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.

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1,204 thoughts on “Thoughts from Ghana

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  • nevermind

    As the definite Wrecksit will throw up discrepancies and changes in the jurisdiction, the long talked about merger between the LSE and the Frankfurter Boerse will not be allowed, says the unelected, unaccountable appointed Commissioner Mrs. Verstagen. Frankfurt does not like the sole rights of the City of London Corp. which will not allow jurisdiction to be changed.

    Another reason is the lack of competition that would result from such a merger, as well as investigations for insider trading by leading bankers, before it even happened.
    This is the fifth attempt by these two exchanges to merge, maybe this one was the last, who knows.
    in German, sorry.

    • Sharp Ears

      and in best BBCese.

      London Stock Exchange-Deutsche Boerse deal blocked by EU

      Usual win win for the City boys.

      ‘The commission had ordered LSE to also sell its 60% stake in MTS, a fixed-income trading platform, but LSE said the move was “disproportionate”.

      “In the end, LSE made it easy for the regulators by refusing to sell its stake in MTS,” said ETX Capital’s Mr Wilson.

      Investors responded positively to the deal’s collapse, he added, with shares in LSE rising 3% and in Deutsche Boerse by 1%.’

  • Republicofscotland

    So Theresa May finally did it, she sent the death warrant of HMS Brexitania to Donald Tusk.

    As the national debt expands at a rate of over £5,170 quid a second. May and her bungling Brexiteers have just put a huge stumbling block in front of trade, between British businesses and the largest trading bloc on the planet.

    The Taxpayers Alliance has said this over the sea of debt, that HMS Brexitania is currently sinking in.

    “At the end of 2014-15, the real national debt stood at £8.6 trillion, over £320,000 for every single household in Britain.”

    “Since 2009-10, the debt has grown by £1 trillion, growing from £7.6 trillion up to £8.6 trillion in 2014-15, equivalent to around five times our GDP.”

    The Taxpayers Alliance goes on to quote more eye watering figures on how Britain is debt ridden.

    Lets not forget that this Tory government has borrowed more and more, and Britain’s debt has risen by a staggering £555 billion pounds since 2010, under the Tories.

    Brexit will be a disaster of epic proportions for Britain. Already Wales which voted to leave is wondering where it EU subsidies will come from, once negotiations are complete, though the EU has given assurances until 2020.

    Northern Ireland and Scotland can escape the sinking ship that is Brexitania, through referendums, if they choose to do so. Already Scotland is preparing the ground for a breakaway from Westminster, that will hopefully go as planned.

    NI however will need to get its act together, and form a government before Westminster seize the political reins of power, for the foreseeable future. Before it can put forward a referendum, on unification with the republic.

    Even then the slabbering Pavlov’s dogs, the die-hard loyalists, will have to be overcome.

    • fred

      On June 22nd last year didn’t you say:

      Speaking of the EU Commission, it has been described as “the only body paid to think European”

      Which of course would put member states at a disadvantage who didn’t agree with it. I for one never saw the attraction of a sovereign nation giving away part of sovereignty to a far off parliament propagated, by faceless bureaucrats, who are virtually unremovable.

      • Republicofscotland

        Maybe I did maybe I didn’t but whats your point Fred, IF, you have one?

        • fred

          My point is that before the referendum you were arguing for Brexit while Theresa May was arguing against.

          • Republicofscotland

            Well Fred, am I not allowed to point out faults within the EU, I’ve always been clear that corruption exist within it.

            However, in the end voting to remain was the best thing to do. Sadly Scotland has now been dragged out of the EU, but every cloud has a silver lining as they say. In the form of a new indyref.

          • fred

            Ah so you campaigned for Brexit hoping that England would vote to leave and Scotland remain. You got the result you hoped for.

            The majority of people in Scotland do not want another referendum. Another referendum would be undemocratic.

          • Republicofscotland

            No Fred.

            I decided to vote remain, and like most people I was surprised that leave won.

            May cannot hope to replace what we’ve got now with the EU, with something better.

            That’s why a second indyref is a must win.

  • Republicofscotland

    I have to say that MSP Angus Robertson, really tore a strip or two, from the beleaguered looking unelected prime minister today, in the chamber.

    Theresa May’s retort, was very weak and unconvincing, and her conciliatory reply, gave no comfort or clarity whatsoever over where Scotland stands on Brexit.

  • Doug Scorgie

    michael norton
    March 28, 2017 at 16:49

    “I cannot see how the Euro [EU] can continue, it is anti-democratic, it works, against the interests of the people”

    Yes I agree Michael but can you name a country whose government does work in the interests of it’s people?

    There are a small number that I can call to mind but the US and UK are not included.

  • Alcyone

    So I hope everyone had their last continental breakfast this morning, cos from tomorrow it’s going to be back to The Great British Breakfast!

    On a more serious note, I do wonder if this movement, and it is a movement (unless you’re in denial), has it’s roots in the clash of civilisations between the Muslims and the Rest of the World. Christianity and Judaism, around the world, has pretty much matured and is on a path, however slow, out of our Type Zero Global Civilisation. The Hindus and Buddhists plus the Sikhs, Jains etc, the Eastern religions, have generally always been more philosophical and flexible-minded. I find many people of the erstwhile USSR quite refreshingly non-dogmatic about religion and free-thinking. The fashionability in recent decades, illustrated by the love for the Dalai Lama is testimony to the trend against rituals and dogma. Even though, if you think it through, organised religions of any kind end up doing more harm than good. Still, not to detract from from the fact Islam hasn’t progressed equally to the other traditions. On the contrary, post 9/11 it has if anything regressed and found itself a reputation for being supremely restrictive and indeed aggressive.

    Check out this 3-minute video and don’t be fooled by the title. Posted by a guy who calls himself ‘ExMuslimFreethinker’. Hurrah to him, I say well done, free yourself.

    Back to the movement I referred earlier, I believe the phenomena of Brexit, Trump’s miraculous win, and the rising popularity of other significant and not so insignificant politician-leaders in France, The Netherlands, indeed across Europe, now to include Sweden too are all part of a movement resisting the call to Islamic prayer. However they are disguised and whatever other coinciding elements there may be in the mix.

    It’s back to bacon and eggs my friends, mine with english mustard. (tongue-in-cheek as I’m well into the process of returning to be vegetarian, but I think tomorrow I shall have my bacon.)

    • bevin

      In other words: Alcyone hates muslims.
      Or at least is pretending to do so in order to curry favour with other bigots.
      There is no clash of civilisations. There are clashes between the civilised and the barbaric: most muslims (excluding those bound to the Empire) are in the former category. The powers that be in the United States, and its echo chambers in the satellite countries, are, for perfectly sensible reasons, related to their intellectual and moral bankruptcies, hell bent on keeping war going because they have no plan to improve their position through peace. The United States aims to establish global hegemony through violence. There will be war until its rulers are defeated.

      • Alcyone

        Rant as much as you like for verbose is who you are. Zero logic so you start getting abusive–par for the course for ‘liberals’ or whatever prats are called. I don’t do hate, period. You love Islam, feel free to convert; why don’t you?

        • Alcyone

          Well said Lucius; worse still, he doesn’t want to know. The mind is so embittered that it has lost all curiosity to enquire, to think things out first-hand for one’s self, to get to the bottom of things.

          I’ll take this opportunity to reiterate: The movement in support of change as expressed by the people in Brexit and Trump’s completely unexpected win and other such similar, is NOT divorced from the West and other free-minded nations being rightly deeply sceptical of Islam and it’s qualities of aggression, dogma, rituals and not least it’s inherent misogyny and general backwardness and lack of evolution. Who is going to legislate change for the world’s one billion-plus Muslims??? I’ll pray five times a day if anyone can please tell me. In the meantime, they are holding up the whole of the Type Zero Global Civilisation.

          • nevermind

            And you two know very little of Christianity, in effect, the nature of religion. Everything attributable to Islam can also be found in Christianity and its multiple splinters, so best is to caolm down dears.

            But I expected some right wing crap talk to start the moment the letter was handed in. fact is that immigration will not change, the economy and pension system can’t do without.

        • giyane

          Bevin wrote: ” most muslims (excluding those bound to the Empire) are in the former category. The powers that be in the United States, and its echo chambers in the satellite countries, are, for perfectly sensible reasons, related to their intellectual and moral bankruptcies, hell bent on keeping war going because they have no plan to improve their position through peace ”

          Islam commands Muslims to treat Christians and Jews as people of the book. Not much scope for war there. It also commands Muslims not to kill either eachother or anybody who has not attacked them.

          Islam does not say what the Muslim Brotherhood says, that Muslims should instigate a culture of hostility and war in the off chance that God will favour the aggressors. Not only will Allah always oppose the oppressors, like Al Qaida and Daesh, but He is always on the side of the oppressed.

          Furthermore He has expressly forbidden the Muslim Brotherhoods political path of making military alliances with the non-Muslims and specifically warned that they will work together against the Muslim cause. USUKIS would have us believe that they hate Russia, but that’s so that we don’t understand what is plain to everyone that USUKIS has herded together all the ignorant and politically-motivated from the Muslims into one cauldron of Iraq and Syria, so that their friend and ally Russia can bomb them.

          Every generation of Muslims thinks they can get the better of the Non-Muslims by collaborating with them, and every generation is visited with the terrible repercussions of the stupidity of political Islam. Now, as in the old colonial times. All of the problems of the Muslims derive from those who think Islam teaches this type of stupid politics, collaborating with what Bevin calls the Empire.

          Stupid, stupid , stupid. Incurably stupid. And Bevin seems to have understood just how incurably stupid the political Muslims are.

          • Lucius Driftwood

            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.

    • Burt (not bert)

      A movement based around being against muslims? A clash of civlisations? This sounds awfully familiar from about 50 years ago somehow. I wonder what krishnamurti would have thought about it – it seems a bit judgemental, he seemed a bit more capable of understanding and love in my limited reading (maybe i missed his bigoted years).

      • D-Majestic

        No-you didn’t miss his bigoted years. They weren’t there. Any more than did Martin Buber, who in his books was concerned to improve the human lot-rather than destroy and disrupt it.

        • Sinister Burt

          Didn’t think so. These reflect what I remember more (along with my intuition to not be a bastard to anyone, or not to be so certain you’re superior to anyone)

          “The moment you have in your heart this extraordinary thing called love and feel the depth, the delight, the ecstasy of it, you will discover that for you the world is transformed.”

          “What religion a man holds, to what race he belongs, these things are not important; the really important thing is this knowledge: the knowledge of God’s plan for men. For God has a plan, and that plan is evolution.”

          “It is violence when we use a sharp word, when we make a gesture to brush away a person. So violence isn’t merely organized butchery in the name of God, in the name of society or country. Violence is much more subtle, much deeper.”

    • Node

      I find many people of the erstwhile USSR quite refreshingly non-dogmatic about religion and free-thinking.


      …. …. …. “I admire the widespread anti-Muslim violence in Russia”

      • Alcyone

        Speak for yourself Ganglion, I don’t need a translator, especially not one incompetent in simple comprehension. I don’t know violence; have no experience of it.

        Which part of Russia do you have in your mis-firing mind?

  • michael norton

    In a statement in the Commons, the prime minister said: “Today the government acts on the democratic will of the British people and it acts too on the clear and convincing position of this House.”

    She added: “The Article 50 process is now under way and in accordance with the wishes of the British people the United Kingdom is leaving the European Union.

    “This is an historic moment from which there can be no turning back.”

    She said Britain would now make its own decisions and its own laws and “take control of the things that matter most to us – we are going to take this opportunity to build a stronger, fairer Britain, a country that our children and grandchildren are proud to call home”.

    It makes you proud to be British.

    Yipppeee, we are off.

    • Awelcomeinthehillsides

      An unelected prime minister acting to further the interests of england and wales who voted to leave an organisation, whilst ignoring the interests of the Scots & Northern Irish who voted to remain within that self same organisation, can, in no way, claim to be acting democratically.

      However, given the FPTP system of government that allows a government that commanded less than 37% of the actual votes cast to impose such measures can I suppose be construed as democracy-but democratic, whereby the people have spoken, I think not.

      • michael norton

        If necessarily, Saint Theresa can get Parliament to agree, another General Election.
        At the moment, Theresa is rather popular.
        I am sure the S. N. P. would lose Members of Parliament
        for their stupidity and churlishness, their misrepresentation to the people of the economic future that Scotland would have, outside of The United Kingdom.

  • Alcyone

    Come to think of it, the Scottish MSPs vote is quite pathetic at barely 54% voting in favour of yet another referendum. For the sake of this rae we going to have to listen to Craig going on and on and on in favour for the next 3 years? It’s like Uzbek torture. How little people understand freedom.

    I also feel sorry for the Scottish people, or I should be saying people living in Scotland, to have to put up with this childish nonsense day-in, day-out. These nationalists surely need to grow a few inches taller.

    • JOML

      54% quite pathetic? This is a larger percentage than Brexit achieved, yet some on here describe 51.9% as “overwhelming”.

      • michael norton

        Brexit was by the voters of The United Kingdom, a vast amount of people, all you have had in Scotland is a hand full of MSP’s voting, pathetic, that’s not democracy, that is rule by the S. N. P.

        • JOML

          Michael, it was a vote in the Scottish parliament, with all MSPs put there by the Scottish electorate. Any referendum would involve the electorate – are you suggesting that there shouldn’t be a parliament? Also, you think it is okay to ignore the 16+ million who voted remain, on the grounds that 17+ million voted leave. Fair enough but it would be hypocritical of you to criticise the SNP when they exercise the power they were given when record numbers of the electorate voted for them in the last Scottish and General elections. That’s not “pathetic”, Michael, that is “democracy”.

    • D-Majestic

      Make the best of your bacon, both. If the unproven May doesn’t manage to deliver more than a giant Tory firesale, you’ll be eating Hawkweed along with the rest of us.

      • Republicofscotland


        Indeed, Theresa May can’t possibly hope to get a better deal from the EU than we have now.

        So logically that means it will be a worse deal, the only real discussion is how worse.

        Well effectively the balls in the EU’s court in my opinion. The other 27 nations will still have each other to trade with, but, Britain however is on its own, and with America now practicing protectionism, and the far East able to outdo Britain cost wise in production, Brexit begins to look like a complete dud.

        Is it any wonder then that Britain is hawking itself around the Middle East, hoping for scraps from oppressive regimes, to bolster its flagging economic confidence.

        • Sharp Ears

          and China. They are running ports. power stations. train operating companies. even the electricity grid in London and SE.

          • Republicofscotland

            Yes Sharp Ears.

            The Tories will kowtow to anyone or any nation with money.

            I recall Prince Charles, swaying to and fro in a Saudi tent, dressed like a Arab prince. He was waving his scimitar in the air, as the (money) Saudi elites, laughed and clapped at their visiting puppet prince.

          • Republicofscotland

            Yes JOML, that’s the one poor old Charlie boy looks lost, trying to to do the Saudi version of the slosh.

            The Saudi paparazzi in the background took pictures of his every twisted and controted move. ?

            Still I’m sure mummy, the government and the British arms traders, would’ve been pleased with his performance.

        • D-Majestic

          This has seemed pretty obvious to me, you and a few others for a while now. Why not to most people here? Oh-wait.I think I know. Cue in a Tory-led fire-sale.

    • Republicofscotland

      Britain is sinking in a sea of debt, it can’t afford to be independent.

      The national debt accrued by consecutive irresponsible Westminster governments is going up at a mind blowing £5,170 pounds per second.

      What makes you think those buffoons, at Westminster attempting to run the country, have a hope in hell of getting even a meagre deal let alone a good one.

      A prime example of their sheer incompetence is that since 2010, the national debt under the Tories has by a jaw dropping £555 billion pounds.

      In your case I picture Pieter Breugel the elder’s painting, which is called ” The Parable of the Blind Leading the Blind.”

      • Loony

        Rising UK debt is a fact. However so is rising debt everywhere – with the notable exception of Germany.

        Take Chinese debt that has risen from 147% of GDP in 2007 to over 250% of GDP today. What has that got to do with the “sheer incompetence” of the Tories? You can look at Japanese debt, US debit, Greek debt etc etc the story is the same everywhere.

        If the UK cannot afford to be independent then neither can anyone other than the Germans. Exactly what are you suggesting here???

        • Republicofscotland

          I’m suggesting Looney that, I don’t live in any of those countries I live in Britain, and its humungus debt is what concerns me.

          If I lived in Greece or China or Japan, then I would be concerned about their debts but I don’t.

          Whataboutery doesn’t hide the fact that Britain is run by incompetent fools. Who since 2010, have added a mind blowing £555 billion quid onto the national debt.

          • fred

            In 2010 when independent Ireland was going to default who had the means to bail them out? Britain found a few billion for Iceland as well.

            Not all that incompetent then.

          • JOML

            Fred, the U.K. provided “a few billion” for the Icelandic bank’s business here in the UK, in the same manner as the US paid a load of billions to UK banks to cover their business in the US. These payments were far from charitable donations and made purely in self interest.

          • fred

            And bailed out RBS and HBS as well.

            Britain had the means to do it when others didn’t, not all that incompetent then?

          • JOML

            Yes, Fred, if you deem quantitative easing being the same as having “the means”. Shame we don’t have “the means” just now, as we could do with reducing current astronomical UK debt levels.

          • fred

            Then there was the London Debt Agreement of 1953 when we had the means to write off half of Germany’s war debts.

            Not all that incompetent?

          • Alcyone

            I remember vaguely there aws an obscure bank by the name of Royal Bank of Scotland that lead the charge?

          • JOML

            Fred, S&P’s rate the U.K. as ‘AA’, which is second tier. Previously, the U.K. were rated ‘AAA’. So, currently, the U.K. is not as competent as it used to be and is not excellent i.e. the report card states, ‘could be better’.

          • Loony

            RoS – You amaze me. Have you not heard of globalization? The EU is a central player and it is central to the EU ethos. All things are connected – as you yourself recognize by pointing out that the US Fed provided $1 trillion to support the UK financial system. Check it out come more they funneled money into substantially every rotten enterprise throughout the world.

            UK dent is horrendous and one day soon it will do for the UK. But it is not just the UK it is everywhere, and it will all come crashing down. At least the British have made some efforts to contain the toxicity of things like RBS. What has Germany done? It has economically raped Greece and completely ignored Deutsche Bank running up a $57 trillion derivative book. Measure UK debt against DB’s derivatives and ask yourself which is the bigger problem. Derivatives don’t net to zero in a systemic collapse.

            Next ask yourself how often you have bemoaned cuts to public services. Where do you think the money is coming from? It is coming from the printing press with fantastically complicated theories and financial structures acting as a smokescreen to prevent the people from recognizing what is happening.

            The game is over – all that has happened is someone has stolen the referee’s whistle to prevent him signalling full time. It is a global farce and a global mirage – the UK is only a bit part player. Maybe it will creep onto the stage for the final act and fire a few nukes somewhere. Even global destruction is preferred by the architects of this lunacy to an admission that they got it oh so wrong.

        • Alcyone

          So, who’s sitting on all the assets, apart from Germany? Maybe RoS will go there, take never-a-mind with him?

          • nevermind

            dual nationality applications in Germany have gone up by 600% in one year, and RoS would not fare too bad attempting the 87page application form.
            But who are you? but a right wing braggadocio telling us were to get off here, in the security of knowing that you will never meet us or dare to say this to my face, so calm down dear.

          • philw

            The assets are owned by the 1% – private individuals and corporations.

            ‘Austerity’ means austerity for the 90%, whilst turbocharging the transfer of assets to the 1%. Huge debts for states and the poor, huge wealth for the rich.

            How come there are still people who haven’t clocked this yet?

    • Alcyone

      75% of MP’s voted to remain. 53% of the people told them to fuck off. In Scotland, 53% of it’s MSP’s voted to ask to leave the UK; 75% of the people are going to tell them to fuck off.

      Sweet symmetry.

      Hat’s off to The Right Hon Theresa May for upholding democracy so elegantly, she makes Corbyn look like a right ragged hanger-on. Tom Watson sits shell-shocked but with his fat arse on the narrow bench he anyway has little to contribute.

      Labour has it’s May day! (Poetic?)

      • JOML

        You’ll get cracking odds on 75% of Scotland rejecting independence. Paddy Power are 5/4 against independence. Are you going to put money on 75% or were you just bullshitting?

        • Alcyone

          Poetic licence. However, mark my words: a miss is as good as a mile. And that’s where you’re going. I’m not a gambling person and my advisor Anon1 is AWOL–can you please explain the odds against Independence. Say if I were to place a hundred pounds….?

          • JOML

            You’d get £80 back, plus your stake, if vote against independence. You’d get £175 back the other way, so clearly there’s an apparent gap for those wishing independence to close – but odds against independence will always be poorer when there’s no actual date set (i.e. gamblers will currently be focusing on a date rather than the outcome). Don’t gamble myself but the bookies are better indicators than polls!

          • Alcyone

            Thanks. So they’re really like 50:50 at this time which is the best one can say esp given the lack of a date IF it is to happen. It doesn’t look like they’ve put a lot of science behind this, at this time.

      • Republicofscotland

        Hats on again the unelected PM, hasn’t got a clue how to handle nevermind lower Britain’s gigantic national debt.

        The British government have borrowed way beyond their means, if Britain was a business it would’ve gone bust by now, with heavy debts.

        Every man woman and child in Britain owes over £29,500 quid due to extremely bad mismanagement of Britain’s wealth.

        Watch the debt clock as it rises by £5,172 per second yes per second.

        You trust these fools to run the country, now you’re trusting them to leave the largest trading bloc on the planet. How dumb is that.

      • D-Majestic

        A funny kind of democracy that May is allegedly upholding, innit? One where everybody everywhere in the country is being thoroughly monitored. Gen. Pinochet would have been over the moon at such power.

    • Rob Royston

      You need to read up on the Westminster rigged, Scottish Parliament voting system. There are two types of MSP, the elected Constituency ones and the placed List MSPs. Democracy it ain’t, they both have equal voting rights.
      You need to be aware that most of the directly elected MSPs are on the SNP ticket, so 54% is a magnificent show of Scottish support for a referendum.They were elected on their manifesto to demand a referendum if the promises of the earlier referendum were not honoured.

    • RobG

      They are waiting to see how things will play out in France.

      The forthcoming French presidential election (first round in late April, second round in early May) is the most historic moment in Europe since WW2.

      Forget Marine Le Pen.

      You all know who my dog in the race is.

    • michael norton

      If the Tory lot are just going through the motions, and we remain in the E.U., they will be finished – forever.

  • michael norton

    Down and Dirty in FRANCE

    After weeks of speculation, former “Socialist” Prime Minister Manual Valls has said he will vote for “Socialist”
    Emmanuel Macron in France’s forthcoming presidential election.

    The move by Valls to throw his weight behind the “independent” breaks a signed deal to back his own party’s Socialist candidate.

    These are the banker classes, like Boy George in England.

    How can a banker be a Socialist?

    • michael norton

      Kiss of Death in this Machiavellian race.

      In this powder-keg presidential race, a new spark set France’s political class alight Wednesday as former Socialist prime minister Manuel Valls shirked party allegiances to back the independent centrist Emmanuel Macron.

      But Valls’s support may be somewhat of a poisoned chalice for the neophyte frontrunner.

      Valls’s endorsement, ostensibly to the detriment of Socialist nominee Benoît Hamon, spurred breathless reactions from politicians of all stripes, indicating that that the former’s support will not necessarily benefit Macron.

      Socialists blasted Valls’s betrayal — expressing their “shame”, even “nausea” on Twitter — while conservatives were giddy to tar Macron with Valls’s governing record under the chronically unpopular Socialist President François Hollande.

      Conservative François Fillon, who suffered yet another blow on Tuesday night when his wife was placed under formal investigation in the scandal that has crippled his presidential bid, seemed buoyed by the news. “With Valls’s endorsement, it is now clear that the Hollande government is going into extra time. Need a change in power!” he tweeted. The conservative told reporters, “Hollande’s whole team is surrounding Macron. It’s what I’ve always said, Emmanuel Macron is François Hollande.”

      • lysias

        So, if Le Pen and Macron are the candidates who survive to the second round, the only way to vote for change is to vote for Le Pen.

        • Alcyone

          I remember a scene from Last Tango in Paris: She pointed between his legs and asked, “What’s this?”. “This, my dear is my hap-penis and your happy-ness.”

          Is Le Pen going to prick the EU/German balloon?

    • RobG

      Valls is part of Hollande’s phony Socialist Party, and is absolutely hated in France.

      In a free and fair election (do folks still remember those?) there’s no way that Macron, a neo-con puppet, would get anywhere near the presidency.

      I know that many in the Anglo-Celtic sphere will find French politics boring.

      Trust me, what happens in France over the next month or so will have mega ramifications.

      • michael norton

        Rob, we do not think French politics is boring, it is often stunningly ruthless, look how they stitched DSK up like a pair of kippers.

        • RobG

          Dominique Strauss-Kahn was stitched-up like a kipper.

          He was running for the presidency in France and was very outspoken about the banking system.

          The Frankenstein didn’t like this at all; ie, it wasn’t French politics that brought down Strauss-Kahn.

          But carrying on believing that you live in a free and open society, and are not just a vassal state of the Frankenstein.

          Brexit won’t make a blind bit of difference to this sorry state of affairs; in fact, life in America’s premier poodle will only get worse.

          Don’t you people have any pride?

          And perhaps more importantly, don’t you have any fight left? (beyond the Washington propaganda garbage, which is pumped out 24/7 on all UK news channels)

          • michael norton

            Rob, yes we do have some fight left, that is why we, in The United Kingdom, voted overwhelming for Brxit, to be rid of the disease that is the European Union.

          • giyane

            disease that is the EU

            Was it the thistle that was drunk and looking at a man or a drunk man looking at a thistle?

          • michael norton

            French artist turns chicken for three-week egg hatching

            Ministry of Truth

            It’s a mad, mad, mad world
            the Socialist dream of France.

            They are in a State of Emergency, slaughter after slaughter, lying, thieving, self-serving politicians

            the best the public can come up with
            human chickens.

            Thank God for BREXIT

            it can’t come soon enough.

    • giyane

      How can a banker ne a socialist?
      1/ The political class in France is in general elitist, 2/ Only in the UK does banking mean stealing, 3/ Only in the UK does politics mean lying.

      Far-Eastern countries like China and Malaysia regard bankers as the engine of growth and therefore champions of the workers. China’s boom is a manifestation of socialist, state banking.

      Nicola Sturgeon and Jeremy Corbyn are with the winners. If you want to be with the losers who use banking for robbing the poor, and Tories red or blue who talk constant bollocks and fight illegal wars, that’s your decision.

      • glenn_uk

        giyane: “3/ Only in the UK does politics mean lying.”

        So politicians in the rest of the world are entirely truthful and honest, and corruption is absolutely unheard of?

  • Alcyone

    “Kassam asked the veteran campaigner if he ever worried that “legacy Remainers”, such as former Prime Minister Tony Blair and millionaire financier Gina Miller, might succeed in preventing this day from coming to pass.

    “Well, it shouldn’t have taken nine months,” Farage replied. “Talk about a long gestation!”

    He did not believe, however, that there was any realistic way out for the political class after more than 17 million British voters backed Brexit, suggesting the delay may have been due to the fact that “the establishment did not want us to vote to leave [and] did not expect us to vote to leave”, and made no contingency plans for it.

    Asked if he thought diehard Remainers might now turn their efforts towards making a success of Brexit, Farage was sceptical.

    “I don’t think they’ll ever give up; they’ve been so used to having their own way,” he said. “But they will begin to look more and more ridiculous.”

    Farage confessed that family, friends, and colleagues “all thought I’d been smoking something funny” when he first began his political journey, and that actually achieving Brexit “looked completely and utterly impossible in every way”.

    Copy-paste from:

    Comments to follow after a toast.

    • Alcyone

      Farage fought from within. Sturgeon, Salmond, Murray and Co. can’t? Why? Is it cowardly? Just asking–I don’t have a greyhound in the race and frankly couldn’t care less. But I do intuit a huge resistance to a second referendum at all, now being ridden roughshod.

      • Republicofscotland

        Britain is drowning in debt, and can’t afford to leave the EU.

        Britain owes trillions according to the Taxpayers Alliance. Since 2010 the Tories have added £555 billion to that debt, Theresa May is unelected and unfit to run the country.

        • michael norton

          But we are doing better than racist Zimbabwe.
          They have everything, unlimited sunshine, unlimited fresh water, unlimited arable land, Gold, diamonds, Chromium, Lithium, Copper, Iron, Coal, Tin.
          Guess what the difference is?

          • Republicofscotland

            Is that it the once mighty empire is now on a par with Zimbabwe.

            Mind you I bet even Zimbabwe isn’t drowning in a unpayable debt.

            Lets face it Britain is debt ridden.

          • JOML

            “any bells ringing yet up in Scotland?” Alarm bells, yes. The SNP must be performing miracles for you to suggest Scotland is a one party state, given they have less than 50% of MSPs. Obviously, Michael, you are talking stereotypical crap but it does put a spotlight on how useless the >50% opposition MSPs are.

        • Republicofscotland

          Next we’ll hear that the unelected PM is selling more bonds or resorting to the tired old trick of quantitative easing, ie printing money.

          It’s beyond a joke now.

        • Republicofscotland

          I mean does anyone actually class themselves as British anymore. It’s a quaint archaic term, best reserved for Victorian books.

          Meanwhile in the last minute the debt clock has clocked up 60x £5,172.

          And you and your children and their children and so on, will pay for the incompetents of Westminster.

          What a complete f*ck up.

        • fred

          It’s the man driving the Rolls Royce who is in debt, his house, yacht, private plane he can buy them all on credit because he has the assets and he can afford the payments. It’s the bloke sleeping on the park bench that has no debt. Which would you rather be?

          Yes our children will pay for it just as we are paying for our father’s debts and their children will pay for theirs.

        • Geoffrey

          RoS, yes,as previously discussed Gordon Brown doubled the national debt built ip over 500 years or so…… must remember him “No Tory boom and bust ” he changed it to boom,boom,boom followed by having to bail out the banks whose foolish lending he had encouraged went bust.
          George Osborne,it is true continued and as you say did increase national debt by a further 25 %.
          So you are an austerity man RoS, I presume ?

          • michael norton

            Gordon Brown, Tony Blair, George Robertson, Alistair Darling, Malcolm Rifkind, David Cameron,

            they’ve all had a hand in running The United Kingdom,
            all Scottish.

          • James Dickenson

            ‘ “No return to boom and bust” was a phrase I coined when I was chancellor and we had achieved four years of growth with low inflation before Gordon took office.
            “Brown has traded heavily on the credit flowing from making the Bank of England independent. But I had already reformed monetary policy; and the stable monetary framework that he inherited, with the inflation target at its heart, was the decisive change. Inflation had been defeated by the Major government. “

        • Loony

          If the UK is drowning an Olympic sized pool of debt then the EU (except Germany) is drowning in a Pacific ocean of debt.

        • giyane

          only as unelected and as unfit as Brown .. .. . maybe it is time to leave the country after all.

    • Alcyone

      As for Raheem Kassam, very bright guy–look out for him. Now here’s an ex-Muslim I’d happily have a bacon ‘n’ eggs breakfast with. I’m sure he’s interesting, as few here.

      Read here:

      A couple of extracts:

      “In June 2016 he posted a tweet (later deleted) suggesting First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon should have her “mouth taped shut. And her legs, so she can’t reproduce”.[16] After being criticised by the Scottish National Party MP Stewart McDonald on Twitter, Kassam replied that he would not be lectured to by a “National Socialist party”.[17] He later apologised.[18][19] He has tweeted in the past that Suzanne Evans, a candidate in the second 2016 leadership election, should “fuck off for good”,[20] and questioned whether Labour MP Angela Eagle attended a “special needs class”

      (Remember that Eagle vulture last summer? What a laughing stock she is.)

      ” At the launch of his leadership campaign, Kassam called for a national referendum on the right of women in the UK to wear the niqāb”

      (Savile Row won’t be crying.)

      • Republicofscotland

        It really has become extremely embarrassing watching Westminster bend over backwards to keep Scotland in the dying union.

        I mean how much further can they stoop before it ventures into the surreal, next they’ll be begging Sturgeon not to leave.

        Mind you when you look at the mega debt that consecutive incompetent Westminster governments have increud over the decades, due the squandering of British assests, you then see why they’ll cling on to any nation that can provide any revenue.

        It really is pathetic.

        • Republicofscotland

          Watching the unelcted PM Theresa May, stumble from one unsure assessment of Brexit to another, is painful to view.

          She really has no grasp on the seriousness of the situation, and quite frankly neither has David Davis, who has the expression of a man who’s not sure if he left the cooker on or not after going out.

          May isn’t even a good orator, or negotiator, recently left standing all alone in Brussels, at a meeting, she’s a pariah, the head of a faulty debt ridden nation, that dreams of the days of golden empire.

          As the days turn into weeks May’s ineptitude will be come unbearable to watch.

      • Alcyone

        Sorry, the correct link for the one with the muslim name, Raheem Kassam:

        He may still be the only one that could save UKIp but he realises he can have more fun on the outside. He’s young but not as fiercely ambitious as our own Mhairi???!!! Just a bit brighter though than the confused girl. Craig are you setting up a new party with her? Before or after (whatever the outcome)?

        • RobG

          Mhairi Black shows up all these corrupt scum and a-holes in Westminster for what they are.

          Kassam, et al, are all total traitors and Trojan Horses that a totally desperate Establishment are trying to foister on us.

          A message to the Establishment and their totally disgusting minions: your day is over.

          We’re coming for you.

          • Zed

            Is that the Royal “we” RobG? I mean to say, your fevered imagination is hardly in the plural, is it?

            Plus you live in some French backwater; it’s hardly in the thick of things, is it?

          • RobG

            No, it’s not the royal ‘we’, it’s a mass movement that you totally propagandised egits in the West are never told about.

            I call you ‘egits’ because you go along with all the wars and mass murder, because they make you ‘afraid’ (are you trembling in your boots?) You buy into all the total lies and bullshit as though you are sheep.

            Since the ‘London attack’ last week do you know how many people have been slaughtered by British and American bombs in the Middle East?

            Suffice to say, America is the world’s biggest arms seller, and Britain is number two.

            America and Britain (and France) are guilty of war crimes on a massive scale.

            The tidal wave of propaganda will never tell you this, but please don’t criticise people like me who will tell you about it.

          • glenn_uk

            RobG: What would you call the “egits” who believe the most ludicrous BS from alt-right (i.e. Nazi) websites, with the complete credulity you’re showing these days?

            Is Hillary Clinton still about to die of Parkinson’s disease, for instance?

            Shame you’re not up for a rational discussion, because you would have a chance to ground yourself with reality again. As it is, you’re living in a deluded and paranoid world created just for the gullible so they won’t pay any attention to real problems.

          • RobG

            I beg to differ, of course.

            The plethora of people on boards like this that keep telling us strongly that ‘everything is normal’ can be judged by their words (because obviously everything is not normal).

            War, fear, War, fear. War, fear, is what these little tossers are pumping out at the moment, in order to control you.

            All these little tossers are going to be held to account for this.

            So, before yet another false flag they will pull (just to keep you all trembling in your boots, and so that you will give up all your civil liberties), here’s something that perhaps you might want to read…


            And for those who try to dissect and discredit the so-called ‘alternate media’, the mainstream media pumps out bullshit and propaganda on an industrial scale.

            It’s up to the individual to decide what is real and what is not.

          • glenn_uk

            RobG: Refer us to some serious site when it comes to your ludicrous claims.

            Not some whacked out BS site run by deluded morons, or hoax artists.

          • glenn_uk

            Alcyone: Thanks, good of you and all that… but I find it rather sad that RobG did make some sense not so long back. Now, he’s entirely consumed with these ludicrous conspiracies that don’t even pass the laugh test.

            He’s an example of the type that actually feel superior to everyone else, because they _know_ things, such as that the Clintons were operating a child sex ring. Evidence, schmevidence – they don’t need it. They _know_. Besides, some crackpot website says it’s true. All else to the contrary can be dismissed.

            This is despite believing, sorry – knowing for a fact – that Hillary was dying of various hideous conditions, which changed from day to day, and the fact that it’s now obviously not true doesn’t bother them in the slightest.

            We do know how superior RobG feels, because not only are we idiots (for not sharing in his idiotic delusions), but he feels we should be put to death.

            People like this can go well off the rails and be a danger to themselves and others. I hope he gets his head examined before it’s too late.

            Btw, whatever happened to those 30,000 guillotines that Obama was about to deploy to kill millions of people before putting them in FEMA camps? Perhaps he was rumbled by these conspiracy sites just in time!

          • Alcyone

            “People like this can go well off the rails and be a danger to themselves and others. I hope he gets his head examined before it’s too late.”

            That is a truism Glen, about the only kind of ‘ism i’m willing to indulge in. If i knew this character in person, i’d certainly highlight him to the social services.

          • glenn_uk

            Alcyone: “If i knew this character in person, i’d certainly highlight him to the social services.”

            Don’t worry about that – I’m sure the entire village he lives in is fully aware of his rather special nature. Wouldn’t be surprised if they’ve given him the title of Village- appointee of some particular position? 😉

        • Hieroglyph

          I’ve said it before: Mhari Black is too young to be an MP. I’ve nothing against Ms Black, and will happily note that there many MP’s who are much older, but still utterly useless. I merely think age is one factor, among others, to be considered in an MP. I’d have minimum age of 30 personally, because by that age they’d be long out of university, and worked for a living. I’d ban political staffers as well, until they’d done something useful with their lives. Frankly, working in McDonalds for 5 years would probably teach them more than they ever learn as a staffer. Quite serious, btw.

          With Ms Black, I just got the impression she was somehow surprised at the levels of incompetence and corruption in parliament. I would have been too at that age; even now, a little wiser, I still retain the ability to be amazed at the shamelessness of these clowns, but sadly no longer all that surprised. Most of them can’t even be arsed formulating a foreign policy, instead outsourcing it to the lunatics in the US. Aside from anything else blackmail related, that’s just lazy.

          • Zed

            Aren’t you old enough to remember that guy, Martin Bell, who went into parliament wearing a white suit?

            Hey, this might help you out:


            As might this: “Democracy gives the beatification of mediocrity a certain appearance of objective and demonstrable truth. The mob man, functioning as citizen, gets a feeling that he is really important to the world—that he is genuinely running things. Out of his maudlin herding after rogues and mountebacks there comes to him a sense of vast and mysterious power—which is what makes archbishops, police sergeants, the grand goblins of the Ku Klux and other such magnificoes happy. And out of it there comes, too, a conviction that he is somehow wise, that his views are taken seriously by his betters — which is what makes United States Senators, fortune tellers and Young Intellectuals happy. Finally, there comes out of it a glowing consciousness of a high duty triumphantly done which is what makes hangmen and husbands happy.”

          • Zed

            Just think, you need to pass a test to get a driving licence, but RoS gets to vote, at age 18 without any test. Don’t you find that even the slightest bit scary?

        • giyane

          The correct link for you is a set of links. You’re like the pit bull that chewed through its owners neck. Drunk as a vampire on Article 50. Enjoy your alcopop, Alcopop

      • giyane


        I don’t like feminism any more than I like Islamism. But stating that a female politician should … as quoted above is just insulting and degrading to women. The very worst form of ancient, cultural, ignorant Islamic chauvinism like FGM and enslaving female captives.

        If that’s your idea of ” bright ” , keeping the crap and rejecting the truth, so be it.

        • Alcyone

          Lighten up Giyane, a joke is a joke is a joke. i.e. if we are referring to the same thing….

          • giyane

            It’s not a joke , it’s discriminatory, out-dated and you only like it because you are racist.

          • Alcyone

            Observe your own g-spots Guano, i’m not within your judgment and it’s not healthy for you either; you know you know.

          • glenn_uk

            giyane: “I don’t like feminism any more than I like Islamism.

            Interesting… but feminism is basically about rights due to females by virtue of their being human beings. Is that something you don’t agree with?

            I don’t like bigotry in any form, personally. If someone wants to believe in some sky-spook, or religious delusions in any form, more fool them. But I don’t want to see actual discrimination against them for their delusions, as long as they behave in a decent enough manner, and don’t expect me to observe their silly rituals.

            Don’t you think females deserve the same rights from society as males?

          • giyane

            Feminism oppresses men and Islamism oppresses Muslims.
            God hates oppression. Full stop.

          • glenn_uk

            A poor answer, giyane. All you did was restate the premise.

            You claim “feminism represses men” – kindly demonstrate how.

            If you could leave “God” or any other sky-spook delusions out of the answer, I’d be grateful – I don’t find much benefit in discussing the fantasies of some people who lived thousands of years ago.

  • Zed

    Yes indeed! Only a psychopath would dream of a career in politics. Is that your best argument? You do realise who many sages, throughout the centuries, have all said the very same thing? You actually thing you are being original?

    • lysias

      If we adopted the ancient Athenian system of appointing representatives and officials by lot, only a few of them would be psychopathic.

      • giyane

        When a non-psychopath like Trump starts on the case of the psychopaths, like Richard Branson, one’s head becomes more like an egg-timer. How long is this moment of sanity going to last.
        How does the psychopath Branson get away with calling a company Virgin. he obviously never visited the Falls Road where it is inscribed in graffiti, [ by whom, I wonder? ]:
        ‘ Fighting for peace is like fucking for virginity ‘

        • Ben

          NON psychopath Trump vs psycho Branson…lol.

          Go fish for a shining dead mackerel for christ’s sake..

          • giyane

            Yes Ben, in my book someone who pursues Thatcherism with determination is a nutter.
            Is a person who flourishes under Hitler sane? I hope the mackerel spines choke his gullet.

  • Alcyone

    I’ve just put my finger on it–there are so many depressive and depressing people around this blog, it can be very unhealthy. It’s not the same without regulars like Habby and Anon. Plus of course the occasional wisdom, sanity checks and humour of people like Why Be and Itsy. Are you all out celebrating? (Ok you don’t have to say it, I know and you know, I know.)

      • Zed

        RobG, when the heck did we not live in a police state?

        I do confess to leaving the UK police state, with my wife and child, in early1975, only to realise that I had moved to another police state. A good mate of mine also left the UK police state only to find that the US police state wanted to send him to Vietnam.

        Do please tell me where to find a non-police state, because I would join you in moving there tomorrow.

        • Alcyone

          “I would join you in moving…”.

          Z no need to jump from the frying pan into the fire. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

        • RobG

          A real world is still possible.

          Watch the French presidential election, which will be a defining moment in world history.

          Modern ‘democracy’ started in France, and once again revolution will come from France.

          Don’t believe any of the total BS the MSM tell you.

          • RobG

            lysias, I’m trying to stay non-partisan on this, but will say that Mélenchon is now way up in the opinion polls.

            Everything they tell you about the French presidential election is complete bollocks.

            Just like everything they say is complete bollocks.

    • giyane

      Why do these comments by alcopop stick like dog-turd to the discussion? Travelling down the page like a night train through the alps, one moment you see the stars and lights, next moment a tunnel wall half a metre from your face.

      • Alcyone

        You’ve been putting your foot in it a bit too much G. And what good is your praying 5 times a day if your head is still filled with all this DS?

  • Ben

    Perhaps the Trumpophiles can document their soft- cock envy with some evidence to support their erogenous affections.

    Please list the positives alongside ANY negatives you can muster.

    Of course if you have no offerings exempt yourself from any reasonable point of view by remaining silent and obsequious.

    • giyane

      I’m not a Trumpohile. If Trump can’t get US jobs without sucking up to Saudi Arabia to keep the price of oil high enough to frack oil, he is same old, same old. As a person his heart is cleaner than the neo-cons, and the neo-cons are the devil incarnate, including Boris Johnson and Mrs May. If I was Trump, I’d tell Saudi Arabia it’s next on the list.

      • Ben

        No one outside MAGA admits amorous affection for Trump. It’s unseemly. But many flirt with his image, as though they were merely admiring a photo, while enabling his agenda without a forward know…just so they aren’t guilty of reckless disregard like the Bushies/Iraq. That is beyond d their facil comprehension.

    • RobG

      The divide and rule stuff gets very boring.

      It shows, more than anything, that the psychopaths who rule us are running out of ideas.

        • Zed

          “The plan of Satan is weak”

          As you insist on bringing this up, what with me being a “heathen”:

          Satan is real:

          OK selecting from that, how about?

          Bible Verses about Satan: We also learn in the Bible that Satan is a dangerous enemy. He is a serpent who can bite us when we least expect it. He is a destroyer (Revelation 12:11) . . . He has great power and intelligence, and a host of demons who assist him in his attacks against God’s people (Ephesians 6:11).

          Now I have only one question; why did the all-powerful god create such a powerful “enemy”? Was he testing us? Or something?

          • Ben

            What do you see as your role here?

            Affable miscreant

            Fact-Chucker masquerading as Ombudsman of the World

            Asshole seeking a fiill- up

            Please select from the above

          • Alcyone

            No more awkward questions Z. While you’re Dancing with the Devil, my patron saint is fighting with a ghost; he’s always out when i need him most.

            I dumped them all for the Angels.

          • giyane

            I think so, yes.
            I only bring up Satan because he has the ability as a Jinn, being made of essence of fire to see us while we humans being made from the essence of clay, cannot see him. Hence Satan for me is a metaphor for the spying craze which has gripped the political mind as a tool for manipulating us. Don’t they see that the same technology by which the weak elites and the weak imams now spy on their charges also delivers world-wide broadcasting of their crimes. They don’t like it up ’em. They want their new game to solely empower them against us.

            Locked in the caves of the Dordogne is the evidence of man living alongside mammoth at a time that La Manche was a fertile dry plain. Do the would-be powerful not know that history will preserve their crimes , like the body of the drowned Pharaoh was preserved in the salt of the dead sea?

            My great uncle was a recluse and he had a great passion for windpower at a time that the rest of his family ridiculed him for his shyness and mechanical genius. He hated nuclear power. He had served in Malaya. By a querk of fate all of his personal papers and his work as a mechanical engineer at GEC in Stafford were put on his death into the local museum.

            When you keep saying that the psychopaths and trolls will be brought to court, I for one believe you. For me Satan is deception, same as political lying. The people who deliberately deceive will get a shock when they are exposed because they have been deluded into thinking their secrets are secure.

          • giyane

            Oh it was you Zed. I thought your maroon logo was RobG.. Pearls before swine. Dogwee stripped the varnish off my antique chair. Anyway leave some for tomorrow as my mother-in-law used to say to the dog cleaning her posterior.

  • Alcyone

    Ben, mine’s a Cowgirl in the Sand, or can you Build me a Woman? There was a 6ft 2 volupte DD 23y young around this pm, beautifully spoken country Angel. I love her sheer soft power. But I still have to meet the ultimate rock-chick. i’ll figure some specs.

      • Zed

        Well, I’ve been waiting for this brave new world for so long now that I have started to lose faith.

        • RobG

          You are complete dickheads who are giving up hard fought for freedoms for slavery.

          But don’t forget to tremble in your boots, cause the twerrorists are coming to get yer.

          Society really needs craven cowards and psychotics like you.

          • glenn_uk

            So let me get this straight… there are no real terrorists, that’s just fakery, a state-sponsored show.

            On the other hand, _you_ are part of some massive movement who really are coming for us, and going to kill us all?

          • Ben

            We should be.more appreciative of Founders who were slaveowners.

            Thanks for the Rue Brittania! pep talk.

          • glenn_uk

            ok… so what are we actually supposed to do?

            Obviously we should be following RobG’s shining example of how _not_ to give up our hard fought freedoms for slavery, but can’t RobG tell us how he’s avoiding it?

            I mean, RobG knows where it’s at. He’s not an idiot, so they’re not coming for him.

            What should we be doing, RobG?

          • RobG

            Not kill you; just put you all on trial for war crimes.

            That should be fun.

            I’m sure that the mass murderers in the military-industrial complex might be a bit worried.

            But hey, let’s start another war.


            This nonsense stops right now.

            The fecking lot of you scum are going to be rounded-up and put in jail.

            Oh, but the twerrorists are coming to get us!

            Grow up.

          • glenn_uk

            OK, RobG – what crimes am I guilty of, and of which you are entirely innocent?

            Why should I be shot (or at least be put in jail), while you’re so pure and clean?

            You do realise that you’re a total moron, I trust?

      • Alcyone

        A bit, or very,long in the tooth though.

        I have some cards up my sleeve. Just had an insight to turn some stones over. We’ll see.

        I quite like Nora Jones but she’s put on a bit of weight and her music is just about ok although very talented. Alicia Keys’ interesting though again not mad about her music but I recall Dylan saying that he thought she was perfect, without having met her.

        Brilliant duet here by Nora:

      • Zed

        And of course, we all know Craig is on a guilt-trip for having spent his younger years working for H.M.

        Hey Craig, we forgive you! We were all young once (and thought we knew it all).

        • glenn_uk

          There was a sign above the bar in a pub I used to frequent in Cheltenham.

          It said something along the lines of:

          “Teenagers – Move out of your parents’ house. Earn your own living. Get your own transport, and get this country sorted out. Do it quickly, while you still know everything.”

    • JOML

      Yes, Fred, but if you scratch a little beneath the misleading headlines, you’ll find…
      “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 yes, only polls that are in favour of independence actually mean anything, we know.

        • JOML

          You carry on surfing, Fred – you’ll always find something that suits you, particularly in unregulated polls, where the answers are identified up front, before doing the research. Anyway, Fred, is that you playing the man, rather than the ball?

    • giyane

      Mrs Merkel rebelled against the totalitarian regime in East Germany and therefore has a natural instinct for freedom, both of movement and also trade. Tory instincts have reverted to pre-war imperialism.
      The political ovaries of Mrs Merkel will be respected by the German people and she knows it, while Mrs fake-compassion May cares nothing about prices doubling for UK families. A standing ovary to Mrs Merkel and a catastrophic balls-up Brexit for Mrs May. Cheers!

  • bevin

    This book sounds interesting:
    “A new book on corruption in the former Soviet states of Central Asia provides a handy reckoner of the colossal sums of money which have been exchanged to sustain the ruling regimes, or to change them. Alexander Cooley’s and John Heathershaw’s “Dictators Without Borders, Power and Money in Central Asia”, just published by Yale University Press, is also an encyclopedia of palaces owned in the UK, France and the US by the rulers of the Central Asian states and their hangers-on; the names and fates of the principal opposition leaders in exile from those states; a dossier of renditions, arrests, and assassinations carried out by the Uzbek and Tajik security services abroad; and case studies of the billion-dollar larcenies of the Kazakh and Kyrgyz bankers, Mukhtar Ablyazov and Maxim Bakiyev; of the Uzbek heiress Gulnara Karimova; and of the Tajikistan Aluminium Company (Talco) controlled by the Tajik President Emomali Rahmon.
    “The new book is also a valuable balancer on the side of independent research and antidote for the propaganda to be found from US and UK Government-funded think-tanks such as the Carnegie Endowment, Brookings Institution, Freedom House, and Chatham House. …
    Read the rest at

  • michael norton

    If this comes to pass, it is big news.

    TURKEY ends Euphrates Shield military campaign in SYRIA.

    Turkey says it has “successfully” ended its seven-month Euphrates Shield military campaign in northern Syria.

    But Prime Minister Binali Yildirim did not rule out new military operations and did not say whether Turkish troops would now leave Syria.

    Turkey has so much to answer for
    in being a lead-player in the inauguration and feeding of the Syrian “civil” war.

    • michael norton

      So many foreign powers, Western as well as Middle Eastern, have intervened in Syria that it became a mini world conflict.

      President Assad has not won the war. But it is hard to see now how he can lose it , without a decisive intervention by an outside power.

      His regime is secure, but it does not control large areas of the country.

      It is hard to fathom, what is going on in Syria.
      The land of Syria is an enormous prize, it is crucial to the Middle East, as is Turkey, it is a meeting point.

      The big question is who started it?

      • michael norton

        The Syrian government has criticized the presence of Turkish troops as an “act of aggression” and asked the UN Security Council to “force Turkey to withdraw its invasion forces.”

        The official announcement of the conclusion of the Euphrates Shield operation came a day before the USA Secretary of State visits Turkey.

        Rex Tillerson is expected to meet with Erdogan and other Turkish officials in Ankara on Thursday, where he is expected to discuss the operation to retake the Islamic State capital of Raqqa and other issues regarding Syria.

        Relations between Washington and Ankara have been strained recently over US support for the Syrian Kurds whom Donald Trump called the most effective forces against Islamic State.

        And let’s not forget
        the Coup in Turkey, which has turned Turkey away from USA towards Russia.–syria-ends/

        Russia and Syria
        will become as one country.

  • reel guid

    Scotland is being hijacked by Westminster. We’re being taken out the EU even though we voted by a 24% margin to stay. Being told we can’t have a referendum until we’ve already left.

    • michael norton

      Correct, you are still part of
      The United Kingdom,
      so in the Brexit Referendum, the overwhelming majority of United Kingdom Voters, voted for leaving the hated European Union,
      it is called democracy.
      You should count yourself lucky
      you live in a democratic land.

      • D-Majestic

        Please read the post above yours, and mine previously. Then tell us about (Ahem) Democracy.

      • Republicofscotland

        Hated EU?

        There are 27 nations in the EU, and several queuing up to get in the door, meanwhile Scotland wants independence from Britain, and NI might follow suit.

        You been at the cider again Michael. ?

        • fred

          The Brexit issue was tied very closely to the race issue which did generate a lo of hatred. Before the referendum there were people spreading scare stories such as this:

          There is a plan however to allow Turks access to Schegen areas of the EU, in some quarters it has even been suggested that the access should be extended to the UK, even though we’re not a member.

          Remember who said that?

          • Republicofscotland

            I sure do Fred, and I feel vindicated by it, now that Erdogan has turned Turkey into a virtual autocracy.

            It must be a pretty sad existence you have Fred, when the highlight of your day is digging up my old comments, but please do continue, I’m having fun going down memory lane. ?

          • fred

            I notice you don’t deny you are a hypocrite.

            I will continue to highlight the pro-Brexit propaganda you came out with before the referendum even if you do try to intimidate me with personal insults.

      • reel guid

        Michael Norton

        We have to leave the EU because we’re part of the United Kingdom.
        We can’t leave the United Kingdom because a PM with 1 MP in our country says so.

        Democracy is not what suits powerful people’s opinions.
        It is about proper and due process.

    • Republicofscotland

      No. It’s all in your very over productuve imagination.

      Meanwhile Hollande has called Theresa May and told her sternly that no discussions will be held (over deals) until the leaving process is completed.

      Already France, is flexing it’s muscles, if Dumas were alive today, he’d surely be penning a book, on how le French musketeers, took on and defeated, the evil Brexit queen. ?

        • Republicofscotland

          Ah mon ami, as Guy Verhofstadt, has said today, you cannot expect a better deal outside the EU than those nations who have a membership.

          It was Voltaire, who said.

          “Life is a shipwreck, we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.”

          Will HMS Brexitania have lifeboats? ?

          • D-Majestic

            It will likely have blow-up Mickey Mouse dinghies. Like the ones my kids had 30 years ago and which I chucked out last week. FAO Habbabkuk-I am only 34.

          • lysias

            “La vie est un naufrage.”

            Was Chateaubriand thinking of that saying of Voltaire’s when he wrote in his memoirs, “La vieillesse est un naufrage {Old age is a shipwreck]”? (De Gaulle was to use Chateaubriand’s phrase about his former mentor Petain.)

          • Republicofscotland


            I’ve no idea, I’ll leave you to decide.

            I do however know that Voltaire, thought that, seashells found high on mountain tops, were left there by ancient picknickers.

            He was not alone in his line of thinking, the renowned French mathematician Descartes, thought apes and monkeys could speak, but didn’t incase they were asked to work. ?

  • reel guid

    What is really absurd about the Union Jack waving xenophobic brexiteers is that their cherished idol Winston Churchill was one of the prime movers in starting the European project. He did so because he could see that Europe had to develop and keep shared values and institutions in order to give our continent stability and democracy.

    • fred

      The Nationalist’s cherished hero Arthur Donaldson was in favour of a union with Germany as well.

      • Republicofscotland

        Speaking of Germany Fred, here’s a wee interesting story.

        In 1909, Edward VII, was on a diplomatic trip to Germany, the German military band was on the platform at Rathenau Brandenberg, when the kings train pulled up at the station.

        However the king was having great difficulty getting his immense girth into his German Field-Marshal uniform. Eventually Edward VII emerged from the carriage, but not until the band had played the national anthem (God Save the King) seventeen times.

        Surely thats, some kind of Guinness Book of Record. ?

    • Geoffrey

      RoS., Not sure why you keep going on about the UK National Debt gloatingly. You are correct that is is completely out of control,and that it does not even take into account off government books debt such as PFI debt,unfunded government employee pensions which might double or treble the figure, and presumably Scotland if it ever becomes independent will end up with about 10 % of it.
      It is an interesting fact that the debt build up has coincided with mass immigration to the UK. Between 2000 and now National debt has quadrupled.
      Is the answer a) That as we were able to borrow easily and cheaply we decided we could not be bothered to do the dirty jobs ourselves,and we also wanted to bring in some good looking foreigners ?
      Or b) That bringing in a large amount of foreigners may have increased economic activity ie GDP but not profitable activity and that huge extra amounts of money have had to be sent on infrastructure,the NHS and Education ?
      or c) A coincidence ?
      And separately RoS, I presume that are an austerity man/woman then ?

      • Republicofscotland

        Oh Geoffrey, I just got a bit tired of reading Scotland’s too deep in debt..blah blah etc, and thought, well, so is Britain as a whole, what’s good for the goose, is also good for the gander you might say.

        Right off the bat Geoffrey no I’m not a austerity man. As for your foreigner point, well I like to think that they are productive, and most are in my opinion, the NHS or building sites around London as indeed the whole country, would probably struggle without them.

        As for the national debt, you can’t blame foreigners for it in my opinion. One has to know why, the Tories added another £555 billion quid to the debt, where does the money go?

        Is education as you say any better?

        What about the NHS, is it functioning any better?

        Pensions, well I’m led to believe theres no longer a pension pot?

        Trident, nukes aircraft carriers, etc, it’s how consecutive government borrow and spend that matters in my opinion.

        Is the huge national debt a reflection of poor governmental fiscal accountability?

        Or is it as Geoffery intimates, it’s because of the influx of foreigners to a point?

        • Geoffrey

          RoS. Fair point. UK debt as a whole is out of control and Scotland’s share of it would be very burdensome to an independent Scotland.
          I think this is the elephant in the room. Nobody wants to talk about the debt ,because as soon as they do ,they realise that the UK economy and wealth is a giant Ponzi scheme. Ie Debt has to continuously be increased to hold asset prices up which are then used as collateral for more debt.
          As the Scots on the whole and the SNP are anti austerity they can’t really complain about the overall level of debt.
          If I were a Scot and I was in favour of Independence I would avoid the subject of the National Debt. The more it is talked about the sooner it will become a problem for all the reasons that you have given. The National Debt is likely to be an enormous problem for the UK as a whole,our “wealth” could disappear in a few moments as it nearly did in 2008.

          • bevin

            You make interesting points about the Debt, Geoffrey. But what, apart from ignoring it, do you propose be done about it?
            In reality it can neither be paid nor serviced- there is not enough wealth in the country to pay it and servicing it means, as experience has shown, foregoing any flexibility in public expenditures and investments. It might have been imagined that it also meant the same with regards to revenues but this has proved not to be the case.
            There are some obvious alternatives. ‘Austerity’ not being among them. The simplest thing to do-especially for a country becoming independent- is to repudiate all or part of the debt.
            It might also be audited-the threat that put paid to Syriza’s career as an independent party- or frozen or in variations on these themes inflated away.
            But something must be done, not just to prevent the conclusion of the process that ought to have taken place in 2008 but to put an end to the constant degradation of living standards, including working conditions, incomes, housing and healthcare which has been taking place for decades and at a greatly increased pace since 2008.
            It is a pity that the Scottish independence campaigners refuse to make get out from undrr the debt a central part of their campaigns.

            On the subject of gold mining: El Salvador, living up to its name, has banned mining for metals and, in particular, refused to allow a Canadian mining company establish a gold mine.

  • Republicofscotland

    So the exodus begins as Lloyds of London, begins to move out part of its insurance business to Brussels.

    I wonder if the Lutine bell will go to Brussels as well, along with its choragic monument.

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