Liberal Comfort Blankets 366

Carole Cadwalladr posted a nonsensical tweet today showing the swing of opinion from Remain to Leave during the EU referendum campaign and claiming this as evidence that the Leave advertising worked.

This is a ludicrously childish assumption of cause and effect by Cadwalladr. Consider this graph showing the even more spectacular leap of support by Labour during the 2017 general election campaign. Yet the Tories vastly outspent Labour on advertising.

Then look at this graph of the Scottish Independence Referendum, where again No outspent Yes on advertising but opinion swung the other way.

Carole Cadwalladr has done excellent work on the Cambridge Analytica and Facebook data sales scandals, revealing dark doings that needed to be exposed. But the claim that advertising spending has a decisive effect on polling intentions is very dodgy indeed. In fact, looking at the examples of the Scottish Referendum and General Election, using the Cadwalladr induction method you would conclude that advertising spending is counter-productive.

But Cadwalladr’s foolish tweet today is more than an attempt to enhance the importance of the research of Carole Cadwalladr. It is part of a continuing effort by the liberal elite to find simplistic reasons why their views were rejected by a major section of the general populace in two seismic political events – Brexit, and the election of Donald Trump. The elite are seeking to comfort themselves with the idea that happenings of very marginal significance – Cambridge Analytica’s audience research, or 13 Russians allegedly trying to hack unspecified info – were in fact massive factors that explain the electorate’s “deplorable” behaviour.

For what it is worth – and perhaps it is not worth much, though it is worth more than Cadwalladr’s logical fallacy – my own view is that hatred of the political class, by a population which has come to realise it is exploited, was a major factor.

In the Brexit referendum, Remain made the fatal mistake of being fronted by detested politicians – Nick Clegg, Will and Jack Straw, George Osborne, Tony Blair. The chance to kick these people proved irresistible. Similarly Hillary was the most detested machine candidate the Democrats had available. By contrast, while the “authentic” personas of Donald Trump, Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage may be fake, they were well placed to tap into the anti-politician mood.

This also explains why Remain did much better in Scotland, where it was headed by the SNP’s far less detested politicians who are themselves regarded as anti the UK establishment

Finally, the key factor that unites all the three opinion poll charts above – General Election, Brexit and Scottish Indyref – is that opinion swings very fast indeed inside the period of broadcasting restrictions, when broadcasters have to give at least a semblance of fair time to the view which the Establishment generally derides. Unlike the advertising explanation, which works in only one out of three cases, the hypothesis that broadcasting restrictions redressing establishment bias is the most important factor, would appear to work very well in all three cases.

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366 thoughts on “Liberal Comfort Blankets

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  • Martin Snell

    Mr Murray, you are right (as so often) in your assessment of the situation.

    The deluded self-belief of the liberal media has resulted in a form of cognitive dissonance amongst their ranks following Brexit – this desperate attempt to clutch at straws is just the most obvious symptom of an establishment so insulated from the realities of the people they preach to that they simply cannot understand why their ‘advice’ is not accepted verbatim.

    It is a situation not dissimilar to the Church of England in the 19th Century when local parsons, reliant on the patronage of the wealthy and powerful, made Christianity a propaganda machine for the maintenance of the status quo. ‘The rich man in his castle’, and all that.

    What the establishment simply cannot understand is that the message they purvey is wholly at odds with the empirical evidence of normal people’s own lives and, in the end, it is the latter not the former that underpinned voting decisions.

    The simple truth is that Globalisation (as characterised by the EU) has had huge negative impacts on many parts of the British demographic, particularly amongst the poorest and most vulnerable, a situation that was exacerbated particularly by the accession of the A8. (Advocates of Globalisation would do well to read the work of Harvard Professor of Political Economy, Dani Rodrick). The inclusion into the EU of developed countries whose wages are typically less than 40% of Western European nations (it’s not just us) pitched the working class into a direct conflict with their central European counterparts.

    The degree to which one accords the blame for that is very much dependent on one’s own political evaluation of the European Union. For some of us, for instance, it is difficult to ignore the fact that much of the wholesale relocation of major employers from Western Europe to the A8 has happened in accordance with (and been funded by) EU policy initiatives to boost the economies of the Eastern periphery States.At the very least the EU has been the facilitator of a race to the bottom that workers in Britain (and France, Germany, Italy etc) cannot win.

    There is an interesting difference in descriptions accorded to ‘the losers’ in the Globalisation game by various commentators. For the less partisan they are the ‘left behind’. For the more assiduous Remainers they are those that ‘feel’ they have been left behind. The difference is an important one. The two groups may share the view that the Great British public are not best placed to know where their interests lie, but at least the former credits them with sufficient intelligence to know how they are fairing.

    In an unusually honest (for the Guardian) piece Deborah Orr (herself an avowed Remainer) acknowledged that for those people, ‘the losers’, to begin to feel the benefits of European integration would require something in the order of eight decades. Quite apart from the obvious point that most of us will not be here in eighty years, it is tacit acknowledgement that the realities of the greater British public are far removed from those of the denizens of the Westminster bubble, and not in the good way.

    Solzhenitsyn once wrote that ‘a man who is warm simply cannot comprehend the actions of a man who is cold’. Easier then, for all those warm little liberals in their warm little bubble to continue to grasp at straws than step out into the cold, no matter the consequences for themselves, or the rest of us.

    The concept of ‘fake news’ is an easy panacea that sooths the dissonance without requiring them to question the veracity of their world view or question their assumptions. Fake news is a bogeyman that must be defeated at all costs. The questions that should be asked (but are not) are what level of censorship is acceptable to counter that fake news, and who gets to decide what is ‘real’, and what is not. The greatest journalists and commentators in history have always been those that have recognised their responsibility to challenge establishment narratives rather than simply parrot them.

    Perhaps the greatest irony is that in their rush to self-validate by joining the chorus of disapproval of ‘fake news’ they are supporting a shadowy world populated by people who have a very illiberal agenda.

    Cadwalladr and her ilk would do well to remember that when the battle lines are drawn it will not be them that are the arbiters of what is fake and what is not.

    • Ian

      It is quite possible to agree with a lot of your diagnosis while also recognising that CC has a very valid point about voter manipulation and fraud. One doesn’t cancel out the other, and your wish to rush and blame ‘liberal elites’ in an easy and lazy way also doesn’t preclude nailing illegal behaviour by the leave campaign. Just because your preference is blame these mythical elites, of which Craig and many here are part, doesn’t mean that your determination to put whoever you like into that group falsifies whatever that person says. It is such an easy way out of confronting the toxic mix of currents swirling around politics and the referendum.

      • J

        “…your determination to put whoever you like into that group falsifies whatever that person says”

        You appear to be erecting straw men?

        And it is quite possible to agree that CC has a very valid point about voter manipulation and fraud while believing her to be wrong in conclusion, wrong on scale and effectiveness of alleged russian interference and wrong on the attribution of fake news.

        • Ian

          I don’t think we are taking about alleged Russian interference here, or fake news, but Vote Leave interference. She doesn’t have to prove any scale, since the fraud invalidates the result which was a narrow margin. There is no straw man. I am merely saying that assigning her as ‘liberal elite’, Guardian writer and all the other sneery dismissive categories doesn’t invalidate her research or the fact of vote leave’s fraud. It is a serious thing, but the inclination here is just to dismiss as yet another whinging liberal, which is exactly what Bannon and the rest want you to believe. The alt right are winning, and airy dismissals like these are grist to its mill.

          • Martin Snell

            I feel compelled to remind you Ian that it was you who has repeatedly used the term ‘liberal elite’ which (depending on definition) may or may not exist. I instead simply use the term ‘liberal’ which as an ideological denominator absolutely does exist.

            You seem fixated on the deceptions of the Leave campaign, with which I have no argument other than to ask isn’t that a little one-eyed? Have you forgotten the dire predictions made by the Remain Camp (including those of the Treasury and the BoE) of an immediate cliff edge following a vote to leave? Or the despatch to every household of that leaflet (at a cost of £9m taxpayers money and justified by the assertion that it was representative of the official position of Government – despite the fact that it wasn’t even representative of the Cabinet let alone the unified position of the Party of Government). Or Osborne’s threat of an emergency super-austerity budget if the public defied the will of Government?

            And your attitude towards the general public seems rather patrician I’m afraid.

          • Reg

            But the point is CC pushed the Russian interference story so CC is a propagandist without credibility on the Brexit Referenda/Cambridge analytica story.

      • Loony

        The UK is a cesspit of voter fraud.

        It was the government itself that passed laws to essentially institutionalize voter fraud. No less a body than the Electoral Commission have confirmed these conclusions.

        …and then suddenly when the results of a vote are not as expected voter manipulation and fraud is suddenly introduced as a talking point.

        Try to understand that vast swathes of the British population detest and loathe the EU – and those people are prepared to pay absolutely any price in order to free themselves from the yoke of EU oppression. These people no longer care how much you may despise them, or how much you may threaten them. They are all in and they want to leave the EU.

        If the current crop of traitors do not leave the EU then at the next election some very unpleasant people indeed will be elected – then you can all faint in horror. Fainting will interfere with your cognitive functions and thus you will be unable to grasp that the true extremists have been created by you – and not by the people that actually voted them into power.

      • Martin Snell

        Ian, I accept that my description is biased in one direction, largely because it is a response to attitudes held by a particular social group.

        I do not tend to use the term ‘elites’ as it carries an inherent inference of superiority of one part of Society over another – which I simply don’t accept.

        I similarly don’t accept the idea that such social groupings do not exist. I have lived and worked amongst them and there really is nothing ‘mythical’ about them. I still count amongst my friends journalists at the BBC and Broadsheet press as well as an editor at the DM. They are all thoroughly nice people, several of whom come from very normal working class backgrounds, but their world view is a construct based on their own current reality, which is, of course, mainly peopled by others like them.

        Such social groups require a degree of conformity in order to function, and the price of membership is therefore to conform (there is a marked difference between the attitudes held by the same people since leaving the provinces for the metropolis).

        Given that conformity is the price of membership I am surprised that you perceive Craig Murray as belonging to that group – I would suggest that as a serial non-conformist he is much more likely to be held up as a purveyor of fake news, particularly given the crucial role he has played in offering a counter-narrative to the risible Russophobic fantasies peddled (without question) by the MSM.

        Most importantly I would suggest that the issues of ‘voter manipulation and fraud’ are two very different issues. In so much as Cadwalladr’s comments relate to voter fraud then fine and fair enough. On the issue of voter manipulation, however, I dispute whether she has a valid point at all.

        I predicted a victory for leave on the 4th April 2016 based on conversations with the public (at a time when polls were indicating support for Brexit between 25 -35%) and I would suggest that the result would have been the same had the referendum taken place then. My opinion never changed (despite huge amounts of misinformation on both sides of the debate) simply because the feedback from the people I met never changed.

        The media now finds itself in a strange Catch 22 paradox – either they have to accept that their self-perception as influencers is a delusion, or admit that their abilities in that field are inferior to a few Russian propagandists, their stooges and assorted ‘useful idiots’. Given that the first option demands an answer to the question ‘what, then, is the point of Carole Cadwalladr?’, it is hardly surprising that the media prefer to go with the latter – no matter how embarrassing that might be.

        Better to admit that one is not very good at what one does than to acknowledge that what one does is actually of no importance whatsoever.

      • Reg

        No CC has no valid point at all as a cheap propagandist for the state, looking at her back catalogue of articles in the Guardian (such as on Asange) indicate a total lack of credibility.

    • Xavi

      Good overview, Martin. I’d just add that liberal MSM has itself been pumping out catastrophic fake news for as long as I can remember: the bogus rationales for turning Iraq and Libya into mad-max dystopias, creating isis and bringing on a biblical refugee crisis; the lie that enabled the poor and disabled to atone for the sins of the bankers; the false flags waved this year to demonize Russia; Jeremy Corbyn the anti-semite, and so on. As well as the meta-lie that there is no alternative neoliberal globalization. They are themselves highly dishonest propagandists.

    • Tony

      Brilliant analysis Martin. I always find the ‘lies by brexiters’ and ‘voter manipulation’ retorts from remainers bloody hilarious. Vote Leave made mostly suggestions. The idea that a large number of voters were swayed by social media posts is beyond silly (and not supported by any facts, just innuendo and the bandying about of ‘Cambridge Analytica’).

      Meanwhile, the MSM onslaught against brexit continues unabated. The latest comedy is the ‘shortages’ in supermarkets, with photos of stores in the middle of refurbishment (empty shelves shock horror, as site workers have just emptied them in preparation for moving them in accordance with the new store layout, as has been happening in our local Morrisons in Dukinfield, Cheshire). You just couldn’t make this stuff up. Except that evangelical remainers on message boards do so all day long, day in, day out.

    • Hatuey

      Martin, there’s two obvious flies in your ointment;

      1) Many EU countries have comparatively high living standards, despite what you are calling “globalisation” and the EU-led race to the bottom. You shouldn’t be putting Germany in the same category as Britain, for example, when it comes to economics, industry, living standards, social policy, and a bunch of other things.

      2) The world is still recovering from a major recession, or at least trying to recover, and it doesn’t make much sense to ignore that. Historians will undoubtedly look back at the instability in places like Greece recently, Brexit, and a pile of other things, and explain them in the context of the credit crunch.

      You don’t make room for any of these things in your analysis and that makes it flawed.

      As for the ointment, it would make much more sense if people like you and the swinish multitude generally paid more attention to the rancid state of England itself in terms of how it is run, its ‘fuck you jack I’m alright’ culture, the inequities generally, the shallow obsession with celebrities, your little queen in her palace, and a million other things that are just plain shit.

      I love Brexit two reasons.Those who voted for it are going to get hammered, which they deserve for being so stupid. And those who are against it are going to get hammered, which they deserve for being so selfish.

      The English people have the luxury of reaping what they showed in this regard, unlike say the people of Iraq or Libya whose countries were destroyed by… well… you lot. As I recall, most of you supported those “wars” and supported the parties that initiated them.

      Brexit doesn’t mean Brexit at all, as some would have it. Brexit means karma.

      • Martin Snell

        Ah, Hatuey – a bit of good old fashioned racism! Nice…

        You would do well to appraise yourself of a few facts before spouting though.

        Firstly, Germany has maintained competitiveness within the Free Market through a number of measures, the most widely discussed being the creation of the Euro as a de facto devalued Deutsch Mark, which overnight made German products cheaper and everyone else’s more expensive. That in itself contributed heavily to the huge trade deficits in Southern European Union countries that were exposed by the GFC.

        Secondly, the introduction of wage restraints and ‘minijobbers’ (through Agenda 2010) and massive cuts to the welfare system (through Hartz IV) has more than doubled the number of German citizens living in poverty from (up to 15.5% by 2013 – the highest level since Reunification) and greatly increased those living in precarity – as reported by Paritätischem Wohlfahrtsverband, whose Chief Executive, Ulrich Schneider, said in 2015

        “Poverty has never been as high and the regional disunity has never run as deep” (in reference to the 25 years which have past since German reunification)

        Add to that that a quarter of all Germans now have zero savings or net debt (Deutsche Bank)

        At the same time the number of German citizens classified as belonging to the middle class shrank by 12.5%. As a report in Global Handelsblatt described it in 2016

        ‘The “leveled middle-class society” is crumbling, physically and psychologically. The lower end of the spectrum is ruled by the palpable fear of descending into poverty. The upper end is dominated by the impression of being milked like a cow of the state.’

        The societal effects of Germany’s drive to maintain competitiveness have been accompanied by similar reductions on State infrastructure spending.Widely reported has been the crisis in Germany’s roads and bridges such as the closure to Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) of the Duisburg bridge on the S40 autobahn – one of Germany’s most important roadlinks. Such a key roadlink attracted much comment at the time (not least from the affected HGV drivers) but it was far from an isolated incident. As the chief engineer for North Rhine-Westphalia reported “At the moment, we are in the process of analyzing 880 bridges in NRW,” Löchter said. At this point, 229 bridges have been assessed: 150 will have to be rebuilt, and 64 will have to be repaired.”

        According to reports in Deutsche Welle ‘The estimated backlog of public investments in hard infrastructure as of 2015 was about 136 billion euros worth ($162 billion), and in 2016 it was still 126 billion euros,” Henrik Scheller, a researcher at DIFU, told DW. “These are estimates of the cost of upgrades to basic hard infrastructure required by existing laws — for example, investments in bridge maintenance, road improvements, or properly built schools and kindergartens.”

        Perhaps you have no interest in the real facts of German political economy (beyond the usual myth-making) but if you are a student of history you will know that the rise of hard Right Parties is a barometer of poverty and inequality in a country – as we are now witnessing with the rise of Alternative fur Deutschland, who now hold 94 seats in the Bundestag and are Germany’s third largest political Party. (I wonder, Hatuey, if you regard AfD supporters as ‘swinish masses’ or do you reserve that insult exclusively for English citizens? For that matter, what of the perpetrators of the 3,500 attacks on migrants in Germany in 2016 – including dozens of firebomb attacks on refugee hostels – are they ‘swinish’ or do they escape your opprobrium by virtue of not being English?)

        As for invasions of Iraq and Libya I doubt that you will find many people on here that supported those actions – then or now.

        • Hatuey

          Yes, very impressive. Just a pity that 99% of it has no bearing on anything I said.

          Nobody suggested that German living standards and all the other stuff I mentioned had not taken a hit as a consequence of the global credit crunch. On the contrary, some enlightened bastard said and gave emphasis to this;

          “The world is still recovering from a major recession, or at least trying to recover..”

          Since as I understand it Germany is part of the world, I think we can both agree that this bastard was correct. Maybe it was some fluke.

          However, If you are seriously suggesting for one nano-second that the German government treats the poor and vulnerable as they are treated here, you might want to explain this; ‘OECD: UK has lowest state pension of any developed country…’

          Btw, the English aren’t a race. What a stupid thing to suggest. What age are you?

  • Sharp Ears

    38 Degrees wish to have answers to their survey on the environment ‘after Brexit’. There is an assumption that Brexit will happen! The answers are sent directly to DEFRA.

    ‘It’s crunch time for our environment. Right now the government’s deciding what our environmental protections will look like after Brexit. New laws could help protect our fields, seas and skies – or fall miserably short of what’s needed.

    The minister in charge, Michael Gove, has launched a consultation. He wants our views about which rules and laws could help keep our fauna, flora and climate safe for years to come. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to have our say.

    If Michael Gove hears from hundreds of thousands of us, he’ll know he has to make environmental standards stronger, not weaker, after Brexit. Together, we can protect our rolling hills and sparkling lakes.

    There’s one week to have our say. Will you fill in the short survey about the environment after Brexit? Your answers will be sent straight to the government’s consultation.’

    • MJ

      “There is an assumption that Brexit will happen!”

      Correctly. Article 50 has been invoked and the UK will leave the EU next March. In order for Brexit not to happen then Article 50 would have to be revoked and that would have to be approved by both the UK parliament and the EU before then. Can’t see it happening but you never know.

      • rob

        Triggering Article 50 was a decision made by and actioned by May, Parliament delegated the decision to her, they did not say we had to or did not have to leave. That suggests that A50 can be revoked by the (a) PM without reference to parliament. Additionally, the EP has already passed a resolution that we can cancel Article 50 at any time before we actually leave, the only conditions that can be attached to that are that we don’t benefit from the episode, no suggestion that we have to lose out.

    • Vivian O'Blivion

      Anticipate a battle royale between oiky Gove and the Koch brothers, European gimp in residence, Fox.
      Fox salivates over the prospect of ultra low regulation trading. Chlorine washed chicken is just the start.
      The Trump regime is intent on taking a chainsaw to existing environmental protections. As soon as Trump was inaugurated the chicken processing industry was lobbying for the removal of Obama era limits on the number of kills permitted per unit time (presumably per employee also) in their plants.
      The reality is that the English and Scottish delegations sent to the European working groups that determine environmental Best Available Technology were not dispatched to argue for laisser-faire regulation. European environmental legislation closely corresponds to that which we would have had anyway.
      The big danger is that faced with a desperate need to sign a trade deal with America, Fox gets his way, GM crops, hormone and antibiotic treated meat and all.

  • Sharp Ears

    Ref the Private Eye Paul Foot Awards –

    Cadwalladr has worked with an all-female team at the Observer throughout her Cambridge Analytica reporting, describing it as a “very supportive, almost family-like environment. It’s not your traditional macho competitive newsroom,” she adds.

    Christopher Wylie, the Cambridge Analytica whistleblower who spent a year speaking to Cadwalladr before going on the record, has repeatedly praised the team. He tweeted earlier this month: “This story happened because women took the lead. The lead journalist Carole Cadwalladr is a woman. The UK Information Commissioner is a woman. The lead team at the Guardian are women. My lawyer Tamsin Allen is a woman. A lot of tech bros ignored this until women showed us it mattered.”

    However, after publication of their stories many woman journalists, including Cadwalladr, continue to face abuse and trolling targeting their gender.

    In November, the Leave.EU campaign – one of the subjects of the Observer investigation – photoshopped Cadwalladr’s face into a clip from the film Airplane of a “hysterical” woman being told to calm down and repeatedly slapped and then shared it on Twitter. Cadwalladr has also been called “the Guardian’s resident Brexit bunny boiler” by former Breitbart editor Raheem Kassam, and a “sad cat lady” by Arron Banks, co-founder of Leave.EU and a prominent Brexiteer. “It’s just nasty and it’s ugly and it seeks to discredit me and being female is definitely part of that, what they use to try and hit the journalism,” Cadwalladr says, adding that the story was “very exposing” to report.

    “The reason that I kick back against [attacks], is that they do work and they do have an impact, and part of the struggle that I had last year in terms of this story being taken seriously was because those sorts of attacks worked.” ‘

    • Reg

      Sharp Ears
      I give no credibility to that evidence free hagiography by that other bastion of the state posing on the left Private Eye.
      When that talentless has been Hislop waxes lyrical about the Queen and attacks Assange and Corbyn at will you know PE is full square behind the state, so PE endorsing Cadwalladr does not lend her any credibility, quite the opposite.
      I give even less to the supposed journalist Cadwalladr who is without principle having pushed the propaganda of the Russia bating stories.
      I could not care less which gender CC is, there are many of both pushing this rubbish at the guardian.

  • N_

    There’s a drive in Totnes in Devon to declare independence within the EU. They’re in touch with Ulverston. Ri-i-ight.

    Watch out for references to “people, planet, profit”, either using those words or synonyms.

  • N_

    Connoisseurs of “expert” excrement may like to look at this load of codswallop by Chris Hanretty, “professor of politics at Royal Holloway University of London”, on the time that would be needed to hold another Brexit referendum. (And by the way, it would be the third Brexit referendum, not the second as he states. Some “experts” really need to be taught how to wipe their own bottoms.)

    He says a 10-week campaign period would be needed, plus probably loads of time to get it “on the statute book”, and the A50 end date of 29 March 2019 would probably have to be postponed.

    He’s talking poop. All of his assumptions are rubbish and, surprise surprise, so is his conclusion. If Greece held a referendum at 8 days’ notice in 2015, Britain with its oh so straight-backed monarchist elite should be able to do the same, don’t you reckon? Or let’s quadruple it and give ’em a month for the City Remembrancer to pull his tights on.

    Parliament can be recalled at any time and bills can be rushed through all three readings within hours if necessary. Just shut up, Chris – you’re demeaning yourself.

    • Charles Bostock

      “Chris Hanretty, “professor of politics at Royal Holloway University of London””

      I’m puzzled by the use of inverted commas here.

      Chris Hanretty is a professor of politics; he works at Royal Holloway; and Royal Holloway is one of the colleges of the University of London.

      Are any of those three elements false?

      • N_

        Have you not encountered the use of inverted commas to emphasise the fact that characterisations are utterances? He’s a “professor” because some people say he is, as are all “professors”. Same goes for “queens”, etc.

        • Sharp Ears

          Groan. The nitpicker returns. He has probably just come off the Tel Aviv beach after a good game of beach volleyball with his Zionist friends. It’s just past 6pm there now.

        • Charles Bostock

          ” He’s a “professor” because some people say he is, as are all “professors”.”

          Well, if the Senate of the University of London says he’s a professor and if he’s been appointed in accordance with the rules and regulations governing the appointment of professors then that’s good enough for me and most people, I guess.

          So we’re not dealing with a characterisation at all, are we.

    • N_

      Another idiocy is to refer to the British government’s Chequers offer as a “deal”. It’s an offer by the Brit regime to EU27, which will not be accepted.

      Everyone who calls it a “deal” can go to the stupid corner with the Trump fans. And any among their number who try to justify themselves by saying that what they and their heroes in the MSM mean is that it was a “deal” among different factions in the cabinet gets to wear the Mickey Mouse suit with a special “I can’t learn stuff when I’m told” badge.

  • Charles Bostock

    The matter is quite simple really.

    Donald Trump – as candidate and as President – is considered by many both in the States and abroad to be a dangerous nuitcase, a racist, a fascist, etc etc.

    Is it not logical, therefore, that Russia would have a strong interest in “helping” him get elected by whatever means at its disposal?

    After all, anything that might tarnish the States in the eyes of foreign opinion would only work to the advantage of Russia, wouldn’t it.

    • MJ

      The matter is quite simple really.

      Russia did very well out of Clinton (the Uranium One deal and all the goodies available via her e-mail account for instance).

      Is it not logical, therefore, that Russia would have a strong interest in “helping” her get elected by whatever means at its disposal? Heck, they probably helped her steal the nomination from Sanders and provided the hitman to eliminate Seth Rich!

      After all, anything that might lead to further such “assistance” would only work to the advantage of Russia, wouldn’t it.

      I rest my case.

    • Republicofscotland


      I’d imagine that Trump prior to becoming POTUS had done business in Russia, however that doesn’t automatically mean Trump and Putin colluded on the US elections.

      As for Trump being a racist, he’s indicated his disdain for Muslims and Mexicans. Mind you I read recently a Russian football teams fans weren’t too pleased at the thought of signing a black player. Prejudices exist in Trump and Putin’s camp.

      Though both put them aside if, it suits them to do so.

      • Hatuey

        “As for Trump being a racist, he’s indicated his disdain for Muslims and Mexicans.“

        Neither of those are races.

        Trump’s alleged disdain for Mexicans isn’t so general either — he wants to stem the flow of Mexicans entering the US illegally. Personally I think these ex-colonies have a bit of a nerve dictating who can and can’t enter a country that was basically stolen but all of them do it and it puzzles me that you and others only pick on Trump. Australia, for example, is quite brutal in this respect, from what I can gather.

        I won’t bother trying to explain the disdain for Muslims you attribute to Trump. He’s definitely not alone in that either though and it’s hard to get an honest discussion anywhere on this subject. The raw truth is that it all boils down to oil, “the coalition of the willing” (us) in the Middle East meddling to make sure we get the oil, and many there (who happen to be Muslims) getting rather pissed off at our antics.

        So far, Trump had done well though. He’s a peacemaker and peacemakers are blessed.

  • Gary

    Pollsters have been proved wrong time and again. No matter how much they analyse what information they have, the public are yet more complicated than even they can imagine.

    As one of ‘the public’ I feel qualified to say that we are indeed sick of the political class telling us what to think, telling us what’s normal and agreed upon. Their sanctimonious attitude is universally detested by those on the left and right in their views. The public has reacted to the politicians allowing the credit crunch by giving them a doing at elections ever since. Hence Hillary ‘lost’ rather than Trump ‘winning’

    But looking at the Scottish Referendum Vs the EU Referendum there is one MAJOR difference. The Tories (in government in both instances) were united on quashing independence but divided on leaving the EU. Therefore the full weight of the state could NOT be brought to bear on the EU Referendum as it was on the Scottish Referendum. THAT is why they got their result over Scotland and failed on Brexit.

    As I’ve said time and again, ALL parties fiddle the Electoral spending (remember ‘Battle Buses’?) and both sides in the Brexit Vote (I imagine) did the same.

    None of the parties complained about the Battle Bus con, and in the EU Referendum the ‘Remain’ campaign made no complaint either. Channel 4 has been making the complaints. Now I can understand, in a way, why this has happened as the whistleblower DID go to Channel 4 with his evidence BUT in many other cases we see parties deciding to say nothing because they are doing EXACTLY the same themselves. Politics in this country IS corrupt, and in every sense. It may not be AS corrupt as in other countries but please never think that ‘it couldn’t happen here’ because it plainly does…

    • Hatuey

      “Pollsters have been proved wrong time and again.”

      Really? Most polls had the Brexit vote down as very close with “remain” predicted to win by a very narrow margin. There’s a 3% margin of error with polls though and most were inside that. If you can find one that wasn’t, I’d be interested to see a link.

      On indyref the polls were bang on. I dont think a single one predicted a Yes victory.

      The rest of what you say is more emotional than substantive but I’m struggling with the concept that voting for say Brexit somehow represented an attack on the political class when it was orchestrated and managed by the political class.

      I think we have entered a new age of passion. People are voting based on gut feeling rather than making rational choices. Maybe they always did. What’s clear as a bell today, though, is that people don’t seem so willing to listen to the arguments as much. It’s the same in Scotland where the snp should be making a killing with Brexit etc., but they aren’t. It’s irrational. Nobody seems willing to change their opinion on anything, no matter what you tell them, they just won’t budge.

  • charming

    This charade of a marriage needs to end quickly and a protection order be granted to the EU. Prospective father-in-law De Gaulle was right in opposing the marriage to a backward looking, indolent, self serving lout who’s big mate buddy was uncle Sam. Later, we nearly joined, but not quite, as we know the UK has special needs, steering clear of the euro and building and influencing a stronger and more integrated union. So having not really joined we are now not really leaving, as brexiteers need Europe despite themselves.

    The near 50/50 leave vote ensures a bitter and divided outcome trail that will please, anyone? I’ve blown my Lamborghini petty-cash on a Portuguese ruin where half the remote village return from the capital or EU cities for their summer holidays – thanks to free movement, rather than breaking up families it is a workable and satisfactory way of adapting to changing labour requirements while sustaining home and family ties. The village could never provide work for its children and the EU ensures rights for all. Britain leaving the union is a tragedy as is its history.

  • Ingwe

    I agree with a lot of Mr Murray’s analysis especially the points regarding the detestation of the politicians mainly supporting Remain.
    However, I think that there was also a strong reaction against the EU, which showed itself unwilling or incapable to offer any reasonable reform of itself. Why it should change is less clear when one remembers that the EU is not really about European integration other than that which facilitates capital in in the member states. The so called freedom of movement of labour doesn’t really operate in favour of workers overall; the ability of workers for any state to work in any other state really leads to regional disparity with those best able to move moving to to the states where wages are higher and depriving their original states of that labour leaving a pool of less able and generally impoverished labour. The wages in the recipient state then rise but for labour unable to get work there, become relatively poorer.
    It’s not worth forgetting the EU’s role in crippling and pauperising Greece at the behest of mainly German and French banks and their threat to other EU member states such as Portugal, Italy and Spain of the dire consequences should they default in following EU economic ‘diktats’ of curbing public spending, and implementing ‘austerity’.
    I voted to remain; not out of any conviction that the EU is a progressive social organisation or that it will result in unifying working people of the member states but because it acted, albeit in a limited way, as a bulwark against the succession of progressively more and more reactionary British governments which furthered the interests of capital at the cost of labour in a completely shameless and open way and then got working people to believe the monumental lie, that social spending had caused the economic crisis and that they were responsible for their own situation.
    The EU didn’t work for ordinary people; neither was it designed to do so. To believe that it was is to ignore the fact that the ruling class in each member state has more in common with each other than with the ordinary people in their own countries.
    Perhaps that is why some truly socialist members of the Labour Party, including, possibly, Mr Corbyn are not really supporters of the EU project.

      • RogerDodger

        Great post. I share your feelings on Europe entirely, although perhaps more from gut feeling than with the benefit of such powerful clarity of thought, and voted for Remain with a peg on my nose. Sadly when the result came through the gut feeling told me that things would not change for the better now that the UK had repatriated powers that would allow it to do its people more harm.

    • Andyoldlabour

      Brilliant post which absolutely mirrors my view on the EU.
      The EU and the non elected fuhrers have never acted in the interests of the “ordinary” people.

      • Ingwe

        And both the leave and remain proponents peddled the lie that voting their way would to “us” being in control of our lives. The one thing that is certain, leave or remain in the EU, is that most people will have absolutely no control over their lives.
        It is meaningless to talk of “us” and “we” as if we were a homogenous society, with equal opportunity or wealth. There is the 1% who own and control the wealth and the rest who create the wealth but who have to wait for the crumbs to fall from the tables of the few.
        When Rees-Mogg et al say “we” will be better off outside the EU he’s not talking about anyone other than his oligarch class. And the same is true of Blair et al advocating remain within the EU. They are not talking about you and me but their class interests.

    • Reg

      While agreeing with most of this, the EU cannot be a bulwark against capital when the single market guarantees free movement of capital. Which is one of its most destabilizing damaging aspects apart from the Euro, and why Keynes insisted on restrictions on capital movement in Bretton Woods after its effects in the 30s.

      • Martin Snell

        A very good point Reg – to which I would add that even David Ricardo – the founding father of modern Free Trade – noted the same…

        ‘it would undoubtedly be advantageous to the capitalists [and consumers] of England… [that] the wine and cloth should both be made in Portugal [and that] the capital and labour of England employed in making cloth should be removed to Portugal for that purpose.’

        In other words Ricardo recognised that the combination of Free Trade and financial liberalisation would result in off-shoring and social dumping.

  • quasi_verbatim

    SadJav, in his covert and unilateral abrogation of the laws against capital punishment, is merely exhibiting the early stages of the archeopsychic regression all surviving Britons must make in the post-Brexit world.

    To become what we were, ‘buccaneering’ in the phrase du jour, we must become again callous, avaricious, pitiless, ruthless and hard. I expect civilty, the welfate state and the familiar social order to be the first casualties of Brexit. Whether we complete our regressive journey in the 18th century or in some earlier era even more invigorating than that remains to be seen.

  • Sharp Ears

    Strange weather. The heatwave ended with a thunderstorm last night and today there are very strong gusts of wind veering SSW. Last night’s blood moon was invisible because of cloud.

    I have just come indoors and switched on the box for some news. There was Carole Cadwalladr online with others in a discussion on fake news/Facebook’s role etc. Carole is rather giggly. Gamal Fahnbulleh is the presenter. Ms Burley seems to have gone off for some R&R.

      • Ishmael

        And bastards in the guardian are still chomping at the bit. The uk’s leading “liberal” voice…Or whatever their bullshit propaganda slogan is.

        As they help demonise Wikileaks & julian Assange for telling the truth.

        You could not make it up.

  • Ben

    When will that stubborn phenomena, Russophilia regress into reality? Only the progressive failure to auger support from blue collar beneficiaries will tell us, and Progressives will be the last to know.

  • Ben

    The Left has failed, Globally, to elicit the support of the Working Class. They haven’t connected the Dots for the people they putatively champion.

    They see the Pillaging Rapists of conservative ilk as their advocates and such could not be further from the Truth. Progressives continue to give themselves the hot foot because their elite showmanship takes center stage. Above all they wish to be seen as intellectuals..the bane of working people.

    • Hatuey

      The left have failed because it became clear that they were only pretending to be left. I’m not sure where you get the globally part from. The dem’s in the US were never left in any meaningful sense. You could say the same of Labour in the U.K. since Blair and I would say even now (Corbyn is careful to stand for nothing that you’d say was principled, even on simple stuff that’d normally elicit a strsightforward principled reaction like Trident).

      In places like Scandinavia, Germany, Belgium, and many other countries, left wing policies are basically set in stone though. Look at workers’ rights, pensions, manternity leave, welfare benefits, and you you see measurable success for the left. British pensions, to elaborate on one example, are the worst in the developed world, behind even countries like Chile.

      No. The left has chronically failed in Britain and the US. That’s for sure. They should be ran out of town for allowing this. Scum like Corbyn playing the left wing intellectual but committing to nothing of any substance isn’t the solution, it’s the problem. He’s fake.

      Forget Trident, what’s Corbyn’s position on the shameful widespread reliance on food banks? Nothing. Britain, a rich country in the 21st century, treating poor people and pensioners like dirt and this left wing messiah offers them nothing.

      • Ben

        Progressivism is just another dog collar

        Are Scandannavians free in the sense of Democracy? I think the citizens have exchanged true freedom for the illusion of freedom. Taxed to death and politically correct Pillories of public shaming

  • jazza

    I’m very quickly losing my patience.
    britain voted to leave the EU – the EU is a one way dictatorship run by elites for elites and is totally corrupt having never provided an economic breakdown for the last 20 odd years for its operations – it is a falicy to believe the EU equals good – it does not – and I want as far away as possible from it – what happens here is that so many get caught in the infantesimal detail that they cannot see the wood for the trees – may and he cabal are not steering us to Brexit – they are making damn sure we stay as close to the EU as is possible – WAKE UP PEOPLE – this is TREASON – the evidence is staring you in the face and they believe they can get away with it because they believe the british people are stupid – PROVE THEM WRONG IF YOU DARE!!!!!!!

    • Ishmael

      Briexit was a dream, the reality is going to be a nightmare. They had absolutely NO IDEA what they were doing, it’s simply a good scapegoat for the capitalist crisis. & continuing conditions that serve that exploitation we are arguably the most brutal at in Europe.

      No sense of civic duty what so ever. Except to vandalise the country for ideological nonsense.

      Two years? Try 20.

      I believe you vandals are just that, clueless vandals who will decimate this country.

      Im waiting for the beaches to turn to crap again. Home sweet home.

      • Tony

        Project Fear’s fantasist supporter continue unabated. Mark my words: there will be a few weeks of confrontations and mix-ups. Then everything will settle down. Food prices will drop dramatically because the EU doesn’t have us tied by the you-know-whats to it’s pricing structure. Day-to-day consumer goods, and especially luxury goods, will see a HUGE fall in prices – see how much that BMW/Mercedes/Audi currently sells for in mainland Europe, compared to what you paid for it in the UK. We’re being lied, and lied, and lied to folks, by corporate business and their pet politicians. And their daft supporters amongst the general public just lap it up and spout it out.

    • StephenR

      A.k.a. “I’m going to cut my nose off to spite my face, and none of you are going to stop me”

      Shame that some of us don’t agree with you insisting we all do the same to our faces.

    • nevermind

      Its not Britain, but England that barely voted to leave, Jazza. As for your assumtion that you are livving in a democracy, when ‘safe seats’ are nevet contested and the electoral commission is in thrall to party politicians, not us, and the rest is elected by fraudulent methods, cheating and media bias, does not make for democracy.

      Have a good look how Chernan in Michoacan sorted out their crime, corruption and political problems, the division caused by politicians and you will realise that our future does not lie in pi…ng party politics, but in the decentralisation of power. Big time!

      How come elected representatives did nott seek to leave the Eu in 1980 if it was so undemocratic, cause they did do jack sh.. for 40 years.
      Only when the City fears of financial controls was mooted did they discover that the top Eu echelon was unelected.

      A relationship that lasted/traded for thousands of years thrown on the scrap heap by a whimsical manipulated vote. The vote leave chancers deserve everything they are asking for, they dont care one iota about the future or the people. And they are manipulators to boot.

      • Anon1

        You’re a fine one to talk, urging people in the last election to engage in voter fraud by voting for their Labour candidate more than once.

        • nevermind

          Anon, once again you are lying. It is the vaguary of the electoral system , the control of political parties of the electoral commision, their lack of clout, that has allowed students to vote were they live and study? Not my making you poor soul.

          What have you ever done to change your used self? Or the piss poor equation you are trying to protect with false right wing swagger?

        • Andyoldlabour

          @Anon1, I may not always agree with you, but I do on this point, and particularly as the voter fraud was never properly investigated.

          • nevermind

            Sorry anyoldabour, but this is not a phenomena that nevet happened before, its part of the Englands historical election fabris, time tp throw out FPTP , but i cant ser anyone doing it not Labpur or the Tories, they have become accustomed to cheating.

      • Tony

        The utterly warped, undemocratic mindset of the classic remainer. My-bloody-god!!!

  • Rhis Jaggar

    The effectiveness of campaigning/advertising is vastly variable and it depends entirely upon effective segmentation of the target audience, since rarely will one message be valid for even 25% of the audience.

    Here are few examples of idiotic campaign themes:

    1) The Ftse will collapse.

    For the millions shorn of all savings, unable to contribute to pension plans, the Ftse collapsing sounds like sticking a stick of dynamite up some bastards’ arses. Letting those rich wankers suffer from austerity sounds like Christmas come early.

    And has the Ftse collapsed since 2016?

    2) The CBI says:

    Anyone who has followed the CBI proclamations since 1990 about Europe would know their predictions failed to materialise. They are not regarded as credible where macroeconomic predictions are concerned, even if their members may vaguely know how to run a car factory.

    3) The MSM says:

    What that means is around 10 mostly non-dom, fairly aged, very right-wing men ordered their editors to say. Oh and the Eu-loving, climate change churchmen of the BBC take their orders from Brussels and Washington, not the 40 million taxpayers who fund them. They are rather like dinosaur men who claim women are frigid to cover up their absolute inability to give those women a good time in bed.

    4) Barack Obama says:

    Yes, that exceptional nation that will tolerate no-one giving it advice or orders, makes it clear we will take orders from them or else. GFY is as good an acronym as any to respond with…

    Oh, and that nation is a prime mover in taking the working man’s game away from the traditional British worker. Forget abstract GDP stats: destroying part of a way of life speaks rather louder in defiant rebels.

    5) The EU says:

    We’ll of course it does. Totalitarians always oppose freedom of thought, act or deed. However thick the working class are, they know EU bans re-nationalisation of railways etc. And they do not want EU state-owned railways calling themselves private companies to run our railways badly. Even if Deutsche Bahn does run Chiltern Railways rather well.

    Etc etc etc.

    • nevermind

      Rhis, try and find out something about food prices and our future under Wto rules, the ignorance of consumers this will entail, not to speak of the continuous environmental degradation coming our way, issues nobody dares to comment on, before you making little lists here.

      • Tony

        Food (and all other) prices will fall substantially in the long-term if we have a proper (hard) brexit. EU producers will be unable to sell us their products at the currently inflated prices we pay them, because we can simply buy the same food products from non-EU markets far cheaper.

        • nevermind

          You are a joker surrly, whay are you basing this on? GM food and chlorinated chickens? Are yout Liam Fox s bro?

          • Tony

            We can buy from wherever we want in the world, at WTO prices. Is chicken chlorinated everywhere outside the EU, fearmonger?

        • Hatuey

          Food prices will fall, and so will British farmers who have been protected since joining the EEC.


  • Sharp Ears

    The headchoppers’ mercenary* is in the US pushing his second referendum stuff on CNBC. He thinks that growing his hair longer gives him gravitas. It doesn’t. He looks more of a used car salesman than ever.

    Ex-British Prime Minister Tony Blair predicts a stalemate on Brexit
    Tony Blair thinks there could be a second referendum on whether the U.K. should leave the European Union
    “I don’t think there is any Brexit proposition that can command a majority in the House of Commons,” he says.
    25 July 2018

    *Saudis Buy Fmr UK Prime Minister Blair for $12 Million
    July 24, 2018

    • VeraDuckworth

      A question to the educated on here: Is the following dialogue, contained within a cartoon meme, racist?

      ”White leftists when they see Jwish people in public minding their business” ……………..”lets talk about Palestine”.

      White people. All white people. All left leaning people. Every time they meet a Jwish person ‘minding their business’. This is how ALL ‘white leftists’ interact with Jwish people.

      A ‘journalist’ with the Jwishchronical, retweeted it with his added comment ”THIS.IS.SO.DAMN.TRUE”.


      (and no offence intended with the removal of the ‘e’, moderation filters etc lets help them out)

      • VeraDuckworth

        Apologies Sharp Ears, this was meant as a stand alone comment, not a reply to you.

      • N_

        Yes – of course it is racist. It is saying all white people act in a wrong way towards the speaker’s ethnic group.

        • N_

          Or to be more exact, it is saying all white people act in a wrong way towards members of the speaker’s ethnic group who are “minding their business”, presumably meaning people in the speaker’s ethnic group about whose views on Palestine and Z__nism the white people know nothing about.

          It is not true that all white people do that.

          And anyway, since there is a fascist and racist state that claims to represent all people of the said ethnic group, what’s wrong with checking whether a member of said group supports the existence of said fascist state or not? Absolutely nothing. But oh look – the existence of said fascist and racist state is supported by the newspaper that the journalist works for. We don’t need to check that.

          Basically, some people’s attitude is being associated by a racist scumbag with the said people’s skin colour.

          Moral: let’s not take lessons on how to be against racism from extreme racists.

    • Tony

      One of the most just things that could happen in modern-day UK is that the forces who are are protecting Blair and his cronies ‘buy up’ and leave this revolting genocidal loony to his just deserts (Straw will probably disappear to a suburb in Tel Aviv)..

  • N_

    “Handmaid becomes international protest symbol”.

    Wow – Margaret Atwood’s Hollywood (or TV?) agent sounds as capable as Alan “Guy Fawkes mask” Moore’s!

  • N_

    How did the figures for Leave and Remain in the referendum break down among Facebook users and the intelligent non-users?

    A friend is telling me how “everyone” holds their smartphone in their hands when they’re chatting in real life.

  • nevermind

    Thanks for that link contrary, the question as to who is going to be next to be silenced is valid as we ate tobaggoning into a democratic nightmare of corpotate proportions.

    “First they came for the Gypsies Jews and Homwosexuals……”

    The bbc is incapable of wholesale radical reform from inside, fake news providers/specialists have to be broken up by us. Taking control over this not so public broadcaster is essential, however it pans out.

  • Chemical Britain

    It is a month since you said you were going to post your theory about the Wiltshire poisonings.

    Instead, after long breaks, you have posted useless distracting articles.

    You are fast losing credibility.

    Once a member of the establishment, always a member of the establishment.

    You deleted my comment yesterday – no difference between you and the hypocrites of the Guardian.

    • Disinterested Bystander

      Chemical Britain, I don’t think that you are in any position to dictate to Mr. Murray what he should or shouldn’t publish on his own website.

      Personally I’m more than happy with Craig’s articles and certainly wouldn’t consider any of them to be useless or distracting.

    • Tony

      For me the credibility issue arose when M Bhutini was known to work at the same university that Criag claimed to have collected a package during a clandestine meeting

    • Disinterested Bystander

      Tony, Frank Field voted against his own party in order to save Theresa May’s government and was an advisory member of Ian (Duncan) Smith’s think tank the Centre for Social Justice, the organisation which helped create the calamitously disastrous Universal Credit system

      The man’s a hypocrite who, like Heidi Allen, likes to cry crocodile tears over the plight of the poor whilst doing the square root of FA to materially help them. Still he’ll no doubt be welcomed with open arms into Vince Cable’s mooted new centrist party along with the likes of John Woodcock and Ian Austin.

    • Dom

      We’re constantly told Field is one of the good guys because he’s one of the most right wing figures in the Labour party.

    • Michael McNulty

      Frank Field was an unpleasant authoritarian in the early Blair years of New Labour. There’s nothing honourable about him.

    • Charles Bostock

      Frank Field MP is a good guy because he tells it as it is, which means breaking from time to time with the groupthink of his party.

      I remember the time when, berated on camera in his (I think Liverpool) constituency by some young unemployed people, he told them that if he was an employer he wouldn’t employ a young persin who was barely literate and numerate either. Given that in modern Britain, for all the deficiencies of the education system, there is no excuse for functional illiteracy, who could criticise Field for what he told those young people? As said, he tells it like it is.

      • Charles Bostock

        Has Frank Field been an MP for longer than Mr Jeremy Corbyn MP? If not, then Mr Jeremy Corbyn MP might also be overdue for a pension of the same proportion, surely?

        Let us also not forget that Frank Field started the Child Poverty Action Group before entering Westminster. Has Mr Jeremy Corbyn MP anything equivalent to boastt about?

        • Tony

          Frank Field has been a man of principle throughout his parliamentary career. He has resigned more than once from high office on matters of principle. He stood up to Philip Green over BHS (no mean feat) and forced a concession that provided a huge pension clawback for employees. He is at the vanguard of the investigation into the ponzi scheme/corruption scandal that was Carillion. He has been brave enough, throughout his career, to be a cross-parliamentarian, and to vote according to his beliefs. As in the recent brexit vote, along with another Labour man of principle, Manchester’s Graham Stringer.

  • N_

    (Based on the original poem “The Scab” by Jack London.)

    After God had finished the rattlesnake, the toad, the vampire, He had some awful substance left with which He made a smartphone user.

    A smartphone user is a two-legged animal with a corkscrew soul, a waterlogged brain, a combination backbone of jelly and glue. Where others have hearts, he carries a tumour of rotten principles.

    When a smartphone user comes down the street, men turn their backs and angels weep in heaven, and the Devil shuts the gates of Hell to keep him out.

    No man has a right to use a smartphone so long as there is a pool of water to drown his carcass in, or a rope long enough to hang his body with. Judas Iscariot was a gentleman compared with a smartphone user. For betraying his master, he had character enough to hang himself. A smartphone user has not.

    Esau sold his birthright for a mess of pottage. Judas Iscariot sold his Saviour for thirty pieces of silver. Benedict Arnold sold his country for a promise of a commission in the British Army. The smartphone user sells his birthright, his country, his wife, his children and his fellow men for a bucketful of masturbatory pseudo-life from multinational corporations working with the intelligence and security services, such as Facebook, Google, Instagram, Vodafone, Orange, and Twitter.

    Esau was a traitor to himself; Judas Iscariot was a traitor to his God; Benedict Arnold was a traitor to his country; a smartphone user is a traitor to his God, his country, his wife, his family and his class.

  • Squonk

    Latest on nerve agent lunacy

    Mercedes with Romanian number plates was seen near poisoned Russian spy Sergei Skripal several times before Novichok nerve agent attack”

    A Mercedes with Romanian number plates was seen near former spy Sergei Skripal’s home several times in the week before he was poisoned with a nerve agent

    … ‘One time was in the Wilton Road garage. The car had Romanian number plates and there were four people in the car. There’s CCTV. He paid by credit card.

    ‘They were seen four times around Salisbury early morning, like 6.30 in the morning, also late at night between 11 and 12… you wonder whether they were doing some kind of reconnaissance.

    ‘An Eastern European car, travelling with four people, at that time, on several occasions, close to where the Skripals live, is surely relevant.’

    Salisbury novichok investigators believe two teams of Russian hitmen were behind attack

    At least two teams of Russian hitmen were responsible for the Salisbury novichok attack , investigators now believe.

    Counter terror police are working on the theory one group arrived on British soil to plant the poison weeks before Sergei Skripal, 67, and his daughter Yulia, 33, were poisoned.

    A second team then arrived to ­administer the nerve agent.

    …A Whitehall source said: “The net keeps widening – they almost can’t predict what’s going to turn up next. The bottle they put it in could only have been bought in Russia.

    “The suggestion this didn’t come from Russia is almost laughable.

    • John A

      Pretty much every larger town in England these days has cars with Romanian, Bulgarian, Slovakian, Estonian or similar number plates.

  • Sharp Ears

    Julian’s mother speaks to WSWS. You can see where Julian came from when reading this.

    Christine Assange, mother of WikiLeaks editor: “I’ve not been able to speak to my son for four months”
    By Richard Phillips
    24 July 2018
    Christine Assange, the mother of WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange, spoke at length with the World Socialist Web Site yesterday about the dangerous situation facing her son who, according to recent media reports, confronts imminent eviction from Ecuador’s embassy in London. Christine Assange commented on the US-led efforts to frame-up her son and extradite him to America on bogus espionage charges, as well as the perfidious role played by the Australian government, the opposition Labor Party and the mainstream media.

    h/t TLN

  • giyane

    In the case of an election democracy can decide which Party gets voted to Parliament. It’s not a bad system, principally because it prevents polticians committing excesses for fear of the next election.
    I am completely confused why a consultative referendum has to obey the same logic, i.e. of the majority count winning. The proper way to use the referendum would be to inform the government that it must deal with the public’s concerns, in this case about the EU. EU rules are that it only listens to insiders. Outsiders are ignored and abused. So instead of democracy handing power to the people it has left the people rudderless in the face of a powerful EU ‘ non ‘.

    The government could have gone to the EU with a Leave result and told them that they had to change of else we would leave on WTO terms. These waffle-troughers we call politicians don’t know how to bargain. Their only skill is lying and even in 2018 lying makes bargaining impossible. Mrs May should not have signed Article 50 and she only did so because she is a racist and she saw political benefit in adopting racist policies.
    It’s a basic human right to be consulted, but it’s not a basic human right for a fairy to grant every passing whim.

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