On Believing MI6 303

Ian Blackford MP, investment banker and now SNP Westminster parliamentary leader, has received an “intelligence briefing” from the security services and is satisfied with MI6 assurances that Assad attacked Douma with chemical weapons. The whirring sound you hear is Willie Macrae spinning in his grave.

The other whirling sound you hear is Charlie Kennedy spinning in his. Charlie – who was a friend since 1979 – once told me that the scariest walk he ever took was to get the security service briefing on the Iraq War. He was scared in case the intelligence was actually convincing on Iraqi WMD – what would he do then? Charlie said that when he saw the actual intelligence he was astonished by how weak it was, and left with a clear mind – and a lifelong distrust of MI6.

But Charlie Kennedy, though we disagreed on Scottish independence, was a very decent man of great principle. Not an Establishment hack like investment banker Ian Blackford MP.

The SNP is attempting to be all things to all men by attacking the government for not having a parliamentary vote on the attack on Syria, while accepting the British establishment narrative. I am not sure if Blackford is saying there should have been a vote because he missed the chance to vote for the war, or if he is going to accept that the attack was illegal in international law.

Nicola Sturgeon joined Boris Johnson on day one of the Salisbury attack in blaming Russia with no evidence and cheering for Britnat jingoism. Blackford promotes the entirely dodgy Douma narrative. The SNP leadership could not be more divorced from the views of its own grassroots membership.

This cannot last.

Allowed HTML - you can use: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

303 thoughts on “On Believing MI6

1 2 3 4
  • marvellousMRchops

    Rupert – please be aware that SKY News Australia have gone rogue. Please do not let this happen again.
    Dr Marcus Papadopoulos – the nail on your little finger has more integrity than those 650 overpaid bastards sitting in Parliament at the moment.

    • Robyn

      The Sky segment featuring Dr Marcus Papadopoulos is heartening, but only a disappointing 3483 views on You Tube so far. The Sky News Australia site doesn’t give the number of views.

  • copydude

    The disconnect between Sturgeon and the membership – even the public at large – was evident in the arrest of Clara Ponsati. Her legal expenses were crowdfunded in record time. I think she has seriously underestimated Scottish opinion here.

    On the whole, those living in the Westminster bubble appear to care little about real life outside. But I don’t think it hurts to remind them. i have written two letters to my local MP (Lab) on the subject of Julia Skripal. Here MI6 has clearly placed many NHS workers in an invidious position. I wonder if Dr Christine Blanshard would discharge her own daughter into the ‘care’ of the dirty tricks department and an unknown destination?

    MPs don’t like being asked awkward questions and eventually you will catch them out. ‘Oh what a tangled web . . . . ‘

    • Michael Cavanagh

      On Salisbury and Syria I cannot agree with the First Minister of Scotland or the official line of the SNP, however, on the arrest of Clara Ponsati there has been a consistent and principled line that is to maintain adherence to the law and condemn the political oppression of the Spanish State. So, on that point I think you are very wrong. Indeed, the labour party holds a fundamentally undemocratic opinion in relation to the self determination of people and is primarily concerned with the maintenance of existing political, economic and cultural structures.

      • craig Post author

        “Adherence to the principle of law” means let the Scottish government prosecutors go ahead with applying for the extradition of Ponsati. If you think that is OK, we have very different worldviews.

  • BrianFujisan

    ” On Believing MI6 115
    16 Apr, 2018 in Uncategorized by craig
    Ian Blackford MP, investment banker and now SNP Westminster parliamentary leader, has received an “intelligence briefing” from the security services and is satisfied with MI6 assurances that Assad attacked Douma with chemical weapons. The whirring sound you hear is Willie Macrae spinning in his grave.

    Wretched Facts Well Defined.. Beutifully Written

    The !% in action, I tried to watch the chicanery in the westmurderers waiting for a decent Voice to speak..Dennis Skinner..Got to his feet dozens of times, Before I could not take anymore.. I’m not into Horror Films, Books, The Wife used to read sephen King horror books, then toss and spin all night long.. Watching May and the rest today, will give me Nightmares

  • giyane

    Yesterday I was stranded with a seized brake caliper at a motorway service station. The place was full of Mrs May hairstyles, all driving brand new motorcampers or other luxury cars. The baby boomers, flush with property capital and fat pensions, all with sensible trim tummies, semi-scruffy-educated beards and sensible slacks, were out celebrating post-Easter holidays in the English countryside like post-coital cigarettes. They have worked hard, lying their way to the top, and deserve a good long rest.

    I remember my parents generation generation that preceded them who were left-wing, lean from having survived rationing, and willing to pay tax to support universities and the welfare state. I find it hard to be too savage on my contemporaries. It’s nearly finished them, becoming perfect Tory robots. I am just so disappointed that when the next generation have been educated and brainwashed by Thatcherism, this batch of spoilt rich millionaires still vote for MI6.

    • Blissex

      That portrait of the tory winner classes, usually property owners from the southern “magic tory areas” where property prices double every 7-10 years, have it really good, and your portrait it quite accurate.
      There are plenty of people of the same age in the midlands and the north and Scotland who lost their jobs when 30-50 in the 1980s and 1990s in the great harrowing of areas infected by trade-unionism, and who have never therefore accrued a full set of pensionable years, have seen their properties if any fall in price as their areas lost most jobs, and have lived hand-to-mouth doing very badly paid temporary jobs or getting disability benefits, and who now are entering their old age as paupers, at best in moldy bedsits barely surviving.
      While the southern tory middle classes only have to choose which exotic location to visit for their next trip, with first time buyers and renters paying for everything, and those first-time buyers and renters are the offspring of those northern and scottish old-age paupers, who have to move to London to find a badly paid job.
      Those golden-age tories are having it really good, and they are afraid of everything and accordingly Conservative politics have become an endless series of Project Fears: fear Saddam’s WMDs, fear scottish independence, fear Corbyn’s “venezuelan trot” attitudes, fear the EU Commission, fear exit from the EU, fear Putin’s WMD attacks on the doorknobs of suburban semis, fear syrian “stockpiles of chemical weapons”.
      Golden tory oldies reflexively vote against fear, any fear. They know that better-safe-than-sorry, they want to be safe at any cost to someone else.

    • Carmel Townsend

      This comment made me mad and sad at the same time.
      Mad, because it’s so true. I have never seen so many expensive cars on the road; holiday after holiday; no expense spared; plenty of cash – but this isn’t just the “baby boomer” generation (I am one)! It seems to be those lucky enough to have been educated, with good jobs, cheap mortgages, a decent welfare estate. I worry for my children and two little grandchildren. I’m amazed that people would vote Tory at all, when the government is destroying what freedoms they have left. Unfortunately, the Labour party is so right wing, it might as well join forces with its blue brothers and sisters. Sad, because it could have been so much better.

      • Pouncing Nick

        Out of interest, are you a former dance teacher married to a music teacher? If so, I’m a former pupil of you both. I hope you are doing well!

      • Stu

        The car thing is down to new ways of financing cars. BMW, Mercedes etc need to sell enough new cars every year to maintain their production lines so new financial products have been created that encourage people to get a brand new car every 3 years by refinancing.

        “British households borrowed a record £31.6bn in 2016 to purchase cars, up 12 per cent on the year before, according to the Finance and Leasing Association.”


        What the manufacturers are planning to do about the mushrooming numbers of fairly new second hand cars on the market is another question.

      • Blissex

        «no expense spared; plenty of cash … I’m amazed that people would vote Tory at all,»

        The average price of a southern property is £300,000 and increases in price by 7% a year (has been doubling every 10 years for 35 years), that is £20,000 of tax-free work-free profit redistributed from renters and first-time buyers to property owners. Try to imagine: Thatcher, Blair, Osborne depositing every year £20,000 in your pension account for 35 years. That’s why many people vote Conservative (or voted New Labour) and have Thatcher’s photo in their living room instead of the Queen’s.

        «but this isn’t just the “baby boomer” generation (I am one)! It seems to be those lucky enough to have been educated, with good jobs, cheap mortgages, a decent welfare estate. I worry for my children and two little grandchildren.»

        Sure, the lucky baby boomers of the south, those you describe, have had 35 fantastic years of booming living standards, they now regard themselves as gentry, that they have made it into the masters class, “upstairs”.
        It sounds as if your children and grandchildren instead have been born into the servants class, “downstairs”.
        The Conservative want England to go back to the 50s, the 1850s or the 1750s.
        And they don’t want Assad or Putin to deploy WMDs against their million-pounds suburban semis, in Salisbury or St. Albans or Tunbridge Wells. 🙂

  • Andrew H

    Syria not letting in the OPCW into Douma before they’ve cleaned the site pretty much says it all. I don’t support the pointless and dangerous strike by US and UK, but Assad is not a nice guy. (I don’t suppose the ones fighting him are nice either). Those pushing this theory that the chemical attack was faked are the same people that also don’t accept OPCW’s previous findings of chemical weapons use by Assad. Its like a serial killer being convicted on 15 counts, and then complaining another 3 were someone else – don’t care (presumption is guilty). Let the OPCW do its job.

    • TJ

      How would they “clean” the area, take scrubbing brushes to the soil and rubble? Methinks you need a crash course in forensics old chap.

    • Jo Dominich

      I think you will find that the UN and the OPCW have not found Assad used chemical weapons in Syria (firstly as they don’t have any as confirmed by the OPCW). I think you will also find that a detailed UN investigation in 2013 completely exonerated Assad and clearly, categorically and unequivocally stated that the rebels did have access to chemical weapons and they had used them.

      • Bayard

        It’s funny how often a name you’ve not seen before will make a comment supporting the official line or attacking the original post, make a few more comments, then disappear, never to be seen again, especially if someone points out the holes in their argument.

  • TheBiggerTheLie

    The MI6 source on what went down in Douma is a group with impeccable credentials – Jaysh al-Islam, that is, Al-Quaeda in Syria. These are religious people, so are unlikely to be lying and they have no discirnable motive for having staged a chemical attack themselves, assuming there was a chemical attack.

  • Sean Lamb

    If you believe Sputnik, Salisbury Hospital have updated Sergei Skripal’s condition to “recovering”, previously it was just “no longer critical”


    Amazing what happens when you stop pumping someone full of atropine.


    Adverse reactions to atropine include ventricular fibrillation, supraventricular or ventricular tachycardia, dizziness, nausea, blurred vision, loss of balance, dilated pupils, photophobia, dry mouth and potentially extreme confusion, deliriant hallucinations and excitation especially amongst the elderly

  • Blissex

    Vince Cable, leader of the LibDems also said that as a minister he had dealings with the security services and he trusts them, so he believes their claims.
    The problem is that by design they should not lie to *ministers*, because the ministers control them. But also by design they must disinform everybody else. I wonder what is the etiquette about disinforming Privy Councillors, but I suspect that is a rather venial sin.
    In any case the upper layers of the security services are career civil servants, and survival in those upper layers civil service largely depends on skill at not saying things plainly, but using sophistry to disinform “honestly”. In this the security services are not different from any other branch of the civil service.

    «when he saw the actual intelligence he was astonished by how weak it was, and left with a clear mind – and a lifelong distrust of MI6.»

    Well, of he saw how weak it was, that means that MI6 was trustworthy — the did not fake it. It is an ancient game: you give (part of) the real data as it is, and then the bullshit is very carefully worded and prefixed with “it is believed”, “our assessment is”, “in our judgement”. The trick is that only the bullshit gets supplied to the public. The “the actual intelligence he was astonished by how weak it was” is not fed to the public, and often it takes someone with a fair bit of analytical skill to figure it that it does not quite match the dissembling “our assessment is”.

    BTW our blogger was lucky to be friends with C Kennedy, he seemed like a very interesting, good guy.

  • Vivian O'Blivion

    There is always a case for pragmatism. Current policy is to retain a monarchy. My favoured option would be a republic, but a lot of folk have a vestigial fondness for the current Queen. Especially the auld yins and their votes are hard enough to gain at the best of times. I would favour an exit from NATO but I am not going to lose sleep over current policy.
    I don’t like micro-management and micro-armchair criticism is worse.
    Nicola has her strengths. She is a good debater and she can work a crowd of regular punters in a high street in a way any Westminster politician would kill for.
    This said, with reluctance, the current leadership have been woefully out of touch with Salisbury, Syria and Catalonia. Taking the statesmen in waiting approach will not put a fire in anyone’s belly.
    Realistically am I going to walk to the church hall and put my cross in the right box (regardless of the actual candidate)? Probably yes but more with a resigned wearyness.
    One of the few remaining policies that stand out from the corporate, don’t scare the horses approach is the refusal to take up seats in the HoL (unlike Plaid, but that is their business).
    If the leadership continue on their present drift, my advice would be to invest in deed stoats.

  • Curmudgeon

    “The SNP is attempting to be all things to all men…”
    “The SNP leadership could not be more divorced from the views of its own grassroots membership.”

    Will the real SNP please stand up? This situation has been going on for decades, whether the 79 group and its IRA ties, or the more recent “independence from the UK, but not from the EU.”

    • kathy

      Scots voted overwhelmingly to stay in the EU so why would they not endorse that vote?

    • reel guid

      The ’79 Group of left wingers in the SNP in the seventies never had ties to the IRA. It’s a fallacy.

  • Yonatan

    Regarding the Skripal affair, exposure to BZ seems to be the best explanation for the observed non-fatal nerve agent type of symptoms both with the Skripals and at lower levels withy the policeman.

    BZ is a nerve agent with an usually high ratio of lethal dose to symptomatic dose (~400:1). That means the key symptoms of nerve agent poisoning can be induced by exposure to low levels of agent way below the levels needed to kill someone. That would protect the attacker as well as not immediately killing the victims.

    There was no audited chain of custody for the first samples so traces on Novichok could have been introduced between the taking of the samples (presumably by a phlebotomist at the hospital) and its arrival at Porton Down.

    The only publicly announced CCTV footage (from a private camera) showed the Skripals en route from Zizzis to the park bench where they were found. The footage also showed a blonde haired women leaving the shop(?) hosting the private CCTV camera some minutes after the Skripals and following the same route. There are claims that she appeared to be carrying a face mask. She was listed as a person of interest by the local police, but there was no followup once the presence of nerve agent was made public.

    This was all before Bailey came down with symptoms. This poisoning was presumably an unexpected complicating event for those running the false flag. From local media sources, it appears that he drove himself to Salisbury hospital early Monday morning (5 March probably before 10:00 am some 18 hours after the attack). The hospital entrance and his car were subsequently sealed off and decontaminated. It would be interesting to know the temporal relationship between his arrival and the knowledge that a nerve agent was used.

    The false flaggers were then presented with a problem of explaining Bailey’s delayed symptoms. The explanation would have to exclude the possibility of him being poisoned at the same time as the Skripals to avoid anyone regarding him as an eyewitness. An unidentified police officer turned up at the Skripal’s house (mentioned in local media) around 5pm on Sunday shortly after the attack. The seems to have provided the false flaggers with a plausible (to them) source of poisoning, namely the door handle.

    How did Bailey actually become contaminated? He was described as an early emergency services responder (local media). If he was first on the scene, one plausible explanation is that he was exposed to low amounts of BZ aerosal as one of the Skripals vomitted in his presence. We know from the nature of BZ that even low levels are capable of inducing symptoms, probably slowly progressive at those exposure levels. Local media photos of the hazmat crews show them putting a pile of sawdust/fine sand onto the ground adjacent to the bench, then scooping it up and putting it into an impermeable container which was then sealed for disposal. This supports the vomitting hypothesis, which was also observed by later passers by.

    My hypothesis for events: The Skripals were exposed to an aerosol spray of low dose BZ sprayed into their faces by an unknown person (possibly the blonde woman) whilst sitting at the bench. Bailey was unintentionally contaminated by a similar lower level aerosol of BZ as he attended the vomitting Skripal. The desired story of pure Novichok poisoning could not be explained unless Bailey received a higher dose at a later time from a source that the Skripals were plausibly in contact with – hence the door handle hypothesis. The door handle hypothesis would also allow the false flaggers to direct attention away from the possiblity that the Skripals were attacked at the bench. The trail of the attacker (clearly part of the false flag team) could then be closed off and covered up.

    • labougie

      Yontan – How do you account for the lack of contamination of the doctor who attended a fitting Julia.

    • christopher

      sorry i mistacanly thought he became ill soon after the skripale and so with them for a while

    • copydude

      Actually there are no independent witnesses to DS Nick Bailey being poisoned.

      At the scene, the paramedic was the closest to the Skripals and spent 20-30 minutes with Yulia, suffering no ill effects.

      He is reported as recovering in a couple of days, but only released on March 22.

      It’s curious how he became poisoned, since no one else at the scene or the house was affected in the same way. Nothing concerning DS Bailey can be independently verified and apparently he has gone on a long holiday.

      It’s reasonable to assume the Police would have posted a permanent guard over access to the Skripals and the story was a cover for his prolonged residency.

  • yesindyref2

    The problem is polarisation. There are people who either love the state or hate the state, and see everything through the prism of that bias and hatred, and ignore anything that contradicts that belief, while believing any piece of badly formed nonsense that supports their belief.

    Personally I prefer the truth, whatever that might be. The Truth shall set us free.

    • craig Post author

      But anyone who looks to MI6 as the source of that truth is at best extremely stupid, and more likely has bought in to the UK establishment. The British security services are our most bitter enemy. Achieving independence is not going to be a friendly tea party. Unless you can get your head round that, you are dead weight.

      • bj

        The device of having an intelligence agency present ‘classified’ or ‘secret’ material to selected politicians seems to be en vogue these days — not just in England.

        It reminds one of religion;
        Some are inducted, enlightened.
        The great masses are urged to trust and belief.

      • yesindyref2

        I was hoping my posting would make you think but I see it didn’t work.

        Here’s another point, or rather a question:

        Who does MI6 work for?

  • Charles

    On Mrs may in Parlaiment

    The Whips and managers did a great job, the line that Syria did it and “we” were right to take the action we did, was playeed perfectly.

    So why then was she so flustered, uncomfortable, distracted ???

    Given all the ducks were expertly in place she should have be given the most powerful speech of her political life, she should have taken Parliament by storm.

    But she didn’t. It was fear she projected not confidence.

    She is desperately scared of something diabolical that is about to revealed.

    I very much look forward to hearing what it is.

    • Robert Graham

      Agreed Charles it looked like she was looking for the sniper , that’s when a competent opposition should have pounced instead we have labour politicians actually openly supporting her , a sickening sight .
      I really wonder why we have this pantomime that’s supposed to represent the people in this country , so far all I can see is MPs representing themselves and parroting Tabloid Headlines without question .

      • Dan

        Those awful Labour backbenchers were only using support for May as a stick with which to beat Corbyn.

    • TJ

      May is nervous because of the perjury they committed when telling the Court of Protection that the Skripals were poisoned with “Novichok” rather BZ.

    • giyane

      “I very much look forward to hearing what it is”

      If you rock the boat by asking questions you get ‘honey traps’, compromat and therefore do what you’re told while looking like a scared rabbit in case they show you bonking someone you shouldn’t anyway. hence all the warm hugs from Juncker to calm her down. Blair was totally hyper on compromat when he performed his lies about Saddam. if you rock the boat by giving the wrong information you get suicide, as per Al Qaida is a list of those who will act as proxies for MI6, Robin Cook or Dr Kelly.

      Mrs May has nothing to worry about. For a lady of her age she looks quite trim. Unless her illicit partner was Nicholas Soames who was once described as resembling a wardrobe falling on the recipient with the key still sticking out the keyhole, which might be a little disgusting, I’m sure she’ll be a credit to the nation. even educated fleas do it, and Boris does it all the time. Have you noticed he’s had a hair-cut? Probably while he was out for the count on BZ left over from the Salisbury poisoning.

      I don’t want to see the youtube, but I do wish she’d clam down and stop threatening Putin and WW3.
      I thought they were supposed to know about honey-traps as part of their Home Office training. I suppose it never occurred to her they might do to her what she knew was being done to the Muslims. Swine!

      • N_

        @Giyane – The following bit is just hilarious! 🙂

        Have you noticed (Boris Johnson has) had a hair-cut? Probably while he was out for the count on BZ left over from the Salisbury poisoning.

        As for

        I don’t want to see the youtube, but I do wish she’d clam down and stop threatening Putin and WW3.

        I don’t like watching Waitrose shoppers like Theresa May either! (Waitrose is OK; it’s the customers, who walk around as if sucking on lemons while they’ve got pineapples stuck up their bottoms, that I can’t stand!) But I’m forcing myself to watch her performance today to check the context in which she seems most distressed, and whether it’s in a WW3-y context as it was when she issued the ultimatum to Russia.

  • Hatuey

    Lest we forget; “Queen makes SNP Westminster leader a privy councillor…” https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/10/11/queen-makes-snp-westminster-leader-privy-councillor-party/

    Blackford seems to be getting on swimmingly with the establishment. I know, I know, he’s just trying to demonstrate to the electorate that he’s a safe, responsible, pair of hands.

    The SNP are going to the dogs under Sturgeon. We can only imagine how the dogs will react to her u-turn on cutting their tails off.

    The SNP, as Craig Murray so correctly pointed out last year, haven’t argued for independence since 2014. Do they really believe their wish-washy definition of centrist socialism is going to be enough to sustain them? Seriously?

    If I was in Scotland, I’d be doing everything I could to try and knock some sense into them and depose Sturgeon, before it’s too late. I don’t care who tailored her outfits.

    Before it’s too late. Before. It’s. Too. Late.

    Before she turns the SNP into a bag of soggy cardboard and destroys the independence movement.

    Before. It’s. Too. Fucking. Late.

  • Calum Duncan

    I would love her to stand up in Holyrood and say the Tories are nothing but fraudulent, corrupt, warmongering scum! The FM almost says what Nicola really wants to. For anyone to not get that and to come out with such contrary nonsense doesn’t either understand politics or the FM.

  • Robert Graham

    What a waste of time Mrs Mayhem turning up for her grilling . I guess someone forgot to put a shilling in the meter , what a bunch of bloody cowards , Tory after Tory standing up to praise the deluded bloody witch , and aided by more than a few on the Labour benches sickening .
    Quite a few folk getting upset because Craig has the cheek to question the SNPs recent news management and apparent unwillingness to go for the throats of this Tory party . I imagine the membership will make their views known shortly , they were sent to Westminster to settle up , not settle in , where is the fight and the disrupting behaviour that will upset this bloody medieval circus . Why sit listening to pish in silence .

  • Den Lille Abe

    I find it puzzling that many that post here claim to be socialist, and in the same breath rejects EU as an “neocon” experiment….
    It is absolutely to be a pragmatic socialist.
    Those outside the EU has it a lot worse than us on the inside, being robbed by multinationals, exploited and some bombed. What ever the EU’s faults it has quite a few countries prosperous, even GB could have been prosperous, if not for your bloody “thatcherism” and continuous deplorable government policies.
    And dont give me the Greeks! They are where they are because of corrupt goverments, excactly where the GB is heading.
    Catalonia ? Right what if Gibraltar declares its independence based on an illegal referendum ? If you expect the EU to support that, you rightly belong outside the EU framework. You cant just declare F’cking independence.
    Most countries woes in the EU are nearly always selfmade, that is the truth.
    A pragmatic very red socialist and EU supporter from Sweden.

    • Andrew H

      If Gibraltar wants a referendum to be independent, then why not? There has to be a legitimate process for regions to become independent. It should be no big deal – (these maga countries are not good for democracy – the US being an obvious example – where president is more of celebrity thing than a job to help the people. Smaller countries means those running them won’t be egomaniacs). If they were 500 or so countries the world would be a way better place – people might stop producing those silly meddle tables at the olympics.

    • Hatuey

      I have more or less been very positive towards the EU until recently. And I understand that there is only so much the commission and parliament can do. But Europe’s callous disregard for the plight of the Catalonians, almost as callous as yours here, is unforgivable.

      A lot more could have been done to constrain the Spanish government, if not by EU structures and bodies then by individual Member State governments. It was cowardly to stand and watch when they could so easily have done something to help. You reap what you sow and I sincerely hope that the EU implodes now. It might.

      You say that you “can’t just declare f’cking independence”. That’s actually a contentious issue and I’ll make a deal with you right here in full public view — for every country you show me that didn’t “just f’cking declare independence” I will show you 10 that did. Tell you what, make that 100.

      In truth, very few countries in existence today depended on the approval of others when it came to assuming statehood. 99% of them just took it. The principle of self determination goes back over 100 years now in terms of the right of countries to free themselves from the control of others.

      It’s contentious, of course, otherwise I would declare myself an independent state, but with a little honesty and integrity it’s usually quite easy to find a solution. It’s that little bit of honest and integrity that was missing in Europe’s handling of the Catalan case.

    • Andrew H

      Also, remember this forum does not represent UK/Scotish feeling – this is a very minority and unrepresentative group. (they are always shocked when the Guardian does a survey that shows large percentages of people think that there is a possibility that perhaps Assad did drop chemicals on his people)

      As for the EU, yes its a bureaucracy, but the vast majority of people are unable to look at the good it has done. [most notably, the free movement policy means that eastern Europe after the collapse of berlin wall is moving forward – without the EU the border between east and west would be more like that between Mexico and USA – its not going work out well]. But the UK is an island and its people think that the surrounding water will help. Whilst, we sit here and argue abouts the merits of war in Syria, the reality is the Syrian war has only one hero – and that is Angela Merkel – someone who has sacrificed popularity at home to do the right thing. Island Britain doesn’t want to know.

      • TheBiggerTheLie

        The right thing by big business, that is. The same light that guides the EC, ECB.

        • Andrew H

          Providing homes for over 1 million Syrians in Germany has nothing to do with big business. Germans have paid a big price for this humanitarian gesture. [why do you think they all hate Merkel now? – her popularity has fallen, refugees need schools and hospitals, don’t speak the language well and will pose integration issues for years. It is isn’t about cheap labour as you seem to imply – Germany already has a supply of cheap labourors from Turkey and elsewhere – it didn’t need refugees for big business – that is crap you are telling yourself to avoid the shame]. Remember the Vietnamese boat people and how the UK and many other countries around the world provided homes for the refugees??

          • Blissex

            «Providing homes for over 1 million Syrians in Germany has nothing to do with big business.»

            How naive — today’s german businessmen hear the tales of the enormous profits their fathers and grandfather made by using low-paid, never complaining, desperate to get a job, any job, turkish immigrants.
            They are very eager to make a lot of money from using this “gift” of 1 million young desperate hard working refugees. Why do you think the german government put them all through german language school?

        • Andrew H

          Perhaps you should take a working holiday to Germany to find out why they are rich. (that’s going to be hard now that the morons have voted to leave). Again nothing to do with cheap foreign labour. 1) They kept their industry – I don’t understand how the UK has never declared bankruptcy – we closed every factory back in the eighties – how is it a country can just keep going by offering services but never manufacturing anything? 2) They invested in high-tech – uk, again back in the eighties, instead of modernising just decided rather than deal with the unions it would be easier to close everything down. Seriously, go to Germany and when you come back, your biggest unsolved problem will be how is it that nobody in the uk actually produces anything and still the economy seems to keep going.

          • TheBiggerTheLie

            I lived in Stuttgart for three years and have many Germany friends. It is no longer the country of Guardian readers’ imaginations.

            Schroder and Merkel’s labour market reforms have abolished state protections for the low-paid, curtailed union rights and encouraged employers to offer short-term jobs. The upshot is that the Germany of your imagination – highly skilled, highly rewarded and empowered workers in gleaming factories – is shrinking fast. What’s rapidly replacing it is crap jobs.

            The dismantling of worker protections, and the trend of business towards outsourcing to cheaper eastern Europe, has seen the number of low-paid, short-term mini-jobs shoot up, to the extent that they now account for more than a fifth of German employment. The proportion of Germans earning less than two-thirds of median income is now the highest of any state in Western Europe, and is fast approaching US levels.

            Germany has continually been touted as the success story of the post-2008 period, piling up trade surpluses year after year. But investment has been among the least in the G7 economies, while the lower-middle and working classes – women especially – are encountering a degree of poverty and job insecurity they had never known.

            Schroeder and Merkel’s radical remodelling of Germany’s ‘social market economy’ on neoliberal lines is also intended to set down a marker for the rest of Europe; not just for the PIIGs, upon whom it is being ruthlessly enforced, but most importantly the big prize Macron’s France.

          • Hatuey

            I myself think Germany is the most civilised country in the world and you will not hear me criticise them too harshly. And I agree that their response to the immigration crisis was commendable and driven by moral obligation rather than a desire for cheap labour. I like to think msybe they were cleverly motivated by both — why not? — and that countries and people who behave morally reap rewards in other ways too. What’s wrong with that?

            My biggest problem with the EU, as it happens, is that it isn’t integrated enough. If it was and had more collective and choseive strength that they were able to concentrate in areas like foreign policy, then I think that would be advantageous.

            I’m not a conspiracy theorist who is concerned about any ‘new world order’. It’s new world disorder that I fear and that’s what we have.

            On Catalonia though, European states and the EU could have done more. They should have done more. I think doing so little will haunt them when it comes to future plebiscites etc. It’s very easy to fall from the moral high in politics and these are cynical times.

        • Andrew H

          “has seen the number of low-paid, short-term mini-jobs shoot up, to the extent that they now account for more than a fifth of German employment.”

          What? a fifth of Germans are now doing shitty jobs? (that’s 20%) Doesn’t seem like a lot to me? What’s the number for the UK?

          Its easy to be critical, and say the Germans are just taking advantage of east europe, but really to make a comparison you need to look at USA / Mexico [North America vs South America] and try to ask did the European “no wall” experiment work better? (it was an experiment). Firstly Mexicans are exploited by the USA, and they don’t get the right to work in the USA (just in border factories which don’t meet USA employment standards – but are typically owned by US billionaires). Secondly the rise of the drug cartels has a lot do with the lack of opportunity. (I can’t prove that – its just the most notable difference between the american and european models – the former is a failure and the current wall building paranoia is really the beginning of the end)

    • Stu

      No socialist would support the collective punishment of the Greek people to appease bankers.


      “In this short report, we present the last 14-year trends (2001 to 2014) of births and deaths in Greece (Table). Over the six years of the crisis (2009 – 2014), the crude birth rate substantially decreased between 2009 and 2014; from 10.45 per 1,000 population in 2009 to 8.57 in 2014 (Table). The 93,429 livebirths in 2014 is the lowest number recorded in Greece since 1955 (the first year for which reliable data are available). During the same period (2009 – 2014), the crude mortality rate in Greece increased, from 9.60 per 1,000 population in 2009 to 10.46 in 2014 (Table). In 2012 and 2014, there were 116,670 and deaths 114,088 respectively, the highest numbers since 1948. The result of these two opposing trends was an excess of 59,285 more deaths than births over the last four years (2010 – 2014) (for comparison, Rhodes island according to the 2011 Census has a population of around 50,000 inhabitants).”

      This is a crime and the EU is responsible.

  • WJ

    Russia has claimed again today that they possess “irrefutable proof” that there was no chemical attack in Douma. This puts the OPCW in a bind.

    Do they call Russia’s bluff on the assumption that *no* proof could be “irrefutable”? Or are they worried that Russia is not bluffing? Is Russia bluffing? What proof could they possibility possess that would be strong enough to penetrate coordinated lies of US, a corrupt OPCW, and the Western media?

    Recall that Russia has said the attack on Syria “will not be left without consequence” for the perpetrating states. Was this a threat to divulge a piece of Russian intelligence pertaining to Douma, and perhaps to Skripal as well? What could that intelligence be?

    • giyane

      That intelligence is likely to be chemical warfare perpetrated by the UK and US on Muslims. Assad knows what they forced him to do with psychotic drugs and torture to Muslims. When the shit hits the proverbial, you might see a gypsy caravan disappearing down the lanes of middle England with a warty guy with a very tall pointy hat, pulled by whatever fancy german bullet-proof car they give ex-prime ministers these days. Also old party pooper Hague has put trip wires across his welsh estate to catch passing journo rats.

  • MichaelK

    It’s all so terrible… sad. The way these people so dutifully fall into line and accept the most transparently absurd stories as the truth, without even bothering to examine the information they are being fed by the Security Services; and this is after Iraq and Libya! I’m still not sure which is worse, that they are so credulous or lack intelligence?

    • Hatuey

      If you think what the Syrians have gone through is sad, whatever you do don’t delve into the plight of the Kurds. I don’t think there’s a country on the planet who hasn’t shafted the Kurds at some point.

      Speaking of the systematic annihilation of Kurds, isn’t Turkey playing a strange little game these days?

  • Tony M

    A significant number of independence supporters, a significant number of Scots want out of the EU and out of NATO, they’re both each of them organisations which use malign means to achieve malign ends, both have morphed into something far outside their original remit and incompatible with the kind of society we want want to build, in which there is no place for turbo-charged neoliberalism or criminal wars without end killing in their millions the worlds already weakest and poorest. As we do as an independent nation want out of the dysfunctional English (there I’ve said it, the dread E-word ) dominated union which parasite like-bleeds Scotland dry steals our wealth and resources, and pisses it away doing god knows what in the crooked casino that is the City of London, and imposes too social and economic policies we abhor and thinks nothing of spending billions on weaponry and war. Many of us have already swallowed our principles, voted with clothes-pegs on our noses for the SNP, givnig them the benefit of the doubt too often, expecting that post-independence we would have a say in referenda on wounding terminally these supra-national monsters and on many other unresolved deeply contentious matters. People down south still remain ignorant of the fact that it is Scotland’s resources which have financed the UK since the Callaghan government fell, not arcane financial chicanery by city wide-boys (and girls), not by their own efforts or labours, and it could have been so much better, a whole lot better for everyone for all of us if they had not continued to elect blood-sucking Tories and their New Labour imitators in order for a few to grab all they could, while they could and devil take the hindmost.

    The SNP failed to act decisively after the 2015 general election when they swept the board across the whole of Scotland, Scotland had changed and for the better, wanted independence, right there and then, without another single moments hesitation or prevarication, when the whole of the British state and entire media were at their ugliest and showed utter contempt for the practice and principle of democracy, for basic and simple decency, between referendum and election, it was all over then for the decrepit union, but the SNP failed utterly, misread the mood, fumbled, dithered, god knows what they were thinking or doing, but they did.

    • Blissex

      «A significant number of independence supporters, a significant number of Scots want out of the EU and out of NATO»

      Because small countries can just ignore “realpolitik”? In WW2 the whole of Iceland was put under “protective custody” by the Allies, etc. etc. Scotland as a “non-aligned” mini-country? It is conceivable, but pointless. Don’t push it with dreams of “scotsism in one country” :-).
      Potential alternatives: Scotland joins Canada as an atlantic province, or (re)joins the Kingdom of Man and of the Isles :-).

      • Hatuey

        Utter junk, I’m afraid. If you are suggesting Scotland should desist from going it alone because it would be too small to guarantee its own neutrality during a world war, you are making a very flimsy case for the UK. And what of Switzerland, how did they get by during the war, was their neutrality compromised? I could name dozens of others.

        Seriously, where do you get arguments like that? Please tell me. I’m asking seriously.

  • Ottomanboi

    Scotland’s rebirth as an independent nation is likely to be messy. Our nationalist politicians ought to have strong stomachs. If they lack the spirit for the fight they may be of little use. The lumbering, windbag Westminster ‘model’ is equally of little use.
    Scotland reborn must have clean, new clothes

  • Stu

    The SNP are simply trying to create separation between themselves and Labour on this issue. As with everything else nowadays their only concern is maintaining the payroll they have built up in councils, Holyrood and Westminster.

    SNP MPs showed exactly where their priorities lay when they chose Blackford over Tommy Shepard as leader.

    • Hatuey

      I have often wondered where else someone like Mhiari Black might earn about £120,000 per annum.

      How much cash does a 13 year old left wing intellectual genius need?

  • peter

    A statement from the Patriarchs: John X, Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, Ignatius Aphrem II, Syrian Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, and Joseph Absi, Melkite-Greek Catholic Patriarch of Antioch, Alexandria, and Jerusalem;
    We call upon all churches in the countries that participated in the aggression, to fulfill their Christian duties, according to the teachings of the Gospel, and condemn this aggression and to call their governments to commit to the protection of international peace.


    I ‘m now waiting for the Vatican.

    • Blissex

      They are obviously terrified: if Assad goes, all the 2,000 years of christianity in Syria “vanishes” in a bloodbath.
      The regime of Assad is murderous and tyrannical, but only politically: since the regime is based on the Alawite mafia, they protect religious minorities like themselves.

      «Melkite-Greek Catholic Patriarch of Antioch, Alexandria, and Jerusalem; … I ‘m now waiting for the Vatican.»

      The Melkites are a branch of the catholic church, arguably the elder branch wrt to the roman branch… There are zero chances that this is not the official position of the catholic church, who have done lots of work to save the christian churches of the east, even those they deemed “heretical”.

  • Tony M

    The SNP cheated us in Scotland of our victory, victory hard won in the face of the most appalling odds. They most certainly have some explaining to do, why should we trust them and vote for them again for them to sit on their hands or rather the green benches of Westminster, indistinguishable from the last lot of pigs we sent to the knackers yard.

    • Hatuey

      That’s a very good question.

      If they answer with the usual “who else you gonna vote for if not us?”, as politicians in these circumstances are prone to ask, then I would suggest the answer is “nobody”.

      There’s a good case for punishing the SNP though, as Scottish Labour were punished when they stabbed their grassroots support in the back. I guess Scotland isn’t there yet but I’m detecting a sea change and once these things start moving and gathering momentum they are hard to stop.

      I’m starting to think the SNP wants some time out of office.

      • kathy

        The only problem with that is that the UK would totally destroy Scotland as they are already doing with their one nation agenda so we now have British whisky for example – not that the SNP seem to care.

        • Hatuey

          Kathy, there’s truth in that. But they’re destroying Scotland anyway. The option of a non-destroyed Scotland isn’t on offer right now. People are angry at the SNP because they aren’t offering that either.

          I think Sturgeon needs to step down and let someone with more aggression take over. Aggression and anger and destabilising fury, that’s what is needed right now. The last thing Scotland and the SNP needs is safe pair of hands right now.

          Sturgeon would be a good enough leader if Scotland had independence. But she is/was never going to be the person to win independence.

          I actually think the SNP should change leader every 2 years. Smear attacks and propaganda by the British state have an impact after about 2 years. Basically they are demonised and it works so the SNP should be looking to constantly change their leader and if they democratise the partyy it shouldn’t hamper them to do that.

  • patrick kerrigan

    I completely agree with you.The SNP leadership has been bought into or captured by the British establishment.Lets just say they’ve tasted the good life.I ended my membership of the SNP recently due to the leadership’s unquestioning acceptance of American and British Neo con.statements or policies especially regarding the Salisbury debacle and Syria.Blackford whole heartedly behind Theresa May in many ways.

  • Bill Purves

    According to reports, chlorine gas was the chemical used. Chlorine is used in many household cleaning materials, these are readily available all over the world. It is also put in drinking water and swimming pool water.

    • Hatuey

      Look, Bill, you are about 3 ice ages behind with that stuff. You aren’t going to pass yourself off as the illuminati with a pitch like that, not in here.

1 2 3 4

Comments are closed.