Bikini Girls and Cyberwars 937

The Times claims to have identified the Kremlin’s latest secret weapon in Cyberwars – “Bikini Girl” @Organicerica. Except there is no evidence @Organicerica has any Russian links or promotes any Russian interests.

It does appear likely that @Organicerica is a bot. The Times claims this is proven by the timing and regularity of the postings (interesting as they claim the same kind of activity pattern proves nothing in the case of Philip Cross). I am prepared to accept, for the sake of argument, that @Organicerica is a bot, or at best a young woman running an automated posting programme.

But what is the output? Promotion of organic restaurants in Seattle. Environmental campaigning particularly against pesticides and genetically modified food. Nothing whatsoever on wider politics, foreign policy, Clinton. And nothing whatsoever related to Russia.

What kind of mindset do you need to have, automatically to equate opposition to Monsanto and to chlorinated chicken with being an agent of the Kremlin? Why is The Times publishing this absolute rubbish? It says something both about the quite hysterical Russophobia gripping the media and political class, and about the desire to delegitimise environmental activism, as witness the jailing of the anti-fracking protestors (against which jailing 1,000 academics have now signed a letter of protest).

Allowed HTML - you can use: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

937 thoughts on “Bikini Girls and Cyberwars

1 2 3 4 5
    • Charles Bostock

      Companies are free to give money to whoever they wish, provided that that whoever is not engaged in activities designated as illegal by law. Anyone who objects to that for political or even moral reasons has to be able to show (1) why his objections should override that legal right and (2) that his objections are for the public good and shared by a substantial (majority?) part of the general public.

      • Jack

        Charles Bostock

        if you live in a fascist dictatorship that is true. In a democracy these behavior suppressed.

          • Jack


            Yes there is a difference between a democracy and a dictatorship for one. There are traits that are suppressed so we not get there (dictatorship), do you understand this?

          • Charles Bostock


            “Yes there is a difference between a democracy and a dictatorship”

            Yes, I’m aware of that. It’s the reason why I find all this talk of the UK being a fascist or near-fascist country a load of tripe.

            But surely : to forbid a private company such as Facebook giving money to a think-thank (whether “neo-con” or raving left-wing) would be nearer to fascism than to democracy, wouldn’t it?

            I mean, would the state be justified in forbidding you, Mr Jack, to give money to, for example, a legal Palestinian organisation?

          • steve

            Charles Bostock – you do live in a dictatorship. You have repressed that fact. Big business will work in tandem with the establishment to erase opposition. This process is amready well underway. There is no ‘moral’ case to be made. You choose a side. It is evident which side you are on.

          • Jack


            As Steve pointed out, these groups should not work together because thats how its done in a dictatorship.

          • Clark

            I think Jack and Steve are not right about this, but on the right track. Certainly in a democracy there is meant to be independence between important component institutions such as government, law enforcement and news media. Facebook didn’t really count as news media, but it should do now that it contracts the Atlantic Council to provide “accuracy”, prominence and censorship decisions for the content it hosts. The Atlantic Council almost certainly counts as politically partisan. But this is a legal area in which precedent is still being decided; the law hasn’t remotely caught up with Internet content platforms yet, but decisions have been tending mostly towards corporate tyranny; somewhat less so in the EU.

            Doesn’t Facebook have shareholders? If so, doesn’t it have a legal duty to maximise their returns? Giving money to the Atlantic Council might contravene that objective.

          • Charles Bostock


            “Charles Bostock – you do live in a dictatorship.”

            Well, you don’t know where I live, do you.

            But have it your own way : this blog is going to be shut down and Craig will be disappeared. As for myself, I’ve been sacked, my bank account has been frozen and I’m packing my suitcase in anticipation of the 3am knock on my door, whereafter I’ll be sent off to the gulag. My family will, according to the best fascist tradition, will soon follow.

          • Jack


            I dont think it has to do with national laws per se, rather a principle of stop accepting funds and stop working with obvious political organizations.
            And who would create those laws anyway? The states that are now engaged in this “gray” area with Facebook?

        • Rhys Jaggar

          If it is his personal money, it is their place to advise in private if the effect on Facebook stock value may be affected.

      • Sharp Ears

        From Jack’s link. This says it all. Neocon warmongers and gsngsters-in charge.

        ‘The Atlantic Council has become widely regarded outside of Washington political and media circles as a vehicle for Western foreign policy promotion and propaganda. The Washington DC-based think tank is funded by a slew of American weapons manufacturers, including Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Boeing and Northrop Grumman. The Atlantic Council is also funded by both the US government and a number of other NATO countries through various government agencies. Facebook is also a donor.’

        Advise getting off Twitter and Facebook. I have never signed up to either of them.

          • Charles Bostock

            Sharp Ears

            “The requisite Kissinger is on the Board of Directors…..
            ……and the witch Madeleine Albright is on the list of the ‘International Advisory Board’.”

            Surely it is not surprising that an orgnisation of that status and with those particular aims should have a couple of former US Secretaries of State on its board?

            After all, they have slightly more experience in international affairs and public policy than, say, Dr Jill Stein…or George Galloway…..or Dr Mads Gilbert…etc

          • wonky

            Both Kissinger and Albright are sadistic, psychopathic cannibals, and yes, they do have a lot of expertise in their field.

          • uncle tungsten

            The Atlantic Council is a sack of scumbags so it is no surprise that Zuckerberg has found compatible company there.
            And to Charles can I speak out for George Galloway in that I believe he has more integrity than the entire tory front bench. But that is not saying much for sure. I find George Galloway to be a clear headed and erudite political figure and I do like his talkradio presentations. I would accept his analysis on International affairs and public policy long before that of any past Secretary of State that trudged on this blood soaked globe in the past half century. I would go for people of peace any day before the slaughterers in the Atlantic Council. That’s how stupid and sociopathic Zuckerberg is.

        • Charles Bostock

          “Advise getting off Twitter and Facebook. I have never signed up to either of them.”

          But you do follow twitter, don’t you, because you link to tweets from time to time. Fact.

      • Charles Bostock

        Sharp Ears

        “That makes a change from hearing about money being given to Israel.”

        As I informed readers a day or so ago, the United States alone have given more than 2 billion US dollars to UNRWA in the period 2008 – 2017 (source : UNRWA website). And that figure can be at least doubled when one takes into account the EU’ and other countries’ contributions.

        Unfortunately, to very little effect, one wonders why….

        • Akos Horvath

          By public policy you mean killing people en masse. Dr Mads Gilbert, on the other hand, is a doctor trying to save the lives of the victims of Israeli apartheid. But I give credit to you for openly being on the side of war criminals and apartheid. That kind of honesty is refreshing.

          • Charles Bostock

            Glad to have been of service, Horvath. I hope you’re not afraid of me and will continue responding.

    • Jude 93

      Facebook/Google/Twitter etc now openly boast of working with the Anti-Defamation League to suppress “hate-speech” on the internet. The ADL is an avowedly Zionist organisation, whose definition of “hate speech” includes any strong criticism of Israel – and certainly any suggestion that Israel is an apartheid state or an occupying force. The ADL also defines opposition to many other movements – including the movement for the right of biological males to use female showers and washrooms – as “hate speech”. Regardless of whether or not you agree with ADL’s views on these things, it is quite clear that it has a very overt political agenda, and that the social media behemoths such as Google are now actively and openly collaborating to suppress opposition on both left and right to that agenda.

      • Charles Bostock

        Jude 93

        “Facebook/Google/Twitter etc now openly boast of working with the Anti-Defamation League to suppress “hate-speech” on the internet”

        I approve of any company or indeed individual who is prepared to dip into their pocket to combat hate speech on the internet. An approval which should be shared by anyone who is against hate speech (which we both are, I hope).

        • Jude 93

          How quaint of you to speak of organisations “dipping into their pockets” as if the funding of a huge coordinated campaign to shut down all dissenting voices on the internet were the equivalent of some generous chappy giving a few quid to a homeless beggar, on his way home from work. As to the question of being “against hate speech”, I don’t believe an organisation (the ADL) which defends the slaughter of civilians in Israel, Iraq and elsewhere is in any position to pronounce what does and does not constitute hate-inciting speech. I find the speech of many advocates for the Neocon/liberal interventionist permanent war agenda deeply hate inciting – not to mention Bibi Netanyahu’s diatribes against both Palestinians and African asylum seekers. Somehow the same western liberals and Neocons who denounce statues of Thomas Jefferson as a symbol of white supremacism, don’t object to old Bibi’s openly expressed racism at all.

  • Blunderbuss

    “Merkin Scot
    October 8, 2018 at 13:41

    The whole Russophobia edifice is tumbling down. Just who, exactly, believes the ‘official’ story?
    A couple of trolls here and two men and a dog elsewhere. Why does the government continue with such a failed strategy?”

    The thing is that people in the Westminster Bubble actually believe that the public believes what they say.

    • Godolphin

      ‘Just who, exactly, believes the ‘official’ story?’

      Not I, but I’m out-voted 3-1 at home.

      • Andyoldlabour

        at least you are realistic as I posted earlier.
        There are far too many people who are easily led – far more than us who question.

        • uncle tungsten

          Speaking to a colleague who has just returned here from UK and he assured me not one of his aged middle class relatives had heard of Skripal. They were aware though that the Russians were sneaking about the country poisoning people. SAD and BAD if that is widespread. My surmise is that they all simply scan headlines or news broadcasts but give it no attention.

          Certainly we are an echo chamber here and not one of my neighbours is aware of this Skripal story in any way. Most people don’t care and see most government news making as just irrelevant BS. Not a comforting reality.

        • Garth Carthy

          I agree. If only our education system was designed to produce fully rounded people who think for themselves and ask questions of authority instead of being brainwashed useful idiots for the corrupt powers that be.

      • Mary Paul

        My sister takes an interest in politics and is very anti-Tory. I have discussed the Skripal affair with her and so far as she is concerned I do have some valid points but at the end of the day in her view, there was an international incident and there was then an official explanation which more or less fitted the facts, so she basically ticked that box “complete” and went back to Trump watching.

    • Olaf S

      A much more frightening thought (pure horror): The people in “the Westminsster Bubble” themselves actually believe in what they say.

  • Sharp Ears

    If Sir Craig Mackey, ex Wiltshire Constabulary and Gloucestershire Constabulary, and latterly Dep Commissioner, Metropolitan Police, had possessed ‘protective gear and a radio’, would he have leapt into action to help PC Palmer, who he saw being stabbed in Westminster. He received his knighthood earlier this year ‘for services to policing’!

    Westminster attack inquests: Top Met officer ‘locked car door’ as carnage unfolded
    Sir Craig Mackey saw PC Keith Palmer suffer “two determined stab wounds” in a courtyard at parliament, inquests are told.

    Someone has added ‘coward’ and ‘total coward’ on his Wikipedia page and deletions are made.

    • Dave

      I thought it was the interim head of Metropolitan Police and Counter-Terrorism who was there!

    • Stonky

      Early on in the inquest Mrs Palmer’s solicitor made a brief reference to the fact that there were an (unspecified) number of police on the gates at the time of the attack, and the rest of them all ran away, leaving Palmer to his fate. I was surprised that no media picked up on that or provided any further details. It may have been confusion, and the reference might have been to Mackey and his colleagues, but that is definitely not what the lawyer said.

      The whole thing is a horror story of stupidity and incompetence. It took an hour for firearms officers to arrive (Masood was killed by a close protection officer). The Coroner found that “shortcomings in security at the site meant armed officers were not aware of where they were supposed to patrol.”

      It makes you wonder whether there is any limit to the sheer uselessness of these people, and what are the criteria for ascent to the top leadership of the police. How many men would go on to become Commissioner of the Met when the principal achievement of their 25-year police career was running an operation that led to the death of an innocent unarmed electrician?

      • Paul Greenwood

        It is not “competence” which ensures ascent to high office in UK (or many other countries) today but “compliance”. Look at the career of Lin Homer who started as Returning Officer and Chief Executive of Birmingham Council when carrier bag loads of votes were exchanged in car parks in massive voter fraud……….and look how Whitehall rescued her…..

        not once, but twice

        She now heads HMRC

        That is the calibre The Executive wants to put in place

        • Rhys Jaggar

          She left HMRC two years ago. But she does fit the bill of ‘every disaster she oversees must be followed by a promotion to oversee a bigger one.’

          Getting two Honours to do with The Order of the Bath does suggest Very Very Deep State Membership…..

          MI5 HQ was located right next door to UCL when she studied there. Great swathes of unprincipled students were recruited from UCL in the 1980s….

    • Sharp Ears

      Mackey was Acting Chief Commissioner of the Met at the time. Dick had not yet arrived. There are calls from many, including fellow police officers, for him to ‘consider his position’, ie resign.

      He had been visiting Parliament to meet that waste of space, Brandon Lewis, then the Police Minister and now the Chairman of the Partei.

      Since 2012 when Cameron made him Minister for Housing and Planning (that went well!), Lewis has been Minister for Policing and the Fire Services, Minister for Immigration, Minister without Portfolio, and then Chairman in January this year. So five jobs in six years such is the indecisiveness of our Dear Leaderene.

      He is at the trough and a supporter of Zionist Israel. With Pickles at a CFoI reception in 2016 along with Priti Patel and the Charge d’Affaires at the Embassy of Israel in London, Eitan Na’eh. Sickening.

  • Jack

    The hysteria on Russia topics, is meant to silence dissent in the western world.

    And who cares about an alleged “bot” or a “troll?. Like we the people, shouldnt focus on the real propagandists of this world, namely the media, politicians!

  • Sharp Ears

    The cost of dealing with Novichok. £10.2 million. That was an expensive scam by HMG.

    “The hotels were for mutual aid officers, here from other forces. We subsequently started using barracks in Middle Wallop under agreement with the Army to reduce these costs. The PCC has been in frequent contact with the Home Office and fully expects all costs associated with the two major incidents to be recouped in full. We have so far reclaimed £6.6 million of the projected £10.2 million bill.”

    One of the hotels used is owned by a city councillor. Handy that. 🙂

    • uncle tungsten

      Sounds more like double dipping to offset expenditures in that simultaneous ‘exercise’ that was underway. Mutual aid officers? hmmm not hookers I trust. I love the term ‘recouped in full’ optimism in the age of austerity and parsimony.

  • N_

    Calling all webpage makers: when you make a webpage, do you always write it so that it calls fonts from a server owned by Google, thereby enabling the US advertising and surveillance company Google to keep a record of every request that is ever made for the page? If you do, why do you do it, given that the vast majority of webpages only use fonts that don’t require it, and what’s your taste in armbands?

      • Tony_0pmoc

        We had somewhat unusual sausages last night. They were very nice, but contained a spicy herb, that neither of us recognised. My wife did a google on the specific sausages stating their country of origin merely to try and find out what herb was in them. This morning she looks at her phone and says to me why has the background image on her phone been changed to a picture of sausages. I said you are joking…that has never happened to me…but yes they are sausages even if they did look rather like a bowl of turds. Now who did that. Should I ask Google? Tony

      • Clark

        In Firefox, open enable the Menu bar, click “Tools > Web Developer > Network”. Your Firefox window will divide horizontally with an info area below. Reload the page, and all the web requests will be listed.

    • Andrew H

      I think most serious web-sites will have font files local – this is not about denying Google information, but wanting to avoid creating an unnecessary network dependency.

      However, most of these same web-sites will include a link to a google analytics script so that they can get usage info on their web-site for little to no work.

      Google already has you profiled, so you should stop worrying about it. If you are going to be paranoid about this stuff, you should stop using the internet. You are exposing yourself to significant risk of being manipulated by visiting this site and particularly any dating web-sites (for example if it is decided you don’t meet criteria for reproduction, you will be introduced to someone unsuitable just to make sure love never happens, you may also be encouraged unknowingly to get involved in dangerous sports), think about it my friend. You yourself may be resistant to any form of manipulation but the population as a whole is not.

      • Rhys Jaggar

        You can avoid Google but it will cost you. Use of VPNs and other blocking methods mean Google does not know your habits.

        Technology is emerging to use Blockchain technology for the internet. Tim Berners-Lee is behind it. The aim is reducing Google-style share of personal info revenue from 100% to 30%.

        • Clark

          You can avoid Google as is, but it takes a bit of learning. A VPN won’t avoid Google for you unless you take most of those steps anyway. Start by blocking ads and controlling your browser’s cookie policy. Then experiment with using the ad blocker beyond its default list of sites. Learn about blocking scripts.

          Privacy and security start between your ears.

  • Jim Sinclare

    You are all missing the point here, it’s a fantastic bottom! Why read the text? It’s like writing to Razzle
    about their article on WW1 biplanes.

    • Node

      “Bellingcat can now report that it has conclusively identified the second suspect, who travelled to Salisbury under the alias Alexander Petrov. In its previous reporting, we already produced evidence that “Alexander Petrov” is not an authentic persona, but an undercover alias for an officer of a Russian security agency. In another report, we established that “Petrov” was specifically working for Russia’s military intelligence, the GRU.

      We have now identified “Alexander Petrov” to be in fact Dr. Alexander Yevgenyevich Mishkin, a trained military doctor in the employ of the GRU. Bellingcat’s identification process included multiple open sources, testimony from people familiar with the person, as well as copies of personally identifying documents, including a scanned copy of his passport. The full identification process will be described in the upcoming full report.”

      • Hatuey

        On the Skripal affair, I’ve said from the start that you can rely on absolutely nothing as far as evidence and facts are concerned. That’s true of anything that involves secret intelligence agencies.

        It genuinely puzzles and disappoints me to see people that I admire go out on a limb and set themselves up for a fall on subjects like this. If a dumb-ass like me can see that, how come so many others can’t?

        The Skripals will end up amongst JFK, the moon landings, 9/11, and shape shifting lizards, in that trail of unresolved flotsam that leads right through the history of human affairs.

      • james

        and the uk media are doing the honourable thing of relaying what bellingcat says… what a class act the uk media is!

      • Paul Greenwood

        “identification process included multiple open sources,”

        I bet that is wholly untrue. Just what “open sources” in UK would out MI5 and MI6 agents let alone Undercover Policeman impregnating Activists ? Let alone Spook-funded journalists

    • Jack

      Someone is feeding bellingcat alot of info,
      but why arent these same intelligence agents going through Mi6/Mi5 or even the police?

      It makes no sense to go through a fringe blog as bellingcat, whats the point?

      • Jack

        Matter of fact I think this kind of exposing in the UK of agents will make Russia start doing the same, exposing western agents in Russia.

        • Paul Greenwood

          Russia might not expose them….it might simply hand over SAS men in Syria to “extraordinary rendition”

      • Greg Park

        It’s so the authorities don’t get humbled when it’s exposed as a pile of shite. It’s why they refuse to endorse it or lend it any official credibility.

        • Goose

          If it’s really coming from agencies (?)

          It avoid s awkward questions like when did you know , and if you knew, why ‘d you let this pair in.

    • Andrew H

      Before we criticise Bellingcat, you really have to take your hats off to them for maintaining public interest in this story. Seriously, congratulations, one break after an another. The Guardian must be wondering what’s up with their own slacking reporters.

      • David Cohen

        Excellent work from Bellingcat. Hopefully they will direct their investigative abilities to finding out where Putin’s been stashing Russia’s stolen wealth.

        • Andrew H

          i’m not sure its stashed anywhere. there are lots of billionaires and there is very uneven distribution of wealth – same could be said about the west – its stashed in the pockets of Bezos and co, and its mostly undisputed fact.

          • Charles Bostock

            Maybe, but at least Bezos’s company provides a widely-used and useful service, which is probably more than you can say about President Putin. The former creates wealth whereas the latter, through Russia’s rather strange ecomomic policies, has done the opposite (depreciation of the rouble, excessive reliance on raw materials. anyone?…)

          • Herbie

            Turning his country around from the basketcase the western looters left it was quite an achievement.

            Bezos is just another in a long line of corporate bag carriers.

        • Isa

          Maybe ask Yeltsin’s friend Clinton , the first wave of oligarchs and the likes of fraudulent Bill Browder and all western companies doing business in Russia st the time and the IMF where all the money went to . I’m sure Malta, offshores of U.K. and US will be plenty .

          • Herbie

            Absolutely correct. Contrary to what the media claim, Putin is trying to get the stolen wealth that was looted by the oligarchs and western economists returned to Russia.

            There was an interesting case in the US involving Harvard economists and Russian looting.

        • Paul Greenwood

          London I should have thought and those fine Georgian mansions though I understand Ukrainian loot is in Lincolnshire farming land. Maybe looking at the multiple passports in the Kiev regime would be interesting to see why some have Canadia and some Israeli passports ?

          It would be good to open up Israeli banks to full scrutiny and see how much they route over Panama and Hong Kong

        • SA

          Best if they can also tell us where the Skripals, if alive are and what they think. Maybe they should also shed some light on the whereabouts and activities of Pablo Miller.

      • Jack

        Andrew H

        “maintaining public interest”

        You know bellingcat has an agenda too. What we see is a information war, where bellingcat are given this info to influence the reader like youself, that apparenty believe every word belligcat now push. Either way, this is not “their” work in any sense.

        • Andrew H

          Jack, if you can’t detect my slightly tongue in cheek tone, then I’d suggest your name isn’t Jack.

        • Agent Green

          We’ve been through this before. Bellingcat has been discredited and is far from impartial – effectively a NATO mouthpiece.

    • Deb O'Nair

      Intelligence services front for dropping information in order to propel propaganda into the mainstream news.

      • Edward

        There should be a ratio between number of MSM headlines generated (Guido, Bellingcat, Qanon etc) to level of corporate/political influence.

    • MaryPau!

      Interesting that official accounts of the Skripals movements on Sunday still omit what they did on Sunday morning and visiting Avon Gardens to feed the ducks. It seems to have been expunged from the official record. (Also. when did the Skripals visit be cemetery to lay flowers on Mrs Skripals grave?)

  • Gary

    Russians under the bed, Russians everywhere. The crops failed, it was the Russians. Brexit? The Russians. Can’t blame the EU for your OWN mistakes anymore? Blame the Russians! All purpose enemy/scapegoat. They’re everywhere all the time doing everything they can to mess up our perfect lives.

    They can be, simultaneously, inept, laughing at us by not hiding their crimes and yet be causing mischief CONSTANTLY and not be caught and blamed with zero evidence because, well…who else would it be??

    • Blissex

      «Blame the Russians! All purpose enemy/scapegoat.»

      I reckon that there is a very good and sensible explanation for why Putin and Russia are being blamed for everything: there are many centrifugal tendencies in the “first-world”, and a common enemy is desperately needed to make people feel that it is better to stick together and deal with the devil they know.
      There are some advantages with selecting Russia for the role of existential threat, of which the main one is that there are many decades of relentless anti-soviet but also anti-russian propaganda to build upon; name recognition matters a great deal.
      Then there are massive business interests, but I reckon that they are secondary to the overall goal of creating a climate of fear of an external threat to suffocate the centrifugal tendencies.

      PS of course from the point of view of some continental powers any centrifugal tendencies in Europe are extremely welcome, and in particular the most terrible nightmare is a “detente”, never mind a future union, between western Europe (especially including the UK) and Russia. What could stop Europe if it worked together, and especially if it included the UK and Russia?

      • Paul Greenwood

        The real reason is China is investing heavily into building rail lines across Russia. German companies are developing the market under the radar. German Ministers want trade enhancement with Russia before China sews up the market especially with China producing 29 million cars which is more than US+Germany+Japan combined. With Geely being hyper profitable selling cars at $10,000 a unit.

        Toyota makes its RAV4 in St Petersburg. The Germans want to get back to where they were in Russian markets pre-1914 – and France too. That makes the EU turn eastwards and the US/UK are using Poland as a blocking actor and Ukraine as a provocation to block gas exports from Russia.

        Germany and France are turning away from UK. Turkey too. The locus of global growth is in Asia. There is desperation in London and Washington and it flexes the only thing it can – military hardware – but West Europeans and Koreans do not want to be a battleground for US/UK power games which want Putin gone and hardliners in charge so they can ramp up the aggression and fear

      • Rhys Jaggar

        Actually, all this is doing for UK is removing an alternative to US slavery.

        Russia is on a path of dedollarizing, expanding trade outside NATO nations and increasingly ignoring Britain.

        We on the other hand are doing things for Americans which benefit us not one jot, the prime definition of an obedient slave.

        • Paul Greenwood

          How many people know that the Chair of Russian at Leeds University was endowed by Sir James Roberts of Salts Mill in Saltaire in late 19th Century because after the McKinley Tariff 1890 shut British goods out of the US Market it was Russia that offered growth prospects as Europe’s fastest growing economy pre-1914…….and even during WW1 British machinery exports continued to go to Russia. Those were the days of entrepreneurial businesses

    • Peter VE

      Who didn’t clean the cats’ litterbox? Bellingcat says it was the Russians. Good enough, but I suspect in this one case my wife won’t accept that answer!

    • Andrew H

      But these IDs are going to be authentic. One suspect looking like a GRU officer could be coincidence, but both is much less likely. It also makes logical sense that one of them is a doctor. The only other explanation is that Bellingcat are being fed false information, but I’m assuming if this going to be revealed in Parliament someone in British intelligence has made an effort to try to confirm that this isn’t just a hoax.

      • Isa

        And don’t you find it strange that s simple blogger ( as he defines himself ) has such easy access to governments and gets to do a press release in parliament . What a sad spectacle of U.K. institutions . The picture may well be of the Salisbury two but as for the passports and identities , they could be anyone’s with a pic superimposed . I sense clutter and more clutter .

        • Andrew H

          Not especially: I imagine after the first story, assuming British intelligence are following British media (say Guardian), would have looked at their own info to compare and a couple of people in dark glasses would have turned up at Matt Higgins door for a friendly one on one chat. Of coarse, Bellingcat cannot reveal what discussions they have had with such people because they would have been provided with the necessary official secrets notices. At this point you would have to be a fool to believe Bellingcat are not working closely with intelligence services. (as in – tell us what you have discovered, and we’ll wink)

      • Jack

        Andrew H

        Hold up now. Some things might be true but not everything. ‘someone look like a GRU’. Come on..

        • Andrew H

          Indeed some things may not be true, but there are no alternative narratives being suggested that are even close to being plausible. It’s one thing to come along, and say this doesn’t quite make sense to me, and quite another to put together a complete story that is not entirely laughable.

          • steve

            Andrew H

            It is not up to the sceptics to establish a more coherent account of ‘the facts’ but for the promulgators to provide a water-tight description of the incident from A to Z. If you believe in God, by analogy, then you must put up a contradiction free account; The sceptics are not obliged to provide a ‘better’ description for you or to disprove your position using the ‘facts’ you provide. They are perfectly free, and right, to describe your whole account as bullshit.

          • Jack


            Laughable according to whom?
            Btw, Wasnt it you that just told me earlier you were sarcastic about Bellingcat’s conclusion?

          • Andrew H

            Steve, you have got that back to front. Science doesn’t just pick aimlessly at religion, but creates a solid alternative narrative. So I disagree, if you are scientific about this the sceptics do need to present one or more alternative explanations.

          • Andrew H

            Jack, I didn’t say I was sarcastic about Bellingcat’s conclusion. (In fact I said, “But these IDs are going to be authentic”). There is nothing wrong with the conclusion.

            “Laughable according to whom?”
            I’m still waiting for the alternative narrative. Perhaps, I’m prejudging. So far, all I have is its not up to the sceptics to suggest a plausible story.

        • Isa

          Thank you for links . I know he is a front ( which he of course hysterically denies ) he is also a fraud . You only have to think that Malaysia refused to endorse or accept bellingcat , Holland and Ukraine findings on MH17.

          It’s a harem of fraudsters .

    • Jack

      David Cohen

      I dont see what you are trying to imply? Isnt that what “belligcat”, that you support, have done?

  • Sharp Ears


    The BBC 10pm news had an item about Bellingcat identifying the second man as a doctor! Corera did his usual piece to camera.

    Alexander Mishkin, a military doctor in the GRU. blah blah.

    Skripal attack: Bellingcat names second Salisbury suspect
    18 minutes ago

    • Deb O'Nair

      Does it not amaze anyone that the multi-billion pound funded BBC, with it’s massive News service costing hundreds of millions every year, which employs ‘journalists’ with known links to MI5/6, uses a website article which is written anonymously and contains only anonymous sources?

      • Rhys Jaggar

        Not in the least. BBC is now a rumour mill, a propaganda front and a security services outlet.

        The journalism concept disappeared years ago.

        • Paul Greenwood

          My proposal. Transfer BBC Sound Library to British Library and rest of Archives. Would give British Library a revenue stream from licensing the Archive.

          BBC could then lose its local radio stations to local owners and stop relaying Radio 4 or Radio 2. Radio 3 could have an endowment and Radio 1, 2, 4, 5, 6 could be floated off. As for TV – move to full encryption with optional monthly fee instead of TV licence using Sky decoders

          • Herbie

            The whole point of the BBC is to control and shape public opinion. For that they need full spectrum dominance. That’s why they’re overstaffed and everywhere. When SKY or Ch4 turn up for some presser or other media event they always find that the BBC has about five teams to their one.

            If you look at the US, you’ll see that Left elites anticipated a decline in the power of broadcast media and invested heavily in Alt-Left online media. Anti-Trump

            Then Right elites created a whole host of Alt-Right and Alt-Lite youtube stars and bloggers. Pro-Trump.

            The UK has Bellingcat and the bloke in Coventry.

            And Momentum, I suppose.

  • N_

    Do most SNPers think the Romanian government is wrong to disregard the overwhelming victory for one side in this weekend’s referendum on the grounds that the turnout was too low?

    • Hatuey

      No. To my knowledge, nobody in the SNP has questioned the validity of any referendum anywhere on that basis. I think you you should read more.

      • N_

        I think you should, actually, Hatuey. Start with the SNP view of the 1979 referendum in Scotland. I won’t describe the details, since they’re widely known. I will, however, mention the SNP response: the party withdrew its confidence in the Labour government, ushering the Tories into office for the next 17 years. Next time you feel like scoffing at somebody on the internet, you should make sure you take on board the possibility that they might be alluding to something that is widely known about but not by yourself.

        SNPers today (rightly in my opinion) will reject the idea that for independence to be declared the winner of a referendum it should be required to exceed any threshold other than a majority of votes cast. Which is not to say that that idea gets proposed often, but it does get proposed occasionally, and when it does they reject it. I assume of course that the referendum is accepted as legitimate by both sides. If it were not, they would be wrong.

        I agree with the principle they are applying. Let’s apply it to Romania.

        • Hatuey

          Listen, illuminated one, I’ve actually contributed to scholarly articles on the 1979 referendum. The 40% rule imposed by Labour on that referendum essentially meant that dead people would count as votes against devolution.

          Actually, worse than that, some dead people actually got more than one vote attributed to them because they had moved house in the run up to the referendum.

          Remember, those who didn’t vote were counted as votes against. The register and records were so badly out of date that voting cards were sent not only to dead people but in many cases to the same person at several different address — meaning that a person who voted for devolution may well be counted as 4 or 5 votes against, depending on how many times he moved house.

          It was another Great British farce and rip off.

          As for the idea of requiring a turnout threshold, it isn’t something that gets mentioned much, except by occasional idiots. And it’s immaterial since turnout in any future referendum is likely to be extremely high, as it was in 2014 (almost 85% and the highest in any election in U.K. history basically).

          • Paul Greenwood

            In places like Bradford dead people vote regularly as do babies. Some residences have 12+ voters. postal Votes are filled out for the “illiterate” wives at the local mosque and bulk-delivered.

            Voting papers are numbered and the “secret ballot” can be cross-referenced against the voter list.

        • Tony

          Not exactly. The government lost the confidence vote by 311 to 310.
          6 Labour MPs did not vote.

          In addition, Gerry Fitt refused to vote with the Labour government because of the use of torture in Northern Ireland.

          • IrishU

            A major reason that Gerry Fitt did not vote with the Labour Government was to do with the redistribution of Westminster seats which would increase the number of unionist MPs sent to Westminster. The majority of his speech is spent disucssing that issue and the perception by the Nationalist minority that the Labour Secretary of State for NI ( Roy Mason) was too close to the unionist cause.


          • Herbie

            So, Gerry Fitt, Belfast’s great socialist, preferred to sacrifice the whole of the working class throughout the UK to neoliberalism, than accept a few more Unionist MPs at Westminster.

            The latter made no difference in practical terms. The former changed everything for those he claimed to be working for.

            Doesn’t make much sense as a story.

            Nor does Hume’s caving to SF, ensuring the death of his own SDLP.

            Nor Healy’s loan from the IMF.

            Nor the death of the O’Neill/Lemass talks.

          • Jude 93

            Herbie: If you think Neoliberalism began with in 1979 with Mrs Thatcher, you should really read up on the policies of Ted Heath and Harold Wilson. As for the SDLP “caving to Sinn Fein” that’s also completely wrong. Sinn Fein was initially hijacked by revisionist Unionist fellow-travellers (or British deep state assets if you prefer) posing as Stalinists (Official Sinn Fein – later the Workers Party) in order to gain traction for the British Unionist position in the Communist world. When that hijacking didn’t complete the neutering of Irish republicanism – even peaceful constitutional republicanism – Adams and McGuinness were sent in to finish the job. So the real “caving” going on was on Sinn Fein’s part. In fact Sinn Fein’s defeatist approach to the Peace Process moved the SDLP itself towards a much less nationalist stance – and did the same to Fianna Fail in the Republic.

          • Herbie

            “Herbie: If you think Neoliberalism began with in 1979 with Mrs Thatcher, you should really read up on the policies of Ted Heath and Harold Wilson.”

            And I’ll find the beginnings of neoliberalism, I suppose. I’d also find that both Heath and and the Labour govts had difficulty making the transition. Hence Thatcher.

            “As for the SDLP “caving to Sinn Fein” that’s also completely wrong.”

            It’s not.

            “Sinn Fein was initially hijacked by revisionist Unionist fellow-travellers (or British deep state assets if you prefer) posing as Stalinists (Official Sinn Fein – later the Workers Party) in order to gain traction for the British Unionist position in the Communist world. When that hijacking didn’t complete the neutering of Irish republicanism – even peaceful constitutional republicanism – Adams and McGuinness were sent in to finish the job.

            That’s earlier.

            And Hume caved to Adams and McGuinness, the new Sinn Fein. It won’t have been his decision of course, but it involved the political demise of the SDLP and the rise of SF as the political force amongst Northern nationalists etc.

            “So the real “caving” going on was on Sinn Fein’s part.”

            That was Official SF not Provisional SF.

            “In fact Sinn Fein’s defeatist approach to the Peace Process”

            What was “defeatist” about it?

            “moved the SDLP itself towards a much less nationalist stance – and did the same to Fianna Fail in the Republic.”

            What do you expect when their funding comes from Globalists.

    • Isa

      many countries have a required turnout written in electoral law for referenda to be legally binding . Generally it must be equal or superior to 50%. Anything below that is at parliamentary or government discretion .

      • N_

        What’s that got to do with anything? A law doesn’t have to be good. The SNP thought the 40% requirement in the 1978 Scotland Act was a heap of dung and they said so.

        • Hatuey

          No. The stipulation was that a minimum of 40% had to vote in favour, not that there had to be 40% turnout. Turnout in 1979 was over 60%.

      • Paul Greenwood

        Name them. USA is lucky to get 55% turnout in presidential elections. UK local election turnout is usually 20%-40%.

        Because Germany bans National Plebiscites no-one ever got to vote on the Annexation of the GDR in 1990 and the mass-Unemployment that ensued

  • Hatuey

    Well, in response to various accusations that I was detached from reality, I decided to watch STV news tonight which included an interview with Sturgeon and a reasonable discussion afterwards on the general state of Scotland’s political affairs in regards to Brexit and Scottish independence. It was a huge mistake but it did confirm that clarity of understanding is best achieved by not watching TV news.

    Sturgeon’s position is perplexing at face value. She seems to be saying that it’s important to wait and see how Brexit turns out but her yardstick for measuring the final Brexit deal hinges on something that isn’t even a possibility, membership of the single market. This, of course, makes her rejection of the final Brexit deal a foregone conclusion which makes many of us who have clarity wonder why we need to wait?

    Here’s the big problem, though. There’s a massive risk in sturgeons approach. She has a mandate now and a favourable political climate for triggering indyref2, and clearly she is betting that both of these conditions will still exist in a few weeks when we have a better idea of what sort of deal (if any) May has brokered, but you can’t guarantee that the political climate in December will be as favourable.

    I can easily imagine a tidal wave of fake euphoria engulfing the country in a few weeks when May comes home with her scrap of paper. No matter how bad that deal is, I can easily imagine the BBC and the rest announce Victory in Europe with Union Jacks and royals everywhere. I can easily imagine people like Dimbelby pronounce that it isn’t perfect but it comes damned bloody close…

    In that context, how easy is it going to be for them to say “let’s see how it pans out” and “people have had enough political upheaval recently, let’s just get on with it now…”

    If the above comes to pass, the opportunity for indyref2 is gone and Sturgeon will go down in history as the SNP leader who snatched defeat from the jaws of failure. Needless to say, she’d be gone too along with the tortured hopes of half the country.

    “As if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced…”

    I’ve spent the last 4 years hoping that I was wrong about Sturgeon and this stuff, only to be thwarted. I genuinely fear that I’ll be referring back to this comment in weeks to come.

    • Andrew H

      I think you are misreading Sturgeon. She seems to be signalling she wants another referendum. (in flashing neon lights)

      The fact that this comes out a day after your rally, means she wants another rally. You have to convince the people, not the politicians. Its not something the SNP can do or force.

      Btw the Obama speech I was previously hinting at was the one after Trump was elected where he basically is trying to reassure people that is doesn’t matter that Trump got elected, and it is not going backwards, because democracy works by people talking to each other and the politicians are just noise on the top. Whatever, your criticism of Obama, he is a great talker. (perhaps he doesn’t connect with the average redneck who think he is a little elite).

      • Hatuey

        I was aware of what Obama’s speech you were referring to. And I agree he was/is a good speaker. Most good liars and deceivers are good speakers, they need to be; history and sales departments are full of them. As I said, Obama was nothing but disappointing as a president.

        As for Sturgeon, I think my assessment was accurate enough. She’s very much impressed by opinion polls, not mass demonstrations. If she was a real political leader, she’d have been at that demonstration on Saturday instead of hiding.

        The question of timing is key though and that’s what my focus above was on. She’s in a similar position to Gordon Brown after Blair stood down. He had a small lead in the polls but decided to wait before calling the election. That decision cost him his career and resulted in the country being subjected to the Tories, Brexit, austerity, and a bunch of other things.

        Heavyweights in politics go out and change public opinion, they don’t sit waiting on it to change all by itself. This whole Brexit debacle could have been handled very differently by the SNP under a different leader. It really was a gift from the Gods.

        • Andrew H

          Timing is undoubtedly important. As us English and other foreigners buy up Scottish land and you Scotts move south in search of work the tides are tipping. Young people I imagine identify less and less with the idea that they belong to any nation.

          • Hatuey

            Actually, support for independence amongst young people, defined as 18 to 25 year olds, is rock solid. I think support there is the highest of all the age groups. It’s at the other end of the age spectrum you find that people are more cautious… it didn’t help of course that the U.K. government threatened to take their pensions away in the event of Scotland voting for Indy in 2014. Scandalous really when you think about it, given that many had worked and paid into the pension system all their lives.

            English people buying land up here isn’t a huge issue as most of it is already in the hands of rich English people… I mean aristocratic types, not some plumber from Basingstoke.

            If people from the rest of the U.K. resident in Scotland had not been allowed to vote in 2014, Scotland would be independent right now. The rules on who could vote in 2014 need to be looked at very closely next time. Note that the U.K. government didn’t allow people from the rest of Europe to vote in the Brexit referendum.

          • Andrew H

            Hatuey, I really don’t think there is any possibility of stopping resident English people and other dual nationals from voting in any future Scottish independence referendum, based on latitude of birth or whatever. You are barking up the wrong tree, so best not to even go there.

            Pensions: The UK doesn’t have a pot of pension funds that have been collected over the years. The original contributions were spent and now new contributions and taxes are used to pay current pensions. If Scotland leaves the UK, either Scotland would need to keep paying into the funds (which doesn’t make sense) or the Scottish government would take on responsibility for peoples pensions (which is presumably what would happen).
            I suspect Scotland would also be dumped with it’s share of UK national debt (otherwise England should get out of the UK first and leave the last guy stuck with the tab – but its not a pub)

            The UK is going to try do to Scotland what Brussels is currently doing to the UK, and rightly so. For example, the UK could decide that Scott’s studying in English universities are treated as foreign students (much higher tuition costs). There may be other unplanned consequences. Divorces are often messy, but if you want out then you want out.

          • N_

            @Hatuey – You say most land in Scotland is in the hands of rich English people. And you get all insulty when it’s pointed out to you that the principle the SNP applied to the 1979 referendum, if the SNP actually had any genuine principles, would imply taking a position on last weekend’s referendum in Romania that most SNPers wouldn’t want to adopt because – at least at the moment – it would be a vote loser if they did.

            Wanting to ban residents of Scotland who were born elsewhere in Britain is vile chauvinism, and it shows utter contempt for what decent people value, such as harmonious relations in Scotland between people of different ethnic backgrounds and the wellbeing of the many Scots who live in England, most of whom piss on the SNP. Anyone who can think beyond the end of their nose rather than having a massive infantile patriotic chip on their shoulder can understand that. Anyone who thinks it’s English people stopping corrupt SNP politicians and their business backers from pocketing even more state moneyScotland from becoming independent needs to be put in a straitjacket and given compulsory re-education while isolated from others who suffer from the same illness.

          • N_

            @Hatuey – You are probably bright enough to know that removing the vote from English people in Scotland will never happen this side of independence. Your support for it shows that you are prepared to encourage inter-ethnic strife to achieve your nationalistic goals, just as most other nationalists in the world are. It also gives people a taste of what kind of regime the nationalist party would want to install if ever it were to achieve sovereignty.

            Any genuinely leftwing people who believe they can vote SNP until independence and then successfully back a leftwing and perhaps even a republican wave are very naive indeed. If any were still to retain leftwing hopes rather than developing a fondness for their jackboots, the attitude of the leadership towards them would be “Thanks for the votes, and now you can fuck right off”. The only reason the SNP leadership has positioned the party in many markets as some kind of left wing option is to win votes from Labour, especially in Glasgow, and this is not that surprising given how it was built up by MI5 and the Tories in the aftermath of the struggles of 1968-72. During the workers’ takeover of the shipyards on the Clyde, nationalism was nowhere and the bosses were crapping themsleves with fear that you would get “events” in Scotland, Northern Ireland, England, Wales and elsewhere that would be comparable to the 1968 events in France and could take things further too – as part of a worldwide wave, as national identities got thrown into dustbins everywhere, which is exactly where the shit of nationalism belongs.

            There were many simpleminded leftwing people or former leftwing people who supported other parties of patriotic arseholes in other countries “for the time being”, and who similarly went around whingeing that alien elements had stabbed them in the back. Call me whatever names you like for knowing where powerful nationalist forces got a lot of their members and voters from in Germany, Italy, France, etc.

          • Hatuey

            Andrew H, the SNP made no suggestion that English people shouldn’t be allowed to vote in the 2014 referendum. If you agree with that, you should praise them.

            Your English politicians didn’t make the same provision for EU nationals living in England and they were not allowed to vote in the Brexit referendum, despite living in England for many decades in a lot of cases. You should condemn that, if you have enough sense to see the potential hypocrisy of your position.

            But we are used to English hypocrisy on such things.

            As for pension obligations, you really have no idea what you’re talking about. In most countries pension obligations are regarded straight forwardly as debt and in fact are included in estimations of national debt. In accountancy terms, pensions are simply regarded as a liability. Nobody mentioned an imaginary pot. Again, sickening hypocrisy from the scum of Europe.

            On debt, if you care to look into it, over the last 40 years Scotland has had a budgetary surplus. For the benefit of thick people, no pointing elbows, that means Scotland has contributed more to the UK coffers than it has gotten back through the block grant. Incidentally, this isn’t even debated by the most deluded unionists and if you want more detail on that you can visit Richard Murphy’s website where he has a few reports on it. He isn’t the only one.

            If that’s true, and it is, that means that 100% of the debt is basically England’s. It means England has been scrounging off Scotland rather than the other way around which is what we are repeatedly told. It could be very easily resolved in international courts. The SNP said they would take a share of this debt though, so again you should praise them if you agree.

            You say that England is going to treat Scotland the way the EU has treated the UK. I wish it was true. Within seconds of the result in the Brexit vote being announced, English politicians were running around threatening to use EU nationals living in the U.K. as bargaining chips and threatening to renege on debt. As I say, the scum of Europe.

            If only you knew how England was perceived in the rest of Europe. Maybe the shame would make you change your approach. And shame is the word. Racist, xenophobic, unscrupulous, cheating, dishonest, hypocritical, and desperate, are just some of the words I hear a lot when my European friends discuss England.

          • Charles Bostock


            “. Within seconds of the result in the Brexit vote being announced, English politicians were running around threatening to use EU nationals living in the U.K. as bargaining chips..”

            Yes, and now the UK government has said that EU nationals already in the UK and those who will come in the next couple of years will have guaranteed residence through a 5 minute registration procedure.

            Has the EU27 offered the same guarantee to UK nationals residing abroad?

            If that’s your criterion for being “scum”, who are the “scum” here?

          • Hatuey

            N, how many times do I need to say it, the referendum in 1979 didn’t have any requirement on turnout. You simply misunderstand the 40% Rule. It had nothing, zero, zilch, to do with turnout.

            Stop ruining the internet.

          • Mary Paul

            Anders Holch Povlsen (born 1972) is a Danish billionaire who in 2018 was the richest man in Denmark according to Forbes. He is also the second-largest individual private landowner in the UK and is one of, if not the, largest land owners in Scotland.

            In 2018 it was reported that Povlsen owns 221,000-acres of land in Scotland, making him the largest landowner. This has risen from a 2012 level of 120,000 acres (49,000 ha), when he had bought two further large estates, the 24,000-acre Ben Loyal, and 18,000-acre Kinloch Lodge, both in Sutherland, in addition to a 47,000-acre estate he bought in Inverness-shire in 2006 and a 30,000-acre estate near Fort William that he bought in 2008.

            In 2013 it was reported that Povlsen had bought the 20,000 acres (8,100 ha) Gaick Estate in Inverness-shire earlier that year, bringing his total to 150,000 acres (61,000 ha), second only to the Buccleuch Estates as Scotland’s largest private landowner. In addition, Povlsen had bought land in the Borders specifically to trade it with the Forestry Commission, in return for 1,000 acres of woodland to add to his 43,000-acre Glenfeshie Estate, south of Aviemore. Povlsen bought Glenfeshie in 2006, and expanded it by buying the 4,000-acre neighbouring farm of Killiehuntly.

            In 2015 he bought Aldourie Castle on the banks of Loch Ness for £15 million. In October 2016 he bought 18,000-acre Eriboll estate in Sutherland for £7 million.

          • Andrew H

            Hatuey: “But we are used to English hypocrisy on such things…” (in response to your previous)

            I am a remainer, so obviously I would have welcomed it if EU citizens had been allowed to vote in the BrExit vote. However, it is water under a bridge and I see no possibility of overturning the vote on that basis.

            If that’s true, and it is, that means that 100% of the debt is basically England’s.

            Pensions and debt: There is no point bringing up a bunch of dirty laundry. Scottish independence will mean that Scotland can make financial decisions about itself in the future but the past is the past, and playing the battered wife won’t appeal to the accountants. It may appeal to some voters, but when the chips fall and the argument doesn’t sway the accountants then the voters will be angry with those that made false promises.

            Try to think about it like this: If England left the UK should England be allowed to walk away from the UK’s debt? Of coarse not. If England left the UK would the remainder of the UK be responsible for paying English pensions? Of coarse not. Now replace England by Scotland. Does it change anything? Of coarse not.

            Yes, you could think of pensions as virtual debt, but that debt is shared by the whole of the UK, so when Scotland leaves it will also have to pick up the tab on virtual debt. There is no clever trick to avoid this.

            You are really barking up the wrong tree on this (again). Scotland won’t necessarily be any worse off than it is today simply because it has to take on its share of debt and pension responsibilities. Indeed if Scotland is the breadwinner of the UK, it will quickly pay down this debt. Disentangling the finances of Scotland from that of the UK will be by negotiation and will require an army of accountants and lawyers, and by the time it is done no single person will understand the all the details (not me, nor you, or even any of the accountants involved).

            In a civilised society one would hope there would be no disruption to people pensions, so pensioners don’t need to worry, but Scotland doesn’t get to discard its existing financial obligations and it is irresponsible to suggest they might.
            I think you have to focus on the future rather than the past.

        • Charles Bostock


          ” Most good liars and deceivers are good speakers, they need to be”

          Would you apply that to George Galloway, who is a very fluent speaker?

      • Paul Greenwood

        Sturgeon is a solicitor and not very bright. She flies the flag but fears having to haul it down in defeat.

          • Paul Greenwood

            Smug Hatuey aren’t you ? I am far cleverer than a solicitor but that is not unusual. Very very few solicitors are intelligent and they are the ones that know statute law whereas most solicitors do not, they play the game of bluff. You of course Hatuey are no doubt a QC looking for a brief……

          • Ingwe

            @Paul Greenwood-you may be “far cleverer than a solicitor” but unless you identify who the “a” solicitor is, how can we test the accuracy of your appallingly arrogant, not to say ignorant assertion? As a stupid solicitor myself, I love it when morons like you come for assistance when your barrack room knowledge of all things legal, drops you deeply in the brown smelly stuff.
            Keep on with your stupid generalisations. Demonstrates your inability to make a good point.

          • Hatuey

            Paul, you didn’t answer. What role do you play in the world? If you class solicitors as thick, it must be something impressive. I’m eager to know.

        • Sharp Ears

          I see your name is being translated into Italian Paul in the latest dropping! Our friend used to add ‘La Vita e Bella’ to his previous handle.

          ‘La vita’ for the Israelis might be ‘bella’ but definitely not for the Palestinians in their own land.

    • Dave

      Except its supporting Brexit that brings Scottish independence closer, because Scotland is more independent as a devolved part of UK than as a devolved part of EU.

      Promoting the EU was a SNP tactic to promote themselves and independence without scaring the Scots with being isolated and helped deliver devolution. However moving to genuine independence, control of borders and money, is easier from within UK than from within EU.

      Not that I, as a Unionist, want it to happen, or think it likely, because like the Lib Dems have found, going on about Remain isn’t a vote winner anymore.

      • Hatuey

        “Scotland is more independent as a devolved part of UK than as a devolved part of EU.”

        Does the EU force member states to park nuclear weapons a few miles from their biggest cities, against their will? Does the EU drag member states into illegal wars that kill millions, against their will? Does the EU force member states to be governed by crackpot right wing Tories, against their will?

        Does the EU take full control of member state economies and decide how much pocket money they will get to spend as in their budgets? Does the EU tell member states they can’t have referenda or dictate when they can have them?

        If people like you stopped being so fucking stupid, the world would be almost bearable.

        • Blunderbuss


          “Does the EU take full control of member state economies and decide how much pocket money they will get to spend as in their budgets?”


          • Hatuey

            I thought the problem with Greece was that it spent more that some said it should have. Make up your mind.

            Scotland under current arrangements couldn’t spend or borrow more though, that’s my point. The Greeks have far more control over spending, hence the debt crisis.

            Scotland gets pocket money at levels determined in London.

            If you can’t see the difference, you’re simply thick.

        • Paul Greenwood

          Nuclear weapons have nothing to do with EU and everything to do with NATO. Through NATO Germans have access to B61 nuclear bombs at Büchel Air Base, Belgians have them too and Italians though it breaches Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

          EU does dictate budgets as Salvini in Italy is finding out currently

        • Mr Shigemitsu

          “Does the EU take full control of member state economies and decide how much pocket money they will get to spend as in their budgets?”

          If the member state uses the Euro, then yes, it absolutely does.

          • Hatuey

            No it doesn’t. And frankly I think you are pretty dumb to say that. Are you seriously suggesting that the EU imposes limits on the performance of member state economies and the tax intake of governments based on that performance? Are you really that stupid and brainwashed?

            It’s official, I’m calling it. Everybody on here who supports Brexit is as thick as shit.

          • Mr Shigemitsu

            “Are you seriously suggesting that the EU imposes limits on the performance of member state economies and the tax intake of governments based on that performance?”

            An example from just last week: The EU imposes budget deficit limits of 3% of GDP under Article 123 of the Stability and Growth Pact. In recent days, Italy has proposed increasing its budget deficit to just 2.4%, a move opposed by EU Commissioners Valdis Dombrovskis and Pierre Moscovici:

            “In a letter to Italy’s Economy Minister Giovanni Tria, the Commission said that with a planned headline deficit of 2.4 percent of GDP in 2019, Italy’s structural deficit, which excludes one-offs and business cycle effects, would rise by 0.8 percent of GDP.

            The council of EU ministers, however, asked Italy in July to reduce that structural deficit by 0.6 percent of GDP next year, which means the deficit would be 1.4 points off track.

            Italy is planning to bring down the headline deficit to 2.1 percent in 2020 and to 1.8 percent in 2021, but that would not be enough either, the Commission letter said, because it would mean Italy’s structural deficit would not change in 2020-21.

            Under EU rules Italy, which has a public debt to GDP ratio of 133 percent and the highest debt servicing costs in Europe, should cut the structural deficit every year until balance.

            “Against this background, Italy’s revised budgetary targets appear prima facie to point to a significant deviation from the fiscal path recommended by the Council. This is therefore a source of serious concern,” the Commission letter said.

            “We call on the Italian authorities to ensure that the Draft Budgetary Plan will be in compliance with the common fiscal rules,” it said.”


            If this isn’t pro-austerity, undemocratic, neoliberal interference in a nation’s economic sovereignty, then what is?

            Having been in the economic doldrums ever since it joined the Euro, Italy is in dire need of increased public spending. Its deficits are clearly insufficient to support decent employment levels, and ordinary people are being made to suffer unemployment, stagnation and poverty as a result, just to meet an arbitrary, and damaging, set of fiscal rules, dictated from beyond its borders.

            And look what happened – Italians voted for a populist, broadly anti-EU coalition, in desperation.

            I fail to understand how any left-leaning person could support this sound money, Gold Standard era, austerity nonsense coming from the EU Commission, the ECB, and most EU governments.

            Having had her hand forced by the threat of a Corbyn-led government, even Theresa May is now saying that austerity is over. (Not that any sensible person should believe she means it, of course).

          • Hatuey

            Mr Shigemitsu, I have explained to you that I feel I have read enough on the Greek Crisis. You respond to that by providing quotes that support my assessment — handling of the crisis essentially left to the IMF.

            All of a sudden the most ordinary people in England want to talk about Greece. Clearly the anti-EU programming has been hugely successful.

            What’s interesting, and I really have no desire to talk about this, is that the IMF today actually takes responsibility for the botched bail out. Their own watch dog, the Independent Evaluation Office, not only confirmed that but published a report that couldn’t have been more scathing in that regard.

            In 2011, I spent over three months researching the Greek crisis. It was extremely depressing. It’s much more complex than the anti-EU pro-Brexit maniacs would have you believe.

            The EU and ECB don’t come out of it smelling of roses, that’s for sure, and if that’s your point then go and celebrate, but neither do successive Greek governments. The conclusion that most economists accept, and I haven’t heard of one who disagrees, is that the crisis was largely caused by two things; Greek stupidity combined with the credit crunch.

            The EU failed massively in one crucial respect; it trusted and took Greek economic assessments on debt and GDP to be truthful. Greece had been essentially cooking its books for years though, pretending its GDP was stronger than it actually was, etc.

            It’s interesting to me that English / British people are so concerned about Greece all of a sudden. Clearly strings are being pulled by dark forces.

            If British people understood the role played by Britain in Greek’s post-war history, the so called Greek Civil War, and the damage Britain done to Greece over subsequent decades, they might shed a few less of their crocodile tears over the debt crisis.

            You’re not fooling anyone, and certainly not the Greeks themselves.

        • Mr Shigemitsu


          You might care to read this article describing some of the more atrocious policies that Greece has been made to carry out at the behest of the Troika:

          I’m not saying Scotland isn’t entitled to some grievances regarding its treatment by Westminster (and if I were Scottish I’d no doubt want independence too) but it’s no comparison to how appallingly the Troika have treated Greece and its people.

          • Mr Shigemitsu


            You might care to read this article describing some of the more atrocious policies that Greece has been made to carry out at the behest of the Troika:


            I’m not saying Scotland isn’t entitled to some grievances regarding its treatment by Westminster (and if I were Scottish I’d no doubt want independence too) but it’s no comparison to how appallingly the Troika have treated Greece and its people.

          • Hatuey

            I’ve read enough on Greece. The IMF was in control of the bail out and terms of the settlement, not the EU.

          • wonky

            It was a happy little dance by the IMF, the EU (mainly Germany) and the too-big-to-jail, too-illoyal-to-localize banksters. The issue is ongoing, no one’s ever been held responsible except your regular Joe & Maria Greek, while all the country’s assets are being plundered. Europe as a whole has nothing better to offer than to add insult to injury (“Macedonia” being the latest chapter in this fucked-up drama), and Europe’s wanna-be intellectual commentariat is sooo bored of being reminded of those pesky hellenic Yanomamis with their shitty working ethos, their irrational orthodoxy, their naive patriotism and love for the family, all of which is sooo last century.
            They don’t deserve their blessed geography anyway, never did, and that’s that. Right, Hatuey?

          • Hatuey

            Wonky, if you say something substantive occasionally, I’d be encouraged to respond. This stream of consciousness stuff doesn’t do it for me, I’m afraid.

            The one thing you mention that arguably was substantive concerned the troika. But I repeat and you can validate this, the IMF headed the Greek bail out response on behalf of the others.

          • Mr Shigemitsu

            “I’ve read enough on Greece. The IMF was in control of the bail out and terms of the settlement, not the EU.”

            It was far more complicated than that. There were conflicting opinions, both within the EU, and between the EU and the IMF.


            “German Chancellor Angela Merkel, according to her aides, saw the ECB and the European Commission – the EU’s top executive body – as soft and vulnerable to political influence. She began insisting that the IMF be brought into the Greek bailout.”

            “Though small within Europe’s economy, it was an advanced country that shared the euro currency. It was initially unthinkable to European leaders that such a country should require rescue by the IMF.

            Instead, the Europeans wanted to keep the Greek problem in-house. Paris, in particular, opposed bringing in the fund. George Papaconstantinou, Greece’s finance minister from 2009 to 2011, remembers French President Nikolas Sarkozy “telling us ‘I will never allow the IMF in Europe.'”

            Christine Lagarde, then France’s finance minister and now head of the IMF, agreed with Sarkozy. Her view, she told Reuters in an interview, was “predicated on the hope that the Europeans could put together enough of a package, enough ring-fencing, enough of a backstop so as to show that Europe could sort out its own affairs.”

            In Frankfurt, Jean-Claude Trichet, then president of the European Central Bank (ECB), also made clear he wanted Europe to take the lead. “I wasn’t hostile in principle to an IMF intervention,” Trichet told Reuters. “But I was resolutely, totally and very publicly hostile to the idea that the IMF should go there alone, which was a thesis that seemed to prevail at some point.”

            “Strauss-Kahn drove the IMF down a route it had never taken before: operating as part of a “troika” with the European Commission and the ECB. It was a serious constraint for an agency used to dealing directly and alone with creditor governments. While Europe had accepted IMF involvement, it still wanted to maintain control of the Greek bailout on its own terms.”

            You may feel you’ve read enough about Greece, but if it were an independent Scotland on the other end of this sort of treatment by the European Commission and the ECB, or if you were Greek, I daresay you’d feel differently.

        • Rhys Jaggar

          When the EU is complete, you may well find the Imperialists in Brussels rather like those in London, just they will rule over 500 million, not seventy million.

          In the EU, you vote for the people who choose your leaders for you themselves, you do not vote for Juncker, Verhofstadt, Barnier or Mogherini.

          None of the people you vote for can introduce legislation in Brussels, they can only modify it or reject it. If the EU ever got nuclear weapons, you could never vote in MEPs to get rid of them, you have to hope that they select better Commissioners and Presidents.

          You have more power in Holyrood now in the Union than you will have ruled from Brussels. To be sure, it is not the power you want, but you will not have a Barnett formula from Brussels, you already had your Objective 1 decade. That money goes East now….

          • Hatuey

            My response to the same stupid point from earlier…

            “Does the EU force member states to park nuclear weapons a few miles from their biggest cities, against their will? Does the EU drag member states into illegal wars that kill millions, against their will? Does the EU force member states to be governed by crackpot right wing Tories, against their will?

            Does the EU take full control of member state economies and decide how much pocket money they will get to spend as in their budgets? Does the EU tell member states they can’t have referenda or dictate when they can have them?”

          • Vivian O'Blivion

            Even if you are correct and Brussels is on a dictatorial trajectory (and I don’t accept that there is substantive evidence of this), from a practical perspective the choice given to the Scottish people would be which “flavour” of oppression is preferable. In broad brush terms, Europe offers a system of regulation and enforcement. The Atlanticist, post Brexit vision espouses negligible regulation with shoddy, quick fixes for the inevitable consequences. I prefer my chicken chlorine free and at least a chance that eggs won’t be salmonellosis infected.

          • Yalt

            re: Hatuey @12:16

            The Greeks can unfortunately tell you that the answers to the questions in your second paragraph are, respectively, “yes” and “no, but you will not be permitted to act on the results.”

      • N_

        Are you sure that going on about Remain isn’t a votewinner for the Lib Dems? I thought they did quite well in this year’s local elections.

        • Andrew H

          I think long term its probably a winner. To some extent I think Labour shot itself in the foot by jumping sides after the vote (traditionally Labour has always supported the EU). Brexit was never about anything more than Tory infighting. When the shit hits the fan, Lib Dems can only gain.

          • Charles Bostock

            ” (traditionally Labour has always supported the EU). ”

            Historically inaccurate. Herbert Morrison /the European Coal and Steel Community (“it’s no good, the Durham miners won’t wear it”) Hugh Gaitskell / the EEC (“betrayal of a 1000 years of history”); Michael Foot and Anthony Wedgwood-Benn aka the former Viscount Stansgate, etc, etc, etc.

          • John A

            ” (traditionally Labour has always supported the EU). ”

            Historically inaccurate. Herbert Morrison /the European Coal and Steel Community (“it’s no good, the Durham miners won’t wear it”) Hugh Gaitskell / the EEC (“betrayal of a 1000 years of history”); Michael Foot and Anthony Wedgwood-Benn aka the former Viscount Stansgate, etc, etc, etc.
            I know you are only year to glue up the pages Bostick, but in the words of Harold Wilson “The Labour Party is a broad church”. This is very true of the EU debate. Wilson certainly flirted with EU membership in the 1960s, to backbench opposition (and at the time a De Gaulle non veto would have ruled out an application) but when Heath took us into the then Common Market (Tory party then, as now, split on the issue), on returning to power in 1974, Wilson called the first referendum to ‘get the issue out of the way’. Cameron tried the same trick in 2016, but unfortunately was nothing like as remarkable a politician as Wilson and screwed up, both himself, the Tory party and the country in general. Cameron, of course, ran away, to in his own words ‘Put hay in the barn’ for his family. Not that he particularly need worry, being the son of a tax avoidance specialist and married to a rich heiress.

          • Mr Shigemitsu

            ” (traditionally Labour has always supported the EU)”

            That’s debatable.

            There was a distinct left wing opposition to the EEC in the 1970s, with prominent left-wingers such as Tony Benn, Michael Foot, Ian Mikardo, Peter Shore and Bryan Gould strongly opposed on economic and political grounds.

            It was mainly the rightwing elements of the Party who were pro-European at that point, together with most of the media, even the Daily Mail (!), and which advocated continued EEC membership (the UK had already joined the EEC in 1973 under Heath, without a referendum) in the 1975 plebiscite, on pro-business and commercial grounds.

            In the 1980s, Labour’s opposition to the EEC prevailed under Foot’s leadership, but that changed gradually under Kinnock’s leadership, the turning point being Jacques Delors’ 1988 speech to the TUC Conference in Bournemouth where, according to the New Statesman, “He made the case for collective bargaining at European level, and promised to put social protection at the heart of his European project.”

            Labour believed him, and from that point onwards became far more favourable to the EC/EU, mostly as a bulwark and protection against the more egregious of Tory policies. Perhaps understandably so, as Thatcher had governed for almost 10 years by then, and having lost three elections in a row, a Labour government seemed a very distant prospect – and was happy to grasp at any lifeline that promised to protect ordinary people, their livelihoods, protections and rights.

            Fast forward to post-crisis 2012, and Mario Draghi’s Wall Street Journal article:


            … in which he declared the Social European model to be dead, and, in doing so, revealed how the Commission and some member states (I think we can guess which ones) were using the financial crisis to “push through their neoliberal programme of deregulation and flexibilisation of European welfare states and labour markets,”…and bringing in an era in which the European central bank saw no problem dictating to democratically elected politicians.

            “…another extremist sign of the arrogance of the European technocratic class that is undermining the European Union’s legitimacy.”


            It really makes me laugh to think that people who consider themselves to be left of centre still continue to defend this anti-democratic and neoliberal enterprise.

        • Xavi

          In terms of nationwide share of the vote, 2018 was one of the Lib Dems’ worst local election performances since the party’s formation. They currently have just shy of 1900 councillors. To put this into some context, they would have to more than double that number just to return back to their 2010 local council composition.

      • Aslangeo

        As an independent member of the EU Scotland would have about as much power as Ireland has now. In the UK, Scotland has about as much power as Bavaria has in Germany, maybe less. I don’t really know enough about the costs and benefits of separation from England, but Scots should vote with their hearts. England and Scotland have been drifting apart and Brexit may well lead to eventual separation quicker than otherwise would have been the case

        • Paul Greenwood

          Difference is that Bavaria, Baden-W, Hessen are the three Laender that transfer all the funds to Berlin to fund Germany with Bavaria being the largest single Net Contributor. Bavaria has the same gripe inside Germany that UK has within the EU

  • N_

    Bellingcat, i.e. presumably Eliot Higgins, will be holding a press conference later today in the House of Commons. This the same day the House returns from its recess.

    I know space in the HoC can be hired for payment, but when it’s for a press conference does an MP have to play host?

  • JMF

    None of the documents from bellingcat would stand up in a court of law. Meanwhile, Russia almost certainly has legally verifiable original documents about the MH17 BUK missile being Ukrainian stock. No wonder they are going ballistic, the bellingcat cat is out of the bag!

      • Sharp Ears

        Bob Seely MP Con IoW is bigging up Bellingcat. He is saying that their ‘evidence’ is of sufficient worth to be accepted by the ICC!

        Bellingcat: Announcement of the Identity of Second Skripal Suspect … › Things to do in London › Conference › Government
        4 hours ago – Eventbrite – Bellingcat and Bob Seely MP presents Bellingcat: Announcement of the Identity of Second Skripal Suspect – Tuesday, 9 October …

        What is going on?

        He’s been everywhere man! Never paid his fare man!

        Committee Room 9, London, GB

        • Rhys Jaggar

          Good to see they say Skripal ‘suspect’.

          There is no court worth the name that will allow this case to be presented without comprehensive examination and cross-examination of all the Skripals, Pablo Miller, the A&E consultant from Salisbury who made it clear no nerve agent poisoning ever took place, the CEO of Porton Down, the heads of MI5 and MI6 etc etc.

          There is no basis whatever for anything being held in camera. Novichok is a known agent and the basis it can be chemically- and biochemically identified is agreed by labs worldwide.

          CCTV evidence cannot be withheld and if MI5 claims it was not monitoring Skripal 24/7 the careers of the top 20 MI5 timewasters end, as do all subsequent careers of the past two heads, whose policies will have created such a state of affairs.

          All the time gaps in Skripal locations must be covered and their absence a reason to discredit MI5 as a source, not to mention cutting the salaries of its top 500 earners by 75%.

          Comprehensive blood analysis of the Skripals must be presented and the consequence of fentanyl exposure being the true cause of symptoms will lead to unimaginable consequences for Mark Urban, Eliot Higgins, Gavin Williamson, Boris Johnson, Theresa May and every Conservative MP linked to the Security Services.

          Rigorous evidence concerning findings in Spiez must be interrogated and if Spiez proves conclusively that Novichok was not involved then 200 BBC journalists will never work again and will have their pension entitlements rescinded. All their children will be removed by social services and any future contact until they die will lead to extermination. They will be taken to West Africa in chains where they will work sixteen hour days as slaves.

          Evidence will be presented as to how two Russian tourists sourced Novichok/fentanyl and had it packaged for them in Nina Ricci perfume bottles without killing unfortunate bystanders.

          It will be explained how spraying the door knob did not produce an aerosol of sufficient danger to health to the sprayers or witnesses will be produced who saw full chemical weapon gear on strangers in the street the Skripals lived and how Boshirov and his friend found such equipment waiting for them in Salisbury ready for them to dress up and not kill themselves with Novichok. Presumably their GRU mates had a vehicle to take the gear away again as event the idiots in MI5 could find that if the dumb Russkies dumped it under a bush before making their escape via Heathrow?!

          Detailed pharmacology data will be presented to demonstrate absorption of Novichok through the palm of a hand/fingers with kinetics consistent with a 4 hour delay. Forensics will show Novichok on the steering wheel of the Skripal car, unless evidence exists of a chauffeur for the Skripals on that day.

          Evidence showing how the GRU numpties managed to dump the perfume under a bush for junkies to find without passing CCTV cameras and consistent with other known movements in Salisbury captured on camera.

          Etc etc etc.

          • Ingwe

            Love it Rhys. Everything you say is right, we’re such a trial to be conducted fairly within the rules of criminal procedure and the rule of law. But of course, both of these are suspended when it suits those who govern us. That’s why you’ve not seen Blair, Straw, Blunkett, Brown, Cameron, Major, May, Johnson etc etc, facing charges.

          • Andrew H

            The “suspects” are welcome to return to the UK for a fair trial. They are also welcome to try to clear their name from within Russia. Until then no proof is required and they are as guilty as the public wish to believe. I have no sympathy for the notion that they are anything but state sponsored murderers.

    • Radar O’Reilly

      The eponymous Radio Free Europe gets the propaganda in

      The supposedly private RFE, which broadcast to Eastern Europe beginning in 1950, and Radio Liberty (RL), which broadcast into the Soviet Union beginning in 1953, were actually secretly funded by the Central Intelligence Agency until the early 1970s and more openly from then on.

      The actual Russian Cat story of the day, also fortuitously timed to ‘spoil’ Sturgeon, is the story of a sad comedian’s cat,
      “’I’m not sorry I took the cat’: Rebecca Humphries and Seann Walsh with their cat Winston the ragdoll. Miss Humphries has left Walsh and taken Winston with her” (all tabloids)
      Ekaterina Jones (neé Andreevna Sokolova in Leningrad) no doubt danced at the GRU?

        • Radar O'Reilly

          Eponymous, Yes! I think the actual definition is “evil Agency” viz: the tiered ranks of our ‘innocent’ partner agencies that have recently murdered three or four journalists in Europe. After all, without the wholesale pervasive tracking & surreptitious data-take people like daphne Caruana Galizia, Viktoria Marinova, Jamal Kashoggi would still be doing investigative journalism, instead, the intelligence agencies have killed them, point. puppets are part of that chain. Full-take is part of that chain. Government by PR is part of that chain.

          But then who cares?

  • Sharp Ears

    An extremely busy day awaits the troughers on their return from their six week break, inc conferences Not. They have to clock in first get their expense claims in and sort through their mail so do not have to appear until 2.30pm.

    2.30 pm
    Oral questions
    Justice (including Topical Questions)

    Ten Minute Rule Motion
    Assaults on Retail Workers (Offences) – Alex Norris

    Backbench Business
    General debate on baby loss awareness week – Antoinette Sandbach

    Backbench Business
    General debate on children’s social care in England – Tim Loughton

    Reforming the business rates system for small retail businesses – Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown

    and a late start and early finish tomorrow.

    11.30 am
    Oral questions
    International Development (including Topical Questions)

    12.00 pm
    Prime Minister’s Question Time

    Ten Minute Rule Motion
    Criminal Records (Childhood Offences) – Theresa Villiers

    Agriculture Bill – 2nd reading

    Money Resolution
    Agriculture Bill – Mel Stride

    Role of youth services in tackling youth violence – Vicky Foxcroft

    • Charles Bostock

      Sharp Ears

      I should imagine that many of the subjects are of far greater interest and importance to the UK public than, say, the membership of the Atlantic Council or the fighting along the Israel-Gaza border.

      Justice – children’s social care – youth services – agriculture – small lbusinesses : why on earth should Parliament not discuss and deal with such matters? What’s the matter with you?

      Most MPs are not George Galloways, you know.

      • Sharp Ears

        @ Bostock
        Try the front page of Ma’an and click on a few links.
        They should inform you of the Israeli barbarity.

        One of the nastiest is about Israeli settlers having a tankerful of sewage unloaded on the village of Khan al Amar. The white pick up in the video, standing by, belongs to the IDF. There for protection of course

        Israeli settlers flood Khan al-Ahmar with wastewater
        Updated: Oct. 7, 2018 9:39 A.M.

        • IrishU

          The video is singularly unimpressive. It is 30 seconds long and for the majority of the video shows a truck reversing before cutting to footage of the highway.

          You would think that a ‘news organisation’ would publish footage of a crime such as polluting an area with sewage / wastewater that actually showed the deed. Instead the published footage shows a tanker reversing and then cutting to a highway for no discernable reason. Strange.

          Also, how do you know the pickup belongs to the IDF? I could not make out any markings.

          • Charles Bostock

            She got that stuff from some pro-Palestinian website or other. As any fule no, pro-Palestinians only ever tell the truth, they never engage in propaganda and fake news and they are innocent children compared to the Israelis, who, as we all know, never tell the truth, always engage in propaganda and fake news and indeed control everything that goes on in the world.

          • Paul Barbara

            @ Charles Bostock October 9, 2018 at 13:34
            Perhaps we should have a whip-round for swimming lessons for Netz and his gang of War Criminals?
            They’ve got enough blood on their hands to attract all the sharks in the Med., and beyond.

        • Sharp Ears

          One of several other reports:
          Israel settlers flood Khan Al-Ahmar with waste water

          You probably do not know that settlers who live on hilltops in their fortresses often send down sewage on to Palestinians who live below.

          One of their old tricks.

          ‘Raw sewage that flowed from the new West Bank settlement of Amihai into the fields of the Palestinian village Turmus Ayya, last week.
          New West Bank Settlement’s Sewage Overflowing Into Palestinian Fields
          The people from the illegal outpost of Amona were evacuated to a spot hastily set up without sewage treatment
          Yotam Berger
          Raw sewage from the new West Bank settlement of Amihai, which had been set up to take in people evacuated from the nearby illegal outpost of Amona, is flowing straight into agricultural fields worked by Palestinians from the village of Turmus Ayya.

          The settlers had dug a pit near the fields for the sewage to sink into, but the hole overflows, flooding the fields. Since Amihai, where about 40 families live, was only built after the actual evacuation, the work on the sewage pit was done hastily.

          Attorney-general Avichai Mendelblit had opposed Amihai’s expedited construction and also had expressed discomfort with the establishment of a new town based on an army general’s order. West Bank planning authorities approved the construction of Amihai at dizzying speed, without seriously discussing objections by local Palestinian residents.’

          I know the white pickups are used by the IDF because I know. I have no intention of proving it to the likes of you. Interesting that you arrive
          on the scene to support Bostock

          • IrishU

            Note the time stamps of the respective posts.

            Interesting that you fail to answer the questions posed.

          • Sharp Ears

            To the chiming couple. The example I quoted from Ha’aretz, the Israeli newspaper, is just one of many similar occurrences.

          • IrishU

            Yet more insults rather than anything of substance. It is almost that you come on here to make the same repeated points without the capacity to accept challenge and debate?

            Perhaps I am wrong?

            The video you initially posted did not show what you claimed that it did ( wastewater / sewage) and no identifiable members of the IDF were present. These are facts.

  • Crispa

    Well I suppose one has to admire Higin’s chutzpah getting a prime venue to peddle his untested methodology and findings.He reminds me of Helen Duncan the fraudulent psychic during the second world war who was also capable of hitting the headlines with her spurious claims.

  • Sharp Ears

    Not about solicitors but a barrister, Martha Spurrier, who follows on from Hewitt, Harman and Chakrabati. All have belonged/belong to the organisation known as Liberty and formerly called The National Council for Civil Liberties. Spurrier, like the others, know nothing about human rights.

    Why are the Officers and Employees of Civil Liberties Group Liberty Refusing to Implement its Policy of Opposition to the IHRA?

    They tie themselves in knots of their own making.

    • Blunderbuss

      When local councils adopt the “Definition of anti-Semitism”, why don’t they also adopt definitions of anti-Christianity, anti-Islam, anti-Hinduism, anti-Sikhism, anti-Buddhism, anti-Paganism, etc?

      • N_

        Talking of which, do any of the legal or illegal J__ish schools in North London use the ﬩ symbol instead of +? The former, the “alternative addition sign“, is used in many of the segregated J__ish schools in I__ael, on the grounds that the international standard “+” sign is considered redolent of Christianity. What’s that if it’s not Christophobia?

        Imagine if teachers at a Church of England primary school at Christmas time told children only to make five-pointed stars, not six-pointed ones, because the latter were redolent of J__aism. Would Melanie Phillips and the Heil think that was OK?

  • Piotr Berman

    “Why is The Times publishing this absolute rubbish?”

    I guess some purity fanatics got to the Editorial Board. Or they are experimenting how low non-rubbish content can be, impurities may increase the cost and decrease clarity of the message. Compare “juice drink” with 5-10% juice content with pure “Orange Soda” that has none of that.

  • Charles Bostock

    I suppose that Craig will be commenting again on the Skripal affair in the light of Bellingcat’s second identification? I’m sure readers are looking forward with keen interest to his considered thoughts.

    • Carl

      Formulated any thoughts of your own on the issue? Ones that can be distinguished from a regurgitation of the mainstream narrative?

    • laguerre

      I can’t see that there’s a lot to comment on; it’s been already said. It is even more evident than before that Bellingcat is being fed material from the intelligence services, and is thus a deniable branch of the British government. They even supplied telephone numbers in the village the guy is supposed to come from so that the BBC could have direct live legitimation. It is the exact same modus operandi as used in Syria.

      Of course Craig may well have other things to say….

      • Agent Green

        Presumably Russia is just trying to clear up the mess caused by the West when it interfered in Libya.

      • Paul Greenwood

        Libya has broken up into the state it was before Italy put it together as a nation state with its railway construction. It is essential for Italy’s stability that order be restored after the War Crimes of Sarkozy, Cameron and Obama designed to cover up CIA asset Sarkozy (look at Jim Wisner – and then look at Ergo with Dearlove) and his corrupt dealings with Ghadaffi money.

        If the Russians can stabilise Libya they should be given the gratitude of every West European who wants to stop the africanisation of Europe

  • Sharp Ears

    The unpleasant Mordaunt is proposing to cut overseas aid and to ask the ‘private sector’ to make up the shortfall. At present the amount of aid given from this very rich country to very poor ones is a miserly 0.7% of our GDP.

    ‘Shadow Secretary questions the Government on private investments and overseas aid
    09 October 2018
    Shadow International Development Secretary, Kate Osamor, is to ask an urgent question on plans to use private investments to make up government commitment on overseas aid.
    This follows Secretary of State for International Development, Penny Mordaunt’s speech on the future of UK aid post-Brexit, delivered at CDC this morning.
    Speech by International Development Secretary (external site)
    The question is expected at around 5pm. Timings are approximate as Parliamentary business is subject to change.
    Watch Parliament TV live from 5pm: Urgent question on private investments and overseas aid
    Transcripts of proceedings in the House of Commons Chamber are available in Hansard online three hours after they happen.
    Image: DFID
    Follow the @HouseofCommons on Twitter for updates on the UK House of Commons Chamber. Please fill in our quick feedback survey to help us improve our news content

    Mordaunt is even worse than Patel.

    • IrishU

      ‘At present the amount of aid given from this very rich country to very poor ones is a miserly 0.7% of our GDP.’

      In 2016, the UK spent £13.4 billion on overseas aid, in line with the 0.7% target of GNP or Gross National Income (GNI).

      The 0.7% target was incorporated into UK law by David Cameron as PM and reflects the UN’s target that more economically advanced countries should spend at least 0.7% of gross national income on Official Development Assistance (ODA).

      The UK, on 2015 figures, is the sixth biggest ODA doner by percentage of GNP:
      Sweden – 1.40% ($7.09 billion)
      Norway – 1.05% ($4.28 billion)
      Luxembourg – 0.93% ($0.36 billion)
      Denmark – 0.85% ($2.57 billion)
      Netherlands – 0.76% ($5.81 billion)
      UK – 0.71% ($18.70 billion)
      (Source: )

      How much should the UK spend on ODA, in your opinon? 0.7% feels about right given the pressures elsewhere in the UK budget.

      • Kempe

        Outside of international organisations such as the UN the biggest recipient of UK aid (£340 million) is Pakistan. Whilst there is grinding poverty in Pakistan this is a country with its own space programme and which spends £2.1 billion per year on nuclear weapons.

      • Hatuey

        What you’re calling aid is really bribes. They use tax payers’s money to bribe people abroad and win contracts, often for arms and munitions. The bribes then cleverly get diverted back to “the city” via secretive offshore banks.

        I honestly thought everyone knew this and find it quite bemusing to see seemingly intelligent people talk about foreign aid as if its real.

        What’s next on agenda, spreading democracy?

        • IrishU

          Having worked in a sector which directly spent ODA you will forgive me for calling out your post as rubbish.

          Official Development Assistance is heavily monitored by both the recipient and donee country. Depending on geographical location, aid is also overseen or audited by the EU or various UN organisations. In the case of the project I worked on, we were audited by the UN Develoment Programme as the primary focus was on increasing levels of educational attainment and capacity building the university sector in-country.

      • Paul Barbara

        @ IrishU October 9, 2018 at 16:23
        And I vonder just how much of that ‘aid’ goes to the people, and how much to cementing ‘Western’ agendas?
        Well, actually I don’t think much goes to the people, but just saying…

        • IrishU

          I think, better yet, I know through personal experience you are wrong. If you have any evidence to support your claim I’m happy to read and judge it.

    • Paul Greenwood

      miserly ????? £13.4 billion in a country that spends only £3.6 billion on policing and £5 billion on courts and £5.9 billion on tertiary education and £34 billion on Defence.

      Wow – we could get rid of those huge Court Fees that are crippling people pursuing their rights, increase policing or even fund Education properly.

      • Sharp Ears

        Or even getting rid of Trident. Nicola Sturgeon got a cheer at the SNP Conference when she said that should happen.

        Trident (UK nuclear programme) – Wikipedia
        The final cost of replacing the Vanguard class will not be known until the project has been completed. In October 2015, Reuters claimed it would cost £167 billion over its 30-year lifespan, or £5.56 billion per year; this figure was disputed by the Secretary of State for Defence, Michael Fallon.
        ‎Negotiations – ‎Design, development and … – ‎Renewal

        CND say @£205billion

          • remember kronstadt

            Wrong question. All overseas aid monies need to used to establish community banking with the proviso that only women were permitted to open accounts.

  • N_

    It’s likely the GRU spied on Operation Toxic Dagger. We also know that the only source for the story about a “perfume bottle” is the British state, and that in a matter of this kind which concerns national security the police will not make any substantive public statement that isn’t okayed by MI5 and probably Cobra. The British regime story runs like this: the GRU brought a nasty chemical into the country in a bottle, in order to kill a long-ago amicably swapped traitor. The big problem with this is motive.

    So think laterally. The poshboys say some characters moved a bottle from A to B. How about if some characters moved a bottle from B to A? How about the idea that the GRU took a sample OUT of the country? The notion that they took samples out in connection with Toxic Dagger doesn’t seem at all unlikely. That’s what you’d expect a serious spying operation against a large-scale chemical warfare exercise to do. There’s no problem with motive here. (Aficionados will recall the Portland Spy Ring and Konon Molody.)

    • Rowan

      “The notion that they took samples out in connection with Toxic Dagger doesn’t seem at all unlikely.” Yes, that’s highly plausible.

    • Paul Greenwood

      I think you have a very salient point – it was more vital to learn about that than bother with Skripal

      • Rowan

        Here’s a scenario: Sergei Skripal stole something from DSTL. Petrov & Bashirov were the designated couriers who were sent from Russia by the customers to collect the goods. Yulia was sent on ahead to establish the good faith of the deal in advance, being known by both sides. P & B smelled a rat at the bottom of Skripal’s residential close, and thus dodged a trap set for them by Pablo MIller and the counter-espionage team, who were waiting for them. Sergei & Yulia were punished with a stiff dose of BZ each and are under continued detention for attempted treason and attempted espionage respectively. Pablo was just playing with them when he gave them lunch beforehand, and even took a photograph of them with himself in it. We know what he looks like, because we were conveniently given a picture of him, quite early on in the game. Who gave us that picture, please? Does anyone know?

  • Charles Bostock

    I see that Naomi Klein’s latest is in the bookshops.

    One thing is sure, every cloud has a silver lining : many are those who’ve made a comfortable living out of slagging off Western institutions, life, democracy, politics and so on 🙂

  • Charles Bostock

    From Sharp Ears to Charles Bostock (allowed by the mods):

    “This blog’s very own Mr Nasty. We know nothing about him, where he is located abroad and he (might even be a she) has been on here since 2011. Why is he/she tolerated to disrupt and divert and to fill up these pages with his spiteful stuff?”

    From Charles Bostock to Sharp Ears (let’s see if this gets passed) :

    “”This blog’s very own Mrs Nasty. We know nothing about her or her opinions on any of the important themes discussed here, where she is located in Surrey and she (might even be a he) has been on here since 2008. Why is he/she tolerated to be unremittingly negative and to fill up these pages with her incessant cut and pastes and moaning?”

    • Sharp Ears

      Pathetic kindergarten stuff and you got the date wrong. 2007. You’re like a parrot.

1 2 3 4 5

Comments are closed.