Russophobia Goes Comic 1024


I am feeling particularly hostile to Donald Trump after his incendiary move on Jerusalem. But it remains the case that I have enough direct knowledge of events to be aware that the entire premise of the Russophobic “election-hacking” conspiracy theory is simple nonsense. I am therefore most amused that my friend Randy Credico, who stayed with Nadira and I in Edinburgh a few months ago, has now been subpoenaed by the Senate Inquiry on Russian meddling as the alleged go-between for Roger Stone and Julian Assange, on the brilliant grounds that he knows both of them.

I can tell you from certain knowledge this is absolute nonsense. While Randy is a delightful person who hides a shrewd political mind behind a deliberate crackpot façade, he is the most indiscreet person in the world. He is not anybody’s conveyor of secrets, he would tell it all impulsively on his next radio show! Where Russia fits into this mad conspiracy theory I have no idea. If I had any belief that it was the genuine intention of Senate or Special Counsel inquiries to discover the actual truth, I would be surprised they have never made any contact with me, as opposed to my fleeting houseguests. But as I am well aware the last thing they want to know is the truth, I am not surprised in the least.

On a personal note I have just emerged from a really harrowing period. I had to leave the High Court a month ago straight to Heathrow and fly out to Ghana. Here I have been battling for the last year to save Atholl Energy, a company I chair which had some US $50 million worth of debts. The reason for this was that it had built an extension to the power station it originally constructed for the Ghanaian government, and the Ghanaian government had failed to pay for the extension after Atholl pre-financed it. In line with company philosophy, Atholl had both completed and handed over the extension, despite the non-payment, as the aim is to supply power to the people of Ghana.

The massive debt of course threatened Atholl with going bust. That would mean redundancy for our staff, and potentially many scores of redundancies at local sub-contractors we had been unable to pay in full. The thought of inflicting that mass misery on families, many of whom I know, has stopped me sleeping for months.

The current government of Ghana took over in January and inherited a huge fiscal deficit due to – and there is no other way of saying it – wholesale looting by the last government on a scale which Ghana had never witnessed before. To give an example from our own sector, we install power plant using Siemens equipment at about 1.2 million dollars per MW for a turnkey plant including fuel supply and power evacuation infrastructure. The last government of Ghana were contracting large projects at three times the unit cost or more, using inferior equipment. For $150 million per project to be added corruptly was not unusual.

On top of this, despite having imposed some of the world’s highest electricity tariffs – higher than British tariffs, for example – the revenue collected was mysteriously vanishing. As a result, our $52 million owed was part of a US$2.5 billion energy sector debt the current government inherited.

In effect this has been rescheduled, by the launch of bonds to raise the money to pay off the debts. The bonds are serviced by a levy on petrol and diesel. As usual in Africa, the IMF and World Bank were extremely unhelpful, refusing to sanction a government guarantee on the bonds, which means the energy levy is now to be collected by a new corporate structure and the bond is a corporate one. This structure necessitated an increase in the bond interest rate to 19.5%, which will benefit the financial institutions who have bought them, to the detriment of the Ghanaian public. In my experience every IMF and World Bank policy intervention in Africa always, on analysis, benefits corporations to the disbenefit of the African public.

It is also a gross double standard – if the energy debt had been treated as government debt, Ghana’s “unacceptable” debt to GDP ratio would still have been substantially less that that of many developed countries, including the UK.

The government of Ghana is to be congratulated on its persistence and the brilliance of its financial engineering that enabled it to tackle a huge problem despite obstruction rather than help from the international agencies – the energy sector debt had been threatening to crash the Ghanaian Banking sector, to the benefit of the large international banks.

For our company, we had to take a haircut because the payment was made not in the cash dollars which were owed, but in a mixture of bonds and local currency. We owed banks and suppliers in dollars, so we have been structuring sales and taken the odd hit on discounting. But we have got through it, and as of yesterday have paid off all our creditors in full. There is not a single job loss caused by us, either in our company or at our suppliers and sub-contractors, and that has removed a fear which has been haunting me. I cannot express how tough this period has been – I did not receive a single penny from my major source of income for nearly four years, and as of this morning still haven’t. I am not going to be a millionaire, but I am now going to be OK.

2017 has personally been really difficult. But I can now look forward to the New Year with lightened shoulders, and pick up the rest of my life again.

I am truly sorry that for the last few months speaking invitations and book orders have gone by the wall. I have 21,253 unopened emails!! Not to mention over 5,000 donors to my legal defence fund I have not thanked yet. I promise I shall be less elusive in future.


1,024 thoughts on “Russophobia Goes Comic

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    • Kempe

      Which does nothing to address the points made in the Guardian article but then RT, following the orders of it’s Kremlin paymasters, have been in the vanguard of the propaganda campaign against the White Helmets.

      • duplicitousdemocracy

        There hasn’t been propaganda against the White Helmets. There has been a string of confessions by the terrorists on social media and then unequivocal photographic evidence connecting them to the WH. RT didn’t initiate a report about them until quite recently, a long time after Vanessa Beeley and others had proven the relationship. Almost every civilian surviving war torn areas has claimed that the WH were affiliated to terrorists and did nothing to help ordinary people, even refusing them medical aid.

        • Kempe

          Links?

          It seems to be Assad mouthpiece Vanessa Beeley, who strangely had nothing to say in response to the guardian piece, who’s been in forefront of this smear campaign from the start with articles on Sputnik and RT from 2015. It was she who claimed they’re part funded by George Soros which is palpably untrue.

        • Habbabkuk

          “There hasn’t been propaganda against the White Helmets.”
          ______________________

          That is demonstrably untrue. One needs to look no further than this blog.

          • Kempe

            No it’s a concerted, organised campaign originating from Kremlin funded outlets, spread by a pair of sef-confessed Assad supporting activists and further disseminated by anti-west conspiracy blogs and other useful idiots.

          • Laguerre

            Come on, the White Helmets are completely discredited. Their papers were found in neighbouring offices to those of al-Nusra (allegiance to al-Qa’ida) after the retaking of Aleppo. They were closely involved.

          • duplicitousdemocracy

            Being critical of a fairytale concocted by major media organisations is propaganda? I don’t think so but i’ll tell you what is. A full page picture of a bewildered little Syrian boy called Omran, with the White Helmets supplying the story that it was Assad’s air force that had committed the act. Omran’s father has since said it was impossible to ascertain the source of the missile. Across the board media campaign urging the White Helmets to be awarded a peace prize. A netflix propaganda film based on unverified statistics claiming thousands of Syrians had been pulled from the rubble.
            There is more clear evidence that all along they have been in league with terrorist groups rather than the unselfish rescuers described as being Syrian saviours. Furthermore, if you had done your homework, you would have found out that they have been roundly condemned by some experts, citing their dangerous rescue methods and lack of technique.

          • Macky

            @Kempe, have you seen the comments below the C4 “FactCheck” ? It seems the only person falling for their whitewashing of the White Helmets, is yourself.

      • MJ

        Yes, I’m afraid they got called out long before we were supposed to blame Russia for everything.

    • Steve M

      The most hilarious part of that Guardian article was The mannequin Challenge para. Even a 5 year old wouldn’t swallow that “it’s meant to be faked, it was made as a mannequin challenge” lie. Surely that must be the point where the journo typing this, senior US Tech reporter Olivia Solon, thought I’ve really sold my soul now. All her writings are about technology, she seems to have drawn the short straw on the premise it’s online propaganda therefore the Tech journo will be the one to lose their credibility and type up this steaming pile of BS

  • SA

    https://www.rferl.org/a/trump-security-china-iran-russia-korea-trade-speech/28923988.html

    My parsing of the report as published by Radio Free Europe
    “The White House on December 17 released a new U.S. national security strategy that takes a hard line on China and Russia, saying the two countries are trying to shape a world antithetical to U.S. values and interests.”

    Meaning: they are trying to destroy our hegemony.

    “The document was released shortly before U.S. President Donald Trump was set to present the new strategy, which warns that China and Russia “challenge American power, influence, and interests, attempting to erode American security and prosperity.”
    Meaning: we can no longer have a free pass economically, politically and militarily in the world. They challenge our propaganda.
    “They are determined to make economies less free and less fair, to grow their militaries, and to control information and data to repress their societies and expand their influence,” it says.”

    Meaning: they are attempting to erode the predominance of the dollar as a world currency thereby undermining one of the pillars of American exploitation of the world and control of world economy.

    “The document also states that “the dictatorships” of North Korea and Iran “are determined to destabilize regions, threaten Americans and our allies, and brutalize their own people” and warns that transnational “jihadist terrorists” and criminal groups are “actively trying to harm Americans.”

    Meaning: “The dictatorships” of North Korea and Iran are trying to protect themselves from our nuclear blackmail, and by threatening our oil rich allies and protecting the independence of neighbouring states, threaten our natural monopolies. Their efforts are undermining our “jihadist terrorists” and criminal groups operating opium cartels.

    “The security strategy, which was still being drafted over the weekend, is a formal document that each U.S. president since Ronald Reagan has produced, usually every four years.
    It comes as U.S. relations with Russia have been driven to a post-Cold War low by disagreements over issues including Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, its role in the war in Syria, and its alleged interference in the U.S. presidential election in 2016.”

    Meaning: It comes when US relations with Russia have been deliberately driven by us to a low by disagreements (true) over the issue of the US led coup in Ukraine, it role in Syria which undermined our Jihadists and its non-proven interference in the US elections which have led to my election as POTUS.

    “Since taking office in January, Trump has accused China of unfair trade practices, criticized the “militarization” of the disputed South China Sea, and asked Beijing to do more to pressure North Korea over its nuclear and ballistic-missile programs.”

    Meaning: These unfair practices include where the Chinese used our idea of undercutting the market and producing goods at competitive prices, something which we preach but do not practice. The ‘militarisation’ of the South China Sea threatens our extensive bases in the Pacific Ocean which we own.

    “Ahead of the strategy’s release, the Chinese Foreign Ministry expressed hope that the document will “play a constructive role to promote world peace and stability and contribute to Chinese-U.S. strategic mutual trust in ensuring world peace and security.”

    Meaning: I know this will not happen but can only wish.

    “In a speech on December 12, Trump’s national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, said that Russia and China were “undermining the international order and stability” and “ignoring the sovereign rights of their neighbors and the rule of law.”

    Meaning: Russia and China are challenging our full spectrum dominance. Their attempts at supplanting the dollar with other currency deals is a danger to our right to exploit others which has produced a Pax Americana. They have ignored the rights of their neighbors such as Turkey and KSA in directly invading Syria and providing weapons to Jihadists.

    “In many ways, we vacated a lot of competitive space in recent years and created opportunities for these revisionist powers,” McMaster said, referring to China and Russia.”

    Interesting concept why should competitive space belong only to the US? And is it a sin to occupy competitive space. This guy doesn’t even recognise his own arrogance.Can’t be bothered with the rest.
    Etc….

          • SA

            More condescending comments from you Macky.
            I know we are on the same side but use different methodologies. So let us choose to differ and not patronise each other.

          • Macky

            @SA, I think the bad debating behaviour is on your side, making bizarre statements & accusations, then not responding when pulled-up for them, ie not debating your povs; but like I said no loss, as long as you saw that I responded because my totally innocuous original comment had mysteriously disappeared.

          • SA

            Dear Macky
            “MackyDecember 19, 2017 at 16:39
            @SA, I think the bad debating behaviour is on your side, making bizarre statements & accusations, then not responding when pulled-up for them, ie not debating your povs; but like I said no loss, as long as you saw that I responded because my totally innocuous original comment had mysteriously disappeared.”

            Yet more patronising. The problem is that you seem not to see it. I did state that I may have made an error and wrote a statement that can be misconstrued but then wrote very detailed explanations so you want to persist to use this argument against me. This is in my books ‘bad debating behaviour’. As to my ‘bizarre statements’ it is also your interpretations that they are bizarre, so again ‘bad debating behaviour’.

            As to the debate about religion and politics, you have misquoted me. I said that
            “I just want you to consider two examples of how suppression of political movements plays in the hand of political Islam which is fundamentally undemocratic.” The whole passage is copied below for reference.
            You answered that by stating:
            “I also believe you are wrong to imply that religion is incompatible with democracy;”

            I never said that did I?
            You then sent me a link on an interview which included Abby Martin and a certain presumably neocon sympathiser to test out my sentiments. If you really thought that I would tell you that I sympathise more with the neocon apologist, then it seems to me that it is your interpretation of what I said that is bizarre.

            SA
            December 15, 2017 at 19:53
            As I have written elsewhere in answer to Paul, the Arab world may not be a good place for a democracy at present. This is because religion and tribalism is still an important part of a very paternalistic society. It is not that I am against religion of any kind but I am against its perversion in the ME including in the ‘only democracy’ in the ME.
            A strong political structure and total dissociation of religion from politics are important prerequisites for real democracy. The other main factor in the lack of democratic organisation is the lack of industrialisation which fosters trade unions and similar organisations in arab countries and reliance on oil revenues in many.
            I just want you to consider two examples of how suppression of political movements plays in the hand of political Islam which is fundamentally undemocratic. In Iran during the reign of the Shah there was the most severe oppression of any opposition, but the mosques and religious leaders could not be suppressed. They therefore stepped into the vacuum when the Shah was overthrown, Iran ended as an Islamic republic. Similarly in Egypt the political vacuum created by suppression since the days of Anwar Al Sadat and the 30 years of the Mubarak regime, ended up by the election of Morsi and the uprise of the Muslim Brothers who were about to set up an Islamic Sharia based state in Egypt.
            I know that there is a lot of interference from the west in Arab affairs but other countries, notably Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union, have been able not only to rise from the ashes but to prosper despite the constant plotting. Similarly China has been able to prosper by playing the West’s game better than the west. I hope you can understand my point of view.”

            “Macky
            December 15, 2017 at 21:46
            @SA You really should stop putting Arabs down, there nothing special about them that means that they’re incapable of organising successful democratic societies; comparing them to Russia & China is not meaningful, as both these giants, just through sheer size, are uniquely better equip to resist the malevolent of the West.
            I also believe you are wrong to imply that religion is incompatible with democracy; democracy is essential the right of everybody to have equal civil rights , the main one being it having a say in choosing how they govern themselves; religion will only come into this if it’s the democratic will of the people, so trying to pre-emptily exclude religion from politics is oxymoronically undemocratic by definition. Maybe I need to remind you that Ancient Greece, where Democracy first arose, was a very religious society ! Anyhow please refer to the reply that I addressed to yourself & Giyane on the current Thread, as to why I think religion cannot be excluded from any society.”

            “MackyDecember 18, 2017 at 09:42
            @SA, obviously no obligation, but if you care to respond I have a question; whose arguments do you find yourself sympathising more with;
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hmvg3uQCS-E

            “SA December 18, 2017 at 18:42
            What happened in Syria should be an eye opener. The endless pursuit of Conspiracy theories divert from the real issues and divide people who should be united. It becomes the focus of all efforts. The Syrians could have spent thier time bemoaning the fact that everyone was conspiring against them but they acted rather than carrying on pointing the injustice of the world.
            Proving conspiracies becomes the end in itself. 16 years on we are none the wiser and still debating this. When we know for sure that Blair and Bush lied and the result was mass murder, when we know for sure that the ‘moderate rebels’ in Syria are really a piece of fiction, and when we know that Russia Gate is so much hot air, and we know all these things for sure, but the end result is the same, there are no consequences to the ruling elite, and the masses still vote for them.

            “MackyDecember 19, 2017 at 06:43
            Have no idea why you keep going on about conspiracy theories as a diversion from Syria on a 911 Thread ! Syria is a current tragedy that should be always be brought-up on the current threads of all political blogs; if you’ve been keeping a watch on the current threads on this blog, you’ll find that I’m one of the posters who frequently posts about Syria; it’s not an either/or dichotomy, people can post on a 911 Thread without having bizarre accusation s thrown at them about “diverting” about Syria !!”
            It was very clear from what I wrote that concerted action is what is needed not just internet keyboard warriorship. And followed this on by explaining that after 16 years the same wars continue to happen despite the fact that we know that they all lied and that we need to shift our tactics . I don’t really know why you do not understand this.
            I think that you do post some interesting posts but I am not sure why you decided to pick on me.

          • Macky

            @SA, Bizarre statements equals complaining on a 911 Thread, that discussing CTs diverts from Syria !

            Bad debating = refuses to acknowledge the above.

            “I never said that did I?” (iro my ““I also believe you are wrong to imply that religion is incompatible with democracy;”)

            What ?! These are your clear words; “ A strong political structure and total dissociation of religion from politics are important prerequisites for real democracy.”

            “You then sent me a link on an interview which included Abby Martin and a certain presumably neocon sympathiser to test out my sentiments.”

            Sam Harris is most prominently known as one of the New Atheists, alongside Richard Dawkins, so I wanted to see if you found his anti-religious sentiments more appealing than Abby Martin standing up for Arabs, and I did say that there was no obligation to answer.

          • SA

            That was my answer to you regarding Syria. You may disagree with it or you may think it is not convincing but you cannot persist in saying I refuse to debate.
            “SA December 18, 2017 at 18:42
            What happened in Syria should be an eye opener. The endless pursuit of Conspiracy theories divert from the real issues and divide people who should be united. It becomes the focus of all efforts. The Syrians could have spent thier time bemoaning the fact that everyone was conspiring against them but they acted rather than carrying on pointing the injustice of the world.
            Proving conspiracies becomes the end in itself. 16 years on we are none the wiser and still debating this. When we know for sure that Blair and Bush lied and the result was mass murder, when we know for sure that the ‘moderate rebels’ in Syria are really a piece of fiction, and when we know that Russia Gate is so much hot air, and we know all these things for sure, but the end result is the same, there are no consequences to the ruling elite, and the masses still vote for them.

            As to the Sam Harris /Abby Martin “debate”. Yes indeed that is not only irrelevant to the argument we were talking about, which is the role of Religion in democracy but was a specific debate about the rights and wrongs of Jihad.
            I admit I did not research who Sam Harris was and I do not know much about him. But knowing that he is an atheist does not make say ‘Hurray, he must be right because he is an atheist’. I listened to what the man was saying and found it closest to the discussions proffered by neocons on the subject. All of this had nothing to do with the subject we were discussing.
            Let us therefore go back to basics as you do not seem to understand what I am saying.
            If you have two subjects in a state, one is Christian and the other is a Sunni muslim and there is a dispute between them. In a truly democratic society the law will be equal for all of them in every way and they will be considered equal in the eyes of the law. If you take this dispute to a Sunni state there are many areas of life where the Sunni muslim will have superior rights to the Christian. That is because in this sunni state Shari’a is the law and it is very clearly discriminatory against anyone not practicing the true faith and that is a fact.
            This is why I am saying that religious control of reign of power and control over politics is inherently undemocratic because religion based law is very clear about this. You quoted Tim Farron resigning because his faith. The real reason is that you would find it very difficult if you are a true believer to legislate, say for Gay marriage if you follow the bible literally, and that is why there is still so much debate in the Anglican church about ordination of women and gay marriages and so on. The scriptures are very clear on these matters.
            Now one way around that is exactly what Abby Martin was talking about, that religion evolves. Different sects within all major religions are at different stages of this process. This evolution is a compromise as the world progresses. The other important progression is also to realise that each religion have thier own god, but it is very important to realise that no one should try to impose this god on anyone else by force.

  • Macky

    More on Trump’s “imbecilic” Jerusalem move;

    “American foreign policy out of its own selfish imperialist interests has compounded the crimes of British colonialism by pandering to Zionist regimes and their dubious historical fantasies. Donald Trump’s unbridled support for Israeli crimes and injustices has finally blown up the phony Two-State solution. That solution was never viable, and never meant to be viable.

    By outraging Palestinians, Arabs, Muslims, Christians – and, it has to be said, many honest-thinking Jews – around the world, the focus is now rightly shifting to more realistic options. Ones that actually uphold the long-denied rights of Palestinians.”

    https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2017/12/18/one-state-solution-back-agenda-for-palestine.html

  • Tony_0pmoc

    I just gave our bin man his Christmas Present. He looked at me as if I was mad…and tried to shake my hand but he was wearing thick rubber gloves. He said Thank You Man..You are the first person today. After they were all gone, some of our neighbours came out to collect their bins.

    Tony

  • Tony_0pmoc

    I always thought he was from The Deep South, and I am right. He is from just right down the road. The Deep South of England.

    “Rory Graham is a British singer-songwriter who performs under the name of Rag’n’Bone Man. His singing nom de plume was born out of an obsession with the British sitcom about a rag-and-bone business, Steptoe and Son.Graham’s music career started at the age of 15, when he MCed with a drum and bass crew using the handle Rag ‘N’ Bonez, before becoming the vocalist for Brighton Hip Hop crew Rum Committee.”

    “Graham had retained a love for the blues as a result of his father’s record collection and at 19, encouraged by his dad, he sang at a blues jam in a local pub. He then started getting booked for acoustic gigs and encouraged, started focusing on his own projects. This expression of mortal vulnerability is Rag ‘n’ Bone Man’s first hit single. It reached #1 in several countries including Austria, Belgium, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia and Switzerland. In Germany, it remained on top of the charts for over three months. The song finds Graham lamenting the human condition and his inability as a flawed person to satisfy everyone’s needs.”

    “Some people think I can solve them
    Lord heavens above
    I’m only human after all, I’m only human after all
    Don’t put the blame on me”

    “Only God in heaven is able to provide a complete answer to peoples’ problems.
    This was written by Rory Graham with Ben’s Brother frontman James Hartman. The English band is best known for their single “Let Me Out,” which was nominated for an Ivor Novello Award in the category of Best Song Musically and Lyrically.”

    “Rag’n’Bone Man – Human (Official Video)”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3wKzyIN1yk

    Tony

  • Republicofscotland

    So the MoD are set to buy 124 F-35 fighter jets, having already purchased 14 of them, among other things the jests will be paraded on the decks of the two aircraft carriers that cost the taxpayer £7 billion quid.

    However like the incompetent David Davis, who lied about the existence of impact assessment documents over Brexit. The MoD has also attempted to dodge providing exstimates as to how much these F-35 fighter jets will cost the taxpayer.

    http://archive.is/CNOR9

  • Republicofscotland

    Meanwhile post-Brexit with a US trade deal in sight Trump’s Commerce secretary Wilbur Ross, will strongly urge Westminster to drop strict EU food controls.

    “In the US, where poultry is washed in up to four chemical disinfectants called pathogen reduction treatments (PRTs) and statistics show 97% of chicken breast meat contains pathogens such as salmonella and E.coli.”

    “They found the chemicals were also used there to wash fruit, vegetables and fish which Prof Lang said “shocked” them.”

    “The authors said PRTs were used to reduce the amount of “filth” – especially excrement – on the meat but did not eliminate bacterial contamination.”

    Lets not forget the plethora of GM crops that will also flood our shelves, after a deal is done.

    http://www.theneweuropean.co.uk/top-stories/brexit-dirty-food-deal-1-5323947

    • Dave Lawton

      Republicofscotland
      “In the US, where poultry is washed in up to four chemical disinfectants called pathogen reduction treatments (PRTs) and statistics show 97% of chicken breast meat contains pathogens such as salmonella and E.coli.”
      You are having a laugh aren’t you.Are you aware of the state of the poultry on the shelves at present? Not forgetting the recent 2 sisters chicken scandal.

      • nevermind

        Dave, you had these chickens all your life unless you are vegetarian or vegan, and if you know how to cook them, you also know that these pathogens are destroyed in the cooking process.

        Chickens are the main food in the UK, not to speak of being a valuable export commodity, if salmonella and E coli really were so dangerous to us, how come that not many people get infected with it?

    • Habbabkuk

      ” Russia had stepped in and offered to mediate some sort of peace deal, between the Israeli’s and Palestinians.”
      __________________________

      That reminds me of when Harold Wilson sent one of his junior ministers (a Harold Davies, if memory serves) to Hanoi to try and mediate an end to the Vietnam war.

      • Republicofscotland

        Ah, that was doomed to fail, as Mr Kissinger and Mr Nixon, were determined to push on.

        • Habbabkuk

          Exactly, as anyone other than a showman of the caliber of Mr Harold Wilson should have known in advance. As has often been said, albeit indirectly, on this blog, Mr Putin is nothing if not a great showman.

  • Macky

    More on Trump’s “imbecilic” Jerusalem move;

    “American foreign policy out of its own selfish imperialist interests has compounded the crimes of British colonialism by pandering to Zionist regimes and their dubious historical fantasies. Donald Trump’s unbridled support for Israeli crimes and injustices has finally blown up the phony Two-State solution. That solution was never viable, and never meant to be viable.

    By outraging Palestinians, Arabs, Muslims, Christians – and, it has to be said, many honest-thinking J(e)ws – around the world, the focus is now rightly shifting to more realistic options. Ones that actually uphold the long-denied rights of Palestinians.”

    https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2017/12/18/one-state-solution-back-agenda-for-palestine.html

  • Sharp Ears

    They are not letting the ball drop in NY. Trump really put his foot in it this time.

    UN General Assembly to hold rare emergency session after US vetoes Jerusalem resolution
    Published: 19 Dec 2017

    The UN General Assembly will hold a special session on Thursday, following a request by Arab and Muslim states. The countries have cited the US decision to veto a draft resolution on the status of Jerusalem.

    According to Palestinian UN envoy Riyad Mansour, the General Assembly will vote on a draft resolution calling for Trump’s declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel to be withdrawn. The same resolution, put to the UN Security Council, was vetoed by the United States on Monday.
    /..

    https://www.rt.com/news/413664-un-general-assembly-jerusalem/

  • Macky

    Wise words from Johnathan Cook;

    “Palestinians will have to shame Israel, the US and the watching world by adopting the tools of an anti-apartheid struggle – of non-violent resistance and civil disobedience – to gain equal rights in a single state.”

    With a warning about Wednesday;

    “Following the diplomatic precedent set in May by his boss, Mr Pence is scheduled to visit the Western Wall on Wednesday night in Jerusalem’s occupied Old City and immediately below the Al Aqsa mosque plaza.”

    https://dissidentvoice.org/2017/12/palestinian-rage-will-rise-to-the-surface-in-time/

  • Tony_0pmoc

    Oh Dear. Th Sun’ts written it for real, with the actual dates, with very few slight changes of names. Thereasa may not be happy. She has now been renamed as if she comes from Scouseland.

    He apparently is not worried about being fired, assassinated nor losing his pension. That takes some balls. I think he is working on the principle, that none of these scum in Westminster read books.

    He should know. He works with them every working day even more than Peter Oborne did.

    If in doubt, buy “Scum of The Earth” by Arthur Koestler cos you will get inside his head.

    Tony

    • Republicofscotland

      It sounds more convincing than the real Trump, though that wouldn’t be too difficult. ?

  • Republicofscotland

    As the Catalan vote draws near, unionist leaders pose with ex-soldiers from the Blue Division, who served under direct orders from Hitler.

    http://www.thenational.scot/news/15780472.Diary_from_Catalonia_by_Andy_Raven__what___s_not____normal____about_independence_/

    The Blue Division was the only component of the German Army to be awarded a medal of their own, commissioned by Hitler after the effectiveness it had impeding the advance of the Red Army.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Division

    Spain’s fascist black heart is there for all to see, with the EU and the UN turning its back on Spanish activities in Catalonia, a win for the independence movement, will in my opinion quickly see Rajoy’s fascist thugs posing as a national police force seize back control.

    • Habbabkuk

      “As the Catalan vote draws near, unionist leaders pose with ex-soldiers from the Blue Division, who served under direct orders from Hitler.”
      _____________________

      On a point of fact : let us assume that the youngest Spanish soldiers serving in the Blue Division were 18 when the Division was withdrawn from the Russian front and repatriated (1943/4). That would make such soldiers a sprightly 91 years old in 2017.

      Can’t be too many of them left, RoS. 🙂

    • Habbabkuk

      On a further point of fact : the Spanish blue Division was no more – and no less – under “direct orders from Hitler” than any other division of the German army during WW2.

    • Loony

      The links that you post serve to reinforce two main points (i) As a broad brush national characteristic the Spanish despise death, and are not given to surrendering in order to prolong life and (ii) There is a deep well of indoctrination or insanity that infects certain aspects of Catalan society (just read the comments under the article in your first link).

      Perhaps you are laboring under the illusion that there are parallels between the situation in Scotland and the situation in Catalonia. There are not. Scotland had a vote that was lawfully constituted and it voted against independence. Perhaps in the future it will have another vote and perhaps it will vote for independence. No-one outside of Scotland much cares and the average Englishman would not spill his tea much less his blood to maintain a union with Scotland.

      Catalonia by contrast held an entirely illegal vote and has absolutely no legal right under any circumstances to secede from the rest of Spain. In much the same way that Glasgow cannot secede from Scotland.

      Spain will pay absolutely any price to maintain unity. Outside of a few Scottish zealots no one in the UK will pay any price at all to maintain the Union. Your consistent failure to appreciate this simple point makes you little more than an agent provocateur dedicated to unleashing forces of destruction in Spain – forces which you understand not at all. If you did you would not smear Spaniards as fascists and you would recognize that the Guardia Civil, who you crudely allude to, do not pose as a national police force but are in fact an internal military force whose loyalty to the constitution will not waver.. In Spain Hasta la muerte is a phrase with a meaning, only a fool would ignore that meaning.

      • Republicofscotland

        “As a broad brush national characteristic the Spanish despise death, and are not given to surrendering in order to prolong life ”

        Loony.

        The above sentence is a contradiction.

        • Loony

          No. It is not a contradiction.

          It is in fact a statement that is supported by the very links that you posted. This very same sentiment also finds support in Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia. It is perhaps the only example of something where Adolf Hitler and George Orwell found themselves in agreement.

      • Republicofscotland

        “Catalonia by contrast held an entirely illegal vote and has absolutely no legal right under any circumstances to secede from the rest of Spain.”

        Again Loony, you fail to see the whole picture.

        Article 1.2 of the UN Charter recognises the principle of self-determination – making this a right which transcends any state’s domestic laws. A fundamental principle of international law, is that the provisions of a state’s constitution cannot be deemed inherently legal – they must equate with international law.

        Spain’s domestic laws, were not handed down from the hand of God. Oh sure Rajoy and his fascists would like to think they were.

        If borders were immutable, then they’d be no countries.

        Finally, to claim that a state’s constitution is the sole determinant on the legality of action taken within that state, is to essentially reject the very idea of international law.

        • Loony

          Is that right? So according to you Article 1.2 of the UN Charter would allow Glasgow to declare independence from Scotland? Does it allow the Gorbals to declare independence from Glasgow. Perhaps it allows for you personally to declare independence and set yourself up as a one person sovereign state.

          No-one apart from you thinks that the Spanish constitution was handed down from God. Everyone else believes that it came into being in 1978 and was a crucial plank in allowing for a peaceful and successful transition from a brutal dictatorship into an advanced liberal democracy. A transition that was so successful that there were reprisal killings or punishments and only a brief and abortive attempt by forces of the ancien regime to resist the transition from dictatorship.

          It provided for full political and religious freedoms and devolved considerable powers to 17 Autonomous Communities – with the rights of each Autonomous Community ranking pari passu with each other. It did not transfer all powers to Catalonia and it did not give Catalonia dictatorship rights over the other 16 Autonomous Communities.

          Yes laws can be changed and the Constitution was amended in 1992 in accordance with rules and regulations governing constitutional change. The Constitution can be further amended if so desired – no-one in Spain contends otherwise. However everyone, apart from the Catalans, wish to see any constitutional changes implemented in accordance with the governing rules and regulations. Those arguing for Catalan independence wish to ignore the law, not because it is unjust but because they do not like it.

          • Republicofscotland

            “Is that right? So according to you Article 1.2 of the UN Charter would allow Glasgow to declare independence from Scotland? Does it allow the Gorbals to declare independence from Glasgow. Perhaps it allows for you personally to declare independence and set yourself up as a one person sovereign state.”

            Loony.

            More nonsense, in broad terms it mostly applies to people who have a different, separate, and recognised culture and language etc- those elements could be to what constitutes a people, and their right to self determination.

          • Loony

            OK so when I look up Article 1.2 of the UN Charter will I find the phrase “it mostly applies to people who have a different, separate, and recognised culture and language etc”?

            My guess is I wont.

            Given the British propensity for inviting immigrants into the country and then promptly dumping them into some post industrial wasteland that no-one else wants to live in I think you will find plenty of areas in the UK that fit your definition. Take Nelson in Lancashire. In 2011 it had a population that was over 40% Asian. It should comfortably exceed 50% by 2021. Asians have a “separate and recognized culture and language etc” so should Nelson be able to declare independence?

      • Republicofscotland

        “If you did you would not smear Spaniards as fascists”

        More dross Loony, you just can’t stop digging can you.

        https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-4gJhgVZjgLU/UMTKr8HldtI/AAAAAAAABVc/UHYuLkmhA6I/s1600/670201-spain-dictator-salute.jpg

        You’ll find hundreds of those on the web, and you can even listen to them sing the Franco fascist song Cara al Sol too boot.

        Every year on November 20th the fascists gather to commemorate the death of their beloved fascist Franco, and give the Nazi salute.

        http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/fascist-salutes-madrid-mark-anniversary-spains-dictator-general-francisco-francos-death-1648057

        • Loony

          This is absolutely inane.

          No-one has claimed that there are no fascists in Spain. Given the history of Spain it would a huge surprise if Spain were to be an entirely fascist free zone. Fascists oppose Catalan independence but so does substantially everyone else. And “substantially everyone else” constitutes by far and away the majority demographic,

          Your tactic is exactly analogous to someone who identifies Robert Black as a Scottish child killer and then smears all Scottish people with the label of child murderer.

          • Republicofscotland

            “This is absolutely inane.”

            That rich coming from you Loony, a person who actually believes Trump is a truther.

  • Sharp Ears

    Russophobia continues to be comical.

    ‘They’ are after Jill Stein now.

    Stein warns of ‘political’ targeting but hands documents over to Senate
    Published: 19 Dec 2017

    Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein announced she is complying with a Senate Intelligence Committee request for campaign documents in the “Russiagate” probe, but warned against politicized targeting.

    “We are cooperating by sharing all communications relevant to the committee’s mission,” Stein wrote in a Facebook post on Tuesday. “We support safeguarding our elections from interference, while at the same time we caution strongly against the targeting of political opposition.”

    The committee is investigating whether there was Russian interference into the 2016 presidential election, and whether the Trump campaign was involved. Russia has consistently denied any interference in the election.’

    /..
    https://www.rt.com/usa/413670-jill-stein-complying-senate-request/

  • Habbabkuk

    Craig was always very open about the amount of donations he received from readers of CM and elsewhere to help pay his legal costs to defend the Jake Wallis libel action. Various figure were mentioned over time.

    I also recall that at the end of the affair Craig offered to repay any contributions should the donors in question so request and to give the remainder of the surplus to two other people involved in legal actions he felt deserving of such support. One of those people was a certain Neil Clarke.

    I wonder if Craig would consider carrying forward his previous openness and tell readers

    – the total amount returned to donors

    – the amount subsequently given to Mr Neil Clark’s fighting fund ?

    • JOML

      Habbabkuk, I was under the impression that donations were on an unconditional basis. Therefore, I don’t think I’m in any position to poke my nose into Craig’s subsequent decisions. It’s a shame the mods decided to delete the previous response to your post, particularly as it was left up for some time before being removed. It’s almost as if you complained to the mods because you were upset at someone asking you to be open , in a similar way you are expecting Craig to be open. If you are in cahoots with the mods, then this reply will also be deleted.
      As an aside, I couldn’t care less for if you made a conditional donation to Craig or not.

      • Habbabkuk

        The deleted post irrelevantly asked me if I had given Craig any money. I replied that I had not. No weasel words and quite open, I’d say.

        • JOML

          Well, Habbabkuk, whoever pays the piper, calls the tune. A good phrase, better than “over-cooked spaghetti!” ?

          • Habbabkuk

            Well, after my post at 19h47 I was rather expecting you to have the grace to withdraw your strange allegations against me and the Moderators, which read as follows:

            “It’s almost as if you complained to the mods because you were upset at someone asking you to be open , in a similar way you are expecting Craig to be open. If you are in cahoots with the mods, then this reply will also be deleted.”

            I now offer you the opportunity to do so…….

            ++++++++++++++++++

            As for pipers and tunes: I wonder why a couple of people (presumably your “pipers”) are reacting in such a strange way to perfectly reasonable questions about what happened to the surplus (if any) from Craig’s defence fund. It is true that most donors probably gave unconditionally (some have said exactly that) and quite a few said that as far as they were concerned he could keep any surplus for himself because it could be seen as a contribution towards defraying the expense of running this blog (I happen to agree with that). People will however recall that it was Craig himself who – spontaneously, very honestly and to his credit – raised the idea of refunds to donors and a contribution to Mr Neil Clark’s fighting fund. Given that fact, it is curious that you appear to be so upset when someone asks about the amounts finally involved.. Had Craig not raised the issue I’m sure no one else would have done (that includes me) and so my questions would never have been asked.

          • JOML

            Habbabkuk, you’ll note I used “if” in my post, rather than a direct allegation, so nothing to withdraw. It’s quite apt you use the term “weasel”, given you use another public forum to describe my post as “inbecilic“ – with your overall comments there making it clear all the “upset” is with yourself. Thought you’d catch on with the spaghetti reference! ?

  • James Dickenson

    “Bearing all this in mind, I ask you to read Olivia Solon’s piece and ask yourself:
    Does any part of it even consider the possibility of Western agendas along the lines sketched out above?
    Are such agendas so manifestly absurd they needn’t be considered?
    Does Solon tell us the White Helmets were formed by a British mercenary?
    Does she tell us the White Helmets had $23 million from the US State Department – at the forefront of America’s regime change offensive – or ask how that sits with White Helmet claims of independence from government funding?
    Does she ask why, after Aleppo was cleared of the terrorists, we’ve seen no vox pop footage of its Syrians pouring out their gratitude for WH help in their hour of need?
    How reliant is her piece on our long nurtured and barely conscious predisposition to believe that Western media tell us the truth, Russian media nothing but falsehood?
    Has ‘conspiracy theory’ joined ‘fake news’, ‘mansplaining’ and ‘whataboutery’ as a way of dismissing arguments without the inconvenience of addressing their specifics? “
    https://off-guardian.org/2017/12/19/guardian-trashes-white-helmet-sceptics/

    • Loony

      Sure the Indonesian assault on East was first initiated “way back in the mid 1970’s” although this was some years after the initial Israeli displacement of Palestinians. I do not suppose that many of the most ardent supporters of the Palestinian cause would be particularly moved by such an argument.

      Social media is not so relevant – plenty of people were making a fuss about South Africa in the mid 1970’s, and seemed to do so quite effectively notwithstanding the absence of social media.

      Maybe East Timor was kept hidden – but it could only have been hidden provided there was no general interest in finding out. It couldn’t have been that hidden as plenty of arms were flowing into Indonesia – so someone must have known there was a burgeoning market for arms sales, Sadly the population of East Timor comprised the “wrong kind of people” and few westerners saw any kudos in crying over their corpses. There are plenty of the wrong kind of people – Rwandans, Cambodians, the Burmese (although they are rapidly becoming the right kind of people)., Algerians (right kind of people in 1960, the wrong kind of people in 1990). It is a long list.

      It is not hard to eliminate Islamic terrorism, and it has nothing to do with mushroom clouds. There are no Islamic terrorists in Poland,

      I can say that for the majority of South Africans, their condition remain “broadly unchanged” simply because that is true. People living on the ragged edge really don’t care about humiliation they care about food. People do not care who is the proximate cause of their oppression or who is inflicting violence on them. They just want it to stop. They do not want to see replacement oppressors. In common with most people I would prefer not be poor and oppressed – I do not have a favorite oppressor. Do you?

      It is my belief that the white minority in South Africa are at material risk and that their long term survival is in doubt. The white minority includes all white people not all of whom were former “white rulers” or “land owners” Are all white people in the US rulers or landowners? Given that apartheid ended over 20 years ago quite a number of white people would have never lived under apartheid..

      It is true that a number of Boer farmers have been induced to relocate to other parts of Africa – principally Mozambique and parts of West Africa. Is that not strange the terrible oppressor Boer being paid to move to other black African countries. Others too have left, most have not because no-one will them in. Europe seems to prefer people from unknown backgrounds, with unknown skills who speak unknown languages. Boers too are the wrong kind of people and they are most definitely not the kind of people that Human Rights Organisation are interested in. Perhaps after they have all been killed someone will pop up somewhere and claim that the problem was “hidden” and they did not know the gravity of the situation.

      • Macky

        @Loony, nice try but I think that you’ve fudged every single point, and failed to address the inconsistencies I pointed out previously.

        “. I do not suppose that many of the most ardent supporters of the Palestinian cause would be particularly moved by such an argument”

        What argument ? You keep bringing-up East Timor as an example, claiming that it “elicited markedly different response to the atrocities committed by Israel”, which is a nonsense comparison for many reason, not least being that Israel is still killing people with the overt complicity of our Western Governments, whereas Indonesia committed it’s crimes in East Timor back in the last century, with the covert complicity of various Western Governments. Your problem stems from bizarrely using the past tense for the Israeli crimes that people are currently highlighting, as they are crimes being committed now in the present. Your argument seems to be that this flawed, and frankly bizarre comparison, proves “moral relativism” on the part of people protesting at the on-going suffering of the Palestinians, which is an argument which I think you will find not many takers for.

        “Social media is not so relevant – plenty of people were making a fuss about South Africa in the mid 1970’s, and seemed to do so quite effectively notwithstanding the absence of social media.”

        Again, another not very meaningful comparison between the past & the present; even ignoring social media, the World was a very different place back then , political awareness/activism is much changed, especially in the aftermath of 911, TWOT, Iraq, Libya & Syria etc; The pretence of our Elites foster, that everything done in our name is for noble reasons, is being exposed as a sham more powerfully every day, especially since the raise of alternative media & social media; watching the brutality being committed against the Palestinians, and knowing the complicity of our governments in this, is an affront to our humanity & notion of being the “civilised” West, that why Israel provokes the attention is gets.

        Your coy comment that there are no Islamic terrorist in Poland as an explanation as your earlier comment that Islamic terrorism could be “eliminated” with the “necessary counter measures”, would tend to suggest that perhaps you have a problem with living in the multi-cultural West.

        “People living on the ragged edge really don’t care about humiliation they care about food. People do not care who is the proximate cause of their oppression or who is inflicting violence on them.”

        This will be news for black South Africans who fought for decades, & demonstrated in their millions, many giving their lives, to be free; to stop the constant indignity of living second-class lives under a racist system.

        “It is my belief that the white minority in South Africa are at material risk and that their long term survival is in doubt.”

        It may well be your belief, but it’s not based on any deliberate State oppression, whereas the plight of the Palestinians is, with the complicity of Western States; these are the people at material risk, in which we have some responsibility for.

        • Loony

          Let us just examine one point from your latest tome

          “Your coy comment that there are no Islamic terrorist in Poland as an explanation as your earlier comment that Islamic terrorism could be “eliminated” with the “necessary counter measures”, would tend to suggest that perhaps you have a problem with living in the multi-cultural West.”

          There is nothing coy about the statement that Poland has no Islamic terrorism. It would appear to follow logically that other countries (especially European countries) could, if they wished follow the same policies as Poland and that if they did follow these policies then it is reasonable to suppose that Islamic terrorism would be eliminated.

          It is exactly the same as saying that if you drink a bottle of Vodka you will become intoxicated. It is a true and reasonable statement, it does not contain any advice or express any preference as to whether a person should drink a bottle of vodka. Similarly no advice is proffered or preference expressed as to the desirability of following Polish policies with regard to Islamic terrorism. It is therefore not suggestive of anything at all.

          Oh, and here is a short video for you. It is of the President of South Africa performing a witty little ditty entitled “Shoot the Boer” Maybe you can find a video of Theresa May leading a chorus of “Shootl the Welsh” or something similar..

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHLTKZ05zM4

          • Macky

            @Loony, Your five word response, the cryptic sentence “There are no Islamic terrorists in Poland”, when asked about your comment about “eliminating” Islamic terrorism,, is the very definition of coy.

            Now you’ve proffered the additional “if they wished follow the same policies as Poland”, without elaborating what these policies are; are you being coy again, perhaps you can be enticed out of your coyness to explain exactly what the Polish policies are ?

            BTW here’s something better than your video clip showing the singing of a song that’s actually banned in South African Court as Hate Speech;

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cik7jpx4Pas

        • Loony

          Polish policies are quite simple – they refuse to admit into Poland any non European immigrants. As a direct consequence of this policy Poland does not suffer from any Islamic terrorism.

          Any other European state could, if it had chosen, followed the same policies. Most western European countries did not choose to do so. The key word in all of this is choice. Different countries have made different choices. Different choices have different consequences. Is this not obvious?

          Interesting to learn that Kill the Boer is banned in South Africa – perhaps you can do me a favor and point to the court case where the President of South Africa was arraigned for breaking the law.

          Here is Julius Malema – he is not calling for the slaughtering of white people – at least for now.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_XSx6KeTxwo

          Perhaps you can find a video of Vince Cable not calling for the slaughter of the Welsh – at least for now.

  • giyane

    ITN was today special pleading for ally those poor little politicians who genocide Muslims for Israel for s living not to be subjected to harsh words on the internet. MSM means Mask Sionist Murder

  • Sharp Ears

    Messrs Juncker and Tusk should take a break from their meetings with Theresa and head down to Lesbos. There they would see the most disgusting sight of refugees from the West’s wars living in squalid and filthy conditions in a refugee camp run by the Greek government using EU taxpayer’s funds.

    The refugee families living among filth and faeces in camp in Greece
    People who are fleeing from war are forced to live in squalid Greek island camps as the EU struggles to process asylum claims.
    https://news.sky.com/story/the-refugee-families-living-among-filth-and-faeces-in-camp-in-greece-11177872

    Video, photographs and text. An excellent report by Mark Stone.

    • John Goss

      Sharp Ears thank you for a disturbing report which only highlights just how much we have to thank Tony Blair, George W Bush, David Cameron, Barrack Obama and those who piull their strings for the total destabilisation of the middle east as a homage to Israel. There I said it. If this comment gets removed it just demonstrates the power of those with the power.

    • Macky

      Yes it was just one year ago, the much vaunted EU-Turkey Refugee Deal. Basically an immoral mix of blackmail & bribery, along the lines of “Turkey would receive €6 billion to assist the vast refugee community hosted in the country, Turkish nationals would be granted visa-free travel to Europe”; well all for nothing, as guess who still ends up trying to look after the desperate refugees, yes poor Greece.

      At least Amnesty has got this about right;

      https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2017/03/the-eu-turkey-deal-europes-year-of-shame/

    • Loony

      This sounds awful – why not make a real and measurable difference and invite some of them to live with you?

      • Macky

        A rather telling fallacious comment; perhaps you’ve taken some umbrage in having to justify some of your comments.

        • Loony

          As I am sure you are aware fallacious means something based on a mistaken belief, Synonyms include false, untrue, wrong, incorrect, faulty, flawed, inaccurate, inexact, imprecise, mistaken, misguided, misleading, deceptive, delusive, illusory,, specious, fictitious, spurious, distorted.

          With this definition in mind do you contend that describing the conditions of people “living among filth and faceas in camp in Greece” as awful is fallacious.

          Or do you contend that a specific suggestion that their living conditions would be improved in a real and measurable way should concerned citizens offer specific assistance as being fallacious.

          Or alternatively perhaps you have an inadequate grasp of the English language.

          • Macky

            If I was you I would worry more about your apparent inability to debate your povs, as my English is good enough to know that I can use fallacious is the sense that your comment was specious.

          • Loony

            OK “specious” means superficially plausible, but actually wrong.

            So which sentiment is wrong – that people living in squalid camps in Greece is awful or that these people would have their lives improved in a real and measurable way if concerned European citizens offered specific assistance?

            According to your own words you believe that people in Greek camps are not suffering and it is wrong to offer assistance to them.

    • Macky

      Why do I keep thinking back to that previous piece of British ship-building hubris, the Titanic ?!

    • Old Mark

      Monteverdi-

      These disturbing reports about the sea worthiness of our white elephant aircraft carrier raise a number of questions-
      1 If the ship was assembled at Rosyth as reported it is hardly a good advertisement for the capabilities of the workforce there. The suspicion that the Rosyth yard got the bulk of the work as some sort of quid pro quo for Scotland’s basing of our pathetic ‘independent nuclear deterrent’, and not on cost or efficiency grounds, must only increase as a result of such reports
      2 If the problem lies with a particular component manufactured at another yard the capability issue extends beyond Rosyth
      3 What is the age profile of the Rosyth workforce ie how many are over 50, and had the benefit of a real, pre Thatcher apprenticeships, and how many are under 50, and the dubious beneficiaries of Thatcher/Major & Blair era mickey mouse apprenticeships ?
      4 Did the workforce at Rosyth detailed to work on these ships comprise entirely of full time employees of the yard, in permanent, pensionable positions, or were some of them contracted in from agencies on lesser terms and conditions ? if a mix of the 2 applies what was the mix ?

      If, as seems likely, the application of neo liberal bottom line means all and bugger the consequences practices (precarious employment patterns, skimping on investment in a trained workforce) contributed this shambles, will anyone in the current or previous government own up to this (don’t hold your breath)

      And if, as also seems likely, naval defence contracts are disproportionately given to yards north of the border for political reasons, will this shambles elicit a change of government policy in this area (again, don’t hold your breath)

      • fred

        It is a faulty seal on one of the propeller shafts. The reason ships go on sea trials is to find little teething troubles like this. It is easily fixed with no need to go into dry dock to do it.

        All ships leak to some extent, that is why they are fitted with pumps. This is a non news item, a load of fuss about nothing.

        • Republicofscotland

          Spot on Fred, the ACA group (the companies that built it) has a six month snag period, in which issues such as this can be dealt with.

        • reel guid

          Snagging work on a new ship, building or bridge is only unacceptable when the thing in question was built by an SNP government, eh Fred?

  • Sharp Ears

    Of course, there’s another in the pipeline, HMS Prince of Wales. Will the name be changed to King Charles 111 (LOL) in the event of a regal demise before it is named and commissioned?

    These now redundant carriers were the brainchildren of the Blair Brown partnership as a glorified workfare project. Brown became PM one month before the announcement.

    ‘The contract for the vessels was announced on 25 July 2007, by the then Secretary of State for Defence, Des Browne, ending several years of delay over cost issues and British naval shipbuilding restructuring. The contracts were signed one year later on 3 July 2008, after the creation of BVT Surface Fleet through the merger of BAE Systems Surface Fleet Solutions and VT Group’s VT Shipbuilding, which was a requirement of the UK Government.’

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queen_Elizabeth-class_aircraft_carrier

    That word ‘solutions’! Don’t hear it around much now. Most of the ‘solutions’ were failures.

    • Sharp Ears

      Meanwhile…..

      Cutbacks leave Britain with no major warships overseas
      December 20 2017

      You’ve reached your article limit
      Wait until next week to read more, or subscribe from less than £1 a week
      Get access now
      Cutbacks leave Britain with no major warships overseas
      Deborah Haynes, Defence Editor
      December 20 2017, 12:01am, The Times

      The Queen at the commissioning of HMS Queen Elizabeth, one of many navy ships stuck in Portsmouth Photo

      Britain has no major warships on operations anywhere in the world for the first time in living memory.

      The absence of any of the Royal Navy’s 19 frigates and destroyers overseas was a “strategic embarrassment for the country and a strategic embarrassment for defence”, a senior serving military officer said.

      All six Type 45 destroyers are in Portsmouth because of a combination of mechanical problems, routine maintenance, a shortage of manpower and the need to give sailors leave over Christmas.

      The navy’s 13 Type 23 frigates are split between Portsmouth and Devonport in Plymouth for similar reasons, though HMS St Albans is on duty protecting home waters.

      The senior officer said that the inability of the navy to have at least one of its “main…
      Paywall

      https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/cutbacks-leave-britain-with-no-major-warships-overseas-nkqlsgfc7

  • Clydebuilt

    BREXIT is indeed about regaining control . . . . Yeah The Tories regaining control of their serfs.

    In Monday’s National Gove and pals wanting to ditch the EU directive that limits the maximum hours workers can be forced to do.

    It’s back to the 70’s and “Rip of Britain”. Where Brits had to work much longer to pay for a car than their European neighbours.

    since we joined the EU we’ve slowly caught up with EU quality of life, the reversal of these gains has already started!

    Could easily be soo bad that it’ll bring on Independence. But we need to maintain a majority for independence at Holyrood

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Clydebuilt December 20, 2017 at 11:24
      All the more reason to ditch the Tories and get Jeremy in.

      • reel guid

        Why? So Scotland can be coerced into a tiny fraction less of a major brexit disaster by PM Corbyn, instead of the full monty brexit disaster with the Tories?

  • Republicofscotland

    The blunderous Brexit deal still has years to run, but already it’s costing us hundreds of millions of pounds every week according to this.

    “Research by the Financial Times suggests the value of Britain’s output is now around 0.9 per cent lower than it would likely have been if the UK had stayed in the EU – just under £350m a week.”

    http://www.thenational.scot/news/15780447.Brexit_costs_UK___350m_a_week_say_analysts/?ref=mrb&lp=38

    Meanwhile in another blow to buffoonish Brexiteers master plan, on reviving Empire 2.0, Michel Barnier has ruled out a Brexit deal for Britain’s financial services.

    However there’s no need to panic, a leading Brexit botcher Edward Leigh, has called for the EU to hand over 5000 bottles of wine and 250 bottles of spirits.

    Mr Leigh wants a pomp ritual where the bottles are ceremoniously shipped up the Thames by people dressed in the full regalia, and a detatchment of guards then unloads the lot, as we the plebs, applaud a great British victory over Europe. Hip, hip hooray.

    It’s madness I tell you, madness.

  • Ian

    As the tumbleweed continues to blow through Craig’s blog, and a handful of hobby horse riders carry on squabbling, I wonder has he abandoned it? Some people would like to read his thoughts on current matters, but have no interest in the old boy’s pub talk it has become.

  • Paul Barbara

    Siemens equipment is vulnerable to Stuxnet, unless they have developed a ‘patch’. So if the West gets the hump, bang goes something or other.

    Is ‘Russiagate’ tailing off? Far from it. They’re now going after Jill Stein!
    ‘Jill Stein Denounces Probe over ‘Collusion with Russians’:
    http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=20750%27%20style=%27color:#pop1

    So the plot gets thicker and thicker, like it’s proponents. All us common folk can do is check under our beds before sleep – those Reds are everywhere.

  • Republicofscotland

    As Trump, switches from getting North Korea round a table, to then saying NK needed to earn its place, we now have the Great Satan’s second favourite minion (Israel is numero uno) upping its propaganda.

    “North Korea is on its way to developing missiles capable of striking London, the Defence Secretary has warned.”

    “Urging Britain to “step up” in dealing with dictator Kim Jong Un, Gavin Williamson has delivered a chilling alert over the “massive threat” from Pyongyang.

    It is in reality, far more likely that the west, and its allies (Israel, Saudi Arabia Japan etc,) are a greater threat to NK, and world peace in general.

    https://news.sky.com/story/defence-secretary-warns-of-north-koreas-massive-threat-to-britain-11177454

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