Doune the Rabbit Hole Final Line-Up 163

I spent the morning at a Stirlng Council licensing panel organising the licenses for the Doune the Rabbit Hole Festival this year. Happy to say that the council – both officers and councillors – could not have been more conscientious or more helpful. I have been spending a fair bit of time on community engagement for the festival this year, and have also extended my activity to quite a heavy involvement in the more established Eden festival. Being with nice people organising something joyous helps keep me going, and if it requires the odd gap in blogging, it keeps me both sane enough and happy enough to plough on, and manages to be very hard work and immensely refreshing all at the same time.

The final line up for Doune the Rabbit Hole is now complete:

I will again see some of you there, either as punters or working as volunteers. We still need more volunteers for the Eden Festival also, which is on us quite soon (7 to 10 June), and specifically I need people to help me in the bar. For that one can you contact me initially through this blog’s contact button top right.

The existence of a counter-culture is as important to me in terms of personal motivation as clarity of intellectual critique of society, and can manifest in various ways. Music festivals have become very commercialised and anodyne; rip-off ones seem to multiply while festivals with an “alternative” vibe have been struggling to survive, a struggle in which I have actively immersed myself and my resources, such as they are.

But whether it is as one of the 90,000 people who marched through Glasgow lately, whether it was addressing “Occupy London” or several university sit-ins, or being part of the community at music festivals, the happiest and most intense experiences of my life, outside personal family moments, have come from occasions where I am temporarily part of a group of people acting outside normal governing political structures, even for short periods, and often openly in defiance of them, in self governing “pop-up communities”. It feels like a glimpse into another possible world, a society of horizontal solidarity where we do not exist to be exploited. It is the fun of escape, the aspiration of alternative, the realisation that freedom is plausible. If I did not feel like that occasionally, I would not be able to think like that, all the time.

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163 thoughts on “Doune the Rabbit Hole Final Line-Up

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  • Courtenay Barnett


    All the best for the Festival.

    When you get through that and back to the important work you do informing the rest of us on the ‘state of affairs in the world’ – do not forget to give an update on Julian Assange.

    Seems to me that the current Ecuadorian leader is getting more than a little pressure from the US and is being cowed into compliance. How does this all measure up for Assange’s future.

    I am sure that you will have a better handle and informed insights – far more so than us mere mortals here outside the ambit of the inner sanctum of the informed bloggersphere.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Courtenay Barnett May 29, 2018 at 22:37
      ‘…Seems to me that the current Ecuadorian leader is getting more than a little pressure from the US and is being cowed into compliance….’
      I don’t believe it will take much ‘pressure’; Moreno is a ‘snake in the grass’ like Bliar, only worse.
      He took a load of politicians into his government from the Right-wing opposition.
      He is a disgusting piece of excrement, I’m afraid. Not much doubt where his orders come from – the Empire up north…

      ‘Lenín Moreno unpicks Ecuador’s leftwing legacy’:

      • Doug Scorgie

        Sadly you are correct. I think Assange will soon be evicted from the embassy into the hands of the police. What happens next ?

  • Clark

    The first time I set eyes on the Stonehenge Free Festival, it was like I’d at last found home.

    Prompted by the sensationalist corporate tabloids, Thatcher smashed it a few years later. It’s easy to see why; you could get anything done there – get a clutch fitted, get your telly fixed. It didn’t cost money but more importantly it was free as in freedom.

    See you in paradise, Craig.

    • Twostime

      Yep, Stonehenge was something to behold – also safe, plenty of natural organic material could be consumed, whatever your tipple.

    • Anon1

      I’m afraid the mountains of litter and vehicle tracks scarring the archealogically rich landscape were never going to sit well with the local residents, never mind the crusties’ self-image.

      • Clark

        Attendees were remarkably conscientious about clearing the site, and over years I never saw much damage to the ground; just some flattened grass. The nearest house was miles away, and personally, I never felt any animosity from the locals.

        The exception was the year before Thatcher arranged payment to her mercenary friend to smash The Convoy (he tried to sell sawn off shotguns to The Convoy as well, but they refused to buy). That year, a handful of remarkably new-looking cars were overturned and set fire to. I was told that one of the anarchist groups did that, to cars which had been brought by professional drug pushers.

        • Dave Lawton

          Yes the Windsor Free Festival was the forerunner of the Stonehenge Free Festival. The State used agent provocateur`s as an excuse to break up the Windsor Festival. Also Nicholas Albery, playwright Heathcote Williams and his partner Diana Senior successfully sued David Holdsworth, the Thames Valley Chief Constable for creating a riotous situation in which the police attacked them.

      • Clark

        It’s mistaken to judge the Free Festivals by comparison with their corporate imitators. At something like Virgin’s V Festival, punters buy their ticket and expect to be catered for; most feel no responsibility towards the site. They are required to get off-site fast, so they don’t clean up after themselves. The commercial vendors sell food in extensive gaudy plastic branded packaging, and the corporate merchandising outlets flog as much useless junk with five day design lifetime as possible. I live near a V site and the aftermath is astonishing. One year I remember hundreds of Virgin-branded inflatable armchairs. Many punters write off their entire camping kit; tents, bedding and barbecue kits all abandoned. I’d never have returned to Stonehenge Free Festival if it had left a mess like that.

        The Stonehenge gathering grew and receded organically over the course of more than a month. At its peak you could buy sandwiches through bus windows etc., but you’d carry them away in your hands; no one had bough in stacks of expanded poly cartons. At many camps you could buy food on a real plate; you’d sit down and eat it, conversing with the camp residents. People kept their own camps tidy because otherwise you’d be surrounded by your own mess. After solstice, as the gathering receded, those left would collect remaining litter and move bags down to the entrance. With no organising authority, nearly everyone felt some responsibility, and the longer you stayed the more responsible you felt. It wasn’t perfect but it was a lot better than you’d guess by looking at a commercial event.

        • Tony_0pmoc


          That was exactly my experience at Stonehenge too in the early 1980’s, but it is still true now, at the smaller non-commercial events, not run by large (usually American owned companies), but run by one or two Independent people, who largely started them off in for example a pub garden, then a field, and they gradually grow bigger.

          Even Cambridge Rock Festival is still like that. We first went in 2007, and again over the last few years rockinbeerfest.

          Everyone clears up their own mess. The site is left clean, just as it was when we came in.

          We respect the people who run these small festivals.

          No one is making any money out of it. They are lucky to break even.


          • Clark

            At Doune the Rabbit Hole, a minority of campers leave their area messy, but by far the majority are responsible. I know, because I litter-pick. I estimate between 2% and 5% of camps are left messy; certainly well under 10%.

  • Twostime

    Craig, you’re sounding a touch anarchic :). Rest, socialise, hope the gig goes well for you and all who visit, thank you for all you do.

  • John Goss

    I reckon it will be a cracking festival. Sorry to learn there are only seven pigs when listeners’ ears are going to get a pasting – or is it basting? Or Roasting, I don’t envy you, and if it was not so far to cycle and get back for the golf I would love to be there.

    The reason I don’t envy you is that I have been there. I once organised a big folk-festival which was successful in every way other than any return to the pocket. Today to be fair I’ve reached an age where festivals, camping and long journeys are not as attractive as they once were. I must be getting old. Another sign is that my writers’ group (Cannon Hill Writers’ Group) annual picnic did not take place last year for the first time. It is sad. The group contains (or contained) novelists, playwrights, poets and historians, including Steve Jackson who won the Verity Bargate award for his brilliantly slick and witty play “Roller Diner”. I don’t live in London but I know he has another play out, next week at the Soho Theatre. “The Bingo Caller”.

    I should perhaps not pass this on but you can get a reduction using the Discount Code BINGO10. My name’s going to be shit.

  • quasi_verbatim

    Oh, I get it, at last. You mean ‘Down’.

    Horizontal solidarity follows vertical drinking.

  • Sharp Ears

    Any more mention of ‘pigs’ and Agent Cameron will be up there like a shot.

    Hope it all goes well and that the sun shines.

  • Sharp Ears

    Gauleiter Dick of Jean Charles de Menezes infamy, is now censoring what we watch and listen to on YT. Where next Cressida?

    YouTube deletes 30 music videos after Met link with gang violence
    Content removed as police chief associates drill lyrics with surge in stabbings and murders

    ‘Scotland Yard said it had asked the Google-owned site to take down between 50 and 60 music videos in the last two years. Of these, around 30 have been removed, according to figures obtained by the Press Association.

    It is not clear whether all of the videos removed from YouTube involved drill. The Met has been strongly critical of the genre, which began in Chicago and was later adopted by young Londoners who had encountered it online.

    The force say it has built up a database of more than 1,400 videos to use as an intelligence tool in an attempt to reduce violent crime.’
    ‘In many ways, the panic over drill is just the latest example of how music is singled out among the complex social factors that add up to crime in UK cities, just as grime was blamed last year for the use of the extra-strong cannabis strain skunk. “Targeting musicians is a distraction,” argues Abra. “The cuts that affect schools, youth clubs, social housing, benefits, are making life harder for the average person living on or below the poverty line in this city. There are people doing mad tings, not because they want to, but because the situation has forced them to.” It’s also often social media postings that generate violent disputes rather than the music itself.’

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Sharp Ears May 30, 2018 at 07:41
      I’d never heard of ‘drill lyrics’, (I have no time for the modern youth ‘music’; I’m ’50’s/’60’s/’70’s with a sprinkling of ’80’s) so I just took a look at a ‘drill lyrics’ video.
      I have to say I agree with Cressida Dick on this one. They desensitise the youth to violence, and make it appear ‘cool’.

      I came across an article which related a man’s recollections of a seminar he had attended (I believe it was a doctor’s seminar, in the ’80’s or ’90’s: at the beginning, the speaker had ordered that no recordings or notes were to be taken) where the speaker had said violent and discordant music would be introduced to intentionally promote violence so as to fill privately-owned jails.There were other similar pronouncements.
      One guy jumped up and said something like ‘WTF is this?’, but immediately armed security started to escort him out. Another couple of guys (including the guy who realted this info) also got up to protest against the guy being escorted out, but they got chucked out too, and warned against talking about what they had heard.
      Unfortunately, I cannot find the links at present, but here is another very similar but much more detailed and chilling ‘recall):
      This is the transcript of the guy’s recollections of the talk (the audio is also available):
      ‘New Order of Barbarians – transcript of tapes I-III’:
      Below is just a short exert, which gives the flavour of the whole:

      ‘…R.E: And maybe wishing some people would ask more questions. Looking back over history there are many individuals who had an idea of what a New World Order should be, certainly Hitler and Stalin did, but what was lacking during these periods is that they lacked the technology to carry many a many of the things out… surveillance, constant monitoring… but in this so-called New World Order it’s going to be very difficult to escape because technology will provide those means which had been lacking those totalitarian individuals from years ago.

      D.L.D: I can’t remember on the original tapes, did I mention the phrase where he said, “This time we’re going to do it right!” ?

      R.E: No. You didn’t.

      D.L.D: There were so many details to remember. But when he mentioned bringing in the New World Order, he said, “This time we’re going to do it right”.

      And right away, I’m wondering, “what do you mean, ‘this time’?”. There was no explicit explanation of that, but I think it’s fairly easy to infer that previous efforts had to do with the Third Reich… Your point about the technology is critical with computers and all means of exchange being controlled by electronic impulse.

      Nobody has any wealth. You own nothing of value except access to electronic impulses which are beyond your control. A cashless society. So when your reward for working is [nothing more than] impulses on the computer and the only claim you have is these impulses and the people who run the system can give or take them as they choose. Up until this time there was no way the statement in the Book of Revelation that said, “No man can buy or sell unless he has the mark of the beast”… there’s no way that could have been enforced.

      People could say I’ll trade you a bushel of tomatoes for a bushel of wheat. If you’ll drive my kids to school I’ll give you six ears of corn. Bartering. And even not going necessarily that primitive, there was always gold and silver and other forms of money that were even better than bartering. But with this cashless society, I believe this is the first time in the history of the human race where the entire population of the world can be controlled economically so that somebody can say, “I pushed the right buttons and I know how much credit you have electronically; I know where you spend your money electronically; and you cannot buy, you cannot sell unless you get on my computer.”

      Right now you have a half a dozen credit cards in your pocket, but pretty soon it will be narrowed to one credit card and then when we… you know the ostensible reason is that when people loose their credit cards and we have to get rid of that and put the implant in… where it has to be accessible to the scanner… in your right hand or in your forehead….’

      Very scary stuff, but the scariest is you can see these things gradually being implemented.

      • Paul Barbara

        Perhaps I should have put an example of the ‘drill lyrics’ – surely no responsible person would want this sh*t being fed to vulnerable kids as ‘cool’?
        ‘Best UK Drill Lyrics (Part 1)’:
        If that’s the ‘best’, I’d hate to see and hear the ‘worst’!

  • Simon

    You’ve just to organise another run for parliament! Norwich was so much fun. I wouldn’t wait for an election.

  • john young

    Give a mention to the “barefoot ceilidh” 17th of June Milton-of-Campsie lots of entertainment/events all free,good luck with your “Doune the rabbit hole”.

  • N_

    @Craig – Great last line: “If I did not feel like that occasionally, I would not be able to think like that, all the time.”

  • N_

    If my hypothesis that Tommy Robinson is MI5 (or SO15, or possibly CIA given his magic escape at JFK airport in New York) is correct, and that trying to stop the Leeds trial was a job for his masters, then there may be a further effort to stop it. The most important aspect for certain powerful interests is not whether the defendants are found guilty or not, but the public relations effect. They are totally cynical.

    Whereas the vast majority of people believe that those who run organised child abuse should be properly prosecuted and then jailed for long stretches, whether they call themselves Muslim, Catholic, New Age, atheist, or whatever, that is not the view taken by MI5 and senior police and customs officials.

    There are the usual corrupt cops and customs considerations. Many criminal gangs in many areas of Britain are untouchable. Certain “faces” from known families can stab people to death in broad daylight and never spend a day inside for it. Then there is counter-terrorism, in which networks have been set up and run for a long time and MI5 are fucked if their work is going to be jeopardised because a gang network is involved in child trafficking or because of a few social workers. The standard view among many of these types is that the whole business of this sort of crime is a matter of “scum on scum”. Yes, I am saying they don’t give a shit about the victims. They think whole parts of town are full of scum, including “Muzzies” here and “chavs” there. Psychologically while many of them probably tell themselves they don’t war on the streets and are trying to stop it from starting, that doesn’t make it sensible to judge them by what they think of themselves and in actual fact, deep down, they do want war on the streets. Meanwhile those who are most successful in these networks – I’m talking MI5 and police and customs now – are in fact those who are most cynical.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ N_ May 30, 2018 at 10:03
      ‘Police Cadets Quit, Expose Austin PD for Training Cops to View Public as “Cockroaches” They’re at War With’:

      ‘..Jonathan Murray, who now works in sales for Dell, said instructors repeatedly degraded the homeless and prostitutes, referring to them as “cockroaches” and suggesting they “find a transient” if they were bored and wanted a felony arrest.

      Viewing sex workers as insects and the homeless as potential targets for prosecution differs vastly from the generalized public perception of officers as those who are sworn to “protect and serve” members of the community. According to the former recruits, officers of the peace should have a “guardian” mentality as opposed to the “warrior” mindset the recruits and graduates are being taught to possess…’

      In one case of VIP paedophilia in the UK, the venue actually guarded by police, and when a young girl escaped and ran for it, she was caught by one of the police, who whilst apologising to her, returned her to the orgy.

      I myself was seriously harassed for years by a drug gang and their ‘friends’; the police did sod all. One Sergeant was helpful, but within weeks he was transferred from London to Wales. I had had run-ins with the police, and Masons, plus I was as big a thorn in the side of the Establishment as I could manage to be re Human Rights and Solidarity Campaigns, so I put the police behaviour down to that.
      There were a few decent officers, but they could do nothing against the wishes of ‘upstairs’.
      Te harassment continues, but on a much smaller and less dangerous level, 22 years after it started.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ N_ May 30, 2018 at 10:03
      You could well be right there – and building up some street cred by getting nicked could well be part of the game.
      I believe the unsuccessful ‘framing’ of Peter Hain for bank robbery was the same sort of gambit.

    • Philip Cross

      He’s another Israeli sttoge….plenty evidence of Tommy on the ‘Hill’ watching the airstrikes on Gaza with the IDF

    • David Avi

      The Hamas leadership in Gaza knows exactly what it’s doing by organising the actions along the Israel/Gaza border fence. And the IDF reactions have inevitably played into its hands.

      That’s because the Hamas leadership, with snake-like cunning and appalling cynicism, left the IDF with no choice. Suppose that the IDF had not reacted when the demonstrators were some way back from the fence. The demonstrators would then have advanced up to the fence. And if the IDF still did not react, then the demonstrators would have started destroying/breaching the fence. At that moment, the IDF would have had no choice but to start shooting. So the Hamas tactics were intended to get the IDF to take the necessary protective measures wherever the demonstrators got to, it would always have been a propaganda victory for Hamas. However, the propaganda victory (“brutal Israel) would have been enhanced had the demonstrators actually succeeded in breaching the fence. That is why the IDF preferred to do its shooting before the demonstrators got to the fence.

      • Vivian O'Blivion

        WTF are young gibbering about? My post was about Cruella Deville wanna be Haley.
        I demand to speak with your supervisor. You’re being paid for this the least you can do is maintain relevance.

      • J

        “..with snake-like cunning..”

        Are you are alluding the quote below?

        If so, in using the quote you’ve just alluded to, do you think that Ayelet Shaked was trying to incite murder?

        “Behind every terrorist stand dozens of men and women, without whom he could not engage in terrorism. They are all enemy combatants, and their blood shall be on all their heads. Now this also includes the mothers of the martyrs, who send them to hell with flowers and kisses. They should follow their sons, nothing would be more just. They should go, as should the physical homes in which they raised the snakes. Otherwise, more little snakes will be raised there.”

      • glenn_nl

        Utter BS, Mr. David – large crowds – even rowdy ones – do not have to be attacked with live rounds, particularly not while they are peacefully protesting.

        Got a question for you – if a certain Mr. Hitler had brought the Jews along with his master-race crap, and had no anti-semitism but with all the other Nazi ideology and methodology intact, just how enthusiastically do you imagine they’d have taken him up on the invitation? Because from what I’ve seen from the Israelis, a good proportion (and their apologists) would have made very good Nazis indeed.

      • Republicofscotland

        “That’s because the Hamas leadership, with snake-like cunning and appalling cynicism”

        Of course the leadership in the Knesset is a paragon of, openness and truthfulness. They decided to shoot people before they reached the fence, thus demonstrating the shoot first ask questions later policy, which is prevalent in US law enforcement in some States.

        Israel has no one to blame but itself in the never ending propaganda war, for appearing murderous to the outside world.

        • David Avi

          What questions should the IDF have asked? Was it not obvious that the demonstrators intended to get to the fence and, if possible, breach it if unchecked (some actually did reach the fence if you look at the some of the videos out there). That’s why I was saying that Hamas cunningly put Israel in a lose-lose position.

      • bj

        “The IDF is left with no choice”. What an appalling apology for murderers.

        The IDF is the most immoral army of the world. It shall be judged by its actions, not by loudmouths.

        That it is immoral to the core, and to the levels of its top brass, had been obvious for many, and vociferously disputed by some.

        Now it’s been shown, on live television, in the commentary of said brass, and in the remarks in the knesseth, that that is a true description, only disputed by lunatics.

        Those vociferous voices now talk of a propaganda battle having been lost.

        There’s quite some blind denial going on there.

      • snickid

        “the Hamas leadership, with snake-like cunning and appalling cynicism, left the IDF with no choice”

        The unarmed demonstrators left us no choice but to shoot them. What a surprise!

      • Philip Cross

        my how awful…..possibly ‘destroy’ the fence that’s on their homeland, after being kicked out of their own homes, bulldozed and frog marched into a Gulag called Gaza….yeah, what else are the IDF supposed to do in that scenario??

    • David Avi

      The same cynicism informs the organisers of the new “peace flotilla” which is it seems being planned. It is not certain that the IDF will react as it did last time, but there is a chance that it might and the organisers are probably counting on the IDF doing so. In the light of that possibility, it is clear that the organisers will have blood on their hands if the worst comes to the worst. And the actual activists on the boat would do well to remember that the wise pedestrian does not dash across a busy highway to get to the other side rather than using the pedestrian walkway.

      • glenn_nl

        Sure, the organisers – which include the participants – “are probably counting on the IDF” beating them and shooting them, with a high probability they won’t survive the assault. Everybody relishes a good bit of that, don’t they?

        It would be really clever of the IDF not to play into the hands of these devious folks, who cunningly get themselves killed and maimed, by _not_ behaving with merciless brutality – don’t you think? Pass on the suggestion – you can even take credit for the brilliant ploy, I don’t mind!

        But seriously, Mr David, what “pedestrian walkway” is there in this shamelessly false analogy of yours, by which someone wishing to deliver the aid – that you have acknowledged is desperately needed – can do so without being murdered by the IDF?

      • bj

        It is not certain” ….

        You’re playing the madman doctrine here, are you?
        Some would could that no less than ‘terror’, which it is, pure terror.
        You sound like a spokesperson for the Israeli government.

        • David Avi

          There is much senseless talk of ‘genocide’ , which is sometimes rapidly but no doubt reluctantly and with gritted teeth modified, in the face of facts, to read ‘ongoing genocide’ or ‘ongoing genocide or something similar. Were the boot on the other foot – had the Arab armies won the 1948 war, how many J$$s do you think would be left in Palestine today? After all, most Arab states have not been distinguished by kindness toward even their own people.

          • kbbucks

            ah good old David Avi, one mention of the “disputed territories” & he’s on it like a fly to you know what…, where are the rest of your mates tonight??
            You wouldn’t be monitoring the comments by any chance – would love to hear your thoughts on anything else being discussed really 🙂

          • kbbucks

            btw the only one mentioning genocide here tonight is your good self David Avi, why do you bring that up I wonder?

          • Philip Cross

            why was there a war in 1948….mebbe coz you invaded and took someone elses property….my oh my, those bad civilians

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Vivian O’Blivion May 30, 2018 at 10:51
      I believe that Is**ali ‘agent provocateurs’ stir up the Gazans who fire the rockets and mortars from Gaza; it only suits them – cui bono?
      Just as I believe they order their ‘friendly headchoppers’ in Syria to lob a few shells or mortars into the Occupied Golan Heights, to give them an ‘excuse’ to bombard Syrian and allied forces.
      It is a truly suicidal course of behaviour.

  • Sharp Ears

    @ Courtenay and Paul earlier ref Julian Assange

    Open Letter to Mr. Carlos Antonio Abad Ortiz Re Julian Assange
    Ambassador of Ecuador to the UK
    by Kersasp Shekhdar / May 27th, 2018

    ‘Dear Ambassador,

    In view of the alarming news emanating from your estimable embassy, as a concerned ‘world citizen’ I am writing to you.

    It is an open secret that the United States contemptuously considers the sovereign states, the independent nations, of Latin America as its ‘backyard,’ and frequently exerts enormous pressure on Latin American countries to do its bidding, to the extent of effecting changes in the government by means both peaceful and violent. This arrogant superpower is now pressuring your small country to evict Mr. Julian Assange from your embassy and render this valourous warrior for truth and justice to the British – who are hand-in-glove with the Americans.

    The government and people of Ecuador surely realize that when your country so courageously granted asylum to Mr. Assange, she served as a model for Latin America – nay, for 195 countries and 7.6 billion people. In granting asylum to Assange, Little Ecuador set an extraordinary example: for she not only protected the world’s pre-eminent cyber freedom-fighter, she stood up to a most terrifying tyranny that is neither subject to any checks and balances nor pays the slightest heed to the Rule of Law.’


    I hope Mr Carlos Abad Ortiz responds.

    He is well travelled and very experienced.ñol.pdf
    There is a translation facility there.

  • Sharp Ears

    Thank you Vivian O’Blivion for that.

    Ramzy Baroud is one of the members of the Palestinian diaspora. He has been on a book tour and recounts the views on Palestine that he has heard in seven countries.

    ‘First, the civil society support base for Palestine is growing exponentially, not only in the number of people who are concerned with- or interested in – learning about Palestine, but also in the nature of that engagement as well. The detachment or sense of despair of the past, has all but completely vanished, being replaced with a proactive approach – as in people wanted to be agents of change at local and national levels.

    Second, the consensus regarding the support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement is constantly increasing among unions, churches, university campuses, etc. The old view that BDS was divisive and counter-productive hardly has much traction these days, and most of the remaining debates concerning BDS are not concerned with the ethics of the boycott strategy, but the nature and extent of the boycott.

    Third, the degree of decisiveness in supporting Palestinians has also been heightened. The wishy-washy stances that wagered on the Israeli “peace movement’ or Labor Party ‘doves’, while condemning ‘extremists on both sides’, has diminishing appeal.’
    ‘A general, but equally important, realization I have experienced throughout my 3-month journey has been the numerous personal and group initiatives carried out by thousands of people all over the world in solidarity with the Palestinian people: from 11-year-old Salma, who convinced all of her classmates in Perth, Australia, to write Palestine on the map in her geography class, despite knowing that they would all have been marked down for their action, to the elderly couple in Auckland, New Zealand, who, well into their 80s and walking with much difficulty, continue to hand Palestine flyers to passers-by at a busy street corner, every week, for the last 20 years.

    It is these people, and millions like them, who represent the real constituency for Palestine. They are fighters in the trenches of human solidarity that neither Israel, nor anyone else, can possibly defeat.’

    Israel has lost support. So ‘Stop the killing. Stop the crime. Free. Free. Palestine!

    • David Avi

      The ‘Israel has lost support’ claim could be debated but it is reasonably clear that Hamas has ‘won’ this particular bit of the propaganda war (for the reasons I explained earlier on). Having said that, and to not coin a phrase, Israel might have lost this battle but has not lost the war.

      • bj

        And there I was, thinking Israel was busily trying to save the ‘peace process’.

      • Philip Cross

        even if the did ‘lose’ the war….true to form they’d start another one…or another hoax

  • Sharp Ears

    The bully boys are at it again. Four warships v one fishing boat with an outboard engine

    Israel intercepts Gaza boat after setting sail to break blockade
    Vessel carrying Palestinian patients, students and activists was captured by Israeli warships and taken to Ashdod port.
    21 hours ago

    ‘Under the Oslo Accords signed in 1993, Israel is obligated to permit fishing up to 20 nautical miles, but this has never been implemented.

    The widest range Israel has allowed boats in the past 10 years is 12 nautical miles (22km), and at times, the limit was reduced to one nautical mile (1.85km).

    Boats are often limited to six nautical miles (11km), and Israeli forces regularly fire warning shots to boats attempting to breach it.’

    • David Avi

      Come on, don’t exaggerate. 12 nautical miles – even 6 nautical miles – are plenty to allow a proper coastal fishery for the sort and size of fishing fleet which Gaza has.

      The larger the allowed fishing zone, the greater the area the navy has to patrol in order to prevent the import into Gaza of undesirable goods.

      As for the intercepted Gaza boat, was it a fishing boat or was it a boat which ‘set sail to break the blockade’ as you mention? If the latter, then it is not surprising that it was intercepted.

      • glenn_nl

        “Undesirable goods” – this would include food, medicine, and all the other supplies you admitted were desperately needed.

        Who gets to decide what’s “undesirable” – the UN? International Law? No, it’s an arbitrary decision by a single country, of course, about what should befall the population of another country.

        Sorry, David, you’re slowly tying yourself in knots here, trying to defend the indefensible.

        • David Avi

          Undesirable goods means – as you know – military goods. The sort of military goods you see Hamas militants brandishing at funerals and so on.

          • Paul Barbara

            @ David Avi May 30, 2018 at 15:43
            You may well be aware that Is**el has set a policy of just allowing absolute minimum of food in for survival. It would be very easy for Is**el to set up, with Egypt’s or Cyprus’ authorities, a small group of Is**elis who could check all goods on board a boat wishing to bring relief to Gaza, to make sure they were not carrying arms. But Is**el also bans dual-use products, like cement. It is Is**el’s legal duty to provide for the people of occupied land, but they deliberately flout this requirement. And they delay pregnant women and people seriously ill intentionally at checkpoints, sometimes till death or the woman gives birth in a truck or whatever.
            You know as well as we do that the object is to drive as many of them out of their country, by increasing the pressures continuously. The objective is sick, repulsive and evil.
            I believe Is**al is very pleased when people in Gaza fire rockets (as is happening now); I suspect their agents within Hamas are urging this ruinous and suicidal firing of rockets, in order to ‘justify’ massive Is**ali ‘retaliation’.
            Like the Achille Lauro hijack was ordered by the M**sad (their agents were ordered to do a ‘spectacular’, and they chose the Achille Lauro), in order to blacken the PLO in International eyes – I forget why it was done at that particular time, but there was a reason.

          • bj

            you see Hamas militants brandishing at funerals and so on.

            You’re utterly wicked with this remark.

          • glenn_nl

            No David, that is not true. As you know fully well, medicine, fuel and food are not allowed in, along with all other necessities of life. The flotilla heading towards Gaza, when it was set upon by IDF thugs to murder and maim the activists, was not carrying weapons.

            How do you expect to be taken seriously, when you fail to tell the truth about the most well known facts?

          • Paul Barbara

            @ David Avi May 30, 2018 at 15:43
            And still no reply re ‘Administrative Detention’, a rolling system of imprisonment without charge or trial:
            ‘Administrative Detention’:

            Some ‘Democracy’; some ‘Rule of Law’. Children can be imprisoned for 20 years for stone-throwing.
            To my knowledge, no ‘settlers’ (or ‘land thieves’) who frequently stone Arab communities has ever been convicted of stone-throwing, and only rarely of murder.

          • David Avi

            Mr Barbara

            So the story now is that Hamas acts as it does at the behest of ‘agents’ (I suppose you mean Israeli agents) within its ranks.

            You are not doing the pro-Palestinian movement any favours by coming out with nonsense like that. It simply demonstrates an unconditional, unthinking hatred of Israel – a hatred which you in fact admitted a day or so ago.

          • Paul Barbara

            @ David Avi May 30, 2018 at 20:30
            Yes, indeed, I admit to hating a regime that steals Palestinians lands, property, destroys their olive groves and vineyards, desecrates their graveyards, kills, imprisons and tortures the people, including children, and keeps millions penned up in an open prison, Gaza. That rains down high explosive, DIME, White Phorphorus and fragmentary bombs and shells upon them. Yes, I hate such a regime, just as I hate what Hitler did.
            Hitler, too, wanted to steal others land, to drive people out or enslave or kill them.
            There is no justification for what he did, nor is there any justification for what the regime you support is doing.

            Regarding ‘agents’, of course that is my meaning. One just has to be careful of falling into the automatic ‘moderation’ traps (as well as the Human ones).
            ‘By Way Of Deception, Thou Shalt Do War’ – ring any bells?
            Then of course there was the ‘We shall lead every rebellion against us’ or similar wording.
            The ‘Exceptional’ regime is a past master of infiltration and guiding Terrorist groups to work to the regime’s agenda.
            Surely you can accept that these rockets and mortars fired from Gaza are almost always totally useless, and certainly are a pinprick to the massive retaliation for any firings, then cui bono?
            As for the shells or mortars that ‘fall’ into the regime’s illegally occupied Golan Heights, do you really believe they are fired by the Syrian Government side? Or are they far likelier to come from the ‘Exceptional’ regime’s friends, the West’s proxy mercenary headchoppers? And how can the SAA stop these terrorists firing these rockets and shells, in order to get a regime attack upon the SAA and it’s allies, when the regime gives the headchoppers R&R, medical treatment, arms and a bolt-hole when they need one? Various ‘exceptional’ regime members have admitted they don’t want the terrorists beaten in Syria – it seems obvious that there are ‘terrorists’ and ‘terrorists’; your favourite regime assists one, and fights the other (and the ‘terrorists’ your regime picks on are generally unarmed Palestinian civilians.

          • Philip Cross

            ironically Dave says…..” funerals”….my my there is no end to his rhetoric

      • Vivian O'Blivion

        Yeh, we get it. The Hasbara designated talking point of the day is; try and shift the blame from the perpetrators onto the victims.
        Dirty work but hey, someone’s got to do it, right Dave.

        • David Avi

          Not at all, Mr O’Blivion. The truth is that Israel is not the devil incarnate and the Arabs/Palestinans are not as white as snow.

          • Paul Barbara

            ‘..The truth is that Is**el is not the devil incarnate..’
            Well, Old Nick has is like the Hydra, it has many heads – Netanyahu, Trump, May, Merkal, Bliar, Bushe’s, Clinton’s, Obomba, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rockefeller’s, Rothschild’s and so on. Take your pick – they all bow down before Moloch, Lucifer, Satan and it get’s real complicated.

            “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
            for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

            Blessed are they who mourn,
            for they shall be comforted.

            Blessed are the meek,
            for they shall inherit the earth.

            Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
            for they shall be satisfied.

            Blessed are the merciful,
            for they shall obtain mercy.

            Blessed are the pure of heart,
            for they shall see God.

            Blessed are the peacemakers,
            for they shall be called children of God.

            Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
            for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

      • certa certi

        ’12 nautical miles – even 6 nautical miles – are plenty to allow a proper coastal fishery’

        Rubbish David. It creates a ‘grasshopper effect’ concentrating fishing effort in a restricted area and placing undue pressure on the target species. Gaza fishermen need to have access to the pelagics like Tuna and Macks. Like all business people commercial fishermen need to make a profit large enough to invest in plant [refit, new build, new tech] just to remain competitive. If the industry can’t offer new opportunities to the young generation nobody will go to sea. End result poverty, a fossilised, museumised subsistance fishery.

  • giyane

    My first passport listed my occupation as ‘cellarman’ which is a part-time job I was doing in my teens. Not now.
    A foot-note on the English language as contrasted with the Arabic language with which I grapple in the month of Ramadhan. Just as English has one word , prayer, for asking from Allah / du’aa and for worshipping Allah / salaat, so it also has only one word , politics , for the collective acquisition of power / hisbeeah , by any means fair or foul, and a different one, seyassah for the pursuance of ideological aims. in Arabic the word for Party, hizb , gives us the words hizbiah and ahzab.

    For example, pun intended, Michael Foot was a politician who was driven by intense ideological principles, who was also capable on rare occasions of actions which took into considerations party unity. These are 2 contrasting and frequently opposite things. Owen Jones is a politician who is driven by intense party power-acquisition principles who is also capable on rare occasions of touching on ideology so long as it is never implemented.

    Anyway, the Qur’an impresses on us that all power is held by Allah and we possess none, except by his permission. From this we can understand that any group of people who apply themselves to the acquisition of power, through collective lying, or collective embezzlement, or collective murder, are very far from the Islamic idea of politics, which is the pursuit of the application and adherence of God’s rules. Thy will be done, justice , mercy, alleviating poverty and standing against collective oppression.

    In Islam, any form of collective coercion for the sake of power, is absolutely forbidden. The state must work for justice and human rights, not use the law to assert state power. Political Islam, like the ” Islamist ” freemasonry of the Muslim Brotherhood, or even smaller alliances between the mosque and the colonizing governments, is forbidden if it involves trying to acquire power by alliances with those who oppress and steal. Not allowed in Islam at all.

  • glenn_nl

    This is a pretty damning outsider’s perspective of how Conservative policies are destroying the social fabric of the UK:

    Why people are stupid enough to vote these miserable bastards in time after time, and why they believe anything these rancid billionaire press barons say, is beyond me.

    I like the way an advisor to Osbourne “noted” that wealthy people have been hit with higher taxes on investment and expanded fees when buying luxury properties. So the rich are really feeling the pinch too, and can presumably feel a lot of solidarity with Ms. Wilde, mentioned in the article, who’s electricity was shut off for non-payment, and had to go to bed at 7pm with her kids because of the cold in winter.

    How anyone can take pride in a country, and in a system which treats its poor so miserably, is also beyond me.

  • Sharp Ears

    Is Google correct here?

    ‘Avi is a Hebrew name, short for Aviel, which means G-d is my father, or Avrum, which is a form of Abraham, and means highest father.’

    The name of Aviva, the insurance giant, has a Hebrew meaning too. ‘Innocent’ or ‘Springtime’! How appropriate as the renewal notices hit the doormat.

    • David Avi

      I believe that Aviva used to be called the Norwich Union. Back in the 1960s (I think), the Arab League launched boycott of British companies which traded or had links with Israel. Its grudge against the Norwich Union – which on fact did little business with israel – was that one of the directors of its London branch was J$$$sh (that was Lord Mancroft). The Norwich Union board, headed by a Norwich notable called Sir Robert Bignold, cravenly gave in to the Arab threats and ‘encouraged ‘ Lord Mancroft to ‘volontariiy resign’.

      The apologists for Arab anti-semitism being less numerous at that time than today (perhaps because there was no internet?), this affair caused a tremendous uproar and rightly so. Sir Robert continued to display his idiocy by asking Lord Mancroft by reversing his position and asking him to return to the London board. Mancroft graciously declined and in the end it was Sir Robert Bignold who had to resign in the face of public indignation and ridicule.

  • giyane

    Sharp Ears

    Aviva doesn’t cover my post code. Too many burnt out cars. Yesterday someone dumped a load of watermelons in the next street. I saw a guy with a tray on his head taking half a dozen of them. As he was walking away with the tray on his head I saw him kicking another black bag to see if that one contained anything interesting.
    Right now this is because the people here come from poorer countries. But how long before we end up in that sort of poverty? One things for certain, these Tories don’t care if we do.

  • Stu

    The Ukraine aborted their latest false flag operation after less than 24 hours.

    Yesterday the Ukranian PM and Chief of Police were blaming Russia for the murder of Arkady Babchenko on the streets of Kiev. Today he is alive and well and giving press conferences.

    • Kempe

      A ruse to flush out the Russian paid assassin which appears to have been successful.

        • Sebastian

          Story showing signs of internal contradiction in the first press conference !
          Its another “Putin did it, we’re almost 100% sure… ”
          buy popcorn.

        • Paul Barbara

          @ Stu May 30, 2018 at 17:28
          Perhaps they did kill someone, but got the wrong man, so covered up the death after realising their mistake.

        • Kempe

          ” The general prosecutor, Yuriy Lutsenko, appeared alongside Babchenko, who was dressed at Wednesday’s press conference in a black hoodie. Lutsenko said it was necessary to fake the journalist’s death so the organisers of the plot to kill him would believe they had succeeded. “

          • Stu

            Do you not think the hitmen who were due to kill him would have noticed that they didn’t actually kill him?

            Yesterday the Ukrainian government lied but they are obviously telling the truth today!

    • Republicofscotland

      Yes Stu, what kind of message does that send out?

      To me it says lets manufacture and blame Russia, but why is there such a concentrated and prolonged campaign to blacken the name of Russia? Of course Putin is no angel that’s for sure.

      However putting that aside, the defeat in Syria for the US and its ever obedient minions, albeit via proxy fighters in most cases, with Russian help has seen the attacks from all quarters escalate in the West.

      The charges against Russia, in some cases appear almost of a pre cognitive nature, without any solid evidence such as in the Skirpals case. Add in the attempted overthrow of Assad, who is indeed a dictator, but he’s been made out by the potential usurpers and Western funded NGO’s to be a threat to his own people, on a large scale, which we know isnt axiomatic.

      The sophistry and hand wringing by the majority of Western politicians, and their media outlets with regards to Russia on a daily basis is breathtaking. If unfounded in most instances.

      • Stu

        The Americans haven’t been defeated in Syria. They occupy 1/3rd of the country.

        • Paul Barbara

          @ Stu May 30, 2018 at 20:16
          Just like Hitler occupied a huge swathe of Russia, as well as Europe. There is ‘talk’ of an agreement for the Yanks to leave al Tanff, whilst all Iranians and militias will stay at least 15 1/2 miles away from the Occupied Gaza line.

          Meanwhile, back in the Evil Empire’s ‘back yard’:

          ;…As with the ‘Protocols of Zion’, whether or not the document is authentic (as far as I know SouthCom has not denied its authenticity, and they would hardly acknowledge authorship of such a document), the report appears to provide a very accurate description of the US strategy to impose regime change in Venezuela and re-install a surrogate political regime obedient to Washington ever since the election of Hugo Chavez up to recent events, as well as of the next steps that the United States intends to take. It provides further corroboration that these plans include the extreme and irrevocable step of an open military invasion together with the armed forces of several neighbouring States (in particularly Brazil, Colombia, Panama, Guyana, and presumably also Peru) if all else fails, supported by paramilitary groups and other covert forces and groups already present in or infiltrated into Venezuela and other countries throughout the region.

          The report describes the immense scope and brutality of the United States’ disruptive economic, social and political actions to destabilize and overthrow the Venezuelan government and anticipates the possibility of an even more dramatic escalation in intensity and scale. For instance, in order to undermine “the decadent popular support to Government”: “Encouraging popular dissatisfaction by increasing scarcity and rise in price of the foodstuffs, medicines and other essential goods for the inhabitants. Making more harrowing and painful the scarcities of the main basic merchandises…” (pp.2-3)….’

          The way that the ‘Empire’ is rolling back popular Left-wing governments in Latin America should certainly be a ‘wake-up’ call to those who optimistically thought the NWO One World Gulag brigade were on their last legs; I certainly knew better.
          I am surprised at the lengths Britain, France and others will go in following the US diktats, no matter how blatantly illegal and based on such flimsy hoaxes and lies they are.
          The world is truly in a right two-and-eight.

          Here’s another link to ‘Masterstroke’: ‘Plan to overthrow the Venezuelan Dictatorship – “Masterstroke”:

        • Republicofscotland

          US military personnel may still be on Syrian soil, however Assad remains after a concerted proxy assault, I call that a defeat for now.

  • kdm

    what means “Doune” ?
    (sorry, I’m German)
    My dictionaríes = nil
    leo = níl

    • Sebastian

      kdm…. Scottish for “down”, there used to be jokes about a need for translators at the Labour party conferences up there….

    • bj

      “From Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, a famous children’s story by Lewis Carroll in which a girl called Alice falls down a rabbit hole into a strange dreamlike world.”

    • Vivian O'Blivion

      The nearest town to the festival site is Doune, so yes it’s a local play on words.
      Portions of Monty Python and the Holy Grail were filmed at the castle. If you ask the people at the visitors office nicely they will give you a loan of half coconut shells so you can do the horse riding thing.

    • Clark

      The original festival site was right next to Doune Castle, and in Scotland, ‘down’ is pronounced like Doune, so yes, it’s word-play on ‘Down the Rabbit Hole’ from Alice in Wonderland.

  • N_

    David Avi
    The Hamas leadership in Gaza knows exactly what it’s doing by organising the actions along the Israel/Gaza border fence. And the IDF reactions have inevitably played into its hands.

    That’s because the Hamas leadership, with snake-like cunning and appalling cynicism, left the IDF with no choice. Suppose that the IDF had not reacted when the demonstrators were some way back from the fence. The demonstrators would then have advanced up to the fence.

    You’re a Nazi and you know it. All you do here is shoot lies and hatred at the Nazis’ victims.

    Why would an honest person say that a certain party simultaneously a) played into its opposition’s hands and b) had no choice?That’s totally impossible. “Playing into an opponent’s hands” means that someone has the option of doing otherwise. You’ve prostituted your intellect to the Nazi cause, and you’re crap at it. Which isn’t surprising, because Nazism doesn’t have a case.

    But you don’t care about contradicting yourself. That doesn’t matter to you, does it? The point is to hate, hate, hate, lie, lie, lie, kill, kill, kill, and at all times to praise the Nazi state. This is you.

    What would you do if Nazis had rounded you and millions of others up and confined you in a concentration camp called “Gaza”? Would you say “thank you, Sir”?

    • Paul Barbara

      @ N_ May 30, 2018 at 17:18
      He must know that only a tiny minority on here will side with him; I suspect he is just here to try to provoke an overreaction.

      • David Avi

        The great majority of commenters, certainly…….which is why it is important that someone puts the other side of the story and counters at least some of the falsehoods and myths put out in great abundance ‘on here’.

        • Paul Barbara

          @ David Avi May 30, 2018 at 20:55
          So where is your response to my posting on ‘Administrative Detention’? Is that a myth? Don’t you wish to defend ‘your side’?
          Is it correct children can receive up to 20 years prison for throwing stones? That children are routinely abused and tortured in detention?

  • Sharp Ears

    Well said N_. We had enough of the predecessor’s tripe on here to last us a lifetime.

    I have been reading about Saudi Arabia’s tentacles extending into Australia, difficult though that is to comprehend. Cui bono? Not the students.

    ‘Universities, Branding and Saudi Arabia
    by Binoy Kampmark / May 30th, 2018

    The modern university is a tertiary colonising institution. Like the old mercantilist bodies – the Dutch East India Company and its equivalents – the educational world is there to be acquired by bureaucrats, teachers and, it is hoped, suitable recruits.

    To that end, a good degree of amorality is required. Scruples are best left to others, and most certainly not university managers, who prefer counting the sums rather than pondering deontological principles. Such a point seems very much at the forefront of an arrangement between the Melbourne Graduate School of Education (MGSE) and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The MGSE, which seems, in acronym, similar to a salt brand, struck gold in its arrangement to reform the Kingdom’s school curriculum – some 36,000 schools in all comprising 500,000 teachers.
    ‘Which brings us to the sticking, and even fatal, point behind the whole ghastly business. As the chief Sunni state wages remorseless war on Yemen, in the process robbing cradles and breaching human rights in the name of geopolitical goals, business is still to be done. Australian education envoys, sent by overly managed universities, are the ideally blinkered. Given that it remains the country’s third largest earner of gross domestic product, principles would be a needless encumbrance.

    What gives this whole matter of pedagogical enterprise between the MGSE and Saudi Arabia a good lashing of irony is that the Kingdom is at war with what it deems extremism. Only its own Wahhabi brand, the same sort that inspired those who flew the murderous missions on September 11, 2001 against US targets, is tolerated.

    Saudi Arabia, for one, boasts an education program that lends itself to the standardised, hardened teachings of Wahhabism. Nina Shea, director of the Centre for Religious Freedom of the Hudson Institute, told the United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade in July 2017 how “violent and belligerent teachings” abounded in the curriculum like dandruff.’
    ‘Short shrift, in other words, is being given to the functions of actual critical thinking, the very stuff Watterston boasts about somewhat uncritically. But that will not bother him, or those who have put their signatures in this particular form of international engagement. The perks are bound to be endless. Like the selling of arms, education is a business designed to line pockets, feed the parasites of management, and enhance an empty brand. Forget the students – they are the last in the dismal food chain. Even more importantly, ignore the politics of it all.’

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