There Is Another England 1079

Given the centuries of economic exploitation, political domination and depopulation, I perfectly understand why many Scots support any team at the World Cup which is playing England. But, with an English mother and two English grandparents who largely brought me up, I do not feel that way and I raised a glass at Harry Kane’s late winner. Let me tell you why.

My grandfather Henry was a lifelong socialist who had no illusions about the British Empire and its role in the World. Yet he was also a patriotic Englishman whose life, like so many of his generation, was largely defined by the struggle against Nazism, in which his only son had been killed. That focus on the Second World War partly explained his fondness for the Soviet Union, in discussing the abuses of which he would always remark “But you have to consider what came before. Given where they started, they are making progress”. He would recite “A man’s a man for a’that” to me as a small child and explain its meaning. Yet Henry would fly his St George’s flag proudly when occasion warranted it. I do not therefore automatically associate that flag with UKIP or with Essex man.

Because there is another England, that from which Henry sprang, the England documented lovingly by E P Thomson and vividly recorded by Robert Tressell, the England of William Hazlitt, Mary Wollstonecraft, the Putney debates and Thomas Paine. Michael Foot embodied the inherited wisdom of that tradition and it has re-emerged with unexpected vigour in the shape of Jeremy Corbyn, a man whose attraction lies in the very fact he encapsulates notions of basic decency that the English political elite had attempted to cast off.

I regard Scottish Independence as part of the continuing process of decolonisation. Ireland’s population will in the next decade overtake Scotland’s for the first time in centuries, and as of today Ireland’s GDP per capita stands 25% higher. Scotland can never achieve its potential without first achieving its Independence. But we can do that without wishing ill to our neighbours; some of them are quite nice.

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1,079 thoughts on “There Is Another England

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  • mike

    Prince William rightly honours those who died in Nazi concentrations camps, but he’ll find something very similar still exists if he pops along the road to Gaza. No mention made of the dozens gunned down by snipers. His visit condones the slaughter. Repulsive.

  • N_

    Was “Prince William” circumcised by a J__ish mohel as his father “Prince Charles” was?

    Harry Wallop in the Torygraph claims that up to the 1970s a majority of families in the British upper classes got a mohel to mutilate their male babies’ genitals in this way. Is that true?

    • Herbie

      That was the Prince Albert style.

      Probably died out a few generations after his death.

      Or not.

      I think cutting off a baby’s bits without consent is a bit problematic.

      But perhaps more important to understand why it’s done at all.

  • N_


    In reply to “Apparently, pollsters sold data to hedge funds ‘that would have been illegal for them to give the public’. Can someone explain what that means?

    Simples,it is illegal in the UK to publish exit polls during General Elections, but it is not illegal to pay to someone to collect the information for private use. Thus demonstrating the pointlessness of silly laws.

    “Private” and “public” are words very dear to those with a Tory mindset, being euphemisms for class.

    But we are all legally private persons, whether we’re a streetsweeper or a hedge fund CEO. A bus passenger in a hoodie and a person travelling in a limousine are both exercising rights they have purchased for money in a private business contract.

    “We only published the words privately” is no defence to a claim of libel or breach of confidence. Why might it be unlawful for a polling company to sell information to a company that then sells it to me in a newspaper but totally lawful for the same company to sell the information to another outfit that then uses the information to inform its investment strategy in the financial markets?

    The principle seems to be that filthy rich right-wing spivs who buy information about how the hoi polloi have been voting in public elections and then keep it secret and use it to manipulate markets and line their pockets are clean, but that the private interests of the rest of us are dirty.

    It’s as if there’s something self-contradictory in posh people’s outlook. What a shocker 🙂

  • Sharp Ears

    Lord Houghton, ex Chief of the Defence Staff holds forth to support the weedy Defence Secretary, Mr Shurrup and Go Away. Killing others is more important than providing a properly funded health service.

    Ex-head of the Armed Forces lashes Theresa May for prioritising the NHS over the military as MPs demand an extra £20billion for defence
    •Ex chief of the defence staff said military spending must not be a political game
    •Lord Houghton said the current defence budget set in 2015 was unaffordable
    •Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson is locked in a battle with Theresa May
    26th June 2018

    I looked at his HoL Register of Interests. A company with his wife as fellow director to receive his income as speaker and consultant. A nice pad in N Yorkshire. A pension of x£thousands and a free pad from the state at the Tower of London. He must have taken that over from Lord Dannatt the previous ‘Constable of the Tower’.. Note the royal trusteeships and the RUSI connection.

    ‘Category 1: Directorships
    Founder and Controlling Director, De Vinculis Ltd (corporate consultancy)
    { }
    Category 2: Remunerated employment, office, profession etc.
    Occasional speaker, Leading Authorities International (specialist agency for keynote and after-dinner speakers)
    Category 4: Shareholdings (a)
    De Vinculis Ltd (corporate consultancy)
    Category 4: Shareholdings (b)
    Tadaweb (technology company specialising in open source data search)
    Category 4: Shareholdings (c)
    De Vinculis Ltd
    Category 10: Non-financial interests (a)
    Constable, HM Tower of London (role comes with rent free accommodation)
    Category 10: Non-financial interests (c)
    Trustee, Historic Royal Palaces
    Trustee, Royal Armouries
    Chair of Trustees, Royal Chapels, Tower of London
    Category 10: Non-financial interests (e)
    Trustee, Royal United Services Institute

  • reel guid

    The BBC would have Scots more concerned about whether Andy Murray is fit enough to take part in a frivolous tennis tournament than about whether Scotland retains democracy. The Supreme Court will give its verdict on the Scottish Parliament’s Continuity Bill after….repeat after the Withdrawal Bill has been given assent.

    Corbyn’s wee pal in charge Sanchez talks of the Catalan political prisoners being transferred from Madrid to jails in Catalonia. We’re supposed to find this a marvellous humanitarian gesture. The just act instead would have been to free them at once. But parliamentary socialist elites from big countries don’t like too much freedom and justice in wee countries.

    Scottish Tory piece of trash Andrew Bowie MP even feels bold enough to tweet that Westminster has the right to overrule Holyrood any time it likes. But that’s not just some idiot politician with an outlandish view. That’s what is about to transpire. And May and Corbyn and their respective colleagues are in cahoots to make it happen.

    Trump’s not welcome in Scotland. But neither are May or Corbyn. Crowdfund to have giant balloons of them for their next semi-furtive forays to the northern colony. A giant one of May as a Gestapo officer. And a giant one of Corbyn as a weasel.

    • Anon1

      There are many Scots who like Trump and would welcome him. There are many more who dont like Trump but recognise that as the POTUS it would reflect pretty badly on Scotland were he to be chased out by a grim-faced mob of humourless Scotch nats. Trump is more Scottish than Craig. And much more Scottish than your chum RoS who isn’t Scottish at all!

  • N_

    Lord Houghton said the current defence budget set in 2015 was unaffordable

    General Nick Houghton appears not to know what “unaffordable” means. Or else he’s having a laugh, putting the most “sincere” and “tough” look on his face as he engages in what he thinks is clever wordplay. I wonder if he’s ever in his life wanted something and not been able to afford it?

    His attitude comes out clear in the next quote:

    Lord Houghton said health spending was good for winning votes but not for defending Britain’s place in the world order.

    Yeah, and it’s quite good for stopping the plebs getting typhoid and tuberculosis too. But clearly for this guy the majority of the British population are subhumans who don’t even count as people.

    God save her Majesty, salute the Union Jack, kill those who disrespect the natural order, and f*** the French! Britain needs a carrier fleet it can sail near China even if half of the squalid types who send their offspring to state schools die of disease! Nick knows!

    Nick Houghton’s favourite video.

    • reel guid

      Yeah. The swine talks not of defending Britain but of defending “Britain’s place in the world order”. The Britnats words give them away. It’s not about conventional defence, it’s about prestige. Not to mention big juicy ‘defence’ contracts whose beneficiaries are legion.

  • orPaul Barbara

    Very good interview with President Assad (video and transcription):
    ‘President al-Assad in interview to Russian NTV Channel: Any constitutional reform in Syria is a wholly Syrian matter’:

    ‘…President Assad: We have to differentiate between the internal symptoms and the external. The internal symptoms, we have problems like any other society in our region, we are part of this region, and we always discuss these problems. Maybe we were short of solving the problem that we could have solved before the war, maybe not; this is subjective to every Syrian, could say from his different point of view. While if you want to talk about the external factor, which is very important in creating this war, because no other country in this region has a similar war, although we have the same societies and you have worse problems, like in the Gulf states, where you have no freedom at all, either to women or to people, to anything.

    So, if that’s the reason, for example – because that was the slogan at the very beginning – why didn’t it start in those countries? So, actually what happened wasn’t internal, because the same problems have been there for decades now, some of them for centuries. So, actually this is where the external factor, that it wasn’t clear, because we didn’t see it, actually because the plan hasn’t been made in Syria; it was made in some Western countries like US, France, and UK mainly. Some other satellite states like Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar, they were planning and they were sending money at the very beginning, after they failed in creating, let’s say, a spontaneous revolution, this is where they started sending money, and this is where the problem started. That was clear for us from the very beginning, but maybe we couldn’t control it….’

    ‘…President Assad: Because the chemical narrative is part of their main narrative against the government in Syria, but they use it only when their troops, their proxies the terrorists, have been defeated in Syria in certain areas. They use this story or this narrative in order to have a pretext to intervene directly, militarily, and to attack the Syrian Army. That’s what happened many times, and every time they use this story, it’s only when their proxies the terrorists have been defeated. It should be – I mean, logically, let alone the reality that we don’t have any chemical weapons anyway, we gave them up…

    Journalist: You don’t have at all?

    President Assad: We don’t have, no. Since 2013, we don’t have. But put this aside, even if you have it, you should be using these weapons at least if you are being defeated, not when you win the war. And actually, every time we are winning, they use it, so this is against logic, but this is used as pretext in order to support the terrorists in Syria.

    Question 4: Is there any way to prevent all these provocations, because the Russian Ministry of Defense tells that one of these provocations is to be prepared in Deir Ezzor, and they told it recently. How to stop this?

    President Assad: You cannot, because this is not a result of our reality; this is the result of their imagination, of their media, this is something created in their own media and their own countries, and then spread all over the world on the Internet or in different media outlets. So, you cannot prevent the provocation. The Americans only tell lies, and they attack right away. When you don’t have international law to be respected, when you don’t have effective United Nations institutions, you cannot talk about preventing provocations, because this is a jungle now, all over the world….’

    Give me Assad any day over May, Trump, Microbe, Merkel or Nazanyahu.

    • Jo Dominich

      Paul Wow! Straight forward answers to straight forward questions! Puts Treason May, Bojo and all her cronies to shame. Yep, Assad is a better bet than any of the other megalomaniacs you mentioned.!

      • lysias

        I just read Seymour Hersh’ s new memoir “Reporter”. Hersh met Bashir Assad more than once, and the picture he gives of him is a very favorable one.

          • SA

            The bottle of lemonade goes to you Kempe. Tell me if you have listened to any interview of Assad ? The reason why I ask this is that I have never seen any western politicians having long interviews with a journalist who is allowed to ask any question including very aggressive ones and then see how he calmly answers. Can you really see May or Trump in this situation?

          • Kempe

            Not interested in how calmly he lies. What matters is what he does and it’s not pleasant.

          • SA

            And your knowledge of how he acts comes from which source exactly? Would that be related to the same source that did the Skripal production?

          • laguerre

            Kempe is one of those people who believe that jihadi chaos is much better than a mildly harsh regime with a gentleman president overseeing a family mafia who have repeatedly showed themselves to be capable of running the country over forty years, and who certainly will bring peace to Syria again. Nevertheless, never forget, as Kempe believes, that jihadi chaos run by Nusra and ISIS, is so, so, much better (because it is supported by the US, Britain, and Israel). So, so, much better that women be forced to be veiled, never go out of the house, nobody allowed to poison themselves by smoking, or poison themselves mentally by listening to music, rather than reciting the Qur’an.

          • Kempe

            Now show me where I said that?

            “Mildly Harsh”.. that could almost be funny.

          • SA

            Mildly harsh is in relation to:
            1. ISIS and AQ headchopers.
            2. Occupation forces that killed over 1 million Iraqis.
            3. Other Nations supporting the head-choppers, one involved in apartheid practices with genocidal intent, another one of the harshest repressive medieval regimes involvolved in crimes against humanity in more than one war and a burgeoning dictator previously trading oil with ISIS .

            But of course Kempe, the common judgement here is that it is ok to kill other nations’ people, but not ‘your own people’ even though the later are heavily supported by imported terrorists.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    If anyone doubts that the travel bans from those mostly Muslim countries approved by the Supreme Court doesn’t prove that the country is a crap hole, I don’t know what will. There have been no persons visisting the USA from them who have committed acts which endangered national security, so the blanket approval of any travel bans from them is unreasonable. Guess Trump will now ban persons coming from countries which allow Harley-Davidsons being built there!

    • Loony

      If the USA is such a crap hole then surely Trump is doing everyone he bans from entering the country a huge favor – no need for the pure of heart to become sullied by the eviltude of the US.

      Did you know that the operating slogan of MS-13 is “Rape, Control, Kill” It seems that the idea of being raped, controlled and killed is somewhat appealing to Nancy Pelosi – strange days indeed.

      • Anon1

        The liberal-left detritus in the US went ballistic when Trump called MS13 animals. Calling people animals whose operating slogan is “Rape, control, kill” and who demonstrably behave like the most vicious animals is seen to be deemed unacceptable by liberals.

        Trump is a very cunning operator. He throws a tweet out that he knows will send the left into a meltdown and they end up defending the very worst people, like MS13, who nobody wants in their country. It can only win more votes for Trump. He can’t lose any doing this. Notice that he never targets actual voters.

        Another shrewd trick: Trigger the left with something like calling Kim rocketman so that they declare how much they don’t want a war for weeks on end all over the news cycle, then disarm Kim and turn it around on them when they’re outraged he’s not starting a war. 

        Absolutely delicious. He’s going to absolutely walk 2020 at this rate.

        • glenn_nl

          Almost truthful – like most good lies.

          Trump called refugees and asylum seekers, together with all migrants of all kinds, “animals”. Trump equated them with MS13, just like you’re doing here.

          Not surprised you love this fascist.

          • Anon1

            Wrong. He called members of the MS13 gang and gangs like them “animals”.

            Trump’s legion of hysterical liberal opponents said he was calling immigrants “animals”, which is technically true as the gang members are, after all, immigrants. But it’s twisting his words to suit an agenda. He was not calling all immigrants “animals”, only members of MS13. And they are animals.

          • glenn_nl

            Not wrong at all. Trump says what people like you want to hear, but of course he wasn’t absolutely specific – that’s what excites your sort. Just enough wriggle room – but the dog-whistle is definitely there, and you hear it loud and clearly. Not calling you a dog of course, just saying’ …. 😉

            Incidentally, it was damned honest of you to admit that upsetting decent liberals is such an appealing prospect to your brand of fascist. Throwing babies and toddlers into cages upsets decent people – quite unlike yourself, of course – and this is all entertainment to you. Abusing foreigners/ migrants, upsetting decent people – what is there not to like?

            That’s how these fascists get votes. Appeal to the most base instincts of the very worse people, while they work on behalf of the rich and powerful. They’ve played your sort very well, but given how predictable you are, it’s not really that hard, is it?

        • Trowbridge H. Ford

          And you are completely wrong about me and Trump. Anon1. I opposed Trump continually until he stopped making out that Kim was a serious nuclear threat to mainland USA as his ultimately having gone along with Washington’s warmongers that the alleged nuclear tests and bombs were just the result of the Pentagon’s National Reconnaissance Office’s fiber laser satellites making quakes there , and claiming they were nuke tests.

          If Looney Trump switches back on the ‘false new’ tests and bombs, I will resume opposing him.

          • Anon1


            You believe geopolitics is conducted with earthquake machines. And you call other people lunatics?

          • Trowbridge H. Ford

            Yeap,, Reagan spends hundreds of billions on space weapons to gain dominace there, and Trump is going to spend hundreds of billions more to keep it, and you belierve that there’s nothing to it.

            No wonder the world is so pathetic.

        • SA

          Anon 1
          The problem here is that if deception. Trump knows very well that there are two issues involved that of migration and that of international people trafficking gangs also involved in other criminal activities. He has tried to conflate the two. It is indeed a pity that some people have fallen for this deliberate trap but it was nevertheless a dirty trick. I am sure trump knows the origins of MS 13 and they are outlawed but to mention it in the context of illegal immigrants was a deliberate ploy to equate all illegal immigration as a product of similar criminality And then he took it out on the children by caging them and separating them from thier parents.

      • Trowbridge H. Ford

        Do you know that the vast majority of foreign members of MS-13 come from Central America thanks to Yankee troublemaking there, especially El Salvador, and not a single country’s citizens barred from coming here are from there???

        No wonder you try to make out you are looney.

        • Kempe

          Well the gang was founded amongst Salvadoran immigrants in LA during the 1980s may of whom were deported back after serving prison sentences so that rather makes sense.

  • Sharp Ears

    Could someone say why there is so much opposition to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Is it just more of the anti Russian rhetoric that is so prevalent at the moment or is it because of environmental concerns?

    Short Q&A in the HoC this morning. Sir Alan Duncan, FCO minister for Europe and the Americas, replied. He is a former oil trader.

    There is no mention of Alisher Usmanov in the Wiki entry on Gazprom!

    It is salutary to remember how reliant we are on Russia for energy supplies.

    • Tatyana

      @Sharp Ears I can give a view from Russia.
      Nord Stream 2 is not any danger for envronment because it will be built alongside existing Nord Stream 1. As to politics, you should look in history of russian gas going to Europe.
      The shortest and cheapest pipeline goes on soil surfase through Ukraine, but this way is not reliable. We had several unpleasant issues with gas dissaprearing on its way to Europe and russians having to pump more into the tube, unpaid, to fulfil our obligations and bring warmth to frozen EU.
      Ukrainians want money for transit+very low price for themselves+payments delayed, yet Europe still risk not to get the gas if Ukrairne decides to make troubles for Russia. Since they see us as an agressor country we understand they will certainly use it. Gas pipeline works only under pressure, it must be always filled to push gas from Russia and get it in Europe. That is why Gasprom builds Turkish line and also Nord Stream2, hoping Turkey and Germany will be reliable distributors.
      EU wants Ukraine to earn money on transitting russian gas, because they are bored to give credits and no hope to get money paid back. Look for the latest transaction EU Council gives 1 billion Euros to Ukraine, finance help. Ukraine doesn’t currently earn money, financial crysis, they live on credits.
      USA want to sell their condenced gas delivered by sea, much more expensive, but it is from ‘frendly’ country, not from nasty Russia.
      Boltic states as always barking against russian projects.
      Poland wants 10% of possible income for some law, though Poland stays away from the project.
      Ukraine wants to keep control of russian gas and russian contracts with EU.
      Everyone tries to get some protit.

        • Radar O’Reilly

          Forensically, in this uncertain world I would certainly support Nordstream-2. It gives resilience of supply. (look at the European problems with a single-source of NH3 & CO2 at present)
          I also support America’s right to send us LNG by boat, eventually, when the boats and terminals become available.

          All this burning of dinosaur farts is rather stone-age, hearth-fire to keep the house warm, and generates more carbon dioxide exactly where we don’t need it.

          Air-to-air/Ground-to-water heat-pumps have gain, in that they can efficiently extract environmental ‘therms’ , down to -20degC or so (-4F), and if you wonder why, remember that -20C is simply + 253K, there’s still a lot of thermal absolute energy even in Siberia!.

          Real future, is now here, zero-emissions, a nice mix of renewable energy sources would much improve the resilience of our societies. Try it.

      • Herbie


        What’s the Russian view on Bulgaria’s pleas over the Turkish stream, after losing their principal status under EU pressure?

  • Anon1

    Chants of “Long live America!” and “Death to Palestine!” in Tehran today, believe It or not. It seems young Iranians are sick of their money going to terrorist groups like Hamas, Hezbollah and Palestinian Jihad. And they actually quite like America and hate the regime (which fits with my own experience of Iran)

    • Loony

      It is clear that the BBC detests and hates Hungarians. This interview provides a textbook definition of hate speech – all of it coming from the BBC. It is about time that these people were prosecuted for fomenting hatred against Hungarians.

      But of course Hungarians are just the thin end of the wedge – the BBC also openly hates Poles, Serbs and Russians. How is this hate filled organization allowed access to public airwaves?

      • orPaul Barbara

        @ Loony June 26, 2018 at 23:32
        ‘…How is this hate filled organization allowed access to public airwaves?’
        Aw, come on, play the ‘White Man’; the BBC is the major propaganda outlet in the UK for the PTB – don’t you understand that?

        • orPaul Barbara

          Mods, I have not changed my name. Somehow, je ne sais pas, I suddenly get my posts coming up as from orPaul Barbara.
          I assure you, and all, this weird phenomenon is not of my instigation.
          Dirty tricks perforce.

          • orPaul Barbara

            @ bj June 27, 2018 at 00:28
            ‘Just check the field where your (nick)name is supposed to be’
            I don’t know how to do that, please be more specific. I am not techno-savvy.
            But how can some a**hole change it? Does seem to indicate ‘They’ are interested in f*cking about with me.
            Such a thing! I should be ‘vorried already?’
            I’m covered, as they must know (Vi, I don’t know, but have some speculations).

          • bj

            Go up to the top of the page, to the article “The other England”.
            Right beneath it is the place to enter new posts.
            Right beneath that should be a field ‘name’.
            Right in there, you should probably spot the misnomer.
            It happened to me once. Inadvertently clicked in that field while typing post. Some cruft ended up in there.

          • Paul Barbara

            @ bj June 27, 2018 at 01:16
            Cheers, mate. Sorted. It shore as hell wasn’t me that altered it.

          • glenn_nl

            Who the heck do you think altered it, Paul? It couldn’t possibly have been a bit of fat-fingering on the keyboards, that would just be a c~R~@~z~Y idea, obviously! Despite the fact that nearly everyone does it from time to time.

    • orPaul Barbara

      @ Anon1 June 26, 2018 at 23:07
      ‘..It’s a good job the Beeb disabled the comments…’
      Since when did the BBC ever allow comments?
      So HTF have they ‘disabled’ them?
      Don’t worry; I don’t expect a response.

        • George

          So Hitchens is saying the problems we face are all down to bad manners and pushy immigrants who didn’t have to come here just because we pushed our way in over there?

          • Anon1

            I’d love you to put that absurd summary of his arguments to him directly. Why don’t you give it a try? He responds to all comers on Twitter. You can post his response here.

          • George

            You want me to be a go-between for Hitchens and this website? That indicates you don’t relly believe this guff yourself. But I’m damned if I’m going to waste further time on PH. I only gave him a glimpse to see if our old Tory would actually level any complaint against neo-liberalism or indeed capitalism at all. But alas it’s the tired old phoney moral rant to which I can only quote Stefan Collini’s observation on that other idoliser of Merrie Olde England Roger Scruton:

            ‘And this, surely, is the disabling paradox of modern “conservatism”, namely that it wants simultaneously to liberate market forces and to lament the effects of market forces. Hence the deep structural dilemma of the modern Tory social critic: the forces that are destroying all that he loves are the forces he is ideologically committed to supporting.’

        • Macky

          So presumably agree with Assange’s point about the FUSUK destruction of Libya & the associated dramatic increase of migrants coming to Europe; so why if migrants are such a big issue for you, have I never seen you criticize what we did to Libya ?

    • bj

      France can come and carry back The Statue of Liberty from New York and give it back to the heirs of Eiffel; its:

      Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free

      is answered by vice-president Mike Pence:

      Come legally or not at all

      The only ones cheering for Murka these days apparently live in Tehran.

    • Herbie

      “During a breakfast meeting of the Israel Council on Foreign Relations in Jerusalem, Szijjártó said that Hungary would not place the settlements labeling on products originating from the West Bank. This decision followed the Notice adopted by the European Commission on November 11, 2015, incorporating guidelines to label imports from the Israeli settlements.[4] He considered the aforementioned policy to be “irrational,” and even threatening to a potential Israeli-Palestinian dialogue.[5]”éter_Szijjártó

      These European nationalists do appear to share a lot with the Netanyahu faction in Israel.

      And with Trump, and with Putin.

      If that’s the case, then who are their enemies.

      It has to be some bloc of at least equivalent measure.

      But who.

      London, for sure, yes. Canada, Australia, NZ is trying to stay out of it. Benelux, France, Denmark. Germany is excused because of its embarrassing past, and still difficult sell.

      Sweden might pop up as a replacement.

      Who else.

      India won’t be getting into it, and China, who knows.

      Those Eastern Russian lands are very tempting.

      I just don’t see a Western bloc emerging that can challenge that Trump/Putin/Netanyahu group, and the changes they’re wreaking upon the Liberal lands.

      Unless there’s some deception, of some sort.

      You often get that in the larger geopolitical plays.

    • Sharp Ears

      Me neither so thanks. What a great man.

      In 2007 on Democracy Now, he said:
      ‘I feel that the notion of Zionism, as that there is this kind of destiny of the J-wish people to have their own state, is just a wrong idea. And it’s an idea that requires signing on to imperialism. It means signing on to ethnic cleansing. It means—despite everything that has been said about it, it means basically becoming a racist situation, where you’re oppressing an indigenous population and depriving them of their right to existence, and then thinking that somehow you can go ahead and have a decent life on that basis. And you can’t, in my view. And I join hands with those people who feel that the time has come to basically think of Israel in the same category as South Africa, as a state that just has gone wrong and needs replacement.’

      This is the NYT obituary –

      It’s worth remembering that the CEO of the NYT, who produced that obituary with its omission of Kovel’s views on Israel and Zionism, is Mark Thompson, ex DG of the BBC. In office, he oversaw the Savile cover up and to his shame, the refusal by the BBC to air the DEC appeal following the Cast Lead war on Gaza in which thousands were both killed and injured. At the same time. Caroline Thomson, his sidekick, also refused to air the Caryl Churchill play, Seven J-wish Children, on Radio 4, .

      Thompson is married to Jane Blumberg from an Orthodox family. When he was the DG, in 2005 he travelled to Israel with her to meet Sharon. It was said that the trip was made on BBC expenses! Business trip of course.

      Thomson has also done well for herself following the massive payoff from the BBC. ‘ 2011 she was paid £385,000 by the organisation. The Commons Public Accounts Committee suggested that her £670,000 redundancy pay-off was effectively paid to “compensate” her for missing out on the job of director-general.’.

      She is actually Lady Liddle and is on all sorts on boards raking it in. Liddle was a BLiar adviser.

      What a rotten country.


    • pete

      And, it you don’t want to read it all, it does contain these lines concerning calling Israel and apartheid country:
      “…while apartheid South Africa depended absolutely on Black labor, Israel has no more use for Palestinians, who have been replaced long ago by African and Asian labor. Thus the most relevant historical parallel to modern Israel has become not apartheid South Africa, but something else. Gaza is a concentration camp, and this is no longer a metaphor but a reality which the New York Times celebrates in a way that would make Goebbels proud – by blaming it on the Palestinians. “The world now demands that Jerusalem account for every bullet fired at the demonstrators,” writes Bret Stephens for the Times, “without offering a single practical alternative for dealing with the crisis.” “

    • Gwyn

      Thanks very much for that link, bj. I’d never heard of Joel Kovel, either, and I’m very grateful to you for bringing him to my attention.

  • Adam

    “Given the centuries of economic exploitation, political domination and depopulation”
    Not very nuanced (or knowledgeable) about Scottish history it seems are we? Maybe look at John Prebble for start.
    It was the lowlands that enabled the destruction of the “Gaelic highlands” and did so with glee. The Scottish “Crown” conquered and claimed The Isles. The claim is conquest. It was the Scottish “lairds” who embraced agricultural money and threw the people into exile.
    I do not deny the grim reality of post-Imperial and industrial Glasgow or elesewhere, but it was ironically to an enormous degree the union (pursued by “Scottish Protestant” elites) which preserved every element of Scottish nationalist identity (from the money, the law, to education, the flag).
    Scotland is “not” a colony.
    If Scotland leaves the union I sincerely hope it is really for something other than the nationalist nonsense being pushed here?
    The EU will treat Scotland according to precedent (EIRE, Portugal, Greece etc)
    Independence will only be the beginning of what will likely be the eventual collapse of the mythical “Tartan” Scotland, so beloved in the
    lowlands. Just as a “little England” will implode under the weight of its parochialism.
    You cannot even define what system of government Scotland should have?
    A “republic” would be preferable, but I can almost guarantee that it would be this question (and all the latent and not so latent sectarian politics that will go along with it) will be the “real” issue for Scotland.
    The British establishment is rotten, of which you had been quite happily serving for two decades before your own nice “chaps” stuck the knife into you after you developed a bad case of “ethics” but it really is “British” not an “English” elite. Just as you were from “England” and had the “right” background for the FO, you now suddenly have the right “Scottish” heritage to be at the vanguard of independence?

    • quasi_verbatim

      Scotland is as Scotland thinks. Mr. Murray thinks for Scotland so why not him at the vanguard? Quisling’s a dead duck.

  • quasi_verbatim

    You’d better get your Independence act together, Scotland, or we’ll be taking you down with us. This Brexit albatross won’t fly.

  • Sharp Ears

    A US Judge has ordered the Trump administration to reunite over 2,000 children with their parents. They are in ‘immigration centres’, disused warehouses, cages and other buildings.

    Migrant family separations: States sue Trump administration
    ‘Meanwhile, a California judge has ruled that all families of undocumented immigrants separated at the US border must be reunited within 30 days. San Diego judge Dana Sabraw also said that children under the age of five must be back with their parents within 14 days as he granted the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) a preliminary injunction in a lawsuit filed over the family separations.

    Court papers filed by the ACLU on Monday contained numerous accounts of parents unable to locate or communicate with their children after they were separated by border officials.’

    Shocking. No child shall be harmed.

  • Sharp Ears

    The arrogance of a liar and war criminal. Blair still thinks his voice should be heard and Murdoch gives him the space.

    ‘And, in a Chatham House lecture, Mr Blair will issue a rallying call to pro-Remain Labour and Conservative backbenchers to defy their party leaders and rebel on Brexit.

    The former Labour premier, branded the “Remainer-in-chief” by Brexiteers, is also set to claim the rise of populism in European countries such as Italy risks a return to the 1930s.

    On Brexit, Mr Blair will declare: “We cannot go on like this. I have never been more worried about the future of our country than now, with competing emotions of anxiety and rage. We have a government whose every move is a calculation not about the interests of the nation, but the internal balance of advantage between the factions of the Conservative party, with the prime minister more a hostage than a leader. Meanwhile, the leader of the Labour Party neglects to lead the fight here at home over an issue which literally determines the future of Britain and where he could play a decisive role.’

    Tony Blair calls for Brexit to be delayed and warns populism could drag Europe back to 1930s
    The former prime minister, dubbed the “Remainer-in-chief” by Brexiteers, will reiterate his urge for another referendum.

    By rights, he should be standing in a dock in The Hague or in a prison on a cold island with a loop playing of a recording of Iraqi children screaming as their dressings were changed.

    • Dom

      It is impossible this Quixotic quest could succeed with Blair as its figurehead. Amazing die-hard Remainers cannot see that, considering they regard themselves as the common sense portion of the country.

      • Ian

        He isn’t a figurehead, no-one elected him, he is speaking for himself. And whatever your desire to use him in order to do your own moral grandstanding, he has a point, one which is far more important than virtue signalling.

        • Dom

          He is far and away the best known figure advocating a 2nd referendum. And why is it virtue signalling to point out he lacks credibility beyond media circles? That’s just a hard fact.

          • Ian

            I was referring to the ‘war criminal’ stuff above re virtue signalling. And ignoring the argument he was making which, whatever you think of him, has some pertinence. His lack of credibility is his problem, not that of people who justifiably want some say in the undemocratic stitch up which May, Johnson and Rees Mogg are preparing – an unmitigated disaster, and one which they have no mandate for. All that is far more important than yet another endless argument about the bogeyman Blair.

  • Sharp Ears

    There is Another England…. where many are homeless and where many others have second homes. By registering a second home as a business the owner can evade council tax. What a racket and how unfair.

    Derek Thomas MP St Ives, Cornwall Con
    ‘The key message that came out of my conversations with the campaigners was that the Government need to look at the issue of holiday lets and second homes. Those homes were built for people to live in. They are used for perfectly reasonable purposes such as providing accommodation for people on holiday, but as a result, the owners can avoid paying council tax.

    I am advised that 8,808 houses in Cornwall are registered as businesses, and that 6,650 of them pay no council tax or business rates, as they claim small business rate relief. So, if I had a holiday let and I registered it as a business, I would be exempt from paying council tax and I could claim small business rate relief. I would then need to pay nothing at all on that property. That means that there are 6,650 properties on which council tax is not being collected. That represents a loss of income to local authorities, a loss to town and parish councils—which are increasingly being asked to take on responsibilities but finding it difficult to fund them—and a loss to our police. I can assure the House that the news that our frontline council services and our police are being deprived of income through a simple legal loophole is like a red rag to a bull.’

    A not particularly helpful reply came from Rishi Sunak*, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government
    * MP for Richmond, Yorks, Hague’s old seat. He has an almost empty Wikipedia page and one line on TheyWorkForYou.. He went to Winchester and Oxford and is married to the daughter of an Indian billionaire. He’s 38 and became the MP for Richmond in 2015. No info on previous employment etc. What you call a low profile. 🙂

    • Bayard

      “By registering a second home as a business the owner can evade council tax. What a racket and how unfair.”

      Why not actually do some research before firing from the hip? In order to qualify as a holiday let, the home has to be available for let for 210 days a year and actually let for 105 of those. So it’s not simply a case of “registering a second home as a business”.
      And if holiday lets pay no business rates due to small business relief, that’s a problem with small business relief, not with the holiday lets.

    • laguerre

      It wouldn’t be any different from what Gaza has now. What would the difference be between landing goods in Tel Aviv and the Israelis transporting them to Gaza, and landing goods in Cyprus, and Israel transporting them (or controlling the transport) to Gaza?

    • Sharp Ears

      It’s just a sop to tie in with their ever so peaceful image being given out by Rivlin and Netanyahu during P William’s visit.

      Especially ironic, as several of the boats in the Free Gaza flotillas have been sabotaged in Cyprus.

      Gaza flotilla delayed after mystery faults hit two boats
      Sabotage claim as Israeli navy is poised to intercept pro-Palestinian convoy
      Donald Macintyre |
      @indyvoices |
      30 May 2010

      PS Where is the excellent Donald Macintyre these days?

      • Charles Bostock

        If a spot of sabotage helps avoid another fatal confrontation at sea then it’s perhaps no bad thing. Aren’t we all in favour of avoiding actions which we know might well lead to bloodshed? Is not prevention better than cure?

        • Paul Barbara

          @ Charles Bostock June 27, 2018 at 17:50
          Sure, the message to Good Samaritans is clear – don’t attempt to help these people or you may be killed.
          There will be a price to pay, come the Day of Judgement.

  • Republicofscotland

    As old saddlebag face Queen Lizzie, the numero uno state sponger, give her royal blessing to Brexit. Her grandson, who said that there’s too many people in the world, he’s got three kids is swanning around Israel, tough titty taxpayer.

    The unemployed helicopter pilot is the first royal to visit in a official capacity, giving Netanyahu and Israel a huge boost in credibility, having a British prince on the payroll does your nation no harm at all.

    It could however give you a troublesome back, here the PM Theresa May genuflects into a shape that even Houdini would find difficult to do.

    I wonder if the last bastion of credibility Boris Johnson is back on these isles? Or is he dodging PMQ’s, to lie down in front of the Heathrow runway bulldozers?

    • reel guid


      Was she muttering ‘I’m not worthy, I’m not worthy’ as she was doing that?

      And why two Lord Lieutenants? Were they on a county border or is dressing up in 19th century clothes the only growth industry in Brexit Britain?

      • Republicofscotland

        reel guid, she was demonstrating how to grovel to a royal sponger.

    • Charles Bostock


      “As old saddlebag face Queen Lizzie….”

      Leaving aside the bad manners and puerility of the above, I can’t help wondering what RepScot’s face will look like when he’s over 90. Assuming of course that he hasn’t choked to death from Caledonian indignation long before.

      • Republicofscotland

        “Leaving aside the bad manners and puerility of the above, I can’t help wondering what RepScot’s face will look like when he’s over 90. ”

        Ah Charles, a gallant royalist to the end I presume? Well Charles as for old saddlebag chops Lizzie, I suppose when you’ve spent your whole life pampered at great expense to the detriment of the taxpayer, as she has, then yes I think you have point.

        Ladies of a similar age may look older, or be frail in Britain, but imagine how far more spritely the could be if they lived off the state, and received the best of everything all their lives as Lizzie does.

        • Charles Bostock

          No, not especially a “gallant royalist” – whatever you might mean by that. Just someone who thinks that behind-the-toilets schoolyard insults don’t really advance debate and discussion or the cause of republicanism.

  • Republicofscotland

    In my opinion this is indicative of Spain’s dark under belly, which was exposed during the Catalan independence referendum.

    “A man accused of being one of the worst torturers of the Franco regime was highly decorated by the Spanish police force and is drawing a generous state pension.”

    “The new Socialist government, which came to power this month, immediately opened an investigation into Antonio González Pacheco, who faces 13 charges of torture.”

    • Sharp Ears

      Franco lives!

      ‘Spain’s Supreme Court rejects appeal by 15 indicted Catalan separatists
      Published: 27 Jun 2018 | 14:35 GMT

      The Spanish Supreme Court has rejected an appeal by 15 indicted Catalan separatists. It ruled Wednesday they should be put on trial for rebellion, disobedience and misuse of public funds for their efforts to make the Catalonia region independent of Spain, AP reported.

      The court said that the rebellion charge against the secessionist politicians was “sufficiently reasonable” because they were behind “an uprising which used power unjustly.” The charges were in connection with the Catalan regional government’s unauthorized referendum last year on independence from Spain and a subsequent unilateral declaration of independence by the regional parliament.

      Those charged include former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont, who fled the country to avoid jail and is fighting extradition from Germany.’

  • reel guid

    The new Scottish Social Attitudes Survey just out shows trust in the UK government is at 20% among the people of Scotland.

    Surprising that it’s as much as that considering they’re proceeding to dismantle Scotland’s democracy and aggressively rebranding Scottish goods as British. But you’re not going keep on successfully pretending there’s still a union in place when most folk in Scotland know better.

      • reel guid

        Yes Tatyana. Anything labelled as Scotch Whisky is by law made in compliance with certain regulations and made in Scotland. However Marks & Spencers got themselves into a row over their listing of Scotch as British Whisky and they agreed to back down. It’s all part of a general campaign though by the UK government and supermarkets etc to rebrand Scottish products as British. For political, or more precisely imperious British nationalist reasons.

        • Tatyana

          It’s a pity. We know little scottish products in Russia, but scotch whisky is very well known. We got a bottle of Lagavulin islay single malt at home.

          • Anon1

            They also have diseased salmon and shortbread. The national drink, Buckfast, is actually produced in England, but sold to Scotland to keep the population down. Single malt whiskey is a marketing gimmick and can be produced anywhere.

      • Charles Bostock

        It depends what you mean by rebranding. Scotch whisky is a protected name (as, for example, is Greek feta), which means the whisky in question must have been made in Scotland to qualify for the appellation. It is illegal,for example, to call whisky made in Japan or India “Scotch whisky”.

        That said, there is nothing illegal in describing a whisky labelled and sold as Scotch as being a UK or British product (rather than as having been “distilled and bottles in Scotland”) in that Scotland is part of the UK/Great Britain. Although why anyone should want to do so is unclear. Which in turn raises the question of what our friend “reelguid” means by “aggressively rebranding Scottish goods”; it would perhaps be helpful if “reelguid” could give us a concrete example or two of what he’s referring to……

      • Charles Bostock

        I have just seen reelguid’s comment in reply to your question. Unfirtunately it raises more questions than it answers.

        Can reelguid confirm that the offending bottles were clearly labelled “Scotch Whisky” and that the whisky was made in Scotland?

        Can reelguid confirm that at the bottom of the label, in small(ish) letters, was written something along the lines of “Distilled in Scotland” or “Distilled and bottled in Scotland” AND that when he refers to Marks and Spencer’s “listing” he is referring to a brochure or advertising feature and not to the label on the bottle itself?

        More importantly, can reelguid confirm that when he wrote :

        “….. trust in the UK government is at 20% among the people of Scotland.

        Surprising that it’s as much as that considering they’re proceeding to dismantle Scotland’s democracy and aggressively rebranding Scottish goods….”

        he was not in fact attempting to suggest some sinister conspiracy orchestrated by the UK government but merely referring in fact to the action of a single private firm called Marks and Spencer?

        • Charles Bostock

          No answers and so a tacit admission that reelguid’s original comment was firmly in the fake news category.

  • Vivian O'Blivion

    New report that in early 2017, attorneys for Julian Assange spent two months in “constructive, principled discussions that included the Department of Justice” to negotiate “an acceptable immunity and safe passage agreement”. Under the proposed deal Assange would reciprocate by redacting the names of CIA personnel in hostile jurisdictions from future releases and “provide technical evidence and discussion regarding who did not engage in the DNC releases” (the file copy to local device as opposed to a hack, as discussed here on many occasions).
    When Director of FBI, James Comey found out he kiboshed the negotiations. This being the same James Comey who was so curiously incurious about the origins of the DNC, e-mail files that his technicians took the word of a private sector, third party that the files were hacked, rather than inspect the server themselves.

      • bj

        The so-called DNC hack in reality was an exfiltration of data on a USB stick.
        That has been more or less common knowledge for some time.

        We all want to know ‘who’ and ‘why’.

        The revelation of these particular events might mean Comey, Warner and Burr have some explaining to do.
        Depending on that, we might come a bit closer to answering our two questions.
        Now who can make these three talk.

  • Sharp Ears

    Advance notice of a programme on BBC2 tonight at 8pm.

    ‘Israel -The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes, Series 2
    Piers Taylor and Caroline Quentin are in Israel where exciting modern houses are inspired by rich cultural and historical traditions. J-House house is in Herzliya, a millionaire’s playground by the Med. It is a palatial white home tucked away in a suburban plot and reached by a bridge over lush gardens. Piers and Caroline discover luxurious, warm and vibrant interiors that contrast with the modernist facade. Glass walls open up to connect the entire living area with the gardens and pool.

    Shutter House sits on a hillside overlooking the Sea of Galilee. It is an elegant, unshowy house and its subtle use of colours and materials match the soil and stone of the olive and carob groves. To combat the 40-degree heat, the architects used a traditional system of balconies, breezeways and beautiful wooden screens, which cast light and shadows throughout this peaceful house. Caroline says being here is ‘a religious experience.’ Piers and Caroline’s next destination is the historic city of Jerusalem. Barud House is a love poem to Jerusalem stone: named after the warning cry given by quarry workers before detonating explosives. Its facade is made from 50,000 white stone tiles, arranged into a symmetrical pattern that casts shadows across the house all day. Inside Piers and Caroline discover more stone: the rough rock face behind the house has been left exposed and is boldly revealed behind a glass wall. Gleaming white interiors, a swimming pool, games room and big city views enhance the glamour of this striking house.

    The final stop is the Arab Village of Musmus and the House of Three Gardens. Tel Aviv architect Ron Fleisher has designed a house that combines traditional Islamic architecture with modernism. He has linked existing buildings with a stunning double-height traditional Liwan, or entrance hall, and a gleaming white staircase. Ron also designed a light, spacious drawing room and created three beautiful themed gardens to honour the family’s farming history.’

    Just as well there is the third house otherwise they could have called the programme ‘Laughing in the Palestinians’ Faces’. Most Palestinian homes are simple flat roofed single storey dwellings, often demolished and invaded at night by the IDF. They certainly do not have ‘lush gardens’ as they rarely have a potable water supply. So no green lawns.

    The first house is located in Herzliya on the coast in the Tel Aviv area.. A large annual conference is held there mainly for the Israeli and American military and security but international speakers attend. I noticed these two at the conference held last month –

    Maj. Gen. Jonathan Shaw CB CBE Chairman, Optima; Former U.K. Assistant Chief of Defence Staff (Policy)
    Dr. Liane Saunders, Strategy Director and Strategic Programmes Coordinator, Foreign and Commonwealth Office

    A New World Order? Global Perspectives of Policy and Intelligence Leaders
    Dr. Liane Saunders, Strategy Director and Strategic Programmes Coordinator, Foreign and Commonwealth Office
    Moderated Discussion – Participants:
    Hon. Marcel Lettre, Vice President for National Security, Lockheed Martin; Former U.S. Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence
    Mr. Tamir Pardo, Former Head of the Mossad
    Hon. Amb. Victoria Nuland, Chief Executive Officer, Center for New American Security; Former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for
    European and Eurasian Affairs
    Lt. Gen. VG Khandare, PVSM, AVSM SM (Retd.), Former Director General of the Indian Defence Intelligence Agency and Former
    Deputy Chief of the Indian Integrated Defence Staff
    Maj. Gen. Jonathan Shaw CB CBE, Chairman, Optima; Former U.K. Assistant Chief of Defence Staff (Policy)
    Moderator: Dr. Ronen Bergman, Senior Correspondent for Military and Intelligence Affairs, Yedioth Ahronoth; Contributing Writer, New
    York Times

    Sickening stuff.

    Nice! Also saw Nuland and Tzipi Livni (Cast Lead) in the list of speakers..

    • Sharp Ears

      Interesting what niches these ex military types line up in their retirement in spite of being in receipt of large pensions.

      Maj Gen Jonathan Shaw CB CBE, former assistant CDS.
      Chairman of the Board, Optima Group UK

      October 2014 – Present (3 years 9 months) | Swindon, United Kingdom
      OPTIMA is an explosive hazard threat mitigation company. It provides C-IED & Search consultancy, trials and training provider to the Defence, Security, NGO, Humanitarian and Further Education sectors. We specialise in delivering new, innovative and best practice Search, IEDD, IED Detect, IED Destroy and Counter-Threat capabilities in response to evolving threats and operational demands.

      Our capability development expertise and User operational experience places us in a unique position to deliver best practice C-IED & Search capabilities, from initial threat-based concepts to the delivery of equipment and training solutions required to defeat current and emerging operational threats.

      We define the User concepts for new capabilities and provide independent, impartial and in-depth SME knowledge of the equipment market. Our ability to trial new equipment allows us to provide independent advice on the selection and subsequent development of equipment solutions. Our training and operational experience combined with our training design expertise allows us to conduct comprehensive Training Needs Analysis and Course Design that deliver practical training solutions.

      In short, we hold the skills, knowledge and expertise to build an integrated, through-life and sustainable Explosive Hazard threat Mitigation capability for the humanitarian and reconstruction market.’

  • N_

    Hollywood, Tesco and Twitter are all getting some advertising out of the Saddleworth Moor fire.

    Authorities of all kinds seem to be warning people in their usual tone and lingo that fire is hot and burns stuff, and that all times, always do what you’re told and have respect for those in authority.

    Many references are being made to Hollywood, the apocalypse, and warfare. I’m expecting some to be made to video games.

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