The Ignominious Death of the United Kingdom 1074

I am in Ghana and had some Ghanaian friends in the apartment here while I was watching the budget. I was ashamed, and they were incredulous, at the sheer crassness of the entire event. Hammond’s manner and delivery were beyond embarrassing. The constant stream of infantile jokes, of which the lengthy stream of toilet humour was just one part, was beyond childish. The worst thing about it is that Hammond apparently genuinely believed he was funny.

But even worse was the petty party nature of so much of it. The obsequious reference to DUP MPs by name, the grovelling towards new Tory “star” Ruth Davidson, the puerile digs at the SNP, the shoehorning in of an anti-semitism reference, the pathetic jibe at John MacDonnell’s accident. The Ghanaians with me observed that it would all have disgraced a school debating society.

Most of the budget’s rehashed public spending announcements and tax cuts for the wealthy are not worth analysis. The condemnation of PFI was very welcome, but it has taken 20 years for the political class – Red Tories or Blue Tories – to acknowledge the blindingly obvious, that they have used it as a device massively to abuse public services to rip off the taxpayer to the benefit of the bankers and wealth managers who funded the PFI schemes.

Hammond made the constantly repeated Tory claim that the income gap between rich and poor in the UK is shrinking. It depends what you are measuring. While it is indeed true that the income gap between the top and bottom deciles is slightly shrinking, the gap between the top centile and the bottom decile – or any other decile, including the between the top centile and the top decile – is expanding very fast. In short, we are taking on the characteristics of a helot society, where distinctions between the upper middle class and working class are reducing, but the gap to the extremely wealthy is growing.

In Ghana this last week I have made a point of asking a large number of Ghanaians, from drivers and students to businessmen and senior ministers, whether, in exchange for a higher standard of living and free immigration to the UK, they would give up Independence and become a colony again. I have been met with incredulity and outrage that I would even ask such a question, and even anger from those who misunderstood my motive in asking.

Ghanaians are of course quite right. Any nation should be outraged at the idea it would voluntarily become subservient, or that its allegiance can be bought for money. Which is why I am incapable of understanding the mentality of unionists in Scotland, many of whom were swayed in 2014 by arguments their pension might be reduced or their currency depreciated.

As everybody who canvassed in the 2014 knows, and opinion polls confirm, it was not those on the breadline who were influenced by these arguments. The worse off were solidly pro-Independence (except for the Orangemen, whose thought processes are not rational). It was the bungalow dwellers of suburbia who were swayed by the fear that they might not be able to trade in their Nissan Qashqai after three years as they intended.

In fact, I think the arguments Scotland will be worse off after Independence are demonstrably nonsense. But even were they true, I cannot express the degree of my contempt for those who value national freedom in pennies, and weigh self-respect against gold.

Independent states which are geographically, climatically, and in population and demographics closest to Scotland – Ireland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Iceland – are all markedly wealthier than Scotland, despite Scotland’s terrific endowment of national resources. Why do some Scottish people believe they are inferior to the inhabitants of these countries, and would be unable to run their own affairs and economy?

The fact that Ireland, Norway, Denmark, Iceland and Sweden are all markedly wealthier than England, but that Scotland is poorer, should be sufficient indicator that the Union has not brought the claimed historical benefits, compared to those small independent states. So should the fact that, in 1707, the population of Scotland was a quarter that of England, and after three hundred years of union it is a tenth, while the population of the Highlands has only just returned to the original level. The fact that the A1 is, amazingly, still not much dualed north of Morpeth, while Crossrail is a national UK expenditure; the fact that high speed rail – like Crossrail accounted for in GERS as a national UK expenditure – will not come north of Leeds; the massive concentration of central government functions in London, and the long term effect of that on economic development: given all these indicators, you have to be slightly crazy to believe an independent Scotland would not be better off.

Astonishingly, this collection of untalented careerists that constitutes the “government of the United Kingdom” is managing currently to extend its lead in the UK wide opinion polls, while falling back again into third place in Scotland. I have sympathy for friends in England who do not wish Scotland to be independent, because the Tories have such a majority in England. But they have no right to force Scotland to live under a succession of Tory governments, which it has not voted for in over 60 years. Similarly, the Scots have no right to prevent the English from living under Theresa May – or even under Jacob Rees Mogg – if the English continue inexplicably to wish to do so.

I have expressed for many years the hope that I will see Scottish Independence and a United Ireland before I die. I am happy to say I am now convinced that I will do so. That the end of the UK would be marked by such a squalid, incompetent and dysfunctional political leadership I could not have dared to hope. Thank God the UK will soon be over.

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1,074 thoughts on “The Ignominious Death of the United Kingdom

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  • Sharp Ears

    Craig Murray
    Craig Murray Retweeted Adam Dabrowski
    Sorry I am away and missed this. The story of Maczek and Anders’ men is an incredible inspiration. I remember with huge emotion in the mid 90’s helping track down veterans in Poland and when touring handing them the medals they had not been able to receive in the communist years
    Craig Murray added,
    Edynburg. Pomnik gen. Maczka odsłonięty. Dokonał tego major Zbigniew Mieczkowski. Polski ślad juz na zawsze w sercu stolicy Szkocji #PolesInUk @generalMaczek @PR24_pl #Edinburgh @RadioZagranica @polskieradiopl

    I see that our fine government denied this brave man a pension. He had to work as a bartender in a hotel in Edinburgh where this statue has just been unveiled. We are good at statues to the heroic dead but not so good when they are alive it would seem.ław_Maczek

  • Dungroanin

    Oh hello … the government with guidance from CRAPITALL seems to be finding a berth for their head chopper White Helmet type mercenaries

    Lol the myth of the great british armed forces and soldiering, in this of all weeks, finally being flushed down the sewers where it always belonged.

    Our boys are too busy being tax free consultants in the record number of private mercenary companies based in the UK. So we need some non-brits instead. As there won’t be complaints when they get bodybagged. And the mercenaries will happily walk the British streets shooting unarmed civilians and protestors, because they won’t be related to them.

    The warning signs of the great crushing of independent news and opinions are flashing RED. We are not far off draconian orders /riot act readings/ internment/ secret trials and executions…

    The Money is scared and when that happens it gets lethal… prepare to fight back, find new communication channels and self organise.

    • Sharp Ears

      No words there Dungroanin.

      Earlier on Marr’s Start the Week on Radio 4, Lindsey Hilsum’s book on Marie Colvin , In Extremis, was being publicized. The book is being read this week on Book of the Week. Marr

      ‘Episode 1
      Book of the Week
      In Extremis: The Life of War Correspondent Marie Colvin
      Lindsey Hilsum’s compelling biography is a tribute to the courageous and inspiring journalist who sought always to bear witness to the brutal truths of war. Read by Juliet Aubrey.
      Lindsey Hilsum’s new book tells the story of Marie Colvin, the brave and daring journalist who, throughout a career distinguished by bravery and compassion, was driven to shine a light on the realities of some of the world’s most devastating conflicts from the 1980s until 2012 when she was killed covering the war in Syria. Away from the battlefield, she was a hard-drinker and had a reputation for throwing wild parties. She was a great friend, but her personal life was often troubled and rackety. After she was hit by a grenade in Sri Lanka in 2001, she was tormented by debilitating nightmares, and was eventually diagnosed with PTSD, nevertheless, she continued her work documenting the suffering of ordinary people enduing war.
      Lindsey Hilsum is the International Editor for Channel 4 News and has covered many conflicts, sometimes alongside Marie Colvin.’

      The warmongers’ stenographers.

      I see that Eve Pollard, described as a ‘Fleet Street legend’ elsewhere! and Claudia Winkleman’s mother, has been recruited to RSF (Reporters without Borders). Keeping it in the BBC family.
      RSF Launches UK Bureau, Announces Eve Pollard as Chair of the Board

      ‘RSF is also pleased to welcome to its UK board a number of other prominent figures, including:
      Director of News and Current Affairs of the BBC James Harding;
      Channel 4 news presenter Jon Snow; Editorial Director of The Sunday Times Eleanor Mills; professor of journalism and columnist for The Guardian Roy Greenslade; Executive Director of the European Publishers’ Council Angela Mills-Wade; Doughty Street Chambers barrister Siobhan Grey; UK Chairman and Media Freedom Representative of the Association of European Journalists William Horsley; and Executive Director of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation Nathalie Delapalme.’ Abandon all hope!|

      • Sharp Ears

        Skimming through the tweets on Paul Conroy’s Twitter account gives one a good idea on the extent of the anti-Assad propaganda being put out. He is the photographer who accompanied Marie Colvin for the Sunday Times and who features in a film entitled ‘Syria – The Impossible Revolution’.
        ‘Three years in the making this feature length documentary offers unique insights into the roots of the Syrian Revolution and how what began as a peaceful uprising turned into a very brutal conflict as the Assad regime cracked down.

        ‘Syria – The Impossible Revolution,’ a film by Anne Daly and Ronan Tynan, seeks to unravel the roots and ‘complexities’ of the bloodiest conflict in the Middle East as well as the politics of the Western response. It also examines why some elements on the Left are on the same page as the extreme Right defending the Assad regime against “US imperialism” apparently oblivious to the role of Iran and especially Russia and her indiscriminate bombing of civilians as well as targeting hospitals which many charge are war crimes?

        The film traces the roots of the Syrian revolution through the regime of Assad’s father up to the fall of Aleppo. Using extensive archive and interviews with a wide range of people directly involved as well as experts on the region, the documentary seeks to offer some understanding about a conflict that has plumbed new depths in terms of the toll it has extracted on civilians. Some suggest more than five hundred thousand are already dead, half the population have fled their homes and five millions are now refugees in Europe and neighbouring countries with little prospect of returning any time soon.

        The film also examines the rise of the jihadis including Islamic State and Al Qaeda with evidence partly nurtured by Assad as he continues to present himself as “fighting the war on terror”. Meanwhile, the violence has drawn in almost every major power, as well as all of the leading regional powers. But one thing is clear, civilians and ordinary Syrians seem to count for little or nothing in their calculations.

        Paul Conroy, the legendary war photographers, described the documentary as “an incredible film on the history of the Syrian conflict’. Paul was wounded in Syria in 2012 when his colleague war correspondent Marie Colvin was killed in Baba-Amr, Homs by an Assad regime artillery barrage targeted at their press centre. French photographer Remi Ohlick was also killed in the same attack.

        ‘Syria – The Impossible Revolution’ is an Esperanza Production and was directed by Ronan L Tynan and co-produced with Anne Daly.’

        The crowd must hate the fact that Assad did not let them have his country.

        • Ian

          So you’ve seen it, then. Or are you just regurgitating the usual black and white scenario of your dreams, as if it were fact?

  • Republicofscotland

    Watch the video, of how our rights to protest are being undermined, and how in some cases the police do not differentiate peaceful protesters from violent radical protests.

    “A video by the Network for Police Monitoring (Netpol) delivers a chilling warning about our right to protest in 2018. War on Dissent: the Shrinking Space for Protest in the UK explains how the police are clamping down on our right to dissent. And it is essential viewing for anyone taking action, or concerned about our civil liberties.”

    • Radar O’Reilly

      Some ‘wrongs’ certainly when the underfunded police are clamping down on citizens rights, that means they have been ordered to do that as a political force, let’s look wider, towards Germany

      Amazingly, the recently sacked {promoted?} head of the Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz or BfV (MI5) has been re-sacked, faster than planned, as he seems to have been briefing against lefties. I naively have nothing against lefties, but I mostly use my right hand. He was exposing himself in a closed-door address about {overtly} entering politics, to the rest of the rabid fellow European domestic spy chiefs.
      Their spooky spy chat appeared on the BfV Intranet, then the SüddeutscheZeitung! Is there no privacy anymore?

      Slightly more of the same from an obscurely funded yank newspaper, pretending to be european, they mention that Maaßen was promoted-sacked, sounds very Whitehall.

      On a more positive note, from the Daily Mail, keeping their ratio of one good story for a thousand shameful ones, here’s Professor Sir TimBL to the rescue. It’s certainly worth a try Tim!

      This above then is positive user generated content, in the spirit of ‘fight for the web’ so that it remains open for everyone, and that even the privacy of secret squirrels can sometimes be respected.

      • Paul Greenwood

        Maassen simply stated that the Media created a farrago of lies about Chemnitz. German Media is famed for its outrageous lies in reporting. Spiegel Magazine just accepted a Cease & Desist Order rather than go to Court for writing an article stating a leading AfD MdB used a chauffeur-driven car to visit brothels and billed the cost to his expenses……….before stating a paragraph below (hidden behind paywall) that this was an “example of fake news” and wholly untrue. The Internet circulated the “fake news” as intended by Markus Feldenkirchen in issue 42/2018.

        In the case of Chemnitz, Maassen stated the “fake news” was of no benefit save to Extreme Left of the SPD out to foment trouble in Sachsen and undo the GroKo in Berlin.

        He was moved to the Interior Ministry because the SPD wanted him removed from office. The Greens wanted the Counter-Intelligence (MI5/Special Branch) abolished; and Merkel needed to keep her Coalition together. After the Bayern Vote the CSU no longer has that much credibility so Seehoefer is toast. After Hessen the SPD is headed for oblivion. To hold the CDU in the Coalition Merkel did a John Major and resigned as Party Leader; Seeghoefer sacrificed Maassen; and the SPD will stay on board for fear of Wipeout with 13% in opinion polls behind AfD.

        German Media is not to be trusted. It stages events and is known to hire actors as demonstrators. There are real shades of Weimar (technically “First Berlin Republic”) in what goes on and in the UK you have so little idea of reality on the ground.

      • Sharp Ears

        I never knew…..

        ‘POLITICO, a global nonpartisan politics and policy news organization, launched in Europe in April 2015. POLITICO Europe is a joint-venture between POLITICO LLC, based in the USA and Axel Springer, the leading publisher in Europe.

        With operations based in Brussels and additional offices in London, Berlin, Paris, Warsaw, and Frankfurt, POLITICO connects the dots between global power centers. Its journalism lives online at; in POLITICO Pro, the real-time subscription-based policy news service for professionals; in daily morning newsletters, such as Brussels Playbook and London Playbook; in print via a weekly newspaper; and through live events.’

        Thanks for the info Radar.

        • Radar O’Reilly

          Thanks Paul G for your expert input, my hour spent last week at Stuttgart Airport failed to clarify German machinations. I was very impressed tho’ by only seeing electric vehicles (except for those with wings)

          @SE yep, the Politico is probably an example of what happened after this event in 2012

          Seeking to overturn the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948 and Foreign Relations Authorization Act in 1987—that had been passed to protect U.S. audiences from our own government’s misinformation campaigns

          A lot of our ‘fake-news’ obviously started then ($1,000,000,000,000 budget!) as we’ll see tomorrow morning

          Quoting a random, but seemingly interesting person on the interwebs, he found evidence to his satisfaction that Springer was a bit ‘iffy’ in those days of old, allegedly

          More study is needed, I say respectfully

          and perhaps everyone every – citizens should make web content that is ‘rich and relevant,’ build online communities that respect civil discourse and human dignity, so that everyone feels safe and welcome, as well as ‘fight for the web’ so that it remains open for everyone

  • Sharp Ears

    Gen Stanley McChrystal of Iraq and Afghanistan infamy, has retired from the US military and has become a snake oil salesman.

    He was on BBC this morning selling the services of his McChrystal Group with the accent on leadership and ‘transformative change’.

    It provides advisory services in many spheres, a leadership institute and diagnostic assessments.

    The team is large. Dozens of them and their profiles here.
    There is also a London contact address.

    He is doing OK for himself.

    This person, an ex UK army colonel, was a director of McChrystal Group’s UK company from June 2017. He resigned in September this year. ??
    Alexander-Cooper is now with EGM Ltd.

    Who employs these personnel and who pays them?

      • Dungroanin

        Aye SE, the deepshits are revving up, many a recon troll on the boards collecting our names.

        As revealed in one of Corbetts reports – the shits are asking what to do when their propaganda Runs into knowledge centres like Craig, independent journalists, and punters like you and me?

        The answer is … wipe us all out in one fell swoop!

        Justification to be offered by ‘expert’ known journalistic gateys and their nouveaux faux worthy groups, that you identify.

        They still don’t get it! These Mr and Mrs Jones’, do they? They LOST the moment they started ridiculing us and now they are going to attack!

        Ah well at least the deepshit gateys won’t need to be dragged out into the light, as they charge into our valley of death. Lol.

    • Geoffrey

      He features heavily in Seymour Hersh’s “The killing of Osama Bin Laden”, which I am now reading. Obama initially relied heavily on his special forces to go and kill people they decided were undesirable. In Afghanistan they found they were killing the wrong Taliban ,the relatively moderate, effectively making it more and more extreme.
      The story of the assassination, he was killed in cold blood , shot in to little pieces and then his body parts thrown out of the chopper, is slightly different to the propaganda version. The the compound was unguarded and the Seals were led up to the old man by a Pakistani officials the Seals then shot him into little pieces.
      I thought I was a cynic who didn’t believe much of the propaganda coming from Obama and US military, but even I believed the story about the burial at sea.
      The Seals had not expected

      • pretzelattack

        the burial at sea “out of respect for muslim traditions” always struck me as grade a horseshit. obama was good at directing folks who were good at killing folks” (at least unarmed geriatric folks) to do so. so was the guy he replaced, bush 2.0.

      • giyane

        Osama bin Laden asked for permission from the US authorities to thrash the Muslims into reform, and permission was readily granted. We all know that the twin towers were detonated by their owners so it’s fair to assume that Bin Laden knew about and agreed to the reprisals that followed including the carpet bombing of Afghanistan and the rise to power of the wrong kind of Taliban. The purpose of drones has always been to kill moderate voices in order to allow the maniacs to prevail.

        Islamists believe that Usama bin Laden was being shielded by the faith and honour of Muslims inside the Pakistani military a form of Muslim saint-hood and Robin hood isation of someone who threatened US power. The reality is that Bin Laden knew perfectly well that the Zionists wanted Islam to be seen as a violent, psychotic sect and he was happy to act the part of glory while knowing it was a path of betrayal.

        It matters little whether he died of kidney failure or the death of a super-annuated slave who had outlived his usefulness. There is more honour imho in the first, a weak man whose intellect was raddled by the east comforts of the Western lifestyle, allowing himself to be used by the enemies of Islam as a kind of honoured patsy. Yes, the burial at sea, was the burial of an idea.

    • Paul Greenwood

      Who employs these personnel and who pays them?

      CIA/MI6 Slush Funds as “cutouts” and certain global businesses like Exxon or Shell or GE or Raytheon or Lockheed or BAe

  • Jack

    ‘75,000 Russian informants’: UK think tank report mocked after they conduct only 16 interviews

    Just imagine the growing volume of elite people in west that just want to get on with WW3.

  • Dungroanin

    Hear that windswept sound?

    That is day one of the US sanctions regime against entities still trading with Iran.

    • Jack

      It seems to me that Trump is being led by neocons and he seems to take the bait every time when it comes to warfare, wouldnt surpise me if Trump order a oil/blockade against Iran.

      • Dungroanin

        Trump didn’t escalate in Syria like Hills was gagging todo by imposing a no fly zone, against the Russians!

        Has he started any wars?

          • Jack


            What is your point? Why does he have to start a “new war” before we could criticize him?

        • SA

          “Has he started any wars?”

          Well maybe not but has certainly set the ground for greater instability. He has renaged in three international treaties, started a trade war, fuelled more Palestinian killing, driving the planet to extinction, but yeah full marks for taking more time to destroy the world at a slower pace.

      • Paul Greenwood

        oil blockade against Iran means closing the Straits of Hormuz. Pakistan is dependent on oil from the region representing 24% total imports especially refined petroleum. Blockade the Straits of Hormuz and watch the Subcontinent go up in flames and street riots in England

    • Dungroanin

      End of week 2 of the Great Iran Sanctions … all i see is some tumbleweed … last week when all the leaders were in close proximity , the genius potus managed to keep the subject on the weather – that is what was in the papers.

      As the end of his second year approaches – there is no war with the DRK and Rocketman seems happy enough.
      The inadequate ‘obamacare’ is still in place.
      There is no Wall being built.
      Even the great migrant invasion ‘WALKING’ slowly across Mexico (!) seems to have gone off the trail.
      There is method to his ‘madness’ if people can be bothered to look instead of pointing and screaming ‘evil, evil, etc’.

      Anyone interested in current events in Idlib? The White Helmets and their chemical weapons? Why there is an increased senate majority? The failure of Democrat Machine to engage with the voters with their top down parachuted DS candidates?

      Take the preconcived blinkers off and look at the actual actions , not just the blustery words which are just the weather.

  • BrianFujisan

    Many Congratulations to Paul and Peter on their wedding

    we bumped into him in the Kilt shop in Greenock

    The Wee Ginger Dug is Back

    ” Well that’s me back from the USA with a ring on my finger. And thanks to Theresa May and her hostile policy for immigration, I’m married with all of the consequences that brings for better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, but without actually being able to wake up next to my spouse in the same bed…

    ” Brexit is due to take place at 11pm on Friday 29 March next year. That is when the UK will officially leave the EU. We need to ensure that the following day, Saturday 30 March, Scotland witnesses the biggest, the loudest, the most energetic and enthusiastic demonstration of support for Scotland’s right to choose its own destiny that this country has ever seen. It’s a day when there are going to be a lot of upset people, people who have been betrayed by a British establishment that has let Scotland down. It’s a day when no one will be able to pretend that Brexit isn’t happening. That’s the day when we have the potential to mount an event which could potentially dwarf even the massive march in Edinburgh in October, an event which can’t be ignored.

    I’ve been privately sounding out a few people within the indy movement, and there seems to be support for the idea. It’s early days yet, but we have several months to make this happen. Let’s get working. If no one is going to save you, you have to save yourself, and if anyone has the skills, the talents, and the resources to do so it’s the people of this remarkable country. Let’s get loud. 2019 is going to be the year that the Scottish lion roars.

    • fonso

      The British establishment was overwhelmingly in favour of remaining in the EU. It doesn’t make sense to blame them.

      • Republicofscotland

        Brexit wasn’t about the British establishment, it was a Tory oneupmanship contest within the party, and the leavers within the party won.

        They are rich and no matter how damaging Brexit is, or how much economic suffering it causes, their wealth will shield them from it.

        They couldn’t care less about those who will be hardest hit by the Brexit debacle. They want out of the EU, after which, laws they design, cannot be interfered with by EU legislation. You can bet your bottom dollar, that the laws which they will formulate in their twisted minds will be far more harsher than say the Bedroom tax or UC, and current sanctions. For it will be the poorest and the most vulnerable in society that will feel the brunt of their decisions.

        The rich will however receive the usual benefits tax cuts etc.

        Don’t expect Labour to be your saviour, John McDonnell agrees with tax cuts for the rich, and the HoL, is jam packed with self-serving Labour troughers.

        • Ingwe

          Quite agree RoS- Labour promises much but, in the event it is elected, will deliver fuckall. Already Corbyn and McDonnell have rowed back from promises to reverse cuts in public spending etc.
          For as long as I’ve been voting (1973) I’ve voted Labour as the lesser of two evils. Now I realise that voting at all simply legitimises a system giving people the impression that their vote can actually change anything. It can’t and it won’t.
          Take to the barricades if you want real change!

        • fonso

          ‘Brexit wasn’t about the British establishment’

          Right. That is why it makes no sense blaming them for it.

          • Paul Greenwood

            BreXit was ANTI-British Establishment. The Remain Vote was highest in areas of highest Per Capita Public Spending and vice versa

          • Dave Lawton

            November 5, 2018 at 19:55

            ‘Brexit wasn’t about the British establishment’

            You do not speak for me and others who are wide awake,
            For me it was . I voted Brexit,it was revenge because I knew from 1972 until the 1975 referendum the UK were lied to and propagandised to remain in the EU from the secretly funded IRD a department of the foreign office headed by Norman Reddaway who was the worlds biggest liar and propagandist to vote to remain in the EU in 1975.The leave voters had the generosity of spirit to accept the result and went on to support it not like today.It was the same Norman Reddaway who brainwashed the British public to accept the Indonesian mass killings of 1965–66 which was about 500,000..He was in France just before WW2 with a secret unit named Phantom when he heard that the Balloon had gone up he said “What fun.”This is on record.

  • Republicofscotland

    As Harry and Megan swan around the Southern hemisphere at the taxpayers expense, and the 900 or so lords in the HoL continue to collect £300 quid a day, and eat well from a taxpayer subsidised canteen. The UN has decided to begin an investigation into extreme povery in the UK.

    “The United Nations has launched an investigation into extreme levels of poverty in one of the richest countries in the world: the United Kingdom.”

    “Philip Alston, the UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, starts a two-week fact-finding mission Monday, visiting some of the country’s poorest towns and cities to examine the effects of austerity measures on rising levels of hardship.”

    The Tory government has told us that austerity is over, that is a shameful lie. Millions of families still require handouts of food from foodbanks, and Universal Credit has plunged millions more into poverty and debt.

    • nevermind

      Subsidised canteen and bar, so the selfserving darlings can get merry whenever they want.

      206 Mps and Lords have a vested personal interest in the flogging off of the NHS to the/ir cheapest bidder.
      80% of these 206 ate Torys.

    • Sharp Ears

      How shaming for this country and the Tories.

      Last year, Mr Alston reported on poverty in the US.

      UN expert on extreme poverty and human rights to visit USA, one of the wealthiest countries in the world

      GENEVA (29 November 2017) – The UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Philip Alston, will visit the United States from 1 to 15 December 2017 to examine government efforts to eradicate poverty in the country, and how they relate to US obligations under international human rights law.

      “Some might ask why a UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights would visit a country as rich as the United States. But despite great wealth in the US, there also exists great poverty and inequality,” said Mr. Alston.

      “I would like to focus on how poverty affects the civil and political rights of people living within the US, given the United States’ consistent emphasis on the importance it attaches to these rights in its foreign policy, and given that it has ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.”

      He will meet government officials, people living in poverty, civil society organizations and academic experts to address a wide range of key areas including the criminal justice system, welfare and healthcare, barriers to political participation, homelessness, and basic social rights such as the right to social protection, housing, water and sanitation.’

    • Paul Greenwood

      Philip Alston is brother of the former Australian High Commissioner to UK.

      Britain has simply returned to its long-term trend. “The Aberration” lasted from 1945-1976 after which it returned to its long-term nature as a country of EMIGRATION for better opportunities and attractive only to Third World Types able to survive on its welfare-capitalist basic model of child-rich income poor living.

  • BrianFujisan

    November 5, 2018 at 19:08

    Very well said..

    I have always said No one will Die, on the Indy March…

    but I am heartbroken every day..Over 50% of Britain agrees, or says nothing about the Daily Photos { ALTERNATIVE MEDIA ) of
    infant Skeletons Dying in Yemen .. no wonder I can’t sleep

  • Jim Sinclare

    I can understand why the Tories are complacent about independence for Scotland, it shall simply Not Be Allowed, but what about Labour? Would Corbyn send the troops in? They haven’t thought this through. Labour should oppose Brexit for this reason alone.

    • Hatuey

      You simply can’t read that and deny that Scotland is being manipulated by sinister neo-colonial forces. There’s been a bunch of dirty tricks like this uncovered. It’s the stuff of third world banana republics.

      What an insult to Scottish people — “The Loyal Scots Company” — and how utterly desperate and seedy these bastards are.

      The target of these black op’s, incidentally, and that’s exactly what this is an example of, is not the independence movement but thick Unionists who when you look at the big picture seem to be the most gullible fools ever to walk the earth.

      You have to wonder about the stuff we don’t know. And isn’t it clearer now than ever that the establishment in England is in a state of total panic over the possibility of Scotland seceding.

      You look at all the slanderous crap and lies they say about the SNP’s reliance and emphasis on oil when it’s clearly they who are obsessed with Scottish oil. They hate those words, don’t they? SCOTTISH OIL! As in, oil that belongs to Scotland.

      Read it and weep, you slimy creeps. Caught again.

  • Loony

    The UK may be dying due to lack of interest but 3,000 miles over the ocean a new day prepares to dawn.

    After 2 years of unremitting bile being poured over the head of President Trump we are now close to seeing how effective this tactic has been. The word on Positively 4th Street is that Trump is set to win big – maybe really, really big.

    Should this come to pass let us all hope that opponents of the President wise up and start to make some serious arguments as opposed to just spewing insults and invective.

    Always remember Trump is President for the sole reason that his opponents are ruthlessly dedicated to the cult of idleness and mediocrity. The President only wins because of you – so it is time to wise up and cut out the middleman. You don’t hate Trump you hate yourselves. Trump is what you see when you look in the mirror. You are Trump and Trump is you – those that vote for him do so because they want to force you to look in the mirror. All you have to do is acknowledge this and then Trump will disappear.

    • giyane

      Loony, when you look in the mirror you see a cross between Thatcher and Windrush May. Oh my God, the world is populated with re-incarnations of thankfully dead monsters. you look in the mirror and dedang! you morph into another Thatcher clone. Avatars of evil, reproducing themselves by synchronising the energy of light and circumstance to vanquish truth , decency and liberal values. Oh my God another one has popped out the mirror, Gordon Thatcher clone Brown…

    • Paul Greenwood

      Turnout is supposedly up markedly. That would be interesting if Trump has mobilised Americans to vote but since California gives Illegals driver licences as ID no doubt it will not only be Americans casting their votes

  • John2o2o

    Nah, we’re still here, Craig.

    I detest the Tories though: as Peter Hitchens likes to say, they’d guillotine the Queen in Trafalgar Square if they thought it would get them elected.

    Ig … what? I’ll have to look it up (just an Emerald-green Scot’s-Englishman swimming in a nationalist swamp) but I still love the inclusiveness of the United part of our Kingdom. At least I can still say I am British!

    I also detest G Williamson’s embarrassing announcement of an opening of a military base in Oman. For what reason I do not know. The British Empire died a long time ago.

    But the United Kingdom lives on Graig! Never wish death on those you believe to be your enemy – they may be friends in disguise!

    • Paul Greenwood

      The Oman Base is a joke. In 2001 Britain sent 22,500 soldiers and 66 tanks. Today it is sending 5,500 soldiers and 18 tanks. It is probably a Trade Fair to sell weapons to Oman

  • giyane

    I just opened Google and clicked on a mainstream story. Within seconds I was watching a carton game beheading of a woman being screened live between chunks of the story I was reading.

    So when the establishment are squeezing onion juice into their eyes to shed crocodile tears about the fallen, please remember that they are teaching us how to kill in our own homes.

    It doesn’t help when arseholes like Laguerre pontificate about Erdogan’s decency and reasonableness even after being reminded of his NATO leadership in setting up Islamic state and the beheading films.

    It defeats me how seasoned commenters on this blog fail to make any connection between Muslim Brotherhood Islamism in Syria and Erdogan’s credibility as a witness.

    I suspect the reason for this blind spot is that contributors like Laguerre want Islam to be a sadistic , violent religion so that they can ignore it. Lies suit them fine. And there let us wallow in NATO crimes.

  • Sharp Ears

    For information

    Working Group on Syria: reference document – Alleged Chlorine Attacks in Syria 2014-18

    Briefing note: the alleged chemical attack in Douma on 7 April 2018, and other alleged chlorine attacks in Syria since 2014

    By Paul McKeigue, Jake Mason, David Miller, Piers Robinson
    Members of Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media

    1 Summary
    2 Introduction
    3 Suggestions that a nerve agent had been used in Douma
    4 The Prime Minister’s statement on 16 April 2018
    5 Interim report of the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission on the alleged chemical attack in Douma
    6 Possible explanations for the Douma incident, and relevant evidence
    7 Alleged use of chlorine as a weapon in the Syrian conflict
    7.1 April to May 2014: chlorine barrel bombs
    7.2 March to May 2015: permanganate barrel bombs
    7.3 March 2017 to February 2018: chlorine cylinders
    8 Appendix
    8.1 The alleged attack in Sarmin on 16 March 2015
    8.2 Suggestions that chlorine and sarin might be used as a mixture


    • Paul Greenwood

      The missile attack was to kill scientists and researchers just as the Israeli attack on Latakia was to kill scientists in a research centre. The aim is to decapitate the scientific/technical capacity of the Syrian State. Bombing is usually against civilians as it has been throughout the Middle East by NATO/US/Israel in Iraq and Syria and Libya and Yemen. As it was in Serbia.

      • Nicolas

        Talking about Israel should take a look at Censored Al Jazeera documentary exposing the Israel lobby in the U.S. What’s been just been leaked on YouTube ..

  • Sharp Ears

    US-led coalition bombs Syrian town with banned white phosphorus munitions – state media
    5 Nov, 2018 15:26

    The US-led coalition has reportedly targeted a Syrian town in the province of Deir ez-Zor with white phosphorus bombs. The forces have been repeatedly accused of deploying banned munitions, yet it denies its involvement.

    The coalition attacked the town of Hajin in the province of Deir ez-Zor with white phosphorus incendiary munitions, which are banned under the Geneva Convention, SANA news agency reported on Monday. No information on casualties or damage was immediately available.

    Earlier on Monday, the agency reported another coalition airstrike in the same province, which killed three children in the village of Al-Shafah. It remains unclear, which type of munition was used during that attack.

    Over the past few months, the US-led alliance has been repeatedly accused of using white phosphorus munitions in the province of Deir ez-Zor, where it supports the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighting the remnants of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS).

    Remembering its use in Gaza during Cast Lead and the photo of children running out of a school playground as the shells burst.

    Israel accused of indiscriminate phosphorus use in Gaza
    Human Rights Watch report claims Israel committed war crimes in its use of air-burst white phosphorus artillery shells

    What evil. ‘White phosphorus can cause injuries and death in three ways: by burning deep into tissue, by being inhaled as a smoke, and by being ingested. Extensive exposure by burning and ingestion may result in death.’

    • Kempe

      White phosphorous isn’t banned for use against military targets.

      Anyway I thought that like Amnesty HRW are a “CIA construct”; or is that only when they’re being critical of Syria/Russia/Iran etc?

      • Sharp Ears

        You are OK with all of that and this below presumably? Hope you are never on the receiving end of it.

        Syrian Civil War
        According to Amnesty International’s analysis, “The use of white phosphorus munitions by the US-led coalition gravely endangers the lives of thousands of civilians trapped in and around al-Raqqa city, and may amount to a war crime under these circumstances”.

        Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen (2015-present)
        In September 2016, the Washington Post reported that Saudi Arabia “appears” to be using US-supplied white phosphorus munitions in Yemen, based on images and videos posted to social media. A United States official said the department was looking into whether the Saudis used white phosphorus improperly.

        The Saudi Arabia-led coalition was reported to still be using white phosphorus munitions during 2017 in Yemen.

        Battle of Mosul (2017)
        US-led coalition forces used white phosphorus smoke screens in order to evacuate civilians in the Battle of Mosul.

        Battle of Hajin (2018)
        The US has allegedly used the chemical to bomb ISIS troops in the village of Hajin, Deir ez Zor province, Syria in September 2018 which resulted in massive fires covering the area.. The Pentagon denied the claim.

        ex Wikipedia.3.10
        Syrian Civil War
        Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen (2015-present)
        Battle of Mosul (2017)
        Battle of Hajin (2018)
        Effects on people
        Smoke inhalation
        Oral ingestion
        Fume inhalation

        I once attended a talk at SOAS London given by Dr Mads Gilbert, the Norwegian doctor, on his experiences when treating victims of Israel’s attacks in a Gaza hospital, Al-Shifa. These were children and adults, all civilians. The details of the burns down to the bones of legs and arms and the photographs were shocking and have stayed in my memory for over 10 years.

          • Borncynical

            The only element of the Independent article you link to which has any credibility is the Russians’ rebuttal of the allegations.

          • Borncynical

            Extract from Independent article: “The footage could not be independently verified….latest pictures… captured by Ali Hammadeh, a former lawyer who is now a media activist working alongside Syria’s White Helmets civil defense organisation”
            Extract from HRW article: “Witness accounts collected by HRW and video evidence… A Syrian Civil Defense volunteer who responded to the attack told HRW…”
            See the pattern here?? Information being supplied by the White Helmets or those associated with them. And you expect those of us who are sufficiently broadminded not to evaluate without question what we are told by governments and NGOs to naively accept these reports and allegations in the absence of hard, trustworthy evidence?
            I don’t know whether NGOs such as HRW are CIA constructs, being bribed or financially blackmailed, or just unwilling to contradict the official narrative for other reasons known to them but I do know that I am suspicious of any ‘reports’ they produce which rely on allegations and evidence provided by Islamist terrorists and their affiliates.

  • Robert Munro

    You state that Scotland’s population 1707 was a quarter of England’s. Have read recently that Scotland’s population 1707 was one seventh of the new UK, today it is one tenth. I am not SNP, but believe in independence, at 74 have always believed, since the day Ian Hamilton and company brought back the stone of destiny. Also believe that people are convince with figures, government and big business put out figures true or false to convince the public how well they are running the country, business, or whatever, no matter how well educated you are, people are still gullible.

  • Sharp Ears

    David Rosenberg and Margaret Hodge.

    Corbyn ally uses history tour to launch bitter attack on Labour MP Margaret Hodge
    She calls Jcwish Socialist Group spokesperson’s comments about her a ‘complete travesty of the truth’
    2nd November 2018

    ‘David Rosenberg, spokesperson for the Jcwish Socialist Group, was recorded during his tour alleging that Dame Margaret had proposed “a very racist housing policy” in an attempt to defeat the far-right British National Party in her Barking constituency back in 2007.

    Meanwhile, the Tories are getting on with their right wing agenda whilst this wrangling continues in the wings of the Labour party.

    • Paul Greenwood

      Margaret Hodge has enough problems explaining children’s homes in Islington when she was in charge……..Evening Standard was described as “sensationalist piece of gutter journalism” for highlighting abuse in children’s homes in Hodges’ Fiefdom

  • Sharp Ears

    About Julian for whom I have great concern especially since the embassy building was covered in scaffolding and sheeting. The fascist states are after him and I have no belief that May will protect him from any attempt by the US to seize him.

    New York Times ramps up smear campaign against Julian Assange
    6 November 2018

    A pair of blaring headlines appearing in Friday’s edition of the New York Times purported to show that the newspaper had obtained damning new evidence of collusion between WikiLeaks, the Trump campaign and the Russian government to damage the campaign of Hillary Clinton in 2016.

    The latest round of smears appearing in the Times, the journalistic mouthpiece of the Democratic Party and sections of the military-intelligence apparatus opposed to Trump, is aimed at preparing public opinion for an eventual indictment on espionage charges of WikiLeaks founder and publisher Julian Assange, preparations for which are already in full swing. The Times articles appeared amid widespread media speculation that special counsel Robert Mueller could begin handing down indictments soon.

    A reminder that Mark Thompson, ex Director General of the BBC, is the President & CEO of the New York Times Company.

  • Sharp Ears

    So much for the outsourcing of health care to the private sector. What happens to the ‘clients’ as the recipients of the ‘care’ are known after the end of this month?

    Home care provider Allied Healthcare at ‘credible risk of service …
    ITV News-5 minutes ago
    The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has raised concerns that Allied Healthcare may not be able to continue to operate after November 30.

  • Sharp Ears

    A nasty country now. A lack of kindness and empathy.

    A lit firework was put into the coat pocket of a homeless man (ex Army veteran) leaving him with leg injuries. ‘Have a sparking good night’ was the message left.

    I expect you have seen the video of the creatures from S London putting the large and elaborate model of Grenfell Tower on their bonfire. It must have taken a lot of time and thought to make. The message there was ‘that’s what you get for not paying your rent’.

    Eddie Mair has left the BBC. He is now on LBC. He had Joe Glenton of Veterans for Peace on at 4.40 earlier. Joe was talking about the vulnerable kids recruited from deprived areas for HM’s Army. C(r)apita now do the recruiting. Ben said that when the time came for their discharge from the Army, many of them did not have the mental resources or ability to cope with the sudden change in circumstances or to fend for themselves – and hence the alcoholism and mental illness.

    VFP have their ‘gathering’ on 8th November. Dear old Harry Patch is quoted on their Twitter.

    • MaryPau!

      I worked with some ex Army guys in my last job.At the end of their turn of service, they had been trained for a job in civilian life when they left and then given help in finding one. Clearly many soldiers who have been on active service may suffer from PTSD and until recently support for wounded ex servicemen seems to have been poor but that is across the board and not specific to servicemen from a working class background.

      • Paul Greenwood

        I read a US blog o this matter where it is stated UK Authorities do not believe in PTSD claiming it is “medicalisation of trauma” and nothing special. I have a personal interest in PTSD and its co-morbidities which are extensive. The truth is it is easily diagnosed but hard to treat.

        The use of IEDs has increased its incidence but since John Major merged Military Medicine into the NHS it lacks the specialist military medicine capacities that the US provides (though not successfully in respect of PTSD). The Military however like PTSD in front-line troops because it makes them honed killers and remorseless as one of its side-effects. The major cures of death with say US soldiers in Iraq and Afghan are head injuries following by thoracic spinal injuries – since helmets and body armour save lives – it is the explosions that kill and when they don’t kill, they leave lasting damage accompanied by PTSD

  • MaryPau!

    I have no Northern Ireland connections but I do remember the iRA bombing the English mainland. From my limited perspective I have always assumed that the Catholic minority in northern Ireland want the province to be incorporated into the Republic of Ireland while the Protestant majority want to remain part of the United Kingdom. What is the current view of the Republic of Ireland. ? Am I correct in thinking that unofficially it would like to see a United Ireland but only if the Protestants in the North were removed first? What is Eire’s “official” position on a united Ireland?.

    • Paul Greenwood

      Varadkar has a minority regime in Dublin and is competing for Sinn Fein voters. That is why he is upping the ante over BreXit and will find he has a soft border until the EU demands he enforces it with the Third State UK and he is forced to impose border controls.

    • Dave

      Britain should promote a border poll on whether the republic wants to rejoin UK outside EU. Joined together, leaved together!

    • Susan Smith

      My understanding that the people of Northern Ireland would have to vote for a union with Ireland. The 2011 census shows that 42.8% of the Northern Ireland population was Catholic, leaving 57.2% non Catholic, of which only 21.1% are Presbyterian. However, it’s possible that there will be a Catholic majority by 2021 Whether that translates into a majority for a united Ireland is another thing.

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