British Democracy is Dysfunctional 918


A significant proportion of Labour MPs are actively seeking to cause their own party to do badly in forthcoming local elections, with the aim of damaging the leader of that party. To that end they have attacked Jeremy Corbyn relentlessly in a six week crescendo, in parliament and in the entirely neo-liberal owned corporate media, over the Skripal case, over Syria, and over crazy allegations of anti-semitism, again and again and again.

I recall reporting on an Uzbek Presidential election where the “opposition” candidate advised voters to vote for President Karimov. When you have senior Labour MPs including John Woodcock, Jess Phillips, John Mann, Luciana Berger, Mike Gapes, Wes Streeting and Ruth Smeeth carrying on a barrage of attacks on their own leader during a campaign, and openly supporting Government positions, British democracy has become completely dysfunctional. No amount of posing with leaflets in their constituencies will disguise what they are doing, and every Labour activist and trade unionist knows it.

British democracy cannot become functional again until Labour voters have a chance to vote for candidates of their party who are not supporters of the neo-liberal establishment. This can only happen by the removal as Labour candidates of a very large number of Labour MPs.

That it is “undemocratic” for party members to select their candidates freely at each election, and it is “democratic” for MP’s to have the guaranteed candidacy for forty years irrespective of their behaviour, is a nonsensical argument, but one to which the neo-liberal media fiercely clings as axiomatic. Meanwhile in the SNP, all MPs have to put themselves forward to party members equally with other candidates for selection at every election. This seems perfectly normal. Indeed every serious democratic system elects people for a fixed term. Labour members do not elect their constituency chairman for life, so why should they elect their parliamentary candidate for life? Why do we keep having general elections rather than voters elect the MP for life?

Election of parliamentary candidates for life is in fact a perfectly ludicrous proposition, but as it is currently vital to attempts to retain undisputed neo-liberal hegemony, anybody who dissents from the idea that candidacy is for life is reviled in the corporate and state media as anti-democratic, whereas the truth is of course the precise opposite.

The election of Jeremy Corbyn to the Labour leadership was a fundamental change in the UK. Previously the choice offered to electors in England and Wales was between two parties with barely distinguishable neo-liberal domestic policies, and barely distinguishable neo-conservative foreign policies. Jeremy Corbyn then erupted onto centre stage from the deepest backbenches, and suddenly democracy appeared to offer people an actual choice. Except that at the centre of power Jeremy did not in fact command his own party, as its MPs were largely from the carefully vetted Progress camp and deeply wedded to neo-conservative foreign policy, including a deep-seated devotion to the interests of the state of Israel as defined by the Israeli settlers and nationalist wing, and almost as strongly wedded to the economic shibboleths of neo-liberalism.

These Labour MPs were, in general, prepared grudgingly to go along with a slightly more social democratic economic policy, but drew the line absolutely at abandoning the neo-conservative foreign policy of their hero Tony Blair. So pro-USA policy, support for bombings and missiles as “liberal intervention” in a Middle Eastern policy firmly aligned to the interests of Israel and against the Palestinians, and support for nuclear weapons and the promotion of arms industry interests through a new cold war against Russia, are the grounds on which they stand the most firmly against their own party leadership – and members. Over these issues, these Labour MPs will support, including with voting in parliament, the Tories any day.

I have never voted Labour. I come from a philosophical viewpoint of the liberal individualist rather than of working class solidarity. Labour support for nuclear weapons and other WMD, in the blinkered interest of the members of the General Municipal and Boilermakers’ Union, is one reason that I could not vote Labour. The other is of course that in many cases, if you vote Labour you are very likely to be sending to parliament an individual who will vote with the Tories to escalate the arms race and conduct dangerous and destructive proxy wars in the Middle East.

There is an excellent article on Another Angry Voice which lists the only 18 MPs who were brave enough to vote against Theresa May’s 2014 Immigration Act, which enshrined dogwhistle racism and the hostile environment policy.

Diane Abbott (Labour)
Jeremy Corbyn (Labour)
Jonathan Edwards (Plaid Cymru)
Mark Lazarowicz (Labour)
John Leech (Liberal Democrat)
Elfyn Llwyd (Plaid Cymru)
Caroline Lucas (Green)
Angus MacNeil (SNP)
Fiona Mactaggart (Labour)
John McDonnell (Labour)
Angus Robertson (SNP)
Dennis Skinner (Labour)
Sarah Teather (Liberal Democrat)
David Ward (Liberal Democrat)
Mike Weir (SNP)
Eilidh Whiteford (SNP)
Hywel Williams (Plaid Cymru)
Pete Wishart (SNP)

5 of the 6 SNP MPs stood against this racism (the sixth was absent) and the current leadership of the Labour Party stood alone against the Blairites and Tories in doing so. The Windrush shame should inspire Labour members to deselect every single one of the Red Tories who failed to vote against that Immigration Act. It is also a measure of the appalling shame of the Liberal Democrats, of whom only three of their sixty odd MPs opposed it, and who consigned themselves to the dustbin of history through Nick Clegg’s gross careerism and right wing principles.

There is more to say though. This vote is testament to the great deal in common which the SNP have with the current Labour leadership (who also personally consistently opposed Trident), as opposed to with the bulk of Labour MPs. Put another way, Corbyn, Abbot and McDonnell have more in common with the SNP than the Blairites. It is also a roll-call of those MPs who have most consistently stood against the appalling slow genocide of the Palestinians. It is astonishing how often that issue is a reliable touchstone of where people stand in modern British politics.

Corbyn’s supporters have slowly gained control of major institutions within the Labour Party. The essential next move is for compulsory re-selection of parliamentary candidates at every election and an organised purge of the Blairites. If the Labour Party does not take that step, I could not in conscience urge anyone to vote for it, even in England, but rather to look very carefully at the actual individual candidates standing and decide who deserves your support.


918 thoughts on “British Democracy is Dysfunctional

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  • Mochyn69

    @Fundamentalist Skeptic April 21, 2018 at 19:24 posted

    ‘Interesting. The princes of darkness and their minions like to play word games sometimes. “Nick Bailey” means “prison castle wall”. I wonder what it means, a reference to the imprisonment of the Skripals perhaps?’

    Made me realise even more the significance so I posted a reply but maybe it’s worth re-posting the substance here:

    Nick = chiefly British Slang A prison or police station.

    Bailey = the outer wall of a castle.

    And Skripal’ is Ukrainian for “Fiddler” = (secondary meaning) BRITISH informal
    a person who cheats or swindles, especially one indulging in petty theft.

    So, British English word games.

    QED. It’s all just a piece of theatre. The question is Why???

    .
    .

  • Den Lille Abe

    So today is the 22’nd of April. Has anybody seen the Skripal’s? How about the policeman Nick Bailey ? Still not a word from any of the people involved in the case. Everybody is mum. What are the sanctions the British can put on you if breach a secrecy act; they must be severe…
    Not a word from, hospital staff, fire crew, emergency workers, helicopter crew, not a word fom anyone involved, not one tiny leak, nada.
    This is very weird, the more silence the weirder it gets. All this silence makes me very suspicious, suspicious that this was an inside job, that was botched in some way. And if that is even remotely possible why is it then not impossible to think 9/11 was an inside job? Nobody has said a word there either…
    But lets leave 9/11, we do not want to feed conspiratorial theories do we? The Skripal case is clear, the Russians did it. No they had no motive, but id bad stuff happens, it is safe to blame the Russians. They did it just because… That’s how Russians do their foreign policy, if they have a chance to do evil, they will grasp it. The suspension on my Mercedes went kaput yesterday, I am convinced that some nefarious FSB operative has a hand in that too.
    Like in Syria, we have Assad, who is personally responsible for everything bad, and hates his people, which he would have killed if he could, just look at all the KZ camps he has built.
    Back to the Skripals, it is not in the MSM anymore, not newsworthy, but we still lack some proper answers, which we probably never will get.
    I for one, is now utterly and completely convinced, that Governments conduct things that are illegal, evil, ruthless and against every law that governs the rest of us.
    I started to wonder already with the demise of the Baader/Meinhof group, one succeeded in double tapping him/herself in the head, in a cell.. The last one caught on a railway line, a GSG 9 on top of him, and he dies from a shot in the head. Just like in the US, where death by police is not uncommon, especially if you are not entirely white.

    • D_Majestic

      The biggest marker for me over this latest in a long series of what I call ‘Strange Events’, is the absolute lack of any footage of real importance from the CCTV cameras, which abound in any city in the UK.

  • Radar O’Reilly

    The Meejah have briefed that the six-man team behind the start of world-war 3 (*) was led by:-

    The name’s Bond, “Gordon” Bond [Михаилс Савичкис]

    According to a tip-off down the pub, to detective inspectors Regan and Carter, by somone overacting called “Karpichkov”
    “Now the question is Carter: do I write my statement and then get drunk, or get drunk then write it?”

    (* http://nationalinterest.org/feature/the-united-states-russia-the-no-cost-paradigm-25501) this is the serious bit, the Skripal operetta DID raise fears of nuclear war –
    like former U.S. ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul or former head of MI6 John Sawers, I agree that we are facing a realistic prospect for a clash between Moscow and Washington. )

  • Ophelia Ball

    From the MoonofAlabama website:

    ‘Early in life I have noticed that no event is ever correctly reported in a newspaper, but in Spain, for the first time, I saw newspaper reports which did not bear any relation to the facts, not even the relationship which is implied in an ordinary lie. I saw great battles reported where there had been no fighting, and complete silence where hundreds of men had been killed. I saw troops who had fought bravely denounced as cowards and traitors, and others who had never seen a shot fired hailed as the heroes of imaginary victories; and I saw newspapers in London retailing these lies and eager intellectuals building emotional superstructures over events that had never happened. I saw, in fact, history being written not in terms of what happened but of what ought to have happened according to various ‘party lines’.

    George Orwell, Looking back on the Spanish War, Chapter 4

  • Radar O’Reilly

    Magically, even whilst dutifully trotting out the “Gordon Bennett” story , the DM article does manage to ask a very serious question about the OPCW test samples. Sadly, they also have a photo of a door, not that door , for no apparent reason. And further down the page – the sidebar of shame has a few Kardashians for those who need that sort of thing.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5643003/Former-Russian-spy-codenamed-Gordon-identified-police-Russian-spy-poisoning.html

    Strangely, keeping on an Eric Blair theme, the BBC produced a long article today about MI5 and room 105, which would not confirm that vetting is history, and said that in war-time anything is permitted , after-all, we have been in full information war mode since the start of the recent Scottish independence campaign, if not earlier. One might wonder – is a Beeb employee throwing out ‘MI5’ breadcrumbs as a subtle ‘message’ about life there today, where the ‘scary-guys’ abound?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/stories-43754737
    The vetting files: How the BBC kept out ‘subversives’ 22 April 2018

  • Ophelia Ball

    As I grow older, one of the ironies I encounter on a daily basis is that I don’t actually recognise the face staring back at me in the shaving mirror; it’s like one of those “Don’t I know you?‘” moments, where there is a fleeting recognition, but it is more like meeting a total stranger. I often spend more than a few moments looking at this guy’s face, wondering who the hell he is and just what he is doing hiding in my en suite bathroom.

    I am sure that I am not alone in my undiagnosed mental illness (a.k.a. middle age), and, having just come across this absolute gem of an article on New Eastern Outlook, I wonder what our esteemed and fearless Prime Minister sees when she looks in the mirror: https://journal-neo.org/2018/04/20/the-stench-of-imperialism-the-statement-of-theresa-may/

    NAUSEA WARNING – DO NOT CLICK THAT LINK WHILST CHEWING A MOUTHFUL OF CORNFLAKES!

    • Ophelia Ball

      to say innocent widows & orphans the distress of having to view that article, here is the gist of it in one paragraph:

      “International justice is dead, and swings from a tree, lynched by the NATO powers and their allies. World peace lies on the ground covered in blood, her throat cut from ear to ear. Freedom of speech and association are on the run, pursued by the hounds of propaganda, government, mass media intimidation and outright censorship and the risk of world war is now ever present. Yet the people, aside from a few groups and individuals, a mass drugged by propaganda and the struggle of their daily lives, say nothing, do nothing against these criminals to bring them under control,”

  • Ophelia Ball

    1. apologies, “save”, rather than “say”

    2. Back to the topic in hand – the nature & condition of British nominal democracy:

    “The UK has a traditional head of state, a traditional changing of the guard, tradition embodied in an unwritten constitution, traditional dress, traditional class structure, traditional world view, traditional enemies in France and Russia, a tradition that if you attend Eton, and place your genitals in the snout of a pig, then you will become Prime Minister, and a corresponding tradition that once Prime Minister you shall resign when your proposals are rejected by the public as David Cameron resigned on 13th July 2016 on the outcome of the Brexit vote.”

    sums it up quite succinctly – http://thesaker.is/a-curious-incident-part-xi/

    ok, you’ll be pleased to hear that’s it for me for today – I’m off to dig an Andersen Shelter in the garden, stock up on Bully Beef and powdered eggs, and enjoy the sunshine before it fades and all we are left with is nuclear fallout

      • fwl

        Although there are many justified criticisms of the US and us the Saker is spinning when he posits the Hegemony versus International Law etc. Russia does not become the good guy by default.

          • fwl

            You support your local football team. If management steal and the players cheat you don’t support the oppo, well if you do then it should only be for the occasional wind up.

          • Ophelia Ball

            no, but you do boo loudly, cancel your season ticket and wish that they could only get their act together for Christ’s sake

            I know how this feels – I am a Reading supporter, and whilst that doesn’t mean I’m about to defect to support Spartak Moscow, it doesn’t stop me for telling it the way I see it either

            In precis: Russia is not the Good Guy by default, but BY COMPARISON

          • fwl

            If you support Reading other rules may be applicable. I don’t know who has moral high ground by comparison. I would accept that we are on low ground and in the boggy marshes. I don’t know enough about the Russian position to come to an objective conclusion although it does appear that we stirred up shit in their back yard, which is not to say that Russia does not seek to stir up shit in our back yard.

            My team is my team. At the moment my team deserves criticism and some sort of overhaul.

            I listen to the oppo propaganda as some of it is apt and not discoverable elsewhere, but I have to sift what I read. For eg Zero Hedge can be interesting but over time you can perceive its overriding objectives and lack of objectivity in certain areas.

          • fwl

            I agree with telling it as you see it. What is particularly annoying is when we are expected to ignore the blinding obvious and parrot whatever message is rammed out through mass media. When mass media sings one sing only so everyone listening is either asleep to other tunes or willfully deaf (knowing which side their bread is buttered) it takes a certain effort and risk to speak out and challenge the one song.

            To challenge one risks being misidentified with those who are singing for the other side.

            That is what pisses me off. That to dissent and challenge the one song I risk being seen as the oppo.

            That is why whoever is behind the current self censoring should be ashamed and journalists and editors ought to consult their conscience and fearlessly press wherever the facts take them.

          • Canexpat

            @Hatuey

            I agree with much of what you write above, but with a couple of reservations.

            Firstly, do you have any evidence that The Saker is understating the US military position? He has been extremely careful in his previous analyses and he has a background as a professional military analyst for the Swiss military.

            Secondly, do you disregard the overwhelming influence of a certain lobby on U.S. foreign policy that was even able to paper over the U.S.S. L*b*rty attack of 1967? It is undeniable that certain Neoc*n movers and shakers many of whom hold du^l citizenship of a certain ME entity have been instrumental in dictating U.S. actions in the past few decades. There is certainly a political aspect to US actions, but I suspect the hijacking of US foreign policy has much more to do with the malign influence of ‘The Institute’.

          • Hatuey

            @ Canexpat

            “Firstly, do you have any evidence that The Saker is understating the US military position? He has been extremely careful in his previous analyses and he has a background as a professional military analyst for the Swiss military.”

            His background makes his misunderstanding of the Middle East theatre all the more surprising. I think his political analysis was more valuable.

            As for my evidence that he understates the US military position, he provides it himself. If you look at what he says Russia’s 3 options are in terms of a response, his third option is a military strike at US bases or ships in the area.

            Saker says that America is really so weak on the ground that they wouldn’t have much of an option but to respond to such an attack with an attack on Russia itself, or reach for a nuclear response. That’s a huge error of judgement to suggest the US is weak anywhere in the Middle East — the whole area is surrounded by US military bases from Diego Garcia in the south right up to Turkey in the north. Turkey is a NATO member, remember.

            Russia has one aircraft carrier (Kuznetsov) and it seems to break down every time it leaves port. America could probably have 2 or 3 in the eastern med’ within a matter of 4 weeks but I really doubt if they’d need them to neutralise Russia.

            I actually think Saker has the back to front and it would be Russia who would be left with no option in the region if it got hot and the only response open to them would be a thrust of some sort into Eastern Europe or, again, a nuclear response.

            I could bore you to tears with an explanation of how wrong Saker is on this. It’s important too because he is basically suggesting on the basis of this analysis that localised war in the area between the US and Russia is not going to happen. I think it will.

            Are we also to forget that Israel’s airforce alone is more powerful than the whole of NATO’s if you remove the US?

            As for the so called Anglo-Zionist alliance, I think it’s a marriage of convenience that exists primarily because it suits the US to have a base in the area that it can count on. It’s funny you mention 1967, that’s roughly when they decided to start backing Israel — before then the US didn’t care about it.

            The current emphasis on that relationship is over-egged and can be explained, as I said, by America’s political weakness in the region. The Iraq war really altered the balance of power and without Saddam’s iron fist there is nothing to block the appeal of Iran to people living in southern Iraq who are mostly Shia, and other places.

            The US and its cohorts like Britain would prefer a straight forward military solution in terms of Syria and Iran. The problem is that Syria and Iran are led by very responsible, rational, law-abiding people who know that if they get heavy handed they will be playing into the hands of the US, etc. It’s hard to imagine the west and the US being more politically weak than it is now in the Middle East and that means a political solution can’t work for them.

            On that basis, they are doing everything they can to turn this into a military conflict rather than a political one and if you can think of a better way of doing that than aligning closely with Israel then you deserve a prize of some sort. This isn’t even debatable, as I see it, and is consistent with the fabricated stories and false flag operations in Douma, etc., which reek of desperation.

            I agree with Saker that escalation is inevitable. As I have said, there’s no way they staged the gas attack in Douma just so they could fire a few inconsequential missiles into the sand.

          • Kempe

            ” Russia has one aircraft carrier ”

            Which is currently undergoing an extensive re-fit and modernisation. Not expected to be back in service until 2020.

            The budget for the work was reportedly halved due to the state of the Russian economy which means that a lot of the planned upgrades will have to be shelved.

        • Kempe

          That’s the “my enemy’s enemy is my friend” philosophy which as been the backbone of US foreign policy since the end of WW2. The cause of numerous unnecessary conflicts and millions of deaths.

          The truth is this isn’t Hollywood and there isn’t a good guy. Certainly not Russia.

          • Hatuey

            I listened to The Saker thing. I think it’s pretty weak in parts, to be honest, especially in terms of his characterisation of the so called Anglo-Zionist alliance. His analysis of military capabilities in the Syria region was reasonably good and I think he gave a good account of how strong and important Iran is on the ground. But he definitely understates US military capabilities in the region as a whole.

            The point I’d make about the Anglo-Israeli alliance is that’s it’s really actually a reflection of western weakness and desperation in a highly strategically important area. In the old days they were able to use coups and find other ways and excuses to intervene, democracy, saving Kuwait, fighting communism, etc., or they’d just pump arms in to one side or another in some tribal war, but there’s no useful opportunity to do that stuff now.

            The problem is that Iran is so law abiding. It’s power is political. Syria is similar in a way. It’s hard to fight a political war with bombs and guns. And the west couldn’t be more politically weak in the world right now.

            That’s why they basically need to invent stuff and pretend their interests are aligned so perfectly with Israeli interests — you’re more or less guaranteed a fight (which is what they want) if you align with Israel which has basically declared holy war on Iran.

            Everything has deteriorated for the west after the Iraq War debacle; bearing in mind that Iraq was a key buffer state in respect of Iran for many years, now the situation is almost reversed and Iran’s political influence is greater in Iraq today than that of the west.

            As The Saker himself points out, they’ll always find and deploy some sort of exceptional argument to try and justify their attacks. The real thing that makes them exceptional is their tendency to use industrial scale violence as a means to achieve their economic ends. Even the racism of the empire days was fake and used as an excuse to colonise and exploit.

          • Dave Lawton

            @Kempe

            “The truth is this isn’t Hollywood and there isn’t a good guy. Certainly not Russia.”

            Kempe could you have been influenced by the US spy drama Homeland.It is part of the operation Mockingbird program.

          • Kempe

            ” Kempe could you have been influenced by the US spy drama Homeland. ”

            Unlikely, I never watched any of it.

            Was it any good?

  • Dave

    Yes it seems the anti-Semitism assault on the Labour leader is intended to stop him opposing war in the Middle East. I.e. its anti-Semitic to oppose WWIII.

    • N_

      Yes. This comes after many decades in which it has been called “anti-Semitic” to oppose ethnic supremacism, genocide, concentration camps, pogroms, racism, and fascism, when perpetrated by Jeωs.

      What a massive troll…

      Meanwhile neo-Nazis of the “Aryan” persuasion say it’s “anti-white” to oppose their aims. Shouting shit out loud doesn’t turn it into custard.

      FWIW, many Jeωish people have an abiding hatred of Russia that is deeper than any negative feelings they may have towards Germany.

    • Hatuey

      “its anti-Semitic to oppose WWIII.”

      One of the most insightful things I’ve ever read on here.

  • Sharp Ears

    Earlier, someone mentioned ‘fitna’ which means ‘unrest or rebellion, especially against a rightful ruler’ in relation to places like Gaza.

    We should all have a spell of living there. More like an open air prison than a country.

    Nothing Makes Sense Here: A Journey Along the Fences and Barbed Wire Suffocating the Gaza Strip
    On one side there are watchtowers and workers building an anti-terror barrier. On the other, a small tent city of Palestinian protesters
    Gideon Levy
    April 4th 2018
    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-a-quiet-afternoon-on-the-border-of-the-concentration-camp-called-gaza-1.5976637 (the full article is accessible)

  • Sharp Ears

    Jeremy Hunt tries a diversionary tactic. How dare he talk about ‘morality’.

    Ultimatum for ‘irresponsible’ social media giants
    Jeremy Hunt says tech firms are failing on safeguarding children
    Jeremy Hunt is threatening new laws to punish social media firms for “turning a blind eye” to children “being exposed to harm”.
    https://news.sky.com/story/social-media-firms-must-protect-children-or-face-new-laws-says-jeremy-hunt-11342107

    ‘This is both morally wrong …..’ etc etc

    He tries to divert our attention away from:
    Jeremy Hunt got ‘bulk discount’ on seven flats from Tory donor …
    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/apr/18/jeremy-hunt-investigated-breach-money-laundering-rules-luxury-flats
    4 days ago – Jeremy Hunt received a “bulk discount” on seven flats bought from a Conservative donor, the Guardian can disclose, as parliament’s watchdog opened an investigation into the health secretary’s admission that he breached money laundering rules. …

    Probe launched into Jeremy Hunt’s Ocean Village flats deal
    http://www.dailyecho.co.uk/news/16172583.Probe_launched_into_Jeremy_Hunt__39_s_Ocean_Village_flats_deal/

    The Tory donor goes by the name of Roach. LOL.

    • Rhys Jaggar

      I seem to remember Cherie Blair and Peter Mandelson being summarily roasted for rather less dodgy behaviour than this.

      I guess the Hunt is Mr Murdoch’s blue eyed boy, so anything goes.

      Not that Blair or Mandelson are my cup of tea….

      • Ophelia Ball

        apparently it was necessary to check your silverware after Blair and Mandelson had been round for dinner; although you could always count on finding a few pieces of cutlery in Cherie’s handbag, no-one could ever figure out where Peter was hiding the candelabras

    • giyane

      Sharp Ears.
      ” Tory donor goes by the name of Roach. LOL”
      Naughty. I haven’t had a cup of tea yet, but if I did have one it’d have been all over the place

  • Tony M

    Paul Barbara
    April 21, 2018 at 18:16

    “As there has been speculating that the Skripals, who were reportedly gesticulating into the air, May have been poisoned from a drone. […]”

    I postulated that also in a comment here around a week or so ago and in another more recent comment again.
    Further study of some of the documented symptoms of BZ (Dr James Ketchum’s Chemical Warfare: Secrets Almost Forgotten) tome, indicate that such as crawling behaviour, “bird-like flapping of the arms” and especially gesticulating and pointing in the air which has been described as “wool-gathering”, are absolutely classic and well-known almost signature features of BZ during the initial 1 to 4 hours of intoxication in clinical-environment testing. This considerably weakens the drone hypothesis based on their behaviour even if aerosol dispersal of BZ by drone still remains a very credible delivery method. Sorry if I’ve contributed to misleading anyone on this. It does of course considerably weaken any theory that Novichok was is in any way involved.

    • Node

      It is inconceivable that a drone could have been used without many witnessing it. Drones are noisy and conspicuous against the sky. They would have to hover withing a few inches of the Skripals faces to have a hope of administering rather than scattering the toxin. They would attract attention long before they reached the Skripals and focus attention on them while the toxin was administered. The drone itself would inevitably be contaminated in the turbulence. If it was collected afterwards, the drone would have led onlookers attention back to the pilot then contaminated him when he touched it. If the plan was to abandon it afterwards, why use such an elaborate ‘secret’ murder weapon?

      The one thing we can be sure of in this case is that a drone wasn’t used.

      It is inconceivable that They would have to get within a few inches of the Skripals to

          • Node

            Dunno. It’s a simple add-on for a WordPress blog. If we had a few minutes to edit mistakes after we post a comment, it would improve the overall readability of the blog.

          • Bayard

            I asked this question on another blog and was given the answer that, if there was an edit button, commenters who said something that was later proved to make them look an idiot could go back and change their comment, making all the replies then look nonsensical.

          • Node

            Thanks, Bayard.

            I know of a blog not too far from this one which has an edit button which times out after 5 minutes. Just enough time to correct formatting errors etc, but not long enough to be abused in the way you describe.

    • N_

      Good stuff, Tony M. But doesn’t “wool gathering” in the BZ context refer to picking at each other’s clothes? (Source: Eric Croddy and C Perez-Armendariz, Chemical and Biological Warfare: A Comprehensive Survey for the Concerned Citizen.)

  • quasi_verbatim

    We are now to enjoy identity checks for elections, a new wheeze whereby, upon presentation of a passport or driving licence to the polling clerk you may or may not be issued with a ballot paper, dependent upon whether he/she considers your mugshot meets the official criteria.

    This is the first restrictive stage toward a Hostile Voting Environment and the elimination of certain persons, classes and genders from the franchise.

    I have a little list.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ quasi_verbatim April 22, 2018 at 09:05
      ‘The vetting files: How the BBC kept out ‘subversives’: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/stories-43754737
      Venezuela has an excellent voting system, based on fingerprints, electronic voting machines and a verifiable ‘paper trail’. The electronic vote and the paper trail (which is checked) are compared to show any discrepancies.
      Pity the US doesn’t use it, instead of the ‘built to tamper with’ Diebolds.

    • Anon1

      Should help to prevent Labour voting fraud. I mean, we had Nevermind bragging on here before the last election about how he was voting multiple times, and encouraging others to do so too.

      • Blissex

        «Britain is a fascist state»

        More precisely England has a large percentage of voters leaning fascist, authoritarians.
        I reckon that is because of longer periods of old age: there are many more “hang and flog” oldies, who are frightened of everything and everybody, because they are affluent rentiers and things can only get worse for them.
        Plus oldies often lose a bit of their faculties with age, and self-control and self-censoring weaken, and while many oldies become sweeter with age, many become vinegar.
        I wonder how many people really listen to the usual “hang and flog” mumbling of their elder aunts and grannies, and how many realize that they can vote according to that “hang and flog” mumbling, and that soon 25% of the population, and thus a rather higher percentage of voters, will be over 65.

        • Sharp Ears

          Good try at a diversion but it failed. The state is fascist. I was not talking about its elderly inhabitant who are irrelevant to the workings of the state.

    • N_

      Special attention is required to the “Windrush” story. I was wondering what reasoning lay behind the foregrounding of the notion “Windrush” that has hithero been most associated with Tory scum who like to refer to black British people as having “come over on the Empire Windrush” (did the word “Empire” make for too long a phrase for Twitter?), just as they refer to black people as having “a touch of the tar brush”, giving white people “black looks”, etc., and, that popular favourite among the white petty bourgeoisie, “western oriental gentlemen”. Anti-racists should take a look at real widespread racism some time, to appreciate just how ugly and moronic it is.

      The left is nowhere near getting to grips with what’s going on with the “Windrush” story.

      The story plays to the idea that there are loads of black people here who expect the right to health treatment on the NHS.

      It also plays to the idea that Britain has a world role.

      It plays to the idea of the Commonwealth. Only an idiot thinks reorienting trade policy towards the Commonwealth will stave off economic collapse, but the idea is that the politicians “are trying” to fulfil the mandate that racist knuckledraggers the British people gave them.

      And as importantly as any of the above, it plays to the idea that the state must know who you are before you are allowed to receive services. The BBC blithely reports about passports and driving licences, when many people, including many elderly people, do not have either of these documents.

      It can’t be long before national identity chips are introduced – and without several years of evidence-taking and discussion and all that bollocks. Wham. You want health treatment? You want to send a child to a school? Etc.

      • bj

        I think George Gallway’s show of the 20th went into this deeper, and suggested what you are saying here.

      • Node

        The story plays to the idea that there are loads of black people here who expect the right to health treatment on the NHS.

        For the same reason, ie to promote resentment, the ‘news’ items refer to compensation.

      • Blissex

        «The left is nowhere near getting to grips with what’s going on with the “Windrush” story.»

        It is not really a complicated story, but it was created by the “Daily Mail” to exploit the mawkish sentimentality of their readers towards photogenic oldies. The situation however is:

        * A number of jamaican citizens came over to the UK.
        * Immigration law is entirely color and race blind, and has always said that it is up to immigrants to apply for residence permits or citizenship, and the burden of proof is on them.
        * Over 50 years they never collected 5 years of records and paid the fee to get a residence permit or UK citizenship, remaining jamaican citizens, overstaying and therefore becoming illegal immigrants. When they traveled abroad they used their jamaican passport therefore, which caused issues, because jamaican citizens have to apply like every other non-EU citizen for immigration visa.
        * A lot of EU citizens started settling entirely legally legally in the UK 45 years ago, without ever becoming illegal immigrants, and they now are in large numbers collecting 5 years of records and paying the fees to get a residence permit or UK citizenship.

        Why did the “magically british” jamaican citizens never collected, in 50 years, 5 years of records and paid the fee to get a residence permit or citizenship? Maybe one of these reasons:

        * They did not know. I think this is extremely unlikely because immigrants think often about their status, a very important detail, and it was over 50 years. In any case “ignorance of the law is now excuse”.
        * They considered it an unnecessary detail, and winging it worked for 50 years as the Home Office was not that keen on checking until recently.
        * They did not want to waste money on the application fee.
        * They worked in the “cash-in-hand” economy, economically invisible, and therefore had difficulty to collect 5 years of records of employment and residence proof.

        Now some questions:

        * Are this “magically british” jamaican citizens going to be given a residence permit or citizenship without proof of employment and residence and without paying an application fee, because Daily Mail readers are sentimental about photogenic oldies?
        * If having become illegal immigrants, they are still going to get residence or citizenship without proof and without paying, why should EU citizens, who have always been legal immigrants since 1973, be required to provide proof and pay large fees to get the same, given that the decision to withdraw from the EU was taken by english voters and not by them?

        • Blissex

          I think that a suitably fair and safe outcome would be an “amnesty” to give residence or citizenship, and the resulting benefits like NHS treatment without paying, to:

          * Long-term immigrants for which there are long term records of National Insurance contributions and income taxes paid.
          * Whether jamaican citizens, EU citizens, or citizens of other states, color and nationality blind.
          * If there insufficient records of long term records of National Insurance contributions and income taxes paid, grant residence without entitlement to benefits like NHS treatment.

          If an EU or other immigrants has worked in the “cash-in-hand” economy, even if for decades. and never contributed to the state budget, I don’t particularly see a reason why they are entitled to a share of the state budget.

        • Sharp Ears

          There you go again about ‘oldies’. Some sort of obsession?

          The matter is very serious for those of our citizens who cannot obtain a passport, cannot be employed, cannot re-enter the country, cannot obtain NHS treatment etc etc.

    • Alex Westlake

      We’ve had it in Ulster for years. The only voters it’s going to disenfranchise are the ones who don’t actually exist.

  • Sharp Ears

    Huffpo on last night’s excrescence.

    ‘To celebrate the queen’s 92nd birthday on April 21, a concert to end all concerts will be held at Royal Albert Hall in London. The party will be produced by the BBC ― because who among us wouldn’t want their party produced by a major media outlet ― and will air on live television in the U.K……’

    They seem to think that the BBC is the epitome of entertainment production. Not.

    I switched off half way through when Ed Balls appeared with a ukulele.. It was tedious and dire stuff and was a succession of has beens, one after another and went on for 1.5 hours. I almost felt sorry for the old girl having to sit through it. How much of the licence fee was expended on it?

    • Sharp Ears

      PS Ed Balls appeared on a stage in Trafalgar Square on the occasion of Israel’s 60th birthday, ie the Nakba, and spoke with fervour for Israel. CST operatives were in attendance on the outskirts of the assembled large crowd. I was there watching from the sidelines with other PSC supporters. Naturei Karta held one of their silent protests.

    • Hatuey

      You watched 45 minutes of that junk? And you condemn me for swearing…. if swearing is an affront, what are we to call the existence of a constitutional monarchy in the 21st century?

      God save hypocrisy!

  • Tony M

    “”A group of extremist Israeli colonists uprooted, Friday, at least 100 olive trees from an Orchard in Burin village, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus. The assailants, who came from a nearby illegal colony, invaded an orchard owned by Mohammad Raja, and cut 100 trees; many of them were planted more than 60 years ago, in addition to cutting several almond trees. Yahia Qadous, the head of Burin Village Council, said the colonizers also wrote racist graffiti, including “Death To Arabs”, on big rocks in the orchard.””

    http://imemc.org/article/israeli-colonists-cut-100-olive-trees-near-nablus/

    “”The Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza has reported that the soldiers killed two Palestinians, and injured 83 others, in several parts of the Gaza Strip, Friday. The Ministry said the soldiers shot five Palestinians, including a medic who was shot with a live round in the head, and a journalist who was wearing a clearly marked press vest and helmet, east of Khuza’a town, east of Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.””

    http://imemc.org/article/army-injures-two-palestinians-in-northern-gaza/

    Scum is what they are, scum is what those such as most of our parliament are who support this sort of thing and prostrate themselves before such monsters. Woe to the downpressors, they’ll eat the bread of sad tomorrow.

    • Den Lille Abe

      Scum indeed. It makes you wonder that this nation was founded by people who suffered genocide. I simply can not comprehend, that people has so short a collective memory of the fate their kind has suffered, and the ways they treat other human beings. The Jewish part of me is deeply ashamed, that part of my ancestry should be connected with vile oppression is… nerve wrecking. The other part is not that good either, pure Danish Viking ancestry, but at least we were the barbarians then, I think…

    • N_

      Violent fascist gangs smashing up the property of individuals who belong to a target ethnic group, murdering some without fear of legal ramifications, while the state authorities don’t just do nothing but egg them on, or take part having swapped their police and army uniforms for civilian clothing – does that remind us of anything?

    • Jo Dominich

      Tony M, I think scum is way way too polite for these murderous monsters. They are pure evil without any conscience whatsoever. To my mind, they are now the most fascist Government in the world who trample on human rights, commit torture, human rights abuses, murder and do not abide by the rule of law in Palestine – killing innocent civilians running away from the IDF, executing journalists at point blank range (that BBC report maybe 5-6 years ago approaching the line to cross into Palestine, clearly marked, he walked up with his hands up and was summarily executed – 11 mins of actual newsreel showed this execution) and they know, because the USA support them whatever, they can do what they want and they shall continue doing it.

  • Tony M

    To counter this neo-liberal think-tank TINA p-o-v:
    “”The study involves economic forecasts of how regions will fare over the next 15 years. And as you can see below whichever type of Brexit, there is no part of the UK that won’t be left economically worse. And the more divergence from European regulations and trade the UK goes for, the worse the economic fall out, as many “experts” did warn.”

    https://www.thelondoneconomic.com/news/the-brexit-assessments-the-government-didnt-want-released-have-been-published-now-everyone-can-see-what-they-were-hiding/08/03/

    There’s this:

    “”I have been doing some analysis of British and European Trade patterns over the Post World War 2 period. They reveal some very interesting insights that are seemingly lost in the on-going war by Europhiles against Brexit. One of the recurring themes in the Brexit debate is the so-called importance of membership of the European Union to on-going prosperity of Britain through trade. What the data reveals is that British exports growth did not accelerate with accession to the EU in 1973 and after the introduction of the ‘Single Market’, British exports to the EU started to level off and then decline rather sharply. In other words, Britain has been diversifying its exports and is less reliant on the EU than it was say in the early 1990s. The data also shows that the creation of the Single Market hasn’t even boosted intra-EU or intra-Eurozone trade. Additionally, and laterally, the data suggests that the introduction of the euro has not expanded intra-EMU trade. The claims by the Euro-elites that it would were a major part of their justification for pushing through to the common currency. I consider this sort of evidence has been largely ignored by those in the Remain camp, who prefer to base their assertions on the highly questionable ‘forecasts’ coming from neoliberal-inspired ‘models’, which have so far demonstrated an appalling record of accordance with the facts. The data I have shown here doesn’t provide an open and shut case for Brexit. But it does show that the importance of EU membership to Britain’s prosperity is probably overstated and that Britain will prosper if its own policy settings are appropriate.””

    http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=39114

    • Radar O’Reilly

      TM, I read your links and whilst agreeing that the EU-exit will inevitably cost billions, make (nearly) everyone poorer, and sadder – I also think there is a small chance that the derring-do spunky British spirit might come to the fore, eventually, and lead to untrammeled economic growth , sometime in the 2040s.

      That’s assuming we somewhere find a government that’s capable of arranging a p!ss-up, not only in a brewery but anywhere on earth, or field an exit negotiating squad that could organise a fire in a match factory, employ spooks that could ‘kill’ double-agents in an army-town (with a full CW lab on ‘weekend special duties’) etc

      • Jo Dominich

        Radar, I think Brexit is going to cost the UK dearly for many reasons. There is a global financial climate which isn’t in a healthy condition as far as the richer western countries are concerned. The EU is the largest trading bloc in the world and as such, has a lot of heavy weight when negotiating trade deals. Someone on these blogs who appears to be very knowledgeable about international money markets indicated, giving good evidence, that there is looming, in the not too distant future, a global financial crash on an extraordinary scale and i have seen this forecast in other financial media outlets including the Financial Times, which I find an excellent read when you wish to know about the world financial matters. Added to which, we are set for a series of interest rate rises (I know only one is being mooted at the moment but I can foresee a number of interest rate rises in rapid succession because sterling is not strong right now. Added to which inflation is running at a significantly higher rate than the official figure. The economy in the UK is not in a healthy position as consumer spending has radically slowed down, upon which the UK economy depends. Leaving the EU will inevitably have a further knock on effect to interest rates. There is also a climate in what we consider to be the 2nd world countries – i.e. Africa and Latin America – where each continent is adopting an EU model – with countries organising to act as an economic trading bloc on their own continents for tariff free trade. Additionally, the Eastern Bloc countries, Russia, Kyrgyzstan and others are similarly joining up with Vietnam recently indicating they would wish to join this group of countries. Therefore, the Government’s ideology that we are somehow going to be able to strike Trade Deals with countries around the world is becoming slimmer by the day, month, year(s). Which, hey presto, will leave us with a Trade Deal with the USA – not a very happy thought at all. So globally, tariff free trade integration amongst countries is on the increase not the decrease – and we are a little b it alone in this. The truth is, prior to Salisbury, Teresa May was making a right pigs ear of Brexit and still is actually. We are going to walk away with no deal, a disastrous situation in Northern Ireland, no Passporting rights for our finance industry in the EU and many other negative issues. I am not too optimistic, but I will say this, I am glad I’m in the over 60’s bracket and not young any more. It’s our youngsters that will truly take the brunt of the massive economic downturn that is not long to come in our near future.

    • Blissex

      «British exports growth did not accelerate with accession to the EU in 1973 and after the introduction of the ‘Single Market’, British exports to the EU started to level off and then decline rather sharply. In other words,»

      “Bilbo” is an erudite and intelligent person who seems to be to write a lot of propaganda bollocks, in thise case obviously thatcherism happened, and he has more appropriately blamed the slow down in the rate of growth of the whole UK economy post-1980 on thatcherism.
      Also, 1982-2007 the UK was fortunate to be a net oil exporter, so obviously could afford to export less of everything else, like most petrostates.

      If the EU were a negative factor for exports as the propaganda claims, then Germany would not have had surging exports to China…

  • Charles

    Everything has changed since the Millennium, the plan is almost complete.

    Democracy Defeated, the Rule of Law Abandoned and Truth in Public Office Eradicated.

    And not by accident these changes were planned (from well before the turn of the century), their purpose still valid; to ensure the survival, enhancement and strengthening of the Elite and their Spawn, the suppression of the weak, sick and the poor, the exploitation of the planets resources including human drones for the benefit of the Nonpareil.

    The Plebs require their numbers to be managed they also need distractions and purpose so wars will remain.

    And every 5 years or so we will be invited to vote for more of the same.

    • Charles

      At the turn of the century a successful outcome for a popular Who Dun It parlour game was;

      The Doctor was killed in the Safe House by the CIA Agent with a Syringe

      Now an acceptable outcome might be

      The spy ( definitely a spy but we don’t know who he was working for) was poisoned with a nerve agent or possibly not, in a pub / restaurant / home / car / park / car park / cemetery by the Russians / someone that stole the possible poison from the Russians / family members / personal enemies including a group of spies who had their identities sold / a porridge bearer or Porton Down.

      I think I prefer things the way they were.

      • Jo Dominich

        Charles, well put. Especially about democracy, truth and the rule of law. What I found really alarming about the Salisbury and subsequent Syria ‘stories’ for want of a better word, was the outright, blatant lies the Government told without providing a shred of supporting evidence for any of their contentions. The unashamed ‘because we are the Govt you must believe us” spiel and the ensuing massive wave of propaganda that followed, has shown exactly how democracy has been shredded in this country as has the Rule of law. The only light was that it would appear, at least the majority of the population who posted online, saw through the Government’s lies. It certainly comes to something when the Government’s story was shown to have holes in it, gaping ones at that, that the narrative and story kept on changing culminating in the ludicrous ‘show’ of decontaminating Salisbury 7 weeks after the event. This is cheap and low by any Government standard. I, like you, prefer the way things were at least we had a glimpse of the truth. Now, this Govt has shown total contempt for truth, the law and democracy nearly, without consultation with parliament and completely against the will of the nation, took us to the brink of WW111. I fear the rule of law is on the decline in this country.

    • Sharp Ears

      Ah yes. The Millennium. Mr and Mrs A BLiar getting Her Maj to join hands in the singing of Auld Land Syne. .
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ng4T1W-TO7Q
      Just look at Cherie’s mouth. Her dentist has no difficulty in accessing her molars.

      The Millennium Dome was built by a UK consortium and later demolished.. Succeeded by the O2. which I think was flogged off to a US outfit to operate. AIG? Now hosting entertainment. Tickets £17.25 – £69.25 for the next event – The Vamps. Have never heard of them.

      .’According to the UK National Audit Office, the total cost of The Dome at the liquidation of the New Millennium Experience Company in 2002 was £789 million, of which £628 million was covered by National Lottery grants and £189 million through sales of tickets etc. A surplus of £25 million over costs meant that the full lottery grant was not required. However, the £603 million of lottery money was still £204 million in excess of the original estimate of £399 million required, due to the shortfall in visitor numbers.

      The aftermath

      It was, however, still of interest to the press, the government’s difficulties in selling the Dome being the subject of much critical comment.The amount spent on maintaining the closed building was also criticised. Shortly after it had closed, Lord Falconer reported that The Dome was costing over £1 million per month to maintain.
      .
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millennium_Dome Another bargain for the British taxpayer. A snip.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_O2_Arena

      • Tony_0pmoc

        Sharp Ears,

        We personally found The Millennium Dome quite Brilliant, when it first opened. We took our kids there. It was either free, or incredibly cheap. It got extremely bad PR from The Neocon Press. It was built with British Taxpayer’s money, and flogged off to the Vultures for next to nowt. We have been back since – maybe a couple of times. The tickets were incredibly expensive, and so was the meal.

        So far as I am aware, it has never been demolished.

        Our friends are going to turn up, so I need to check how its cooking.

        Tony

        • Jiusito

          Hear, hear! The story of the Millennium Experience is a perfect example of how a lie becomes established as fact. I remember hearing Bill Deedes, I think it was, describe it on “Today” as “a temple of tat” and thinking: “Clearly the old fool never even saw it.”

          I went to the ME three times (once early on to review it, once with my family and once, at the very end, with friends from Los Angeles) and spent a total of 24 hours there. I was bored for a maximum of 20 minutes. As an editor, one thing that really impressed me was that all the wordage was uniformly witty and sharp and I did not see one single typo. Our US friends (who had a season ticket to Disneyland) thought the live show (with music by Peter Gabriel!) was worth the admission price on its own. I could go on. And on.

          Everyone I know who went to the Exhibition, all cultured and intelligent people, told me they had really enjoyed it. And yet it is now the unquestionable “received wisdom” that the Millennium Exhibition was embarrassing rubbish and a colossal waste of money. I think it was a disgrace how wilfully the British media, including the BBC, trashed it from the start.

          Forgive the rant, but it does make me angry.

  • Charles

    As far as I know the Official British positions are;

    1) The Novichok could have been stolen from a Russian State facility by person(s) unknown)

    And

    2) It is not Certain that Assad or the Syrian State were responsible for the recent Chemical Attack in Syria (as far as the UK are concerned it is not yet certain that Chemicals were actually used until the OPCW report)

    Can someone explain (it doesn’t have to be an honest explanation just a logical one) why Britain Kicked out the Russian Diplomats and Bombed Syria?

      • Jo Dominich

        Charles I would hazard a well educated guess and say it was so May could be seen as a ‘strong and stable’ leader! The speed with which these decisions were taken given that in both cases there were serious doubts about the allegations, more so now with the Skripals and the BZ component and certainly with Syria from the eye witness reports. I think it has most certainly backfired on her though as the Skripal case is now an official shambles and has been shown, by all the changes in the Govt story and the lack of any evidence to support that (a) Novichock was used a(apart from the tampered with samples prior to handover to the OPCW (b) the Skripals are or ever had been in hospital, whereabouts currently unknown. The action May took was purely and solely to escalate an international situation and deflect away from the real truth in Salisbury. It also set the tone to building -anti-Russia hysteria setting up the false flag for Syria. It was planned, staged and executed. These decisions had already been made – that’s why they didn’t wait for any evidence – because they knew there wouldn’t be any.

    • fred

      Whether Assad has used chemical weapons or not he certainly wants people to think he has.When he has rebels living in tunnels they can nip out and attack him then dive back down their holes indefinitely. If they believe they have a choice between a bus ride out or learning to breath chlorine they’ll choose the bus ride every time.

      • Bayleaf

        “Whether Assad has used chemical weapons or not he certainly wants people to think he has.”

        You are projecting, Fred. There is no evidence to confirm your wishful thinking.

        • Ophelia Ball

          FACT: Assad is only interested in persecuting poor oppressed Sunni Muslims:

          that’s why his wife is a Sunni, his children are being raised as Sunni Muslims, most of his Government are Sunni Muslims, and most of the top brass of the Syrian Arab Army are Sunni Muslims

          WHAT AN ANIMAL!

          • fred

            Assad can’t rightly persecute Sunni Muslims by far the vast majority of the population of Syria are Sunni.

            Assad however is Alawite, as are all the senior officers in the military and people with the top jobs in the government. the Sunni majority are ruled by an Alawi minority. That is what all the unrest is about.

          • Madeira

            Fred tells us that all the people with the top jobs in the Government are Alawite. But you of course are right that most of them are Sunni, e.g.

            Prime Minister – Sunni
            Deputy Prime Minister – Sunni
            Foreign Affairs Minister – Sunni
            Justice Minister – Sunni
            Interior Minister – Sunni
            Communications & Technology Minister – Sunni

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Council_of_Ministers_(Syria)

      • SA

        I am sure you are an expert of what Assad thinks or does. But the proof of the pudding is in the eating. The official narrative by the west is that he is gassing civilians, mainly women and children, all the social media show that, and mainly children. The adult fighters in thier tunnels have always been safe, we have never seen any of them targeted, so what do you say Fred?

        • fred

          I say we got news of a chemical weapons attack in Douma on the 7th of April and on the 9th a load of rebels got on buses and left.

    • Bayleaf

      Kicking out the diplomats seems to have been designed to ratchet up international tension between the “West” and Russia. It’s just one of many provocations over the past few years.

      Bombing Syria. Well, as we already know, the road to Tehran goes through Damascus. Syria has been under attack in various guises for a long time. Had Russia not rallied to its defence, it’s quite possible that it would have fallen by now. The UK/US “terrorist” proxies have lost the initiative in the war and seem to be heading for certain defeat. I suspect that the UK/US have therefore decided that they need to become more “hands on” to try to reverse the ever-worsening situation. The latest attack might have been an attempt to disable Syrian defence facilities and/or it might have been used to force the Syrians (and possibly Russians) to reveal technical capabilities prior to the arrival of the carrier group later this week.

  • Sharp Ears

    If you happen to switch on BBC1, you will see a sea of red from the London Marathon. The BBC is broadcasting a huge advertorial for Mr Branson, in the form of his company, Virgin Money.

    At the time of the bank collapse. Branson was able to acquire Northern Rock on the say so of Gordon Brown and with the assistance of a NY asset stripper, Wilbur Ross.

    ‘The 78-year-old billionaire bought into Virgin Money in 2010 for £100m and then pumped in a further £250m a year later to help the bank buy the nationalised remains of Northern Rock from the Government. That deal transformed Virgin Money, which is led by chief executive Jayne-Anne Gadhia, into a contender in high street banking.’
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/11/17/us-billionaire-raises-172m-from-virgin-money-stake-sale/

    So Northern Rock morphed into Virgin Money.

    If you use Virgin Money Giving to make a donation, Mr Branson will take 2% plus a transaction fee from it. The recipient has to pay a ‘set up fee’ of £150 + VAT.
    https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/giving/about-us/fees.jsp

    The name of Virgin Giving is also plastered on the barriers and placards and even on the course official’s clothing.

    • Kerch'ee Kerch'ee Coup

      The Financial Times is rather fitter for purpose , being more absorbent,imparting a rosy glow to the rock salmon or stuffing into cracks against Mongolian winters

    • Dungroanin

      The Guardian/Observer is the one that has fallen the most.

      Even the peekaboo article on ‘deep state’ gets closed down for comments early and looks like many have been deleted.

      The Cambridge Analytica investigation is a minimal saving grace.
      It is wonder how Carol Cadwalladr managed to sneak it past the in-house deep statists!

      Ho hum the propaganda machinery is clunking.

      • Morton Subotnick

        It ‘sneaked through’ because, although the whole CA/Facebook ‘affair’ is a ‘nothing-burger’, it fits the Democrat/Guardian ‘narrative’ that Donald Trump/Brexit only happened because the individuals who voted for him/it were retards easily manipulated by Russian trolls (apart from also being neo-fascist, racist, xenophobic, sexist, etc., etc., bar stewards).

        An erudite summary of what is really going on politically can be found in Wolfgang Streeck’s article The Return of the Repressed in the March/April 2017 issue of New Left Review (https://newleftreview.org/II/104/wolfgang-streeck-the-return-of-the-repressed).

        The attacks on every aspect of Trump’s life and policies since his election by the MSM, both US political parties, the US Security Service and FBI hierarchies, Uncle Tom Cobley and all is a measure of just how dangerous he is felt to be by the ‘establishment’.

        • Dungroanin

          Trump has really been under the cosh by the establishment for not getting jiggy jiggy with the whole Syria today/ Iran tomorrow failing campaign. Clinton would have been in like Flynn with her no fly zone and official boots on the ground.

          As someone pointed out the US Council for Foreign Relations was set up for imperial US adventurism 100 years ago – and most high ranking officials have been members. Except for two or three US presidents since the cold war began. JFK, Carter (sort of) and now Trump. These appear to be dots that are not so hard to join.

          Thanks for the link it is interesting.

    • Kerch'ee Kerch'ee Coup

      The murder of Fadi-al-Batsh, an engineering lecturer from Gaza,in Kuala Lumpur by two gunmen on a motorbike fits an all-too-well established pattern, and adds to the sad list of scientists and academics who have died in suspicious circumstances.Obviously , some murders such as Kim’s half-brother or the Salisbury guinea pigs are less note-worthy than others.
      https://www.middleeastobserver.org/2018/4/22/mossad-fingerprints-in-assasination-of-arab-and-muslim-scientists

  • Tony M

    N_
    April 22, 2018 at 12:35

    “doesn’t “wool gathering” in the BZ context refer to picking at each other’s clothes? (Source: Eric Croddy and C Perez-Armendariz, Chemical and Biological Warfare: A Comprehensive Survey for the Concerned Citizen.)”

    That behaviour too is specifically mentioned, some relevant passages in the Ketchum book (a link to it was posted here, a few days ago):

    “During the first phase (1-4 hours), discomfort and apprehension are present. Extreme restlessness occurs, sometimes with involuntary clonic spasms of the extremities and birdlike flapping of the arms. “

    “Touch seems to become the most important sensory system, and the hands are ceaselessly active, exploring clothing, bedding, walls, floor and crevices of the environment.”

    ” Another old term, “carfologia” (or “carphology”), refers to repetitive plucking at clothing, bedding, or imaginary objects in space. The term “wool-gathering” was long ago introduced to describe this kind of fingering of the empty air.”

  • Tony M

    Fred (who else) “Assad however is Alawite, as are all the senior officers in the military and people with the top jobs in the government. the Sunni majority are ruled by an Alawi minority. That is what all the unrest is about.”

    Other than that Assad is an Alawite the rest of this is NOT repeat NOT true.

    • fred

      “It is the first time in Syria’s history that the army commander, the chief of staff and the defence minister are all Alawites,” said Mohammed Zobani, the political representative of the Al Haq Division, a rebel group fighting in southern Syria.

      The majority of Syria’s population is Sunni Muslim, as are most of the rebels seeking Mr Al Assad’s overthrow. But Alawites, the sect to which Mr Al Assad belongs, have long dominated the upper echelons of the military and government.

      https://www.thenational.ae/world/mena/al-assad-promotes-top-army-commander-in-cabinet-reshuffle-1.692303

      • Twostime

        Fred, your citing a piece that references the Syrian Observatory eta… which should probably raise some concerns. Either way you both perhaps need to play the ball, not the person. …?

  • Republicofscotland

    With disgraceful and shameful treatment of the Windrush generation in the news. Is this just a stupid gaffe by Prince Charles.

    “And where are you from?” asked the prince.

    “Manchester, UK,” I said.

    “Well, you don’t look like it!” he said, and laughed. He was then ushered on to the next person.”

    Or is it an inherent problem from top to bottom in the Establishment. Bear in mind that Prince Charles will be the head of the Commonwealth one day.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/commentisfree/2018/apr/19/prince-charles-brown-skin-british-people-head-of-commonwealth?CMP=share_btn_tw

  • Republicofscotland

    May’s lead over Corbyn as preferred Prime Minister grows to 14pts:

    T. May: 39% (+2)
    J. Corbyn: 25% (-1)

    https://mobile.twitter.com/britainelects?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwingsoverscotland.com%2Fdue-diligence%2F

    Meanwhile Welsh FM Carwyn Jones will stand down in the Autumn. UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn paid tribute to the first minister’s “tireless commitment to making Wales a more equal country”.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/uk-wales-43851468?__twitter_impression=true

    • reel guid

      Jeremy is a bit thick is he not? You’re either equal or you’re not. How can you become more equal, meaning that you must have been less equal previously? Which isn’t even loosely the definition of equality. No wonder the Britannic isle is in a mess if that and the nasty Maybot are the challenger and incumbent regarding No.10.

      • Mind out of Matter

        OK, I admit it. I’m also a bit thick. Perhaps you could explain your criticism in more detail, because I simply don’t follow it.

        “How can you become more equal, meaning that you must have been less equal previously?”

        That seems to be perfectly sound logic. It could have equally been phrased:

        “How can you become less unequal, meaning that you must have been more unequal previously?

        Since Jeremy Corbyn was talking about social equality, here’s the Wikipedia page on the subject: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_equality. Are you suggesting that social inequality simply doesn’t exist?

  • APOL

    Tony_Opmoc.
    Oranges and apples!
    Numerology and Historical facts..

    Unlike numerological gobbledygook historical dates can strangely smoulder, reverberating down history ready to catch fire and ignite; even hundreds and thousands of years after the event in question.
    Even if ‘moderns’ like us are incredulous and above such things.

    Good old wine like history has sediment.
    The new stuff is like the selfie generation enraptured in the Big Now.

    Behind such dates there are presumably struggles for power money, even existence.
    Ask the ORANGE order what they get very worked up about when they commemorate the Battle of the Boyne fought on the 1st July 1690 where Wlliam of ORANGE defeated the Catholic
    James II

    Ask the Masons why 13 March 1307 .. a Friday….came to be a date of ill omen in England and France. As I learnt as a child, just as I learnt in a Protestant environment that the Pope was not ‘a good person, to put it mildly, and that Caholics were different from the rest of us, a bit suspicious..

    Fast forward then to Trump and the Pope.:.
    Pope Francis, the first Jesuit Pope, had some very acrimonious exchanges with Trump before the election as well as a glacial face to face in the Vatican after the election. The pope advocating open borders…catholic Mexicans streaming into the US to change the demographics maybe…. and Trump trumpeting his famous wall.
    A Nation State vs Globalisation confrontation.
    ( Trump found himself in Scotland on tthe Morning Brexit was announced. He was pleased of course.)

    So in this conflictuel context it was probably not surprising that the Baptist Pastor Robert Jeffress who led Trump’s inauguration service was well known for having stated in 2010 ( not in 1710 ! ) that the Church of Rome was a Babylonian Mystery cult.

    On the same day during the religious ceremony there were THREE references to Solomon…He who built the first Temple. These references left the former president, Bush the younger, perplexed.

    Hard on the heels of this event Trump announced that he would transfer of the American embassy to Jerusalem.
    Will his firm get to build the hotels where visitors to the future third Temple will stay?

    In the Old Testament God told David Solomon’s farher. “You will not build a house for My name,”
    God said to David, “for you are a man of battles and have shed blood”

    A very reluctant warrior I find Mr Trump.

    So, ORANGE Trump , this showman so strangely reminiscent of Ian Paisley in his delivery, has he a deeply held belief or just a case of carotine?

    • MJ

      “the Church of Rome was a Babylonian Mystery cult”

      Wouldn’t disagree there. To put it little more broadly, all the big “montheistic” religions are Middle Eastern Mystery cults and it’s time they cleared off. No more mosques, synagogues or churches, leave us to our stone circles.

      • Republicofscotland

        “the Church of Rome was a Babylonian Mystery cult”

        Christianity only became prevalent in Rome after Emperor Constantine claimed he had a vision from god that he’d win the battle of the Milivian Bridge (the next day)

        He did win and his road to the conversion to Christianity was assured, though he still had rivals murdered, and had his eldest son and second wife put to the sword.

        He Edict of Milan issued in 313AD, assured Christianity’s future in Rome.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ APOL April 22, 2018 at 15:07
      ‘…In the Old Testament God told David Solomon’s farher. “You will not build a house for My name,”
      God said to David, “for you are a man of battles and have shed blood…”
      ‘http://biblehub.com/1_samuel/15-3.htm’
      Seems to have a split personality, this ‘God’.

  • David Robertson

    It seems to me that the current paranoid attack on “anti-Semitism” by Jewish leaders is virtually designed to have the opposite effect to that intended, resulting as it does in suppression of freedom of expression. If you listen to them they have conflated criticism of Israel and the practices of the Rothschild banking family with animus towards the Jews as a whole, even conjuring the spectre of the “Holocaust” to support their stridency.

    If they continue in this way they will simply stir up real animosity towards Jews as a whole. This may well be their intention of course, one cannot deny the historic Machiavellian nature of Zionist thinking. What is needed is that Jews, individually and in large numbers, must oppose this campaign disguised as opposing anti-Semitism that is being used to demonize legitimate political criticism.

  • fred

    The rebel said that the army commander, the chief of staff and the defence minister are all Alawi. Are you claiming they aren’t?

    This is what the Syrian Network for Human Rights has to say:

    The most prominent officials in Syria for security agencies as supervisors and the direct respon-
    sible for the torture and death due to torture (mostly belonging to the Alawi sect ratio above 98%)

    http://sn4hr.org/public_html/wp-content/pdf/english/Syrian_security_branches_and_Persons_in_charge_en.pdf

  • nevermind

    Those who think that an election in this country will change any of the power equations, under the FPTP system, I’m very much on Emily’s drive here, are hopelessly fooled.

    party politicians have ruined democracy, have pimped it to suit their means and theoir means alone. They operated a system that always demolished the other parties acheivements but in the new Millenium, both of the main protaganists have been pulling on the same string.

    For example, PPi’s and PFI’s, both parties supported it. this means that we have no Labour party anymore, unless we elect JC. It means that the PLP has to go or we will see the same fudges be pulled, over and over again.
    What Craig is suggesting is a revolution of sorts. But to deny Blairites what they demand, to further act out their blind hatred for JC is untenable. If the media can’t be unbiased and scrutinise the underhand ravages of the FoI contamination in our party system then we just have to do it ourselves. The back stabbing is beginning to stink of mutiny and it should be taken as such.

    Now when you look back at the last seven years of austerity, the damages it has caused to the social fabric, the hardship that it has spread.
    Then we see the blaming of this hardship on immigrants, now its hard working children of the Windrush generation that are DELIBERATELY entwined in rigmarole, denial, insecurity and hatred, sheer racial hatred from the Tories,
    I hear demands for PR, that is a long term tool to change society and it will mean coalition Governments, but its means working together, no more adversity, all parties agreeing on mutual delivery of combined policies that have been worked out, not in a speed dating process that ended up with wimps, but some two month of detailed negotiations and talks, coming up with policies that combine dtwo parties ideas.

    The Liberal democrats who abstained from the refere3ndum vote in theior Government rather than resinging their coalition on such an important issue, are responsible for what they co decided by abstaining from a vote. They were the only one’s who could have changed the equation and they collectively failed, to sup the perks of power and be discarded.

    How come that the poeple have no other way to change a Government than to revolt? Why should the people not be able to call a general election, why is this the prerogative of vested interest politicians?

    I leave the debate at this point and read whether you actually like to be free, or carry on in this stymied and holed system that has as much to do with democracy than it has with treading sang in shallow water.
    Enjoy the sunshine.

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