A Longer View 280


A few weeks’ break gives you a perspective on British politics aside from the day to day excitements, and the long view is just horrible. An astonishingly inept and irrelevant government maintains itself by a series of straight lies to both Tory Remainers and Tory Brexiteers about its intentions. Both these groups know they are being lied to, but the show stutters on because all in the Tory Party are clinging on, with a death grip, to office if not to power. They are in turn sustained by a Northern Irish party of antediluvian beliefs that appears to have time traveled from the less enlightened parts of the seventeenth century, and whose leader’s idea of politics is to march at the head of a group of ill-educated bigots, who will muster far too few teeth in relation to number of feet, proceeding with drunken braggadocio along the streets of Cowdenbeath.

Meantime society is well on its way through an extremely painful process of transformation. Well-paid, long term jobs offering job satisfaction and career progression are almost as improbable a dream for people under 30 as appearing in the World Cup final or owning their own home. Employee protection, whether through organised labour with clout or a legislative framework to prevent employers from abusing their power, has dwindled in practice and is a concept well outside the Overton window. Our younger generation grasp for the prospect of a few months’ unprotected employment at low wages, as desperately as did their ancestors in the 1830’s.

It is as though there has been a deliberate rolling back not just of human progress, but of human sensibility.

Meantime the rich get richer at an unprecedented rate. The concentration of wealth is mirrored by a concentration of the ownership of housing. Media ownership concentration into an ever-tightening circle continues to exert social control, while the gatekeeper role of the big new media corporations of twitter, facebook, google and wikipedia is now being very openly abused to maintain the Establishment narrative.

In the international world, the interests of the City of London and the armaments industry shamelessly and openly drive British foreign policy, with the continuing economic dependence of the flimsy UK construct on the pandering services to the global 1% offered by the City of London remains always at the front of the government’s mind. At the front not in acknowledgement of the fact that London’s days as a major global financial centre are very plainly numbered as economic gravity moves East, but rather in desperate attempts to avoid the need for an economic re-orientation that would affect the distribution of wealth in the UK away from the core of the Tory Party.

The days of the United Kingdom itself are now numbered in a very short series of figures. Tory hubris at having climbed, on the back of an incredible concerted propaganda deluge, to 25% electoral support in Scotland, appears to have convinced them that Scots will endure any humiliation at all and not have the courage to stand up. The incredible arrogance involved in the Tory abrogation of devolved powers, against the express vote of the Scottish parliament, was captured by the jeers of “Bye-bye” at SNP MPs leaving the Commons in protest at the lack of debate. That “Bye-bye” will have a significance they did not intend.

Any political party with the slightest prospect of power, will always be influenced and infiltrated by those with a strong stake in the economic status quo wishing to defend it, while advancing their personal interest. That is an eternal truth and afflicts both the Labour Party and the SNP. But while the programme of neither the Labour Party nor the SNP is as radical as is needed, both do reflect a genuine discontent with the status quo and with an economic philosophy which emphasises above all the freedoms of the very wealthy. There is more genuine choice on offer to the electorate than has been the case in the UK as a whole for many decades, which explains the crescendo of reaction from the media and the de facto casting off of the practice of political neutrality of the BBC, which was prepared to be reasonably fair in treatment of political parties only when they were all neo-conservative.

Whether in the next decade the Labour Party is now sufficiently radical to contain the tensions racking the UK’s political economy, within a broadly constant political system, remains to be seen. It continues to be my view that the first great crack will open with Scottish Independence, and more radical societal change throughout the rest of the UK will swiftly follow that catalytic event.


280 thoughts on “A Longer View

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  • Steve Hayes

    “the gatekeeper role of the big new media corporations of twitter, facebook, google and wikipedia”

    If they have a “gatekeeper” role, they are not platforms, they are publishers, and as such are responsible for all content. I doubt any of these organisations would care to admit to being publishers.

    • Loftwork

      Unfortunately the endless efforts of governments, especially in the US, UK and EU, to control the internet is driving a massive erosion in the concept of agnostic platforms not responsible for user views. In the US, SESTA/FOSTA is already killing off websites and free speech while having no appreciable effect on child prostitution. In the EU, the snippet tax is back again and effectively makes social media responsible for policing content. Similar UK laws also freeze out political discussion and academic research because of false positive matches in blogs and elsewhere. So no, platforms have no real protection precisely because politicians can’t tell the difference between a hosting platform and a blogger.

      • Shatnersrug

        Google Amp is one of the most insidious parts of the post alphabet Google, apart from the fact that their search engine now prioritises commerce, their attempt at narrative control is just pathetic. Watching a supposedly for profit company undermine its own product to guide the USA approved narrative and to sell useless shit has been a thoroughly depressing sight.

        I now find myself using other engines, even yandex – which always sucked just to find what I need. And I’m not search politically sensitive stuff, just my boring electronics junk. I know, it’s not like we weren’t warned, google nailed the competition, cornered the market and now starts restricting quality, same old story.

        Lycos.co.uk is back, who knows maybe people can shift away from google and make lycos the devil instead!

  • Republicofscotland

    “The US president claimed refugees and migrants has “strongly and violently” changed European culture and said the continent had made a “big mistake” in giving sanctuary to those fleeing conflicts in the Middle East and Africa.”

    So tell me Donald what else can Europe do? Should we had thrown them into the Med, or shoot them, or caged their children and locked them up like you have.

    You see Donald the USA’s aggressive foreign policy towards these nations, attacking them under false premise’s, replacing their leaders stripping their countries resources, and allowing murder and mayhem to continue by proxy after you’ve left.

    Has left most immigrants/refugees with no choice but to flee to Europe, their cities razed to the ground, their economy and educational facilities destroyed, but most of all their hope taken away from them by you, and your obedient bellicose minions such as Britain and France.

    The US and it’s Western allies caused the flood of immigrants and refugees into Europe, it’s your responsibility now deal with it.

    While I’m commenting on it, the USA, and it’s nefarious foreign policy towards Central and South America in most of the 20th and now the 21st Century, has seen refugees flood into the US from South/Central American countries.

    America knows fine well what havoc and turmoil it’s causing in the ME, it had plenty of practice in Central and South America prior to Trump bemoaning the influx into the US and Europe of immigrants and refugees.

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/trump-angela-merkel-germany-refugees-sanctuary-twitter-us-immigration-a8404501.html?amp

    • Martinned

      “The US president claimed refugees and migrants has “strongly and violently” changed European culture and said the continent had made a “big mistake” in giving sanctuary to those fleeing conflicts in the Middle East and Africa.”

      I understand Trump is a big fan of Andrew Jackson. This is only the logical lesson that one would draw from that bit of history…

      [/sarcasm]

      • Republicofscotland

        Martinned.

        Forgive my ignorance over Trumps high regard for Jackson, after a wee bit of brushing up, I tend to agree with you, and here’s why.

        High on this list are his (Jackson’s) personal history as a slaveholder and his implementation, as president, of a policy of “Indian removal” from eastern lands that culminated in the “Trail of Tears,” which led to the deaths of an estimated 5,000 Cherokees.

        “In recent years, “Jackson’s offenses against Indians and blacks and his propensity for personal gun violence have overshadowed his economic policies among liberals and progressives.”

        “Modern-day discontent with Jackson is the move by Barack Obama’s Treasury Department in 2016 to take Jackson off the front of the $20 bill, making way for a portrait of abolitionist Harriet Tubman.”

        You were right, Martinned about Trump it’s just that Trump’s admiration/actions appear to match Jackson’s darker side.

        Who’d have thought eh.

        http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2017/may/02/whats-up-with-donald-trump-andrew-jackson/

        • zoot

          another reason for that banknote decision was that jackson was swept all the way to the presidency on a wave of popular revulsion against a bankster/ corporate takeover over the us government.

          it was the birth of the democratic party that is today a tool of those big-money interests.

      • Stephen Barnes

        It’s frustrating the speed of radical change is going to be at the pace of the snail.
        Let’s hope Scottish independence sets off the fuse for rebuttal of the status quo.

    • Loony

      Do you really think that it is true that “most immigrants/refugees have no choice but to flee to Europe”?

      Take Somalia as an example. Just over 1 million people who were born in Somalia currently live outside of Somalia. People are keen to leave Somalia due to internal conflict that has persisted for in excess of 2 decades.

      In 1998 (about 2 decades ago) the population of Somalia was just under 7 million. Today the population of Somalia is just over 15 million.

      So how can it be that over 1 million people have been forced to flee Somalia, but those left in Somalia have managed to more than double their number. Surely if what you claim is true then it would be expected that the population would decline – but it has in fact done the opposite.

      How strange – still no doubt Donald Trump has been active in achieving this inexplicable outcome.

      • Republicofscotland

        “Do you really think that it is true that “most immigrants/refugees have no choice but to flee to Europe”?”

        In regards to countries that we’ve razed to the ground yes. Libya, Iraq Syria for sure.

        However, the gang masters in other African nations, who are making a fortune out of smuggling people into Europe for purely economic reasons need to be stopped.

        The EU nations knows this fine well, but how to implement an effective plan to halt the people smugglers is at the very least tricky in my opinion.

        How to tell a genuine refugee from a economic migrant? When both come off the same boat suffering hardship from crossing the Med. Refer to my 15.55 pm comment as to what caused this difficulty in the first place.

        • Monster

          I think you’ll find charities are the driving force behind the gang masters who do the actual people smuggling. They fund the procurement of boats, their crew, life jackets and sustenance, together with the ability to navigate to pre-arranged friendly port facilities.They also provide a PR/media facility to admonish unfriendly opposition to this cheap labour force. And the global corporates, together with rich, agenda-driven ”philanthropists’ fund the charities. The result is, rather cynically, a large source of cheap, obliging, low-skilled people who gratefully increase the profits of said corporations.

  • Macky

    Caitlin Johnstone is seething with anger, as should all of us ;

    “You cannot argue with the rage of someone who is certain that an unforgivable evil has been perpetrated. You simply cannot manipulate and narrative-spin your way around that; it plants an unbreakable, immovable object in the gears of the propaganda machine. By getting unapologetically furious, loud and aggressive and letting the wisdom of our anger guide our response to the situation in Syria, we can shift the zeitgeist of anti-imperialist sentiment from a meek “Oh gosh darn I sure hope the people who decimated Iraq do the right thing in Syria” to a thunderous “FUCK YOU. OUT. NOW.””

    https://steemit.com/syria/@caitlinjohnstone/it-s-time-to-start-getting-enraged-at-what-western-imperialists-have-done-to-syria

    • Andyoldlabour

      The real problem here, is that the majority of folks in the UK and particularly the US, do not care about this, they are simply not interested in World politics let alone the further complications of geopolitics – the “great game” – as being played out by the US/UK in the Middle East, something which has been going on for more than one hundred years.
      They regard me as some kind of “apologist” for terrorists and rogue regimes, of siding with the people who are our “enemies”, and when you ask them – “why are they our enemies”, they reply – “because they hate us, they hate the West”. So, then you say – “Why do they hate the West?”
      Of course they cannot answer that, so I will go on to tell them of how the UK and US have behaved in the Middle East, and some just do not believe me, because they have never heard about events like “Operation Ajax”, or how the US funded Saddam Hussein in his war against Iran, or the funding which the US provides to Israel. They are not interested in the Israeli landgrab and settlement building, the fact that Palestinians are living in a giant concentration camp, the fact that the US and UK are supplying Saudi Arabia with weapons, ammuntition and technical support, so that they can carry out a genocide in Yemen.
      I feel sick of this world, sick of the fact that there are too few people like us on this and other forums, who know and care about what is really happening in the world today.

      • Macky

        I refer you to an earlier comment of mine;

        https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2018/06/silence-is-sort-of-dirty-bronzeish/comment-page-7/#comment-755170

        To which I would add that the more the elites flaunt their corruptions & cruelty, the easier & easier it becomes for people to see through their lies & propaganda; they ARE gradually losing “narrative control” , which is the basis of their power over us, hence their panic measures to control & curtail the internet & alternative news media; the very diabolical & stunning cruelty they’ve employed to shut down Wikileakes by targeting Assange is an exact measure of the scale of their fear & panic, because they also know they are losing control of the narrative kool-aid that they keep feeding us.

      • bj

        I, and probably others, recognize what you’re saying about people just being in a speechless disbelief.

        There’s a lot of cognitive dissonance at work there.

  • quasi_verbatim

    Take some more time off, Craig, we need an even longer view. Meanwhile, we patiently await the first great crack from the Scots, sometime later this century.

    Fair laughs the morn and soft the zephyr blows, in La Belle Epoque de la Quisling.

    • bj

      I hope Craig does not take time off from working on a solution to the Assange affair.

  • reel guid

    Baron Sewel, the co-author of the Covention that bears his name has backed the Tory government over the power grab. He said that Brexit justifies the UK government “acting on its own initiative”.

    You’d have thought Sewel would have been better to keep his (white) powder dry.

    • Republicofscotland

      Lets not forget we’ve had Lord Wallace and Lord Robertson crawl out the HoL woodwork recently, whilst parroting that the British government are correct in the way they’re handling the power grab.

      Plus we’ve seen Gordon Broonie, crawl out from his crypt and tell half empty closed shops, that we’re all doomed if Scotland becomes independent.

      It’s said Broonies evil shriek during the night sounds like Ffedderralllisssm!!!!!!! Makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up so it does.

      • reel guid

        Aye. All those New Labour project folk like Sewel and Broon. It’s ended up Ghoul Britannia.

      • Monster

        Is Lord Robertson that the same George Robertson, whose sudden departure from his post as Nato Secretary-General raised many eyebrows about his personal life..

  • Loony

    Anyone taking a longer view would surely come to the conclusion that the very best hope lies in the personage of President Trump.

    The British elites are too weak, too conflicted and too enfeebled to actually enact the instruction received from the people with regard to the EU. So President Trump will remorselessly go after the Germans and do the job that they should be doing for themselves. Naturally President Trump will want paying for his efforts. When the bill comes just pay it and say thank you. It is not the Presidents fault that you are too lazy to do the job yourself.

    Meanwhile screeching harridans have suddenly discovered that they don’t like it when Mexican child law breakers are locked up. Funny how when Obama was locking up Mexican child law breakers no-one thought this interesting or worth commenting on.

    The question is what happened to Mexican child law breakers under Obama. No-one knows for sure, but we do know that Trump has rolled up more child trafficking rings than Obama managed in 2 full terms. President Trump is very much against child trafficking – hello UK are you receiving this message?

    • SA

      Loony
      “Anyone taking a longer view would surely come to the conclusion that the very best hope lies in the personage of President Trump.”

      Hope for what exactly? In as much as any of the actions of Trump may be effective, they are effectively antagonising allies as the are selfishly pro American, protectionist and not accepting the (admittedly insane) rules of globalisation that have been built over the last 30 odd years. The only hope is that this will lead to disintegration of US financial hegemony and a multipolar world where nations start to consider thier own interests rather than those of the empire.

      • Loony

        You are beginning to see.

        The US does not have allies. It has vassals – but those vassals have been morphing into parasites. Trump does not want vassals/parasites attaching themselves to the US.

        Of course Trump is following policies that are pro American. He is the President of the US and it his job to enact and prosecute policies that are in the best interests of the US. it says a lot that people seem surprised that the head of a country would be in favor of policies designed to benefit that country. The leaders of all countries should seek to represent the best interests of whichever country they lead – that is exactly what Trump has urged them to do.

        The US$ is approaching its end as the world reserve currency. If managed properly the US$ will remain an important (perhaps the single most important) currency. The US is fantastically powerful – but it is not powerful enough to rule the entire world by force. It is powerful enough to launch and win trade wars with Germany and China and so strengthen the domestic economy.

        Taking a sledgehammer to Germany and China will create the space for all other countries to develop their own economies in their own interests – and thus create the multi polar world you hope for. China should be OK as it has a vast internal market that it can develop. It is less obvious where the Germans can go – especially if they are unable to continue the economic subjugation of their EU satellite states.

        The stakes are high and Trump has many powerful enemies ensconced within the US deep state. He may fail, but the fact that he is trying is sufficient for there to be hope.

        • SA

          Loony
          The whole of what you say make sense if globalisation was not a US led enterprise to subjugate the world, but that is not the case. So you say that Trump’s main aim effectively will lead to weaken globalisation, or the aspects of it which makes the US so predominant, in order to make America great again? In which case the man does not really know what he is talking about.

          • Loony

            Globalization is a con – a lot of people know this, and one of those people is Trump.

            Ultimately everyone gets screwed by globalization – even the people that appear to be winning at any given moment. In any event there is one huge player that has no interest – that player being Russia. Like you, and like most rational people, Russia wants a multipolar world. Russia’s views are important because they have the capacity to defend themselves.

            Trump knows all this – this is the Russian collusion narrative. Two sane views reach sane conclusions…aah must be collusion. This is the depth of the madness that we are dealing with.

        • J Galt

          I’m sorry looney have you lost your script?

          The evil Hun has been replaced with the evil Ivans.

          It may have escaped your notice but Germany is an occupied country – has been since 1945 and remains so today.

          The Germans cannot so much as fart without permission.

          • Loony

            Yeah and the British and the French thought that the Treaty of Versailles would contain Germany. Look at how that worked out.

            Take a look at how much the US pays to defend Germany and ask why it is so much more than Germany pays to defend itself. Take a look at the German current account surplus currently running at over £200 billion per year. Take a look at German business practices – why only today the CEO of Audi was arrested for fiddling the numbers. Do you really think that it is just Audi. Try googling “Siemens corruption” and see what comes up.

            Everyone in the UK knows that RBS is a basket case. Everyone in the US knows how Goldman operate. How many people are aware of what goes on inside Deutsche Bank. Deutsche Bank almost makes the country of Sweden appear sane by comparison.

        • Jo Dominich

          Loony you are so wrong, Trump is the biggest threat to world peace. He does not understand negotiation, diplomacy, the rule of law and other important matters. Taking a sledgehammer to China eh? China currently hold $1.3trillion of USA debt and $1trillion of treasuries and bonds. If China start to sell those (as they are about to) then the USA economy is essentially going to take a nose dive. Trumps actions are destructive for USA not productive. He has started the decline by his own actions. Their days as a superpower are in decline and will continue to be. Watch Russia and China step onto the world stage and the EU will soon have to start to trade without using the USA Dollar because of Trump’s hubris and messianic delusions and tendencies. You might have to think again. The petro yuan has kicked off and growing – the petro dollar will start a rapid decline.

  • SA

    “Whether in the next decade the Labour Party is now sufficiently radical to contain the tensions racking the UK’s political economy, within a broadly constant political system, remains to be seen. It continues to be my view that the first great crack will open with Scottish Independence, and more radical societal change throughout the rest of the UK will swiftly follow that catalytic event.”

    I am not sure that Scottish independence will be good for Scotland but it will be extremely bad for the rest of what is left of the UK.. Labour would struggle to win an election and the Tories will have a majority unless labour moves back to Blairite policies. Scotland as independent nation will initially have to be bound to the rest of the UK finances until the establishment of an independent currency and will therefore de facto be subject to UK monetary pressure. A small nation of 5 million which the new independent Scotland would be, would carry much less weight within Europe should they wish to rejoin.

    • reel guid

      The EU set up does not penalise small nation members. Quite the opposite. And Scotland has much of the EU’s oil, fish and renewable energy. Independent Scotland in the EU would carry as much weight as needed. By total contrast Scotland in the UK is undeservedly being accorded no rights or influence, no consideration or respect.

      • SA

        reel guid
        Under the Tories none of us is shown any respect. I am just not so sure that an independent Scotland will be free of the clutches of Westminster under the Tories very effectively. Changing the Westminster Governement is to me the priority for both Scotland and the rest of the UK.

        • Republicofscotland

          “Changing the Westminster Governement is to me the priority for both Scotland and the rest of the UK.”

          It doesn’t matter for Scotland Corbyn at best, is a stop gap then what? No for Scotland independence and control of all the powers that go with it is the goal.

          Who best to decide for Scots, than Scots themselves.

    • iain

      If joining the eurozone was a condition of membership – as it surely would be – I agree. EU austerity budget rules would have us pining for the days of Gideon Osborne.

      • reel guid

        Not again! Sweden’s been in the EU since 1994 and still isn’t in the Eurozone. With no plans to do so and no insistence from Brussels that they do so. Got it?

        • Republicofscotland

          It doesn’t matter how many times you tell them reel guid, the penny never drops.

          • iain

            The penny will drop for you if independence ever comes that Scotland won’t be dictating terms to the EU.

          • Republicofscotland

            Lets get independence first, then Scots can decide what kind of relationship they want to have with the EU.

          • SA

            RoS
            If Brexit is anything to go by, Scottish independence and reapplication to join the EU will hold no end of unpleasant surprises for the baby statelet.

          • Republicofscotland

            SA.

            It doesn’t matter if the sky falls in, independence is worth it, for Scots to choose for themselves whether to remain in the EU or not.

            Meanwhile you’ll be stuck with Westminster (if you live in the rUK) good luck with that you’ll need it.

          • FranzB

            Ireland is in the euro zone – GDP per capita at 2016 $61,600
            UK is not in the euro zone – GDP per capita at 2016 $39,900
            Greece’s GDP per capita has grown by 50% from $12,000 in 2000 to $18,000 in 2016
            (Admittedly the funny money boom to 2008 had Greece with a GDP per capita of $31,000 in 2008)
            Ireland was bailed out by the EU in 2010 because the banks had been naughty. The bail out ended in 2013.

        • Kempe

          Err yes they have, only the UK and Denmark have opt outs. It’s likely Sweden and all other states currently outside the Euro will have to join by 2020/2025.

          • reel guid

            A member state has to spend a minimum of two years in ERM II before admission to the Eurozone. Sweden has no arrangements to join ERM II let alone the Eurozone. So that timetable is doubtful.

  • LenkaPenka

    I have wondered increasingly whether at some stage we might see outbreaks of civil unrest in the UK?

    Surely everything is combining to a perfect storm…

    They clamped down hard last time, but this time I am not so sure they will be able to control if it spreads, given the massive cuts….

    • MightyDrunken

      I expect that not much will happen until after we have fully left the EU. It will create noticeable economic disruption, yet I think people will wait a year or two to see if things improve. If the Government hasn’t already imploded by then it probably will and Labour inherit a big mess. Then the media blame Labour!

  • Loony

    Scottish independence is an inane waste of time.

    The only independent countries in the world are Russia, China, Iran and North Korea. Scotland cannot be Russia or China, so that leaves Iran and North Korea. Go ahead Scotland – give the world a laugh.

    Anyone quoting Sweden as a model needs help. Sweden is one of the most (if not the most) self destructive and nihilistic societies ever to have emerged at any time in recorded in history. That Sweden will collapse and descend into chaos is a cast iron certainty. Future historians will have their work cut out trying to explain what kind of madness consumed early 21st century Swedes. There will not be any late 21st century Swedes to help provide an explanation.

    • George

      Clearly any country that can produce ABBA must be evil. Also note: ABBA is a palindrome i.e. the name negates itself and is thus a sly esoteric indication as to the nihilistic core of this possibly alien culture.

      Hyperbole can be fun.

    • Den Lille Abe

      I think your comments are generally hilarious, a good laugh in the morning. It is always so when people comment on stuff , they generally have very little knowledge about.
      Your comments on China’s and Germany’s role as economic powerhouses and their impact are misguided at best and imbecilic at worst, their success has nothing to do with “exploitation” of satellite states, but much more to do with a tight run fiscal system, where industry is encouraged to employ domestically.
      Your concerns about Sweden, where I live is hearth warming, but quite unnecessary, Sweden is doing ok, at least far better than the derelict sideshow Britain, most refugees tend to become well integrated and jobs on offer has decent wages and job security. The gang wars are making headlines, but are carried out by Swedes, Serbs and Bosniaks.
      Continue commenting , but do yourself a favor and educate yourself on the subject first.

      • Loony

        Thank you so much for so kindly proving my point. The main reason that Sweden is a complete basket case utterly beyond salvation is a consequence of the brainwashed population – people that understand nothing, but think they understand everything. The bleeding heart humanitarians who dance on the graves of the Greek nation,

        The forward thinking green earth people so concerned about pollution who then leap to the defense of Chinese pollution necessary to produce billions of tonnes of plastic trinkets that no-one wants. The oh so efficient Germans whose main corporations just happen to be corrupt for no discernible reason.

        If you live in Sweden then why not check out the policies of the Riksbank. See if you can discern any independent policies or ask whether, in order to keep the farce that is Sweden, alive, every single action they take is a response to ECB policies. Try not to forget that the ECB is controlled by Germany.

        Why not have a look at some statistics that must make the feminist government of Sweden so proud:

        Deaths in battle: Men 97&
        Homelessness: Men 62%
        Suicide: Men 77%
        Homicides: Men 77%
        Workplace deaths: Men 93%

        As you live in Sweden allow me to point out that equality would require all of these numbers to be 50%. Try to wise up: Sweden is a pariah state held in total contempt by all rational people.

    • Jo Dominich

      Loony, what medication are you on? I think you’ve lost any semblence of common sense.

  • karenfrance

    Hi all!

    I just want to say, ‘Hello’, so that I can comment again.

    Full exclosure – I am a Scot Nat and…I don’t believe a single word any of them tell us.

  • Dave

    Moving the USA embassy to Jerusalem brings a resolution of the Palestinian, Israel conflict closer, because the two state solution is dead and means the one state solution is now inescapable, and it wont be long before a new Palestinian leadership declares themselves Israeli and demands, with international support, full citizen rights. I.e. Trump has manoeuvred the Zionist lobby into a pyric victory that heralds their defeat.

    Trump wants to collapse the empire in favour of America First and this will Make America Great Again by replacing brutal imperialism with soft internationalism. That is focussing on America will restore America, just as the collapse of the British empire made UK great again, because the money spent/wasted overseas is spent at home. Empire is another name for often reviled “foreign aid budget”! And as enslaved nations get freedom they too will become great again.

    This is a long view of the outcome of what he’s doing, but he has to operate within the constraints of a malign deep state, which he seems to be winning.

    • Davie Oga

      Lol. Empire is foreign aid. Try foreign aid to England. Theft of other nations resources. When is England going to have the ability to stand on its own two feet and stop leeching of the rest of the world. Can’t even feed it’s own population. Jaikie nation

  • FranzB

    CM – “…. while the gatekeeper role of the big new media corporations of twitter, facebook, google and wikipedia is now being very openly abused to maintain the Establishment narrative.”

    I see an example of this when I google the online news service ‘The Canary’. The first entry is a link to the site. The second is a story from September 2017 about ” ….The Canary appeared to indulge in a “fake news” story about Laura Kuenssberg speaking at the Tory party conference.”

    There then follows more links to stories rubbishing The Canary (one from the Sun). An example of establishlng the Overton window mentioned by Craig. In fact of course, The Canary brings lots of stories you would expect in a left wing site – about poverty amongst children, about the NHS, education, benefit cuts, etc.

    Presumably google are handsomely paid to fiddle their search results. But who’s paying? And don’t they realise they’re wasting their time?

    • MightyDrunken

      I doubt Google are fiddling things here. Google ranking are based on many things, the main ones being relevance, the number of links to the webpage and how popular it is. If a bunch of popular sites all link to the Sun story it will rank highly.

  • Elliott

    Is there anything that Labour – it would only be Labour, or some other party as yet unknown and therefore not worth speculating about – could do to make it worth it for Scotland to stay in the Union? I only ask hypothetically, and in all good faith, especially seeing as I can’t think of anything that would really suffice (and I’m quite anxious that Scotland leave, and soon). Your thoughts?

  • N_

    1) Why does England use “God Save the Queen” as their anthem in the football World Cup?

    2) What did they use in the qualifiers, e.g. when playing against Scotland? (I tried to find out by watching a video, but I could only hear the Scottish fans singing “Flower of Scotland”.)

    3) What would Scotland have used as their anthem in Russia if they’d got through the qualifiers?

    4) What anthems have been used in the World Cup in the past by England and Scotland? (Perhaps Scotland once used “God Save the Queen”?)

    I despise that sh*tty monarchist anthem! At least in the Commonwealth Games England uses a proper song! (Never mind the version of “Jerusalem” vandalised by the Tories! Sing the proper words, as written by William Blake and later sung accurately by e.g. Paul Robeson.)

    I don’t watch sport or follow any national side, but I was cheered that many of my Scottish football-following friends are supporting England (and are unsuccessfully encouraging me to do the same), given that Scotland aren’t playing in Russia. The vast majority of English fans support Scotland (or Wales, or Northern Ireland, or the Republic of Ireland) in similar circumstances.

  • N_

    I’m pleased to report that English athlete and singer Jazmin Sawyers sings the correct words to “Jerusalem” too.

    William Blake, you are not forgotten 🙂

    • Dave

      Jerusalem, its a good tune, and popular, which is why the church gave up, mostly, trying to side line it due to the embarrassingly sexual revolutionary, at the time, rude meaning of the words.

      • Andyoldlabour

        We had it sung at my wedding nearly twenty six years ago in an RC church. The priest was reluctant but gave in, and everyone had a good singsong – as it should be.
        I laughed when I found out the reason for his reluctance.

  • N_

    Facebook will publish your stuff, so long as a) you obey their rules at all times that you are using their equipment and b) you allow them to slap adverts all over what you write before they distribute it. It’s not hard to understand. It’s simple. It does not require new words, or new definitions of words such as “platform”.

    Every time you post to Facebook you’re working for a big advertising and surveillance company for free. You ought to have “MORON” or “I LOVE MY BOSSES” (take your pick) written on your forehead in felt-tip.

  • 0use4msm

    “Northern Irish party of antediluvian beliefs”

    A.k.a. the Protestant Taliban.

  • 0use4msm

    This week was the first anniversary of the Grenfell Tower tragedy, which for me will always remain the most damning symbol of what austerity is capable of. Cruel Britannia!

    • Sharp Ears

      Exactly. Some lives are cheaper than others.

      ‘‘No alarm sounded’ as fire broke out in 20-story Lewisham block on Grenfell anniversary
      15 Jun, 2018
      A large, “nasty” fire broke out at a 20-story tower block in south-east London during the early hours of Thursday morning, exactly a year after the Grenfell blaze claimed 72 lives.
      Some 150 residents left the Roma Corte building in Lewisham before firefighters arrived at around 4:15am. They expressed concern that the alarm had failed to go off, claiming that they were instead awoken by the noise of panicked people shouting.

      Up to eight fire engines and 58 firefighters raced to the complex in Elmira Street, Lewisham in south east London.’
      /.. https://www.rt.com/uk/429688-fire-lewisham-grenfell-anniversary/
      ______

      Dr Barbara Lane reported on fire precautions.

      Raft of safety flaws listed at Grenfell Tower Inquiry
      18 June 2018
      A list of failed safety regulations has been presented to a public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower blaze.

      Dr Barbara Lane said lifts in the tower were sub-standard, fire doors had not been replaced and combustible material was fitted around windows.

      She said the “very basis” of the policy telling people to stay in their flats during a fire only worked alongside other protection measures.

      But the standards firefighters relied on “failed” at 01:26 GMT.

      A total of 72 people died as a result into the fire on 14 June 2017 in North Kensington, west London.

      Dr Lane, a chartered fire safety engineer, released a report about the fire two weeks ago, but on Monday gave evidence to Sir Martin Moore-Bick’s inquiry. The hearing was told that Grenfell Tower was completed in 1974 and had 19 different sets of works on it up until 2017.

      But a number of the additions or refurbishments did not comply with regulations, according to Dr Lane.

      ‘No escape hatches’ She said the lifts in the building were not up to the standard for firefighters, despite having been refurbished in 2005.

      The doors were not as fire resistant as they needed to be and did not have a secondary power supply.

      Dr Lane also said the lifts had no escape hatches, making them unsuitable for the evacuation of disabled people. She then described how only 106 of the 120 doors in the tower were replaced after additional refurbishments in 2011, meaning it is assumed the other doors had been there since 1974. At that time, building regulations meant they only had to be fire resistant for 20 minutes – but current regulations raises this to an hour.

      She told the inquiry: “Fire doors are a crucial element of the stay-put strategy, as they represent an opportunity for weak spots to form in the fire-resistant partitions that separate a flat fire from occupants either on that floor where the fire has started or occupants in the flat above the floor the fire has started. Fire doors are, therefore, a building regulations requirement as a passive fire protection measure. Faulty fire doors mean faulty compartmentation and compartmentation is the primary basis of the stay-put strategy.”

      Water pressure

      Dr Lane also said the dry rising mains in the tower – through which firefighters pump water to tackle fires in high-rise buildings – were also not suitable for a building of its height. She said the dry riser loses effectiveness as the height of the building increases and rely on good water pressure to work against gravity. But eventually, the lack of water pressure means it cannot operate effectively.

      Buildings more than 50m in height should have a pressurised tank already in the building for firefighters to use, yet Grenfell Tower – measuring 67.3m – did not have one.

      Gas pipes

      A gas pipe installed in 2016 penetrated both the protected stair compartment wall and the protected flat compartment walls, Dr Lane added. She said the pipe – one of six gas risers running vertically up the block – had incomplete compartmentation and ventilation around it to protect it from fire.

      The hearing continues on Tuesday from 10:00 BST with further experts giving evidence throughout the week.

      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-44521114

      • Sharp Ears

        Then I read this about the head of a housing association which owns flats in Grenfell Tower. 8 of their tenants died in the fire. Words fail.

        Grenfell housing boss branded ‘tasteless’ for hosting party on 1st anniversary of fire
        15 Jun, 2018
        The chief of a Grenfell housing association, which lost 8 residents in the fire, has been labelled “tasteless in the extreme” for hosting a book launch party on the same day of the first anniversary of the tragedy. Kate Davies, who heads Notting Hill Genesis, a housing association that owned flats in the Grenfell Tower, and who also runs a fashion blog, has been told to “show some respect,” after it was revealed she would be hosting a party for friends to celebrate the launch of her book – the same night a memorial will be held for the 72 who perished in the fire.

        Campaigners have called the timing “staggering”, “jarring” and “extraordinary”, reports The Mirror. Emma Dent Coad, Labour MP for Kensington, who became Grenfell’s parliamentary representative just days before the fire thought that Davies was showing a lack of sensitivity in hosting a party on such an emotional day.

        /.. https://www.rt.com/uk/429739-grenfell-anniversary-housing-boss/

        The event was cancelled. The woman in question ‘earns’ £220k pa as head of Notting Hill Genesis. One here with the trendy red glasses. http://www.nhggroup.org.uk/about-us/who-we-are/our-executive-board

  • quasi_verbatim

    I note that the monstrous regiment of women has renewed its clacking about ‘upskirting’, in frenzied determination to add yet another criminal offence to the statute book and further benefit the criminal justice industry which is now impinging on the public purse to the tune of some £50billion a year.

    It will be recalled that Blai/Straw created some three thousand new offences during their tenure. It’s amazing what war criminals can do, in a domestic setting.

    No doubt Scotland is devoid of similar perversions. Upkilting is not for the fainthearted.

    • George

      I’m struck by the contrast on the news between genuine tragedy abroad and various storm-in-a-teacup matters at home. Upskirting and somebody made a rude comment to somebody ten years ago and a certain colour of T shirt is now causing offense etc.

  • Sharp Ears

    Ticking time bomb.

    ’11:25 18 Jun
    Plea for Devonport’s submarines to be recycled
    BBC News Online
    MPs are calling for the recycling of old Royal Navy nuclear submarines, including 13 currently tied up at Devonport. Another seven are in long-term storage at Rosyth in Scotland.

    Over the next 20 years another seven nuclear submarines are due to come out of service.

    The oldest one in Devonport is HMS Valiant which is 54 years old, having been launched in 1963 at the height of the Cold War.
    The Nuclear Decommissioning Agency is currently cleaning up 17 old nuclear sites and MPs are calling for the budget for the programme to be extended to include the legacy nuclear submarines.

    Luke Pollard, MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport has joined two other MPs in writing to the prime minister, as well as the leaders of the Labour Party, the Scottish National Party and the Liberal Democrats.

    “Plymouth and Rosyth cannot be asked to store old nuclear submarines indefinitely. We need a proper funded plan and using the same principles as civil nuclear clean-up to safely, sustainably and securely recycle the out of service nuclear submarines would be a sound idea. I expect most people will be surprised to learn that every old nuclear submarine the Royal Navy ever has, we still have.”
    Luke Pollard
    MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport

  • slorter

    A good article! No one can be sure but one thing is certain when the winds of change finally take hold nothing will stop its roll!

  • Sharp Ears

    Unimaginable. If the worst happens and Julian should die, his death will be on Theresa May’s hands.
    will be
    2,192 Days of
    Confinement:
    Assange’s 6 Years
    in Ecuadorian Embassy …
    2 hours ago
    https://sputniknews.com/europe/201806191065516777-assange-6-years-embassy-london/

    ‘Mr Assange has refused to go to Sweden for questioning unless he has assurances that he will not then be sent on to America, where he reportedly faces trial for espionage over his work with WikiLeaks. But Theresa May, the Home Secretary, whose authorisation the Swedish authorities would need before agreeing to any US extradition request, has rejected repeated calls to say that she would refuse permission.’ Independent 29 March 2013

    Julian in 2012 https://static01.nyt.com/images/2012/08/16/world/assange/assange-jumbo.jpg

    Julian now https://cdn3.img.sputniknews.com/images/101990/39/1019903909.jpg

  • Pyewacket

    https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Flockerbiecase.blogspot.com%2F2018%2F06%2Fthe-case-that-never-goes-away.html%3Fspref%3Dfb%26m%3D1&h=AT0k6hbD5VzIMd0NLVgd4PGDLL9Dluz65UVqXri7mM6oi7SBKG0QEpmIc-zcMySkWe-ELijfFOj2tGgI_LPmalKG5FZno1LXAJmLylXoR7WJWqlB3D4MISM5teFFn37wDLVrul_stkDoPv8JEF108v8W

    Off topic I know, but I thought it worth sharing on here for those who may be interested in the Lockerbie Saga. Frankly, I stand in admiration to the tenacity of those people still fighting to achieve justice for Abdelbaset al Megrahi.

    • Dave

      Indeed check out independent accident investigator John Barry Smith who attributes a faulty cargo door causing the crash.

    • Rob Royston

      Yes, but will they look at the evidence of John H Parkes, the explosives expert, who was assisting in the aftermath oh the crash and who claims that he witnessed injuries on a victim caused by spent rocket propellent.
      He believed that the aircraft was illegally carrying armaments. Google “John H Parkes Lockerbie”.

    • Kerch'ee Kerch'ee Coup

      In the long term, it is only by dogged tenacity that we can hope to remedy such flagrant miscarriges of justice as the conviction of Megrahi over the Lockerbie disaster or that of the’Birmingham Six’.Lockerbie is particularly relevant to this blog because the case brought (was used to bring) the Scottish legal system into disrepute. My support for the investigation of these and a few other particular injustices has been inadequate and lacksadaisical. In contast to my passive backing, I would like to praise Dr.Jim Swire(www.lockerbietruth.com) for all he has done to shed light on these knavish tricks and legal shennanigans at national and m8ilitary alliance level.

      • Dave

        There are two parts to the miscarriage of justice, the who and the what. The official what is a bomb did it, and the official who is a Libyan did it. The official protest debates the who but not the what. This is because for some the who is more important than the what. That is overturning the miscarriage of justice, the who, restores Scottish Justice system, whereas the what can be left to posterity.

  • Sharp Ears

    Why is Alex Salmond having any truck with Lady Uddin? She is a disgrace.

    A special feature on Ramadan⁠ and the Festival of Eid, including a discussion on Islamophobia with Lord Sheikh, and interviews with Lord Nazir Ahmed, Baroness Uddin, and Islamic Relief.
    https://www.rt.com/shows/alex-salmond-show/429736-ramadan-festival-special-feature/

    See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pola_Uddin,_Baroness_Uddin#Expenses_scandal

    She records the loans made to enable the repayment to be made.

    ‘Category 8: Gifts, benefits and hospitality
    The Member has received loans totalling £124,000. The loans are personal and not commercial in nature. They are initially for a period of five years (which can be extended) and are not interest-bearing. The repayments term begins in January 2013. Repayments are not of a regular fixed amount. The sources of the loans are as follows: Lord Alli, London WC2 (£62,000); Mr F Nahdi, Wembley, Middlesex (£52,000); Mr S Ismail and Mr M Ali, Islam Channel, London EC2 (£10,000) (interest ceased 22 June 2017)’
    https://www.parliament.uk/biographies/lords/baroness-uddin/1827

    ??

  • N_

    @Dave – The tune was written in 1916 for the imminent Brit-Christian reconquest of Jerusalem which happened the following year. When did the Church of England try to sideline the words, other than generally they weren’t interested in Blake whose view of established religion and saints and stuff was oppositional? The rich always have contempt for the spiritual beliefs of the poor and can’t imagine that the poor might have an understanding of profundity and universals.

    The words all pivot around “these Satanic mills” (they are the only present-tense reference) which Tory imperialist bastards changed to “those Satanic” mills, in an effort to celebrate the oppressive present and pretend that all the crap was in the past. At the Albert Hall at the Proms every year the WRONG version is sung. But it’s interesting how the correct version has kept alive, e.g. through Paul Robeson and now Jazmin Sawyers. She’s a good singer even if I don’t like her jazzed up version, but the best thing is that she gets the words right! Go girl! There was probably a fight behind the scenes, because Tory filth with their screwed up faces and their expensively-dressed bishops don’t like being told that they have crapped all over the meaning of Blake’s “Jerusalem”.

  • jazza

    Horrible!
    I took opportunity last evening to lie on the sofa and aid my ability to sleep long and thoroughly by watching the turgid england team play in the Millionaires World Football Cup. It worked and I slept wonderfully. The MWFC sponsored by the rich and famous, directed by millionaires and played by millionaires and terribly commentated by millionaires – most of whom seemed to think england were good – WHAT???? It was horrible, absolutely horrible. A first class insight into the future of the planet – run by millionaires for millionaires and nobody else matters – i even hear trumpington is now lining up space war defence spending – this ain’t hollywood and the planet is not in the sole ownership of amereeka – truly horrible – i’m looking for another planet to live on in peace and harmony

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