Ecuador and Assange 397


It is for the government of Ecuador, not the UK, to determine who is an Ecuadorian citizen. It is for the government of Ecuador, not the UK, to determine who is an Ecuadorian diplomat.

It is not in the least unusual for Julian Assange to become an Ecuadorian citizen. Having been granted political asylum, and having lived for over five years under Ecuadorian jurisdiction, naturalisation is a perfectly normal step. There are a great many refugees in this country who are now naturalised UK citizens. Julian appears suitably proud of his new citizenship, and rightly so.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office appears to be putting out a story that it has refused to accredit Assange as an Ecuadorian diplomat. As the Guardian reports:
“Earlier this week the UK’s Foreign Office revealed that Ecuador had asked for Assange, who was born in Australia, to be accredited as a diplomat. The request was dismissed.”

I have no knowledge that the Ecuadorian government ever notified Assange as a member of diplomatic staff of its mission. But it has every right to appoint Assange, now an Ecuadorian citizen, as an Ecuadorian diplomat if it so chooses. Ecuador cannot tell the UK who may or may not be a British diplomat, and the converse applies.

The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations – to which the UK and Ecuador are both party – is the governing international law and determines the obligations to respect diplomatic immunity. It is crystal clear (Article 4,1) that the need to obtain agreement in advance of the receiving state only applies to the Head of Mission – ie the Ecuadorian Ambassador. For other staff of the mission the sending state (in this case, Ecuador) “may freely appoint” the other members of the mission, (Article 7), subject to provisos in Articles 5,8,9 and 11. Plainly the only one of these which applies in the Assange case is Article 9. Julian Assange is persona non grata – unwelcome -to the UK government. That is a legitimate reply to notification, but comes following the appointment; it does not pre-empt the appointment.

Here is the key point. A member of staff below head of mission can already have entered the country before appointment, and their diplomatic immunity starts from the moment their appointment is notified, and NOT from the moment it is accepted. Article 39 (i) could not be plainer:

1.Every person entitled to privileges and immunities shall enjoy them from the moment he enters
the territory of the receiving State on proceeding to take up his post or, if already in its territory, from
the moment when his appointment is notified to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs or such other ministry
as may be agreed.

So to summarise.

There is no requirement for prior approval before arrival of staff below Ambassador, and it is just a notification regime (Article 10). If the FCO is telling the truth and Ecuador notified the UK of its appointment of Julian Assange as a member of diplomatic staff, the UK can only have refused by declaring Assange persona non grata. That does not remove his diplomatic immunity which started the moment he was notified. It continues until he has been given the chance to leave the country in “a reasonable time”. (Article 9.2, and 39.2).

The immunity of envoys has been universally regarded as essential to inter-state relations for thousands of years. The reasons why that immunity must start at notification are obvious if you think it through. The FCO bragging about refusing the alleged Ecuadorian request has been carried in virtually the entire neo-liberal media. Not one article, anywhere, has reflected anything approaching the applicable legal arguments. I am again left wondering whether mainstream media journalists are simply entirely incompetent, or deeply corrupt.

I suppose both.


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397 thoughts on “Ecuador and Assange

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  • Andrew Nichols

    The British junior Exceptionalist nation obeys international law when it feels like it. We all know that. just apity we dont have Corbyn as PM. This would have been sorted almost straight away post election.

    • Habbabkuk

      I do not believe that that would have been the case because it would have involved the executive (the govt) blatantly interfering in the judicial process ( a charge of breaking his bail has been laid against Mr Assange). Such interference is a feature not of liberal democracies such as the UK but of arbitrary, non-democratic regimes and it is inconceivable that Mr Corbyn would have entered into such territory.

      • giyane

        It is inconceivable that Jeremy Corbyn …

        There’s more than one way for him to do it. Corbyn has already asserted that there has not been a just war fought by the UK military since 1945. There is mountains of evidence stacked up to vouch for the truth of that statement of which a tiny part is WikiLeaks. All that Corbyn would have to do to protect Assange from being arrested is to assert that in the opinion of HMG and others that Sweden had lost its chance of prosecuting him on the false pretext of rape, and that the US was trying silence an important witness against the illegal invasion of Iraq.

        boris Johnson huffing and puffing about Sadiq Khan spoiling the UK-US special relationship demonstrates how thin the ice is on which Boris is standing, especially with regard to the future of Libya and Syria. In fact there is no ice. Boris is standing on the bottom of the lake.

        • giyane

          … or should that be swamp? In the post-Trump world Boris May and Cameron will be compressed into diesel in the newly-drained NWO Jurassic swamp.

      • Penny

        Habbabkuk is entitled to ‘believe’ what he wants but the evidence contradicts his tinted opinion with regard ‘the executive blatantly interfering in the judicial process’ in ‘liberal’ democratic Britain.

        The British government has denied access to justice system for the victims of Bloody Sunday, where civil rights marchers, men, women, children and a priest were gunned down by British soldiers. These soldiers will never spend a day in jail for these murders.

        They have also denied access to justice system more recently to large numbers of Iraqi and Afghani families who’s civilian relatives have been murdered in cold blood by British soldiers. Also never to serve time in jail for their crimes.

        And then there is the Libyan family abducted and delivered to Gaddafi’s torturers on the alleged instruction of Jack Straw. They too are denied access to the British ‘justice’ system.

        Just a couple of examples of the British government interference in the judicial process. One can only conclude; Britain is far from a ‘liberal’ democracy, but more aligned to ”non-democratic regimes” when it comes to the judicial process. That right Habbabkuk?

        • Habbabkuk

          No, Penny – silly, tendentious and wrong.

          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

          “Just a couple of examples of the British government interference in the judicial process.”

          I suspect you have exhausted your list of examples. Not too bad for a thirty year time span.

          • JOML

            Birmingham Six, Miners Strike, Hillsborough… as Penny said, you are entitled to believe what you want.

          • Habbabkuk

            @ JOML

            Birmingham Six – a miscarriage of justice (mainly the police at fault); miners strike – the enforcement of the law of the land by the police; Hillsborough – a cover up of incompetence through police lying.

            All deplorable but nothing to do with the executive interfering in the judicial process, which is what I thought we were discussing.

          • JOML

            Habbabkuk, it depends whether you believe the police were working independently throughout, with no political pressure.

          • Habbabkuk

            JOML

            Of course the police were conscious of the desire of the govt(and even more so, of public opinion) that the Birmingham bombers be apprehended swiftly and of course the police were left in no doubt that the govt expected them to enforce the laws relating to the conduct of strikes (eg, the law on secondary picketing) – no public entity acts in a vacuum.

            But your examples do not invalidate my point: the breach of the bail laws exists and the charges exist, and for the government to attempt to say that there was no breach of those laws( and therefore to lift the charges) would fly in the face of reality and constitute executive interference in the judicial process.

          • SA

            Habbabkuk
            The most blatant interference with the judicial process was the case of David Kelly, where instead of a coroners court dealing with an unexpected death as per the law of the land, the government chose the route of an enquiry with no real power and ability to answer the questions that needed to be answered. More tangentially , successive governments have blocked due judicial processes to arrest and bring to trial a certain mass war criminal with the initials TB.

      • Macky

        Never heard of the Al-Yamamah case ? The closing down/month-balling child abuse investigations, carefully limited enquirers stuff full of Government placemen, etc, etc

        In fact every time the Government claims that some suspect wrong-doing is “not in the National interest” , that’s a corruption of the judicial process.

        • Sharp Ears

          Which member of the Cabinet is responsible for the police? The Home Secretary.

          Over the last 30 years, (a period we are led to believe (above) was a golden age) we had, successively

          Waddington
          Baker
          K Clarke
          Howard
          Straw
          Blunkett
          C Clarke
          Reid
          Smith
          Johnson
          May
          Rudd

          Name me one who does not possess fascistic tendencies.

          PS May had the longest tenure – 6 years – and don’t we know it.

          btw the miscarriages of justice that have been listed above are just the tip of the iceberg.

          • Habbabkuk

            Miscarriages of justice are regrettable, but are a different issue to the question of whether the govt should interfere in the process of duly applying the law of the land to Mr Assange.

            As for the list of Home Secretaries, it is indeed a long one. Of course, ministers tend to change jobs rather frequently – arguably too frequently – but that phenomenon is not limited to the office of Home Secretary and nor is the UK unique in this respect in European terms. I’ll leave it to readers to judge your thought that all of the Home Secretaries listed had “fascistic tendencies”.

  • Sharp Ears

    A link is disclosed. How come it was on Weiner’s laptop. He did not have a job in government. He was in the Congress. Huma Abedin, his wife, – ‘is an American political staffer who was vice chair of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign for President of the United States. Prior to that, Abedin was deputy chief of staff to Clinton, who was U.S. Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013. She was also the traveling chief of staff and former assistant for Clinton during Clinton’s campaign for the Democratic nomination in the 2008 presidential election.’

    January 10, 2018 — Comments 53
    Weiner Laptop Doc: Assange Warrant Issued 2 Weeks After Swedish Election Leaks Warning
    from Zero Hedge
    https://off-guardian.org/2018/01/10/weiner-laptop-doc-assange-warrant-issued-2-weeks-after-swedish-election-leaks-warning/
    ‘A confidential document found on Anthony Weiner’s laptop reveals that the United States Embassy in Stockholm, Sweden expressed concerns in 2010 that WikiLeaks would release classified US documents related to Sweden ahead of the September 19 Swedish election, tipping the vote towards the Pirate Party. The subject of the cable reads “Wikileaks: The Pirate Party’s White Horse Into Sweden’s Parliament?” ‘

    • giyane

      So Sweden’s charges against Assange were directly from the Clinton team. The neo-liberal swamp which also happens to contain the UK neo-liberal dinosaurs, has now been drained. Sir Peregrine Parson’snose tells the Ecuadorian ambassador Trump wants Assange freed without the US or UK losing face.

      Blair, Cameron, May and Boris are now thrashing like tadpoles in the sludge, and might be able to escape overland if they are lucky enough to change into frogs. The intellectual vacuum which is the Tory party and New Labour’s right get replaced with mammal prototypes and the rest is evolution.

  • Node

    “The British are so desperate to serve their Washington master that ….”

    “The British excuse for a once proud government’s continuing servitude to Washington ….”

    “For the British, serving Washington is a higher calling than the honor of their country.”

    Britain is not a servant of the US. Both Britain and the US take their orders from the international banksters.

    Imagine two performing poodles in a circus, a big one holds a hoop in its mouth while the little one jumps through it. The little one is not subservient to the big one – both are doing the bidding of the ringmaster.

  • SA

    BBC radio 4 says there is a suspected chlorine gas attack in east Ghouta where 6 people reported breathing difficulty but got better quickly. Would the Syrian army, making a lot of progress in Idlib, risk international condemnation by half heartedly using chlorine without achieving any military advantage in East Ghouta? The BBC appears to be spreading fake news again.

  • Sharp Ears

    O/T but important. The debts are massive. Carillion is heavily involved in the UK infrastructure. Rail, hospitals, schools, prisons, Crossrail and so on. So much for the rush to privatisation since Thatcher>Major>Blair>Brown>Cameron>May

    HS2 construction giant on brink of collapse
    Troubled Carillion wins HS2 building contract
    Carillion could crash into administration as soon as Monday if the Government does not back a rescue plan, Sky News learns.
    https://news.sky.com/story/carillion-teeters-on-brink-as-board-eyes-last-ditch-rescue-plan-11205705

    Hate to say ‘I told you so’ but HS2 will never happen.

    BBC have been running the story for several days. Their latest – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-42675427 – Govt. talks this weekend.

      • giyane

        MJ
        London has always hated Birmingham. After the war Birmingham was restricted by London as a financial centre. the usual provincial narrow-mindedness of Southerners to anything north of Watford Gap. This is an extraordinarily unnecessary project. Nobody will be able to afford the fare. Now if they had linked Birmingham airport to London, and scrapped expansion of Heathrow, things might have been different.
        London myopia prevents the sacrifice of two of its sacred cows, the city and the airport, at once.

      • Shatnersrug

        HS2 has already started, they’ve knocked down the old temperance hospital on Hampstead roadand evicted tonnes of council tenants from buildings supposedly on the new route, although seeing as the track is to follow existing lines I can only see it as an excuse to redevelop old council land in a now prime location.

        As for Carillian the minute they announce they are in discussions with govt about converting their debt into assets you realise that the plan is to divvy up the debt into various “equities” and then have the government buy them. The government has been collecting bad debt disguised as equity since 2007, it will sit there until they cancel it out, and our lives will become more expensive and difficult because if it.

      • giyane

        Privatisation doesn’t work only because the financial people see it as a personal pay cheque. The money is never used for the intended payment of debts. Neo-liberal Capitalism does not regulate or police greed and financial mismanagement. It is dead.

    • Laguerre

      “Hate to say ‘I told you so’ but HS2 will never happen.”

      It might do if the budget hadn’t been grossly inflated to fill the pockets of the Tory landowners. The French TGV lines work well financially, at – what is it? – a quarter of the cost per mile of HS2.

      • Habbabkuk

        I was under the impression that certain French TGV lines (eg, Paris-Lille, Paris-Strasbourg…) cost less to build per mile because the cost of the land (mainly agricultural) was quite low (compared to the UK, here). Do the TGV lines run at a profit (because the SNCF as a whole certainly doesn’t)?

  • Republicofscotland

    The ill placed determination, by the Tories, mainly machinations, will see Britain dragged out of the EU, and leave these islands in economic turmoil amongst other things.

    So for Theresa May to now claim that it was the Tories and not a EU initiative, for the policy to protect consumers from rip-off payment card charges. Has seen her, and her party mocked.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brexit-credit-card-charges-prime-minister-theresa-may-eu-rules-a8157521.html

  • giyane

    On 5 January 2018 Erdogan was in Paris at the Elysee, plotting the next phase in Al Qaida’s war against Islam. Obviously there’s no point talking about relations with the EU, with London. The discussions included the same old,sameold, French plan to appease Erdogan by physically removing the Kurds in Eastern Turkey to a new state in Northern Syria.

    It is however important to note that Thierry Myessan has no understanding whatsoever about the religion of Islam and an extraordinarily racist agenda against the Kurdish people whom he calls Nomads in the Euphrates plain. One small problem with his crackpot theories about the Kurds is that they have lived in the same place with their capital at Nineveh near Babylon since the second millennium BC. Their lives were transformed by the Captivity of the children of Israel in 600 BC, who mixed with them, adopted their monotheism and gave them their language , Aramaic, which Jesus pbuh spoke in 0 AD.

    Pointless to mention that at this time France was not France, nor was Turkey Turkey. The nomadic part of Myessan’s description of the Kurds appears to be entirely projection from his own imagination.

    Anyway he writes: Turkey and France plan to : ” continue the wars through the jihadists, shifting the centre of fighting from Syria to the Horn of Africa and the Arab peninsula. This is why in the course of the past six months, Erdogan has discreetly led 1,500 soldiers to Somalia and 35,000 to Qatar. He is moving others to Sudan and is getting ready to do the same thing in Djibouti.

    Paris’s position: to re-establish mutual commitments, secretly taken in 2011, by Juppé and Davutoğlu with London giving the go ahead. Above all, to establish a new State in the North of Syria to which Turkey would be able to expel its Kurds ”

    Though I am delighted for Saudi women to have a chance to feel a powerful motorbike engine between their thighs, the dreams on one David Cameron of pumping oil out of Somalia and Libya might not coincide with Macron’s dreams with Chevron. The dreams of one war criminal Tony Blair to pump it from Iraq and Kurdistan have run to their natural, bloody conclusion. Anyway the wastes of space that comprise the UK Brexiteers are realising that the little proxy terror outfits in Syria, Al Qaida and IS, have outlived their international credibility. Nobody believes any more that they represent Islam, except some 20,000 hotheads from Birmingham in Idlib who are currently getting trashed by Assad while Putin turns a blind eye.

    • SA

      giyane
      You are quite right. However the problem is that the arch Muslim brother Erdogan together with the rich salafist Wahhabis in KSA and Qatar have a vast sway on countries like US and U.K. and EU through lots of money and through attempted blackmail of flooding Europe with refugees.

    • Laguerre

      “The discussions included the same old,sameold, French plan to appease Erdogan by physically removing the Kurds in Eastern Turkey to a new state in Northern Syria.”

      That sounds like a fantasy from Meyssan, but it’s not even what he said. Nobody’s going to move Turkish Kurds into Rojava, because it would be standing room only if they did. But the more important point is that Erdogan was, is, and will be in the future, opposed to any Kurdish independent state. If Macron and the Affaires Etrangères had any illusions on this front, they will have been dashed during Erdogan’s visit. Even worse, as far as I know, the Rojavan Kurds don’t want independence themselves, as they know it is not a viable independent state. Independence for Rojava is an American fantasy, part of their plan to break up Syria. The Affaires Etrangères hate Asad, so this is presumably continuing their old policy, and so they support the US.

      This idea is out of date, as the Americans are too. Perhaps you haven’t noticed, but this week Idlib, the last bastion of the rebels, is starting to collapse. A large part of the east has been nearly cut off. I should think the conversation with Erdogan has been more about how to keep the jihadis in Idlib going. After all, al-Qa’ida is so dear to the West that it needs to be supported at all costs. And Erdogan will go along with that.

      • Habbabkuk

        Thierry Meyssan is a fully paid-up nutter but he does serve a useful purpose, namely if he claims that X is a conspiracy the impartial reader can be certain that the reverse is true.

      • giyane

        Laguerre
        Where Myessan is interesting is where he is talking about politics beyond the range of his own narrow local prejudices. I suppose he must be originally from Iran and therefore feels obliged to fit his own square prejudices into the round holes available of a strong Sunni state supported by Israel and the US separating Tehran from Baghdad.

        Iran suffered terribly from Saddam so like women who have recovered from being raped constantly tell their partners they are selfish in bed – no, the guy who raped you was unspeakably selfish, and your husband is really nice.

    • kathy

      One small problem with his crackpot theories about the Kurds is that they have lived in the same place with their capital at Nineveh near Babylon since the second millennium BC. Their lives were transformed by the Captivity of the children of Israel in 600 BC, who mixed with them, adopted their monotheism and gave them their language , Aramaic, which Jesus pbuh spoke in 0 AD.

      You seem to be confusing Kurds with Assyrians. Nineveh was the capital of Assyria.

      • giyane

        In that case Kathy why does my brother in law who speaks both Kurdish Sorani and Arabic refers to his deceased uncle in Kirkuk as Sheikh Ashshouree? Because he has retained the title of being Assyrian through hundreds of generations of also being Kurdish. Simples.

        • kathy

          Well Assyria was a huge empire, so many diverse peoples were incorporated into that empire, similar to the way the Roman Empire worked but it was never anything else but the Assyrian Empire.

          • giyane

            Patently untrue , unless you mean in a narrow academic sense. Would you try to disentangle Celts Vikings Angles Saxons and Normans? Rather you than me.

          • Muscleguy

            It also waxed and waned numerous times. Discussing it as though it reached its maximum extent then stayed like that until collapse is wrong. Note some of the waning was due to local rebellions so at least some of the subject peoples were not quietly happy. The Babylonians in particular.

      • Laguerre

        “One small problem with his crackpot theories about the Kurds is that they have lived in the same place with their capital at Nineveh near Babylon since the second millennium BC. ”

        Nineveh is not near Babylon, it’s the other end of the country. And the Kurds have have only moved into the eastern suburbs of Mosul (that is, the site of Nineveh) recently. How recently, I could not precisely say, as there have probably been some Kurds hanging round the eastern suburbs of Mosul for a few centuries.

        • giyane

          Laguerre.
          Do you and Myessan know better , or the locals? Myessan is only saying they are nomads for the same reason that Israel says the Palestinians are Nomads in Palestine. If they were nomads why do they retain the title of respect from 2nd millennium BC?

          • Laguerre

            The Kurds are a mountain people, who have only spread into the plains in recent centuries. Quite what the origins of the Kurdish people are, I would hesitate to say. One well-known and reputed colleague says they are the Medes in origin (in the sense of ‘the Medes and the Persians’). I haven’t yet seen any studies which trace the evolution.

            Yes, I am up with the current situation. I was there last March, nearly got taken by Da’ish. Fortunately the situation has calmed since then.

          • giyane

            Laguerre
            The Swiss are mountain people, the Welsh. Outer Mongolia, Tibet. Why if they are a mountain people do they have local councils, building regulations hospitals, clean water, police. You seem to be implying they are different in some way from whatever god-forsaken hole you live.

          • Laguerre

            My description of Kurds was hardly derogatory. I was referring to the fact that they have not lived in the same place for three millennia.

  • SA

    Comment about website. There used to be a a space showing recent comments which has now disappeared. This is a shame as I personally found this useful, could it be reinstated?

      • Macky

        A bit like those annoying tactics often employed by politicians & corporations, best exemplified in the procedures used for dealing with complaints, in that nevermind the increased inconvenience for the end users, as long as the change benefits them.

    • kathy

      The Assyrians were a Semitic race indigenous to Iraq unlike the Kurds who speak a persian dialect. All this can be proved linguistically. Assyrian is actually the earliest Semitic language. What you are claiming sounds to me like Kurdish propaganda in their aim of claiming a big chunk of Iraq (the bit with oil funnily enough), no doubt at the behest of their Israeli mentors with whom they have a close alliance

      • Habbabkuk

        “…no doubt at the behest of their Israeli mentors with whom they have a close alliance”
        ___________________

        The State of Israel will always be found at the side of the oppressed and persecuted, Kathy. This arises logically from the sufferings of its people.

      • giyane

        The Kurds had a vast country which Winston Churchill divided into four parts , giving each part to one of their neighbouring enemies. You can’t just re-write history on a Sunday afternoon. I suggest you look up Kurdistan , written by their own scholars in Kurdish. There are thousands of books annotating the Ottoman period boundaries. If you listen to the hostile neighbours who Churchill gave Kurdistan to you will see a very biased picture. ps Old Books in Kurdish are hand-written while new books can flood history with print. Doesn’t make them true.

          • giyane

            So in that case how did Churchill carve up a vast country that never existed? Churchill wanted the oil desperately and it took Blair and Bush to get their mits on it. Are you one of those blimps who say ‘it’s our oil , they’d only waste it’?. It’s really unbelievable that you continue to contradict history from the top of your head.

          • kathy

            It takes more than just claiming a territory as a country to be an actual legitimate country.

        • Laguerre

          “written by their own scholars in Kurdish. ”

          Nationalist histories, intended to prove the identity of the people, are not generally very reliable on facts.

  • Paul Barbara

    ‘Ballistic missile warning sent in error by Hawaii authorities’:
    https://japantoday.com/category/world/update-4-ballistic-missile-warning-sent-in-error-by-hawaii-authorities?

    ‘An emergency alert was sent mistakenly on Saturday to Hawaii’s residents warning of an imminent ballistic missile attack when an employee at the state emergency management agency pushed the “wrong button,” Hawaii’s governor said.
    State officials and the U.S. military’s Pacific Command confirmed that there was no actual threat to the state. But for more than a half hour, while the agency struggled to retract the warning, panicked Hawaiians scrambled to find shelter.
    The mistaken alert stated: “EMERGENCY ALERT BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.” The alert, sent to mobile phones and aired on television and radio shortly after 8 a.m., was issued amid high international tensions over North Korea’s development of ballistic nuclear weapons…..’

    Now Trump would never make a silly mistake like that….or would he?

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Sharp Ears January 14, 2018 at 10:02
      I’ll be petitioning May to make just ONE exception to the Fox Hunting Bill. And not with foxhounds, but dobermans and pitt bulls.

      • giyane

        The Tories are just a paper trail, like this mountain of hot air about hard Brexit without a shred of evidence as to what the electorate want. Humans and hounds get exercise following one whiff of scent to another, but meanwhile the country is drifting rudderless onto the rocks. If the government was awake they would not have allowed the flagship company, that is building their own pet project HS2, go to the wall. Stunning incompetence that needs rewarding with getting kicked out of office.

        • Dave

          Culturally I would describe HS2 as an EU vanity project promoted by Osborne, trying to emulate the high speed rail in Europe. So if its abandoned in favour of upgrades to existing lines and cross rail in the north, then well done Brexit.

          • Shatnersrug

            Except the EU ruled no more high speed trains before HS1 was finished. I know you want to blame the EU for the skid marks in your pants, but you really must try not to make things up. We in Camden spend two years fighting HS2 even getting the EU involved over the housing crisis it would create. The most we got was getting a line moved and that was purely because it ran through wealthy houses.

            HS2 was cooked up by Osbourne and carillion and other builders to boost their market index, to prevent the natural dip that would come from cross rail ending. It’s a complete piece of jobs for the boys that was lobbied for and will be profited from by British investors sucking up public money. The EU had nothing to do with it.

  • Habbabkuk

    Sir Michael Wood – also mentioned by Sharp Ears above – is also a rather good lawyer but, I’d venture to say. not quite in the same league as Sir Daniel Bethlehem (cf Sir Daniel’s CV, given in my previous post). Part of Sir Michael’s CV (taken from the website of his chambers) reads as follows:

    “Areas of expertise

    Sir Michael is a member of the UN International Law Commission. He was the principal Legal Adviser to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office between 1999 and 2006. During 35 years as a lawyer in the FCO, he attended many international conferences, including the United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea.

    He spent three years at the United Kingdom Mission to the United Nations in New York, dealing chiefly with Security Council matters. He was Agent for the United Kingdom for a number of years before the European Commission and Court of Human Rights, and UK Agent in cases before the ICJ, as well as in proceedings before the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea and arbitral tribunals.

    Sir Michael is a member of the International Law Commission of the United Nations and is a senior fellow of the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law, University of Cambridge.
    Specialisations:

    Public international law in general
    International law of the sea, including maritime delimitation
    International human rights law and the laws of war
    English foreign relations law
    Constitutional law of the British overseas territories
    United Nations law”

    Particularly interesting to note from the above text is that one of his areas of expertise is in the international law of the sea , including maritime delimitation (just like Craig!) Should Scotland ever achieve independence, maritime boundaries would need to be negotiated and it is therefore more than likely that Sir Michael will appear among the lawyers for the one or the other party.

    • Habbabkuk

      Readers of the above might justifiably be puzzled by a couple of references. The answer is that I had previously posted quite lot of detail about the dazzling and highly impressive career of the excellent, vastly experienced QC and academic Sir Daniel Bethlehem, whose name was mentioned earlier on this page but that post appears to have disappeared. But never mind, readers can check it out for themselves by going to the link provided by the poster who first raised Sir Daniel Bethlehem’s name.

  • Habbabkuk

    It appears that Ecuador has had 81 Presidents (ie, Heads of State) from its independence in 1830 to date. That figure includes interim Presidents and translates into an average stay in office of just over 1 year.

      • Habbabkuk

        You’re absolutely right, Clark – I’m flattered that you pay close attention to what I write.

        An average of 2,3 years per President it is! (But not 2,3 Presidents per year…)

      • Clark

        Years per President, obviously. Please make mistakes intelligent enough to make me think about the answer so I don’t make such a fool of myself again.

  • Republicofscotland

    Jason Michael, columnist for iscot magazine, who received death threats from British nationalists not that long ago. Is now receiving photos of his parents home from the Britnat thugs, in an attempt to further intimidate him.

    I wonder if the unionist press will be all over this story come Monday morning?

    If it was Scottish nationalist doing it, you bet they would.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/Jeggit/status/951972693829668865

      • Republicofscotland

        It took them long enough but the Britnat propaganda machines appointed Scottish political editor, has been shamed into apologising for lying about Scottish waiting time figures.

        http://indyref2.scot/bbcs-scotland-editor-forced-to-apologise-after-inflating-scottish-nhs-waiting-time-figures

        The British state propaganda machine can never be trusted to tell the truth, when it comes to all things Scottish. Come to think of it the BBC can’t really be trusted to tell the truth period.

        • reel guid

          Sarah Smith tells the lie on a live television news broadcast but confines the apology to her twitter account where it’s seen by only her 15 000 twitter followers.

          Oh wait…..Reporting Scotland doesn’t have as many as 15 000 viewers.

          • Republicofscotland

            Last I checked her twitter feed was virtually inactive so the apology would’ve been seen by even fewer people.

            Now imagine if Shona Robison had lied about the figures, that would’ve been broadcast everywhere.

    • Habbabkuk

      Of course it wasn’t stated – I assumed that the memory of other readers was at least as good as mine and Sharp Ears’s.

  • Habbabkuk

    The mention of barristers Sir Daniel Bethlehem and Sir Michael Wood reminded me of a often forgotten fact. It is that of the Big Five of the 1945 Labour government – Attlee, Dalton, Cripps, Bevin and Morrison – no fewer than three were barristers (Atlee, Dalton and Cripps).

    Unlike Sir Daniel Bethlehem and Sir Michael Wood, however, they were non-practising barristers.

    • giyane

      Well at least they were honest then. The law is what you called Corbyn, a twister. There you are, you found your missing crossword clue.

  • Republicofscotland

    So Carillion is £900 million in debt, not including a £500 million pounds deficit from its pension pot.

    Carillion’s share price plunged by a further 29% on Friday and it has now lost 94% of its value in a year, meaning a company once worth £2bn is now valued at £61m.

    How does the second largest firm of its kind in Britain, (bearing in mind that Westminster has given Carillion plenty of contracts) find itself on the brink of administration?

    Carillion, which is based in Wolverhampton, is said to employ 43,000 staff. However somewhere slong the way this huge firm has been badly mismanaged.

    It looks like the government, along with the banks, (both liabilities if truth be told) are planning on bailing out Carillion, possibly due to the amount of government contracts it currently fulfills.

    • Habbabkuk

      Apparently Carillion, despite its 43,000 staff (this is a world figure, not a UK one it seems), actually does very little of its UK work itself. Most of the work is carried out by numerous sub-contractors, most of which fall into the SME category. If the company went bust, I imagine that there would be quite a few unemployed people around and no one would want that, would they now, RoS.

        • giyane

          RoS
          The chief financial officer took retirement last year. Question is , did he lie to shareholders and the government about the perilous state of Carillion’s finances, or was it just the government and CFO lying to the regulators and shareholders. I think we know which of the two it will be.

          • Republicofscotland

            Giyane.

            I agree, there’s probably a bit more to the collapse than meets the eye, RBS and BHS come to mind, chicanary lurks in the boardroom, buts its the workers who suffer the consequences of it, in the long run.

          • giyane

            The workers have all been paid. Neo-liberal capitalism is totally confident that the tax-payer will bail out their embezzlement of funds. This could cause another total collapse of confidence. May would be well-advised to call a new election before the scandal brings the Tories and the country down completely.

      • Republicofscotland

        Sharp Ears, you’re correct, it will be the taxpayer, who takes the hit.

        The company shares are worth around £61 million, its debt is around £900 million, plus over a £500 million pension pot deficit.

        One wonders if it would be cheaper to nationalise it rather than bail it out?

        • SA

          RoS
          That is also what Brown should have done to the banks but instead bailed them out whilst they continued to pay inflated bonuses. But then the brand of capitalism we have has a socialist streak: socialising the debt and privatising the profits.

      • giyane

        Sharp Ears

        This scandal is of the magnitude that I genuinely expect Mrs May to resign within a fortnight.
        How can they demand that every sel-employed individual must be able to prove that they earned £7.50 per hour for 35 hours per week in order to meet the criteria for receiving any universal credit, while a major vassal of the Tory government is allowed to run a loss of more a £ Trillion with no way of being paid.

        Neo-liberal Thatcherite Capitalism has totally failed this country and it’s time for Mrs May to go and visit the Queen.

  • reel guid

    Corbyn repeating the lie on the Peston show that single market membership is only available to EU member states. Tell that to Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. Who all enjoy single market benefits way beyond EEA entitlements, without being EU members.

    • Republicofscotland

      reel guid.

      Yes, I think we in Scotland at least, now know Corbyn isn’t the answer, to our political woes.

      Only the dissolution of this mismanaged union will allow Scots to choose which direction to move, possibly a Nordic one.

      • Loony

        I wonder how many Scots voters will be rushing out to vote for a Nordic future?

        Take Sweden: 2nd highest incidence of rape in the world, hand grenades casually left lying around in public concourses, a media that models itself on Goebells, a government that is slavishly devoted to the US (see their role in the Assange persecution), a central bank that is following even more insane policies than the ECB, a postal service that refuses to deliver post to dangerous neighborhoods and a government that denies that there are any dangerous neighborhoods.

        I have this strange feeling that not many people in Scotland will be keen to embrace such a future.

    • giyane

      Corbyn omitted to mention the little condition attached to single currency membership, free movement.
      Everybody thinks Brexit entitles them to swear and sneer at Muslims now whenever they see them, on the streets, on the bus, at work. this is satanic UK divide and rule, especially when all the Muslims are up the arses of the UK government to back their proxy colonial terrorist scum who have been attacking the ordinary people of Syria for seven years.

      The time has come for the disgraceful Tory party and Mrs May their evil satanic leader to resign.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    I have no idea who Ryan Dawson is, but I really like what he says in this video…He cuts through All the bullshit, and just says it as it is with style.

    “Um Haiti is not a Shit Hole??”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_PdUXj7QV1w

    “Ryan Dawson
    Published on 12 Jan 2018
    Obama bombed 7 countries. But he didn’t publicly call them shit holes. He just murdered people and aided Al Qaeda in Syria, but with did it with respectful language. ”

    Good Man.

    Tony

  • Tony_0pmoc

    Sir Paul Craig Roberts gave a Brilliant response to Julian Assange’s continued imprisonment in The Ecudadorian Embassy. He was somwhat derogatory to The US Government, but even more derogatory to The UK Government.

    Some Americans Deserve to be Knighted – The One’s who Tell The Truth, despite the risks to their life.

    “The Persecution of Julian Assange”

    https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2018/01/12/persecution-julian-assange/

    Extract

    ““We need a political intervention to make this situation end. He (Assange) is the only political prisoner in Western Europe.” Juan Braco

    The persecution of Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, is now seven years old. Ecuador has protected Assange for the past half decade from being turned over to Washington by the corrupt Swedish and British for torture and prosecution as a spy by giving Assange political asylum inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. Ecuador has now given citizenship to Assange and attempted to provide his safe transit out of England by giving him diplomatic status, but the British government continued in its assigned role of jailer by rejecting Ecuador’s request for diplomatic status for Assange, just as the most servile of Washington’s puppet states rejected the order by the UN Committee on Arbitrary Detention to immediate release Assange from his arbitrary detention.

    Assange got into trouble with Washington, because his news organization, Wikileaks, published files released by Bradley Manning. The files were a tremendous embarrassment to Washington, because they showed how Washington conspires against governments and betrays its allies, and the files contained an audio/video film of US military forces murdering innocent people walking down a street and then murdering a father and his two young children who stopped to give aid to the civilians the American soldiers had shot. The film revealed the heartlessness and criminal cruelty of the US troops, who were enjoying playing a real live video game with real people as their victims.

    It was Manning who suffered, not the troops who committed murder. Manning was held for two years in conditions that experts said constituted torture while a case was framed against him. Some believe the harsh conditions affected his mind. Manning was convicted by a kangaroo court and sentenced to 35 years in prison, but Obama in an act of humanity unusual for Washington pardoned Manning.

    Washington wanted Assange as well, and the chance came when two Swedish women, attracted to Assange by his celebrity status, seduced him. The two women had not secured the cooperation they wanted from Assange in the use of condoms and, brainwashd by HIV fears, wanted Assange to join them in being tested.

    Assange, misreading the extent of their fears, was too slow to comply, and the women went to the police to see if he could be required to be tested. According to the women, the police made up the charge of rape. The women themselves disavow the charge.

    The charges were investigated, and the chief Swedish prosecutor Eva Finne dismissed the charges, saying “there is no suspicion of any crime whatsoever.”

    Mysteriously, the case was reopened by another prosecutor, Marianne Ny, who many suspect was operating at the behest of Washington. On November 30, two days after Assange began publishing the Cablegate materials leaked by Bradley Manning, Ny issued an Interpol “red alert” arrest warrant for Assange. This was an unusual request as no charges were outstanding against Assange, and hitherto extradition from one country to another on an arrest warrant required actual charges, whereas Ny said she wanted Assange for questioning. Most everyone in the know understood that Washington had ordered Sweden to get its hands on Assange and to turn him over to Washington.

    Assange challenged the legality of the arrest warrant in British courts, but the British court, many believe following Washington’s orders, ruled against the law and in favor of Washington. Assange assented to the arrest and presented himself to a British police station. He was placed in solitary confinement at Wandsworth prison. If memory serves, the daughter of Sir James Goldsmith paid his bond and he was placed under house arrest. When it became clear that the Swedish prosecutor wanted Assange for Washington, not for any charges against him in Sweden, Ecuador give him asylum, and he fled to the embassy in London.

    Where he has been ever since?”

    Tony

  • reel guid

    As if astroturf group Scotland In Union didn’t have enough troubles, it turns that they’re having to scrape the barrel by getting Murdo Fraser to be one of the speakers at their Burns Supper.

    Not only that but Alastair ‘The Liar’ Carmichael MP of the Lib Dems and Labour MSP Johann Lamont will be joining Murdo in the dazzling top table line up. So the Lib Dems and Labour have no qualms about being friends with a campaign group of Tory landowners. Parcel o’ rogues indeed.

    Scotland In Union promises a night of “whisky, haggis, poetry and bagpipes”. British whisky from Marks & Spencer’s presumably.

    • Tony_0pmoc

      reel guid,

      So what? Burns night is kind of like an even for The Scottish , as the equivalent of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones doing a joint gig..(Ringo, Paul Mcartney and Mick Jagger are still alive, and I don’t think they have yet cloned Charlie Watts.

      Do they have any Scottish Bands on Thursday, 25 January. I find it hard to believe, it could be as good as St. Patrick’s Night Saturday 17th March (where I have been invited many times). Despite being nearly 50% Genetically Scottish, none of The Scottish people I know (and I know many) have ever invited me to a Burns night (not that I remember – it is possible)

      The Irish always invite me, and they know I’m not Irish.

      Tony

        • Tony_0pmoc

          reel guid,

          Yeh, I know, but I have never understood this Union bollocks either in the context of Northern Ireland and Scotland. I used to be a member of Several Unions, and apparently I still am – UNISON…but what’s with all the Unionists (protestants?) hating the guts of the vast majority of The Irish?

          I simply do not get that. I thought the protestant girls in Oldham were really nice, though I did marry, like me, an ex-catholic.

          I do not understand what the protestants are arguing about. I can understand, The Irish not wanting to be controlled by us English, and I can understand The Scottish point of view too in this respect.

          But The Ulster Unionists? I can tell you guys for nowt, we don’t want you. Us English prefer The Irish and Scottish…Even the Welsh are much nice than you.

          How come you guys like us English so much?

          What have we got that you want?

          “Strawbs – Part of the union 1973”

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

          Tony

      • JOML

        Tony, Möngöl Hörde have been invited up from England to play on the 25th in Glasgow. They sound much better than the three undesirables mentioned by reel guid and will likely be much more trustworthy!

        • Tony_0pmoc

          JOML, Frank Turner comes from Bahrain – Have you Scottish paid his airfare.?
          Have a good night.

          I think I will go to Frome instead. February 1st Cheese and Grain, Market Yard Frome, BA11 1BE – Eva Bartlett
          https://cheeseandgrain.ticketsolve.com/shows/873583423

          “Möngöl Hörde is an English hardcore punk band formed in 2012. The group features Frank Turner on vocals, Ben Dawson on drums and Matt Nasir on guitar. Turner and Dawson are both former members of hardcore punk outfit Million Dead. Frank Turner is now best known for his solo folk-punk material, and Matt Nasir is part of his backing band, The Sleeping Souls.[1] Lyrically, Möngöl Hörde is not as serious as Frank Turner’s other projects, with Turner stating, “Lyrically it’s very different from what I do now, it’s kind of depraved. The first song we wrote is about Natalie Portman’s tapeworm using her as a glove puppet to lead an uprising in Hollywood.”

          Tony

  • reel guid

    Corbyn has appointed Laura Pidcock as the Shadow Minister of Labour. Pidcock made the news in 2017 for missing the debate and vote on Universal Credit because she was on holiday in Venice. How nice to see dereliction of duty being rewarded.

    • giyane

      reel guid

      universal credit, coming from the Tories who encouraged people to become self-employed and get of their bikes is a total betrayal of rust. in the blinkered minds of Corbyn’s 1960s world view everybody has a job who the Tories say has a job , which is unfortunately far from the truth. So it wasn’t a dereliction of duties it was a holiday in Cloud Cuckoo.

      • Republicofscotland

        Incase you are unaware Habbabkuk, Universal Credit, is currently hurting the poor, due to the long transition period, that poor people need to wait on the switch over. Infact Ian Duncan’s Smith’s policy has caused from what I’ve read, nothing but misery and hardship.

        So on this occasion, remaining in the chamber to vote, if she really cared that is, would’ve been the correct thing to do.

        • giyane

          RoS
          What hurts about universal credit is that people have to prove earnings at 35 hours at minimum wage. If you had flu or went on holiday you lose your benefit. If real-time accounting were applied to Carillion they would never qualify for a bail-out. Strange that, one rule for the poor and another rule for the rich.

  • Republicofscotland

    US whistleblower Chelsea Manning to run for US Senate seat. Manning was originally sentenced to 35 years imprisonment for whistleblowing, Obama commuted that sentence, in the last days of his tenure as POTUS.

    Manning will challenge incumbent two-term Senator Ben Cardin in the primary, who has held the seat since 2007. Cardin has an approval rating of 54 percent, according to the latest statistics by Morning Consult survey company.

    • giyane

      Weird what people take notice of whistleblowers in the US, while in the UK the roller=coaster of colonialism just carries on regardless and nobody takes any notice. Question is and always was from the time of black slavery. do the UK public condone what is taking place? Yes!

  • dave cad

    anybody interested in Assange and WikiLeaks should go to richplanet.net and watch Richard d halls interview with Andrew Johnson it is well worth a look

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