1,681 thoughts on “One of the Following is True

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  • Loony

    Julium Malema (leader of the EFF) has called upon the South African government to grant Robert Mugabe political asylum, According to Malema Zimbabwe has experienced pain and destabilization – some of which is attributable to imperialist actions.

    How very true.

    Imperialists have forced Mugabe to live here


    Meanwhile the people so beloved of Malema and grateful recipients of his unbounded munificence live in such wondrous conditions as this:


  • AS

    So Craig Murray, credibly explain (a) the WikiLeak emails to Trump’s team, and (b) Farage leaving the Ecuadorian embassy.
    Preferably without resorting to your usual brand of snide dismissal.

    • Stu

      What do you think they mean? Assange met Farage. He met Pamela Anderson as well.

      The DMs between Assange and Trump Jr are consistent with Wikileaks M.O alongside some playfulness on the part of Assange asking that he becomes Australia’s ambassador to Washington.

        • Shatnersrug

          AS are you a member of the Democratic Party? for it is only members of the Democratic Party that wish to believe “Putin Dunnit”

          • AS

            Would that work for you? Place me into a little ‘enemy partition’ so you can dismiss questions?

            No, I’m not ‘a member of the Democratic Party’. Though I’d point out strictly for educational purposes that ‘a member of the Democratic Party’ also includes pro-Sanders and anti-Clinton members who don’t necessarily concur with the Clinton propaganda machine.

          • AS

            So, because the political typecasting dismissal didn’t work, you thought you’d go for ’emotionally imbalanced individual’? Seriously, presuming you’re the same ‘shatnersrug’ (can’t be too many of them floating around) you used to be a bit better than that on the Guardian btl.

            I’ll have a cool beer maybe, thanks. Trying to shake the tree is thirsty work.

    • Squonk

      Farage met Assange in the company of his LBC radio show producer as the photographs of him at the embassy clearly confirm.

      LBC tweeted about the meeting at that time so it was hardly secret.

      This from LBC


      Nigel Farage Tells The Truth About THAT Meeting With Julian Assange

      “Well let me just tell you, this is a complete lot of baloney. I have said it before, I will say it again. The reason that I met Julian Assange was because somebody at LBC organised it, and not only that, when I went to meet Julian Assange I took with me my producer from LBC.

      “If I was running some special mission for the U.S. president, do you really think I’d have taken an LBC producer with me?

  • AS

    Personally I’ve gone from being a huge admirer of Assange and Craig Murray to thinking both have indeed, in some form, been coopted by the Putin regime. It’s to my mind the only coherent explanation for otherwise inexplicable actions and allegiances. I am very happy to be persuaded otherwise, but I’m not even sure either of them (or at least CM) realize how they’ve been duped.

    • SA


      It might help if you can explain yourself a bit more as to why this conversion on the road to Damascus, so to speak. Is that asking too much?

      • AS

        Might help what?

        Most politically informed people I know in the UK have Assange down as Putin shill. I’m actually at least happy to hear an explanation that dispels that notion. However I’ve been waiting a year since the WikiLeaks intervention in the US presidential campaign for that to happen.

        So, let’s try another angle: what are the differences between Assange’s view (and use) of political power, as expressed in his writing and evinced in his interventions via WikiLeaks, and the kind of far right libertarian ideology now driving the intellectual forces behind various kinds of anti-neoliberal pro-capitalist ‘nationalisms’ the world over? It might be useful to spell them out as a starting point to disentangling any misconceptions.

        • SA

          “The starting point to disentangle any misconception “.

          That was the purpose of my question actually. Because Assange and the far right are both keen to expose Clinton does not mean that they are ideologically the same. And then what is this conflation with nationalism?

          “Most politically aware people in the U.K. have Assange down as a Putin shill.” We obviously frequent different circles of politically aware people.

          It is important in cases like this to produce evidence that Assange is a Putin shill. Stating it does not make it believable.

          • AS

            You misquoted me SA, I wrote “Most politically informed people I know in the UK have Assange down as Putin shill.” So I wasn’t offering that as proof of anything, only an anecdotal indication of how this topic is perceived and treated. I’ve defended Assange in the past. I’m well aware of how the media has manipulated various issues surrounding him, especially the Sweden case. But things stopped making sense to me in the US presidential election and – given the impact people like Craig Murray have claimed for WikiLeaks on the election of Trump – questions about Assange and WikiLeaks’ role are entirely legitimate now. Surely that’s evident.

            Obviously I don’t have Assange down as ‘far right.’ However libertarian? Maybe. I don’t know. It’s a genuine question. Why is Assange meetings with the likes of Farage and Rohrabacher? Is there are any deeper connection with Cambridge Analytica? It’s not a case of smearing by association since Assange has clearly fostered these connections too. So what’s it about? A belief that politics should be conducted through the manipulation of ‘information’ that only a few privileged gateways/people have access to? Where’s the democracy and transparency in Assange’s political views and actions? Because the fact that he’s acting politcally is indisputable.

          • SA

            Apologies for misquoting you. Assange is not an elected politician. I guess as a leaker he is more akin to a journalist, and transparency and democracy is not always easy for journalism.
            What is most amazing about discussions and side-taking regarding the Wikileaks leaked emails is that the substance and the implications of the emails have rarely been discussed. Instead it has been assumed that they were a pro-Trump leak and by some twisted logic therefore a pro Putin one, with so little evidence for any of this other than that they were a possible factor in Clinton loosing the elections.
            The big problems for many in the true left is that neither candidate was really worth supporting and at least politically, Trump was an unknown quantity. Not that he was in any way to be supported.
            Now I don’t really know why Assange met with Farage or Rohrbacher but the question may be more relevant to ask Farage and Rohrbacher rather than Assange as they are the elected ones.
            The other aspect in all this is that now a distraction has been created and this is leading to less accountability for our politicians who are rejoicing in the witch hunt.

          • AS

            Thanks SA for the apology and the response. As someone who wanted Sanders elected, I fully agree that neither Clinton or Trump was in any sense desirable. And yes it was important that the DNC manipulation of the primaries was exposed.

            But it seems self-evident to me, then and now, that WikiLeaks/Assange did want Trump elected rather than Clinton. Its intervention wasn’t impartial, or circumstantial, but timed and coordinated, including directly liaising with those working for Trump. If so, subsequent meetings with people close to that team – including the likes of Farage – have to be seen in that light, as proactive connections being fostered by Assange. Maybe his aims are something else entirely. I’ve no idea.

            I don’t see questioning WikiLeaks’ involvement as a distraction. I see it as essential to democratic accountability and transparency.

          • SA

            The main distraction is this seeing Russia behind the leak and then now behind Brexit. This is now the main talking point and will be used as a cover for May’s cabinet miserable performance and other scandals and sadly Ben Bradshaw is helping May and I think it is because some in the Labour Party now seem to think that the way to reverse Brexit is to discredit the vote as Russian influence. I wouldn’t be surprised if Blair is behind this.

          • AS

            Arguing about why the Leave vote happened seems pointless now. The question is the present and future. I doubt Brexit will happen. It looks technically and logistically impossible, yet alone economically. Some miserable patch up deal that satisfies nobody in the UK but that will suit the EU countries fine is the likely outcome. They’ll have the new finance centre instead of London and be able to impose most of the rules to a politically headless UK without any democratic say in the EU’s operation. Pure idiocy. But I’m past caring. British (English) culture has been severely dumbed down the past 10-15 years and this is what you get.

    • joel

      Yes, now you mention it, Craig’s repeat denunciations of Putin are obviously just cover for the fact he’s been coopted by the Putin regime. The old double bluff! What devilishly devious barstewards he and Putin are ..

      • AS

        Making those denunciations (‘mild rebukes’ is probably more accurate) and being coopted, unwittingly or not, are not incompatible, though, are they? So what’s the point in your comment?

        • joel

          “the kind of far right libertarian ideology now driving the intellectual forces behind various kinds of anti-neoliberal pro-capitalist ‘nationalisms’ the world over”

          Go away and have a rethink and only come back when you’re capable of making a sod’s bit of sense.

          • AS

            Koch brothers, understand that? Anti-neoliberal: against multilateral neoliberal institutions (IMF, World Bank, EU, Paris Accord) that impose limits on their operations, including environmental legislation. But pro-capitalist. ‘Nationalist’ because that also works against multilateralism and enables them to get working class populations on their side against ‘globalization’.

            Let me know if you continue to be clueless.

          • AS

            Oh and by the way, this kind of ‘site ownership’ (“go away and have a rethink…”) really doesn’t do your master any favours.

          • joel

            If you believe the Koch bros are “anti-neoliberal” it’s you who is without a clue, I’m afraid. They are among those most responsible for entrenching neoliberal policies in the US – bankrolling politicians, judges to hack back the state, slash the top-rate, allow corporations free reign. Privatisation, deregulation, liberalization of markets, anti-labour, low-tax. That is the Koch agenda, that is the neoliberal agenda, everywhere.

          • AS

            You’re confusing laissez-faire (deregulated) capitalism with neoliberal globalization and multilateral institutions like NAFTA. The shift in the US now is to the former (with the Clintons, Obama etc. having pushed the latter).

  • Habbabkuk

    The apparent downfall of “President Comrade” Robert Mugabe is greeted by a loud silence by all the human rights “activists”. Strange.

    • Ba'al Zevul

      I’ll wait until it’s irrevocable. Mugabe’s a crafty old bastard. It might also be wise to get a clearer idea of what the alternative is. As to human rights, I don’t see why Zimbabwe should be special: there are plenty of brutal shits running African and ME countries, but the police getting a little rough in a democracy defines the end of the world. Unless you count Russia as a democracy, that is. Duck and cover. I hear incoming propaganda.

      • Loony

        Oh yes, let us all close our eyes, blindfold ourselves and turn the lights out and wait for a “clearer idea” Oh it is all so confusing, I really have no idea what is going on. How could anyone know anything.

        Consider this: Zimbabwe has enacted a number of land reforms that basically involve seizing white owned farms and giving the land to members of the black majority population. Over 90% of white owned farms have been seized and agricultural production has decreased significantly.

        Maybe this is all a short term price that is worth paying in order to remedy the injustices of colonialism and to give the majority population a meaningful stake in the country.

        But oh look. What is this?

        Nicholas Van Hoogstraten has built up a 1,620 square mile land holding. 1,620 square miles is quite a lot of land for anyone to own. Nicholas Van Hoogstraten happens to be British and he happens to be white. But there is so much more to Mr. Van Hoogstraten than just being British and white. This article provides just a brief glimpse of what some of the more might be


        Bit as you say, we need to wait until we have a clearer idea

        • Ba'al Zevul

          I meant I’d wait to comment on his overthrow until I knew it was an overthrow. Meanwhile I have my choice of African leaders to criticise, and do so (see An Apology) in the case of the highly fraudulent probable war criminal Paul Kagame and hereditary dictator Faure Gnassingbe. Kenyatta’s two rigged elections have also been mentioned. As you hinted, the seized farms didn’t go to the Zim man on the ground. They went to Mugabe’s cronies, and they weren’t farmers. Result:


          Happy to agree there. Without waiting. Back to Habba, I’d guess there has been no OUTRAGE* here because everyone’s too busy preaching Scottish independence to the converted**, virtue-signalling on Catalonia and denying the bleeding obvious concept of Russia seeking to increase its influence by supporting any and all Western dissidents by any means available. Which is what I hope we are doing to them, too.


          ** while alienating the vaguely sympathetic…

        • Old Mark

          Oh it is all so confusing, I really have no idea what is going on.

          There are in effect two ways these events will pan out Loony, either-

          1.The seizure of power by the Army has the benign effect of removing a senile dictator and leaves open the prospect of a more democratic Zimbabwe thereafter. In other words a re-run African style of the Portuguese ‘carnation revolution’ of April 1974.
          2. The Army takeover follows African tradition, and simply results in the the demise of the outgoing kleptocrat, and his replacement by a new gang with the same base objectives. The classic Who song from 1971 refers.

          Either way, I think we can agree that it is ardently to be hoped that van Hoogstraten gets his fingers burnt and is forced to return home in a state of humiliating indigence.

    • laguerre

      Mugabe has been unpopular with human rights activists since at the latest the early 1980s, and certainly after he was so powerfully praised by Thatcher. However, apparently Habbabkuk didn’t notice for thirty years.

  • Republicofscotland


    Well, Mugabe did foster a huge grudge against the whites who ran Rhodesia, the white minority doing well in the south, whilst the indigenous people remained dirt poor, a common picture across Africa in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

    However after the Lancaster agreement, one could say the slaughter and poor governance is/was mainly down to Mugabism, and the terrible Fifth brigade.

    Will he be missed by the outside world? I very much doubt it, who will succeed him, and will they continue in his bloody footsteps? it’s seems it’s too early to tell yet.

    Like Imelda Marcos, and her plethora of shoes, Gracie Mugabe is known as the First Lady of Shopping.

      • AS

        I’m fine, but thanks for asking. Still waiting for a sensible and plausible response here, rather than redirections.

        • Macky

          Err, firstly a sensible & plausible case as to why you think either Assange or Murray are pro-Putin would help in formulating the appropriate response.

          (stating that people you know think Assange is a Russian shill, doesn’t cut it)

          • AS

            I didn’t say they were pro-Putin. I said that they seemed to have been coopted by the Putin regime. That cooption could take many forms, many of them indirect.

            It’s not me who has to prove anything. I don’t think any of you have quite grasped that point. I’m sat here waiting for a reasonable and convincing explanation for why, say, WikiLeaks so heavily intervened to get Trump elected, why Craig Murray celebrated that fact here, immediately after the US election, why Assange met the likes of Farage and Rohrabacher. Most of the western political world has already drawn the conclusion that Assange is a Putin shill or operative even – as Craig Murray insinuated. So come on. Where’s the plausible counter-argument?

          • Macky

            Ok, back to basics; Wikileakes was founded by Assange because he believes openness is the key to good government, ie secrecy enables bad things to happen & corrupts Democracy. So he sets-up a platform where anonymous whistle-blowing can safely happen, and carefully vets & confirms authenticity of such information, before publishing. He promises that once vetted & authenticated, all leaked information will be published, in accordance with a time-schedule that will generate maximum impact for the material leaked at personal risk by the Whistle-blower, but obviously can only publish what he actually receives.

            Fast forward to the US Election, he receives leaked information, showing that Hillary Clinton and the DNC rigged the primaries against Bernie Sanders; if he sits on the information until after the Election, he not only betrays the Wikileak promise to guarantee full impact for the personal risk that the Whistle-Blower has taken, but it also goes contra to his guiding & founding philosophy that openness enables informed people to make democratically informed choices for good government; that of course this release was damaging for the Clinton campaign is beyond dispute, but it was real, not fabricated information, so blaming Assange instead of the cheating behaviour of the Clinton Camp is simply bonkers, and doubly bonkers to cite this as proof of being co-opted by the Russians . I happen to believe that he would have also released damaging material on Trump if it had been submitted to him.

          • AS

            Except the private DM messages from WikiLeaks to Trump junior indicate proactive and systematic pursuit of communications with the Trump team to coordinate their actions (push stories, leaked emails etc.)
            That is not impartiality. Most damning is the WikiLeaks suggestion that the Trump team pass them Trump’s tax returns to leak: “If we publish them it will dramatically improve the perception of our impartiality.”

            Since when is a media organisation concerned with openness and transparency so concerned about improving public perception of its impartiality that it secretly communicates with one party to trick the public into thinking it obtained counter-balancing leaked information that favours (supposedly) the other party?

          • AS

            I fully expect no answer to that last point by the way, because there isn’t one. You can’t claim to be a media organisation working for an end to disinformation, secret collusion, political corruption and anti-democratic practices by using precisely those strategies to achieve your ends.

            You see that, right?

          • AS

            So Macky another redirect. Like I said, no answer to the more general point I was making about WikiLeaks’ practices. But let’s go with your link, starting with the following:
            Don Jr. actually comes off looking fairly normal in the report, while WikiLeaks comes off looking weird and sleazy in a way that will likely damage its reputation even further than the mainstream media campaign to smear the outlet already has. WikiLeaks is seen asking for favors Trump never fulfilled, making recommendations Trump Jr. didn’t act upon, and asking for leaks Trump Jr. never gave them, which when you step back and think about it are actually fairly normal things for a leak outlet to do, all things considered.
            Well, the reporter accurately describes the damage taken to the perception of WikiLeaks and the actual events (WikiLeaks is seen asking for favors Trump never fulfilled, making recommendations Trump Jr. didn’t act upon, and asking for leaks Trump Jr. never gave them – all true). But she concludes: when you step back and think about it are actually fairly normal things for a leak outlet to do, all things considered. Except no, it isn’t anything ‘normal’ for a ‘leak outlet’ to secretly request a leak from the person or organization to be leaked about to – and I stress this – then dishonestly mislead the public about the origin of that leak. (Insinuating there was a vulnerable whistelblower behind the leak, perhaps? who knows). And for what purpose? It’s given: to be perceived as impartial.

            Next up. The journalistic malpractice. I confess I’m still trying to fathom how the reporter reckoned that the Atlantic omitting the second part of the WikiLeaks DM to Trump Junior made it look any better. Really, I have no idea.
            Omitted part of DM: “That means that the vast amount of stuff that we are publishing on Clinton will have much higher impact, because it won’t be perceived as coming from a ‘pro-Trump’ ‘pro-Russia’ source.”
            To me it just reads as a self-evident continuation of the request to ‘leak’ the tax returns to be perceived as impartial.

            The rest is equally incoherent mush, imo, but thanks for the link. It’s been read.

          • giyane

            Putin has not interfered with the US election except by his actions in bringing commonsense to the Middle East. USUKIS France, Germany and many other own-vomit-eating NWO neo-cons were using political Islam to destroy a succession of countries from Afghanistan, Somalia, to Iraq, Libya and Syria. That was the policy that Hillary Clinton brought to the US election.

            Maybe you agree with David Icke that humans have been interbred with lizards. This would account for the extreme, unnecessary hardness and uncaringness of modern wars.
            We are now half-lizard. What else could possibly account for a random decision being made by the US to destroy the infrastructure and peoples of a long list of Muslim countries?

            Answer the spite and hatred of Israel for Islam. A statement that is completely politically uncorrect and neither you in the US nor I on this blog are allowed to think it, let alone print it. So there we are in black and white. You have to invent another bogey man; Putin.

            Let me remind you of an incident that happened last week in the UK parliament. Two ministers lost their jobs for unwanted physical contact with women. The Foreign Secretary has inserted his sperm into, and conceived unwanted illegitimate children by, well-known women in his political orbit. Nothing happens to him. But when he has to deal with a married Muslim woman in custody in Iran he deliberately uses words that will increase her harsh prison sentence. So he’s a Zionist as most of them are in UK politics.

            You can keep on pushing the Putin button as long as you like , but it doesn’t make sense.

          • AS

            Giyane, I don’t see the Putin regime as the overarching evil, just one of them, along with the others you mention. So I don’t think it helps to ignore that Russia’s geopolitical strategy in the fact of an over-expanding and threatening EU/NATO was to work covertly to disrupt those institutions from within. You can be a critic of the latter, and indeed neo-con policy more widely, while seeing Russian nationalist support of the likes of the far right in France as deeply problematic. My real concern is social media manipulation, which seems to have been a driving force in Brexit and Trump being elected. There is a trail indicating libertarian bankrolling of this manipulation through agencies like Cambridge Analytica. With or without covert Russian assistance. (Let me spell it out: any Russian influence is secondary insofar as it really depends on people, organisations and institutions in the west – like Trump – who see this influence as potentially beneficial to them. In other words the real issue is corruption of the democratic political process in the west, not Russia. And by that standard the Clinton faction is just as bad, as made evident by the DNC leaks and much more) So my question stands: how far has WikiLeaks been (let’s presume inadvertently) coopted into this murky political zone?

          • Macky

            Yes Johnson starts off by stating that the general perception of WikiLeaks will be that it “comes off looking weird and sleazy”, but exactly because of the way that that original Atlanic piece had been deliberately edited, which is the whole point of the Johnson’s article.

            You take exception to the remark that WikiLeaks’ engagement with Trump Jr., was “actually fairly normal for a leak outletto do”, by bizarrely emphasising “secretly request”, as if there could be another way for WikiLeaks, an organisation that guarantees anonymity for whistle-blowers, to operate ! Then again you bizarrely stress that WikiLeaks “dishonestly mislead” the Public, by, and I quote you in full, “Insinuating there was a vulnerable whistelblower behind the leak, perhaps? who knows”, well exactly, who knows ? Or do you really know for a fact that Wikileaks deliberately planned to” dishonestly mislead” by “insinuating” whatever ?! Rather is it not the case that you are adding your own version of intentions to routine actions of a Leaks organisation , without any sort of evidence or basis, apart from your suspicions ?

            You then “verify” your suspicions by assigning a “motive”, namely for WikiLeaks to be “perceived as impartial”, thus proving the whole point of Johnson’s article, which I’m obliged to inform you seems to have gone completely over your head, and which is exactly the reason why you cannot see the difference between the two version of the same sentence, that was the target of the sly Atlantic edit, which I quote again:

            Original sentence: ““because it won’t be perceived as coming from a ‘pro-Trump’ ‘pro-Russia’ source, which the Clinton campaign is constantly slandering us with.”

            Atlantic Edit: “because it won’t be perceived as coming from a ‘pro-Trump’ ‘pro-Russia’ source”

            I find it staggering that people can’t see the clear two different meanings, but rest assured that the person behind the Atlantic edit can.

          • AS

            WikiLeaks contacted the Trump team to suggest they send them Trump’s tax returns so they could pretend they had been leaked to WikiLeaks. Not openly leaked by Trump himself or his team, obviously, because that wouldn’t be a ‘leak’, it would be a ‘release’, but sent to WikiLeaks supposedly ‘anonymously’ but actually by the Trump team (note WikiLeaks explains how) so that WikiLeaks can then say: Look. someone, a leaker, leaked Trump’s tax returns to us. And we’re publishing them! So we’re impartial. We dish the dirt on him too.

            It’s called deception. Misleading the public to falsely boost an image of impartiality. So that the WikiLeaks release of anti-Clinton information would be all the more effective.

          • Macky

            @AS, It’s no good ignoring the dishonest editing by the Atlantic!

            A Leaks organisation, just like a News organisation, is always out to get fresh stuff to publish, so yes it is “actually fairly normal”, that as well as just receiving stuff from whistleblowers, they would actively try to procure information behind the scenes. It’s very disingenuous to claim that WikiLeaks wanted to “pretend” that info had been leaked to them, because AFAIK, they didn’t actually say that the info had been “leaked”, they simply just would have issued another “Release”, yes you are adding your own intention again; one key signature of WikiLeaks, is their promise of anonymity, being the most important factor as to why they receive info, so they can hardly be expected to start naming one of their sources !

            You also have a beef about WikiLeaks giving a source some good reasons as to why they should hand over information, which you misrepresent as “Misleading the public to falsely boost an image of impartiality”, by yet again adding your own subjective intention.

            Remember that WikiLeaks mission is to bring restricted information into the Public Domain, which is what they were trying to do. I could understand the problem if they had ever published anything that wasn’t true, even inadvertently (which they haven’t), but to complain about WikiLeaks trying to obtain & release restricted information, to help people make an informed choice, seems all rather a bit odd to me.

          • AS

            Barrett Brown, a journalist jailed for material released on WikiLeaks, makes the same point as myself, the Atlantic ‘edit’ is irrelevant, it doesn’t change the significance of what the DM stated (it’s basically redundant in this context). He also condemns Assange for “colluding with an authoritarian presidential campaign backed by actual Nazis while publicly denying it.”

            Another Clintonite? No. It won’t work any more. Assange was liaising directly with the Trump campaign to help secure his victory, duly achieved. The DM messages make that clear. As Brown stresses, it’s the modus operandi as much as anything: there is no transparency in covertly attempting to dupe the public/electorate by pretending to ‘leak’ information supplied by the ‘leaked’ party to make it seem that you’re not favouring that party. Much the opposite. Assange and WikiLeaks have been caught using the same kind of machinations they were supposed to be exposing. And in league with a far right, racist nationalist.

            I’ve nothing more to add here.

    • Stu

      What is your point? Assange has met with some people on the right, he has also met with many people on the left. I would guess he will meet almost anyone as his social life can’t be great.

      Comparing Assange to Koch is incredibly stupid.

      • AS

        You’re going with that? He’ll meet anyone? It just happens to include people associated with extremely dubious manipulation of social media to promote right-wing populism?

        I didn’t compare Assange to Koch. If you read stupid, you’ll come to stupid conclusions I’m afraid.

          • Shatnersrug

            Hehe, nevermind! I’ve had a shitty day, I’m sorry if I was terse – I was confronted by the sight of the a dead person on the tube today no one did a damned thing she must have been going backwards and forwards All day – we alerted the ticket office and they must have taken her off at kings cross , it’s kind of scrambled my eggs a bit. Very sad, heartbreaking in fact.

            Yes I’m the same me from there

          • AS

            No problem, you really have had a worse day me than me. Also the poor woman on the train, obviously.
            I’ll drink a toast for better journeys for your both ahead.

        • Stu

          So why mention Koch if you were not trying to draw a comparison? Assange meets with a wide variety of people but his consistent contacts are with people on the left such as John Pilger.

          As for people meeting people promoting right wing populism in the UK you should look at the guestlist for Paul Dacre’s recent birthday party.

          • AS

            I’d prefer to judge by actions, not claims (though I’m unaware of Assange ever saying he’s leftwing, has he? maybe so, no idea) or association per se. Yes, that goes either way. Clearly Assange may just want to meet all the ‘big players’, including Farage etc. But that in itself is indicative, at least, of the kind of politics that he wants to be involved in. Not a grassroots democratic kind. The same goes for WikiLeaks intervention in the electoral information war, including behind the scenes coordination of information leaks with the Trump team. WikiLeaks effectively promoted rightwing populism in the US by backing Trump – and according to Craig Murray had a substantial role in Trump’s win. The DM messages make clear the involvement. You yourself suggest being partial would be OK (because of the Clinton ‘assassination threat’, though Trump remarked much the same about Snowden, right?).

            So, like I said, WikiLeaks promoted rightwing populism. Very partially and deliberately. You can explain and backtrack from that in endless ways, but that’s the baseline. The rest is sophistry.

          • SA

            It really is not important whether Assange is left wing or right wing, he is attempting to undermine the ruling class, which incidentally is not confined to the US or UK or the west, but also Russia and probably also China. It is therefore not necessary to think of him as a saint and believe in him to see what effects he had on world politics he has used devious means that is probably something that is required to be effective in what he is doing, you could argue that the election of Trump may hasten the demise of American militarism and excesses
            I now see that we are siding with ‘The Atlantic’.

            Now the connections with Russia money many events are very clear and everywhere to be seen. Russian Oligarchs own papers and football clubs and other assets in UK and so do many Arabs as well as in the rest of the world. fact this is the reason why Saudi Arabia behaves with such impunity and still gets the support it gets despite the ocities in Yemen. Putin has been steering a rather difficult course of upsetting too many oligarchs whilst trying to reign in the worst of thier excesses and perhaps also to thier strong control on the Russian economy and diverting some of that to the benefit of Russia or so it seems to me. On all these power struggles one can take sides of course but one must not so starry eyed and get too upset when one’s ‘hero’ is found to be less than perfect.
            I hasten to say I am not trying to justify any of this just to understand and to be realistic. If the whole world was altruistic and straightforward then we would all I am sure, be much happier.

          • AS

            “I now see that we are siding with ‘The Atlantic’.”

            No, I wrote that the edit made didn’t make any real difference to the information contained, it wasn’t a case of ‘malpractice.’ Though I find it slightly incredible that those accusing the journalist of malpractice are OK with WikiLeaks writing secretly (through DMs) to suggest the Trump team send them his tax returns so they, WikiLeaks, can pretend they were leaked against Trump’s wishes.

            I note that’s the second time you’ve tried to deliberately misrepresent me by the way, after your apology for the last time. Disappointing, given that the rest of your comment to me keeps to the arguments.

            That aside, of course it makes a difference what Assange’s politics are. He’s already acting in a hugely influential political way by attempting to influence a presidential election result. Attempting to alter an election by manipulating information is precisely what the populist right-wing billionaire groups behind Brexit etc. are doing. If Assange is after destabilization, as you suggest, then it’s reasonable to suppose that he’s more or less in complete alignment with the similar aims of the Putin regime, and populist nationalist groups in numerous countries. And that indeed makes sense of his actions over the past few years. Will that alter the ‘ruling class’? Of course it won’t. The means are the ends. You can only achieve a grassroots democratic revolution and more equitable societies by open means. History is filled with ‘leftwing’ agitators who used devious ‘revolutionary means’ in their youth and became rightwing as they aged. It’s the very heart of neo-conservatism. A consistent, honest and open intellectual and ethical program is essential.

          • SA

            No one is perfect and an occasional snide comment, especially in this blog I hope, is permissible.
            I disagree with you that the omission in ‘The Atlantic’ does not make a difference, it does as any incomplete quote does….You castigated me the first time for the same reason: an incomplete quote.
            “If Assange is after destabilization, as you suggest, then it’s reasonable to suppose that he’s more or less in complete alignment with the similar aims of the Putin regime, and populist nationalist groups in numerous countries.”

            Putin has stated many times that he is sick and tired of interference by the West the in the affairs of Russia which as you know is proven and extensive, as well as in all of East Europe including Ukraine. It is therefore surprising that you should be castigating him for supposedly trying to destabilise the west. If he is, then he is either not very good at it or very amateurish, which is not an attribute of Putin. Most of what has been described is rather low key propaganda. Amazing: the Russian ambassador was trying to establish contact with some influential American, he must have some really nasty reason for doing so. In my opinion Putin has had an open door to anyone who will approach him. Notice how he meets and manages to mediate equally with the Turks, The Syrians, the Iranians, The Saudis and the Israelis. Is that because he is devious or because he is a real diplomat? Establishment figures have demonised Putin so much so as to make it difficult for anyone to approach him otherwise they get tarred with the same brush. My disappointment is that you seem not to see this.
            As to Assange, he was clearly on a ‘fishing’ expedition. He hasn’t done any of what you describe secretely. After all he is under 24 hr/day surveillance no privacy. Your idealistic attacks need to take account of all these factors.

          • AS

            It’s not a question of snide comments being permissible. It’s a question of trying to break the social media bubbles in which we live by allowing room for people to express (to each other) dissenting ideas without closing down conversation. That explains my original comment to Craig Murray. The first time I wrote here, a year ago, my comment on the EU being a problematic institution and the idea of ‘Europe’ potentially colonialist was closed down by a snide, personalized remark by him celebrating European civilization. A year later, post-Catalonia, I note he’s reached the conclusion that the EU is indeed problematic. So maybe that initial snide retort wasn’t particularly useful?

            This isn’t, I repeat, a personal issue. It’s about being accountable, not evasive, in communication. Unless our internet communication improves, we’re doomed to manipulation by bots and twitter storms.

            As for Putin, I’ve signalled what I think. I don’t think the kind of repressive regime that silences political opponents in the way seen in Russia should be endorsed by anyone. I support the argument that the EU/NATO expanded aggressively and much better liaison could have been achieved with Russia instead. I also think a counterbalance is needed to US+ hegemony in the Middle East etc. But that’s as far as it goes for me. Russia isn’t a model for any kind of poltical system I wish to see develop where I live.

          • SA

            I have never suggested that we should adopt the Russian system but remember it was the US which force the red toothed capitalist system on Russia between 1990 and 2000 and a lot of what has happened in Russia since then has been a backlash from this exploitation. It is very well to be self righteous about this but everything has a context. Many political opponents of Putin have very clear links with the West the putsch that was enacted in Ukraine with the help of the US is still fresh in our memory. There is a trend to think that you can achieve democracy overnight by forcing it from outside or that expecting people who are suddenly free to vote, will always make right choice but that is a tall order. Democracy has to have structures and traditions. Remember that the life expectancy in Russia had declined rapidly and the country slid into chaos with an actual default in 1998. Now Russia is a different country despite the sanctions, which only serve to entrench a regime and hurt ordinary people. And this is in no small part due to Putinat least people are not dying prematurely as before
            Can you tell me of any country where the west has interfered where there is a prosperous true democracy? Even our democracies are flawed. This is a separate discussion which I will not get into

  • Christopher Dale Rogers

    Given all the Russiadidit crap in much of the Western MSM, no doubt you must be awaiting both payment from, and instructions from Putin – this version being hilarious, if not for the fact so many believe this crap.

    On the other hand, hope you have recovered from you bout of tummy upset & look forward to more posts.

  • Sharp Ears

    The heat is on. Murdoch has sent his attack dog Aaronovitch in to savage Julian Assange.

    November 16 2017, 12:01am, the times
    Assange isn’t a dreamer, he’s a destroyer

    Don’t be fooled by the Wikileaks founder’s supposed idealism: he is in the same destructive club as Putin and Trump

    I remember when Julian Assange was the coolest thing on the planet. Back in 2010, on his first visit to London after his Wikileaks organisation revealed secrets of the US war on terror, I debated with him. The large lecture hall at City University was packed, and there was an almost erotic feeling in the air. You know the scene in the Indiana Jones movie when a student bats her eyelids at Harrison Ford and they’ve got “Love You” written on them? It was like that.

    The people who practically threw their knickers and boxer shorts at him that night must have been perplexed to learn this week that his organisation enjoyed close contacts with Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

    Seven years ago, at the height…. Paywall


    Pathetic stuff. I know! Let’s incarcerate Aa for +5 years and see how he likes it up him.

    • Ba'al Zevul

      It’s probably about this:


      Whatever the Russian involvement, I’d say it’s pretty clear Assange was rooting for Trump (very likely in the hope of lifting the threat of extradition, which it was clear Clinton was not about to do). Which raises the interesting question of how far the darling of the liberal Left would go in his support of the narcissistic misogynist, xenophobic, nepotistic serial liar currently heading the US. Well, there’s a couple of common interests right there.

      • Stu

        If you have one candidate who has openly talked about assassinating I think it’s fair to be impartial.

        Assange has been clear about his opinion on the outcome of the election. From 23/12/16

        “Hillary Clinton’s election would have been a consolidation of power in the existing ruling class of the United States. Donald Trump is not a DC insider, he is part of the wealthy ruling elite of the United States, and he is gathering around him a spectrum of other rich people and several idiosyncratic personalities. They do not by themselves form an existing structure, so it is a weak structure which is displacing and destabilising the pre-existing central power network within DC. It is a new patronage structure which will evolve rapidly, but at the moment its looseness means there are opportunities for change in the United States: change for the worse and change for the better”.

        • Ba'al Zevul

          From which, read on to the implied message: “Trump’s election bids fair to completely destabilise the US.” and don’t for a moment ask yourself who else would like to destabilise the US…mmm?

          • Stu

            Everyone that opposes USA imperialism would like to destabilise the USA so quite a lot of people around the world.

            It’s possible that Clinton’s loss will result in a shift to the left by the Democratic Party and a genuine left of centre politician as President in 2020. The Brexit vote in a roundabout way cemented the Labour Party’s move to the left. I expect to see a similar renewal of the left in American politics.

          • Ba'al Zevul

            I don’t. Too much Puritan heritage, too many NRA and AIPAC… etc, etc. In any case, a shift to the ‘left’ in the US would still leave it well to the right of the UK Tories, sorry.

            If the globalist model – equally admired by our own elites and Russia’s – can’t be dismantled and discredited, nothing much will change except for the worse. And Trump ain’t about to dismantle it.

          • Stu

            “In any case, a shift to the ‘left’ in the US would still leave it well to the right of the UK Tories, sorry.”

            That is the wrong way of assessing the right. There is no ideological difference between the right in the USA and the UK, the difference between them is what it is electorally possible to implement. The Tories would be delighted to abolish the NHS but it is impossible so they have to settle for undermining it as much as they can get away with.

            If there is any chance that a left shifted Democratic Party can reduce inequality and scale back imperialism it should be welcomed.

          • Ba'al Zevul

            If. The Democratic Party, too, is more interested in what it can get away with in the way of serving its funding interests than any version of socialism. As a matter of fact, the notion of devil-take-the-hindmost is much more deeply embedded in US culture than ours. The US Left will always be to the right of the UK right, And the UK wrong will continue to get it wrong.

          • nevermind

            Russia also destroyed the Roman empire, from within, its obvious, not because the world and many constituent part of the empire itself loathed the Roman conquerors, not because many tried to give them a good hiding, hallo Alarich, no its all because of Russia.
            As yet blow-hard Steele has not shown one iota of proof to anyone, the Guardian merely presenting his myriad of contacts and informers who can’t be named, the over looked careerist who done so much but never got promoted and who can’t go back to Russia now because after blowing hard on the whistle, but failing to get more than a squeak out of it, he is likely to get his knackers in a twist.

            Another shit raker that would never be missed, a cold warrior who failed to realise that the world changed in 1989.

            Trump is ill, he must be when he is failing to see anybody but himself of interest in the world, when he fails to realise that support for his antics, if any, comes from the EU, not some Killer in Manila or from sable dancing with oil rich shepherds.

            Could it be some kind of delusional dementia ?

          • SA


            According to a serialised ses om BBC about Trump, he is a sociopath according to some psychiatrist . has also been described as a narcissist. I haven’watched this myself, a friend did.

    • Stu

      “close contacts with Donald Trump’s presidential campaign” = Fewer than 20 twiiter DMs.

      It’s good that Aaronovitch is focusing on this. He must itching to write a piece supporting the war in Yemen.

  • Ba'al Zevul


    The Bombardier Global 6000 now landing at Accra may very well contain Tony and his chum Naguib Sawiris. Man on the ground, please copy.

    • giyane

      Craig is resting on his laurels of his work for the foreign Office. Blair is eating his. I wish you could switch your detestation for Blair to the present Tory cabinet. How have they managed to get a majority of 12 in yesterday’s Brexit votes?

      • Ba'al Zevul

        Giyane – Craig is in Ghana. And detesting the Tories does no more towards getting rid of them than detesting Blair does towards causing him to be dissolved, horribly, in hydrofluoric acid, much as we may wish for both outcomes. PS. I voted for Brexit. And I stand by that.

        • giyane

          Which Brexit? Stiff brexit? ‘No wogs and no badgers’ signs on every lorry wind deflector?
          Un-employed pensioners required to man the ports and collect 30% tariffs for HMRC?
          Or floppy brexit? ‘We are the same species as you and we like doing business with you’?

          • Ba'al Zevul

            Whatever it takes to get our decision-making powers back, and to retain a sense of national identity. Rather like the SNP if you bother to think about it. Incidentally, two world wars to avoid domination by Germany, and what have we got? Domination by Germany.

          • giyane

            I think the Tories are being very very naïve if they think that Germany will be unable to dominate us after Brexit. We didn’t have to scrap our manufacturing base. We didn’t have to lower our wages to the point that nobody can afford a house. That was caused by greedy selfish I’m all right Jack Tories. what we actually need right now is to be not dominated by evil selfish Tories who are shovelling us under the EU steamroller while paying themselves more so that it looks like we are on a par with the EU economies.
            We all know the UK is bankrupt. Instead of complaining about the real Germans with their real economy why don’t we just f** the zombie pirate accursed Tory skeletons on the upper deck off?

  • reel guid

    Alex Salmond interviews Puigdemont on his RT show. And offers Rajoy the right of reply.

    There’s an interview with an LGBTI rights campaigner. So much for Russian state control.

    Wait till he really gets started on Westminster.

    This show is a glimpse of how a thousand media and cultural flowers would bloom in independent Scotland.
    Instead of the Union Jack Stalinism of a faded imperial power we get from the anti-Scottish British media.

  • Loony

    How shocked I am to see the BBC reporting more fake news.

    Why now mention of the fact that in aggregate US shale producers will likely end the year with a negative £20 billion free cash flow..

    Why no mention that legacy wells in the Permian basin have seen decline rates accelerate from 100,000 bbl/day in 2016 to a current 154,000 bbl/day.

    Why no mention that Jim Chanos (the man that essentially uncovered the fraud in Enron) has warned that US shale investors are on a “road to ruin” and that he is shorting the stocks of some of the leading players.

    Note also when the BBC refers to renewable generation it rigidly sticks to measuring the industry by reference to capacity and not to output.

    Simple fake news .

  • reel guid

    That’ll be the corruption free United Kingdom in a parallel universe you’re talking about is it?

    • Republicofscotland

      reel guid.

      Westminster is thinking of paying Iran £450 million quid, a debt it never paid, for the release of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.

      The former Shah of Iran paid the British government £650 million for 1,750 tanks but only 185 were delivered before his regime was brought down and the order cancelled.


      Meanwhile the US has announced America’s latest military budget a whopping $690 billion dollars.

      • reel guid

        The UK could never repay Iran for first ruthlessly exploiting that country through the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company( later renamed BP) and then staging the violent coup against the democratic Mossadegh government.

    • giyane

      reel guid
      that parallel universe is a whole mound of horse shite. Look when I cast aspersions on Alex Salmond yesterday I was only saying that he is inside that pile of shite, as all politicians are. The rule is, in politics, don’t forget, when you see a little pink worm in the steaming ordure , eat it !

        • giyane

          Yes, my future ex-wife joined me there to work at some stables in Botley. I still savour the smell of burning urine and saw-dust when I go down the Oxford bypass.

  • Republicofscotland

    It would appear that Prince William has the same cut of cloth as his father and grand father when it comes to gaffs.

    PW complained recently that they are too many people in the world, whilst his wife was having another child. He’s now said anonymity online is dangerous, maybe someone should inform him about the 77th brigade.

    • Stu

      If you actually read to the end of the article for the FCO quote.

      “This is a long standing case and relates to contracts signed over 40 years ago with the pre-revolution Iranian regime.

      “Funding to settle the debt was paid to the high court by the Treasury in 2002. Iran’s Ministry of Defence remains subject to sanctions.

      “It is wrong to link a completely separate debt issue with any other aspect of our bilateral relationship with Iran.”

      The USA has repaid $1.7 bn to Iran they were illegally withholding since the deal was agreed.

      • Republicofscotland

        Of course Westminster will deny any link, no surprise there.

        But why pay now, especially when sanctions are still in place with Iran. Johnson has reportedly said it’s important for Britain to honour its international obligations, this from a man who wants give the EU nothing on the Divorce bill.

        The contract is over years old, so why settle now?

        In my opinion the ES, is on the money, Boris Johnson, gaffs, (or accidently tells the truth) Iran retaliates threatening a longer prison sentence for Ratcliffe. Johnson meets with Ratcliffe’s husband, now a 40 year old debt with a country that’s widely sanctioned, is to be settled.

        Coincidence? We’ll see if Ratcliffe is released or not once the debt is paid.

        • Stu

          “But why pay now, especially when sanctions are still in place with Iran”

          Sanctions have been lifted for almost two years due to the nuclear deal.

          • Republicofscotland

            “Sanctions have been lifted for almost two years due to the nuclear deal.”

            Iran’s Ministry of Defence remains subject to sanctions.

  • reel guid

    Alex Rowley, the guy who was leading Scottish Labour until a couple of days ago, was yesterday evening suspended from the party.

    The Britnats continuing to create a row about the Alex Salmond Show to deflect attention from this and other things. But the more fuss they create about the Salmond telly enterprise the more people will want to watch.

    • Republicofscotland

      reel guid.

      On FMQ’s Mr Insignificant Willie Rennie was putdown spectacularly by John Swinney.

      Rennie jumped to his feet and ranted and raved over Salmond, RT, and the possibility that Salmond may be part of a group to take-over the Scotsman newspaper. Rennie’s general gist was Salmond is now a evil Russian propagandist.

      Swinney replied, that Rennie’s boss Vince Cable appeared on RT. The chamber erupted.

      • reel guid


        Silly Willie never learns.

        Meanwhile the BBC website is trying to hide away the Rowley news as unobtrusively as they possibly can.

        Also Labour is now investigating their Bury South MP Ivan Lewis, a former member of Ed Miliband’s shadow cabinet.

        • Stu

          “Meanwhile the BBC website is trying to hide away the Rowley news as unobtrusively as they possibly can.”

          It’s good to see that they have taken a more sober approach to allegations post Carl Sergeant.

          • reel guid

            On Tuesday morning Rowley was leading Scottish Labour. On Wednesday evening he was suspended from the party. That’s got to be a big story even if it transpires that Mr. Rowley has done nothing wrong.

            Can you imagine how the BBC would have made it the biggest news story of the year if an SNP or Scottish Green member from their party’s leadership echelon had been at the centre of similar allegations?

  • Edward J Freeman

    You have my sympathy, Mr. Murray. I’ve noticed that when the emergency is over, our immune systems seem to be as exhausted as the rest of us, and as demanding of a break.

    However, do please ask the Kremlin if they will give me a pay cheque too. I’m against all this money laundering thing, of course, because they’ve never seen fit to chuck any in my direction, but with suitable inducements I might change my mind.

    Anyway, желаю скорейшего выздоровления!

  • Boindub

    Now we know. LOONEY is a fake. Look up Hoax Slayer Mugabe Mansion.
    The Mansion given as belonging to President Mugabe is a Film set on Bel Air. Other liars have attributed it to Musharraf (Pakistan), Babangida (Nigeria), Shahrukh Kahn (Bollywood star), etc. Etc. Even the lying Guardian said it was Mugabe’s
    LOONEY. Go away. You are a troll trying to cause confusion

    • Loony

      Let me help you to clarify your thoughts

      The various pictures of the house posted come with the caption “President Mugabe’s Private Mansion” The pictures were sourced via Google and therefore the entity responsible for appending this caption to the pictures is Google.

      I have never visited with Mugabe and therefore cannot be certain that the pictures claiming to be his house are in fact pictures of his house. I did not state this explicitly, perhaps I should have done. But at no time have I ever sought to convey the impression that I am a personal acquaintance of Mr. Mugabe.

      Now let us turn to your modus operandi. You are willfully confusing a private and anonymous individual with one of the worlds largest publicly listed corporations. Presumably you consider this to be a useful way to divert attention away from the accumulation of vast wealth by a black African dictator. Wealth which has been acquired at the expense of the mass of black African citizenry.

      What your motivations might be are not known as you fail to tell us. Whatever the actual motivation might be it seems reasonable to conclude that it is nefarious.

  • Stu

    Sadly for most Scottish alcoholics the economics of a booze run to Cumbria or Northumberland do not stack up. It’s also worth noting that this is not a tax and the price increase will stay with the retailers. The good news for Scottish binge drinkers is that there will be no price increase in a bottle of Buckfast.

    I would say that this new law will certainly change behaviour but it will not decrease problem drinking at all.

    • Republicofscotland

      “I would say that this new law will certainly change behaviour but it will not decrease problem drinking at all.”

      I agree, that if people want to drink they’ll still buy alcohol, regardless of the price. However there will be some people who will rethink that strategy and cut down.

      Reading the in’s-and-out’s of Minimum Unit Pricing, it would appear that it will mainly be alcohol such as 3ltr bottles of cheap cider that will cost more due to their unit content, though other spirits will see a rise as well.

      “Alcohol is now 54 per cent more affordable in the UK than it was in 1980. It is possible in Scotland today to exceed the new lower risk guidelines for alcohol (14 units per week) for less than £3. This is an unacceptable position and we have a responsibility to address this problem.”


      • Stu

        The link between price and demand is a completely false one though. Anyone can clearly see that by looking at price and demand in France, Spain, Finland and Sweden. The focus on £14 units for £3 highlights that the SNP are targeting people in poverty with this policy yet have very little understanding of the pathology of addiction.

        The main effect of this policy is that alcoholics will spend more of their income on alcohol leaving less for their children, rent food, heating etc. I would also wager that we will see an increase in abuse of street Valium and Spice. There is already a huge issue with addiction to Spice in cities in England and it will be awful if that spreads to Scotland.

        The policy won’t have any effect on binge drinkers in general or problem binge drinkers in particular. Cocaine has went massively up in price without any reduction in use, a small hike in the price of booze won’t make a difference to anyone’s decision making when they are intoxicated.

      • Republicofscotland

        Firstly, the way Scots consume alcohol is complete different from the way other EU nations consume it.

        There is a hardcore drinking culture in Scotland, where as other nations consume alcohol as part of, say, for instance, dining course, or a mealtime accompaniment, that is not the case in Scotland.

        As I said, I agree there will be people who will continue to drink cheap spirits/beers/lagers etc, no matter the cost, however there will also be some folk who will change their drinking habits, and drink less alcohol.

        The main effect of this policy is to try and save lives, and at least try and break some Scots love affair with alcohol. Alcohol related diseases costs the NHS in Scotland millions of pounds to treat.

      • Old Mark

        There is a hardcore drinking culture in Scotland, where as other nations consume alcohol as part of, say, for instance, dining course, or a mealtime accompaniment, that is not the case in Scotland

        RoS- ‘Scottish drinking culture’ is simply at the extreme end of a similar culture prevailing in in England, Ireland and, to a slightly lesser extent, Scandinavia. Arguably this culture is even worse in countries like Russia and Poland.

        All these countries have gloomy northern winters and aren’t to any extent serious wine producers- there seems to be a bit of a pattern here.

    • fred

      “Sadly for most Scottish alcoholics the economics of a booze run to Cumbria or Northumberland do not stack up. ”

      Yes they do. The minimum pricing will push the price of a bottle of Lidles cider from £2 to £5. A transit van can carry 500 bottles. Selling at £3 that’s £500 profit.

      Of course the bootleggers won’t be asking 12 year olds for ID. This legislation is going push alcohol sales underground where they can’t be regulated.

      • Stu

        I don’t think the effort of managing a customer base of a couple of hundred jakeys is really going to be worth the money.

      • fred

        I would think the same people who presently trade in imported tobacco will start to stock imported drinks.

        You can get imported tobacco on every street corner in Scotland.

  • laguerre

    A refusal to withdraw will not prevent the US being isolated, when things move on without them. Same in Iraq, now that a settlement has been reached between Baghdad and the Kurds (in which the US played no role).

  • reel guid

    I’m beginning to think that the These Islands Ltd website is a contest to see who can pen the most boring essay. It really does contain some of the most unreadable examples of the genre.

    Today’s dreary offering by a strategy consultant called Michael Jary – no I’ve never heard of him either – is another of TI’s house specialities. A long litany of reasons to justify belief in British exceptionalism.

    There is however a real gem contained among the nuts and bolts of Mr. Jary’s literary effort:

    “The UK ‘s security services, MI5, MI6 and GCHQ, are reckoned to be world class.”


    • Republicofscotland

      reel guid.

      I think this your man, Mr Jary.


      He does a bit of work for the Duchy’s (Prince Charles) food company.

      Meanwhile Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart are still languishing behind bars in a Spanish prison one month later. The Catalan grassroots activists are facing between 4 and 15 years in prison for sedition.


      Where’s Boris Johnson, why isn’t he crying out over political prisoners held in Western Europe. Where are the sanctions against Spain?

      • reel guid

        Thanks Ros. Jary does seems to like serving on committees. I think we can dismiss These Islands as a dud. They’re never going to benefit the No vote in indyref2. They’re so incredibly dull dull dull tedious boring and dull, as Monty Python would have put it.

        See there’s a thing in Spanish law called ‘preventive prison’. Meaning I suppose, that people can be held in prison without charge for a long time.

        And Boris Johnson probably quite likes the idea of political prisoners in Western Europe. Especially the idea of it in North-Western Europe, if you get my drift.

        Still, let us rejoice that MI6 are up there with the best!

    • reel guid

      Dutchman Timmermans collects honours and gongs from foreign countries. And hasn’t got one from Spain yet. He’s doing his best though.

  • Tony

    Truly sickening to hear Theresa May’s recent efforts to whip up fear and hatred about Russia. Not surprising though.

    • SA

      What is also sickening is how this has been orchestrated so that the BBCthe Guardian et al , all have lots of stories about Russian interference with almost all elections everywhere, based on little evidence. The whole is obviously a distraction from the woes of sex scandals, political incompetence and mishandling of Brexit.

      • giyane

        “Even Neil Kinnock was better than this”
        Yes , he would irritatingly spout socialist dogmatic theory, while doing exactly the opposite. May mothers us with social justice tripe while her lunatic Alt Right cabinet steers us over the Niagara Falls of Brexit.
        Tony, with all due respect, even May is better than Neil Kinnock.

  • Republicofscotland

    Are we surprised?

    “I am told that Mr Johnson’s response when presented with inconvenient truths is to cover his ears and hum the national anthem until the bearers of the bad news go away.”

    “One of the things that gets him humming most loudly is the hard evidence that falling back on WTO rules would decimate Britain’s professional services businesses.”


    Roll on indy.

  • Sharp Ears

    Reel Guid 13.14 The use of the word ‘suspended’ is unfortunate in view of how Carl Sargeant met his maker.

  • Republicofscotland

    If you step back and look at the bigger picture, you can see clearly that the USA’s 17 intelligence agencies/communities have no evidence of Russian hacking, of the US elections.

    Neither have the French, when Macron (who incidently is the focus today in Paris of major protests over Labour laws) was asked if he had any evidence of Russian hacking of the French elections (which were doing the rounds at the time) Macron replied no.

    More recently Ciaran Martin the head honcho at NCSC, has said that Russia, had tried to hack into Britain’s utilty suppliers, when asked to provide evidence, the usual speel came to the fore, classified yeah right.

    We’ve even had the under fire British PM Theresa May accuse Russia of election meddling, without producing the evidence.

    But it doesn’t matter that there’s no evidence to prove anything, the idea is to convince the public that Russia is the bad guy.

    If Russia, were a person, the defamation of character, and libel laws would come into force.

    • reel guid


      I wonder if the current Anglo-American demonization of the Russian bear is really to do with the wider US fear of the rise of the BRICS group of countries ( Brazil, Russia, India, China & South Africa).

      • Stu

        The only country they are worried about is China.

        It’s pretty obvious that the USA feels that they have a limited time to flip Russia into their sphere of influence so they can contain China. We have been prepped for conflict with Russia since around 2011 when Pussy Riot and Russian laws about homosexuality started appearing in western media.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    Sometimes John Ward (The Slog) is Brilliant, despite being a bit blinkered (which I think is down to the football team he played for in Ancoats on Sunday mornings.) As he played for the Catholics on Saturday, I thought that was O.K…except he has never played for the team that goes to church on Fridays. I would have done, except I was always crap at football.

    Very few bloggers, and far fewer MP’s could care a t0ss about John’s and my female friends, from our youth.

    Nearly all of them, have been seriously defrauded by HM Government, and as a result, many are in abject poverty, as a result of having their pensions stolen (for 6 years) by HM Government. A private company would never get away with it, unless they deliberately went bust stealing the pensions during the process.

    John mentioned this today, in his blog, whilst writing about another highly likely EU wide Government Theft

    He’s a good bloke, and I often agree with him.



    “Ask Waspi women in the UK cheated out of 60 year-old pension promises how much a “guarantee” from the self-styled élite is worth. The pigs in Animal Farm asserted, “All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others”. Ladies and Gentlemen, we are no more than pigshit on their shoes.”


    • Tony_0pmoc

      Did Mark McDonald touch a girl’s knee? How old was she?

      from The BBC “Ms Sturgeon has also said that the complaint against Mr McDonald concerned his language, and not physical contact.”

      So did he tell Ms Sturgeon to Fish Off?

      I dunno – Never heard of him.

      What’s The Inside Goss?


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