Thatcher – and Many Still Active Tories – Did Support Apartheid 895

I am delighted that Sir Patrick Wright, former head of the Diplomatic Service, has confirmed that Margaret Thatcher did support apartheid. There has been a polite media airbrushing of this aspect of Tory history. For the first two years of my life in the FCO I spent every single day trying to undermine Thatcher’s support for apartheid. As I published last year of the FCO’s new official history:

Salmon acquits Thatcher of actually supporting apartheid. I would dispute this. I was only a Second Secretary but the South Africa (Political) desk was just me, and I knew exactly what was happening. My own view was that Thatcher was a strong believer in apartheid, but reluctantly accepted that in the face of international opposition, especially from the United States, it would have to be dismantled. Her hatred of Mandela and of the ANC was absolute. It is an undeniable statement that Thatcher hated the ANC and was highly sympathetic towards the apartheid regime.

By contrast the Tory FCO junior ministers at the time, including Malcolm Rifkind and Lynda Chalker, shared the absolute disgust at apartheid that is felt by any decent human being. The Foreign Secretary, Geoffrey Howe was somewhere between these two positions, but very anxious indeed not to anger Thatcher. South Africa was an issue in which Thatcher took an extreme interest and was very, very committed. Not in a good way.

British diplomats were almost banned from speaking to any black people at all. Thatcher favoured the Bantustan or Homelands policy, so an exception was made for Gatsha Buthelezi, the Zulu chief who was regarded as anti-ANC and prepared to oppose sanctions and be satisfied with a separate Zulu “homeland” for his Inkatha movement and essentially accept apartheid exclusions. That may be unfair on him, but it was the policy of the UK government to steer in that direction. Our Consulate General in Johannesburg was permitted to talk to black trades unionists, and that was our main angle in to the black resistance movement. These contacts were made by the excellent Tony Gooch and Stuart Gregson, and before them the equally excellent Terry Curran, then my immediate boss in London. Neither Terry nor Tony were “fast-track” public school diplomats. None of those talked to black South Africans at all.

I flew off the handle when I discovered, when dealing with the accounts of the Embassy in Pretoria/Capetown (a migratory capital), that the British Ambassador, Patrick Moberly, had entertained very few black people indeed in the Residence and the vast majority of Embassy social functions were whites only. In 1985 most of the black people who got in to the British Ambassador’s residence in South Africa were the servants. I recall distinctly the astonishment in the FCO that the quiet and mild-mannered young man at the side desk had suddenly lost his rag and got excited about something that seemed to them axiomatic. Black people as guests in the Residence in Pretoria? No, Craig, I was told, we speak with black people in Johannesburg. Different culture there.

Wright’s account collaborates mine both in general and in detail, eg on being banned from any contact with the ANC. Eventually we managed, as a tentative first step and unknown to No.10, to arrange a meeting, ostensibly by accident in the margins of a conference, between myself and a brilliant young man from the newly launched trades union federation named Cyril Ramaphosa. I wonder what happened to him? 🙂 I was the recipient of his justified ire at Tory government policy.

Tories who actively supported apartheid are still very influential in the Tory party, notably the St Andrews Federation of Conservative Students originating group, including Michael Forsyth. Even David Cameron’s contacts with South Africa in this period are a very murky part of his cv. It is important the Tories are not allowed off the hook on this. The moral taint should rightly be with them for generations.

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895 thoughts on “Thatcher – and Many Still Active Tories – Did Support Apartheid

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  • Republicofscotland

    Meanwhile the T-1000, Rees-Mogg, and several of his far right fanatical Brexiteers could be in trouble.

    “A number of Cabinet members appear to have breached the rules of government through their membership of a secretive hard-Brexit lobby group, now chaired by the outspoken government critic Jacob-Rees Mogg.”

    It also appears that Rees-Mogg and his not so merry band of insubordinates, have been using taxpayer funds to fund their clandestine hard Brexit group the (ERG) European Research Group.

    “The ministerial code prohibiting ministers from becoming “associated with non-public organisations whose objectives may in any degree conflict with government policy”.

    However that hasn’t phased the Maybot’s PM rival Rees-Mogg, nor his the empire strikes back band of followers.

    • N_

      “Clandestine” – lol!

      Look at it, friends. Many leading politicians have a stint in the media on their CVs, or they’ve had voice and presentation training by those who train actors, and many admire the twats they meet in PR agencies whose septums are in even more trouble than their own. That’s normal. Some of them know a bit about where some money is and channels for seeing officials are “all right”. Think of Prescott, Blunkett, Leadsom, and the various mates of “Russian” “oligarchs” and Rothschilds, from Peter Mandelson to Boris Johnson; and of Kate McCann’s friend Esther McVey (I wonder what she knows that got her arse into the cabinet, eh?)

      But Rees-Mogg is in a different fucking league: his dad was editor of the Times.

      I thought about this today. I reckon the editorship of the Times is still a more important position in Britain than any office at the BBC.

      Forget Montesquieu and executive-legislature-judiciary. Factor the gentlemen’s clubs and the Times in instead.

      Hedge-fund Jakie Boy played an important role in whipping up support for Brexit among politicians. Any idea how he did it? He’s been involved for years in offshore investing hundreds of millions of quid – perhaps there’s a clue there. His image has also been masterfully played. Anybody who thinks he’s a buffoon or twat isn’t getting it and ought to go and read some Macchiavelli or McAlpine.

      • N_

        If I were Mogg I’d enlist Boris, then make the fucker an offer he can’t refuse. I mean Boris can be brought down, possibly as far as a category D prison, at the drop of a hat. He will not be the Brown to Mogg’s Blair. The offer he can’t refuse might be a kick upstairs. “You get kicked upstairs to the Lords, and given some commission job or other. And you say thank you. It’s that or you do the country a flavour and slop out.”

        (I mean seriously, few in the country wouldn’t love to see Johnson go to jail. Can you imagine his image breaking down in the dock? What would he do? Sing Beethoven’s Ninth? It would be more spectacular than Aitken spewing on about how he was going to wield the sword of truth. My money would be on Johnson breaking down and weeping.)

  • reel guid

    Ben Stoneham, the Liberal Democrat Chief Whip in the Lords has written a piece for the Liberal Democrat Voice about the EU Withdrawal Bill in the upper house. He goes into some detail about what will take place and what the contentious issues will be. Single market, customs union, Tudor style powers etc.

    Except he makes no mention whatsoever of the ramifications for devolution. Not one mention of devolution and the implications of the Bill for Scotland, Wales and NI. From the chief whip of the third largest party in the Lords, that has always supposedly been a party strongly for devolution. When the devo settlement is under clear threat. And he doesn’t even mention that.

    It’s very clear that Labour and the Lib Dems will put up no more than a token defence of devolution and that the Tories are hell bent on taking it down. How many signals do you need?

    In 2014 voters thought the choice was between independence and enhanced devolution. The years since have shown that the British nationalist promises were totally false. Not only was Brown’s eleventh hour vow a duplicitous charade by the British state, but the siren voices that warned that a No vote win would be the signal to the Tories to begin the dismantling of devolution and Scottish democracy have been shown to be wise. A wisdom that was alas unheeded by sufficient numbers of Scots.

    The next and probably last chance independence referendum is between being a progressive independent European democracy on the one hand and being a vassal nation to an anti-Green unpleasant land on the other.

    • Republicofscotland

      reel guid.

      I suppose come the discussion of Clause 11, and where the powers should reside. They’ll be a silver screen like performance by some
      supposedly Scottish defender. They’ll be all manner of arguments and counter arguments, positively Clarence Darrow-esque in nature.

      Of course it’s more than likely, highly probable infact, that, it will all be just for show, and that the majority of powers destined for Holyrood will infact remain firmly chained to Westminster.

      Still the average person, will feel a little satisfied, recalling the titanic but alas not victorious struggle to wrestle powers from the clutches of Westminster cohorts, to Holyrood.

      Those in the know present company included will know fine well, it was all staged managed right down to the last letter.

      • reel guid

        You’ve summed it up well Ros. Yes, the whole devo aspect of the Lords debate has probably been choreographed and scripted already.

          • reel guid

            Yes Ros. I saw that the other day. Scary.

            I’ve noticed that the Scottish Office twitter account no longer says ‘Scottish Office’. It’s ‘UK Government, Scotland’ instead. Another sign.

          • Republicofscotland

            If its true, then Mundell’s new office at Leith, will be portrayed as some kind of counter Scottish government. I’d imagine that its remit (all the new staff) would be to thwart and hamstring the Scottish governments intentions.

          • reel guid

            And they’re hoping Scotland takes the line of least resistance.

            But it’ll be the line of Leith resistance.

    • giyane

      ” . Not only was Brown’s eleventh hour vow a duplicitous charade by the British state “.
      brown’s son of the manse duplicitous charade by the British State wasn’t his only 11th hour duplicitous charade etc. The other one was when he sacrificed the Labour Party for the Tory Bankers by re-capitalising them instead of letting them go to the wall and nationalising them.

      Here we are again in a crisis of capitalist dogma with the collapse of Carillion and the fund-raising in Capita and the Tories are still pumping out propaganda on the BBC that all is calm. To kill a rat you have to put it between your teeth and shake its neck-bones. Does Corbyn know how to do it or as a modern druid is he satisfied with his minions just poking fun at the Tories at PM Question time?

    • N_

      “It’s very clear that Labour and the Lib Dems will put up no more than a token defence of devolution and that the Tories are hell bent on taking it down. How many signals do you need?”

      If you mean the Tories are planning to abolish the devolved Scottish and Welsh parliaments, well, even a single signal would be welcome.

  • Republicofscotland

    “Labour-led Lambeth Council has made £89.6m from destroying housing co-ops and selling the housing to developers. Not one penny of this appears to have been spent on building new council housing.”

    Some are calling it a gentrification of the area.

    Mind you the last Labour government in Scotland built only six social houses.

    I wonder what will become of the land around the Grenfell block?

  • reel guid

    An unnamed Labour group leader on a Scottish council told recent leadership contender Anas Sarwar that Scotland wasn’t ready to vote for a “brown, Muslim Paki” leader. Anas maintains this happened and I don’t doubt him.

    Whoever the knuckle dragging Labour councillor is he should understand that Scotland is no longer ready to vote for the kind of racist, sectarian mongering, troughing, quisling Labour arseholes that predominate in the leadership ranks of a once fine party.

    • Stu

      Do you think a practising Muslim could become First Minister?

      Just as I wouldn’t want someone who thinks the world is 5000 years old to become First Minister I also wouldn’t want someone who thinks a man flew on a horse from Mecca to Jerusalem leading the country.

      • SA

        Would you prefer a man who believed that someone rose from the dead after three days or one whose People went through a gap in the Red Sea when it parted.

        • Stu

          I don’t think many British Christians actually believe that but yes anyone who takes scripture literally should be kept away from important roles.

          • SA

            I completely agree with you provided this is applied equally but of course it can’t for PC reasons. Remember we have 26 bishops in the House of Lords and the queen is the head of the church. In the states the politicians are beholden to the bible belt and in the Middle East one country got its land deeds from the bible and others use the Koran as the bases of legislature.
            Even if you don’t believe in the irrationalities you mention a lot of countries still observe the rituals of these religions

        • giyane

          Rising from the dead was probably a bit of Demeter fertility cult wonky thinking.
          As to the parting of the Red Sea, I understand Pharaoh’s army’s chariot wheels have been found.

          • N_

            They found the chasers’ wheels, but what about the silver and gold the chasees got “given” before they ran off? (Exodus 12, 35-36.)

      • N_

        What about someone who thinks God got nailed to a bit of wood at the time of the Roman empire?

  • reel guid

    Scotland’s Parliament has been earmarked for either forced abolition or forced diminution by the Tories. Scotland is being frogmarched out the EU against our wishes. Health privatization southern style will be enforced in Scotland. Independence referenda will be banned.

    Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP is worried instead though about the implications for freedom and democracy because an actor with a beard was used in an SNP party political broadcast.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    Stonehenge was like this in 1984, but it only lasted a couple of weeks, and then nearly everyone would go home and go back to work.

    I am not sure if The UK, can now compete with this..
    But with the current Government we have got, I’m sure we will get there soon.

    “Welcome to America’s S***hole: Orange County California Edition Santa Ana River Trail”

    “Welcome to the new Amerika Sanctuary State, California declared on January 1, 2018. Orange County is a beautiful place. But on the Santa Ana River Trail, miles of tent cities from Anaheim towards Huntington Beach in Orange County, California. While these folks deserve compassion, and help, is this tent city stretching for miles the answer—meanwhile the USA military is around the world in third world countries “bringing Democracy” ? Video footage of a homeless encampment in Orange County, California, has gone ultra-viral after a Facebook page operated by former law enforcement posted stunning scenes of the sanctuary state’s rapid descent into a dystopian “s***hole.”


    • Republicofscotland

      Macky, it certainly has given me some time to contemplate, and I still can’t understand why you’d post a video of a man who berated the left in America, for attacking the president Donald Trump.

      Still I’m sure you have your reasons.

      • Kempe

        Professor Fan Cohen is a well known Putin apologist. A propaganda parrot echoing every piece of pro-Putin idolisation.

        Don’t expect anything subjective.

      • Phil the ex-frog

        Ah Putin. Ex KGB, president, millionaire, butcher of Grozny. What’s not to like? Just the type of comrade I want to save me from capitalism. Hang on. I mean save me from Trump. No, no, NATO. Putin will save me from NATO. Or something. Anyway. I like him. Especially half naked on a little horse.

      • Laguerre


        “Professor Fan Cohen is a well known Putin apologist. A propaganda parrot echoing every piece of pro-Putin idolisation.”

        Not very likely of an intellectual. He might be a fellow-traveller, but not a “propaganda parrot”.

        Frankly, Putin works for Russia, as we would expect. What is unproven cr*p is that he wants to invade us. It is very difficult to understand why this might be, but endless military raise the possibility, in order to improve their budgets0

      • SA

        I wonder how many who commented on Cohen have actually read what he says. His main argument is that the West capitalised on the fall of the Soviet union not by welcoming Russia to integrate but by trying to destroy Russia financially. Thus the Chicago school of economic advisers prescribed shock therapy which lead to the looting of Russian assets and the creation of a pro western oligarchy that then gave rise to the mafia and major lawlessness. Putin was the backlash from the depredations of the Yeltsin years. Continued anti-Russian policies by the west, despite some reassurances to Gorbachev has led to distrust of the intentions of the US. No whether you like Putin or not you need to know this background to know why he has behaved the way he has. Thus the actions of the west have contributed to the delay in complete democratisation in Russia.

      • SA

        It’s a real shame that the rest of this discussion, which admittedly contained some howlers, was deleted.

  • BrianFujisan.

    One can get the Same View From Ben Narnain. I found a secret place just beneath the top..Amazing Quartz Crystals up there..I felt compeled to take some home..Nearly killed me –


    ” If you’ve ever been up the Cobbler – the popular not-quite-Munro accessed from Arrochar – and looked south down Loch Long, you can make out the perimeter fences and hillside bunkers if you look carefully – you maybe just didn’t know you were looking at 56 acres of underground military hardware. Although its maybe less of a surprise when you consider how much of Scotland is effectively a NATO playground…

    • Stu

      Ben Narnain is one of the better mountains near the central belt. The last time I was on it looked like they were putting in a path to stop people getting lost in the bealach between Narnain and Ime.

      As for the Libya link we are now clearly in an era of secret wars in which the media intentionally under plays our military operations. Iraq and Wikileaks destroyed the possibility of the UK government gaining public support for another large scale war and the new method of imperialistic warfare is currently being practised in Yemen, Syria, Iraq and elsewhere.

  • Sharp Ears

    Cohen –

    ‘He is a long-standing friend of former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, advised former U.S. President George H. W. Bush in the late 1980s, helped Nikolai Bukharin’s widow, Anna Larina, rehabilitate her name during the Soviet era, and met Joseph Stalin’s daughter, Svetlana.’

    The George W Bush link is telling.

    • Christopher Dale Rogers


      Thanks for bring this new platform to our attention, I’ve just joined. Perhaps it will be the Big Brother to Lifeboat News?

  • Loony

    I see it is time for some well thought through visceral hatred of Russians.

    The real position is pretty simple: Russians don’t care what you think or how much you hate them. You will leave them alone or they will kill you. An entire culture that has elevated cowardice to its highest virtue is unlikely to take the deal of death offered by the Russians. The only concern for Russians is that your second highest virtue – the virtue of ignorance may just mean you fail to understand the deal on offer.

    • Loony

      There is no raving.

      Do you know what happened in 1812 or 1942? Have you read on this comment section that Putin is a “millionaire butcher of Grozny” and that Professor Cohen is a “propaganda parrot” Have you read that Trump colludes with Putin and that no evidence is necessary to prove this obvious fact. Do you know that the US and the EU are ardent supporters of Nazi’s in the Ukraine.

      How else to explain all of this other than ignorance. Did you know that the UK/US destroyed Iraq, Libya and killed without counting in Afghanistan. All of these countries had one thing in common – they were unable to meaningfully defend themselves. This is the very hallmark of societal cowardice. You will find cowardice everywhere from government policies through to individuals being too cowed to speak against the horrors being inflicted upon them.

      Do you know that the Russians are a major nuclear power with sufficient weaponry and technology to pierce all ballistic missile defenses and to destroy the planet. Do you know that the Russians are committed to deploying all weapons at their disposal should the integrity of Russia be considered to be materially threatened. Do you want to push the button and pull the plug? and if so for what reason? Because someone tells you something you don’t want to hear?

      • glenn_nl

        Again, why the heck are you telling me/us this? Of course the US and it’s loyal attack dog the UK would only attack countries unable to defend ourselves. All in the name of freedom. All your “do you know” questions – are they rhetorical only, or were you expecting an amazed “Gosh, I didn’t know that!” ?

  • Sharp Ears

    Interesting Register of Interests for Malcolm Rifkind, referred to above.

    Wikipedia says: 2017: Chairman of Advisory Board, L.E.K. Consulting, but there is no trace of him on their website.
    Dozens and dozens of names and faces, worldwide.

    Lynda Chalker, now Baroness Chalker of Wallasey of Leigh-on-Sea is also doing well for herself.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    Craig Murray recently had somewhat of an altercation with an Editor of The Mail online.

    So today, I clicked on The Mail online, to see if it had improved since taking Craig Murray to court.

    The News is not good.

    This is the headlines in the online version of The Daily Mail. I and Millions of other people, should by now, be in a state of shock and tears, except that I have never watched it. However, I do often do it down my local pub. I met a nice Ukrainian girl there last Saturday. (Eastern Ukraine). She was so nice, I introduced her to my wife. Now you may not find this particularly interesting, and to be honest neither do I, however, it is more interesting than the headlines in The Online Daily Mail.

    “Emotional Brendan Cole breaks down in tears as he reveals he has been SACKED from Strictly Come Dancing after 13 years… because he’s ‘not part of the BBC’s vision’ ”

    Try Orlov instead – at least he is funny


  • MJ

    At least Russia trashed ISIS, something the US seemed strangely unable to do. I’m sure we’re all grateful for that.

    • giyane

      Trashed, no re-cycled …

      ” The Syrian Border Security Force should officially be composed of 30,000 men, half of whom should be ex-Democratic Syrian Forces. These combatants should receive three weeks of training in interrogation techniques and biometric scanning. 230 cadets have already followed this course.

      In practice, the other half should be composed of 15,000 ex-jihadists from Daesh who would thus be discretely recycled. ”

      No wonder Erdogan is fuming like a Fuehrer, his very own darling Daesh set up by Brett McGurk in Amman in 2014 under Obama and destroyed by McGurk under Trump supposedly in 2017, would appear to have been collected from the re-cycling bin and organised against him. . Sir Brian Rix [possibly?] commented ” best farce ever seen. Snappy, fast-moving comedy, based on the age-old intrigue of who is secretly sleeping with whom.”

  • Republicofscotland

    “The government’s new analysis of the impact of Brexit says the UK would be worse off outside the European Union under every scenario modelled.”

    Finally the realisation, that leaving the EU will be bad for business, and just about everything else for that matter.

    Still the fact that Brexit will be a disaster won’t faze the ultra hard right Brexiteers. Digging in for Queen and country, whilst saying adieu to Johnny Foreigner, has a stronger pull on them, than common sense.

    • Dave

      “The government’s new analysis of the impact of Brexit says the UK would be worse off outside the European Union under every scenario modelled.”

      Swallow the State propaganda you will swallow anything

      We know who is behind this as I have said before all this is a Reddaway IRD type of disinformation.The same leaks but in reverse saying we would be better off if we voted to stay in the EU before the 1975 referendum was a Norman Reddaway New speak.These State propagandists must really think most people are thick as two short planks.

      • Republicofscotland

        Dave it’s not the only negate impact assessment to date. Just about all of them say the same thing Brexit is bad for business.

        Still there are those who care more about splendid isolationism, and hunger for the old days of the empire, no matter what the cost to the rest of us.

        • Dave


          “Dave it’s not the only negate impact assessment to date. Just about all of them say the same thing Brexit is bad for business.”
          The Empire had gone in 1975.Before the public were manipulated by the CIA and the IRD, Universities were better funded and staffed by some of the top academics from all over Europe not so now.Why would you want to give your support to gang of Bilderbergers who`s corrupt group was co-founded by an SS Nazi it beggars belief.

    • reel guid


      I’ve seen the lengthy running order for speakers in the Lords EU Bill debate. Almost last to speak near the end of the two day debate on Wednesday, and the last Scots to speak, are Tory Michael Forsyth followed by Labour’s John Reid. Neither of whom have ever been noted for their respect for the Scottish Parliament.

      • Republicofscotland

        Forsyth and Reid, jeez, I read that Lady Mone, has only spoke twice since becoming ennobled. Her office claimed she’s doing an amazing job at the HoL.

        I wonder if she’ll add her tuppence worth?

  • Republicofscotland

    As several unionist news rags wrongly berated Scotland’s FM for removing the Union Jack, from Holyrood (still no apology from most of them and the Tories nor the BBC). Controversial Defence Secretary, Gavin Williamson, has ordered all EU flags to be hauled down that are flown outside the MoD building.

    Britnats and their flags.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    There are some people in this world I have massive respect for. One of them is Vanessa Beeley.

    “If you know anyone who still thinks the White Helmets are “heroes” – show them this 7m video”

    “Vanessa Beeley presents a condensed overview of the evidence for the White Helmets being a creation of Western governments embedded with terrorist factions inside Syria. Show this to anyone who still can’t believe our leaders would be cynical and psychopathic enough to nominate mercenaries, fakers and mass-murderers for a Nobel prize, or that our media would be craven enough to let this grotesque lie go unquestioned ”


  • reel guid

    BBC News and Sky News virtually giving the SNP no say on the Tory government brexit report story.

    • Republicofscotland

      reel guid.

      Thankfully, the SNP government commissioned its own independent Brexit impact assessment a few months ago. Which tallies with the leaked Westminster one, that Brexit is a real pig in a poke.

      As for the foreign media, I’m not surprised by their actions.

    • nevermind

      Yep, reel guid, lets wave good bye to democracy within the UK, bye bye to the working time directive, polluter pays principle, the precautionary principle, 4 weeks holiday pay, maternity pat, the clean air act, disability discrimination and electoral rights for EU citizens.

      And a big fat hallo to Victorian values.

      meanwhile many learned people and financial institutions are seeking flight, not happy with the continuous uncertainty and anarchy in the leading Conservative party, ripping itself apart like Rumpelstilzchen.

      • reel guid

        Yes Nevermind. Then there are the EU rural development grants which would be very much missed in Scotland if we leave. The list of drawbacks is endless.

    • SA

      It was taken down around the new year. I raised this question at the time, Clerk says that Craig wanted it removed. I found it useful because you can quickly trace new comments in various threads.

      • Macky

        Effectively makes all Posts apart from the current one redundant as people can’t be expected to checking older threads for new comments, and makes trying to have a meaningful exchange even on the current thread tiresomely difficult; enough to make you wonder if Craig is hinting that he want to close down comments altogether; a repercussion of his recent libel court case scare ?

        • Phil the ex-frog

          “a repercussion of his recent libel court case scare ?”

          Wasn’t that for something Craig said on the tele?

          • Macky

            It’s all related, because Jake Wallis Simpson was quoting Craig’s own words on a Blog Post here, which Craig denied he had ever written; you can’t have helped to have noticed that debate of Israel/Palestine is very difficult here because of both trigger-words, and extreme Moderating sensitivity, which has only got worse since the libel case; note also that Craig has refrained from blogging about Priti Patel & Trump’s Jerusalem move.

          • nevermind

            Whatever this latest re ordering was Phil, it is inconsequential as anyone can ask the way back machine for posts, or employ a professional programmer to find it for them.

            It was handy and, maybe with the addition of an edit button, be returned to the blog.

          • Phil the ex-frog


            Well you know Craig better than most of us but the lack of any way to follow a conversation does not seem to conducive to a thriving comment section. Perhaps Macky is right.

            Our material needs shape us. Craig’s enthusiasm for engaging here went up, and then disappeared the moment of conclusion. The threat of financial ruin is a powerful motivator, acknowledged consciously or not.

          • Dave Price


            “… the lack of any way to follow a conversation does not seem to conducive to a thriving comment section.”

            It’s not ideal, and perhaps you have already discounted the following, but just in case…

            You could make use of the comment link – right click on the date-time link just beneath the contributor name, and select ‘Copy link address’. This is in Chrome, other browsers no doubt offer a similar feature. So you could copy and paste the link to Notepad or browse to it and save it as a bookmark in your browser. That way you can come back to the exact point in the discussion you are interested in. The link for the comment of yours I’m replying to looks like this:


      • glenn_nl

        Yup. If anything is said which isn’t basically a reply to the most recent comment on the current page, it stands little chance of being noticed. Any topic of interest being discussed away from there is now unlikely to happen.

      • lysias

        The Recent Comments feature was eliminated at the same time comments were closed for the 9/11 thread.

  • SA

    Potentially serious developments which may lead to confrontation between SAA (and Russia) on the one hand, and Turkey and Al Qaeda on the other hand

    The Turkish army seems to have advanced through the province of Idlib, with the help of HTS (Al Qaeda) towards an SAA held toun El Eis, in western aleppo in order to prevent the SAA advance towards Idlib. Various other accounts suggest that the RuAF bombed a village two Km from where the Turkish convoy was located and put a halt to the advance, others say it is the SAF.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    I read somewhere recently – could have been Thomas More – his 500th anniversary is coming up soon, that it made no logical sense, for a judge to sentence a thief to death. The logic was, that if a thief, if caught is going to be sentenced to death, then he will know it would be safer to kill his victims too. If he leaves them alive, despite robbing everything they have got, then in the future, if he is caught, and put on trial, they would be very powerful witnesses, with regards to his crime. If they are dead, they can’t testify.

    Now, we zip forward 500 years, and in reality, nothing much has improved. We still have thieves and murderers, but not all thieves are murderers…

    We also have Terrorist Attacks. Whilst I am convinced that some of them, are totally faked, or partially faked, I think that if and when the criminals are brought to justice, they should all be treated the same, regardless of whether they faked it or did it for real and murdered lots of innocent people.

    I also think the same justice, should be applied to all those complicit, who knowingly took part in terrorist attacks, whether real or faked, which includes the journalists who knowingly wrote lies, especially when the major objective of such a terrorist attack was to take a country to war, by killing your own.


    • giyane

      The Brexit farce is a diversion from the necessity of hanging all politicians involved in the Middle East. it makers Theresa May look like a washing suds advert from the ’70s, as if there were really important housewife choices to be made about hard or soft water in your washing machine. What you can learn about the sex life of a Rees – Morgue Awxford accent from the feremones in the crutch of his pin-stripes is I’m sure you’ll agree utterly riveting.

      It buys time for USUKIS disguised as Hell’s Angels to conquer the Middle East using Al Qaida and Daesh on autopilot drone Harley Davidsons. It’s called the Great Game and its jawlly good fun!

  • mike

    I tell you, CNN makes Russia Today look like the epitome of impartiality. It’s nothing but a mouthpiece for slavering Clintonites to spray fact-free muck around while dreaming of “world-building” i.e. slaughter, from now until the crack of doom. These bozos call themselves journalists!

    • glenn_nl

      That’s odd – I thought everyone around here loved Trump, and thought him a great improvement over Obama. So either they don’t know about things like this (and don’t bother to find out), or they give Trump a pass for some strange reason.

      Come on, Trump apologists – which is it?

      • JOML

        I’m not so sure, glenn_nl, my perception was that the last presidential election was a choice between a shit and a turd, both with dangerous agenda from their masters – who may actually be the same group?

        • glenn_nl

          The facts so far appear to bear out my contention that Trump is a dangerous lunatic. Instead of having calmed relations with NK, threats are now issued regularly. The nuclear deal with Iran might be scrapped, and the US is reneging on its commitment to the Paris climate accords too.

          The Atomic scientists point to the US President’s attitudes as a major factor in the growing risk to the Earth. This includes belligerent expressions, inconsistency of foreign policy, lack of respect for science, appointment of climate change deniers to high positions in the administration[xi].

          A huge tax cut has been given to the rich, while domestically things are getting much worse – with racist deportations, cuts to welfare services, nods of encouragement to actual fascists, white supremacists having major influence in the White House, and so on.

          But never mind all that – let’s just engage in some more false equivalence, eh?

          • Phil the ex-frog


            You remain fixated upon the individual. Do you really believe that a black president meant that the US is no longer a racist state? Or do you think it stopped being a racist state for the duration of his presidency and then returned to being one?

            Stop praying for nice guys and instead contemplate upon how we might organise ourselves to not be at the peril of choosing between two pieces of shit to save us.

          • SA

            The realisation that US foreign policy was not determined by the current incumbent was brought home to me with a thud when, Clinton bombed a pharmaceutical plant in Sudan. Although it may have been done to distract from the Lewinsky affair, it fitted the policy of the establishment. Clinton at that time was held as the great hope for the ‘liberals’, in the old sense as an enlightened leader.

          • glenn_nl

            Phil & SA: You are both right in the sense that it’s not down to an individual. However, you ought to recognise that the party in power does have significant differences in the direction the country will be going. All recent wars and major interventions of many decades have been started by Republicans. They are good at that sort of thing. Ending them… not so good.

            Republicans ratchet the entire country to the right. If you like that, fine – cheer on Trump, his Republican Senate, Congress and the reactionary newcomers to the Supreme Court.

            If you don’t like that, it would be wise to drop this false equivalence BS that Clinton and Trump are all the same, so hurrah for that ignorant savage Trump, because as all good fortune tellers know, Clinton would have been much worse.

          • SA


            ” All recent wars and major interventions of many decades have been started by Republicans.”

            I seem to remember that Clinton was involved and probably started wars in Somalia, the Balkans ands the bombing of Sudan pharmaceutical factory and a couple of other places. Moreover Obama started Libya and Syria and there was a vast escalation of the drone warfare in Yemen and Pakistan.
            I think there is no difference in foreign policy which is in a large part determined by ‘the lobby’ whereas internal matters are very different.

          • Phil the ex-frog

            “All recent wars and major interventions of many decades have been started by Republicans.”

            LOL. I mean, this is a joke right? Yugoslavia and Libya were both pretty major. Presumably you consider Clinton’s bombing of Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Bosnia and Sudan not “major” enough to warrant your ire.

            “Republicans ratchet the entire country to the right.”

            Sure, then Democrats come in and rachet it a teensy-weensy bit to the “left”, but not so much, in fact so little that the people being bombed, and the people in poverty, don’t really care for the difference. Then the republicans get back in and rerachet a teensy-weensy bit to the right and again the people being bombed don’t really notice the change. And on and on. This is guaranteed. Personally I have reached the conclusion there is no escaping this trap without confronting the corruption and violence baked into capitalism. But whatever, you surely recognise a systematic change is probably something worth contemplating. Surely worth thinking about, rather than getting all vexed because people on Craig’s blog won’t choose the imperceptibly less crazed, elitist, warmonger.

            The world needs a change. Not more of the same.

          • glenn_nl

            Phil – you appear to have a lack of knowledge about the effect of political leadership on the poor in the US. Can’t help you too much with that. But you ought to learn at least something about it before parroting this false equivalence BS, so favoured by mass media.

          • Phil the ex-frog

            “you appear to have a lack of knowledge about the effect of political leadership on the poor in the US.”

            OK. That’s an ssertion you make but offer nothing to back it up.

            So, a quick look at some data. For example, the US poverty levels 1959-2016 show (post 1960) the exact minimal to and fro that I describe. You will see that it is not even consistently true that democrats reduce the level and Republicans increase it. It goes up during Carter for example.

            It’s almost as if there are forces beyond whichever team is in power that actually determine the substance of economic power of the poor. Which is, of course, the case.

        • glenn_nl

          Indeed. Obama probably used drones a lot more than Nixon too, even though Nixon was responsible for far more deaths in military action.

          How many wars were started (and major military action taken) under Carter, Bill Clinton and Obama, compared with Nixon, Reagan, HW Bush, and Dubbya ? See the connection? Of course not. Clinton’s would be just as bad, yadda yadda yadda.

          • glenn_nl

            Oh come on, Macky. How many wars did Dubbya start compared with Obama? How many terrorist acts did Dubbya allow against his own citizens compared with Obama? How many people did Dubbya have killed compared with Obama?

            On the home front, compare the economy under the two. Unemployment, poverty, social ills generally, and so on.

            False equivalence is not a virtue, you know.

          • Macky

            Here’s an uncomfortable fact for you, as bad as Trump is, he also still hasn’t done anything as bad as what the Obama administration did to Libya. For all the many, many, many evil things the Trump administration is guilty of, none of them come anywhere close to the destruction of an entire nation killing tens of thousands of people and creating a failed state where people are now sold as slaves. The destruction of Libya and attempted destruction of Syria that the Obama administration is guilty of have caused far more death and suffering than Trump has at this point in the game.

          • glenn_nl

            Give Trump a chance, Macky. The ignorant savage has been in office for a single year, and you’re comparing his record with two terms of Clinton and Obama. And in that single year he’s killed more with drones already than in Obama’s two terms.

            Yet you’re acting as an apologist for him. Wouldn’t be anything to do with his fawning towards Putin, perchance?

          • Phil the ex-frog

            “How many wars did Dubbya start compared with Obama? How many terrorist acts did Dubbya allow against his own citizens compared with Obama? How many people did Dubbya have killed compared with Obama?”

            Perhaps you could provide answers to the questions you ask. Not only are the answers difficult to be certain of they are certainly not what you have claimed on this page (ie ” All recent wars and major interventions of many decades have been started by Republicans”).

            What is indisputable is that whoever is in power there are wars and poverty. This should lead one to question the idea that choosing one of the parties is the solution to war and poverty.

  • giyane

    I’ve been looking at posh cars the last 2 says. You can get the mileage clocked on a 6 year old £11K luxury car, but you don’t bother to fix the monkey-throttling emissions and engine oil-leaks, caused by thrashing the car up and down the motorway system. You rely on the sincere gullibility of the emptor to leave his caveats at home. I have never seen such wanked out piles of gleaming metallic painted dustbins, even when I was working for a chauffeur company that clocked its leased vehicles.

    And so it is with politics. The only people who are interested enough to question the vamped up bollocks of the MSM, are by definition only nano-financed to do something about the situation. All we can do is to ignore the Wallahiladheems/ by God the Almighty, oaths of the con-man, Daesh, sellers and tell them ‘ I didn’t buy your shit Islamism and I’m not going to buy your shit Q7. Enjoy the rest of your stay in the nest of spies that is London.
    Or perhaps not:
    ” There were 37,443 recorded knife offences and 6,694 recorded gun offences in the year up to September 2017. In London the problem was even more pronounced than the rest of the country, with 12,980 knife crimes taking place in the capital.”

    Yes Mrs May, in your own capital city, while your party bickered about foreign investment and not being ruled by the EU courts, nearly 13000 innocent people were hacked to bits in London.
    The rivers of blood in the Tory party over Brexit are mirrored, or in this case Sun-ned, by real crime on young teenage Caribbean boys on the streets of London. Get a grip you silly polticians.

    • glenn_nl

      Motorway driving is actually pretty good for cars. You’re hardly likely to over-rev it, or drive it much cold. It’s starting it frequently for short journeys, not treating it gently while cold, and many sudden starts and stops that’s bad for it.

      • giyane


        Motorway driving was my euphemism for the car having been comprehensively thrashed ferrying would-be jihadists to Turkey on continental autobahns. I didn’t mean gentle cruising on Blair’s smart motorways in the UK. I’m told there’s a lot of private ferrying to Poland. I don’t know where the car has been. All I know is that a 3 litre diesel engine does not leak oil from being driven at 90 mph. You can get that out of a 1.4 petrol astra all day long. The car must have done 300 thousand miles and been clocked back to 65 thousand to get to this condition.
        BTW I wasn’t buying the car. It was just the Arab oath ‘ By God the Almighty everything in the car is fine’ which started to push my buttons 12 hours before we drove down to see the blimin thing.

  • SA

    Potus state of the nation address
    “Last year, I also pledged that we would work with our allies to extinguish ISIS from the face of the Earth. One year later, I am proud to report that the coalition to defeat ISIS has liberated almost 100 percent of the territory once held by these killers in Iraq and Syria. But there is much more work to be done. We will continue our fight until ISIS is defeated.”

    And Syria and Russia and Iran did nothing? Not to mention that it was the Riussian intervention in September 2015 that turned the tide against IS and exposed the complicity of the US and its allies in supporting IS.

  • Pyewacket

    According to an article in today’s Guardian, it appears that another big outsourcing firm is in trouble. This time it’s everyone’s favourite CAPITA. Share price fell today by over 30%, now down to just under £3 from a past high of £13. Added to this; there’s possibly a £500m hole in their Pension fund, and lay-offs look likely. Carillion mk2 ?. Apologies but can’t provide a link.

      • giyane

        Now you know why Amey diversified from tunnelling into prisoner transportation services, because most corporate-owned property is made from plasterboard and bits of bent tin with a life expectancy of 20 years unless the rats get in. If that happens whatever you do, the rats follow the trails of their urine back into the building.

        Don’t say that. That is the perfect metaphor for swivel-eyed Tories / Republicans. No matter how much the left try to reform, the red and blue Tories always manage to follow their old stupidities back into power again. Humans just don’t deserve to own this planet. I have no doubt they will destroy themselves soon.

        • Sharp Ears

          I watched a session at the HoC where the Liverpool Prison governor (a newbie) and the head of the prison service, plus an operative from Amey who run it, were giving evidence to the Home Affairs Committee. Informative
          .Inmates locked up for 22 hrs daily. Rats. Cockroaches. Every window broken.

          It was extremely depressing to have confirmed that we are now a banana republic

          Rory Stewart is the minister!! God help us all.

          Both the Amey operative and the prison governor are new so it’s a case of ‘nothing to do with me, guv’ or ‘that was before my time’.

          • giyane

            Sharp Ears

            If the Tories, red and blue, had not paid a third of their corporate buddies’ businesses’ wage bills through working tax credit, they would have had enough money to for their responsibilities like prisons, the disabled and the sick/old. Working tax credit is a system of wage control under a different name. Universal credit will phase out WTC but corporate business will not raise wages to compensate workers for their loss.

            The idiot Tories have been borrowing on the never never to give their mates in business this massive subsidy, but eventually the never never has to be paid for and short of China they’ve run out of people they can con. Saudi and Qatar have seen all their investment in the Middle East trashed by Russia, whom everyone can now see is working with USUKIS.

            You can fool some of the people some of the time. The UK has realised that Brexit is a massive con for the Tories to rewrite all Employment and Human Rights legislation, cancelling hundreds of years of socialist progress at the flick of a pen. The infrastructure is disintegrating. Our standing in the world is shrinking through our association with the US IS part of USUKIS.

            When Tories start to call other Tories swivel-eyed , you know the Nasty Party has bottomed out in its unacceptable Nastiness. Time for Corbyn to pick up the fag-end of UK pride and squeeze the last bit of nicotine out of this once great nation.

          • glenn_nl

            I: “What is your issue with Rory Stewart, apart from the fact he is a Tory?

            Isn’t that enough?

          • giyane


            Rory Stewart was a UK spy in Afghanistan in 2001. That means he is part of deep government. If you as an Irishman have no issues with the UK deep state, I can tell you your government does. It does not share instant access police information with the UK. However if you are coming to the question from the angle of the DUP -Tory alliance, then I can inform you that you are part of the problem.

          • IrishU

            @Glenn_nl: No it isn’t enough in my book.

            @giyane: Yes it is most likely that Rory Stewart was involved in some capacity with SIS during the late 90s and early 00’s but I have no great issue with that per se, it very much depends on what his role actually was. As for the rest of your response, I will clear up a couple of matters: I am Irish but my government is that of the UK and not the Republic of Ireland. However, I am very glad to report that I have no truck with the DUP either at Westminster or at home.

            As for the Irish Government and the issues you claim they have with the ‘UK deep state’, it is without question that successive Irish governments (regardless of composition) have worked hand-in-glove with the British since the foundation of the state in 1922 up to the present day. Numerous examples can be cited, particularly during the ‘Troubles’ and more currently the sharing of intelligence on radical Islamic terrorism.

            BTW have you a source for Garda not sharing instant access information with the UK? (news to me and an interesting bit of information).

          • Phil the ex-frog

            I too would be interested to see a source for the claim that the Irish gov holds back on sharing police info with the met. That would be news to me too.

            If I recall correctly Stewart as a very young man was put in charge of a province of Iraq immediately after the invasion. His explanation was along the lines of ‘oh I just went to Iraq and found myself able to help’. Hilarious. Also, didn’t Craig confirm in a post that he knew Stewart to be an MI6 officer.

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