Scruton and Soros 1161


One principle of this blog is that I give my views whether they will be welcome or not, either to the general public or to the portion of the public who regularly read this blog. Since we started accepting subscriptions to keep it going, almost every article causes somebody to write to me saying they are canceling their subscription because they did not agree with me. I would much prefer anybody who is kindly giving money in the expectation of agreeing with everything I write, to cancel now. The purpose of this blog is to be intellectually challenging and provide food for thought, with facts and viewpoints not readily available in the mainstream media. It is about intellectual inquiry, not followership.

This is one of those occasions when I know that a significant number of people here will not agree with me. I like George Soros and consider him to be a good man. I should declare an interest; he once bought me a pizza, over 20 years ago. But I considered then, and I consider now, that Soros is a man who has devoted huge amounts of his personal resources, in terms of time and in terms of money, to attempting to make the world a better place, from motives of altruism.

Furthermore I believe that a lot of the work of the Open Society Institute, which I witnessed first hand, in Poland and Uzbekistan and elsewhere, is good work, particularly in the field of human rights and media freedom.

I believe that Roger Scruton’s attack on Soros, particularly in a venue in Hungary where the far right Prime Minister has conducted a truly hateful, state orchestrated, anti-semitic and anti-immigrant campaign against Soros, puts Scruton totally beyond the pale.

Soros frequently is cited in comments below the line on this blog as the personification of evil capitalism. Let me address the obvious elephants in the room. The first is how he made his money. This I make no attempt to defend. He has simply managed assets and traded derivative products, particularly in foreign exchange markets, and either by brilliance or sustained good luck, become extremely wealthy from an activity that provides no societal good. Indeed derivatives trading is a cancerous growth on modern economies, where the financial flows vastly exceed the value of trade in actual goods or genuine first party services.

However, people live and work in the economic situation that exists; to condemn people for not dropping out and going off-grid is to adopt a purist and ineffective position. I do not know how Soros got into the business line he adopted, but I am not condemning every individual working in trading. It is also worth stating that Soros’ ethnicity is utterly irrelevant to his career, and those who hint otherwise are offensive.

The second elephant in the room is that Soros appears aligned to the global spread of neo-liberalism, and to the Clinton camp with its warmongering foreign policy. Leaving aside for two paragraphs the question of whether or not that is true, the most important answer to that is that the man is entitled to his beliefs. To condemn him because his beliefs are not all my beliefs would be wrong. That Soros uses so much of his personal wealth to try to make the world a better place, according to his view of how society might best be structured, makes him a good man and not a bad man. That I may have a different view of how society should be structured is not the test; it is whether somebody is genuinely trying to do good by others.

Soros’ view of how society might best be structured is coloured by his past experience of the Eastern bloc. It is natural that anybody from what was occupied Hungary looks at Russia with a wary and distrustful eye. It is natural that those who understand the real failings of Soviet style central planning are dubious of schemes of socialism. But Soros is in fact fairly mainstream European social democrat with very liberal societal views. I genuinely do not understand his demonisation by large sections of the left. Soros is anathema to the right wing nationalist parties of Eastern Europe.

It is also worth pointing out that Soros’ view of his own profession is by no means straightforward. He argued extremely strongly for greater financial regulation, publishing highly informative and reasoned books on the subject, at the height of the craze for deregulation. He was not a supporter of the Big Bang or of Gordon Brown’s market worship. His 1998 opus, The Crisis of Global Capitalism, argues that financial markets are inherently unstable and swing like a wrecking ball not like a pendulum, and that globalisation is in fact an extension of Imperialism. That someone made so much money, from rules he believed should have been altered to stop him doing it, is a conundrum; but he is altogether a complicated character.

Finally, that Soros is a warmonger and supporter of US military attacks on the Middle East is not true. He opposed the Iraq war, and is generally against military intervention. His funding reaches so many NGO’s, of diverse views, it is always possible to find a tweet by Avaaz, or a report on Syrian human rights violations by Amnesty International, and make the claim “that is Soros shilling for war”. But in fact his influence on the vast array of civil society institutions he funds is extremely light touch, and they encompass widely differing viewpoints. Soros’ strong support for the warmonger Clinton is something I do not attempt to justify, other than to note that many people of liberal views are taken in by the old “liberal” establishment. It is quite a psychological step to accept it has gone full neo-con.

I most certainly do not agree with all of Soros’ views, or actions. But I agree with more of them than you may suppose. That all of his actions are motivated by a desire to make more money for himself or to benefit the ruling class, I am quite sure is not true. That he is a hawk and a warmonger I do not believe. That his efforts do a lot of real good I have witnessed first hand. The demonisation of Soros is lazy, inaccurate and unfair.


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1,161 thoughts on “Scruton and Soros

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  • MK

    This is undoubtedly an interesting post. Craig was in danger of alienating some part of his readership. Given the large number of seriously important topics that so much fascinating conversation could be had, and we have not had, and given this article, you do have to wonder.

  • Sharp Ears

    The Israelis have achieved their aim in Gaza. Are they planning another full scale war on Gaza?

    Botched Israeli raid in Gaza sparks violent exchanges
    Rockets fired from Gaza and Israeli jets bomb sites after raid leaves eight people dead
    Oliver Holmes and Hazem Balousha in Gaza
    Mon 12 Nov 2018 17.53 GMT

    Palestinian militants in Gaza have launched dozens of rocket attacks and Israeli fighter jets have bombed sites across the strip in a round of intense fighting triggered by a botched Israeli special forces raid that left eight people dead.

    At least 200 rockets and mortar bombs were fired from the coastal enclave on Monday, lighting up the sky with missile trails, and Israeli police shared photos of a damaged building and a fire in the southern city of Sderot.

    /..

    NB. In true BBC style, the Guardian reports on Palestinian ‘militants’. Israel has ‘soldiers’, ‘special forces’ or ‘police’ in this case.

    • laguerre

      As they say, the raid was ‘botched’. Israel has no right to put troops into Gaza. It was an international aggression. Not that I suppose that anyone is going to be held culpable.

  • Sharp Ears

    Is there no end to the military propaganda? No. Can it get any worse? Yes.

    Just caught the end of the One Show. The Rickshaw Challenge in aid of Children in Need reached ROYAL Wootton Bassett. Military operatives and the British Legion members were lining the main drag. Poppies and flags were everywhere to be seen. Cadets held discs on which was displayed the total raised so far. They performed a reveal. Matt Baker the ubiquitous BBC presenter was i/c and hyping it all up.

    Bonus for Mr Baker!

    The last time I remember live outside broadcasts from that town was when the convoys of hearses bearing the remains of those killed on Afghanistan went through. The broadcasts were frequent and also from RAF Brize Norton where the cargo planes arrived.

  • Dungroanin

    The narrative controllers have no believable plots left – they spent yesterday bigging up mass murder in the trenches a hundred years ago, using their big mediaguns. Yeah your great-grandpa died in the war to end all wars? Asked Dumbledowningbore and his sidekick & heir, Dansnowflake-r-us.
    So why did your grandpa die in the next one? And how come your father was in Suez and Malaysia and Kenya and Northern Ireland terrorising civilians? How come you fought in Afghanistan and Iraq? Why are your kids champing at the bits to get into Iran? Or Africa? Or South America or RUSSIA? None of THEM have ever threatened to invade Britain!
    Proud to have fought and get crippled got the ribbon, the medal, the hat. Keep marching, marching, marching.
    Let spiderman fireplace salesman Williamson glory in your salutes, all you military family folk, who relish travelling the world and terrorising it’s inhabitants.

    Fuckem all, fuckem all, the long and the short and the tall.

    • Dennis Revell

      :

      Indeed, the Universal fucking soldier.

      Fuck ’em all.

      “He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would fully suffice. This disgrace to civilization should be done away with at once. Heroism at command, senseless brutality, deplorable love-of-country stance, how violently I hate all this, how despicable and ignoble war is; I would rather be torn to shreds than be a part of so base an action! It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder.”
      Albert Einstein.

      .

          • Paul Greenwood

            I refer to the quotation above where Einstein has a problem with soldiers but not with incinerating civilians. Germany was nowhere near building a bomb. Look how many nations had to be involved in the Manhattan Project and you expect Werner Heisenberg with a few Germans and modest supplies of uranium to succeed ?

      • Herbie

        “He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would fully suffice.”

        So, there ya go.

        Einstein would have a few problems with BBC wildlife programming.

      • Akos Horvath

        Einstein has turned out to be a big disappointment as a moral voice. His travel diaries have recently been published in English, although they have been available in German for a while. His views about the inherent intelligence of certain ME ethnicities, the things he said about Chinese, etc. are just textbook racism. The standard defence is that those views were the norm in the early 20th century. Of course, if everybody had been like him, there would have been no progress on these issues. So clearly, there must have been certain people who were capable of shaking off casual racism even in the 1920s. But he wasn’t one of them.

        • Dungroanin

          That is a bit out of context!
          His travels in a pre revolutionary China reflect the destitute, cowered population – long abused by western opium, military oppression and the local bought aristocrats.

          Racism of the type you allude to still exists in the establishment here – not so different except that they don’t talk and write about coolies and slanty eyes in public anymore.

  • laguerre

    The big issue about the end of WW1, little mentioned so far, is the failure of Britain to take part in the commemorations in Paris. Everyone else did, but not Britain. All the leaders came, but Britain only sent a minor minister. WW1 has to be represented as a victory, even if in black hats, although everyone else, even if victors, sees it as a defeat for everyone.

    • Paul Greenwood

      Yes it was quite a French Victory in Franco-Prussian War Pt II. France deserves full credit for inveigling Britain into an alliance which would break it financially and destroy Russia leaving France run by disastrous governments until their Third Republic came to an end. De Gaulle provided them with their longest-lasting republic based on semi-fascist presidential structure

          • J Galt

            Oh aye, and what would the British response have been if they had been “requested” to stop building warships?

          • Paul Greenwood

            Well J Galt. The Germans did not have overseas colonies and were nit a maritime power. They offered to stop their naval programme if Britain would guarantee neutrality in a European War which Britain refused to do. Instead Jackie Fisher built a navy to destroy Germany’s Kaiserliche Marine and blockade Germany. As a result most of that navy is sitting at the bottom of Scapa Flow.

            Germany got chance to fight and be destroyed….twice in fact

  • Jack

    Israel bombs TV station in Gaza amid massive border flare-up (PHOTO, VIDEO)
    https://on.rt.com/9ifk

    Will the tories condemn Israel? After all they are claiming Corbyn is a antisemtic but meanwhile the regime in Israel bomb palestinians just because they are palestinians, jailing them, putting them behind borders, it reeks of racism but they say nothing but supportive words!

    • Alex Westlake

      They don’t bomb them because they’re Palestinians, they bomb them because they’re firing rockets at Israeli civilians

      • Dennis Revell

        You’re delusional.

        The ONLY democratically elected leadership of Palestine HAMAS are lobbing (exremely crude innaccurate) rockets into Occuppied Palestine (aka Israel) because the Zio-NAZIs are bombing the shit out of GAZA, as they’ve done many times before, and because the Zio-NAZI entity has absolutely no problem whatsoever with murdering and maiming even unarmed Palestinian demonstrators.

        There is not a single instance of HAMAS breaking a cease-fire agreement with the Zio-NAZI state – in EVERY case that utter abomination on the face of planet Earth has ALWAYS done so on some made up pretext (aka lie) or other.

        .

        “Nothing will avail to offset this virus which is poisoning the whole world. America is the very incarnation of doom. She will drag the whole world down to the bottomless pit.”

        Henry Miller, Tropic of Cancer

        .

        Signature:
        …………………………………………………..
        The creation of the state of Israel has turned out to be the second worst man-made catastrophe ever inflicted on human-kind.

        The WORST man-made catastrophe ever inflicted on human-kind; and, for that matter, most of the rest of animal-kind, has turned out to be the creation of the United States of America.

        The terrible natures of these two creations are NOT unrelated – one creation having been enabled by the other.

        Those at Echelon, GCHQ, MI6, NSA, CIA and similar fascists reading this post and ‘signature’, are referred to the profanity used by the sadly seemingly immortal lying manipulative War-Criminal, Mass-Murderer and Traitor Dick Cheney to some Democratic Party non-entity (as pretty much all the Democrats are).
        …………………………………………………..

        .

      • Mochyn69

        Rockets!? Pfffffff.

        You mean exocets, intercontinental ballistic missiles, or Mars probes?

        Or home made fire crackers that don’t do any actual harm to anybody??

        Swallowed the israeli propaganda hook, line and sinker, haven’t you Alex?

        • Vivian O'Blivion

          Attempted propaganda meme a while back was that the rockets were being manufactured from water pipes, thereby denying Gaza residents of clean water. Thinnest wall section for say a standard 6″ pipe would be around 3mm. Good luck trying to get that off the ground. Science and engineering not a strong suit for hassy trolls.

      • Jack

        Alex Westlake

        Here we go again, the occupied is the aggressor, not the regime that now have rolled in tanks on the border of Gaza.
        Thats how psychopathic the racism against palestinians is.

      • duplicitousdemocracy

        Every time there is a sniff of peace in the air, Israel decide to assassinate Hamas representatives, the most recent initiative being mediated by Qatar. Israel have just destroyed it by these assassinations. Previously, a twelve month period contained no rockets from Gaza but guess what… out of the blue Israel went and killed Hamas representatives.. Are you seeing a pattern here?
        Because they are Palestinians? Maybe not, Israel has a tendency to want to bomb all it’s neighbours that don’t have adequate air defences. Because they can without retribution? Most certainly.

        • Jo Dominich

          Duplicitous democracy, a great point simply made. I have said this for years, the Israeli Government has no interest at all in any peace initiatives – it just wants to eliminate all Palestinians – and, after they have done that, to start on other Arab states around them (aided and abetted by the megalomaniac currently in the White House). I might be utterly wrong here, but Pompeo’s statement that they want to reduce Iran’s oil production/export to zero (and he provided not one single evidenced reason for the sanctions) is to pave the way for Israel to invade Iran on some pretext or other 100% supported by the USA.

      • Akos Horvath

        Then lets give the lawful Palestinian resistance better weapons, so they can more accurately target the Israeli apartheid regime’s occupying forces. You should watch Pontecorvo’s The battle of Algiers. Here is a relevant quote regarding the hiding of explosives in women’s baskets.

        “Of course, if we had your airplanes it would be a lot easier for us. Give us your bombers, and you can have our baskets.”

      • J

        If you’d been paying attention you would have seen Israel shoot hundreds of women and children dead over recent months. Not just civilians, but doctors, medics, journalists and the elderly. And not just at the right of return protests. You’d have seen tens of thousands shot and injured to the backbeat of demolition and dispossetion, random shelling of gaza, arbitrary detention and spiteful cruelties such as the dumping of thousands of gallons of raw sewage onto Palestinian schools. I can hook you up with thousands of atrocity videos from the last eight months alone, should you wish to see the details of what you’re defending.

        The proximate cause of this latest Israeli aggression was of course the night time raid to kill or kidnap hamas leadership and the subsequent firestorm of bombs and missiles used to cover their retreat and documented by hundreds of videos if you’d like to see them.

        If you were to steal my land, disposses and kill a million of my people, cover my home in fences and wire and checkpoints, throw me out of my home, brutalise my children, demolish my school, cut down my ancient olive trees, shoot and bomb my friends and family regularly for seventy years, I can guarentee you, I’d be shooting back at you.

  • Sharp Ears

    On this episode of Going Underground, rap legend Lowkey exposes inconvenient truths about WWI, the British military-industrial complex, and UK foreign policy after #ArmisticeDay100.

    David Miller, director of Spinwatch, exposes UAE lobbying of the British government; and Naeem Zamindar, the former Pakistani minister of state, discusses Pakistan’s economic future – the IMF, China or Saudi Arabia… maybe both!
    https://www.rt.com/shows/going-underground/443714-armistice-day-100-comemoration/

    • Kerchée Kerch;ee Coup

      @Sharp Ears
      I believe Zamindar”, an honorary ‘ title in Urdu,&Farsi, was usually translated into English as landlord or squire, which certainly demonstrates where the former minister’s interests lie.
      Layla Anwar at
      htpps://www.arabwomanblues.blogspot.com
      in her most recent post last year after a 10 year active blogging history,ISIL-Agents of the Dajjalj, outlines the drive to split up major countries including Pakistan and Saudi as well as Yemen.
      Now in both Gaza and Yemen, the prospect of an armistice, if not peace, seems only to have driven the aggressor into a paroxysm of destructive fury.

  • Loony

    Is the UK collectively insane? A couple of stories suggests that it may well be.

    Here is a story implying that the UK cannot offer asylum to Asia Bibi because it is feared that any asylum offer could lead to unrest.

    https://inews.co.uk/news/world/asia-bibi-britain-refuses-asylum-persecuted-pakistani-christian-blasphemy-violent-attacks/

    Obviously the UK would not want to do anything that may provoke unrest, or would it?

    Here is another story concerning a Finnish national that naturally enough served in the British army.

    https://www.itv.com/news/2018-11-12/outstanding-soldier-at-heart-of-neo-nazi-terrorist-cell/

    It would seem that he was dedicated to the cause of unrest – and now you have to pay for his incarceration. And what lessons have the British learned from this? Why they have opened up the opportunity for any Commonwealth citizen to serve in the army irrespective as to whether they have ever lived in the UK. No doubt they will know an awful lot about these new recruits and their motivations. Maybe they can entice a few members of the AWB – some of them will have paramilitary experience, and seem extremely ill disposed toward foreigners. Or how about a few recruits from Mozambique? These people will probably need their own personal translators unless the army signals its inclusiveness by changing its operating language to Portuguese.

    All makes perfect sense for a country with the resolute determination to destroy itself and maybe kill a few foreigners in the process as they literally die laughing at the all enveloping insanity.

    • Ken Kenn

      Loony.

      It’s a mad mad world and the greatest insanity is thinking you are the only sane person on the planet.

      Your friend Donald thinks he’s that and by doing something he is doing everything. Hence the urge to comment on everything.

      The Wall ‘s not even been started contrary to his supporters placards ” Finish the Wall!” and North Korea has not been invaded/obliterated and not a Steel Works has been built. Hot air and rhetoric so far by Donald – he wouldn’t be the first or the last POTUS to act in a Populist manner and in fairness I reckon Hilary would have not honoured her promises if she had won. The fact that she didn’t even have any promises in the first place is neither here nor there.

      Many Presidents and leaders are currently being ‘sane ‘ and causing immense harm due to their certainty.

      The reason why the British young people are not joining Her Majesty’s Forces is they want to avoid the madness and are wise enough to know they will be future cannon fodder for the future wars that we were reminded not to forget and never allow to happen again yesterday. Despite the Powere That Be still continuing wars currently in the same old way but with different excuses this time.It’s always different this time isn’t it?

      Unless of course the UK falls out of the EU and joins with US in continuing the madness and copies the US as the Military is the only place where poor kids get a chance of a free education and decent pay.

      Of course the trade off for that largesse is that you have to be prepared to get shot or blown to pieces in alleged defence of your nation.

      Now that is madness.

    • giyane

      Loony

      As I was crossing the Alum Rock Road this evening somebody let off a very loud firework. I was shocked which greatly amused the Bus driver I was waiting to pass. We are great supporters here of the Taliban, the thinking Muslim’s direct line to Shaytan/the devil. In this particular ghetto where I live the bus driver is happy at the sound of a bomb blast. Disputes here are settled the Neanderthal way by hitting your neighbour over the head with a hammer or metal bar. You can buy clothes here cheaper than Pakistan because there is no protection money to pay to the Taliban ,

    • SA

      Loony
      Sorry to intrude but
      “No majority Muslim country has a defined age of consent” a claim made by you in a previous page was shown not to be true. Did you want to comment or apologise before embarking on another subject?

      • Loony

        It is hard to determine your motivations.

        Yes, I made a technical error and should nave written “No majority Muslim country that organizes itself according to Islamic doctrine has a defined age of consent”

        This will include Yemen, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Pakistan, Oman, Maldives, Kuwait, Oman, Iran, the Gaza strip, Afghanistan, Sudan and Libya. Perhaps you have noticed that many Muslim countries that take a more secular approach are themselves subject to varying degrees of internal unrest generated by factions that wish to see a more rigid adherence to Islamic doctrine – thus you have the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and the civil war in Algeria fomented by the GIA that left 250,000 dead. The aims of these groups include, among many other things, the abolition of the age of consent.

        None of this alters the fact that Islamic doctrine seems to promote, or at the very least tolerate, hebephilia. It is this benign attitude toward hebephilia that likely constitutes at least part of the explanation for Rape gangs AKA grooming gangs that appear prevalent in UK society.

        The people committing these crimes are effectively aided and abetted by large swathes of the indigenous population who persist in conflating pedophilia with hebephilia, Additionally there are people like you who will seemingly go to any lengths in order to avoid recognizing that there is an intellectual and philosophical underpinning to these crimes.

        Pointing out that the UK will seemingly not grant asylum to a persecuted Pakistani Christian woman because of fears of unrest but that it will allow a dedicated Finnish Nazi into the country is not changing the subject. It is all a continuum and is evidence that the UK is dedicated to pursuing mutually contradictory policies that are certain to end in disaster. With this line of thinking the UK will soon be able to identify sober drunks and illiterate authors.

        Most staggeringly a number of people (possibly including you) seem keen to imply that I am some form of racist. My problem is with the British – you are not insane but you are determined to act as though you are insane. Your behaviors are analogous to an able bodied person who persists in using a wheelchair for no reason other than to garner attention and sympathy.

        • SA

          I very quickly stopped reading your long diversion of an answer. In essence you confuse legal marriage age with age of consent. Even in Muslim countries governed by sharia there is usually a legal marriage age. This is were you should look at in these societies as sex without marriage is in any case illegal . I am stating a fact not condoning or putting a value judgement.
          Therefore your point about these countries that state that they have to be married is meaningless in trying to define an age of consent.
          My motivation is simple, to ensure accuracy. Your clearly stated “ No Muslim majority country has an age of consent’ that you used to as evidence as to why people like you should be free to practice islamiphobia, just proved that it was an oversimplified and at the same time hyperbolic statement. But of course as they say’the camel cannot see the bends in its neck’.

          • Loony

            It is heartening to learn that you are such an expert on Islamic doctrine. It is though somewhat confusing to read that your interpretation of this doctrine is in conflict with that of Sheikh Abdulaziz Al Asheikh who continues to insist that there is no minimum age of marriage for girls.

            https://www.arabianbusiness.com/no-minimum-age-for-marriage-of-girls-grand-mufti-576044.html

            From your own words it is known that you acquire knowledge from a medium other than reading, but on the off chance you read this you will note that for girls below the age of 15 who are being married it is necessary, inter alia, to conduct a gynaecological assessment. This is to confirm puberty.

            This entire system institutionalizes hebephilia, and the only way to argue to the contrary is make yourself look entirely ridiculous.

            Few people have been willing to expose themselves to the ridicule that you invite preferring instead to conflate hebephilia with pedophilia. Perhaps you are setting a trend.

            If the analysis of your cognitive processes is incorrect please feel free to set out exactly how you are more qualified to interpret Islamic doctrine than Sheikh Abdulaziz Al Asheikh

          • SA

            It is now good that we have narrowed down the all embracing “no country with a Muslim majority population has a legal age of consent” to the pronouncements of a single cleric in Saudi Arabia. In that we have reached full consensus. kSA is the pits as far as all these practices go. Their peculiar version of Islam is retrogressive and extreme. Your obvious mistake is to try and make this exception the rule and to say that “all Muslim majority countries” are therefore the same. I do not care what a cleric in KSA pronounces about marriage, it is all irrelevant to the bulk of Muslims.
            And by the way I do not defend any releguon at all but feel that all religions should be treated in the same way which is takes into account that they have been used as tools of coercion and control.

          • Loony

            As Bob Dylan observed “You can’t win with a losing hand” All pretty straightforward stuff one would have thought.

            Anyway: The single cleric in Saudi Arabia” that you refer to is actually the Grand Mufti who serves as the religious leader in Saudi Arabia. Given that all aspects of Saudi society are organized along religious lines his role is vastly more significant in Saudi that the role of the Archbishop of Canterbury in the UK. Few people would describe the Archbishop of Canterbury as “a single cleric in England”

            Still moving on. The BBC carries this interesting albeit unpleasant story from Pakistan.

            https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/world-asia-29390728/pakistan-child-marriages-i-cried-so-much-when-i-married-at-13

            Not only was the young girl only 13 at the time of her marriage she also married her cousin. Are you aware that medical opinion is clear that cousin marriage is likely to have a material negative impact on the cognitive abilities of the offspring of any such union.

            There was an attempt to introduce a Child Marriage Bill in the Pakistani Senate so as to afford young girls some legal protection. This bill was rejected by the Chairman of the Senate Standing Committee one Rehman Malik. Mr. Malik justified his decision in the following terms:

            “I have also discussed it with religious scholars and they also believe that girls can be married before the age of 18 according to Islam, so these kind of bills cannot be passed”

            Please do let me know if there are any more countries organized along Islamic lines that you wish to discuss.

          • SA

            Loony
            You really are a master at obfuscation and diversion. So every time the government of a country does something horrendous we not only blame the whole population of that country but their system of belief. In another context this context will get you in jail , and rightly so because it is blatantly racist. But in your case you tell me because of two antiquated medieval run states that have been formed and protected and continue to be protected by the British government and the USA are representative of Islam. Please make no mistake here I am no defender of Islam or any blind faith. I think religion may have a place if people wish to use it as a system of personal belief and worship but not as a system of coercion. And this applies to all religions. That the grand mufti of this or that country permits antiquated practices exactly proves that and the very fact that they have such a power proved my point. For that matter if we wish to follow the religious texts and if the Archbishop of Canterbury or the pope or whosoever has this fantastic religious authority like to follow the bible literally we would send many people to extremely nasty fate as happened to Sodom and Gomorrah, ordered by the god that ordered this to happen at that time.
            The facts that you miss here is that I have never endorsed any of this underage marriage and I have said many times that these nations practicing such laws are medieval but you choose to nominate these authorities as an example of why a whole religion should be condemned. What needs to be condemned is the sway that antiquated texts from more than 2000 years down to about 650 years ago can still be used as arguments to subjugate either individuals or whole nations. For sanity’s sake the reformation should have put a stop to all this nonsense.

          • Loony

            “Oh Joe say it aint so”

            None of this has anything to do with “the government of a country doing something horrendous” It has to do with a legal system that is inextricably intertwined with Islam. Islam is much more than a religion – it is a complete system governing all aspects of life. One of the things that Islam sanctions is the practice of hebephilia. This is a verifiable fact and is not contested by practitioners of Islam. To say that stating this is racist is beyond puerile and speaks to mendacious motivations.

            No-one is blaming “a whole population” for anything. If you live in the UK then you live in a society that has a range of laws governing the supply and consumption of alcohol. This does not mean that everyone in the UK is forced to drink, but it does mean that people are free to choose to drink within the framework of the law. Similarly people in Islamic countries are not forced to marry children – but they may choose to do within the framework of the law.

            Speaking of obfuscation, as you do, it it difficult to see what could be more obfuscatory than seeking to link the UK and the US to the maintenance of such practices.

            It is true that the UK/US offer some support to the regimes in Riyadh and Islamabad. Few people would contest that both the UK and the US have an extremely hostile posture toward Iran. What then can be the position with regard to child marriages in Iran?

            https://www.dw.com/en/child-marriage-in-iran-forces-girls-into-a-life-of-oppression/a-40450099

            Why, it seems that something over 40,000 Iranian girls below the age of 15 appear on Iranian marriage registers each year.

            I am not interested in supporting or condemning such practices only in establishing that they exist and are supported by Islamic doctrine and are incorporated into the legal systems of countries that organize their societies so as to be compliant with Islamic doctrine.

            Only an idiot would believe that people who see nothing wrong with hebephilia would suddenly experience a Damascene conversion when they arrive in Europe. This is exactly analogous to French people suddenly deciding that drinking wine is a great sin just because they happen to be a country that outlaws alcohol.

            Take a look at Qatar. There the consumption of alcohol is illegal, but permits are available for non Muslim expatriates to acquire limited amounts of alcohol. As the UK has a significant population of Muslims then maybe it should also have a permit system permitting child marriages for those whose religion sanctions such practices. Let us see if this is something that the general population would be content with. It would be much more honest than the endless denials that such practices enjoy religious sanction and the endless ad hominem attacks on anyone seeking to point out the truth.

          • SA

            I never said that Islam should be a legal system in the modern age , also that we should have a monarch as the head of the country and the church. Yes I agree that all countries using Islamic sharia law are regressive and suppressive of women. But nevertheless your point about Iran versus Pakistan and KSA that actually proves nothing except the duplicitous nature of support of UK and US for medieval regimes whilst criticising another .
            Moreover what you have ignored in all this discussion is that in fact the majority of Muslim countries do not practice sharia, have minimal age of consent and treat women better than those you quote. As a percentage of “Muslim majority countries” they completely destroy your argument .

          • Loony

            So you don’t like the examples of the KSA and Pakistan because they are supported by the UK and the US, and you don’t like the example of Iran because Iran is opposed by the UK and the US.

            How about the Maldives? – not really a newsworthy place and, so far as I know, not subject to any particularly strong support or opposition from the UK and the US

            https://maldivesindependent.com/society/supreme-court-approval-required-for-underage-marriage-126645

            Why it appears that the Supreme Court of the Maldives can sanction child marriage even over the objections of the child’s parents provided that the marriage is fully compliant with Islamic law.

            Indonesia is home to the single largest Muslim population in the world accounting for just over 12% of the global Muslim population. What then is the position in Indonesia?

            https://www.asiasentinel.com/society/indonesia-child-marriage-problem/

            Why, here we find that one woman in every six is a child bride with 50,000 girls under the age of 15 being married each year.

            Are you now able to identify a trend?

    • Paul Greenwood

      UK always has a visit from the Pakistani High Commission to Bradford before General Elections and “currying favour” is such an obsequious ritual for British politicians in the Kashmir Range across the Pennines that they don’t want a “Salman Rushdie Mk II”

      After all George V did not want his cousin Nicholas II given asylum in 1917 for fear of returning soldiers disaffected by their trip abroad emulating the Russians

    • Mathias Alexander

      I thought the British Army already had a lot of Fijians in it. Will they get british citizenship at the end of their service?

    • Dungroanin

      Ah Loony, I have writen before and do so again, you are a great devils advocate. But.

      This hard-on you have about Islam being worse then any other religion is getting corny.
      You may well be a secret muslim using your clever invective to gain wider support for it.

      Anyway, i’ll bite on your child marriage baitting.
      I was instantly reminded of Elvis and others and various CHRISTIAN sects across the USA.

      “So… as of October 2018:
      18 states have no minimum age of marriage in some cases.
      2 states have a minimum age of 14.
      5 states have a minimum age of 15.
      19 states have a minimum age of 16.
      6 states have a minimum age of 17.”
      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child_marriage_in_the_United_States

      D’em evil evil muslims pretending to be hogfeasting Christians! Lol.

      • Jo Dominich

        Dungroaning, Agreed wholeheartedly. I often think these days that where reporting for anything muslim goes, just substitute the word ‘jew in the headline and in the article’ – the only conclusion that can be arrived at is the muslims are now the new Jews and are being scapegoated and treated as such.

  • Jannie

    Didn’t Soros – along with the EU and Obama/McCain State Department – support Ukrainian neo-Nazis in 2014 when they overthrew their deomcratically-elected, pro-Russia government?

      • Dennis Revell

        :

        And only a complete idiot would imply that Yanukovich was elected to be anti-Russian.

        Or, and in rare agreement on my part with one of the rare things that the great American Orange Turd, that there’s ANYTHING wrong with trying to get along with Russia. Of course, not all who want strife with Russia are idiots, some are highly intelligent sociopathic evil MI5/MI6/CIA paid trolls tapping away in some dismal basment in the famous undisclosed location. Which are you, I wonder.

        Was the current fascist bastard usurper of Yanukovich selected to be pro-American, as you imply. That’s nuts, but true – American Ogre Victoria Nuland says so in leaked communications – this even though Ukraine is located in Russia’s underbelly. I’d like to see Mexico nurtured in exactly the same way, to be vehemently anti-American

        .

        “Nothing will avail to offset this virus which is poisoning the whole world. America is the very incarnation of doom. She will drag the whole world down to the bottomless pit.”

        Henry Miller, Tropic of Cancer

        .

        Signature:
        …………………………………………………..
        The creation of the United States of America has turned out to be the worst man-made catastrophe ever inflicted on human-kind; and, for that matter, most of the rest of animal-kind.

        Those at Echelon, GCHQ, MI6, NSA, CIA and similar fascists reading this post and ‘signature’, are referred to the profanity used by the sadly seemingly immortal lying manipulative War-Criminal, Mass-Murderer and Traitor Dick Cheney to some Democratic Party non-entity (as pretty much all the Democrats are).
        …………………………………………………..

        .

          • Radar O'Reilly

            anti-russian? some accurate news:- mutually examining malicious ‘nudge’ information, joint RF/NATO cybersec group!

            The foreign ministers of Russia and Spain say they agreed to establish a joint cybersecurity group to keep the malicious spreading of misinformation from damaging relations between their countries. Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell said he welcomed Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s proposal for a collaborative effort “to gauge the extent of the problem and analyze it to prevent it from becoming a source of friction.” Lavrov said in Madrid on Tuesday he discussed with Borrell how “some Russian mass media go beyond the limits of their professional activity and create inadmissible interference in other countries’ issues.” But Lavrov insisted no evidence has been found of Russian government involvement. Spanish officials have alleged that a misinformation campaign mainly initiated in Russia was partially to blame for instability in Spain’s Catalonia region.

            https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/spain-and-russia-agree-to-set-up-joint-cybersecurity-group/2018/11/06/c0bc5d3e-e1e3-11e8-ba30-a7ded04d8fac_story.html?

            And here’s the same story with a bit more “fake-news” spin around it

            https://thehill.com/policy/cybersecurity/415486-russia-and-spain-strike-agreement-for-joint-cybersecurity-group

            This story is a week old and I never noticed it at the time, must be some sort of billionaire bubble-effect?

          • Herbie

            “Yes, I expect Russia is to blame for inciting Scots to demand independence as well.”

            Of all the independences and right-wing shifts ongoing at the moment, the Scottish is the most curious.

            It’s not right-wing, it’s not real independence, and the right-wing nationalists in Moscow and Jerusalem are not supporting it.

            So, Scottish independence is contained within a Globalist framework.

            It’s not part of these many other emergent Nationalisms and Rightisms.

            It’s something different.

            More cuddly. You can take it home to yer mum and she won’t be shocked.

            Very British.

        • Kempe

          He was elected to be pro-EU. The Ukrainian parliament had voted to accept a deal with the EU but Yanukovich unilaterally and without consultation decided to go with an offer from Russia instead. That’s what kicked off the trouble.

          • Paul Greenwood

            Actually the Eu deal was to sell Ukraine goods but not to import from Ukraine. It would mean being a bit like a Ukrainian Backstop (ha ha) and having a Customs Border with Russia its main market in return for the right to import Eu goods but export very little to EU.

            Maybe Theresa May is thinking about a similar FTA in Cabinet today ?

  • Brendan

    Mr. Soros believes in the neo-liberal view called “responsibility to protect”, or humanitarian intervention. As we have seen in Kosovo, Iraq and Libya, this is open to much abuse, even if it sounds nice. I suspect this is the root of his fondness for the Clintons.
    Please don’t be naive regarding his ethnicity and his choice of occupation. I support some of what Mr. Soros has done, but overall he is a malignant force.

    • Paul Greenwood

      “responsibility to protect”,

      Is exactly what Adolf Hitler did in Danzig and Sudetenland. League of Nations Reports and British Foreign Office documents in Kew are proof of the actions of Polish and Czech regimes in harassing and persecuting German populations within their borders

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Paul Greenwood November 13, 2018 at 06:09
        Very good point! And he did it with a damn sight more genuineness than what we are doing, which is precisely the opposite.

  • Karl Kolchak

    Sorry, but once you have blood on your hands there is no washing it off. Excusing monsters like Soros because they aren’t as bad as other monsters is how we got to this point.

  • Kathy Woods

    As an American, I don’t feel Soros’ touch lightly. If “the man is entitled to his own beliefs” is the most important answer, it is only because you are not asking the most important question. Soros’ beliefs and the altruism of his motivations are irrelevant. The benevolence of a dictator doesn’t excuse his usurpation of power. Soros’ money buys him influence with politicians and government institutions, particularly in the US where bribery is now officially sanctioned by law. He uses money to amplify his own voice and shout over the voices of millions of others. He may be a man of goodwill, but he is a man, not a million men. He’s entitled to his own beliefs, he’s not entitled to his own government. The government in the US has been captured by a relative handful of mega corporations and wealthy elites. The government serves the interests of that special constituency to the exclusion of the rest of us. Our interests are represented only insofar as they occasionally coincide with the desires of bIg business and billionaire donors. If that coincidence occurs slightly more frequently with Soros than the Koch Brothers is not the point.

  • Sharp Ears

    The Attorney General Geoffrey Cox, QC MP Torridge and West Devon. Appointed in July this year.

    Outside work whilst employed as an MP
    Cox has continued to practise as a Queen’s Counsel whilst an MP. According to The Daily Telegraph, based on the declarations in the Register of Members’ Interests, Cox’s extra-parliamentary work was worth £820,867 in 2014, or 12 times his annual MP salary, whilst the total time on extra-parliamentary work that was registered in 2014 (although the register shows the hours were worked over 3 years) was 1,954 hours. According to the Register as at 2 July 2018, his extra-parliamentary earnings in the 12 months from July 2017 to June 2018 were £487,043; the time expended totalled 1,070 hours, which equates to more than six months’ work, assuming a standard 40-hour week.

    Cox has previously defended his outside work, pointing out that MPs of all parties have practised as QCs over the years, and that the Attorney General and Solicitor General are normally chosen from their ranks. He has argued that he has always been used to long hours, 70 and 80 hour weeks were quite normal at the Bar, and that the Nolan report concluded that Parliament needed people with current experience of a wide range of professional and other backgrounds.

    However, in 2016, the House of Commons Standards Committee—of which he was a member—found that he had committed a serious breach of a House of Commons rule, designed to make transparent an MP’s financial interests, after failing to register £400k of outside earnings (11 payments) for legal work within the permitted 28-day period. The payments were registered late, variously between two and seven months after the deadline; ….’

    He defended the former Premier of the Cayman Islands. ‘In 2014, Cox successfully defended the former Premier (and current Leader of the Opposition) of the Cayman Islands, McKeeva Bush, on charges of corruption and misuse of office.’

    Nice.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geoffrey_Cox_(British_politician)

    He receives the seal of approval from the Spectator – https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2018/10/geoffrey-cox-the-most-important-politician-youve-never-heard-of/
    and features in today’s IF cartoon https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/picture/2018/nov/13/steve-bells-if-eloquent-geoffrey-cox-inspires-theresa-may

    • Molloy

      .

      Co££x QC MP indeedy. . . . . . one of UK$£’s finest at filling his own boots with other people’s money.

      “And to some extent this is because the majority cannot do much better than they do, for lack of native talent and because of the education and political, religious and other propaganda they have been exposed to throughout their lives, and to some extent this is because the majority of those who can or could have judged and acted well chose not to, in general because this gave them power, status and preferment in their societies, and they preferred lying and posturing for power and profit over speaking the truth or trying to find it.”

      (attrib. to A Zinoviev)

      .

  • nevermind

    Roger Scruton is a covert racist by trying to make out that the National Front was ‘egalitarian’.
    My backside is more egalitarian, it will sit on any any of them, incl. him.

  • Sharp Ears

    Craig has retweeted this comment:
    Jareer Kassis
    ‏@JareerKassis
    Nov 5
    Jareer Kassis Retweeted Ma’an News Agency
    Wow – think about that: Amending the law to allow the execution of only one “kind” of people under their control, but not the other. There’s a name for a system like that…

    which links to this horrific item:

    Netanyahu approves death penalty targeting Palestinian prisoners.
    http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=781699

    Mr Kassis is a ‘Scientist (cancer research and regenerative medicine). Palestinian-American raised in Ramallah. I tweet in English and Arabic, sometimes coherently.’

  • N_

    Brexit commentary (some of which is stating the obvious):

    * Theresa May will either announce a “deal” or she will say it’s “no deal”; either of these could happen, but the present state of affairs cannot continue

    * Boris Johnson is angling to be PM, probably backed by the US and Russia, but he hasn’t got a hope in hell; his pitching in is good for the more intelligent parts of the far right, because it provides them with cover; other than that, he is a side show

    * the “you might not get your medicines and you might starve too” idea will be played up, and it will get some real hooks to hang on, and I don’t mean “motorways will become lorry parks” hooks

    * the DUP hate Catholics and they don’t want to be in a single market or customs union with any of them, except if the said Catholics are Irish; that doesn’t hold together as a bag of ideas, but that’s Ulster Protestantism for you; it is seriously possible that they will chum up openly with the not-quite-sedevacantist Jacob Rees-Mogg

    * don’t invest in sterling

    • N_

      One thing that’s remarkable is that there’s been no media mention of 1922 Committee meetings for some time. But the House of Commons returned from recess yesterday, so surely the Committee will be meeting tomorrow, Wednesday, as it does whenever the Commons is sitting?

      Journalists are a herd: they only mention topics that have been centrally decided to be mentionable. Even if most of them weren’t jobsworths, which they are, they’d still be a herd.

    • Paul Greenwood

      With all the effort wasted on Art 50 and the need in TFEU for a withdrawal Agreement it would have been simpler to effect a New Treaty from the start and ignore Art 50 altogether which was only triggered so the Uk did not take part in the May 2019 Euro Elections……I wonder who suggested that ?

      • Radar O'Reilly

        @PG, that’s possible, though I read somewhere that the europarliament is actually physically preparing for the return of uk’s Niggle Farridge & co, in the next parliament, as “stuff might happen”

        there was also the query that on 1st April 2019, following the introduction of some wierd international tax treaty, viz the Multilateral Instrument (MLI), that Corporation Tax is included, then Capital Gains, Income Taxes from 6th April 2019 . With the EU intending (probably) to further integrate the rEU taxually and economically, with special interest groups insisting that an FTT would “rebalance financial markets away from a short-term trading mentality” and address issues such as high-frequency trading

        is british-exit (partly) a city of London Tobin tax avoidance strategy? I’ve tried reading Eur-Lex and quickly got lost

        https://smithandwilliamson.com/-/media/saw/files/pdfs/newsletters/tax-update-9-october-2018.pdf <- yet another docu that I cannot grok

        • N_

          Some interests in the City were pushing hard on the continent. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to work out whether they were engaged in offence or in a strategy that, considered from a bird’s eye view, was defensive. Certainly they’re not the only player in western Europe and I reckon that some forces in the EU (in Frankfurt) wanted Britain out, or at least they wanted to have a tool in their arsenal for exerting pressure in that direction, and they wielded that tool. The line that all interests in EU27 want so much to have Britain in their club is for the idiot market only. Never mind that it’s accepted by the whole of the political class and the media.

          It’s fascinating that the BBC’s second news item today after the “deal” is Angela Merkel’s support for a “European army”. Those who believe that the BBC is “Remainer” should ponder on that.

          Then again, is Merkel as nash as a certain Bullingdon blondie may be? 🙂 Once upon a time the KGB penetrated the Apostles. So how about the Bullingdon Club? It would have been a target for sure.

          I’m surprised that sterling went up on today’s announcement. Some are too short-termist for their own good. I still think it will be much lower by the end of the week.

        • Dungroanin

          Yes – that has been my analysis for quite some time. There are these who think the OECD are driving the same agenda (for tax and regulations) but I think they are driving in a damage controlling manner.

  • Paul Barbara

    ‘Great powers commemorate First World War, and plan the next one’:
    https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/11/13/pers-n13.html
    ‘…Over the past weekend, the leaders of the world’s great powers met in France to commemorate the official end of World War I. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and US President Donald Trump pulled long faces, hugged each other and gave speeches lamenting the “horror” and “tragedy” of a war that claimed more than 16 million lives.
    But their talk of “tragedy” and “suicide” could not hide the fact that they are all engaged in active preparations for a new and deadly world military conflict.
    Trump, as usual, did not feel the need to hide his love of bloodshed. His speech at the Suresnes American Cemetery just outside Paris was a jingoistic rant. Trump praised the “great warriors” who “fought through hell to turn the tide of the war” and lauded the “ferocious” American marines who were termed “Devil Dogs” by the terrified German soldiers….’

    ‘….In collaboration with the neo-fascist Alternative for Germany (AfD), Maassen authored a report placing those who oppose capitalism, including the Socialist Equality Party, under surveillance as “left-wing extremists.” And in the latest exposure of the viper’s lair that is the German military/intelligence apparatus, the news weekly Focus Magazine reported that internal army investigations have uncovered a massive plot by as many as 200 military personnel to round up and murder left-wing politicians….’

    ‘Devil Dogs’ is a reasonable nickname for the thugs who invaded and occupied Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, as well as attacking many other sovereign nations.

    • Paul Greenwood

      the “Devil Dogs” nickname for Marines first appeared in newspapers in the United States in April 1918 – about two months before the Battle of Belleau Wood. The LaCrosse Tribune ran a story about the nickname on April 27, 1918,[3] and other newspapers used the story as early as April 14, 1918.[4] The Battle of Belleau Wood began on June 1, 1918.[1][5][2]. (Wikipedia)

      Wikipedia German states: “Der Bois de Belleau wurde für das US Marine Corps (USMC) zur Geburtsstunde seines Mythos als kampfstärkster Verband der US-Streitkräfte. Dieser, an der Dauer und Intensität der Schlacht gemessen, unbegründete Mythos ist auch darauf zurückzuführen, dass die Verdienste der anderen US-amerikanischen Truppen und vor allem das Mitwirken französischer und britischer Verbände vom USMC bereits während der laufenden Gefechte unterschlagen wurden.”

      The German 237th Division that faced the U.S. Army and Marines at Belleau Wood was a trench division. In 1918 Allied intelligence rated the 237th as a fourth-class division with a strength of fewer than 10,000 troops…….the exaggerated claims for t of Belleau Wood simply do not stand he strategic significance of the Battle up to close analysis. The fight was a tightly contained tactical action in a secondary sector of a very wide front, and the results had only a limited influence on the sweeping operations of May–June 1918. When the 4th Marine Brigade attacked into Belleau Wood on June 6, the battle raged across about a mile-and-a-half of the 62-mile-wide front. The Marines launched some 10,000 troops against a German force of about the same size or slightly larger, a fraction of the more than half-million men Ludendorff had committed to Operation Blücher…..

      By every tactical measure of the time the Marines should have been annihilated; but they weren’t. Overcoming tremendous odds they persevered and won, in turn drawing the attention of the German General Staff.

      http://www.historynet.com/u-s-marines-mythic-fight-belleau-wood.htm

    • Paul Greenwood

      “internal army investigations have uncovered a massive plot by as many as 200 military personnel to round up and murder left-wing politicians….’

      Hilarious. It was also framed in terms of “when” Germany collapses internally. Maybe they were “Gladio units” ?

  • Republicofscotland

    If India’s trade tariff fears can be overcome, then there’s a real possibility that the ASEAN, through the RCEP, could create the world’s biggest trade bloc as talks are soon to get underway.

    In 2017, prospective RCEP member states accounted for a population of 3.4 billion people with a total Gross Domestic Product (GDP, PPP) of $49.5 trillion, approximately 39 percent of the world’s GDP, with the combined GDPs of China and India making up more than half that amount.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regional_Comprehensive_Economic_Partnership

    https://asean.org/asean/asean-member-states/

  • Republicofscotland

    Meanwhile in France, there has been a deluge of police officers, and gendarmerie committing suicide, last year 66 police officers took their own lives, whilst this year 45 police officers, gendarmerie so far have killed themselves.

    General secretary of the National Police Commissioner’s Union (NPCS), Céline Berthon, said that the police were overworked underpaid, and stretched to the limit. The French Interior minister, made low key noises not amounting to much on the subject.

    I’d say police forces in the UK are also stretched to their limit, and although there’s no sign of multiple suicides in the ranks of the beat bobbies, who knows how much longer, before a similar situation arises on these shores.

    • Loony

      I think you will find that French and British policemen differ markedly in their approach to their work.

      Take the example of Lt. Col. Arnaud Beltrame – a man who exchanged himself for a civilian hostage and paid for his actions with his life.

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/mar/24/gendarme-arnaud-beltrame-hostages-hailed-hero-france-trebes

      Now compare his actions with those of Acting Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Craig Mackey – a man who demonstrated the highest levels of leadership by locking himself in his car whilst a terror attack was in progress

      https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/oct/12/met-chief-car-attack-craig-mackey-westminster-officers

      • fwl

        Loony, it’s not appropriate to charactise national police traits from two examples. Plenty of brave British police as no doubt there are in France.

      • N_

        @Loony – Craig Mackey was unarmed, with no comms, and he had civilians in his car.

        Gaby Hinsliff’s article suggests she has never been near any trouble that’s more serious than maybe scratching her nail varnish. She wanted to file some copy that week. I wouldn’t take her twaddle at all seriously when she is talking about what people should and shouldn’t do when there is real trouble.

        • Loony

          Is your argument that Lt. Col. Arnaud Beltrame was armed when he offered himself as a hostage?

          The behavior of Sir Craig Mackey has been widely reported – you can choose your own favorite journalist, the story is consistent across all media.

          I have made no comment at all as to what people should or should not do. I have merely provided 2 examples of contrasting behavior by leadership figures when confronted by danger. People are free to make of this what they will.

          • N_

            You’re such a troll, @Loony. I don’t care about the comparison you were making, which was of apples with oranges. I was dealing with your premise about Mackey. And I was responding to Hinsliff’s slant, not the facts that she or anybody else reported. I hold no brief for the British police, but in this instance Craig Mackey’s behaviour was not cowardly.

  • Republicofscotland

    This just about sums up the unelected undemocratic, overbloated £300 quid a day for nothing pampered HoL. Where failed politicians, egotistical clergmen/women, party donors and obedient acolytes, all gather round the taxpayer trough.

    “Veteran human rights campaigner Lord Lester is facing a record suspension from the House of Lords after he was found to have offered a woman a peerage in exchange for sex.”

    “According to her statement to the commissioner, the woman said the peer had told her that if she slept with him he would make her a baroness ‘within a year’ but if she refused he would ensure she never gained a seat in the Lords.”

    https://metro.co.uk/2018/11/12/lord-lester-faces-being-suspended-after-offering-woman-peerage-to-sleep-with-him-8132918/

  • Sharp Ears

    Is she going to lock them in until they sign up to her ‘deal’?

    May calls emergency cabinet meeting to sign off Brexit deal
    Ministers to discuss text of withdrawal document agreed by UK and EU negotiators
    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/nov/13/cabinet-members-called-in-to-sign-off-mays-brexit-deal

    I thought she looked like a over decorated Christmas tree at last night’s bash at the Mansion House. What will she do for outings when it’s all over for her in No10?

    The new Lord Mayor, Charles Bowman, is a senior partner at Price Waterhouse Coopers. (PwC) Nice. PwC are busy behind the scenes with the Department of Health privatising OUR NHS. The new boy at the DoH, Matt Hancock, is mad keen on IT.

    He is now recommending that hospital consultants deal with your health concerns via Skype! Hancock of course has previous interests in IT.

    A £32k donation from the IEA
    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/nhs-privatisation-donations-matt-hancock-health-secretary-institute-economic-affairs-a8442001.html%3famp

    And a previous one from the same source when he was a Cabinet Office minister
    https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/matthew-hancock-conflict-of-interest-claims-over-tory-minister-s-4000-gift-a6921456.html%3famp

    The Lord Mayor tweets btw.
    ‘Last night I spoke at the #LordMayorsBanquet, attended by @10DowningStreet, @JustinWelby, @DavidGauke and many more. My speech on the City’s digital future is now available here: http://www.cityoflondon.gov

  • Sharp Ears

    ‘Craig Murray
    @CraigMurrayOrg
    5h
    The alleged sex for peerage proposition was disgusting, and a four year suspension ludicrously insufficient punishment. But also disgusting is the vast collection of peerages given to party donors, hacks and lobbyists. The entire UK political system is an affront to decency.’

    • fwl

      Why do you say punishment sufficient for something which you say is alleged ie not proven? Surely something which is only alleged deserves no punishment. Punishment follows guilt not allegation.

      • Loony

        If only it were so. Ironically communists and anarchists have much in common with a man that would loathe – the late Ken Lay of Enron infamy. Kens operating mantra was “Ready. Fire, Aim”

        Some of these people are keen to improve on this by just focusing on the “fire” part. Oddly enough they most often shoot themselves in the foot – and still they wonder why the common man keeps as far way from them and their obsessions as possible.

        • N_

          @Loony – You’re so full of bile. Communists and anarchists share more than we’ll ever guess with those whom we dislike most, we’re trigger happy, we can’t shoot straight, and as far as how we come across to our base is concerned, we might as well not have washed our armpits for a month and yet proclaim that we pack a pair of super sweet-smelling charmpits. Now tell us why you really don’t like us, oh internet hard man.

  • Sharp Ears

    Top law firm linked to subject of UK’s first unexplained wealth order
    Mishcon de Reya advised British Virgin Islands company owned by Zamira Hajiyeva
    13 Nov 2018

    One of London’s most prestigious law firms and the Swiss arm of Barclays Bank provided services to an offshore company owned by a woman who has recently been named as the subject of the UK’s first unexplained wealth order, the Guardian can reveal.

    Mishcon de Reya ​advised ​a company in the British Virgin Islands owned by Zamira Hajiyeva, who is now under investigation by the National Crime Agency​,​​ on a mortgage provided to it by Barclays Suisse.
    /..
    https://www.theguardian.com/law/2018/nov/13/mishcon-de-reya-barclays-shell-company-zamira-hajiyeva

    You will have heard of Mishcon de Reya and their senior partner, Anthony Julius ref anti-semitism and as an ex chairman of the JC.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_Julius

    Brave of the Guardian to highlight this. Hope they are not accused falsely of defamation.

  • Eva Smagacz

    I remember that there was a time, after perestroika, in Russia, when economy went into free fall and all the research institutes were at the point of bankruptcy and researchers were thinking of abandoning science and academia just to be able to eat.
    The tremendous wealth of human knowledge was threatened with disappearance without trace. Soros stepped in. Distributed the money. Small grants, few hundred dollars sometimes. Just enough to keep scientists from leaving their posts for a while, so that they could survive the crisis. I am still at awe when I think of knowledge that was rescued and brought back from brink of oblivion.

    • bj

      Ah yes, very nice.

      But I’ve seen the interview with 60 Minutes (which suddenly turns into some moron’s crusade, but
      that’s for another time), and from it conclude mr. Soros is a heavily traumatized individual, and prob.
      as a result of it, has severe sociopathic tendencies.
      He cannot help himself doing what he does, and in that regard he’s deadly & dangerous.

      To all: that’s my opinion — as it happens, anti-semitism doesn’t enter into the equation.
      To Craig: and neither should pizza.

      • Paul Barbara

        @ bj November 13, 2018 at 21:45
        From my perspective, Soros has sold his soul. Just as have ‘virtually'(?) most other rich prats.
        Camels and needles?
        ”And the devil led him (Jesus) into a high mountain, and shewed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And he said to him: To thee will I give all this power, and the glory of them; for to me they are delivered, and to whom I will, I give them. If thou therefore wilt adore before me, all shall be thine.’ Luke lV : 5-7′
        Eh bien, alors.

        • SA

          It is all this hyperbolic nonesense of a power that can give man power over others that is inherent in these religious texts that should also be seen to be what underlines this non egalitarian core of religion and transposed to the political world.

    • SA

      I also remember a time after perestroika when everything went into freefall engineered and sponsored by the Chicago school and executed by Yeltsin so as to steal Russia ‘s vast resources into the hands of a few oligarchs. Obviously these crumbs to save these individuals were part of the plan. The majors taketh away billions of dollars and hands over bread crumbs.

    • Akos Horvath

      This was not out of kindness. The Western world, especially its leader the US, had this paranoia that every Russian who could do college level calculus would leave for Iran or North Korea and help them develop nukes. This paranoid fear was also cited as justification for the International Space Station. You know, give some work, any work, to those scientists, otherwise nuclear weapons will proliferate.

  • Matt

    Well-reasoned blog post. My thoughts have always been the same. There are perfectly reasonable things to criticize Soros for – but that does not mean it’s OK to just make stuff up.

    Soros is a complicated figure, who made money through financial trading, but is now a heavy critic of crony capitalism, having written several books about it. He is a Social Democrat in every send of the word, not a “neoliberal”. I doubt most even know what that word means.

    Soros is also categorically not a warmonger. He opposed the Iraq war. ’nuff said. As for his comments against Russia, to equate criticism of the Kremlin to shilling for WW3, is ludicrous. As for Ukraine, his groups supported the pro-European factions. Not the neo-Nazis. There isn’t even a hint of evidence that Soros has supported “Nazis” in Ukraine. Where this conspiracy theory came from, I don’t know. I suspect it has something to do with the Russian media’s very successful smearing of the pro-EU faction in Ukraine as being “neo-Nazi”.

    Soros has spent huge sums of money promoting groups that promote democracy. That may sound cliche in today’s environment, but just look at the organizations he funds and the work that they’ve done. One such example is the OCCRP.

    Soros is a force for good in this world, hated by authoritarians like Putin, who direct their state propaganda organs to vilify and smear the man. Feeble-minded people then read/watch this propaganda, and you get the issue we have now.

    • SA

      oK let us take what you defend as social democracy in this case is true then there is one very big elephant in the room. Is social democracy what is practiced in Soros ‘s Home country, the USA? Does charity not begin at home? Are there organisations to foster the understanding and practice of true democracy in capitalist societies? Is the fact that big money, corporations or individuals, hold too much sway in running the world? Should this be a priority to be addressed?
      Your argument as well as that of Craig are centred on a fallacy. Someone is philanthrically trying to improve the world.
      The point here is that no single person should be in that position as we know from history that this trait of megalomania can turn very nasty. Secondly someone’s cause can be ‘good’ because it aligns with what you think is good and therefore has a personal bias.
      No I do not think that democracy can be achieved by propaganda. It has been tried before and does not work.

      • Matt

        Most of Soros’ philanthropic work happens in the U.S. That’s where most of the funds are spent. Technically, his home country is Hungary, but the rightist government there banned his NGOs and began a demonization campaign. Funnily enough, Hungarian Prime Minister Orbán was the recipient of a scholarship to the University of Oxford, paid for by Soros, in 1989. Now, he’s conveniently forgotten how the grant allowed him to escape his Communist Hungary and start a budding intellectual career. It’s quite sad. Soros founded the Central European University, based in Budapest, which has been targeted by Orbán’s government.

        A good article:

        https://www.thedailybeast.com/theres-been-a-george-soros-for-every-era-of-antisemitic-panic

      • zoot

        soros exemplifies what harold pinter observed about mainstream attitudes to the hegemon’s practices and activities:

        “it never happened. nothing ever happened. even while it was happening, it wasn’t happening. it didn’t matter. it was of no interest.”

  • Sharp Ears

    Someone tell Craig that we are sick of Soros. New post please!

    Meanwhile the paramount war criminal who wants a second referendum has a go at Corbyn. He has never got over being thwarted in his desire to become President of the EU. The EU is the bee in his bonnet.

    ‘Tony Blair to criticise Corbyn for not leading calls for second referendum
    Tony Blair will hit out at Jeremy Corbyn’s “abject refusal” to lead the UK “out of the Brexit nightmare”.

    The former prime minister will say it is “gut-wrenching” that Labour is not leading the call for a second referendum.

    In a speech in London, Blair will repeat his call for a second referendum because Theresa May’s proposals, which he says are “Brexit in name but tied still to Europe in reality”, will disappoint those on both sides.

    “Whatever the people voted for, they didn’t vote for this,” he will say.

    “I know it is said a new vote of the people will also divide. But a reconsideration in the light of all we now know, accepted by all as the final word, especially if accompanied by a new willingness on the part of Europe’s leadership and Britain’s to deal with the reasons for the Brexit decision, is the only hope of unity in the future.

    “It is frankly gut-wrenching that this call is not being led by Labour as it should be.”’

    Within this link – https://www.theguardian.com/politics/live/2018/nov/14/brexit-deal-theresa-may-conservatives-meet-decide-cabinet-politics-live?

  • Sharp Ears

    Palestinian groups to respect Gaza truce ‘as long as Israel does’
    Factions in the besieged Gaza Strip say they have agreed to an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire to end flare-up of violence.
    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/11/palestinians-announce-gaza-ceasefire-israel-181113152045040.html

    See Gideon Levy –

    ‘Gideon Levy, a columnist at Haaretz and member of the newspaper’s editorial board, said unless Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ended the siege, the violence would continue.

    “Both parties are not interested in a war, but both are not doing enough to prevent one,” he said.

    “Netanyahu has no intention to put an end to the siege, so as long as it continues, we will, again and again, witness one violent action leading to another violent act.”

    Israel and Hamas have fought three wars since the group seized control of Gaza after it won elections in the enclave in 2006.

    In the most recent one in 2014, more than 2,200 Palestinians were killed – the majority of whom were civilians – and tens of thousands were left homeless. Seventy-three people, most of them soldiers, were killed on the Israeli side.’

    • Sharp Ears

      The Short War With Gaza Exposed Israel’s Weakness
      13th November 2018

      Last week a ceasefire was agreed upon between Palestinian factions in Gaza and Israel:
      The aim of the change, in a plan mediated by Egypt and with money supplied by Qatar, is to provide much-needed relief for Gaza, restore calm on the Israeli side of the border and avert another war.

      On Sunday night Israeli special forces broke the ceasefire by invading Gaza under disguise. Such incursions happen quite often but are usually left unreported. The invaders wore civilian clothing and some were cloaked as women. Their cars arrived at the house of a local Qassam commander but suspicious guards held them up. A firefight ensued in which 7 Palestinians and 1 Israeli officer were killed. It is not clear what the intent of the Israeli raid was. A car left behind held what appeared to be surveillance equipment. The intruders fled back to Israel.

      It is likely that rivalry within the Israeli government was behind this provocation:

      https://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/11/short-conflict-with-gaza-exposes-israels-weakness.html#more

  • JohnPerth

    I fail to see any attack on Soros in the article, which I have just read carefully through. Scruton disagrees with Soros, clearly, but makes no comment on his motives.

    I’m glad to hear good testimony regarding Soros. The demonisation of him by some has always felt a little forced.

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