The Stink Without a Secret 506

After six solid months of co-ordinated allegation from the mainstream media allied to the leadership of state security institutions, not one single scrap of solid evidence for Trump/Russia election hacking has emerged.

I do not support Donald Trump. I do support truth. There is much about Trump that I dislike intensely. Neither do I support the neo-liberal political establishment in the USA. The latter’s control of the mainstream media, and cunning manipulation of identity politics, seeks to portray the neo-liberal establishment as the heroes of decent values against Trump. Sadly, the idea that the neo-liberal establishment embodies decent values is completely untrue.

Truth disappeared so long ago in this witch-hunt that it is no longer even possible to define what the accusation is. Belief in “Russian hacking” of the US election has been elevated to a generic accusation of undefined wrongdoing, a vague malaise we are told is floating poisonously in the ether, but we are not allowed to analyse. What did the Russians actually do?

The original, base accusation is that it was the Russians who hacked the DNC and Podesta emails and passed them to Wikileaks. (I can assure you that is untrue).

The authenticity of those emails is not in question. What they revealed of cheating by the Democratic establishment in biasing the primaries against Bernie Sanders, led to the forced resignation of Debbie Wasserman Shultz as chair of the Democratic National Committee. They also led to the resignation from CNN of Donna Brazile, who had passed debate questions in advance to Clinton. Those are facts. They actually happened. Let us hold on to those facts, as we surf through lies. There was other nasty Clinton Foundation and cash for access stuff in the emails, but we do not even need to go there for the purpose of this argument.

The original “Russian hacking” allegation was that it was the Russians who nefariously obtained these damning emails and passed them to Wikileaks. The “evidence” for this was twofold. A report from private cyber security firm Crowdstrike claimed that metadata showed that the hackers had left behind clues, including the name of the founder of the Soviet security services. The second piece of evidence was that a blogger named Guccifer2 and a websitecalled DNC Leaks appeared to have access to some of the material around the same time that Wikileaks did, and that Guccifer2 could be Russian.

That is it. To this day, that is the sum total of actual “evidence” of Russian hacking. I won’t say hang on to it as a fact, because it contains no relevant fact. But at least it is some form of definable allegation of something happening, rather than “Russian hacking” being a simple article of faith like the Holy Trinity.

But there are a number of problems that prevent this being fact at all. Nobody has ever been able to refute the evidence of Bill Binney, former Technical Director of the NSA who designed its current surveillance systems. Bill has stated that the capability of the NSA is such, that if the DNC computers had been hacked, the NSA would be able to trace the actual packets of that information as those emails travelled over the internet, and give a precise time, to the second, for the hack. The NSA simply do not have the event – because there wasn’t one. I know Bill personally and am quite certain of his integrity.

As we have been repeatedly told, “17 intelligence agencies” sign up to the “Russian hacking”, yet all these king’s horses and all these king’s men have been unable to produce any evidence whatsoever of the purported “hack”. Largely because they are not in fact trying. Here is another actual fact I wish you to hang on to: The Democrats have refused the intelligence agencies access to their servers to discover what actually happened. I am going to say that again.

The Democrats have refused the intelligence agencies access to their servers to discover what actually happened.

The heads of the intelligence community have said that they regard the report from Crowdstrike – the Clinton aligned private cyber security firm – as adequate. Despite the fact that the Crowdstrike report plainly proves nothing whatsoever and is based entirely on an initial presumption there must have been a hack, as opposed to an internal download.

Not actually examining the obvious evidence has been a key tool in keeping the “Russian hacking” meme going. On 24 May the Guardian reported triumphantly, following the Washington Post, that

“Fox News falsely alleged federal authorities had found thousands of emails between Rich and Wikileaks, when in fact law enforcement officials disputed that Rich’s laptop had even been in possession of, or examined by, the FBI.”

It evidently did not occur to the Guardian as troubling, that those pretending to be investigating the murder of Seth Rich have not looked at his laptop.

There is a very plain pattern here of agencies promoting the notion of a fake “Russian crime”, while failing to take the most basic and obvious initial steps if they were really investigating its existence. I might add to that, there has been no contact with me at all by those supposedly investigating. I could tell them these were leaks not hacks. Wikileaks. The clue is in the name.

So those “17 agencies” are not really investigating but are prepared to endorse weird Crowdstrike claims, like the idea that Russia’s security services are so amateur as to leave fingerprints with the name of their founder. If the Russians fed the material to Wikileaks, why would they also set up a vainglorious persona like Guccifer2 who leaves obvious Russia pointing clues all over the place?

Of course we need to add from the Wikileaks “Vault 7” leak release, information that the CIA specifically deploys technology that leaves behind fake fingerprints of a Russian computer hacking operation.

Crowdstrike have a general anti-Russian attitude. They published a report seeking to allege that the same Russian entities which “had hacked” the DNC were involved in targeting for Russian artillery in the Ukraine. This has been utterly discredited.

Some of the more crazed “Russiagate” allegations have been quietly dropped. The mainstream media are hoping we will all forget their breathless endorsement of the reports of the charlatan Christopher Steele, a former middle ranking MI6 man with very limited contacts that he milked to sell lurid gossip to wealthy and gullible corporations. I confess I rather admire his chutzpah.

Given there is no hacking in the Russian hacking story, the charges have moved wider into a vague miasma of McCarthyite anti-Russian hysteria. Does anyone connected to Trump know any Russians? Do they have business links with Russian finance?

Of course they do. Trump is part of the worldwide oligarch class whose financial interests are woven into a vast worldwide network that enslaves pretty well the rest of us. As are the Clintons and the owners of the mainstream media who are stoking up the anti-Russian hysteria. It is all good for their armaments industry interests, in both Washington and Moscow.

Trump’s judgement is appalling. His sackings or inappropriate directions to people over this subject may damage him.

The old Watergate related wisdom is that it is not the crime that gets you, it is the cover-up. But there is a fundamental difference here. At the centre of Watergate there was an actual burglary. At the centre of Russian hacking there is a void, a hollow, and emptiness, an abyss, a yawning chasm. There is nothing there.

Those who believe that opposition to Trump justifies whipping up anti-Russian hysteria on a massive scale, on the basis of lies, are wrong. I remain positive that the movement Bernie Sanders started will bring a new dawn to America in the next few years. That depends on political campaigning by people on the ground and on social media. Leveraging falsehoods and cold war hysteria through mainstream media in an effort to somehow get Clinton back to power is not a viable alternative. It is a fantasy and even were it practical, I would not want it to succeed.

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506 thoughts on “The Stink Without a Secret

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  • joel

    Tech billionaires launch campaign to rescue Democratic Party
    Published July 05, 2017 News FOXBusiness

    LinkedIn (LNKD) founder Reid Hoffman and Zynga co-founder Mark Pincus have teamed up on a new effort to reinvent the Democratic Party, following Hillary Clinton’s devastating loss in the 2016 presidential election.

    The initiative called Win The Future, aims to revamp politics by modernizing candidates, fortifying voter engagement, and involving more Americans in political processes by crowdsourcing its political agenda on social media.

    “We need a modern people’s lobby that lets we the people choose our leaders and set our agenda. Imagine voting for a president we’re truly excited about. Imagine a government that promotes capitalism and civil rights,” Pincus said in a testimony on the group’s website.

  • Sam

    Fantastic writing Craig, you’re getting better with age! Fancy turning your attention to the murky claims and counter claims around chemical weapons in Syria? Seems to be a coordinated effort lead by the questionable Bellingcat to discredit Seymour Hersh.

  • Ishmael

    If I may actually say something.

    It’s clear this blog has invested to much political capital into certain dogma, like the IMF, and now we can’t help but be continually led down the “logical” conclusions it’s “proprietor” inadvertently or explicitly endorses.

    This is a form of tyranny of narrative IF you have any value in this as anything more than your own personal talking shop. E,g Not a set of changing developing ideas informed by each.

    Iv had quite enough of this ego fight. Constantly treating like dirt by those do treat like that. In my view this example comes form “the top”….And it’s not going to change is it Craig?

    I wish you well (personally) but my energy is better spent elsewhere.

    I would have loved to see the involvement of others reflected in what this blog is. It would be stronger as a more democratic thing, but it’s going nowhere as is. And the general gist of things is way off my political views. I may drop in but need to focus on other things more.

    • Ishmael

      And this explains brexit to a T. Really brought about by dogma that must be maintained to keep ones political career “credible” Christine lagarde.

      Same dogma is responsible for the action that embodied a racist form in brexit. Us dumb peasants, we just don’t understand do we. It may have been propelled by racism but it was about your market based economy. That like you can’t and won’t correct itself.

      O my vague ideas. How incoherent.

  • Republicofscotland

    Well Donald Trump has been on his high horse again, after NK fired what has been described as a intercontinental missile, which apparently, might be able to reach Alaska.

    Of course, sabre rattling is contagious, and South Korea along with US forces, also fired off several missiles in response.

    However Trump has condemned China over its increasing trade with North Korea, and for not cutting off support to the country.

    Sky news reports that Washington are dumbfounded as to what to do next, as China would veto any UN action. A direct attack on NK by the US and South Korea looks very unlikely either. For now Trump hs only rhetoric and and empty threats to go on.

  • Republicofscotland

    Staying on Trump, it seems it’s not his day, as German Chancellor Merkel has stood by her suggestion, that Europe can no longer rely on the US.

    Merkel added, that Germany and China, will now work together to try and calm, the worlds problems. Germany is hosting the G20 summit in Hamburg on Friday and Saturday.

    To add to Trump’s woes further, Iran has signed a multi-billion dollar deal with French energy giant Total. Trump wasn’t in favour of the historic deal, Total is the first international company to sign a deal with Iran.

    The deal will develop gas fields shared between Iran and Qatar. One wonders if the pressure put on Qatar, by other Arab nations is down to this huge deal with Iran?

    • Salford Lad

      The regime change wars in the Middle East and N.Africa have always been about oil/gas, pipelines and the preservation of the US dollar petro-currency
      The interfaith rivalries between Shi’ite and Sunni have been exploited to facilitate these wars.The old Roman and British tactic of divide and conquer is in play.
      The Sykes /Picot Agreement and Balfour Declaration post WW1 have greatly contributed to these conflicts, creating borders with no consideration for tribal or religous affiliation. much as the colonial created borders in Africa.
      The Saudi/Qatar dispute is one such dispute incorporating all these factors. Qatar sought to run a gas pipeline via Syria thru; to the Mediterannean coast and onward to Europe. This would have undermined Assad’s ally Russia, which has a near monopoly on European gas supply. Russias economy receives 17% of its income from oil/gas.
      The USA is happy to undermine the Russian economy and the Europeans wish to get from under the Russian monopoly with an alternative supplier.
      Russia has usurped Qatari plans for the Syrian pipeline, Qatar and Iran share a massive gas reservoir mid -Gulf, the South Parrs for Qatar and the North Dome for Iran.
      Iran has a pipeline in place running East to India and China, Qatar wishes to hook up to this pipeline. Payment will be in local currency,of Yuan and rupees. This undermines the petro-currency and makes Uncle Sam unhappy. Uncle Sam has decided to teach Qatar a lesson and has used his puppet Saudis to threaten Qatar.
      Turkey ,a NATO member, has sent troops to Qatar to help defend against Saudi.
      The Gulf Monarchies which are Sunni, are discomfited that Qatar should consort with the hated Shi’ite Iranians, but the underlying reason is the gas pipeline connection to Iran. Gas does not come under OPEC regulation and Qatar is becoming the wealthiest power in the Gulf.
      The ability ot the Iranian pipeline to connect to a Western direction pipeline is also in the mix and negotiations will be ongoing in secret between Russia ,Iran and Qatar to share this supply.
      These negotiations have changed the power centres of the Gulf, and delivered a fatal blow to the petrocurrency of the dollar.
      The decline of the Washington hegemon continues, which is dependent on the petrodollar maintenance.

      • Republicofscotland

        Good comment, I can’t argue with it.

        So what do you think will happen to Qatar?

        Bear in mind that both the US and Turkey have military bases in Qatar. The latter claiming that they won’t abandon Qatar.

        • Salford Lad

          I do not believe Saudi will attack Qatar, The Saudi military is mostly mercenaries and have been a failure against the tribesmen of Yemen despite their expensive state of the art military hardware. The new Saudi Crown Prince is a 31 year old impulsive loose cannon with little education. Probably he is being maneouvered by Uncle Sam.
          The most likely scenario will be an attempted Qatari Palace coup to install a King who is more sympathetic to Uncle Sam. The CIA have a well worn playbook for this operation. But this would not be in Qatari financial interests. Something of an impasse here. There alternative is to ship their gas as LNG and price in dollars to keep the Yanks off their back.
          The US also has gas to sell ,but it has to be shipped as LNG and more expensive and not as reliable as a pipeline
          Britain has always led from the shadows in Middle East affairs, they after all set the borders in place over a 100 years ago. Western interests and Uncle Sam diverge at this point. Europe still gets its gas from several sources and Uncle Sam gets to be a junior partner. Angela Merkel is feeling like its pay-back time and is flexing her wings.
          Qatar is now the piggy in the Middle of many geo -political interests. Interesting times.

          • Republicofscotland

            Yes it’s a very interesting situation, Qatar, and Iran, the latter being, Saudi’s arch nemesis, involved in a an arrangement regarding the Pars gasfield However we have the US and Turkey, both suspicious of each other after the failed Turkish coup supposedly masterminded in the US by Gulën. Both have bases in Qatar.

            How will Turkey and the US, and Iran for that matter react to a internal coup to remove the Qatari heads of state, sponsored by the disgruntled Arab nations.

            Throw in that, now a major French oil company is involved, in a multi-billion dollar deal, with Iran, and the situtation becomes just that little bit more complicated.

            As you say we should watch out for a internal coup, within Qatar. That would be the quickest and least bloody or publicised way of gaining control.

          • Salford Lad

            I hypothesise a scenario which is Machiallevian in its construct.
            The wild card here is Erdogan of Turkey. He has ambitions to restore the Ottoman Empire and sees himself as he new Caliph.
            The Ottaman Empire of course encompassed all of Arabia and Mesopotamia which are now Saudi Arabia ,Syria ,Iraq and extended into the Balkans and Southern Russia.
            Qatar is the cheese in the trap. Saudi attacks Qatar and the superior Turkish forces over run Saudi. This plays with Uncle Sams interests and the oil wells are controlled by a Muslim force with no Crusader connatations. The string pullers are of course in the shadows.
            Oil supply is controlled for US and European interests and Turkey has a powerful bargaining chip in world affairs.
            Whether the Saudis fall for this bait is open to question, but the House of Saud is now in the crosshairs and their days are numbered.

      • Laguerre

        The ME wars aren’t really about oil pipelines, at least not directly. They’re about Saudi princes losing their power and wealth. Saudi is in a very febrile situation; there might be a coup. The anti-Shi’a moves are to do with the Shi’a population in the Eastern Province, who sit on the oil-fields, and might revolt, depriving the Saudi princes of their source of income. The anti-Qatar conflict is probably that Qatar has been funding their allied tribes in Saudi against the regime. That last is not proven, we know little of internal politics in Saudi, but it seems to me likely, and would be typical of them.

        • James Dickenson

          This Major disagrees with you re Syria?
          “You can’t understand the conflict without talking about natural gas
          By Maj. Rob Taylor
          Much of the media coverage suggests that the conflict in Syria is a civil war, in which the Alawite (Shia) Bashar al Assad regime is defending itself (and committing atrocities) against Sunni rebel factions (who are also committing atrocities). The real explanation is simpler: it is about money.
          In 2009, Qatar proposed to run a natural gas pipeline through Syria and Turkey to Europe. Instead, Assad forged a pact with Iraq and Iran to run a pipeline eastward, allowing those Shia-dominated countries access to the European natural gas market while denying access to Sunni Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The latter states, it appears, are now attempting to remove Assad so they can control Syria and run their own pipeline through Turkey.”

    • German Girl

      I am German and I actively watch German (and international) politics. I would like to report on a few changes to Germany’s position on military and military intervention aka wars. There was a dangerous shift to a pro-military intervention politics.

      There once were German laws which did prohibit anybody to prepare a war from German grounds. These laws were abolished in Jan 2017.
      German Federal Minister for Defence and others try to upgrade and increase Germany’s weapons and the number of its soldiers. The military draft has been abolished. During the military draft a few years ago every middle and upper class family had to fear that their sons would be drafted into the military. As a consequence all those families with sharp ellbows supported German non-militarist pacific policies and politics because they feared that their children would be sent to war as soldiers. The draft was abolished a few years ago and the consequences are: less middle class kids in the army which is why the middle class no longer fights militarist politics and policies.

      Current upper level politicians talk openly about the need for military intervention from Germany in other countries. One decade ago such talk would have ended the career of any German politician. As a matter of fact a former German Federal President Horst Köhler was forced to resign because he said that sometimes Germany had to consider military intervention to protect its interests abroad. As he was referring to German economic / trade interests abroad the consequence was that the “resigned” aka “was forced to resign”.
      Such a thing wouldn’t happen any more because the general attitude in German politics has become practically positive with regards to military interventions abroad.

      I believe that Germany and possibly Europe are intend on using more military force to defend their economic / business interests abroad. And that is scary.

      • nevermind

        well said German girl, I was serving here..… during the 1970’s and to spot high ranking individuals via the IFF system flying overhead, east to west and visa versa, was frowned upon, it would have costed you a rank at least, as you should not use the system in peace time.
        Today’s dangerous slippage into militarism by the CDU/CSU, appeasing the right wing agenda of the AFD whilst they are at it, is also a move to create a pan European peace and defence force, my wording, which was inevitable in the most lucrative market globally.
        The UK tacitly supported this move to a EU military planning and policy HQ, only this January they reaffirmed,but, as with so many of the Tories policies, got cold feet in the run up to the elections and Brexit pangs.

        The question is, does the world need a third pillar to balance the existing east versus west powers, or is the existing overkill what drives this move to more military expansion? China wants to invest over a trillion into a Silk road development, connecting all, so what are we to say think and do, if ever there is a reciprocate need to protect their investment in South East Asia and world wide?

        We have to keep a cool head and control our arms trades, something that has become vitally important. But this requires a close control over offshore tax havens and secret banking, algorithms that shift money over 10 corners and make the originators of violence disappear.

        Nothing is based on sustainable values, humanity is not intelligent enough to achieve it. Instead a primitve egocentric slash and burn takes over, diplomacy dies and rogues take to the tiller of countries.
        I also believe that Europe will want to keep hoovering up west African waters for fish, and send troops to Mali to protect its Uranium interests by force.
        What will European voters make of it when they exercise their five seconds of power?

        I’m getting ready for some light relief soon, the insipid lying and false news that is galling debate and resolve is frightening.

  • Bob Appsite

    Note as well what Murray doesn’t acknowledge.

    That there were 1,000+ Russian bots active on social media trying to influence the U.S. election. FACT.

    That evidence of Russian election hacking was found at ALL Levels of U.S. govt. – state & local.

    That FOX News did a complete 180 degree turn on Putin and Russia and began a campaign of pro-Russia and pro-Putin talking points in the year before the Election, ending decades of anti-Russia sentiment from the U.S. Right. FACT.

    That the Vatican and the Russian Orthodox Church made an alliance and 14 point declaration in Feb. 2016, probably kicking off the Right Wing/Russian alliance.

      • Ishmael

        1,000+ “Russian bots”

        Twitter users, tweeting stuff. Probably. 🙂

        Tell you what, I’m dam sure there is more than 1000 american (or affiliated) bots, real ones, on very near every political blog in existence.

    • German Girl

      Russian bots? Evidence? You can program a bot from US soil so that it seems to be a Russian bot.

      • Republicofscotland

        If you are German as you claim to be, why are you writing your comment in American English?

        Just a thought.

        • Ray Raven

          As K Crosby says.
          And because…
          Since the end of WWII, Germany has been occupied by the Yanks, thus its probably US English that said “German Girl” has learnt.
          Here in Australia, nearly all software products are delivered with US English as default. One has to make a specific effort to alter the language settings to UK English to obtain a more acceptable form of the English language variant (typically there is no AU English variant available) .
          Even though Australia is supposedly an independent country, some Australians still look at the top LH quartile (or thereabouts) of the Australian flag with misty eyes (queenie and country and all that stiff upper lip stuff).
          I say Jack off.
          However, nowadays (i.e. since the demise of the empire that the sun was never supposed to set on) the Australian government is more inclined to be the US deputy dawg in the south-western Pacific and further afield northwards.

  • Bob Appsite

    Heck, even the woman who leaked debate questions to Clinton was a “leaker” of sorts.

    I’m not convinced she’s really all that different than Murray or Assange at the end of the day. They’re all engaged in essentially the same activity.

    • Beth

      Except Assange is a publisher not a leaker. People like Manning and Snowden are whistleblowers not cheats like Donna Brazile or Debbie Wasserman Schulz.

      • Beth

        And obviously Craig is also a publisher and whistleblower. This is to be admired, unlike cheating in an election. So no, not remotely similar.

  • Bob Appsite

    Bernie Sanders traffics in lots of lies and false promises.

    His movement is not a good one.

    We can already see that with the Minimum Wage data in Seattle. Any economics textbook will tell you what happens when you continually raise a price floor.

    Sanders would be the ruin of America.

    • Bob Appsite

      Sanders and his ilk are a cult of zealots who never understood the basic Supply & Demand charts in their Economics textbooks in 7th grade. SCIENCE has to include basic Social Science.

      Add their zealotry and they’re dangerous.
      Add their misogyny, and they’re unlikeable.
      Add their hypocrisy, and well, they’re just like every other group of zealots.
      Do as they say, not as they do.

      We actually DON’T need more of that.

      • joel

        You should be happy, then. You’ve got a choice between two neolib, neo-con parties.

        • Bob Appsite

          Better than Financial Scam artists. Which is what the Sanders people are.

          “Free College” – LOL.
          You should all be ashamed of yourself.

          All the biggest lies came from the Sanders camp.

          • joel

            Both your parties are bankrolled by and dance to the tune of financial scam artists. The US is the richest country in history and could very easily deliver free college, healthcare and a proper living wage to all its citizens, were it not for the fact that most of the trillions it produces are sitting dormant in offshore bank accounts.

          • joe bongiovanni - The Kettle Pond Institute

            Most Americans are smart enough to understand that our country should be, and is, just as capable of funding cost-free post-Secondary education as every other country in the world that provides that education to its citizens.
            Why should we NOT be as capable?
            That’s Bernie’s main point.

            Bernie’s error is in trying to steal that money from the Milionaires and Billionaires, which is not necessary.
            The source for funding these programs – all of them – will eventually evolve to our public understanding …… being that a sovereign country has the power to directly issue the money to do this, were it not for the fact that today we have privatized that money-issuance power over to the federal reserve banking system, who now creates as debt, and issues as bank-credit, all the money in our country.

            Soon enough, Bernie, and the other revolutionaries, will discover the legislative proposal of Dennis Kucinich (HR 2990, 112th Congress) and remove from the private bankers that money-issuance power, and thereby empower the government to pay the cost of our citizens’ post-secondary education.

            Your Bernie demagoguery is shameful.
            Also, ignorant.

          • joel

            Yes, interesting how it’s my comment that angered you, not those of the poster who thinks the very idea of free college is shameful. Hmmmm

      • James Dickenson

        “Sanders and his ilk are a cult of zealots who never understood the basic Supply & Demand charts in their Economics textbooks in 7th grade.”

        So you believe that the Seattle labour market is perfectly competitive?

  • reel guid

    Robbie Gibb, the BBC’s Westminster political programmes chief is Theresa May’s new director of communications. So doing much the same job but with a different title?

    • Sharp Ears

      ‘The BBC’s director of news, James Harding, said: “Robbie has deployed his renowned organisational skills, political acumen and editorial creativity to the benefit of the BBC on countless occasions.

      “From the precision of the Daily Politics, Sunday Politics, This Week and The Andrew Marr Show – including special Budget programmes – to that historic moment of the Wembley Arena debate last June: the broadcasting highlight of the EU Referendum campaign.

      “Before that Robbie spent time as Deputy Editor at Newsnight, a senior producer at On The Record and deputy head of the Political Research Unit.

      “Robbie always has an eye to the interests of our audiences, he has been an innovator in story-telling on television and an unrelenting advocate of the BBC, its independence and our public service role.

      “The signal quality he and his programmes have shown is the willingness to speak truth to power – I suspect it will come in handy.”‘

      ‘Then there’s Robbie Gibb, the current excellent editor of all BBC TV’s political programmes In a former life he was a vice-chairman of the extreme right wing Federation of Conservative Students and went on to become chief of staff to the senior Tory MP Francis Maude before joining the BBC.’

      His brother is Nick Gibb. Keeping it in the family.

      The Rt Hon Nick Gibb MP
      Minister of State for School Standards, Minister for Equalities
      Wikipedia… Nick Gibb.
      ‘In 1982, Gibb joined NatWest as a trainee accountant, before working on Kibbutz Merom Golan in 1983. In 1984 he joined KPMG as a chartered accountant until his election to parliament. He is Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants (FCA).’

      • Hoi Polloi Harry

        With all these accountants in Parliament why has nobody raised the issue that the cons have almost TRIPLED the national debt from $800b to $2,100 billion only in the last 7 YEARS !! On a per capita basis it places our debt on the same level as the 400b Greek debt, the cons have some elgin marbles to have done all this whilst simultaneously inflicting austerity on us 99% over the past seven years too !!

        • giyane

          When Mrs May says ‘stable’, she means stable for the 1%, her right-wing constituency.
          She’s doing the job out of duty, duty that is to the 1%, her right-wing constituency.
          She also has a right-wing boss in Donald Trump, who has been celebrating the rape of the Polish economy today, much to the discomfort of the Polish, and comfort to the 1%, her right-wing constituency.

          I listened to Aaronovitch salivating on Radio 4 this afternoon about the Tory rip-off wank.
          Nobody knows how long Mrs May will contrive to direct the Tory 1% porn movie which rapes our country for the benefit of the 1%. The 1% they like to talk about is our pay cuts 1%.
          In their minds the Tory 1% fills the entire screen with disgusting Tory gorgy orgy.

      • J

        Allow me to correct this quote for you:

        “The signal quality he and his programmes have shown is the willingness to say ‘woof’ to power – I suspect it will come in handy. Good dog.”‘

    • Temporarily Sane

      So now business connection to Russia and Central Asia are the same thing as “Russian hacking”?

      • Bobm

        Quote, CM:

        “Does anyone connected to Trump know any Russians? Do they have business links with Russian finance?

        Of course they do. Trump is part of the worldwide oligarch class whose financial interests are woven into a vast worldwide network that enslaves pretty well the rest of us.”

        Regardless of the hacking issue, Trump and co are up to their necks in domestic criminality, to an extent largely unrecognized, so far.

  • Suki

    It is always refreshing to hear the objective, truthful version of a cooked up story. People of moral consience should work together and take the reins of the country so, humanity will be the beneficiary. Very unfortunate, the good people shun power and the bad apples seek it feverishly. Keep up the good work.

      • giyane

        Politicians in USUKIS don’t register anyone outside their own societies as existing in any way.
        They feel no conscience about the consequences of 30 year of war-mongering against the Muslim countries because they do not register Muslims as fellow humans. Bush viewed all Muslims as enemy combatants.

        The Polish are fully aware that USUKIS is a greater threat to peace than the Soviet Union or Russia have ever been. Very right-wing governments have been established to enforce the rape and capitalist theft of Poland by the far-right. Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose. And the cherry on the top is POTUS lecturing them on the threat to Western society by the immigrants their policies have created from the Muslim countries.

        Trump literally talking out of his arse. The US leaves its fart-stink in the lift wherever they visit.
        Is there enough water in the Rhine to wash away tomorrow’s visiting stink?

    • Ishmael

      It’s not about good or bad apples. Or good intensions.

      We have the power, vulgar or blessed. and they know it.

      That power, people working together, Is anathema to the good apples “in power’ narrative. They have no power, all they can do is serve the system that is. Good or bad.

      Everything was won through peoples movements. Forcing them to change.

  • giyane

    I have just read the astonishing MSM report that Mrs May’s advisers on Brexit kept business leaders away from the consultations because they wanted to convince grass roots working class voters that Mrs May spoke for their interests and not for the rich.

    Forgive me for comparing politics to porn, but where else is there such a total disconnect between reality and the facts of life? The Conservative Party has taken the country down a fantasy of its own slavering right wing to make the UK independent as in the days of yore , in the British Empire.

    Sufficient to say that the helm of government must be yanked out of the Tory party, and its MSM deranged pundits at the earliest possible opportunity. The EU remains a Federal fantasy of the German Reich. A fantasy fed by the US to breed fascism in its image across the globe. Trump praises proto-fascism wherever it rears its ugly head. A fantasy that has created the ultra fascist Al Qaida and Islamic State. A fantasy of an apartheid Israel. The fantasy of a resurrected Turkish caliphate. the fantasy of a nuclear war against North Korea in which the death of millions of people could salivate the chief fantasists’ tiny head, with its wisps of yellow hair, which will soon be dead.

    • Shatnersrug

      Yes and now they’re pinning their hopes on Rees-Mogg a man catapulted from 1923, who had his nanny campaign for him. He believes in Brexit because we have an empire you know?!

      • fred

        Maybe not a bad thing to have the Rees-Moggs doing the talking and the Civil Service doing the thinking.

        There was a huge downturn in British politics when they introduced the SPADS between the Civil Service and the Ministers.

    • Itsy

      “as in the days of yore , in the British Empire.”

      I don’t believe the PTB in the UK have ever got their heads around the fact that the British Empire ceased to exist quite some time ago. Or if they have, they fancy a new one.

  • Martin

    “Russia has the lowest level of imports (as a share of the GDP) of all major countries… Russia’s very low levels of imports in the global comparison obviously signifies that Russia produces domestically a much higher share of all that it consumes (and invests), this in turn means that the economy is superbly diversified contrary to the claims of the failed experts and policymakers. In fact, it is the most self-sufficient and diversified economy in the world. Our argument that Russia’s economy is the most diversified in the world is easily proven by World Bank statistics on the share of imports of goods and services as a percentage of the GDP. This is illustrated by Chart 17, which compares the levels of import of Russia with a sample of countries.” Hellevig also urges using his purchasing power parity measure (PPP) of real output and goods flows rather than a nominal measure based on devalued currency exchange rates.

    • Dave

      I know this wont impress some, but I always found Monbiot a fraud due to the way he promoted the climate scam. I saw him interviewed with a ‘sceptic’ and he was speaking loudly into the ‘sceptic’s’ ear saying he was responsible for killing the world. It was so ridiculous I doubted the integrity of the person doing it. And then when he embraced nuclear power as the solution to global warming, it become clear he was just a globalist mouthpiece.

      • Ba'al Zevul

        So the US is all the bastards in Syria, and Exxon Mobil ( which is well aware that climate change is a real factor its operations and is actually planning for an ice-free Arctic, while at the same time funding the Heritage Foundation, where you get your opinions, and Trump) are the good guys, eh?

        Just a little mismatch there.

        • Paul Barbara

          @ Ba’al Zevul July 7, 2017 at 09:23
          There are a lot of bastards responsible for the carnage in Syria, and the US is one. Britain, France, and their Middle East cronies are others. But ‘bastards’ is tame – they are vile War Criminals.
          There are a number of good journalists writing the truth about what is really happening in Syria, such as Vanessa Beeley and Eva Bartlett.
          Climate Change I’n not going into, other than to say it’s happening.

        • Dave

          There are always a range of interests that promote the same thing for different reasons. The oil companies are not disadvantaged by the climate scam, although coal miners in UK clearly are, because even if consumption of oil is down as a percentage of energy production, actual production is up due to increase demand in a growing planet.

          And whilst the oil company scientists initially rebutted the climate faith-science, being a business they soon decided, if you can’t beat them join them, and now make their own $billions from the scam through carbon trading.

          Also the oil companies do not promote conflict in the Middle-East to secure oil supplies, because oil production requires peace and stability not war, and the notion the US wants oil for nothing ignores neo-con capitalist economics. I.e. If taxpayers don’t buy Saudi oil, the Saudi’s wont have money to buy over-priced weapons that don’t work and fund terrorism in the Middle-East on behalf of Israel.

          Opposition to the climate scam is vital to a manufacturing strategy and opposition to neo-con wars is vital to restoring honour and self-government.

          • giyane

            “Also the oil companies do not promote conflict in the Middle-East to secure oil supplies”

            They promote conflict in the Muslim world because of the detestation of Muslims by the global Zionists.

      • Ishmael

        1. Prove it’s “climate scam”

        2. He did and he repented.

        Question. What form of globalism is he a mouthpiece for? Corporate/Capital (the Trumps of this world) or citizens, the internet, etc. Unless you define this term (used as scare word) why should anyone pay attention to a word you say about “it” ?

    • Ba'al Zevul

      It’s a valid POV. The sarin attack was a deeply dodgy event, and there are very real grounds for believing it was nothing to do with Assad. It was stated a couple of days ago that investigation of the scene itself (as opposed to tests on the victims) could not be conducted because the area was too highly contaminated to enter, and this appears to be utter nonsense – that’s what CBW suits are for. Also, as I pointed out on a previous thread, the alleged remains of the alleged bomb (/artillery shell / small missile/mortar) in the alleged crater had been tampered with between photographs taken by someone who managed to enter the area and survive.

      BUT, given that this is a struggle for partial supremacy in the region between at least four players (US, Daesh/AQ, Iran, Russia…better not forget the Kurds and Turks either), let’s beware of confirmation bias, and treat Cook with exactly the same scepticism we rightly apply to anything coming from Washington. Let’s assume everyone’s lying and spinning for all they’re worth, that no-one’s
      above an atrocity or two, and that access to hydrocarbon deposits is critically important to all the players. This view is at any rate supported by history.

      There are useful idiots ‘who undermine dissent on Syria’ and there are useful idiots who are apologists for the regime and its – not disinterested – backers in Syria. And neither may have identified the manipulation they are daily subjected to in order to shape their influential views.

      • fred

        I’m not convinced Assad controls much of the government forces. If one of the Generals decided to use chemical weapons I doubt there would be much Assad could do about it. He needs them more than they need him.

        I think there are probably a lot more factions operating in Syria than we think. I remember when government forces used barrel bombs, Assad wouldn’t need to use barrel bombs so it’s logical to think it was a section of the Syrian military without access to planes acting independently.

        • Peter Beswick

          “so it’s logical to think it was a section of the Syrian military without access to planes acting independently.”

          Barrel Bombs are chucked out of planes

          • Peter Beswick

            “Yes he has, on the 18th August 2003.”

            A registered death only needs 3 details; How, Where and When.

            None of these are addressed in the interim Death Certificate.

            By Law only a Coroner (or a Jury if one sits) can establish (in Law) these “Facts”

            It hasn’t been done yet

          • Peter Beswick

            Yes Fred you have posted this before

            Hutton found that Kelly died at Harrowdown Hill

            Please point me towards the Death Certificate that reflects Hutton’s findings.

            You can’t?


            Because there isn’t one.

          • fred

            Yes I posted it before.

            It gives the time, place and cause of death as anyone who looks at it can see.

          • Peter Beswick

            Can’t see where it says the location of Kelly’s death

            The Pathologist in the PM report says heart problems were not a significant contributer to death. Several years later he remembered Kelly could have dropped dead in the works (Porton Down) canteen and no one should have been surprised.

            Kelly has had 2 grave memorials, the 1st says he died on the 17th July, the 2nd says the 18th. My money is on the 16th.

            Only those involved know when Kelly died.

          • Peter Beswick

            PM report



            “The deceased was an apparently adequately nourished, man in whom there is no evidence of natural disease that could of (sic) itself have caused death at death directly at the macroscopic (naked eye)level.”


            It is noted that he has a significant degree of coronary artery disease and this may have played some small part in the rapidity of death but not a major part in the cause of death.


            Interview- Daily Mail – 23 Aug 2010

            “If he had dropped dead in the canteen and you had seen his coronary arteries, you would have had a very good reason to believe that was the only reason he died.”


          • fred

            “Where does it identify “Place of Death”?”

            In the box with the heading “Date and place of death”.

          • Peter Beswick

            “In the box with the heading “Date and place of death”.”

            If you look again and read it really slowly you will discover it says “FOUND”

            Being found dead and dying somewhere are two very different things. That’s why we have Coroners, they are pretty hot on this type of detail. Oh! That’s right a Coroner has never ruled on the cause of Dr Kelly’s death.

            For you interest, (if you are interested in facts) The term “found” is used by Coroners when it cannot be accurately determined where someone died (beyond reasonable doubt) eg When someone has fallen into a river (pushed or thrown themselves) and the body is washed downstream. It is pretty clear where the body was found but where death took place it cannot be accurately determined hence the term “Found” it is reserved by Coroners for very specific circumstances and not bandied about willy nilly because people like you will not understand its significance.

            I have been in correspondence with the Oxford Coroner and the Chief Coroner they both accept the current situation is not acceptable however they are both incapable (in law) from correcting this travesty of justice.

            The reason Kelly’s death has not been lawfully registered is a political matter not a legal one.

          • Peter Beswick

            One thing that we can take from the Interim Death Certificate, issued to permit the disposal of the body (before any evidence was heard on the Cause of Death) is that the Coroner was not sure where Dr Kelly died. That was because the evidence suggested Kelly did not die at Harrowdown Hill.

            But Fred and Hutton know better than the Coroner on these things.

            Hutton, some years later, accepted the body may have been moved after it had been found by the volunteer search team but he added that it made no difference to his suicide conclusion.

            There are some whom believe Kelly killed himself whilst being detained by British and US security service personnel, the story goes that he was confronted by some horrible truth, too much for him to deal with.

            Hutton on the other hand possibly believes (because the evidence suggests) that Kelly died from a Coronary Arrest whilst being interrogated at a “safe house”. The US had revoked his security Clearance and wanted to know how much more blabbing he had done / was intending to blab.

            The truth is probably more mundane, Kelly died whilst being detained at a safe house and injected in his left upper thigh.


          • fred

            The certificate is legal. “Found dead” is quite common where a body is found, like “Pronounced dead on arrival” if someone dies in an Ambulance.

            But if you are convinced the death certificate isn’t legal then make a complaint through the proper channels, ranting about it in a blog comments section serves no useful purpose.

          • Peter Beswick

            The interim death certificate was legal to serve the purpose of disposing of the body. The CoD was a preliminary observation by the pathologist that sustains no legal meaning.

            Not ranting, just saying. Been through the “proper Channels”, Grieve got the sack because of it.

            How do you think the police knew that Kelly was dead before the body was found and the head of news at the BBC was aware that painkillers were involved several hours before the blister packs were found on the body, during a news blackout where the ambulance crew were detained at the scene and not permitted to communicate with their HQ?

            You don’t know this subject too well.

        • Ba'al Zevul

          I.m still wondering what a barrel bomb does to its target that’s any worse than the ordnance the media don’t agonise about…

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Ba’al Zevul July 7, 2017 at 09:11
        ‘…BUT, given that this is a struggle for partial supremacy in the region between at least four players (US, Daesh/AQ, Iran, Russia…better not forget the Kurds and Turks either), let’s beware of confirmation bias, and treat Cook with exactly the same scepticism we rightly apply to anything coming from Washington. Let’s assume everyone’s lying and spinning for all they’re worth, that no-one’s….’
        Er, not quite. The Sovereign State of Syria’s legitimate President, Assad, and his government and allies are the only ‘legitimate’ players; the others are all War Criminals.
        Here are links to videos with interviews with 4* General (Retd.) Wesley Clark, ex-Supreme Allied Commander Europe (who says he was told in 2001 that the US was going to overthrow 7 governments in 5 years (including Syria) and an ex-French Foreign Minister, Roland Dumas, who says that whilst in London in 2009 (two years before the so-called ‘Arab Spring’) he was approached by high British officials who told him Britain was going to overthrow the Syrian government with mercenaries:
        Has Syria ever attacked Britain, France or the US? Has Afghanistan, Iran, or Iraq? No, of course not. But as they have something the warmongering Bankster-controlled Western ‘Regimes’ lust for, so they manufacture incidents or lies to have some kind of excuse for their naked illegal War Criminal invasions or bombardments. Easy to understand.

        • Ba'al Zevul

          Er, not quite. The Sovereign State of Syria’s legitimate President, Assad, and his government and allies are the only ‘legitimate’ players; the others are all War Criminals.

          I don’t believe I suggested anyone was legitimate, Paul. But please feel free to disagree with something I did say. The facts on the ground consist of a number of disparate parties with diverging objectives. While it was tragic that Syria’s stable (if secretive and somewhat repressive) government fell foul of neocon strategic objectives, I fully agree, the shit’s hit the fan now, and no-one’s, I repeat no-one’s hands are clean. To suggest otherwise is either ludicrous or indicative of intentional opinion forming on behalf of one of the contenders.

          • Paul Barbara

            @ Ba’al Zevul July 7, 2017 at 13:50
            Main point I was making is that none of the a**hole thieving war-mongering War Criminals you mentioned has ANY right meddling in Syria, never mind sending troops, proxie head-choppers and setting up military bases in a Sovereign State!
            Have you read articles by the likes of Vanessa Beeley (Engliish) and Eva Bartlett (Canadian) about the true situation there? They have been there dozens of times at great risk (very juicy targets for US proxies).

          • Procopius

            @Paul Barbara — whether any of the parties is legitimate is irrelevant. If the parties supported by the CIA succeed (looking less likely by the week) then the U.S. will use its weight to force international recognition of their regime. If Assad prevails (which I rather hope for) then he already had recognition but will have to remain watchful for CIA vengeance. I don’t think Iran has any territorial claims, but they will be gratified if Assad prevails. Same with Russia. DAESH, if defeated will split up and regroup, I imagine in Libya and try to rebuild and try again. AQ will continue receiving its monthly salaries from the CIA whether they win or lose. The smaller anti-Assad mercenaries will probably try to flee to Libya, and if they don’t make it will either be hanged or beheaded. None of the American or NATO war criminals will be punished except their promotions may be a little slower in coming because they didn’t succeed in their mission (at least that’s how it works in the U.S. Army).

        • James Dickenson

          “Has Syria ever attacked Britain, . . . ”


          “The monitoring enabled the British to retrospectively link Syria, where Nidal was then based, to an attempted terrorist bombing at Heathrow Airport in 1986, . . . “
          Mark Curtis: Secret Affairs. P165.

      • giyane


        The conflict in Syria is being done by the useful idiots of Political Islam who are still and are addicted the drug of false promises that they will be given power, same as the brits gave power to the Kurds by cutting their country in 1918 and dividing it between 5 other countries.

        Assad and Russia have a legitimate right to oppose subversion of their sovereign by CIA/MI6/Mossad USUKIS aggression using the political muslims, Assad in Syria , and Putin on the basis of USUKIS subversion history in Chechnya.

        90% of Muslims living in the UK support the useful idiots of political Islam and are addicted to the warfarin of mercenary dollops of dosh. This represents a vast constituency of wholesale bribery and corruption which David Cameron called his 70,000 moderate Muslims deployed from the UK from UK mosques using British passports.

        It takes just 4 hours flying time from the UK to be deployed in Syria, and there are hundreds of airports, including Sulaymania in Kurdistan from which the useful idiots can be deployed by corrupt regional dictators.

        The June election disaster for the Tories puts at risk the whole war against Islam. Believe me after the DUP, the Tories will rope in the Lib-Dems and Blairites to maintain traction in their war-mongering against the Muslim world.

        The problem of Muslim suffering at the hands of the Crusaders will never end until the Muslims themselves stop eating the poisoned chicken-feed of the USUKIS fascist dictators. It was always so in the days of colonialism, and will continue the same old story until the Muslims grow some brains.

  • fred

    Congratulations to Seb Corbyn for landing a very cushy tax payer funded job.

    • Ishmael

      No, Critical engagement because no state is “legitimate”.

      I know, that’s what you meant. 🙂

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Ishmael July 7, 2017 at 13:29
        In international law, Assad is the legitimate President of the Sovereign State of Syria (or the ‘Syrian Arab Republic’, or whatever it is called).

        • Ishmael

          I know, international law also “legitimises” war. Brutality of states. Systems and governments that exist are only ever contingent though, them ultimately having no overall “legitimacy” …

          What does the word really mean?

          The nation state system has only existed in the blink of the historical eye. They have caused more death and destruction than can be taken in by the human mind. The system has proven itself a real danger to existence itself. Chances are were not going to make it, because of governments and leaders.

          I voted labour, but that does not make them “legitimate”, the power of governments isn’t, ever. It is what it is.

          • Ishmael

            This is not to say some actions governments take can’t be justified, but that’s a heavy proof of burden and rarely met. Especially when you consider what might have been.

            There are some places where most function we associate with the state simply don’t exist. Basically no state. These people don’t have the capacity let alone will for war and conquest. And do relatively fine when left alone. We existed for so long without the nation state system. I fear now, with them, not much longer.

            Control mad people, But they can’t control, only kill (overall that’s what they do mainly) and if you consider this insanity just “legitimate” you just gave them you.

            Appealing to state power doesn’t make state power right. It’s a twitted contrivance.

          • Ishmael

            Twisted* contrivance*

            Nobody has legitimate rights over my life. They are just other people.

    • Ba'al Zevul

      Granted the Daily Express sometimes tells the truth, like a stopped clock does twice a day, it’s a little bit suspicious that it’s the only rag carrying that story today, Fred. Which will be because it is rather old news, in this case.

      (Monday 28 September 2015 09:22 BST)

      Back then Corbyn, under siege from the Blairites, must have been a little short of people he could trust, so it may be questionable, but it’s understandable too.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ fred July 7, 2017 at 11:07
      ‘Jeremy Corbyn’s son Seb appointed as John McDonnell’s chief of staff’:

      ‘…As a researcher for an MP he would have earned between £23,000 and £34,000. Wages are paid for by the Independent Parliament Standards Authority. His appointment as Mr McDonnell’s chief of staff means he could get a pay rise or a slight reduction as the salary band is £30,000 to £41,212…..’
      McDonnell needs a trustworthy, competent Chief of Staff, and he must think that’s what he’s getting.
      That puts it in context a bit, wot? But if you want to follow the ‘Yah, Boo’ ‘Hypocrites’ headlines, go right ahead.
      Jeremy himself was the lowest-spending MP on MP’s office allowances, listing a pound or two for some copying gadget or material.

      MP’s earn a basic £74,962, then there’s all the perks. I’ll bet JC votes AGAINST pay rises for MP’s.

      • fred

        Yes, I’m confident by strange coincidence he just happened to be the most qualified applicant for the job

        • Paul Barbara

          @ fred July 7, 2017 at 16:02
          Well at least competent and trusted. McDonnell needs a competent Chief of Staff, don’t you think?
          The choice of his Chief of Staff lies with McDonnell.

  • Republicofscotland

    Well isn’t it interesting to note, that the official G20 Summit group leader photo this year, has China’s Jingping, and Russia’s Putin, right next to Germany’s Angela Merkel. Whilst US president Donald Trump, is way out in the wing of the front row. The excuse given is that the longest serving leaders are closer to the centre.

    Changed days Obama, was never that far out when he was POTUS. Of course, Merkel has stood by her suggestion that Europe should depend less on the United States, and that China, should be more involved in trying to help solve the world’s woes.

    As for Putin, he and Merkel are old comrades, she’s from the old East Germany, and speaks fluent Russian, whilst Putin speaks German just as well as Merkel.

  • Republicofscotland

    So the unionist parties in Scotland and the media North of the border were salivating like Pavlov’s Dog at the thought of Scotland falling into recession.

    Long before the offical figures on Scotland’s economy were released, slabbering naesayers such as Willie Rennie and Jackie Baillie, were intimating that the recession was all the fault of the Scottish government banging on about Scottish independence.

    However when the figures were made public, it turns out, that not only is Scotland not in recession, but its economy has grown four times as quick as the rUK. So in essence proposing independence is good for the economy and not bad for it – So imagine what actual independence would do for the Scottish economy.

      • Republicofscotland

        It’s very good news, for those who believe in independence. There can be no putting down of the Scottish economy, when indyref 2 comes around.

        But in reality independence (Catalonia will soon declared victory in my opinion) shouldn’t be all about the economy, but more about self-determination.

        As for GERS, yip, 25 of the 26 figures are guesstimates, produced by a anti-independence foreign government 500 miles away, or there abouts.

        • fred

          Pointless basing hopes of independence on unreliable data then.

          Especially if Nicola spent all the referendum money on the election.

          • Republicofscotland

            “Pointless basing hopes of independence on unreliable data then.”

            Well economic data should be compiled as close to home as possible. It’s preposterous that data on the Scottish economy is compiled by a foreign government, and ludicrous that, that data is nothing more than guesstimates.

            It’s akin to Greece, compiling economic figures for Germany, which are all future guesstimates, and reporting that thinks looks bad on the economic front.

            Would Angela Merkel take Greece’s word for it?

          • reel guid


            Hopes of independence are based on independence. It’s normal for countries.

            In Scotland’s case the fact of having a wealth of natural resources is just an additional but unnecessary justification.

    • fred

      So you are saying that your post was pointless because it was based on unreliable data.

  • Republicofscotland

    Meanwhile a Tory minister has told the thousands of WASPI women, that they should “Get an apprenticeship.”

    Many of those women are now in their sixties, and would find getting an apprenticeship very difficult indeed. In my opinion it’s a sign of disresepct to those women.

    “Waspi women – Women Against State Pension Inequality – whose aim is to achieve fair transitional arrangements for women born in the 1950s, for whom the state pension age is being raised from 60 to 66 by 2020.”

    The Tories can shake the magic money tree, and £1 billion falls out to buy ten votes from the DUP to keep them in government. But when it comes to fairness for the WASPI women, the magic money tree remains under lock and key.

    • Dave

      The deal with the DUP illustrates why the official explanation for the General Election was bogus, because the deal could have been made without a General Election. But the fact its been made following the election is a welcome outcome of the election, because it heralds the end of austerity and helps restore devolved government and the peace process.

      • Republicofscotland


        Yes that’s a very good point, every cloud has silver lining as they say. If I recall the DUP are opposed to further austerity, such as the continuation of the Bedroom Tax, as well as proposing maintaining the Triple Lock on pensions.

        However it will be interesting to see how the tactical voting pans out when it comes to the reduction of matters surrounding austerity.

        • giyane

          The very word ‘ austerity’ has to be enunciated in a posh regina Rees-Mogg tone. It’s not something one would do oneself, or do to oneself. One would make sure that one’s own palace was fitted out with proper staircases and non-combustible neo-Georgian cladding made from sheep’s wool cement.

          The 12 storey building I am working in in Birmingham has a severe rat problem in the basement. No one has figured out yet why 200 tonnes of earth were permitted by the council to be left in the basement for the rats to breed in, or why the gaps in the structure of the building above the false ceilings were never sealed against the networking of rats.

          Needless to say the rats have chewed through the chewable cables and the light will only remain on for 20 minutes due to arcing in the bowels of the false ceilings.

          “designed by a man” , as my lovely ex-mother in law used to say.

  • Bob Apposite

    Funny that Trump recycled Murray’s Podesta argument here for his base (cult)…the Podesta argument, of course, implying that the Russia did not interfere with the U.S. election.

    And yet, the Wall Street Journal and other outlets report that Trump spoke with Putin about election interference.

    So why would Trump discuss this with Putin, if it didn’t happen?

    Here’s what I see.

    Trump admits Russia interfered with the election.
    But not to his base. His base gets the “Russia didn’t interfere with the election” story.

    Curious, indeed.

    • Bob Apposite

      Let me add: Donna Brazile passed 1 actual debate question on to John Podesta, and the general subject matter of a second. That’s it.

      Let’s not forget the Sanders campaign mined Clinton voter data they had no right to for 2 hours during a glitch.

      Sanders people are cheaters too.
      And for Murray to condemn the one and ignore the other is hypocrisy.

      • giyane

        ” Clinton voter data ”

        In the UK there is supposed to be no way that anyone can discover how voters voted. Any voter statement can be assumed to be deliberately misleading. So if you mine lies, you get garbage.
        All politicians detest the fact that they have to wait for what the voters actually voted on the night.
        Political parties design their policies to appeal to the maximum number of constituents, based on market research, and then if they get into power do the opposite.

        So please could we leave out this fake morality. Politicians lie to us. We lie to them. If saint Bernie is an exception to this universal rule, I’m sure he will reap the rewards of his saintliness in the next life.

    • Loony

      What is more curious is your manifest contempt for facts.

      US intelligence agencies claimed evidence of attempted Russian interference with the US election in August of 2016. Contemporaneously these concerns were reported to President Obama. So far as can be determined from the public record Obama did nothing to act on these concerns and neither did he transmit this information to the US electorate.

      Trump won the election in November of 2016. Since November US media have reported incessantly on Russian interference. Some of these reports have been sourced via anonymous leaks and some have been fabricated.

      Trump told Putin that citizens of the US were concerned about Russian interference. This is a simple statement of fact. To claim such a statement evidences a belief by Trump that Russia interfered in the US election requires either a dis-ingenious motivation or a simple inability to comprehend the English language.

      A final point of relevance is that Putin asked Trump for evidence and proof of the allegations against Russia. Trump could provide no such proof, which leaves Putin in the same position as everyone else i.e. he being asked to believe something by people that are either unable or unwilling to provide one shred of tangible evidence to support their claims.

  • Ishmael

    What do states use to kill? “legitimacy” They say they “represent” “us”. .

    ..They don’t, never have and never can really. They pick and act from very restricted set of possibilities embodied in the institutions they must appease. And with personal prejudice we all have. They have very little power to change anything without mass movements, That are normally anti state because it’s them that’s the problem. Not the people.

    See the violence it took just to bring about the state system. Then the carnage they unleash around the world. Then tell me a state is a legitimate thing.

    • Ishmael

      People say Tony blair was such a problem but alone he could have don’t nothing, the coward I’m sure he is when it comes down to it. But even if Rambo?

      No, the nation state is the problem. And many are correct in disrupting it as a progressive legitimate political goal, reform it little less harmful, centralised etc, but we should never think it’s right..

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Ishmael July 7, 2017 at 22:44
      The whole point of my argument is that international agreements were drawn up to stop countries invading others just because they were more powerful than the target country. Ostensibly, that is, because in truth the powerful always manage to circumvent these ‘rules’ or just ignore them. Syria is a sovereign state and all these murderous, rapacious war criminal countries that are in there without Syrian government permission are guilty of the worst of the Nuremberg war crimes, ‘Crimes Against Peace’.
      I would hazard a guess that Assad cares more for his people than any of ‘our’ leaders (Jeremy excepted).

  • Alan campbell

    This guy would get into bed with Trump to protect the sainted Assange. Sad.

  • Ishmael

    Seems to me the project to work on is devolving the functions of the state to the public. So we pay for/run (as we do anyway) a PUBLIC health service, & other state functions we want.

    We’d save a bunch on war stuff, that nobody really wants to pay for. etc etc

    • Loony

      You do not pay for a public health service or any other state functions.

      These things are funded via a combination of ever expanding debt and the forced expropriation of resources from the foreign man. The reasons for this is an outright refusal by the public to do any work coupled with an equal refusal to rein in their consumption.

      For so long as people refuse to understand this simple truth then confusion will grow.

  • Procopius

    17 intelligence agencies are not involved in the story at all, and that lie has been repudiated. Now the claim is there are four, the FBI, CIA, NSA, and DNI. The DNI doesn’t actually collect any intelligence, just aggregates what the subordinate agencies tell it. CIA may or may not have intelligence from overseas, but John Brennan burned a priceless asset, if his story was true, by announcing publicly that he had evidence that Putin was personally involved. If true (and I think it was not) then he basically picked up a phone and called the counterintelligence directorates in the FSA and the GRU and notified them there is a CIA spy working in Putin’s inner office.
    Minor quibble: “Nobody has ever been able to refute the evidence of Bill Binney, …” Mr. Binney does not actually provide any evidence in the article you link to. Instead, like you in this article, he points out the lack of evidence and explains its significance.
    As he was retiring, Clapper was asked if he had seen any evidence of Russian hacking. He said no.

  • Big AL

    >Trump’s judgement is appalling. His sackings or inappropriate directions to people over this subject may damage him.

    Better to get a wider lay of the land before judging such things.

  • fwl

    Half hour interview with Yanis Varoufakis and a Swedish station EFN published on You Tube on 5th May 2017 is worth watching for many reasons.

    Point for Corbyn supporters to take on board is Varoufakis’ comment that when Syriza’s vote increased from 4% to 40% it was not because the people of Greece had become left wing but because they knew things were not working. They were not left wing. SNP, Brexiteers and Trump supporters should also take note.

    • Xavi

      So you anticipate things starting to ‘work’ again soon, in a way that will assuage all the popular disillusion with neoliberalism / austerity?

      • fwl

        Xavi why do you make that assumption. Things are not working because

        1) we have borrowed too much from the future and can not pay it back

        2) life’s unfairness and inequality is increasing

        3) and life as of late life appears to be increasingly meaningless and devoid of real value or purpose such that even within public sector employment such as local authorities, the BBC, the NHS as well as in typical business corporations traditional social roles are transformed so that members participate in an internal competitive gig economy of dog eat dog as if they were pseudo independent economic actors. They are there to function not add value and that ultimately is meaningless.

        Therefore I do not anticipate things starting to work soon, nor to revert to how things were.

        There is a bit of a wake up going on, but there is a difference between calling it out as it is and providing an answer. People realise there is a sham element to society politics and the economy and look for answers. They look first to those who also call it a sham, but that doesn’t mean that they will stick with or agree with them. Ultimately, people have to work out the answers together not simply by switching allegiance to prophets. They should avoid bigging up Corbyn or Macron or Trump or whoever and look to live, work and relate with others in a meaningful and non exploitative way.

        • Stu

          1) we have borrowed too much from the future and can not pay it back

          Honestly? I don’t what to reply to this that isn’t a direct insult.

          • fred

            And also overlooking that once the poor have more than the rich the poor are the rich and the rich are the poor.

        • giyane

          “and life as of late life appears to be increasingly meaningless and devoid of real value or purpose such that even within public sector employment such as local authorities, the BBC, the NHS as well as in typical business corporations traditional social roles are transformed so that members participate in an internal competitive gig economy of dog eat dog as if they were pseudo independent economic actors”

          One of the key strategies at work in corporate management is to delegate decision making to people who are not qualified to make them, which in turn allows senior management to ignore them and spurn their ignorance. ” Look I’ve asked you to look at this problem of what type of cladding we use in our older high rise buildings. You don’t appear to know the answer so we’ll use the cheapest.” Senior managers have done their ‘ due diligence ‘ by passing the buck to lower levels, who cannot be blamed for their ignorance.

          Mrs Thatcher got a degree in chemistry which she used to produce extra ice cream volume out of fewer ingredients. It turns out now that 90% of ice cream is sugar and fat, one of her better ideas. All of her other ideas need now to be power bulldozered down the plug of history. We have to start with going back to the last system that worked , which is Jeremy Corbyn, and resolutely eliminate any re-appearance of all that Thatcher capitalist shit.

          • fwl

            Interesting. A modern equivalent of the upper class slightly incoherent and therefore deniable indicator of general direction.

  • K. Jansen

    To add even more weight to your argument, on June 29th the New York Times published a correction about the “17 intelligence agencies” claim in the context of one of its stories, reducing that number to only four:

    “A White House Memo article on Monday about President Trump’s deflections and denials about Russia referred incorrectly to the source of an intelligence assessment that said Russia orchestrated hacking attacks during last year’s presidential election. The assessment was made by four intelligence agencies — the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Security Agency. The assessment was not approved by all 17 organizations in the American intelligence community.”

    The DNC, Hillary Clinton, and the Democratic establishment in general, are really showing their cards in the form of their total disdain for the average, hard working American, by seemingly ramming their shady propaganda down our throats. I, too, hope that the movement Bernie started continues to gain momentum and that we see real progressive change in 2018 and 2020.

    • Nosferatu

      Surely the concept of American “intelligence” agencies is an oxymoron?

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