Nicola and Independence 1634


I have been gently chided for not giving my reactions to the SNP conference, which I attended as a delegate.

Nicola’s major speech was very good. The media universally attempted to characterise it as kicking a new Independence referendum into the long grass. I did not hear it that way at all. I think they are clutching at the straw of her single mention of patience and perseverance, against the fact she used the word “Independent” or “Independence” an extraordinary 31 times in her speech. Of course she wishes to retain flexibility and an element of surprise, but as someone who has studied the matter extremely closely and who distrusts the highly paid SNP professional “elite” on this issue, I was reassured as to Nicola’s intentions.

The members are in extremely good heart and very confident. I was personally much touched by the many scores of individuals who bothered to come up to me and say they followed the blog. The conference agenda was somewhat bland, though fizzing with righteous anger at the effects of austerity on the vulnerable. My major criticism would be that far too high a percentage of total speaking time on the conference floor is given to MP’s, MSP’s and MEP’s. Constituency proposed motions, for example, were too often used as a showcase for the MP/MSP rather than introduced by an ordinary party member.

I dislike the political class now attached to the SNP in just the same way that I distrust the professional political class in every political party. The horrible Alex Bell should be a serious warning of the kind of false hypocrites that a salary will attract “to the cause”. Seeing MPs I knew as just punters campaigning in 2014, now walking proudly before power dressed entourages of paid staff, was a strangely unpleasant experience.

My major concern is that the SNP’s foreign policy and defence teams at Westminster appear to have been entirely captured by the UK establishment and indeed the security services. They have been willing and instant amplifiers of the Tories’ Russophobia.

It appears to me truly remarkable that I was not allowed to hire a room for a fringe meeting on Independence campaigning, but that the “Westminster Foundation for Democracy” – which is an FCO front and 90% FCO and DFID funded – was allowed a room on the fringe to hold this anti-Russian propaganda fest with a Ukrainian MP imported by the FCO.

Furthermore the meeting was co-hosted by the SNP and “Westminster Foundation for Democracy” and featured two SNP MPs.

I took issue with two other senior SNP figures last month over the party’s slavish devotion to what the UK intelligence services tell them.

The problem here is of course that the SNP is accepting a UK-centric vision of the world. This is a fundamental error, a category mistake. Because Russia is in an antagonistic relationship with the UK does not mean Russia should or will have an antagonistic relationship to an Independent Scotland.

Whatever happened in Salisbury, the root cause was spy games between Russia and the UK. Precisely the kind of spy games an independent Scotland must have no part of.

MI6 recruited Sergei Skripal as a traitor to Russia, who for money revealed secrets of his nation to MI6, including identities of agents. That is the root of the Salisbury events, and it is not the sort of thing an Independent Scotland will be doing. If an Independent Scotland is just going to behave like the UK in foreign affairs, carrying on neo-con foreign policy by illegitimate methods, I see no point in Scotland being independent. The Skripal affair, whatever really happened, is part of an entire system which most people in the Yes movement wish to get out of. We do not see the UK’s enemies as our enemies.

But the UK security services are our enemies. Scottish nationalism is defined in security service tasking as a threat to the UK and we are targets of the UK security services. The British government is not going to agree to another Independence referendum and we are going to have to win Independence, like the Catalans, in the teeth of every dirty abuse of British state power.

I would feel very much better if the SNP leaders, like Chris Law and John Nicholson both of whom I count as friends, would sometimes draw a deep breath, forget what they imbibed as Westminster MPs, and remember which side they are on.


1,634 thoughts on “Nicola and Independence

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  • Tom

    The Khashoggi story points to him being more than a journalist. He was clearly a spy. The interviews I have heard with ‘friends’ have been particularly suspect, with obvious attempts to create a narrative as to his reasons for allegedly going to the embassy (romance? seriously?); creating a false picture of who he was; and accompanied with the fake emoting that is so often a giveaway when the establishment want the plebs to fall for their lies.
    But what’s behind it all beyond that, I have no idea.

    • Ian

      Doesn’t matter, so was Skripal. As for your plebs comment, just shows whose side you are on. The conspiracy specialists on here are falling over themselves trying to work out why their pet script isn’t functioning here.

    • Sharp Ears

      Did you spot this in the index for the current issue?

      ‘The Tories’ new money man»
      AS the Conservative party’s new co-treasurer, it is art dealer Ehud “Udi” Sheleg’s job to ensure that everything coming into Tory coffers is squeaky-clean. Handed the…»

      There must be a lot of money/shekels in ‘art’.

      The JC tells us more –
      Israeli-born Tory donor Ehud Sheleg ‘is to be party’s new treasurer’
      The art collector gave more than £500,000 to the party in 2017.
      An Israeli-born businessman who has donated hundreds of thousands to the Conservative Party is expected to be appointed its treasurer.
      Ehud Sheleg, who is director of the Halcyon Gallery in Mayfair, is to be handed the role of increasing donations made to the party.
      Sir Mick Davis, Conservative chief executive, had previously also handled the role of party treasurer – but the role is expected to now be split, with fund-raising handled by Mr Sheleg, who is known as ‘Udi’.
      https://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/ehud-sheleg-conservative-party-treasurer-1.464445

      Theresa dines out with the donors Not blood or organ donors, but money donors.
      https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/theresa-accused-hiding-links-billionaires-11693405

  • Sharp Ears

    A new film is being made in Dorset about the death of TE Lawrence, based on the theory that it was not due to an accident but to an assassination.

    BBC South Today
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0bn88qk
    15.25 in

    The production values of the local news by the BBC is far superior to the national version.

  • Sharp Ears

    There’s always a link back to Blair.

    Saudi Arabia pays UK firms millions to boost image
    PR agency Freud’s, the Independent, Vice and Tony Blair Institute for Global Change among those with links
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/oct/19/saudi-arabia-pays-uk-firms-millions-to-boost-image

    ‘Major PR agency Freud’s, which has worked with Saudi Arabia, is now distancing itself from the kingdom.
    There are fresh concerns over the Independent’s decision to establish a partnership with a Saudi publisher with close links to the Saudi government.
    The London office of online publisher Vice has been working on a series of films to promote Saudi Arabia.
    A Saudi publishing company that is signing partnerships with western media firms has donated to the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change in return for his advice to the country.
    A company largely staffed by former employees of the collapsed PR firm Bell Pottinger has advised the Saudi state on communications strategy.’

    • Rhys Jaggar

      This is about trade sanctions. If UK were not a US poodle, Russia would invite them too.

      • Tom Welsh

        Mr Putin observed over a year ago that he saw no point in talking to the assorted monkeys. If anyone, he would talk to the organ grinder – not that much is accomplished that way either.

  • giyane

    The most deliberately poisonous thing I’ve heard published this week on radio 4, I say deliberately because entirely innocently the World service is even as I type talking saturated crap about cricket, was last night’s piece of opinion excrement by a man called Jacobson. A man whose speaking style was honed on the internet and all he wanted to say, from the moment he began, was that we peeps had never had it so good and we had nothing to moan about.

    Of course we have nothing to moan about. Our children are in their 30s and have no prospect of ever being able to afford even to rent a house. We will not get a realistic pension. our government says that murderous dictators like Erdogan and Bin Salman are our allies!!!??? We are about to pay VAT and import tax on all we consume from abroad. We are instantly prosecuted if we miss a payment of road tax or council tax. We have to pay exorbitant amounts of money to stay qualified , insured and licenced to do the same job we have done half our life.

    The spoilt chattering classes like Mr Jacobson, are basically saying : learn to live with apartheid Zionism and suicidal Islamism. learn to live with being raped by men who proclaim themselves trans gender females, learn to live with our children’s mental illness caused by them having being brought up by cunt-power feminists

    It would be better if those ignorant Zionist chattering classes to whom life is so easy and money gushes forth from the BBC for reciting the right extreme right wing note, and who earn their living by complaining about people still not accepting their stupid ideas, were to shut up. till my dying breath I will never stop contradicting their right-wing lies and stating my own truth. The BBC has become like one of those tractor and trailers that spread shit which wafts over us willy nilly, in the name of individual smugness and profit.

    • Charles Bostock

      “We are about to pay VAT and import tax on all we consume from abroad.”

      I din’t know where you’ve been living but VAT is a national competence and we’re already paying VAT on most goods we buy whether from abroad or home produced. Since bout 1973, in fact.

      As for customs duties, well, they’re levied as well at the moment – at the external borders of the Customs Union. It’s just that the proceeds go directly to the EU rather than to the UK Treasury.

      The rest of your lament would also call for comment but it would take to long, have things to do today.

    • Sharp Ears

      I agree with you about Jacobson. Another talking head who is given space by the BBC. Inconsequential stuff. I lost count of the number of times he used the word ‘mooching’. He certainly likes the sound of his own voice.

      In Praise of Mooching
      A Point of View
      Howard Jacobson on the end of mooching as a way of life.

      “Rooting around, doing nothing in particular, walking but not knowing where I was walking to….I can only regret the happy mooching hours of earlier times”, writes Howard.

      He ponders whether our present age of mass anger and disgruntlement is partly a result of our expectations of instant gratification.

      “We sit, like so many privileged Aladdins, rubbing our smart lamps in full confidence that the cyber genie will appear in ripped trousers and give us all we ask for”.’

      https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0000sff

      • Makropulos

        Jacobson is a hard line Zionist. And he is certainly in love with his own voice. I sampled the mooching one and heard “We think we are in control of our fate but we are scarcely in control of our feet”. That was quite enough of that. He’s another Clive James – employed to give snappy cutsy soundbites to shore up the mainstream bollocks.

  • giyane

    An electrician who works on residential premises is governed by Part P of the Building regulations. There’s nto much to it. If you are a trained electrician it’s difficult to see how this could cause a problem.
    Until, that is, your customer refuses to follow the Building Regulations, at which point you leave.
    What could possibly go wrong with using an un-qualified electrician? Everybody lives in a house so they should be familiar with what normal house look like.

    When an electrical breaker trips, would you expect to have an 8 tread pair of steps to reach the fuse-box?
    Would you expect to have to stand on tiptoe to reach the electric shower in a bath? Would you expect to see bare copper earth wires sticking out of all the ceiling roses and smoke alarms? What about the meter tails? Would you expect to see them flying across the wall at the top of stairs. when a three phase distribution board has been provided in the cellar, would you expect to see all the rented rooms coming from a single massive junction box on one single phase?

    Welcome to the world outside Part P. You have been warned. oh and BTW it’s not their job to do the certificate because that might identify who they are and where they live.

    • Charles Bostock

      What was the point of the above other than to say that some people try to avoid regulation? Deplorable, surely, but hardly breaking news.

      • Blunderbuss

        You can still do Part P work yourself but you have to pay the local authority £50 to inspect your work. I think Part P is an EU regulation so we could, theoretically, drop it after Brexit.

        • Iain Stewart

          “I think Part P is an EU regulation so we could, theoretically, drop it after Brexit.”

          Dear Blunderbuss, the English Building regulations apply to England, in Scotland there are the Building standards and every European country has its own construction rules. For example, sticking to electricity, in France a ring main would be illegal. The EU has nothing to do with it.
          The real problem is, that when you are so wrong on such a small point you tend to lose all credibility the next time you say you “think” anything else about anything. (It’s like Trowbridge, who is now first and foremost the guy who believes that earthquakes are caused deliberately by radio waves, or RobG who thinks the Bataclan massacre never happened.)
          And yet it would have been so easy for you to have checked first.

          • Blunderbuss

            @Iain Stewart

            OK, you are probably right. It seems the relevant document is BS 7671:2001, as amended in 2002 and 2004.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BS_7671#17th_Edition

            “2004

            Part P of the Building Regulations (“Requirements for Electrical Installations”) comes into force, covering legal requirements for UK electrical installations. The guidance in the Approved Documents refers to BS 7671 as being one way to achieve compliance. The version in force when the law came into effect was the 16th edition, BS 7671:2001, as amended in 2002 and 2004″.

            My recollection was that Part P was introduced to comply with an EU directive but I can’t find any documentary evidence of it so I stand corrected.

          • Iain Stewart

            “OK, you are probably right.”

            The principle of subsidiarity means that the EU does not interfere with national rules unless necessary (for example in the export of British electrical products to those countries without a generalised earth wire). Since it is difficult to export a house, its electrics need only satisfy local regulations. The point of having an electrical installation in your own house certified safe would be more to with insurance and the risk of electrocuting its future occupants.

      • Makropulos

        There’s deregulation mania here Charles. Isn’t it shocking that health and safety and, you know, people’s actual lives are getting in the way of profits?

        • Charles Bostock

          Makropoulos

          Giyane’s post has nothing to do with “deregulation”. Careful reading reveals it is about a person he was going to do a job for no wishing to obey the buliding regulations.

          “Deregulation” as it is generally used refers to government action to reduce the number of regulations. Giyane is talking about someoine’s individual behaviour ( behaviour which, by the way, probably precedes the deregulation push by many decades).

          • Blunderbuss

            It’s a fine line between deregulation and over-regulation. My complaint about Part P is that I now have to pay £50 to the local council for permission to do work that I had been doing quite safely in my own house for decades before Part P appeared.

          • Bayard

            If you use the old red and black style wiring you can claim it was like that when you bought it (the house, I mean).

          • Makropulos

            I don’t think it’s that clear cut. I work in care and there has been an enormous push on to “loosen up” the aproach in order to introduce a new “informality” i.e. unpaid and unchecked work. This makes sense from a capitalist point of view i.e. under competition to get ahead, all those health and safety regulations and formalised procedures just get in the way. I am well aware that care work doesn’t – and should not – come under the heading of competitive industry but there is an underlying obession with this financial competitive model.

            Granted I am straying from Giyane’s original subject – so I’ll probably just stop there.

      • giyane

        Yes Charles, our host said Prince Andrew might have been a heating engineer if he had been born into a different background. I am the son of an electrical engineer so I see point where all you see is the electrical appliances doing their normal thing. Pretty pointless I agree, traffic lights changing automatically at night, fire alarms staying quiet, kettles not blowing up in your hand, nukes staying under the water or on the ground ….

    • Sharp Ears

      The rate of Purchase Tax at the start of 1973, when it gave way to VAT, was 25%. ++On 1 January 1973 the UK joined the European Economic Community and as a consequence Purchase Tax was replaced by Value Added Tax on 1 April 1973.++

      ‘Under EU law, the standard rate of VAT in any EU state cannot be lower than 15%. Each state may have up to two reduced rates of at least 5% for a restricted list of goods and services. The European Council must approve any temporary reduction of VAT in the public interest.

      VAT is an indirect tax because the tax is paid to the government by the seller (the business) rather than the person who ultimately bears the economic burden of the tax (the consumer). Opponents of VAT claim it is a regressive tax because the poorest people spend a higher proportion of their disposable income on VAT than the richest people. Those in favour of VAT claim it is progressive as consumers who spend more pay more VAT.’
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Value-added_tax_in_the_United_Kingdom

      ++ Current rate =20% ++
      https://www.gov.uk/vat-rates

      No wonder that there is a black economy, ie where cash is paid for services.

      • Charles Bostock

        Thank you for your quote from Wikipedia telling us about VAT. Some people probably had no idea what the tax was before, but they would be the younger readers, of whom there are not many.

        Now when you say “No wonder that there is a black economy, ie where cash is paid for services” you are of course right. That is because purchase tax only applied to physical goods whereas VAT applies to (most) good AND services.

        You might not know that VAT was dreamt up by the French – probably by some of their famed technocrats! (docha love them 🙂 ). Quite a few non-EU countries have gone over to it as well. In general, by widening the assiette (as it’s known in the trade) governments get more of the moolah than they used to under thiings like purchase and sales taxes.

        The quote you kindly supplied does not mention (perhaps it is elsewhere in the Wikipedia article and you overlooked it?) that one of the two reduced rates may be 0% (yes, it sounds strange but that’s officialese for you 🙂 ). Now, in the UK – as you of course know – a number of items deemed (socially) essential have VAT at that zero rate : eg, food, children’s clothes and footware,books and newspapers, medicines, etc…… Quite rightly so, I think you’ll agree.

        If anyone has any further questions on VAT just ask me, I’m rather knowledgeable about it.

        • Charles Bostock

          I forgot to mention that rent is one of the items deemed socially essential which is zero rated.

          • Tom Welsh

            “… rent is one of the items deemed socially essential…”

            Well, that’s made my year. Funniest thing I have heard in ages.

            It’s nice to see it acknowledged that our society is founded on rent-seeking, and our government is devoted to seeing it increase.

          • Bayard

            Zero rating has nothing to do with things being socially essential and everything to do with exemption for powerful interest groups. You must agree with me that clothing is essential for adults: you can get arrested if you walk around with nothing on (although small children would not) if you don’t freeze to death first. Adult clothing is standard rated.
            Now, of all the luxury things you can think of, probably the most luxurious of them all is gold. Gold is zero rated.
            If you look at what is zero rated, you will see that it is the products of those powerful interest groups: banks, landowners (food, land and housing), publishing, supermarkets (food), housebuilders (housing), pharmaceuticals and newspapers. Yes there are a few things like children’s clothes thrown in to help along the fiction that it is a tax on luxury, but basically VAT is a general tax on turnover.
            Nor is it a tax borne by the consumer, because prices have to be displayed inclusive of VAT. The consumer makes their decision whether to buy or not based on the price shown. That means that if VAT was removed, the seller could charge 20% more and still make the same amount of sales. Hence VAT is borne by the seller.

          • giyane

            Truly amazing that Charles can eye up a sum of money and calculate its revenue potential.
            You should have been or perhaps you are a taxman.

          • Tom Welsh

            @Bayard: “Now, of all the luxury things you can think of, probably the most luxurious of them all is gold”.

            In the opinion of some, perhaps. To my mind – and that of many right-thinking folk – gold is one of the very few reliable and persistent stores of value. A pair of shoes, a loaf of bread, a bottle of wine, a horse or a house cost about the same in terms of gold as they did in 2,000 years ago.

            No paper currency has ever lasted for much longer than 100 years.

            Gold is not a luxury at all – it is a necessity.

          • Bayard

            Funny necessity that, that such a huge percentage of the population of this planet find so necessary that they own none of it and do perfectly well without it.

          • Kerch'eee Kerch'ee Coup

            @ Charles Bostock
            Didn’t a certain group of people knowledgeable about VAT quickly note that gold coins were zero -rated in the UK whereas gold bullion/ jewelry was originally subject to it, and set up a large-scale operation to melt down coins and pocket the difference?

  • Jm

    The Saudis now saying Khashoggi was killed in a fight.

    So where’s the body?

    Shouldn’t it have been immediately provided to the Turkish authorities?

    If not,why not?

    They may have dug themselves a bigger hole with this explanation.

    • Tom Welsh

      “The Saudis now saying Khashoggi was killed in a fight.
      “So where’s the body?”

      Come to that, where are the Skripals? Or that nice policeman? Or the doctors at Salisbury District Hospital who said that they had, and had not, treated people for nerve gas?

      • Goodwin

        Supposedly a fist fight. A bit difficult when your fingerless fists are pumping blood in a waste bin under the Consul’s desk …

  • Jm

    We also see the realpolitik here very clearly.

    Given the US have offered a “solution” by blaming it on a Saudi intelligence General,regardless of the truth,it casts the whole Lockerbie process into sharper relief.

      • Tom Welsh

        The problem is that the vast majority of citizens take what the government says as true – with the odd exception. Even when a process is utterly discredited, they prefer to go on accepting the establishment story.

        But there comes a tipping point when you suddenly realise that you are being lied to on an industrial scale.

    • Charles Bostock

      Well.I’ve heard Toby Castle on air and do not find his coverage of the Royal family “sycophantic”. I should say that he merely shows the respect (and politeness) any Head of State and his/her family is entitled to.

      Did you know by the way that in many countries (including at least one in the EU) if you diss the Head of State in print or on the air you face rather more serious consequences than a mere “taking to task” by Newswatch (whatever that is)?

      As for excessive coverage, I suppose republicans would tend to say that. Just ignore them.

    • Robyn

      ‘Prince’ Harry is currently in Australia. The MSM are full of it. How do I know? Somebody in my house watches the ABC ‘news’ (Australian Bullshit Corporation).

      • Charles Bostock

        No need for the inverted commas, Robyn – Harry is a prince (and a Royal prince at that).

        Inverted commas should only be used to express doubt or scepticism about the truth of a qualifier. For example, you could put inverted commas around the word whistleblower but not the word eminent in a phrase like “Julian Assange is an eminent whistleblower” because many might think that Assange is eminent but not a whistleblower (merely an eminent publisher of leaked material). But there is no room for doubt that Harry is a prince.

        • JOML

          I thought there was doubt about Harry – and William, if our MSM are to be believed? Personally, I couldn’t care less who their fathers are.

  • Ingwe

    Trump is saying the ludicrous Saudi version of Khashoggi’s killing is credible. Says it isn’t an easy problem. Doesn’t however mention that the reason he is keen to support the fairytale is because he requires SA to increase oil output to prevent the oil price rising as is likely when Trump’s further sanctions against Iran begin on 5November.

      • Blunderbuss

        We are supposed to be giving up oil to please the IPCC so, at least in theory, the importance of oil should be diminishing. If it isn’t diminishing, that suggests that governments have no intention of honoring the commitments they have made to the IPCC.

          • Bayard

            Clark, thank you for that link, it lead me to this comment by you:
            “And nearly 200 organisations hold that global warming is being caused by humans:”

            Before Magellan (well some of his crew) sailed round the world. Most people thought the world was flat. The fact that this belief was widely held didn’t make it true, though, did it?

            BTW have you actually studied the science behind the claimed link between CO2 levels and the temperature of the Earth? Not the climate “science” explanation and their computer models, but the classical physics of heat distribution and electromagnetic radiation?

          • Bayard

            Blunderbuss, AGW is the new religion, now that so few people believe in the traditional ones. As GK Chesterton said “When men stop believing in God, they don’t believe in nothing, they believe in anything”. Religious types never take it kindly when you question their core beliefs.

          • glenn_nl

            Bayard: “Before Magellan (well some of his crew) sailed round the world. Most people thought the world was flat. The fact that this belief was widely held didn’t make it true, though, did it?

            Was this a scientifically derived “belief”, or just something ignorant people assumed because they didn’t know any better?

            Before troubling the already beleaguered Clark with such nonsense, it would behoove you to think this through for yourself first. That’s assuming this is an honest question, which is a dubious assumption in itself.

          • Bayard

            My point was, just because lots of people think something to be true,for whatever reason, does not necessarily make it true. It doesn’t matter what “it” is, whether it is “a scientifically derived “belief”, or just something ignorant people assumed because they didn’t know any better?”, numbers make no difference. Clark’s point was about numbers, not belief. Try reading my comment again, with “global warming is being caused by humans:” replaced by “the Earth was created in seven days” and see if it still sounds convincing to you.

          • glenn_nl

            Bayard: “…numbers [of those who believe something] make no difference.”

            Of course not, and nobody said that it did. A huge number of people have various delusions about religion, it does not make any of them even remotely right.

            However, when we’re talking about the consensus conclusion of the majority of peer reviewed scientists, that’s a bit different to some general notion that people might have had at some point.

            It’s quite remarkable that you draw a comparison between these incompatible points.

          • Clark

            Oh, we have another one called Bayard here.

            So if you looked at the links, Bayard, you’ll have seen that I was responding to Blunderbuss’s fallacy that the warnings of global warming come only from the IPCC. But like all conspiracy theorists, you have dishonestly misrepresented my position.

            Yes of course I know about Magellan, and Albert Einstein and Alfred Wegener. Yes, science develops and changes – though, as it goes, flat earth theory was never scientific, and the shape and size of the globe had been calculated in Greece over a thousand years earlier.

            The science of global warming is NOT based on computer models. It is based on the radiative properties of CO2, measured in the 1800s.

          • Clark

            And I’m a survivor of religion thanks. Two hours every Sunday, an hour every Tuesday, two hours every Thursday, plus bible study, Watchtower study, and as much time out on the doors as possible. Under threat of death. So don’t lecture ME about religion, thank you; only rationality pulled me through.

          • Clark

            Glenn_nl:

            “we’re talking about the consensus conclusion of the majority of peer reviewed scientists”

            Actually, we’re not. We’re talking about the radiative properties of CO2 and other large-molecule gases in the atmosphere; properties that could be measured by anyone, in their kitchen.

            The global warming denial industry has made out it’s all about computer models. The models are merely attempts to calculate what knock-on effects the inevitable temperature rise will cause.

          • Bayard

            [email protected]: if you actually read my comment instead of shooting from the hip, you would see that I wasn’t comparing AGW with the belief that the earth is flat, but simply pointing out that the number of people that believe in something, whatever that something is and regardless of how many learned academics are amongst the believers, is no guarantee of its veracity. This is as true of the law of gravity as it is of anything more controversial.
            BTW, the learnedness or otherwise of the believers is also no guarantee of truth. Remember phlogiston?

          • Clark

            Bayard, I’ll repeat my point, though it irritates me to do so.

            The scientific consensus for AGW is very strong. I referred to that NOT in support of AGW itself, but specifically to refute Blunderbuss’s fallacy that it’s ONLY the IPCC’s position.

            Now is there any of that statement that you don’t understand?

          • Bayard

            “Now is there any of that statement that you don’t understand?”

            No, I understand your position completely. However, your statement is irrelevant to my point, which I’ll repeat, though it irritates me to do so.

            The fact that large numbers of people, even learned people, agree on is no guarantee of its veracity, nor is the likelihood of veracity increased in proportion to the number of people believing in it.

            Now, is there any of that statement that you don’t understand

          • Clark

            I understand that you’re trying to promote the idea that the entire physical science and engineering communities have been deluded about the measured radiative properties of CO2, CH4 etc. since the 1800s. As these properties are used routinely in a vast number of contexts, I find that vanishingly unlikely. Now please stop treating me as if I’m an idiot.

          • Bayard

            If you really think my basic philosophical point that I am making translates to what you say it does, then I’m sorry, but if you are not stupid, then you are so obsessed with your beliefs that it amounts to the same thing.

        • glenn_nl

          BlunderingBust : “Too true. The fact that I am treated like a blasphemer shows that AGW is religion, not science.

          A lie. Nobody has treated you as a “blasphemer”. What you have been called out on is your proud scientific illiteracy, and your complete inability to follow reason and logic. Not to mention your equating a worthless opinion with scientific consensus.

          • Blunderbuss

            @glenn_nl

            Actually, my motive is intellectual honesty. I’ve studied the case for AGW and I’ve found it very unconvincing. Would you rather I lied and said I found it convincing?

          • Blunderbuss

            @Clark

            1) I believe that global warming is happening
            2) I believe that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas
            3) I believe that greenhouse gases contribute to global warming

            What I do not believe is that greenhouse gases are the main cause of global warming. I believe that natural cycles, over which we have no control, are more important.

          • Clark

            Well that contradicts your position “I think Dave is right”:

            https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2018/10/nicola-and-independence/comment-page-4/#comment-795665

            because Dave was arguing that CO2 couldn’t make any difference because of its low concentration. You might like to check how that thread has expanded, and decide whether you still agree with someone who denies that water expands with temperature. And of course your assertion that it’s “just the IPCC” is factually incorrect; the IPCC was formed because the scientific community was warning about global warming. It is now every major scientific body in the world telling us that our greenhouse gases are driving the measured temperature increase.

          • Dave

            Clarke, you’re behaving like a conspiracy theorist by misrepresenting what I say. I don’t dispute carbon dioxide is a ‘greenhouse gas’, there are others, just an irrelevant influence on climate compared to the many other factors involved, and consequently man made emissions are beyond irrelevant due to being so tiny and natural variations.

            “water doesn’t expand”. Water does expand, subject to cold and heat and the links you provided confirmed it expands into ice and included vapour as a form of expansion. The water itself can expand and you gave the example of water, subject to great heat, expansion in high pressure boilers.

            Yes in that very controlled environment the water expands because there isn’t room for it to turn into vapour, but that doesn’t apply to oceans which cover over 75% of planet. There is some variations in temperature at the surface, but the oceans are vast, deep and very cold, so no expansion there.

            Alas some try to escape region, but embrace faith-science, because it sounds rational.

          • Blunderbuss

            @Clark

            1) “Dave was arguing that CO2 couldn’t make any difference because of its low concentration”

            I was agreeing with Dave in general terms. I don’t believe that CO2 makes no difference – I believe it makes a negligible difference.

            2) I agree with you that water expands with temperature.

            3) When I said “just the IPCC” this was a figure of speech. I meant the IPCC and those who support the IPCC’s conclusions.

          • Blunderbuss

            @Clark

            I’ve just read Dave’s post timed at 09:58 above. Clearly, he is confused about the expansion of water. However, since I believe that global warming (and resulting sea-level rise) is a mainly natural process, it makes more sense to spend money on sea defences (which the Dutch are famous for) than on futile efforts to reduce carbon dioxide production.

          • Clark

            Blunderbuss, Dave does not seem “confused” about the expansion of water. On the contrary. He has very specifically targetted it with a mound of bullshit, muddying the science, because he knows it contradicts his denial of rising sea levels. You can follow his tactics from here:

            https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2018/10/nicola-and-independence/comment-page-4/#comment-796130

            It probably isn’t original, but gleaned from a global warming denial site. This is an example of the dishonesty we are up against, another being the “0.04% CO2 concentration is too low to make a difference”, which I torpedoed here:

            https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2018/10/nicola-and-independence/comment-page-4/#comment-796119

            Now if you want to engage with the science of greenhouse gases, you’ll find simple explanation with relevant citations here:

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenhouse_effect#History

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_climate_change_science#First_calculations_of_human-induced_climate_change,_1896

            I expect those links make a very sound case.

          • Bayard

            Clark, homeopathy has a similar length of history and a very large number of believers. That does not mean to say that every rigorously conducted clinical trial has not found it’s performance to be no better than placebo.
            In any case there is a very simple test which anyone can apply to distinguish science from pseudoscience, which is, are the proponents of that particular theory prepared to admit that they could easily be wrong. If the answer is no, it’s not science, because it doesn’t follow the Scientific Method. A scientist is always more interested in discovering the truth than persuading others that they are right.

          • Dave

            No confusion. Water can expand as water in controlled circumstances, but this does not apply to oceans. The links you provide confirm water can expand as ice or vapour, or as hot water in a boiler system, which doesn’t apply to the oceans which are vast, deep and very cold.

          • glenn_nl

            Dave: Your comment about water not expanding upon heating in oceans has to be about the most stupid thing I’ve come across for some time. Nothing else needs to be said, because it is impossible to explain anything to the ineducable.

          • Clark

            Bayard: – “A scientist is always more interested in discovering the truth than persuading others that they are right”

            Ah, I see. So we can tell a true scientist, because she will never try to persuade her husband that his smoking could cause lung cancer, or that excessive alcohol could cause cirrhosis of the liver. Rather, she’ll treat the matter as a further test of those theories.

            I remind you that we’re all stuck on this ball of rock together, and if one group fuck up the ecosphere, they do so for everyone else too, including the scientists and their descendants.

          • Clark

            Dave, if I heat water, I see it convect. This would not happen if water didn’t expand with temperature. Ever seen a “lava lamp”? Impossible by your reckoning.

            The entirety of ocean water does not have to expand to make seal level rise. Anyone who has swum in the sea can tell you that the surface water was warmer than 4 centigrade, and above 4c, water expands with temperature.

            Bayard and Blunderbuss could tell you this but I doubt that they will, because they are conspiracy theorists.

          • Blunderbuss

            @Dave 18:04

            Sorry, but I do think you are confused. Let’s leave aside ice and vapour for now because they are separate issues. If water is heated above 4 degrees Celsius it will expand, whether it’s in a boiler or in an ocean. I think what you are referring to is stratification. If you heat only the top layer of a deep ocean then only the top layer will expand, so the expansion will be less than if you had heated the entire ocean. Am I right?

          • Blunderbuss

            @Clark

            “Bayard and Blunderbuss could tell you this but I doubt that they will, because they are conspiracy theorists”.

            Funnily enough, I just did.

          • Blunderbuss

            @Clark

            Bayard: – “A scientist is always more interested in discovering the truth than persuading others that they are right”

            Yes, I agree with Bayard. I am a scientist and I am aware that scientists are fallible. I think I am right but I don’t know I am right. You, Clark, know that you are right. That is a religious position, not a scientific one.

          • Clark

            Blunderbuss, thank you for proving me wrong by informing Dave. I considered not mentioning my expectation, as an experiment, but decided that education mattered more.

            No, I do not know that I am right. I try to be right. But this is an unimportant, minor, personal matter.

            I do not know that AGW is right, because I haven’t measured the radiative properties of greenhouse gases for myself. There is an infinitesimal chance that it really is a “scam” (as Dave, who you “think is right” says), and that the scam was started in 1896 with fraudulent data about greenhouse gases, and has been successfully maintained ever since.

            Of course whole fields of science would have to have been distorted in order to maintain the fraudulent CO2 figures. I doubt that CO2 lasers could function as public domain theory suggests, for instance. Much of quantum physics would require fraudulent coefficients. Hundreds of thousands of scientists would have to be in on it, using the true figures in their own work, but pretending to different figures publicly. And so on.

            But all this seems so unlikely that I regard the mainstream figures as beyond reasonable doubt.

            That’s a “religious” position, is it? Or are you just “having fun”, like you said:

            https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2018/10/nicola-and-independence/comment-page-4/#comment-795882

            You see, I’m NOT having fun. I actually care about people, their descendants, and the future of my world. You seem to value your own intellectual sport over billions of lives. I find that sickeningly selfish.

          • Clark

            Blunderbuss, 20:11: – ” I am a scientist”

            Then it is time you linked some of your own papers.

            If you refuse, then your claim is a subtle lie. You may not realise it is a lie, so I shall explain: “Blunderbuss” is merely an anonymous on-line persona. The person commenting as Blunderbuss may be a scientist, but Blunderbuss is not. But Blunderbuss is attempting to bolster its arguments under the authority of a real-world scientist.

            It is ironic that it is ME that has been accused of argument by authority, by three anons all backing each other up. I am strongly reminded of my time on the 9/11 thread.

          • Blunderbuss

            @Clark 21:02

            I haven’t published any papers. Science is about research, not publishing papers. Unfortunately, scientists are now defined as “people who publish peer-reviewed papers” and this is why science if facing a crisis of confidence.

          • Blunderbuss

            @Clark 20:45

            “You see, I’m NOT having fun. I actually care about people, their descendants, and the future of my world. You seem to value your own intellectual sport over billions of lives. I find that sickeningly selfish”.

            You are being hysterical again. It is possible for two scientists to look at the same data and draw different conclusions from it. This is normal. It does not mean that one of them is a liar or a mass-murderer.

          • Clark

            So your real-world professional identity is not prepared to put a real-world name to “Blunderbuss”. Therefore “Blunderbuss” is not a scientist but a front. Stop trying to bolster your arguments with feigned scientific authority.

            I’m not calling you a “mass murderer”. I’m calling you a selfish egotist, and I continue to suspect that you are a conspiracy theorist. I propose that conspiracy theorists just bounce when they hit the ground at high speed. Please test my theory for me by jumping off a tall building. Note that I’m asking only one individual to take such a risk. Your theory is already in the process of being tested upon entire ecosystem.

            Do you still maintain that “Dave is right” in that AGW is “an elementary scam”?

          • Blunderbuss

            @Clark 23:19

            1) Fair’s fair. You haven’t given me any evidence that you are a scientist.

            2) I’m not going to commit suicide to please you.

            3) If I’m a conspiracy theorist, which particular conspiracy do you have in mind?

            4) I think that, for many people, AGW is a sincerely held belief. My belief in NGW (Natural Global Warming) is also sincerely held.

          • Clark

            1) I haven’t claimed to be a scientist. You have. I have not used a claim of professionalism to bolster an argument. You have.

            2) Yet you advise a potentially suicidal, ecocidal, genocidal course for everyone!

            3) The conspiracy of the scientific community to promote an “elementary scam” to fleece money from the public and promote nuclear weapons, as you yourself implied when you wrote, without the slightest qualification, “I think Dave is right”:

            https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2018/10/nicola-and-independence/comment-page-4/#comment-795665

            and gave 100% support to his bullshit:

            https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2018/10/nicola-and-independence/comment-page-4/#comment-795667

            You haven’t retracted any of that. That is what scientists do, and egotists refuse to do. When proven wrong, scientists retract, whereas conspiracy theorists concede as little as they can possibly get away with, and avoid any criticism of their fellows.

            4) Reality doesn’t care what any of us believe.

            But go on, believe you’ll be fine if you jump off a tall building. After all, by your own argument, you could be wrong about it being suicidal. Why this religious attachment to the “elementary scam” that jumping from a high building would fatal? It’s just something lots of people believe because they’re all brainwashed. You’re a scientist, so you must test your theory, or it is merely a substitute faith. I leant that from you, Dave and Bayard, so the source is beyond reproach 🙂

          • Blunderbuss

            @Clark 01:25

            1) So you now admit that you are not a scientist.

            2) You are being hysterical again.

            3a) The fact that I agree with Dave on one thing does not mean that I agree with him on everything. I have already said that I think he is confused about expansion of water.

            3b) Are you referring to this? “For every 100 tonnes of CO2 produced each day, only about 4 tonnes is the result of burning fossil fuels. The other 96 tonnes is the result of natural processes. Why worry about the 4 tonnes if you are not worried about the 96 tonnes?” Are you disagreeing with my figures? If so, please state the figures that you believe to be correct.

            4) I think it is highly irresponsible of you to keep urging me to commit suicide. This is the third time you have done it. It does not add to your claimed reputation of being a caring person.

          • Dave

            Blunderbuss @ 19.59

            Yes that’s my view. However as I’m not a scientist, I speak in layman’s terms, which means Clark will jump on a technical discrepancy, and elevate and misrepresent its importance.

            The point is even if water can expand as water, as opposed to ice and vapour, and Clark refers to boiler systems and the thermal expansion of oceans, the only part that could possibly expand due to heat would be the surface area, but as it got hotter there would be a natural evaporation cycle resulting in rain latter on. I.e. self regulating.

            That said if sea levels were rising as claimed, as opposed to land sinking, then I would have thought London would have been flooded by now.

          • Dave

            I suppose I should have said Oceans instead of water in response to Clark’s “thermal expansion of Oceans”. Water does expand, and I accept my comments were confusing, but it would require a vast increase in temperature to expand the entire oceans, despite the evaporation. Such a process could happen if the sun burnt far hotter, but not due irrelevant manmade emissions of carbon dioxide.

            However I am quite happy to change my opinions and wording as honest debate proceeds. Hence I welcome Blunderbuss’s well intentioned clarification, but notice Clark chose to latch onto it for hostile point scoring rather than to assist debate.

          • Blunderbuss

            @Dave 08:36

            Thanks Dave. I’m glad you and I are able to have a proper debate, rather than a points-scoring match.

            I believe that the sea level is rising, but only very slowly, so countries have time to build up their sea defences if they choose to. I think building up sea defences is the sensible thing to do because that takes care of the rising sea level, whatever its cause.

            I think the main cause of rising sea level is melting ice. Expansion of water would, as you say, only affect the top layer, at least in the short term. In the long term, entire oceans will warm or cool but, here, we are talking about millions of years. The heat capacity of oceans is enormous and some people claim that the present global warming is a long-delayed result of the oceans heating up since the last ice age.

            Sinking land may also be a factor but I have not studied this. Do you have any further information on it?

            As well as having a massive heat capacity, oceans also have a great capacity for dissolved carbon dioxide. As water warms, some of the carbon dioxide comes out of solution and pushes up the concentration in the atmosphere. Some people claim that this, rather than the burning of fossil fuels, is the main cause of the rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide. In other words, rising atmospheric carbon dioxide is more a result of global warming than a cause of it.

            All we can say for certain is that the jury (if unbiased) is still out on global warming. It has many causes and too little research has been done on causes other than greenhouse gases.

          • Dave

            I read an article explaining southern England is sinking due to the retreat of the ice age glaziers from across northern Britain that had held the south up and that London is a giant flood plain that’s also sinking, but for now, protected by man made and natural sea defences.

            I speak in layman terms, after considering the matter, and look at elementary facts, such as the minute and, due to natural variations, irrelevant man made emissions of carbon dioxide, which debunks all the rest, (about global warming being man made) promoted by the climate Jehovah’s, as a substitute end of the world is nigh religion, particularly once you consider all the other vested interests involved, e.g. a global scare as a pretext for global governance.

            Nearly all carbon dioxide is trapped in the oceans, the rest is trapped within the earth and plants, with only 0.038% in the atmosphere, and would be beneficial if increased because the plants would grow quicker and bigger, helpful to avert famine and feed a growing population.

            When the sun burns the oceans evaporate releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and when it cools the carbon dioxide falls back into the oceans. Its a natural cycle that means, as you say, increases in carbon dioxide follows rather than causes increase in temperature.

          • Bayard

            “Ah, I see. So we can tell a true scientist, because she will never try to persuade her husband that his smoking could cause lung cancer, or that excessive alcohol could cause cirrhosis of the liver. ”

            Classic straw man. Of course a scientist will be keen to point out the dangers of certain actions. The does not mean that they do not at the same time entertain the thought that though there is a lot of evidence that smoking causes lung cancer, that there might be another explanation for what seems like cause and effect, and if someone came up with a convincing argument for an alternative cause, e.g. (and I’m not saying that this IS a cause) that it is not the smoke, but the fibreglass in the filter that causes the cancer, they would be interested to look into it. What they wouldn’t say, which is what most AGW adherents say is “the science is settled” (recognise that phrase?) and dismiss the theory out of hand.

            Once again, the Scientific Method requires all scientists to test their theory by trying to prov it wrong. Most AGW adherents, including scientists, spend their time trying to prove their theory right.

          • Clark

            Blunderbuss, at 02:03, but I’m not urging you to commit suicide; please don’t be so hysterical. Jump off a tall building and enjoy your gentle float to the ground; armpit hairs are quite sufficient to achieve that. If you take a couple of badminton racquets, you can glide several miles and save huge transport bills. Don’t you know that all that stuff about gravity and the laws of aerodynamics was invented by the Civil Aviation Authority, suckling at the public teat, to unfairly extract money from people like yourself who treat science and engineering as a surrogate faith!

            Wake up sheeple!

            I have already covered all subsequent points. I think I’ll leave you three to circle-jerk, because that’s what conspiracy theorists enjoy best.

  • Isa

    A September 2028 paper by the Atlantic council on how to limit : control online opinion sharing :

    But this is only the beginning. Online newspapers should “consider disabling commentary systems—the function of allowing the general public to leave comments beneath a particular media item,” while social media companies should “use a grading system akin to that used to rate the cleanliness of restaurants” to rate their users’ political statements.”

    http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/images/publications/Sovereign_Challenge_Report_091718_web.pdf

    http://www.unz.com/article/the-us-militarys-vision-for-state-censorship/

    • Tom Welsh

      If online newspapers really wish to see their readership shrinking even faster than at present, removing comment sections is definitely the right way to go.

      I don’t read any online publication that doesn’t allow comments.

  • Republicofscotland

    So it would appear that Khashoggi was murdered in the Saudi embassy in Turkey afterall.

    What action/s will Trump and May now take against the religious zealot dictator state? Surely they cannot turn a blind eye, as the world looks on?

    Imagine the furore surrounding this murder, if it occured in say a Syrian or Iranian embassy in Turkey. Trump and May would be beside themselves in calling for all manner of actions against them.

    For too long now the likes of Saudi Arabia and Israel have had an almost carte blanche, in Yemen and the region itself when it comes to military actions and removing people.

    When it boils right down to it, both Israel and Saudi Arabia are protected by the Great Satan (USA). That’s why both will continue for the foreseeable future to be allowed to commit all manner of crimes (humanitarian included) and get away with them.

    • remember kronstadt

      It was a fight – fans flew in to watch it but then the audience got involved

    • Andyoldlabour

      @RoS,
      Whilst the rest of the World knows full well about the atrocities committed by Saudi Arabia, in Yemen, sponsorship of terrorists of various kinds, this latest horrible episode is but a drop in the ocean.
      Trump, May, Macron, Merkel and others will continue to do business as usual with this pariah state, whilst putting out that tired old message –
      Iran is the major state sponsor of terrorism in the World.
      There is a complete disconnect with the reality of the World and what the politicians do and say.

    • Sharp Ears

      In a discussion on LBC just now between Matt Frei! and Wintour of the Garudian|! it was stated that Jared Kushner and the Chief headchopper/bone sawyer in waiting, MBS, are close friends.

    • Loony

      Saudi Arabia is not protected by “the Great Satan (USA)” It is protected by western populations who are completely addicted to Saudi oil. You don’t like Saudi Arabia then get out of your car and start walking. Switch off your heating and start wearing warmer clothes. All so simple – and yet absolutely no-one will do anything like this.

      Let’s all blame Donald Trump a man so powerful he forces you to switch your heating on.

      Just imagine what would happen if western governments acted against Saudi Arabia – the press would be full of patients freezing to death in hospitals, ambulances and fire engines broken down at the side of the road having run out of gasoline. How long before the people start rioting?

      So sure Saudi Arabia knows it can act as it wishes with impunity – and it knows this because the vast mass of western populations demand that this situation be allowed to continue.

      • Republicofscotland

        “Saudi Arabia is not protected by “the Great Satan (USA)” It is protected by western populations who are completely addicted to Saudi oil. ”

        Loony.

        The Saudi dictatorship is indeed protected by the Great Satan. On becoming POTUS, the first country that Donald Trump visited was Saudi Arabia to reaffirm the USA’s position.

        President Trump, on a visit to Riyadh last year said in a speech.

        “We are not here to lecture—we are not here to tell other people how to live, what to do, who to be…”

        A clear message to the Saudi fanatical zealot regime, we (The USA) will turn a blind eye to how you rule your country. Oil aside, if it were just about oil, then Venezuela has the largest oil reserves in the world, why not give the Venezuelan people a good deal, afterall compared to Saudi Arabia, Venezuela is I’d say nearer to the US, and I’d imagine culturally wise closer as well.

        No the Great Satan protects the Saudi dictatorship outwith oil, due the huge amounts of cash the zealot regime has pumped into US businesses and ventures.

        “The Kingdom’s influence is spreading each year. Saudi money is already behind many of the biggest tech startups in the US, including Lyft, Uber and Magic Leap. Saudi Arabia’s massive $45 billion check to SoftBank’s Vision Fund, the largest venture fund of all time, means Saudi money will likely be part of the biggest pool of venture money for years to come. The Vision Fund has made at least 26 investments including into Slack, WeWork, GM Cruise and other brand names.”

        Other countries around the globe produce oil as well, China, Russia and Canada, even the UK.

        Indeed according to this, the USA itself, was the top oil producing country in the world in 2017.

        https://www.investopedia.com/investing/worlds-top-oil-producers/

        • Loony

          I think you will find that it is the marginal barrel that is important in determining both price and availability. As Saudi is the marginal producer then Saudi oil is crucial.

          Naturally Saudi Arabia is a major investor in the US – it is all part of the petro $ deal. Saudi must recycle its money back to the west. In more recent times they have begun recycling some of this money into a network of radical Mosques. Of course it is racist to mention this, so best to skip on, otherwise someone might notice just how closely the Chechen example is being followed. Now look what happened in Chechnya.

          But none of it really matters. The only solution is for people to use less oil – and they have no voluntary intention to do so. Global warming, nuclear war, genocide, mass terrorism etc is all far less important to people than their right to have their indoor living space at a constant 68 deg F for 24 hours a day, 365 days per year.

          • Republicofscotland

            Loony.

            Regarding your last chapter, I agree people need to change about how they feel about using fossil fuels less frequently.

            James Watt’s condenser really kicked off the industrial revoultion. Production could be brought indoors, and away from rivers and streams.

            It’s claimed that one of the first oil wells was in Titusville, Pennsylvania, U.S., in 1859, and from there on in the industry expanded.

            However in my opinion it has taken Third World countries longer to catch up with the west’s exploitations of oil and gas, and ergo they may be more reluctant to, or less prepared to, make the switch to cleaner fuels. The same of course can be said of the western hemisphere’s reluctance to switch.

            Moreover is the infrastructure in place to make the switch? As oil and gas firms grease political palms to kick the subject into the long grass, every time the question of global warming arises.

            In my opinion fossil fuels will be with us for a long time to come.

          • Dungroanin

            People use what they are given.
            From wood,olive oil, whale oil, coal, petrochems… people are under monopolists thumbs.
            Science, Technology and engineering already exists to move on.
            But that would require the monopolists to shutdown their industries and profits.

            Home construction is multipily better in certain parts of the world so there is not as much energy used in keeping it warm or cool.

      • J

        Your emphasis is always the establishment strategy of blaming people for what they’ve been given, for behaving according the moral standards of the culture imposed upon them, precisely so that you can continue to implore with perfect circular reasoning that we should do nothing, because nothing can be done. You are and have always been in thrall to what Mark Fisher accurately described as Capitalist Realism. He diagnosed your malaise with absolute precision.

        If the $500 billion spent this year on Public Relations were spent instead on renewables or urging and supporting people in consuming less rather than specifically to make them feel inadequate for consuming less, you’d be the first to deplore it as a doomed gesture and insignificant.

        If public transport was made free at the point of use, powered exclusively by renewable technolgy, you’d complain that car manufacturers have been sacrificed on the altar of socialism or some such.

        You are perhaps the most purely reactionary goat this forum has ever encountered. But at least you navigate the slopes of your reactionary mountain with admirable aplomb.

          • Deb O'Nair

            The profits do not flow into the US would be one. With Iran and Venezuela they don’t even use the USD for selling oil now, just like pre-war Iraq (who used the Euro) and Libya (who used gold). Which may explain why they are in the US cross-hairs today – undermining the USD as global reserve currency is a greater sin than ‘stealing’ the oil profits.

          • Antonym

            Or Canadian oil? Oh, PM Trudeau prefers Saudi/ US / Xyz origin petrol over Canadian. Makes sense, for a twisted mind.

      • Tom Welsh

        “You don’t like Saudi Arabia then get out of your car and start walking. Switch off your heating and start wearing warmer clothes”.

        My family have been doing those things for decades. But the problem still seems to exist.

    • Rod

      President Trump and Prime Minister May will do absolutely nothing to upset the status quo when it comes to befriending regimes such as Saudi Arabia and protecting the financial interests of the people who use their money to support and keep them in power.

      Service men and women from both the US and the UK have been killed and maimed protecting these peoples’ financial interests and their families are continually fed the line that they died for their countries, when in fact they perished in order to make rich investors even richer.

      The US and UK governments have no regard for the individuals who they send to maintain American and British interests in foreign military adventures and will tell outright untruths through their media backed organs.

      We are told that Saudi Arabia provides the west with intelligence that will help keep us safe from acts of terrorism. Well, it didn’t help in the 9/11 and 7/7 atrocities and the latest spate of home-grown attacks in London. We are asked to believe the intelligence they feed us as factual and reliable from a country that kills a dissident journalist in their own consulate in a foreign land and continues to lie about the truth of the matter until it becomes obvious to the world that their account is patently not credible.

      The Saudi regime have previous form on stories like this since the death of British nurse Helen Smith in 1973, they appear to prefer to tell lies when the truth would serve them better and the US and UK governments will aid and abet them without compunction.

      If the current regime in Saudi Arabia fell tomorrow the American and British governments would lose no time in declaring these current incumbents to be a stain on humanity and would be queuing up to render allegiance and assure the next lot of our continued support through the lives of our service men an women if necessary.

  • Squeeth

    “Seeing MPs I knew as just punters campaigning in 2014, now walking proudly before power dressed entourages of paid staff, was a strangely unpleasant experience.”

    I have a spare sick bag if you need it.

  • Sharp Ears

    The blood never dries….

    The US have killed 60 civilians in Syria.
    ‘Damascus invited Iran to help fight jihadist rebels and ISIS in the country, while denouncing the US presence as illegal.
    US forces have been in Syria since September 2014, working with some militias to fight IS in the country. Deir ez-Zor province where the alleged airstrike took place is included into the US-led locations. US President Donald Trump has repeatedly stated that US troops are in Syria to eradicate IS, and would leave after that mission is complete’
    https://www.rt.com/news/441812-syria-us-coalition-strikes/

    Israeli forces wound 130 Palestinians at Gaza border protest
    Reuters-17 hours ago
    GAZA (Reuters) – Israeli soldiers shot and wounded 130 Palestinians during protests near the Gaza Strip border on Friday, the enclave’s Health .
    https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-israel-palestinians-protests/israeli-forces-wound-130-palestinians-at-gaza-border-protest-idUKKCN1MT299
    200 Palestinians in the ‘enclave’ (as Reuters call Gaza) have been killed by the IDF since March in the Friday protests.

    In Afghanistan, where hundreds of thousands of people, both civilian and military, have been killed since 2001, elections are taking place. The country is now so secure that 30 polling stations have had to be closed.

    ‘During the war in Afghanistan (2001–present), over 31,000 civilian deaths due to war-related violence have been documented; 29,900 civilians have been wounded. Over 111,000 Afghans, including civilians, soldiers and militants, are estimated to have been killed in the conflict. The Cost of War project estimated that the number who have died through indirect causes related to the war may be as high 360,000 additional people based on a ratio of indirect to direct deaths in contemporary conflicts.’

    Coalition – Military – totals not shown but in thousands. https://www.statista.com/statistics/262894/western-coalition-soldiers-killed-in-afghanistan/

    Just some of the deaths not counting other locations such as Iraq and the Balkans. Unimaginable.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    See \that tthe Saudis are using the same ruse to explain away Khashoggi’s murder that Mi6 got D; Dwewinter Sivia used to murder astrophysicist Professor Steve Gawlings after a high dinner at St.John’s College, Oxford – i.e,.we gpt into a fighr during a discussion.

    Oh, do tell us the detail, Bir John!

    • Charles Bostock

      Jacques

      The implication of your post is that, if Mr Corbyn is elected, the UK government will abandon arms sales to Qatar. And that is he does so, he will do likewise re arms sales to other Gulf States and perhaps to countries further afield. I don’t believe he will do anything of the sort. Wait and see……he will, upon what passes for reflection in th Labour left, weasel himself out of it in much the same way as he swiftly weaseled his way out of his suggestion about reimbursing already paid university tuition fees,

    • Tony_0pmoc

      Trowbridge H. Ford,

      Yeh, my great uncle was a master of the art of forensic analysis. He was born in New Zealand, but spent most of his life at Edinburgh University.

      He published his autobiography in 1959 “Mostly Murder”.

      I’ve just bought it.

      “Professor Sir Sydney Alfred Smith CBE OPR FRSE LLD (4 August 1883 in Roxburgh, New Zealand – 8 May 1969 in Edinburgh, Scotland), was a renowned forensic scientist and pathologist.[1][2][3] From 1928 to 1953, Smith was Regius Professor of Forensic Medicine at the University of Edinburgh, a well-known forensic department of that time. Smith’s popular 1959 autobiography, Mostly Murder, has run through many British and American editions, the latest in 1988.”

      “The author’s life is a good read in itself and the book has stood the test of time without being macabre. I had forgotten how good it was and how it inspired the likes of Arthur Conan Doyle to create the character of Sherlock Holmes through observation and attention to detail. It was groundbreaking at the time and the methods used formed the foundation for criminal pathology.”

      I hope you are well, and not guilty of anything serious.

      Tony

      • Iain Stewart

        Congratulations on having such a remarkable ancestor, Tony, but before some other pedantic Scotsman points it out, Arthur Conan Doyle is usually said to have based Sherlock Holmes on Dr Joseph Bell (or so he said) who was his boss at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary in 1877, publishing “A Study in Scarlet” 10 years later, when uncle Sydney was only three.

        • Tony_0pmoc

          Iain Stewart,

          LOL. I’ve not read his book yet, and I never met him, but I did visit my relations in Scotland, on the back of a motorbike in 1960 when I was 7 years old. I think he was my Mum’s sister’s Dad. I know his grandaughter and husband (who was born in India) quite well. They keep inviting us to stay in Edinburgh, as they did here in London a few years ago when we invited them.

          Nice people.

          Tony

          • Iain Stewart

            I imagine you didn’t wear a helmet either. I see your recent notes on going to a local pub concert after a bath got housekeepered by the Moderator, no doubt for overstepping some threshold of amiable whimsiness. Let us know how you get on with Sikunder Burnes, and how it compares with Uncle Syd’s memoirs.

          • Republicofscotland

            Her unfortunate story is well known in Scotland especially Glasgow, as is that of Oscar Slater. Whom Arthur Conan Doyle aided in his miscarriage of justice.

            What might not be so well know is that Smith’s grandfather was the renowned Scottish architect David Hamilton. Often referred to as The Father of the Profession, with regards to Glasgow architecture.

        • Republicofscotland

          It’s also thought that Mary Shelley could’ve based her book Frankenstein (The Modern Prometheus), on stories her husband Percy Bysshe Shelley told her, with regards to James Lind a mentor of her husband.

          Lind had been a pupil of William Cullen, the renowned Edinburgh doctor who wrote the code for the revival of seemingly drowned people.

          No doubt Cullen would’ve told Lind, amongst other things, of Galvani’s now legendary experiments using bioelectricomagnetics. Of which we now know Galvani as a early pioneer of.

    • Ingwe

      Don’t know about murder, though if it’s fighting, I’d pay to see Trump vs Hunt with the winner meeting Gavin Williamson. In a cage, armed with chainsaws.

  • Dungroanin

    Kashoggi.
    Vision 2030 plan – i’m sure everyone here has heard of it.

    It is why Branson was excited about the future Virgin destination. As well as all the bankers contemplating the $trillions in future earnings. It was why the LSE and the Tories were ready to compromise the rules of publicly listed companies – in which most peoples pensions and savings are invested – by allowing the listing of Aramco in London, all these instant fat fees…and all these privatisations of Saudi assets.

    Never ending war. Rubbish MI arms sales. Mega loans to all governments and funding of conflicts by the ancient bankers who own the paychopaths that run the world as a Pathocracy.

    It seems MBS, revered and backed to deliver that Vision 2030, while being the sacrificial proxy state/army for the conquest of the ME, got fresh counsel and decided NOT to play along with the self destruction. Already having been mired in Yemeni genocide, something changed!

    He didn’t sign on the dotted line to buy these great weapons that Trump showed on the sticker board. The deadline came and went at the end of september. Instead of buying the shitty Lockheed missiles, MBS chose the RUSSIAN system, just like INDIA and others.

    What happens when your proxy, realises they are being played and refuses to go along with the plan? Or they fail in delivering the plan?

    A whole world of woe and pain descends upon the proxies arse and land!

    All this and more at yet another independent blogger to add to our lists as the lights go out across social media and MSM comment forums (coordinated via the Atlantic Council) :
    https://nomadiceveryman.blogspot.com/?m=1

    • Radar O’Reilly

      ARAMCO = formed as the arabian american oil company, now just Dhahran/Dammam region – a formerly Shia majority region of KSA. I secretly attended the English theatre there occasionally during my years in KSA. Were many disappearances of the locals there, and further north near Tabuk in the eighties, typically 3 or 4 males from a village would be “Khashoggi’ed” every couple of years. The country and people of Saudi Arabia were/are fascinating, the ruling bone-sawing head-chopping totally thoroughly corrupt Wahhabi murderers are not civilised, never will be.

      Leaving corruption & murder behind – how about some light poetry instead?
      For some reason the seriously journalistic americans with focus are starting to quote “Paul Revere’s Ride” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow , associated with five-eyes reverse-deniability, tarring towards culpability of brutish british with even a hint of brexit thrown in the mix, with classic poetry. Hope it doesn’t go viral JTRIG

      He said to his friend, “If the British march
      By land or sea from the town tonight,
      Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch
      Of the North Church tower as a signal light-
      One, if by land, and two, if by sea;
      three if by false-flag-sigintery and spookery!

      More at :- https://amgreatness.com/2018/10/18/did-the-british-collude-to-steal-the-election-for-Hillary/

      (The URL follows a type , where usually betteridge’s law of headlines applies, and the expected answer to the question is ‘no’ – but the 2016 election facts that are slowly emerging indicate an increasingly likely ‘YES’)

    • Blunderbuss

      @Dungroanin

      “…privatisations of Saudi assets”.

      That’s interesting. I’ve always believed that the main reason for the attacks on Iraq, Libya and Syria was that they had their oil in public ownership so that US and UK companies were shut out.

      Are the Saudis privatising their oil to avoid an invasion?

    • Tony_0pmoc

      Dungroanin, Great post. Dunno if it’s all true, but I reckon some of it is. Thanks, Tony

  • Republicofscotland

    Staying on the autocracy/absolute monarchy of Saudi Arabia, that has a terrible human rights record, that Trump isn’t to bothered about.

    The amounts of money given to British MP’s on jaunts to Saudi Arabia has risen. Of course there’s no suggestion of impropriety, however Saudi Arabia is in a strong financial position, one which carries a very persuasive argument.

    https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/british-mps-who-accepted-thousands-13444404?utm_source=twitter.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=sharebar

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Both Khashoggi and Rawlings died from choke holds administered by their respectove secret services.

    • Republicofscotland

      Thanks for the link Sharp Ears, after reading it, I got the distinct feeling that neither the Muslim or J**ish communities in Scotland could agree on the details of the educational platform, both thought it was anti Muslim or Semitic in some way or another.

  • Alyson

    I used to think that Cameron’s deputy prime minister was a naive simpleton, who lost his head in the glory of power, and destroyed the Lib Dem party as an incidental aside. His new job, however, working for Facebook is viewed by Bloomberg, as yet another Quixotic venture, to try and hold the powerful to account. He has endured being the scapegoat for Austerity. He has tried to drive the Remain agenda, falling in with disreputable politicians like Blair and Heseltine to call for a second referendum, which can only lead to one thing, if implemented, i.e. Civil war. Bannon and Farage would no doubt be enthusiastic if this debacle should ensue from the dogs breakfast Brexit currently being cooked up by May (hostile environment) and Boris (dead cat strategist) and things don’t look at all promising for the people of Britain. Ian Blackford is the only politician in Westminster actually sounding like a real politician. His clear enunciation of the responsibility of parliament to look after the interests of the British people is being lost in the nonsense about second referendums and no deal disaster scenarios. There is also the distinct possibility that terror attacks will facilitate the placing of troops on the streets, and a crackdown on freedom of speech, should a general election be mooted. These are strange days indeed.

    • N_

      @Alyson – Interesting thoughts.

      What with the general view that conditions in Britain have declined long-term and will continue to decline, and that normal ways of living are starting to crack and crumble, I think a political figure will at some point appear with some answers, selling a message of hope and finding some buyers. But he or she is not here yet. There’s nobody with sufficient charisma. If it were any other country, Nigel Farage would probably have become prime minister after he won the referendum.

      It’s kind of interesting that some are pushing to crowbar John Bercow out of office. A Speaker’s ruling is so much in the air. The one in January 1913 was responded to with much (justified) violence which today is little talked about.

    • Dungroanin

      A reward from his banker masters.
      Just like David Milliband got for his efforts.

      A bigger pond to hide in – he can’t ever escape his lies, treachery and collusion in the austerity that led to brexit and total destruction of libdems.

      Run off and do the same to FarceBook as you did to the UK!

  • N_

    If Britain were outside the EU customs union and there were no Good Friday Agreement, it would be unlawful for the Republic of Ireland to sign such an agreement with Britain, right?

    (Just musing.)

    • N_

      Has anyone gone to the Supreme Court yet saying that NI leaving the CU would be against the GFA?

      • Tony_0pmoc

        N_ (using Google to decode)

        Original

        “Has anyone gone to the Supreme Court yet saying that NI leaving the CU would be against the GFA?”

        Google decode

        NI “NI or Ni may refer to: Contents. 1 Arts and entertainment; 2 Businesses; 3 Language; 4 Names; 5 Places; 6 Science and technology; 7 Other uses; 8 See also ..”
        CU “CU, Cu, and cu may refer to: Close-up, in film making (I sometimes do that)

        GFA: “Gross Floor Area (GFA) means the sum of the areas of each storey of a building, structure or part thereof, above or below established grade, excluding storage below established grade and a parking structure above or below established grade, measured from the exterior of outside walls, or from the mid-point of common …”

        Sorry for being pedantic, but I have no idea what you are writing about, and if I didn’t GAF, I wouldn’t ask you to explain, and clarify, the points you are trying to make.

        Thank You. You normally write really well, and sometimes I actually agree with you.

        Are you Scottish?

        Tony

        • N_

          My apologies. I thought it would be clear given what was in the comment it was a reply to.
          NI – Northern Ireland
          CU – customs union (the European Union one)
          GFA – Good Friday Agreement

          (And I’m English.)

      • Blunderbuss

        I don’t see why we can’t leave the Irish border open without a customs union. OK, there will be a bit of smuggling but there are similar opportunities for smuggling between any small port in France and any small port on the south coast of England.

        • N_

          If Northern Ireland is outside the customs union, the Republic of Ireland would have to impose customs checks under EU law.

          • Blunderbuss

            This has always been the problem. Britain and Ireland actually comply with EU law but all the other members ignore it whenever it suits them.

          • Ian

            We have ignored all the directives about air pollution, to the detriment of millions, especially children and the elderly. We have also been caught not imposing the tariffs and taxes we had agreed to. So your ukip styly whining is nonsense.

  • Chemical Britain

    BREAKING CONSPIRACY THEORY

    Sergei and Yulia were accidentally killed by the British Intelligence Services following a fistfight.

    Has anyone seen Craig recently?

  • Sharp Ears

    Guardian Watch – Freedland Remembers Yemen is a Thing
    Kit Knightly
    20th October 2018

    “Sometimes you need an acquaintance to go missing before you realise that children being blown to pieces is a bad thing,” – Jonathan Freedland (Well, not really, but almost).

    Jonathan Freedland has weighed in on the Khashoggi case. He’s outraged, of course. Because they all are. Every single voice in the mainstream world has suddenly realised just how appalled they are that Saudi Arabia does bad things.

    They weren’t appalled a few weeks ago, when the Saudis blew up a bus full of school children.

    But they are appalled now, because Mike Pompeo was told by the Turkish government, who were told by the Turkish secret service, that a reporter who may or may not be dead, might have been killed by a super-secret Saudi Arabian hit squad (who then died in a car accident). There are video and audio recordings to prove all of this but we’re not allowed to see them yet.
    /..

    https://off-guardian.org/2018/10/20/guardian-watch-freedland-remembers-yemen-is-a-thing/

    A powerful piece. Hope Freedland has seen it, and read it.

    • Alyson

      ISTANBUL (AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE) – Saudi Arabia has admitted that a dissident journalist was murdered in its consulate in Turkey. … His uncle was the notorious arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    I still very occasionally post on Chris Spivey’s website, but not very often, since he had “The Treatment”, but someone wrote a very interesting comment today. It kind of phased me. After a couple of hours, I wrote this response, which Chris Spivey did publish.

    Amo,

    You raise some very interesting points, the first of which was “If space is a vacuum, how do you propel a rocket if there is nothing to push against to exert a force?” I did physics and maths (for a year) at a rather good university nearly 50 years ago, and I should easily be able to provide a satisfactory answer, that will convince even me, that rockets work in space. I have spent nearly 2 hours trying to find a satisfactory answer to this question, but have failed. However, if indeed rockets do work in space, it maybe because whilst there is very little real resistance to continuing to move at the same speed, there is most certainly a gravitational effect from all objects in the universe. Maybe the rocket engines are pushing against that.

    Thanks for asking the question. I apologise for my reply being so crap, but suggest you send Chris Spivey a few quid, for allowing us to have this discussion on his website.

    “A Total Waste Of Space. Chris Spivey/John Hamer.”

    http://chrisspivey.org/a-total-waste-of-space/

    Tony

      • Tony_0pmoc

        Tom Welsh,

        We even had geiger counters in the lab when I was doing my “A” Levels,

        I think I spelt the word right, even before I first went to see Hawkwind at University

        phase
        /feɪz/
        verb
        past tense: phased; past participle: phased

        1.
        carry out (something) in gradual stages.
        “the work is being phased over a number of years”
        introduce something into (or withdraw something from) use in gradual stages.
        “the changes will be phased in over 10 years”
        synonyms: introduce gradually, incorporate by stages, begin using, ease in, start using More
        eliminate gradually, withdraw/remove/replace gradually, discontinue, get rid of by stages, stop using, ease off, run down, wind down, wind up, deactivate, finish, end
        2.
        Physics
        adjust the phase of (something), especially so as to synchronize it with something else.
        “about 70% of the reflections were phased by this method”

        ….

        Your version (we maybe related)

        Definition of ‘fazed’
        English: fazed
        fazed in British
        (feɪzd )
        adjective
        disconcerted; worried; disturbed”

        Worrying doesn’t solve anything. It just makes you depressed.

        You have just got to put that to one side and go for it.

        I have broken all the rules, and I am still here, fit and healthy and still got all my hair and my girl.

        Tony

    • Kempe

      “If space is a vacuum, how do you propel a rocket if there is nothing to push against to exert a force?”

      If you did physics either you didn’t pay much attention or you had a really rubbish teacher.

      A rocket expels hot gases at high velocity, every action has an equal an opposite reaction (Newton) and it’s this that drives the spacecraft in the opposite direction. It doesn’t need anything to push against. Basic stuff.

      Oh and try to explain to Spivey that the spacecraft’s plasma engines are so economic because with no air or rolling resistance very little thrust is needed to get even the largest satellite moving. Knowing the way he reacts to anyone who dares disagree with him good luck with that.

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Kempe October 20, 2018 at 23:14
        Still support the ‘White Helmets’ IS PR agency?

      • Tony_0pmoc

        Kempe,

        Giving classical answers to me, about how stuff works on planet earth, does not convince me, that you personally and independently have even thought about either the question or the answer about how things work or do not work in space.

        Very few humans have experienced it, and I am sure you haven’t.

        Please explain this…Don’t you see a few problems here in the detail…like the camera man in Houston, zooms out at the critical point just before lift off, and the he zooms up. It takes 2.6 seconds to get a signal from the earth to the moon and get a response back to eg adjust the focus, zoom and pan. 2.6 seconds is like forever, if you are trying to do a video waiting for a response…

        Or did the Americans just leave the photographer on the moon? I don’t think even they would do that, unless they subcontracted the job to ISIS.

        Looks like a fake job to me.

        “Apollo 17 Liftoff from Moon – December 14, 1972”

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HQfauGJaTs

        (the original is in much higher definition)

        Tony

        • Clark

          Tony, check the description under the video you linked:

          “Ed Fendell in Houston had to anticipate the timing of ignition, lift-off, and the rate of climb, to control the camera tilt to follow the ascent.”

          And there was a count-down.

          • Clark

            And you can see that the zoom and tilt are mechanical, motor-driven. They have none of the fluctuation you’d get if they’d been done by hand.

            I’m glad I found that description, because I wondered if the camera had been controlled by Ronald Evans, still in the command module orbiting the Moon, from which remote control delays would have been insignificant. But no, it was done from Earth.

          • Clark

            “You just delete any point of view that does not agree with yours”

            If you mean me, I can’t delete anything on this site because I deliberately scrambled my log-in ages ago. I’d had enough of it.

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