Dr Who 571

I just had to sit through a whole bloody tennis match to find out about the new Dr Who.

I remember watching the first transformation, from William Hartnell to Patrick Troughton, with my sister when I was 8. The transformation itself was the most technically amazing thing then seen on TV, and I remember distinctly our deciding we liked Troughton a lot more, with his cheery trews and little flute. People forget that Hartnell’s Dr Who was himself part of what was scarey about the original series, a rather more alien character than subsequent doctors.

Anyway there are probably few people alive who have watched more Dr Who than I have over 50 years. (There, that’s an unexpected confession about my private life). And I cannot see any problem at all with a female appearing doctor. It is an alien life form, for goodness sake. If it can travel through time, regenerate and always speak English despite being from Gallifrey, it can appear in different humanoid sexual roles.

What Dr Who requires is an excellent character actor, full stop. And the series has been astonishingly, if not uniformly, well served.

But there will only ever be one Tom Baker.

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571 thoughts on “Dr Who

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    • Habbabkuk

      By no stretch of the even most fevered imagination can the SNP – which seeks the break-up of the United Kingdom – be deemed a “mainstream party”.

      The only mainstream UK mainland political parties are the Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats.

    • carl

      Maybe not on the brink of collapse, but the SNP’s trajectory is likely to continue to be downward. Their entire raison d’etre is Scottish independence. The conditions to achieve that were optimal in 2014, when it seemed as though Westminster rule would only ever deliver more neoliberalism / austerity / warmongering. That’s changed and even the Brexit result doesn’t seem to have led to an upsurge in support for an indyref2.

      PS The Times was only ever respected by Tories and the BBC.

      • Trowbridge H. Ford

        The Times was a great newspaper in the 19th century as editor Thomas Barnes showed, and Anthony Trolloppe elaborated upon.

        .It only lost its stature with the collapsing empire.

        • K Crosby

          I read it for a while in the late 70s-early 80s but the dead hand of the digger put me off until it was republished as the Independent; that went the same way and is now just as derelict. Bastards

      • reel guid

        Brexit will happen. Westminster will deliver more austerity to Scotland. Even a Corbyn administration – which many people are overrating the possibility of – would only do away with most austerity, but would hardly have the power to change the international neoliberal paradigm that would still prevail.

        The Tories are planning the Repeal Bill to not only deny repatriated Brussels powers to Holyrood and the Senedd but to effectively end meaningful devolution. The ill effects on Scotland would be a double whammy after Brexit. Scotland’s unvoted for Brexit and unvoted for Repeal Bill. Scotland, like any modern European nation needs democracy. Not submission to a demented English nationalist imperial nostalgia.

        Independence is still on the horizon despite the unionists convincing themselves otherwise. Which is understandable considering the SNP did lose a lot of seats. But they lost them in a Labour/Tory dominated election in which, in Scotland, both those parties and the BBC colluded in letting the Tories off the hook on their Westminster record. The Labour/Tory/BBC axis combined with their TV studio audience plants to make the election in Scotland revolve around a grotesquely caricatured and falsified SNP record on devolved issues.

        The unionists are finding however that such tactics – including the puffing up of Ruth Davidson – are subject to the law of diminishing returns. And the level of SNP support is not an accurate barometer of enthusiasm for independence. Recently, Labour’s Simon Pia and the Lib Dems Chris Wilson have been vocal in support of an independent Scotland. Their Journey To Yes films can be watched at Wings Over Scotland.

        As for the SNP, they’ve been told by the unionist media countless times that they’re finished. In 1970 when Winnie Ewing didn’t retain her by-election won seat in the GE. In 1979 when they lost 9 out of 11 seats. In 1992 when their hoped for surge didn’t materialise. In 2003 when they went down to only 27 seats at Holyrood. The reality of the supposed disaster this time was that they won more seats than the Tories, Labour and the Lib Dems put together.

        The SNP is not the vehicle anyway to deliver majority independence support. They are the engine, not the whole car. That comes from a collection of Scots of different parties and none. And as Simon and Chris and others show, that collective force remains strong and is growing.

      • Pyewacket

        I agree with you Carl. With rise in popularity of Corbyn’s Labour Party and the successes of the Scottish Tory vote under Davidson, over time they could well become marginalised and irrelevant. Maybe they could head their decline off at the pass and take a far more radical approach, and refuse to play along with the Westminster game. For example over the reform of Land Ownership and Brexit. The current Government is incredibly weak even with the support of the DUP, and delivering very hard punches at this time can only help their case.

        • reel guid

          Corbyn’s Labour Party finished a dismal third in Scotland in seats and the popular vote. In case you hadn’t noticed. And the Orange Order fellow travelling Tories, who with Brexit have become the anti-business party, haven’t yet got above 28% of the vote in Scotland and have reached their ceiling.

          The Tories will trash devolution and the treacherous Corbyn will tacitly go along with it by saying that there are more important things on the agenda than reversing it. Support for independence will grow to unprecedented levels and bite the Britnat establishment hard.

          • JOML

            Reel guid, I agree but I don’t think Corbyn has a party in Scotland, with Kezia and Ian Murray both staunchly anti-Corbyn. I haven’t read the Times article but the papers need to fill their pages during these quiet months, resulting in an increase in nonsense articles. As for SNP popularity, they remain phenomenally strong, although the overall support for independence is much more than the SNP, a fact many outside Scotland are often unaware of.

          • carl

            Many outside Scotland get misled by things like Nicola Sturgeon shelving a second independence referendum, because she knows it would be lost.

  • Habbabkuk

    The latest manifestation of the ongoing political and economic crisis are the queues of Venezuelans at the frontier with neighbouring Colombia, in which country they can find the foodstuffs, medicines and other small household goods no longer available in their own country under the lamentable rule of President Nicolas Maduro Moros (aka the Mighty Moron).

    Moreover he becomes more tin-pot dictator by the day (his use of state goons to repress protest refers).

    If I have not already said so, I predict that the Mighty Moron will be history by the end of this year – swept away by the anger of the betrayed masses that so foolishly put their trust in him and his equally incompetent predecessor.

    • nevermind

      Thanks for setting out the CIA agenda here, but as long as Venezuela pays its monthly dues to wall street, Maduro’s regime will go the whole hog.

      Your messianic attention to Venezuela never includes what is likely to happen after the right wing opposition, why is that?

      • Sharp Ears

        Chapter and verse on what has been happening in Venezuela. Enlightening!

        Electoral Process in Venezuela: “The Best in the World”
        By Dr. Maria Páez Victor and Edu Montesanti

        For instance –
        Maria Páez: The parties and leaders of the violent protests that for three months have disturbed the peace of Venezuelans, are the very same who in 2002 supported the coup d’etat against President Chávez. During those tense 48 hours, one of the very first things they did was to abolish the Constitution of 1999 – the one they now purport to defend. (See the film, available on the internet: “The Revolution will not be Televised”)

        During 18 years, the opposition has denigrated the Constitution. So intense has been this revolt against it that even after winning the majority at the National Assembly they insisted that the government was illegitimate, ignored the rule of law, disregarded sentences of the Supreme Court, refused to legislate, and declared the main purpose of the Assembly was to “get rid of Maduro”.

        These paragons are now pretending to be arbiters of democracy and opposing any constitutional amendment by an elected Constitutional Assembly. They are now opposing, not the government, but the people themselves.

        The day of reckoning has come. The opposition has orchestrated economic sabotage, corporate smuggling, black market currency manipulations, full scale hoarding of food and essential products. They have closed highways, burned public buildings including a packed maternity hospital, have dropped grenades from a helicopter on to the Supreme Court offices, have assaulted, lynched and even burned alive young men of dark skin “who looked Chavista”. This is a violent opposition steeped in racism and classism against their own people and in the service of foreign powers and big oil.

        The opposition parties refused to negotiate with the government, despite a Peace and Dialogue Table having been established facilitated by 3 former presidents of Latin America. The opposition insisted on having the Vatican there; when the Nuncio arrived they still refused. President Maduro then decided that if the opposition did not want to negotiate with the government, they would have to negotiate directly with the people – and called for a Constitutional Assembly to amend the constitution. And they are terrified.’

        • Kempe

          Most of the 111 deaths so far have been of demonstrators shot by Venezuelan security forces who are known to have deployed snipers against demonstrations.

          Of course the idea that people are protesting against a corrupt and incompetent government, inflation that hit 800% and shortages of food and other basic goods caused by price controls is too uncomfortable for the left to accept. It has to be a plot by the Great Satan!

      • Habbabkuk

        “Your messianic attention to Venezuela never includes what is likely to happen after the right wing opposition, why is that?”

        I hardly think that the expression “messianic attention” is justified to describe my occasional posts about the dire situation in Venezuela. After all, this is topical, current news with a definite human rights dimension which should attract the keen attention of all those who value human rights.

        As to your question, I see little point in speculating on what the opposition parties will or will not do after the inevitable fall of President Maduro Moron. However, it would seem safe to say that the economic situation in oil-rich Venezuela will improve greatly and there will be an end to military and police goons shooting demonstrators in the streets.

  • fwl

    I see Trump’s new press guy, the Scar, says Trump is taking the US back to it’s roots ad a disruptive start up. That’s good news for other disruptive start ups.

    He also said the US was a disruptive start up of wealthy guys. So all the idealism inherent in America, where did that go? Who were these rich disrupters?

    Is he talking about Welsh poet William Vaughan Roger Williams, the Welsh and Cornish crab fishermen of Chesapeake Bay,William Penn and the quakers of Pennsylvania?

    Is he saying Trump stands in their shoes?

    Interesting times….who are today’s wealthy disrupters? Where are they? Mt Pelerin?

    • Sharp Ears

      Ms Maitlis has just interviewed him for Newsnight. He has all of Bliar’s neuro linguistic skills especially in the hand movement department. 🙂

      She has been miffed to discover she was paid a lot less than her Newsnight colleague, the strange looking Evan Davis.

      She is now being offered a new contract so that’s alright then so she will be able to acquire more jewellery. She received LESS than £150k pa. Davis is in the £250,000 – £299,999 bracket.

      • fwl

        Yes, I don’t know but suspect Kirsty Wark would have been better paid compared to her male counterparts than Emily. Sometimes inequality arises because parties negotiate, or their agents negotiate, on a case by case basis and some are more feisty than others.

      • nevermind

        ‘She has been miffed to discover she was paid a lot less than her Newsnight colleague, the strange looking Evan Davis.’

        yes she is part of a group of BBC rebels who say that they want parity with men doing the same job. I agree, but it should not be up to us to pay more for such an out of control spiralling wage tit for tat, and Emily saus that she ‘does not want that either’.

        The solution seems to be to talk to Chris Evans mum who is adamant that her boy deserves what he gets. We should tell her that her lovely boy will be getting the same amount as Joe Whilley and that all other male BBC millionaires will get their wage curtailed to that of their female colleagues.

        Storm in a tea cup,,,,calmed….

    • giyane

      We all know about corporate BS, like Mrs May trying to re-brand the nasty party as eco-friendly, or political Islam trying to re-brand sucking Israel’s dick as Jihad. Habbakuk returns from his pre-school holiday in Tel Aviv to slander Hugo Chavez as stupid. No doubt the envigorating break in la-la land, the most extreme right-wing apartheid regime on earth, has darkened his pink-tinted spectacles to red.

      BTW, my G.P.’s surgery informs me that I can no longer get a Wyles Disease injection from the NHS. How long has that been going on, that the G.P. regards my medical records which the government has paid him to keep as his private property? he wants me to pay for knowing when my last injection was, whether it is still valid, and pay a private provider for a new jab.

  • Sharp Ears

    Strarmer has decided to take a job with Mishcon de Reya. Accusations of hypocrisy followed reports as he has represented Gina Miller and Aaron Banks. He is the Shadow Secretary for Brexit.

    Starmer rejects Brexit law firm role after claims of hypocrisy
    Labour’s shadow Brexit secretary had been looking into a possible role with a firm involved in cases related to Britain’s EU exit.

    I looked at his TWFY. He has already received multiple £thousands from the firm and had a monthly contract
    for £4,500 with them until September 2016 but in February this year he received £7,000 from them.

    The deputy chairman of Mishcon de Reya is the very famous solicitor, Anthony Julius. Sky omitted much detail contained in this entry.

  • Republicofscotland

    A prominent example of a two faced b*stard, who flip flops to suit the situation. She should be resigning, instead the no-gooder is clinging on to the taxpayers gravy train.


    • J

      I like flip flopping, in principle. After all, changing one’s mind is a sign of intellectual freedom. This on the other hand is opportunism.

  • reel guid

    A report on the effects of Brexit on UK cities has been published by the London School of Economics. It has Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Dundee all faring worse than the UK average.

    The report forecasts that Aberdeen and Edinburgh will be affected twice as badly as the UK average. Aberdeen because of it’s high skill oil jobs. And Edinburgh because of it’s importance in the knowledge and information sector (KIBS). In fact Edinburgh, London and Reading are reckoned by the LSE as the three worst affected places.

    Deplorably unfair, since Edinburgh voted 75% Remain and is the capital of a country that is being taken out the EU against it’s democratically chosen wish.

    • reel guid

      One of the reasons why Edinburgh has such a strong KBIS economy is the high concentration of EU nationals many of whom have already started to leave. The Scottish NHS can’t do without it’s EU staff either. Then there’s the loss of EU project money for Scotland’s rural communities which really rely on that funding. The Scottish environment – so importantly tied in with our economy – will be badly affected by a drop in regulatory standards.

      All this mess because a lot of knuckle dragging readers of The Sun in Middle England have been whipped up for years to deplore foreigners. And then an Old Etonian Prime Minister cheated Scotland out of a right of veto.

      England got us in this mess and is not going to get us out. We get us out ourselves by forging ahead as an independent and progressive European nation.

      Yes to being a European nation. No to being British and being cheated.

      • JOML

        “Yes to being a European nation. No to being British and being cheated.”
        Reel guid, I’d vote for that, although Ruth Davidson et al try to deny me that democratic right. Lets hope we’re not cheated again.

        • reel guid


          Scotland will be cheated for as long as the power to cheat is there. That power being the Act of Union.

      • Loony

        Why does the Scottish NHS need EU staff? Surely if Scotland is all that you claim it to be then the 100 million Scots claimed by Alex Salmond, could fill all available jobs in all available sectors.

        Whilst as is common to all politicians Salmond is most likely lying as to the number of Scots, some facts are available. Facts such as 20% of people born ion Scotland live outside of Scotland and facts such as Scots are more likely to leave their homeland and settle elsewhere than any other group of English speaking people.

        So, if not even Scots want to live in Scotland then it is a bit rich to complain about EU nationals seeking to leave Scotland. Given the facts that exist with regard to the Scottish diaspora then it is wholly mendacious to seek to link people wishing to leave Scotland with Brexit.

        Take the mote out of thine own eye.

        • J

          You push generalisation to an art from, hubris to a virtue.

          20% (?)= the Scots explained, dissected, understood and neatly categorised. Admit it, I bet you wish you understood yourself so well.

      • JOML

        Okay, Giyane, it was a UK referendum but that doesn’t change the points Reel guid is making. Unfortunately it wasn’t the small print that was important in the EU referendum but the large print….. on the side of a bus.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Can well understand why Scots are too interested in remaining British – watching too many episodes of Doctor – Who.

    Just saw bits of one from 2008 on BBC America, and it started driving me so nuts that I had to turn it off. The episode was even worse than the ads.

    Stop watching Doctor – Who, and you might become free.

  • Sharp Ears

    On the BiBiCee 6 O’clock News we have just had ten minutes of Olga Guerin in her best tragic voice on the cholera deaths in Yemen. Ms Chakrabarti in her best tragic voice introduced this lead item.

    Nowhere was mention of bloody British weapons sold to the Saudis by May and Fallon and being dropped on Yemen as being the major cause of this most awful destruction of a poor country and its desperate people.

    Shame on the Tories and shame on the Saudi Arabians.

    • JOML

      Watched it too, Sharp Ears, with the report being from the perspective of an innocent bystander. A few years back, Cameron stood up in parliament to confirm that no British personnel were involved in Yemen, omitting to mention that it was British made drones doing the damage, which now brings us to this humanitarian crisis. Evil bastards.

    • Loony

      Why not ask why May and Fallon sell arms to Saudi’s.

      Is it because you would not like the answer? They sell arms to Saudi so as to provide you with access to cheap oil and allow you to live in a profligate and decadent manner that would have been unthinkable to previous generations. Their arms sales allows for an entire nation to do substantially no productive work are to descend into sloth.

      No-one that proposed an alternative to sloth would ever be elected or allowed anywhere near the levers of power – for the simple reason that the people demand their rights to everything whilst denying their responsibility for anything.

      Take the mote from thine own eye.

      • JOML

        You are having a laugh, Loony, if you think that arms are sold to the Saudis for the benefit of the common person in the U.K. If it were for our benefit, I’m pretty sure these politicians would be highlighting their good work at election time. However, these puppets do not, while the masters profit.
        PS. My eyes are fine – nothing that longer arms wouldn’t sort! ?

        • Sharp Ears

          Nothing wrong with my eyes either.

          My lifestyle is neither decadent or profligate and my working life was productive and mostly involved care for others. Cut your insults.

          I repeat shame on the Tories and shame on the Saudi Arabians. A letter received from my MP who is a Tory junior minister in reply to mine on the obscenity in Yemen is worthy to be reproduced for its hypocrisy, lies and evasion.

          • Loony

            Why don’t you compare the range and scope of your possessions and aspirations with those of your Grandparents. See if you can spot any differences.

            Although it is possible for an individual to consider themselves productive and useful their actions need to be considered in the context of the society in which they operate. That context is one of overwhelming self obsessed narcissistic entitlement. It is a context that denies responsibility for everything whilst simultaneously demanding an ever expanding plethora of rights. It is the ultimate in nihilism and it is doomed to catastrophic failure. And it is your fault and the fault of every single person who so resolutely refuse to free themselves from the chains of their own egos.

          • Habbabkuk

            I hadn’t realised you were at the sharp end in your NHS days (nurse or similar..) .

            My apologies!

      • nevermind

        your rant falls short dear Loon, its the taxpayer that underwirtes arms deals, basically ensures that BAE and consorts get their money should something happen that makes the deal fall through.

        Without underwriting the risk, these deals would not get insured. That the taxpayer benefits in only a small way is, as many would say, only fair.

        Are you advocating a tax boycott to remove this kind of risk insurance from the ‘cornerstone of our boom and bust economy’? or would you now like to talk about sustainable living, how we replace the 31 bn. in oil and petrol revenues by 2040, or how do we tax 24/7 robots that will replace the 8/5 humans and their taxes? Do we triple robot taxes as they are working non stop, bar the maintenance?

        • Loony

          Saudi Arabia has a lot of oil. It is prepared to sell us that oil for a low monetary price in return for certain things.

          Saudi Arabia is a a medieval Wahabbi state and consequently it wants to kill a lot of people. It wants us to help kill those people. Some of the people it wants to kill are in fact us. Clearly they are insane, but perhaps not as insane as people that agree to help Saudi Arabia to kill themselves. Surely straightforward suicide would be more rational.

          Out of this full spectrum insanity a small group of people become mindbogglingly wealthy – whilst they manifestly lack morality at least their motives are sane. This sets them apart from the general insanity that infects the mass of the population. It may also explain the contempt of the rich for the demonstrably insane masses.

          Yes, the only hope is sustainable living. People are prepared to engage in wholesale slaughter of their fellow man to forestall any movement toward sustainable living. Most likely people would prefer full planetary destruction and the extinguishing of all life than to actually live within their own means. The ego is more powerful than many think.

  • fwl

    Gov can’t disclose which tower blocks have dangerous cladding because of intellectual property rights. Bullshit and if not bullshit then cowardice.

    • giyane

      The value of the shares in the owners of those damaged towers would fall if the towers were named.
      There was no intellectual effort expended in the construction of those dodgy claddings, so there’s no loss on the intellectual front. Might have been if they had designed a building that was safe. The only intellectual loss is in the reputation of architects, who no longer design buildings that do not act as funnels or chimneys in the event of fire.

      The Channel tunnel train travels at less than 30 m.p.h in order to avoid pressure build-up. What is it that prevents architects from considering the pressure of heated air rising in a high rise building on fire? I used to enjoy lighting a cardboard carpet tube as a kid and seeing the flames roaring out at the top. Why do we employ designers who never played when they were children, but go on to design buildings from theoretical knowledge? The cavities in modern structures allow vermin to access every single storey, and fires to become blast furnaces.

      • Habbabkuk

        “The Channel tunnel train travels at less than 30 m.p.h in order to avoid pressure build-up.”

        The trains carrying cars and lorries travel through the tunnel at around 100 mph.

        No pressure build-up there, obviously 🙂

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    If Putin’s hackers idid not seek the wanted emails for the Trump camgaign, why would the Russian President be retaliating in kind for how his spooks did it in the USA by seizing similar property occupied by US spooks in Moscow?

    • Node

      Below at 12.56 you complain “God this place is terrible with no one being focused on anything coherently.”

      OK, the US seized Russian property to punish them for allegedly hacking those emails. Russia has retaliated in kind. You say that proves Russia was guilty of the alleged crime. Please explain your coherent reasoning.

      • Trowbridge H. Ford

        If Putin’s hacking had been successful on his political front instead of failing, Obama would not have also expelled the 35 Russian spooks which Moscow threatens to retaliate too.

        Putin is proving the big, sore loser for helping Trump for nothing in return, just worse sanctions.

        • Node

          So you are saying that the fact that Russia retaliated proves it is guilty, that Russia wouldn’t have retaliated if it was innocent and therefore being unfairly punished.

    • giyane

      Ode to Billie Joe:
      Papa said to Mama as he passed around the black-eyed peas
      “Well, Billie Joe never had a lick o’ sense, pass the biscuits, please
      There’s five more acres in the lower forty I’ve got to plow”
      And Mama said it was a shame about Billie Joe anyhow
      Seems like nothin’ ever comes to no good up on Choctaw Ridge
      And now Billie Joe McAllister’s jumped off the Tallahatchee Bridge”

      The crass stupidity of accusing Russia of hacking the Democrats reminds me of this song in which they are discussing a suicide over tea. Russia is about to take over the entire free world d . r . a . m . a is followed by: “I’ll have another piece of apple pie, you know, it don’t seem right”. Totally bonkers double-think from a society addicted to TV.

  • Sharp Ears

    Try the Murdoch Sky News pro-West view of the situation in Venezuela.

    Stuart Ramsay reports from Venezuela, a country falling apart.
    4 mins

    PS Ms Karen Bradley DCMS Sec of State is about to announce her decision on Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox bid to acquire the total of the Sky shareholding of which he already owns a part. It is feared that she make this announcement in the parliamentary recess, this avoiding a storm of criticism. Typical Tory Tactic.

  • reel guid

    Scotland is experiencing the worst assault on our democracy in the history of the union. Enforced leaving of the EU, no veto, no Section 30 and the preparation of Westminster’s Repeal Bill to grab most of the current powers that reside at Holyrood. Much of the warnings over this quite rightly focus on the severely detrimental effects on Scotland’s economy. But there is another, more neglected aspect, which is just as important and that’s the effect on the collective psyche of the people of Scotland.

    Psychiatrists have long known that one of the main manifestations of illnesses such as schizophrenia or depression is the feeling of alienation that patients experience. And the subsequent loss of feeling of having an authentic identity which causes a vicious circle. As with individuals having such conditions brought on by their environments – and if you don’t believe that then read R. D. Laing’s and Aaron Esterson’s classic work ‘Sanity, Madness and the Family’ – so can the population of a country have a collective version of such debilitating alienation brought about by unhealthy circumstances. The assault on Scottish democracy is just such a set of circumstances and the effects are potentially devastating if we don’t fight back at and meekly accept our treatment by London.

    The combination of economic degradation brought about by exiting the EU and the humiliation and loss of identity brought on by that enforced exit and the drastic downgrading, even destruction, of devolution means Scotland is on course for a tragic disaster for her people. Collectively and in so many cases individually.

    No one in the higher echelons of the Labour or Tory parties has spoken out at the proposed Repeal Bill and the planned destruction of meaningful devolution. A devolution in the last 18 years that has transformed many aspects of Scotland’s governance for the better. One thing that most Corbynites, Blairites and Tories have in common is a disdain for Scottish self-government, as is evidenced by that near unanimous unionist silence over the Repeal.

    Independence is the only healthy, sane and self respecting route now left to take for Scotland. It’s also the only internationalist and economically sensible route. All these needs of a nation are closely connected.

    Independence and sanity. Union and illness. The choice is coming.

  • Republicofscotland

    The English NHS, which has been described as a humanitarian crisis, is to face more stringent cuts.

    “The fact that NHS bosses have described this as the ‘most extreme and difficult NHS finance process they had experienced’ and would ‘challenge the value basis of the NHS’ will make chilling reading for patients and their families who deserve the very best levels of care.”

    “The 14 areas asked to enact the cuts are: Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset; Cambridgeshire and Peterborough; Cheshire (Eastern, Vale Royal and South); Cornwall; Devon; Morecambe Bay; Northumbria; North Central London; North Lincolnshire; North West London; South East London; Staffordshire; Surrey and Sussex; Vale of York and Scarborough and Ryedale.”

    Things are going from bad to worse for the English NHS, how much longer can it survive?

    • reel guid


      Did you read the story in the Daily Record website about the Scottish soldier who lost his legs in Afghanistan and has been receiving regular treatment at a specialist hospital in England? He’s been told he can no longer receive treatment there because he lives in Scotland. There is no hospital in Scotland that specialises in the treatment he needs.

      Scots are there to be used and then forgotten about according to Tory Britnats. Just as the 51st Highland Division was used at Dunkirk.

      • Republicofscotland

        reel guid.

        I’d say that it was a sign that the NHS South of the border is in financial trouble. In my opinion certain NHS Trusts, are strapped for cash, and have to cut their coat according to their cloth.

      • Kempe

        The 51st Highland were positioned in front of Ouvrage Hackenberg on the Maginot Line about 265 miles from Dunkirk with Rommel’s panzers between them and the coast. They were attached to the French Tenth Army when surrounded and forced to surrender.

        However don’t let that ruin your anti-English conspiracy theories.

        • reel guid


          The Highland Division was put under French command in late April 1940 and was used to defend the Maginot Line. The Division could have been recalled by the British and given a chance to reach the sea. Instead they were left under French command to fight alongside the French and delay the German infantry divisions trying to catch up with the German armour. The 51st sustained a lot of casualties in heavy fighting.

          The were being used as a rearguard strategically and not tactically – that is not on the perimeter of the evacuation area as is popularly supposed – but they were never given any chance by the British High Command to extricate themselves.

          However don’t let that ruin your conspiracy theory about Scottish anti-Englishness.

          • JOML

            Reel guid, my friend’s father was with the 51st, a 19 year old from the Outer Hebrides. He and his 17 year old cousin were captured at St Valery by the Germans and they spent the rest of the war in a POW camp in Germany. When discussing his experiences, it was obvious he had better things to say about the Germans than the French, who treated them as cannon fodder – taking over the British army’s ‘no shame if they fall’ approach. Apparently, Canadians were left in a similar position, but I don’t have the details to hand.

          • reel guid

            Thanks JOML. That’s interesting about the 51st POW view of the French Generals.

            Of course the Canadians were cynically used in the Dieppe Raid in 1942. In order for the top brass to learn lessons to be used in the genuine invasion in 1944.

          • Kempe

            The German breakthrough blocked 51st Highland’s route to the sea, by the time the need to retreat had been realised here was no way they could’ve got to Dunkirk. As mentioned below an evacuation plan was drawn up but was overtaken by events. The idea that one of the British Army’s best divisions was somehow sacrificed because it was Scottish is nonsense.


            Ouverage Hackenberg is about 20 miles north east of Metz.

        • Republicofscotland

          Churchill attatched them to the French, (not the first time the Scots have came to the aid of France).

          “As the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) was withdrawing from France after the German spring offensive of 1940, Winston Churchill put the 51st Highlanders under French command—ostensibly to reassure the French that Britain would “never abandon her ally in her hour of need.” In fact, Churchill’s object was to keep the French fighting the Germans long enough to cover the British retreat.”

          “It worked. As part of the French 10th Army, the 51st fought a ferocious rearguard action against the German advance, allowing the BEF to be evacuated at Dunkirk. By June 4, most of the BEF were safe at home. But the 51st, under French command, was still fighting.”

          ” A week later, the Germans had pushed them back to the coastal town of St. Valéry. There, they should have been evacuated themselves, but bad weather and bad luck delayed the relief expedition until it was too late.”


    • Republicofscotland

      Thrown in the cut of 20,000 English police officers (not including civil staff) and it’s clear to see that, the British government still sees austerity as the way forward. Even if means the streets are less safer.


      The English Firebrigade service doesn’t fair any better.

      “Dave Green of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) warned that with 10,000 less firefighters under Theresa May’s watch as Home Secretary, “ability to respond is becoming compromised.”

      Cities such as Greater Manchester and London had seen “huge cuts” the former firefighter explained, adding that nationwide after seven years of cuts the fire and rescue services had lost one in six firefighters.


      Is it any wonder then the media et al, are diverting our attention away from the dire state of these vital services, by showing us Prince Willie flying a air ambulance for the last time. As he takes up his royal duties, as a full time sponger of taxpayers cash.

        • Republicofscotland


          Is that so? The propaganda posts, this one held by Willie, are infact used to try and endear us to the royals.

          Willie’s uncle Andy, performed a similar postion flying choppers for the Royal navy what a greedy self centred little shit he turned out to be. We had the spare Harry, (a heir and a spare as they say), in Afghanistan the media et al portrayed him as some kind of royal Rambo, if you like on the front line, defeating pesky terrorists.

          Of course it was just another propaganda post to again endear the British mugs, who think he and his brother are worth having, at the head of the trough.

          • reel guid

            There are still quite a lot of stories to come out about Prince Andy and his chopper.

          • Republicofscotland

            reel guid.

            Ha, ha, ha nice one, Fergie and the “toe-sucking” episode quickly springs to mind ?

            Back to Andy boy, wasn’t he at one point meant to be a ambassador for Britain, to drum up trade for the nation?

            Until we found out Fergie was renting him out by the hour, not for the benefit of British businesses but for self-interest.

            What a sleazy lot.

          • reel guid

            Then of course there was his association with the dodgy Yankee businessman and his dodgy parties.

  • nevermind

    Oh boy, they are so in for a roasting. Competition is healthy they say, but German car makers seem to have had other ideas, by arranging and agreeing on mechanical changes, at what speed cabrio’s can put their tops down, engines, electrical equipment, the lot.

    I’m sure some of you will enjoy this article more than others, moire, I support the Czech republic these days, although workers at Skoda are still allowed to drink at lunchtime, so cars finished in the afternoon could be put together under the influence, and they are built using German technology, but they are economical and one day the brother’s Schweik might bring out their very own designed cars.


    • Kempe

      Can only be news to the Germans. It was this cartel that successfully lobbied the EU to push diesel as a way to reduce CO2 emissions as it was a cheaper option for them than developing all electric or hybrid cars.

      • Republicofscotland

        Laughable yes, but not as laughable, bordering on preposterous as the British governments attempt to ban diesel cars by 2040.

        Where is the power coming from to charge Britain’s 25 million or so cars? How many Hinckley Points would be needed to keep the lights on whilst charging electric cars?

        No the announcement was nothing more than a populist, jingoistic throw away feel good about us, we’re looking out for you bollocks policy.

        That the British government do not need to worry about coming back to bite them, as most of those useless b*stards will be dribbling and snoring their arses off in in the House of Lords at the taxpayers expense come 2040.

        • reel guid

          With Brexit inflation the members of the Lords in 2040 will probably be getting about £300 000 a day attendance allowance. Which probably won’t buy much.

          • D_Majestic

            The £4 carrot syndrome, as I was frequently calling it before the Gumball Election, to someone here- I can’t remember who….

        • fred

          Where will the power come from for the grid without the cars? They will be to put power in as well as to take it out.

          Windmills and solar have one giant drawback, they have no angular momentum, no rotational mass, no huge blocks of rotating heavy steel and copper to iron out fluctuations in the grid. If we are to have a large proportion of our energy generated by renewables we will need all those batteries charging from the grid because we will need to be able to draw on their stored energy at times and also dump energy into them in times of over production, we will need them to create a giant reservoir of power to keep the grid stable, the move towards renewable energy can’t progress without them unless the power companies spend vast sums on energy storage systems..

  • KingofWelshNoir

    Loony wrote:

    Although it is possible for an individual to consider themselves productive and useful their actions need to be considered in the context of the society in which they operate. That context is one of overwhelming self obsessed narcissistic entitlement. It is a context that denies responsibility for everything whilst simultaneously demanding an ever expanding plethora of rights. It is the ultimate in nihilism and it is doomed to catastrophic failure. And it is your fault and the fault of every single person who so resolutely refuse to free themselves from the chains of their own egos.


    I enjoy reading your posts Loony, they are well-written. And they evince an exhilarating intellectual ‘scorched earth policy’ in the way you condemn unreservedly the rest of us as consumption-obsessed, ego-imprisoned hypocrites. You sound like the Torquemada or Rasputin of sustainable living. As I said, I enjoy them and do not greatly mind that I fail to live up to your eye-waveringly exacting standards. My question is, Do you? Would you be willing to say how you fashion your life in order to avoid the ignominy that befalls the rest of us?

    Serious question, I would be interested to hear.

    • Tony_0pmoc

      I enjoy reading Loony’s posts too – and yours. The only problem I have, is that there is never much to argue with.

      I used to really enjoy reading bevin’s posts too. However, both Craig Murray and one of his moderator’s have explained that bevin has been banned for reasons that I do understand.

      They are both “Thick”

      but it is Craig Murray’s website – and he can ban whoevever he wants.

      If bevin is “Racist” then I’m a kangaroo.

      He does post elsewhere.

      He’s probably about 90 years old and still got all his marbles.

      I would love to meet the man (or woman).

      He has obviously been inspired by this guy



      • Trowbridge H. Ford

        People like Craig and the mods believe in absolutes, like nothing is worse than Hillary who Trump is proving wrong.

        Bevin thought the there could be some merit in supporting or voting for Marie Le Pen, like given the problems of making opposition votes most effective in the election system.

        Anyway I could be wrong like Alan Bullock comparing the real Bevin to Castlereigh, Canning and Palmerston. He was better than all three of the combined.

    • Loony

      I am probably not the person you think. Like everyone else I am trapped inside a culture that worships at the alter of purposeless consumption.

      I try to consume as little as possible, and do my best to point out the absurdity and patent stupidity of a society that so arrogantly believes itself to be at the top of the human evolutionary tree.

      To an extent I partake in the same insanity that I point out. I try not to look for excuses and to blame other people for my shortcomings and accept responsibility for my actions. I do other stuff too…but there is a reason I post anonymously.

      • Ishmael

        “I try to consume as little as possible, and do my best to point out the absurdity and patent stupidity of a society that so arrogantly believes itself to be at the top of the human evolutionary tree”

        Do you really think your so unique? I think in this day and age there are fewer and fewer trapped in this world view. (I’m not talking about most of the english TV watching culture, spoon fed by the upper classes) Or that there is even “human evolution” to speak of. This is not to say things can’t improve via conditions, or that things weren’t in fact much better in many ways under “primitive communism” (call it what you will, i.e. how we lived in most of human history).

        Speaking for myself I’m not trapped by what other people choose to do do, or even the systems they enact. Much of which has given lots of freedom relative to recent history. But then lately I’m more focused on using what I have to a fuller extent.

        I do see myself “trapped’ in human nature. And it’s great… I think humans are naturally good, co-operative, compassionate creatures…I actually work very hard to stay trapped (in my small corner of the world that generally pushes another view) but even locally my experience doesn’t confirm it when you scratch below the surface. Or especially when you look at young people who aren’t yet consumed by the seemingly “predominant” environment created by the few.

      • KingofWelshNoir

        I have no idea who or what you are. As I said, I enjoy reading your posts, even though the experience of reading sentiments such as the one below is like being doused with a moral flamethrower:

        ‘That context is one of overwhelming self obsessed narcissistic entitlement…it is your fault and the fault of every single person who so resolutely refuse to free themselves from the chains of their own egos.’

        Given the absolutist way in which you condemn us I was genuinely curious to know what you do to avoid the same faults. Amusingly your answer seems to be, Well nothing much really 🙂

    • Ishmael

      “Serious question, I would be interested to hear”

      I really don’t see the link to the ego bit @ the end. i.e., Ego can just as much about being “productive” & “useful” & ego is quite necessary, though to tame it is imo a good thing.

      I also think demanding (human) rights is (certainly is on an individual level) responsibility. i.e, If they are truly about what expands human freedom/autonomy/survival they must consider all the things we rely on to live, i.e. nature, eco-systems, other people, etc.

      It’s sounds to me like loony describes the capitalist/market system as the “context’ (or Donald Trump). But to suggest that’s all society is & the actions of individuals are inconsiderate of that? & therefor not useful? ….*sigh* I dunno, I can’t pin down what’s really being said by loony & imagine (like can happen to many of us) ego may be leading the show a bit too much.

  • reel guid

    Ruth Davidson being puffed like mad by a ludicrous piece in The Economist. They think she’d be a great Tory leader.

    No mention of the extensive Orange Order links or the degeneration under her watch of the Scottish Tories. The emergence of candidates with far right links and outlooks. No mention either of the civil war brewing in the party north of the border. The accusations by Belinda Don and others of an autocratic Davidson clique. The public criticisms from distinguished party veteran Struan Stevenson.

    No, The Economist prefers to praise her great public speaking skills. All I can recall about that is her angrily telling Sturgeon to “sit down” for not agreeing with her. Not exactly the hallmark of one of your great orators.

    Still the sinking UK and the sinking union need to find their Great White Hope. Or in Davidson’s case their Great Orange Hope.

    • Republicofscotland

      reel guid.

      There were whispers on some sites that Rape Clause Ruth-less Davidson, is after the top job at number ten.

      Afterall if the likes of Michelle Mone-r and comprehensively rejected by the voter, Tory Ian Duncan can be made Lords, then Colonel Blimp Davidson could become the next PM…… attenshun. ?

      • reel guid

        And Duncan not just made a Lord within days of being rejected by the voters, but made a Scottish Office minister too. The Tories plan de facto colonial status for Scotland and run on the lines of a colony. They’ve already started as the Ian Duncan episode shows.

      • Sharp Ears

        That was ‘news’ about Baron Duncan of Springbank.

        This is the Schwarzenegger Institute where he is on the board of advisors. Strange connection? Wonder how that came about.

        ‘Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy

        In 2012, Schwarzenegger helped to found the Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy, which is a part of the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California. The Institute’s mission is to “[advance] post-partisanship, where leaders put people over political parties and work together to find the best ideas and solutions to benefit the people they serve” and to “seek to influence public policy and public debate in finding solutions to the serious challenges we face”. Schwarzenegger serves as chairman of the Institute.


  • Republicofscotland

    No mention on the London owned tv channels posing as Scottish news channels, of the disabled soldier, who is or has been sent back to Scotland because NHS England can’t afford to treat him.

    Instead we have quaint story of the villages of Dull, Boring and Bland, all teaming up to promote their rather quirky names.

    All that’s missing from this distraction, is a cute wee puppy dog.

    • giyane


      Could you put up with the utter drivel now emanating from Mrs May. Brexit means brexit morphs into actually everything will stay the same. I don’t mind listening to the garbage once, just to get it clear in my head what the idiots are saying, but then to have to listen to the opposite the next day, with earnest concentration …
      Come on , you seem like a reasonable fellow, it would drive anybody nuts just keeping up with the U turns. Nothing to do with reputation, just clinging onto sanity as far away as possible from the BS machine of UK Tory bollocks-ticks. Can we have Mr Corbyn , please?

  • Tony_0pmoc

    I personally find President Trump’s latest appointment Anthony Scaramucci both hilarious and encouraging…

    He comes out straight (as if straight from Sicily)

    “Look I’m a Roman Catholic and you neocon c*cks*ckers aren’t in ths same league”

    “You cn’ts ain’t got any history”

    “Scaramucci: “Priebus Is A F**king Paranoid Schizophrenic”,


    The Americans make our lot including Denis Skinner and even George Galloway seem quite tame.


    • Tony_0pmoc

      I know nothing about Anthony Scaramucci – apart from his name and a few rants he tweeted – as soon as he was appointed President Trump’s main spokesman…a few days ago

      I could be wrong but I am trying to write what would be his point of view (largely gained in New York and Italy (maybe Sicily)

      “We were doing fine in Sicily and we were doing fine in New York until some idiot in Washington DC said lets bomb Iraq, Libya and Syria. We don’t mind you fighting The Russians, Vietnamese – and all the rest of the world…But you have bombed our neighbours you idiots and they are all turning up on our beaches some half dead and some almost completely dead…and many totally dead.

      I am telling you. “Orders from President Donald John Trump of The United Stes of America.”



  • John Goss

    Here’s interesting for you. No I’m not Welsh. Pakistan’s prime minister is out of office on accusations of money and property laundering. The Panama Papers are beginning to bite. Just wish it was a bit nearer home. Or anywhere where this corruption has taken place.

    I hope it brings down the Clintons (some hope). Interestingly though another seedy character, Imran Awan, has just been arrested on unspecified charges (his legal representative mentioned Pizzagate) trying to flee to his homeland Pakistan.


  • Mark DC

    All kicking off in London with rioting over the death of a drug dealer who choked on his own stash. Helpfully described by the BBC as a “stand-off”.

    • fwl&hisego

      The way in which public disorder is presented by a public broadcasts is interesting. Ask yourself if the message is look away or look here. I would expect the message to usually be look away and keep dreaming. It’s when the message is look here and be scared that’s when the eyebrows should be raised.

      • Mark DC

        Now we have Diane Abbott defending the “understandable anger and upset” of the rioters.

        Shadow Home Secretary.

    • Node

      … rioting over the death of a drug dealer who choked on his own stash

      A video of Rashan Charles being arrested seems to show that he put something in his mouth and a policeman put him in a stranglehold to prevent him swallowing it. Describing that as “a drug dealer who choked on his own stash” is misleading to the point of dishonesty.


      • Mark DC

        According to the IPCC an object was removed from his throat at the scene. Perhaps it was a rabbit. Perhaps he choked on his own stash. We don’t know.

        Drugs Dealers’ Lives Matter.

        • nevermind

          Did you mean to say ‘Drug dealers lives matter as much as your own’?

          Why don’t you wait for the investigation and see what it was he swallowed, or whether it was something administered to him whilst being choked/apprehended? rather than coming out with gobshite.

          • Mark DC

            Why don’t the rioters wait for the result of the investigation before going on a burning and looting spree?

            Gotta have those new Nikees, innit fam.

  • Sharp Ears

    Alex Salmond was running a phone in on LBC this morning. Subjects being discussed were suggestions for what Hammond is up to whilst Treeza is away (while the mouse is away the cat will play) and activities in tbe White House.

    Salmond said he knows Trump very well ( golf courses?) but cannot believe what he is hearing now.

    • Node

      @ Mark DC :
      You might be right in assuming the “object” was his “stash” but nether of us know that.
      Did the IPCC call him “a drug dealer”? If not, why do you assume he was?
      Has a doctor said that the policeman’s stranglehold had no bearing on his death? If not why do you ignore what seems to be a relevant factor?
      Why do you sarcastically write “Drugs Dealers’ Lives Matter” as if they didn’t?

      @ other readers :
      Please write your one word answer on a postcard and send it to Mark DC.

      • Node

        Don’t know why this ^ ended up here when I replied to Mark DC’s 13.42 comment

        • Republicofscotland


          Since we’re in the Dr Who thread, you’re comment may have passed through the Time Space Continuum, via the Tardis. ?

          • Node

            Ah, that explains it .. pass the sonic screwdriver, I’ll just take the back off the Tardis …. hmm, that bit shouldn’t be there … and this crystal is upside down … oops, broke it, ah well, don’t think I needed it anyway … stick a bit of chewing gum here … and there, that should do i!

            Right, to return to the proper comment, I should just have to press this button …

            … HERE!

            ˙˙˙˙ ɹoɟ sᴉ lɐʇsʎɹɔ ʇɐɥʇ ʇɐɥʍ pǝɹǝqɯǝɯǝɹ ʇsnɾ ǝʌ,I ‘sdoo ˙˙˙˙

  • Republicofscotland

    A interesting look at the Mayor of London, from Simon Hattenstone of the Guardian newspaper, as he spent a week following Sadiq Khan around. Khan is reaching out to American cities to make deals.

    “There is one big difference between him and the most powerful American mayors: they have more money to play with and greater responsibilities. The mayor of New York, for example, spends 50% of the taxes raised there; Khan can spend 7%. (In Tokyo, the figure is 70%.)”


  • nevermind

    My condolences to the family of the STILL UNNAMED WOMAN.

    Sorry to say that the reported missing woman, hit by a police van, is yet unnamed. As yet we don’t know what speed this van was going at, but she has died from her multiple injuries.

    Nothing in this article is information gathered from people who live nearby, it seems that nobody has tried and find out about this accident yet.
    Did anybody hear a loud thump?, screeching brakes? a scream? anything?
    All they say is that the IPCC might want to interview the helicopter pilot who delivered her to Addenbrooke’s in Cambridge.
    Why that should be?, when it will just result in more tabloid speculations and cheap royal talk, when the death of the woman is pushed into the background by tabloidal tittle tattle.

  • Habbabkuk

    To return to the dire situation of VENEZUELA for a moment.

    The good news is that it appears that President Nicolas Maduro Moro (aka the Great Moron) is calling a halt to the killings on the streets by his police and military goons of people exercising their democratic right of protest.

    The bad news is that this will be achieved by a nation-wide ban on demonstrations 🙂

    Just imagine the howls of protest if just 11 (rather than 111) demonstrators had been killed on the streets of “fascist” Britain or “fascisr” America in the short space of three months.

    Or if the “fascist” UK and USA were to ban demonstrations.

    • Sharp Ears

      For those who have a knife into Chavez and Maduro, some long standing on here. They might learn something.

      Venezuela Under Siege by U.S. Empire
      by David William Pear, July 20, 2017
      ‘t is all about the oil. Whatever else one hears about Venezuela, it is all about the oil. That is what one needs to know first about why the U.S. Empire has Venezuela under siege. It is about the oil.

      When President Trump says, “Venezuela is a mess; Venezuela is a mess, we will see what happens”, it is all about the oil. When the U.S. Empire imposes sanctions on Venezuela, it is all about the oil. When the mainstream corporate media (i.e. Fake News) cries crocodile tears about democracy, human rights and political prisoners in Venezuela, it is about the oil. When the U.S. calls into session emergency meeting of the United Nations and the Organization of American States, it is about oil.’

      Countdown To War On Venezuela
      On Sunday Venezuela will hold an general election of participants of a constitutional assembly. Half of the representatives will be elected from regular electoral districts. The other half will be elected from and by eight special constituencies like “workers”, “farmers”, “employers”, etc. The second part may be unusual but is no less democratic than the U.S. system which gives voters in rural states more weight than city dwellers.

      The new assembly will formulate changes to the current constitution. Those changes will be decided on in another general vote. It is likely that the outcome will reinforce the favorite policies of a great majority of the people and of the social-democratic government under President Maduro.

      Venezuela Coup “Could Blow Up Huge In Many Nations Of The Region”

  • Sharp Ears

    How did you do that? ie the upside down line. Strangely it is easy to read.

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