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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  • Republicofscotland

    Well it didn’t take long for the BBC to show their true colours, as Arron Banks will be the main guest on the Andrew Marr show on Sunday.

    Banks is under investigation by the (NCA) National Crime Agency. The BBC has very conveniently given Mr Banks a platform to air his views.

    Who next will the BBC let air their side of a story. MBS on Khashoggi? Or Trump on Assange?

    The BBC never fails in its right wing state duty.

    • GlassHopper

      Bank’s view of the EU is not fundamentally different to Tony Benn’s.

      The problem is the Wet Fart Left have bought into the ideology of slimy snakeoilsalesmen like Blair and Campbell, and are too ready to drop their drawers and bend over for the unelected ghouls in Brussels.
      We now have so called leftists defending giving hundreds of millions of taxpayers money to the richest landowners in the UK because the French farmers have laid down the law. It is beyond absurd!

  • alwi

    “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.”

    Nail. Head.

  • mickc

    In fact the dualling of the A1 north of Morpeth is mainly….in Scotland. That has always been an annoyance to the people of the North East; but not to worry Cameron promised to initiate dualling north of Morpeth….up to Alnwick!

    • Radar O'Reilly

      Alnwick is great, Barter Books, home of the “Keep Calm and Carry On” meme and sub-memes. I bought all their Philip K. Dick as I passed through. Traffic wasn’t that busy so I didnt notice the road infrastructure that much.

      I was rather surprised driving from Edinburgh down the A1 last week that only Scotland celebrates the border with some saltires, England was just damp. Dunbar, seemed like a stupid place to put a dual nuke station by the crumbling north sea coast, I suppose we’ll just end up with Torness Island. Doesn’t anyone plan for a 50-100 year event horizon anymore, or is it just 4 years voting cycle? I think the UK might be dying, ignominuously. Where did I hear that?


    This may be of interest to you, Craig. Regarding, “Russiagate”. Off topic. Or is it? A lot of names named, including Tobias Ellwood MP.

    Stefan Halper is British Intelligence too. From Wikipedia:
    “Halper had through his decades of work for the CIA extensive ties to the Bush family.[2] Through his work with Sir Richard Billing Dearlove he had ties to the British Secret Intelligence Service MI6.”

    The Bush/Scherff family also work for the City of London. Bush senoir, along with James Jesus Angleton (the very same two who ran the JFK op in Dallas), ran Operation Clockwork Orange against Harold Wilson. For the City of London. The “eye in the triangle”.

    • Paul Greenwood

      James Jesus Angleton was off-the wall and swallowed the ruminations of a defector Golitsyn to undermine another, Nosenko and since Angleton had been close to Kim Philby he set off on a wandering trip of ideological purity with a zeal to destroy Harold Wilson assisted by Peter Wright of Spycatcher fame.

      I fear that Intelligence in peacetime recruits oddballs with a zealotry that defies rational analysis

      • Dave Lawton

        Paul Greenwood
        November 4, 2018 at 10:13
        The MK Ultra was a bit of a failure. We saw right through their game.and turned it round on them.No mention of Nicholas Elliott and The 61.The sub units of The 61 were operating well into the 1990`s throughout the UK.

  • jazza

    the labour party is dead – dead – not an alternaitive to the tory born to rule party – it is establishment through and through – get with the programme people

    • Paul Barbara

      @ jazza November 3, 2018 at 20:04
      Yeh, sure. That’s why the PTB, both inside and crucially also outside the country, are so determined to TRY to stop him getting into Number 10. Especially ‘You the know who’ Z** lot with their fake smears and lobbying (bribing).
      But dream on, at least the Left in this country is beginning to revive, to awaken.
      And when they do (and I’m one of them) they will elect an extremely good, honest and brave man who has their (not the Corporation’s’ and Banksters’ and Foreigners’) interests at heart.
      !A Luta Continua!

    • Dungroanin

      Is that the Labour Party of the UK?
      The one with the largest grassroots membership in Europe?
      The one that re-elected Jezza twice so far?
      The guy they have thrown so much shit at that farmers are complaining about lack of fertiliser?
      The manifesto of which the ‘stablishment is so worried about that they have propped up the politically dead Trezza ‘El Cid’ Maybot and won’t hold a general election as has been traditional in british parliamentry history when a govenment has no workable majority of it’s own?

      Democratic choice is being maligned where it can’t be controlled (by offering Hobsons choice) or manipulated (by illegal advertising, gerrymandering or plain vote rigging).

      Debate and free commentary is shut down in place of false dichotomy.

      The British are not so dumb… thugs and soldiers on our streets and curfews will not be sufficient to stop us having our choice. Remember the poll tax? Imagine that times 10.
      Either let us have our way and take your haircuts or end up worse then the black knight, limbless and headless. Choose peaceful democracy or a revolution.
      Happy 5th everyone.

      • jazza

        yep, the one with a built in majority of neocons and bliarites and israel supporters who cause as much trouble as they can – what chance does a possible new PM have with that lot?? who needs tories when those in the same party can have a laugh at the people’s expense?? yes, corbyn might make it but do you think the security services and israel will allow him to assist robbing the rich to pay for the poor – not a chance – any new party has to be from the bottom up not the top down and in britain it will never happen – dreams don’t easily translate into reality – otherwise it is appeasement – we are witnessing the death of britain as a sovereign nation and with the moves for an EU military the uk will simply disappear … and labour is not stopping the process as their are too many vested interests in it

        • Dungroanin

          That is NuLabInc you speak of – it is already being repelled from the Labour body politick by the anti-bodies of momentum. There is a high fever associated with it as the NuLabInc try to fight back with toxicity.
          But as we all know that once the infection is killed and the fever subsides then the the party will awaken with a mighty hunger and clear eyed for the new day.

          The NuLabInc virus/parasite will subside into a nightmare we once had.

          Your worry of the permastate ‘civil’ servants and their banker masters is legitimate – but they are beatable. Easily even, once the political will is there. Much like the postwar social democratic ideal was easily imposed.

          Despair is for the losers. Hope will win.

        • Davie Oga

          The United Kingdom isn’t a nation. It isa multinationals union of three nations and an occupied part of a fourth.

    • Paul Greenwood

      Labour Party died when it split after Jenkins took his little band to pass the European Community Act 1972 and left Wilson with a split party he could only hold together with the 1975 Referendum before resigning the following year. Callaghan had been took much in hock to the unions from 1967 In Place of Strife when he knifed Barbara Castle to use the Army to deal with the T&GWU truckers strike in 1979 and that was the end of Labour.

      The corpse was reanimated as a vehicle for former Trots/CPGB types under Blair to crate a Popular Front as New Labour until it came time for New Conservative to come to power with National Government Liberals as in 1931 and impose spending cuts and user fees

        • Shatnersrug


          This very much sounds like either you’ve not engaged politically for ten years or that you remain hopeful that new Labour continue to confirm your bias that we’re all DOOOOMED

          We on the left have a different take on proceedings. We who never left the party but were sidelined, pushed out of conference, and generally treated like lepers for 20 years have bided our time, fought where we could and stood our ground. What meagre egalitarian offerings that Blair and Brown’s Labour governement have given were provided by those on the left who did not leave. Jeremy Corbyn, Tony Benn, John McDonnel, Diane Abbot, Micheal Meacher and many others stood their ground.

          Now we on the left are on Ascendence, suddenly we find the public willing to listen to our arguments for Socialism and a society based on kindness and need not selfishness and jealousy whereas before they look at us like aliens. Our arguments against a oligarchy owned media now appears to them to have been corrrect all along.

          Let’s not kid ourselves here, we couldn’t be in a more disasterous situation. Even if this government were to change tomorrow and we were able to reverse the appalling social destruction conservatives and Liberals have brought upon us we would steel have the possibly inevitable climate crisis to divert. This would be without the power of capital and military standing in our way.

          I do not believe a shifting of the deckchairs – not even if it’s to the other end of the deck, will be enough this time. Do we have the skills and power to beat capital? I fear it isn’t likely.

          We’re in Gramsci’s paradigm shift where what was impossible in the old order become a daily event but before the new order has yet to arrive.

      • Dungroanin

        Wilson and real Labour were under attack from day one. The postwar gains against the aristos was never properly nailed on – the british sense of fair play meant that we assumed they would come to terms with the new egalitarianism, so we needn’t chop their City to bits – a mistake in hindsight. It won’t be repeated. They know it.
        The Atlantist infiltrators that you identify were working to destroy Labour from within. Callaghan/Healey were part of the false logic Chicago monetarism neolib project that Thatcher followed through, and abandoned as it instantly failed. (incidentally C/H were also the archictects of the RTB! that has produced the demise of affordable social housing)

        The traitors within having dispensed of Wilson, then went onto get rid of the last great postwar Labour leaders, Foot, while destroying the party by their throwing off their Labour sheepskins to reveal the shiny neocon/lib true selfs – SDP1.

        The party only survived to prop up the two-party government system for the benefit of the aristos as was always the case, by the new generation of moles and pretend socialist – NuLabInc. The would be SDP2.

        After 70 years the pre-war statusquo has been nearly restored with just a few dottings and crossings to be done – public service privatisations and a recreation of the serf classes.

        But… then some hubris at that moment of triumph allowed the wrong leader in!

        It ain’t over. The fightback is on.

  • GlassHopper

    Its unlikely to worry “big money donors” like Saudi Arabia. Aaron Banks is small fry. Most people had long since decided they didn’t wish to be ruled by slimy shysters in Brussels long before they’d heard of Mr Banks. It’s just the latest attempt by Remainosaurs to drag the UK back into sucking The Brussels Cock.

  • Jiusito

    Clearly, no one at all is proposing that we should “be asked to keep voting up [until] we come up with the right result”.

    What you appear to be insinuating is that if the electorate (or, as you probably prefer to call it, “the people”) is asked to decide which of the three paths the country could (still) take it regards as the least bad and it plumps for the one you don’t want, there will be violence. Is that it?

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Jiusito November 3, 2018 at 22:06
      But a reversal of the vote is precisely what many people are after, steered by ‘hidden hands’.
      Just as in many other EU countries, ‘No’ did not mean ‘No’, it meant vote again and again, if necessary, till the plebs get it right.
      Out means out, but by all means come to some mutually beneficial agreements.

  • Paul Barbara

    On a more sombre note, we have Brazil.
    George Galloway, who is excellent re Palestine and some other issues, doesn’t, unfortunately, know his a** from his elbow in others, and the following is one of those issues:
    ‘Is Brazil’s Bolsonaro a Pinochet or a populist? – George Galloway’:
    He seems to have a very high bar before someone can be called a Fascist.
    The following (and there are oodles more of Bolsinaro’s quotes available online) would, I believe, qualify Uncle Sam’s latest Quisling Puppet thug as a Fascist, but ya’ll make up your own minds:
    ‘Making his plans crystal clear, Brazil’s new far-right president appoints crusading anti-left judge’:
    Bolsinaro’s praise for the Brazilian military dictatorship from 1964 to 1985, and saying their only problem was they didn’t go far enough, may well glide off many of your backs, if you are unaware of the abominations carried out under the Junta.
    As a Human Rights campaigner since the early 1970’s, I am aware, and thoroughly sickened by this evil jerk, and by his (it’s) puppet-masters.

    • BrianFujisan

      I went off G.G Big Time

      He shouts about Freedoms. independence for other countries..Except the one he was Brought up in. DICK

      Sharp Ears
      Cheers for Mr Blum’s August, Sept Empire files.

      • Hatuey

        Funny that you mention Galloway and Blum in the same comment and deride one and not the other on the basis that he is against Scottish independence. I can tell you Blum was/is against Scottish independence too.

        I know this because I discussed it with him. He hated nationalism and as I recall said something along the lines of “it’s hard to see how the world would be a better place with another nation state in it…”

        Of course, I tried to explain to him the difference between nationalism and national liberation but he was having none of it. I was quite disappointed, to be honest, since the distinction is so clear to me and the differences profound.

        Like Galloway, he seems to be able to support national liberation for countries like Vietnam, which as I understand it inspired him, but not for Scotland.

        There was a sincerity in what Blum was saying though, even if I think he was wrong, and I believe he meant well. Galloway, on the other hand, is a self-serving hypocrite who will say and do anything to finance his lavish lifestyle.

        I have made a small donation to Blum’s fund, the size of which in no way reflects my admiration of him.

          • Hatuey

            I guess you mean “civic” but before you get to defining the character of a nation, you must have a nation first. In Blum’s view it takes nationalism to achieve that.

            I don’t think you can say, leaving aside the sort of nation you go on to build, that wishing to run your own affairs free of the manipulation of others is a form of nationalism.

            It can’t be accidental that the English language is without a word for national liberation in that sense and that we are forced to use the word “nationalism” to describe people who resent and object to being dominated by others. Certainly it would suit a colonising culture to deny us a better way of putting it.

            On that score, what is called today ‘civic nationalism’ was once referred to as ‘liberal nationalism’ which opens another can of linguistic worms. What exactly is a liberal these days?

          • nevermind

            Hi Brian. not yet, just keeping up with stretching and turning exercises, my hand is getting much better though, almost took a whole year.
            Thanks for the video, they do train them young in Japan,
            Im sure that W.Blum can discern between a hard line DUP nationalism that fires up the Tory party and selfserving Brexiteers, vis a vis a nationalism light of an evolving SNP that aspires Independence.

        • Stonky

          Nationalism is the new separatism. In the same way as ‘separatist’ served as a derogatory epithet in the 1970s, so ‘nationalism’ does today. If you keep on repeating the word as if it was a very bad thing indeed, then that’s what takes root in the collective consciousness.

          It’s noticeable that all these people who hate nationalism so much (as with separatism) are very careful never to explain what they mean by it, or why it’s so evil. That way when you accuse people of being ‘nationalists’ they don’t have any real means of defending themselves against the accusation.

          The irony is that if any of these people could ever be cornered into explaining what their ‘nationalism’ is, and why it’s so evil, the more clearly and the more specifically they defined it, the less and less it would bear any resemblance to anything supported by the SNP or campaigners for independence. And the more and more it would resemble the sort of thing supported by a different, very unpleasant set of bedfellows, every one of them unionist to a man…

        • certa certi

          ‘it’s hard to see how the world would be a better place with another nation state in it…’

          This is my conclusion also, having witnessed the birth of new nations and the intergenerational trauma caused by it. Add religion, ethnicity and history, give it to the propagandists and more Rwandas are certain. Secession can only be justified as a last resort when the Nation State has already disinegrated and cannot be repaired. In my part of the bathtub we have two referendums, New Caledonia [today] and Bougainville. The Matignon Accord provides the best model we have for reconciliation. Defer a referendum for thirty years, stop the men [and women] of violence, compel all parties to jawjaw for years and years and then even longer until a new generation takes over and a new status quo evolves peacefully. A handful of people do not have the right to upset successful and stable architecture which works for most people in the region.

          • Hatuey

            Certa, I’m afraid those sort of arguments are too weak to be taken seriously.

            There are many examples of nation states which have lived at peace within themselves and with other neighbouring states. Whilst many have also experienced bumps along the road, you can’t judge the road as a whole on the basis of a couple of potholes.

            Also, I don’t know of one political movement in any of the hundreds of nation states that we have in the world that aspires to relinquish its country’s independence. Do you?

            We can remove your concerns about religion and ethnicity from the debate because tensions along those lines existed long before the nation state was invented. It’s almost as if you want to blame the nation state for all the ills of the world but there’s an argument that the nation state actually helped put a lot of stuff like that to bed too.

            As for “your” part of the bathtub, I doubt if you’ll find much sympathy here for the existential nausea you experience in post-colonial nightmares half a world away.

            For what it’s worth, the only politics that people in ex-colonies should devote themselves to, in my opinion, ought to revolve around paying reparations towards those whose ancestors were murdered and robbed by the colonisers.

          • MaryPau!

            so what is wrong with the nation-state as a concept and what are the recommended alternatives?

          • Paul Greenwood

            It is always good to revisit – but the British Curriculum dos not – The Thirty Years War – and just why the Treaty of Westphalia 1648 is so critically important and especially in an era when the West Europeans in their hubris have imported the Muslim Ummah into their heartlands whose concept of a nation state is subordinate to their notion of a Caliphate. The nation states of the Middle East are erected on the sands of the Ottoman Empire and the only “states” that can be said to have historical meaning are Egypt, Iran, and Syria……….

            Funnily enough next Sunday you will commemorate men who died ostensibly to protect a Belgian Border under a Treaty of 1839 when the German (Seoond) Reich sought to dissolve nation states into a Greater German Co-Prosperity Sphere and bring iron and coal resources and ports under the control of the German Cartels…………..

          • Hatuey

            Top marks to Paul Greenwood for mentioning and attributing importance to the Thirty Years War and Treaty of Westphalia. I’ve been waiting about for 25 years to discuss this subject as it was an area I devoted about 2 years to when I was an undergraduate.

            Above all else, of course, Westphalia, at least for continental Europeans, marked an end to the Protestant-Catholic hostilities that were sparked by the reformation. Only really in Ireland and Britain did the persecution of Catholics continue after 1648.

            I suppose there’s little chance of Craig Murray doing an article on my big hero of history, Gustavus Adolphus, the Lion of the North…

          • certa certi

            ‘We can remove your concerns about religion and ethnicity’

            Sadly no. I wish it were so. I’ve been sympathetic to secession movements, more than sympathetic sometimes. When I was younger, much nicer and hadn’t seen the realities of bad, bad stuff. The past three decades have mugged me. Ragged shagged and debagged. When you see friends, neighbours, take up parangs and hack into eachother the pseudo academic sloganeering of ‘post colonial’ and ‘existential nausea’ become meaningless drivel. Forever. I wouldn’t begin to describe the horrors I’ve experienced with UN missions both close to home and farther afield. There ‘s not a single person I’ve worked with including many Brits who would want to see a repeat. Not one. Cured. Thankfully people like yourself are outliers but I strongly suspect that if you too had worked at the coalface you too would feel like me. My problem is not with nation states. It’s partly with politicians and wannabe pollies who use history, religion, ethnicity and the ‘narcissism of small differences’ to grab power. And yes, some have done and will do the same when the money runs out, and sell their sovereignty to the highest bidder.

            The ‘narcissism of small differences.’ Now there’s an academic slogan that resonates. Even your EU hasn’t been able to overcome it. We’re all a work in progress.

        • Tom Welsh

          Great minds have grappled with the issue of nationalism versus globalism for centuries. Most of them have failed miserably, because of the universal human tendency to believe that every problem must have a simple and satisfactory solution – just like maths tests in school.

          “Explanations exist; they have existed for all time; there is always a well-known solution to every human problem — neat, plausible, and wrong”.
          – H. L. Mencken, “The Divine Afflatus,” (1917).

          Adherents of ideologies, of course, are exceptionally vulnerable to this kind of assumption. There is absolutely no reason why any problem that faces us need have a solution of any kind, let alone one that pleases everyone. The glaringly obvious problem of overpopulation does not seem to have any practical solution, so most people (including politicians) take the easiest course and ignore it. That is certainly more gratifying to their egos and over-inflated reputations than admitting frankly that they can do nothing to stop it.

          Bertrand Russell, Arnold Toynbee and many others equally distinguished were sure that the only solution to the problem of war would be a universal world state. This, they explained rather weakly, would have all the weapons and would always act firmly and decisively to preserve… peace. (Presumably if any nation or group started trying to arm itself, the benevolent world state would turn it into a pile of smoking ashes). After a while some of them at least (including Russell) began to see that it’s not so simple, because a world state would be likely to turn into the worst tyranny ever – as described by Orwell. One of the best reasons for Brexit is that the EU is gradually inching its way towards such a universal state.

          The SF writer Larry Niven describes a future world state with vast and intrusive powers, regulating every aspect of life minutely, and always able to know exactly what everyone is doing at any moment. Ironically, he also makes it fanatically devoted to the belief that war is a barbarous relic and that no advanced species would ever resort to violence. (A belief which he then punctures sharply by introducing the Kzinti, a race of tiger-like alien beings who are highly intelligent, profoundly warlike and utterly merciless – their ambassador to the human species is entitled “Speaker to Animals”).

          No one has yet got a single atomic diameter past the Melian Dialogue. The strong do what they will, the weak do what they must, and matters of right come into question only between equals in power. It was true in 416 BC, it has always been true throughout history, and it is equally true today. That’s why the US government rampages around the world, trampling on the rights of weaker nations but – much to its fury – unable to dictate to Russia or China. And that’s why Russia and China (and others) do not rely in the least on international law, treaties, agreements or the like – they know very well that, the moment they are unable to fight any aggressor at least to a draw in which everyone dies, all the laws and treaties in the world would not save them.

          • Hatuey

            Tom, if this was an exam and I was marking your paper, I’d give you zero marks.

            Nobody here is grappling with issues of nationalism versus globalisation, and nobody anywhere has grappled with it for centuries.

            Do you have any idea how new the idea of the nation state is, let alone the idea of globalisation?

            See me after class.

          • Paul Barbara

            @ Tom Welsh November 4, 2018 at 10:28
            ‘… That is certainly more gratifying to their egos and over-inflated reputations than admitting frankly that they can do nothing to stop it…’
            The PTB do indeed have plans not only to stop it, but to massively cull the human population by means of wars, induced famines (weather warfare) and made-to-measure pandemics.

            ‘…One of the best reasons for Brexit is that the EU is gradually inching its way towards such a universal state….’
            I agree, the planned NWO – ‘One World Gulag’ (of which the EU is a massive part) was the main reason I voted ‘Leave’. But I believe it is happening faster than just ‘inching it’s way’.
            Still, with any luck Italy drops out too.

            But the US in Latin America, with it’s ‘Lawfare’ soft coups in Argentina and Brazil, and it’s underhanded takeover of the Ecuadorean Government, and it’s vicious destabilisation in Venezuela, it’s threats and vicious sanctions against Iran, it’s occupation of large parts of Syria totally against International Law, and it’s provocation of Russia leaves little to no room for optimism. Indeed, as you state, it is the Law of the Jungle, and only Russia and China have the wherewithal to resist effectively.

          • SA

            There is a lot of projection and wishful thinking in this discussion. Commentators are talking about nebulous ideological principles and not the real politics of what is happening. The world has become polarised into spheres of influence and there are dominant powers. At the moment the dominant power is the US and it also holds in sway all of the Western so called democracies plus the theocracies and many autocratic regimes in the ME and elsewhere. On the other hand there is no unified opposition just a handful of opposing states, Russia, China, N Korea. Iran, Venezuela and maybe one or two others. The opposition is also not really ideologically independent relying on the existing power and economic system as dictated by the US. Unfortunately the time for any nation state to be truly independent is over and it is an illusion to be calling for independence which is meaningful in any sort of way because independence means choice. So is anybody going to tell me that an independent Scotland will be more free? Maybe in one or two mattersa. It will quickly become evident that with the first crisis, alliances will have to be forged, whether with the EU or someone else, in order to be protected from physical and economic assaults.
            My ideal vision and thoughts about the EU was that it would be a true independent primarily economic entity which can be large enough to be able to be independent from others in particular the US. The almost complete coincidence of admission to NATO as a condition for East European countries to join the EU makes it difficult to see that at any point soon the EU will be independent from the influence of the US in external policy.
            Having said that, a chink is appearing in the clouds. By the actions of Trump, the seemingly solid facade is beginning to crack through the tariff and trade wars and through the illegal relegation of international treaties whether the Iran treaty or the Paris accords.

        • Jude 93

          I don’t agree re Galloway – he may be a hypocrite and an opportunist in some respects, but name me a politician or journalist who isn’t. He could easily have gone down the Christopher Hitchens road at the time of the Iraq War, and he would certainly have garnered plenty of lucrative gigs as a result, the war party being very eager at the time for the support of prominent left-wingers in order to give their invasion agenda a progressivist gloss. Having said that I always think Graham Greene’s words about those who decry “sentimentality” apply equally well to self-styled “anti-nationalists”, in that “nationalism” is what they call nationalist sentiments they don’t happen to agree with. There are shedloads of smug self-styled anti-nationalists in Ireland, but on closer inspection most of them turn out to be Anglophiles of an exceptionally romantic and jingoistic persuasion – as was made clear by their appalling forelock-tugging during Elizabeth Windsor’s visit to Ireland in 2011.

      • Shatnersrug

        I don’t think you should take it so personally Brian. I don’t agree with George on everything, and he certainly suffers from the politician’s vanity – but then so did Benn.

        I don’t agree with Craig on his view of an indie Scotland, but I value his opinion on almost everything even if I don’t agree with it I can still be inspired by it. George is very much the same. He is an exceedingly intelligent man who does actually have kindness in his heart – a rarity in public figures.

  • Sharp Ears

    Yvette Cooper has been blubbing on Sky News where the news of the death at the age of 56 f Sir Jeremy Heywood came through. It is indeed to hear of a death from cancer at that early age. She said he was remarkable and unique in his capacity as head of the Civil Service. She said he held governments together and in many instances, stopped governments from doing stupid things.

    Some extracts from Wikipedia –
    Political commentator Peter Oborne, in the wake of this appointment described Heywood as “a perfect manifestation of everything that has gone so very wrong with the British civil service over the past 15 years.”

    He was economic and domestic policy secretary to Tony Blair from 1997 to 1998, before being promoted to be the Principal Private Secretary to Prime Minister Tony Blair in 1999. He stayed in this position until 2003, when he left the civil service in the wake of the Hutton Inquiry where it emerged that he claimed to have never minuted meetings in the Prime Ministerial offices about David Kelly, a job he was required to do.

    He emerged to become a managing director of the UK Investment Banking Division at Morgan Stanley where he became embroiled in the Southern Cross Healthcare scandal that almost saw 30,000 elderly people being made homeless.

    In September 2014, Heywood succeeded Kerslake as Head of the HCS. As of September 2015, Heywood was paid a salary of between £195,000 and £199,999, making him one of the 328 most highly paid people in the British public sector at that time.

    In June 2013, he visited The Guardian’s offices to warn its then editor, Alan Rusbridger, that the Guardian’s involvement with Edward Snowden could make it a target for “our guys” in British intelligence and “Chinese agents on your staff”.

    In September 2014, just before the Scottish independence referendum, the Queen made a public statement, “I hope people will think very carefully about the future”, she told a crowd near her Scottish residence at Balmoral. Heywood had co-written it with her private secretary, Sir Christopher Geidt.

    Enough said. RIP.

    • Paul Greenwood

      At Morgan Stanley Heywood arranged a reception at the Natural History Museum to bring the “team” at HBOS their client into the same room as Victor Blank and Eric Daniels of Lloyds TSB together with Gordo Bruin and members of his team to work out how a deal could be brought about and sidelining FSMA 2000 and EU rules on State subsidy to private companies……….the rewards to Heywood must have been generous to assuage his conscience in wiping out HBOS and Lloyds shareholders for Morgan Stanley.

      Now what job did Yvette Cooper have at that time ? Chief Secretary to the Treasury !

      Why did Heywood leave the Civil Service to mine gold at Morgan Stanley ? Well he had inadvertently failed to minute discussions about Dr David Kelly when Tonie Blair was discussing matters in Downing Street and the Hutton Inquiry thought that was very strange indeed

    • Dungroanin

      Great stuff as usual SE.

      As he joins the queue with McCain ahead of him – i wonder why and how the civil service heads position wasn’t replaced sooner knowing of his serious illness and how and why the current standin gets to control both his jobs?

      Along with the Poles (powell bros) and other medival twonks who believe in their born right to rule – who will rid us of these troublesome leeches?

  • Anne

    I Agree with much of what you are saying ,but I would like to point out I am 64 we have bought a Bungalow two years ago ,I voted for yes I march with AUOB .
    I have always wanted Freedom for Scotland ,I am still working as I do not get my pension till I am 66 ,My Husband is from Mauritius and he has worked in the NHS for 50 years next year ,age 68 he voted yes .
    I think if the Pensioners who did vote no ,I blame Labour,I had a row in Hamilton town centre as I heard them telling a old couple you won’t get your pension .
    I told him Labour is Finished in Scotland and I would never vote for them again ,as you are stand telling people lies .
    And I buy my own car which I Did 8 years ago and still have it ,my husband has a old Audi that he bought four years ago .The Problem with Motabilty cars is they should all be the same cars with wheelchairs attached.
    For the people that do need them

  • Republicofscotland

    MoD, reprimanded by the Defence Nuclear Safety Regulator (DNSR), for a series, of serious failures at the nuclear submarine base at Faslane.

    The MoD however doesn’t want you or I knowing what goes on at Faslane. If we did know the truth, we’d probably be shocked.

    “The DNSR is a watchdog that operates within the MoD to regulate the safety of its nuclear operations. Although its annual reports were released for ten years after a prolonged freedom of information battle, the MoD said in 2017 that it would make them secret.”

    This ex-submariner, blew the whistle not that long ago informing us of the lack-lustre security and safety procedures in and around the nuclear weapons and subs.

    • Paul Greenwood

      We get to hear so much about Russian nuclear “safety” on subs but so little from Scotland. Are the telegraph wires still down ? I understand the Russians used to reduce lead shielding on their reactors to improve silent running but at the cost of sterilising their crews. Do the British do anything similar ? I had heard there was great difficulty recruiting crews nowadays

      • Republicofscotland

        “We get to hear so much about Russian nuclear “safety” on subs but so little from Scotland.”

        Very true Paul, it was only a few days ago that it was reported that the only Russian aircraft carrier was damaged.

        Yet we know very little of what’s actually going on at Faslane. SEPA can’t supercede the MoD on matters around Faslane, so we have no idea of what levels of pollution are in and around Faslane.

        Nor do we have any idea of what kind of weaponary has/is/yet to be tested at Cape Wrath.

      • Dave Lawton

        @Paul Greenwood

        “I understand the Russians used to reduce lead shielding on their reactors to improve silent running but at the cost of sterilising their crews. “

        Not to do with with silent running. It is to do with speed. Sterilising crews Oh yeah. Well When I served in the RN submarine service I can tell you the RAF guys based in Malta would lie under the Radomes of their aircraft to sterilise themselves before they went off for weekend leave.

      • Michael McNulty

        I read some years ago crewmen from British nuclear submarines were getting sperm production problems, resulting in damage to one of their chromosomes (Chromosome 21 if I remember correctly), and their wives were giving birth to babies with cleft pallets. All kept rather hush-hush.

  • Republicofscotland

    Meanwhile, as Sports minister Tracey Crouch resigns.

    “A number of MPs who stood up in Parliament to defend betting machines called the “crack cocaine of gambling” by campaigners have received a series of gifts from bookmakers. ”

    Tory and Labour MP’s have received thousands of pounds in gifts and hospitality from the bookmakers.

    The article names the MP’s.

    • Paul Greenwood

      Not gifts….some like P Davis are owned by bookies ever since he worked in a bookie’s shop before his Huddersfield Poly days

  • Republicofscotland

    Tony Blair’s Principal Private Secretary Jeremy Heywood has died. Mr Heywood resigned from the Civil Service in 2003, in the wake of the Hutton Inquiry.

    Things didn’t improve much, he obtained a job with Morgan Stanley’s investment banking arm, but became embroiled in the Southern Cross Healthcare scandal.

    Gordon Brown welcomed him back into the political fold during his tenure as PM.

    I’m sure Mr Heywood had some very admirable traits.

  • N_

    Arron Banks says he’d vote Remain if he got another chance. (I haven’t got a transcript so don’t know the verbal mood he used.)

    The Financial Conduct Authority have asked this van insurance specialist and friend of Peter Hambro to give them his bank statements.

    Someone has clearly got him by the short and curlies. He’s on his way down the plughole, is my estimation. There will be those who want to ensure they don’t get “embarrassed”.

    Serious question: what nationality are his personal protection?

    • N_

      Edit: I’ve got the transcript now. “The corruption I’ve seen in British politics – the sewer that exists and the disgraceful behaviour of the Government over what they are doing with Brexit and how they are selling it out – means that if I had my time again I think it would have been better to have probably remained and not unleash these demons.

      He’s probably thinking that if he gets some kind of guarantee from much bigger fish than himself, he will move to “If I get a chance to vote again, I WILL vote Remain”.

      My feeling is he should mind how he goes. He’s a cocky sod but he’s on the ropes.

      Watch the Hambro connection.

      • Republicofscotland

        “BBC removes its complaints page following a surge of complaints about Brexit donor Arron Banks appearing on this Sunday’s Andrew Marr Show ”


        “OpenDemocracy’s long-running investigation into Banks’s political and business interests, in collaboration with the Bristol Cable, also found that:”

        “Eldon Insurance employees were directed to work for Banks’s Brexit campaign, contradicting statements made by Banks and his colleague Andy Wigmore in parliament. ”

        “Insurance staff were frequently assigned to work on material for Banks’s Leave.EU and other Brexit campaigns. This work was not declared on submissions to the Electoral Commission, despite being a requirement of UK electoral law.”

        “Banks’s Brexit campaign amassed data from tens of millions of British voters through the UK electoral register. Former Leave.EU staff have raised questions about whether this data was destroyed after the referendum, as stipulated by British electoral law.”

        “The NCA is investigating whether Banks is the “true source” of £8m he provided to Leave.EU and Better for the Country Limited. We can report for the first time that Better for the Country had spent £1.5m by December 2015, two months before the referendum date had even been announced.”

        “Eldon and Leave.EU staff at Banks’s Bristol HQ also worked for UKIP at the same time, with Leave.EU’s office even depicted as a UKIP membership centre in a party magazine. Banks told parliament in June that he “never had a role” in UKIP.”

        • N_

          Money paid to staff to do campaigning work is campaign money regardless of where the insurance man got it from. The select committee under Damian Collins should ask to question Banks again.

          I took careful note of how last time he gave evidence to the committee he dropped the name “Peter Hambro”. That was in the context of “considering investing in Russia”. That was more interesting than his walking out because he had a lunch engagement. At that time he thought he was protected. The thing about protection for those who aren’t from the elite is that it can fall away.

          He had the committee on the back foot, but things change. It would be interesting if they summoned him again, to answer on the staff payment issue. He could say “F*** off – you’re all remainers” or he could attend and claim the right not to self-incriminate, as the Maxwells did.

          Still wondering who supplies his security.

          • N_

            The DCMS Select Committee will question the Electoral Commission on Tuesday about their investigation into Arron Banks.

            Meanwhile it’s reported that a “secret deal” between Britain and EU27 to keep the whole of Britain in the EU customs union will be announced within days. That’s not likely to be accepted in the Commons where they keep the “fool’s bauble”.

            Betfair are offering a price of 14.5\1 that Theresa May will still be in office at the end of the year. (They what?)

          • N_

            Correction: I mean Betfair are offering 13.5\1 that Theresa May will leave office before the end of this year. That looks like a strong “buy”.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    The big problem with Bill Blum is that he never has gone after the bastards who made the USA and the UK such basket cases, like Dick Helms, Bill Harvey, Al Haig, Ted Shackiley.,Peter Wright and his followers, etc., just the people who fed on them.

  • SA

    Listening to Andrew Marr interviewing, or grilling Aaron Banks is a very traumatic experience. It is one of those situations where you really do not want to take sides. But because one loathes Banks, UKIP and all that they stand for does not mean that one can condone freely either the style of Marr or the way these accusations brought forward by the electoral commission can be defended. It has taken two years for this investigation to get to this point.
    However one thing is clear, that any system of democracy that relies so heavily on funding by the rich, cannot be taken seriously as being democratic. The same applies to politicians, especially those in the house of Lords, who can have vast commercial interests but yet be able to help guide legislation.

    • N_

      The rich run the show. Capitalism can be abolished but it can’t be cleaned up. Any “democracy” it introduces will be fit for wiping the arse on only.

      • Paul Greenwood

        Having seen the results of Real Existing Socialism in the former GDR and the antics of Schalck-Godlokowski I am not sure any system with human beings in control is able to escape Lord Acton’s Dictum. Then again he was born in Naples and died in Tegernsee in Bavaria

    • Sharp Ears

      The result of that exchange was Banks 1 Marr 0.
      Marr was ill advised to attempt to act as a barrister in this longish segment. He waves his good arm about too much.
      @ 26.50 – 42.28

      Banks followed the German Ambassador Peter Wittig @ 19mins in. Wittig was ambassador to the US and the UN previously.

      The papers were reviewed by Tracy Brabin MP, TalkRadio’s Julia Hartley-Brewer and Dr Leslie Vinjamuri, an Americas specialist from Chatham House.

      Brokenshire followed on from Steve McQueen, the film director. Brokenshire should stick to his portfolio – housing and communities. Instead he had a lot to say about everything but housing.

      Nadine Benjamin, the soprano, sang Summertime from Porgy and Bess.

      Plus ça change…. etc etc

      I missed it all!

    • N_

      I haven’t listened to the interview but if Banks didn’t want to answer one of Marr’s questions he could have told him to shove it and walked out.

  • Republicofscotland

    It’s changed days from the CIA supplying Iran and Iraq with weapons, in which the plan was to kill each other. It’s ironic that the West eventually killed off their champion against Iran, Saddam.

    Now with sanctions against those on the Great Satan’s (US) hit list, of those not to be supplied with weapons. Iran for example has decided that it’s better to produce some of its weapons in house.

    China too is building aircraft carriers domestically.

    However the golden goose, Saudi Arabia will always be allowed to buy, buy, buy, as will Israel, using US hard earned taxpayers dollars.

    • Vivian O'Blivion

      Trump’s petulance (encouraged by Bolton) will have consequences. The cut off point for sanctions on goods to Iran is 10% American parts by total value. This fucks up the Airbus deal, but Sukhoi think they can drop below to 10% threshold to fulfill an order for 40 Sukhoi Superjets100. The Superjet100 services the regional market (100 passengers, 2,400 mile range) so not a big player on the greater scale of things.
      If they are successful sourcing alternative suppliers for the Iranian order, who’s to say Sukhoi don’t stick with those suppliers? Who’s to say the new suppliers to the market don’t go hawking their wares to other plane manufacturers? American suppliers of niche commodities (with profit margins to reflect their monopoly status) will be squealing as I type. And if the niche commodities have current patent protection, I’m sure an enterprising Chinese outfit will retro-engineer a knockoff.

      • Rhys Jaggar

        The whole thing is about destroying competitor contracts, the absolute antithesis of Free Trade.

        It really is time for the world to refuse to trade with America, period. To tell every US citizen abroad to go home or die.

        America cannot beat Europe, Russia, China, India, Japan standing against them.

        The world must withdraw from the US rules system, ignoring IMF, World Bank, SWIFT, maybe even UN.

        Set up a new UN without the USA in it. Less perks, more independence.

        New development banks designed to build economies, not destroy them.

        The 72 year US Kondratyev wave hegemony is finished. It may take until 2030 to flush them out of the system.

        But flushed out they must be.

    • Paul Greenwood

      Saudi Arabia rECYCLES its oil surpluses through London and New York by buying weapons as part of the protection racket organised by Henry Kissinger after the 1973 OPEC Oil Blockade made them super cash rich and pushed The West into depression. So with that deal in place UK and US Trade Deficits did not crash their currencies because the Capital Account compensated making The City and FIRE Sector more important than the traded sector thus altering political power in Anglo-Saxon Business

  • Dave

    Brexit, or more precisely, not wanting to join the Euro, provides the money tree, because the books can be balanced over a longer period. But its likely, always was, the government will betray the Leave vote, with a Remain deal. Any deal is made easier with more money to buy off objectors. Hence announcing the “end of austerity” and an about face on public spending, is preparing the public for a Remain deal, outside the Euro, which is the half-way in, plus control of borders, deal that would have won the EU referendum, if it had been on offer at the time.

    • Dungroanin

      Dave we are not in the Euro. Nor is Sweden or many other EU countries.
      The money tree has always been here.

    • N_

      @Dave – “Hence announcing the “end of austerity” and an about face on public spending, is preparing the public for a Remain deal, outside the Euro, which is the half-way in, plus control of borders, deal that would have won the EU referendum, if it had been on offer at the time.

      If Brexit gets called off, the 2016 “Dave’s deal” stands. Under that agreement, the British government would be able to restrict benefits for incomers from elsewhere in the EU for seven years, albeit with Commission approval. There is not only the assumption that Britain would stay outside the eurozone, but also that they would not have to stump up to bail a euro-using state out. The agreement also marks Britain’s agreed departure from the “ever closer union” provision. It gives Britain special status within the EU. But “control over borders” is another matter. It certainly doesn’t give that, or not in the sense I think you mean, which is the right to restrict immigration from other member states. If that is ever granted to Britain it would have to be granted to France and Germany too, upon which I suspect some applications for EU membership would be withdrawn and in any case the aim of an “ever closer union” of even 28 states would be in the dustbin.

    • Paul Greenwood

      UK in EuroZone would have destroyed the Euro. Sterling is a heavy currency in a country without Monetary Base Control and huge War Debt. The whole Mortgage sector would implode if the UK were in the Euro. Germany is hugely indebted and the TARGET2 liabilities are what Italy is using to threaten Germany which has essentially financed its own exports within the Eurozone in return for preventing Italian Devaluation and German Revaluation.

      German living standards were always low in history apart from 1969-1990 with D-Mark Revaluation boosting living standards in a monetary system locked into deflationary straitjacket. Since the Anschluss in 1990 German average incomes have stagnated, department stores collapsed, and corporate profits increased. The Euro was a huge transfer of wealth to Corporations and real wages were suppressed which is why everything in Germany is on 0% credit terms.

      The UK Debt Markets are huge and US trading takes place in London for laxer regulation which is why Lehman’s Trading Arm was in London and AIG issued CDS out of London. It is simply impossible to integrate that into a EuroZone Structure. In much the same way 75% goods traded intra-EU are vehicles and machines but UK is a Services Economy post-Thatcher and the Single Market is not set up for Services so UK runs huge trade deficits largely on German cars which are a luxury item not a Producer Good

  • Sharp Ears

    The treatment of this prisoner in this Falkirk prison (YOI) is appalling. I hope it is not typical of the Scottish prison service.

    ‘Katie Allan was serving time in Polmont Prison in Falkirk where she was relentlessly tormented and was just three weeks from being released on tag. The 21-year-old was ‘forced to parade naked’ in front of prison staff before she took her own life in her jail cell, according to her devastated parents. The couple are now compiling a dossier of failures they claim occurred before their daughter’s death, including that of a prison nurse bringing her two bananas instead of a bandana in an attempt to help with covering up her area of baldness.’


  • Hatuey

    I think a few people on here owe someone an apology.

    Not so long ago, I suggested that “The City” was all for Brexit and probably poured money into swinging the vote. I suggested that around £20 million of dark money would probably have been enough to do it.

    I distinctly remember 2 or 3 people taking time out from discussing novichoks and perfume bottles to pour scorn on my theories… but where are they now?

    The recent revelations concerning Aaron Banks and the figures involved suggest that I was remarkably bang-on in my analysis.

    We haven’t heard the last of “The City” as far as the Brexit debate is concerned either. After putting in all that money and effort, what sort of fools do you think think they are if you think they’re going to sit back and watch May screw everything up for them?

    “The City” has Britain and Parliament by the short and curlies. This can only end in one way. Watch them kill this story stone dead.

      • Dungroanin

        Financial services – is only a small part of the City. For example, Mutual societies, car insurance, endowment and pension plans are financial services.

        International shadow banking facilities are not…

          • Dungroanin

            I’ll try keep it simple,
            Retail financial services which operate in each EU member country need to comply with each countries local regs. Passporting allowed that to be done by having the legal offices wherever in the EU. Out of the EU without pasporting, the simple solution was to change the adress of the Head Office to within the EU.
            That happened when the Catalonians threatened independence and scare stories of so many FS co’s moving ‘out’ of Catalonia – when it was just changing the registered address.

            Money laundering, fx trading, offshoring, tax evading activities on mega scales – non retail – are not financial services.

            As i say that is keeping it simple. Think of trillions instead of millions.

    • fonso

      The Remain campaign was bankrolled by the City’s biggest hitters – Citigroup, JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs. If they thought they would gain one penny more by Britain leaving the EU, they would have campaigned hard and openly to achieve a leave vote. So would their political surrogates – people like Cameron, Osborne, May and New Labour.
      Equally, if the Remain crowd and their media thought the City had in any way swung the result against them we would have been hearing nothing else since June 23, 2016. Instead, it is only you saying it.

      • MJ

        If the City didn’t want to be in the EU the UK would never have been dragged in without a vote in first place.

      • MaryPau!

        My son works for a City big hitter. They were very much Remain, as he is, and pro the EU – Brussels is stuffed full of lobbyists pushing deals which promote bankers’ interests. But they absolutely did not want to move to Europe – I mean Frankfurt, would you ?(and I speak as someone who historically had to visit therecregularly on business) – preferring to remain in London for both business and personal reasons.

        • N_

          There were some in the City who were pro-Leave and when Article 50 went in they hired all the bars for parties. Others as you say were pro-Remain. Among other things they love the Anglo-Saxon legal system because it lets them get away with so much.

          No British government has ever taken on the City.

          Another observation is that there are some who will make billions out of the uncertainty, which is probably why uncertainty has been ratcheted up for the past two years.

        • Paul Greenwood

          I mean Frankfurt, would you ?

          Lovely airport. Fast trains to Paris. Much to recommend it in a German context but still quite small with inadequate shopping and a station bedevilled with drug-dealing on a mammoth scale. Inadequate schooling compared to English public schools and housing is a bit hit and miss. Taxation is awful and late-night/early morning dining a definite absence. Plus which awful congestion on the A66

    • Ian

      Since when as Aaron Banks ‘the city’? Just because he is a fraudster, milks the system, and has lots of shell companies, doesn’t mean he is or represents anything to do with ‘the city’. Your ‘analysis’ is bang-off.

      • Ken Kenn

        What they both seem to have in common is Holding Companies.

        The City rich are held up as a great bunch of people who pay a lot of tax
        on their income.

        This is true but they would because their income is large.

        Meanwhile in the real world their assets are stashed offshore accruing no tax.

        All legal – ask David Cameron.

        According to Marr Riverside Services has no assets.

        If it hasn’t any capital or assets lodged with Companies House – how come Banks can pitch/conjure up 8 million quid in a flash?

        The CPS will have a good look at that particular company I’m sure.

    • Paul Greenwood

      The Remembrancer sits behind The Speaker in the House of Commons. He is The City Representative in Parliament.

    • Charles Bostock

      But not lawmakers from the main parties. Just fringe elements!

      “In addition to independent Minister McGrath, the signatories include members of Sinn Féin, Solidarity-People Before Profit, Labour, the Green Party, Independents 4 Change and other independent members of the Oireachtas, who condemn “the shooting dead of some 205 [Palestinian] protestors, including 40 children, and wounding of more than 5,000 people by live fire [on the Great March of Return] ”

      They can keep whistling, it isn’t going to hqppen.

    • Sharp Ears

      That’s good news Jack. The Irish government has always displayed more humanity towards the Palestinians than some other Western governments.

      Here is the Teoiseach, Leo Varadkar, speaking in a debate about BDS.

      ‘In his reply, Varadkar said “the government’s position on Palestine is clear”, stating:

      We support the establishment of a Palestinian state. No such state exists at present. The Palestinian territories are occupied by Israel. We have taken a decision not to recognise a state that does not yet exist. It is very much our view that Jerusalem and the state of Jerusalem should be settled as part of a final stated agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.’


      ‘Varadkar said other countries who have recognised the state of Palestine have found themselves cut off from Israel, which he argued would have a detrimental impact on the aid work Ireland is trying to do in the region.

      I understand this has happened in the case of Sweden. The Israeli government has a tendency to disengage with countries that recognise the state of Palestine. That could undermine the important humanitarian work we do in that region. We have plans to intensify and increase the humanitarian work we do in the Palestinian territories. We have to consider that this work could be undermined.’

      Varadkar: ‘The Israeli government has a tendency to disengage with countries that recognise the state of Palestine’
      The Taoiseach said Ireland plans to intensify and increase aid work in the Palestinian territories.
      10 February 2018

      The Irish President, Michael D.Higgins, shares this opinion. Israel not at all happy. 🙂

      Irish president meets leader of anti-Israel boycott movement
      Israel protests after Michael Higgins shakes hands with Omar Barghouti at trade union conference and praises organizers for inviting him

      The Irish government has also given €1million extra aid to the Pals. They are very kind people.

      • Paul Greenwood

        When with Varadkar get a majority in his own right ? Maybe Coveney will need to replace him ?

    • nevermind

      Thanks for that link, Jack, lets hope those who are closer to the arms vested interest in Ireland will repent their past decisions in the light of this years attrocities, an escalation in Palestine since cast lead? and vote against continuing trade with this rogue state.

    • Alex Westlake

      I’m sure Jerusalem will be really worried about this. Does the Republic of Ireland even have an arms industry?

      • Jack

        Alex Westlake

        It was a international proposition by the lawmakers.
        If you look how many who sold weapons to Israel in lets say 60s and today, there are far fewer so if I were Israel I would be worried, but sure, they could keep maiming some palestinians children for another decade or so before world is getting too fed up with this them.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Think the the biggest mistake the Democrats have made since they stopped looking into impeaching the POTUS is not exploiting what a nationalist means in his presidency – i.e., pushing for what fascists seek, a country where a particular race is in control. the language it speaks,, the religion or religions it worships, who controls the economy. the configuration of the work force and directs its culture and heritage.

    It’s like the US is still somehow the 13 original colonies. and everything else is the enemy.

    • joel

      Their biggest mistake is still being Wall Street waving a rainbow flag. That’s why they achieved the impossible in losing to Trump.

      • Trowbridge H. Ford

        Wall Street acts like a fascist sector as if a small minority having jobs means the country is in good health. There are still the unemployed, the unemployable because of age, impairment and circumstance, the retired like me, etc.

    • Paul Greenwood

      It’s like the US is still somehow the 13 original colonies. and everything else is the enemy.

      Hardly……you clearly have not seen which they were

  • jazza

    exactly how many of you posting on this blog live here, rent free and do nothing except espouse your theories and post yet more headache and heartache for the planet – what is the point?????????????????????????????????????????????? what do you do to make things better FFS??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

  • DiggerUK

    Back on page 4, I made reference to Jeremy Hunt and his proposal to update the role of the UK diplomatic missions overseas. I made ribald reference to his proposal to get the captains of industry in ambassadorial positions.
    Well the winds of change really are blowing comrades. In his conclusions he notes that ……”new nations rise and the global order changes. The apparently inevitable progress of democracy since the fall of the Berlin Wall is no more”…? And some of the fools around here still only find time to gripe about bloody brexit……please rid me of such babblers…_

      • pretzelattack

        and that reminded me of this short poem.
        The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner
        Randall Jarrell, 1914 – 1965
        From my mother’s sleep I fell into the State,
        And I hunched in its belly till my wet fur froze.
        Six miles from earth, loosed from its dream of life,
        I woke to black flak and the nightmare fighters.
        When I died they washed me out of the turret with a hose.

    • Paul Greenwood

      Jack Cornwell, VC was only 16……….”The instance of devotion to duty by Boy (1st Class) John Travers Cornwell who was mortally wounded early in the action, but nevertheless remained standing alone at a most exposed post, quietly awaiting orders till the end of the action, with the gun’s crew dead and wounded around him. He was under 16½ years old. I regret that he has since died, but I recommend his case for special recognition in justice to his memory and as an acknowledgement of the high example set by him.”

      “It is not wealth or ancestry
      but honourable conduct and a noble disposition
      that maketh men great.”
      The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the grant of the Victoria Cross to Boy, First Class, John Travers Cornwell, O.N.J.42563 (died 2 June 1916), for the conspicuous act of bravery specified below. Mortally wounded early in the action, Boy, First Class, Jack Travers Cornwell remained standing alone at a most exposed post, quietly awaiting orders, until the end of the action, with the gun’s crew dead and wounded all round him. His age was under sixteen and a half years.[5]

      On 16 November 1916, Cornwell’s mother received the Victoria Cross from King George V at Buckingham Palace. Court painter Frank O. Salisbury made a portrait of Cornwell, using his brother Ernest as a model, depicting him standing in his post. Boy Cornwell Memorial Fund was also established. After that, the rest of the family was effectively forgotten. After Eli Cornwell’s death on 25 October 1916, his half-brother Arthur Frederick Cornwell was killed in action in France on 29 August 1918. The impoverished Alice Cornwell died at the age of 48 on 31 October 1919, at 745 Commercial Road in Stepney, in rooms she was forced to take when her son’s memorial fund refused financial aid. The two of her children remaining at home were granted £60 a year in a pension from the fund after Alice’s death, but this proved insufficient and they both emigrated to Canada in the early 1920s. Jack Cornwell’s elder half-sister, also named Alice, loaned Jack’s Victoria Cross to the Imperial War Museum on 27 November 1968. Salisbury’s portrait of Cornwell hangs in the Anglican church within the Royal Navy’s Initial Training Establishment HMS Raleigh, perhaps selected as an appropriate place also because the ship’s Chaplain, The Rev. Cyril Ambrose Walton, was also killed during the action. (Wikipedia)

  • Dave

    The Electoral Commission was set up by New Lab our to undermine democracy in the name of democracy. Its focus on spending rules is to create administrative hurdles and penalties to criminalize and ban groups/individuals the establishment don’t like under guise of due legal process. Remain spent far more, but Leave is portrayed as guilty for not adhering allegedly to the ‘rules’ despite spending far less. At end of day its the message rather than the money that decides the outcome, as proved by leave.

    • Ian

      vote manipulation is a serious crime. The leave vote ‘proved’ nothing, apart from the efficacy of millionaires pumping money into deliberately misleading and manipulating people.

      • nevermind

        Vote righing is a serious sport and EC knows about it but blames lack of staff for not getting to grips with it. Both Craig and myself found it to exist in Blacburn, insidious and in copious mounts, and equally in Norwich, were parties colluded to exclude independents.

      • Bayard

        “vote manipulation is a serious crime. ”

        Only when done by the “wrong” side. Nothing about the public money pumped into the Remain campaign is ever mentioned.

  • Dave

    Do you recall the Ed Stone. I doubt it won votes, it was laughed at and may have lost votes or made no difference, but the cost of it, perhaps due to embarrassment , wasn’t included in the return of expenses and lab our was fined 20,000 pounds for the omission. How absurd!

      • Dave

        A political party needs a certain amount of money to function, but after that it’s the message that counts. A glossy leaflet won’t beat a black and white photo copy if the message is wrong. True in our present FPTP voting system a lot of money is used to chase a handful of votes in marginal seats , but under PR it would lose its importance. Hence investigating how much is spent is to avoid promoting genuine reform and primary objective is to criminalise and ban dissident groups as they need to be registered with the Electoral Commission before a party name can appear on the ballot paper.

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