Return 189


I have spent only eight days in the UK in around the last five months. Driving from Heathrow to Edinburgh yesterday, we listened to BBC Radio 4 for over seven hours. In continued reports and bulletins on the Cabinet reshuffle throughout the day, the numerous people invited to comment on it were, without a single exception, Conservative Party politicians or avowedly conservative political journalists and commentators. Neither Labour nor SNP were asked for their thoughts.

Tonight I watched the BBC News at Ten. Again much on the Conservative Party. Not one mention of Labour at all, and the only mention of the SNP was an attack piece by unionist shill Sarah Smith on waiting times in the Scottish NHS over the holiday period. To top it all off was an astonishingly tendentious piece on today’s air attacks by Israel on Damascus in support of their increasingly desperate jihadist allies.

Flying in to the UK today and tuning in to the state broadcaster is like arriving in any one party state.


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comments will be closed on January 20, 2018.

189 thoughts on “Return

1 2 3
  • Ian Gibson

    That had struck me too, but my listening was intermittent and I had assumed I was just unlucky in my timing. Welcome back, and best wishes for a happy new year, may it be productive and progressive.

  • Sal Newton

    Nice to have you back Craig.
    Such a shame that the undoubted good you are doing on the world stage is being drowned out and overshadowed by “official” incompetence.
    Guid New Year to you and yours!

  • Ruth

    I’ve seen the following statements on a Prevent training video as specific signs to radicalisation –
    ‘Showing a mistrust of mainstream media reports and belief in conspiracy reports’ and ‘Appearing angry about government policies, especially foreign policy.’

  • John Goss

    Welcome back Craig.

    As you have returned from a Syrian peace initiative I hope this is not off topic. It is from a source which I have found reliable in the past.

    “9 January 2018

    A statement by the General Command of the Syrian Arab Armed Forces:

    At 0240 Zi*nist air force launched multiple stand-off missiles from the Lebanese airspace toward one of our points in al-Qutaifa in Damascus Countryside; where Syrian Air Defenses completely foiled the attack denying any of the missiles from reaching their targets; and a single long-range SAM was fired toward the enemy formation with a reported hit.

    At 0304, the Zi*nists repeated their attack by launching two surface-to-surface missiles from the Occupied-Golan Heights, which again were foiled from reaching their targets by Syrian Air Defenses.

    At 0415 Zi*nists air force repeated their attack by launching multiple stand-off missiles from over Tiberias which again were engaged by Syrian Air Defenses foiling the majority of the missiles while the missiles that were not foiled landed in an area near one of our military points causing minimal material damage.

    The General Command of the Syrian Arab Armed Forces warns again the Zi*nist Entity from such provocative actions and its repercussions, and stress once again the complete readiness to counter such provocations with all means available and necessary; as well as continuing the war against the Zi*nist’s mercenaries on Syrian territories until stability and security brought back to all of the Syrian Arab Republic.

    Damascus, January 09, 2018

    General Command of the Syrian Arab Armed Forces.”

    • Habbabkuk

      Fact check : according to the excellent reference work Janes, there is no such thing as a “Zionist air force”. But there is the Israeli air force.

      • Dave Price

        Habbabkuk,

        I don’t know what John’s source intended, but it seems to me similar to the careful distinction one would make when describing a World War II action as perpetrated by ‘the Nazis’ rather than by the ‘the Germans’.

        • Habbabkuk

          Thank you for that, Dave. I think it is fairly clear why the source referred to the Zionist air force rather than the Israeli air force. With respect to your German/Nazi example : I believe that during the war, descriptions of military actions by British official sources would use the adjective “German” rather than “Nazi” and the same applies to most if not all subsequent historians of that conflict and the official British history of WW2.

          • Dave Price

            You’ve answered a different point to the one I made, Habbabkuk. I made no claims about historians past or present. I implied it is useful and just when describing the actions of a nation to distinguish between the nation as a whole and the nation as its current leadership.

    • Node

      To put this in perspective, what would the world’s reaction be if the UK launched multiple missile attacks on Paris?
      Even more to the point, what would the world’s reaction be if Syria launched multiple missile attacks on Tel Aviv?
      What can we learn about the UN from its lack of reaction?

      • Habbabkuk

        The world’s reaction would be one of considerable surprise. That might be because Britain and France have not been at war since 1815. Israel and Syria, however, are still officially at war (unlike the position between Israel and Egypt or israel and Jordan).

          • Habbabkuk

            I very much doubt it, John. If it were, then Israel should still be in a state of war with Jordan since Israel is occupying the West Bank which, as you know, Jordan took controi over after the 1948 war (instead of helping it become a Palestinian state in its own right).

          • Habbabkuk

            Any way, John, here’s a fact check : Syria has been in a state of war with Israel ever since the 1948 war, ie long before the annexation of part of the Golan Heights (1967).

  • AAMVN

    I think it is totally fair to say the US has only two branches of the same party who take turns to enact the basic pro-business agenda. The UK has been getting more like that, but I have some hope there may be a sea change. I’m not holding my breath though. Decades of right wing hegemony will take decades to undo. When institutions like the BBC have a particular bias in staffing and management, it is self perpetuating. But they cannot fight the internets power to connect and give a platform to people at the grassroots level.

    Watch out for an attack on internet freedoms under the guise of anti-terrorism or cybercrime countermeasures. They deeply fear the power of the masses.

    • Habbabkuk

      Thank you for those interesting points, AAMVN. But I’d take issue with you where you imply (your last para) that the masses, at least in the UK, exercise power – actually or potentially – through the internet. Leaving aside for the moment what you mean by the “masses” and “power”. I am of the opinion that real power does not and will not flow from the internet.

      Some might be tempted, for example, to ascribe the ascent to the leadership of Mr Jeremy Corbyn or Labour’s unexpectedly good showing at the last election to campaigns of the internet. But it is already clear – including from comment on here – that Mr Corbyn disappoints; and a future Labour govt would surely disappoint in like manner. This demonstrates that while the power of the internet might have contributed to Mr Corbyn’s ascent or the arrival of a Labour govt, it is unlikely to follow through into the field of practical policy and action.

      On your point that the main political parties take it in turns to enact a prop-business policy, I should have thought that that would be a matter for praise rather than concern. After all, and discounting Mr Paul Mason’s rather confused views, the two sources of employment are business and the government. Unless you believe that govts themselves should provide jobs ad infinitum, it is probably not a bad idea for govts to be business friendly.

      • Dave Price

        Nice work twisting the sense of ‘power’, Habbs, to mean ‘practical policy and action’. AAMVN made clear that the sense intended was the ‘power to connect and give a platform to people at grassroots level’.

        Perhaps it’s not too late for you to contact the Brazilian and French authorities and save them all sorts of time and expense in their clearly misguided efforts to limit internet communication.

        https://theintercept.com/2018/01/10/first-france-now-brazil-unveils-plans-to-empower-the-government-to-censure-the-internet-in-the-name-of-stopping-fake-news/

        • Habbabkuk

          Thank you for your response, Mr Dave Price. But if you look carefully, you will notice i was referring to AAMVN’s last para and not the second one. And in that last para, the sense (given the context there) does not appear to be that of the power to connect. But in any case, the main point was that the internet essentially gives every Tom, Dick and Harry the” power” to rant on ad infinitum about everything under the sun……with no practical consequence in the world of policy and action (ie, in the real world).

          • Dave Price

            Well Mr Habbabkuk, I can see nothing that would indicate a change in AAMVN’s meaning in the space of one sentence. Besides, if you are correct in your dismissal, why are Brazil and France (to pick just two) attempting to limit what you call the ‘power to rant on ad infinitum … with no practical consequence’?

          • Habbabkuk

            Just two things, Mr Dave Price and then I think we should leave it at that:

            1/. Thank you for the “Mr” – very welcome in the light of the fact that there was at one stage some discussion as to my sex;

            2/. I do not know the details of what France and Brazil have attempted to do (perhaps you could supply a link…) and so obviously cannot comment in detail. However, if they are attempting to curb internet activity of an illegal nature (eg, hate speech) or internet activity clearly tending to incite activity of an illegal nature then I should have thought that such a development was to be welcomed.

  • sentinel

    Welcome back, Craig.

    Yesterday, Michel Barnier said: “A trading relationship with a country that does not belong to the European Union will never be frictionless.”[1]

    From your experience in government, what are the chances that HMG will get together with the Government of Ireland to agree matters such as health, pensions and transitional arrangements before any border poll so that voters can give informed consent to reunification?

    As things stands, dealing between govts is done after a vote for reunification: see s1(2) Northern Ireland Act 1998.[2]

    [1] http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_SPEECH-18-85_en.htm
    [2] https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1998/47

  • giyane

    Hii Craig, welcome home. The barrage of Tory tripe was broken by a Radio 4 interview at lunchtime with Alan Milburne praising the work of Justine Greening for her work at Education and on social equality. The blog has been sizzling hot in your absence. When the cat’s away… Now you’re back we’ll have to stand to attention and salute you. If they thought they’d shut you up by keeping you busy in Ankara they thought wrong. Following your libel case we have launched missile after missile at the ZWO in your absence.

      • Habbabkuk

        Courtenay

        George Orwell wrote a splendid and rather accurate (in my opinion) long essay on the character of the English. Well worth reading (or re-reading).

        • Coutenay Barnett

          Habbabkuk,

          Spot on.
          Read it as a student many, many years ago and a lot more of Eric Blair( George Orwell). I have a lot of respect for him and I admire the clarity and purity in his use of the English language.
          Guess I could learn a think or two from him…huh?

      • Tony_0pmoc

        Coutenay,

        Probably because my wife and I have travelled in many countries in the world of various religions and colours (mainly hotter than England (though we have been to Scotland and Ireland too), and we experienced, not just politeness, warmth and real friendliness too, such that when we were hitch hiking, they would take us into their homes and cook as a meal (for free), and in some other countries, they would do the same, but take all my family in for the night – and even give up their bed and sleep outside…

        Us English – well me actually, in England in our local pub – I saw this little man looking through the windows. We had a loud heavy rock band on in the pub – and I through the window beckoned him in (it was free to get in) – but he was too shy to come in….

        So after the band was finished – and we were walking home…he was still there…so I said – come home with us to our party…and he did – and there were about 10 of us – some musicians who could play – but most just like my wife and me and our friends who all love music..and we were sat round our table in our kitchen and I had been chatting to this guy for ages – like 5 mins to walk home – and welcome him in – and I do not speak Spanish, he does not speak English, and neither of us noticed – we were getting on so well…then my mate who knew a bit of both languages – he lives in Spain now asked me a question. Where does he come from?

        He stayed the night, the party ended, nearly everyone else went home, and we thought nothing more about it, but told him he was invited to stay the next night…

        Well he never said, and he did come back very late the following night (early morning)

        My mate said – I’ve just seen him on TV “6 O’clock News” – He’s in this Massive South American Music Festival in Central London..Trafalgar Square

        Well, today, I found 2 postcards from the mountains of Peru – and we are invited to meet his Family – now 15 years later.

        “Polite” I believe is an accurate word for the best of ’em.”

        I find your comment incredibly insulting to us English.

        Most of our friends are like us.

        We are very friendly and welcoming

        Tony

        • Courtenay Barnett

          Tony,

          In reply.

          I have visited some 43 countries in my travels. Just got back from a 10 day holiday over the Christmas period with my daughter in Cuba. Had a great time.
          My general observation is that less urban = more friendly and welcoming. More urban = potentially polite but more protective of space and not as readily welcoming. A generalisation I know, but seems to have worked that way from my recollections. In my teens with my girlfriend on a Eurorail journey in Spain during the Summer break. Lunch time on the train – and here – a leg of chicken and some bread and fruits from total strangers. Evidently they were not willing to feast while we faced famine. Africa in the rural parts in Togo – friendliness, curiosity and a welcoming spirit; Palenque – Mexico – same thing.
          Back to the English. More down to earth up North. South East more sophisticated ( and at best – yes – polite).
          And then there is Tony.
          Cheers mate.

        • Baalbek

          That is a heartening story. Acts of genuine kindness, one human to another, no ulterior motive, are extremely rare in the neoliberal west. Good to know they are not yet extinct.

  • iain taylor

    I spent quite a bit of time the other week listening to news on Moroccan radio (French langauge station) while driving around there. The high level of infomation about places like Syria and Libya was jawdropping when compared to the comparable UK drivel.
    Last time I checked, Morocco wasn’t exactly a paragon of free speech & democracy (either) of course.

  • Paul Starling

    Craig. It’s not like you to surface skim, and BBCR4, like most of the ‘trad’ media, is dying with its audience. The vitality, anger, challenging, are coming from social media. This Tory Government is dead in the water. Why hasn’t Corbyn acted to sink it? Because Labour are putting in deep roots which aim, like bindweed, to permanently throttle the excesses of toryism and rampant capitalism.
    Corbyn needs to be careful, though. The barely restrained anger at the suffering going on, is close to bubbling over.
    Welcome home.

  • Radar O’Reilly

    If I could just defend the BBC for a mo’,

    (surprisingly)

    They accidentally or deliberately transmitted a mostly factual program on Middle East terrrrizm & funding yesterday http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09m53py
    9pm 9-Jan-2018 BBC2 ‘House of Saud: A family at war’

    I admit that their usual gap propaganda (in this case on Syria) was in evidence, failing to mention quite a few relevant points. . . but Michael Rudin and Mike Radford are to be congratulated for trying to evade the BBC/State memory holes

    Not sure how many Brits saw the transmission as it was scheduled in time-slot competition with Silent Witness (6-million audience) on the primary state channel.

    Now, Radio Four – I’ve said it before but Apple iTunes internet radio have BBC R4 listed in their COMEDY streams, which gives a clue as to how it should be treated!

    • Geoffrey

      Radar,I watched too,I agree surprisingly good. Held back from drawing the obvious conclusion itself, but gave you sufficient to suggest that Al Queda was and is financed by Saudis and maybe ISIL and that Saudis had hoped to quickly topple Assad by backing “rebels”.
      An interesting contrast with a long piece on Newsnight last night towards the end of programme also suggesting confusingly that Iran backed Al Queda fighters from Iraq. Worth seeing too. It seemed plausible in the particular circumstances,but it was also showing how Iran’s foreign wars are causing friction at home. Strongly recommend both films, both relatively objective.
      Maybe the idea is to give balance ? Or just to obfuscate ? Or perhaps they deliberately put them on when they think no one is watching ?
      (wife was not talking to me, so allowed to watch tv )

    • dunwich

      Yes not bad, but really they need to explain why we hadn’t had this story before – ie sometime in the last 16 years.

      Also, while telling a story about Saudi Arabia that had not been told before, one felt it was admitting to things in the past, but then suggesting that there was now a new man in place, and things were going to be different. So lets carry on as we are.

      • Habbabkuk

        “Yes not bad, but really they need to explain why we hadn’t had this story before – ie sometime in the last 16 years. ”
        ___________________

        The above is a splendid example of why, for some people, the BBC can never win. It is blamed for not reporting something.And then when it does report that something, it is blamed for not reporting it soon. I am not surprised that the BBC pays little attention to most of its critics.

        Having said that, I suspect that a public opinion poll would show that, overall, the BBC meets with a high degree of public approval. Of course, some would say that there should be more political and current affairs coverage; some would say the same for sport; some would want more light entertainment; some would want more TV and radio drama. And of course, human nature being what it is, everyone would like to have it free! But I very much doubt that many people would raise political or establishment bias as a criticism.

  • Patricia

    I wondered what had happened to you. Maybe because you have been absent for a while, you are seeing it with fresh eyes, but it has been this way since the Blair years in my opinion. When are the working class / unions asked to comment on or analyse policy nowadays? Even old Jeremy and the once inspirational first minister have been tamed and tailored. They all speak nuanced versions of the same page. Maybe they always have and it is just that I have escaped their ‘managed perception’. Anyway, glad you are well and I hope 2018 is a less stressful year for you.

  • Andrew

    Wellcome home Craig glad you’re back,unfortunately the shambolic waste of space that poses as a government in Westminster has only descended further into chaos please help Scotland get out of this mess!!

  • Ian

    Why would you listen to R4 for several hours if you find it that biased? I don’t spend hours reading the Murdoch media and getting pointlessly angry about it. I don’t find it surprising that they focussed on the tory party yesterday, not that i care about their internecine manoeuvring. If Labour want to attach this useless government, let them get on with it – unfortunately they are rather feeble at it, apparently preferring to let them implode, instead of taking to the airwaves and media about it.

    • giyane

      When I am abroad I’ll even watch sky to hear a bit of English spoken and for me that is scraping the bottom of the barrel. The strange thing about being in Iraq is that people still think the UK is a successful nation in spite of the fact that we leech their oil from them to inject a few red blood corpuscles into our failed paper economy.

      Extracting wealth by propaganda, weaponry and betrayal is always the first choice of the known colonial criminals. It’s much cheaper to bomb cities, destroy and steal than to manufacture goods people want to buy. They can buy them from China anyway. Human beings admire wealth however it is acquired. Criticism of the wealthy is put down as envy, when usually it is criticised because of the unethical means by which it has been acquired.

  • Terry Andrews

    Thank you, Craig Murray! I’ve been railing about this BBC bias for a very long time. A while back it was the right-wing mustachioed ex-UN delegate John Bolton appearing time after time to explain/defend American policy on the BBC. Before that it was the execrable Paul Wolfowitz, one of Bush’s chief architects of the invasion of Iraq. Lately the sole spokesperson invited to appear daily on Beyond 100 Days has been Republican former George Bush strategist Ron Christie. It’s the same on Radio 4 where, despite the Today show’s reputation for tough interviews, these conservative representatives are scarecely challenged.

    Who is the Decider in the corporation that fears allowing left, or even moderate US voices, to be heard on the BBC? Why is there no wider debate about these vital issues? It’s more crucial than ever, as the UK departs Europe and then, as already indicated by the May government (not to mention the Blair government before) runs for cover to the almighty USA.

  • reel guid

    Norway is not in the EU. But it’s participation in the single market and the EU goes well beyond EEA status. Norway has enacted vast numbers of EU legislation in order to reap benefits. Iceland has a very similar relationship to the EU.

    Why then is Corbyn insisting on no UK participation in the single market? Because he is following some ridiculous Marxian dream of nationalising everything possible and sees any serious EU links as being detrimental to that, frankly, unrealistic ambition?

    Labour’s full on civil war now looks certain.

      • reel guid

        I have long doubted my progressive credentials. That’s how I reckon I’m progressive.

        Folks like you and Corbyn never doubt your progressive credentials. Aren’t fully aware of the human capacity for mixed motives and self-delusion.

      • giyane

        reel guid

        Neo liberal has come to mean removal of ethical considerations. I don’t think Marx argued for state control in order to remove ethical considerations. I detest unethical Marxism, unethical religion, and unethical use of plastic bags. I like ethical state control, ethical religion and ethical use of plastic bags. I think Jeremy Corbyn does too. What I’m not convinced about is Mrs May trying to tell us she cares about ordinary people while trying to find new ways of limiting their economic power every day.

        • reel guid

          giyane

          Labour, left and right wings, seeks to keep Scotland in a UK that sees Scotland governed by the likes of May, Thatcher, Cameron on average 60% plus of any decade.

          As for Corbyn, he has no interest in Scotland’s 62% Remain vote. Isn’t interested enough to oppose the Tories dismantling of devolution. And has tacitly supported the Francoists in Madrid as they mess with democracy. He even tricked pro-EU Labour MPs into going home before a late night vote. If all that is ethical then I don’t care for his ethics.

          • Republicofscotland

            reel guid.

            May’s recent reshuffle has seen an increase in Oxbridge, and privately educated top ministers.

            The Westminster government bubble of public ignorance will continue to grow.

    • giyane

      Single market = freedom of movement. Call that common sense or call it an algorithm, it is currently impossible to win an election on a freedom of movement platform in the UK. Hence no single market either if he wants to win.

      The problem has been caused by neo-liberalism. For example all over the world local governments operate Building Control. Neo-liberalism sees the policing of these laws as an expense to the economy. Construction workers have to comply but foreigners think they can do work under the radar. they have to comply in their own countries but they think they can plead ignorance here. Councils think they can evade their own rules by sub-contracting to others, again neo-liberalism, which causes Grenfell Tower to catch fire.

      Neo-liberalism i.e. laissez faire, has caused friction between law-abiding working people and immigrants. That’s 90% of the problem. Neo-liberalism is fundamentally opposed to the loss of profit caused by policing its own rules. That’s why we need to bring back a sensible amount of sensible central control so that dodgy banking , dodgy building and dodgy dossiers can be put a stop to, so we can have good relationships with immigrants and foreign counties again under clear national and international law.

      Neo-liberalism has to go. Definitely Marxism has to go. Because neither of them have been prepared to exercise the responsibilities that go with power.

    • penny

      ”Why then is Corbyn insisting on no UK participation in the single market?”

      Are you deliberately misrepresenting Corbyn and Labours position?

      Do you understand the difference between ‘access to’ and ‘membership of’. Its a simple distinction to work out.

      Here’s a tip, the Cons are losing the support of voter after voter after voter by engaging in a continuous campaign of lying, smearing, misrepresenting and distorting Corbyns position. People are sick of being treated as fools. SNP supporters would be wise not to follow the Cons down that long, joyless road.

      • Habbabkuk

        As the Norwegians have found out, Penny, you are either in the Single Market or not.

        You are either pregnant or you are not.

        All countries have “access” to the Single Market” – the use of the word is weasely and meant to hide the fact that the Labour Party is deeply divided on the question.

        • penny

          Not all countries have ”access” to the EU single market Habbabkuk. You are wrong.

          Weasely? I read that terminology somewhere recently. You are entitled to opine its ‘weasely’, I would suggest it political savvy. The result of the latest GE would suggest I am right and you wrong.

          Corbyn gained votes and seats. The fence sitting is showing reward. In politics, its all about timing.

          ”Labour Party is deeply divided on the question” as apposed to which political party Habbabkuk? Which party in the UK is 100% united on what Brexit is?

          • Habbabkuk

            Of course all countries have access to the Single Market. It’s just that, absent special trade deals with individual third countries or groupings, trade is on a WTO basis. You are using the words “access to” when you should be saying “be a part of” or “in”.

  • Habbabkuk

    Let us look more closely at Craig’s latest.

    He is indignant that only Conservative MPs or conservative-inclined commenters were asked about the reshuffle. Perhaps that was because it was a Conservative cabinet that was being reshuffled and therefore the views of fellow Conservatives were judged rather more important than the views of Labourites or SNPers.

    He then complains that the News at 10 made no mention of Labour and only one mention of the SNP. Perhaps that might have been because the Labour Party and SNP did nothing and said nothing newsworthy that day (as always, I stand ready to be corrected).

    And he rounds off with a comment about the BBC’s “tendentious” reporting of something to do with Israel and Syria. Here I would make a general comment : Craig is no more immune than many of his commenters to the tendency to call “tendentious” any report you happen to to disagree with.

    In conclusion : there is nothing of substance here. The post is a sticking filler, consisting of tired old memes (the biased BBC, Israel supports ISIS, the UK os a totalitarian state) and designed to hold the fort and encourage the troops until Craig comes up with something more considered.

    Gamma minus.

    • penny

      ”Perhaps that was because it was a Conservative cabinet that was being reshuffled and therefore the views of fellow Conservatives were judged rather more important than the views of Labourites or SNPers.”

      I think a subtle point made by his post is ”judged rather more important” by whom Habbabkuk? Who makes these ‘judgement calls’? A former chair of the Oxbridge Con party? A Con mps brother who is BBC Editor of politics? John Humphries? Mrs May? The BBC has very little credibility left with regard domestic politics. Very little. Or do you disagree?

      ”He then complains that the News at 10 made no mention of Labour and only one mention of the SNP. Perhaps that might have been because the Labour Party and SNP did nothing and said nothing newsworthy that day (as always, I stand ready to be corrected)”

      They did. You now stand corrected.

      ”In conclusion : there is nothing of substance here.”

      Correct on this point Habbabkuk.

      On this: ”Israel supports ISIS” – Did you know the IDF finally attacked ISIS on the Golan sometime in the early hours of today or yesterday? ISIS launched an offensive against the FSA (AQ affiliates) and the IDF intervened when substantial ground was lost. Strange.

        • penny

          Hello giyane,

          I do not suggest Israel opposes ISIS above. Why would they? ISIS is not currently a threat to Israel (never has been) and thanks to Assad never will be.

          I am just highlighting to Habbabkuk an observation. The IDF reacted extremely fast to reverse FSA (an Islamic extremist group) loses to ISIS (an Islamic extremist group) on the Golan divide.

          Strange time for the IDF to get involved in that particular area of Syria.

          • Coutenay Barnett

            Penny,
            Well if ISIS is ultimately a servant of Israel and FSA is not – then surely FSA in the Golan Heights is not a good thing for Israel and as a potential threat would be attacked by the IDF – correct?

          • penny

            Coutenay,

            I’d imagine both ISIS and the FSA (tomayto tomato) serve* Israels agenda well in Syria, hence the protection against SAA advances on the Golan divide for the past years. Or would you disagree?

            These skirmishes between tomayto and tomato are the result of recent successes for the SAA in pushing the FSA south, away from northern Golan divide and into long established and controlled ISIS strongholds on the southern zone.

            Due to SAA successes gaining large swathes of ground the two groups have no options now but to fight each other or merge together (once again). Just as is happening up north in Idlib.

            So, no not correct.

            Who do you think Israel prefers sitting on the Golan divide Coutenay, the FSA/ISIS or the SAA/Hezbullah/PMU? I think the last 6 years suggests to the former, no?

            *They may well serve Israels agenda but I would not go as far as you in labeling ISIS ‘servants of Israel’

  • SandyW

    Welcome back Craig. To top it all, la Smith claimed that 10000 people had exceeded the wait target when only 25000 people actually visited A&E last week. Thank you Big Brother for raising our chocolate ration.

  • Republicofscotland

    Welcome back Craig, yes you’re back in the land of the surreal.

    A prime example being the utterly incompetent David Davis railing at the EU for it having the foresight to prepare for a no deal outcome.

    Weeks earlier Theresa May had appointed a no deal minister of her own.

    I think the buffoons running the union at Westminster, expect Brexit to go their way, and for the other EU nations to fall in line.

    You’ll need another break soon, once you’ve had your full of state propaganda.

    • giyane

      RoS
      You talk as if the Tories had a ‘way’ rather than being up a creek without a paddle. The only plan they have is to hide their eyes and hope the EU goes away.At the last round Juncker had the air of an elderly gentleman being chivalrous to a child. A Hollywood scene from an old ’30s movie in which the young heroine struggles to control her adult fantasies. If I wanted to watch an old tear-jerker movie, why not subscribe to a golden oldies website? Sentimental tripe.

      • Republicofscotland

        No Giyane, I’m just pointing out that in Tory eyes, it’s okay for them to appoint a no deal minister, but when the EU does similar, it’s seen as a sinister move by David Davis.

        I wholeheartedly agree that the Tories haven’t a clue period, and Brexit will be a disaster for the home nations.

        On the upside, 2018 could be the year Scots unshackle themselves from the Westminster ball and chain, and dissolve this unfit for purpose union.

  • David Edwards

    Agreed, I spent sometime living outside the U.K., mostly in countries the BBC was regarded as the beacon of truth and honesty competing for the ears and eyes of populations all over the planet despite attempts by state organs such as VoA and Ratio Moscow’s English-language service to shout down modest broadcasts on low power transmitters.

    BBC told us about the clusterfuck that was Vietnam’s war of integration but nowadays slanted to the government line. Or P.M. desperate to stay in power whatever the cost.

    The U.K. in 21st century is uncomfortably similar to the ugly regimes that once ruled most of the world.

    Just hope the the Tories do not stumble over the charismatic leader that everyone will vote for and ensure a another few hunrded years of dictatorship

    • penny

      ”The U.K. in 21st century is uncomfortably similar to the ugly regimes that once ruled most of the world.”

      The British Empire?

  • Sharp Ears

    A favour. Please share this image as widely as possible. It was freely available this morning, I have been out and am now told that it has been wiped from the internet. That shows how powerful Branson and his friends in the Tory partei are.

    https://scontent-lht6-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/26113890_384047812038389_4175998204926787727_n.jpg?oh=83a0258e72c11c595f85eea6883cc9fd&oe=5AFA9AA7

    It shows Branson walking away with the bloodied ivory striipped from the dead elephant portrayed as the NHS.

1 2 3