Cui Bono? David Leask, Ben Nimmo and the Attack on Ordinary Scottish Nationalists 1068


We know for certain that the Integrity Initiative targets Scottish Nationalists, because two of its luminaries, otherwise unconnected to each other, David Leask and Ben Nimmo, collaborated on a massive attack piece in the Herald identifying individual SNP supporters as “Russian Bots”.

Ben Nimmo works for the Atlantic Council, funded inter alia by NATO. He is also on a retainer of £2,500 per month from the Integrity Initiative, in addition to payments for individual pieces of work. For his attack on Scottish Nationalists Nimmo was therefore paid by the Atlantic Council (your taxes through NATO), by the Integrity Initiative (your taxes) and by the Herald (thankfully shortly going bankrupt). Leask claims to have received nothing but a cheese sandwich from the Integrity Initiative, but has briefed them in detail on Scottish nationalism, attended their seminars, and they have included Leask’s output in their “outcomes” reports to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (on which more in a few days’ time).

I took apart Leask and Nimmo’s horrendous attack at the time, revealing among other things that one of Nimmo’s criteria for spotting a Russian bot or troll was use of the phrase cui bono.

Nimmo’s role as witchfinder-general for Russian Bots appears very remunerative. His August 2016 invoice to The Institute for Statecraft, apparently the 71st invoice he had issued to various neo-con bodies that year, was for £5,000.

It is interesting that rather than sort code and account number, his invoice gives IBAN and BIC, used for payments coming from abroad.

There is a very important aspect of the detailed minute of David Leask’s briefing for the Integrity Initiative, which CommonSpace cut out of the extracts which they published. Leask says that the Integrity Initiative are “pushing at an open door” with the SNP leadership and the editors of The National, who he characterises as reliably anti-Russian and pro-NATO:

YATA – there would probably be a lot of studenty anti-NATO responses. But that might be more of a reason to do it. But SNP reversed NATO policy when it realised what Russia was up to (under influence of Nordic/Baltic allies)
 Mainstream politicians don‟t want to challenge the fringe normally but they’re starting to. Stewart McDonald (defence spokesman) pitching NATO – “friends in Norway, Balts etc are in it”. SNP foreign policy chiefs have very anti-Kremlin, anti-RT, pro-Ukraine rhetoric.
 Immigration not an issue in Scotland.
 Pushing at open door – allies in Scotland about disinformation. Putin may want to sow discord among Scottish nationalists. Pro-independence sister paper had headline complaining Russian trolls attacking Sturgeon. http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/16094929.SNP_top_brass_warn__Sturgeon_is_being_targeted_by_Kremlin_trolls/
Yes campaign had attacks on servers and cyberactivity, thought it was the Brits but then concluded it was probably Russians. http://www.heraldscotland.com/politics/referendumnews/15771388.Yes_leaders__Don_t_be__naive__about_Russian_online_meddling_in_independence/
 SNP going to Ukraine – to reassure allies they are not pro-Russian.

I am afraid Leask is not wrong. The continual willingness of the SNP leadership to endorse Britnat anti-Russian rhetoric without question is a nagging worry for many nationalists. Precisely the same department of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office which funds the Integrity Initiative, funds the Westminster Foundation for Democracy which paid for this joint Britnat/SNP leadership group event at the last SNP Conference, featuring a Ukrainian politician also used by the Integrity Initiative.

Read that carefully, and note that it is not just a discussion on the Ukraine – no harm in that – but one which is openly anti-Russian. The very title, on countering Russian disinformation, is literally straight out of the Integrity Initative’s handbook. Two SNP MP’s took part, including the foreign policy spokesman.

Remember that meeting was on the conference fringe at which I was not permitted to hold a meeting on preparing for Indyref II. An awful lot of Nicola loyalists tell me that, in appearing at present to be much more interested in keeping the entire UK in the EU, rather than striking for Scottish Independence, the leadership are playing a brilliant tactical game.

Other explanations are available.

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1,068 thoughts on “Cui Bono? David Leask, Ben Nimmo and the Attack on Ordinary Scottish Nationalists

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  • Nick

    Yellow vest protests reach Taiwan: https://edition.cnn.com/2018/12/21/asia/taiwan-yellow-vest-protest-intl/index.html

    Sounds like it’s just the fuel tax to me.

    Are Scot Nats (and everyone else therein) being “conditioned” to believe the UK is the enemy and the EU their saviour? Why would one empire be more noble than another? You know one devil, but embrace another.

    I remember RoS saying how he admired the French for this. I think the reason for this is widespread, but here, at least, it is being channelled into specific targets.

    Don’t forget, Soros, decent chap really…

    • Republicofscotland

      “I remember RoS saying how he admired the French for this. ”

      Yes, I admire any groups or individuals who are prepared to fight against neoliberal injustices, the Yellow Vests are doing what your ancestors did, fighting for better conditions, for lower costs, your working rights in Britain in days gone by were achieved sometimes by blood and determination.

      We in the UK may have become cowed pacifists afraid to really rock the boat over injustices, but other nations citizens still have the will we lack to make changes.

      As for the EU, many of your human rights and workers rights are enshrined in EU laws. Its a membership club not an empire, you’re free to leave when you want to.

      • Dave Lawton

        Republicofscotland
        December 23, 2018 at 20:22

        “human rights ” You say.Well it is the Human Rights act that allow hedge fund managers to stash their clients stash in the Cayman Islands. Alright for the Elite.

        • Republicofscotland

          As if Westminster is any less neoliberal, at least the EU stick up for Ireland a member, whilst Westminster bemoans Ireland not knowing its place.

      • Nick

        Hi RoS. Sorry my intention was not to pick holes in your viewpoint, but agree from a different angle.

        That said –

        I think this left-wing paradigm – an uprising of the proletariat – misses the nationalistic and cultural aspects of the movement. Elements of it are intensely anti-communist.

        Neither do I agree with the position that the EU is a membership club, not an Empire. (This is separate from whether we leave or stay). This is completely divorced from reality, surely? When was the last time you cancelled a subscription only to spend huge amounts to leave and 2 years arguing about the terms?

        You’re a bright person, we can have a discussion about the nature of power. I’m no genius, I just have an opinion like everyone else.

        My position: not keen on another level of government, considering it never works for the very people you love and support.

        • Republicofscotland

          “This is completely divorced from reality, surely? When was the last time you cancelled a subscription only to spend huge amounts to leave and 2 years arguing about the terms?”

          Hi Nick.

          Re the above I’m under the impression that the UK has contractual agreements with the EU, and that’s why the so called “Divorce bill” is to be paid. Also Britain has a pretty good deal to begin with not having to adhere to the Schengen Area, having an opt-out, and the UK rebate that amounted to £5.6 billion last year.

          Still the UK contributed more to the EU last year than it got back in return. However access to the EU does support businesses and jobs, as well as the freedom to travel work and live in the EU.

          Stil Nick, I agree the EU has its problems with neoliberalism and corruption, however I feel it has its good points as well, one is patently obvious as the EU stands firmly behind Ireland, on Brexit, and the British government don’t like that one little bit. Imagine if Ireland didn’t have the backing of the EU on Brexit.

          “My position: not keen on another level of government, considering it never works for the very people you love and support.”

          Well the EU has a strong environmental policy adding in strict regulations on fracking of which we’ll lose once we leave the EU. That’s just one sector where EU regulations hold governments to account.

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

          https://www.politico.eu/article/n-uk-fracking-ck/

      • Geoffrey

        The EU does not have a good reputation on the environment but is very good at telling everybody that it does.
        Likewise it is clearly almost impossible to leave the EU for most member states.
        Come on ROS where do you get these crazy ideas??

        • J

          It failed to ban Glyphosate several times despite law suits and evidence. It failed to ban fracking despite the evidence. It wanted TTIP despite the uproar. It still wants several other trade agreements which bind national governments to corporate law. EU speak with forked tongue to liberals, centrists, environmentalists, kippers, people, governments and almost everyone else except bankers. Who can tell? We don’t have a functioning English language press to inform us.

          • Republicofscotland

            You think the EU’s bad, just wait until we’re truly out of the EU and its regulations and into US fracking/trade rules and big pharama from the US crushing the NHS.

            You’ll be begging to get back in again.

    • Sopo

      Taiwan street protesrs are two-a-penny, and any passing fad is seized upon. This is just people wearing yellow vests, and beyond that has no connection with events in France.

      Merry Christmas from… Taiwan.

  • Jack

    Guy is dangerous. Now he’s in Africa, meanwhile the streets in France is burning because of him and HE talks about deescalation! At the same time he whine about not being able to bomb Syria as he please and thereof – make the french population forget about his failure as a president!

        • Spencer Eagle

          He may not have started any wars but Trump is actually out bombing Oboma. The US currently drops a bomb every 20 minutes, 24/7, on both combatants and civilians somewhere in the world. Even though the conflict has been making fewer headlines in recent years, the U.S. has never dropped as many bombs on Afghanistan as it did this year. According to U.S. Air Forces Central Command data, manned and unmanned aircraft released 5,213 weapons between January and the end of September 2018. Previously, 2010 held the record for weapons dropped on Afghanistan with 5,101 releases recorded in total. That was a deadly year which saw 711 ISAF troops and 1,271 civilians killed. Towards the end of Obama’s presidency, the number of bombs dropped declined with 947 instances in 2015 and 1,337 in 2016. Since President Trump announced a new Afghan strategy last August and committed more troops to the country, the number of bombs dropped by the U.S. coalition has surged dramatically.

      • Jack

        I cant trust Trump, he do some good stuff only to double down on another front. His warmongering against Iran is not good to say atleast and his attitude to Syria could change quickly with bombings etc.
        Problem is his advisors that push him alot on these things I guess..

      • Republicofscotland

        A good question Michael, I’d like to think so but, I don’t really know if she could do it as soon as that.

        • BrianFujisan

          We are Almost out of Time.. Indy ref 2 on the 28th march, anounce independence in the early hours of the 29th..giving London zero time to turn n twisting

          • Republicofscotland

            Sounds good Brian, but is it even logistically possible to organise a national referendum in such a short space of time? I don’t know.

          • N_

            @Brian – when you say “Indy ref 2 on the 28th march, anounce independence in the early hours of the 29th” aren’t you assuming something?

          • Alf Baird

            A referendum? The ECJ has just said that parliament may ignore the Brexit referendum decision if it wishes to do so. Similarly there is no guarantee that Westminster would ever recognise any Indyref Yes vote. The better option is as Craig suggests, that is for Scotland’s elected majorities to assert the sovereignty of Scotland’s people. If Scotland’s elected representatives are uncertain of such an action they should test the legality of it in the courts as was done with Art. 50 and they should do so now, crowdfunded or otherwise – surely even a Scottish nationalist government can do this, it has many lawyers in its pay? What is it waiting on?

          • N_

            “Scotland’s elected majorities” indeed 🙂 That will be the losing side in the recent referendum. You’d argue your arsehole was a space rocket if you thought it would further your nationalistic cause, wouldn’t you?

          • Stonky

            Ah yes “Then there’s Shetland (silly wee smirk)”

            The last resort of the stupid Unionist.

            Here are some thoughts on “Shetland” for you:

            Shetland has never in its entire existence been an independent country. It has been part of Scotland since 1472. Scotland’s existing borders were fixed in 1482. In terms of currently delineated borders, Scotland is the oldest country in the world.

            But guess what. Westminster’s skunks and their sockpuppets have discovered that to suit England’s convenience and to ruin Scotland’s prospects as an independent unit, the oldest country in the world can be broken up into smaller pieces. So “Then there’s Shetland (silly wee smirk)”.

            Well here’s the rub, N_. What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. If Scotland, which has been a homogeneous country since 1482, can be carved into little pieces to suit the convenience of England, then Shetland, which has never been an independent country in its entire existence, can be carved into little pieces to suit the convenience of Scotland.

            What is “Shetland” anyway? It’s not a thing. It’s 16 different inhabited islands. So we can’t have “Shetland” voting to be part of England. All 16 islands have to have a say of their own. I mean, that’s only fair, isn’t it? Divide and rule is the game we’re playing. We can’t have nasty big Mainland dictating to poor wee Muckle Roe that it has to be part of England, when the inhabitants of Muckle Roe have voted to stay part of Scotland. Actually, strike that. It’s not fair either. Divide and rule is the game we’re playing. So Mainlanders who want “Shetland” to be part of England shouldn’t get to dictate to Mainlanders who want to stay part of Scotland. So we’ll have to divide “Shetland” up by individual “Shetlander”, and all the “Shetlanders” who want to be part of England can be part of England on the bits of “Shetland” they own, and the ones who want to stay part of Scotland can stay part of Scotland on the bits they own. Divide and rule!

            And here’s the extra rub, N_. You see, Shetland isn’t just the 16 inhabited islands. There are another 80-odd uninhabited islands. And all of the islands belong to Scotland. Every single one of them was ceded to the Scottish crown in 1472. So even after the Shetlanders who want to be part of England have gone off to be part of England, they don’t get to take a bunch of uninhabited islands off to England with them. Scotland will still own all the uninhabited islands. And they’re the ones closest to the oil fields.

            That’s where the logic of Westminster’s “Let’s take Scotland and break it up into little pieces to suit England’s convenience” takes you. Remember that next time you and your fellow sockpuppets feel like rubbing your hands with glee about “Then there’s Shetland (silly wee smirk)”.

          • Sheepshagger

            Striking when the iron is hot is good. Walking into a fusillade after declaring a republic from a shell torn government building is not so clever. Ireland gained her autonomy through the only way available at the time – armed insurrection and it was costly in so many ways. Scotland can pick her way out of the swamp legally if there is popular support for independence but that required level of popular support has to be ascertained because as with the Brexit thingy, people change their minds.

    • Shatnersrug

      He gets paid a lot of money to write that bullshit. He’s not insane, he’s bought and paid for.

  • N_

    Get this! Police detectives investigating events at Gatwick are now saying that perhaps there weren’t any drones.

    Meanwhile there have reportedly been “more than 67” sightings.

    Aficionados will be aware of an acronym for a sighting of flying object that has not been reliably identified.

    Can more drone events be expected, perhaps even at Gatwick?
    When the going gets tough, the tough go weird!
    A “mass delusion” “watch the skies” story can have at least as much potential as a decent maritime mystery.

      • Radar O’Reilly

        Never-mind, Sky TV have it sorted. They’ve worked tirelessly with the secretive cyber security geeks, managers and mathematics of Cheltenham to bring “Yes Minister” up to date, featuring an American actor as a wacky NSA officer.

        GCHQ is labelled ‘a weedier, geekier, more bureaucratic version of MI5 and MI6’ and other hilarious punchlines, whilst someone with a £99 Christmas toy takes out a serious chunk of UK’s national critical infrastructure, the squirrels are to be found taking amusing selfies for ‘improving their media image’, more Gov public relations meddling…

        https://www.gloucestershirelive.co.uk/news/celebs-tv/david-schwimmer-star-comedy-series-2354286 [GCHQ, it’s a gas!]

        • Spencer Eagle

          Careful what you say, GCHQ ‘helped’ with the design of the new smart meters…..to make them safe. It could be a long dark Christmas.

          • michael norton

            Then there is Five Eyes – wot is the point if it can’t watch over our airports?

            United Kingdom is the most surveilled country in the World, yet we can’t arrest the right people but we can arrest the wrong people

            it is not All Fools Day is it?

    • Tony_0pmoc

      N_.

      So why did the Gatwick police, arrest an obviously completely innocent man, purely on the basis, that he once had a quadcopter, and posted the evidence on Facebook. His life and his family, have now been exposed in graphic detail, even in the Daliy Mail, and they interviewed absolutely everyone, who had ever known him since school, and even on the job on the day fitting double glazing windows, 17 miles away, and witnessed by all involved.

      They all said – don’t be completely ridiculous.

      Why did the Gatwick police do it?

      They have absolutely zero evidence that he was the culprit, yet they have turned his, and his family, friends and working collegues lives upside down, just before Christmas.

      If that is the Standard of UK Policing now, I am seriously not impressed.

      Tony

      • N_

        @Tony – I’m not sure what you think I’m saying. I agree the two people were wrongfully arrested.

        It is indeed ridiculous that the police first said there were drones and then that there may not have been any. I expect there are more fun and games to come. “Crucial installations are being interfered with by unknown parties” plays well to the current theme.

      • Tom Welsh

        It could be worse – the US police would quite possibly have killed him and anyone else in the area.

        • Spencer Eagle

          US police might be seen as trigger happy, but when things go wrong they can and do end up behind bars. Look at the UK cases of James Ashley, Harry Stanley, Jean Charles de Menezes……..Besides de Menezes, the Ashley case is one of the most disgraceful episodes in British policing history. Shot dead whilst stark naked and completely unarmed.

    • Deb O'Nair

      ‘The detective said the arrests made on Friday night were the result of a tip-off from a member of the public. “I’m completely satisfied the arrests were lawful, bearing in mind the burden of proof and likely suspicion at the time of arrest,”’

      In plain English, the arrests were not lawful, bearing in mind the complete lack of proof and the fact that the only likely suspicion was in the mind of the member of the public who made the tip-off. I have personally experienced unlawful detention as a result of malicious reports made to the police and I am all too familiar with bullshit cop-speak. In today’s UK the “burden of proof” rests with the accused to prove they are innocent – a complete inversion of peoples legal rights.

        • Radar O’Reilly

          @BB. Yes, if the radar is ‘tuned’ to the physical dimensions of the target. That’s ‘apparent radar dimensions’ not real inches.

          The Skolnik radar equation will give you the physics basic parameters, but as we are probably talking about a remote piloted vehicle of a few kilos in mass, mostly RF transparent plastic, there’s not going to be much cross sectional area to reflect the radar signals. The airport primary rotating radar, big “low” frequency, high power job, is looking for objects weighing tons, mostly made of metal. The primary is usually obscured/improved by layers of transponder intel, 1090MHz (return) ADS-B on the GA. Drones, nope.

          Logically, I’d hunt for the drone’s actual emissions, both thermal and 2.45/5.8GHz, improving the radar visibility by a factor of two. Even better use an Electronic Warfare suite, synthetic aperture 47GHz (say) radar/receiver with bistatic/multistatic capability, illuminate the sphere(airfield) with carefully chosen non interfering high power microwaves & look for the extreme doppler return of the quad fans. Take out with ice-ball, potato-gun?. Big Problem is ‘trying to win the last war’ when should in fact prepare for the next one, swarms of drones, pre-programmed, silent-running.

          For CNI protection in future, I’d now impose a ~47GHz radar retroreflector in all drones over a kilogram, possibly a remote killswitch code embedded in the firmware, like at present exists in the …

          Carefully designed radars can tell the difference between a drone and a bird, I’m not sure that airports primary, secondary or ground-movement radars can do that, I could knock something up to do the job, but it’s solstice festivity time!

          • Dennis Revell

            ” … For CNI protection in future, I’d now impose a ~47GHz radar retroreflector in all drones over a kilogram, possibly a remote killswitch code embedded in the firmware, like at present exists in the … … ”

            – Don’t stop there; finish what promised to be an interesting sentence!

            .

            (Currently in Ben Nimmo Jail, so clicking on my name will prove, er, disappointing)

            .

          • N_

            @Dennis – Why not get your own website rather than rely on the CIA’s “Facebook”? For example Dreamhost have a policy of only taking down a site they host if they receive a US court order signed by a judge.

        • bj

          That’s not a bug — it’s a feature.

          If you want to develop, produce and procure latest shiny new weapons, but the money isn’t yours, you need a cause.

          A blown up bus or football stadium is often enough to make taxpayers part with their money without too many questions asked.

  • MaryPau!

    I just have to ask this – Sussex police say the drones at Gatwick may not have existed. What then was the footage in the newspapers apparently shot from the airport buildings, the sighting by a local guy of someone near the airport with a 4 foot drone, the reports ( we are told) by pilots of sightings? The suspect does not currently own a drone, has only ever owned a small one and was at work during the sightings. On what grounds was he arrested? I thought South Yorkshire Police were bad but Sussex are coming up the rails fast. I would support better pay for police if they didn’t regularly condemn themselves out of their own mouths for incompetence and idiotic comments.

    • N_

      1) It could have been a cyberattack. Birmingham Airport went down yesterday. The security boys may consider it more prudent to get their media puppets to say “it was eco-warriors with drones” or “it was morons with drones” rather than say “Britain is experiencing an unexpected cyberattack which shows how utterly crap its defences are”. I repeat that Birmingham airport went down for a few hours yesterday. The authorities blamed a “technical glitch” in air traffic control.

      2) There is the question of the sightings. Reportedly there were over 60. Were they fake, real, a case of mass delusion, or a mixture? I believe there is an acronym for unidentified flying objects. Very few people can put two and two together without an authority figure telling them to. I am not even talking about coming up with explanations here. I am just talking about a reasoned and sensible use of language.

      If the sightings were not all completely fake then what we have is certainly in UFO territory because the flying objects have not been identified.

      But perhaps they were all fake. Millions of people are voluntary microwave trackees nowadays and their stupid devices usually have a camera function that allows them to take both stills and video. Where are the photos and footage attributed to named people?

      3) We all know that the public relations boys and girls working for weapons manufacturers have been having a field day, getting their mugs on TV and their names in the newspapers advocating for contracts to buy this or that kind of kit to protect air travel (and holidays, and Christmas) against “drone attacks” on airports. “Cui bono?” is always a good question but sometimes it can be answered in a superficial way, because the profiteers who are getting most publicity aren’t necessarily the movers and shakers.

      4) When Brexit-mageddon hits and various infrastructure systems start breaking down, there will be many stories about transport as well as about fuel and food and medicines. (Think how many are addicted to strong painkillers. They will be in big trouble if the supply stops.) Not all preparations are being talked about publicly.

      5) The Russian vessel the Kuzma Minin has been detained by the Maritime and Coatguard Agency (MCA) and ordered not to leave Falmouth Bay. The MCA says that a fuel tank has been breached and has filled with water, although no pollution has been reported.

    • Jo1

      Thanks MP. I was asking same question about film footage shown on all news programmes I watched allegedly shot over Gatwick and which clearly showed drones. Where did that come from?

      • N_

        Was it attributed to a source? And was Gatwick itself clearly identifiable?

        Whether the footage and sighting reports are real or fake, this is a fascinating case. All real, and we have the authorities trying to downplay an attack on an airport. All fake, and we have them faking an attack on an airport.

  • SA

    OT
    You heard it here first.
    Strong rumour that a Military coup has terminated Omar Al Basheer’s reign in Sudan.

    • Makropulos

      The article says “Islamist” twice so we all get the point – as indeed we are supposed to.

    • JOML

      “Yet another Muslim terror plot”… Yes, if only they were more open with their terror, like the ‘Christian’ terrorists from Washington and Westminster. These ‘Christians’ are much more efficient in bringing death and destruction to others. Funnily enough, their ‘Christian’ terror is underpinned with good intentions!

        • able

          There’s a strange reaction in some people to start blaming themselves. Christians aren’t cutting people’s heads off, blowing up planes and driving trucks into crowds.

          • JOML

            able, who are blaming themselves? ‘Christians’ in this context do their killing from 10,000 feet or from many miles away. Far more sanitised and respectful… funny how you only condemn one group of killers. ?

          • Geoffrey

            JOML. That is not fair. The majority of the pilots flying at 10000 feet may have been Christian but in many cases their ultimate victims were Christians. Something like 75% of Christians have been driven out of Syria and Iraq.
            They are secular bombers acting in behalf of Secular Neo Cons. They have a particular aim.

          • JOML

            Geoffrey, I think you missed the point. Killing at 10,000 feet or cutting heads off is wrong. Religion has nothing to do with the killing – it’s just a convenient excuse. If there is a Christian or Muslim god, then the ‘killers’ are going to hell.

          • Dungroanin

            Them drone operators safely in their home towns are dong exactly that on their 9-5 shifts – while lving their suburban lives.
            They are no doubt church going christians – killing brown people from thousands of miles away.

    • michael norton

      Gatwick still in turmoil, only one broken (old) drone found, Cabinet meeting to find out if it is all some kind of scam?
      M25 lanes CLOSED near Gatwick after multiple car crash

  • michael norton

    Very strange talk, just now, coming out of Radio 4.

    The story is turning into collusion of Trump with Erdogan, to nuetralize Kurds, for Turkey to do what it wants with Syria including stealing its oil
    but there will be no part to play by the Syrian Government.

  • Tatyana

    Dear readers of the blog, Mr. Murray, moderators,

    I want to thank you all for the most educative reading I’ve ever had on political affairs.
    I’m grateful and I’m happy to be part of discussion!

    Also, it is the most exciting reading, especially for persons with live imagination 🙂
    *on reading that Mr. Klarenberg went to check out the basement… oh my, oh my, oh my! it’s like James Bond, Ethan Hunt and leutenant Ripley going to the aliens’ hive, altogether!!!*

    I wish you all merry Christmas and prosperous New Year!
    Enjoy your holidays and come back after, for new discussions 🙂

    My sincere good wishes to you from Russia!

    • Jack

      What do regular russians think of the “russian interference” “troll” accusations by west?
      What is the view on the so called/alleged troll farm in St Petersburg?

    • Robyn

      Tatyana, thank you for your interesting contributions to these discussions and all the best to you from Australia.

    • nevermind

      Thank you Tatyana, wishing you a happy winter solstice, health and happiness to you and yours in 2019.

      Sadly Santa has had an.accident. On coming here from Germany and France, full of goodies for the beaugoirsie, the apples and Gluehwein in the reindeers stomachs has started to ferment, resulting in a catastrophic accident over Gatwick airport.

      It was closed for 48 hours as they cleened the gory rnants off the concrete wall at terminal 5. They blamed the whole confusion and stoppage of flights on a drone apparently, could you believe it, a poxy little drone…..

      Felice navidad everyone.

  • michael norton

    This is likely the real reason Emmanuel Macron wants to stay in Syria, to continue covering up the ilegal activities of France and French companies in Syria.

    The US withdrawal from Syria leaves its minor partners exposed “not just militarily, but diplomatically,” as it would become quite hard for them to explain to their domestic audiences what exactly they are doing in Syria.
    https://www.rt.com/news/447265-macron-criticizes-syria-withdrawl/
    “What Macron is doing, is in fact, the covering for the clandestine operation that is many years down the road, I think six or seven years for France – the clandestine operation to destabilize Syria,” Henningsen said, adding that the “regime change” in Syria has been on the agenda of a whole set of countries for years now.

    “If the coalition breaks up – in other words, if the US leaves Syria, then it leaves France exposed to more scrutiny. Before this, they’ve been able to hide by the wing of the United States, so has Britain. So the US pulling out of Syria, out of an illegal occupation of northeastern Syria, does leave its other coalition partners exposed.”

  • Dan Huil

    Thankfully the so-called united kingdom is disintegrating, largely due to xenophobic British nationalism.

    • Ken Kenn

      Maybe.

      JK Rowling ought to think on.

      She is relying on St Nicola and not Saint Jeremy for lower taxes.

      For all journalists and writers out there who are clever at arranging words ( particularly JK Rowling ) arrange the following words in order:

      Bell ring I’m bus the on the.

      Explains it all for me.

      • Sharp Ears

        I am pleased to say that I have never contributed to her massive fortune. At one time. I believe she was in penury and relied on benefits which would not have existed without an earlier Labour government. She chooses Christmas to launch her silly tirade against Corbyn. What a nasty piece of work.

        JK Rowling leads criticism of Jeremy Corbyn over Brexit with biblical tweets
        The Labour leader is under fire from both within and outside his party after saying the UK would still quit the EU if he was PM.

        ‘Rowling mocked Mr Corbyn’s position – and his supporters – in a biblical-style series of Twitter posts she titled “The Visitation of The Corbynites”.

        She wrote: “And she did answer, ‘How shall the poor fare under Brexit, which thy Saint hath always in his secret heart desired, yet he hath not admitted what was in his heart, lest fewer attend his next Sermon on the Glastonbury B Stage.’
        “And they did answer, ‘Saint Jeremy will achieve a miracle, and he shall bring forth a Jobs First Brexit and all the land shall rejoice.’ And she did answer, ‘b*******.’

        https://news.sky.com/story/jk-rowling-leads-criticism-of-jeremy-corbyn-over-brexit-with-biblical-tweets-11589016

    • N_

      How can a monarchy disintegrate? Different sons get to reign over different territories, as with the Carolingian empire after 843? And why would British nationalism cause Britain itself to disintegrate?

  • michael norton

    What’s the diff, Lone Wolf or Lone Wolves?
    https://sputniknews.com/africa/201812241070958265-morocco-killing-lone-wolves/
    Moroccan authorities believe four suspects in the killing of Louisa Vesterager Jespersen, 24, from Denmark, and Maren Ueland, 28, from Norway were acting on their own initiative, despite having recently sworn an oath to Daesh*.

    I can not see how four suspects are independently killing two women, therefore they can not each be a lone wolf, it was joint enterprize,
    if it was/is real it is down-played, if it/was not real it is blown-out-of-proportion

    same with most governments/government controlled media

  • Sharp Ears

    Craig has written about Baroness Scotland several times. She was Attorney General under Labour and is now head of the Commonwealth Secretariat etc.
    https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/?s=baroness+scotland
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patricia_Scotland

    Now the Heil takes up the case of the extravagant expenditure on Marlborough House, the Commonwealth HQ. The refurbishment of her apartment in Mayfair has also cost the taxpayers a bomb.

    ‘Why ARE we spending £590,000 of foreign aid on Baroness Shameless’s palatial office? Lavish palace used by ex-Labour attorney general receives huge windfall from taxpayers
    Official figures reveal £589,772 was spent on Marlborough House in two years
    The building is the international headquarters of the Commonwealth Secretariat
    Baroness Scotland, 63, became secretary-general of the organisation in 2016
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6525509/Why-spending-590-000-foreign-aid-Baroness-Shamelesss-palatial-office.html

    Shame on her. It’s another case of public splendour and private squalor.

      • N_

        @Michael – It’s her name, not just her title. She was born in Dominica and her family settled in London when she was little. She is probably descended from slaves owned by a Scottish plantation owner.

      • michael norton

        When Nicola Sturgeon announces UDI
        will she be able to take the title Baroness Scotland
        away from this greedy person?

          • Blissex

            «Sturgeon and the SNP cabinet ministers haven’t taken a rise since 2008.»

            That’s just squalid populist pandering: given how much influence they have on large amounts of money, the only question is whether private interests or the public end up paying the politicians better. Do voters want to be outbid by private interests on who pays politicians better? If they do, they deserve the consequences.

          • Republicofscotland

            “That’s just squalid populist pandering:”

            So returning money back into the coffers for public use is squalid pandering in your bizarre opinion. Hmmm…. I’ll leave you too it shall I.

  • N_

    As for the idea that thousands of travellers have been through “hell” (as the Sun newspaper calls it) because they’ve spent a night at Gatwick, most people pick their phones most of the time nowadays and any place must seem pretty much the same to them as any other place. That said, I suppose places can differ in how spongy the surface is under their backs in the middle of the night.

    • Alf Baird

      The SNP must have enough money left in the coffers to seek an action to legally determine if the SNP ‘nationalist’ majority of Scotland’s MP’s may withdraw Scotland from our joint union of parliaments as it was constituted – as if we really need their Lordships to tell us this but hey ho, the SNP are gey ‘democratic’ and neoliberals to boot, sae mebbe thay daes need tae be telt aye or naw? Then we can forget about ever needing to plead for another country’s permission to hold a dubious referendum in ‘our’ ain country (will they ever give it?), and then asking them to ratify a Yes vote (doubtful), and then getting them to create an Act which sets out what an independent Scotland might look like (i.e. something akin to a former French west African colony nae doot?). Aye, lets take the simpler, more certain and legal/constitutional route to liberty and forget all this nonsense aboot ony mair dubious referendums rin bi Scotlan’s maisters.

  • Sharp Ears

    John Pilger visited Julian Assange some six months ago. Others including German MPs have visited very recently.

    ‘#Unity4J
    Published on 22 Dec 2018
    Pilger said the ‘extraordinary resilience’ of Julian Assange given his circumstances is ‘something to behold.’ His whole sense of ‘to hell with them’ and his own resolve to stand up to those who want to do a great injustice to him is ‘undiminished.’ His family and friends, however, are gathering around him this Christmas and New Year, to the extent that they can, because there is a feeling that perhaps an expulsion is coming. His health is currently stable although he ‘urgently needs’ a comprehensive diagnostic.

    About the alleged Manafort-Assange meeting Pilger commented “I personally can confirm that did not happen. The way the internal security works in that embassy it was not possible.” The story was a ‘major fabrication’ by the Guardian, he said. ‘It cannot be called anything else.’ He went on the say it was an example of the ‘degradation’ of the media today.

    He said what Julian needs is ‘popular opposition.’ During the Cold War, he said, ‘there was popular opposition, there isn’t now.’ Julian himself is a ‘touchstone for opposition’ to so much of what is happening in our world. Pilger encouraged people to ‘to go into the street outside the embassy, to go into the street all over the world’ and protest. He concluded by saying ‘He needs that popular support, that support needs to come out now.’ This is a critical time.’

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=22&v=gQDbxKxw4yU
    20.52
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCteWVe7EelMkiU_9XjppUFQ

    h/t TLN

  • John O'Dowd

    How timely this review of Seymour Hersh is:

    https://www.truthdig.com/articles/banishing-truth/

    “Hersh notes throughout his memoir that, like all good reporters, he constantly battled his editors and fellow reporters as much as he did the government or corporations. There is a species of reporter you can see on most cable news programs and on the floor of the newsrooms at papers such as The New York Times who make their living as courtiers to the powerful. They will, at times, critique the excesses of power but never the virtues of the systems of power, including corporate capitalism or the motivations of the ruling elites. They detest reporters, like Hersh, whose reporting exposes their collusion.” – Chris Hedges Truthdig

    I recently cancelled my subscription (of over 30 years) to the ‘newspaper’ The Herald that Mr Leask writes for .

    This posting by Craig amply justifies my decision – although the proximal cause was its increasingly strident anti- SNP – and indeed anti-Scottish editorial policy and selection of readers’ letters.

    The loss of a once great Scottish newspaper of record is tragic – but the sooner it closes the better.

  • able

    My advice is if you haven’t seen the video of what happened to the poor young Scandinavian backpackers in Morocco, then don’t. It is one of the most disturbing things I have ever had the misfortune to see and I wish I hadn’t clicked on the link. Nobody should see that.

    Perhaps Craig could cobble together something about how it’s all the fault of the West, if he hasn’t already done so? Perhaps Denmark or Norway sent some troops to Iraq and therefore such actions are normal and understandable and perhaps even justifiable? How else is one to go on defending these animals?

    • JohninMK

      The word on the Arab street is that the Moroccan authorities are making it clear by example to anyone who wants to copycat this episode what lies in store for them when caught.

      Maximum pain torture to death.

      They will be desperate for this not to affect their tourism, as per Tunisia.

  • Steve Hayes

    I have to wonder Craig how, given what you know about the leadership of the Scottish Nationalists, you continue to support this bunch of neoliberal globalists?

    • able

      Craig is a globalist at heart. Scottish independence is just him getting back at the Britsish establishment.

    • Republicofscotland

      So you know for sure that they’re a “Bunch of neoliberal globalists” or are you guessing?

      If it’s the former please provide some evidence.

      Of course you need look no further than the very rich front bench of the current Tory party, to see real neoliberal globalists.

  • Sharp Ears

    This man is broken up. I don’t know whether the police can be sued for wrongful arrest and for disclosing the couple’s identities but I hope there is a good pro bono lawyer who will act for them.

    Couple held and later cleared over Gatwick Airport drone disruption ‘feel violated’
    Paul Gait and Elaine Kirk say the ordeal has left them “deeply distressed” and they are receiving medical care.
    https://news.sky.com/story/couple-held-and-later-cleared-over-gatwick-airport-drone-disruption-speak-out-11591028

    and how about the tabloid MSM who described them as morons?

    What a country.

  • bj

    Lavrov: “He is a man whose self-regard is layered upon an inferiority complex. I’ve been in his presence. It is a pity that such…[politicians] are chosen to represent Britain in the international arena”

    Who was Lavrov speaking of?

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