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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  • giyane

    I don’t know if he invented it but TE Lawrence perfected the ladder system for compromising Arab tribal societies. He also used honey traps to control the powerful. The whole world is disgusted with the dirtiness of political intrigue, but Britain and the US are the dirtiest and unfortunately have no legs to stand on in any judgemental blowback against the Sauds.

    Hunt and Trump are posturing moral offence while desperately trying to hide their own terror-related crimes.
    In the war against Islam, 2003, Iraq, the ladder system was used by US. You lock up members of the lowest tribe in the pecking order about whom nobody gives a whatsit, and the families complain until the head of the tribe has to do a deal with the invading colonial force not to resist colonial rule. then you work your way up the tribal ladder.

    All the time they were doing this the repulsive Betrayus was sowing hate between the Shi’a and Sunni by placing terror-bombs in market-places and mosques in order to break down societal relations. Everybody in Iraq understood intellectually what was being done to them, but the sheer scale of violence against the society by the US and UK destroyed logic and lit fire to raw emotions. Big oil is now feasting on Iraqi oil.

    Both terror factions, Muslim Brotherhood / British / Qatar and Salafi / US / Sauds, have wrought destruction on Syria and its people but its important to note that Kashoggi was in the British, Muslim Brotherhood, terror faction by which Germany and the EU attacked Assad. Jeremy Hunt therefore has multiple clothes-pegs on his nose, one for his support for the Kashoggi /Muslim brotherhood faction and one for the British part in igniting the war in Syria. The Tories who started this war think their multiple clothes-pegs will grip tightly enough not to let out the stink of their own murderous, criminal involvement in Syria.

    The other faction, Trumpies’, just flooded Syria with cash and criminals, a magnet to anyone from the foolhardy east Asian Muslim, to the UK mosque imams. Saudi bribery and corruption has polluted every Muslim country including this one with their destructive terror and unrelenting violence.

    Now that the corruption inside the Tory party has been fully exposed by Brexit, whereby one faction is prepared to sacrifice the UK economy for the sake of foreign trade deals, and the other is prepared to sacrifice UK foreign policy autonomy for the sake of free trade, one thing is clear, Jeremy Corbyn as PM would neither allow the UK to continue the War against Islam by the Muslim Brotherhood so favoured by the EU and the neo-cons, nor would he allow Saudi funds to be cut off by an affected display of moral repugnance at Kashoggi’s murder by the Sauds.

    If you are making bombs in your kitchen, as the war-criminal Tories have been doing since 2010, nobody should be surprised if your foreign policy ends up in a deep hole in the ground. It’s time for the war-criminals Tories to go.

  • certa certi

    Why did Khashoggi go to the Saudi Consulate? To get a visa to see the bottom of the harbour!

    He was writing a new book, an expose called ‘What The Bone Saw – A Bush In The Pocket Is Worth Two In The Whitehouse’

    Any more…?

    • Sharp Ears

      To obtain papers to allow his marriage to a Turkish woman.

      ‘He first visited the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 28 September to obtain a document certifying that he had divorced his ex-wife, so that he could marry his Turkish fiancée.
      But he was told he would have to return and arranged to come back on 2 October.
      “He did not mind walking into the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul because he did not believe that something bad could happen on Turkish soil,” his fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, wrote in the Washington Post.
      “Jamal was hardly concerned ahead of his second visit.”‘

      • Sharp Ears

        Not at all funny. Sick.

        This is an article by Hatice Cengiz, Mr Khashoggi’s fiancée. It is very sad for her.

        My Fiancé Jamal Khashoggi Was a Lonely Patriot
        His ideas will reverberate from Turkey to Saudi Arabia and beyond. Oppression never lasts forever. Tyrants eventually pay for their sins.

        This is a paragraph from the obituary in the Guardian by Ian Black which will make you think.

        ‘Writing from afar, he helped US and western journalists, policy-makers and politicians understand what was happening in the kingdom. In March 2018, he wrote in the Guardian that Bin Salman “appears to be moving the country from old-time religious extremism to his own ‘You-must-accept-my-reform’ extremism, without any consultation – accompanied by arrests and the disappearance of his critics.” His last Washington Post column lambasted the “cruel” Saudi role in the war in Yemen. Days before his murder, he was a guest speaker at an international conference on Palestine in London. Khashoggi’s admirers described him as a shahid (martyr).
        He is survived by his fiancee, Hatice Cengiz, and the two sons and two daughters from his first marriage, to Rawia al-Tunisi. It ended in divorce, as did two other marriages.’

  • Radar O’Reilly

    Why did 700000 people march through London yesterday?

    it’s plausibly so that a faction of the British & european establishment can get a new ‘people’s’ referendum going; should this unlikely event pass, {what question, when, how} its result is certain to be ‘adjusted’ by whichever expert group of our spooks try to game/win elections with old/new techniques.

    So , the actual ‘people’s’ vote would be again 52:48 whichever way , but the manipulative buggers will adjust it to suit their agenda, un-leave probably, {how goes the British coup?}.

    This State Department news gives a hint:

    Ça m’est égal, it’s all the same to me – spies n’ billionaires will play, UK will inevitably recover whatever. Some Tories will make a lot of $

    Keep on marching, but watch very carefully the actualité.

    • Charles Bostock

      “its result is certain to be ‘adjusted’ by whichever expert group of our spooks try to game/win elections with old/new techniques.”

      For an intelligent person you do talk a load of tosh.

      • Radar O'Reilly

        You might be right Habby, I accept that I’m an idiot, thanks, but for some reason I keep typing

        I don’t believe that the line below from Wackypedia has any relation to the following news article from the 2015 United Kingdom General Election, that would be tosh. However, let’s look in more details – there is ALWAYS more details if you keep looking

        Old Techniques:-
        Hastings and Rye is a constituency represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 2010 by Amber Rudd, a Conservative

        More than 200,000 ballot papers have gone missing after a van containing them was stolen by thieves ahead of next week’s election. 72,300 of the blank election ballot papers were intended for the Hastings and Rye constituency in East Sussex, while the remaining 130,000 were headed to Eastbourne.

        pure co-incidence, police dismissed the idea etc, measures were put in place etc etc

        But another co-incidence, how many recounts did H & R have at the 2017 election? Wasn’t it the last English constituency to announce, Some of my outrageous colleagues suggested the recounts were to buy time for the ‘fix’, but I don’t accept that.

        I won’t hardly mention postal ballots! Sorry, it just slipped out.

        Thankfully, positively at least Theresa May is now planning to put in a firewall for the next G.E. against foreign influence buying into UK democracy, sadly firewalls sometimes have ‘backdoors’, as the opponents to democracy work deep deep in the shadows, hiring (ex) spies etcetera

        New Techniques:-
        Quoting the CEO of a famous Election nudging company who appeared on Channel-4

        Nix also offered details regarding the services of professional ex-spies from Britain and Israel. “We have two projects at the moment, which involve doing deep deep depth research on the opposition and providing source … really damaging source material, that we can decide how to deploy in the course of the campaign.”

        spies doing elections?, tosh!

        In an undercover investigation by Channel 4 News, the company’s chief executive Alexander Nix said the British firm secretly campaigns in elections across the world. This includes operating through a web of shadowy front companies, or by using sub-contractors.

        In one exchange, when asked about digging up material on political opponents, Mr Nix said they could “send some girls around to the candidate’s house”, adding that Ukrainian girls “are very beautiful, I find that works very well”.

        In another he said: “We’ll offer a large amount of money to the candidate, to finance his campaign in exchange for land for instance, we’ll have the whole thing recorded, we’ll blank out the face of our guy and we post it on the Internet.”

        The admissions were filmed at a series of meetings at London hotels over four months, between November 2017 and January 2018. An undercover reporter for Channel 4 News posed as a fixer for a wealthy client hoping to get candidates elected in Sri Lanka.

        Mr Nix told our reporter: “…we’re used to operating through different vehicles, in the shadows, and I look forward to building a very long-term and secretive relationship with you.”

        Along with Mr Nix, the meetings also included Mark Turnbull, the managing director of CA Political Global, and the company’s chief data officer, Dr Alex Tayler.

        Mr Turnbull described how, having obtained damaging material on opponents, Cambridge Analytica can discreetly push it onto social media and the internet.

        He said: “… we just put information into the bloodstream of the internet, and then, and then watch it grow, give it a little push every now and again… like a remote control. It has to happen without anyone thinking, ‘that’s propaganda’, because the moment you think ‘that’s propaganda’, the next question is, ‘who’s put that out?’.”

        Mr Nix also said: “…Many of our clients don’t want to be seen to be working with a foreign company… so often we set up, if we are working then we can set up fake IDs and websites, we can be students doing research projects attached to a university, we can be tourists, there’s so many options we can look at. I have lots of experience in this.”

        In the meetings, the executives boasted that Cambridge Analytica and its parent company Strategic Communications Laboratories (SCL) had worked in more than two hundred elections across the world, including Nigeria, Kenya, the Czech Republic, India and Argentina.

        TWO HUNDRED ELECTIONS, just ONE data analysis company – [no recent mention of Capn Bob Maxwell’s daughter’s data analysis company…didn’t the C.I.A. . .anyway ]

        Back to the main thread Cambridge Analytica has now changed its name, presumably moved to the U.S.A. or maybe Tel Aviv, where their intellectual property & playbook, their methodology is still going strong, but hidden even more than before. Lawyers have become involved and everyone denies everything. As I do, everything I type is satire, surely.

        But let’s look for more at

        The UK’s official registrar of businesses and organizations, Companies House, lists an active company called Emerdata Limited, headquartered at the same offices as SCL Elections and run by much of the same management and investors as Cambridge Analytica. It even describes itself as a “data processing, hosting and related activities” organisation.

        For instance, Dr Alexander Taylor was appointed a director of Emerdata on March 28. That’s Cambridge Analytica’s acting CEO and data wizard Dr Alexander Taylor. Julian Wheatland is an Emerdata director who is also a director within the SCL network of organisations.

        Jennifer and Rebekah Mercer are directors of Emerdata, and are the daughters of ultra-wealthy businessman Robert Mercer who created and bankrolled Cambridge Analytica.


        but you knew all the above, thanks for asking me to remind you

        • Rhys Jaggar

          From personal experience, when a bunch of spooks in a front company get exposed, they silence the source, sell the front company, then set up again using slightly different directors.

          I have worked in front companies (only found out after recruitment, left as soon as practicable) linked into Langley, GCHQ and with access to the most modern surveillance technology. You have no privacy in your home as a result. Company cars were bugged, ditto company mobiles, ditto your home phone, your private PC.

          I really do not understand why Core Curriculum at school does not require practical studies of exhibitionism – the concept that these guys let you have a private life is laughable.

          Maybe this is why the young generation are all sharing dick pics with such abandon?!

          • Charles Bostock


            Well. they certainly didn’t silence you, did they. Otherwise, what are you doing here?

        • Charles Bostock

          Quantity does not replace quality, Radar. I remain unimpressed.

          You’re clearly one of those chaps who sees conspiracies, the hidden hand of the PTB and the deep state everywhere. Nothing is what it seems, everything is an illusion and a delusion, a scam.

          For example, your following manoeuvre:

          “Thankfully, positively at least Theresa May is now planning to put in a firewall for the next G.E. against foreign influence buying into UK democracy, sadly firewalls sometimes have ‘backdoors’, as the opponents to democracy work deep deep in the shadows, hiring (ex) spies etcetera”

          You can’t swallow the idea of the firewall and so you immediately attempt to rubbish it by saying that there are ways round it.

          D’ye see what I mean? Conspiracies everywhere ! 🙂

          • Clark

            I’m the resident conspiracy theorist buster around here, and Radar O’Reilly isn’t one. Radar’s stuff is all backed with data. Jolly good commenter; an asset to the site.

            “Firewall” is just a buzzword, and one “backdoor” is visible at the most cursory glance: “foreign influence”; domestic and commercial beyond its remit.

          • Radar O'Reilly

            Strangely, at 07:24 this morning a completely made up email (fake domain of origin, fake IP address, fake headers, fake client (iPhone) , fake outgoing antivirus check on a different platform) failed DMARC etc etc) was thrown at my home, using the name of a real guy that I last met in 2006. Havent the agencies got any more updated names since then?, sloppy.

            if anyone has a nice anti-malware virtual environment, where you can pick apart a shortened URL service that leads to a polymorphic attack server (presents a different appearence & content to whomsoever browses that IPv4) then please by all means try h t t p x : / / g o o . g l / J C K 6 C G , (x = TLS), for me it resolved to a vanilla US ‘Slurp’ server at ip_address=, which presented a 404. Reverse DNS matched to “”

            leave it alone if you don’t know what that means! probably a cryptowall family dropper, the people who are really good at crypto often use them ‘for fun’

            reason for posting this, is that this attempt at playground bullying for the agencies is quite rare, so something that has been written on Craig’s excellent blog in the previous 24 hours was either so stupid, that a team of specialists bothered to load my name, home IPv4 selector, into their traffic cannon for Monday 22nd October 2018, and I received a shot across the bows.

            Or, something that has been written on Craig’s excellent blog in the previous 24 hours was either so pertinent, that a team of specialists bothered to load my name, home IPv4 selector, into their traffic cannon for Monday 22nd October 2018, and I received a shot across the bows.

            What is worth hundreds of Dollars/Shekels of obfuscated attack server time and fairly intelligent technical staff to forge the mail headers, burning a shortened URL code, and basically attract the attention of an internet equivalent of a drone strike in anything posted here? Makes one think.

    • Sharp Ears

      Blair’s spin doctor and the creator of the dodgy dossier, Alastair Campbell, has been very active in the media on the Remain side and on the call for a second vote. Andrew Neil got the better of him here.

      He’s on the board of this company created in July – PV Media Hub Ltd. Fellow directors Patience Wheatcroft and Edward Mcmillan-Scott plus Anna Andersson.,_Baroness_Wheatcroft
      Anna Andersson ?

      What’s that all about?

      • Sharp Ears

        Among Wheatcroft’s many financial interests is a non-executive directorship of St James’ Place. That is the private wealth management outfit of Rothschilds.

        She also has an involvement with DLA Piper, as a consultant and as a client. DLA Piper is the international firm of solicitors for whom Clegg’s wife worked.

        ‘Having previously worked as an advisor on trade law, economic relations and the Middle East to both the European Union and the British Government, González Durántez is a partner at Dechert, where she is co-chair of the firm’s International Trade and Government Regulation practice. Prior to that, she worked at DLA Piper for six years.’ález_Durántez

        Wheels within wheels again. As well as what you know, it’s important who you know.

        • Charles Bostock

          Question : if one don’t like someone (eg, Nick Clegg) and feels obliged to tell the wider world, is one obliged/justified in taking a poke at his wife/her husband/their kids as well?

          • Charles Bostock


            If one doesn’t like her views (on Brexit in this case) then one should attack her views not her person.

            And not should one attack her as a person because one doesn’t like her husband.

        • Sharp Ears

          ‘one don’t like.’..… Surely ‘one doesn’t like.’..

          Being deliberately obtuse again @ 13.08 and 13.15. A double channelling! Pointless like the BBC game programme.

          Campbell has as much Iraqi blood on his hands as BLiar.

      • Charles Bostock

        “Blair’s spin doctor and the creator of the dodgy dossier, Alastair Campbell, has been very active in the media on the Remain side and on the call for a second vote. Andrew Neil got the better of him here.”

        This is the sort of remark which amply shows the perils of defining someone – and therefore their views – on the basis of one “event” (for want of a better word).

        In the writer’s mind, Campbell is defined as one of the baddies because he was a close associate of Blair’s. Still in the writer’s mind, that means that anything he advocates, or believes in, is also bad.

        Surely one can be an Brexiteer without resorting to silly “arguments” like the above?

        • Rhys Jaggar

          Campbell was one of the worst bullies in Westminster, which is saying a huge amount.

          You have to accept the guy had no morals at work, he was never the ‘should we do this or not?’ guy, he was the ‘how do we get this sorted?’ guy.

          It makes him having morals now in public a bit pukey, that is all.

          • Charles Bostock

            What has being the biggest bully in Westminster got to do with his views on Brexit? You’re falling into the mistake Sharp Ears is always making. It’s disappointing.

          • J

            Quite why anyone should care whether you’re disappointed or not, you don’t say. Is it because of your dazzling argument? Your moral and intellectual authority? The intrinsic worth of Mr Campbell’s opinion as a documented war criminal, workplace bully or political and intellectual liar?

            Hypocrisy does indeed make for strange bedfellows.

    • Dave

      Yes despite staging the Jo Cox event, of White Helmets and in the mire husband fame, the politics on this occasion requiring a ‘far-right’ rather ‘Islamist’ patsy attacker, to stigmatize the Leave vote, the perps never allowed for the mass turn out of formerly non-voters from Up North. Probably why they have made a precautionary ban on ‘far-right’ non-entity “national action”, ready to fill the headlines during a second, third if you count the General Election, EU referendum.

      • N_

        Don’t forget the 1975 Brexit referendum. (Younger readers may not know that Britain joined the EEC first, under Edward Heath, and then held a referendum two and a half years later on whether to stay in or leave, under Harold Wilson.)

        • Charles Bostock


          Don’t worry, the overwhelming part of this blog’s readership and kommentariat is elderly.

        • Dave Lawton

          October 21, 2018 at 14:43

          “Don’t forget the 1975 Brexit referendum. ”
          Yes and that was propagandised and manipulated by Norman Reddaway of the IRD the Information Research Department to stay in the EEC.

    • Dungroanin

      1. The tory PM is not going to cancel brexit no matter how many march, just as ‘call me Tony’ didn’t cancel our participation in iraq when substantially more people took to the streets in much more impromptu circumstances.

      2. Blair and Campbell and co are shameless hypocrites and charlatans to expect the government to listen. They and their chums in the tories are the eatablishment thugs who made up WMD lies and dodgy dossiers.

      3. In no way is a demand for a second referendum going to make the PM propose one. She has her Brexit is brexshit, leave means leave cross that she has nailed her self on.

      4. The only way the brexit process can be altered is by a CHANGE of government that promises that.

      5. The only way to get that new government is for at least a dozen tory mp’s to vote against their own party and force a election.

      6.There was only one reason for the march yesterday, the establishment panic to try and coalesce a ‘centrist’ lie of a party to replace the now defunct tory and NuLabInc parties.
      They would use any issue or ‘WMD’ type lie to stop Labour undoung their decades of neocon/lib rip-off.

      I can envisage that the next election will be between Labour versus a Soubry/Umanna/Clegg NuSDP party fully endorsed by the Blair/Major/FarceButt (Clegg!).

      I am a remainer, i didn’t go on the march, mrs D did, her eyewitness report – ‘Turnout was big. Not as big as anti iraq one, but big… sooo middle class. Lots of families with picnics and dogs – lots of middle class dogs who like to go to france and eat saucissons ‘

      Nothing really wrong with that – but hardly representative of the populace as a whole asthe organisers and MSM would make out.

      • Radar O’Reilly

        Yep Bb,
        Sadly this excellent journalist checked-out this month, he wasn’t (yet) honoured in BBC R4 ‘brief-lives’ for some reason. (mild paywall – a few reads possible)

        David Wise became suspicious of the machinations of the professional lying agencies in 1964!

        In one of his first books, the best-selling ‘‘The Invisible Government,’’ written with journalist Thomas Ross in 1964, Mr. Wise wrote about the excesses of intelligence agencies, including the CIA, and its role in orchestrated coups in Iran and Guatemala in the 1950s…
        ‘‘We felt very strongly that there were two governments in the United States: one in the civics texts and the other in the real world,’’ Mr. Wise told The New York Times in 1988. ‘‘We thought the intelligence agencies were important to our security. But we were troubled about a system based on the consent of the governed when the governed didn’t know to what they have consented.’’

        Before ‘‘The Invisible Government’’ was published, the CIA surreptitiously acquired a copy of the galleys and summoned the authors to a meeting with the agency’s director, John McCone. Ross and Mr. Wise were told their book was a breach of national security. They were handed a list of 10 items stamped ‘‘Top Secret’’ and were told the information was not allowed outside CIA headquarters.

        The authors said all the information in the book came from unclassified sources, and that they intended to publish their book without any changes.

        Those were the days, but the CIA fought back

        Mr. Wise told The Washington Post in 1981. ‘‘One phrase stated that the agency ‘should contact such assets as it has in the press to try to secure unfavorable book reviews, and so discredit author.’ They also ran a legal study to see if they could lawfully buy up the entire first printing.’’

        Assets in the press?, they’ve now bought the lot of ‘em! The Ulfkotte book remains ‘disappeared’ in English version, so those attempts still happen.

        During the 1970s, Mr. Wise warned of the erosion of personal liberties and public accountability in his books ‘‘The Politics of Lying: Government Deception, Secrecy, and Power’’ and ‘‘The American Police State: The Government Against the People.’’

        A few books to (try to) find, to make sense of our confused state of government, valid more so today.

        • Blunderbuss

          Thank you Radar. The coup against Mohammad Mosaddegh in Iran in 1953 is etched in my memory. I see it as the start of the post-war interference in the Middle East, although it had probably been going on earlier than that.

          • John A

            “Thank you Radar. The coup against Mohammad Mosaddegh in Iran in 1953 is etched in my memory. I see it as the start of the post-war interference in the Middle East, although it had probably been going on earlier than that.”

            Post-war interference in teh Middle East! Post first world war if not even earlier. Lawrence promised Arabs independence if they revolted against the Ottoman empire. The British reneged on that. The Balfour Letter of 1917, Sykes-Pikot and all the boundaries were artifically created by Britain and France. The creation of you know where on stolen and etnically cleansed land in 1947. All predate Iran in 1953.

    • N_

      John Sawers’s gig was staged by Edelman as I understand it. Who was the client?

      I don’t know where you get your conclusion that the UK will “recover” from. How big a drop in output would you envisage, and how long for output to reach the pre-decline level?

  • Piatnitsky

    Sturgeon’s refusal to normalize the Trump fascist and racist Bannon is spot on. Herr Hitler rose to power in large part because the Establishment conservatives legitimized him.

    • Dave

      Except by normalizing the demonization of Russia, the SNP are out trumping Trump, against his better instincts, in the crazy stakes.

      • Rhys Jaggar

        Depends if the alternative was crapping on the carpet in a public building, I guess….

    • Dave

      She’s choosing the EU over the US, (and England) which is a bit odd for a nationalist, probably why she doesn’t use the term, because the ‘Scots-Irish’ diaspora is bigger in US (and England) than EU.

      • JOML

        Or she chose not to share a platform with a facist? Your comment suggests she should have taken the populist option – your option (and England’s?) – rather than what she felt was the right thing to do.

        • Republicofscotland

          Correct JOML, she, from what I see refuses to share a platform with a man who’s travelled around Europe recently whipping up right wing fascist ideology.

          It’s disgraceful that the BBC should even contemplate giving this man a platform to espouse his vile doctrine.

          Indeed his one-time news outlet Breitbart, went as far to accuse the now Scottish Justice secretary Humza Yousef of being a Islamic radical.

          It say more about the BBC than anything else.

          • Clydebuilt

            RoS. Surely a BBC trap, can see Reporting Scotland headlining, Sturgeon and Bannon, buddies, they will twist anything, getting more desperate with every passing day!

      • nevermind

        Nothing odd about it, she is choosing to belong to the history of the last 5000 years, not the whims of some rag tag conquerers who took over the mass extinction, and still is, of the indigenous American population.

      • N_

        If Scotland were to go independent and join the EU, because that’s oh so important if Britain leaves, then what goals would she seek to achieve regarding Scotland’s only land border, which would then become an external EU border?

        There might be some nice contracts for tent cities on the north side of the Tweed.

        • N_

          Of course that kind of question will be met with vitriol. “You don’t believe in The Project!” “You’re trying to talk Scotland down!” “Neil Armstrong had Scottish roots!”

    • Alyson

      Bannon is nobody. Nicola would have legitimised his status as co engineer of the next civil wat, along with Farage, if she had joined the debate, and been forced to decide between 2 irrelevant questions – calamity Brexit or referendum re run. Calling for a second referendum is just that – divide and rule. Disaster politics

      • Xavi

        Who is going to deliver this second referendum? A PM in thrall to fundamentalists? An opposition party, two thirds of whose parliamentary constituencies voted Leave? It’s just magical thinking.

        • N_

          People mean a third Brexit referendum after the ones in 1975 and 2016. Sure it could happen. A big figure or two could flip – or for that matter, a big Leaver such as Nigel Farage could back another referendum without flipping. Nobody has talked about a Dave’s Deal 2 yet, and I realise there are limits to how far it could go, but it’s possible that something of that kind could get presented to the market, perhaps even with Tony Blair in the room. Agreed that a third referendum won’t get called by Theresa May, but she’s toast. It won’t surprise me if she learns at Wednesday’s meeting of the 1922 Committee that Tory MPs will be holding a vote of confidence in her leadership. Predictions that if there is such a vote she’ll win it (some idiotic commentators have even said she wants one, so she can be safe for a year) are completely off the wall.

          Now I’m wondering whether Bannon will be backing Johnson or Rees-Mogg.

          And if May does fall this week, the reason for the timing is more likely to be do with Monday’s budget than Brexit negotiations. How will the City react? Hopes of getting some short term Saudi money in the British begging bowl may be unrealistic. That’s possible, but not if leading Saudi figures get Magnitzkied it isn’t.

      • Stonky

        “Bannon is nobody…”
        Actually, he has quite a high profile. Pretty much everybody who is interested in politics in the Western world will know who he is. You don’t even need to use his full name and people know who you mean.

        “…and been forced to decide between 2 irrelevant questions.”
        Since it’s a choice of one of the other, I don’t see how they could possibly be irrelevant.

        “…legitimised his status as co engineer of the next civil war, along with Farage…”
        Look. I’m as much in favour as the next man of denouncing anybody who doesn’t agree with me about everything as a rascist facist Nazi’s. But I can’t help noticing that this century, considerably more than a million inhabitants of North Africa and the Middle East have died as a result of the meddling and warmongering of Western powers. And how many “far-right” or “alt-right” parties has been in power in any of the governments doing the meddling and warmongering?

        Not a single one. It’s all been “centrists” and “progressives”.

        • Jack

          Indeed, Bannon is well known and is just gaining exposure by these ridiculous refusals to attend the same “scene”. Who is the fascist really in that argument?

        • glenn_nl

          S: “Not a single one. It’s all been “centrists” and “progressives”.

          Utter rubbish. You seriously think the likes of Dubbya Bush, Dick Cheney, Rumsfeld – not to mention his neo-con chum Blair – are “centrists” and “progressives”?

          • Stonky

            “Utter rubbish. You seriously think the likes of Dubbya Bush, Dick Cheney, Rumsfeld – not to mention his neo-con chum Blair – are “centrists” and “progressives”?”

            Don’t yell at me glenn_nl. I’m only the messenger. Of course they’re not “centrists” and “progressives”. That’s why I put the words in scare quotes. They’re scumbuckets and filth.

            But the thing is, I don’t get to define the narrative,and neither do you. And the thing that gets up my nose a bit is that the very same “progressive” media outlets that keep telling me that Farage and Robinson and Bannon and Trump are all rasicst and facists and Nazi’s, are the ones who can’t get enough of Tony Blair the elder statesman, whose every word we should hang on as if he was God almighty. What else? Oh yes, – we should be be doing everything we can to destroy Russia and its economy because it was only thanks to the archdemon Putin that Saint Hillary of Vagina didn’t become POTUS… Does Dubya want to win himself a few progressive brownie points? What should he do – bring back to life all of the million-plus Iraqis he helped to kill? Nope. Mouthing a few sentiments against the facist rascist Donald Trump will do the job…

          • Blunderbuss


            “Tony Blair the elder statesman, whose every word we should hang on as if he was God almighty”.

            Are you telling me that Tony Blair is not God? Actually, I thought Marianne Faithfull was rather good as God in Absolutely Fabulous. I liked Marcella Detroit as an angel too.

      • N_

        Bannon is nobody. Nicola would have legitimised his status

        Are you taking the piss? Bannon is a much more influential and well known figure than she is. Was Sturgeon scheduled to speak in a side room at 4.50pm, or maybe right after a coffee break that most attenders would linger at? Whereas she wanted to come in like Mike Tyson entering a stadium, or with marksmen on all the nearby roofs? Silly cow.

      • nevermind

        Bannon is a shit stirrer, even the AfD has shown him the door when he tried to teach ckickens how to scratch for worms.
        His double act with Farrage going round Europe trying to stir up anti immigration feelings in Polish Swedish and German establishment types and rightwing radicals is lost on the majority.
        Farrage’s haste to become a German citizen so he can carry on unhindered with his indoctrination is the most laughable pityful action. He has denounced his British birth place for something more convenient, just like getting a new sofa.
        Good news on the food front, soon brown shrimps, currently 80% of the catch is being sold on the continent, will be all under our control again.
        I can recommend brown shrimp coddled egg.

        • N_

          Nigel Farage has not tried to become a German citizen. Two of his children have dual British and German citizenship because their dad is British and their mum in German.

          He has, though, grown a moustache. He says it’s to support the Movember campaign to promote awareness of male cancer, an illness from which he himself once suffered.

  • N_

    With what she has said about Stephen Bannon, Nicola Sturgeon is a lady who “doth protest too much”.

    They asked her and some other person to a conference, and she won’t participate because the other person is going. Fine. Happens all the time.

    Then she writes “I regret that the BBC has put me and others in this position”. You what? Conference organisers invite who they want. Has Sturgeon got messiah syndrome or something? In any case, “Europe of 100 flags” is an idea right up Bannon’s street. Nationalism without any truck with fascism? You’re on weak ground there, girl.

    • N_

      I think Nicola “Who?” does have messiah syndrome. One funny moment was when David Cameron called the EU membership referendum and she offered to give him advice on how to win it. I’m not joking. She seriously did. Perhaps she thinks Remain would have won if they’d said “dunno” to “what currency will Britain use if it stays in the EU”?

      • Hatuey

        He should have taken her advice. Scottish independence support rose from 27% to 45% with Sturgeon and Salmond st the helm.

      • Vivian O'Blivion

        PM Cameron entrusted strategy to Gideon Osborne while he wasn’t being Chancellor of the Exchequer or heading up the Northern Powerhouse. Osborne sat back and allowed Leave to couch the terms of the debate.
        Scotland voted to Remain, 62:38. Every council area Remain, even the North East with their fishing ports.
        The North East & North West regions of England with a comparable population and demographic to Scotland voted 56:44 to Leave.
        The debate in Scotland was heavily influenced by input from the Scottish Government, so yeh (heavy sarcasm), David Cameron shouldn’t have listened to Sturgeon.

    • nevermind

      John Ure, ask yourself where you can read as informed and well argued issues as here.
      Also be aware that Craig does have many other interests and chaws, you are not buying a type writer on steroids, you appreciate something that is hard to find anywhere else, bar a few others.

      If you do not value alternative views by thdese few original thinkers left, rather prefer a msm delivered in staccato rapid, then I can’t help you understand.

      Craig is one of few that needs supporting well.

  • Sharp Ears

    Craig tweeted last night:

    ‘Craig Murray
    15 hours ago
    It is worth remembering that, two years ago this week, 100 Blairite MPs did not vote for an official Labour motion in the Commons calling for an end to arms sales to Saudi Arabia over the dreadful bombing of Yemen.
    Every one of them should be deselected.’

    • Sharp Ears

      The list of the BLIarites is on the Twitter thread

      Some LFoI members in the roll call, eg. Hodge, Ryan, Smeeth, Berger and Kendall. Shame on those horrible women and the rest. Perhaps they have not heard of the saying -‘No child shall be harmed’.

      You don’t see Jeremy Corbyn, Emily Thornberry or John McDonnell in the list.

      The debate is here:

      • Charles Bostock

        ” Perhaps they have not heard of the saying -‘No child shall be harmed’. ”

        I wonder if you’d agree that that applies to Israeli children as well?

          • Charles Bostock

            From the point of view of someone who bleats at regular intervals “no child shall be harmed”, the answer to your question would – should – be “yes” .

            The point is that children are harmed in various ways – in wars, conflicts and in normal civilian life – every day throughout the world. Unfortunately.

            But it is curious that those who use that expression only ever come out with it when a Palestinian child is harmed.

            That makes me wonder if they are really concerned about children or whether the expression is just trotted out as part of pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel hasbara.

          • Charles Bostock

            Also for information: multiply that figure by ten, even a hundred, for the number of children killed by conflicts in the Democratic Republic of Congo or by starvation in Sudan – without comment on here.

          • Borncynical

            “…without comment on here”. Surely a more pertinent question is why it goes without comment from your heroes in the Western imperialist Governments. I think we all know the answer to that.

    • Stonky

      “It is worth remembering that, two years ago this week, 100 Blairite MPs did not vote for an official Labour motion in the Commons calling for an end to arms sales to Saudi Arabia over the dreadful bombing of Yemen.”

      Don’t worry. Every single one of them will be on their feet in the House of Commons tomorrow, caterwauling and railing and demanding revenge on the House of Saud for the outrageous murder of Kashmal Jashoggi or whatever his name was…

      • Sharp Ears

        No. There won’t be any time for that. The Tories are sharpening their knives. according to the awful headlines today –

        PM Enters Killing Zone S Times
        PM Faces Show Trial by MPs – And one senior plotter shockingly tells her to bring her own noose – Heil on Sunday

        Nice lot aren’t they – the Tories and the gutter presstitutes.

        ‘Several papers warn that Theresa May faces a fight to keep her job over the coming week.
        Rebel Tory MPs are demanding a “high-stakes show trial”, at Wednesday’s meeting of the Conservative Party’s 1922 committee, according to the Mail on Sunday.
        They are reported to have threatened a possible vote of no confidence if she does not put on a “powerful” performance.
        “PM enters the Killing zone” is the headline in the Sunday Times, which reports that an unnamed rival to Mrs May has said “assassination is in the air”.

        • N_

          The week ahead may be exciting.
          Wed 17th: 1922 Committee meeting.
          Mon 22nd: the government is scheduled to publish the Budget!

          If Theresa May falls, it’s very unlikely that the choice of replacement will go to the Tory membership. That so many commentators say it will is a classic example of herding. There may even be only one candidate. In any case, if there is more than one candidate then there will be at least one round of voting among MPs but the number will get down to one without going to the members, just as it did in 2016.

          How long will Stephen Bannon stay in Britain by the way? If the US embassy and private US interests back Boris Johnson, things could get interesting. When he was Foreign Secretary, MI6 reportedly kept papers away from him that they would have given to other people in that job.

          Rees-Mogg can’t go on playing his current role for much longer. He’s going to have put up his dukes. David Davis has hinted he won’t accept a position as “caretaker” prime minister.

          So who will Rees-Mogg back if it’s not himself?

  • Hatuey

    The middle classes are on the march, I see.

    But don’t be fooled. It isn’t the EU they are marching for. It isn’t out of concern for Ireland, the rights of immigrants, or anything like that, that they march. The middle classes, as ever, are only interested in one thing — aubergines.

    If there’s one class of people who have had it good over the last few decades, it’s the middle classes. Blairism and Labour’s lurch to the right, when you think about it, was really a realignment of British politics to suit the selfish middle classes. Actually, more than that, Blairism represented an abandonment of British politics and an abandonment of ordinary people. It was all sacrificed at the altar of middle class greed.

    Once upon a time, little working class people devoted themselves to making things. They had a stake in society, a role, and some politicians even took account of their interests. We don’t need to imagine what happens to society when you remove its manufacturing base, send industry to China, and so many millions of lives are thrown into the landfill of history.

    Certainly the middle classes don’t need to guess; these are the academics, the statisticians, the accountants, the social workers, the teachers, and the lawyers of society. They had a front row seat. And they have sat glowing with selfish excitement right through the social experiment of the last 40 years.

    The crime, the drug addiction, the child poverty, the unemployment, the austerity, the food banks, benefits sanctions, you name it, the middle classses were right there with you, making sure not a damned thing was done to help.

    Actually, let’s be truthful and accurate, there was a conditional involved and it’s important. It went something like this; if alleviating the pain and suffering of ordinary people costs the middle classes one penny in tax, then it was for the chop.

    See, the middle classes don’t care about you or your kids growing up in an economic vacuum. The increasing misery of ordinary people, if anything, has boosted their economy. Look at the who they voted for over the last 40 years, if you don’t believe me. They didn’t care about Iraq or Libya or any of that sort of thing. You didn’t hear a peep out of them. And the don’t care about the EU either.

    All they care about is aubergines. If Brexit deprives these selfish bastards of aubergines, I half think that I should be all for it.

    • nevermind

      Latest poll shows that people want
      Better public services
      better wages
      Fair employmen
      regulated immigration.

      There is much more but the ruse that immigration matters most is a lie.

    • Ian

      Hatey, what unmitigated tripe. I suppose you fondly imagine you are a real working class hero. lol

      • SA

        Hatuey has indicated elsewhere that he is pro capitalism, but I am not sure whether it is the red toothed klepto-capitalism or a milder version. Elsewhere Hatuey has praised Trump.. Hatuey sometimes writes very well but sometimes doesn’t make sense. I think somewhere he indicated once that he wishes to provoke.

        • Hatuey

          SA, if it’s okay with you, I shall go through your list of accusations one at a time. I apologise in advance for not fitting so nicely into any of your childish boxes.

          On capitalism and the free market, yes, I don’t see a better alternative. It’s funny, when we discuss communism and use the Soviet Union as an example, leftists are always keen to tell you that the Soviet Union wasn’t truly a communist system. I agree with that, it wasn’t.

          Apply that sort of understanding to capitalism though and they refuse to listen. The system we live under now is not a capitalist free market system and doesn’t come close. I don’t know what it is. It’s chief characteristics are corruption and violence, I’d say. It has a few silver linings but not nearly enough.

          Similarly, with Trump I didn’t see a better alternative. I predicted and made £400 from my prediction that Hillary was unelectable. I was right then and I’m right now. That doesn’t mean I think Trump is great but he has done one or two things that I’d say were good towards promoting peace and stability.

          As for not making sense, I have no defence. Making sense is for the philosopher as ornithology is for the birds.. and of course I wish to provoke. It’s my job to provoke. These things that we type here might float around in cyberspace for thousands of years. It’s important to me that future generations know that we weren’t all unthinking halfwits.

          • SA

            Thanks Hatuey
            I apologise in that I also just meant to provoke a response. You confirm that you do not approve of the red toothed kleptocracy that is the current form of capitalism. You also confirm that any ‘system’ whether capitalist or communist is liable to manipulation and with clear examples on both sides. But currently should we therefore conclude that communism is on the up, because communist China is such a powerful economy?
            The problem really is that labels are meaningless in this context because all that happens in the end is that the process of campaigning for getting into power in itself corrupts and so does the actual getting into power.
            Apart from the economic arguments of the two systems there is also the question of the electoral system and of democracy. You also illustrate this very nicely by showing how a supposedly advanced democracy has led to a choice that places someone like Trump in that position as a better of two evils, war postponed.
            So we have manipulated systems on both sides and they were until recently getting on very well until Trump decided to wage an economic world war, which may well be a precedent of a hot world war.

      • Hatuey

        Ian, address the argument, not the man.

        The middle classes have been shooting everything that might result in higher taxes down in flames for decades. Collectively they’ve done nothing for anyone except themselves. But selfish greed got the better of them and now Brexit is coming.


        • Ian

          A diatribe with zero evidence is not an ‘argument’ which can or ought to be ‘addressed’. it is just the usual vacuous sh*t stirring, designed to make the stirrer sound as if they occupy some sort of fictional higher ground.

          • Hatuey

            Every general election since 1979 is evidence. Every food bank is evidence. Every homeless drug addict is evidence.

            In the 1970s, almost 30% of the economy revolved around manufacturing. Today’s it’s close to 10%. What social class do you think was most impacted by that shift?

            What do you think Blair represented? Blair and New Labour understood that they could only ever win an election if the promised never to raise income tax. That’s exactly what they did. Who do you think they made that promise to?

            They didn’t need to make any promises in the Labour heartlands. The strategy there was to make plausibly deniable allusions to things that could only get better. In other words, they pledged nothing and delivered less than nothing — PFI funded schools and hospitals that cost 10 times more than they would have (if paid for through tax) is less than nothing.

            The best evidence of all is though is Brexit itself. People with little to lose, encouraged by elements in “the city” and the establishment, took to political vandalism. Be glad that their marginalisation-fuelled anger didn’t find expression elsewhere.

          • Jo1

            I suggest you set some time aside and go and look at taxation levels and the group which has gained most financially from changes made. Hatuey’s argument is sound in that respect and if you do a bit of research on changes to taxation you’ll have your evidence too. Start from 1979.

    • Tony

      Almost entirely spot-on. Except for the fact that the middle classes are strongly pro-EU because the EU has facilitated said middle classes’ rise from being a bit more wealthy than the working classes to being hugely more wealthy than the working classes, due to it’s economic policy of free movement of labour. This has stagnated the working classes of the UK, and even scraped a few middle class professions. But it has mostly enabled middle and upper professions to make vast salaries and bonuses off the back of cheap working class labour.

      • Hatuey

        The problem with that theory, Tony, is that it is at odds with the facts as well as the theory.

        I’m not sure how much you have read on this sort of thing but if you look at what say Charles Kindleberger says then a supply of cheap labour will pretty much always result in economic boom. In his books he goes into detail on this. Thus, no economic boom in history in any country has ever occurred without an abundance of cheap, manual labour.

        That, of course, doesn’t mean an abundance of cheap labour will always result in economic boom but it does suggest it’s a prerequisite.

        And where does that leave out English patient? The problem, as I see it, is that Britain had/has the plentiful supply of labour but didn’t have an economy that could harness it. The reasons why that’s the case take you back to what I have argued — essentially, the middle classes vetoed economic development that would have resulted in higher taxes and probably inflation (things that only worry and impact on people who have money).

        • SA

          I have not read Kindleberger but would be interested to know whether the economic boom produced by cheap labour is a sustained one. The capitalist system is characterised by boom and bust and also by increasing centralisation of capital. Cheap labour can only be a short term answer because for a capitalist consumer economy you need sufficient consumers with purchasing power to keep the system going. The middle class fulfills that role but not entirely.
          With the advent of mechanisation and now robotics, the working class itself will cease to be relevant in doing the jobs previously important in manufacturing industries.
          A system of recycling and redistribution of money to keep society going would have to be implemented and it is obvious that it will never be implemented by a billionaire led system of governance.

          • Hatuey

            I was in a supermarket recently and my friend commented on the fact that despite being so busy there were only three checkout operators working. Technology has put many of them out of jobs, it would seem, with self-checkouts replacing them. This is probably a good example of what you’re talking about.

            We should be glad. Some of those ex-checkout operators will now be doing more meaningful things with their time. Some will be earning more money. And undoubtedly some will be struggling.

            Rather than concern ourselves with the latter, we should celebrate them. Technology has reduced the need for human beings to do a repetitive menial task. Technology is shouting out a warning to the low-skilled — “get educated, get skilled, or I’m taking your job”.

            I believe that skills and education enrich the individual and society. In an ideal system, the repetitive menial jobs would be the hardest to fill and the highest paying.

            This is exactly what technology is supposed to do. As we evolve and progress, the tedious jobs are replaced with machines. The very first wheel no doubt had the same implications for staffing levels.

            Marx predicted that this process would lead to revolution as more and more people became surplus to requirements, poor, and angry. He couldn’t have been more wrong. It has resulted across the world in happier, healthier, and more prosperous workforces. Not everywhere, of course, there are still many millions of people who are suffering in menial, repetitive jobs.

            Note the correlation between menial repetitive tasks and low pay.

            I remember the very first supermarket in Glasgow. It was called a hyper-market. Shoppers flocked to it because it saved time, was cheaper, and had just about everything you needed under one roof.

            Traditional shops were wiped out as a consequence of supermarkets but you’ll struggle to find anyone today who worries about the societal role of Mrs Jones who worked in the local butchers shop in 1977. That’s progress and there’s no going back.

        • certa certi

          ‘no economic boom in history in any country has ever occurred without an abundance of cheap, manual labour.’

          Not so. Where I come from in Oz [north] our most recent national boom was driven entirely by the Pilbara’s iron Ore and the China market. No cheap labour in the mining industry here.

          • certa certi

            cont. Citizen capitalism works. Anyone here can participate in the mining industry, either as a plant operator or fifo diesel mechanic, then invest in exploration, stocks or property. Thousands of Brits have come here and done just that.

            btw a few of our miners are heavily involved with plans to frack your place. Invest or miss out.

          • Hatuey

            I’ll look into it. I think we are probably going to need to define “boom”. No offence, but a few people making money isn’t what I’d call a boom.

            Kindleberger was more concerned with things on the scale of say ‘the German miracle’ of the 1950s.

          • certa certi

            ‘a few people making money isn’t what I’d call a boom’

            How ’bout hundreds of thousands? I got in late because I was with Gov while kids I grew up with were making squillions. And with no education beyond school. My business partner, a Kiwi, grew up on a farm. So poor his dad used to steam stamps from envelopes and reuse them. He started moving earth with Bechtel then leasing tenements and prospecting. Now he gets royalties from 5 mines. He started when just leasing ground next to more prospective ground earned you a place at the big table. The Pilbara has driven the boom and at no stage was there cheap labour. Neither the Japanese nor Chinese steel industries could grow without us. Post WW2 the Japanese tried to bring their own cheap labour out but the Unions opposed it. There’s a whole region north of Perth in WA where the new suburbs are all Brit. Came here to work flyin flyout, invested in property and instant capitalist. Even geos start their own floats. Anyone can do it. All this Brit Class rubbish I read here is so 19th century. Work save invest, it’s never too late.


        • Tony

          Nope. It fits entirely with the facts. Since the introduction of EU freedom of movement, working and lower middle class standards of living have stagnated, whereas the wealth of the middle and upper classes has gone up exponentially.

    • Kerch'eee Kerch'ee Coup

      @ Hatuey
      “Burjuvasi bayeldi” may be the next dish at that chic Stoke Newington Turkish restaurant, but the bougeoisie, unlike the imam of”Imam bayeldi”,will be fainting at the cost of the aubergines not of the oil to cook them(canola oil is the more delicate name for the oil to be used).

  • remember kronstadt

    It’s rumoured that a cunning plan to replace EuroMillions with a GeeBillions lottery is being shaped by Nigel Farage. It will be a nationalised enterprise with a £5 ticket price and guarantees a minimum £2 win for everyone. The slogan will be ‘for the many not the one!’

  • Republicofscotland

    Labour ran Glasgow City Council spent nearly £2 million pounds of taxpayers money to stop women receiving equal pay. They did so through the courts for a staggering ten years.

    The SNP took over the council last year and are left with a whopping £500 million pounds equal pay bill to sort out somehow.

    Richard Leonard leader of the Scottish Labour branch office, wasn’t available for a comment.

  • Sharp Ears

    How did the ruling party in Israel, Likud, become a regional member of the European Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in the EU Parliament? Is Israel is Europe geographically speaking?

    Israel’s Likud joins Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists
    September 23 2016,
    Israel’s Likud Party, headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, was this week welcomed as a regional member of the third largest political bloc in the European Parliament – the Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists (AECR).
    Likud’s membership was approved at the AECR’s conference in Prague. Following the signing ceremony, Likud’s Foreign Affairs Director Eli Hazan said: “The agreement is historic, because it is the first time that an Israeli Centre-Right party has been accepted as a regional partner of a European party”.
    He added: “It’s even more significant because the signing happened when Israel is fighting for its international image. There’s no doubt that this is further damage to the boycott Israel movement”.
    The AECR is a conservative and eurosceptic European political bloc with member parties from all European Union member states, including the Conservative Party.
    The bond will enable Likud to participate in AECR party meetings and actively influence decisions connected to Israel. Hazan invited all 76 AECR parliament members for a formal visit to Israel hosted by Likud.
    The AECR’s president is Czech member of the European Parliament Jan Zahradil, and its secretary-general is Conservative Party MEP Daniel Hannan.’

    I had been looking Hannan up. He has advocated American healthcare companies coming into the NHS.
    The Times: Let American firms run hospitals, urges free trade group: (paywall)
    The Guardian: Rightwing thinktanks unveil radical plan for US-UK Brexit trade deal:

    The British people haven’t a clue what is going on.

  • N_

    Which Tory MP said this about Theresa May? “There is a growing consensus that she’s utterly hopeless. I’m not going to put a letter in but when I find myself in a private polling booth I just cannot see how I would vote for her. The moment is coming when the knife gets heated, stuck in her front and twisted. She’ll be dead soon.

    Rumour says that it was Andrew Bridgen, but Bridgen says he has submitted a no confidence letter and he has never been a government minister.

  • CameronB Brodie

    Charles Bostock
    If you are unaware of the social blight resulting from workplace bullying, then you’re clearly not as intelligent as you appear to wish other to believe. Sure you’re not just a right-wing troll?

    Asymmetric intergroup bullying: The enactment and maintenance of societal inequality at work


    What does inequality mean for dysfunctional organizational behaviours, such as workplace bullying? This article argues that workplace bullying can be understood as a manifestation of intergroup dynamics originating beyond the organization. We introduce the construct of asymmetric intergroup bullying: the disproportionate mistreatment of members of low status groups, with the intended effect of enhancing the subordination of that group in society at large. Analysis of data from 38 interviews with public and private sector workers in Turkey depicts a pattern of asymmetric intergroup bullying, undertaken to achieve organizational and broader sociopolitical goals. Respondents reported bullying acts used to get rid of unwanted personnel, with the goal of avoiding severance pay, or of removing supporters of the former government from positions of political and economic influence. Bullying was also described as working towards the dominance of the sociocultural worldview of one political group over another. We discuss asymmetric intergroup bullying as one mechanism through which acute intergroup hierarchy in the broader society corrupts management practice and employee interactions, in turn exacerbating economic inequality along group lines.

    Keywords: bullying, inequality, intergroup relations, management, qualitative, social dominance theory, Turkey, workplace

    • Charles Bostock

      This is how Caitlin Johnston describes the end of Khashoggi in the above link :

      “. We are being told that Khashoggi had an unpleasant encounter with the business end of a bone saw,”

      and, in the same piece, this :

      “there’s no way the empire would turn against such a vastly useful geopolitical asset just for making some shady journalist into a jigsaw puzzle.”

      Not funny at all.Sick.

      • N_

        Agreed it’s sick. She’s probably never witnessed any real trouble in her life, to be able to come out with such an idiotic metaphor.

  • Charles Bostock

    In the matter of capital punishment in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia chops off people’s heads – in public.

    Iran, on the other hand, hangs them from cranes – in public.

    Syria is just a little better – executions are carried out away from the public eye (gas attacks against large groups excepted).

    Of course Israel ( with the sole exception of Adolf Eichmann ) does not have capital punishment – so the question of private or public doesn’t arise.

    • Republicofscotland

      And in Israel, they shoot dead injured people in the head. Or snipers shoot young people protesting, or they set Dutch bought dogs specially trained on children. Or they run over folk with heavy duty bulldozers. I could add more but I won’t.

      Teapot and kettle springs to mind Charles.

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Republicofscotland October 21, 2018 at 21:45
        Thanks for your straight-forward explanation of what the Israeli rogue regime is up to.
        Don’t expect a**holes to accept it , though!
        I am fully aware that certain ‘critters’ post the most ridiculous BS on here, with the express purpose of bringing on an over-reaction, thus blackening this blog.
        But, to whom it may concern, you’se barking up a gum tree.
        We, on the whole, are smarter than the average brain-washed ‘bears’.

    • Andyoldlabour

      @Charles Bostock,

      “Of course Israel ( with the sole exception of Adolf Eichmann ) does not have capital punishment”

      No, they prefer to do it in a far less regulated way – snipers, helicopter gunships, F16’s, Navy ships firing onto beaches, white Phosphorous bombs, tanks etc.

      • Charles Bostock

        I am not talking about what happens in war or in a conflict. I’m talking about what happens under the criminal and civil law of a country.

        Hanging for homosexuality, anyone? That’s Iran.

        Beheading for adultery, anyone? That’s Saudi Arabia.

    • Dungroanin

      Hahaha Israel does not have capital punishment????
      Do you mean a legal system of arrest, trial, verdict, sentence..?

      But what about all these snipers shooting at civilians as confirmed by IDF general?
      The mossad death squads marauding the planet?
      (Never mind the Kennedy brothers?)

      Anyway goodluck with your Eurovision Song competition – it’s going to be hard sueing all the individuals of all these countries as BDS takes the next step.

      The thuggery, piracy, mercenary behaviour is not going to be tolerated any more.
      Many sane people are not buying into the god given homeland idea. They are voting with their citizenship choices and will not be bullied by the AS propaganda.

      The election will happen. The tories will implode just as ukip did. The MP friends of Israel will be deselected and lose their power. And the influence in the media and governance of European states will be curtailed. The Labour govt will lay criminal charges and follow through with the ethical policies – so better get the kill squads and the false flag ‘shiran shiran’s’ ready!

      Assassination is execution.

      • Charles Bostock

        “Hahaha Israel does not have capital punishment????
        Do you mean a legal system of arrest, trial, verdict, sentence..?”

        See my answer to Anyoldlabour at 11:24 above.

        • Dungroanin

          Extrajudicial murder by state operatives is execution.
          If it looks and quacks like a duck… you do.

  • Deb O'Nair

    Nobody has mentioned this little gem. Andrew Neil, Portillo and Caroline Flint MPs behaviour at the end of the show demonstrate what is wrong with the political media class in this country.

    Bobby Gillespie is invited on to discuss poverty, societal problems etc. and then has to endure a display of manifest lunacy. The expression of contempt on his face at what he is seeing says it all.

  • bj

    Why is there no Wikipedia article (yet) for Ted Postel.

    Are Philip Cross and philafrenzy on holiday(s)?

  • N_

    Theresa May will tell the Commons later today that a Brexit “deal” is “95% completed”. What kind of cack talk is that? I thought it was “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed”. Even if it were true, how’s the 5% going? Any reason to think it’s not going like crap? Or is Theresa May the new Henry Kissinger?

    Rumour says 46 letters are in.

    Sunday (yesterday): Cabinet “conference call”;
    Monday (today): prime minister’s statement to the Commons;
    Tuesday: cabinet meeting;
    Wednesday: 1922 Committee meeting;
    Thursday: inner “Brexit cabinet” meeting;
    Monday: the Budget!

    Reminder: Michael Gove, Sajid Javid, Liam Fox, David Gauke and David Davis all belong to the European Research Group (ERG).

    Esther McVey is not an open member of the ERG, but she may be a covert one. She’s a known crook, from a crooked family that runs a construction and scaffolding etc. business in the northwest of England. She is also a long-time close friend of Kate McCann, whose young daughter according to a ridiculous story “disappeared” from a Portuguese hotel. BBC radio ran a piece yesterday about what a fast rising, up and coming figure McVey is, possibly with far greater heights ahead of her. No, I don’t think she’ll be the next prime minister, but she may be the 48th stabber and then move into a more senior position than her current office as secretary of state at the Department of Work and Pensions. That’s the department which has the biggest expenditure of any, and nobody wants the Home Office, so I won’t speculate about where she might go. But it’s likely to be where some juicy contracts are and where whoever has been protecting her sends her.

    • N_

      Also the idea that the “deal” – to use the reality TV Trumpian term that is in general use – is “95% completed” implies that the Irish border and whether or not Britain will be a member of the EU customs union are minor and largely irrelevant issues. Of course that can’t be said openly. Instead, it is deniably implied. It is implied so “deniably” that I doubt that any senior media editor will encourage the pointing out of what the deliberate implication is. Those who are critical of politics will recognise the move. So will those who are familiar with Pavlovian conditioning and psychoanalytic transactional analysis.

      • N_

        Could Esther McVey’s protector be Jacob Rees-Mogg?

        Until now I didn’t have a theory about the identity of McVey’s protector, but could it be Rees-Mogg?

        According to Andrew Gimson at Conservative Home:

        Jacob Rees-Mogg admires (McVey’s) resilience – ‘she just takes it on the chin, she doesn’t get intimidated’ – and describes her as ‘very principled, a clear-sighted, thinking Conservative, unquestionably Eurosceptic, and a very good communicator.’

        That’s interesting, that is. That’s how her protector would think. Let me help translate. Rees-Mogg means she is useful, she does what she’s told without questioning, she puts her back into it, she’s ambitious, she’s ruthless (“doesn’t get intimidated”), she’s shameless, and she tarts up well for the cameras.

        In the two years after she lost her seat and before she was parachuted into George Osborne’s old one when he went off to work for a Russian oligarch, McVey worked for two “investment firms”. Any Moggy links, I wonder? One of them was the Floreat Group, a “multi-family private office”. That means a financial services company that acts for a number of billionaire-bracket families. Start here, maybe.

        “Floreat Etona” is the motto of Eton College. Floreat’s founders were Hussam Otaibi and Mutaz Otaibi. I don’t know whether they are Old Etonians. But I do know that Mark Banham, “Head of Legal and Making Sure Everything is Squeaky Clean Compliance” at the Floreat Group, went to Eton. He boasts about it on his LinkedIn page.

        In J M Barrie’s 1904 play Peter Pan, the last words of the evil Captain Hook, an Old Etonian, were “Floreat Etona”.

        So – isn’t this interesting? During her “gap” two years from the Commons, before she got the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s safe seat, and before she got praised by Jacob Rees-Mogg as someone who’s really going places, this common-as-muck careerist got funded by an Eton-flavoured financial firm handling unknown billionaires’ money. And she’s Roman Catholic too. Step forward, Jacob – you’re her puppetmaster, aren’t you?

    • N_

      The BBC radio item on McVey was fawning. A few months ago she was caught making a statement to the Commons about universal credit that was untrue on three points, and the BBC praised her for apologising for it! You don’t have to know much about the Commons to know that she only had two options: to apologise and say she only misled the house inadvertently, or to admit deception and then resign her seat by taking the Chiltern Hundreds, as John Profumo once did.

      It’s as if she’s protected. Same with her friend Kate McCann.

      • N_

        OK I’ve found what I was looking for: a connection between Rees-Mogg’s firm Somerset Capital Management and the firm that McVey “worked for” during her gap from the Commons, the Floreat Group.

        The two firms cooperate, along with not so many others, in a “think tank” called New City Initiative.

        NCI is a think tank that offers an independent, expert voice in the debate over the future of financial regulation. Founded in 2010, NCI counts amongst its members some of the leading independent asset management firms in the City and the continent.

        This is called putting the foxes in charge of the chicken house.

  • JMF

    Off topic:
    “…Over the weekend, there was a huge explosion at a workshop used for making chemicals in the small town of Tarmanin in Northern Idlib. The workshop included a large volume of chemical, explosive materials and liquid chlorine barrels. NINE British, Chechen and Turkish experts and TWO members of the White Helmets were killed in the blast.”

  • Radar O’Reilly

    It is important to read widely, so I often venture to the Ukrainian press and even TV shows sometimes. Today their NATO pr service ‘uawire’ offers a wordy rant:

    In a joint statement of the Director’s office of the National Intelligence Agency, Ministry of Justice, FBI and the US Department of Homeland Security, the United States said that Russia, China, and Iran are “attempting” to undermine the institution of democracy and influence public opinion.

    The statement is published on the website of the head of national intelligence.

    “We are concerned about ongoing campaigns by Russia, China and other foreign actors, including Iran, to undermine confidence in democratic institutions and influence public sentiment and government policies. These activities also may seek to influence voter perceptions and decision making in the 2018 and 2020 U.S. elections.” reads the statement.

    The document also states that social networks or “sponsoring certain content in English-language media such as RT and Sputnik” can be used for these campaigns

    That should have of course simply been shortened to :-

    “We are concerned about ongoing campaigns by America and tier partners and other foreign actors, including Ukraine, to undermine confidence in democratic institutions and influence public sentiment and government policies. At home and abroad.

  • Radar O’Reilly

    I also read the Sudanese press, they seem upset about state related attacks

    Their website looks a bit iffy , possible not local but made in a power bunker far-away, I may be wrong!

    Their content looks credible at least on the spyware

    [A] spyware program is being used by the South Sudan government to spy on its dissidents it sees as threat to its existence according to a report publish on Friday by a Israeli Newspaper, the Haaretz.

    According to the Newspaper, a spy company has sold most dangerous spy programs to the South Sudan government among other dictatorships in the world to spy on dissidents voices in its politics.

    According to the report, a company known as NSO had developed a program called ‘Pegasus’ to track individuals by mobile phones by sending a text message to a cell phone on a subject of interest to the recipient and ask him to open the attached link.

    Once the link is opened the program begins spying without interruption and this program developed by the company, based in the Israeli city of Herzlia, is the most accessible spyware program in the world.

    The report said that 80% of the founders and employees of Israeli spy companies are demobilized from the eavesdropping 8200 and military intelligence units in the Israeli army.

    The report said all the Israeli spy companies are backed and or owned mostly by the Israeli government, a leading producer of spyware program. The report said the spyware companies are used to spy on activists and opponents.

  • Sharp Ears

    Going Underground

    ‘Azzam Tamimi, Palestinian journalist and friend of the late Jamal Khashoggi, who saw him the day before he went missing in the Saudi consulate, discusses the circumstances around Jamal’s death, the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman and the Israel-Palestine conflict.

    Also, Barrett Brown discusses mass surveillance, whistleblowers, mainstream media and his incarceration.’

  • N_

    Oh well, no responses have been posted here yet to my nocturnal work on Rees-Mogg, Esther McVey, the Old Etonian network, and the role of New City Initiative.

    NCI is not merely incidentally connected with Rees-Mogg’s Somerset Capital Management. It has two SCM figures on its board: Dominic Johnson, a founder of SCM, as its CEO, and Sebastian Stewart, SCM’s head of client services, as another director.

    Never mind the Irish border and checks on lorries travelling across the Irish Sea or under the Channel Tunnel. From the point of view of the ruling elite – who, if I may remind people, control a huge amount of money – the most important concern with Brexit is the changing role of the City of London with regard to the world. NCI seems to be a crucial instrument in how those who control the money tell the government what environment they want. Rees-Mogg is well in there, and it looks as though Esther McVey is his puppet.

    When Rees-Mogg ascends to the cabinet, it won’t be to some backwater like the Home Office. Nor will it be somewhere that might be lucrative but is quite circumscribed, like “health” or “education”. It’s likely to be to Number 10 or Number 11. This son of the editor of the Times, this leader of a de facto parliamentary party with several members in the cabinet (yes – a fact which rarely if ever gets dwelled on in the media), who has never held a post in a national government but who always seems to catch the Speaker’s eye whenever he wants to tell the prime minister something in public, really is a major puppet-master in this country. He is a major player in the course of events. This can be summarised as the further wrecking of the country, effected fast = perhaps all the way to famine – to the advantage of those of “ultra high net worth” who wield huge amounts of private money.

    • N_

      A delegation from Rees-Mogg’s party (because that is what the European Research Group effectively is) is meeting Michel Barnier today.

      The party’s contingent includes Iain Duncan Smith, Owen Paterson, David Trimble and “international trade experts” Shanker Singham (1) and Hans Maessen (2).

      1) Formerly at Legatum, Singham is now at the Institute of Economic Affairs. I think he is from the US; he certainly worked as a lawyer and lobbyist in that country.

      2) Maessen is a specialist in getting money and stuff through customs, including at Rotterdam. His family seem to have been taking a cut from Dutch-German trade for several decades. An expert in “custom-made customs“, he is clearly a very useful person to know.

      • Radar O’Reilly

        The UK ‘official’ think-tank rating agency “Transparify” in their “Transparency Ratings 2017” gave the wonderfully sounding “Institute for Economic Affairs” a rating of ‘dodgepot’ , OK , more accurately 23rd worst out of the 27 studied. Actual words used were “HIGHLY OPAQUE” (their caps) and a score of just ‘zero’ in Transparency. IoEA seems to be a charity with annual expenditure of more than £2M, and a permanent staff of around 29. headlines the IoEA as “Experts in distorting public debate”, keep up the good work N_

        Anecdotally I work with a lobbyist who spent years pushing government policy with all the tricks, amazing to talk to!, he woke up one day and ‘came clean’ and is now doing great honest work in future energy. Then there’s the time that Philip Morris International accidentally mailed me their secret European Parliament lobbying plans. Crazy, of course I immediately deleted that wrongly addressed cowboy email 🙂

    • Loony

      It is interesting to learn that Jacob Rees Mogg has an interest in destroying the UK, a destruction that may well include the introduction famine conditions. It is a pity that you omitted any reference as to why Rees Mogg may be motivated to see vast swathes of his fellow countrymen starve to death.

      Maybe Rees Mogg’s motivations are, like those of Saddam Hussein before him, so self evidently obvious that they do not need any form of supporting evidence.

      Separately the easiest way to solve the “Irish border problem” is for Ireland to also leave the EU – after all Ireland only joined in the first place because the UK joined and there was a recognition as to how much the Irish economy depended on the UK. Strange how that historical fact is of no interest to anyone.

      • frankywiggles

        It’s not an Irish border problem though, is it? It’s a British border in Ireland problem. Another historical fact that always gets magicked away. The Irish border is the beach.

        • Loony

          Both the UK and the Irish borders are in exactly the same place today as they were in 1973. These borders did not seem to impede the EU in any way during the period 1973-2016.

        • N_

          RoI following Britain out of the EU would be viewed in RoI as an act of hanging on to Britain’s coat-tails and locking the future of the RoI economy into the future of Britain’s economy, whether that is accurate or not.

          RoI has signed EU treaties which unless Britain remains in both the single market and the customs union will compel RoI to act in certain important ways at the border. To say the border is a British border and not a RoI one is to give a desire based on the distant past the weight of a fact – always a problem in Ireland.

          A third point is that if there were referendums on reunification on both sides of the border, at least one would be likely to have a “No” result. Council tenants in Glasgow may have voted for an end to council housing, but it’s extremely unlikely that a majority of voters in Northern Ireland would vote to lose the NHS.

          Lastly, Northern Ireland is very heavily subsidised. Are you sure the RoI elite would want it?

    • Vivian O'Blivion

      Don’t think the dearth of responses is a reflection on the accuracy of your thesis. Your definitely making progress on the loose threads.
      If I remember correctly, in the very early days after the referendum the psychotically arrogant Brexiteers were assuring us that they could negotiate free movement of goods AND services. Services were to be facilitated through “financial passporting”, whatever that was. When the EU stated that services were a no go, the response from the City of London was yea whatever and the notion of free trade in services was promptly dropped. With access would come regulation and that was never going to happen with so much cash being generated through money laundering and tax evasion.

    • Sharp Ears

      I read and absorbed the details ref Ree-Smog and McVey N_ for which thanks. I always thought the blonde motormouth from Liverpool had a background in scrap metal, not construction etc. Perhaps her CV has been amended! She is infamous, not for ‘Let them eat cake’ but ‘Let them get another job’. Dreadful.

      Her ‘domestic partner’ is Philip Davies, Con MP. He is infamous for talking out a private member’s bill that would have allowed free hospital parking for carers amongst his other filibustering activities. What a lovely couple they make.

      She and Philip Davies (see below) are both members of CFoI. Here they are on a paid for visit to Israel in 2016.

      Ed Vaizey, also mentioned below, also has an interest in Israel. He has been visiting ‘the only democracy in the ME.’

      Note the state broadcaster’s presence in the delegation.

      ‘October 15th 2018
      Ed Vaizey, Britain’s Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, is to lead a high-powered business delegation to Israel and the Palestinian Territories next week.
      Representatives from some of the UK’s top creative and media companies including BBC Worldwide, Ogilvy, Samsung and Albion will accompany him.
      Mr Vaizey said: “The UK’s creative industries are a great strength and an important part of our economy. We have the largest independent TV production sector in the world and we are the second largest music exporter in the world.’

      McVey has other outside interests – ‘McVey has previously been in a relationship with BBC producer Mal Young, as well as former Conservative frontbencher Ed Vaizey. When in London, she formerly shared a flat in Pimlico with Conservative colleague, Philip Davies, with whom she has had a “long time on-and-off romantic interest”. They are now partners. The house-sharing arrangement ended when McVey lost her seat at the 2015 general election. A longstanding friend of Kate McCann, McVey helped her family set up the Madeleine McCann Fund, becoming a founding trustee.’

      McVey has been very effective in the McCann case, obviously. More than £11m of taxpayers’ funding has just been allocated to it.

  • Republicofscotland

    The possibility of Donald Trump’s intention to terminate the with Russia, is in my opinion a dangerous one.

    The treaty banned ground launched medium range missiles. Yes Putin has infringed upon the treaty deploying Isklander-M missile launchers near the Baltic sea, but the western border of Russia is awash with missiles pointing into Russia controlled by Nato, which has led Putin to build up Russia’s military prescence in Kaliningrad.

    Of course the real threat to US dominance is of course China, Russia being a economic minnow in reality. The problem with possessing medium range missiles for the rest of us, is that they allow a first strike, if you can take out your opponent retaliatory missiles. You might be more tempted to launch them in the long run.

    Trump has already awarded a contract to Lochheed Martin, to develop long range supersonic missiles, and with the US possibly deploying a new generation of low yield tactical nukes for the battlefield, it makes Trump decidsion to withdraw from the treaty all that bit more daunting for us all in the long run.

    Is there are coming war with China as John Pilger wrote about? Russia aside, mainly due to its economy. China is building its military up more and more. The US a know invader and bully already has a significant military force, the battleground, possibly the South China sea’s.

    But what will be the spark that ignites the conflict? The Spratly Islands dispute? China building artificial Islands for military use? Hong Kong? Or even Taiwan?

    • Borncynical

      “Trump has already awarded a contract to Lockheed Martin…” – reason enough for serious celebrations in the May household this Christmas.

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