Direct Action and the British State 320


The draconian sentencing to jail of anti-fracking activists for non-violent direct action has received insufficient attention. It is a confident state that can undertake to bring back a level of repression not seen for decades – eight decades, in fact, since environmental activists received this kind of lengthy jail sentence, despite generations of tree climbing and road blocking.

Non violent direct action has been an area of tacit complicity between state and protestors. I have over the years participated myself – the occupation of the building site of Torness nuclear power station was a defining moment for my generation in Scotland, and I will cheerfully admit I participated in criminal damage of plant and equipment. I have blocked the road at Faslane occasionally too. While a week or two of my life in jail always seemed a threat, the idea of 16 month jail sentences for such protest appeared a nightmare from a distant age.

The judge in the fracking case, Robert Altham, is evidently a vicious old Tory, descended by his own account from the judge who conducted the infamous Pendle witch trials. His parents, John and Linda Altham, have the same name as the owners of Althams, a company supplying the offshore oil and gas industry. The company is also Lancashire based and it seems very probable they are the same family. Given that the judiciary allowed a judge to handle Julian Assange’s bail hearing, despite the fact that she was married to a former Tory chairman of the Commons Defence Committee, who had started a consultancy together with the former head of MI6, I am not in the least surprised that a corrupt Establishment allows such prejudiced judges to act so viciously – in both cases.

The local community around the fracking protestors are overwhelmingly opposed to the development, and indeed the local council banned it but were overruled by the Tory government. To cite traffic disruption to the local community as the reason for the vicious jail sentences, when the local community supported the action and will suffer far worse disruption from the fracking itself, shows how dark and twisted is Altham’s logic of repression.

In the same week, we saw another assertion of state force against the people when the Tory Government, which has never polled above 28% in Scotland, calmly announced it would not permit another Scottish Independence referendum before 2027. The notion that the self-determination of the Scottish people is subject to a veto by an overwhelmingly English Westminster parliament is not one that most Scots would accept.

I have long argued that after the scare it gave Westminster in 2014, when Scottish Independence proved much more popular than the unionists had ever imagined, Scotland would next time face a Catalan situation rather than a 2014 rerun. That has now materialised. I cannot better this excellent article by James Kelly on the ramifications.

Indeed I believe that the widespread and vocal approval and endorsement of the Francoist beatings of Catalan voters, from governments and politicians all over Europe and from the European Commission, in the name of the “rule of law”, has helped form a political climate that led to, among other things, the Tory MEP’s defence of Orban and the jailing of the fracking protestors. Repressive, even violent, state power is the order of the day.

James Kelly is mildly optimistic about the SNP leadership taking up the challenge, as the Catalan government did. I am worried that there are too many with comfortable berths within the devolved UK settlement, who crave “respectability”, and do not have the stomach for a struggle if Westminster deems it illegal. But I do believe such haverers will find themselves swept aside by the Yes movement, should they stand in front of it without actually moving.

Which brings me back to the noble fracking activists. Like them and like the Catalan leaders, political prisoners for a year now, some of us Scottish nationalists may need to suffer on the road to Independence, from the vicious ill-will of a resurgent and emboldened unionist establishment. Some of the steps we need to take will be deemed illegal. Very few Independence movements have ever succeeded without that. We will also be subject to all kinds of dirty tricks and provocations from the UK security services. It is not going to be simple or comfortable. But if we meekly bow our heads to the alien Tory diktat, we do not deserve to be called a nation.

UPDATE:

I feel compelled to add an anecdote about the Torness occupation. It was billed as a demonstration and march to Torness from Dunbar. The site was protected by a high mesh fence topped with barbed wire. There was a massive police presence, concentrated at the gate. But we had to march alongside the fence for a long distance before reaching the gate, and protestors simply moved a haystack from the other side of the road up against the fence, then everyone scrambled over and dropped down the other side.

Tents sprang up everywhere, and within the same day stages, PA systems, catering units and all kinds of stuff appeared. The Police were passive and friendly in a way it is hard to imagine happening now. I cannot remember how long the occupation lasted, I was there several nights.

Now my confession. I was not given to vegetarian food or sleeping eight to a tent. Once the occupation was under way the police had us effectively blocked inside the site – the haystack mound was the other side of the fence and the gate remained secured. I therefore spent the first afternoon scraping a hole under the fence, and after dark wriggled out and walked in to Dunbar to stay the night in a hotel, before breaking back in again the next morning. I did this every night!


320 thoughts on “Direct Action and the British State

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    • james

      the west is unable to provide substance to any of their accusations.. instead they are relying on the idea if ‘they say’ something, that is good enough… fortunately for them, for many who skim headlines – it is good enough.. for anyone who pays any time looking for substance – they are going to be at a loss, as their isn’t any.. slandering a country (russia) is all they have at this point..

    • Andyoldlabour

      @Jack,
      It has been pretty unsavoury watching this unfold over the past day. They are wrapping up various stories dating from around 2012 (athletics doping scandal), including the ridiculous election “hacking” tripe, the Western inspired Ukraine coup, the Skripal fiasco – where are the Skripals now?
      All of this has happened since the attempts by the US/UK/France to topple Assad in Syria. Russia already had military installations in Syria (Tartus navy base – 1971), as of course it did in Crimea.
      The doping scandal started, after the Russian ex head of anti doping, was arrested in Russia for doping athletes. He then defected to the US and decided to provide “information” on state sponsored doping in Russia. The Fancy Bears hacking group, then hacked WADA’s database and found all the Western athletes who were allowed to dope by using a TUE – therapeutic use exemption. This of course upset Western athletes, because they obviously now know that the whole world is aware of the obvious double standards.
      The doomsday clock is well and truly ticking once more.

    • Paul Greenwood

      The West is in meltdown. It is addled with debt-fuelled anaemic growth where it takes $1.50 input to generate $1.00 output and is only staving off inflation by importing cheap goods from Asia and suppressing wages domestically.

      Germany with the world’s largest trade surplus built on undervalued currency (for Germany) and on the export of motor vehicles which now are shown to have outdated technology and false design specs……has most of the EU manufacturing capacity. China has already creamed off high-speed railways making Alsthom and Siemens seek to merge their train business to survive rather than being technology leaders.

      The only way to sustain the momentum and the Thucydides Trap is to prepare war against Russia and China which is the Mahan Strategy of UK and USA but to block France and Germany from joining Eurasia which they may well do when BreXit frees them in the west.

      Ukraine was Brzezhinski’s strategy to force Russia from Europe and Syria was Israel/US/UK/France strategy to block Gazprom just as Afghanistan was the hope of a Concoco gas pipeline from Caspian to Indian Ocean. Israel wants WATER and needs goyim soldiers to ensure it.

      The Cold War was a boondoggle for the Military with children at private schools, conferences, war games, backsides in corporate armchairs……..it ended suddenly without warning and showed how ignorant MI6, CIA, DGSE, BND really were………so Credit Boom became the answer to Western failure to invest in infrastructure, education, training, technology (outside weaponry) and Asia popped up against just as they thought Japan had been boxed.

      They will get their war because people are just as dopey as ever and cannot believe the insane will conduct affairs insanely……..

      • Hatuey

        A little knowledge really is a dangerous thing. Everything you say about economics here is simplistic nonsense. The German economy is as vibrant as it was 100 years ago and within the confines of the EU has almost no competition at all.

        The whole world is dependent on cheap Chinese imports in certain areas — nick nacks, basically. The Chinese economy is extremely weak in many respects. Most of the high end stuff, iPhones, etc. is produced in factories that the Chinese don’t own. They could leave today. And everybody knows that their export boom has always hinged on strictly and artificially controlling currency value.

        You say a few things about Eurasia and war that frankly I’d be too embarrassed to comment on. I guess you read The Economist or something which has a reputation for far-fetched hysterics when it comes to the big picture and history.

        On the Thuycidides Trap, you actually contradict yourself by mentioning the Soviet Union which serves as a good example of a power that came and went quietly without getting embroiled in a major war. But this is another example of the sort of theories and paradigms that I find it embarassing to discuss. You wade through stuff like this in political science without stopping, if you have any sense.

        • Paul Greenwood

          German economy is as vibrant in 2018 as it was in 1918 according to Hatuey. Now I know he is certifiable

        • Paul Greenwood

          Everything you say about economics here is simplistic nonsense.

          Coming from your depths of ignorance I feel I can safely ignore your comments. China dominates high-speed rail and has 66% global track network with CRRC now supplanting Alsthom, Siemens and Kawasaki though I see they are bidding to connect LA to SF.

          China is going to dominate car production and already has two of the major battery producers while Tesla has to use Panasonic technology. China’s big advantage is lots of engineers in the production process.

          As for USSR it was 1983 Able Archer when it almost came crashing down due to NATO miscalculation – thanks to Stanislav Petrov the launch command was aborted.

          http://www.margaretthatcher.org/document/112006

          You Hatuey have that blasé ignorance of Europe that emanates from the other side of the Atlantic. the Economist is an Italian-owned Us-oriented rag that no-one would read with any knowledge of Europe – it is a coffee-table mag for wanna-be US “intellectuals” written by Old Etonians

          Without China USA could not put a Boeing airliner in the sky nor launch the space shuttle. China is the “nuts and bolts” of the US tech sector without which nothing would function. The Us simply produces wrappers for Chinese mechanisms

        • Leonard Young

          It takes a stubborn mind and ignorance to slag off someone else’s economic assessment while answering with a much poorer grasp of international economics. Well done.

    • Tridac

      Why all the feux outrage and surprise ?. One assumes that all sides have been doing this sort of thing for decades and would expect them to use the highest tech methods available. Sniffing wifi is hardly rocket science though, ask any wardriver. What this really illustrates is the pathetic state of internet and systems security awareness in the organisations concerned. Many it specialists have been warning about the risks, especially to infrastructure, for decades, but go ahead, blame Russia again, for our own stupidity..

  • Contrary

    The Claim of Rights. Scotland is not Catalan, the constitutional arrangements are different. Legally the uk government cannot prevent a poll of the Scottish people, and a section 30 is not required, and the poll is the final decision, which should rightly be a majority decision. Ministers cannot say they would block a referendum, they can’t, whatever the lower echelons seem to think is a good idea, it is not in the power of the U.K. Government to do that. Of course, once emergency powers are exercised, the Scottish government then dissolved and martial law imposed, things might get awkward.

    I believe there was a very good reason the SNP had the Claim of Rights, already legal internationally and in the uk, ratified again in the House of Commons earlier this year.

    • MJ

      “Legally the uk government cannot prevent a poll of the Scottish people, and a section 30 is not required, and the poll is the final decision, which should rightly be a majority decision”

      Was not the referendum of 2014 the final, majority decision, or does it not count?

      • uncle tungsten

        Thank you MJ, the legal security for a poll in Scotland could be expunged as a consequence of the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill now progressing through the UK parliament. There is a very good proposition by Sionaidh Douglas-Scott in LRB 24 May 2018 that explores the avenues of deceit open to the tories should they desire.

        Thank you Craig for yet another piece.

      • Contrary

        MJ, you are quoting British Nationalist propaganda, the point is, legally, Scotland could have a referendum or any poll every day on this question or any other, including on whether we want a daily poll, and the decision is final up until when the decision is made to do otherwise. You may like the idea of doing away with democracy, but with the claim of right Scotland is legally bound to be a democracy, and always has the right to choose. It is a burden, but better that than living under a dictatorship, as you appear to be proposing. (Your question implies we needn’t ever bother voting again, because we did it once in 1972 e.g.)

        Whether it is politically (or financially) expedient to do any of these things is another question altogether, I just make the point that legally there is nothing to stop a poll on anything, at any time, in Scotland. And I say poll specifically to include elections as well as referendums.

        Opinion polls (not real polls) have not varied by much since just after the last independence referendum, and show support for the union at a slim majority, so why the Tories and other British Nationalist parties keep ranting on about not having another referendum is a mystery. They have the backing of all the news media, and the BBC, have huge swathes of money backing them, and likely they can keep screwing the system to spend much more than their share – so why on earth are they so scared of just asking the question? Because any decision resulting from the poll is legally binding? Maybe, but it doesn’t seem a strong argument, so why is the establishment running so scared about the whole thing, you can’t wash away centuries of indoctrination in a decade, so it really is a mystery where the fear comes from. And why scared of a positive result when Scotland is advertised to be such a burden on the Union? Why make such a big deal of it?

        Once you step back, and look at the situation dispassionately, you see behaviour and rhetoric that are at odds. And it is actually the normal condition to want your country to be independent, rather than run by a very disinterested regime, so why would they want to convince us otherwise?

        • MJ

          I believe it was Salmond who said the 2014 referendum was a “once in a lifetime” vote. Perhaps that’s the British Nationalist propaganda to which you refer. Basically you seem to be arguing the case for continual referenda until you get the result you want.
          .

          • Contrary

            *sigh* you are repeating British nationalist propaganda verbatim, MJ, and your reply is not related to what I was commenting on – the Scottish people can LEGALLY have continual polls – legally, regardless of what Westminster wants, legally regardless of what anyone else wants. My point is; if the decision is made to hold a poll, it cannot be blocked LEGALLY. The LAW has been passed internationally, in Scottish law and in UK law. LEGALLY, it is possible.

            I am not arguing what SHOULD be done, I am saying what CAN be done. Saying the Scottish people CAN’T do this is scaremongering. That is my point, to Craig and to James Kelly’s opinions on the matter – I don’t want to criticise those opinions but just bring to their attention that maybe we are not quite in the same situation as other countries yet.

            ‘Once in a lifetime OPPORTUNITY’ is a phrase often used.

            The result I want : I want the Scottish people to know they have choice, I want the Scottish people to understand they are not second class citizens, I want the Scottish people to have self-esteem, belief in themselves, to know they are capable, more than capable, of doing anything they want as a collective group, I want the Scottish people to understand that allowing their country to be asset stripped continually by England makes them a laughing stock of the world, I want the Scottish people to realise that Westminster influence is insidious and not working in their best interests, I want the Scottish people to throw off the shackles of indoctrination —- THEN I would like to know what result there is from any poll. It is a catch 22, we cannot have a poll free of outside influence, but to be relieved of that outside influence we need to have the poll.

            Anyway, thank you for your irrelevant reply MJ, it just gave me further opportunity to ramble on. But I would have been more interested in people’s opinion on the LEGAL situation. In fact, an actual real opinion would have been nice, but hey we rarely get what we want.

          • Paul Greenwood

            I thought the whole point of “Britain” was that it was “Pan-Nationalist”

      • Tom Welsh

        Since there has already been one referendum, and you apparently want another, how many referenda should there be on the same (or closely related) question?

        Two? What if the outcome is one-call – then a playoff would be needed. But why stop after three?

        There is an inherent assymetry here: once Scotland leaves the UK (or the UK leaves Europe) there can be no further referendum, as the matter will be a fait accompli.

        So shoulds referenda continue until at last “the right result” crops up once – and then stop?

  • Shatnersrug

    The SNP have had a Blairite take over, tories ruling a ten year ban on a ref lets their sorry, Kissinger supporting butts off the hook for 10 years, I bet they’re secretly jumping for joy.

    I have suggested widely to various other members that our Labour Party and a reformed Scottish Labour Party should wholly support a second indie ref, and indeed an independent Scotland, hopefully after which we can negotiate a new deal that will benefit us all and mend these awful rifts.

        • Hatuey

          I won’t spell it out, it bores me. But, basically, without Scotland’s exports and resources, England would have very little going for it outside of its illegal “City” activities.

          • Paul Greenwood

            I find that amusing…….without the Bank of England and a Currency Scotland would be back where it was in the 18th Century……..

            Since 64% Scotland’s “exports” go to rest of UK and total a mere £76 billion and their next biggest export market is USA although it is possible some of those £48 billion are included in the UK “exports” of £547 billion.

            Quite how the tail wags the dog eludes me Hatuey

          • Hatuey

            Paul, I can see it eludes you. I said the subject bores me and one of the reasons it bores me is because the data available are inadequate. Take Scottish exports to the UK which you mention. Can you tell me what percentage of those are in transit to the continent or elsewhere? No, didn’t think so.

            UK exports are equally flawed. From memory the highest proportion is cars to Europe. But all those cars are owned by foreign companies. Car exports represent nothing, then, in any meaningful sense. Basically it’s passing Japanese cars on to Europe.

            And UK exports typically include things like Scottish whisky and oil, amongst other things.

            Even in its vassal role now, Scotland would be an extremely wealthy country. That’s clear. If it was independent, you’d expect it to flourish and hear its economy towards development rather than wealth extraction which is basically what it’s set up for now.

            Don’t take my word for it- https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=v4laajDXfmA

          • Kempe

            ” Can you tell me what percentage of those are in transit to the continent or elsewhere? ”

            None, or they wouldn’t count as exports to England!

            Car companies may be foreign owned but their presence generates employment and tax revenue and that relies heavily on them being able to export.

            If you hadn’t noticed the UK became a net importer of oil and gas in 2004 and 2005 respectively.

  • N_

    The Daily Heil reports that a young woman was kicked off an arts course for being “too right wing”. They describe her as saying she liked Tommy Robinson and they print a photograph of her reading Robinson’s book, Enemy of the State.

    Didn’t they start off reporting Oswald Mosley’s fascists in the same “give them a fair hearing” kind of way, before they went full-on “Hurrah for the Blackshirts”?

      • Paul Greenwood

        Oswald Mosley was Chancellor of Duchy of Lancaster and laid his plans to tackle Unemployment before the Labour Conference which oddly backed Ramsay MacDonald instead and the Gordon Brown prototype Philip Snowden (the man who abolished Austen Chamberlain’s Corporation Tax) instead. The result was the May Committee, the Means Test, and all because Labour stuck to the Gold Standard until the National Government was able to ditch it in 1931 after a Naval Mutiny and the Clarence Hatry Fraud………..

        That he had to swing to the prevailing extremes in Europe to find an outlet for some interesting approaches to Mass Unemployment reflects the total inflexibility of the British political system at a time when men marching from Jarrow were shunned by TUC and Labour Party and their Petition to the House of Commons was not even debated !

        Frankly the stupidity of the Labour Party and Ramsay MacDonald’s corrupt relationship with the Huntley & Palmer’s biscuit company was reason enough for Oswald Mosley to flip to what was unquestionable “the dark side” in abject frustration. Had it not been for Adolf Hitler however neither the UK nor USA would ever have emerged from Secular Stagnation as FDR trying to emulate Mussolini was headed nowhere until Britain and France started trading gold for guns and reflating the US economy.

        That is the reason Western Capitalism survived as a “Guns and Butter” economy until 1973 Oil Crash and then needed huge Credit Splurges to keep going since. Without another major war the US/UK Financial Model will implode as Eurasia takes the mantle of growth and technological change.

        • Rowan

          There are some biographies of Mosley, and each of them is controversial in its own way, like one of Tolstoy’s unhappy families, each of which is unhappy in its own way, while happy families are all alike. Crowley biographies are similar in their range of tone, from hopeless adulation to abject detestation. I have four of those.

  • lysias

    If Sinn Fein could do it, Scotland can do it.

    (Which raises the possibility of a federation of Ireland and Scotland. Surely the Ulster Protestants would find it easier to join such a federation than to join the 26 counties of the South of Ireland.)

    • certa certi

      I’m cured of breaking up nation states. Been there and seen it. Violence murder refugees broken familes intergenerational trauma. The inevitable propaganda based on race religion and history make it exponentially worse. Corbyn supports breaking up the nation state of Indonesia. Mad. Just mad.

    • Paul Greenwood

      I have often thought Belgium should be partitioned between France and Netherlands. The EU was a perfect opportunity to rid Europe of these inefficient little principalities. Malmedy and Eupen could return to Germany.

      You are Iysias so keen on moving borders, and no doubt you would be prepared to die in that cause. After all, isn’t it time to return Smyrna to Greece and Tirol to Austria ?

      Quite why you think “Ulster Protestants” should be shunted like cattle from one status to another eludes me, but perhaps you are an admirer of Stalin who did so much of that, or Churchill who so readily acquiesced in expelling 12 million Germans from their homes in 1945.

      • Jude 93

        Paul Greenwood: ***Quite why you think “Ulster Protestants” shouild be shunted like cattle from one status to another eludes me***

        “Ulster Protestants” made more than their fair share of attempts to “shunt” Ulster Catholics from Northern Ireland altogether, and not so very long ago either. Armed loyalist Protestant mobs – with the open collaboration of the B Specials and the RUC – sought to burn Catholics out of their homes in East Belfast and other areas of Northern Ireland in the late 1960s and early 70s. Funny how Ian Paisley Sr’s role in all of this was never a source of contention when he glad-handed with establishment big wigs – in marked contrast to the endless phoney outrage over McGuinness and Adams (neither of whom I was ever remotely a fan of) getting (oh the thrill of it!) to meet the Queen.

        • Paul Greenwood

          Many of those Ulster Protestants were refugees from the Irish Republic after 1920. Anyway let me use your logic to justify the way Israel treats Palestinians or even how they “mow the grass” in Gaza and West Bank.

          Where exactly does your mania for turning people’s lives upside down stop ? Libya ? Syria ? Ukraine ? Iraq ? Serbia ? South Africa ? Zimbabwe ? Afghanistan ?

          Do you meet Ukrainians looking for work – anywhere – so they can eat ? Do you know how many are subsisting in Poland ? or inside Russia ? Or seek work in Turkey for its “hard currency” ?

          Go look at how many people have been “internally displaced” in England through mass immigration or property prices or de-industrialisation !

          • Jude 93

            Paul Greenwood:You may be answering someone, but you sure ain’t answering me – apart from the bit about many of the Ulster Protestants who tried to drive Catholics out of northern Ireland, being “refugees” from the Irish Republic in 1920. (a) there was no Irish Republic in 1920 – it didn’t come about til almost 30 years later. (b) in spite of many Unionist revisionist claims to the contrary, there is no evidence at all of most of those Protestants who left the Republic after the War of Independence being “refugees” – most of them left the south of Ireland because they had no desire to live in a country that was no longer under the full control of Anglo-Protestants. Many of them, for example, objected to the increased status of the Irish language in the new state (or statelet). Of course the other point worth making is that there were many refugees from Orange terrorist mobs during the period before, during and after the partition of Ireland. And the Ulster Protestant leadership had no objection to “shunting” the whole of Ireland out of a Home Rule settlement passed by the British parliament, when they formed a huge illegal revolutionary army – the Ulster Volunteeer Force – with the aid of powerful elements of the British establishment.

            As for the rest of your reply, I have absolutely no desire to shunt Ulster Protestants anywhere. I’m a firm believer in the immortal line from the old 1970s song, The Boys Are Back In Town: “If that chick don’t wanna know forget her.” If northern Irish Protestants don’t want to be Irish I have no desire to force them to feel differently – or even to coax or cajole them into feeling differently. Such grovelling demeans Irish nationhood and inevitably saps the morale of the country. But that doesn’t mean I believe northern Orangeists have the right to impose their Masonic parades and Masonic imperialist outlook on those who don’t share them (and btw just as there are Catholics who do share this outook, there are Protestants who don’t). All of which is a roundabout way of saying I believe the most equitable solution to the northern Irish conflict is a Swiss canton style form of local government where those who identify as primarily Irish and those who identify as primarily British govern their own localities according to their own lights.

            Incidentally given the truly staggering (though largely unremarked) scale of immigration to the Republic of Ireland over the last 20 years, the whole issue of North South relations is increasingly a Ruritanian preoccupation – certainly as far as people in the Republic are concerned.

    • Radar O'Reilly

      good question Steve,

      ‘hacking’, eh?, it really is vital to our society and industry that all episodes of potential hacking are scrutinised, and understood. You should check out reliable & timely information sources such as El’Reg https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/10/04/supermicro_bloomberg/

      The latest ‘hacking’ story is the Super Micro server potential hack allegedly by the Chinese state. . . .where FAANG [Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Slurp] state repeatedly [and meaninglessly, when you think about it] that they have not been issued with NSL (National Security Letters) so this sort of statement

      At no time, past or present, have we ever found any issues relating to modified hardware or malicious chips in SuperMicro motherboards in any Elemental or Amazon systems.

      is still vaguely, possibly true, or completely false, maybe.

      The Cyber Security industry is divided on {if, when, to whom} it all happened, but it could have and the El’Reg article concludes
      the bigger question is not really about tiny secret spy chips but overall security. There is no reason why a similar ability to hack into motherboards couldn’t be included in chips expected to be on the circuit boards – and so be physically undetectable
      [which is certainly the case as our ‘TLAs’ would presumably use their access to the Intel Management Engine extra small core-CPU[1] inside all the other world servers, not requiring additional hidden spy components in Apple’s and all the other Clouds, in other words a “chip expected to be on the circuit boards”]

      [1] https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/articles/000025619/software.html [This article describes issues related to security vulnerabilities found in the Intel Management Engine, a backdoor present for some reason in all modern processors]

      sorry for the technical response, but it is important to be accurate, not rely on “PR” and ‘almost certain’ type allegations

  • MaryPau!

    Setting aside for a moment the question of how to resolve UK’s lack of energy security, I have been marginally involved in a campaign against fracking plans at an AONB in the South of England. The developer and !ocal authority have lied and made continual misleading statements about the extent of the proposed site, and even more depressingly, the local authority has tried to smuggle through approvals in an underhand way. This has all enraged the locals just as much as actual fracking itself. Why can’t they tell the truth?

    Nor is it the case, as some here might like to think, to be on orders from Whitehall. The austerity squeeze did not just hit Labour councils. In a true blue Tory area, the Tory local authority has run out of money to balance its budget and is publicly in confrontation with the government over this Money talks. The need to balance the books could be behind the unsavoury collusion between developer and local authority.

  • Bert.

    For me the increase in the State’s barbaric tyranny became painfully obvious shortly after the tory scum regained office in 2010.

    After the Croydon situation in 2011, Theresa May – then in the Home Office – announced that future such incidents could be met with rubber bullets and even live rounds.

    So the tory scum will mow people down on the streets of the United Kingdom for daring to speak out of turn!

    Does anyone remember Roy Jenkins or Merlyn Rees?

    Bert

  • Sharp Ears

    Has anybody got information on food stockpiling by the British ‘state’? Nothing from a Google search since August.

    ‘At the end of July, Brexit secretary Dominic Raab told parliament that the government was making plans to stockpile food in case negotiations with the EU over a post-Brexit trade deal failed. The task, he said, would be overseen by industry rather than Whitehall.

    The following day, Theresa May said plans for stocking up on essential goods were underway, and suggested people take “reassurance and comfort” from the government’s preparations. “This is not just about stockpiling, it is about making sure that we will be able to continue to do the things that are necessary,” she said.

    Food and retail experts were not reassured and comforted, but stunned. “If the day after Brexit suddenly nothing can get through port, there is no stockpiling scenario that solves that problem,” says Shane Brennan, chief executive of the Food Storage and Distribution Federation. “Stockpiling conjures up vision of people putting cans in warehouse today to use in six months time. We do not have that warehouse capacity – never have, never will.”

    The British Retail Consortium, which represents the majority of UK retailers, agrees. “Nearly one third of the food eaten by 65 million people in the UK comes from EU farms and factories,” a spokesperson says. “In 2016, 10,000 containers per day from the EU passed through UK ports – carrying 50,000 tonnes of food per day. Fresh dairy, meat, fruit and vegetables would rot. Stockpiling of food is not a practical response, industry has not been approached by government to begin planning for this, retailers do not have the facilities to house stockpiled goods and, in the case of fresh produce, it is simply not possible to do so.”’

    https://www.wired.co.uk/article/brexit-food-shortages-stockpiling

    • MaryPau!

      Increasing amounts of fresh food in my local Sainsbury is being sourced from outside the EU.

      • nevermind

        Fenland farmers producing some 25% of our fresh food and since the referendum for’local people’ only, they have made it clear that food will be left to rot if they cant access migrant labour.

        Operations postponed, waiting times for Gp surgery appointments increased, nurses have left….all indications that nurses, doctors and surgeons have already left blighty.

        Sharp rears beat me to linking to wired.co.uk so here is the bma site…doctors are leaving.
        https://www.bma.org.uk

        • Paul Greenwood

          Yes but it is paperwork that causes GP problems and the fact that so many female doctors work part-time and middle-aged male doctors pay up their pension and quit to come back as locums. No-one wants to be a Partner any more because it is easier to be salaried as a Locum and lock in the pension.

          Why everyone conflates GP practices with BreXit is surreal. There are 3000 German doctors in NHS and that is the largest single group of EU Doctors and they stay in UK for better pay, better training, better career path, and a far more interesting working environment. There are no Royal Colleges handling training in Germany, no GMC and no BMA with anything like the importance.

        • Tom Welsh

          “Fenland farmers producing some 25% of our fresh food and since the referendum for’local people’ only, they have made it clear that food will be left to rot if they cant access migrant labour”.

          While many, many “native” British people are unemployed. Can you explain why farmers would no longer be able to pay the market wage for the labour they need? Economists want to know.

      • Paul Greenwood

        The biggest cost in your EU sourced food is diesel + ferry charges. the cost of moving a truck from Spain to UK is very significant when you add French tolls and diesel costs plus ferry traffic.

    • Paul Greenwood

      I hope they issue menus soon – be awful if they stockpiled the wrong kind of food

  • Mary

    BREAKINGNEWS!!! A judge hasjustputa block on any fracking at Preston New Road until a comprehensive safety plan has beenmadeby the emergency services.

    • Paul Greenwood

      In Germany the Superior Administrative Court in Munster issued a Stay Order against RWE preventing the destruction of any trees in the Hambacher Forest pending a full hearing months down the road. Protection of Bats is the basis for the Stay. It also appears RWE does not need all this area for its lignite extraction anyway.

      Interesting how Courts are enforcing EU Clean Air Legislation from 2010 ignored by Governments and now are blocking extraction of lignite in a country supposedly committing to Greenery (ROFL) with Diesel and excessive consumption of plastic packaging and water pollution with nitrates.

      Government has been bought by Interest Groups and is simply another Subcontractor for Corporations

  • Sharp Ears

    More of the propaganda for war industry. On the poppies theme. Our Glorious Dead.

    Round here on the verges and roundabouts black metal silhouettes (half lifesize) of Tommies have been placed by the British Legion. ‘We shall remember them’. Can’t find out who is funding it.
    https://shop.therebutnotthere.org.uk/collections/all-products
    Or you can have a Perspex model. There but Not There. https://shop.therebutnotthere.org.uk/products/tommy

    In Guildford there is a Poppy ‘installation’ with a light show and musak. Tickets – £5.00. Coaches are rolling in.
    https://www.guildford-cathedral.org/news/2018/poppy-fields

    It’s mawkish and an insult to the likes of Harry Patch and to his friends who were killed in their hundreds of thousands. We do not need this show business stuff.

    Harry said war was ‘legalized mass murder’.
    ‘Patch had always felt, he wrote in The Last Fighting Tommy, that “politicians who took us to war should have been given the guns and told to settle their differences themselves, instead of organising nothing better than legalised mass murder”.’
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2009/jul/25/harry-patch-obituary

    He did not want a state funeral but it was militarized all the same. The Croc Wife attended.
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/defence/5982588/Harry-Patch-funeral-thousands-of-people-line-streets.html

    ‘Remembered’ is a charity registered with the Charity Commission in July 2017 but there is no information recorded other than its aims and the names of its trustees. ?? Accounts?? Copied from the CC website where the following is in capital letters. http://apps.charitycommission.gov.uk/Showcharity/RegisterOfCharities/CharityFramework.aspx?RegisteredCharityNumber=1173739&SubsidiaryNumber=0

    ‘THE CHARITY’S OBJECTS ARE SPECIFICALLY RESTRICTED TO:
    (1) THE FOSTERING OF PATRIOTISM AND GOOD CITIZENSHIP BY REMEMBERING THE SACRIFICES MADE BY MEMBERS OF THE BRITISH ARMED FORCES WHO HAVE EITHER FALLEN OR BEEN INJURED IN WAR BY THE PROVISION OF MEMORIALS TO COMMEMORATE SPECIFIC EVENTS OF BRITISH MILITARY HISTORY; AND
    (2) PROMOTING THE ADVANCEMENT OF HEALTH BY THE MAKING OF GRANTS TO CHARITIES PROVIDING SUPPORT FOR THE PHYSICAL AND / OR MENTAL WELL-BEING OF FORMER OR EXISTING MEMBERS OF THE BRITISH ARMED FORCES INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, BY MAKING GRANTS TO THE CHARITIES COMBAT STRESS, HELP FOR HEROES AND WALKING WITH THE WOUNDED.

    The latter (2) should be the responsibility of the state and of the politicians who make the wars and not charity.

    • IrishU

      Don’t agree with the symbolism of a Poppy? Dont wear one.

      ‘The Croc Wife attended.’ Always with the personal insults and juvenile humour, yet you have the temerity to criticise others on here. What is the word for that?

      • Sharp Ears

        Get off my back. I can say what I like on here, Craig and the moderators permitting. It is not YOUR blog.

        Mohammed al Fayed named Camilla thus. She had ousted Diana from the very beginning of that marriage. I think it’s rather good name. Crocodiles smile but the smile is meaningless.

          • giyane

            Not sure if the funds of the Sultan were not already stolen. I think the deal is protectionism and the return is the Sultan doesn’t complain when the royal corgis wee into his wife’s handbag. Apparently it also serves some wonky idea of islam by which God selects wealth for the people he loves, which is why the prophets were all billionaires, peace be upon them all.

  • giyane

    ” It is a confident state that can undertake to bring back a level of repression not seen for decades ”

    Mayfeatures has a lot to dance about.
    1/ The morning after Barzani the USUKIS stooge in Kurdistan won power by closing the polling stations one hour early, removing existing ballot papers and flooding the ballot boxes with votes for himself, she, if she is a she, told the british electorate they has won the bonus ball, the Blair dividend, of cheap Iraqi oil and they wouldn’t be a petrol tax hike.

    2/ Thirty years of destruction of Muslim countries by proxy jihadists has in effect been as long as the period between the end of the war against Hitler1948 and the start of neo-conservatives in 1978 when another questionable female got elected. This country was absolutely in shock at the blowback from centuries of colonial oppression, and next time it gets blowback the British tory establishment will have to be deleted.

    3/ In spite of having faced opposition from Russia and China in the proxy war against Syria , the british establishment actually don’t give a toss if Russia exterminates their jihadists. Lithium is cheap , and there are plenty of sadistic tyrannies in the Middle East who are scared of having to live a medieval exitence after being subjected to USUKIS nukes. It’s win win for the likes of Hubris Johnson. The Tories recruit the Muslims who like licking chocolate. And Russia gets the blame for stopping their little bum feast.

  • Sharp Ears

    The BBC report on the Cuadrilla fracking site in Lancashire.

    Injunction seeks to halt fracking start
    Energy firm Cuadrilla says it plans to start extracting shale gas from a well in Lancashire next week.
    3 hours ago
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lancashire-45758116

    They have just carried a report on the Six O’clock News. Egan of Cuadrilla is determined t to proceed. An outrage.

    I am told that Alex Thomson is reporting from the site on the Ch 4 News tonightalex thomson (@alextomo) tweeted at 10:43 am on Fri, Oct 05, 2018:
    On site at what will likely be the UK’s first major gas fracking well in Lancashire. Low-impact route to relatively clean UK energy or dangerous path to yet more global warming emissions? @Channel4News tonight. https://t.co/IqnMZKAEZC
    (https://twitter.com/alextomo/status/1048146541876322305?s=09)

    • Sharp Ears

      Who owns the outfit. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuadrilla_Resources

      A.J. Lucas (47%)
      About AJ Lucas Group Ltd
      AJ Lucas Group Limited provides directional drilling and pipeline services in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region. The Company’s activities include pipeline construction, hydrostatic testing of pipelines, degasification of coal mines and well head monitoring, gas exploration, building and civil engineering services, infrastructure projects and maintenance of utility networks.
      Address
      394 Lane Cove Road Macquarie Park, NSW 2113 Australia

      Riverstone Holdings (45%),
      Riverstone Holdings is a multinational private equity firm based in New York City focused on leveraged buyout, growth capital, and credit investments in the Energy industry and Electrical power industry sectors. The firm focuses on oil and gas exploration, midstream pipeline, electric generation, energy and power services as well as energy and power technology and also invests in renewable energy infrastructure and technology. Riverstone has raised approximately $34 billion since the firm’s inception in 2000.

      Riverstone was founded by Pierre F. Lapeyre, Jr. and David M. Leuschen, who had been instrumental in the formation of the Goldman Sachs Global Energy & Power Group in the mid 1980s.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Riverstone_Holdings

      [Turn over a stone and the name of Goldman Sachs appears over and over. There will be very little return to the British people from Cuadrilla.]

      Cuadrilla Employees (8%) Mr Egan et al?

      Cuadrilla have been defeated before, at Balcombe in Sussex. Hope this one goes belly up.

      http://frack-off.org.uk/cuadrilla-inside-the-management-team/

      Their Board
      Non-Executive Directors
      Roy Franklin Chairman of the Board,
      Phillip Arnall AJ Lucas representative
      Ivor Orchard AJ Lucas representative
      Robin DugganAJ Lucas Riverstone representative
      N John Lancaster Jr Riverstone representative
      Alfredo Marti Riverstone representative

      Executive Directors
      Francis Egan Chief Executive Officer
      Mark Lappin Technical Director
      Andrew Quarles van Ufford Technical Director

      p10 https://cuadrillaresources.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/2017-Cuadrilla-Annual-Report.pdf
      Directors’ remuneration is not itemised. Total $811,000
      They do not appear to be making any money. Large amounts have been laid out on machinery and equipment. Hoping for a bonanza no doubt.

      • Paul Greenwood

        They are making money through Bonds and LTIPs. You need the SEC 10K and 10Q and the Listing Prospectus. Annual reports are glossy magazines for the tourists. They will have a Free Cash Flow Model with Distribution Modalities packed in the rear

  • Sharp Ears

    O/T. More death and injury at the Gaza border yesterday.

    Israel pounds Gaza in ‘retaliation’ as 3 Palestinians killed, 370+ injured in border clashes (VIDEO)
    https://www.rt.com/news/440477-gaza-israel-protests-clashes/

    ‘At least three people, including a 12-year-old, were killed by Israeli troops as some 20,000 Palestinians rallied at the Gaza border. Amid the clashes, the IAF struck ‘terrorist targets’ in retaliation for border breach attempts.

    Thousands of Palestinian activists assembled near the Gazan-Israeli border, with some trying to breach the fence amid a heavy Israeli security presence, burning tires and throwing incendiary devices at the IDF soldiers. The crowd was, once again, met with a crackdown by the Israeli forces who used live bullets, rubber ammunition and tear gas to drive the crowd back.’

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