The Ubiquity of Evil 4215


My world view changed forever when, after 20 years in the Foreign Office, I saw colleagues I knew and liked go along with Britain’s complicity in the most terrible tortures, as detailed stunningly in the recent Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee Report. They also went along with keeping the policy secret, deliberately disregarding all normal record taking procedures, to the extent that the Committee noted:

131. We note that we have not seen the minutes of these meetings either: this causes us great concern. Policy discussions on such an important issue should have been minuted. We support Mr Murray’s own conclusion that were it not for his actions these matters may never have come to light.

The people doing these things were not ordinarily bad people; they were just trying to keep their jobs, comforting themselves with the thought that they were only civil servants obeying orders. Many were also actuated by the nasty “patriotism” that grips in time of war, as we invaded Iraq and Afghanistan. Almost nobody in the FCO stood up against the torture or against the illegal war – Elizabeth Wilmshurst, Carne Ross and I were the only ones to leave over it.

I then had the still more mortifying experience of the Foreign Office seeking to punish my dissent by bringing a series of accusations of gross misconduct – some of them criminal – against me. The people bringing the accusations knew full well they were false. The people investigating them knew they were false from about day 2. But I was put through a hellish six months of trial by media before being acquitted on all the original counts (found guilty of revealing the charges, whose existence was an official secret!). The people who did this to me were people I knew.

I had served as First Secretary in the British Embassy in Poland, and bumped up startlingly against the history of the Holocaust in that time, including through involvement with organising the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. What had struck me most forcibly was the sheer scale of the Holocaust operation, the tens of thousands of people who had been complicit in administering it. I could never understand how that could happen – until I saw ordinary, decent people in the FCO facilitate extraordinary rendition and torture. Then I understood, for the first time, the banality of evil or, perhaps more precisely, the ubiquity of evil. Of course, I am not comparing the scale of what happened to the Holocaust – but evil can operate on different scales.

I believe I see it again today. I do not believe that the majority of journalists in the BBC, who pump out a continual stream of “Corbyn is an anti-semite” propaganda, believe in their hearts that Corbyn is a racist at all. They are just doing their job, which is to help the BBC avert the prospect of a radical government in the UK threatening the massive wealth share of the global elite. They would argue that they are just reporting what others say; but it is of course the selection of what they report and how they report it which reflect their agenda.

The truth, of which I am certain, is this. If there genuinely was the claimed existential threat to Jews in Britain, of the type which engulfed Europe’s Jews in the 1930’s, Jeremy Corbyn, Billy Bragg, Roger Waters and I may humbly add myself would be among the few who would die alongside them on the barricades, resisting. Yet these are today loudly called “anti-semites” for supporting the right to oppose the oppression of the Palestinians. The journalists currently promoting those accusations, if it came to the crunch, would be polishing state propaganda and the civil servants writing railway dockets. That is how it works. I have seen it. Close up.


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4,215 thoughts on “The Ubiquity of Evil

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  • frankywiggles

    “Jeremy Corbyn’s record over decades speaks for itself….They can try all the dirty tricks they like, but they are not going to topple Jeremy Corbyn”
    Chris Williamson MP

    ://mobile.twitter.com/UmaarKazmi/status/1030564078681554944/video/1

    • Loony

      Jeremy Corbyn’s record over decades does indeed speak for itself.

      Of particular interest is Corbyn’s long standing loathing of the EU – a loathing that s fully supported by his voting record.

      How strange then that Corbyn is suddenly so silent.

      If I recall correctly Michael Foot and Enoch Powell were quite happy to share the same stage in order to warn the people as to the dangers of the then EEC. There does not seem much likelihood of Corbyn embracing Rees-Mogg in order to make the same argument today.

      Some may say that Corbyn is either a sell out or that, should he obtain power, many of his most ardent supporters are going to be apoplectic with rage when Corbyn kicks the EU right where it hurts most.

      • Clark

        It is silly to see this as either pro- or anti-EU. That the EU is the UK’s next-door neighbour is simply a fact, and no British Prime Minister dare “kick the EU right where it hurts most” because the EU is by far the more powerful party.

        What matters is that Corbyn will negotiate far more sensibly, and on behalf of of the UK population, whereas the Tories would negotiate on behalf of the UK elite and tax-dodgers, and UKOT off-shore interests.

        Think about that second option carefully. The population would become merely fodder; the EU would have to use ordinary people’s dissatisfaction as the only means of pressure upon the elite. Tories would make the worst middle-men in the world.

        • Tony_0pmoc

          Clark,

          The EU is a centralised, grossly inefficient, corrupt, and brutal unelected Dictatorship, set up and still controlled, by the CIA.

          The UK Government is also much the same, except we have our own Soverign currency, so that in theory we have the ability to control our own economy. In theory, we are also a Democracy, so we can (if we hadn’t all have been brainwsshed) vote the evil bastards out and replace them with a Government that represents the people.

          I didn’t think it was possible, to democratically vote The EU out, but that is what we have done. Personally I think Rees-Mogg and Corbyn would be a great team, to deliver what we have voted for.

          Tony

          • Clark

            Tony, we can’t vote the EU out! That was just a publicity stunt. We can only “leave”, but that isn’t as simple as it sounds either.

            It’s all very well saying we’ll leave the EU, but it’s like saying you’re going to take the sugar out of your cup of tea.

        • Republicofscotland

          Clark.

          If you’re honest with yourself, you’d admit that Corbyn remained fairly silent on Brexit for almost two years after the disasterous vote.

          Tacitness and abstentions by the only real opposition in the HoC, has led us down this rocky path, to a no deal Brexit cliff edge.

          Now think tank after think tank, universities and other governing bodies including the Tories, have realised data showing the full extent of the damage that a no deal, and even a deal will do to the British economy. Specifically to those who have no way of mitigating Brexit. Which I’m sure you’ll agree is a substantial section of the population.

          Why oh why did Corbyn and Labour remain silent for so long? Corbyn is not a fan of the EU, and I suppose he hoped the Tories would give themselves enough rope to hang the government, but his sitting on the fence for nearly two years after the vote.Could remain fresh in the voters minds come the next GE.

          • Clark

            “why did Corbyn and Labour remain silent for so long? “

            Well the PLP was too busy trying to sabotage Corbyn and the members, and consequently the new leadership were busy putting out fires on their own decks.

            There’s also the matter of accepting the decision of the electorate. Remember that in the almost 50/50 result, Scotland’s Remain majority is balanced by England’s Leave majority.

          • Republicofscotland

            Thank you Clark for that explanation, it explains to me quite clearly that the Labour put party policy before the welfare of the people.

            Of course other parties do the same, however only Labour could’ve strenuously challenged the government over Brexit. I’m sorry to say, that, they failed miserably.

          • Clark

            The Labour PLP put their objectives ahead of those of the party, members and the electorate – the same group as you were opposing over independence, and that the vast numbers of new members are currently engaged in winning back control from.

            You can’t just write “Labour” because the Labour party is currently being transformed.

          • Clark

            PLP = Parliamentary Labour Party – the current MPs, most of whom voted (or abstained) for war, benefit cuts, etc.

            CLP = Constituency Labour Party – the constituency groups where the members get to vote. Some of my constituency meeting have been electric, as the members, including the new influx, wrest back control from what was New Labour.

          • Jo1

            @RoS
            Many, if not most, Labour MPs are unwilling to challenge on Brexit because their constituencies voted Leave.

          • Ishmael

            ROS

            JC is no god. EU bashing has been a popular thing across the spectrum, ideologically, for decades. He also backs the police. With little evidence they actually help much.

            Maybe some amount of reality set in when it acutely came to the crunch. Id suggest at the time it was a big learning curve..

            Unfortunately politicians don’t have any real skin in the game. So they are free to spout nonsense of which they know little about if it sounds good.

          • Republicofscotland

            Jo1.

            Even though they know fine well how damaging to the British economy Brexit is and will be in the future. Self interest by remaing tacit on the matter in their constituencies, could backfire.

            I can see the LibDems making inroads at the next GE.

          • Jo1

            Well RoS, those Labour MPs were being warned they’d be out the door if they didn’t support their constituency vote and the overall result.
            As for the LibDems, I had wondered about a revival too but, with the current leadership, I can’t see it.

        • MJ

          1) By refusing to play ball over the Irish border issue and creating the much-feared backdoor into the single market
          2) By imposing huge tariffs on EU-produced vehicles and wine (there are plenty of non-EU producers to buy from)
          3) By imposing huge tariffs on the sale of UK financial services to EU countries eg insurance underwriting and also on the sale of fish (bye bye Spanish factory ships slurping up fish from UK waters for nothing)

          That’s just for starters but enough to concentrate minds in Brussels.

          • Clark

            1) The EU can impose borders from their side too,
            2) Hurts the UK much more than the EU,
            3) The EU wants that tax-puncture closed anyway.

            I suppose that leaves fish. Are there any left?

          • Nick

            A successful brexit, if that was/were possible, could possibly destroy the Project entirely.

          • Republicofscotland

            MJ.

            You’ve surpassed yourself there, on how to damage the British economy even more once we leave the EU.

          • frankywiggles

            Fine MJ, but even if those steps did significantly hurt the EU, Corbyn has never suggested he intends taking any of them.

          • Nick

            Hi again Clark 🙂

            I guess in short that there is a large current of eurosceptism in Europe, which would be emboldened if the UK survived and thrived outside the EU. If the UK can leave, and do OK, why not Italy? (as an obvious example)

            I fully admit it’s not likely. But it’s possible

          • MJ

            The best thing about leaving EU without a deal is that we’ll see what the real issues are that need addressing rather than having to rely on the fear-mongering of disgruntled remainers.

          • MJ

            Italy is a good example and another is the Czech Republic (even more eurosceptic than the UK). The best example however is Ireland, whose economy is reliant on selling food to the UK. I think Ireland will be the next to go, provided it can extricate itself from the euro.

          • Nick

            Sweden, Austria, France even Germany. There’s a big backlash against unfettered immigration and enforced multiculturalism.

            So, I’m pretty certain the EU won’t give us a good deal on leaving.

          • Clark

            Nick, true, but I have heard (but not verified) that the ongoing Brexit débâcle has dampened Euroscepticism in other EU countries.

          • Nick

            Clark, yes that makes perfect sense too (although like you I can’t verify). Good Brexit = more euroscepticism; Bad Brexit = less euroscepticism (although perhaps it would be more a case of better the devil you know)

            So roughly just different sides of the same coin. And I agree again – it’s a debacle.

            Now the extent to which this is intentional is an interesting question…

      • Charles Bostock

        Loony

        Corbyn is just another politician but one who has successfully donned the mantle of the (only) “man of principle”

        Of course. it’s easy to be a man of principle when you’ve never been in the position of exercising power and actually having to make decisions in a heavily interdependent and interlinked world.

        Corbyn has never been in government at any level. Equally significantly, no one can link him with any successful action of a political, economic or social nature originating in the backbenches. He is no David Steele, no Jeff Rooker/Audrey Wise, no Tam Dalyell. His 30 year presence in the HoC has nothing whatever to show for it.

        Corbyn-mania was mostly about lost people desperately scratching around for someone to idolize. A bit like many internauts scratching around for someone to tell them what to think politically.

        But his day has come and gone, I’m happy to say.

        • Clark

          Don’t panic Charles, Corbyn is just one man. The systems and institutions will continue to function just as they are – how could the current shower of incompetents be keeping the show nominally on the road otherwise? – while Corbyn’s principled pressure gently brings the ship of state to a new heading, away from its current crash course.

          Have you considered just how much your side must have done wrong for 40% of the electorate to feel, as you put it, “lost”?

        • George

          I’m sure that if Corbyn came to power he’d find out what “a heavily interdependent and interlinked world” really means. As Bill Clinton put it, everything the ostensible leader does would have to be ratified by “a bunch of fucking bond traders”. So perhaps the days of looking for an electoral hero within the present system really are over.

          • frankywiggles

            Hehe, that made it sound like his policies were always being thwarted by Wall Street, rather than being designed by and for Big Money. Another quote of Clinton’s when he was president was: “We’re Eisenhower Republicans .. we stand for lower deficits and free trade and the bond market”. He was not somebody who attempted to divert power away from the richest in any way.

            In fact, following Nafta, top executives from the Ford Motor Company, the steel industry, etc., were quoted in the Wall Street Journal as saying his administration was better for corporate America than Ronald Reagan’s.

            Silly to suggest that what he attempted on behalf of ordinary people were the limits of the possible.

          • kronstadt

            Everything changes all the time – and better to travel hopefully as in reality we never arrive. A better world (small British world) is possible and JC is the only one available so embrace it.

        • Republicofscotland

          “Of course. it’s easy to be a man of principle when you’ve never been in the position of exercising power and actually having to make decisions in a heavily interdependent and interlinked world.”

          Charles.

          I think I have to agree with that paragraph, prinicples can and must surely from time to time, be impinged upon, during a PM’s tenure, by making difficult and sometimes unpleasant decisions, which will always affect some section of society, in a detrimental way, foreign or domestic.

          • FranzB

            RoS – ‘“Of course. it’s easy to be a man of principle when you’ve never been in the position of exercising power and actually having to make decisions in a heavily interdependent and interlinked world.”’

            Is that what Alex Salmond when trying to become First Minister in 2007? I don’t think so.

  • Sharp Ears

    Cadet psychopaths in training.

    Military police investigate claims two officer cadets ‘waterboarded’ recruit at Sandhurst
    Pair claimed to have pinned down victim and poured water over a cloth covering his face
    17th August 2018
    [..]
    ‘The three cadets involved have been moved into separate platoons while the claims are investigated, The Sun reported.

    Both Prince William and Prince Harry attended Sandhurst, where all officers in the British Army are trained.

    Brig Wright said: “I am aware of allegations about an incident at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst on August 7 involving some of our officer cadets. I have ordered an investigation by the Royal Military Police. The Army and I expect the highest standards of behaviour at Sandhurst; anyone found to have fallen short is dealt with robustly, including dismissal, if appropriate.”

    The head of the Army, General Sir Nicholas Carter, introduced a new code of conduct three years ago in a bid to stamp out bullying.

    He told Sandhurst cadets there would “no tolerance” of unacceptable behaviour. ‘
    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/military-police-british-army-army-cadets-sandhurst-waterboarding-investigation-a8497066.html

    Trust Wills and Harry ‘We do bad things to bad people’ Wales (aka the Duke of Cambridge and the Duke of Sussex LOL), did not get up to these sorts of tricks whilst under ‘training’ at Sandhurst.

    • kronstadt

      thought that was ‘training’? i recall, unpleasantly, in the cadets we had blanco smeared over our genitals as a right of passage – isn’t that what boys do?

    • Sharp Ears

      Incredibly, another ex Sandhurst trainee, Katie Hopkins, has been given airtime by RT!

      She was on Oksana Boyco”s show, World’s Apart.

      Bitter or truth? Katie Hopkins, British media personality : https://youtu.be/631ASlL1tbg

      Hopkins was allowed to rehearse all of her racial prejudices and snobbery. She is obsessed and angry that Mohammad (and variations) is the most popular baby name in the UK now. Is that true? Oksana found it difficult to get a word in.

      Hopkins seems to have burnt all of her boats, media outlet wise.
      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katie_Hopkins

      • Garth Carthy

        “Incredibly, another ex Sandhurst trainee, Katie Hopkins, has been given airtime by RT!”

        Well, I suppose, “Sharp Ears”, that it could be a good thing because those who accuse RT as being biased to the left can hardly say that with conviction if right-wingers like Hopkins are given a platform on RT.

  • Charles Bostock

    Much is made – by some – of the need to keep the NHS free at the point of use.

    That is, of course, not the model followed by the majority of national health services in Europe.

    But prescriptions are not free at the point of use (except for certain categories of citizen) and have not been so for a very long time.

    Should prescriptions also be free at the point of use for everyone?

    And if not, why should a visit to the GP be free?

    • Kempe

      Ninety-five percent of prescriptions in England and Wales are free because the patient qualifies in one way or the other (over 60, disabled, unemployed etc) which makes you wonder why they don’t just scrap the charges for the other 5%.

      Experience in the US has shown that people with minor symptoms are put off going to a GP because of the cost, often allowing a condition that could be easily treated in its early stages to develop into something worse. It’s to the advantage of the NHS and patients for GP visits to be free.

      • Charles Bostock

        Kempe

        Like another responder, you’re referring to the American system. I referred to Continental European NHS systems. I believe there is no evidence that “that people with minor symptoms are put off going to a GP because of the cost” from Continental Europe.

        Furthermore, as you’re usually a stickler for accuracy : I do not believe that the exempt categories (mainly the young, the unemployed, the disabled and the over 65s) account for 95% of the UK population. If you were correct, it is difficult to believe that the government would bother charging the 5%.

    • George

      My prescriptions are free, Charles. And if we are to pursue your ideal model – or, if you prefer, the model that must be followed since apparently everyone apart from us does it – seems to be this:

      Guy bleeding to death in car crash.
      “Any money on you?”
      Indistinguishable gasp.
      “Sorry – I need to see something up front here! This is the land of freedom after all!”
      More indistinguishable gasp.
      “Look we’re wasting time here and time is money!”
      Departs from expanding pool of blood.

      • Charles Bostock

        George

        Nice try, but you – and readers – know perfectly well that that is not how Continental NHS models work.

  • N_

    Will the prime minister be in the country next week when the government publishes its Protect and Survive-style advice on how to survive when the supermarket shelves are bare and the petrol tanks run dry? Or will the job be given to the acting prime minister, whoever on earth that is?

    I heard a backbench Tory MP on the radio today – the government couldn’t be arsed to send anyone – who was saying of course there won’t be shortages if there are problems at Dover, because the Channel Tunnel was recently shut for a while and there weren’t any shortages then. The interviewer didn’t make the obvious point that the Channel Tunnel doesn’t go to Dover!

    Got to wonder whether a Soros-style heist is around the corner, which we won’t be supposed to say anything about for fear of being called anti you know what -ic. Is the Z__nist centrale intensifying the message in the so-called diaspora to “prepare to get the hell out”?

  • reel guid

    Corbyn this week tweeted his congratulations to both India and Pakistan on 71 years of independence and freedom from colonial rule. If you believe in freedom from colonial rule then you must apply it consistently towards all, else the principle is rendered meaningless. Corbyn’s sly belief in colonial subjection for Scotland, Wales and Catalonia because he thinks it advances the chances of his team in the quest for power is the ultimate measure of the man’s hypocrisy.

    Put not your faith in princes good people. That includes red princes.

    • MJ

      “Corbyn’s sly belief in colonial subjection for Scotland”

      His overt belief is in democracy. Scots voted to remain in the UK. Get over it.

      • reel guid

        Scotland never voted to have Holyrood overridden at will by Westminster. Nor did we vote to leave the EU.

        What you’re essentially calling on Scots to do is get over being subjected and disenfranchised.

        • MJ

          I’m calling on you to listen to the majority of Scots. They may not have voted to leave the EU but it wasn’t a Scottish vote. It was UK-wide. Of course there were regional differences.

          • reel guid

            Damn right it wasn’t a Scottish vote. Scotland never sought an EU referendum. And we didn’t vote to leave the EU in that referendum. As I said, subjection and disenfranchisement.

          • MJ

            Scotland may not have sought an EU referendum but it did seek an independence referendum and got one. It voted to remain in the UK and therefore was entitled to participate in the EU referendum.

          • N_

            @reelguid – Only independent countries belong to the EU.

            I wondered recently whether the Good Friday agreement could reasonably be said to deny the right of the people of Great Britain to self-determination. The argument runs like this: if Northern Ireland will remain in Britain unless the people of Northern Ireland decide they want to leave, why doesn’t the same principle apply to the people of Great Britain? Can’t they decide they don’t want to be in a union with Northern Ireland? At the moment this sounds like a completely trollish argument. But for Daily Express readers, UKIP supporters and many pro-Brexit Tories in GB, there may come a point when it doesn’t. Many Tories already give more importance to Brexit than to keeping NI and Scotland in the British union. They just don’t admit it. They may ask “Why should people in Northern Ireland force us to accept a less than full-blooded Brexit, just so they can drive across the Irish border without getting checked? If they want that, let them sort it out with the Irish Republic on their own.” It also may start percolating into GB heads that people from NI would be able to stay EU citizens in the event of Brexit, even if they now live in GB.

    • frankywiggles

      The Scots and the Welsh stood shoulder to shoulder with the English in raping the subcontinent and every other episode of British colonial banditry. To equate their experience with what they dealt out to Indians, Africans and the rest suggests a degree of delusion rare even among the most misinformed.

      • reel guid

        Freedom is a principle that can only remain a principle by being open to all, whether you’re Asian, African or European. Open to all, however your forbears and ancestors behaved. Open to all, present and future.

        And sir, I’m neither deluded or misinformed.

        • Nick

          You also have to wonder how much of the stuff we stole from them was stolen from someone else, who in turn stole it from someone else, who in turn….Of course we were pretty good at it.

          If I was there “then” I would have opposed it, but I’m here now and refuse to feel guilty about it.

  • reel guid

    The company that runs Hinkley Point in Somerset is about to dispose of 300 000 tonnes of waste mud from the plant in Welsh waters very near Cardiff Bay. Plaid Cymru are rightly furious. Britnat ‘Welsh’ Labour, in charge of the Senedd, will likely let them do it. Just like the Westminster Labour government in the 1960s that cleared away a Welsh village and its people to make way for a reservoir to serve Liverpool against the votes of all but one of Wales’ MPs at the time.

    Meanwhile the blue half of the Britnat team is running a candidate in a Fife Council by-election who used an offensive comment a few years ago on his social media to describe the disabled. He also made comments about encountering “chavs” and “pikeys” in a visit to Lidl’s. Just par for the course for the ‘Scottish’ Tories.

    The Tories and Labour belong in another century. Scotland and Wales can only prosper now without them.

    • Republicofscotland

      reel guid.

      It was very disappointing to see a Labour ran Welsh government capitulate so easily to the British government, over the Continuity bill.

  • Sharp Ears

    Biting back to Mr Zuckerberg.

    Street artist transforms Facebook bus adverts with forthright message https://www.rt.com/news/436321-facebook-billboard-adverts-truth/

    ‘A protesting street artist has altered Facebook’s London billboard ads to include some home truths about the social media giant.

    The ad campaign was launched in a bid to win back consumer trust in wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal where raw data from some 87 million Facebook profiles was harvested by the political consulting firm for the alleged purpose of influencing the US election.

    READ MORE: Cambridge Analytica formally accused of violating US election laws

    The billboards included messages such as ‘Fake news is not our friend’ and ‘Data misuse is not our friend’.

    The statements did not go far enough for artist Protest Stencil, however, who decided to enhance the posters with some harsh realities about the corporation’s actual motives, as he sees them.’

    ?

    • Sharp Ears

      UK POLLING REPORT
      16 the August 2018

      ‘If I could teach people one thing about public opinion it would be how little most of the political soap-opera actually matters. Lots of the stories that obsess the Westminster media hardly break through to the public at all. Those people who do notice it tend to be the most political, meaning they view stories and scandals through the prism of their pre-existing political support. They believe accusations against politicians from opposing parties and think their misdeeds are awful, but doubt accusations about their own party and give their own party’s politicians the benefit of the doubt. The result is that most political stories don’t actually have that much impact on political support.

      /.
      http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/

      The column coloured pink in the polling refers to UKIP

      • Ishmael

        “Lots of the stories that obsess the Westminster media hardly break through to the public at all. ”

        Indeed, circle jerk. You’d think that they where ignoring us? …Fact is they know what many think on many issues, and do just that anyway.

        And when we do get a say? Well who cares on the result, I don’t think it mattered to brexiters, I think what matters is they knew it would be heard.

      • charming

        Well, we don’t know ourselves and can only marvel at our own ignorance. I don’t know myself so any decision I make is preordained. Real life experience takes a while to get into deep mind and we don”t even know it’s changed us. Rational decisions are an illusion – that’s how wars continue to fill the world with misery. Smiling for no reason at all releases endorphins so that’s a help.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unconscious_cognition

        • Clark

          “I don’t know myself so any decision I make is preordained”

          I’ve often wondered why so many equate free will with consciousness, as if the subconscious mind were purely mechanical, or in some way part of the environment rather than part of the person.

        • Paul Barbara

          @ charming August 19, 2018 at 19:31
          I have a naturally smiley look, to the extent that sometimes people make faces at me in the street, assuming I am smiling at them.
          I put it to my laid-back attitude (even when I’m seething inside re some injustice somewhere in the world), and also partly due to laziness, as it takes more muscles to frown than to smile.

          • Godolphin

            …perhaps if you explained ‘deplatform’ to those who haven’t acquired it to their vocabulary yet?

          • Clark

            “Deplatform” is what I described Facebook as doing to Alex Jones. People were saying he’d been censored, but he has his own website which is unaffected, of course.

          • Nick

            Perhaps due to the inadequacies of the format I’ve misunderstood your point(s). Anthony, it appears to me that you replied to Clark, not me, “Seconded” is a word and concept I clearly understand,
            It appears you’re asking me what my post means, however, but it means what it says. It’s pretty straightforward. Why not have a discussion about why these events prove (or disprove) a point.

            Goldolphin (sorry if I’ve got that wrong, I can’t see it when replying to myself – because I can’t reply to you directly) I’m quite old-school and neologisms aren’t always my thing. But isn’t the meaning obvious? If I said “Denying someone a platform to air their views”? Would that help you?

  • Observer

    @Charles 14h30

    Very astute summary on Corbin earlier on. I’d be very interested to read your views on Donald Trump, another politician who has never held office before. And where you see the November elections going and the overall question of a possible impeachment.

    Thanks.

      • Jo1

        SE
        “Hope you are not trying to belittle him.”

        That’s been the message from O throughout this long thread. I spotted it early and thereafter ignored.

    • Charles Bostock

      @ Observer (19h32)

      Thank you for that kind response and your question.

      It’s true that neither Trump nor Corbin have “held office” (to use your term) but in a way your question makes my point for me, surely inadvertently.

      It’s impossible to judge Trump at the moment for the very reason that he has not been in politics for long. Most of his previous life was spent in business.

      Corbin, on the other hand, has been in politics virtually all his adult life (I believe he’s never had a proper job) and has achieved zilch, nada, bubkis in his 30-odd years in the HoC. As I said, he’s no David Steele, no Jeff Rooker/Audrey Wise, no Tam Dalyell. It is on that basis that he can be judged,

      So I suggest you ask me again about Trump in, say, 5 years. Deal?

      • Observer

        Charles, I would never enter into a deal that were not fair to you. We should all have a fairly good assessment before 5 years hence. To some extent you may have answered some aspects of my question, again possibly inadvertently i.e. that he would survive all this discussion about impeachment and likely even go on and win a second term. One thing I can say is that he certainly seems to work hard for a man his age (72y) and has balls of steel given his combative style. More as we proceed.

  • Stephen

    I thought I would post what happened to me today on Yahoo news pages comments section to see if this is something anyone else has encountered.

    I have been following the Corbyn/ Labour smear campaign and the IHRA definition debate. After making comments about how the IHRA is not needed in the UK considering the wide array of race and religious hate and speech laws we have here that protect minorities. I have had all my comments wiped for the day which was probably 20-30. I continued to highlight our laws protecting minorities on the issue thinking maybe it was a mistake and low and behold they did it again about an hour later.
    This seems to be like the recent cases of social media wiping dissenting views.
    I would also say that I have encountered what seems like a very large number of very extremist bigotry spouted about Muslims and Labour alike on there and they seem to be almost hate speech to me, but nothing was done by Yahoo.

    • Stephen

      I have also found the name of a person that seems to be on some type of automatic censorship list on Yahoo news comments sections.
      If you mention Benjamin Freedman or the “Amazing warnings of Benjamin Freedman” it is instantly deleted and you simply can’t post no matter how many times you try.
      Palestine 1896 footage isn’t like on there either despite it being a Youtube video.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vaIK8wlAl0

    • Made By Dom

      In reference to your last point – yes, most of the anti-Corbyn comments I’ve seen on The Independent are coming from right wing extremists jumping on the anti-Left bandwagon. Many of the comments reference Muslims as the real enemy.

      The failure of the media to report the rise of rightwing extremism whilst simultaneously attacking the left is truly terrifying.

      Incidentally, about 4 or 5 years ago, It was clear to me that papers like The Guardian (who clearly had financial difficulties) were deliberately targeting and baiting UKIP supporters. Ironically, they were using their very open and free comment section to encourage a lot of very heated arguments. Back then, the extremists on the site were called trolls. These days, they’re called subscribers.

    • Clark

      It might not be Yahoo doing it. Certainly their e-mail system has been very insecure; they had a bunch of spammers running loose within their system for at least four years that I know of. And if they have moderation, it’s probably outsourced.

    • Charles Bostock

      You sent in between 20 and 30 comments? That’s about one every half hour. Perhaps the mods just got fed up with you or thought you were trying to hog things?

      • Stephen

        That included replies to replies calling me antisemitic and a Nazi and so on. The usual bile from those silencing debate.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Stephen August 19, 2018 at 20:03
      I suggest you post comments on the Independent comments section – they are pretty good.
      The Mirror just blocks me – no explanation.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Ishmael August 19, 2018 at 20:10
      Excellent point. For what it’s worth, I try to put this sort of info on MSM ‘comments’, where possible.
      May not do much good, but it can’t do any harm (Independent and Telegraph often have comment sections).

    • N_

      Good question. What’s the answer? It’s not because someone disagrees with someone else about how to define a word. The Tories seem to be loving the attacks on Labour. There’s cooperation between the Tory and Z__nist elites. There must be. One could find much more evidence of anti-Semitism on the right than on the left, especially given that it doesn’t exist on the left, but everything is being coordinated to focus on Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour party under his leadership. Whichever way we look at it, there’s been a minority government for a year now, and it’s unlikely this parliament will last four more years or even one more year, and when it does fall there’s likely to be a general election. Some people were mightily pissed off at how well Labour did under Jeremy Corbyn in the last one.

    • Sharp Ears

      The BBC’s refusal to answer Q 4 in this FoI request is sufficient to confirm that she is Hodge’s daughter.

      https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/160652/response/397381/attach/html/3/RFI20130706%20Final%20Response.pdf.html

      Hodge married Andrew Watson, an economist at the Dept of Transport in 1978. Divorced 19 years later. Two children from that marriage. Second marriage to Henry Hodge followed. He died quite recently. Two more children from that marriage.

      I read this profile of her. She is a controlling and manipulative person
      She even convinced the Bliars to move to the house next door. Incestuous NuLabourites.
      eg

      ‘But in 1973, she joined Islington council, north London, becoming its fiercely leftwing leader for a turbulent decade from 1982. With a house in the same street as the Blairs, a lawyer husband who employed a young Cherie Booth, and an ex-husband married to Jack Straw’s first wife, her Blairite connections are impeccable. Her political transformation – condemned expediency by some leftwingers – was cemented when, as the new MP for Barking, she co-nominated Mr Blair for party leader in 1994.’

      The Guardian profile: Margaret Hodge
      The Children’s minister who paid heavily for libelling an abuse victim is either warm, clever and without a shred of cruelty, or ruthlessly ambitious and seen as insincere – it depends whom you ask
      Sarah Hall, political correspondent
      21 Nov 2003
      https://www.theguardian.com/society/2003/nov/21/childrensservices.schools

      Another one.

      We got things wrong wrong
      profile; Margaret Hodge; The former Islington leader is finding it politic to eat humble pie.
      Paul Routledge
      28 May 1995
      https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/we-got-things-wrong-wrong-1621507.html

      Yuk.

        • N_

          In 1968 Margaret E Oppenheimer married Andrew P Watson.

          Their children were Nicholas Daniel Watson, birth registered 1971, and Elizabeth Jane Watson, birth registered 1973, both in the St Pancras district.

          The latter is probably Lizzi Watson, although it hasn’t been 100% confirmed.

      • N_

        In 2003 Hodge didn’t just libel one of the victims. She also tried to stop the BBC reporting child abuse allegations in Islington.

        What next?

        How about if someone puts the 1975 Johnny Go Home documentary (plus followup) online somewhere? Perhaps on a torrents site? Those who want to talk of “censorship” might like to ask why this is so hard to get hold of. The original two-parter won a BAFTA too.

  • James

    Goodness gracious me…. At 4000 plus off-topic comments, this blog has become entertainingly irrelevant. Is everyone waiting for Craig to post another, rather random rant?
    I stumbled over this blog due to the dodgy Scripal narrative, but since came to understand the limitations of such blogs for enlightenment!
    A pity from my side, as I quite well know Craig’s”worldview”, and may have met him in Belgrade 2003, but I would find this online orgy of onanistic awfulness embarrassing, as I suspect does he. Perhaps Craig thought it would start something good.
    , or perhaps he’s topping up his reduced fco pension pot. If the former, he was wrong, I fear. Let’s hope he’s putting food on the table this way.
    Great sorrow
    James

    • Shatnersrug

      There’s always so malcontent that pops up here at the end of 4000 comments to stay how irrelevant and awfully mastabatory All the comments are. The stunning lack of self awareness is always a giggle. Onan isn’t Aramaic for James is it, per chance?

    • Republicofscotland

      “but I would find this online orgy of onanistic awfulness embarrassing, as I suspect does he. ”

      Really James, it’s just as well its not your blog to be embarrassed about then. However I’m sure your blog, if you have one that is, has far more than 4000 comments on one thread alone

      I should add that Craig values free speech and opinions, maybe that why his blog is popular. But I’m sure you already knew that James.

      Have a very good evening.

    • Ishmael

      Seems pretty natural after 28 pages, & For your information Craig likes to keep it on topic for the first page only.

      Or do you expect 4000 on topic comments for 2+ weeks? Doesn’t sound like a very liberal sort of enlightenment. & If so not much of an example are you?

      GOTO page 1.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ James August 19, 2018 at 21:10
      Yes,dreadfully foolish giving up a lucrative job. I’m sure you wouldn’t have been so foolish – so who cares if the Uzbeks were (and probably still are) boiling people alive? I’m all right, Jack…no skin off your nose…

      • James

        My sorrow was for Mr Murray; wading through the mumbo-jumbo must be a bore. Sorrow also that his noble aims are being diluted, paradoxically by such drivel as this very post.
        I salute Mr M, a good friend in British Council faced similar (though unrelated) circumstances, which ended his career in diplomatic service in 2002/3, and I knew of others in the same predicament around that time.

        • glenn_nl

          I wouldn’t worry, James. CM doesn’t read any comments past the first page or so – you might have realised that from the entire lack of reply from him (here, or on any other of the high comment-count posts).

          If you have sympathy, extend it to the poor, thankless Mods who do actually have to wade through all this rubbish.

  • Ishmael

    Meh, can’t sleep now anyway, may as well take on this. re ROS & Dave

    “Dave
    August 19, 2018 at 19:11
    If you don’t control your own currency and borders, you’re not independent. The SNP’s support for the Euro and open borders means they are the enemy of Scottish nationalism, betraying its founders for office.”

    The market is global system. nobody is independent.

    Nationhood is only given recognition by other nations, part of a stupid global system. The air we breath is global system. “independence” is an ideological fantasy in about every level imaginable. In what way do “we” control currency? the market, as just people?

    like national “self” determination. Eg, [group – self] determination? an oxymoron. Kids are still going to end up in factories in Scotland. It’s got nothing to do with reality, with people, individuals determining their own future..

    It’s an ideological trap with which “leaders” con people. But red poison apple. The things that really effect peoples ability to determine their own lives politicians don’t focus on. Why? Because it’s the road to obsolescence. And they don’t want that, they and to stand above everyone & be a big somebody, know as a “true scot”, or a “true brit” or just for the cash.

    & you have the audacity to call ME “so conceited” ROS?

    And gullible plebs look all starry eyed at these religions freaks. Just as they did Hitler. Or the church leaders back in the day offering salvation to THEIR flock.

    Why don’t you guys (not very respectfully) peddle you snake oil to your cat. But you won’t will you? No you’ll go on and on and on and on. You won’t hear the truth because if doesn’t fit your religious ideology.

    • Ishmael

      What really curtails our self determination is the nation state private property system you fight to maintain. You ripped apart our communities, claimed ownership over the land which there are no “rights” to. And enslaved humankind to mammon.

      You are the “evil”. If such a thing ever was.

      • Dave

        In practice there are degrees of independence due to size, resources and location, but its not an accident there are more nations than ever emerging as the world gets richer and bigger. Hence its a question of degree and the SNP were offering devolution in EU rather than devolution in UK. But a British and Ireland Union, with devolved governance from City of London, outside EU would qualify for the term independent. And people want the sense of accountability and control that gives, but yes, it would still be sensible to cooperate with the neighbours.

        • Ishmael

          “the world gets richer and bigger”

          Sorry, I’m finding increasingly difficult to even engage with the absract tropes of your religion.

          “there are degrees of independence due to size”

          So the more we cut up the world the more individual freedoms we have, As we must cross more boarders, change currencies, & deal with the fallout of increased isolation rearranging the chairs on the titanic. Fact is the smaller the groupings the less we can do anything about it. Those small nations (few, & especially not low lying islands etc) may seem to be doing better now, but you fail to take into account what’s happening overall in the international global system of the “free” market. …It’s Patent blatant nonsense.

          Again, even if true (which it isun’t) you fall to recognise the dichotomy between the nation and the individual. Inconvenient to your religious dogma. Clearly my repetition of this just flies over head. Dunno why I bother.

          We will NEVER Never ever have anything like the freedom we had before this system was enacted in this system, in this nightmare. And the horrific things we deal with as a result of it’s adherence. It’s not getting more free overall for actual people. Take a look around.

          How you nationalists can deny stuff in front of your eyes, it’s just astounding.

          In fact it makes sense in a way, the closer to doom the more alluring the snake oil seems. Im surrounded by Nigel Farage…

          • Dave

            And your religion is one of many competing religions saying serve God and everything will be fine, but it wont be because the real world gets in the way and just as you have competing nations you have competing religions that are potentially more deadly because their ambitions are global rather than local. Read Schumacher “small is beautiful” to understand localism can empower rather than weaken communities.

          • Andyoldlabour

            @Dave,

            “Read Schumacher “small is beautiful” to understand localism can empower rather than weaken communities.”

            One of the most pleasant places I have visited in Britain, is Totnes in Devon, a small but thriving town, and as friendly a place as you could hope to visit.
            It has its own currency – the Totnes pound which is used alongside sterling and used by around 120 businesses in the area.
            I think that religion divides people, causes conflict, and brings out the very worst in folks who already have a penchant for evil.

  • Radar O’Reilly

    As we all know, Article.10 of the Human Rights Act is about opinions & expression, communication, this post, [your right to hold your own opinions and to express them] there are some national security exemptions, natch.

    So when many loosely related groups feel required to issue a statement, emphasizing their Art.10 rights, because they are apparently threatened, then you might need to read more…

    we reaffirm our fundamental right to the freedom of expression, and publicly to express our anxieties about the suppression of information on the history and lived experience of our communities

    from https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/letters/letters-ihra-definition-palestine-israel-bame-sexism-labour-denmark-a8496251.html

  • Brexiteer

    Whats the damage for the 20% UK guarantee for ECB debt accumulated by the PIGS and Eastern European EU members? Is it included in the David Davies £40b Brexit divorce bill? As the balance of trade lies in favour of the EU, really a no deal Brexit is the best way forward, an extra 10k staff can take care of the increased paperwork. The main thing is to enact the English Channel Wall asap as the 15m sins of French colonialism and like, find our benefits and medical systems much less hostile than on the continent. The Wall will also need to be patrolled as the hordes try to windsurf across like the Iranian gay asylum seeker did a while ago, btw those “cocklers” in Morecambe were actually part of the 15m Chinese diaspora fleeing the Far East for the UK, dropped off by boat. This cant be allowed to happen.

  • Sharp Ears

    Does the millionairess need the money or are times hard?

    ‘But now the veteran Labour MP, Dame Margaret Hodge, is seeking a salary for a voluntary post at a university, it has emerged.
    Dame Margaret, the former chair of the public accounts committee, applied to be Chair of Council at Royal Holloway, University of London, which was advertised as an unpaid position.

    However, sources have claimed that the former minister said that she would only take up the post if it came with an income of £20,000 per annum.

    Dame Margaret, who has served as MP for Barking since 1994, was honoured by the Queen in 2015 for her political and public services.
    A source told The Sunday Telegraph said that the university role “attracted well over 100 good applicants when it was advertised. So lots of capable people wanted to volunteer to give back to support the University.

    “Royal Holloway University’s statutes, or laws, forbids the University from paying their Chair of the Council a salary. The post has to be done for free. This did not deter our Labour MP who is not willing to do the job for nothing, even though it had been advertised as a voluntary job. A very socialist approach to volunteering and the public good.”’

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/2018/06/15/veteran-labour-mp-dame-margaret-hodge-seeks-salary-voluntary/

    Chutzpah.

  • Sharp Ears

    How many more G4S failures is this ‘government’ going to tolerate until there is total collapse as in the case of Birmingham Prison, one of five prisons that G4S operate?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_prisons_in_the_United_Kingdom
    Serco and Sodexho also operate prisons.

    MoJ seizes control of Birmingham prison from G4S
    Government steps in after report reveals shocking levels of drink, drugs and violence
    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/aug/20/moj-seizes-control-of-birmingham-prison-from-g4s

    That ball of fire, Rory Stewart, the Prisons Minister, is coming on the News Channel this morning.

    Last September there was a riot at Birmingham which was subdued by a special riot squad sent in by the Prison Service.

    Also last September, the G4S operative at a detention centre had to stand down.
    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/sep/22/head-of-g4s-detention-centre-quits-after-abuse-allegations

    A shambles.

    • Sharp Ears

      It is unbelievable that the contract for Brook House was renewed three months later after a token resignation and a few staff changes took place.

      G4S to keep lucrative contract to run an immigration detention centre despite claims of drug use, violence and bullying
      The Home Office will let the security firm G4S keep its detention centre contract
      The company has previously faced serious abuse allegations including drug use
      G4S subsequently suspended ten staff and its director Ben Saunders resigned
      The Home Office declined to comment on the £150 million Brook House contract
      10 December 2017
      http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/news/article-5163543/Security-firm-G4S-keeps-contract-run-detention-centre.html

      • Rod

        I think it’s quite believable that the government will return the running of this operation to G4S after the mess has been rectified, much in the same way that they return other public utilities (railways for example) to the private sector once they have been sorted out from a self induced calamity. It’s what they do, it’s their philosophy not to have what should be a state responsibility run by the state as there’s no profit in that for the likes of G4S; and it’s all about profit – that’s ‘the name of the game’.

  • Ishmael

    I know it may seem unpalatable, But now is the time for unity across the England Ireland, Scotland & Wales. And a rethinking of things that will effect us all.

    And Europe. We must find a way to re-itergate in a more democratic & progressive way.

    This kick everyone else in the nuts approach is so disempowering. Self harm. Those who engage in this kind of politics are fostering the worst kind of result. Really a nonsense approach to how we CAN develop.

    Enough with the Trumpisum.

  • Brian c

    “Full adoption of the IHRA definition of anti-semitism will be a major victory both for Israel and its apologists in Britain, who who have been seeking to silence all meaningful criticism of Israel, and for the British corporate media, which would dearly love to see the back of an old-school socialist Labour leader whose programme threatens to loosen the 40-year stranglehold of neoliberalism on British society’

    https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/08/20/corbyns-labour-party-is-being-made-to-fail-by-design/

  • N_

    Margaret Hodge

    I hadn’t heard of the chap who posts to Twitter as “Dame Alun Roberts” before, but he is posting tweets to remind people about Margaret Hodge’s deeds and connections. Those who use Twitter may consider his efforts worth retweeting or otherwise circulating.

    The fact that billionaire-bracket Hodge’s nephew Philip Edmonds ran away early from the hotel in Praia de Luz hours after Madeleine McCann’s so-called “disappearance” was reported, so fast that he didn’t even check out, and then he flew straight to Switzerland, is interesting. No reasonable explanation has ever appeared for him changing his arrangements or acting in such a hurry.

    Remember that two of the group of medics staying at that hotel – David Payne and Gerry McCann – have had witness statements made to the Portuguese police about them alleging that they spoke in a very disgusting and paedophile way about Madeleine McCann while she was alive. The statements are known as the Gaspar statements.

    And Hodge’s actions to protect organised child sexual abusers in Islington and to pillory and attack their victims seem way beyond what might be the kneejerk actions of a powerful individual in local government who is simply an extremely unpleasant and shitty person. A number of victims and investigative journalists have made that point.

    Guess what. Some Tories are implying that ongoing leftwing efforts to publicise Hodge’s background and family connections are racist. That is such an insult to people who really are victims of racism, but of course we have been here before.

    • N_

      Also worth mentioning is that Kate McCann’s close friend Esther McVey now sits in the British cabinet.

      McVey is a crook with a family background in scaffolding and construction gangsterism in the northwest of England.

      She has also expressed her admiration of William Lever, who ran a slave regime in Congo under which about a million people were killed, if I remember correctly. He was a kind of vice-regent to the King Leopold of Belgians. Nowadays there is the multinational Unilever.

      Several things about McVey’s background and connections are interesting. These include how she swanned into a very well-paid position when she was without a parliamentary seat for a while; and how she is shacked up with Philip Davies, widely known as the MP for the gambling sector.

      There’s some interesting material on McVey here and here.

    • Dungroanin

      That is one hell of a collection of links to the state run child sex abuse saga – why it will never be revealed. Top down rottenness – how much does Betty know? She is often potrayed to be well informed – Her sons seem to be associated with many of the ‘dark forces’ and all is explained as to how the major high profile paedo’s have never been subject to justice.

  • Ishmael

    O and BTW, We can deliver on the sillily mandate over immigration by taking the soviet/communist approach to health care, Preventative. Don’t bomb places & invest in the places we helped destroy.

    But we can’t do this alone, but part of a reformed Europe? Just call it something else. DEG (Democratic Europe Group or something) And when we also improve life conditions (by entirely unrelated to immigration means) of people in this country they will have entirely forgot about the “immigration issue” and we can actually then get back to the immigration we NEED to maintain ourselves & develop…

  • Ishmael

    Dave
    Dave August 20, 2018 at 11:21

    I don’t have a religion. I look at facts on the ground.

    You’ll never give in will you? Try reading Marx (science looking at the material reality of the system we live in) if you don’t believe what your seeing & need a book. But frankly anyone with their eyes open can see what’s going on. Pointing to a book rather than addressing the points I made, (clear as day), tells me all I need to know about your supposed defence.

  • Paul Barbara

    Owen Jones of the Guardian tells it like it is:
    ‘The Corbyn wreath ‘scandal’ is just an exercise in hypocrisy’:
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/aug/14/corbyn-wreath-terror-victims-memorial-israel-palestinian
    I got an interesting snippet that I had not known about: the Bliar laid a wreath at the funeral of Ariel Sharon in 2014, coincidentally the same year as Jeremy Corbyn was involved with the wreath laying in Tunisia.
    No howls of protest then!
    And in 2006, Netanyahu commemorated the bombing of the King David Hotel, callinf the perptrators ‘Freedom Fighters’ and not terrorists.

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