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

    We really are moving towards a state funded press, which as we all know will be bad for the truth and integrity driven journalism, but good for state propaganda.

    First we have the state linked BBC, funding journalists for the likes of NewsQuest, under the guise, of local democracy reporters.

    Now we have the British government contemplating how they can help newspaper titles survive, as sales of most are on the wane.

    Yes we all desire free speech and fine upstanding journalism, though rare these days, it is to be admired and encouraged. But if the state intervenes, to help support failing titles, will that influence the reporting in those titles that would have otherwise gone to the wall?

    In my opinion, the BBC and possibly the British government could be setting a dangerous precedent, by getting involved in the press.

    The likes of Russia and China, have travelled that road, where press stories not favourable to the state, never see the light of day.

  • Republicofscotland

    “The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has censored a document that suggested it was assassinating people around the world. It is now under pressure to come clean about its military operations after it removed the offending
    passage from its Joint Doctrine on drones.”

    Remarkably the government acknowledges that it’s targeting people outside wars zones. Of course the claim is that the unmanned drones are hunting terrorist targets who’ve dispersed into the wider community.

    A lot of backtracking and claims error filled documents, were at fault has been the excuse that they don’t hunt people outside the war zones, by the MoD.

  • fred

    @Reel Guid

    “The Tory Government is the major shareholder in RBS but does nothing to stop the branch closures.”

    The British government stepped in to save RBS and the Scottish government stepped in to save Prestwick airport.

    Does that mean Nicola Sturgeon is helping bomb babies?

    The Scottish government are the only shareholders in Prestwick but do nothing to stop the bombing of innocents.

    • iain

      Forget the public rhetoric, watch the private actions. SNP govt happily enabling Trump and the US killing machine.

        • iain

          Unlikely. Harold Wilson refused to accompany the US on its murderous rampage through SE Asia and he wasn’t half the anti-war, anti-imperialist man that Corbyn is.

          • Republicofscotland

            No qualms from Tony Blair in that field, nor just about every Westminster government since Blair.

            Of course Corbyn, is a able to flip-flop as opposition leader. He’s a CND member but, Labour voted to spend billions on renewing Trident. He’s constantly berating the Tories over leaving the EU and the negative impact that Brexit will have, yet he’s anti-EU, and supports Britain’s exit.

        • Republicofscotland

          You’re all over the place, bombing innocents, and babies, bank closures, would be, could be, may be devolved. They’re not, and defence is reserved to Westminster.

          If I didn’t know better I’d say you’ve been listening to wee Willie Rennie to much.

  • reel guid

    In 2017, in separate cases, 5 people were rightly jailed for threatening MPs.

    April 2017 – A man is jailed for 4 months for posting a death threat on Facebook to Tory MP Caroline Ansell.

    April 2017 – 2 months jail for a man convicted of sending death threats to Nottingham Tory MP Anna Soubry.

    June 2017 – A man is sent to prison for 14 weeks for phoning death threats to Bristol Labour MP Karin Smyth.

    August 2017 – 15 months in jail for a man found guilty of sending violent threats to Tory MP Lucy Allan.

    October 2017 – Edinburgh Sherriff Court jails a man for 6 months for sending violent threats to Tory MP Lucy Frazer.

    Rightly, custodial sentences were handed out in all those cases.


    7 February 2017 – A man is fined £2600 at Peterhead Sherriff Court for making death threats to SNP MSP Stewart Stevenson and SNP MP Angus McNeil at one of Stevenson’s constituency surgeries.

    It appears that the safety of Celtic nationalist politicians are held somewhat more cheaply by the law than those of Labour and Tory parliamentarians.

      • Republicofscotland

        reel guid.

        Tasmina Ahmed-Sheik, revealed today in the National newspaper that she’d had serious threats aimed at her. Humza Yousaf, has had serious threats aimed at him and his family.

        Of course it’s just boisterous banter, when it’s aimed at the Scottish government/SNP, but menacing and threatening behaviour if aimed at unionist politicians.

        You can feel the hatred here.

        • fred

          “Tasmina Ahmed-Sheik, revealed today in the National newspaper that she’d had serious threats aimed at her”

          Tasmina Ahmed-Sheik OBE? Did she say which party she was candidate for at the time?

    • Stu

      I think the reason why the Peterhead man got off was because he was wealthy not because he threatened the SNP. It’s very difficult to get sent to prison in rural Scotland if you are wealthy.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    I don’t watch TV, and there may be evidence to refute my opinion, that yesterday Julian Assange was not actually in The Ecuadorian Embassy. I know all the press and the TV cameras were there – and maybe even Julian’s cat. Lauri Love was there – shown going in with a box of tricks, and his girlfriend, and shown going out – joking Julian was in there…But when asked point blank in the TV interview (I do watch links) if he had just met Julian, Lauri Love, didn’t actually answer the question – he may have given a kind of Julian nod (like Julian did when asked about Seth Rich)…but that could have been interpereted in various ways. He may well have sat in his flat – the evidence is very strong that he both went in and came out, and he may very well have had a videolink discussion with Julian, who may actually have been somewhere else.

    However, whether or not Julian was there or not, yesterday, when no decision was made, I would be most surprised if he doesn’t turn up next week, to give a speech. Hopefully he will be released.

    This can’t go on for much longer, it is getting beyond silly.


    • What's going on?

      He’s definitely been out at least once since the legacy media has been claiming that he has been holed up there, because I saw him.

      • Tony_0pmoc

        What’s going on?,

        Lot’s of people can look like Assange. Seeing someone means nothing. I have supposedly twice seen myself in the media – one was an advert for TSB, when I was a student – even my mum insisted it was me, but I wasn’t there, and this was long before the days of photoshop. 20 years later I saw another photo in some computer games blog, and that sure as hell looked like me too, but I wasn’t there either (though I did have an interest in computer games at the time).

        The only way to really know, is to have voice identification as well as image identification, and actually personally know the person. To fake that would be extremely difficult, unless they were an identical twin, with identical personalities, which is incredibly rare. With twins, almost always, one is dominant, and they have different personalities, and different but often related skills.

        I’m sure the intelligence services, and the London acting profession (with a help of a few Aussies) could easily russell up 20 different Julian Assanges in London next Tuesday, and hardly anyone would be able to tell the difference.

        Maybe that’s the plan to get him released. Seems like a good idea to me.

        It would totally confuse The Americans, especially if they all walked out of the embassy at the same time and went in different directions.


        • What's going on?

          This was definitely him, he was walking along the street being escorted by the police and they took him to the Ecuadorian Embassy. He then appeared at the balcony of the embassy and gave a speech to the assembled paparazzi. I have no idea how significant it is, but he hasn’t been holed up in there all the time.

  • Stu

    There has been a lot of coverage of a centenary of affluent women over 30 gaining the vote.

    There has been a lot of focus on the Suffragettes but seemingly a complete failure to acknowledge why women were granted the vote. The restrictions placed on women are continually reported as having been enacted because “otherwise women would have out numbered men”. The real reason a certain proportion of women were granted the vote was because events – namely the Russian Revolution and the majority of the male population being conscripted – had made it impossible to hold another election without full male participation. Therefore the ruling class responded by granting votes to the wives, daughters and mothers of their supporters to counteract the swell in the working class franchise. Male franchise on it’s own or genuine universal franchise would have resulted in a very political landscape in the UK in the 1920s, the Representation Of The People Act 1918 obviously had positive consequences but is undeniably a cynical expression of class interest by the ruling elite of the time.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    I am somewhat reluctant to post anything much from, this website, because most of its content has now gone completely ridiculous. It was always somewhat dodgy despite the fact that people such as Gilad Atzmon posted there, who I have massive respect for. I certainly don’t trust much of anything that Gordon Duff (main editor) writes, cos he more or less admitted years ago, that at least 30% of it was a load of made up bollocks, and you need to read between the lines That however is somewhat of an improvement on the current state of the MSM, which is now more than 50% made up bollocks.

    These are some private emails from Noam Chomsky. Some of it is interesting, even if like him, it is rather old (some from 2008).


    • Courtenay Barnett

      I had noted that about Chomsky and 9/11 and he lacks credibility there.

      Also, I have noted that Tariq Ali and Chomsky seems to think in certain instances there is something desirable and permissible about regime change in certain countries.

      Well like most things and people in life – it is a mixed bag ( some good in it along with the bullshit). Same for Chomsky.

        • Tony_0pmoc

          Courtenay Barnett,

          1. You have used a banned word.

          2. I wasn’t expecting anyone to actually read it. Thank You.

          To get back sort of on topic Gary McKinnon (I recently saw a very long interview of him), Lauri Love And Julian Assange, are actually overall very positive PR for The British Government ( despite the obvious possibly negative connotations )

          They have all made it perfectly clear, that it would be a fate worse than death to be extradited to face Torture in The USA, and so far up to date, have been protected from this fate by The British Government.

          So that is at least 2 good things that Theresa May has done, and she could make it 3 next week.

          I can’t think of anything else..except she could of course tell Soros something completely appropriate like “Go and xxck xxxxsxlf xxu xxil xxxxard”


          • Courtenay Barnett


            What – the word – “think”?

            Or – another likely banned one is or two or three would be – question – question and analyse…so – think – question – and – analyse all banned when same does not jive with the “accepted” and/or “acceptable” narrative.

            That actually is what I do…and am happy to have persons question and challenge me – then – I just might learn a thing or two..

  • Courtenay Barnett

    The “liberal hawks” and the accommodative intellectuals is what I am seeing in a Hillary and pretty-boy slick tongue Obama… just as a point of reflection.
    But – where is there international respect for the Rule of Law amongst the really big players?
    The inviolability of Sovereignty and the upholding of the process and principles applicable under Article 2 of the UN Charter are good starting points for any devout “peacenik”. But, international criminality reigns – be that in Iraq – Libya or the proxy war in Syria – and no one will ever be brought to book for such crimes while they preach “human rights” – “democracy” ( read: “hypocrisy”) – “freedom” in the abstract with civil rights but lacking global survival rights as the first fundamental goal. Can’t have freedom to speak and no food to sustain life and limb – huh? That is where we are and this is about some who find it easier to be supplicants than remain consistent truth- seekers.

    Thus endeth my sermon for tonight.
    It is 10:45 p.m. my time and just about my bedtime.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    Hey Tony,

    ” Courtenay. Good Man. I have been reading you for many years”

    Ain’t you got nothing better to do mate?

    I am a lawyer and speak and sell words for a living – just be warned ( chuckle)

    • glenn_nl

      Never thought I’d see so many Trump fans and US-Republican supporters around here. What is it that appeals to you most about Trump then, his enlightened policies or his intellectual rigour ?

      • joel

        So you’re just another who tries to smear and discredit any left criticism of Clintonite neoliberalism as Republican or Kremlin propaganda. Well done, beats having to defend their ‘impetfections’.

        • glenn_nl

          Nope. I’m not fond of crypto fascists like Trump and his gang of thugs. Obviously you are.

          • Anon1

            It’s Trump or bust, Glenn. There won’t be a candidate strong enough and rich enough to take on the liberal establishment, and win, ever again. No one else could have taken the kind of sustained media barrage that Trump has been under and come out unscathed. This presidency has been a long time in the making. It really is the last chance for America and the Western world.

            The alternative is debt, war, globalisation, mass-immigration and a world governed by batshit loony liberals in which free speech will be – indeed, already is – increasingly denied.

            Choose wisely.

          • glenn_nl

            What “liberal establishment” is that? It’s a myth. Just like the “liberal media” is a myth. Just as the notion that Clinton (Bill & Hillary) or Obama were in the slightest way “liberal” – they’re establishment neo-liberals, albeit with a softer edge than the murderous thugs on the Republican side.

            You must have missed the trashing Obama had in the media for being everything from a Muslim Kenyan who hated America, was well to the left of Marx, and was about the steal everyone’s guns and Bibles. Fox “news” on the other hand find it hard to restrain themselves from breaking into song whenever Trump is mentioned, as the sing praises to his greatness and wisdom.

            What “Establishment” is Trump taking on, getting back to the question – moneyed interests? The military industrial complex? He’s packed the cabinet with know-nothings, Goldman Sachs and petroleum executives, and billionaire hucksters. Anti-establishment indeed.

      • Macky

        You seem to be missing the point; so let’s try again;

        “To be fair, I can’t throw all blame at the feet of Trump. The truth is that America has been creeping towards fascism ever since the planes hit the Twin Towers. George Bush used 9/11 as a pretext to eviscerate the Bill of Rights and set a blow torch to the Geneva Conventions. Obama followed suit as he quickened the pace of fascism from a creep to a trot.Trump sees the mendacity of Bush and the insidiousness of Obama and raises both with a flair befitting of Caligula.”

        • Paul Barbara

          @ Macky February 8, 2018 at 10:18
          ‘…America has been creeping towards fascism ever since the planes hit the Twin Towers…’
          It goes back way before that. There was the 1933 ‘Business Plot’ (euphemism for ‘Fascist Coup Plot’), then there was ‘Operation Paperclip’ from 1945 (and whilst well known now, it is not well known that the worst of War Criminals were also included, including Dr. Mengele, renamed ‘Dr. Green’ and put in high position in the US ‘Mind Control’ programme, ‘MK-ULTRA’ (the ‘MK’ stands for ‘Mind Control’ in German).
          Talking about German, are their any fluent German/English translators on here able to translate a whole book?
          This is a serious question.

      • SA

        That anybody should think Trump any good for anything or an improvement on anything is a reflection not only of the derangement of US politics but also of anyone who thinks that Trump really represents anything rational.

        • Paul Barbara

          @ SA February 8, 2018 at 19:42
          Trump is an abomination, but I still preferred him to Clinton, another known abomination, with a long track record.
          Question is, how can a vast, powerful country like the US allow themselves to be fobbed off with a choice of two absolute a**holes?

          • SA

            Trump acts randomly so that any of his irrational arguments can be right at some stage and therefore can appear to be approved by a spectrum from the far left via the centre to the far right. Even his critics suddenly become admirers when he bombs Syria.
            Sadly this regime of irrationality is not good for anybody.

          • glenn_nl

            I’ll ask you then, Paul. What policies of Trump’s do you like the best, since he’s your preferred candidate? Please don’t fob me off with some CDS (Clinton Derangement Syndrome) nonsense, I’d like to hear what you favour in Trump. Is it his racism, incompetence, pandering to the rich, sexism, love of dictators, greed, his self praise, childish perspectives – what, exactly?

          • SA

            And Paul
            You can hate Clinton and Trump equally without making the mistake of appearing to prefer Trump

    • joel

      Very good piece. These liberals have shown themselves to be truly dishonest, highly-selective people. Exemplified since by their shameless perpetuation of this Russia nonsense. Confirmation that they are not to be trusted, no matter how their media conduits represent them.

      • glenn_nl

        Too right – damn those “liberals” with their concern for human rights, economic justice and the environment and so on. Best leave all this sort of thing to the rich white guys and their stooges in government – they know what’s best.

        • Stu

          “their concern for human rights, economic justice and the environment ”

          You surely can’t be describing Obama and Clinton here?

          • glenn_nl

            Stu, just try looking at who has committed the worst policies against the environment and the working class in the US, and who has done the better things for same. Then flip it around, look at who has worked hardest for the rich and the extraction industries, and then who has imposed the more restrictions and legislation.

            If you come back after the slightest study with the answer “They’re the same”, I would have a difficult time taking you seriously.

  • Clydebuilt

    Police Scotland
    The BBC & Unionist politicians are working to get into people’s minds that the resignation of the first two Chief Constables is a result of the way the force has been created.
    The problem with the ex CC Gormley had nothing to do with the creation of Police Scotland, he bullied his staff.
    The resignation of the first CC Stephen House was due to teething troubles of the new force, and individual error by a call handler, helped along by a pro UK media.

    • fred

      Maybe Gormely bullied his staff, maybe he didn’t, we don’t know. What we do know is that the SPA who were conducting an investigation into the allegations decided he could go back to work but this decision was reversed after intervention by a Scottish government minister. This throws doubt on the independence of the police.

      Maybe Gormely lost his job because he was a bully, maybe he lost it because he just wasn’t Nationalist enough, we don’t know and we can’t know so long as the SNP are allowed to interfere in internal police matters.

        • fred

          No. The SPA aren’t the police, they are a supposedly independent board there to hold the police to account and to keep the police force independent from government. The board members are not serving police officers.

          • Paul Barbara

            @ fred February 8, 2018 at 13:57
            You got it in one, there: ‘..The SPA aren’t the police, they are a SUPPOSEDLY independent board there to hold the police to account…’
            Just like the British ‘Police Complaints Authority, now named the IPCC.
            I had ‘dealings’ with them when they were the PCA. I can assure you they were anything but ‘Independent’.

          • fred

            At least south of the border the police are split into several regions so complaints against one force can be investigated by police from a different force where the chief constable has nothing to gain from a cover up.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Texan Longhorn February 8, 2018 at 11:07
      Haven’t you heard? The so-called ‘barrel bombs’ were in fact ‘Hell Cannon’, sending canisters (often gas bottles) of explosive, with crude fins welded on into mostly civilian areas by mortars, then blaming Assad and claiming they were dropped from helicopters or planes.
      Do you also believe Assad used CW’s against ‘his own’ (or anyone else’s) people?

  • reel guid

    The latest Yougov poll has the Tories on 43% and Labour on 39%. Given the Tory mess on Brexit and the English NHS, people are asking how that is possible.

    It’s possible because,

    a. England is a conservatively inclined nation.
    b. Labour are going for a hard Brexit too.
    c. Labour is led by a blinkered, uncompromising Marxist numpty.

    For Scotland there is now only one route to democracy, psychological and social wellbeing, sound economics, good foreign relations and cultural renaissance. That is independence.

    • joel

      Marxism calls for the seizing of ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange by revolutionary force from the bourgeoise. If you seriously think Jeremy Corbyn’s call for a mixed economy with public ownership of natural monopolies, private ownership of good and services that can flourish in a regulated but in most respect free market, and progressive taxation funding decent public services makes him ‘Marxist’ you expose yourself as a profoundly uneducated sponge of rightwing propaganda.

      • Stu

        “you expose yourself as a profoundly uneducated sponge of rightwing propaganda.”

        That’s harsh. He’s just a monomaniacal Scottish nationalist who is becoming increasingly incoherent as it becomes clear the SNP have abandoned any effort to campaign for a second referendum.

        • joel

          Just going by his claim that Corbyn is a Marxist, the instinctive smear of choice for mindless rightwingers everywhere.

          • Stu

            Being a Marxist doesn’t mean you have adopt the political tactics of the SWP or Left Communists. Marxism doesn’t call for the seizure of the means of production, it states that this will happen.

          • reel guid

            The intended insult was really in the words “blinkered, uncompromising……numpty”.

            I take Marxism seriously enough and don’t dismiss it out of hand.

          • Stu

            He pointedly doesn’t but on the other hand he wouldn’t say a positive word about capitalism on Marr the other week either. McDonnell is obviously a Marxist. Corbyn I would wager thinks that participatory politics can result in capitalism smoothly transitioning into a more equitable mode of production.

            Marx’s analysis of capitalism clearly still stand up. Capitalism has averted it’s decline via imperialism, war, consumerism globalisation and financialisation but it is still clearly in decline.

          • Phil the ex-frog

            Reel G
            “I take Marxism seriously enough and don’t dismiss it out of hand.”

            The idea that you have any meaningful understanding of Marxism is hilarious.

    • Stu

      12 months ago the polls had Labour on 24%. 8 months ago they gained 40% of the electorate. These polls are a political tool and as Craig has pointed out many time Yougov are the worst of the lot.

      Last year the polls were rigged to pressure Corbyn to quit. This year they are being rigged to allow the Tories time to manage a soft Brexit without the threat of a leadership contest which could bring Boris or Mogg to power.

      • Republicofscotland

        “Last year the polls were rigged to pressure Corbyn to quit. This year they are being rigged”

        More like Corbyn isn’t as popular as you think he is, and people do tend to notice, Labour MP’s traipsing through the corridors of Westminster to vote with the Tories, on the likes of welfare, Trident, and Brexit.

        • Stu

          The other half of the double act….

          There is no chance Labour were ever at 24%. The reason so much money is pumped into polling companies is to influence events under the pretence of analysing them. Here we see a poll come out with a Tory lead right when backbenchers are considering forcing a leadership contest. It stinks.

          • Republicofscotland

            “The other half of the double act….”

            You’re the comedian Stu.

            Well at least you didn’t try to deny, Labour and the Tories aren’t that far apart.

        • Paul Barbara

          @ Republicofscotland February 8, 2018 at 16:44
          I suspect they are not ‘Labour’, but Bliarites.

    • SA

      reel guid
      I have to say that you have a rather selective view of the world through Scottish indipendence so much so that you spend much more time attacking Corbyn than attacking neoliberalism or the Tories. Am I misrepresenting what you post frequently?

    • Paul Barbara

      @ reel guid February 8, 2018 at 12:57
      There is, of course, another possibility – the poll could be rigged (like the Scottish Vote of Independence and the General Election).

  • reel guid

    The Scotsman reports on a Tory fundraiser in London. Some starry eyed donor paid £15 000 for dinner with Ruth Davidson. Worse than that even, someone forked out £30 000 for dinner with Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson in the Churchill War Rooms. That’s going overboard and underground at the same time.

    Someone else outbid the competition by offering £55 000 to shadow Theresa May for the day. Bet she got Phil to secretly fork out so she wasn’t cheaper than her cabinet.

    Poor old Liam Fox. Dinner with him only set some Tory supporter back 2 grand. Maybe bidders were put off by the worry they might be served chlorinated chicken.

    Rumour has it someone paid 10 quid for pie and Bovril on the Thames Embankment with Davie Mundell.

    • JOML

      Don’t believe it, reel guid. You can get a pie and bovril for about 3 quid – why would you spend 10?! ?

    • Republicofscotland

      reel guid.

      Cash for access, is a mainstay of the slimy toadie politicians, that inhabits the unionist parties.

      The HoL is full of ennobled cash for access party donor cronies. It’s an affront to democracy.

      Of course Corbyn’s party have been making noises over reforming the HoL for close to one-hundred years.

      • reel guid

        I wonder if Ruth will be better behaved at dinner with the donor than at the Xmas night oot a few years ago where she allegedly got plastered and made a mess in the restaurant by throwing potted plants about.

        See the Mirror has it that guests “coiffed” French wine instead of quaffed. Dear oh dear. The standard of journalism.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    Anon 1,

    ” The alternative is debt, war, globalisation, mass-immigration and a world governed by batshit loony liberals…”
    Think things through for a moment:-
    ” The alternative is debt” – debt ceiling again raised under Trump to astronomical levels; $6b tax break to Enron while the average American remains in shit and rapidly sinking with health care under attack compliments of Trump.

    ” globalization” – is Trump going to be totally isolationist and have America trade solely within its geographical confines – or – does reality dictate that America must trade with the world?; does the overreach militarism of the US appear anytime soon to be abating – even under Trump?

    “mass-immigration” – would you accept Anon 1 that a majority of people in the world migrate for reasons such as:-
    i) Better economic opportunities elsewhere than in their home country;
    ii) Political strife in their home country;
    iii) Family reasons;
    iv) And – of course there are more reasons
    So – as with European migration post-Columbus 1492 – the first reason was applicable with brutal and horrific human consequences – enslavement and genocide inflicted against Native populations to mention a couple “benefits”. Anyway, surely the basic human instincts to seek betterment remain the same; so if fair trade with Third World countries in a more just and equitable world was the global order of the day – then – maybe – just maybe – the incentive for mass migration might be reduced?

    Your further thoughts are awaited Anon 1.

    • SA

      If you are trying to make a better living by leaving your country which has been asset stripped to live in one if the countries of the asset strippers, you are an economic migrant. If you are a coloniser and a usurper of other people’s homeland you become the only democracy in a certain part of the world, then you can not only import more rightful owners of the usurped areas and build more settlements but are supported by all the great democracies of the northern hemisphere.

        • glenn_nl

          Paul : Do you know what Trump is doing to migrants right now, even those taken to the US decades ago as babies? Do you care in the slightest, about the fear and desperation that this community is living under? How families are being ripped apart, while ICE goons patrol trains and subway stations, demanding people’s papers, or grabbing people off the street as they collect their children from school?

          This is real. Not some made up BS on a conspiracy site. Perhaps it’s not exciting enough for you, so – whatever – Trump’s OK by you, right?

    • Tony_0pmoc


      So Jacob Rees-Mogg, is convinced that British Business will do very much better, when outside of the EU, because it will then be much freer to deal/trade with emerging markets across the world. Not only is he convinced of that, but he is presumably backing his belief with his own money.

      What exactly is wrong with that? My son has got an International Business, which whilst relatively small, does far more business with the Rest of The World than it does with The EU. I personally buy far more technical stuff from China, and the rest of South East Asia, than I do from The EU, and it is often delivered quicker.

      But none of that is my reason for wanting to leave The EU. It is because the EU is a completely undemocractic, totally corrupt, Centralised Dictatorship, run by incompetent, immoral, very greedy people. I am currently reading “And the Weak Suffer What They Must?” by Yanis Varoufakis. It gives an extremely detailed history of how and why The EU came into being.

      I suggest you read it.

      Currently, The EU is economically crucifying Greece, for no good reason whatsoever. If Greece had escaped the EU, and returned to its own currency, when the crisis hit, it would by now have made a massive recovery, instead of being further impoverished, and humiliated.


    • cimarrón

      “The BBC’s high-titled World Affairs Editor, and ‘in-house sage’, John Simpson handed down this lofty ‘advice’:
      The art of the political interview, Piers, is to push your interviewee hard – not let them spout self-evident tosh. That’s just showbiz.”

      Here’s Simpson at work:

      Putin Crushes BBC Smartass INCLUDING BBC propagandist’s question –

      • Tony_0pmoc

        The UK needs a leader like Putin, instead of the current bunch of lying morons. I can’t see it happenning, except by now we must have got pretty close to rock bottom. Eventually there must be some improvement. Surely the next one can’t be even worse?

  • Republicofscotland

    So if I’ve picked this up properly, Scottish MSP’s were given at short notice six hours to read the Brexit impact report by the Treasury.

    They weren’t allowed to be alone with it, and only the even pages were available until 4pm today, then the odd pages showed up as well, but, by then the time was up.

    I can’t stress strongly enough, that we need to be rid of Westminster as soon as possible, by voting yes to independence.

    We will get another bite at the cherry in the next two years.

    • JOML

      RoS, Leanne Wood has put up a copy of the letter issued to the Welsh, on her Facebook, commenting, “utter contempt”. Under the circumstances, all MSPs must vote against Brexit until such times they are given the information to make an educated call. Just who the hell do the Tories think they are? How can Ruth et al defend this scandalous disregard for common decency?

      • Republicofscotland


        Ruth and her band of MSP’s and Westminster MP’s, have dived behind the parapet. The likes of Murdo Fraser and Adam Tomkins, are avoiding the topic like the plague.

        They want nothing to do with this hot potato, it’s another clear case of not holding Westminster to account on behalf of the people of Scotland, the party comes first.

  • fred

    Scottish Government tells UK: ‘We’ve had enough of secret documents’

    He pledged that if the Scottish Government was given the UK Government’s Brexit economic damage analysis leaked at the weekend, it would be made public in full.

    Then they go whingeing that the government doesn’t show them confidential government papers. The government knows anything they see that would harm the British government and help the other side in the negotiations they would have no qualms blabbing about.

    Since when did we have to supply state secrets to enemies of the state?

    • Republicofscotland

      So in your opinion Fred, the public shouldn’t know that Brexit, will result in a economic meltdown, and you think the EU doesn’t already know that?

      What the hell do you think half the country has been screaming since leave won? It’s all circling the plug hole.

      • fred

        The economy could well suffer for years to come as a result of Brexit but I feel your dreams of economic melt down are just wishful thinking.

        • SA

          Engineered economic meltdown is just one of many ways the manipulated neoliberal world order organised the passage of money from the many to the few who get richer. Brexit will no doubt be one other way of achieving the same result, and if it can be achieved without this meltdown, do much the better for our ruling elites.

  • Paul Barbara

    Yet again, the ‘Evildoers’ get a Supreme Court Judgement in their favour, in the face of obviously rightful and just plaintiffs:
    ‘Exiled Chagos islanders suffer Supreme Court defeat in battle to return home’:

    I nearly went, but I have such a job getting up early in the morning, I didn’t get ready in time.
    The Judgement was due at 09.45, and it would have taken 50/55 minutes to get there. I went back to kip.

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Sharp Ears February 9, 2018 at 07:14
        Other peoples waiting for justice are the West Papuans and the Western Saharans, and of course the Palestinians.
        And now the Yanks and their motley band of crony War Criminals rampage across the Middle East, North Africa and Africa, and most of the world looks the other way.
        What right do they have building bases in Syria, shielding the terrorists and attacking Syrian forces? None whatsoever, but they do it, with far less justification than Hitler invaded countries.
        And our docile, compliant, MSM acts as a propaganda arm for these abominations.
        By the way, the Chagossians are having another try in May.

        • Sharp Ears

          I agree with you totally about the many millions who have been denied justice over decades and centuries.

          One of the US outposts is hosting with Winter Limpics. The state broadcaster is devoting hours to the opening ceremony and days and days of coverage of it will follow. Ms Balding is in charge!

    • Sharp Ears

      Two rags become one, or rather several. I believe that there is a Sunday Express with a separate editor. Then there is that dreadful D Star/ Star Sunday, OK! Magazine, New! and Star. Who buys them? Who reads them?

      Which will merge? How many operatives will be without a job?

      Desmond has done well for himself since his porn empire days though. I don’t know what his debt was but he has picked up near enough £600m since 2014 when he sold Channel 5 to Viacom and now £126.7m from Trinity Mirror.

  • SA

    An incredible piece by Rafael Behr in the Guardian

    So we do know that Soros has destabilised Sterling in the eighties and also that his open society had been involved in preparing and enabling colour revolutions in East Europe and possibly elsewhere and that now he is subsiding organisations to reverse Brexit. All of this tells you that Soros, like many billionaires is trying to influence politics in a global scale purely because of his position as an ‘oligarch’ and not in any way related to the fact that he is of Hungarian or any other origin. Yet Behr criticises the Telegraph for stating these facts even when they have not mentioned his ‘hungarian’ origin. So what Behr is now implying is that ‘hungarians’ because they are ‘hungarians’ should never be criticised for anything , otherwise those criticising them will be labelled ‘anti-hungarian’.
    This is a classic shutting down of arguments to protect certain people from any sort of criticism or scrutiny.

    • Geoffrey

      I suppose every newspaper headline is a dog whistle to someone……that is the point of them !

    • knuckles

      SA off-guardian have an interesting link to a Soros interview given in the ’90s that seems pretty relevant to the past couple of days. An eye opener.

      The 60 Minutes Interview George Soros Tried To Bury –

      Out of interest, can one be antis*mitic toward a self declared atheist? (Scratches head)

      I find it strange how quick ‘liberal progressives’ are to defend ”philanthropist’ Soros given the social carnage he left behind across continents in his pursuit of a quick billion. He can’t seem to help himself laughing at said carnage during the interview above.

      “George Soros is like Donald Trump without the humility” is a good line.

  • reel guid

    Mundell the colonial governor in training is still doing a Greta Garbo and hasn’t appeared to speak about the brexit assessment report and what it means for Scotland. A report by the government he’s a member of.

    And that’s supposed to be good government. Scotland, we’re told by unionists, benefits from Westminster rule.

  • SA

    The sham that our democracy is has to be debated and exposed. The ruling elite , who often offer us two shades of the same colour called neoliberalist grey, offer us a choice to put a cross on a piece of paper once every 4 years and then leave to them to manage everything to thier benefit on the meanwhile. This has been labelled by others as a ‘boxocracy’ as in ballot box, and not really participatory democracy. We need a democracy where there is representation of the interest of the majority and where the majority prosper and not just where the rich are getting indecently richer.

  • reel guid

    Hard right Tory MP Craig Mackinlay wants a new royal yacht and calls for a special new lottery to fund it.

    He says “Britain needs and deserves a new floating palace”.

    All part of the sad Empire 2.0 project presumably.

  • reel guid

    Elusive Mundell has tweeted about his visit today to the Mountain Bike Centre of Scotland at Glentress in the Tweed Valley. How convenient. A visit to a rural setting and a quick getaway before the press arrive with awkward questions.

  • reel guid

    The Scottish Tory MSPs and MPs have clearly been ordered by branch head office – in order to deflect attention from the Tory failings towards Scotland – to tweet like mad about armed forces personnel stationed in Scotland having to pay more in tax than service people down south.

    No one on £40 000 or less in Scotland is paying more tax. Which means the only armed forces personnel paying slightly more tax in Scotland are army officers at the rank of Captain and above. Same with the Royal Navy. It’s there in the pay scales of the forces. The only non-commissioned ranks paying more tax are army Warrant Officers or Colour Sergeants and navy Chief Petty Officers. And even then only people who’ve held those ranks for some time.

    So all the squaddies and ratings, all junior officers in the three services and the younger senior NCOs too are not paying more tax as a result of the SNP Governments budget.

    The Tories are therefore trying to get people indignant on behalf of Admirals, Generals, Colonels, Commanders, Group Captains etc paying a bit more tax.

  • reel guid

    News update

    Speaking to the media today Prime Minister/Opposition Leader JereMay Therbyn said the Labservative Party would continue with its policy towards Scotland of enforced hard brexit and no to indyref2. Wearing leopard patterned high heels and sporting the usual neatly trimmed beard Mrs/Mr Therbyn said it was important Scotland was allowed to benefit from the opportunities afforded by brexit.

    Mrs/Mr Therbyn known for her/his hard right and hard left policies said Scotland had to be rescued from the independence obsessed and incompetent SNP which……………

        • Tony_0pmoc

          reel guid,

          I am perfectly happy for you Scottish to both want your independence and have it. I just cannot understand your logic of wanting to remain a member of The EU Dictatorship. How is Scotland going to be any more Independent than Greece is, when you are still a member of this American initiated and controlled monstrosity – the EU?

          If they can impoverish Greece, which they have, they will slaughter you lot. They will nick all your oil, and all you will be left with is your sheep.

          And if it’s O.K., us English would prefer to keep Mhairi Black. She is about the only MP in Westminster who makes any sense.

          “Mhairi Black represents the WASPI campaign (24.2.2016)”


          • iain

            Yes. The only way an independent Scotland would be permitted to become an EU member is if it joined the euro. Immediately, Brussels/Frankfurt would inflict a degree of austerity on the Scottish government budget that would have us pining for the days of Osborne. If not Greek levels of torture then at least Italian/Spanish ones. Fortunately, an independent Scotland at the tender mercies of the EU/bankster oligarchy will never come to pass.

          • JOML

            Iain, you seem very confident of what the future holds. Could you tell me how many tries Scotland will get on Sunday?

          • reel guid

            Ah the old must join the euro canard. That’s still being trotted out is it?

            Sweden joined the EU 23 years ago and still uses the Swedish krona. With no plans to join the euro.

          • reel guid

            Yes Kempe, it’s true Sweden would be obliged to join the euro when those conditions are met. But successive Swedish governments have asserted that joining ERM II is optional and so Sweden has carried on using the krona with no plans at all to join the euro.

            The EU has not given the Swedes any hassle about it either. The English tabloids thunder about Brussels being dictatorial, but the EU is quite flexible towards member states.

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