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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    • N_

      Isn’t there a phrase for a POW camp that includes enemy combatants’ families as prisoners?

    • duplicitousdemocracy

      There have been numerous claims that whenever ISIS are militarily in trouble, the Americans shepherd the terrorists out, either by aircraft or claiming to be evacuating innocent civilians from a war zone. Their Deir Ezzor raid was followed up by ISIS ground troops who within minutes of the air attack ending, took control of a critical mountain region. The timing was so precise, the terrorists had to have foreknowledge of the event. The US and the Israelis have consistently intervened to try to help beleaguered extremists. Their claim to be fighting ISIS beggars belief. Hopefully the latest attempt to dissect Syria, this time by using the Kurds to ethnically cleanse the Arabs will end in humiliating failure.

  • N_

    The Rees-Mogg “scuffle” plays to his brand superbly. In this time when the Tory government ship seems holed below the water-line, when senior members don’t appear to know what themselves or each other are doing, when no serious person would call May or Johnson “competent”, and probably not Hammond either, Rees-Mogg is appearing

    * brave
    * able and ready to lead from the front
    * having thought about what his views are
    * willing to discuss them and listen and change them if necessary
    * respectful of everyone
    * not caring about being abused personally because he serves a higher good.

    This is a fucking MASTERFUL presentation.

    He is going to WALK the Tory leadership contest when it comes.

  • Sharp Ears

    Listen up all you Olly Garks, especially the Russiian ones. Mr Wallace is coming for you. He means business and he was in HM’s Scots Guards too.

    Russian oligarchs suspected of corruption will be forced to explain their luxury lifestyles in the UK, the security minister has said.
    As part of an organised crime crackdown, Ben Wallace told The Times officials could now seize suspicious assets worth more than £50,000.

    He added wealthy foreign criminals would feel the “full force of government”.
    It is estimated £90bn of illegal cash is laundered in the UK each year.
    The real story of the world’s McMafias
    What can be done about London’s dirty money?

    New Unexplained Wealth Orders introduced this week will allow government officials to keep hold of assets including property until they have been properly accounted for. In the interview with the paper, the security minister warned: “We will come for you, for your assets and we will make the environment you live in difficult.”

    Dozens of targets have already been identified, according to The Times.

    Mr Wallace commended BBC drama McMafia’s “really good portrayal” of the international nature of organised crime. “Beneath the gloss there is real nastiness,” he said. “So far it’s very close to the truth, the international nature of organised crime and the impunity with which some of these people operate and the brutality of it, is absolutely correct.”

    He then referred to the so-called Laundromat case – a scheme in which fake companies mainly based in the UK were used to launder Russian cash through Western banks. “The government’s view is that we know what they are up to and we are not going to let it happen anymore,” he said.

    • Sharp Ears

      Times also. Note that their view is that it is mainly Russians who come over with their laundered money and buy their mansions..

      Unexplained wealth orders are new weapon in war on illicit assets
      Britain is trying to turn round its reputation as a haven for ill-gotten gains
      February 3 2018,
      Oligarchs falling foul of British law include Elena Kotova, a disgraced banker, and Mukhtar Ablyazov, accused of embezzlement

      In their private mansions dotted in the Surrey hills and luxurious apartments in upmarket London mews, dozens of oligarchs enjoy the trappings of British wealth.

      Their children go to the most expensive schools, their spouses wear designer clothes and they drive the best cars. They invest in universities and other respectable institutions to bolster their reputations, which are fiercely guarded by PR companies on eye-watering retainers.

      Some are Russians grown fat from the spoils of President Putin’s regime. Others are businessmen with links to Middle Eastern dictators or drug traffickers from Nigeria. In many cases their money comes from bribery and corruption.

      Britain, and its property market in particular, has long been known as a safe haven for ill-gotten gains. Transparency International claims that it…

    • N_

      Ben Wallace says of Russian organised crime (repeat: Russian organised crime) that “(b)eneath the gloss (what, nice dresses for the wives and stuff?) there is real nastiness“.

      Nastiness! Who would have thought it?

      Is this the same Russian organised crime that owns a chunk of the British media, a big slice of Britain’s capital city, and that politicians of all British political parties, and ambitious types generally, whether they’re in football or in property development, have been cosying up with for nigh on 30 years?

      Money talks.

      • SA

        It is incredible that this has just been noticed. It has been operating since the days Yeltsin gave Russian resources away and were gobbled up by the oligarchs. Interestingly what will not happen is that the haven given to the fugitives from Putin will be shadowed by others probably lesser ones supposedly connected with Putin. This will be used as another strand in the Russophobia hysteria whilst whitewashing our collusion with international criminals.
        We probably owe Misha Glenny and the BBC a debt of gratitude for bringing this to the fore. The fraud squad and other agencies needed this to realise what was going on it seems.

  • N_

    More about Mogg. This is from the Torygraph:

    Jacob Rees-Mogg admitted he was ‘a complete weed’ after getting caught up in a fracas whilst giving a speech at a university
    (Self-deprecatory, he keeps his composure and has some light humour afterwards.)

    Footage posted online showed the talk descend into violence with Mr Rees-Mogg caught in the middle of the scuffle.
    (Isn’t the country descending into something unpleasant right now too?)

    The Eurosceptic MP (mention the brand theme) last night told The Daily Telegraph that he was ‘absolutely fine’ and had endured ‘worse confrontations with The Guardian’“.
    (He’s calm in the heat, and the Torygraph mobilises its reader-supporters by mentioning its competitors. Note the tense use.)

    Onlookers said he had just arrived at the event with no security
    (“Onlookers” indeed! Can’t a hack confirm with the guy’s office? But he’s too modest, right? His bravery and shamanic endeavours will see us all through.)

    ‘They shouted no platform for Tory scum and other insults, but I’m of the sticks and stones school of thought.’

    ‘I wanted to stop anyone being hit because the whole thing would have degenerated. I didn’t think anyone was going to hit me so I felt quite safe intervening. I spoke afterwards, I was there for ages. There were lots of questions from the audience afterwards.'”
    (Wow. The message is really coming through. There is absolutely no way Boris Johnson could have pulled something like this off.)

    In footage of the event posted on Twitter, Mr Rees-Mogg could be seen attempting to quell the disturbance before being pushed himself.

    He was allegedly seen shouting ‘back off!’ and pushing a protester wearing sunglasses away from another attendee.

    Miss Kaye, who is reading politics at Bristol University, added: ‘I am not a Tory supporter myself but the whole room was backing up Rees-Mogg’

    I suspect that the line of much of the British media will soon be as follows:

    “After the divisions brought by the referendum, the country needs to come together under Mr Rees-Mogg. It doesn’t matter whether you are a Tory, a LibDem, left-wing Labour, or you’ve never voted. It doesn’t matter how you voted in the referendum. Times are tough and after several years of politicians from all parties who are undistinguished in their competence to say the least, we need steady hands at the tiller. Mr Rees-Mogg is the man we need. Those who obstruct him, whether or not they wear masks, are obstructing our country in its time of trouble.”

  • N_

    So Georgie Osborne’s an uphill gardener?

    Have you got any thoughts on the murder of Osborne’s “advisor” Paul Jefferies?

    Jefferies was “a senior HM Revenue and Customs official who reportedly advised George Osborne’s Treasury team”. He was stabbed to death, supposedly by an 18-year-old man he’d met through a doughnut drillers’ website.

    Do we all remember Michael Bates, the DFID minister who supposedly resigned because he was late for a question in the House of Lords? Well, he too works at the Treasury.

    It’s all happening at the Treasury!

    How’s the Barclay’s and Qatar fraud case going?

    Saudi and Trump wanted to blockade Qatar. Remember Trump’s sword dance? For as long as I can remember, a standing rule in Whitehall has been “don’t upset the Saudis”. Then Britain went and agreed to supply Qatar with warplanes.

    If Britain’s Gulf policy goes tits up (a massive opportunity for some, of course, as Iceland was too), don’t expect to be able to withdraw cash from your bank account if you wait around too long. Just saying.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    The Guardian tries to move from its perch, somewhat embarrassed about even George Monbiot, who did his best to get Tony Blair arrested…he even put up a bounty…now he seems to have gone ….

    The Guardian , then realises, that it is a parrot, and its feet (claws) are stapled to the perch that John Cleese brought into the pet shop, demanding his money back

    This is pretty good for The Guardian – did the jounalist come from Manchester?

    “Trump claims Nunes memo ‘totally’ vindicates him as FBI says ‘talk is cheap”


  • BrianFujisan.

    Great Clip here, of G.G tearing into B.J, and Rees Moog –

    ” George Galloway​ hits out at Conservatives​’ Jacob Rees-Mogg​ and Boris Johnson​ calling them ‘madmen’.

    ” He’s the Madman, { Corbyn } Because he will not contemplate the end of Mother Earth, it’s astonishing isin’t it, How everything is inverted ”

    P.s.. Didn’t take Russia Long to respond to the Downed fighter Jet, And Murder of the Pilot

    • Monteverdi

      Re your comment on downed Russian jet. Response was rapid and deadly [ see above ]. The ISIS/AQ fighters to have shoulder fired anti-aircraft missiles suggest the US/UK/ Israeli et al opponents of Assad are supplying them with advanced weaponry.A touch of the first Afghan war against the Soviets when CIA weapons flooded in to the Islamic terrorists. Interesting to think ISIS/AQ were provided with buses to leave Aleppo to go to Idlib by Assad and the Russians. Compare and contrast with vicious destruction of ISIS/AQ in Mosul by US led ‘ coalition forces ‘ in Iraq.

      • SA

        The US and Kurds also let some IS fighters out of Al Raqqa to Deir Ezzor and were criticised even by the BBC for it, so it is one of those things that both sides do in war for two reasons, one a deal usually reduces civilian casualties associated with a fight to the last man of the defeated side, and two the mass massacre of defeated fighters or their imprisonment with their families is often a major logistic problem in a war zone. I am always bemused when such actions are interpreted as good on the side one supports but bad when other side does it. Such bias is inevitable but we must guard against and be aware of.

    • Tokuko Hashimoto

      Indeed, it’s a mad world we live in. My daughter who’s an engineering graduate went to a recruitment fair, and found the following blurb, in effect, in a leaflet of a weapon’s manufacturer: “Your commitment to precision is a matter of life and death”. When we use the term “matter of life and death” usually “life” means the good things that we aim to achieve, but realised I was living in an illusion.

  • Paul Barbara

    Worried about ‘terrorists’? Perhaps you should be more worried about the former director of the Defense Nuclear Agency, Robert Munroe, and his advice to the Trumpeter:
    ‘Only Trump can restore America’s ability to win a nuclear war’:
    Dr. Strangelove is alive, and still spouting his nonsense, but the Trumpeter is moronic enough to listen to him.

    • SA

      Apparently the ligic is that the current weapons are too powerful and would wipe out life on Earth . So by developing smaller weapons which can be used to retaliate against overwhelming conventional attack it would deter the attack and therefore make it less likely that the enemy use thier weapons. This is the twisted logic of those designing US nuclear policy MAD has just gone MADDER.

      • BrianFujisan.

        Well Said SA

        They want the things a wee bit that they can get away with using them.. Fuck the U.N

        I seen a picture the other day..a beautiful child, with amazing Plaited hair.. She was Skeletal in Body ..In Yemen.. Thank you U.K…Oh..` And the Cowards at the U.N

      • N_

        For a time it looked as though western ideology had thrown “nuclear winter” out of the window, denouncing it as KGB propaganda. It’s a case of “any old shit, so long as you get the funding” I think. Or as it also known, “science”. That a megacull is coming seems very clear.

        They changed their use of the term “Cold War” too. The idea used to be that said frostiness featuring an energetic ICBM and strategic nuclear warhead race, but in which no blows were exchanged, ended some time in the 1960s, eventually to be followed by detente. Nowadays the media write happily that the Fischer-Spassky chess match of 1972, which took place during detente, happened “at the height of the Cold War”. Only a village idiot member of the journalism “profession” would have written that crap prior to around 1990. As for the Apollo-Soyuz linkup, it’s like “What’s that? Are you a nutcase or something?”

        911 in 2001 also ended many memories of the war the US waged and lost in Vietnam.

        • Paul Barbara

          @ N_ February 3, 2018 at 22:36
          Vietnam was also ‘started in earnest’ in August 1964 on the back of a LIE, the ‘Gulf of Tonkin LIE’, like your more recent example, also based on lies.
          It is hard to find a war that has not been sold to the public by lies.

        • SA

          The economic part of this should not be underestimated. The West tried to bankrupt the USSR with the arms race. After the end of communism they decided it would be better instead to destroy Russia economically by subjecting it to shock therapy from which she would not recover. Putin reversed this and rebuilt Russia both economically and militarily so we now need another arms race. This of course is a real winner for the Military industrial complex because whereas Russia uses real money to develop, the West uses borrowed money on the never never land of petrodollars. Furthermore the arms race takes away money that may otherwise be usefully employed in things like health and social care.

  • N_

    The Independent, the Evening Standard, the BBC, the Times, the Daily Mail, the Daily Express, the Sun, and the Metro all report the story about Cape Town the same way.

    They don’t say Cape Town is about to run out of water.

    They say Cape town is about to become the FIRST major city to run out of water.

    Spot the message.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ N_ February 4, 2018 at 00:47
      Getting the public ready for the inexorable results of increased fracking. ALL fracking facilities will leak at some time, some much quicker than others, and once it leaks into the aquifers, the water becomes toxic.
      South Africa recently gave the green light to fracking.

      • BrianFujisan.

        Paul..Cheers for the Frome Link..Amazing stuff..I had seen and read Off Guardian..But the New writings and posts are great… Thank you Wonderful girls…

        P.s… Abby Martin Should make Tony’s List.

      • giyane

        Paul Barbara
        Fracking is criminal colonisation of your own country and population, but not as criminal as doing it to other people and countries because here we elected them to frack us, while over there they didn’t ask for the USUKIS proxies Al Qaida, IS and Taliban to frack them. The subtle legal difference is that here they can say we gave them permission and over there they can say it wasn’t us.

        It does look as though Qatar’s US – made ground to air missiles have finally been given permission to be deployed in the manner Obama intended when he sold them in a last desperate bid to salvage something from the trillions wasted by Gulf states in Syria. Now we know Trump published the latest
        fake news about chemical weapons, so his generals could claim a ‘red line’.

        I wonder if there were any fingers pointing at Carillion in the Grenfell enquiry where scuppering the ship-of-state, the government’s flagship subbing company, became politically expedient in order to avoid government contamination. They can after all excuse themselves for the multi-billion financial fall-out through Liddington’s private company urine, but so far in the UK it has been traditional to imagine that the government is a provider of safety to its citizens. Grenfell might have pulled the mask off that one.

      • Sharp Ears

        Please sign. Much of Surrey’s water comes from the chalk aquifer.

        To: Environment Agency
        Don’t risk water pollution from oil drilling on Leith Hill
        We call on the Environment Agency (EA) to reject the environmental permit applications for Leith Hill in Surrey related to oil drilling. We think the potential water contamination risks are unacceptable.

        The permits in question are:
        1. Environmental Permit application for onshore oil and gas exploratory operations on Leith Hill (EPR/YP3735YK/A001)
        2. Environmental permit application for a radioactive substances activity permit on Leith Hill (EPR/EB3594DF/A001)
        3. Environmental permit for a standard rules installation permit for Leith Hill (EPR/YP3735YK/A001).
        We also call on the EA to substantially extend and strengthen the water monitoring to more locations and over a longer time period.

        Water is a both a vital natural resource and a heritage, which must be protected, defended and treated as such.

        The action group:

      • nevermind

        Paul, fracking is everywhere and it is releasing methane and other gases by the bucket load. Its reckoned that Texas fracking wells release as much gases than the whole of the US is releasing in pollution, like Nox+ Co2.

        Breaking through shale could hit methane pockets and other gases like radon and the UK’s frackers, suitably taxed in offshore havens and operating with great debts, Barclays are bankrolling most of their actions.
        Third Energy has not returned its financial accounts since Sept and have been propped up with a 12 million handout from Barclays.

        Frackers polluting the atmosphere is more dangerous and plentiful than car pollution and its methane releases are many times worse than the CO’2 we emit.
        Methane breakdown takes 7 years and as yet, SINCE WE ARE TALKING OF NUCLEAR EXCHANGES, nobody knows what effect this would have in a methane rich atmosphere.

        but as long as we breed arms dealers who rake in their profits to start new wars, who gives a shit about science,evolution or our overall ecology.

        • glenn_nl

          Nevermind: The big problem with CH4 is that its greenhouse gas properties are up to 100 times that of CO2. It persists for about a century. A huge emitter of CH4 is livestock, bred for the sole purpose of producing meat for human consumption.

          But who cares about that eh? Climate change is all a hoax – just ask Trump and his many fans and apologists right on this blog.

    • SA

      There are other sinister messages here. One is about the French company installing smart meters in poor areas in Niger which dispenses water only to the amount of credit the poor Nigerois prepay for through mobile phones. It is a bizarre situation whereby these poor people not only have to pay rich corporations money for their country’s natural resources but also have to keep other global corporations making mobile phones in business. No mobile phone=no water.

      • giyane


        This level of colonial exploitation and malice is usually associated with, how to euphemise?, a small democracy on the border of the Mediterranean. But yes it was a French company that provided the concrete for Al Qaida’s bunkers in Syria, using Clintonite, a rare compound made from sulphur and brimstone, . What am I talking about? The unlikelihood of this French company not being a corporate compound of other powerful nations. Rather like Magma which is made up of crystals, volcanic glass, and bubbles (volcanic gases).

      • Paul Barbara

        @ SA February 4, 2018 at 04:34
        And another thing – they HAVE to put up with the deadly ‘Smart Meters’, sending out dangerous signals extremely frequently, 24/7.
        A tip to the wise – if you haven’t got a ‘Smart Meter’, don’t accept one (look up ‘Smart Phone Dangers’.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    I always knew Dan Hodges was – but I really liked his Mum. Glenda is great.

    Whilst I have never been that keen on George Monbiot, we did exchange communications and I nearly met him at some festival in Wales (I would much rather have met George Golloway, but haven’t met either yet…)

    But I thought George Monbiot was reasoanbly O.K. – if a little boring at times, so I find it hard to beleive, but the eveidence is pretty strong that George Monbiot has turned into a wankturd…

    How did he do it..Not even the famous “plaigurist” – sacked by The Independent for writing the Truth with passion has achieved that

    Johann Hari is far more talented.


    • Shatnersrug

      Tony Monbiot is a complete fraud. He does not live on a farm in Wales – although he does own one. He actually lives in a palatial apartment in the new awful Hyde park gate complex, in that flat he has a Nanny he calls Nanny, a cook who known as Cook, two rude children and a large private gallery containing works by Picasso and many other famous artists. His entire persona is was carfully crafted in the style of Swampy after the Newbury bypass protests, George invented himself as a member of the concerned environmentalist guardian reader. His cover has now been blown because he refuses to condemn US military action, the Miltary being the single largest poluter and cause of carbon dioxide in the world. Monbiot pointes silence demonstrates his unwillingness to genuinely support his supposed beliefs

      • Phil the ex-frog

        “lives in a palatial apartment in the new awful Hyde park gate complex, in that flat he has a Nanny he calls Nanny, a cook who known as Cook…and a large private gallery containing works by Picasso and many other famous artists”

        He lives in Hype Park Corner, has staff and a Picasso? Fuck me. That is hilarious if true. Gotta source?

  • Tony_0pmoc

    If you were a girl on one of these hotcourses, and you met the organiser after a week on the final hotcourse party…would you take him home to meet your Mum????

    Well , The conservatives, not only did – but they made this ‘orrible smarmy spiv the Chairman of The Conservative Party .Grant Shapps has now been replaced in disgrace by Jeremy Hunt, who is trying to destroy The National Health Service (sell it off to his mates)

    If you were a nice nurse, would you take either of these creeps home, to meet your Mum???

    The Tory party did…That was not a particularly good record. Ted Heath may have been worse but he kept it quiet.

    I know Labour aren’t that Great either, but I voted for Jeremy Corbyn


    • Sharp Ears


      Cabinet reshuffle: Brandon Lewis appointed new Tory Party chairman
      8th January 2018.

      • nevermind

        An even smarmier Brandon Lewis is now in charge of the party, mind, he can’t sort out the BMX gangs beating up homeless people in his own patch Gt. Yarmouth.

        He wants to send foreign criminals home…..That does not mean Saudi’s who might or might not keep slaves in their London mansions, nor does it mean those who launder some 90 billion plus in criminally gained money in the City of London Corp., wherever they come from.
        Nor does he mean those who undermine our political party structure and representation of people with vast sums, by befriending MP’s, who create undemocratic groups and split loyalties in our parties thereby undermining political parties sole responsibility to the people they govern.

  • giyane

    Please may I recommend to any who are interested in the rise of UK Islamism to read what Sara Khan has to say on her blog:

    “Yet as someone who has spent a considerable amount of time in the British counter-terrorism and counter extremism community, I am tired of those within that community display blinkered thinking and policy. Too often colleagues and partners exclusively focus on Daesh, while ignoring the radicalisation that is taking place right here under our noses by UK based Islamist groups and the brazen promotion and support for Islamist ideology. It has become apparent to me that even for many well intentioned activists, faith leaders and authorities, challenging this ideology – and the British groups who promote it – has been placed in the “difficult box” leaving it to a few handful of people who are repeatedly vilified as demonstrated in 5Pillars’ video.

    The authorities would do well to heed the words of Jason Burke. The author, writing about the fall of Daesh’s caliphate, forewarns the next Islamist threat and has argued that Islamist militancy follows the same trajectory; the first a slow, unnoticed period of growth. Many of us are only too well aware of the growth of those ideas in our country, but the truth is nobody is prepared to do anything about them. Which is why, at our peril, countering Islamist ideology will continue to remain in the “difficult box,” unless there is a sea change in our thinking. ”

    What she says is true, and needs saying. There is a very bipolar support for jihadism in this country, amongst Muslims who are cosseted by the UK welfare state and good education and jobs, who support the absolute destruction of life’s essentials in Muslim countries , for the sole benefit of the colonial powers. Colonialism has a long history and it depends on using some priveledged Muslims to destroy the lives of others, bribed by the pitiful rewards of this earthly life.

  • Maxwell

    Don’t think this has been posted here yet. A book by German journalist (now deceased) Udo Ulfkotte, called “Bought Journalists.” It details the way the CIA manipulates and bribes western journalists to promote American interests. It was going to be published in English but the publication was inexplicably canceled. OffGuardian is publishing “summaries” of selected content.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Maxwell February 4, 2018 at 21:41
      Have no fear, it’s gonna be published!
      Watch This Space!

    • Phil the ex-frog

      That’s right. The suppression of publication is so much easier in this internet age than it was when the government successfully kept spycatcher out of the country. Hilarious. This “suppression” is definitely not a marketing ploy.

        • Maxwell

          a) he was a high profile journalist who has inside knowledge of how he and his peers were soft-subverted by intelligence agencies, this hardly becomes irrelevant because we don’t like his politics

          b) start suppressing views and facts because of where they come from and where do we end up? Not in a free society that’s for sure

          • Kempe

            I’m not suggesting he should be silenced just asking how much credibility he has in view of some of his previous statements.

            It’s been suggested that his book is part of a vendetta against his previous employer, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

          • J

            I wouldn’t even accept his premise at face value like that. If he told you the sky was blue I’d check first. Aversion therapy, from the usual suspects.

  • nevermind

    Whilst Israel is harassing Palestinian citizens in Hebron, by trying to stop their daily necessities/ their mobility, trade and more, to frustrate their lives and push them out of their homes by demolishing them.

    someone is selling highly advanced should held surface to air missiles to the fighters on the ground. Who would that be?

    • nevermind

      And the deal with whats left of IS in Iraq seems to be that they are now concentrating on engaging Iran in the mountainous areas of Bamo. A small faction of Kurdish IS seem to have got hold of some very sophisticated weapons and hid them, already used in Afrin to down a Russian jet, we are now witnessing the slow drip drip offence against Iran.

      This runs parallel to the efforts Israel is making to find and neutralise Hezbollah’s missile’s, we are already looking at a war with Iran.;

      • Paul Barbara

        @ nevermind February 5, 2018 at 12:06
        Who would have believed it – US proxie headchoppers being used against Iran?
        How long before some ‘REAL’ anti-West terrorists get hold of some manpads?

        • nevermind

          Well said paul, I remember when Stinger shoulder held missiles found their way into Afghanistan and were used by warlord Hekmatia. Now where did he get them from.
          Again Tora Bora, the original mountain range, was then designated to store western arms and ammunitions, then Osama Bin Laden was still the bag man for the CIA, in charge of dishing them out to fight the Russian invaders.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ nevermind February 5, 2018 at 11:47
      Wouldn’t be the Yanks up to their old Afghan tricks, would it? ‘Bleeding’ the Russians?

  • Tony_0pmoc

    This is an excellent analysis of the latest sh1tstorm by Catte on Off-Guardian.

    “In some ways this is the most ridiculous thing in the article. Why would any sane person – Putin or anyone else – want America to be more divided, unstable and terrifying than it already is? To the rest of the world, even its supposed friends, America is the psycho next door with the drinking problem, the chainsaw and the cupboard full of illegal firearms. No one wants this guy getting all riled up about anything. Because they don’t want to wake up with their house on fire and their kids dead in the yard.”

    • Bob Apposite

      But many prominent celebrities from Susan Sarandon, to, well, Craig Murray/Julian Assange – DID want to see America more divided, unstable, and “terrifying”.

      • Bob Apposite

        In fact, Julian Assange even wrote a thought paper/experiment on how to destabilize America. “Conspiracy as Governance”, Dec. 2006.

        • Tony_0pmoc

          Bob Apposite,

          I retain an open mind on Assange, but within the last week or so, I saw a bit of a video (I can’t remember the source), but could find it if you are interested. The kid – about 10 or 12, didn’t half look like Assange. Apparently his Dad was into some weird cult…

          That however doesn’t prove anything, and I would still like to meet him, even if its true.

          They tried to make a Roman Catholic Priest out of me, and that would have been even worse.

          Good to see They let Laurie Love off, basically because he has a really nice name, and it wouldn’t go down to well, if the Americans were torturing him, because they set all their password to blank.


      • Sharp Ears

        The Americans have managed that all by themselves – without any outside help. LOL.

        Have you seen any society that is more sick?

  • Paul Barbara

    Following his suppression of Catalan calls for Independence, Rajoy further shows his Right-Wing colours:
    ‘Venezuela, Spain Expel Ambassadors’:

    ‘…A staunch critic of Maduro, Rajoy has been an outspoken supporter of sanctions on Venezuela. During a radio interview on Wednesday, Rajoy said new European Union sanctions on Venezuela were “well deserved”, and accused Maduro of imposing “brutal” rule….’

  • Tony_0pmoc

    So are you, even if you just work for a Children’s Charity, a Media Organisation, perhaps even unknowingly – are actually working for The CIA. Have you risen to a position of management, and gone on the final course…cos this is what they do…

    You are just one of 16, and you just naturally assume, you are like the other 15…and you play these management team games – all good fun, where you split into groups and compete…You’ve been on these leadership courses before – a week in a hotel, all expenses paid for…Behaviour Analysis and Behaviour Modification (don’t knock it Psychology works – it is very powerful)

    The final one is different, though initially it seems like the previous ones….

    That is when you are deconstructed. You are the target, and everyone there is employed by the Tavistock Institute (or sub contractors).

    I did not go on the final one, cos I saw what it did to a bloke I was working with.

    He had been brainwashed, and was now a 100% Company Man complete with the Bullshit…

    I looked at him, and thought wtf have they done to you?

    I thought about if for awhile, pleaded to be made redundant, as I am not like them.

    “Bought Journalists: English translation of postscript to Udo Ulfkotte’s suppressed book”

    I found this distressing to watch

    “Panel debate – Open Mind Conference 2017”


  • camdorf

    Interesting developments in Syria tonight.

    Assads SAA allowing a massive convoy of SDF/Kurdish forces travel through their areas of control to access Afrin. They have traveled as far as Iraq and eastern Syria to fight. Things really about to kick off with the Turks and Ergodan possibly getting sucked into something nasty.

    If the SDF numbers are big enough and they think they can do a deal with Assad (never going to do a deal with the Turk/FSA/IS/AQ bunch), they along with the SAA could potentially wipe out the remaining territory of the FSA in Idlib and Aleppo within a couple of months forcing them back over the border into Turkey. Question is will they be shooting fish in a barrel or have they just positioned themselves as the fish?

    Bodes well for future peace talks at the very least if they do work together to wipe out the FSA/AQ mob. There would be only two groups at the negotiation table. SAA and the SDF, Erdogan sidelined, isolated with egg on face.

    Russia was not happy with another pilot going down. Do they hold the FSA or Turkey responsible?

    I also recall somewhere the SAA 5 Corp had positioned themselves right at the border with Afrin too in the past few days. Somethings brewing.

    • SA

      There is an interesting analysis of this in the following link

      I think that this may well be that there would be a Syrian Government / YPG potential collaboration. The SDF is a slightly more mixed bag.
      However I must take you to task also for writing the following
      “Assads SAA allowing …..”. This follows the MSM and neoliberal trend of demonising a ruler then ascribing every action to them. Why not write: The SAA or the SG? Do you say Trump’s forces in east Syria, or Mays troops in Latvia when you write about these things?

    • Tony_0pmoc


      Even if Assange is guilty of everything he has been charged with (and I suspoect he is a bit) – I’ve done it without a condom too, but so far as I can tell, he hasn’t broken any laws, and has never actually been charged with breaking any laws.

      He hasn’t been charged with anything..So why is he still in Prison?

      He can sleep in my new shed if he likes, as long as he doesn’t drag all the bloody press around.

      He may have upset some Americans, but so what? There is no evidence of him lying or even trying to start Nuclear Wars.

      Good to see they let Lauri Love off, and he’s as guily as hell too, for logging on to American Servers, when they didn’t even set the password to blank. They didn’t set any password at all.

      I reckon he was only let off, because of the Future Potential Press Headlines…He has got rather a nice name to be tortured in an American Prison.


    • Paul Barbara

      @ Macky February 5, 2018 at 22:39
      But there are further complications for Assange:
      ‘Is the Conflict Within Ecuador’s Center-Left a Turn to the Right?’:

      It seems Moreno has got into power by pretending to be a follower of Correa’s ideas, only to backtrack after gaining power and stabbing Correa in the back. He may also well back-track on Assange as well.
      Maybe Assange will need another country to accept him, maybe Russia or Cuba.
      Venezuela is too hazardous a choice as things hot up there.

  • nevermind

    Waiting with baited breath as to what chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot on Julians 5 and 1/4 years of self protection/incarceration in the Ecuadorian embassy.
    Today is the 6th. and it should be a decision that solely rules on the reasons why an EAW can’t be upheld. Other spurious and unproven reasons/possible extraditions should not come into it.

    Nothing in the news off course.

    • Sharp Ears

      From that link. That expenditure is preposterous. Cameron should be billed for it.
      5 minutes ago
      The Met police has said it spent £13.2m stationing officers outside the Ecuadorian embassy between June 2012 and October 2015.
      The force says that figure breaks down into £7.2m in opportunity costs (police officer pay costs that would be incurred in normal duties) and £3.8m additional costs (estimated additional police overtime as a direct result of deployment to the embassy). Indirect costs (for example covering support departments and administration overheads) amounted to £2.2m.
      A spokesman said: “The costs provided are an estimate based on averages, as actual salary and overtime costs would vary daily.”
      The Met withdrew 24-hour police presence from outside the embassy on 12 October 2015.

      23 minutes ago
      This is the scene at the Ecuadorian embassy in London where Mr Assange has taken refuge in fear of extradition to the US.
      Last May, when Swedish prosecutors announced they would drop the sex assault-linked probe against him, the Wikileaks founder stood on this balcony to give a speech. In that address, he called the development an “important victory” and a vindication, but vowed “the proper war is just commencing”.

      27 minutes ago
      Julian Assange’s years-long standoff with British police could end today if senior district judge Emma Arbuthnot overturns the UK warrant for his arrest. The decision is expected at 2pm.

      • Sharp Ears

        Poor Julian. So sorry.

        Julian Assange arrest warrant still stands, court rules
        1 hour ago
        The WikiLeaks founder has been living at the Ecuadorean embassy for more than five years
        A UK arrest warrant against Julian Assange is still valid, Westminster Magistrates’ Court has ruled.
        Lawyers for the WikiLeaks founder asked the court to withdraw the warrant, saying it had “lost its purpose”.
        It was issued in 2012 after he allegedly breached bail conditions by seeking asylum in Ecuador’s London embassy, where he has remained.

        He had been facing extradition to Sweden to answer sex assault claims but these charges have since been dropped.
        In her ruling, senior district judge and chief magistrate Emma Arbuthnot said having considered the arguments, she was “not persuaded that the warrant should be withdrawn”.

        She told the court that not surrendering to bail was a standalone offence under the Bail Act and Mr Assange must explain why he failed to do so.

        The offence carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison.
        Profile: Julian Assange
        Julian Assange: Sweden drops rape investigation
        Timeline: Julian Assange case

        Earlier this month the UK government refused to grant Mr Assange diplomatic status and called on him to leave the embassy to “face justice”.

        He has long feared that if he leaves the embassy he could be sent to the US to face trial over the leaking of hundreds of thousands of secret US military and diplomatic documents.

        Classified war documents

        In April 2017, US attorney general Jeff Sessions said arresting him was a “priority”, and the UK has refused to guarantee that he will not be extradited.

        Wikileaks, which was founded by Mr Assange in 2006, has been involved in several high-profile releases of classified US information.

        It made headlines around the world in April 2010 when it released footage showing US soldiers shooting dead 18 civilians from a helicopter in Iraq.

        Mr Assange promoted and defended the video, as well as the massive release of classified US military documents on the Afghan and Iraq wars in July and October 2010.

        The website continued to release new documents, including five million confidential emails from US-based intelligence company Stratfor.

        • nevermind

          Looks like Mrs. Arbuthnot likes a little torture/ pain inflicted on those already in pain, her reference to a years worth in prison for jumping bail melts away when faced with a 5 and a quarter year being incarcerated.

          Clearly a political judgement by someone ‘ not convinced by her own law’ pathetic explanation and wholly political.
          A standalone woman with no compulsion except to bow down cowardly to neocons demands, a real popinjay puppet.

          Appeal and ask for an Independent judge from the ICC to rule on this!

          • Tony_0pmoc

            According to Assange on Twitter “Wall to wall fake news stating the government won today’s hearing. Nothing of the sort has happened. The hearing is still happening. Only one point has been ruled on”

            “UK court judgement on the first point in the case of my arrest warrant in five minutes. We are arguing four points. If we lose the first point then we will move on to argue the rest today. If we win any point the warrant falls.”

            “Here’s Canada’s state TV pumping out fake news. The hearing is still on right now. We only lost the first of four points. I was never charged. My asylum was over US extradition and Sweden dropped its so-called “preliminary investigation” a year ago.”

            “Judgment next week on Tuesday Feb 13 (2pm).”

            Don’t believe either The Press, or TV. They are not to be trusted.

          • Squeeth (formerly K. Crosby)

            I’m a bit surprised that anyone thought that this would come to anything but then, I thought that the Birmingham 6 appeal in 1988 stood a chance….

          • Paul Barbara

            @ Tony_0pmoc February 6, 2018 at 19:28
            Or, come on! Are you casting aspersions on British ‘Justice’, already?
            How much does Putin (or Netanyahu) pay you already!
            Only joshing, Tony!

        • Paul Barbara

          @ Sharp Ears February 6, 2018 at 17:26
          Surely you are not knocking British Justice?
          Tony Bliar gets a ‘Get Out Of Jail Free’ pass for LYINGLY getting the UK Armed Forces to commit War Crimes against Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya , Syria etc.
          Well, OK, I’ll ‘roll over’, and agree with ya, already!

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Patrick Cornwell February 6, 2018 at 19:06
      I more than suspect that Craig has his prioritises worked out,
      He has a very well respected Blog, but he also has serious business which, absolutely, has priority.

    • BrianFujisan.

      I don’t Think so Patrick… Craig’s Has went many pages in the past…I don’t think the Conversation will die anytime soon on here..Unless Craig Closes Fully

    • Paul Barbara

      @ SA February 6, 2018 at 20:33
      Surely you’re no a ‘conspiracy theorist? If you are, join the club!

      • SA

        Every single one of us is. But it depends where you set your limits. This is an easy one because there has been clear evidence all the way not just ‘theories’.

  • John Spencer-Davis

    Just to flag up that Mike Sivier may be starting a crowdfunding appeal against his defamation soon.

    Mike Sivier – author of the online blog Vox Political, one of the best left blogs online – has been outrageously libelled as a “Holocaust denier” by the Sunday Times and other newspapers and media outlets, which seem to have used the Sunday Times allegations as a basis for their own defamatory comments.

    Sivier was recently readmitted to the Labour Party under certain conditions – including training from the Jewish Labour Movement, an organisation he has deep reservations about – which he has refused to fulfil, so his suspension has been continued.

    I will say at once, in the interest of fairness, that Sivier has said one or two things that I think are very foolish and ill-judged. He has said of Tam Dalyell MP’s notorious allegation that Tony Blair was “unduly influenced by a cabal of Jewish advisers” that it “may have been entirely justified”. Whatever Dalyell’s meaning, “Jewish cabal” is a well-used anti-Semitic trope, and Sivier would have done better to have stayed well away from it. However, that a few unfortunate phrases can be picked out of an enormous output of political writings does not, in my opinion, mean that Sivier is an anti-Semite. I know his work too well to believe that, and he is without question not a Holocaust denier.

    I won’t link to the Sunday Times article (I do in my letter below) but it is headlined “Labour welcomes back banned activists and Holocaust denier”. The obvious intention is to damage the Labour Party by alleging that it harbours Holocaust deniers in its ranks. The evidence presented that Sivier is a Holocaust denier is this:

    “He [Sivier] also said he was “not pretending it was a big problem” if Jews were omitted from a list of Holocaust survivors, and claimed “I’m not going to comment” on whether thousands or millions of Jews died in the Holocaust as “I don’t know”.”

    These allegations are unequivocally false. I have complained to the Sunday Times and to the journalist responsible, Gabriel Pogrund. I append a copy of my letter to Mr Pogrund which demonstrates the falsity of the allegations.

    Dear Mr Pogrund,

    I append a copy of my complaint to the Sunday Times regarding the recent article in which
    you invite the inference that Mr Mike Sivier is a “Holocaust denier” (Complaint reference 382441270)

    This is one of the most serious charges a journalist can make against another person and it
    should be based on clear and unequivocal evidence. I have copied the exchanges on Mr Sivier’s
    website which demonstrate that the two allegations on which you base your description are false.

    I would appreciate a response from you.

    Yours sincerely,

    John Spencer-Davis



    On Sunday, February 4, 2018, the Sunday Times published the following report by Gabriel Pogrund (under the title “Labour welcomes back banned activists and Holocaust denier”).

    The opening sentence reads thus: “A Holocaust denier and a leading member of Militant during its takeover of Liverpool council are among a first wave of expelled hard-left activists who have been readmitted to the Labour Party, it can be revealed today.”

    Holocaust denial is one of the most damaging and defamatory things of which a person can be accused, and it is also extraordinarily damaging to the Labour Party to be accused of readmitting such a person. The evidence should therefore be clear and unequivocal.

    Who is the Holocaust denier referred to in the headline and first sentence? The article does not say, but the only allegations in the article which are relevant to the charge are the following (paragraphs 8 and 9):

    “Another individual who has been readmitted, Mike Sivier, was suspended by Labour only last year for comments about Jews and Zionism. On his website, Sivier, 48, said it “may be entirely justified” to say Tony Blair had been “unduly influenced by a cabal of Jewish advisers”.

    He also said he was “not pretending it was a big problem” if Jews were omitted from a list of Holocaust survivors, and claimed “I’m not going to comment” on whether thousands or millions of Jews died in the Holocaust as “I don’t know”.”

    Therefore it is Mike Sivier who is the alleged Holocaust denier. Other outlets have picked this up:

    I wish to complain about the two allegations in paragraph 9: they are false.

    The allegations concern conversations between Mr Sivier and a commenter “Ben” on this page of Mr Sivier’s website.

    Here is the exchange of which Mr Pogrund says Mr Sivier “claimed “I’m not going to comment” on whether thousands or millions of Jews died in the Holocaust as “I don’t know”.”

    “Ben”: “In 2008, the SWP issued an explanation of the Holocaust that referred to “thousands” (not “millions”) of victims AND OMITTED ANY REFERENCE TO JEWS.” (My capitals.)

    Mr Sivier: “Your reference to the SWP in 2008 – I’m not going to comment on “thousands” instead of “millions” because I don’t know, but the Nazi holocaust involved many other groups as well as Jews, and it seems likely that the SWP was simply being “politically correct”.”

    It is clear from this exchange that it is IMPOSSIBLE for Mr Sivier to mean “on whether THOUSANDS OR MILLIONS OF JEWS DIED in the Holocaust” (my capitals) as Mr Pogrund alleges, since the publication being discussed omitted any reference to Jews, in “Ben”‘s own words. The clear meaning of Mr Sivier’s comment is that he doesn’t know anything about the publication, not that he doesn’t know whether thousands or millions of Jews died in the Holocaust.

    Mr Pogrund’s allegation is therefore false.

    Here is the exchange of which Mr Pogrund says “He also said he was “not pretending it was a big problem” if Jews were omitted from a list of Holocaust survivors”.

    Mr Sivier: “Nobody has said anti-Semitism on the left doesn’t exist – I said as much yesterday. But it isn’t organised and is mostly the work of aberrant individuals.”

    “Ben”: “Mike, you are simply sticking your fingers in your ears, defending the indefensible, AND PRETENDING THAT THERE ISN’T A PROBLEM.. Perhaps the most shocking example is describing the SWP as being “politically correct” for omitting Jews altogether from its list of Holocaust victims. How is that PC, exactly? As for Maalia Bouattia, what else could she have meant by her reference to “Zionist-led media”?

    If you want to win back British Jews to the Labour Party, then I suggest you take a different tack.” (My capitals.)

    Mr Sivier: “I’m not pretending there isn’t a problem, though. I’m simply not pretending it’s a big problem.”

    It is clear from this exchange that Mr Sivier is answering “Ben”‘s charge that he is pretending there isn’t a problem with anti-Semitism on the left. He is NOT saying that it isn’t a big problem “if Jews were omitted from a list of Holocaust survivors”. He answers that point specifically later:

    Mr Sivier: “Going back to the SWP, I’ve already stated that it seems likely the press release was a tailored response to something the BNP had already said.”

    Mr Pogrund’s allegation is therefore false.

    These are the only two allegations of relevance to whether Mr Sivier is a “Holocaust denier”. They are both obviously false. Therefore, I would like you to print a retraction and correction and an apology to Mr Sivier, who I understand has also complained independently.

    Many thanks.

    I urge readers to consider helping Mr Sivier to clear his name of “Holocaust denier” allegations. Please find his own comments in the link here:

    Thanks, John

    • BrianFujisan.


      Some of Have pent a Small Fortune,,.We could try again then..You seem a Good Guy,,

      • BrianFujisan.

        they are monitoring this Space..WE ALL know this….I’M gettin SKINT trying to Fund Projects..

      • John Spencer-Davis

        Of course, Brian, and I am only gently asking that people consider assisting Mr Sivier if they wish to. He isn’t asking for help yet in any case, only broaching the likelihood that he might need to.

        Craig Murray’s blog was picked through with a fine toothcomb and a phrase quoted at him out of context to accuse him of anti-Semitism. Exactly the same is now happening to Mike Sivier.

        There are people out there who will stick at nothing to damage the Labour Party and to shut down dissent from the left. They need to be resisted. Best, J

  • reel guid

    A recent multi-option opinion poll on Scotland’s constitution by Survation is most interesting.

    Independence 32%
    Status Quo 36%
    Devo Max 17%
    Don’t Know 15%

    The thing about the status quo – the powers of Holyrood as they are now – is that it is an outgoing status quo. After the grabbing of devolved powers by Westminster in the EU Withdrawal Bill and the planned aggrandizement of the Scottish Office there will be a new status quo established. Whereby the institutions of the Scottish Government and the Scottish Parliament are so downgraded and overruled they become meaningless.

    This new status quo will not command as much as 36% support in a multi-option question. And devo max is not on offer. It reasonable to assume that the 17% who favour devo max will, in the context of a Holyrood undemocratically shorn of power, migrate almost en masse to the independence option. This would bring independence up to, say 48%.

    The 15% Don’t Knows would of course be split between Yes and No in voting in indyref2. The Yes vote did well in the end from the Don’t Knows in 2014 and that was when the a No vote meant a status quo Holyrood with its powers left intact. Or an even stronger one Holyrood if voters believed Brown’s Vow. Again it’s reasonable to assume that, given the Tory power grab and forced Scottish Brexit, that at least a slight majority of the Don’t Knows would opt for Yes in a referendum. If just over half of this group votes independence then that is another 8%. Which bring Yes to 56%. More than the 55% which No had in 2014.

    How little do the Tory leadership know Scotland if they think the 2014 result and the loss of SNP seats in 2017 means that Scots will accept an enforced major downgrading of Holyrood with all that entails. Many Scottish people – including very possibly politicians – self-identified as unionist hitherto are not going to go along with the de facto trashing of devolution and remain unionist.

    There is no status quo and no devo max. It’s either Yes to have Scotland independent, open for business and outward looking. Or No to keep Scotland stuck without proper democracy in an insular UK that is intolerant and creepily nostalgic.

    • fred

      “A recent multi-option opinion poll on Scotland’s constitution by Survation is most interesting.”

      Even if you convince every Don’t Know to vote Yes it still won’t be enough.

      Most interesting.

      • reel guid

        Read it again Fred. The status quo is not going to be an option. A lot of people only support the union on the conditional basis that Holyrood’s power is not reduced.

        • Republicofscotland

          I doubt Devo Max will be a option either, or Labour’s war cry of federalism.

        • fred

          So how does Scotland not receiving powers we have never had from Europe reduce our powers any?

          The survey shows Unionist options way ahead of Separatist and that is all it shows.

          • Republicofscotland

            Your blind use of Unionist and Separatist is very revealing. Especially when the Unionists are currently attempting to separate the rest of us from Europe.

            However, in Unionist eyes that doesn’t count, flawed logic indeed.

            Meanwhile a glimpse behind the Scottish Labour branch curtain, and its not a pretty sight.


            I wonder what James Kelly thinks of it.

          • Republicofscotland

            That’s it dodge the point entirely, a typical trait of the unionist, when the true comes a calling.

            As for your question, which I’ve answered before, yes I did temporarily think independence would be best served out of the EU. Indeed I still like the EFTA option.

          • Republicofscotland

            reel guid.

            I really don’t understand the unionist politicians in Scotland attending Burn’s Suppers. The rest of the year they have virtually nothing good to say about Scotland.

            Yet some feel they need to dress in the full attire, then address the haggis, puff out their chests and venerate our national bard every January.

            They obviously don’t realise, that we see right through them.

  • Republicofscotland

    reel guid.

    I see BBC Shortbread news are now using a flat weather map now, which shows Scotland’s actual size. Reporting Scotland aren’t doing it because they’ve suddenly decided that they should. No they now purchase their weather data from the Netherlands, maps and all.

    Meanwhile, Ian Blackford has fought tooth and nail with the Tories and RBS, and has acheived some success in keeping open ten branches of the bank, if only for a short period.

    However, I found it very distasteful of the Tories to demean Blackford’s success even if it is limited. Worse still none of the thirteen Scots Tories attempted in any way, to hold their own party to account over the majority state owned bank.

      • Republicofscotland

        A nothing column fattener, all could’ve’s might have’s and maybe’s.

        However what we do know is that Ian Blackford badgered Theresa May at several PMQ’s over RBS branch closures. Which has led to a stay of execution albeit a temporary one of ten branches.

        Frankly I’m disgusted that you can’t even acknowledge the saving of these branches for people, hard pressed to find an alternative, if only for a short period.

      • reel guid

        The Tory Government is the major shareholder in RBS but does nothing to stop the branch closures.
        Scottish Tory MPs say nothing in criticism of their party leadership.

        The SNP try to do what they can to help.
        Scottish Tory MPs publicly deride the SNP.

        It’s a farcical old union.

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