A Gangster State 1085

Max Weber defined a key attribute of a state as holding the monopoly on the legitimate exercise of violence within a given territory. For anybody other than the state to use substantive physical force against you or to imprison you is regarded as an extremely serious crime. The state itself may however constrain you, beat you, imprison you and even kill you. That link is on deaths in police custody. I might also quote the state murder of 12 year old British child Jojo Jones, deliberately executed by drone strike by the USA with prior approval from the British government.

That is but one example of the British state’s decreasing reticence over the use of extreme violence. The shameless promotion of Cressida Dick to head the Metropolitan Police as reward for orchestrating the cold-blooded murder of an innocent and unresisting Jean Charles de Menezes is another example. So is Savid Javid’s positive encouragement of the US to employ the death penalty against British men stripped of citizenship.

There are a class of states where the central government does not have sufficient control over its territories to preserve its monopoly of violence. That may include violence in opposition to the state. But one further aspect of that is state sanctioned violence in pursuit of state aims by non state actors, done with a nod and a wink from the government – death squads and private militias, often CIA supplied, in South America have often acted this way, and so occasionally does the British state, for example in the murder of Pat Finucane. In some instances, a state might properly be described as a gangster state, where violent groups acting for personal gain act in concert with state authorities, with motives of personal financial profit involved on both sides.

It appears to me in this sense it is fair to call Britain a gangster state. It has contracted out the exercise of state violence, including in some instances to the point of death, against prisoners and immigration detainees to companies including G4S, who exercise that violence purely for the making of profit from it. It is a great moral abomination that violence should be exercised against humans for profit – and it should be clear that in even in most “humane” conditions the deprivation of physical liberty of any person is an extreme and chronic exercise of violence against them. I do not deny the necessity of such action on occasion to protect others, but that the state shares out its monopoly of violence, so that business interests with which the political class are closely associated can turn a profit, is a matter of extreme moral repugnance.

Rory Stewart appeared on Sky News this morning and the very first point he saw fit to make was a piece of impassioned shilling on behalf of G4S. That this was the first reaction of the Prisons Minister to a question on the collapse of order at Birmingham Prison due to G4S’ abject performance, shows both the Tories’ ideological commitment to privatisation in all circumstances, especially where it has demonstrably failed, and shows also the extent to which they are in the pockets of financial interests – and not in the least concerned about the public interest.

I should add to this that Tories here includes Blairites. Blair and Brown were gung-ho for prison privatisation, and even keen to extend the contracting out of state violence for profit to the military sector by the deployment of mercenary soldiers, which New Labour itself consciously rebranded as “private military companies”. Iraq was a major exercise in this with British government contracted mercenaries often outnumbering actual British troops.

The reason for the state to have the monopoly of violence in any society is supposed to be in order to ensure that violence is only ever exercised with caution, with regret and in proportion, solely in unavoidable circumstances. It is the most profound duty of a state to ensure that this is so. The contracting out of state violence for private profit ought to be unthinkable to any decent person.

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1,085 thoughts on “A Gangster State

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  • J

    All Scots (and everone else in these isles) should email to protest this potential disaster. Fucking mental:

    “This is a long thread about seaweed. Sorry but I’ve had enough of the craziness. I’m copying most of the facts from my amazing pal’s @AilsaMcL facebook page. Ailsa’s a marine scientist. She’s not sleeping at night because of this. She’s right to be worried.

    We have till Friday to email [email protected] to tell them why it’s a criminal idea to consider granting a licence to a company called Marine Biopolymers to mechanically dredge for kelp along vast areas of the West Scottish coastline. Marine Biopolymers plan to start dredging kelp up by the roots up and down the West Coast of Scotland. They’re using all sorts of green, environmentally-friendly, soothing language to defend their proposal. You don’t need a PhD or a biology degree to argue against this. It would be madness to remove the bottom of the marine food chain and one of the few things that can ameliorate the impacts of climate change.”

    Link: https://twitter.com/ullamuddle/status/1032249315383803904

      • Republicofscotland

        Thank you Sharp Ears, the coasts and shallow waters around these isles are for everyone to enjoy.

    • Republicofscotland

      Thank you J for that information, I’m aware that MP Ian Blackford knows about it, and is currently making enquiries. It’s totally unacceptable.

      • Charles Bostock


        Am I correct in thinking that it’s the warm, cuddly, caring Scottish government in Edinburgh ( an SNP government, I believe) which is being petitioned and not the evil, colonialist, gangster government in Westminster?

        • Republicofscotland


          You know fine well there are no warm and cuddly governments, just on occasion difficult decisions. However Craig makes some good points in his article.

          I wonder however, if Westminster is a gangster government, and it certainly looks that way, what do that say about the Knesset?

          • Jo1

            You dodged the question RoS!

            The Scottish Government, and relevant MSPs, will be involved with this too, not just Blackford.

    • Kerch'eee Kerch'ee Coup

      Unbelievable to read about this proposed brutal despoilation of kelp beds about to start,failing judicial review otherwise, in Bantry Bay and then along the East coast of Lewis and Harris.Although kelp can be gathered in reasonable quantities, tearing it out by the roots will have a devastating effect for much longer than the six years of the initial licence.
      Seaweed is rather neglected in these islands of ours, apart from the dulse at Old Lammas Fair and the Welsh laver(for many years gathered from nearWindscale/Sellafield nuclear power plant. Some people on Rathlin are now growing laver and exporting it to Japan following the marine pollution from Fukushiima. In Korea every rock along some areas of the coast is the preserve of a particular family for gathering a type of kelp valued highly in cooking and post-natal lactation. Some families have paid for college education and new houses from the gathering and export to Japan of hiziki, a round seaweed.Essentially we need to study the possibilities of sensibly making use of the rich seaweed resources around the coasts and not destroying a vital part of the marine eco-system aswould result from mechanical removal.

    • Loony

      Marine Polymers seem to be saying that they want the kelp in order to produce products with a wide range of human benefits.

      If this is true, or even believed to be true then they – or someone like them will take the kelp.

      What is your argument? That a few scientists and outraged locals should have an effective veto over a wide range of human benefits made available to a wide range of humans.

      Professor Bartlett told y’all years ago how this would all end – and things like this make it pretty conclusive that we are in the end game.

        • Loony


          Do you really think this will be decided by experts who “understand?” Or do you think it will be decided by money? My bet is that if someone can make money out of this and market the whole deal as having “human benefits” then they will do what they want to do. What more is there to understand?

          If you truly believe what you write then you are a simple fascist arguing in favor of a dictatorship of the technocrats.

          • ADKC

            Klep is common and it’s benefits well known. There is no great need urgent need for more kelp.

            The issue is the dredging of the sea bed which is destructive and causes long term damage. Unchecked private interests will cause long term damage to environments for short term profits (just like Volkswagen in mexico) and pass on the costs to the people.

            The damage caused by dredging for kelp far outweighs any gains.

      • J

        Kelp can be farmed. There’s absolutely no need to do any of this. Your argument fails right there.

      • Clark

        Loony tell us, “Resistance is Useless!” but in a few more words. I’d expect similar from the Vogons’ PR company.

  • Sharp Ears

    This is telling the auburn blond property developer and his sidekick Bolt-On.

    ‘Palestinian leaders reject Trump pledge to give them something ‘very good’
    Published: 22 Aug 2018 | 15:59 GMT

    Palestinian leaders on Wednesday rejected overtures by US President Donald Trump after he said they would get something “very good” in exchange for his country recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

    Senior Palestinian official Ahmad al-Tamimi said the US president’s assertion that he had removed Jerusalem from future negotiations was “a continuation of the US policies in favor of Israel.” Speaking to Palestinian news agency WAFA, he added that Trump’s push for a Israeli-Palestinian peace deal was impossible without “recognizing east Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian state.”

    Speaking in Jerusalem on Wednesday morning, Trump’s National Security advisor John Bolton said he hoped the Palestinian leadership would move on from the embassy issue, AFP reports.

    Secretary-General of the Palestine Liberation Organization Saeb Erekat rejected Bolton’s comments, saying that east Jerusalem must be the capital of a Palestinian state.’


    Good for them.

    ‘Sumud’ – steadfastness.

    • Anon1

      So they refuse to accept something that has already happened and reject a deal even though they don’t know what it is yet. You have to say the Palestinians are very often their own worst enemy.

      • SA

        The recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital has only happened by US’s might is right approach and by a handful of minion states supporting this move. Even the US’s favourite poodle has not supported this. As to rejecting a deal though they don’t know what it is, what they do know from history is that the source of the deal is a duplicitous state and more so administration.

        • Dave

          Understandably the world condemns US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, due to support for the defunct “two state solution” but the move is a victory for Palestine because it brings a comprehensive peace conference and resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict closer.

          The facts on the ground are with a large Jewish population Israel exists and with powerful friends will continue to exist, but will it be as a multi-national or Jewish state? Likud half settled the matter by making a Palestinian state unviable and in so doing made a Jewish state unachievable without genocide, hence the need for the “Nation Law” and “Apartheid” to make a multi-national state Jewish!

          But its a no hoper because it can’t in practice be enforced unless everyone agrees to abide by “separate but equal” which was the case in the American southern states and in South Africa, which was a Mecca for the neighbours, but once there was agitation, supported from outside, for “equality” it couldn’t be sustained.

          This means Trump’s move brings centre stage the multi-national One State Solution that wont be able to resist the agitation for “equality” which will deliver civil rights to the Palestinians and other Arab and non-Jewish Israeli’s, which many had already, despite the new laws to prevent this.

          And the historical compromise will come as the mixing in and outside Israel continues and the old guard Zionists die off.

      • Sharp Ears

        Just because the auburn blond property developer states something, it is not necessarily true.

        He and his following will be gone ere long.

        Palestine, the Palestinian people and Jerusalem will remain.

      • Republicofscotland

        “So they refuse to accept something that has already happened”

        I suppose that’s a two sided coin, after the Bar kokhba’s revolt, Hadrian changed the name of Judea, to that of Syria Palestinia.

        Jerusalem became Aelia Capitolina.

      • Charles Bostock


        As the late Abba Eban once said : “the Arabs never lose an opportunity to lose an opportunity”

        (Note to the historically challenged : Abba Eban was a long=term Israeli Foreign Minister)

        • Observer

          The unfortunate truth.

          Sharpie wants them to stay ‘steadfast’ = Committed to their misery?

          • SA

            You, Charlie and Anon 1 seem to ignore that there are People called Palestinians who also have rights. You are always siding with the oppressors and feel smug about it. Is this not blatant racism?

      • Ingwe

        You’ve posted some real crap Anon but this crass posting is the bottom of the barrel. But I guess you’ll keep digging!

      • ADKC

        Israel has made it clear that the two state solution is dead. Palestinians in the Gaza and the West Bank should therefore have full rights as citizen of Israel, including the right to vote. This means that Jew are no longer the majority in Israel.

        Is that the deal on offer? I very much doubt it.

        Or is it one where Israel is a apartheid state where there is a Jewish ruling class and the Palestinians are defined as a sub-class confined to Bantustans. That sounds like more what Israel is hoping to achieve.

        This is the unpleasant future: The Palestinians will never get their homeland back. They will remain an oppressed people. Unrest will become semi-permanent. At some point Israel will decide to end the problem and will commit genocide. Everyone will live happy ever after and no-one will mention the Palestinians ever again.

      • N_

        “Something that has already happened” 🙂 Settler regimes have fallen before. Reparation have been paid too. Stealing something doesn’t mean there’s universal law that you keep it.

    • SA

      The Israelis and thier supporters don’t like the idea of peaceful Sumud, that is why they provoke to the extent that they can then justify air raids and even more murder of civilians.

    • Radar O'Reilly

      And didn’t Trump’s National Security advisor John Bolton also raise the issue on his middle-east tour that there might suddenly happen to be a novichok outbreak in Idlib?

      How can US’s National Security advisor John Bolton know for certain that as Syria is mopping up the complicated remains of many years of externally funded head-chopping attacks against the Syrian government, that they will use novichock at the very last minute?

      seems almost apocalyptically prescient

      My friends used to work in Syria, under the previous Assad regime, and it was scary. A no-nonsense police state, best friend of the West.
      Now, strategically again – with the near-rout of the mercenary miltant insurgents – novichok, is nonsense. Does ‘unfriending’ by the West carry a high risk of sporadic isolated novichock outbreaks? Something must be done!

      (*) novichock: other CBRN agents are available, phone Boris or Hamish for advice confidentially on 0800 789 321 if you are worried that your neighbour is about to implode/disappear/be invaded.

    • fwl

      Nothing wrong with a reunion party – they should be free to meet up if they wish. Its their time, money and lives. If you want to punish then that is for the criminal courts not the anti-party courts of social media and politician’s sound bites.

  • Charles Bostock

    I have yet another genuine question – of a general nature.

    Hardly a day goes by without he BBC and “newspapers” such as The Sun, the Daily Mail, the Daily Express having a bucket of shit thrown over them by commenters on here.

    Why, then, do the same commenters keep linking to them?

    Are they not afraid of being defiled by so doing?

    • Carl

      If they are headlining the anti-Semitic smear against Corbyn they will be linked to by the poster called Republicofscotland. The Express, the Spectator, you name it. It does not defile him/her in the eyes of the other regulars, far from it.

      • Republicofscotland

        Thank you Carl for your honesty, both the Spectator and Express are staunchly anti-Scottish independence. Bit I don’t readcomments from you complaining about that.

        However, a few post on stories about Corbyn by both, and you’re up in arms. I didn’t realise you were so thin skinned.

        • Carl

          Huh? You don’t link to any of their anti-Scottish independence articles; only to their ‘Corbyn hates J*ws’ ones. Anybody who constantly promotes that Likkud lie about a great anti-racist should be called out. Especially if they’re trying to represent themselves as having the same moral clarity as Craig Murray.

      • Sharp Ears

        RoS probably wants eight or more years under the Tory cosh and that’s what we will have if the naysayers don’t shut up. Don’t imagine that Scottish independence will be achieved under the present incumbents in Whitehall.

        We have had six years of OS-TERRI-TY from Agent Cameron and Gideon and two years of the feeble Theresa May version. The country has never been so badly governed nor has it ever been in such a rundown state, even in wartime. Everything is collapsing.

    • Kerch'eee Kerch'ee Coup

      @Chrles Bostock
      May I ask a couple of questions. “Are Samaritans now legally full citizens of that land in contrast to the Druze?”
      “Would members of the Reformed sects(mostAmerican readers of Forward)be allowed to pray inside a Third Temple ?”

      • Charles Bostock

        I would love to answer, Ketchup, but I honestly have no idea of what you’re on about.

        • Kerch'eee Kerch'ee Coup

          @Charles Bostock
          Samaritans hold both Palestinian and Isrli IDs and seek to remain neutral amid the conflicts.Although able to travel to Jerusalem,Mount Gerizim not the Temple Mount is their sacred place.
          Secondly, at the Wailing Wall women and reformistas are even now only tolerated with the recent fall ofa large block being attributed indirectly to their attendance by the Deputy Mayor ofJerusalem.
          Reformistas are not regarded as fully halal and mus tundergo,like Ivanka Trump, a full conversion.
          Therefore it is to my mind unlikely they iould be admitted to a third Temple ,even ,the poor schmucks, having devoted their energies and tithes to supporting its cause.

    • SA

      As usual Charlie, your question rather than being genuine, is disingenuous. But as usual and for the nth time let us attempt to give you the benefit of the doubt and explain. Ah changed my mind, why bother?

    • Clark

      Charles Bostock, August 22, 19:00:

      “Why, then, do the same commenters keep linking to […] bucket of shit “newspapers” such as The Sun, the Daily Mail, the Daily Express?”

      It’s called “working with what we’ve got”. That’s the short answer. To flesh out the details: –

      These disreputable rags do at least employ reporters, who do actually report things. Those reports then have spin imparted by editorial policy. Systematically and selectively, certain aspects of the reports are played up while others played down, generally to the benefit of the powerful. Some are brandished across the front page while others are buried in obscure columns, or are barely linked to on the websites. Hugely misleading headlines are added by editorial staff. Etc.

      As is typical we have a pyramid, with much genuine hard work occurring at the lower levels, and laziness, venality and corruption increasing towards the top. But the new democratisation provided by modern publishing technologies permit the general public to rearrange things to their own advantage. Therefore we do so. OK?

  • Sharp Ears

    Philip can multitask. Not only can he put the bins out. He can also invest in Lockheed Martin whose bombs kill Yememi children. How will Theresa get out of this one?

    Aug 22, 2018 11:03

    Yemen school-bus airstrike: Theresa May’s husband’s company has shares in firm that made bomb
    Capital Group, the company that employs Theresa May’s husband, owns a large number of shares in the company that produced a bomb which killed 40 Yemeni children in a Saudi Arabian attack on a school bus.

    Her weedy new Foreign Secretary commented:

    ‘Speaking at the US Institute of Peace in Washington DC on Tuesday, newly appointed Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said that Britain was ‘concerned’ about the situation, adding: “Saudi Arabia is a close military ally and they help keep the streets of Britain safe.”

    On the issue of arms sales, Hunt said that the UK has “one of the strictest systems in the world” when it comes to the “mechanics of arms sales.” According to Hunt, arms-sales agreements are kept “under constant review” so that the UK can make sure munitions are being “used in a way that is consistent with the agreements made when they were sold.” There has been no announcement of any action from the UK government since the killing of the Yemeni children
    The most recent report by the UN High Commission for Human Rights stated that there have been 17,062 civilian casualties since 2015 in Yemen, comprised of 6,592 deaths and 10,470 injuries.’

    How facile of you Mr Hunt to talk about keeping the streets of Britain safe in the context of the subject of dead children.


    • SA

      According to the Madeleine Albright school of thinking ‘the price is worth it’ providing it is other people’s’ children.

      • Garth Carthy

        “According to the Madeleine Albright school of thinking ‘the price is worth it’ providing it is other people’s’ children.”

        Yes, I’m sure the politicians who say and do things like Albright, Clinton, Hunt, Kissinger, Rumsfeld, Netanyahu et al are a bunch of psychopaths – bearing in mind that psychopaths are drawn to positions of power.

    • N_

      Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said (…) ‘Saudi Arabia is a close military ally (of Britain)’.

      Will he publish the treaty, or will its terms stay secret? What formal obligations has Britain taken on to defend Saudi?

      What pisses me off sometimes is that no MPs have the imagination or guts to ask this obvious question.

  • Nick

    Can I just say, apropos of nowt really (i.e. off topic), this blog is amazing, full of interesting thoughts, ideas, conversations. Interacting with it hasn’t exactly been a chore, but I had a thought today (I don’t have many) that the medium is not conducive to encouraging the wide-ranging topics that people here cover. It’s the only blog I know where people can range freely, and widely, without being shouted down. (For the most part.) There’s surely many others, for sure.

    I’m a huge fan of free speech. So I’m asking anyone technical out there, is there a better way to harness these thoughts and this energy?

    • Tony_0pmoc


      Whilst sometimes it doesn’t work out too well, coming from a largely scientific, practical, mainly engineering family, I am a big fan of the concept, particularly of this blog over the last 10 years.

      “If its not broke, don’t fix it.”

      Some things need monitoring, inspecting, and sometimes repairing, like bridges.

      You may get upset, when you are deleted and banned, but the moderators are merely trying to improve the content.

      It’s Craig’s blog, and you should feel priveleged like me, when you are occasionally allowed to write here, without being almost instantly deleted.


      • Nick

        Hi Tony

        I appreciate what you’re saying. I’ve plenty of my own personal experiences to support that (I worked in IT for quite a few years – note I’m not a computer scientist or technician). I would probably have to admit I come from a more impractical family than yours!

        I’m not upset, nor even really frustrated, just garnering thoughts. I’m certainly not demanding anything. But clearly sometimes the format does make things a little more difficult. Will you even find my reply to you?

        Anyway, I fully understand that changes cost time and effort and money, so that’s another practical angle.

        I’m definitely grateful to Craig for sharing his thoughts and providing his blog. I guess I feel privileged in some sense of the word – but it is a bit of a two-way street. I come here not just for his thoughts but yours. You add content and value to his blog. You can take his ideas (and yours) and share them elsewhere and by other means (by you I mean the readership in general). If Craig wrote his blog and no-one read it, would there be a point to it?

        Just my thoughts (which don’t add much value perhaps haha), not whining I hope,

    • Clark

      I very much like Wikipedia. I accept the various criticisms made, particularly that partisan editors apply spin, and that it is too accommodating to the slant projected by the corporate media. Nevertheless, the editorial process is unusually transparent, the rules are mostly sensible, and the project has accumulated and organised what must be the best collection of links ever compiled. Please learn the rules and become an editor.

      Another approach to organising information and argument according to subject would be for commenters here to make use of this site’s forum facilities. Unfortunately, nearly everyone seems to prefer to bask in the limelight of the front page. I assume it’s an ego thing.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    As I had some sympathy with the previous page, started by Rosa, I thought I would mention a two word fairly recent American phrase corruption of the English language, which originated in “customer service” of American companies and government departments, who really couldn’t give a sh1t about their customers, that is even worse than “have a nice day”

    I find “reaching out” so incredibly annoying, because in reality what it means is “Fck off and go away moron. I have better things to do, than talk to you. I hate my job, and I hate you”

    Whereas in Lancashire, they serve you your fish and chips, and you both may say “Thanks Love” and mean it.


    Apologies, for grammatical errors and content.


    • Kerch'eee Kerch'ee Coup

      Is the origin of the phrase”Have a NiceDay” really associated with Purim and the Book of Esther about when so many Iranians were killed? I thought it was just an anti -semitic yarn that shopkeepers of that ilk therefore had their assistants always use it, but was surprised to see it prominently displayed by a highly security -conscious chapter house of Chabad Lubaivitch.

      • N_

        Will the government f**k up with its “no-deal Brexit advice” as badly as they did with “Protect and Survive” in the 1980s?

        The buzzphrases are going to start fighting each other. You can’t have “just in time” distribution together with “preparedness” and “resilience”.

        I’ve been watching the share price of Aggreko, the country’s largest supplier of emergency electrical power and refrigeration facilities. Its CEO used to be Rupert Soames.

    • Shatnersrug

      It’s stupid loaded question and I applauded Jeremy for not being drawn into it. Our manifesto is clear – we support a democratic “once in a lifetime” referendum. People were asked to vote a third didn’t bother even though it was made perfectly clear it wasn’t an election. At least 50% didn’t bother to research the actual facts relying on the exaggerating bbc on one side and idiotic Big name Tories on the other. It’s our own fault whichever way you spin it.

      The question is simple, how do we get out of this mess. That fairly clearly not this government. So flounce off and vote green or whoever if you like(not you RoS I know who you’re going to vote for!! Monster raving loonie of course ?)but any vote thr doesn’t see a labour majority/lead government will result in 5 more years of Tories. That’s how our crap system works – I wouldn’t choose it but there it is.

      Trying to do a gotcha on Corbyn isn’t going to work and it isn’t even relevant. All channel 4 door with a loaded question like that is show their loyalties to Alister Campbell’s Portland Comms. And their spoiled ‘I live in London , it’s a world city ya know not like the rest of the uk” snobby twaddle.

      The referendum is in the past, the future is whether we want to be a tax exiles country or one that works for the people.

      As it goes I reckon we have another two months and then a second ref will be announced. The removal of Paul Dacre from the Mail replaced with Gordie Greig a heavily pro EU supporter. I think the over arching strategy if to cancel Brexit, and their country on death and better press to do it.

      There certainly won’t be another election for 4 years no matter how week the Tories are, it does not suit the interests of their donors.

      • Republicofscotland

        “It’s stupid loaded question”

        Shatnersrug, not giving a straight answer, after declaring that straight answers is the way to go, doesn’t do Corbyn any favours.

        Everyone and their granny knows Corbyn is anti-EU, so why hide it, and appear less credible. It reeks of playing to the masses to gain EU remainer votes.

        • ADKC

          Everyone knows that Teresa May wants to stay in the EU, that Corbyn wants to leave, and Sturgeon wants to stay in the UK. But none of them
          can say it because then all hell breaks loose.

      • Shatnersrug

        *** The removal of Paul Dacre from the Mail replaced with Gordie Greig a heavily pro EU supporter being s huge plank – I think the over arching strategy is to cancel Brexit, and their counting on death and better press to do it.***

        Sorry autocorrect issues.

        Here’s some apostrophes to make up ‘’’’’’’’’”””””””

        • Ken Kenn

          Many people in the media and the Labour party are saying Corbyn is really pro leave and then asking him to rebel and become pro Remain.

          Make your minds up boys and girls.

          My view is easy. Cocky Cameron ( a Tory) and Theresa may ( a Tory ) plus Doris Johnson et al ( all Tories ) are responsible for the current mess and the Tory party can clear all this Brexit business up only when and if the alleged ‘ Rebel Tories ‘ do some rebelling.

          Everyone forgets that Corbyn’s Labour Party is not conducting the negotiations with the EU – the Tories are.

          Of course all theories on here and in the media in general can be tested by a General Election but as you say it doesn’t suit the interest not just of donors but of the Tory rebels ( this is why the don’t rebel) and many idiots like Umuna and John Mann as the last thing they want is a Corbyn led government as it would turn their cosy world upside down.

      • N_

        @Shatnersrug – I agree there will probably be another referendum, but 4 years until the next general election seems unlikely, especially in the event of a hard Brexit.

        How would Geordie Greig sell Remain in the Daily Mail? What are Daily Mail readers more scared of – food shortages, or black men, Romanians and Muslims jumping out at them? It’s got to be the latter. Immigration hasn’t gone away as an issue. These types aren’t going to think “we had our say in 2016 and now we’ll move on to something else”.

        A referendum on hard Brexit versus Remain will be the far right’s dream come true.

        And there are an awful lot of stabbing and shooting stories right now.

        • Shatnersrug

          Yawn. You snp lot are clearly very shaken by labour returning to the left. SNP can’t attack them from the left anymore lest they become socialist which is unlikely couple with the uK Parliamentary SNP proving so clearly to have been absorbed by the establishment, your left trawling the daily express for excuses.

          • SA

            Yes I notice that the SNP lot in this blog like to snipe at Corbyn. I wonder whether they know how to best achieve what they say they want?

          • Republicofscotland

            “You snp lot are clearly very shaken by labour returning to the left. ”


            Try telling that to those living in Wales under a Labour government, who won’t even mitigate the Bedroom tax.

            Or Labour in Scotland who vote with the Tories to keep out SNP MSP’s and councillors.

    • Carl

      Yet you’re a prolific promoter of Israeli interference in UK politics. What a piece of work you are.

      • SA

        Don’t understand your point. Are you criticising ROS for promoting a fact or are you saying that what he promotes is not a fact?

        • Carl


          These are the facts I’m referring to:

          “RepublicofScotland” floods the comments section of Craig Murray’s site with links to every assertion of the Likkud lie that the leader of Britain’s opposition party is an anti-Semite. A smear that is intended to delegitimize Jeremy Corbyn’s criticism of Israeli treatment of the Palestinians.

          Within a heartbeat, the same poster will be seen trying to affect disapproval of Israeli interference in other countries’ politics.

          It speaks to the seriousness of the other regulars that “RepublicofScotland” appears to be a respected contributor.

          • Republicofscotland

            Facts you say Carl?

            So when I post comments denouncing the Tories or Israel, which I do regularly its good to know that you see those comments as facts.

            Or when I post comments of nefarious US activities around the globe, or China’s illegal expansion or the vile blasphemy laws of Pakistan or the plight of the Chagossian people.

            Sadly Carl I cannot comment on all the subjects I post about.

            But I’ll take note of the umbrage you feel over posting about Corbyn.

      • Iain Stewart

        Chomsky is 90 years old which is I imagine older than most of us and has been politically active since the late 1950s so that’s a lot of decades. He used to be about the only figure that both Sharp Ears and the late (lamented?) Habbabkuk agreed to despise (for different reasons no doubt, not hard to guess). Anyway, what is wrong with repeating what cleverer people knew already? Apart from Chomsky being both a depressing speaker and writer of course.

    • JOML

      It might help Spain if they didn’t have a border in Africa? Perhaps the Spanish in Ceuta could move to Gibraltar? Didn’t all European ancestors come from Africa? So many questions…

      • Tony_0pmoc


        The daft thing about that. although I got a Grade 1 “O” Level and CSE in Geography 50 years ago, is that a few years ago, I was at this British rock festival in Spain for a week or so, and they were advertising day trips to Gibraltar, when there was nothing else on.

        I never looked at the map, to see where I was, and I have been to Morocco twice.

        I thought Gibraltar, until today was where Ceuta is – on the other side of the water, and it involved a ferry trip.

        Just goes to show, The Spanish are as bad as us, but probably not as thick as me.


        • Salford Lad

          Osama Bin Laden died in 2002 of renal failure. His death notice was published in Saudi and Pakistan newspapers at the time.
          The Abbotbad farrago was a Hollywood job to help Obama in an upcoming election.
          The purported ‘kill team’ SEAL Team 6, were shortly after killed in a helicopter crash, that is the real mystery.

      • pete

        Spain has two enclaves in Africa, the second being Melilla.
        “Melilla is the smaller of the two cities in land area. It claims approximately twelve square kilometers (4.6 square miles) on a peninsula (Cape of the Three Forks) in the eastern part of Morocco. Its population is slightly less than 80,000 and it is situated along the Mediterranean coast, surrounded by Morocco on three sides.”

    • SA

      Anon 1
      I thought you are an advocate for posters commenting rather than just posting links. Or is they a rule for them and a rule for you.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    William Blum is not my favourite author, but I think he may well have had his “St Paul on the Road to Damascus” moment, especially when his book was supposedly recommended by Osama Bin Laden in 2006 (who had already been dead for nearly 5 years), as it massively increased his book sales.

    Still, that was 12 years ago. He is 85 years old now, and doesn’t seem to have lost any of his marbles…

    “The Mind of The Mass Media: Email Exchange With a leading Washington Post Foreign Policy Reporter”
    William Blum
    The Anti-Empire Report
    Sat, 18 Aug 2018 20:27 UTC



      • Tony_0pmoc


        Didn’t you see The Live BBC report broadcast direct from outside “his house” by the BBC Irish Journalist, hours after “bin Laden was killed in 2011”, talking to all the locals, who knew the man inside very well, before it was deleted???

        She was even more convincing than Jane Standley, who admittedly was even faster.

        Keep Up girl? – or ask your old man.

        It will be there somewhere in the depths of the internet. It is your challenge to find it. Google probably won’t help. They are very good at cleaning (deleting) these things.


      • King of Welsh Noir


        The alleged killing of Osama bin Laden by the Navy Seal team is a great example of just how utterly daft an official narrative can be and yet still be promulgated without challenge by the servile lickspittles in the MSM.

        Bearing in mind that Saddam Hussein was lynched, and Colonel Gaddafi was sodomised with a bayonet, the US Govt narrative asks us to believe that out of respect for OBL’s religion he was given a burial at sea hours after his death.

        ‘Because there was no land alternative.’

        “The disposal of — the burial of bin Laden’s remains was done in strict conformance with Islamic precepts and practices. It was prepared in accordance with the Islamic requirements,” adviser John Brennan told reporters at a White House briefing. “We early on made provisions for that type of burial and we wanted to make sure that it was going to be done, again, in strictest conformance.”


        According to emails acquired by FOI requests none of the circa 3,000 ship’s crew aboard the USS Carl Vinson saw the hour-long ceremony on deck. Which means that it is apparently possible to sneak a raiding party aboard a nuclear powered US aircraft carrier by disguising it as an Islamic funeral.

        No photos were taken, there was no autopsy and no DNA samples.


        It beggars belief that anyone would believe all this.

        As Salford Lad said, he died in 2002.

        Sometimes I get the impression our rulers release this stuff just to laugh at us. Recall how shortly after the alleged raid they released the contents of Osama’s book shelf and all the courtiers in the mainstream media billed and cooed. ‘Oh look! He reads Chomsky and William Blum and wow he has a whole stack of 9/11 Troofer books.’

        You could almost hear them laughing from Langley Virginia as they compiled the list.

        One thing they didn’t find at Osama bin Laden’s house was a kidney dialysis machine, without which he couldn’t have survived more than a few days.

      • Clark

        MaryPaul, I think it’s best to say that the evidence is mixed, and concentrate instead upon more penetrating questions. For instance:

        The US Seal Team coverage shows that it would have been easy to apprehend the target for public trial. Since this person allegedly had detailed knowledge of terrorist operations, was he instead killed to deprive the public of his testimony?

        The target’s house allegedly contained much “9/11 Conspiracy” material. But if what we have been told is true, surely Osama bin Laden should have already known precisely what happened that day?

  • Sharp Ears

    A prescient warning.

    Sixth Mass Extinction Ushers In Record-Breaking Wildfires and Heat
    Dahr Jamail
    August 20th 2018

    ‘In our current mass extinction event, however, rather than the CO2-caused warming coming from a volcano, it is anthropogenic (human-caused), and the climate is not just warming, it is disrupted. And this time, rather than the process taking tens of thousands of years as it did during the Permian mass extinction, humans are increasing atmospheric CO2 levels far, far more rapidly.

    Whether or not humans go extinct remains to be seen, but there is no denying that sustaining 7.6 billion humans while we are forcing the extinction of between 150-200 other species each day and have pushed Earth’s climate out of its natural state is very much in question. I’ve spoken to prestigious scientists both on and off the record who believe that sooner rather than later, global population will be reduced to around 1 billion humans.’

    Dahr Jamail reported from Iraq during The Bush/Blair Shock and Awe horror. He was unembedded so he is therefore a very brave man.
    I have his book – Beyond the Green Zone…. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dahr_Jamail

    I met him and Mohammed Omer in 2008 when John Pilger presented them jointly with the Martha Gellhorn Prize. When Mohammed returned to Gaza via the Allenby Bridge, he was given a roughing up by Shin Bet. His house had previously been demolished and a brother killed.
    See Incidents – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohammed_Omer

  • shugsrug

    Re the marine dredging of kelp. The problem is the ruination of an entire eco system that supports a vast array of marine life, and ultimately virtually everything else, including us. Sadly it is already allowed, in dredging for scallops within the previous 3 mile limit, granted by Margaret Thatcher in the 80’s.
    If you want to see a desert, dive into a dredged area, quite remarkable how nothing exists. Dig bellow the surface and see the ruination of what was once there. On the other hand, dive into an untouched kelp bed, and you will see all types of sea life. Anyone who thinks sea dredging is a good idea is insane. Sadly there are many who clearly are.
    Further, you can farm kelp, as some already do, causing less harm.

  • Mochyn69

    Good news at last.

    The toxic tory party is now receiving more in donations .. in legacies from its deceased members than in membership fees from the doddering!


    • Paul Barbara

      @ Mochyn69 August 22, 2018 at 22:26
      Silly them! They should have at least tried a death-bed conversion to Jeremy, to try to annul their sins.

    • Alex Westlake

      That statistic only takes into account membership subscriptions which are paid centrally. Most members pay their subs to their local association, which then sends a proportion to CCHQ

    • Ingwe

      Let’s hope the Tory coffers swell by many more deaths. Pity naked avarice doesn’t kill the benefactors.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    Despite the ongoing, and unfolding tragedy in The Ukraine, and I have met a girl from Eastern Ukraine down my local pub, this article written by a bloke from Kiev, who I have never heard of – Rostislav Ishchenko – is completely briiliant. Unfortunately few Americans will be able to understand it.

    “How Putin Solved the Problems of Europe and the US in Passing with Merkel”



    ” Four years have passed and sanctions are imposed even for the fact that the Brits out of fear killed the cat of the Skripals”

    “But here it became clear that the Americans want to take away from the Germans their “cow” – the European Union, and to milk it themselves. But Germany in exchange is granted the “honourable” right to increase military expenses fourfold and switch from Russian gas to the three times more expensive American gas.”

    “At this moment something skipped a beat inside the Germans. ”

    ” In general it entered the bürgers’ mind that Germany has two paths: to perish once again, or to make friends with Russia and smoothly but quickly – since the time for reflections passed already five years ago – reorientate its economy from the American to the Eurasian market.

    This is a very difficult and painful process, and the Germans up to the very end tried to change nothing, hoping that somehow they will come out unscathed. But they didn’t. The weakened America, in the inverse proportion, became so impudent that it tried to decide on Germany’s behalf what gas pipelines it should build and which ones “harm European security”.

    If the current crisis doesn’t transform into a global catastrophic military conflict, and all the history of mankind will remain, then the future generations of historians will undoubtedly pinpoint the discussion about “Nord Stream-2” as one of the main reasons for the disintegration of NATO and the reformed European Union’s reorientation from the US towards Russia.”


    • Paul Barbara

      @ Tony_0pmoc August 22, 2018 at 22:27
      Unfortunately, I suspect the CIA is controlling the German intelligence agencies and military – that is generally how they work…

      • Tony_0pmoc

        Paul Babara,

        Well of course they are, but it became clear to me, only a few years ago, that now the Americans were doing, something that they had never done before in my lifetime.

        I did write about it, probably here.

        The American “economic” attack on Russia, is in reality – an attack on Europe.

        The Americans are attacking us. Whilst I am not particularly a fan of the EU, Ms Victoria Nuland, not only spelt it out quite clearly – She said it Live and Clear. I felt sorry for Baroness Ashton of Upholland, who was just so naive and not used to dealing with such vultures. It was like sending an English school girl, to an American Satanic Mass.

        “Fck The EU” – do you want the full audio? Even I didn’t say that – She Did and meant it. Arrogant B1tch.

        There is a completely appropriate European response, except we are much more polite.


        • Paul Barbara

          @ Tony_0pmoc August 22, 2018 at 23:38
          Sure, they are attacking ‘us’, the people, just like they attack the people in the US.
          But if the military and security services, and the politicians, have been ‘bought ought’/compromised, we’re still in shtukh.
          The Yanks prefer to work through a country’s military, training (and indoctrinating, and treating them just fine), supplying arms to their countries, and providing trainers in their use, and introducing them tp the Freemasonic Fraternity….
          It’s played and played, and was on steroids in Latin America with the Juntas.
          A wee bit of bribery by Lockheed kept the German air force buying the F-104 Starfighter, which the air force nicknamed the ‘Widowmaker’. Pilots kept dying, but the top brass had nice fat pensions.

          • Tony_0pmoc

            Paul Barbara,

            Yeh, I understand all that, but the Germans, are not stupid. My niece is married to one. It’s all very well not reacting to the most outrageous American provocation, as if its a typical female, of the type, I rather like. You keep quiet and agree, and say yes love, and carry on as normal with your original plans which in the case of Germany, is building another pipeline to Russia in a joint venture for Gas supply to keep warm in winter and power your industry.

            Apparently British Gas (Centrica) have negotatiated a deal with the USA, to buy some of their LNG Gas, once the Americans have built their LNG export terminals and infrastructure and ships to be able to deliver it, cheaper than The Russians can supply by pipe.


  • Cesca

    Bless you Craig, the US/UK are all the disgusting ists you want to call them, fascists, corporatists, oligarchists etc. You needed a break cos of feeling heartsick bro, thing is that is a still heartsick article. Just remember you have provided masses of vital info and owe nothing to any1, look after yourself mate.

    I’m Cesca01 on the Guardian,now IceArtemis on the Indy too, who do allow a much better debate than the Guardian, who rarely open comments and are censoring opinion. This comment about the prison crisis i posted on the Indy, might help give you some hope others are trying to get the msg out there too Craig:

    *I’ve been seriously concerned about what’s happening in our prisons for a long time, especially since we do imprison so many ppl. We’re not as bad as the US system yet, well on our way tho.

    IMO, prisons are for keeping society safe from those who are a danger to it, perpetrators of reasonably SERIOUS crimes and persistent perpetrators of light crimes. I do think there must be a strong enough punishment element to deter those who might commit crimes without such a threat, surely rehabilitation efforts should be a strong element tho? In countries which use such methods, studies suggest recidivism reduces considerably.

    Our disgusting Prison service dehumanises ppl and pees over Human Rights imo, no wonder re-offending rates are so high. Privatising prisons, allowing them to run as a business, can only lead to massively expensive disaster, like in nearly all our services which have been privatised.*

  • Cesca

    These were my responses to Hodge’s evil in the Indy and Guardian, Politics Live Craig:

    *Wow! That is a serious doozy of a diatribe, Mags has officially entered the Twilite Zone. S’pose some logic could be attributed to it if she was to turn out to be a secret JC fan really, on a mission to prove orgs. like Labour Friends of Israel are not friends to ordinary Jewish people/British ppl. Won’t hold my breath on that one tho!*

    *I’m not surprised much of our MSM isn’t reporting Hodge’s car crash interview on Sky, just hope it makes some who doubt how many malicious lies and smears are being told about JC, realise it’s a real possibility.

    Think Norman Finkelstein sums up the outrage and hurt many Jewish ppl feel after her Sky interview, seriously well in this vid: Norman Finkelstein to Dame Margaret Hodge: ‘You haven’t a clue what you’re talking about’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=297&v=xt5fOmtJfGQ*

    • Cesca

      Oops, didn’t post the full first comment……….

      *Wow! That is a serious doozy of a diatribe, Mags has officially entered the Twilite Zone. S’pose some logic could be attributed to it if she was to turn out to be a secret JC fan really, on a mission to prove orgs. like Labour Friends of Israel are not friends to ordinary Jewish people/British ppl. Won’t hold my breath on that one tho!

      It’s likely she wants to be expelled to kick off the usual suspects leaving the LP to start a new Party. Please, go for it, the LP will be WAAAY better off without their ilk causing strife, can even get on with preparing to possibly be the next Govt too.

      Doubt she’ll accept or feel shame for the harm she has done to ordinary Jewish people by her vile, opportunistic trivialisation of genuine AS, or the hell she’s caused for JC, who is a lovely dude.*

  • Ishmael

    One for “Craigs blog” & the many right wingers who frequent it.

    ” . Millions of human beings have laboured to create this civilization on which we pride ourselves today. Other millions, scattered through the globe, labour to maintain it. Without them, nothing would be left in fifty years but ruins. . . . There is not even a thought, or an invention, which is not common property, born of the past and the present. . . . By what right then can anyone whatever appropriate the least morsel of this immense whole and say—This is mine, not yours? “(Kropotkin [1892] 1995, http://ia600800.us.archive.org/4/items/conquest_bread2_1709_librivox/conquestofbread_01_kropotkin_64kb.mp3

  • Cesca

    Russia interfered in the election, tell me a powerful state that doesn’t do such things, don’t single out Russia. Course the most hypocritcal to condemn Russia are the US./UK who think it’s their right to interfere in the Govts, by invasion most of the time.

    Fact is Assange would love to testify the main allegation is false, it was a deliberate leak by a Dem who was murdered, cos evidence shows Bernie was deliberately robbed of the nomination, by Hillary and the Dems elite. Which is being ignored cos of the Russia stupidity, when there is real proof for what Hillary and the Dems did!

  • Curious

    The December, 2008 Guardian noted that Jean Charles de Menezes’ friends were “terrified”, presumably because they saw “accidents” happening to some of his close friends. From testimony, it was evident that police had confiscated de Menezes’ mobile phone immediately after his death, so they would have known who he spoke to. Can this assumption be confirmed?.

  • Paul Barbara

    ‘Uri Avnery Superstar’: https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-uri-avnery-superstar-1.6409974
    ‘History remembers the trailblazers; now that Israel’s great warrior for peace is gone, we can see more clearly than ever just how courageous he was.
    It’s doubtful whether even Uri Avnery expected it would go like this, that news of his death would make so many waves. A very old man, who never held any official position of power, who didn’t “build” or “create,” didn’t enter into any peace agreements and didn’t send anyone to war, who was maligned for most of his life, served two and a half terms in the Knesset on behalf of a fly-by-night party 50 years ago and edited a weekly newspaper with a limited circulation, which closed over 25 years ago, has been at the center of public attention for several days now.

    To really understand Israel and the Middle East – subscribe to Haaretz

    Even in death Avnery managed to imbue a spirit of hope: Maybe there is a civil society in Israel, there is a value to protest, to waging a struggle without surrender, and room for an individual to exert influence, even if that person belongs to what is considered the radical left.

    Decades of Sisyphean struggle, with a trunk in an old-fashioned Volvo that was always stuffed with flyers and flags, ended in a final blast of recognition and appreciation for Avnery. It turns out that he played an important role in the life of the country and in the lives of many people, perhaps even more than this not entirely modest man thought. In a country where the elderly are abandoned and the dead are forgotten, where the death of an impressive and outstanding intellectual and media personality like Yirmiyahu Yovel met with surprising, not to say infuriating, public silence, it’s encouraging to see that there’s still room for appreciating personalities like Avnery.

    We remember the trailblazers, those who marked the boundaries, those who broke the consensus, the courageous ones. On the other hand, the cowards are forgotten, the middle-of-the-roaders don’t leave an impression. All the evaders, the compromisers, those who say nothing, those who toe the line, the obfuscators, the tricksters, the deceivers, the actors and the collaborators are doomed to extinction in the test of time. Decades of obedience will leave nothing behind; those who dare will win, even if only in memory. That’s an important lesson for those for whom it’s important to leave behind a legacy.

    It’s a particularly important lesson for all the middle-of-the-road people in the Zionist left: Who will history remember: Avnery, or Avi Gabbay? What will you remember of Isaac Herzog? Tzipi Livni? The hope of Benny Gantz? What will remain of Yair Lapid? What remains of Shimon Peres? People who held far more senior leadership positions than Avnery could have dreamed of will be completely forgotten. Avnery will be remembered.

    Will Tamar Zandberg ever get up her courage like Avnery, whom she is eulogizing so well, cross the lines and try to meet with the Hamas leadership and express solidarity with besieged Gaza? Is there even anyone else on the Zionist left who will do what Avnery did?

    >> Uri Avnery, Shaper of the Israeli Consciousness ■ How Uri Avnery, the First Champion of the Two-state Solution, Laid the Foundations for Political Dissent in Israel | Analysis

    That’s true of both the right and the left. In his day Avnery set the boundaries of the peace camp. Meir Kahane, on the other hand, set the boundaries of Israeli Jewish racism and hatred. Both left their mark and won’t be forgotten. One left a mark of hope, humanity and liberalness, the other a mark of ultranationalism, violence and evil, and therefore the comparison between them is difficult and infuriating – but it’s impossible to ignore the fact that both of them set boundaries, which have also been expanded.

    Kahane’s racism, though ostracized at the time, has become more than politically correct; Avnery’s radical meetings with the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization, and talk of a two-state solution, which was once considered extreme, have become the broad consensus. Which of the two of them had more influence? Horrifyingly, Kahane won. Perhaps that will eventually be reversed.

    Avnery was not radical left, as he was described. He was and remained a Zionist. Anyone who believes in the two-state solution is by definition a Zionist. Historian Ilan Pappe made an important distinction this week on the Israeli left between those who consider the 1967 occupation the mother of all sins, whose end will solve everything, and those who consider the ethnic cleansing of 1948 the original sin that was not corrected, and feel that unless that happens, there will never be peace.

    Avnery belonged to the former camp, of course. He waxed nostalgic about ‘48 and fought against ‘67. His war was determined, courageous, pioneering and revolutionary. After his death, it has once again become clear to what extent.’

    I put the whole article in, because as well as a major loss to truthful news about I^rael/Palestine, it sometimes comes up behind a paywall.
    On this occasion it didn’t.

    Uri Avnery, God bless you. RIP.

  • Sean Lamb

    Are there any Iranians here?

    Apparently the Scottish Independence campaign was all an Iranian influence operation all along


    It is appears Iranians are better at advocating for Scottish independence and appearing Scottish than real Scots are – I guess once you have managed “Hoots mon!” you are pretty much in.

    The insanity continues…..

  • Antonyl

    Please study this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Partition_of_the_Ottoman_Empire
    Over a dozen states emerged from that split up ever since 1922: 9 ended up Islamic, 3 Christian, one mixed and finally now one Jewish. Why all the brouhaha only about the last one? The Kurds, Assyrians, Turcomans, Yazidis, or Druze never got any state: the Arabs got 9. The Armenians got the biggest massacre.

    P.S. Qatar gained own independence in 1971, UAE and the Yemens in 1972.

    • Cesca

      Hopefully, few ppl have a prob with Israel existing Antonyl, the prob is with the Govt, it isn’t a Democracy all. It’s not right to just judge Israeli ppl for going along with their Govt tho, i saw the C4 doc back in the early ’10’s, where school students were told on their school trip to Germany, they’d be hated and in danger.

      • Cesca

        When i say the Israeli Govt isn’t a Democracy, few countries even try to aspire to it, the US./UK are Oligarchies, even Fascist States. The only countries that even try to be Democracies, are places like Switzerland and Belgium

    • Sharp Ears

      Because they occupied the land of another people, the Palestinians, by force, dispossessing them of their homes.

      • Antonyl

        Force, you mean like North Cyprus, half Syria, half Lebanon, parts of Irak, the Armenian part of Turkey or the Greek or the Kurdish part? Even Kuwait had to fight for its independence. Now Yemen is trying.

      • remember kronstadt

        Ah, just another triumphant Brexit – didn’t we do well. Zimbabwe, India et al. Remember everything and learn nothing.

  • Sharp Ears

    Spot on Jeremy! It’s high time for the BBC to be sorted out. He should go further than this though.

    ‘Mr Corbyn also proposed to expand an existing joint BBC-government scheme to fund and develop local journalism.
    While reiterating his support for the BBC as a publicly owned broadcaster, he also suggested ways to democratise the corporation.
    He proposed the election of some seats on the BBC board and concrete measures to decentralise the broadcaster across Britain’s nations and regions.’

    Corbyn vows to reform Britain’s rotten media
    23rd August 2018
    LABOUR leader Jeremy Corbyn outlined major reforms to fix Britain’s broken news media in a speech last night.
    Giving the Alternative MacTaggart Lecture at the Edinburgh TV Festival, Mr Corbyn vowed to support public interest journalism by giving it charitable status and creating an independent fund paid for by tech giants.

    He warned that the public has little trust in the current media and that without major changes, Britain’s public spaces for debate and information risk being controlled by “a few tech giants and unaccountable billionaires.”

    The Labour leader, who has previously chaired the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) parliamentary group, also expressed his support for strengthening freedom of information (FOI) rights and ending ministers’ power to veto disclosures.

    The veto, which was used to withhold information about Tony Blair’s decision to invade Iraq, was condemned by Mr Corbyn, who said it “can’t be right” and assured his audience that Labour in government will investigate ways to strengthen the power of the Information Commissioner.


    • Clark

      Excellent. Mr Corbyn identifies a highly legitimate target, and rather than threatening to take control, offers to decentralise and democratise it. This affirms his claim of being a social democrat.

      We can now judge the media by the ways they choose to report Mr Corbyn’s proposal.

      • Loony

        Why is this excellent?

        The BBC is a rotting and corrupt organization and left to its own devices will surely disappear. It will disappear because less and less people are inclined to pay for its poisonous output. So now Corbyn wants to dragoon third party entities into paying for it. Why should they? and if they do are they not then responsible for the vile lies spewed by the BBC.

        You can look at the BBC from Iraq to Jimmy Savile to the anti semetism row through to Scottish independence, Trump and Brexit. Try and reach any rational conclusion that the BBC is not terminally corrupt.

        Corbyn should be trying to kill the BBC, not refinance it. In this regard he does not actually have to do anything at all – just watch it sink into the abyss and try to block out the screeches of its final volcanic eruptions of idiotic lies.

        • Vivian O'Blivion

          Every once so often, the planets align and I find myself in agreement with you. The BBC (news and current affairs) is corrupt beyond saving. The deification of Ruth Davidson and the contrived attacks to malign Nicola Sturgeon (and I ‘ain’t no fan of Nicola) are proof that integrity has passed beyond reach. The undoubtably good people will find a berth in an organisation with credibility. The others can tout their credentials as propagandist to Rothermere, Murdock and the Barkingmad brothers.

          • Hatuey

            Loony is the unsung hero of this forum. And in this case he couldn’t be more right. The BBC is beyond the pale and beyond redemption.

            The Corbyn speech was in Edinburgh and, as usual, he’s grappling in the dark trying to find things that will appeal to people — depending on who he’s talking to — rather than speaking out of conviction or principle.

            In the earlier pages of this discussion I was confronted by the usual gang of well-meaning goons who want us all to buy into the idea that nationalisation and public ownership equates to Godliness. Well, I’ve yet to hear a defence of the BBC that wasn’t premised on the beauty of humming birds, so here’s your chance.

            The BBC is a very typical example of a publicly owned institution; over bloated, corrupt, full of self importance, very politically active, etc. Until recently it was a sacred cow but people see it for what it is now.

            I worry that we are all blinded to the failings of the NHS now as we were to the failings of the BBC in the past. One could definitely make a case.

            I note that medical professionals generally are considered untouchable angels within our cultural bubble. But the truth is that some terrible crimes have been committed by people in that profession.

            It’s the same in other countries. You know, medical professionals were the most represented of all the professions within the Nazi party. I remember reading about the Armenian Genocide which someone mentioned above — it was more or less conducted by the medical profession, when you look into the grim details.

            That’s troughs for you.

          • Clark

            Corbyn, the BBC, the NHS, medical professionals, Nazis, Armenians, sacred cows and hummingbirds; Hatuey’s entirely rhetorical comment has all the focus of a bird dropping. Loony repeatedly tells us “give up! All your efforts are futile; only Trump can save you”, and Hatuey, apparently an “anarchist” for the private sector, chimes in proclaiming Loony’s heroism!

            Corbyn offers to work with what we have. We have the BBC; the people via an appropriate government could improve its structure, and thus it could set a good example, raising the bar for all news media. The private sector has the other media organisations; only the shareholders can influence them. Likewise we have the NHS. The private sector has the medical and pharmaceutical industries.

          • glenn_nl

            Two right-wingers giving each other back-rubs, how thoroughly original. Do you know there are mutual appreciation societies set up for just the likes of you, where you won’t trigger the gag reflex in normal people?

            Perhaps the two of you will break into a duet to praise the genius and superhuman brilliance of the Almighty Trump next.

          • Nick

            I found Loony a little too abrasive for my taste at first, but I do appreciate his opinions – even if I don’t always agree.

            Re Trump – I’m interested in the events in the US. My feeling is that it’s hard to see him in any objective light. If he isn’t the fascist, racist monster he is regularly portrayed as, I have a feeling (just that) there will be more than a few on the Left who will look a little foolish.

            It appears most here will agree with the bias and agenda(s) of the MSM, but will unquestioningly believe it’s narrative on Trump.

            No, I’m not a Trumpista!

          • glenn_nl

            Have no fear, Nick – Trump is a fascist lunatic and no mistake. The most corrupt individual ever to have held high office in the US, so let nobody say he never achieved anything of distinction.

          • Nick

            glenn_nl, I’m sure you were trying to cheer me up there, but I’m not sure you did 😉

          • Sharp Ears

            Try the American model of ‘healthcare’ Hatuey. Many US personal bankruptcies are attributable to inability to pay medical bills not covered by ‘health insurance’.

            ‘May 16, 2018
            Medical bills were the biggest cause of U.S. bankruptcies, according to a CNBC report. It estimated that 2 million people were adversely affected. A popular Facebook meme said the 643,000 Americans go bankrupt each year due to medical costs. President Obama, in his 2009 State of the Union address, said that a medical bankruptcy occurred every 30 seconds. That’s 1 million bankruptcies in a year.
            The best way to avoid medical bankruptcy is to prevent medical bills. To do that, you must prevent or manage chronic diseases. The most expensive are diabetes, at $26,971 per family, and neurological disorders like multiple sclerosis, which cost $34,167 on average. The biggest expense is hospitalization, which caused half of the bankruptcies.

            High medical bills from accidents can’t be avoided. For those situations, a financial cushion is a must. Sock away three to six months of expenses in a savings or money market account. Only a third of Americans have more than $1,000 in savings.

            As the research shows, health insurance won’t completely protect you. Many people were bankrupted by high deductibles and other out-of-pocket expenses. You should have at least the amount of your deductible in savings. ‘

            The message of this piece is ‘Don’t get ill’. ‘Don’t have an accident’. ‘Don’t contract a serious disease’. It’s almost funny. It even quotes Kaiser (of Kaiser Permanente) to whom Hunt and teams have paid several visits. It’s his model for us.

            Look them up. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaiser_Permanente

            NHS and Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, Visit the CTH
            June 3, 2014
            Representatives from the National Health Service of England, along with British Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, paid a visit to the Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health on June 2. This marks the second visit to Kaiser Permanente…

            In answer to this FoI request, https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/430298/response/1047314/attach/html/2/attachment.pdf.html
            you have to plough through several links to discover that Jeremy Hunt declared expense of £3,813.55 for his visit to the US in June 2014 to Kaiser/Group Health/Virginia Mason/Alere Inc. No mention of the cost for his entourage. On that link, I noticed that he was given dinner by KPMG. He attended very many other dinners in his time as SoS for Health. How does he stay so slim? Must be all that cycling!

            PS Hunt made several other visits to Kaiser.

          • Clark

            Nick, Trump’s highly corrupt, but he’s not as bad as the (sinister) Neocon and (useful idiot) Democrat dominated mass-media are painting him. I think the biggest dangers are his idiocy and inconsistency, and his enthusiasm for spending money on the military. He’s a huge problem domestically within the US, regressing to outdated technologies, undermining science and reason, promoting divisive ideology and associated policies. Internationally he’s a loose canon, seeming to agree with whichever national leader he last met up with, until he meets someone else. That’s probably less bad than a focussed campaign to confront Russia, which is what we could have expected from Clinton. Hopefully he’ll be gone soon.

          • Hatuey

            Clark, there’s nothing rhetorical about it. I used to be a very typical left wing automaton who wanted to nationalise things and feed the poor. Then I grew up and realised;

            1) the 1970s, when the whole economy was basically publicly owned, were the poorest years of my life. And it seemed like everyone was poor back then, not just us.

            2) most of the people I know who are poor and unemployed only have themselves to blame. I think they’d be happier and healthier if they worked, even if it meant they were no better off than they are in unemployment (thanks to welfare).

            3) most left wing leaders are snake oil salesmen. Corbyn shows all the signs of being no different. Scotland is ahead of England on the Red Tory question — simply put, anyone who puts their hopes in the Labour Party is a fool.

            4) the free market does a lot of stuff well. I say this with a coffee in front of me, an e-cigarette, and an iPad. Maybe these things are clouding my judgement but am I the only one who thinks Technology today is game-changing and marvellous?

            As for the wide variety of subjects within my comments, to that I plead guilty.

          • Clark

            Hatuey, that you were a “left wing automaton” and have now swung so extremely as to become a techno-fashion victim who’ll pay hundreds of pounds for a computer that isn’t even under your own control is entirely your own problem.

            Neither me nor Corbyn wish to abolish private enterprise, but what Britain has now doesn’t remotely resemble a free market. It’s corporate parasitism. Government outsourcing doles out money to massive private sector companies who fail to fulfil their contracts, but get them renewed nonetheless.

            In the cold snap of March this year our national gas supply nearly went off. We were less than 24 hours from rolling blackouts and old folk freezing to death in their homes. Why? “Free market” fundamentalism may buy your loyalty with a flashy iPad and other trinkets, but it doesn’t maintain effective infrastructure. The government had neglected to enforce its contract with Centrica, and consequently wholly-owned subsidiary Centrica Storage had permitted our long-term gas storage facility at Rough to become too dangerous to use. Thank God and Putin that we scraped past by the skin of our teeth; the cost to the economy was enormous, but would have been an order of magnitude worse had the supply run dry. Look it up in the corporate media – if you can find it. The FT covered it. Paywall.

            If you fall ill, pray. It doesn’t matter how rich you are; we don’t know whether the medicines work, or how bad their side effects might be. Why? Because “free-market” fundamentalism has handed responsibility for research to the private sector, who of course warp their results to suit their marketing departments. This has resulted in hundreds of thousands of known deaths, and untold amount of unnecessary suffering, and the one thing we know for certain is that we have so far seen only the tip of the iceberg.

            I’m sure you’re enjoying the “game of political debate”. You have no idea what you’re into.

          • Clark

            Corbyn is to the left of me, politically, but I’m still supporting him – because the balance has been lost. Decades of private sector media propaganda has distorted all the issues. We’re swamped with happy-clappy advertising for feel-good products, bad news about terrorism, benefit claimants, immigrants, and what little is left of the public sector. Meanwhile, the companies buy each other out, more and more power and control are accumulated into less and less companies, commercial diversity is decimated, public research annihilated – leaving us all vulnerable.

          • Nick

            Clark your 1:50 post – seems about as reasonable assessment as I’ve heard here. Perhaps there’s method to his madness but it escapes me.

            When you’ve wall-to-wall propaganda from both sides, it’s hard to see the situation clearly.

          • Clark

            “When you’ve wall-to-wall propaganda from both sides, it’s hard to see the situation clearly.”

            Nick, it’s what I said to Ishmael the other day. When someone wants you to make bad decisions, the first step is to cloud your mind with a load of emotionally-loaded codswallop. Get logic and reason off-line and then you can be manipulated. It doesn’t matter which “news” item you visit at the Daily Mail, there’s a big sidebar of scantily clad celebrities, and headlines that suddenly loom out at you if you inadvertently mouse over them. It’s the same all over the media; always ask the most loaded questions, always ramp up the drama.

            Stay calm, breathe, watch for facts, and then post them, in good old boring plain text 😉

          • Nick

            Clark, wise words. I don’t feel emotionally clouded, but I am confused. Facts are good for sure, but it is the interpretation of said facts (assuming we rely on their veracity) that seems to me to be problematic.

            A bit of my personal story: a long, long time ago, I did a History Degree, and one of things I was taught was that facts aren’t always facts – in a fashion (I’m sounding like Trump’s lawyer now haha). Without getting too philosophical (because I’m no expert there), at least in history studies, what facts mean is important.

            You assign a meaning, an interpretation, make an argument and a case. One of the key skills I was taught was to look at sources and evaluate them – not just what they were saying, but why they were saying things and what facts they left out.

            Sometimes when I read this blog it seems to me that most people agree on a lot of things – far more than they realise – but have wildly different interpretations of them, what they mean, and how to solve the problems.

          • Hatuey

            Clark: “I’m sure you’re enjoying the “game of political debate”. You have no idea what you’re into…”


            Your assessment of the free market, as is typical on here and in discussions like this, had all the hallmarks of a first year politics student who had blown his food budget 3 months too early.

            People often try to pigeonhole me but those who do so, like you, are often those types that fall hook, line, and sinker for some party, some ideology, or some silly paradigm.

            Isn’t it clear to most grown ups that If you are loyal to any of these things then you are compromised and biased? I prefer to be open minded and impartial, where possible.

            As a matter of fact, though, anyone who doesn’t admit that the free market has quite a lot going for it, as much as it also has many flaws, is essentially not worth talking to. Even Marx admired many aspects of the free market.

            It’s worth pointing out that the starving millions don’t want to overthrow capitalism any more so than the disgruntled masses queuing outside food banks in England do. Quite the opposite, really — they want its treasure and riches.

            A more stable person would look at the world as it stands and accept that this free market malarkey seems to be quite popular. There isn’t a country out there, not one, that doesn’t want to play a bigger part in it.

            But it’s impossible to discuss these things with a zealot; like trying to explain freedom of expression and thought to Muslim fundamentalist.

        • Clark

          Funnily enough I’d already answered this elsewhere:


          Mr Corbyn suggests institutionalising what the public are already doing, also stimulating employment in local journalism. More reporters producing more reports will give the general public, who, increasingly, are assuming the role of editors, more to work with. And from where is the money to be harvested to pay for these new reporters? Why, from the richest companies in the world, advertising and data-mining who have been increasingly taking on the role of gatekeepers of the news, mostly guided by the neoliberal, neoconservative Atlantic Council. Excellent, Mr Corbyn; you are demonstrating that you genuinely trust and support the general public.

        • Garth Carthy

          I think for all its faults (and there are many) most people would want to keep the BBC.
          I agree that the BBC is corrupt in many areas of its operation but surely Jeremy Corbyn’s plans to have elected governors and get rid of the establishment/Tory/big business controllers at the top would give the BBC a real chance of becoming something resembling a neutral reporter of world affairs.
          Surely the problem of corruption is deeply ingrained, not just in the BBC but in the political scene generally. This corruption is exacerbated by US and Israeli government interference in our affairs. Its outrageous for instance, that in our sick world, many would say I’m anti-Semitic and a lefty militant for what I’ve just stated. The BBC corruption is just a reflection of the general systemic corruption in our society. However, I think the BBC has and still does produce quite a few excellent programmes when it comes to art, drama, the natural world, documentaries (except some of the political productions that demonize Corbyn and close down discussion on Israel, Saudi, Iraq, Libya, Syria etc.).

  • Sharp Ears

    Gangster States plural.

    Hunt in the US was welcomed by USIP, the US Institute for Peace! A contradiction in the name there hits one in the face!

    He basked in the reflected glow of Henry Kissinger, the very King of Darkness. And Pence. Wow!

    Jeremy Hunt. https://mobile.twitter.com/Jeremy_Hunt?
    What an honour to meet Dr Henry Kissinger just now. The world’s most experienced diplomat tutoring the world’s newest.
    View photo ·

    Jeremy Hunt retweeted
    Vice President Mike Pence
    Aug 21
    Great meeting with UK Foreign Secretary @Jeremy_Hunt. We discussed the importance of the historic alliance between our two nations & our strong partnership for freedom.
    View photo ·

    I noticed that the Queen of Darkness, Madeleine Albright, is the co chair of their so-called ‘Genocide Prevention Task Force’. No irony there either.

    Hunt is the pits. A dangerous fool too.

    • Kerch'eee Kerch'ee Coup

      It is embarrassing to admit that Hunt is’our’ foreign minister.
      There was little mention in the wedding reports that Karin Kneissl is a fluent and educated speaker of Arabic with good connections in Jordan and beyond as well as being critical of the EU( ‘anti European liberal values’ quoth the Guardian in its comments on the wedding ), so it may not just have been the Ukrainian /Crimean problem solved en passant(chess move)Just hope she, unlike Haider, drives a simple old car without connectivity or Boston brakes

      • Garth Carthy

        My previous post about “meeting of minds” is of course is with regard to the post by Sharp Ears and the “US Institute for Peace”, etc..

    • remember kronstadt

      ooh, thanks for that Ishmael – in my day we were known as anarcho-syndicalists

      • Ishmael

        No problem.

        It strikes me all who are against this (who actually understand it) are people who don’t want to do any useful work. & that’s fine by me on principal, those people are actually very few, but it’s those who do it via enforced exploitation (via enforced scarcity) while gathering riches behind measure that’s unacceptable.

      • Hatuey

        If you had watched the video, you’d have seen him go into some detail on anarcho syndicalism.

  • Republicofscotland

    So Dominic Raab, has in my opinion came out in a roundabout way, and issued a readiness speech for a no deal Brexit. He attempted to sugar coat the speech by saying that Britain will get a good deal, but, we must be prepared just
    in case.

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