The BBC Making the Election about Terrorism 261

On the very lowest estimates, the number of children killed by violence alone directly as a result of fighting in the Iraq invasion and occupation, is the equivalent of a Manchester massacre every single day for eight years.

I am going to write that again.

On the very lowest estimates, the number of children killed by violence alone directly as a result of fighting in the Iraq invasion and occupation, is the equivalent of a Manchester massacre every single day for eight years.

That in no way justifies the massacre in Manchester. Andrew Neil is quite intelligent enough to know that the notion that to explain is to excuse is illogical. The difference between Neil’s interview with Corbyn and his interview with May is that with May, Neil asked tough sceptical questions. With Corbyn, Neil put positions based on inflammatory emotion which Neil knows full well to be false. Nevertheless, Corbyn undoubtedly came out of it much better than May had done, not least for simply having the intelligence to react to the actual question being asked.

If I tell you that smoking causes cancer, it does not make me a supporter of cancer.

The fact that our invasions and bombings abroad inevitably have blowback in this world of globalised population settlement, is so evidently true it is ludicrous to deny it. There have been hate crimes against Muslims already since the Manchester attack. If we lost that many children every day for eight years, does anybody seriously wish to say there would not be extremist terrorist “Britnat” violence as a result? Of course there would.

After what we have done to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya and are abetting in Yemen, the surprise is not that we have suffered terrorist attack. The surprise is that we have not suffered more terrorist attack.

I suspect a great many more of the public realise that, than the inhabitants of the media/politico bubble wish to believe. There is no doubt that having Corbyn as the candidate has done a huge service in making it compulsory for the media to refer to views outside of the Overton window, and the invective and sheer hatred with which they have reacted is truly remarkable.

I commented at the last General Election that having Nicola Sturgeon in the leaders’ debate putting the arguments against Trident, exposed the English public to an argument from which they are normally rigorously shielded. Neil’s sheer horror that thinking outside the Blairite/Tory spectrum is being done came over strongly in his interview with Corbyn. It is of course as nothing to the horror of the Blairites. I have seen Charles Clark, Alan Johnson, Jess Phillips and John Woodcock all directly attack Corbyn during the course of this election. I am not a Labour party member, but surely that is going to have to result in expulsion from the party. Many ordinary members have been suspended for much milder and infinitely less publicised criticism of Blairites.

During the 2005 election, the BBC never once invited Jeremy Corbyn on air to attack Tony Blair over the bloody invasion of Iraq. So why are they filling the airwaves with Blairites attacking Corbyn now? The extraordinary thing is, they are counting these Blairites’ attack on Corbyn as Labour representation for their legal obligation of equal air-time during an election.

If the BBC really think that this is an election about the history of the Troubles, why have they not asked Theresa May whether she supports the actions of British troops on Bloody Sunday?

I am speaking this morning at the Merthy Rising Festival and hope to have the opportunity to make some of these points. Do come along if you are in the area.

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261 thoughts on “The BBC Making the Election about Terrorism

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  • Ultraviolet

    “I have seen Charles Clark, Alan Johnson, Jess Phillips and John Woodcock all directly attack Corbyn during the course of this leadership campaign.”

    You mean in this election.

    I saw John Woodcock on Unspun with Matt Ford. Well, I say “saw”. I had read about him, but that was the first time I have seen footage of him, and after about 45 seconds I had to switch it off because I was in danger of putting my foot through the screen. Whatever I had thought about him before, he was a thousand times worse in person. Smug, arrogant, whingeing about the possibility of losing his seat with not the remotest concept of his own role in his plight.

    • Shatnersrug

      Presumably the BBC think that is the public like corbyn so much, they certainly won’t like any of the Blairites and the Blairites, as stupid as ever walk straight into the trap.

    • K Crosby

      Alan Johnson’s the fake MP for my constituency but the dolts who still vote in fake elections, will put him back in I’m sad to say.

      • Shatnersrug

        Really though K that’s what makes johnsons remarks pretty useless – it’s not like he’s undermining Corbyn, the best he can hope is that he can scare labour voters away, which won’t happen in his constituency and I think he over estimates his effect on the public. I mean? Does anyone even remember that he was Home Sec?

    • Dr Awesome MD

      “I was in danger of putting my foot through the screen.”

      Have you considered getting a modern LED type screen? This would prevent damage.

  • Sharp Ears

    Totally agree, It was in prime time too in place of the execrable One Show which gave Theresa and Phil-ip a seat on their sofa. The excruciating girl and boy jobs.

    Coming up.

    Sunday May 28, 6pm – Nicola Sturgeon, SNP

    Monday, May 29, 7.30pm – Paul Nuttall, Ukip

    Thursday, June 1 at 7pm – Tim Farron, Lib Dem

    Can’t take 12 more days of it.

  • Jo

    This was Neil at his absolute worst. His unprofessional worst. I’ll say this….Corbyn’s self control is awesome. He emerged with dignity while Neil was exposed as the real piece of work he is.

  • Dave

    Ironically the attacks on Corbyn will back fire because its clear they are manipulative and dishonest and because although no one supports attacks on our side, everyone knows you can’t destroy other countries and not expect to be attacked back and his appeal to the anti-war sentiment will probably win him the election, because everyone knows its fuelling the migrant crisis, that is a potent election issue.

      • Roderick Russell

        Lysias above – The U.S. media’s attacks on Trump before the election backfired


        They say that the Media can swing an election by 15%. It seems to me that Trump’s message (anti-globalisation, fair trade, opposition to a neocon foreign policy, etc.) resonated so strongly with the American people that he might have won in a landslide had it not been for the continuous stream of ant-Trump commentary that emanated from the MSM.

  • Loony

    British self obsession reaches new heights of narcissism.

    Take a look at the world. Only yesterday in Egypt a bus load of Coptic Christian children were machine gunned to death. I am not aware of any foreign policy crimes being committed by Egyptian Coptic Christians.

    The Philippines is in a state of emergency with parts of the country under martial law. Did the Philippines send its air force to bomb the foreign man?

    This week has also witnessed a double suicide bombing in Indonesia with ISIS being the chief suspects.

    I am told that the ever reliable BBC has begun to change its editorial approach to Aung San Su Kyi. Once she was a fragrant rose held under house arrest by a corrupt, evil and possibly insane regime who would not even allow her to attend her own husbands funeral. Now she is an Islamaphobe red in tooth and claw and engages in an orgy of killing of “illegal Bengali immigrants”

    China has within the last week raised its vile and vicious totalitarian head by banning the wearing of “unusual” beards. Also, and scarcely believably, they have banned certain names – the name “Jihad” being an example.

    Take a look at the Sudan. It used to be one country, now it is two countries. Is it possible for anyone to guess the principal basis on which the country fractured?

    Thailand is a country that was never colonized by any western power. As far as I am aware neither the USAF nor the RAF have launched any bombing raids against Bangkok. Take a look at what is happening in the south of the country. Ask why Shinawatra felt it necessary to lock about 3,000 people into shipping containers and leave them to die. But whatever you do, do not ask how this man was able to pass the FA’s “fit and proper persons” test so that he could acquire ownership of Manchester City.

      • giyane

        H likes your anti Chinese propaganda. For balance, may I say that China is being threatened with CIA/MI6 proxy jihadist threats much like the threats to Russia from Chechnya. Why would anyone put up with this kind of intimidation from USUKIS? Trump can’t accept even having friendly neighbours without feeling the need to build a wall.

    • Hugh

      I think you miss Corbins point entirely. Yes there are places in the world that atrocities happen, for local reasons, but they have not spread to Europe’s streets. If you look at the recent terrorist events in Europe or USA they have roots in countries that we, Europe and USA, have intervened in, that is his point.

      • Loony

        Was it not Ayn Rand who observed that “anyone is free to ignore reality, but no-one is able to ignore the consequences of ignoring reality”

        There are indeed places in the world where atrocities happen – and Europe is one of those places. The level of delusion necessary to claim the contrary (as you do) is scarcely comprehensible.

        Looking at the UK the most recent terrorist atrocities have been committed by people born in the UK. Is this the duality of intervention, has the UK intervened in itself?

        Take a look at the US-UK intervention in Germany between 1940-1945. That would strike me as a significant intervention. During this same period there were literally millions of people of German descent resident in the US. About 114,000 Germans arrived in the US in the 1930;s. Of these some 25,000 joined the “German American Bund” which was a pro Nazi organization.

        Just ask yourself whether the US suffered from a plague of Nazi suicide bombers.

        • John Spencer-Davis

          The rich, privileged and powerful are pretty free to ignore the consequences of any reality they like, including realities that they themselves have created. Tomfool thing to say in my opinion, Ayn Rand or not.

        • Jo

          Interesting then that both the UK and the US trained, armed and support so-called “moderate” rebel groups in Syria who are in fact linked to ISIS. Some of those groups were involved in public executions of civilians loyal to Assad.

        • Hugh

          You are missing the point again. I never said that atrocities dont happen in Europe, we have a conservative government that is quite happy to kill oap’s and the disabled but that is a side issue.

          We are talking about the middle/far east and in particular Muslim countries here.

          Your point about eg the Manchester bomber being born here is so stupid it beggars belief. Yes he would be classed as British but he had the choice to follow Libyan or British culture as his parents and extended family are, guess what, Libyan. He was not born to be a bomber but by following his Libyan ancestry he was more likely to become one given that it was us that destroyed what was a functioning country. We may not like how it functioned but it did function..

          OK, now for your intended coup de gras, You fail miserably here because you have moved onto a western world situation. Why is this such a failure you want to know well its bloody simple, we are not muslim, we have entirely different way of looking at the world. We dont have jihad in our culture. I am not accusing all muslims of being jihadis, far from it, we are talking about the potential for people to be radicalised.

          Personally I am coming to the conclusion that the only countrys that should interfere militarily in a muslim one is another muslim one. No matter how much oil or gas there is or that they dont have a Rothschild central bank.

          • Loony

            OK Hugh – let us be clear here. You wrote:

            “Yes there are places in the world that atrocities happen, for local reasons, but they have not spread to Europe’s streets”

            Help me out here. What can this possibly mean other than there are places where atrocities happen but that Europe is not one of those places.

            You then claim that you “never said “that atrocities don’t happen in Europe”

            Can you possibly deduce any reason why others may conclude that you are not a sensible actor?

          • Loony

            I made no assumptions. I read your post and applied the commonly accepted meaning of words to the words that you chose to write.

            But of course you have written more words. For example:
            “Just so we are clear here the context was about European and USA invading middle/far eastern countries.

            Here is the quote “If you look at the recent terrorist events in Europe or USA they have roots in countries that we, Europe and USA, have intervened in, that is his point.”

            One of the most destructive and rapacious interventions was the US assault on Vietnam that was equally as destructive as the assault on Iraq. The US war in Vietnam led directly to the ascendancy of Pol Pot in Cambodia – a man who oversaw the deaths of approximately 30% of the Cambodian population. (and who received the tacit support of the British).

            So, just for context, please can you provide a few examples of Vietnamese and Cambodian international terrorism.

            It is estimated that over 100,000 people from East Timor were killed between 1974-1999 and that the west (especially the British) were a major supplier of arms to the people doing the killing. Have you seen any reports of terrorists from East Timor out to avenge the deaths of their countrymen?

            Arguably the biggest intervention in history took the form of a couple of nuclear bombs dropped on the Japanese. Any sign of Japanese terrorists that you have spotted?

            So the point is that your conflating the Middle East and the Far East is an entirely predictable and puerile attempt to muddy the waters and prevent any form of accurate understanding as to what is going. “Something is happening here, but you don’t know what it is, do you Mr. Jones?”

        • Harry Vimes

          Ignoring the consequences of ignoring reality is a succinct description of exactly what you are doing on this matter Loony.

          The role of parts of our own security services and Government in cynically allowing many of these groups to move about freely between the UK and places/countries/regions where our Government’s have created chaos, mayhem and terrorist atrocities either directly or indirectly through such proxies are being deliberately ignored by those such as yourself who are clearly not interested in systemic solutions. Preferring instead to push a particular partisan ideological line. Cynically, in your own way exploiting such tragedies and projecting your own behaviour, attitude and approach onto others.

          Some of the shameful details you choose to ignore can be found here:

          And here:

          • Loony

            No mate, anyone that looks at this understands what is happening.

            Sure western governments and security services do all of the things (and more) that you claim. This is a problem at every level ranging from morality to effectiveness. They can only possibly do these things because the mass of the population is determined to worship at the altar of ignorance.

            The west does not create these people. They are principally created by Saudi funding of a global network of Wahhabi mosques inculcating a very narrow and very extreme version of violent political Islam.

            People in the UK have their heads up their arses, bleating on about how tolerant and liberal they are. Ask any of these people how many honor killings are there in the UK? How many women suffer from genital mutilation? How many women walking around in hijabs are doing so because they choose to do so, and how many are intimidated into doing so? How many Muslims are living in fear of their lives because they have lost their faith and wish to leave Islam? They wont be able to answer any of these questions, because they don’t know and they don’t know because they don’t care. All they care about is their own infantile virtue signalling.

            You think western Europe has problems. Take a look at Russia. About 12% of the population are Muslim and have lived in Russia for a very long time. Suddenly they all sign up to Wahhabi ideology and you have a full scale war.

            As is normal for Russians they met violence with more violence and ripped out every every last part of the Wahhabi network. Today Russian Muslims are deployed to Syria where they ruthlessly confront the same ideology that almost destroyed their culture.

            You know nothing of which you write. If you could somehow remove the UK from existence the rest of the world would still be confronted with this death cult ideology.

    • Clark

      How much of this is driven by (1) Saudi efforts to control all Muslims, and (2) the Western divide-and-rule policy of setting Sunni against Shia?

      And no, I’m not saying the West is the fount of all evil. I’m saying that in these troubled times of increasing population and diminishing resources, everyone should at least refrain from making the problems worse.

      • giyane

        I’m curious why you think that the Sauds’ control freak agenda is relevant to what happened in Manchester. I’ve been there many times and my feeling was that it is a Muslim Brotherhood mosque, as confirmed by Wikipedia: “The Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch reports that the Didsbury Mosque has ties to the Yusuf al-Qaradawi-headed organizations, International Union of Muslim Scholars, the European Council for Fatwa and Research and the Union of Good.[7]”

        I wouldn’t rely on Wikipedia for accurate information but I see no connection between Didsbury and Saudi here.

        • Clark

          Giyane, sorry to have taken so long to reply. My comment of May 27, 10:49 was in reply to Loony, May 27, 09:40, in regard to conflict between Muslims internationally, and the effects of Western policy which have increased that conflict over the course of decades.

          I know very little of the background of the Manchester bomber, and I know too little context to understand it if I did. But I know that it is evil to foster conflict between others to further one’s own objectives, and that my UK government has played a leading role in promoting conflict between various groups of Muslims.

          Whatever the personal motivations and associations of the Manchester bomber, his decision was made from within that context of needlessly inflamed conflict, and that context is something that can be changed through politics.

      • Hugh

        Saudi is wahabi muslim, look them up, frightening people even for other muslims

        • giyane

          Saudi takfirism has nothing whatsoever to do with Abdul Wahab. It applies the severest punishments in the Legal canon, where Islam traditionally applies leniency, and it ignores its own Sunni offenders and persecutes Shi’a ones.

          There’s nothing remotely scary about shari’ah law being applied with the traditional level of evidence and excuses and without sectarian prejudice. Saudi families employ live-in Indonesian house-maids but under shariah they are not allowed have a woman living in the house who is not married to the husband. But if a Shi’a woman takes a lift in a car with a man who is not her family, she is gang-raped, imprisoned and tortured.

    • K Crosby

      Non-sequitur: Isis is a US-Saudi head-chopper co-production. Without the steroid injections from American Caesar “Isis” would be a couple of sad old blokes in flop-flops; same goes for the occupiers of Palestine. Switzerland isn’t obviously part of the US empire of head-choppers, have there been any bombings there lately?

    • Stu

      it is quite clear that the domestic policies of the Egyptian and Philippine states have contributed to their domestic problems.

      However we are not talking about terrorism in general but this particular event and in this in case it’s clear that the UK state has supported a group in the overthrow of the Libyan government and then a man affiliated with this group has been trained in Libya and carried out an attack here. The conclusions to be drawn are obvious.

    • Dr Awesome MD

      “But whatever you do, do not ask how this man was able to pass the FA’s “fit and proper persons” test so that he could acquire ownership of Manchester City.”

      Had you bothered to click on the link I gave yesterday, you would know the reason why and the reason why May is so eager to control the internet, so here it is again:

      But you were too busy clicking on links concerning far-away countries instead.

      This is the headline “UK Government Harbored Terrorists Linked to Manchester Blast for Decades” and the writer has evenused the Torygraph in his research to back up his claims.

      • Loony

        Everyone knows that the UK government harbors terrorists. No-one knows why the general population could not care less and even prefer to have themselves blown up rather than to ask any questions.

        Shinawatra was the Prime Minister of Thailand and not normally considered to be a terrorist. He did however authorize about 3,000 people to be locked in shipping containers where they were left to die. Perhaps unsurprisingly these unfortunate souls were claimed to be Muslim radicals interested in fomenting civil unrest in Southern Thailand. Quite why the British want to associate themselves with a man so practiced in extra judicial killings is a question that only they can answer. Of course they will not provide any answers because no-one in the UK can be bothered asking the question.

        In fact, as you and others demonstrate, anyone that shows any sign of asking relevant questions are instantly attacked and smeared from a bewildering variety of angles.

  • paul

    The tories have to make the election about something, I suppose.
    May and her parties, vacuity is astonishing.
    They have nothing to offer apart from ripping the remaining copper out of the public realm and charging people for removing it through low wages, inadequate services and a smaller pension fewer are going to live long enough to receive.
    Maybe they want to dump it in Corbyn’s lap, but Neil has not received the new directives yet.

  • manda

    I watched a clip of Neil ‘pressing’ Corbyn on trident… I kept thinking, Corbyn is a supporter of democracy not an authoritarian leader or dictator forcing his personal views into policy. A quick view on twitter this morning appears to show the left/liberal Labour interventionists such as Mason and Burnham have been wheeled out to try and isolate and discredit Corbyn. These people have an alt view of history which always supports and offers apologia for these wars of aggression. There was no UN resolution to enact regime change in Libya, the no fly zone RTP became mission creep…

    The left has a problem, it is full of high profile military interventionists that don’t really question the narrative and fully support these ‘approved’ regime change wars that destroy whole countries, cultures, societies and millions of lives. At least the opposition to Corbyn’s approach is forcing discussion into the public arena. There has to be another way, so much death. destruction and suffering caused by regime change wars cannot go on, the horror that ensues is far, far worse than the worst dictator or regime inflicted on political opponents and is impacting Europe directly.

    • craig Post author


      The problem is that these people are not of the left at all. but managed to hijack the Labour Party from the right.

      • manda

        Oh I agree Craig, I am fully aware of that, I was using the terms they use to describe themselves.

        • Shatnersrug

          When as a government you want to decimate an institution you don’t like you insert people at the top that have nothing but distain for it, they will then bring it into disrepute so you can take a sledgehammer to it with public consent. We’ve seen it with the NHS, with social security, with education.

          What’s facinating is that it has happen to the Labour Party right in front of our eyes and yet no one seems to be able to see it. We have a labour part chair and council at odds with and deliberately undermining the elected leaders at every turn, briefing against them and suspending members for the most flimsy excuses.

          • manda

            I wouldn’t go that far. Neo-colonial, British/western exceptionalist faction? I must admit Mason’s warmongering undermines his economic views almost completely for me. I am suspicious of the true motives of those who apologize for and support these egregious wars with little question even when faced with the horror that has resulted from them.. I was lumping them all under the ‘extreme centre’ neoliberal/neocon banner but I think that may be too blunt… perhaps not? Language is so ‘flexible’ these days it is easy to disguise the true meaning, have double meanings and disguise your true agenda. That is another reason I support Corbyn, he speaks in plain language that is easy to understand, hence the vigorous campaign to distort and misrepresent what he says/said and of facts in the MSM. Corbyn’s message has to be smothered in confusion and presented as incoherent, even dangerous to limit the number of people who might agree with him especially on foreign policy.

  • Made By Dom

    When a very rich BBC journalist asks certain questions that were clearly sourced from other very rich journalists and, in no way reflect the views of the public, one has to ask why anyone pays their license fee.

    • Habbabkuk

      Since you ask I shall attempt to help you.

      Because it is the law.

      People have a choice : either pay the licence and watch (BBC, whatever you wish it’s your choice) or don’t pay the licence and don’t watch live televsion. There is of course a third, illegal option, which is not to pay the licence and still watch live TV. I hope your “asking” does not run along those lines.

      • giyane

        There are many other choices, such as watching other people’s TVs, watching TVs in electrical goods shops windows, or listening to the radio from the BBC. I wouldn’t even give a TV shed room but it is curious to see how extraordinarily plastic TV manages to make its journalists, commentators, audiences and interviewees. But when I watch Kurdish TV in Kurdistan everybody comes over as completely normal.
        How does the BBC synthesize people? Put chloroform in the coffee?

    • Shatnersrug

      Don you’re right, part of well organised propaganda is that the deliverer has to be seen as having something in common with their audience, the BBC and most media have become exceedingly detached from the public.

  • George

    “Andrew Neil is quite intelligent enough to know that the notion that to explain is to excuse is illogical.”

    Andrew Neil may be aware of this. Nevertheless this “to explain is to excuse” ploy will be relentlessly churned out even although it is not only illogical but counterproductive and, I believe, intentionally so. The ban on explanation precludes all understanding and therefore precludes any effective measures to deal with the problem. But we are not meant to deal with the problem. We are meant to feel fear and hatred in a battle between Good and Evil where these labels are not examined.

    • Jo

      The churning out began immediately after the speech when BBC’s Norman Smith declared that Corbyn had suggested talking to ISIS. There are no lines the BBC will not cross to discredit Corbyn. Neil wasted HALF of the Corbyn interview discussing the IRA! I keep thinking the BBC can’t get any worse and every day it proves me wrong. Oh that we would all stop paying the license and force this corrupt organisation to observe its obligation to practise political impartiality.

      • George

        So the moronic malevolence of The Sun sets the agenda and the “impartial, objective” BBC follow? It’s a kind of two pronged attack where the two aspects are supposedly unrelated but are, effectively, working in tandem.

        • Tom

          It has become increasingly apparent the mainstream media work together and that the constant refrain in the tabloids about the BBC’s “left-wing” bias is actually a smokescreen that suits both the BBC and the government.

  • George

    “Why did you delete my first attempt?”

    Because it’s irrelevant to this post?

    • Habbabkuk


      You will surely know that the Mods show indulgence towards breaking news posts. Especially when they are not intended to stimulate an off-topic discussion.

    • George

      Then again, perhaps not entirely irrelevant. From Wikpedia:

      “After the September 11 attacks in 2001, Brzezinski was criticized for his role in the formation of the Afghan mujahiddin network.”

      Western involvement in the formation of fanatical Islamic networks. Who would have thought?

  • Dave

    The way to handle, to explain is to excuse, is by saying a failure to explain, or attempts to prevent an explanation being given, is to aid and abet terrorism.

  • fred

    “If I tell you that smoking causes cancer, it does not make me a supporter of cancer.”

    Chemotherapy causes your hair to fall out but what is the alternative.

    Standing up to Nazi Germany in 1939 is the reason Coventry was bombed but what was the alternative.

    If we had allowed IS to form a caliphate spread over several countries in the Middle East unopposed maybe the Manchester bombing wouldn’t have happened but what would be the alternative.

    • Peter Beswick

      “If we had allowed IS to form a caliphate spread over several countries in the Middle East unopposed maybe the Manchester bombing wouldn’t have happened but what would be the alternative.”

      There was no ISIS ? IS . ISIL /Daesh to form a caliphate until the US (supported by the UK) created it by funding, training and arming 100’s of rebel groups to topple Assad. They were joined by the others from the other US construct al Qaida.

      There were very few violent deaths in Iraq before the US (supported by the UK) funded, trained and armed rebel factions to overthrow Saddam. Now, as Craig points out, they occur on a daily basis with casualties worse than Manchester.

      What would have happened if the US had decided not to impose their “alternative”?

      When the US threw a brick through the Overton Window egged on by Blair our fate was sealed as a target for terrorism. When Corbyn said about the Manchester attacks “it’s our fault” I believe he was talking about politicians, civil servants and Parliament, if I am correct he was correct if I am wrong he was wrong.

      PS it appears to be a homemade HE device detonated Manchester, a worrying scenario because the detonator and ingredients should have been very traceable and trackable but if Mi5 and GCHQ think keeping tabs on my 88 year old mum’s telephone calls is more important then this stuff is going to happen more frequently.

      • Kempe

        ISIS was founded in 1999 and based in the Levant and Iraq. It didn’t encroach into syria until 2014.

      • fred

        “There was no ISIS ? IS . ISIL /Daesh to form a caliphate until the US (supported by the UK) created it by funding, training and arming 100’s of rebel groups to topple Assad”

        They have been there a long time under various names. They fought against the Ottoman Empire, when Britain offered an Arab state in exchange for rebellion against Germany’s ally Turkey they assumed they would be the rulers. Instead the state was given to the more moderate house of Saud. there is nothing new about IS, there is nothing new in the Middle East.

        “There were very few violent deaths in Iraq before the US (supported by the UK) funded, trained and armed rebel factions to overthrow Saddam. ”

        Apart from those who died in the first Gulf War which started shortly after the end of the Iran Iraq war which killed half a million Iraqis and twice as many Iranians. There has been civil war with the Kurds on and off since 1931 and several conflicts with both Israel and Arab Nationalists.

    • Johnny boy

      Well actually there are alternatives to chemo, but the medical profession is strongly conservative.

      Perhaps we didn’t actually have to intervene in the middle east. Or rather our pre 9/11 (or whichever ‘watershed’ you like) support of Israel and Saudi Arabia designed to weaken the region is the cause of the troubles in the first place. You can’t imagine a caliphate spreading with an ‘AU’, but you can’t imagine an ‘AU’ with western intervention in the region. Even as it stands, staying out of may be the best option in the long run to return sovereignty to the area, if it weren’t for our ‘interests’…

  • K Crosby

    “The fact that our invasions and bombings abroad inevitably have blowback in this world of globalised population settlement, is so evidently true it is ludicrous to deny it.”

    “Our”? Don’t drag me into it, I haven’t supported military operations by British state forces since the Falklands crime.

    • Jo

      “Don’t drag me into it.”
      Fair enough but we are all caught up in the battle between the truth and the alternative versions peddled by the media as a body. Especially the BBC. Illegal invasions and wars and regime change outings to other countries are buried. The flights to safety by innocents as a direct result are ignored.

      Instead the media chooses to follow the narrative dictated by governments with new buzz words like radicalisation employed to switch the focus on to all the bad Muslims who do not respect “our values and our way of life”. I am sickened every time I hear that phrase from the likes of May or Fallon and the many others whose actual values clearly don’t exist.

      • manda

        “Fair enough but we are all caught up in the battle between the truth and the alternative versions peddled by the media as a body.”

        It’s the political and Oligarch/Plutocratic classes often as well, the MSM are their mouthpieces, limiting public discourse, stifling critical thinking and open debate.

        An insight into the possible breath and depth of how we are manipulated offered here.

        The only ones I can see who benefit from this so called ‘war on terror’ and changing ‘world order’ are those at or near the top of the global wealth tree and their well rewarded enablers.

  • Tom

    Making the election about terrorism has played into Corbyn’s hands, however. It has provoked the Tories into hysterical smears and allowed Corbyn to remain at the centre of the debate, showing leadership on the issues.

    • Shatnersrug

      Yes it has, they’re now counting on the labour right to disgust people so much that they vote for an alternative. Trouble is the labour right have been parachuted into safe seats

      • Johnny boy

        If Corbyn wins,.. Actually I have no idea what the Labour right would do if Corbyn wins, but it would still be better than a May win. If you’re put off by the Labour right that’s not going to stop you voting Labour though, you vote Labour just to spite them.

        • manda

          If Labour win, those who support the manifesto and change of political direction will have to step up to the plate once again and support vigorously in every (non violent or coercive) way they can. The class struggle never ends. A huge opportunity has emerged, time to grab it and hold on to it tightly.

  • Republicofscotland

    But to listen to the media and Corbyn’s political opponents, one would think Britain’s foreign policy towards the likes of Libya, Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan was in the past, almost angelic in nature.

    The response to criticism of British foreign policy and domestic terrorism is, answered by whataboutery, in the form of why has this country or that country in Europe been a victim of terrorism, when they did not participate in campaign in the countries mentioned above.

    I agree the establishment is in complete denial, as to why terrible terrorist events take place on these shores.

  • Jo

    I was intrigued to find a wee section on the BBC website called “Reality Check”. Clearly the BBC doesn’t do irony!

      • Sharp Ears

        James Harding is referred to in that article and is quoted therein. He came to the BBC from the editorship of Murdoch’s Times.

        He is named here in a list of supporters of Zionist Israel in the BBC hierarchy.

        Apologists for Israel take top posts at BBC

        May and the rest of her bunch are fervent members of the Conservative Friends of Israel whereas Jeremy Corbyn is a long standing supporter of Palestine. It is no wonder they are shafting him.

      • Jo

        Indeed Sharp Ears. I would include every member of the BBC’s news network, every political commentator/journalist – the lot!

  • fwl

    Good post by CM. I hope Festival reminds people of Merthyr that no matter how angry and fed up and hard done by they are UKIP is not any sort of answer.

  • philip maughan

    I’m sure Michael Fallon isn’t a stupid man but he does say some stupid things. On C4 News last night he rubbished the idea that Islamic terrorism is linked to Western ‘interference’ in the ME by saying that the 9/11 attack occurred before the invasion of Iraq – as though the West had no involvement pre-2003! Just to re-cap. In 1980 when Iraq invaded Iran, Saddam Hussein was aided and abetted by the West in terms of military intelligence on Iranian troop movements and chemical weapons. Saddam may have been a tyrant but he was the West’s tyrant. Then in 1991 after we decided Saddam wasn’t our man after all and we thwarted his attempt to annexe Kuwait (Desert Storm and Stormin’ Norman Schwartzkopf), the then President, George Bush Snr. encouraged the Iraqis to rise up in civil war. Having done so, the Kurds were gassed by Saddam while we stood idly by apart from imposing a no-fly zone over Iraq. For over 10 years the Western allies then bombed Iraqi targets indiscriminately. George Bush Junior was never-the-less surprised when the Iraqis didn’t welcome American troops with open arms when they eventually invaded in 2003.

    • giyane

      Michael Flannel. Rather a stinky, flaky, dusty, brittle, used one. If a Minister responsible for a great office of state is only concerned with the interests of his own political party, they can be compared to dictators like Erdogan who is pursuing Turkish “interests” by funding, harbouring, arming, helping and populating Islamic State.
      The interviewer might be stupid for expecting an answer from a politburo stooge. after all even if you ask a parking meter for directions it will provide you with the time of day and where you are.

    • Johnny boy

      Depends how you define stupid I guess. Probably product of the public education system, but never had the intelligence to question anything much. Brainwashed like his fellow fundamentalists.

  • Peter Beswick

    “Exclusive: MI5 opened file on Jeremy Corbyn amid concerns over his IRA links”

    “Half of all top IRA men ‘worked for security services'”

    So the question is did Mi5’s file on Corbyn contain his annual Mi5 appraisal forms whilst working for Mi5 or is it because he is the leader of the Labour Party. Mi5 have a file on May (is she a terrorist suspect?) In fact Mi5 have a file on each and every MP. They have one on Craig and even me.

    Their administration burden of keeping all the files up to date impinges on their ability to identify terrorists before a bomb goes off. “Right chaps a bomb has gone off now, you can stop filing and follow those leads that we hadn’t got time to follow”

  • Michael McNulty

    A noticeable advantage for Jeremy is his policies and statements remain exactly the same after the Manchester bombing as they were before. He didn’t have change any pledge about police on the streets and NHS staff, nor revise up any funding etc. To be able to say the same thing after a national tragedy as before it means the message was always right and many others will notice this consistency too.

  • Peter Beswick

    Q Why did take a bomb to go off before the terrorist suspects were rounded up?

    Because Mi5 and the police were busy filing, protecting and facilitating paedophiles, covering up crimes of politicians and civil servants, keeping Assange holed up, keeping the Mcanns out of Court, protecting ex politicians who created the British terrorist threat and maintaining communication desks output to keep the propaganda flowing and fighting off attempts to have Dr Kelly’s death properly registered as required by law.

    And some of you expect them to stop the bombers? Have some pity on the poor, unhinged, incompetent, corrupted arseholes

  • Sharp Ears

    ‘We have a vision. To make a country that works’. Theresa May at the beginning of that Liar! Liar! video

    She had better hasten along to Heathrow where the whole of British Airways’ (Spanish owned incidentally) computer systems have collapsed. The problem is worldwide in countries where they operate.

    Also a visit to Gatwick where the baggage handling is in chaos.

    Broken Britain indeed.

    Captain SKA made the same video in 2010 feat Agent Cameron and Gideon on the BIG SOCIETY

  • Aubrey

    The surprise is that no one is doing anything to stop the violence in Iraq! And no one complains about it!

    • giyane

      The US regards Iraq as its own property, justly acquired by war. If it chooses to keep its own property in a state of violence and lawlessness in order to facilitate the extraction its resources, the subjugation of its peoples, and as a geo-political base for threatening its neighbours, like Saudi Arabia, who is going to be able to question or interfere?

      • J

        The only theory fully corroborated by all the evidence is this: that the Iraq War was an almost unqualified success.

        The mistake ordinary people have made is to assume that what they were told (the public explanation for Iraq) has any relationship to the private reasoning and objectives of those who made it happen and who had a very good war indeed. There are hundred$ of billions of reasons why this is self evidently true.

        • laguerre

          What a load of nonsense. The Americans were defeated in Iraq, and forced to withdraw by al-Maliki. They expected to stay, and were unable to. Al-Maliki then messed things up by refusing to do a deal with the Sunnis. Perhaps his backing wouldn’t allow him to, but I rather think he is natively sectarian.

          • J

            I’m glad you commented because I think you’ve missed the argument completely.


            Who lost? What did they lose? Who won? In any sense at all? To answer those questions is fairly easy. But to do so one would have to be realistic and include the hidden component, what the war actually was, what it was for, and who it was for.

            General Wesley Clarke’s contribution goes all the way toward dispelling the WMD reason and part way to dispelling the humanitarian reasons. Even the regime change argument was at best a useful distraction, a fall back position. Upon every criteria publicly advanced the war was lost. The military industry, the banks, the private security industry, and many other contractors including the oil men, they won the war handsomely. They won in Afghanistan, again in Libya, and they won in Syria. They’ll keep on winning these wars every time they start one. With almost unmitigated success.

    • giyane


      from your link:
      “The “blowback theory”, which blames Islamist terrorism directly on western expeditionary warfare, is both facile and irrelevant in this case. By bombing Libya we did not enrage or radicalise young Muslims such as Abedi: we simply gave them space to operate in. And then, whatever the intelligence services were doing, the politicians took their eye off the ball.”

      Nothing could be further from the truth. The western coalition had its eye on Gadafi’s $150 billion which he intended to use to set up an interest free bank for the whole of Africa. The money was stolen and Al Qaida was deliberately put in charge. The Times gleefully reported how many thousands of UK boots on the ground were involved in the operation conducted by David Cameron and William Hague, but all links have been removed.

      When the weapons provided were no longer need to demolish Libya, they were taken by the coalition to demolish Syria. You’ll have noticed that Boris Johnson has been gagged for the duration of the election because he is totally incapable, like the telegraph, of stopping himself from bragging about the UK’s role in destroying Libya and Syria. His eyes are very much like a sports commentator’s on the ball.

      • Trowbridge H. Ford

        Wasn’t MI5 originally behind Gaddafi’s ouster, getting Anas Al Liby aka TUNWORTH to assassinate him?

        The inept Security Service should read the whole book, including the Index – like in Annie Machon’s one about liars. and leakers – before approving it for publication.

      • J

        Agreed and Mason is a useful exemplar of the compartmentalised mind of those Upton Sinclair was speaking of when he said “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it” because he is one of the few in his position showing signs of understanding his own predicament.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    I find the Manchester massacre an improvement of what May, as Home Secretary, did for Cameron when he was seeking re-electon as PM – i..e,. the massacre of the al-Hillis in France.

    Only this time the electorate was made crystal clear of what was apparently afoot, the kids were not spared but were emphasized as targets by the killer, and the counter terrorists, instead of being slow on the learning curve, made obvious who was responsible for all which happened in the family.

    It’s just more about how British covert government came out of the shadows to take over.

    • Trowbridge H. Ford

      Don’t know what you are referring to as I have always been opposed to everyone’s covert government.

      I was reminded of this when Zbig Brezinski died. He was always priming US government to be more anti-Communist in foreign policy, especially about Iran and Poland.helping pave the way for loonies like Reagan, the Bushes, and Trump.

      Wish he had died back when I took my Ph.D. orals at Columbia in 1962 during the Missile Crisis, knowing the he would have flunked me if he had been on my board. Fortunately, Paul Zimmer a much more reasonable Cold Warriorr was.

      Chalk one up for sanity!

  • Kempe

    Corbyn may well be correct but so what? Is he saying that we deserve to have our children murdered because of the invasion of Iraq? Which incidentally neither Germany nor France were involved in but that doesn’t appear to have saved them.

    The fact is it’s done and there’s no way of turning the clock back. What he should be doing is finding a way forward out of this situation not making recriminations about the past. That isn’t helpful.

    I see Corbyn’s suggestion of voluntary tax to pay for the defence budget has reared its silly head again. Voluntary tax was one of psychopath Ann Rand’s “ideas”, does it mean I would be able to opt out of having my tax money used for overseas aid for places like India and Pakistan that have huge armed forces, a space programme and nuclear weapons?

    • Trowbridge H. Ford

      Still don’t know what you are talking about as Germany got involved in ousting the Taliban in Afghanistan, and France has been an original supporter of NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue to help Israel.

    • Republicofscotland

      “Corbyn may well be correct but so what? Is he saying that we deserve to have our children murdered because of the invasion of Iraq? Which incidentally neither Germany nor France were involved in but that doesn’t appear to have saved them.”


      Of course not on your point about the children, but you are parroting the exact same establishment whataboutery that we’ve been hearing all week.

      Most of it has been aimed at demonising Corbyn, and on occasion Corbyn and the IRA are mentioned, in a loose linked way. However Theresa May will not escape the flak, canny voters will know the army is on the streets due to May’s hatchet job on the police force.

      • Kempe

        I’ve been rather busy and pre-occupied this week so haven’t seen any of this “establishment whataboutery” of which you speak but what does Corbyn propose to do to prevent further attacks f this nature?

        • Republicofscotland

          “but what does Corbyn propose to do to prevent further attacks f this nature?”


          Easy stop invading other countries, as a support act for the Great Satan.

          Maybe you should aim your question at the current PM or are you too busy to do that?

          • Kempe

            Well that might prevent us acquiring more enemies but it won’t satisfy the ones we’ve already got. Will it?

  • Dave Ashton

    I commend you for your comments and outright calling out of BBC bias.
    In this campaign they have used Corbyn’s wisdom of less interference to condemn him but they were falling all over themselves when Chilcott was published and condemned Blair saying “Despite explicit warnings, the consequences of the invasion were underestimated.” and then further the Tory controlled House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee delivered a report saying that intervention helped “the growth of Isil [Islamic State] “.
    In my further research I have found a quote by the Sunday anti-corbyn roll-out Michael Clarke from 2003 , 26th February which states clearly “the government must consider the extent to which their polices contributed to it”
    Thanks again for your forthright opinions

  • reel guid

    Corbyn is doing much to encourage proper debate about British foreign policy.

    Meanwhile is there any truth in the rumour that for the benefit of the cameras Kez Dugdale and Ruth Davidson are going to team up in the three-legged race and beat the ‘SNP’?

      • Sharp Ears

        We needing a warning there that Lord Darling of Roulanish was coming up. For an utter failure, he is doing nicely.

        Category 1: Directorships
        Member of the Board of Directors, Morgan Stanley New York (banking)

        Category 2: Remunerated employment, office, profession etc.
        Contract with Atlantic Books, London, for publication of book and royalties received under the contract

        Fees are received from time to time from JLA Associates for speaking engagements arranged through them

        Fee for participation in a conference call on 24 June 2016 organised and paid for by Autonomous Research, London EC2N 2AX

        Speaking engagement, 28 June 2016, conference organised by Contentive Ltd, publishers, London W6 9DL; arranged by and payment made through JLA Associates

        Speaking engagement, 13 July 2016, fee for speaking at an event organised by Clyde & Co, solicitors, London EC3; arranged by and fee paid through JLA Associates

        Speaking engagement, 2 August 2016, in Rome for Albourne Partners Limited, London SW1E 5JD; fee and travel and accommodation costs for Member and wife

        Speaking engagement, 29 September 2016, Investment Europe Pan European Fund Selector Summit, organised by Open Door Media of 32 Ludgate Hill London, in Hamburg; fee plus cost of travel and accommodation paid through JLA Associates

        Speaking engagement, 19 October 2016, at conference in Singapore, for Albourne Partners Limited, London SW1E 5JD; fee paid to Member and travel and four nights’ accommodation costs for Member and wife met by Albourne Partners Limited

        The Member has been appointed as one of the judges for the 2017 Wolfson Economics Prize; a fee will be paid through the competition administrators Policy Exchange when the competition ends in July 2017

        Fee paid by The Guardian newspaper for an article published on 24 November 2016

        Speaking engagement, 22 February 2017, organised by EEF Ltd ,Broadway House, Tothill Street London SW1H 9NQ; fee plus travel expenses (arranged through JLA Associates)

        Speaking engagement, 23 February 2017, organised by Pegasystems Ltd, One Reading Central , Reading RG1 3JH; fee plus travel expenses (arranged through JLA Associates)

        Speaking engagement, 23 February 2017, organised by Finance & Leasing Association, Imperial House 15-19 Kingsway London WC2B 6 UN; fee plus travel expenses (arranged through JLA Associates)

        Speaking engagement, 29 March 2017, at Cambridge University sponsored by Estates Gazette, 110 High Holborn, London WC1V 6EU; fee and travel and overnight accommodation costs were met by the sponsors (arranged through JLA Associates)

        Speaking engagement, 5 April 2017, in Berlin at event organised by White and Case LLP, 5 Old Broad Street London EC2N 1DW; travel costs met by organisers

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        Alistair Darling Limited (see category 10(a))

        Category 4: Shareholdings (b)
        The Member has stock units in Morgan Stanley which convert into shares on an annual basis

        Morgan Stanley (financial holding company)

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        Travel expenses met by Boeing United Kingdom Ltd to attend a meeting with senior Boeing executives in London to discuss UK politics, 8 May 2017

        Category 9: Miscellaneous financial interests
        By virtue of the Members’ post as an honorary President of Chatham House, the Member undertakes speaking engagements in the UK and abroad; no fee is paid but Chatham House meet the cost of the Member’s travel and accommodation; in some cases these are met by or shared with partner institutions in the UK or other countries

        Category 10: Non-financial interests (a)
        Unremunerated Director and Chairman, Better Together 2012 Limited (private company limited by guarantee without share capital); (interest ceased on company being dissolved by the registrar of companies in Scotland, 31 May 2016)

        Unremunerated Director, Alistair Darling Limited (Member’s private company; no personal clients; company has never traded)

        Director, Standard Life Foundation (company limited by guarantee; a research and grant-making body and registered as a charity (see category 10(e)); a wholly owned subsidiary of Standard Life plc

        Category 10: Non-financial interests (e)
        Trustee and Governor, National Institute of Economic and Social Research (registered charity) (interest ceased 24 February 2017)

        Trustee, Standard Life Foundation (registered charity, Scotland)

          • reel guid

            Aye. He’s come a long way from Loretto to the board of Morgan Stanley. Oh wait…

      • reel guid

        Unfortunately it’s not happening Ros. I was just satirising Kezia’s ‘go-kart ace’ from yesterday.

        But they might as well be campaigning together since Kezia seems a lot more motivated by her opposition to the SNP than her opposition to the Tories. She’s behaving as if it’s a Holyrood election.

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