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498 thoughts on “The Way We Live Now

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  • Paul Barbara

    ‘Breaking – Tillerson Unveils ‘New’ US Syria Plan: ‘Assad Must Go!’:
    Just how long will it be before the countries in the US General Assembly tell the Yanks were to get off?
    And, hopefully, the countries in the Security Council, Permanent and Rotating?
    We are aware of the bribes and blackmail that ensure Congress and Senate ‘toe the line’, and have recently seen the same tactic, of the US making it plain that not voting with the US in the UN will likely cause a drop in ‘aid’.
    And the UN just ‘grins and bears it’ having a buffoonish egotistical lying War Criminal puppet ‘strut it’s stuff’ around the globe.
    I don’t believe Jeremy would kow-tow to the clown, as May & Co. do.
    Armageddon is supposedly at the foot of Mount Megido – take a look at a modern map – and start to think! Maybe time to start clearing communication lines with the Almighty.

    • SA

      The foreign policy of the US has always been a bit unpredictable but is now totally random. It really is not clear who their allies are as the are conflicts within the allies coupled by inconsistencies and whimsical action by members of the Trump ‘regime’.

  • reel guid

    It now turns out that the Tories’ new Youth Tsar Ben Bradley wrote after the London Riots that “police brutality should be encouraged”.

    Maybe the PP Spanish Government will put in a bid for him before the transfer window closes.

  • Stu

    Well the Fake News Awards turned out to be just a list of confirmed fake stories published about Trump plus a refutation of the Russia conspiracy theory. Trump’s feud with the corporate media is just about the only thing which differentiates him in action from Obama/Clinton/Bush so hopefully he keeps up his attacks on big media right through until the end of his term.

    The media constantly choose to fight Trump over his use of language and personal behaviour (EATING MCDONALDS! PORN STARS!) rather than mass surveillance, aggression in the ME, environmental destruction, funnelling wealth upwards ie all the policies which are merely amplifications of Obama’s position.

  • reel guid

    The unionist MSPs on the Holyrood Justice Committee have outvoted the SNP members by 6 to 5 to recommend the repeal of the Offensive Behaviour at Football Act almost six years to the day that it became law. Despite women’s groups, Police Scotland and other professionals arguing repeal will be a step backwards.

    But the unionist parties want to give a licence to male yobbery under the pretence of standing up for free speech. And they’re only doing it, not because they really think the OBFA is bad, but because it was brought in by an SNP government trying to move Scotland forward.

    • Stu

      How exactly did the act move Scotland forward? The police and courts already had all the powers they needed to deal with anti social behaviour. All the act did was allow the police to apply tougher sanctions on young working class men than on the rest of society. It has led to dawn raids on teenager’s homes for being involved in small confrontations and people being imprisoned for singing songs (while people continually walk free from Scottish courts for knife crime and drug dealing). It’s almost as if the authorities don’t like large groups of working class males congregating together…..

      This law with it’s ridiculous notion of what constitutes offensive behaviour and inherent discrimination wouldn’t have passed in any country with proper legislative oversight or a functioning media. It comes from the strain of SNP authoritarianism that resulted in the attempt to abolish corroboration and the Named Person Act. It should be chucked in the bin with the two of them.

      • reel guid

        Most people don’t mind groups of young men wearing orange doing group singing in public…….if they’re singing Hare Krishna.
        If however it’s a group of young men wearing orange singing a song about being up to their knees……you know the one. Well polls show a majority of Scots – including majorities of Rangers and Celtic fans – do object to that. Such public displays from the badly behaved sections of both sides of the Old Firm belong in the past.

        • Stu

          Polls can show anything. Obviously people are going to agree that sectarian chanting is bad but that doesn’t mean that they approve of the tactics used by the police over the past five years.

      • Republicofscotland

        Well Stu, from the sounds of your comment above, I’m sure you’d be comfortable taking say your children to a football match where groups of people chant about killing people of other denominations but I wouldn’t be.

        Nil by Mouth has been working in that field for years trying help reduced sectarianism.

    • fred

      Why didn’t they just have an offensive behaviour act making offensive behaviour illegal for everyone everywhere?

      Were they saying that offensive behaviour is fine so long as you’re not at a football match?

        • fred

          You don’t get a lot of people bludgeoned to death with a frozen salmon at bowls tournaments either but that doesn’t mean they should make it legal.

          • Republicofscotland

            Whataboutery bollocks, of course Fred you being from England and hunckering down in the Highland’s might not be aware that the majority of sectarian abuse is carried out at Scottish football matches.

            Or when the unionist foot soldiers the O/O march through the streets, banging their drums and singing that they’re up to their knees in someone elses blood.

            The watering down of the OBFA, will allow those die-hard sectarian individuals to spout their vile abuse.

            All thanks to the unionist branch MSP’s in Scotland.

            So any blame should be laid at their doors. When things turn sour, and they will.

          • Habbabkuk


            “Whataboutery bollocks, of course Fred you being from England..”

            Like Craig, you mean? One assumes that no one could object to Fred commenting on matters Scottish just because he hails originally from England, for to do so would arguably be a tad racist.

          • Stu

            “might not be aware that the majority of sectarian abuse is carried out at Scottish football matches.”

            Any evidence for this? I would wager that most sectarian behaviour takes place in pubs and social clubs.

            There is almost zero violence at football matches and when the statistics were released a few years ago it transpired that there were only a couple of dozen sectarian aggravated assault charges in the whole country (and remember that’s charges not convictions).

          • Republicofscotland

            Not in the slightest Habbabkuk, I am merely pointing out that Fred maybe at a disadvantage on sectarian matters due to not experiencing them as much, either because he’s hunckering in the Highlands, sectarianism is more prevelant in the Central Belt.

            Or because Fred, arising from across the border is less aware on such matters.

            However Habbabkuk, it’s very sweet of you, to see you care about Fred’s position on such matters

          • fred

            “Whataboutery bollocks, of course Fred you being from England and hunckering down in the Highland’s”

            In other words the Nationalists reserve the right to be abusive themselves while making it illegal for those they hate to be abusive.

          • Rob Royston

            Sectarianism used to prevade all walks of life in Scotland. The SNP are the first political party to try and address this, much to the annoyance of the Unionist parties, who saw it as their mission to promote it.

          • reel guid

            He might become Scottish Labour leader Ros. But only after every other Labour MSP has had a turn.

    • Republicofscotland

      Only the Kafka-esque unionist parties at Holyrood, would do down a bill that is useful in the publics eyes.

      Even Alice would’ve found unionists attitudes and voting intentions at Holyroood more bizarre, than anything in Wonderland.

      • Stu

        Surely the Kafkaesque element here is the bill’s convoluted definition’s of “offensive behaviour” and a “reasonable person”?

        It doesn’t surprise me that contributors who supported the SNP’s attempt to abolish corroboration and supported the ECHR violating Named Person scheme also back this discriminatory law.

        • Republicofscotland

          James Kelly whose been attempting to have the bill diluted or removed completely has been caught lying over the damaging effects of the bill.

          The majority of the public suports the bill and high convictiin rates have been seen since its implementation.

          You can see Kelly’s fibs here and the perecentage of convictions and percentage of public approval.

          • Stu

            The majority of the public supports the death penalty. As the Scottish Government’s own figures show there is a massive contrast between perception and experience on this issue.

            Kelly was obviously highlighting the year where 43% of proceedings failed. I personally don’t think that convictions are the relevant factor either. Firstly due to the opaque nature of the offensives in the Bill and secondly due to the fact that the legal system is geared to encourage people to plead guilty due to lack of access to legal aid and the manner in which the FP constantly over charges defendants then offers a reduction in charges in return for a guilty plea. Anyone who has spent any time in a Sheriff court in Scotland will have witnessed this.

          • Stu

            General population polling means nothing on a matter like this. The Met don’t base their stop and search policy in London on what retired people in Carlisle think. That poll is entirely irrelevant.

          • Node

            What we need is another Bill to ban sectarian attitudes amongst politicians and commentators towards repeal of the Offensive Behaviour at Football Act

          • Republicofscotland


            You personally don’t think, careful Stu, you’re entering James Kelly territory.

          • Habbabkuk

            “That poll is entirely irrelevant.”

            The definition of an irrelevant poll : a poll with whose findings one disagrees.

  • Paul Barbara

    ‘Interserve health scare spooks investors’:

    ‘…More significantly, and controversially, is the issue of how both Interserve and Carillion have continued to pick up government contracts despite rules stating that officials should reduce “where possible” the additional work given to strategic suppliers designated high risk under existing contracts to “contain the risk to the taxpayer”. Instead of lowering these risks , however, the government apparently has been ramping them up.
    Indeed, Interserve has won contracts with the Department for Work and Pensions, the Department for Transport and the NHS in the past few months.
    A source said yesterday that Interserve had not been designated “high risk”, which raises questions as to why not.
    Bosses sold off shares before profit warnings
    A boss at Interserve sold shares shortly before the troubled outsourcer issued the first of a series of warnings over performance.
    Bruce Melizan, outgoing head of Interserve’s struggling support services business, which was partly behind the profit warning in September, was given a £357,213 payoff last month, filings show. He is stepping down at the end of the month after a decade on the board.
    Mr Melizan sold about £158,000 performance-related shares in April 2016, weeks before investors were told about problems with an energy contract and that it was booking millions of pounds of provisions.
    Shares in Interserve have since fallen by 70 per cent from more than 400p to 120½p.
    The payoff comprised one year’s salary in lieu of notice, £9,046 redundancy pay, £7,500 towards legal fees and £20,000 outplacement support.
    After the profit warnings and failings on contracts, City analysts are speculating that Interserve, which has debts of more than £500 million, might be forced to launch a rights issue….’

    Depends who your friends are whether or not you get done for ‘Insider Trading’, or whether ‘nod and a wink’ Government ‘monitors’ turn a blind eye.
    But, as per usual, a lot of people will walk away with a big fat wallet and a big fat smile, courtesy of their ‘mates’ in Government (who might expect a little ‘baksheesh’ for their ‘understanding’ treatment of the problems:

    • giyane

      Paul Barbara

      In the construction industry, over the years, agencies are no longer people who match workers to companies and set the hourly rate. Last week I spent nearly a whole week corresponding with Venn Group who offered me some work. days seemed to go by printing off forms, signing them and emailing them back again. What was the purpose of these forms?
      1/ To confirm that I agreed to a zero hours contract
      2/ to agree not to miss a day’s work
      3/ to agree to work more than 40 hours p.w.
      4/ to agree to work exclusively for the agency concerned
      5/ to give the agency sole right of representation in this contract.

      What does that mean?. It means that if something goes wrong my words count for nothing. I do as I am told by the agency and I have no right to complain or represent myself to the company that is hiring me from the agency.

      Forget pensions, forget continuity of work, forget Health & Safety. Forget the right to say no to something on medical or religious grounds. I have absolutely no right to anything. I have no rights, because I have spent a week of my own time signing each and every right I have under the law away.

      As they did before under Mrs Thatcher, the Tories always push their agenda towards corporations having total Victorian control over their workers, but with the additional double Nelson that they spy on what you’re writing on CM blog, but you can’t spy, nor would I want to, on them.

      It is at this point, the point realised by Mrs Thatcher with the Poll Tax, and now achieved by Ken Clarke and Dominic Grieve, where the totalitarian goal achieved by the hard-liners fails to make any sense whatsoever to the majority of Tory politicians.

      Carillion has failed, not because of some financial algorithm or clever wheeze like Craig found for his Ghanian Electrical generating company, but because the workforce won’t work as slaves, and no amount of incentives like knocking off early or spinning out the tea breaks, will persuade them to stay.

      Since this Tory policy of totalitarian control and denial of legal rights is directly opposed by the common-sense of the experienced managers in the industry, the company loses their ability to retain them as well.
      I was expecting Liddington to announce a clever wheeze to save the company, but the stark truth is that once you have lost the trust of both workforces, manual and managerial, no amount of financial wizardry will save the company from disaster.

      This happens every time the wonks of Torydom get power. The springs start dropping off on the road and the pistons come out through the side of the engine because the Tories actually want everyone else to be their slaves.

      • giyane

        Paul Barbara
        part two

        The second part of the rant is directed at Tory foreign policy. In exactly the same way that under the Tories industry cannot function because of Tory dogma wanting the citizens of the UK to be their slaves, their wonks in MI5/6/ SIS/ GCHQ FOC etc also want the rest of the world to be their slaves. You will eat GM food from the US. You will not have a right to move to France. You will not achieve devolvement.

        And if you live beyond the EU, You will do what the Gestapo of the Muslim Brotherhood tell you at gunpoint and You will agree with the British Foreign Office that Assad has turned on his own people when he has in fact steadfastly defended his people from USUKIS proxy terrorists. I heard the little Tory Hitler on The World at One today, clicking his jackboots and screaming Heil May, telling us what our opinion of the world will be, and vee vill not be dis-obeyed.

        The ways in which USUKIS proxy terrorists have treated civilians in Afghanistan Pakistan, Somalia, Egypt, Iraq, Libya, and Syria is much worse than Hitler. USUKIS have used drugs and torture to manufacture an army of perverted psychopaths who believe it is their duty to enforce Islam by the bullet and torture onto Muslim populations who are already practising Islam.

        Craig earlier deleted my description of one of their punishments given to me for not conforming to their evil brainwashing. The special UK way of punishing the UK dissenters to MI6 proxy state terror is to microwave people like kebabs, sitting in their own homes. In Syria and Libya, rape, torture, extortion, forced labour and forced fighting are the normal run of the day.

        Praise be to God, the Tories, no bodily part or function is filthy enough to describe them, have done the job for themselves. They are so blinkered, so shrill, so Fuhrer- moustached, and so out of kilter with the rest of humanity, that Russia and China have risen up against their evil stupidity, and even the sleeping giant of socialism in this country, which has snored noisily through thirty years of continuous war against Islam and Muslims, has now woken up with Gandalf-like Jeremy Corbyn at the helm, to quell the utter folly and delinquency of Tory and Blairite rule.

        • Paul Barbara

          @ giyane January 18, 2018 at 23:26
          You realise, of course, that you are preaching to the converted.
          But just for the ‘craic’, i can tell you from my experiences since the early 1970’s, campaigning for human rights, mostly Latin America but also Europe and East Timor/West Papua, Muslims were conspicuous by their absence.
          !A Luta Continua!

          • J

            There could be many reasons for that. Caught between their leaders and ours, they were probably busy.

  • Sharp Ears

    The establishment stooge who is HM’s Ambassador to France, currently ensconced at Sandhurst with Macron and Treeza, is a contemporary of Agent Cameron at Eton. He went on to New College, Oxford.

    Worked for Patten and Ashdown, then a SPAD and then became Agent Cameron’s Chief of Staff on £140,000pa.

    Ennobled by Cameron and made Ambassador by Treeza in November 2016, replacing one Susan le Jeune d’Allegeershecque ! who was acting as
    chargée d”affaires in Paris.

    Nice. Another posh boy does even better than good!,_Baron_Llewellyn_of_Steep

    • Laguerre

      So he’s a politically appointed incompetent, much like US ambassadors in London. His predecessor, Julian King, is a professional diplomat. Well, I don’t suppose it makes much difference, as most diplomacy these days is carried out directly government to government, May to Macron.

      • Habbabkuk

        “he’s a politically appointed incompetent, ”

        Politically appointed, yes – as was Peter Jay to Washington, by the way – but very competent indeed. As was Peter Jay for that matter.

        • giyane

          Peter Jay was, like Nick Clegg, an ultra right-wing imposter in the left of UK politics.
          In other words incompetent at doing his job which was to represent our values to the US and refuse to be dictated to by them. A betrayer of UK values and principles amongst men of principle like John Smith and James Callaghan.

          • Habbabkuk

            In that case he (Peter Jay) was betraying his father-in-law (James Callaghan). Rather unlikely I’d say).

    • Habbabkuk

      Although I’ll admit it’s not quite up there with Balliol, New College Oxford is one of the oldest, largest, most prestigious and most intellectually distinguished colleges in the University of Oxford. Attendance there is certainly a feather in any young person’s cap. It maintains, even today, particularly close links with Winchester College, one of Britain’s leading public schools. Amoung the incredibly long list of its distinguished alumni appear the Socialist politicians and/or firebrands Tony Benn, Hugh Gaitskell, Douglas Jay, Michael Meacher, Harold Laski, Victor Gollancz and Naomi Wolf.


    • Laguerre

      In the video of the lunch tweeted by Macron, May failed to identify the French ambassador, and then told him she’d seen once him from afar. Not met the French ambassador? The lunch took place in some kind of post-war prefab. Is that what pubs are like in Aldershot?

      • Habbabkuk

        Had the lunch taken place in palatial surroundings someone on here would surely be complaining about wasting the taxpayer’s money. It’s not where you discuss, it’s what you discuss.

        BTW, the French Ambassador (Jean-Pierre Jouyet, whom I happen to have met) has only been en poste since September 2017 so Mrs May light perhaps be forgiven for not yet having had a meeting with him. All the more so since the first and principal point of Jean-Pierre’s contacts with the British govt would be the Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary Boris Johnson. Mrs May would certainly have met with Jean-Pierre’s predecessor Ambassador Sylvie Bermann, who was around for a few years.

  • reel guid

    Tory MP Harriett Baldwin, recently made Minister of State for Africa by May, is reported to have made a £50 donation to a hospice charity in her constituency and then tried to claim the money back in her MPs expenses.
    So she wants the public kudos of donating to a good cause and then wants the taxpayer to reimburse her.

    • Habbabkuk

      Good point, reel guid, but you will surely know that in many countries donations to charities are tax-deductible (and therefore ultimately subsidised by the general tax payer).

  • Republicofscotland

    The king is dead, Jason King that is, Peter Wyngarde, who played the character, in Department S.

    Wyngarde’s character Jason King, and his sartorial style, is thought to have inspired Mike Myers spoof spy Austin Powers. Wyngarde also said in one episode of Department S, the words “Groovy Baby.”

  • reel guid

    Sectarianism has always suited unionist politicians in Scotland. And still does. Labour and Tories. The real Old Firm in Scotland.

  • reel guid

    Unique among Transport Ministers in governments across Europe, the SNP’s Humza Yousaf is at fault for allowing snow to fall. According to our truth seeking media. It’s become quite an annual ritual.

    Oh for independent Scotland. A land where grown up politics is allowed to prevail.

    • Tony_0pmoc

      reel guid,

      “Oh for independent Scotland. A land where grown up politics is allowed to prevail.”

      Has anyone from Scotland got a comment to make, on the recent articles and comments on Off-Guardian, or are you all on Monbiot’s side, and find it a liitle bit outside your comfort zone…???

      You really should read Off-Guardian. It’s even better than the original Manchester Guardian, I used to read when I was a kid.


        • Tony_0pmoc

          The Guardian is far worse than risible. Not all the journalists are brainwashed morons. Some are almost certainly guilty of intentionally promoting war crimes. The same applies to many who work for The BBC.

          These people are a total disgrace. They are just as guilty as those who promoted War Crimes in NAZI Germany.

          I cannot understand, how any people of integrity can work with these evil people.

          Walk away, and write the truth as best as you can…like Jonathan Cook


          “The Guardian’s anti-democratic stance does not surprise me, as someone who worked there for many years. I found myself repeatedly no-platformed by the paper – even while on its staff – after I started taking an interest in the 1srae1-Palestine conflict and writing about the discomforting issue of what a Jewish state entails. My treatment is far from unique.

          Now the paper is denying a platform to those who question simplistic and self-serving western narratives on Syria. And Monbiot is backing his employer to the hilt, even as he professes his commitment to the publication of views he fiercely disagrees with. That’s the dictionary definition of hypocrisy.”


          • Tony_0pmoc


            Well, its not quite the worst ever Party Political Broadcast I have ever seen. That award goes jointly to Hilary Clinton (especially when she wasn’t actually there), and Neil Kinnock, who claimed he had already won the night before and was already celebrating.

            With regards to propaganda, for it to work, you need to be far more subtle, such that the message, is not in the audience’s face, but is transmitted almost subliminally.

            The main character here, is quite obviously perceived as being an obnoxious cnt, but that performance also is associated with the party people who made the video. They are pretty pukey too. Had the Director been watching Friends?


          • JOML

            ? Watched it again, RoS, and you’re right! Can’t be a coincidence and an excellent bit of casting. I bet he’ll be really pissed off – I hope so! ?

          • fred

            “Well, its not quite the worst ever Party Political Broadcast I have ever seen.”

            I liked the bit 44s in: “And another thing. They built ore done up loads of schools”.


  • Habbabkuk

    The post of Her Britannic Majesty’s Ambassador to the French Republic is an very important one at the best of times and certainly an even more important one at this juncture in Franco-British relations characterised by Brexit. The more one reads about the new British Ambassador to France – cf,_Baron_Llewellyn_of_Steep and, for example – the more it seems clear that the appointment of Baron Llewellyn was an inspired choice. In a way, the appointment of a youngm brilliant person from outside the FCO reminds one of the appointment, some decades ago, of the young Peter Jay to replace the old fuddy-duddy Sir Peter Ramsbotham at the Embassy in Washington: a younger man of the Macron generation, with new ideas and the subtle mind and political nous to help steer the UK through this crucial period of the bilateral relationship. Although of course only rime will tell, I’m personally confident that he’ll make a great fist of the job.

    • Republicofscotland


      I do hope the “young man” is nothing like Macron whose popularity is in freefall in France.

      It could be something to do with Macron’s ineptitude around French labour reforms, which aren’t very popular.

      • Iain Stewart

        “Macron whose popularity is in freefall in France.”

        Dear Republic,

        In fact, the French press (left and right) reports uniformly that Macron’s popularity has been increasing since September 2017 (despite the Code du travail reforms) and took a bound this week with the decision to halt the Notre Dame des Landes airport project after 40 years of conflict. His opposition to Trump and the current weakness of Merkel have reinforced his external image too.
        While the British press seems to concentrate on his position against giving the City a special deal, French press and TV are questioning his continued agreement to the UK border remaining in Calais ( a very unpopular arrangement).

        • giyane

          Yes Iain, property is so cheap and work conditions so congenial in France at present compared to the sky-high rents and zero-hours conditions in the UK, more should be done to inform asylum seekers what a dump the UK has become. As to the UK border, what about Limoge? Stop here, try it out, try the food and get re-habilitation for your weird pipe-dreams about England by listening to EastEnders and Coronation Street on a 24 hour 3D loop. Soon be swimming back across the Mediterranean the other way.

      • Habbabkuk

        Fact check : Macrin’s popularity ratings, after having done down last year, are steadily on the up again.

        But my point wasn’t about Macron’s popularity anyway. It was that Macron and Baron Llewellyn are of the same generation. And that is a question of fact which i assume will never be the subject of a popularity poll.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    This is sheer quality propaganda, not party political, about a subject that bores most people rigid, such that they do not want to know. I’m not necessarily saying that I agree with all the content, but it is presented in such a way, that it is inspirational. Thousands of young boys and girls who see this, might be inspired to study the real hard sciences and maths, as a result of seeing this, rather than learning how to flip burgers, paint nails, do hair or try and understand ancient history, literature, economics or politics. Then, they might get a job, doing something useful.

    “What Is Reality?”


    • Dave

      Nice one Tony.
      “What Is Reality?” it`s 1.61834 and 137.5 the packing angle of Sunflower seeds and the angle of the lines of force from the poles of a magnet.

  • Macky

    As often only Israelis can speak the truth about Israelis, both literally because they are Israelis, and also because anybody is not allowed to, or brave enough as this Haaretz writer:

    “I frequently ask myself how a historian in 50 or 100 years will interpret our period. When, he will ask, did people in Israel start to realize that the state that was established in the War of Independence, on the ruins of European Jewry and at the cost of the blood of combatants some of whom were Holocaust survivors, had devolved into a true monstrosity for its non-Jewish inhabitants. When did some Israelis understand that their cruelty and ability to bully others, Palestinians or Africans, began eroding the moral legitimacy of their existence as a sovereign entity?

    The answer, that historian might say, was embedded in the actions of Knesset members such as Miki Zohar and Bezalel Smotrich and the bills proposed by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked. The nation-state law, which looks like it was formulated by the worst of Europe’s ultra-nationalists, was only the beginning. Since the left did not protest against it in its Rothschild Boulevard demonstrations, it served as a first nail in the coffin of the old Israel, the one whose Declaration of Independence will remain as a museum showpiece. This archaeological relic will teach people what Israel could have become if its society hadn’t disintegrated from the moral devastation brought on by the occupation and apartheid in the territories.

    The left is no longer capable of overcoming the toxic ultra-nationalism that has evolved here, the kind whose European strain almost wiped out a majority of the Jewish people. The interviews Haaretz’s Ravit Hecht held with Smotrich and Zohar (December 3, 2016 and October 28, 2017) should be widely disseminated on all media outlets in Israel and throughout the Jewish world. In both of them we see not just a growing Israeli fascism but racism akin to Nazism in its early stages.

    Like every ideology, the Nazi race theory developed over the years. At first it only deprived Jews of their civil and human rights. It’s possible that without World War II the “Jewish problem” would have ended only with the “voluntary” expulsion of Jews from Reich lands. After all, most of Austria and Germany’s Jews made it out in time. It’s possible that this is the future facing Palestinians.

    Indeed, Smotrich and Zohar don’t wish to physically harm Palestinians, on condition that they don’t rise against their Jewish masters. They only wish to deprive them of their basic human rights, such as self-rule in their own state and freedom from oppression, or equal rights in case the territories are officially annexed to Israel. For these two representatives of the Knesset majority, the Palestinians are doomed to remain under occupation forever. It’s likely that the Likud’s Central Committee also thinks this way. The reasoning is simple: The Arabs aren’t Jews, so they cannot demand ownership over any part of the land that was promised to the Jewish people.

    According to the concepts of Smotrich, Zohar and Shaked, a Jew from Brooklyn who has never set foot in this country is the legitimate owner of this land, while a Palestinian whose family has lived here for generations is a stranger, living here only by the grace of the Jews. “A Palestinian,” Zohar tells Hecht, “has no right to national self-determination since he doesn’t own the land in this country. Out of decency I want him here as a resident, since he was born here and lives here – I won’t tell him to leave. I’m sorry to say this but they have one major disadvantage – they weren’t born as Jews.”

    From this one may assume that even if they all converted, grew side-curls and studied Torah, it would not help. This is the situation with regard to Sudanese and Eritrean asylum seekers and their children, who are Israeli for all intents and purposes. This is how it was with the Nazis. Later comes apartheid, which could apply under certain circumstances to Arabs who are citizens of Israel. Most Israelis don’t seem worried.

    Zeev Sternhell
    Haaretz Contributor”

  • nevermind

    Somebody has proposed a statue to Thatcher in Parliament square. It is to focus young students of Oxbridge’s mind when they gather to watch and cajole how well she did in selling off national assets which eventually landed in large private investment companies coffers.

    To my astonishment, in a discussion on the local BBC radio Norfolk the presenter Nickolas Conrad, then compared her first to Churchill and then with a side swipe at a caller who argued that a statue would be an expense at the wrong time, just as Bojo’s brain fart of a 22 plus mile long bridge over the channel to France, he quoted Oliver Cromwell as being a progressive, although rebellious, reformer.

    He failed to point that politics is progressive and should be an evolutionary progress and that NOTHING HAS CHANGED SINCE CROMWELL, that we are stuck in a first past the post racket of immense proportions, held aloft as ‘democracy’ by jostling toff’s. That is the quality of political debate, the way we live today, led by the nose and told to swallow the tabloid journalism and fake news the BBC provides us with.

    The FPTP system has guaranteed the class system in the UK, it has provided ‘safe seats’ an anathema in a real democracy were every seat is contested in a proportional way, it provided unsuitable candidates and persons who are useless, self serving and self aggrandising, it has ruined democracy unless there is drastic change.
    A statue of Thatcher, she is still warm so to speak as it takes ten years usually before such a decision is taken after regime leaders died, would provide a focal point for all those like her, a proper right wing tyrant who did not shy away from injuring miners using her political police force, for all the Brexiteers who can’t stand by Churchill’s statue as he was a pro European long before it happened, and for the sable dancers who now owe half of London due to her privatisation ueber alles plans.

    Thatcher gave rise to secrecy, she caused widespread poverty by selling off homes to those who could not afford it, knowing full well that these houses would end up in her friends pockets who bought massive property portfolios for an apple and an egg.

    One caller liked the idea of a statue for her, a la A. Gormley, upside down in the mud of the Thames.

  • reel guid

    Lib Dem timeserver Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has actually written to Ofcom to complain about the SNP “appearing to lampoon” David Torrance in that PPB.

    Cole-Hamilton thinks that because the character sported a beard and wore glasses, that must be proof it was meant to be Torrance. And since when was mild lampooning of public figures a breach of standards anyway? A strange line for a Liberal to take.

    In a week when Tory MPs voted in Westminster to trash the devolution settlement, is this the biggest issue Cole-Hamilton can be concerned with?

        • JOML

          Well, Fred, they’ll just have to take their punishment if any wrongdoing is proven. If I was an MSP, I’d channel my energies to more productive issues, like the NHS issue to which you provided a link, although I believe Mr Sarwar’s motives may not solely be in other’s interests.

          • fred

            I expect something as important as the closure of a children’s ward will have loads of people out protesting, all those public minded SNP members who rushed off to Catalonia are sure to kick up a fuss and the champion of the people Mhairi Black isn’t going to let this happen without a fight is she?

            Anybody heard anything from them?

          • JOML

            Fred, you appear to be repeating the speal from the twitter link. Are you “public minded” (I’m assuming the SNP do not have a monopoly on being public minded) enough to protest yourself or are you just a keyboard hypocrite who just slags off others for apparently doing nothing? However, if you are starting a campaign, I’ll be supportive.

          • fred

            Nationalists always have to make it personal don’t they. When in doubt attack the messenger, call them a “keyboard hypocrite”.

            “What did the SNP ever do for us?” Well where Ilive they closed the only maternity unit for over 100 miles.

            Am I allowed to say that without being called a hypocrite?

          • JOML

            Well, Fred, if we all pay more taxes, the NHS boards will not be forced to make these very difficult decisions. However, no political party, across the UK, has the balls to radically raise taxes in areas where the money is.
            As for the “keyboard hypocrite”, that would only be applicable if you slag off others for failing to do something, while do nothing yourself. You’ll see from my previous post that I asked the question and did not state that you were. Only you know the answer.

        • reel guid


          Firstly, the decision to close RAH Children’s Ward was taken by a local NHS board, not the Scottish Government.

          Secondly the Scottish Government built the Royal Hospital for Children in Govan, just down the road from RAH. The new hospital opened in 2015 and is considered by health professionals to be one of the very best paediatric hospitals in the UK.

          This yet another SNP smear story from the in cahoots unionist Labour and the unionist media. Labour don’t mention the new hospital.

          • fred

            The local NHS board could not close the ward without permission from the Scottish government, they could only ask, the decision was not theirs to make.

            The SNP are quick enough to claim the credit when a hospital isn’t closed.

            NHS Greater Greater Glasgow and Clyde health board planned to close the facility but following a consultation with people living in the area and the final decision fell to Health Secretary Shona Robison.


            But when a children’s ward closes they are quick enough to blame someone else, only thing the SNP are good at, finding someone else to blame, I’m surprised they didn’t blame it on Westminster like they usually do.

            Also the video clearly shows Nicola Sturgeon before the election saying there were no plans to close the ward.

  • nevermind

    Thanks Sharp ears, I’d also like labour to adopt a change to education, the only change for now, as continuous interference in education by politicians have ruined children’s prospect has introduced competition were there once was cooperation.

    It should a duty of any politician to educate and inform future voters on how their country works. How laws are made, how the HoC works and why nothing much has changed since O. Cromwell, incl. the loopholes that exist and why the EC should be funded independently from the party of the day, have their dependency/bias removed so they can truly observe elections, inspect electoral authorities/councils and prosecute cheats.
    So lets enter political education into secondary schools from the age of ten upwards. Remove the much banded argument that 14/16 year old’s can’t have the vote as they don’t know what they are doing. And lets keep biased party politicians out of this process, ideally out of all schools, for they will be harangued enough for their past misdemeanour’s before too late, after a few years into this new subject.

    A politician who does not want to modernise politics with a fair proportional voting system for all and at every election, who denies evolution to the polity, is not a politician, but a stick in the mud who can’t possibly see others getting a fair proportionally arrived at seat to represent their voters. Those who deny future generations a fair proportional vote are the true rebell’s and enemies of the country, imho.

    It is vital that this step is taken as everything decided by these back door operators of FPTP is serving themselves their friends or party affiliates, mainly, first and foremost.

    This is an interesting website about the 2019 EU elections, much edited it seems to have no header saying what EU citizens living here can vote for? whether our right as EU citizens to vote for EU representation has been curtailed by Brexiteers.
    a little snippet
    “Due to the Brexit process, the United Kingdom’s 73 MEPs are expected to be removed a few months before the 2019 European Parliament election. In April 2017, a group of European lawmakers discussed what should be done about the vacated seats. One plan, supported by Gianni Pittella and Emmanuel Macron, is to replace the 73 seats with a pan-European constituency list; other options which were considered include dropping the British seats without replacement, and reassigning some or all of the existing seats from other countries to reduce inequality of representation.[13]

    In 2019 France will come back to a system with a single nation-wide constituency, instead of regional constituencies.[15]”,_2019

    • Habbabkuk

      The voting system for French general elections has been changed several times over the past few decades. usually by govts which feared defeat in a forthcoming general election and thought that a change in the system would split the opposition and thereby fuck up its chances. It is dishonest and not an example to follow.

    • Habbabkuk

      “One plan, supported by Gianni Pittella and Emmanuel Macron, is to replace the 73 seats with a pan-European constituency list; other options which were considered include dropping the British seats without replacement, and reassigning some or all of the existing seats from other countries to reduce inequality of representation.[13]”

      In other words, they haven’t got a clue what to do as 2019 approaches. Luckily this is a problem exclusively for the rEU and not the UK.

      • nevermind

        “In other words, they haven’t got a clue what to do as 2019 approaches. Luckily this is a problem exclusively for the rEU and not the UK.”

        You mean to say that wikipedia is not yet informed of what really might happen. But they are more informed about it than you or anyone else here and rest assured will get to know more soon.

        • Habbabkuk

          No, I don’t mean to say that. The point is not whether or not Wikipedia is informed of what will happen in the end. The point is that several suggestions are on the table and no one – least of all the MEPs – has a clue at the moment which one will finally be adopted.

          And having some slight acquaintance with how the EP and the other European Institutions function, I can assure you that the haggling, horse-trading, skulduggery and bad faith that will precede any agreement on a definitive arrangement will be awesome.

      • nevermind

        thanks Sharp ears, the unaccountability of the EU’s upper echelon of appointed bots, however much informed some here say they are, are as unaccountable as the decades of unaudited finances, as unaccountable as the fraud that is committed, see the Current Chech PM Andrej Babis and many others , well, or by organised crime, the EU is unreformed like a juvenile delinquent.

        Whether it can be reformed is another question. As for wikipedia, I will return to the site and see whether a simple addition of EU citizens rights here in the UK are protected will appear one day, and that includes the right to vote in EU elections.

  • nevermind

    This research of alleged multiple rapes and attacks by refugees, et al, in Germany since it became a refuge for some1.3 million UKUSIS bombed out Syrian, Libyans Iraqi’s and Afghans, shows that the Daily hate type of news, garnered from AfD sympathetic websites with a right wing character, were inaccurate, false or made in many cases, and not reflecting the truth, which is,

    that there is no sign of any raised Mediterranean or Arab types of sexual predation in the wake of this large influx. The researchers from der Spiegel spent month investigating, speaking to reporters, the police, and investigated the minutiae of these reports from this questionable websites.

    I leave our DM readers here with this lengthy report, I doubt anybody else would have believed any of this clap trap. But the same arguments and accusations against immigrants are made here, sadly.

    BTW. After long protracted negotiations, normal for any proportionally elected democracy were one’s vote counts, Germany has got a grand coalition Government again.

  • Sharp Ears

    Good for the Scots. Quite right.

    Private schools ‘should lose charity status’
    Jany 19 2018
    The International School Aberdeen could be forced to pay business rates if the Scottish government changes its rules

    The majority of Scots want private schools to be stripped of their charitable status, according to a poll that suggests plans to charge them business rates will receive public support. A YouGov survey of 1,002 adults for The Times found that 73 per cent believe fee-paying schools should lose their charitable status, compared with 13 per cent who support a status quo.

    The Scottish government wants to make private schools pay full business rates. A large reduction in rates bills, of at least 80 per cent, is one of the main perks that comes with registering as a charity. About 60 per cent of Conservative voters believe charity status should end, despite opposition from Ruth Davidson’s party. Affluent members of the public were more likely…paywall

    • JOML

      I always found it odd, Sharp Ears, that the general public were subsidising the privileged, in order that they could gain a clear advantage to rule the roost indefinitely. A change is long overdue and hope that Holyrood see this one through.

      • Phil the ex-frog

        “I always found it odd, Sharp Ears, that the general public were subsidising the privileged”

        The profit we make daily for our employer is pretty much subsidising the privileged. That’s capitalism baby.

        I worked in a public school. Class sizes of 15 and under. There’s wealth being passed on right there. Unfortunately I can’t read the article. Charitable status should be removed. Let’s hope Scotland does it.

        Let’s also hope Scotland stops refusing a spycops inquiry and stops refusing legal aid to the victim. By god, even the English are not that bad.

        It must get confusing caring which country is the best. They’re all shite.

        • JOML

          Phil, my post was in the context of private schools in Scotland and I’m well aware of capitalism’s role in screwing the general public. As for which country is best, I’m not confused because I agree with your assessment of shite – so it’s change I’m hoping for, with small being preferable. It’s easier to turn a rowing boat than an oil tanker.

          • Loony

            Ah yes the evils of capitalism in “screwing the general public”

            If only more countries could adopt the enlightened policies of say Cambodia (30% of the population killed), North Korea (periodic mass starvation), China (40 million+ slaughtered in the cultural revolution) or the USSR (60 million+ slaughtered for “wrong think”). Or how about the modern day paradise that is Venezuela?

          • JOML

            So, Loony, there’s no “evils” in capitalism? Also, are you suggesting that the only alternatives to capitalism is the list of countries you mention? If so, you seriously lack imagination.

          • Loony

            Nice try: Always good to see someone taking issue with something that has not been stated.

            The only thing stated is that Capitalism “screws the general public” to a lesser extent than Communism “screws the general public”. This is a true statement and can be evidenced as being true. Perhaps that is why you chose to take issue with an totally different point to the one raised.

  • Habbabkuk

    Just to round off on Her Majesty’s Ambassadors to France.

    Baron Llewellyn is the first peer to be appointed Ambassador to France since the accreditation of Robert Offley Ashburton Crewe-Milnes, the 1st Marquess of Crewe, almost a century ago (1922-1928). To be noted, of course, that he is a Life Peer whereas all the peers hitherto, including Lord Crewe, were Peers of the Realm. Appointment to the Paris Embassy naturally brings with it an automatic knighthood in the case where an appointee was not already a knight. A fluent French speaker – as indeed he ought to be, having taken a good Second in Modern Languages at New College, Oxford – he is also married to a French woman.

    • Laguerre

      So he’s a political incompetent. That’s what your eulogy means. He worked for the Tories, that’s all.

      • Habbabkuk

        “So he’s a political incompetent. That’s what your eulogy means.”

        On the contrary, Laguerre – a eulogy would hardly have the purpose of demonstrating that the person eulogised is incompetent, now would it.

        As for his “incompetence” being political, we agree that he worked for the Conservative party and in govt. in various roles. The Conservative Party and govts are political groupings, I believe.

    • Laguerre

      I’m very disappointed that such an inexperienced person should be appointed to be ambassador to France at a moment when an experienced diplomat is really necessary to negotiate Brexit. But hey, who needs experts in the Brexit world?

      • Loony

        You should try to keep up. No-one has any intention of negotiating Brexit, for the simple reason that no-one has any intention that the UK leave the EU.

        Oh sure there may be some kind of PR statement, but the UK will remain inextricably entwined with the EU. All those lovers of totalitarian states will no doubt be overjoyed to to see how the general population are held in utter contempt. There is to be no let up in beating the Southern Europeans and anyone who objects to the dismantling of Southern Europe and hurtling their populations into abject poverty will naturally enough be ignorant bigots infected with the worst kind of racism.

      • Habbabkuk

        It is unlikely that many people with any first hand experience of diplomacy in today’s world would share Laguerre’s dismay at the appointment of Baron Llewellyn. Mindful, perhaps, of the success of the “inexperienced” Peter Jay at the embassy in Washington (and his close connection with PM James Callaghan), those people would probably point to Baron Llewellyn’s career to date – within the party and withing govt – as providing exactly the sort of experience needed by a British Ambassador in one of the principal EU Member States at this juncture of Brexit.

        Those people would of course also be aware that there is no such animal as as an overall “Brexit expert” – there are experts on each of the various (and very numerous) individual policy aspects of Brexit but there is no – and how could there have been – Mr Brexit in any meaningful sense of the word.

        Finally, and in connection with this, those people would recall the role played, back in the early 1960s (first UK accession attempt) and then in the early 1970s (third, successful UK attempt) by the British Ambassadors in Paris and be able to give an accurate assessment if whether or not those Ambassadors played, in practice, more than a marginal role in the Brussels negotiations of the time.

        • Loony

          Why would there be any need for a “Brexit expert”? How hard is it to leave any form of club, association or similar arrangement?

          Suppose you are a member of a library or a motoring association, or a political party, or that you rent a house, or lease a car. All you need to do is to not renew your subscription and/or provide any required notice. Not many people would remain a member of a library because they lack expertise in leaving the library.

          Leaving the EU is staggeringly simple. The fact that people are seeking to invest in it labyrinthine complexity simply reinforces the point that there is no intention to leave the EU.

          Certainly leaving the EU will cause a degree of uncertainty – but nothing compared to uncertainty of the UK declaring war on Germany on September 3rd 1939. I do not recall the British Government being unable to declare war due to a lack of war declaring expertise.

          • Habbabkuk


            It was not I who was deploring the lack of a Brexit expert. It was our friend Laguerre who appeared to be (post at 21h46 yesterday).

    • Tony_0pmoc


      For a liitle light comedy, I suggest you read John Ward’s Slog..especially his link…

      This is now UK journalism, and no one notices, it is complete and utter total shiite

      I must admit, I do like Goa, but Kerala is better


      • Paul Barbara

        @ JOML January 19, 2018 at 21:51
        Went back? He went in the first place, already?
        OK, so he sold his soul, but from then on it’s easy sailing, no need for further ‘tuition’, ‘All this I shall give to you’, (says Satan/Lucifer), if falling down though shalt worship me’.

    • Loony

      That is one way of looking at things.

      Another way is to compare the record of Donald Trumps administration in rooting out organized child abuse rings and compare that record with say the record of Belgium.

    • Habbabkuk

      ” Belgium has stepped in a pledged to give the cash to the Palestininan’s”

      Is that the same Belgium which, for reasons of “austerity”, has cut substantially government grants to Belgian NGOs helping asylum seekers, political refugees and economic migrants? And has also cut the budget of the federal agencies dealing with these matters?

    • Node

      US withholds $19 million/year from Palestine, thereby easing the strain of subsidiing 1srael to the tune of $828.4 billion/year.*

      * $3.8 billion cash and $824.6 billion US defence budget (2017 figures)

  • Republicofscotland

    You have to give credit to Boris Johnson, for having such a huge brass neck, and not blushing with it.

    On this occasion, of foot in mouth disease, (and there’s been many incidents of this behaviour from the FS. Johnson waxes lyrical about building a bridge between Britain and France, and not in the metaphorical sense either.

    Now Johnson a leading voice in the Brexiteer’s taking back control, and out with bloody Johnny Foreigner and all that, actually proposes that a physical bridge should be built between Britain and France.

    Our illustrious FS, added and I kid you not, that it would be good for yrade among other things.

    Johnson is a prime example of the inept bumbling clowns that are the Westminster government. Why any Scot would want to be partially governed by Westminster is beyond me.

    • reel guid


      Such a bridge would be paid for with oil money from Scottish waters of course. Even though it would be firms in southern England that would mostly benefit. While Scotland is forced out the EU at the cost of vast damage to the Scottish economy and jobs. Year on year. While devolution is dismantled bit by bit.

      Scotland staying in the union means misery, exploitation and subservience. Independence means control, self-assurance and progress. It has come down to that crystal clear choice.

    • Republicofscotland

      Re my above comment, this could have something to do with why Boris Johnson has done a 180° turn on France, and why he proposes a new bridge.

      It would also answer the question at to why all of a sudden there’s now so much love for France from the usual suspects in here.

      Of course Theresa May, is currently trying to woo Macron, possibly into easing the Brexit issue, and from what I’ve read sharing armed forces as well.

      • Habbabkuk

        The real question to which posts like the one above give rise is, of course “should the UK wish for and work towards good relations with the rEU states post-Brexit?

        Some would probably answer “no” because to answer “yes” would invalidate the thesis that leaving the EU means the end of the world as we know it; others would also answer “no” because subsequent bad relations would offer them another little stick with which to beat up their homeland and its governments.

    • Habbabkuk

      The above comment from RoS contrives to give the impression that the idea of a Channel Bridge is a brand-new one which has only surfaced thanks to a politician – Boris Johnson – to whom RoS has shown a certain degree of hostility in his various and numerous posts.

      Let us not forget that way back when – when the idea of a fixed link between the UK and France had received political agreement in principle – there were two contenders under serious consideration : a Tunnel and….a Bridge.

      Hence “clownery” on the part of Boris is not clownery at all.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Republicofscotland January 20, 2018 at 11:37
      What’s he up to, is he in the pay of the Kremlin too? Make it easier for that War-Mongering Putin, with bases all around the Globe, to invade us from Europe?
      And as Bliar would be happy to inform us all, I’m sure, Putin doesn’t need 15 minutes to obliterate this unsinkable (but easily made virtually uninhabitable) Yankee aircraft carrier.

    • Sharp Ears

      Perhaps she’s also thick as well as disingenuous.

      Married to the MD of British Sugar, a Garfield Weston Associated British Foods subsidiary. So no money worries for her. I can’t imagine she knows much of the life of a drug addict or a homeless person. Probably thinks they should be swept out of sight like many other Tories.

      • Habbabkuk

        ” I can’t imagine she knows much of the life of a drug addict or a homeless person.”

        Of course it depends what one means by “to know much about” something but I would think that few if any ministers “know much” about most of the aspects of their portfolio. For example, as the late Edmund Dell demonstrated in his excellent “The Chancellors”, almost none of the Chancellors of the Exchequer of the post-WW2 period personally “knew much” about economics, international finance, fiscal matters and so on. Are Home Secretaries always legal experts and do they know much of “the life” of, say, prisoners or asylum seekers? Have all Foreign Secretaries had much or any experience of foreign affairs (cf Ernest Bevin…Selwyn Lloyd…James Callaghan)? Do transport Ministers invariably possess expertise in road, rail, sea and air transport and “the life” of the ordinary commuter? That, I’d humbly suggest, is one of the reasons why modern states have ….. civil services.

        • SA

          It is fair to say that politicians in general come from privileged classes or achieve that status when they become part of the establishment. I think the politicians therefore may not be expected to have experienced these deprivations of the poor first hand but to be informed fully and be aware, otherwise like Marie Antoinette they may say ‘let them eat cake’.

          • Habbabkuk

            As I said, it depends on what one means by “to know very much about” about something. I would suggest that personal experience is only one way (and probably not a universally conclusive way) of “knowing very much about” something.

  • Republicofscotland

    The unemployed spare to the heir and his unemployed beau, who surely won’t receive citizen status, visited Wales recently, Cardiff.

    However before Prince Harry (a huge benefit receiver) and his fiancee, reached Wales. The police intimidated and told homeless people to bugger off out of the area, whilst the royal couple were visiting, in those words or there abouts.

    Of course we can’t have riff-raff offending the royal gaze now, can we.

    • Sharp Ears

      Windsor, Torbay, Cardiff, and elsewhere.

      In the Tory enclave in which I have the misfortune to live, some do gooder woman from a charity told people not to give money to beggars. They will only spend it on alcohol or drugs. These Tory types have hearts of stone.

      In Torbay, just quoted today.
      ‘Clear homeless for VIPs’, Torbay charity told
      ‘A homeless charity says it was asked to close early to avoid embarrassing dignitaries visiting the nearby town hall. A Torbay councillor made the request to Humanity Torbay, the charity’s Ellie Waugh said. The charity received two similar requests in the last month to remove the homeless.’ Tory 24 LD 8 Ind 3 UKIP 1

      • Habbabkuk

        “In the Tory enclave in which I have the misfortune to live, some do gooder woman from a charity told people not to give money to beggars. They will only spend it on alcohol or drugs. These Tory types have hearts of stone.”

        How did you ascertain that the “do gooder woman” was a Tory?

      • glenn_nl

        “ome do gooder woman from a charity told people not to give money to beggars. They will only spend it on alcohol or drugs.

        I’m not sure that’s bad advice. Get the person food, if they want it. One aggressive pan-handler who used to loiter around the cash machine always seemed to take money until he had enough to call into the local offie, load himself up with cans of Special Brew, following which he could be found in the park distributing the empties in the vicinity in which he liked to squat. Following which, another period of even more aggressive begging next to the cashpoint would ensue.

        What is the point in giving a wino or a junkie money, when you know exactly what they’ll do with it?

        Give them enough money, and it might well kill them.

      • Loony

        You write: “In the Tory enclave in which I have the misfortune to live,,,”

        There is no misfortune, merely a choice. You can move. You would probably make a lot of money were you to move as Tory areas tend to have higher asset prices than non Tory areas.

        Allow me to recommend somewhere like Burnley or Blaeneu Gwent – both places benefit from low house prices and hence low rents, and they never vote Tory.

        There is every chance that you could achieve some kind of holy grail. You could give all of the money you save to poor people and there is a low probability that you would meet any Tories.

        You don;t have to do this – it is your choice. And that is the point. You can choose, No Tories, no racists and no fascists are preventing you moving to the poorest area you can find and absolutely no one is preventing you from giving your money to anyone you choose to give it to.

        • Sharp Ears

          Thank you for that unsolicited lifestyle advice. If I wanted to leave my friends, my house and the garden that I have lovingly created, I am capable of making my own decisions.

    • Habbabkuk

      “The unemployed spare to the heir and his unemployed beau,..”

      Fact check : Prince Harry’s financee is female. Et assez belle.

    • fred

      Strangely the paper boy hasn’t arrived with my copy of the Paisley Daily Express yet. I don’t suppose Ms Black expressed her outrage to a national newspaper at all. Twitter maybe?

      The Nats desperately trying to defend the closure of a children’s ward.

      • Republicofscotland

        “MP Mhairi Black for her “silence” over the closure of a 16-bed children’s ward in the town, which has been replaced by an entire new state-of-the-art 256-bed children’s hospital.”

        Did you bother to read the link, which contains the above. Now I’d say that the Westminster loyal politicians in Scotland (and they are many) which includes Sawar, are attempting to make political hay.

      • JOML

        I’m certainly not defending the closure of any ward, Fred, I’m with Mhairi Black on this one. However, if you base your post on Sarwar’s Twitter account, you cannot be certain of your facts, as illustrated. As an aside, I’m surprised you’ve got a copy of Paisley Daily Express on order! ?

        • fred

          I took a look at Ms Black’s twitter feed, no mention of the children’s ward at all. I’ve seen no comment from her in any national newspaper.

          If a Conservative government closed a children’s ward you can bet she’d have been commenting and not just to be seen by people who might vote for her.

          • JOML

            I’m surprised Fred that you think our mainstream press would give Mhairi Black news space. Also, I’m sure the Conservatives are closing plenty down South but all you hear in the press is that Corbyn is too old. You have a greater faith in our press than me, as I believe they are spin doctors and not real journalists. You appear to be fixated in downing anything SNP or self determination at every turn. Sometimes you may be right but other times you will be wrong. The problem then is that you end up in a ‘cry wolf’ situation.
            Mhairi Black is good individual, with good intentions, but she has faced a barrage of sexism, bigotry and aggression ever since she was elected – she should be applauded, whether you agree with her politics or not, and hope other young people join her in Parliament and replace the self serving troughers.
            End of rant! Enjoyed your evening. Slainté

          • fred

            The Conservatives and Labour have back benchers who speak out against policies they don’t agree with. For a long time Jeremy Corbyn was a back bencher himself, speaking out against a Labour government he didn’t approve of.

            Labour and the Conservatives are political parties, the SNP is a cult.

          • Habbabkuk


            “I’m surprised Fred that you think our mainstream press would give Mhairi Black news space. ”

            Surely one would not need to rely on the MSM to find out what is on Ms Mhairi Black’s Twitter feed? Going onto her feed would do the trick.

          • fred

            I had a LibDem MP for many years. When the policies of his party didn’t coincide with the interests of his constituents he wasn’t afraid to side with his constituents. It looks to me like they are more of a political party than the SNP.

          • reel guid


            Scottish Lib Dem MPs and MSPs are in favour of a second EU referendum to have Scotland avoid losing EU membership. But they’re completely against a second independence referendum to have Scotland avoid losing EU membership. The first escape plan looks futile. The second has a good chance of success. Many rank and file Liberal Democrats favour having indyref2 and many would support Yes. The Lib Dem parliamentarians though are having too much joy riding the britnat gravy train to be in sympathy.

            Scotland is being de-democratised. Taken out the EU despite our voting to stay. The structure of devolution being steadily dismantled. Being denied the right to an independence referendum on the personal him of a Tory PM. You would think that in response Scottish Liberal parliamentarians would be moved to action, guided by the principles of their political belief system.

            Instead we witness the rankest hypocrisy. They call for a second EU referendum on principle. They oppose a second EU referendum and make remarkably little noise about the devo dismantling process. They know very well that the trashing of devolution, loss of EU status and single market membership will be catastrophe for Scotland. But fat cats like Alastair Carmichael – who is speaking at the ultra right unionist group Scotland in Union Burns Supper – deliver their disdain for the idea of Scottish independence and freedom to make choices like imperious headmasters.

  • nevermind

    It looks like NATO troops from Turkey, unless we have missed Turkeys exit from this aggressive pact, have attacked Afrin/Syria. All Russian military advisers have been recalled from there and Russia has asked the security council to condemn this attack on the Kurdish run region.

    Israel is attacking Syrian forces, as is Turkey, whilst the US NATO partners are in an apparent/fake coalition with Kurdish forces. Just to keep on the ground and work towards the flattening of the country in the hope of hitting on Assad.

    Meanwhile Mr. Baghdadi is still ‘on the run’, not much a target anymore he’s now a second hand target.;

    • AS

      This would have been an excellent moment for Russia and the US to finally do something decent, combining their forces to get Turkey to back off and accept some kind of peaceful arbitration with the Kurds. Or just let them have their own bloody country. Isn’t that what Trump’s special affinity with Putin was supposed to achieve? But of course nobody actually cares about minority populations anywhere. Far too much geopolitical maneouvering to be done to waste time on supporting the people who’ve just helped you defeat ISIS.

      • nevermind

        I agree, AS, another good opportunity missed for egocentric shuffling. Whatever peace talks there have been in Turkey seems to have run into the sand of time.
        Or, there are too many differing vested interests that keep this chaos alive. Not good.
        US Federal shut down is also putting the focus on internal not external matters, not exactly a good position when you should be sitting at the table somewhere important…..

        I fear that there is some other agenda, helping Turkey to rub up the Kurds something rotten, when they have actively/successfully fought IS. NATO should distance themselves from and rebuke Turkey’s for their actions.

        Turkey is crap at securing its borders, never managed to do it, why are they now so keen on sorting alleged border incursions in Afrin? is beyond me. Is Erdogan now taken over from IS, with NATO’s support?

        • BrianFujisan.

          Well Said Nevermind..I Keep an eye On yir Post..As a Thank you..For Your Box..

          They rarely Show their Well Financed face
          or their Roots…That support Thugs Boots
          bbc..Stv..Ch 4

          They want More… Killings..Destructions
          All Media should OBAY Their Instructions

          John Snow Should know
          Yet like the Guardian Rag they they try to Throw

          Against Eva..And Vanessa

        • SA

          I am not quite sure why you express so much surprise about what is going on at present in Northern Syria, but let me try to explain how I understand this. The Kurdish population in Syria ia small relative to those in Turkey, Iran and Iraq. Therefore converting the Syrian problem to make this into a major issue is a huge propaganda and diversion campaign which I am afraid works even amongst some progressive people. The US has used its support for the Kurds in Eastern Syria under the umbrella of the SDF to extend its influence to the major oil and gas fields of Deir Ezzor province, far away from any areas inhabited by Kurds in Syria and utilising tribesmen previously affiliated with ISIS when they controlled the same fields. The Turks main agenda in the Syrian war, apart from grabbing Syrian territory, is to have an affiliated Muslim Brotherhood dominated northern Syrian zone. It is comical indeed to see that Turkey, a NATO member is bombing Afrin whilst a few hundred miles away, the US thier NATO ally is protecting the same Kurdish factions against the legitimate Syrian government.
          It is naive to think that the Kurdish problem is a Syrian one when over 90% of the Kurds live in Turkey, Iran and Iraq.
          The Kurds of Syria are being used for the main agenda of the US which is either regime change or Balkanisation.
          I read somewhere an analysis from a source I trust that what is happening now is the second fallback plan of the US and allies concerning Syria:
          1. They tried regime change by causing some local demonstrations to be infiltrated by armed terrorists to create chaos (as they did successfully in Kiev) hoping that there will be an international cry and a call by the UN to authorise a no fly zone, ala Libya. This was followed by so many other false attempts including fake sarin attacks in Ghouta in 2013 and the last one in Khan Sheikhoun in 2017. These have all failed because Russia had intervened.
          2. The use of the excuse of the so called moderate rebels, the FSA which in fact became a conduit for arms to Al Qaeda and IS which were both encouraged and financed by KSA and Qatar, with logistic help and access from Turkey.
          3. This is currently the attempt to cantonise Syria using the Kurdish excuse.

          • nevermind

            Thanks for your take SA, my background info comes from the time I worked/ partied and drank with Turkish people in Germany, when the Grey wolfs, as well as the PKK were raising money through drug trafficking, they still are.

            It is time for an international push for an Autonomous Kurdish region in Turkey, its been coming for a long while. Imho autonomy for the Kurdish factions, a homeland, ideally taking some territory from Iran Iraq Syria and Turkey is the only future for a peaceful Turkey.

            That this was not recognised as a future problem when they drew straight lines in the sand, points to imperial grandeur being the main consideration in these negotiations of past times.

      • Habbabkuk

        I often wonder how the same people who call vociferously for “self-determination” for the “peoples” of Scotland, Catalonia and so on can oppose self-determination for the Kurds (who are certainly people) of Turkey, Syria, Irak and Iran.

        It would of course be sensible (if the peoples concerned wanted it) for there to be one independent country for the Kurdish people rather than four separate ones.

    • Habbabkuk

      Therefore sanctions against the State of Israel, as called for by some, would also be a war crime.

      • SA

        A boycott by ordinary people is not the same as a state sanction by a powerful nation controlling all money flow. I hope you understand the difference.

      • Macky

        No, people are calling for economic & cultural boycotts against Israel; there’s a world of difference between State imposed sanctions, and boycotts like those instigated by MLK during the Civil Rights Movement, and those used against Apartheid South Africa.

        • Habbabkuk


          Of course I understand the difference. But it seems fairly clear from the post I was responding to (Macky at 10h25) that Macky was talking about state imposed sanctions.

          If he was, then state imposed sanctions against Israel would be as much a war crime as he claims state sanctions against Russia,North Korea, etc, are.

          If on the other hand he was talking about “sanctions” taken by indiduals against Russia, North Korea, (ie, boycotts of various sorts by ordinary people) then it was clearly nonsensical for him to call them war crimes.

  • Stu

    I just turned on BBC1 and Big Questions is on with some idiot talking up Trump and describing Iran as evil, Russia as a regime and suggesting that North Korea plans to invade Japan…… Unsurprisingly he is a paid mouthpiece of the Henry Jackson Society by the name of Alan Mendoza.

    • Sharp Ears

      and some other unsavoury connections too.

      Who was the one who said that reducing corporation tax produced wealth?! Yes Even more wealth for the already wealthy.

      I cannot stick that Nicky Campbell stuff. A pretence that free speech and thoughts are allowed. In fact, it is almost scripted. Nothing changes.

      • Habbabkuk

        It is clear that some Member States of the European Union do believe that reducing corporation tax produces wealth or at least benefits those Member States. How else can one explain why the Netherlands and Ireland boast rates of corporation tax far below the EU average?

      • Stu

        I had to turn it off when some former Apprentice contestant supposedly representing social mobility and entrepreneurship failed to comprehend why it wasn’t possible for everyone to start their own business. That was after the Henry Jackson party political broadcast for perpetual war from Mendoza, a man who seemed to aspire to be the Cambridge version of Ayn Rand and a man who is allegedly a comedian claiming that inequality is natural.

        There was one voice of sanity from a nurse called Stuart Tuckwood who is also a Green Party member and a Unison steward. He spoke very impressively.

  • Republicofscotland

    Well the Sunday Politics show is at it again, showing a clip of the new SNP PPB, speaking about new schools. The programme shows Edinburgh’s Oxgang primary school, which was in the news due its shoddy building and the unfortunate death of a young pupil.

    Of course there’s no mention of the Labour/Libdem admin, that the PFI school was built under. The show even rolled out Tom Harris, to say Labour’s PFI wasn’t that bad.

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