‘ your own ally. BTW my sentence is only complicated because the zxxxxxt neo-cons are crazy. You can’t explain twisted zxxxxxxxxt double-think in words of one syllable. Sharp Ears, the only reason for Bliar’s absence is to avoid scaring the horses.

    Has ‘ Fuck the EU ‘ Nuland and ‘Fuck the EU’ Boris Johnson completed their ‘ Fuck the EU ‘ – reward for services renditioned by Erdogan , the gift to Turkey of Cyprus yet? ‘ Fuck the EU ‘ seemed to work in the installation of Nazis in Ukraine, so why not wean war-criminal Erdogan back from the teats of Putin with the bribe of the EU’s Cyprus?

    Boris Johnson is a rat chewing away on the building blocks of the EU in order to gain access to the black gold, grain-store the Middle-East. Yes that genetically modified blonde tart with his nose sticking out of his ear-hole, not the lycra black bikinied one with a lycra-black dildo sticking out of her front in whom this house is soon going to lose confidence.

    Apologies I don’t seem to be able to find words in the English language to act as metaphors for Tory neo-con deviance without referring to human acts which are currently considered shameful and degrading. How are we going to describe neo-con political duplicity when these acts become publicly common-place?

    • J

      On that theme, I noted with interest the Murdoch rumblings against Google and Facebook today. On grounds of monopolistic control. At first sight a battle he can’t hope to win.

      However, in these reactionary times, if Google and Facebook dreamt up a campaign to herd liberal group think back toward their ‘ranch’ it might well look like Murdoch attacking them on grounds of ‘monopoly.’ Cue the ‘argument toward a progressive monopoly’ coming soon to the Guardian. Be interesting to watch the theatrical development of this ‘story.’

      • giyane

        J, it’s good to know there’s no monopoly in the fake news business. How come they all stick to the same fake news stories? There must be a zionopoly above them that the laws on monopoly don’t control, keeping them sync-ed otherwise there’d be fake news wars. Sync-ing with Hieroglyph, Sharp Ears, Bevin, Craig, Lysias , Ben, RobG, JOML etc now…

  • Sharp Ears

    Join the queues for the NHS waiting list for your operation (there’s no money dontcha know) but there’s plenty for this nonsense.

    ‘The first of hundreds of UK military vehicles have arrived in Estonia to support the UK’s enhanced Forward Presence battlegroup based in Tapa, one of the largest ever NATO deployments to Eastern Europe.

    Setting sail from Marchwood, Southampton, last Wednesday, the Roll-on-Roll-off ferry also stopped off in Emden, Germany, to collect Warrior infantry fighting vehicles, Challenger 2 tanks and AS90 self-propelled artillery guns. It also carried Terrier, Titan and Trojan armoured battlefield engineer vehicles. The vehicles will then be moved by road from the port to Tapa.’
    /..
    https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-armoured-vehicles-arrive-in-Estonia

    Fallon is on the news channels this morning boasting of this massive NATO deployment saying that we are defending Estonia against Putin’s aggression.

    A fortnight ago he was flown down to Devon to boost the morale of our boys in the Marines. No connection with the Blackman case.
    http://www.northdevongazette.co.uk/news/pictures_defence_secretary_sir_michael_fallon_visits_rmb_chivenor_1_4936068

  • Habbabkuk

    I wonder if historians will look back on President Zuma’s sacking of 15 cabinet ministers (including the respected finance minister) as the beginning of the end of democracy in the Republic of South Africa and the start of a Zimbabwe-like slide towards chaos?

  • michael norton

    The UK needs to work together, putting all our energies into ensuring we get the right deal for the UK and for Scotland in our negotiations with the EU.

    In 2014, the Scottish people decided in a legal, fair and decisive referendum to remain a strong part of the UK. The Edinburgh Agreement of 2012 committed both the UK and Scottish Governments to respecting the outcome of the Scottish referendum. Calling for a second referendum is creating damaging uncertainty for the economy, and most people in Scotland do not want the country to be plunged into another divisive campaign. All our focus should be on our negotiations with the EU and working together to get the right deal for Scotland and the right deal for the UK. It would be unfair to the people of Scotland to ask them to make a crucial decision without knowing what our future partnership with the EU will be or what the alternative for an independent Scotland would look like.

    As the Prime Minister has set out, we will strengthen the Union of the four nations that comprise our United Kingdom. We will negotiate as one United Kingdom, taking account of the specific interests of every nation and region of the UK. When it comes to the powers that we will take back from Europe, we will consult fully on which powers should reside in Westminster and which should be passed on to the Devolved Administrations.

    This will be an opportunity to determine the level best placed to take decisions on these issues, ensuring power sits closer to the people of the UK than ever before. It is the expectation of the Government that the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will see a significant increase in their decision-making power as a result of this process.

    Scotland Office

    • michael norton

      That was a letter to the people who had signed a petition “Another Scottish independence referendum should not be allowed to happen”.

    • michael norton

      Petitioner who called for SCOTTISH referendum to be BLOCKED brands S. N. P. deputy an ‘IDIOT’
      A SCOTTISH man who started a petition to block another referendum has called Angus Robertson an “absolute idiot” after the SNP deputy claimed independence was “inevitable”.
      http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/786132/scottish-independence-referendum-petition-angus-robertson-idiot-john-innes
      He said: “I never listen to anything that man says.

      “Anyone with a modicum of intelligence in Scotland doesn’t listen to him – he’s an absolute idiot!

    • reel guid

      What kind of multi-nation state takes major constitutional steps such as Brexit without the consent of all the member nations of that state?

      Scotland voted Remain by a margin of 24%. We were denied the right of veto.

      Scotland’s still free – unlike it’s privatised English counterpart – NHS employs thousands of EU nationals. There’s uncertainty for you. Uncertainty caused by a referendum a majority of Scots never wanted and in which they voted Remain by that telling margin.

      No veto and not the slightest attempt by the Tory government to address Scotland’s needs by looking at a compromise deal. Just ” The UK voted a whole to leave”. So Scotland has to leave the EU single market even though we don’t want to. There’s uncertainty and division right there for you.

      The people who voted No in 2014 did not write a promise on their ballot papers that there would be no second independence referendum. Many No voters have changed their views. Go to the Wings Over Scotland website and hear their stories on the series of Journey To Yes short videos.

      • lysias

        The annexation of Texas by the United States and the resulting Mexican War were both opposed by a lot of the population in the Northern states, which viewed it all as the use of violence to extend slavery. The Texas annexation was accomplished by mere Act of Congress, requiring only bare majorities in both Houses of Congress, because the attempt to accomplish it by treaty ratification, which required a two-thirds majority in the Senate, failed. Doing it by Act of Congress was very doubtfully constitutional, and the failure to get the treaty ratified shows how much opposition there was to the ratification. The Mexican War was regarded as immoral aggression by such Northerners as Abraham Lincoln.

        All of this was part of what led the North to gradually more and more resent Southern domination of the politics of the United States, which eventually led to the American Civil War.

        • Node

          All of this was part of what led the North to gradually more and more resent Southern domination of the politics of the United States, which eventually led to the American Civil War.

          Control of the money supply was another factor at stake in the US Civil War.
          http://www.abrahamlincolnsclassroom.org/abraham-lincoln-in-depth/abraham-lincoln-and-civil-war-finance/

          “The government should create, issue and circulate all the currency and credits needed to satisfy the spending power of the government and the buying power of consumers. By adoption of these principles, the taxpayers will be saved immense sums of interest. Money will cease to be master and become the servant of humanity.”

          Abraham Lincoln, US President 1861-5. He created government issue money during the American Civil War and was assassinated.

          “The death of Lincoln was a disaster for Christendom. There was no man in the United States great enough to wear his boots and the bankers went anew to grab the riches. I fear that foreign bankers with their craftiness and tortuous tricks will entirely control the exuberant riches of America and use it to systematically corrupt civilisation.”

          Otto von Bismark (1815-1898), German Chancellor, after the Lincoln assassination.

      • fred

        Those who voted Yes in 2014 were voting for Scotland to leave the EU. If Yes had won Scotland would most likely not be a member of the EU now. Scotland isn’t and never has been a member of the EU, it is the United Kingdom which is the member.

  • michael norton

    Uncertainty in Scotland leads to Uncertainty.

    Research and development investment falls in Scotland
    Ministry of Truth
    1 hour ago
    From the section Scotland business

    The figures, for 2015, have been published by the Scottish government.

    They confirm previous patterns showing that private sector research is a significant weakness within the Scottish economy.

      • reel guid

        Ultra right Tory government.
        Brexit.
        Out the single market.
        Plans to dismantle devolution.
        Scottish assets seen as bargaining chips with Brussels.

        There is always uncertainty in politics. That’s why you can never have enough votes, public consultations, referendums in order to deal with it democratically.

        British Nationalists don’t want another independence referendum because they’re chicken. Not because it’s undemocratic.

    • fred

      The Scots wanted a referendum and they got a referendum in 2014, a once in a lifetime decisive referendum to settle the matter once and for all for at least a generation.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    On a happier note:

    https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20170331-pro-israeli-activists-thrown-out-of-uk-parliament/

    Two pro-Israeli activists were removed from the House of Lords during a pro-Palestinian event for breaching Houses of Parliament rules and regulations on Wednesday.

    Pro-Israeli activist and journalist Jerry Lewis and Jonathan Hoffman were removed by police after refusing repeated requests to switch off their recording device by Lord Warner, who was chairing the event…

    …Habeeb said that Lewis, who has a parliamentary accreditation as a journalist, was not invited to the meeting but he came in middle of the seminar and switched on his recording device, even though it was a violation of the rules of the Parliamentary Estate.

    To record, Lewis needed permission from the event chair and the Black Rod office, which he failed to do.

    Following his refusal to turn the camera off, police confiscated his Parliament Press pass and led him out of the building.

    Hoffman was also requested to leave the meeting for his disruptive and disrespectful conduct towards the chair. He also used abusive language against Lord Warner and event’s audience.

    Hoffman has a history of attending pro-Palestinian meetings in order to cause disruption.

    • Sharp Ears

      ‘Hoffman has a history of attending pro-Palestinian meetings in order to cause disruption.’

      Back in the day, I have witnessed his manic disruptions in several locations when pro Palestian speakers were addressing the audiences @ UCL. Amnesty. Kings College. etc.

      • Republicofscotland

        Hoffman sounds like a nasty little agent provocateur.

        In 1952, Israel offered its presidency to Albert Einstein. Einstein declined the offer claiming he lacked the aptitude.

    • glenn_uk

      Noticed in the latest Eye (p.10), that Tory MP Andrew Selous raised a Commons point of order after a constituent was barred from Parliament for wearing a “Free Palestine” badge, and had to remove it. This was despite a large exhibition featuring a poster about Zionist diplomacy.

      Bercow dismissed Selous’ objection, saying the Zionist material was “irrelevant” because it was part of an historical exhibition.

    • Habbabkuk

      That is indeed a happy note.

      Israeli sympathisers who attempt to prevent or disrupt pro-Palestinian meetings or other similar events should be dealt with firmly.

      As should, of course, Palestinians sympathisers who attempt to prevent or disrupt pro-Israel meetings or similar events.

      I think we can all agree on that, can’t we?

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