Squalid London 315

On the face of it, the Unexplained Wealth Order against Zamira Hajiyeva shows the UK cracking down on the torrent of corrupt money that gushes in to the City of London every single second. But dig deeper.

Hajiyev’s husband had fallen out of favour with the appallingly kleptocratic Aliev regime in Azerbaijan – a dictatorship whose corruption can be measured by the infallible indicator that Tony Blair is currently working for it. Hundreds of billions have been plundered from Azerbaijan’s oil revenue by the Azeri oligarchs.

So is the British government going after the very substantial assets in the UK of the ruling Aliev family? No. Is it going after the very substantial assets in the UK of the oligarchs surrounding the Aliev family? No. It is only going after almost the only Azeri oligarch who fell foul of the regime, and is taking an action which the Baku dictator will applaud rather than decry.

While her father was still dictator of Uzbekistan, Gulnara Karimova was subject to seizure of looted wealth and investigation in Switzerland, France and Sweden, among others. In the UK, where she had a home and very substantial assets, no action whatsoever.

What are we to make of Theresa May’s huffing and puffing about the Skripal affair, when the UK’s richest resident is Alisher Usmanov, who is Vladimir Putin’s old flatmate, right hand man in the media and business world and chairman of Gazprominvestholdings? There is no chance whatsoever any action will be taken against Usmanov, who acquired his assets in the most dubious manner imaginable. Usmanov is far too entrenched in the City.

These people interact with the British “elite” in any number of surprising ways. Claudia Winkleman’s husband made big money from producing a vanity film project for the Azeri dictator’s daughter. Former Foreign Secretary Dr David Owen is Usmanov’s factotum in the UK. Just two of many thousands of links that tie the UK’s gilded elite in with the looted wealth.

The Conservative Party has directly received donations totaling over £3 million from Russian oligarchs. That buys a lot of influence. But more important still is the influence of the City of London, where wideboy bankers grow rich on the World’s most sophisticated and “respectable” money laundering operation. While the Tories are determined to bluster us into a new cold war to benefit the military, industrial and security complex, none of the sanctions taken to date and none that will be taken have had any serious deleterious effect on the holders of the hundreds of billions of money looted from the Russian people during the Western mandated and organised privatisation of Russia’s mineral and industrial assets. Even as false rage over Salisbury fills the airwaves, the oligarchs are privately being reassured their money and lifestyles are safe.

And of course, the appalling Saudi Regime can imprison and execute as many dissidents and feminists as it wishes, and western governments and media will still applaud its “modernisation programme”. Western governments will still lust after lucrative arms deals to supply the bombs that blow apart Yemeni schoolchildren. And the Saudi regime can gruesomely murder as many journalists as they wish abroad, with no fear whatsoever of any action against them by the UK.

In a United Kingdom dominated by the cesspit that is the City of London, it is not just that money talks. It is that nobody else is heard.


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315 thoughts on “Squalid London

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  • Yonatan

    GazpromInvestHoldings – “Total assets on the balance sheet for the year 2017 are 13.5 billion rubles.”

    That’s about £300 million. A real oligarch wouldn’t get out of the bed in the morning for that kind of money.

      • DiggerUK

        I am usually against referencing Wikipedia, am I wrong on this occasion to do so. It might not be the same Alisher Usmanov as above, but that’s Wikipedia for you…_

        Wikiquote….”On 2 September 2007, Craig Murray, the former British ambassador to Uzbekistan referred to Alisher Usmanov’s criminal conviction, claiming that Usmanov “was in no sense a political prisoner, but a gangster and racketeer who rightly did six years in jail” and his pardon was the work of Uzbekistan President Islam Karimov on the instructions of Uzbekistani power broker and alleged drug trafficker Gafur Rakhimov. The article was subsequently removed by Murray’s web host, allegedly under pressure from Usmanov’s legal team, London’s Schillings law firm. However, what followed was that Schillings contacted independent blogs and websites warning them to remove any references to Murray’s allegations, and any reproduction of the blog posting. UK Indymedia reported that they were one of the sites that had been issued with a take down notice on 10 September 2007 and again on 21 September. On 20 September 2007, Bloggerheads.com, the weblog of Tim Ireland, was taken down for reproducing Murray’s article, incidentally causing the loss of other blogs belonging to the MP Boris Johnson and councillor Bob Piper – none of which themselves had reproduced the article”

  • Jack

    “And of course, the appalling Saudi Regime can imprison and execute as many dissidents and feminists as it wishes, and western governments and media will still applaud its “modernisation programme”. ”

    Indeed the hypocrisy, no campaign by the western politicians/MSM on kicking the saudis out for their assassination.

    • Charles Bostock


      Since the assassination (if it is proved to be one) was carried out on foreign soil, and no one involved was a British citizen, what would be the legal basis for “kicking out of the saudis” ( I imagine you mean from the UK) ?

      • Loftwork

        Perhaps he means that the UK should take a dim view of murderous atrocities anywhere, just as the US did when it expelled dozens of Russian officials over the Skripal attack. It does not require a legal basis to declare foreign consular staff PNG.

        • Charles Bostock


          You’re very likely correct in both of those sentences. But do you not find it curious that the expulsion of Russian diplomats from the UK and various others countries – which was WIDELY OONDEMNED on this blog (perhaps also by Jack?) – should be used to in support of, and as a precedent for, a call to throw Saudi diplomats out of the UK?

          • Charles Bostock


            Perhaps you do, but Craig would be the first to confirm that in the modern world you do not have to approve of the policies and make-up of all the states you have diplomatic relations with. Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union – to take but two of the most egregious examples, had an extensive network of diplomatic relations. More recently, let’s take the example of such oppressive states as Burma, North Korea and the various stans – that the UK and many states that have diplomatic relations with them does not mean that they approve of those states. So your wish not to have diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia, although perhaps laudable, is unrealistic and flies in the face of the real world.

          • Loftwork

            I merely note that what’s precedent for the goose is precedent for the gander, in reply to an earlier post saying there was no legal basis. Expelling a few consular officials as PNG is a time-honoured tradition to publicly express displeasure, as I’m sure you know. The moral, legal, economic or merely criminal grounds to do so are specific to each case and do not depend on previous usage. The fact is that the Saudis will suffer no repercussions, especially not from the UK, except for a bit of “I say old boy, do try not to take the michael” in someone’s shell-like. By contrast Russia will be sanctioned, censured and fulminated against for reasons of convenience unrelated to any alleged impropriety.

        • Tom Welsh

          “Taking a dim view” is one thing; taking action against foreigners – whether confiscating their property, excluding them, or detaining their persons – is quite another.

          What happens in Azerbaijan is the concern of that country’s government; likewise Russia, Saudi Arabia and even the USA.

        • Muscleguy

          And not everywhere is a kneejerking lapdog. The new NZ PM raised eyebrows when the NZ govt released a statement saying they had been ‘unable to find any spies to evict’. Note too that NZ is part of Five Eyes but a semi-detached member of the Western International Order due to the now longstanding Nuclear Free status and posture.

        • Charles Bostock

          Well, Jack, those other countries expelled Russian diplomats in support of the UK.

          Now, given that the alleged murder of the journalist took place in Turkey, for your analogy to be valid one would have to wait and see (1) whether Turkey will expel Saudi diplomats and (2) whether Turkey will ask other states to support it by taking similar action.

          Can we agree on that in amicable fashion?

          [ In passing, one might actually wonder whether, with his record in regard to the freedom of unfriendly Turkish journalists, President Erdogan really cares very much about the fate of the Saudi journalist per se. It is perhaps not more a case of the combination of bad Turkish-Saudi relations and what is seen as a violation of Turkish sovereignty ].

          • Jack

            The hypocrisy is that UK and other western states dont act on saudiarabia now after the murder. Do you comprehend me now?

          • Charles Bostock


            The hypocrisy is entirely with those who denounced the diplomatic sanctions against Mr Putin’s Russia but are now in favour of similar diplomatic sanctions against Saudi Arabia. Do you comprehend me now?

          • Paul Greenwood

            Oh Charles, you forget WaPo. Britain may have sold Farzad Bazoft down the river but Turkey cannot permit such a criminal act on its territory by a 33-year old madman. WaPo has the means to embarrass Kushner and Erdogan has the means to humiliate UK, Germany and France and show up Trump. This is serious exposure of Israel’s flirtation with the thuggish Saudi regime.

        • Tom Welsh

          Well, if any country decides to expel Russian diplomats that is its right. No country even needs to host a Russian embassy or consulate if it does not want to. Of course there is another side to the matter: embassies and consulates do useful work, and often benefit their host countries.

      • Paul Greenwood

        The British Government is especially close to the Turks regime. The victim is a journalist for The Washington Post. It certainly has more validity than dancing to Bill Browder’s tune

  • Charles Bostock


    Two questions for clarification. please :

    1/. “While her father was still dictator of Uzbekistan, Gulnara Karimova was subject to seizure of looted wealth and investigation in Switzerland, France and Sweden, among others.”

    What was the outcome of those investigations and what happened to the seized assets (ie, were they returned to Ms Karimova or not0?

    2/. “So is the British government going after the very substantial assets in the UK of the ruling Aliev family?”

    What do you mean by “going after” and what would the legal basis of that “going after” (whatever it is) be?


    • uncle tungsten

      Oh dear Charles, allow me to cast my perspective before your feet.
      On point 1/- I would imagine that the kleptocracy that is governing Switzerland, France and Sweden, the accused would have purchased a solution to the investigation and it would have come to an end. You can correct me if I am wrong but please do so in a substantive manner.

      On point 2/- Going after somebody in the UK sense means pursuing them legally for money laundering or stealing from foreign banks or. That pursuit would (as in the case of the three aforementioned states) end abruptly when reasonable considerations were transferred to some organisations election campaign. You can correct me if I am wrong but I seem to recall the UK has form for this style of shakedown reaching back a century or so. Its a judicial conundrum that appears to be entrenched and applies to people that might harbor unfortunate political opinions too.

      I gather you wouldn’t approve and neither do I.

      • Hatuey

        “correct me if I am wrong but I seem to recall the UK has form for this style of shakedown reaching back a century or so”

        An example of that would be useful. Please be specific.

          • Hatuey

            The taff vale decision was an example of a criminal paying money to a party in order to encourage them to drop a case or potential case against them?

            Excuse me while I go and reevaluate the history of British industrial relations.

    • Komodo

      Context missing from this discussion: Gulnara at the time of the seizures was persona non grata with her father, was subsquently put under house arrest in Tashkent, and largely disappeared from the radar. She is now reportedly serving five years of ‘restricted freedom’ in Uzbekistan:


      The picture suggests that Gulnara was only chased by the Swiss etc. because Dad was on her case. A possible threat of her accelerated succession – she was rather more popular and probably just as murderous – may have been the reason. It could almost, and tenuously, be argued that the UK was reluctant to support Islam Karimov in pursuing the assets his daughter had liberated (from the unfortunate Uzbeks) It seems likely that the assets recovered went back either to Karimov or his heirs (Gulnara not being one) and/or successor.

    • Kempe

      1/. Not sure that’s correct. From what I can gather Swiss investigators didn’t question Gulnara until December 2016, two months after daddy died, but then she’d been under house arrest (and rumoured to have been poisoned) since 2014 so I get the impression there’d been a bit of a falling out between the two. The Swiss investigation still seems to be ongoing.

  • Vivian O'Blivion

    Indeed, the pursuit of the Hajiyevs has all the appearance of a favour for friends. After all, Rifat al Assad resides in the SE of England, something the BBC documentary series has so far failed to mention. Rifat appears to have recently become persona non grata in France and Spain with their respective administrations pursuing property and assets. In the UK, nowt pending although Rifat is liquidating some UK assets to fight his European battles. One Mayfair property sold for £16 M, another Mayfair property valued at £5 M retained together with a Leatherhead estate valued at £4 M.

  • Loftwork

    Glad you mentioned the “unexplained wealth order” (UWO). This allows various crown agencies to demand an explanation for “wealth” over £50,000 which they believe is beyond the legitimate income of a person who is either an EU citizen suspected of a serious crime, or anyone else they simply don’t like. Failure to comply is a criminal offence and will result in asset forfeiture proceedings.

    Basically, this is a way to seize funds on suspicion. There is no focus on oligarchs or plutocrats, and £50k is a low threshold. It is, like asset forfeiture in the US, a means to punish without trial which will inevitably be subject to ‘mission creep’ abuse as the resulting cashflow heads for the lowest terrain – always government. Vague pronouncements on R4 that seized funds could be returned to (in this case) Azerbaijan are ludicrous. The fix is in. R4 demonstrated that this morning with its traditional balanced reporting – two people with the same opinion.

    • Tom Welsh

      I heard a brief discussion of “unexplained wealth orders” on the BBC Today programme this morning. (I had set the radio to come on as an alarm, overlooking that this would mean that my ears would be contaminated with BBC propaganda).

      I wondered when we will hear of those orders being used against the Blairs, the Browns, the Camerons, and all the bankers and financiers who have enriched themselves to an incredible degree without doing a lick of honest – or useful – work.

      But I don’t suppose we shall. As Craig observes, such laws are used only against those whom the establishment dislikes.

      Western nations boast of being free from corruption, but this is only because they have legalised and institutionalised it. When the wealthy and powerful capture the government and judiciary, it becomes harder and harder to tell the difference between a supposedly civilised nation (like the UK, for instance) and a nest of bandits.

      Maybe our country should be renamed – “Tortuga” would be quite suitable.

      • Muscleguy

        These orders were brought in and the threshold set low in order to go after drug lords or major gangsters who cannot be touched for other reasons because nobody will testify against them. It was the Al Capone tactic. If you recall Capone was done for tax evasion, not racketeering etc.

        They have been used with some success here in Scotland with Police Scotland using them with some zeal, seizing flash motors and motor boats, caches of expensive watches etc. Apparently cash poor people with large value tradeable assets they cannot explain were and are the more common target.

        It can appear to be guilt by association but most folk should be able to provide good explanations and if your assets are seized you are allowed to challenge it in court and iirc a court order is required in the first place, the cops can’t just turn up and start taking stuff. Hajiyeva will get her day in court and be allowed to advance explanations or plead as to the absence thereof.

        That they are now being used for political reasons at the behest of a foreign govt is a prime example of mission creep.

    • Aslangeo

      Question, when the wealth is siezed who gets to keep it? Do the British state basically confiscate the wealth of people it dislikes? With the burden of proof on the person?

      This can lead to massive government action creep when people could be targeted, for instance because of their ethnicity. A bit like the nazis confiscating Jewish wealth.

      There may be many dodgy people from less stable countries parking their wealth in the UK but I can’t see why the British state can help themselves. If the wealth was looted it needs to return to the original victims.

  • Alyson

    Sometimes I just want to cry about the callous psychopathy of the current UK government, about elected representatives voting to kill the poor, to outsource jobs, to rip off public money, and fund illegal wars. Why we still vote for them beats me. Fifty percent of universal credit applicants attempt suicide. More than one person a day dies on our streets from homelessness. Nurses get better pay and conditions working in Lidl supermarkets. Brexit will send the rest away, along with our doctors. Fracking destroys the water, air, and soil. How can we be so short sighted? When will the Nuremberg trials recommence? Theft is destroying our humanity, and as long as it is not personally affecting us, we just don’t care.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Alyson October 11, 2018 at 11:34
      ‘…Theft is destroying our humanity, and as long as it is not personally affecting us, we just don’t care.’
      Theft, and Chemtrails, plastic infestation, pesticides, Global Warming, microwave electrosmog, GMO’s, ‘wars’ waged in far-off countries, the terrible waste of the arms buildup and arms sales to despotic, vile regimes, fracking, aluminium and mercury in vaccines, flouride in the water, all are personally affecting all of us, it’s just most people are so brainwashed they just don’t realise it.
      Anybody can see, if they were to but look, that butterflies, caterpillars, hedgehogs, bees, ladybirds, many species of birds, even flies, are becoming much rarer. I believe I only saw one ladybird all this spring and summer, and a smattering of white cabbage butterflies, with two or three coloured butterflies. Very few bees.
      Things are going to get far worse, unfortunately. Our ‘leaders’ are Luciferians; pity more people don’t realise that. Fits the bill.

      • uncle tungsten

        Thank you Paul and YES to all of the above with some reservations about chemtrails.

        I have to admire the Ukrainians though for the way they have systematically destroyed their vast horde of weapons for war in spectacular fashion. I don’t really approve of fireworks but the Ukrainians have a flair for extravaganzas it seems. It is amazing what can be achieved where an environmental impact study is unnecessary. I have really enjoyed video of their latest effort. Soon they won’t have enough to continue their civil war. Bravo!

        World peace please and destroy the armaments depots and tax the arms companies until they bust.

        • Charles Bostock

          Uncle Tungsten

          ” tax the arms companies until they bust.”

          And then no more tax and quite a lot more unemployed in many countries (including Russia, by the way).

          • Paul Barbara

            @ Charles Bostock October 11, 2018 at 12:59
            Not at all. Virtually ALL income tax in the US goes on the military and armaments.
            The country could easily get along on State taxes to keep the infrastructure working, hospitals and police running, etc.
            And income tax is ILLEGAL in the US; see Aaron Russo (yes, our old friend, now deceased, RIP):
            ‘America : Freedom to Fascism’: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O6ayb02bwp0

          • Charles Bostock


            “Virtually ALL income tax in the US goes on the military and armaments.”

            I doubt it – could you please source that claim? As it stands, your assertion is meaningless.

            To make the point I think you’re trying to make you would need to specify whether you’re talking only about federal income tax (as opposed to state and local income taxes) AND the proportion of US revenue derived from income tax (however wide you throw the net) as against from other taxes (sales taxes, company taxes…..)

          • Bayard

            “And then no more tax and quite a lot more unemployed in many countries”
            How does that square with the statistic that the arms industry in the UK is a net receiver of public funds? As for unemployment, aren’t we at full employment ATM?

      • Muscleguy

        Chemtrails? that mention puts you in the realm of outré ascientific conspiracy theorists and risks your other things to be unbelieved because of that. I respectfully suggest you never list chemtrails like that again if you expect to be taken seriously.

        Oh, I nearly missed the antivax thing as well. Not all mercury compounds are the same just like not all carbon or nitrogen containing compounds are toxic because cyanide (CN). The mercury compounds in vaccines are not metabolised by the body and are excreted and thus are and have been proven safe for use is mordants. Which is why they are used.

        Again, if you wish to be taken seriously I respectfully suggest you leave those out along with chemtrails.

        Oh dear I’ve just noticed the aluminium thing, aluminium was once suspected as a cause of Alzheimers but that one got debunked decades ago (it was because the method fixing the brain samples contained an aluminium compound. Aluminium is one of the most common elements in the crust of this planet. Clay is an aluminium compound and aluminium compounds are common in glazes so we have eaten from and cooked in and drunk from glazed crockery since time immemorial. I expect you do too.

        If aluminium was toxic to us we would never have survived as a species.

        All this respectfully advised.

        Muscleguy, BSc, PhD (I can provide a citation to my Nature paper if you doubt my scientific bona fides).

        • Clark

          Hello Muscleguy, I saw your comment in the Feed and guessed you were replying to Paul Barbara. I’ve tried telling him similar; he’ll just assume you’re part of the conspiracy. Moon landings, Twin Tower demolition theory, No Planes theories (all of them despite contradictions), vast medical conspiracy murdering everyone, One World Government and the depopulation programme, weather control; you name it, Paul believes it. Can’t seem to grasp that humans make things up. No idea where he thinks all the flaky religious beliefs originated for millennia.

          • glenn_nl

            Not to mention believing that Barack Oboma is really a woman, Hillary Clinton is dying of Parkinson’s, 30,000 guillotines are being ordered up for a mass killing of the population, every mass shooting in the US never happened. Let’s not forget that every terrorist attack was a fake – the Nice lorry attack, the Paris shootings, the London Bridge attack, that poor soldier Lee Rigby was never murdered, etc. etc., it was all acting. Not to mention the Manchester bombings.

            We also should mention Paul’s all-time favourite – the Great Runaway Dustcart conspiracy/ hoax in Glasgow a year or so back.

            So don’t trouble yourself too much about Paul’s credibility around here, Muscleguy!

          • Clark

            “So don’t trouble yourself too much about Paul’s credibility around here, Muscleguy”

            No, but Paul should. Bad Science would be a great place to start.

        • Iain Stewart

          So, fluoride, he must be sound on that, surely?

          General Jack D. Ripper: Fluoridation is the most monstrously conceived and dangerous communist plot we have ever had to face. Mandrake, have you ever seen a Commie drink a glass of water?
          Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake: Well, no, I can’t say I have.

    • Charles Bostock


      ” Fifty percent of universal credit applicants attempt suicide.”

      That would be terrible – if true. Can you source that claim?

      ” Brexit will send the rest away [ie, the nurses ] along with our doctors.”

      That, I think, is just nonsense. Some may want to leave (but to go where – back to the countries they came from, where jobs are inexistant or badly paid?) but no one is going to get chucked out, so do please stop repeating that ridiculous canard.

      “Nurses get better pay and conditions working in Lidl supermarkets.”

      That, again, is nonsense. Please do better research. Comments on this claim from any readers who currently or have worked in the NHS would be welcome here.

      • Andyoldlabour

        @Charles Bostock,
        Heere are the NHS scales which start at £15404
        Lidl pay starts around £14800, but that is for a duty manager (I think they refer to all their staff as managers).
        My wife and I were on JSA around three years ago – a pretty depressing experience – and I think the 50% suicide attempt rate for UC applicants is very unbelievable.
        Most of our foreign NHS nurses come from the far East so would not be affected by Brexit.

      • Alyson

        I think you’ll find Craig quoted one in 2 suicidal applicants following assessments. I think you’ll find deaths on the streets, of homeless people, are at least 440 for last year. I think you’ll find pay in Lidl and rest breaks are better than nursing assistant pay, at least, and working unpaid overtime, because you cannot bear to walk away, knowing someone will die, has to be the pits for our nurses and doctors. As for the Deficit, whose pockets is it in? Tories have tripled the Deficit, without creating jobs, infrastructure, or better funded services. Sorry to burst your bubble, Charles, but unless you are personally affected, you won’t know the suffering happening before your eyes in our towns and cities. Numbers up until 2017 were at least 120,000 dead from Austerity, many dying penniless in their cold homes. Can you imagine having no income at all for 2 months, for arriving 5 minutes for an interview? If you miss an appointment your money is stopped, completely, and it takes at least 3 months for new applicants to get assessed. No, I think you don’t understand. Food banks need referrals. You cannot just turn up and ask. You have to beg your assessor to be referred. Bedroom tax makes widows homeless. It is unimaginable, when you don’t know. I, Daniel Blake, is a fair representation of the new normal. But compassion is out of fashion

        • Charles Bostock


          “I think you’ll find Craig quoted one in 2 suicidal applicants following assessments. ”

          Craig does not usually give sources when posting and so you cannot use him as a source. So I’ll ask you again : what is the source for your claim that ” fifty percent of universal credit applicants attempt suicide” ?

          I notice, by the way, that you said “applicants” in your original post” but you now say “following assessments” – have you refined your thought or are you just being careless?

          ” think you’ll find pay in Lidl and rest breaks are better than nursing assistant pay”

          I notice the same sort of shift : your original post referred to nurses but you now use “nursing assistants”. Which do you mean?

          I shan’t comment on the rest of your post, which does not address the three points I made but just widens the discussion to a general “the UK is a hell hole of poverty and deprivation”.

        • Clark

          “I think you’ll find pay in Lidl and rest breaks are better than nursing assistant pay, at least, and working unpaid overtime, because you cannot bear to walk away, knowing someone will die, has to be the pits for our nurses and doctors”

          I can confirm that. I just read This Is Going To Hurt by Adam Kay, about his six years as a “junior doctor” (ie. all hospital doctors below consultant) before it got too much for him. He even kept going as the hours destroyed his friendships and his relationship. At one point he was on a lower hourly rate than car parking charges at the hospital, which he had to pay. Highly recommended book.

      • SA

        The uncertainty about Brexit will certainly affect nurse recruitment for the NHS. Some doctors and nurses may choose to go elsewhere or to stop coming here. Medicine is an international market and some of these will go to the states or to Australia or newzeland for example.
        It is the uncertainty created by the current policies that will do this.
        Anyway I have expressed this view before, recruitment of Doctors and Nurses from other countries, especially third world countries is exploitative because these countries spend scarce resources to train them. We refuse to train enough healthcare professionals because we can import them cheaply ready made.

        • Charles Bostock

          Well, SA, I can agree with much of that, although sometimes with nuances.

          Therefore, when you say ” We refuse to train enough healthcare professionals because we can import them cheaply ready made” I would agree with the first half of that (certainly historically) but, as for doctors, I persist in thinking that the shortage – again perhaps mainly historically – was due in essence to restrictive practices by the BMA/doctors’ lobby.

          I agree with your idea that medicine is an international market and that some nurses and doctors may go elsewhere. But the key word is “may” and the truth is that we simply don’t know. However, I think it is unlikely, for the following four reasons:
          1/. Many nurses and doctors come (as someone has pointed out) from non-EU countries and will not be affected by Brexit “uncertainties”;
          2/. I put uncertainties in inverted commas because the government has already given the assurance that EU nationals in the UK on Brexit day (and even those coming thereafter for a couple of years) will be allowed to stay. Even if that assurance is cut back on, it hardly seems very likely that categories of workers such as nurses and doctors will be asked to leave;
          3/. Your thought relies on the assumption that countries like Australia and New Zealand will have positions to fill in sufficient number to accomodate those who want to leave the UK. As you know, health budgets in most countries are under pressure;
          4/. As for the fear that EU nurses and doctors will go back home, this is probably unrealistic and takes insufficient account of why they came to the UK to work in the first place. Those reasons are varied : some to gaon experience, to be sure, but more because there were no jobs in their fields at hole and/or because pay and conditions are better in the uk than in their home countries.

          Finally, thank you for engaging. There must surely be some readers and even commenters with direct current or previous experience of working for the NHS; it would be good if they would also contribute to the discussion as you have done.

          • SA

            The BMA is not asking to restrict doctor training, the numbers of trainee doctors are limited by what used to be called a deaneries but are now called Local Educational Training Boards (LETBs) of which there are four in England and one each in Scotland, NI and Wales. The function of the deaneries is to ensure the quality of education and training of junior doctors so that they can become fully trained consultants.
            There are two components to the work of junior doctors, training and service commitments. The Deaneries recruit these doctors on behalf of the trusts and pay part of thier salaries. Their function is to ensure that all trusts that are training doctors have sufficient resources to do so. There is therefore a tension between the training and the service requirements.
            The numbers of trainees are allocated according to several considerations, the overall budget available from NHS, and also universities (because doctors also teach medical students) and through a separate training budget. Because of these as well as the available training posts, there is a limit to the number of posts that are approved. Another consideration is also the number of consultant posts that will become available to these trainees to fill due to retirements and other ways. This whole process is very carefully coordinated and also together with medical students being trained.
            Foreign trained doctors can join the NHS through two channels: either by qualifying to become trainees, or by direct appointments by the trusts in which case the trusts have to find the whole salaries and these individuals do not normally have a career trajectory towards becoming consultants but may fill other roles.
            In recent years there has been a tendency to reduce the number of career posts through the deaneries and let trusts cover the deficit through the other pathway of non-career oriented recruitment. The BMA has no influence in the number recruited but serves to monitor that conditions of service are met for those.
            So the restriction of medical training a central NHS government one and has nothing directly to do with doctors having a restrictive cartel. I do believe that the system is made to work by relying on exploitation of foreign trained doctors. This fulfils the purpose of obtaining doctors trained by other countrie, on the cheap as it were, and also avoidance of creating career consultant posts.

          • Paul Greenwood

            NHS is predicated on having too few Consultants and Registrars and using GPs to cover the deficiencies and act as gate-keepers. This shows up in terrible Cancer diagnosis rates and in vast swathes where specialised medical attention is rationed. There is a major shortage of Specialist Doctors in the UK and whilst there are some outstanding non-British doctors in NHS Hospitals which is a reason for having a eel-regarded international reputation – too few people in UK know how much of the Best-Practice Methodologies used throughout Europe come from UK – and that UK created first A&E Unit in Leeds in 1952.

            Nevertheless there are too few Specialist Doctors with ridiculous waiting lists for diagnosis pre-surgery. There is a rationing from the top with an overload on the GP who is not a Specialist.

        • MaryPau!

          Phillippino nurses are specifically trained with the intention that they will work overseas and send home much needed foreign currency.

        • certa certi

          ‘recruitment of Doctors and Nurses from other countries, especially third world countries is exploitative’

          It can be, but not always. Some nations eg the Philipps train nurses with foreign recruitment in mind, remittances are an important part of the economy and English gives them an advantage.

        • Andrew H

          Agreed. It is already apparent how this is going to happen. The uk government won’t do it, but landlords who won’t rent to Poles because they brought into this agenda or because they don’t have proof of UK citizenship and they can’t be bothered to try to figure out the difference between those that are permitted to remain and those that are not. Most people don’t have the energy to fight for their rights. There will be many other ways in which people from other European nations are discriminated against in their daily lives, and most will decide it is not worth the hassle and leave for a better life elsewhere.

          BrExit is absolutely the case of the majority trampling on the lives of the minority. That is how democracy works.

          • Paul Greenwood

            Landlords simply do not want to be saddled with huge fines for failing to check documentation. Landlords are obliged to do the job the Border Security is paid to do

      • Paul Greenwood

        Charles referring to your opinion above. I suggest you look at the total Federal Income Tax Revenue of the United States and set it against the “official” Defence Budget of the United States. You will see congruence.

        As for the “real” Defence Budget that would require data-mining the Department of Energy budgets and certain other off-sheet items

    • Charles Bostock


      It seems that fully qualified nurses start on salaries of £22,128 rising to £28,746 on Band 5 of the NHS Agenda for Change Pay Rates. Salaries in London attract a high-cost area supplement. With experience, in positions such as nurse team leader on Band 6, salaries progress to £26,565 to £35,577.

      I would suggest that those rates (plus the job security) are just a tad higher than those of “Aldi supermarket workers” ?

        • Charles Bostock

          No question begged. A fully qualified nurse is one who has passed the examinations at the end of her 3 year training period. As opposed to a trainee nurse. Dummy!

    • Charles Bostock

      On the subject of foreign nurses and doctors “fleeing the UK” after Brexit:

      I know quite a few people, in various jobs, who went to the UK in the expectation of returning to their countries of origin after a few years – when conditions there had improved, when the professions in question got better paid, when there were enough jobs in that area.

      And all of them are still in the UK. Indeed, many have entered into commitments which make one suspect that they have made the UK their pemanent home.

      Given that fact, concerns about nurses and doctors fleeing the UK are greatly exaggerated.

      Of course, as far as doctors are concerned, the pull factor has always been – and probably still is – that the UK does not train enough indigenous people to be doctors. And one of the reasons for that is that doctors in the UK are an interest group and their associations have always been restrictive about numbers. Can’t let too many doctors be trained, can we, it would abolish their scarcity value and mean that far too many people are competing for the higher paid jobs!

      Every profession is a conspiracy aganst the laity in soe way or another.

      • MaryPau!

        Didn’t a load of UK doctors have to leave the UK to find work abroad a few years back because we did not have enough jobs for them?

        • Charles Bostock

          Yes, I think there was a kind of mini-exodus some time ago. They would have left – I assume – because pay and conditions and perhaps career prospects were better elsewhere. I’m not sure that there is any inconsistency in saying that the medical profession kept a tight grip on the number of “home-grown” doctors and that the jobs were available (in fact, the two ideas would appear to be mutually-reinforcing).

          • Paul Greenwood

            No. It was because Blair changed the recruitment system for Juniors to a Website run by Capita I believe which suddenly merged two years supply of Juniors into one year’s supply of training posts. It was an unmitigated disaster and led to an exodus.

            The other reason is buying pension rights forward so doctors retire at 55 and go back as locums paid more without paperwork burden

            As for nurses. Dozy British belatedly brought in English-language tests and a lot of nurses failed them – so departed these shores

      • nevermind

        Funny that , when i challenged Mr.Edwards of Norfolk CCG and asked how many doctors nurses and surgeons have left?, he could no say more than ‘ i know that some nurses have left for Portugal and Spain. I cant give you any numbers’…..

        Waiting times up, operations postponed, and waiting for appointments up as well.
        Brexit has sown uncertainty and many have left
        And Charles Habby lives in cuckoo land.

        • Charles Bostock

          Increased waiting times and postponed operations would seem to be a function of a mis=match between the demand for and supply of medical services. Which makes it unlikely that the UK government would throw out any nurses and doctors whether from the rEU or third countries.

          My real objection is to the mindless speculation that Brexit will (not may) cause an exodus of nurses and doctors. There are plenty of better and more solidly founded arguments against Brexit than that. Indeed, you appear to be confirming that because you cite as your authority a doctor who “COULD SAY NO MORE” (emphasis added) than ” SOME nurses have left for Portugal and Spain. I CAN’T GIVE YOU ANY NUMBERS’…”.(emphasis added).

        • MaryPau!

          This also highlights a problem I have with Freedom of Movement within the EU If you are a Western European country experiencing large numbers of unplanned arrivals from Eastern Europe, how do you forecast future needs in sectors like medicine and for that matter education?.

          In 2004 the Labour government estimated that 15,000 Poles would move to the UK and we were assured, many were young men who would return home after a few years Now many Poles live here in the UK today? I think current estimates are around 1million.

          Regardless of the benefits and shortcomings of the EU, how do you plan to provide public services including doctors when all estimates of EU migration to the UK have been so wrong?

          • Andrew H

            Freedom of movement is a cornerstone of EU policy. If the people were not allowed to move, then the factories would just move to Poland where the labour is cheaper. Economic migration of people is a short-term problem. Economic migration of industry is more serious. When Czech republic first joined EU there was a large salary difference, so some businesses moved to Czech republic, today things are much more even and the incentive is gone. In time living standards and opportunity will also increase in Poland as they are basically hard working people.

            Compare with the rhetoric coming out of the USA. Nafta offers free trade but not free movement. The main complaint of Trump is that USA Americans are losing their jobs to Mexicans because there is no easy way to prevent business moving to where the labour is cheaper. The border cities of Mexico are highly industrialised, but pay is still low because the people of Mexico are mostly also not the beneficiaries of this relationship.

          • MaryPau!

            This does not address my original question at all. Since 2004 when they entered the EU we now have 1m Poles living in the UK. The UK government woefully underpredicted this. More recently around 500,000 Bulgarians and Romanians have arrived. However young fit and healthy they are, a fair number will need some medical care at some stage. This requires Doctors and Nurses and Hospitals.

            A doctor’s training takes 5 years, a nurse 2-3, new hospital similar to build, if you can find the land. So you need to plan these well in advance, if you are expecting a sudden increase in the population. How can you predictand plan this under EU Freedom of Movement rules? The UK government got it hopelessly wrong.

            I suspect another problem is that countries like France and Germany are not short of housing or hospital beds in the way the UK is. When the issue of needing to plan for more hospitals and staff to cope with a sudden rapid increase in population, due to EU internal migration, was raised as an issue with the relevant EU Commissioner a few years ago, she ( a Hungarian,) said it was easier for the richer countries like the UK to build more hospitals than it was for poorer countries in East Europe. This response ignored the reality of not knowing how many EU migrants to expect as well as problems finding land for major new builds like a hospital in the UK and of course took no account of the Gordon Brown inflicted travesty of the PFI.

            So again, how do we plan ahead for more doctors and indeed hospitals when Freedom of Movement gives us no advance warning of how many EU citizens are going to exercise their right to work and settle in the UK?

          • Andrew H

            Mary, I do not disagree with your points.

            Life is not fair, and perhaps we deserve to suffer a little too when we can help others to raise their standard of living. This is the basis of the welfare state – I was born smart and it is easy for me to find well paid work, so why should I pay taxes to support all the lazy and stupid people who can’t get a job? Why should we help Africa at all? Arguably we shouldn’t. Not our problem. Why should we help Eastern Europe when we won’t help Africa? Part of the reason, may be that Western Europe needs Russian gas and Eastern Europe lies in the middle, but I would hope there is more to it than that. I see it as a small and achievable contribution to the world where we can make a difference.

            Although we in Britain are surrounded by water, Western Europe has a long border with Eastern Europe and cannot so easily isolate itself form the problem? As in Mexico, if the people cannot find opportunity in legitimate work they will find it in running drugs and crime. But, yes, this is Germany’s problem not ours.

            Part of the reason people voted for Brexit may well be just that the politicians lied and tried to sell the EU as a wonderful Eutopia. I’m not sure the vote would have been much different if they had told the truth.

      • sc

        http://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/CBP-7914/CBP-7914.pdf does say that the reason for limiting medical school places is that the course is expensive to run, and that the Royal College of Physicians were recommending more doctors be trained.

        ‘In 2015 the Government removed the cap on student numbers from most full-time undergraduate courses, but medicine and dentistry were excluded from this change. This restriction was kept because medical courses cost much more to deliver than the current receipts from home student tuition fees.’

        • Rhys Jaggar

          Doctors are expensive to pay as well….consultants earn closer to £200,000 a year than £100,000 in London. They are not short of the odd £10,000, that bunch.

          • Clark

            MaryPau!, it depends what you mean by “doctors”. I guess if you just average all doctors’ incomes in the UK, and compare with the average for all doctors in other European countries, you might get that result. But in the UK, due to a small minority who are very highly paid, the averaging process will hide the fact that the majority of UK doctors are on low pay.

    • Paul Greenwood

      British Governments once feared Communism now they do not. The period of guns and butter was a good life in Western Europe until the controlled demolition of the Berlin Wall

      • Charles Bostock

        No one fears Communism any more – does one fear a corpse safely buried? No – the only sentiment left is one of nostalgia, felt by a few rocky outcrops from the pre-Cambrian period.

        • certa certi

          ‘No one fears Communism any more’

          Rot. Much of SE Asia is still traumatised by it and domestic security oriented towards preventing a resurgence of ‘latent communism.’

    • Sharp Ears

      Did you hear the awful motormouth McVey? Even Major is criticsl, he of thr Carlyle outfit.

      ‘Esther McVey, the work and pensions secretary, has admitted that some people will be worse off under universal credit – contrary to claims made by Number 10 and cabinet colleagues In a BBC interview she also refused to deny a Times story from last week (paywall) saying she recently told a cabinet meeting that “half of lone parents and about two thirds of working-age couples with children would lose the equivalent of £2,400 a year” as universal credit is rolled out. Asked about this, she said she would not comment on what she told cabinet. She went on:
      What I will say is I had a very open conversation with my colleagues about how we support people. So actually 1m disabled people will get significantly more on universal credit.

      When asked again about claims that 3m people will be worse off under universal credit, she replied:
      I’ve said we made tough decisions. Some people will be worse off. But … under the old system 700,000 people didn’t get £285 a month, so they didn’t get the money they were owed. Under the old system the most vulnerable in society weren’t getting as much money as we are now going to give them.’


      2.25pm Lunchtime summary.

      She said she can find another job. Wish we still had the stocks. I would like to see her in them.

  • Millsy

    It seems strange that the Salisbury Russian assassins are unable to accomplish a simple task of ‘silencing’ an irritating former spy with one of the ”most lethal ” of substances known , yet the Saudis are able to ‘disappear’ an annoying journalist in Turkey with ease ! Perhaps they need to re-think their convoluted and , ultimately failed, attempts at assassination and go back to basics .

    And what does it say about our Secret Service ( lol ) that a single ‘private ‘ website appears to have unearthed the true identity of the Salisbury assassin ( failed ! ) when they could not ? Are we paying the wrong people to do our secret intelligence work ?

    • uncle tungsten

      Thanks Millsy can I suggest a lapel badge or two plus a website promoting an end to crime in the UK:

      Report all Crime to bellingcat on 666 with a picture of Elliot Higgins pointing his finger at you just like uncle sam recruitment image.

      Similar for Neighborhood Watch

      Or even Russia Watch. Who needs a bobby when you have blundercat.

      • Deb O'Nair

        “pointing his finger at you just like uncle sam recruitment image.”

        Which was based entirely on the British recruitment image featuring Kitchener.

    • John A

      Interesting that the footage of a group of people entering the consulate are universally captioned in the MSM ‘alleged assassins’ while no such ‘alleged’ is appended to the two Russians caught on camera in Salisbury but not close to the Skripal house.

    • MaryPau!

      If Skripal had disappeared in the Russian embassy then I doubt much would have been said.

  • Juliette Emery

    Do you know anything about the ‘most expensive property purchase in the history of UK’

    I read a line or two yesterday indicating £160 million but no records of who, how and from where.

    The clamp down to ensure no laundering is begining to wear the cloth thin.

    I love your work
    Thank you and good luck

    • Rhys Jaggar

      It is at One Hyde Park, an ueber-luxury development overlooking Hyde Park.

      The purchaser is Nick Candy, one of the two property developer brothers who built the complex. He has borrowed £80m, whether he paid himself a dividend of £80m-in-kind to cover the other £80m, who knows. No doubt the paper work is all in order.

      Nick Candy has a yacht in the Med, a horny wife and a lot of cash/assets!

    • MaryPau!

      Well we know where it is 2-8a Rutland Gate London and we know who owned it till recently, it was the Saudi Royal Family.

  • Xavi

    Surely we should be celebrating the fact that these titans of global enterprise seek the unparalleled shelter of Anglo jurisprudence. Think also of all the economic benefits they bring to the Tory party, sorry I mean the country.

  • Komodo

    The Azeri nexus is of considerable interest. Azerbaijan has a strong lobbying group in the UK, and its current TAP pipeline project is reliant on UK support. See also:


    We’ll be backing the awful Aliyev to the hilt, then, and will help him dispose of any competition.

    Incidentally, it caused some raised eyebrows when Tony went to open Piryev Nizami’s new methanol plant in Baku some years ago. The Curse of Blair kicked in, though. The oligarch in question was reportedly arrested in 2015. I can only guess that he got too greedy.


    I guess Tony would probably deny any connection now.

  • David Cohen

    If Craig were interested in the truth he would admit he got it wrong about the Skripals and apologise. The fact he hasn’t shows he is a propagandist.

    • Greg Park

      Yes, astonishing to believe anybody still queries the watertight narratives presented by Theresa May and the intrepid amateur sleuth Eliot Higgins.

    • Andyoldlabour

      @David Cohen,
      What exactly did Craig get wrong?
      Have we had any hard evidence to prove anything in the Skripal case, from the type of poison used, when and where it was used, how it was applied?
      So many contradictory stories from the press, police, government and Bellingcat – mustn’t forget them, Eliot would be displeased not to get a credit on here.

      • David Cohen

        The suspects are gay bodybuilders on holiday, for a start. If Craig isn’t in the pay of the Russian state, he should be.

        • Sc

          He didn’t say that though. Just that at that point you couldn’t completely dismiss the possibility. Unless I missed something.

    • Rob Royston

      Has the truth been revealed yet? Which official is going to explain it? Will the Russian officials agree?

      • Andrew H

        No. Even if the Russians did agree, it wouldn’t change many people’s opinions – they would simply conclude that it was a sleazy backroom deal. I doubt too many people have changed their minds on this since day 1. New evidence only reinforces the opinions of those that already believe the Russians were responsible, but does nothing to convince the sceptics.

    • Garth Carthy

      To DavidCohen:
      How do you know that he got it wrong? What did he get wrong? You imply that you know the truth so please supply the evidence.
      I think you are the one who needs to apologise for your own pathetic attempts at propaganda.

      • Bayard

        “the ‘red security stencil marking’ to be UNDER the top of the head but OVER the right shoulder ”

        It isn’t, it’s over both. Look again.

          • Bayard

            I’m sure it’s all bollocks, which is why HMG have outsourced it to Bellingcrap, so that Eliot Higgins ends up with egg on his face, not them. EH doesn’t mind, the likes of “Manfred Neuhaus” will disbelieve any debunking and no doubt he is being well compensated for this. It just helps to be accurate about the details.

    • bj

      So David, please present us with a tight narrative, which covers all the bases, and is clear solid evidence.
      Or maybe you yourself are an impeccable source?
      Tell us.

    • Paul Greenwood

      Are you prepared to go into The High Court and prove Craig Murray “got it wrong” ? I really have seen no evidence sufficient to convince me once way or the other and defer to scepticism

    • uncle tungsten

      Thank you David, many are interested in the truth, much of which lies hidden in cctv recordings that have been confiscated by the UK state and its forces.

      Free the cctv images would go a long way to discovering the truth. It would also go a long way to returning freedom to Sergei and Yulia Skripal.

      • Allan Howard

        Yes, exactly, but THAT is precisely why we wll never get to see them, and only see what the ‘authorities’ want us to see! And there’s little doubt that they were caught on dozens of CCTVs whilst in Salisbury, on both days. And I have little doubt that any footage on privately owned CCTV – shops, offices and households etc – was ‘confiscated’ first thing on the Monday, before any of the respective owners had reason to check through it themselves (or copy it onto their PCs).

        • Allan Howard

          It just occured to me that the above contradicts what I said below (the post after next) re the CCTVs in any households in the streets in close proximity to Sergei Skripal’s house, and the most likely scenario – despite the fact that it wasn’t until more than three weeks later that the would-be assassins were placed at the house – would have been that such footage would have been ‘confiscated’ as soon as possible.

    • Allan Howard

      David: What would you say the odds are on two people becoming ill and incapacitated in exactly the same moment who had come into contact with a nerve agent some four hours earlier?

      • Allan Howard

        David: It occured to me about a couple of months ago that the reason ‘they’ left it until just over three weeks later before ‘discovering’ AND telling us (via the MSM) that the Skripals and DS Nick Bailey were contaminated/poisoned from touching/gripping the handle of the front door, is because ‘they’ wanted to first deeply embed the poisoning story – and that ‘Russia’/Putin was responsible – in the public consciousness with all the endless ‘speculation’ that happened during the first three weeks or so. THAT was it’s sole purpose.

        But then it also occured to me two or three weeks ago (in the days after the CCTV stills and footage were released to the media of the two suspects), that by leaving it for over three weeks, anyone living close by where Segei Skripal lived who happened to have secuity cameras/CCTV would now NOT have any footage from the day the two suspects supposedly sprayed or coated Novichok on the handle of the front door. The point being of course that had ‘they’ checked the front door handle a day or two after the alleged poisoning – which in the Real World they would have done (and it would of course have been the FIRST thing ‘they’ checked before entering the house) – and ‘discovered’ the Novichok on the handle THEN, they would of course have checked out all the households in the immediate area to ascertain if they had secuity cameras/CCTV, and then checked said CCTV footage. THAT said, it seems highly unlikely that Skripal himself wouldn’t have had CCTV.

        NB Having no knowledge of ‘home’ CCTV, I had been meaning to check out how long footage remains on the system for, but only just got round to it whilst typing out this post (and pretty much as I had assumed):

        ‘Or serious surveillance systems, it usually last from 30 to 90 days. For home / DIY type of simple IP camera setup, it usually last 2 days – 7 days.’

      • Allan Howard

        David: And regarding the first point, I would suggest that the odds on THAT happening is absolute zero, but even if the impossible happened, does it seem remotely possible that having taken four hours or so to begin to take effect, that one would go from being OK to being incapacitated in a matter of seconds – ie after some four hours the two of them are just suddenly totally overcome by the effects of the Novichok, so much so and so suddenly that neither of them is able – or has the time – to dial 999 and call for an ambulance?

        And then there is the ‘mystery’ of his pets. Alive and well and taken away for tests a day or so later, as reported in the Sun on March 17th (his vet having phoned the police as soon as he learnt it was Sergei Skripal who had been poisoned, and who is quoted in the article):


        And then we are being told on April 6th that his two gunea pigs have been found dead and the cat had to be put to sleep etc (because the house had been sealed as “part of the investigation”!):


        NB And as far as I can ascertain, although the latter was widely reported by the MSM, the Sun itself DIDN’T report the latter story (and for obvious reasons if that IS the case).

        • Allan Howard

          Shortly after posting my 04.12 comment above, in which I said at the end that as far as I can ascertain, the Sun DIDN’T cover the the story about the guinea pigs being found dead etc, I went back to the four articles that came up when I did a search (on the Sun’s website) re >skripal pets<, and one of them was an article posted on April 3rd with the headline: Sergei Skripal’s family demand to know why ex-spy’s beloved pet cats and guinea pigs ‘didn’t die from nerve agent’ (which doesn't make sense that they would if, as they surely did, they heard that the Novichok was on the handle of the front door). The fact that it was posted/published JUST three days before the widely reported story about the guinea pigs being found dead etc is an odd coincidence in itself, but what I HADN'T noticed before is that it was actually updated on the 6th! It's quite likely it's all complete fabrication on the part of the Sun, but appears to definitly confirm that the Sun DIDN'T cover the dead guinea pigs etc story, at least not in its online edition anyway.

          Thinking about it again though, the door handle story only broke on March 28th, so maybe the Sun fabricated it in relation to THAT. It would be very interesting indeed to ascertain if these two articles – ie this one, and the one on March 17th – were also in the actual (hard-copy) newspaper. Is anyone able to check?


    • Deb O'Nair

      Craig has asked many pertinent questions which still stand. At times Craig has made assertions which do not stand, and many comments here have highlighted those and voiced their own opinion. There has been no deliberate intent on Craig’s part to deceive, unlike the narrative peddled by the authorities. People here can openly disagree with Craig and can do so without censorship or heavy handed moderation, when Craig get’s it wrong people here say so.

      When dealing with repeated instances of deception (from both sides) and logical fallacies it is easy to jump the gun on some points but why throw the baby out with the bath water? Should Craig be apologising to Theresa May, Boris Johnson, MI5/6, the corporate media for refusing to believe their persistent and deliberate deception whilst making the odd error of judgement in attempting to highlight the aforementioned? Should he apologise to you for your choice in reading his blog? Remember the old adage “I may not agree with what the person says but I will defend with my life their right to say it”.

    • Paul Greenwood

      I used to know a David Cohen but he would never have written such coupled sentences. They read quite strangely really and seem very disturbed because Craig is not a subscriber to your belief system…..the word “truth”……has that connotation. You of course David Cohen “know The Truth” and all shall genuflect before you

  • roddy mackenzie

    A really good article, informative and will change my way of looking at this unexplained wealth order story. But this not really what I want to hear. You have led with the rubbishing of the Skripal affair when it started and I have agreed with much of what you have said. But I have to say I am quite dissapointed that you have not commented on the recent Russian Agent disclosures/stories. You surely cannot just stop commenting on a story when new evidence/fake news comes out. if you want to be taken seriously.

    • Tony_0pmoc

      Why should anyone comment on a complete load of total bollocks except to depricate the psychopaths making it up? Tony

  • Alyson


    THE Electoral Commission has “more than enough” to obtain court orders to compel answers from the DUP and Vote Leave campaign about possible links and allegations ‘dark money’ was channelled through them to influence the Brexit poll, it was claimed last night.

    Electoral law expert Gavin Millar QC was speaking during a BBC Spotlight programme which traced the apparent source of controversial donations to a “phantom company” in the Ukraine with links to a convicted German fraudster.

    There has been controversy over a £435,000 donation from the “secretive” Constitutional Research Council (CRC) to the DUP, which was used to fund pro-Brexit advertisements in England and Scotland including a `wrap around’ on London’s Metro freesheet.

    Spotlight claimed that, while the advert bore the legal imprint of Lagan Valley MP Jeffrey Donaldson on behalf of the DUP, “the ad wasn’t booked by Jeffrey Donaldson or anyone in the DUP (but) by (CRC chairman) Richard Cook”.

    The party also spent money in Scotland, where it provided material for street canvassers that was almost identical to that of Vote Leave – on both occasions when the official campaign had reached its spending limits.

    Mr Millar described this as a “weird mix of facts the like of which I haven’t come across before”.

    The DUP was a registered campaigner in the referendum and as such was allowed to electioneer across the UK and has repeatedly, along with Mr Cook, denied it was in breach of electoral law.

    If the two campaigns were working together on a common plan then, by law, it should have been disclosed to the Electoral Commission.

    The programme said Canadian company Aggregate IQ (AIQ) – a data analytics firm with close ties to Cambridge Analytica – was also paid £32,000 by the DUP in the last two days of the campaign, when Vote Leave had reached its spending limit.

    Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie claimed he was told by AIQ head Jeff Silvester that the DUP was introduced by Vote Leave at a time when it was “looking for ways to put more money into the operation that they were running and the DUP was in effect a vehicle to do that”.

    The programme claimed the AIQ chief had said “he worked with Lee Reynolds in the DUP”.

    However, the Belfast councillor had officially taken a break from the party to oversee the Northern Ireland arm of Vote Leave.

    Mr Millar described the claim as “extremely significant”.

    “The implication is the DUP’s dealings with AIQ are… nominal, that it’s just a sham, that they are a front for in fact the intentions and dealings of Vote Leave.”

    The lawyer said the Electoral Commission should “make detailed and specific demands” of the campaigns and Mr Cook to see whether further investigation “warrants bringing in the police”.

    • Rhys Jaggar

      Was it £16m David Cameron spent plugging Remain through a leaflet tmall households? George Soros plugging Remain? Mark Carney?? Barack Obama???

      £435k is pissing in the wind when it comes to unauthorised Remain propaganda….

        • Alyson

          Just this bit though – ‘Electoral law expert Gavin Millar QC was speaking during a BBC Spotlight programme which traced the apparent source of controversial donations to a “phantom company” in the Ukraine with links to a convicted German fraudster.’ Russian oil billionaires funded the U.K. Brexit Campaign through billionaire Arron Banks, overspending in the process. The word ‘shadowy’ crops up again

          • Sharp Ears

            That Gavin Millar QC. One time member of Cherie Blair’s Matrix Chambers and brother of Fiona Millar, partner of BLiar’s spindoctor, Alistair Campbell with his dodgy dossier.

            Millions of Iraqis were killed and injured in the ensuing Shock and Awe.

      • Tony

        Not to mention the onslaught of pro-remain political and MSM whores who were hauled out pre-referendum, and have been hauled out post-referendum on steroids x 10, day-in-day-out. Brexit ate my hamster!!!

        • Allan Howard

          Tony: I have little doubt that if someone were to do a survey of Leave voters to ascertain what newspaper(s) they read, they would find that the vast majority of them read the Sun or the Mail or the Express or the Daily Star or the Telegraph, which have been vilifying and slagging off the EU for the past twenty years or more with lies and fabrication and half-truths and distortion, along with The Times (only no doubt more subtle). The leaflets referred to may have cost a lot, but it amounted to just ONE leaflet per household (although I certainly don’t recall getting one).

      • Paul Greenwood

        One cannot be right against The Party as Solzhenitsyn observed. Western Society is in the grip of its Orwellian Absolutism in stamping out Thought Crime and “Deviationism”

        • Allan Howard

          Or conversely: In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

          Or more to the point……… exposing their lies and falsehoods etc!

  • Rhys Jaggar

    Rather a lot of Cali cartel money in London too. Not to mention half the City using their product. When they are not using exotic escorts at £300/hr. Who all seem to host in-calls at very nice addresses in extremely expensive areas of London….

    If you do the maths on an agency of escorts sharing a few properties: £200/hr, 50 bookings a week = £500,000 pa income per property. 60% pimping fee = £300k income per flat, should be a solid 5-10% per annum after all expenses with capital appreciation to the property too.

    No wonder property prices are so high….

    • giyane

      The nest of spies in London who are all retired Al Qaida operatives are the hidden cost of maintaining a high-risk policy of neo-colonialism by proxy jihadists. What with the mega-bungs to Erdogan to stop refugees getting into rubber boats, the silly tories might have got young British lads to do their dirty work much cheaper.
      I know, I know the Silk Road , the carpet bombs and the Lafarge bunker concrete …
      youthful Brits might not put up with using weapons from the David Owen era, salvaged from operations in Yugoslavia.

      The deciding thing with Cameron and Hague in 2010 was the sheer exhilaration of deceiving the British public.
      For which the tory shite got the sack come Brexit.

    • Paul Greenwood

      At least UK is a democracy and The City has its Remembrancer sitting behind The Speaker to lobby………so it is clear the great unwashed of British voters are reconciled to a cesspit of corruption

    • JMF

      A great documentary. Notice at 28m:13s Michael says:
      What they (overseas trusts) allow The City to do is get involved in dirty business but then when the scandal hits to say ‘well they’re kind of independent, there’s nothing we can do…’
      In other words, just like their relationship with Bellingcat, a cover to hide behind dirty business.

  • John Morgan

    Hello Craig, have you made a decision to no longer comment on any of Bellingcats Skripal ‘revelations ?

    • copydude

      Reply ↓
      October 11, 2018 at 15:24
      Why should anyone comment on a complete load of total bollocks

      Laugh . . .but, yes. It’s really getting tedious. I rather like John Ward’s, ‘IABATO’. (It’s all bollocks and that’s official.)

      If ever applied, the Tory party would be bankrupt. I read somewhere that political parties have fewer members than the Royal Society for the Preservation of Birds . . . . anyway, certainly less than the National Trust. If Boris didn’t play tennis now and again with ladies of unexplained wealth, they’d be wound up. Oh, and that nice Mr Pereplichny donated a million to the struggling Surrey economy . . . what a philanthropist.

      Just a tedious was Craig’s last piece about the bikini clad bot. I mean, what would we all do without a Red Scare A Day? I loved the Sun front page about the girl who claimed Putin put rat poison in her pizza. No, you didn’t imagine it


      Like you Tony, I can’t be bothered much with this nonsense these days . . . if I was still in Cyprus, I probably wouldn’t even bother with the net. Another sigh and a sangria. But in the face of a truly, shockingly McCarthyist media, I admire Craig’s perseverance.

    • bj

      What are the chances of Bellingcat getting it right twice?

      That ‘dude’ has discredited himself by wanting to be the solver of a case twice.

    • Paul Greenwood

      have you made a decision to no longer comment on any of Bellingcats Skripal ‘revelations ?

      Would seem wise to do so until something substantive is brought forth like say the whereabouts of the Skripals, the health of the DS in Salisbury, the whereabouts of Charlie Rowley and the terms of his licence; or even the results of Toxic Dagger, not to mention the whereabouts of Khashoggi. Bellingcat has so much to prove and we await revelations, quite why he finds out so much in Russia and so little outside Russia is concerning

  • Keith

    Hi. The character now going by the name of ‘Bostock’ is playing a ‘canny’ game at the minute.

  • Hatuey

    I’ve argued for a while that the Skripal affair will come to nothing on the basis that Russian money is too important to “the city” and it’s good to see Craig confirm that and turn to the much more important issue of money laundering and offshore banking.

    I think, for Britain at least, the sabre rattling and propaganda against Russia is about Trident renewal which is going to be almost impossible to justify in 2 years or so when the full brunt of hurricane Brexit makes landfall.

    The thing about offshore money laundering that often gets forgotten is the misery it causes for victims. It’s often perceived as a victimless crime. Can you imagine what life is like for the poor of places like Kazakhstan where these billions are drawn from like lifeblood? Can you imagine what relief the billions might bring them?

    The very same questions are as pertinent here, in 21st century UK. Suicide rates amongst benefits claimants have shot up dramatically in recent years and all the usual social and health indicators point to large numbers of people experiencing third world poverty.

    Meanwhile, the rich and big business couldn’t be doing much better. Tax avoidance has become the norm. Look at the paltry levels of tax that companies like Google pay in the UK — £50 million tax on digital sales of £5.7 billion (in the UK). Countless others foreign countries are doing the same thing and, yet, the focus is on the role of hated migrant workers and royal babies.

    Britain, the money laundering capital of the world, has never been so wretched.

    • Andrew H

      I don’t know that Britain is the money laundering capital of the world. Probably it was in the past, but these days HSBC is an international bank that has no borders.

      • N_

        If you count the City of London’s money laundering outposts in overseas territories and Crown dependencies as well as the laundering done in the City itself and in its offshoots in London outside of the Square Mile, such as in St James’s and Canary Wharf, it is certainly near the top of the world table. You are right about international banks. I don’t think there is any reliable public estimate of how big say the interbank market in derivatives actually is. The Bank of International Settlements (the ratings agency that gets least mentioned, aka the central bankers’ central bank) quotes a figure for the current value of all positions held that is the better part of a quadrillion US dollars (several times larger than annual world output), but that’s only the “over-the-counter” figure, i.e. for trades placed through the markets. It doesn’t count the interbank trading. Given the combination of a high daily volume and secrecy, a lot of this money is funny.

        • Resident Dissident

          I don’t think derivatives or interbank trading are the money launderers financial instrument of choice – I appreciate that you may not like derivatives and there are plenty of other good reasons for doing so, but if you really do want to clean up the stable you really do need a better understanding of the difference between excrement and urine.

          • Resident Dissident

            Yes that may be – but the point is that if you are dismantling cesspits you need to know what you are doing otherwise the end results are inevitable. There is a reason why most revolutions fail.

      • Hatuey

        Andrew, I notice you didn’t take issue with the wretched part.

        Shaxson on 2011, a recognised expert on the subject, estimated that Britain was directly responsible for 20% of the market compared to 21% responsibility attributed to the United States.

        In these terms Britain and the US are without doubt the two most powerful players but Britain through its historical experience of empire has dependencies and connections all over the world that feed and funnel capital directly into “the city”, making it by far the biggest player.

        From memory, I believe Shaxson suggested that Britain probably “accounts for” just over 50% of the total market.

        In his analysis, he found different layers within the British system with “the city” at the core where the capital ends up after it has been laundered.

        Britain’s second layer includes the Channel Islands etc., Ireland, Cyprus, Gibraltar and a couple of others that I forget.

        A third layer includes islands in the Caribbean such as the British Virgin Islands and other dependencies, Hong Kong, Dubai, Mauritius, and a few others.

        The layers are important, catering form different aspects of the market from drug dealers stashing money (in say Gibraltar), to government officials tucking away bribes that they have received, and corporations avoiding tax through things like shell companies and ‘transfer prices’.

        • Andrew H

          If I take issue with anything it is with the imperialistic hangover that we are best at anything – even when that “anything” is money laundering. We are no longer a super power. Yes, we are still very good at money laundering, and certainly some Arab countries and Russia do seem to like London, but are we THE capital? Where does all the dirty Asian money go?

    • copydude

      Good post as always, Hatuey.

      All recent PMs have been briefed on the assumption, ‘look after the City and the rest of the country will look after itself’. Brown followed this to a fault with ‘light touch regulation’ and really believed he had cracked it with his ‘no more boom and bust’, Mansion House speech. Ooops, just before the crash. Still no one has drawn the lessons from this,

      With a population of just 300,000,, Iceland could recover from money laundering to a whale blubber based economy. I don’t think we have that option.

    • SA

      GB Inc will have to play a new role post Brexit which is what the Tories have thier eyes on. As non-members of the EU it will nevertheless not like to be marginalised in NATO, which recently had become the military arm of the EU hence the sabre rattling. The economic hit that will be caused by Brexit they hope will be ameliorated by becoming an even bigger offshoring facility between Europe and the US.

      • laguerre

        NATO the military arm of the EU? That’s a bit hard to credit. NATO is much more like the Delian Confederacy, there to carry out Athenian/US war policy at the expense of the Allies/EU and other non-EU members.

        • SA

          That is the supposed narrative but since the demise of the USSR all new members of the EU had to also join NATO. There are no exceptions.

          • Rowan

            @SA: “NATO, which recently had become the military arm of the EU…” Either you mean that the US itself will become disengaged from NATO, or your use of the expression “military arm of the EU” would imply a new front behind which US domination continues. Which do you think it will be?

          • Paul Barbara

            @ SA October 11, 2018 at 21:35
            Exactly, it’s part of the NWO/One World Gulag the PTB intend to impose on us all.
            That’s why I’m glad we voted out, come hell or high water.
            But there’s many a slip betwixt cup and lip, as other countries have found when they try to escape the EU ’embrace’.

      • Hatuey

        SA, “GB Inc will have to play a new role post Brexit which is what the Tories have thier eyes on…”

        I actually think the whole point in Brexit was to ensure that business continues as usual as far as British money laundering and tax havens are concerned.

        It’s my own theory, I haven’t read it anywhere else, but I think in the wake of the credit crunch “the city” got the jitters and imagined a nightmarish future with new regulations being imposed on their illicit dealings. There was a sort of groundswell of support for punishing banks and dodgy investors etc. back then and it could only have worried them.

        They probably thought they could make sure regulations would not materialise in Britain, they have British politics stitched up like a kipper, but they don’t have the same control over EU politics. And sure enough, the Lisbon Treaty emerged around then (2007 to 2009) and seemed to create a basis for regulating finance, promoting transparency, and countering tax avoidance.

        This is a conspiracy theory, to be sure. But there’s a lot of supporting evidence.

        Around 2008, for example, Farage started appearing everywhere, despite his party losing support and having no MPs — he appeared on question time twice that year. The newspapers ramped up attacks on the EU around then too, giving emphasis to the “immigration problem” — this was a huge issue in the 2010 election campaign. TV programs appeared about Romanians living on British benefits, etc.

        If you look at the way May seems to be keeping financial services out of the Brexit negotiations, it really seems pretty blatant. She is proposing a deal that includes manufactured goods but not services it would seem. That’s not accidental. It deserves to be questioned though since a lot of legitimate service providers are standing in the background worried about jobs etc., but I don’t see anyone rushing to query anything on this.

        And there’s dark money everywhere. Even here is little Scotland there’s big questions about Tory party funding and donations that just appeared out of nowhere. “The City” has a vested interest in keeping Scotland in the UK, of course, oil, land, Trident renewal, etc.

        • SA

          Your analysis suggests that the Brexit agenda has been planned since the financial crisis. I am not so sure as watching everybody on the morning following the results of the referendum was like watching many rabbits facing many headlights, totally dazed and without joy, especially Liam Fox and BJ. I wonder whether the threat of Brexit was meant just to strengthen the hands of politicians against Europe that went out of control.
          As to the financial crisis of 2007 I celebrated too early. I believed that this was going to be the end of capitalism or at least of the kleptocratic economy that is labelled capitalism and that a supposedly socialist leaning government now had a very strong hand in ‘nationalisating’ the banks that they now effectively owned, but no, the supposedly fierce Scotsman Brown acted like a wimp. He nationalised the banks liabilities whilst leaving the banks a free hand raking in the taxpayer subsidised profits.

          • Hatuey

            All these things are connected. You weren’t alone in hoping the banks would be made to pay for the damage they done back then. Personally I was against bailing any of them out.

            The banks and launderers would have been aware of public feeling too and their defensive response was to push Brexit, anti-immigrant stuff and anti-EU stuff. It served a few purposes, distracted people, got them angry and hateful, made them feel victimised, and laid the foundations for escaping EU regulations.

            We saw how powerful the bankers were back then, not how weak banks were. In the US and the UK, they demanded massive bail outs and got them, despite the fact that most people simply wanted to put them in jail.

            If you look into the role of companies like Cambridge Alanytica, it’s staggering to see how little it costs to influence opinions and potentially influence elections. Facebook and social media provide really powerful and efficient tools for that, like nothing we have ever had in the history of propaganda and disinformation.

            It wouldn’t surprise me to hear that no more than say £20 million was spent to win the Brexit vote, to take a country from being passive about the EU and immigrants to one that hated the EU and immigrants.

      • Hatuey

        The primary role of NATO, in its origins and essence, was to contain Germany, not the USSR. After the war there was a lot of concern about a possible German military revival. That’s the basis of the European coal & Steel community too, which was the foundation stone of the EEC — it’s aim was to make war impossible between German and France.

        We find the idea of German militarism quite unlikely and ridiculous today but that is down to NATO. Without NATO, there’d be nothing to stop Germany re-arming. Although, as far as I know, the US has maintained something like 100 thousand troops in Germany to this day, well after the demise of the Soviet Union which was always given as the pretext for NATO.

        • SA

          It is a complex story but what has practically emerged from this military containment of Germany has morphed into a containment for everybody in Europe in unity against Russia. The 100,000 US troops is not only an occupation army but a forward base.
          The threat from Germany to US hegemony , incidentally the same threat posed by Japan, are economic, both export led economies with surplus trade. The US has countered this by military occupation of both countries beyond the original reason and these two countries are harnessed to the US current hegemonic dominance without posing a military threat and incidentally also both are forward bases.
          NATO May have kept the peace after the war but it slowly morphed from a defensive to a very aggressive arm of US foreign policy and changed direction.
          I am surprised that with your razor sharp analytical power Hatuey, that you have not seen this and stick to the old narrative about NATO.

    • Paul Greenwood

      Trident is a missile system and the D5 is currently operational on British Vanguard boats and US Ohio Class submarines.

      Construction started in 2016 on the new Dreadnought Class boats to carry the extended-life D5 Trident missiles with launch tubes drawn from US pooled stocks in King’s Bay and warheads made at Aldermaston under Lockheed operation.

  • John2o2o

    From the article:

    “The orders allow authorities to seize assets over £50,000 from people suspected of corruption or links to organised crime until the owners can account for how they were acquired.”

    Well, I’m not a rich man, but even I would consider £50k of assets to be chicken feed. These orders can just about target anyone with a mortgage who is not rubber stamped as “state approved”.

  • Sharp Ears

    I just want to commend Craig for this powerful piece outlining these facts, some of which we knew about but others not. eg David Owen prostituting himself to Usmanov.

    How can we feel proud of our country when it harbours such a rotten system?

    PS QT tonight from Edinburgh.

    David Dimbleby presents topical debate from the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh.
    On the panel:
    Conservative MP for Aberdeen South Ross Thomson,
    Former leader of the Scottish Labour Party and former contestant on I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here Kezia Dugdale MSP,
    Brexit minister for the Scottish government Mike Russell MSP,
    Crime writer Val McDermid
    Spectator editor Fraser Nelson.

    So two Blue Tories and one Red one!

    • Resident Dissident

      Bit unfair to call Russell a Red Tory when we all know he is a Tartan one!.

      And what would be your ideal panel for QT?

    • Herbie

      David Owen used to get loads of positive media back in the day. Spreads in the Sundays, him and his lovely wife and their lovely house, in Limehouse, it was then.

      I think they were setting him up for the Labour leadership but didn’t pan out that way and he set up the SDP and allied with the Libs and the whole thing turned into a media lampoon for some reason.

      Then the LibDems was formed, buggered Labour again, and became extinct.

      Next week we’ll be covering the rise of the far right in Britian, and its sharp demise. The rise of UKIP, and the Brexit that isn’t really a Brexit.

      And St Jeremy will be reading from his second letter to the Romans.

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Herbie October 11, 2018 at 23:49
        There’s a counter demo Saturday, 13:00 -16:00, alongside Parliament Square:
        ‘Stand up to the racist DFLA
        Old Palace Yard, London, SW1P 3, United Kingdom
        Saturday 13th October 13:00 – 16:00

        ‘In the US and Europe, the far-right is on the march. From Steve Bannon and Donald Trump in the US to the rise of Viktor Orbán in Hungary, the far right is at its strongest across the western world since the 1930s.

        This poison is infecting Britain too, with a newly energised, well funded network of hate threatening to destroy our country. This Saturday, the racist and Islamophobic ‘Democratic’ Football Lads Alliance (DFLA) are planning a demonstration in London. Join us in standing up to them.
        Click to join the Facebook event for Saturday
        Join the Facebook event
        The far-right may be on the rise, but we can beat them. We’ve done it before. When Oswald Mosley descended on Cable Street with his fascist blackshirts, 10,000 local residents came out to stop them marching. When the fascist National Front tried to march from New Cross to Lewisham, 4,000 residents again came out to oppose them. And more recently in Dagenham, thousands of anti-fascist volunteers saw off Nick Griffin’s parliamentary run and made sure the BNP lost all 12 of their council seats.
        Now is the time to do it again. Join Momentum and other anti-racist organisations on Saturday 13 October at 1pm at Old Palace Yard, London, SW1P 3JY to show the DFLA they’re not welcome.
        I’ll stand up to the DFLA
        See you on Saturday!
        In solidarity,
        Team Momentum’

        ‘… ‘Democratic’ Football Lads Alliance..’??? Since when have football hooligans been interested in politics?
        Perhaps ‘Undemocratic Football Louts Alliiance’ might be a bit more near the truth? Not, certainly, for all of them, but for a very high percentage (don’t tell ’em I wrote that!).

        • Sharp Ears

          @Paul Barbara

          Your link gives this –

          Sorry, something went wrong.
          We’re working on getting this fixed as soon as we can.
          Go Back


  • N_

    Another media coup by Class War in London. Nice one!

    Moronic Lara Keay at the Daily Heil seems to have written most of her article by cut-and-pasting from Twitter. (Is that what you learnt on your journalism degree, Lara?) The comment “let’s feed the poor instead”, as a response to a campaign against manspreading on the Tube run by British anarchism’s top propaganda experts, is especially funny. Others include

    “It’s this sort of thing that puts people off left wing politics”
    “Had enough of this feminism b*******, If I want to man spread I f****** will” and
    “I am 8 months pregnant and am doing some serious ‘man spreading’ of my own!”

    Class War are doing well at the moment. They did well with Rees-Mogg and they’re doing well with this. This article raised my spirits, because it shows how easy it is, given imagination and energy, to use the weight of the media – exerted by morons who write articles in the Heil and by other morons who write comments in Twitter – AGAINST IT.

    • Tony

      Ivan Rogers went native. He was identified as a 100% an EU man, and sent on his merry way accordingly (to the Falklands, I believe) in complete disgrace. Doesn’t surprise me that someone who constantly lies about the status of European travel by UK residents (despite being repeatedly corrected) is bigging up such a discredited figure.

      • laguerre

        Difficult to know what you’re on about, as not much relationship to any known facts. I guess you’ve just copy-pasted your standard smear of Rogers from somewhere else.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ laguerre October 11, 2018 at 20:29
      Quagmires ve can handle, already. WWIII we can’t.

      • Paul Barbara

        @ N_ October 11, 2018 at 20:39
        Ah, St. John’s Wood – the first time (in my recollection) I ever set foot in a Synagogue (a Liberal Synagogue it turned out to be).
        I attended an Amnesty International meeting (I think it was about Mordecai Vanunu; I know that either on that or another occasion Peter Hounam spoke.
        But the important thing was, that as I entered I was handed a leaflet by Tapol, the Indonesian Human Rights organisation, and for the first time (I believe it was 1984) I learnt about the tragedy of East Timor. That led to my heavyweight campaigning from then (it built up) to about 1999.
        That is what St. John’s Wood means to me.

  • Resident Dissident

    One has to laugh Craig quite correctly labels the Azeri regime as appallingly kleptocratic – but if anyone wishes to make the same accusation against the Putin regime then that is labelled Russophobia. Why the difference? Of course the reality is that there is an awful of mutual backscratching between the kleptocrats of the former Soviet Union be they Russian, Azeri, Uzbek, Ukrainian etc. – and their main victims are the ordinary people of those countries from whom they are stealing.

    • Herbie

      “One has to laugh Craig quite correctly labels the Azeri regime as appallingly kleptocratic – but if anyone wishes to make the same accusation against the Putin regime then that is labelled Russophobia.”

      The Russian govt does seem to be moving towards a western-style democracy though, rather than simply a family-style operation.

      You’d have to grant that.

      I mean, you were in Russia in those desperate 90s when oligarchs and Harvard economists were looting left right and centre, the people reduced to extreme penury and early death.

      And yet you continually attack Putin for having given his country its legs again.


      Almost as if you preferred the 90s under the Yeltsin family.

      • Resident Dissident

        Capital outflows from Russia have increased substantially even from the Yeltsin days when they were bad. The main difference is that the “family” are now much better organised and rather less tolerant of any dissent.

        • Resident Dissident

          You should perhaps remember that Putin was what rose out of the Yeltsin era – a certain Mr Berezozsky played not a small role in his appointment. I’m afraid the oligarch’s just became rather more organised in defending their interests.

          • Rowan

            @ Resident Dissident: “Putin was what rose out of the Yeltsin era – a certain Mr Berezovsky played not a small role in his appointment.” But Berezovsky was an MI6 asset. He was thrown out by Putin at the same time as Guzinsky, who appears to have been a CIA asset. At least, their destinations suggest that.

      • Resident Dissident

        One could say that Russia has gone from being a monarchy governed and controlled by a small number of authoritarian thugs, to a communist state governed and controlled by a small number of authoritarian thugs and then to a mafia state controlled by a small number of authoritarian thugs. But in the meantime it is the ordinary people who continue to see the plentiful resources of their wonderful country being used to enrich a small minority – the Russian people are not animals or barbarians, as anyone with the slightest inkling of their culture can testify, and they deserve so much better.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Resident Dissident October 11, 2018 at 22:27
      Thank God, our klepto’s wouldn’t even dream of stealing from us…..or laundering their ill-gotten gains.
      Oh to be a dissident, now that winter’s here.
      Those pesky Russkis might turn off the gas, but Trump can give us a ‘Berlin Sealift’, at a price.

      • Resident Dissident

        Straw man I’m afraid – your only real argument is this forum’s favourite that my enemies enemies are my friend.

  • Sharp Ears

    Interesting that Judge Supperstone succumbed to pressure from the woman’s lawyers to grant anonymity. Good for Lord Justice Sales.

    ‘Mr Justice Supperstone last week discharged an anonymity order, preventing identification of Ms Hajiyeva and her husband, their country of origin, the bank Mr Hajiyev worked for and the two properties under question.

    On Tuesday, Lord Justice Sales dismissed an application to extend the anonymity order, ruling that “no good case” had been made for its extension.’

    For reference and as a comparison to the obscene wealth of the Hajiyeva pair –
    ‘Average Salary in Baku, Azerbaijan. The average salary in Baku is $650 per month according to Numbeo. Rent, utility bills and transport cost around $300 per month.’
    18 Aug 2016

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