Roll of Shame 224

These are the 15 countries which shamefully voted against a UN General Assembly Resolution on Thursday which proposed to seek an opinion from the International Court of Justice on Britain’s continued colonial possession of the Chagos Islands. In the most absolute example of ethnic cleansing in modern history, less than 50 years ago the UK deported by force the entire population of the Chagos Islands to make way for the US military base on Diego Garcia, and to this day refuses to allow them to return.

The Dirty 15

New Zealand

The above are of course arguably the five countries in the world most profoundly implicated in the usurpation and destruction of native populations

South Korea

This second small group is dominated by countries with a particularly close security relationship with the United States on which they place particular reliance in relation to a perceived threat.

It must however be heartening that the US and UK could round up so very few supporters for their utterly immoral stance. It is particularly worth noting that none of the major players within the EU backed the UK.

The US and UK are also remarkably silent on the blockade of Qatar by their ally Saudi Arabia. The release of Saudi demands including the closing down of Al Jazeera TV and other media outlets including the excellent show the Saudis’ true motives. Frankly I am shocked by the failure of the mainstream media in the West seriously to question the ludicrous Saudi claim that this attack on Qatar is over support for terrorism.

Mohammed Bin Salman was appointed by his father the King as Crown Prince in Saudi Arabia on 21 June. Bin Salman has been directing the major affairs of the state for the last three years. The ferocity of the prosecution of the war in Yemen is very much his baby. Bin Salman’s master plan, which he has driven through with much skill, is for a far more aggressive Saudi Arabia leading the conservative forces in the Middle East, above all in fierce opposition to Iran and Shia interests. To this end he has forged a conservative alliance incorporating Saudi Arabia, Israel, Egypt and the United States.

US and UK involvement in the war in Yemen goes beyond the enthusiastic supply of the bombs and aircraft which have killed thousands of children. Both have had special forces on the ground, and the CIA has yet again been deeply implicated in the detention, extreme torture and murder of opponents.

The Bin Salman plan is dressed up as “pro-Western” and media hacks paint him as a “reformer” because he wishes to expand a network of McDonalds in the Kingdom. But as Iran slowly does reform, and sticks meticulously to the terms of the internationally guaranteed nuclear agreement, Saudi paranoia towards its regional “rival” becomes ever more dangerous. The Iranians deserve respect for the moderation with which they reacted to the Saudi sponsored terror attack on their parliament itself. But such provocations will increase.

Saudi support for ISIL, Al Qaeda, Al Nusra and the numerous other jihadist groups will only increase as Saudi Arabia seeks to deploy them in its sectarian war against the Shia and their allies. For that reason there is no prospect of terrorist violence in Syria declining. Indeed the United States shooting down of a Syrian jet in “self-defence” was almost certainly an indication that the Syrians were at the time targeting jihadist forces reinforced by US special forces. Israeli bombing and missile sorties against Syrian regime targets in support of jihadist rebels are finally being regularly reported in mainstream media.

I do not hold up Qatar or its ruling aristocracy as a paragon of virtue. But it seeks a more pacific relationship with Iran, and has more developed economic relationships including on shared offshore fields. Qatar has also consistently shown greater interest in the plight of the Palestinians, and more scepticism towards Israel, than Bin Salman is happy with. Qatar also has problems with the brutal military dictatorship of Egypt.

Most worryingly to Saudi Arabia, these slightly more liberal attitudes are closer to the views of the “arab street”, where there is disquiet at Saudi Arabia’s obvious but officially denied relationship with Israel. Qatar also has a media which can reflect these views to a wider Arab audience. Even though, following previous Saudi threats, al Jazeera’s content has been toned down, the Saudis see the station as an intolerable direct threat.

There is public fatigue in the West with regard to the affairs of the Middle East. This is a mistake as the situation is more dangerous than ever. The UK and USA both look likely to support the Saudis and Israel in their determination for conflict with Iran. The EU and Russia – and anybody not harbouring a death wish – will be working to keep the Iranian nuclear deal together. Bin Salman has chosen his time well, with slightly crazed right wing regimes in Washington, London and Tel Aviv willing to back his adventurism. The blockade of Qatar is but a symptom of something much more dangerous.



A volume of speeches, writings and interviews from when I first turned whistleblower is now available on Amazon. Many thanks to Kirsten who conceived and carried through the idea. My contribution was the totally non-controversial title to broaden the appeal! It includes some of the very first articles on this blog, which were only read by about 1,000 people.inBin

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224 thoughts on “Roll of Shame

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  • Republicofscotland

    “The UK and USA both look likely to support the Saudis and Israel in their determination for conflict with Iran.”

    Exactly, one could easily say that the berating and ostracising of Qatar, if it doesn’t break its links with Iran. Is a precurser, to an attack on Iran itself.

    For an attack on Iran, would surely weaken its hand in Yemen and Syria, and the true axis of evil, could set in motion the dominos, that could see the stalemate broken in Syria, and the much desired fall of the Assad regime.

  • Ishmael

    You have to say the UK is a lot like German fascism. Still.

    We still have the same sort of people who believe this power over others is somehow “legitimate”, Good old dad. As they murder the innocent, Even kill “their own”, and then tell them to shut the hell up for getting pissed off about it.

    It’s some derangement to carry an air of responsibility while killing people. To put ones self above them as you do it. A lot people in this country must be feeling this right now. What is this if it’s not a “Regime” ? All those people died because they don’t give a shit. We are not like them you see, less “civilised” and worthy.

    What a mind job.

  • Ishmael

    Just correcting a quote here.

    “The Only Thing Necessary for the Triumph of Evil is that Good Men stop invading bombing & destroying other centurions, while leaving their resources on tap.. “

    • Martinned

      Sure, by a cynic, accuse everyone of only ever acting in bad faith, sit on your ass and do nothing. I’m sure that will make the world better.

          • Hieroglyph

            “No one interested in the unexplained deaths of Antonin Scalia, Seth Rich, and Richard and Robert Peurifoy?”

            Not blaming Trump for all of those are you? Seth Rich looks like a DNC hit job, to this poster.

          • glenn_uk

            T: @No one interested in the unexplained deaths of Antonin Scalia…

            WTF? That obese fascist died at the age of 79 – you think that’s a particularly suspicious event?

            Oh come on, Trowbridge – try and get a bit of a grip here. What was the result of Scalia dying? Of course – Obama put a real leftie on the court, who turned the 5-4 right wing Supreme Court into …

            Oh. Wait a minute.

            Nothing happened, because a bunch of lying, hypocritical Republicans pretended that no President gets to nominate a SC candidate in his final year. Despite there being no precident for such a ruling, despite it having happened in recent memory, and despite Mitch McConnell – who put forward this sudden new rule – having approved Regan’s nomination (in his final year) himself personally.

            So what’s the story, Trowbridge? You’re claiming that this fascist thug Scalia was bumped off, for no gain, at nearly 80 while indulging himself in being fat – at that’s a real conspiracy at foot?

            It’s kind of hard to take you seriously, when you bite at utter BS like that.

          • Trowbridge H. Ford

            Scalia dying results in Trump’s empire making billions at public expense.

            And you know little of what John Poindexter is capable of since Scalia died at his ranch.

            You should get a grip on what Trump is up to!

          • glenn_uk

            Walk me through it then please, Trowbridge. Tell me how Scalia’s untimely death at the tragically young age of 79 has resulted in “Trump’s empire making billions at public expense”.

            No need to run through Trump’s corrupt family business, just the direct link with Scalia please – I’m genuinely interested.

      • Ishmael

        I don’t care what faith people act in. I care about the facts on the ground. What actually happens. And I look at all the options that aren’t chosen. Funny that only violent ones are seen as serious.

        And I think I’m being lied to and others are lying to themselves.

      • Republicofscotland

        Libya, Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan, good faith or bad faith? I think one could hardly plump for the former. Libya is now a wartorn unstable state, Iraq, well what can we say about Iraq, that hasn’t been already said, its a mess.

        Syria, now into its seventh year of war (not civil I might add) because the West using proxy fighters and propaganda, can’t quite bring down Assad, due to Putin’s backing, is in a terrible state.

        As for Afghanistan the US fleet was in the Persian gulf, just awaiting the propaganda message to get into Afghanistan in the search for bogus terrorists. In the process they killed many civilians, and stripped Afghanistan of precious minerals. We won’t mention the Poppy fields, in the process, Hamid Karzai, turned a blind eye, and got rich indoing so.

        • Martinned

          O, well, if you put it like that I guess it’s obvious that all of those places would have been better off ruled by cruel torturing dictators…

          • Martinned

            Yup, Ghaddafi was everyone’s best friend for decades. O, wait, no, that must have been someone else. Saddam Hussain then? Yes, he surely spent decades doing exactly what the West wanted. O, wait, no, not him. The Taliban then? No, that can’t be right. They weren’t particularly known for being convenient friends to anybody.

            What on earth are you talking about?

          • Republicofscotland

            “What on earth are you talking about?”

            Gadaffi and Tony Blair a British PM can be seen smiling and in a relaxed fashion, not much animosity there I’m afraid, then there’s the deal in the desert.

            Saddam was backed and funded by the West, to keep the war with Iran on the boil.

            The Taliban, was once the Mujahadeen backed and funded by the West to carry out guerilla warfare against Russia.

          • Ishmael

            Come on Martinned. “Family”..?

            Good enough to sell weapons to. Visit very year. Share philosophy with. Prop up.

            ….What a waste of space anyone pushing this nonsense is.

            And “Dictators” ? Let’s be specific shall we. …Cruel… Torturing….Yes, we’ll go along with that won’t we. This is the way things are after all.

          • SA

            No one disputes that cruel dictators are not good, what we question is that removing them and leaving a vacuum as has been done, mainly outside international law, is not the answer, surely you appreciate this simple truth?
            Democracy takes a long time to nurture and needs serious civic institutions to develop. It cannot be imported nor can it be enforced by inc=vasion. The later is called neocolonialism and has simply not worked.

      • Ba'al Zevul

        I don’t think that was cynicism, but an accurate picture of the very obvious alliances developing in the ME. The intention is plainly to suppress Iranian/Shi’a involvement in the region (ignoring the natural allegiance of the large Shi’a population across Syria and Iraq….and, yes, Qatar) and create a US sphere of influence in which the theocratic apartheid state to the north of Saudi can flourish.

        Perhaps it’s relevant to recognise that the purchasers of a large batch of F-35’s, currently making very warlike noises about Lebanon – the purchasers proved themselves very bad losers last time and it looks like they’ll be looking for payback with overkill soon – are an integral part of the larger scenario, and will no longer be simply defending their illegal borders against evil aggressors.

        But the Saudi side of the equation may not be so straightforward. The Saudi population, outside the urban elite, strongly supports salafism, as does its religious leaders, whose influence on Saudi governance is immense. Indeed, the grand plan’s playing with fire. If a revolution took place in Saudi, it would be time for the cardsharpers to ask for a new pack.

        There’s very little that good people in the UK can do about this misguided and paternalistic US policy, except at the next possible opportunity to vote for a government willing to decouple itself from our transatlantic masters. And we can all do that.

    • Ishmael

      I really do tire of the same old lines, over and over and over again.

      …’We must go out there, kill the barbarian. Not “do nothing”…Or we must give weapons to the right barbarian, stop all the barbarism.

      Who are they trying to kid? The rest of the world knows perfectly well what the UK regime is like. The fact’s on the ground. “Human nature” as it’s defined by the barbarians who enact this system.

  • reel guid

    The British Army have tweeted a pic that has army personnel raising an armed forces day union jack in a recreation of Joe Rosenthal’s famous photograph of the US marines raising the stars and stripes on top of Mount Suribachi during the battle for Iwo Jima.

    Is that supposed to be amusing? Or inspiring?

    A British Labour government sent the armed forces into an illegal war in Iraq in 2003 – the political consequences of which are still all too apparent – and then successive Labour/Tory/Lib Dem governments used neoliberal austerity as an excuse to evade their responsibilities to the veterans of that war.

    And instead of veterans being properly looked after we get an ever more grandiose annual armed forces day foisted on us. Spreading militarism and deference.

    Colonel Ruth Davidson swaggering about in her uniform with her wink winks to the orange order and insinuations that her way is the only way or else you’re an unpatriotic lowlife. I’d bet my family did at least as much to help win WW2 as Ruth Davidson’s, so she can piss off.

    Happy Armed Forces Day everyone!

    • Ishmael

      Id actually be happy to celebrate an armed forces day when they are a proportional defencive force working for security of people here, under a democratic mandate, And all the wars they are engaged in are over.

      Until then it seems incumbent to speak out as a responsibility to peace.

    • Republicofscotland

      reel guid.

      It must be fashionable now to support the troops, as the Church of Scotland has signed, the Armed Forces Covenant.

      Maybe Colonel Davidson, could also have chaplaincy bestowed upon her.

      • reel guid

        Yes Ros. I remember when not so long ago the Church of Scotland properly concerned themselves with famine in Africa and speaking out against poverty at home. Now they abase themselves before the British state by supporting militarism.

        Colonel Davidson and Captain Kirk I suppose.

        Sadly some churches down south have been much involved with the military celebrations.

    • K Crosby

      Really? They copied an American cliche? I suppose this is what you get when you abolish the Britisha rmy in 1963 and replace it with a pre-1914 mercenary rabble.

  • Ishmael

    Nothing ever changes with this lot. They’ve always liked a good bit of torture, goes back centuries, like fox hunting.

    Proud heritage of the British ruling class.

    How will we ever enter a space age or achieve anything better doing this stuff over and over again. Patriotism, Nationalism. etc etc.

  • Anonymous

    Israel has reportedly sent of fleet of 18 military attack and support aircraft to Saudi Arabia. The fleet includes fighter-bombers, refueling aircraft and sigint aircraft. The ‘public’ reason is to try to present a coup. If the movement of aircraft is correct, a more likely reason, given the rationale behind the now-failing destabilisation process of Syria was to isolate Iran, is that Israel intendes to launch an attack against Iran from Saudia Arabia. Maybe they hope to use the presence of similar US and Saudi aircraft in the area as cover, giving them plausible deniability.

    • Laguerre

      Sounds like fake news to me. You have to understand, not often appreciated, that although the Saudi regime may be willing to dicker with Israel, the population detests Israel and is 100% pro-Palestinian. Israelis wouldn’t last long if caught by a mob.

      Anyway farsnews maintains it’s to prevent a coup (improbable), and I don’t think the basic problem has changed: Israel is not willing to launch an attack on Iran on its own, for fear of losses. The US has to go in and do it for Israel.

  • Doug Scorgie

    “EasyJet plane takes off with empty seats after passengers were removed against their will”
    Sorry for being off-topic but the MSM annoy me these days.

    How to lie with the truth but out of context:

    The plane took-off with TWO empty seats.

    The passengers who lost out on this flight (due to OVERBOOKING by the airline) never got on the plane so they were NOT removed from the plane against their will, as the headline insinuates.

  • Sharp Ears

    Matthew Gould, ex Ambassador to Israel, is Director of Digital and Strategy at DCMS, The Secretary of State Karen Bradley has retweeted his tweet announcing an advert for a deputy.

    We’re recruiting a Deputy Director i/c digital strategy in @DCMS – closes 4 July. … #techjob

    Money no object at DCMS obviously. £75k pa for that job.

    Bradley herself awaits the OFCOM decision on Murdoch’s plan to merge his 21st Century Fox with Sky.

    Sky preliminary decision to be taken by Tory Minister in 5 days – anyone interested in protesting can sign here:

    326,220 have signed up so far which is an indicator of the strength of feeling.

    Here’s the announcement of the 29th June preliminary decision announcement :

  • mike

    Prescient, Craig.

    Today, Israel bombed SAA in Quinetra; then al Qaida attacked their positions. It’s co-ordinated. Just don’t expect to hear about it on Newsnight.

    • SA

      Just as happened when USAF bombed the Syrian army defending Deir Ezzor against IS.

  • reel guid

    In January 2016 then Tory Environment Secretary Liz Truss admitted to the Commons that 30% of farmers in England had not received their CAP payments. Something similar seems to be the case with the Westminster government this year. Yet the SNP government are lambasted by the media and unionist politicians for 3% of farmers in Scotland waiting for payment.

    No great outcry in the media and social media over Westminster’s 30% but a hullabaloo about Holyrood’s 3%.

    And the Westminster Tories grabbed EU money in 2015 that was supposed to be for farmers in Scotland and insisted it had to be divided among the four nations. The Tories have brought a situation whereby EU farm subsidies and rural EU projects will disappear.

    This totally manufactured row against the SNP over CAP payments is all part of a culture whereby the unionists and the media – with the BBC to the fore – incessantly work to create a perception of SNP incompetence. On education. On health. On agriculture.

    The SNP in government is not infallible. Should not be exempt from being faulted. But the Tories can fail to pay 30% of farmers and only receive mildly bad publicity, while the SNP fail with 3% and again it’s a deafeningly orchestrated chorus of derision.

    Wake up people of Scotland to the con that is being perpetrated by unprincipled people who care not a jot about you and your concerns.

      • Republicofscotland

        As usual Fred, your link is tenuous, at best, all the out-going staff were on short 6 month contracts all received pay.

        Also the Scottish government carried out a full investigation into any forged visa’s, and found no wrong doing.

        Unsurprisingly the Express, dresses the storey up in a fashion that appears to show the Scottish government in a bad light, nothing knew in that I’m afraid.

        • fred

          But it does not work. That is why the farmers haven’t been paid, the system does not work.

          • Republicofscotland

            Agreed Fred, it doesn’t at present, but neither does the English or Welsh system work either. Is there something special about Scottish farmers CAP payments that, you need to highlight them.

            Or is it the usual from you, SNPBAD# mantra?


            Do bear in mind that Michael Gove was in the Highlands the other day, promising all kinds of wonderous good things when we leave the EU.

            I foresee farmers, wishing that they’d stayed in the EU, knowing a late CAP was in the pipeline, for after we officially leave the EU, in my opinion, farming payment will dry up from Westminster, more so in Scotland.

          • fred

            It wasn’t me that highlighted them, it was reel guid brought the subject up. I was just adding the pertinent facts he chose to omit so people would get a fuller picture.

          • Ba'al Zevul

            If farming were not just a counter in the global market game, if most of its value went to the farmer rather than an international chain of middlemen, and if governments -Scots or English – stopped handing over the running of essential industries and services to global conglomerates without any supervisory expertise, let alone any effective organisation to enforce effective performance, then and only then there would be a sporting chance farmers would not be in the trouble many of them are in. The CAP in too many cases represents a fraction of the difference between the production cost of a crop and its market price. Ultimately, it’s an absurd concept anyway. Instead of paying a fair price for his bread and cheese, the ordinary punter is taxed on everything else he buys, and a small proportion of this goes back to the farmer, inadequately compensating him for the fact that the supermarket won’t give him a fair price.

            Make the fucking supermarkets pay!

        • Kempe

          ” all the out-going staff were on short 6 month contracts all received pay. ”

          Oh well that’s alright then and obviously they were quite happy to lose their jobs to immigrants brought in on Tier 2 visas.

  • giyane

    News from Saudi Arabia is that tomorrow will be Eid. 18.5 hour fasts don’t do wonders to my thinking capacity so my thanks to Craig for his wise words. Have a nice day tomorrow.

      • Ba'al Zevul

        Anything that keeps Hizb’ullah and Assad occupied is just beans for the Israelis, who sometimes put materiel ISIS’ way. Should the mad dog turn on them later, no biggy. They’ve got guns too.

      • K Crosby

        Clearly the Palestinian occupation has failed and clearly USukNATO must invade immediately to prevent a massacre of Palestinians, decapitate the colony and arrogate those gas fields offshore…. It would be even-handed wouldn’t it?

  • mike

    Tough one, Monteverdi. I guess unless you work for the US/UK corporate media, the relationship is pretty obvious.

    “We” are supporting those groups that are considered to be an existential threat to our strong and stable societies!

    But al Qaida is SO last decade. In fact, they’re quite cuddly now. Moderate crazies we can work with.

  • Republicofscotland

    Meanwhile a Northern Ireland Green party politician is to legally challenge the British government and DUP over the more than likely alliance.

    Ciaran McClean, claims, and rightfully in my opinion, that the alliance would damage the Good Friday Agreement.

    I was under the impression that the British government is a, or meant to be, for that matter, a impartial arbiter. How can it possibly keep on fulfilling that roll, if an alliance with the DUP is successful.

    Or is it the usual from a Westminster government, it does what it likes when it sees fit to do so?

    If that is the case, then it’s possible the troubles in NI could flare up again.

  • Andrew

    As Laguerre suggests (at 10.20), one of the big unknowns in the Middle East is how much opposition there is in Saudi Arabia to the ruling family and the new king and whether the regime is a house of cards.

    Here’s a very brief close-up video of the new king receiving well-wishers a few days ago. Notice that he’s surrounded by security people.

    An unabashed young man walks up to him, points his finger directly in the king’s face, and is quickly hustled away. (Oddly, the king is talking to him throughout).

  • Yitzhak

    I’d love to know what ‘native populations’ Israel has usurped and destroyed, Craig. Do tell.

    • Sharp Ears

      This will help you to understand Yitzhak. Chapter and verse.

      Palestine: Another Desperate Cry for Help
      “Beyond urgent… on verge of a catastrophe… last chance to save Christian presence in Holy Land”
      by Stuart Littlewood / June 23rd, 2017

      The National Coalition of Christian Organizations in Palestine (NCCOP) has just issued a final plea for help in the form of an open letter to the World Council of Churches and the ecumenical movement. It is signed by over 30 organisations in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza and can be read in full here.

      The problem is well known to everyone who’s paying attention. The letter recaps for us:
      ‘We are still suffering from 100 years of injustice and oppression that were inflicted on the Palestinian people beginning with the unlawful Balfour declaration, intensified through the Nakba [Palestinian ‘catastrophe’] and the influx of refugees, followed by the Israeli occupation of the West Bank including East Jerusalem and Gaza and the fragmentation of our people and our land through policies of isolation and confiscation, and the building of Jewish-only settlements and the Apartheid Wall.

      A hundred years later and there is still no justice! Discrimination and inequality, military occupation and systematic oppression are the rule…. Despite all the promises, endless summits, UN resolutions, religious and lay leader’s callings – Palestinians are still yearning for their freedom and independence, and seeking justice and equality.’

      The letter harks back to the Amman Call of 2007.

      We are concerned that ten years later the situation is worse…. the Amman Call did not achieve its goal of a just peace and we must ask ourselves today – why?

      • Yitzhak

        That’s right, Ian. The ‘native’ population that left absolutely no trace of its existence. Not a single coin. Not a single piece of pottery. Not a single burial site of a dead leader. No currency, no leaders prior to Arafat (you know…. the ‘Palestinian’ born in erm…Cairo), no treaties or covenants with other nations, no cuisine, no language (none distinct from Jordanian Arabic)…. nothing.

        What an achievement.

        • glenn_uk

          Gosh, they really are an un-people then, wouldn’t you agree? Doesn’t this also mean they’re not entitled to human rights? I mean… they’re hardly really human, are they.

          • yitzhak

            They get more respect for their ‘human rights’ in Israel than they do in any of the backward, seventh century theocracies surrounding it. But human rights don’t include getting a state. Especially when it’s someone else’s land.

          • glenn_uk

            They don’t have the same rights in Israel as Jews though, do they Yitzhak. That’s really discomforting, because rights as a citizen aren’t supposed to be determined by race. This is what makes Israel – among other things – an apartheid state.

            You could work on your diplomacy a bit if you want to achieve anything here, I might respectfully add. I did see some of the slurs you put down before they were deleted. What you thought might be gained by such unwarranted, egregious insults, is unclear to me.

        • Silvio

          Bad news for you and your Zionist, land-grabbing friends, Yitzhak:

          Israel’s P.R. campaign is failing: the more Americans know, the less favorable they are

          The news out of Israel is that a survey by an American Zionist group says that Israeli PR (or hasbara) isn’t working, and the more Americans learn about Israel, the less favorably they feel about the country. The Times of Israel describes the data as devastating: “‘Devastating’ survey shows huge loss of Israel support among Jewish college students.”

          The study is titled, “Sounding the Alarm: The American-Israeli Relationship.” Fern Oppenheim, head of the Brand Israel Group, which produced the survey, “repeatedly used the word ‘devastating’ — each time without hyperbole.”

        • Laguerre

          I can’t understand your disingenuousness, Yitzhak. You’re reciting an old worn-out hasbara theme, which died a long time ago. The Palestinian people are still there (except for those your lot ethnically cleansed), the descendants mainly of the ancient non-Judaic inhabitants of Palestine,who’ve lived in the same country since the Bronze age, but converted to Christianity and later Islam. You don’t think that millions of Arabs came from the peninsula, do you? Because frankly, the deserts of Arabia couldn’t furnish more than a few thousand.

  • FranzB

    “Bin Salman has chosen his time well, with slightly crazed right wing regimes in Washington, London and Tel Aviv willing to back his adventurism.”

    There’s also the question of Saudi Arabia funding wahabi ideology in the UK. A UK report into funding of extremist ideologies has been suppressed.

    There was of course Blair’s intervention in the BaE bribery investigation

  • Oscar


    The link from the words “regularly reported” in the sentence “Israeli bombing and missile sorties against Syrian regime targets in support of jihadist rebels are finally being regularly reported in mainstream media” seems to be broken.

  • Andrew Kensington

    In New Zealand’s defence, we do have a proud history of standing behind the biggest bully while sneering at his victims.

  • Ishmael

    Love glastonbury.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if there were open festivals. No fences, where anyone could come along. And no payment.

    This society doesn’t leave much space for anything. For a lot of people. I don’t feel I can comfortably (regularly) walk the steers in daytimes as an lone adult male. Of course I defy the 9-5ers and stroll around the parks and green areas. But if your not with someone, about something easily identifiable your treated with suspicion.

    I guess it’s not shocking in a deprived area. Here there are the “workers” and the none “workers” …And you can see them struggling between each other, the uppers and downers.

    Is this the kind of freedom people died for? …Only for some, they only wanted a narrow elite to have the means to choose a life they cold shape themselves.

    If that’s what they fight for, and if that’s what people SERVE. They truly have a twisted idea of what it is to serve. “Dying for country” is just the most stupid perverted idea I ever herd circulate. Dealing in death, like some kind of protection.

    Sorry, I hate patriots, I think they are stupid, Snowdon & Co.

    • Shatnersrug

      Glastonbury used to be free in my day, the tickets were £40 to cover the staff costs, jumping the fence was considered part of the tradition – and if you went down early in the week you’d be allowed to camp free too.

      Every year, come Friday evening Michael Evis would come on to the pyramid stage and declare it a free festival.

      It was something else, for a 17 year old, it was life changing – drugs, sex, music left wing politics. It’s was never just a music festival – in fact you could spend you whole week there never see a band and still have an amazing time.

      That was of course before new Labour somehow made it tame.

      • Ishmael

        Yea I know. Lot of my friends were hippies\alternative ppl who knew it from back in the day.

        I went during the 90s a few times (did go through the fence once, literally, & stood on it for otters 🙂 ) I think (hope) people will always get a taste learning the history, even going now. I hear is did start totally free.

        These spaces are important to think about and maintain. Though some results are still precious the original spirit, as you say, should not be made tame. Isn’t tame.

        ps, Don’t know if “labour” was a major factor, tbh.

        • Ishmael

          it* did start

          Bit like society i imagine. Of course there were always material things to address and that would have been the primary concern.

          I imagine back then someone acting as many do now would have been unthinkable. And when people started enslaving and using other people. What a cultural rupture that must have been.

      • Ian

        Glastonbury was a victim of its own success and the demands of modern festivals. And no worse for it now. Nothing really to do with Labour, new or otherwise.

      • Dave Lawton

        Yes this is how I remember it and Michael Eavis riding a tractor pulling a trailer loaded up with flagons of cider to sell.
        (Glastonbury Fayre)
        “In June of 1971 a spontaneous gathering of freaks, musicians, poets, thinkers, heads, fairies, goblins, elves with masses of fuzzy hair and other eccentrics pitched their tents on green fields amongst buttercups and daisies to celebrate the summer solstice at the Glastonbury Festival.
        The fayre — referred to as the English Woodstock — was a free festival in a spiritual valley, traditionally the site of the Isle of Avalon (Celtic for Place of Blessed Souls) at the feet of the Glastonbury Tor. It embraced a medieval tradition of music, dance, poetry and theatre.
        The stage, built on a site above the Glastonbury-Stonehenge lei line, was a large pyramid constructed out of scaffolding and expanded metal covered with plastic sheeting which at night shone like a silver spaceship reflecting itself twice over like a hologram in the sky. From its astral platform roared a delirium of music — David Bowie, Melanie, Traffic, Hawkwind, Arthur Brown, Gong, Fairport Convention.”

  • Manda

    “There is public fatigue in the West with regard to the affairs of the Middle East. This is a mistake as the situation is more dangerous than ever. ”

    It most certainly is… I believe the crazies are manoeuvring for a major conflict.

  • Muscleguy

    Though NZ has done far more than others to make recompense for sins committed against Maori. Because fortunately for them they had a Treaty with the Crown.

    The UK also has form here with the cultural and language squashing of the Celts in Cornwall, Cymru, Alba and Eire. Eire of course was also ‘Settled’ by cultural and religious imperialists.

  • Serge

    May I just revert briefly to the theme of Mr Murray’s post, please? I write as a Mauritian who has lived in the UK for over 25 years.

    Let us suppose for just a moment that Britain would recognise, in view of the UN vote, that the Chagos Islands should revert to Mauritius and that this is done.

    Does anyone here – including Mr Murray – seriously think for even a moment that the Mauritian government gives a damn about letting the Chagossians return to their islands (whether the US base remains or not)?

    I will tell you what would happen : the cash-strapped Mauritian government would not return the Chagossians. But what they would do is to charge the Americans a hefty rent for the continued use of the base.

    Sorry to disillusion you all.

    • Ishmael

      Who said ….(well I didn’t) That people should be governed? By anyone?

      Places without government are much better. Maybe they can arrange themselves. ….People can arrange themselves.

      Those who look at this from a position of “power” are ALL wrong. Like the film, Mr Lawrence.

  • J

    Reading articles like this:

    And this:

    One wonders why other nations such as India, China and Russia don’t seize the initiative by dramatically increasing their funding for and presumably their influence within the UN? On inspection it seems the UN rules on contributions are structured in such a way that the funding is fixed according to GDP.

    Anyone how this came to be or whether and how it might be possible to change? Surely American dominance of UN funding is no longer a good thing…

  • Doug Scorgie

    June 25, 2017 at 16:52

    “The US does pay a lot for the UN. It would be hard to replace.”


    He who pays the piper calls the tune Laguerre.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Wish I felt more sorry about Gordon Wilson’s death.

    Didn’t he appoint someone, a Winnie Ewing as recall, to look into his alleged suicide, only for her to become more convinced of his murder after she was left with 33 unanswered questions, and Wilson. though harassed by his own supporters, washed his hands of the whole mess.

    Doubt he will RIP if it even exists.

    Will look into it further when I finally, if ever, get to Scotland.

      • Republicofscotland

        Trowbridge. Yes Gordon Wilson appointed Winnie Ewing to “look into” McRae’s untimely demise.

        Gordon Wilson — hassled by his own followers — appointed Winnie Ewing to carry out an internal SNP investigation. What Ewing
        learned about McRae’s death troubled her.

        She wrote to one or two senior
        colleagues, concluding: ”In my opinion this was not suicide.” In the spring of 1987 Mrs Ewing applied as a Scots lawyer, for sight of
        the relevant Crown Office papers, offering the customary oath of confidentiality if, on examination, she was satisfied it was indeed
        suicide. She had a list of 33 unanswered questions pertinent to the

        Permission, in a crass act of public relations, was bluntly denied.

        • Trowbridge H. Ford

          Oh, so you found it!

          For a person most interested in Scotland, you seem uncaring about serious things like the assassination of Willie McRae was part off Hayward;s training apparently as an assassin whicj culminated in his killing young Francis Bradley in Northern Ireland in preparation for doing the hit on Swedish PM Olof Palme.

          You should read Hayward’s books Under Fire: My Own Story and The Operators under his new identity Captain James Rennie. They show he knew much more about Scotland and Sweden than ever thought.

          • Republicofscotland

            On the contrary Trowbridge, I brought up McRae’s mysterious death, (Special branch the most likely culprits in my opinion) on several occasions.

            You don’t need to convince me.

      • Trowbridge H. Ford

        I stated her appointment by Wilson to investigate McRae;s alleged suicide. It was from the article, The Death of Willie McRae, ten years after the murder in the Glasgow Herald.

        Susoect it was part of the 14 Intelligence Company’s training in Northern Scotland, and involved Forbes Cay Mitchell setting him up from Glasgow, and trainee Simon Hayward taking McRae out. They later feel out over the capture of the cargo ship Eksund with all those weapons aboard for the IRA.

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