Gdansk 1781


Writing about your personal demons for the public is seldom a good idea, and it is a particularly bad idea when you are starting at 3.40am as they are haunting you. We are spending Hogmanay in the beautiful city of Gdansk. It is my first time here for over twenty years, but the city has remarkable memories for me.

In November 1994 I was newly arrived as First Secretary at the British Embassy in Warsaw when a fatal fire occurred at the famous shipyard, in a hall being used for a rock concert tied in to a MTV transmission. The fire doors were all padlocked shut, and the heat had reached such intensity that a flash fire had occurred right across the hall. Miraculously only five people had died immediately, but hundreds had been horrifically burnt or suffered fume inhalation and the hospitals were completely overwhelmed.

Within hours of the fire I was dispatched to Gdansk by our dynamic Ambassador and found myself on a train heading North with only a Motorola mobile phone the size of a large brick (1994) and a phone number for DFID, in those days a part of the FCO and known as ODA. I roused from his London bed the official in charge of emergency assistance, Mukesh Kapila, and he instructed me to get a list from the medical authorities of all the supplies required. He explained that major burns required large volumes of consumables by way of ointments and special gauzes and bandages.

Arriving in Gdansk I very soon discovered that the victims were dispersed round several hospitals and there was no central authority able to produce a list of requirements. Poland was still in the early stages of a shock transition from communism and elements of administration were shaky at the best of times, let alone in a large scale emergency. The only way to make any progress was for me physically to go to every hospital and every concerned ward, buttonhole the doctors there and ask them what they needed.

To say they were swamped would be ridiculous understatement. Victims were everywhere, very many critical, and in some places bleary-eyed doctors literally had nothing – creams, bandages, painkillers, saline drips all exhausted. Meeting many doctors, when I told them I could get anything sent out instantly, the reaction ranged from angrily incredulous to massive bear hugs.

It was of course difficult. In 1994 Polish medical practice differed quite sharply from British. There were language barriers; my as yet basic Polish lacked medical vocabulary. And I had to keep interrupting incredibly busy people. But after the first couple of hospitals I was able to extrapolate and phone through to Mukesh the most obviously urgent items, and by the end of the day I was clutching 16 handwritten lists and could sit down to consolidate them.

But I have not described to you what it was like to go round those wards. I really cannot – it was indescribable. Horribly disfigured people screaming and writhing in pain, begging and pleading for any relief, even asking to die. And the worst thing is, they were all teenagers – the average age seemed about 16. One image I shall never forget was of a girl sitting bolt upright in bed, looking calm, and I recall thinking that at least this one is OK. But I had seen her right profile and as I passed her, the left side of her face was literally skeletal, with a yellow blob for an eye, no skin and just the odd sinew attached to the bone. Her calm was catatonic.

But in a way still worse were two girls who looked perfectly healthy, lying on top of their beds apparently in an untroubled sleep. The doctor told me that they were already brain dead, having inhaled cyanide gas from the combustion of plastic seating. The mother of one of them was there and she pleaded with me to tell the doctor not to turn off the ventilator; the poor woman was crazed with grief and pulling at her hair, which was dyed red. I can still recall every detail of the faces of both mother and her still daughter.

I called in every day for a week or so and sat with the mother a few minutes, in silence. Then one day they were gone; the doctors had switched off the ventilator.

Andrze Kanthak, our Honorary Consul, was a fantastic support and worked extremely hard throughout this period – but as we walked together into the first ward, Andrze simply fainted straight out at the sight of it all. That evening we had hardly finished consolidating my 16 lists and sending them off to Mukesh when news arrived that the first shipment of most urgent supplies was arriving at Gdansk airport, and we dashed off there with a lorry from the City Council.

It was a bitter disappointment. Customs refused to release the medicines until duty had been paid and, still worse, everything would need to be checked and certified by the food and drug administration, which could take weeks. All my fury at the self-satisfied officials was of no avail, and we returned temporarily baffled.

A phone call now came that DFID had chartered a flight to arrive the next day with 20 tons of medical supplies, so the situation was now critical. Walesa was now President and I suggested we contact his office, but Andrze advised we should rather recruit Father Jankowski.

Jankowski was the parish priest in Gdansk who had been integral to the Solidarnosc movement, and at that time he wielded enormous political influence. His home was extraordinary for a parish priest – literally palatial – and when I met him there the next day he readily agreed to help. He came to the airport with us as the chartered cargo flight arrived, and supervised the loading into the council lorries which I dispatched to the various hospitals. A tall imposing figure in a flowing black cassock, the customs officials who had blocked us obeyed him without question.

Things calmed down over the next few days, Mukesh Kapila himself came out, and the hospitals once supplied performed brilliantly. Astonishingly, from hundreds of cases of severe and extensive burns, with scores in intensive care, we lost nobody except the two girls who were already brain dead, bringing the final death toll to seven. The incredible survival rate was viewed as a miracle, and perhaps it was, but it was a miracle assisted by some fantastic doctors, by Mukesh Kapila and his staff, by Father Jankowski, by Andrze Kanthak and by the Secretary of Gdansk Council whose name (Janowski?) has slipped my mind, embarrassingly as the experience made us firm friends for a long while.

But I am afraid to say the personal impact on me was quite severe. It is no secret that I struggle against bipolar disorder, and the sheer horror of those days in the wards undoubtedly triggered me for quite a while. I also suffered recurrent nightmares for more than a decade, about the horrific burns but also about the brain dead child and the mother tearing her hair. Worse than the nightmares were the waking flashbacks, not so much visual as emotional, experiencing the feeling of it happening again.

When I got back to the Embassy nobody was very interested in what I had been doing. I was ticked off for returning a day late and also for not obtaining much media publicity for the UK’s role. I have written before that one of my frequent duties in Poland was to conduct high profile visitors around the concentration camps, a visit all British politicians wish to make. Those places filled me with horror, which resonated on the same emotional frequency as the Gdansk trauma. Those frequent visits made my time in Poland difficult to me, which is a shame as it is a delightful country and people.

Back here now as a tourist, with my family and at a festive time, no troubling memories are assailing me. I find I can now be proud of what we did, rather than ashamed at my emotional reaction afterwards. And I can’t quite tell you why, but I felt it should be recorded.

Finally, it is worth noting that this Gdansk experience was one of a number which led me immediately to understand that the famous BBC report on “Saving Syria’s Children” was faked. The alleged footage of burns victims in hospital following a napalm attack bears no resemblance whatsoever to how victims, doctors and relatives actually behave in these circumstances.

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1,781 thoughts on “Gdansk

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  • Coldish

    Thanks, Craig, for this moving account. “…hall being used for a rock concert tied in to a MTV transmission. The fire doors were all padlocked shut…”. Why do people do this (not just at concerts – factories in the Indian subcontinent seem to be a favourite)? Why is it acceptable to lock large numbers of people into a building so that in the event of a fire they cannot escape? Why for that matter is it acceptable to apply flammable insulation (beautified by equally flammable cladding) to the outside of residential blocks too tall for the upper stories to be reached by fire-fighting equipment or hoses? Or to hide the contents of a government report into fire hazards?

  • Charles Bostock

    I notice that one of this blog’s ScotsNats is going on about the “fucked up UK” again.

    I fear that he and other ScotsNats are going to have to calm down a little and get used to the idea that Scottish independence is a long way off.

    That is because the leadership of the ScotNat party has decided the present position is much more comfortable than the independence alternative.

    How convenient it must be to be Boss Man in the devolved Assembly in Scotland, to be a big fish in a small pond, and to be able to blame every and any financial, economic and societal cock-up on evil Westminster.

    In Scotland, the ScotNat party is in the position of much power with very little responsibility. That’s a very comfortable position and electorally very tenable – after all, where else do the RoSs and reel guids have to go to?

    • JOML

      Charles, are you suggesting the UK is not fucked up? Doesn’t look to be in a good place to me, with poverty levels greatly increasing and a ridiculous honours list based on the ‘British Empire’ – that is laughable, if not a tad pathetic. Not to worry though, I’m sure you know best. ?

      • Charles Bostock

        It may well be fucked up, but perhaps not as fucked up as France, eh? And a lot less fucked up than Russia (but that need not detain us here).

        Official figures put the number of people living in poverty in France at over 9 million (France has the world’s 5th largest economy).

        France’s honours system is headed by the comically named “Legion of Honour”, which has 5 classes and hundreds of thousands of members at any particular time (not all of whom are very honorable). It’s a serious offence in France to wear the red ribbon in your lapel if you’re not entitled to, and you’re not allowed to wear a foreign decoration if it’s so red as to induce others to think it’s the ribbon of the Legion of Honour (YCNMIU !!).

        We shan’t of course talk about all the different regimes France has had isnce the French Revolution, except to say that there is even talk now, in certain circles, of the eminent need for a “VIth Republic” 🙂

        • Laguerre

          Britain is far more fucked up than France. CB is just a jingo nationalist. The basic national vision is agreed in France – the Gilets Jaunes is just a tantrum – but Britain is split from top to bottom. There are going to be major, major, changes if Brexit goes through, but we don’t know what they are, because the Brexiters, including CB, live in a fantasy land, where there the real issues are not being made plain. France is no poorer than Britain – their statistics are just more honest than in Britain, where vast efforts are made to conceal the truth, notably in unemployment.

          • Charles Bostock

            “because the Brexiters, including CB, live in a fantasy land”

            For the 4th time, Laguerre : I am not a Brexiteer.

            Since your memory can’t be that bad, I must assume you’re an inveterate smearer. Or perhaps it’s just the Nanterre version of a playground insult?

          • Charles Bostock

            It is difficult to argue with a” transferred nationalist” (to use George Orwell’s rather good expression) but, working on the lines that bs must be challenged even if it comes from the pen of an eminent authority on all matters French, here are two points:

            “The basic national vision is agreed in France”

            That is precisely what is not the case. France has always been a much more divided country than Britain ever since Napoleon. Les masses laborieuses v. the bourgeoisie, the republicans v. the fascists, Vichy v. non-Vichy, the examples are endless.

            ” France is no poorer than Britain – their statistics are just more honest than in Britain, where vast efforts are made to conceal the truth, notably in unemployment.”

            Precisely. France is richer than Britain, which was my point when I referred to the official figures which estimate that no fewer than French citizens live in poverty.

            Talk to us about the French system of temporary contracts (CDDs) before you go on about official figures fiddling the true extent of unempoyment.

          • Laguerre

            Glad to see you’re keeping notes on the people you are out to get at, like old Habby did.

        • JOML

          Charles, your original post didn’t mention France or Russia. Did you just change direction just for the sake of replying or avoiding the fact that the UK is currently fucked up? How does it help the UK if other countries are fucked up too? Bit of a weak argument, of the sort a child would give a teacher when they have done wrong.

      • Charles Bostock

        Furthermore, it’s not as fucked up as an independent Scotland, deprived of the English nipple on which to suck, would be in short order.

        • KEN KENN

          Charles if you are being paid by Integrity Initiative they are overpaying you.

          Quoting Latin is very much like the British politicians using French as a veneer of intellectuallty.

          I Daniel Blake is not a documentary it is a film about poor people and many real documentaries have been on the TV over the years about poor people. Downton Abbey is series about Aristocratic people for gullible Yanks ( of a certain income class) and doesn’t reflect the actual distressed Aristocracy that the State bails out with grants for public buildings. I hear your hero Rees- Mogg gets a bung from that so we have Corporate Welfare and ersatz Aristocratic Welfare.

          You don’t like the Frogs – you don’t like the Jocks but no doubt you love the Queen but live and vote in an alleged Democracy. Perhaps you even believe in God’s will but still vote thinking you can change that will.

          Face up to it The Empire’s dead and all the problems for the ex Imperialist countries have come and are coming home to roost.

          How all this will pan out I don’t know but your will or opinions or even mine will not put the Genie back in the bottle.

          Read up on ‘ Bank Bail Ins ‘ and come back to me.

          Then tell me how safe you feel?

          I Charles Bostock – Loaches next film?

        • JOML

          Looks like you’ve lost the plot, Charles, and resorted to making rash predictions of what the future could hold for an independent Scotland. It appears that whatever point you were originally trying to make is a bit fucked is too.

  • Alexander

    Mr Bostock (or maybe Lieutenant, or Captain?)
    I was really disappointed by your post about RT. A real taste of sour grapes and not up to your usual standards. If you really are a member of 77th Brigade (for example) just bear in mind that times change – as your original 77th Brigade tutelary hero, Brig. “Mad” Mike Calvert, found out, to his sorrow – when he crossed people from the Brigade of Guards. There were few braver soldiers than him, but he was fairly openly gay, and this was used to destroy him (by the Guards of all people!) – he was dismissed the army, lost everything – as a result of a spiteful intrigue by some Guardees he’d offended. (He was a lowly Engineer).
    So I recommend that you remember who ran this country back in the 50s, and who still run it. Enjoy yourself while you can.

    • Charles Bostock

      Alexander

      My most sincere apologies for having disappointed you; if you would explain how and why I’ll do my level best not to disappoint you again.

      As for the rest of your post, I have to say – at the risk of disappointing you further – that I’m not quite sure what you’re going on about. What have the Brigade of Guards and the 77th got to do with RT? Have you perchance discovered some hitherto hidden connection? Please elucidate, failing which you will disappoint me.

    • remember kronstadt

      Mr Bostock (or maybe Lieutenant, or Captain?)
      I suspect that Charles was a Captain – in the Bond mould naturally. Although Ian Fleming described him as a rather sleazy character.

      When I wrote the first one in 1953, I wanted Bond to be an extremely dull, uninteresting man to whom things happened; I wanted him to be a blunt instrument … when I was casting around for a name for my protagonist I thought by God, [James Bond] is the dullest name I ever heard.

      — Ian Fleming, The New Yorker, 21 April 1962[5]

      • Republicofscotland

        Speaking of Fleming he facilitated King Zog’s (Albania) entry into France after his exile.

        Zog attempted to win back control in Albania after WWII, but the Communist regime thwarted him, some say it was down to intel passed on by Kim Philby.

        • Alexander

          Apologies for going off-subject. Peter Fleming (head of SOE in Burma during the war): “It is impossible, at least highly dangerous, to tell a lie until you know what the truth is supposed to be.” (Quoted in the Midnight War by TJ O’Brien). This sprang to mind when I first read about the Skripals’ door-handle.

  • Blunderbuss

    I’ve had an email, allegedly from WordPress, with an attachment entitled ninja-forms-submission.csv. Has anyone else had one of these?

  • JohninMK

    Just in case this isn’t linked here. Its extracted from today’s MoA weekly roundup. This is his original thread https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/01/integrity-initiative-new-documents-from-shady-ngo-released.html

    Forgot to link this: The Briefing note on the Integrity Initiative by Paul McKeigue, David Miller, Jake Mason and Piers Robinson is the most complete analysis of the Integrity Initiative papers. http://syriapropagandamedia.org/working-papers/briefing-note-on-the-integrity-initiative

    The British Private Eye finds a relation between the Integrity Initiative and the Rendon Group which drove the propaganda for the Iraq invasion. https://twitter.com/MikeH_PR/status/1081872272657473536

  • fonso

    Moving story Craig. PS is there anything to this rumor May has issued a D Notice on the Yellow Jacket protests in France?

  • Alexander

    Charles Bostock, I didn’t mean what I wrote as a put-down. I sometimes think of the boys and girls in 77Bde in Hermitage, probably no different from my children, or my friends’ and neighbours’ children, doing their psy-war work, maybe hardly aware that their ultimate masters are the hard-faced monsters in Washington – those who are eagerly courted by many in our government, who remember Blair’s riches and how he got them, and hope they can get rich too.

    If you do work for the government, please don’t forget how faithless and ungrateful governments are. Your founding Brigadier, Mike Calvert, found out the hard way, as did Craig Murray, who has – luckily for us – put his misfortune to the service of his country in a way which I, and most people on this site, must sincerely applaud. And I hope that we who visit this site have much more in common with those young people in the government service than we, or they, do with the horrid amoral faction in America that rules us now, (but won’t forever.)

  • Sharp Ears

    Craig’s tweet about Scotland’s right to declare independence.

    @CraigMurrayOrg
    Jan 3
    This article read 300,000 times now. Hundreds of comments, much unionist troll abuse on social media. But nobody, anywhere, has attempted an opposing legal argument on Scotland’s right in international law to declare Independence without London agreement.
    https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2018/12/the-scottish-parliament-does-have-the-right-to-withdraw-from-the-act-of-union/
    ____
    https://twitter.com/CraigMurrayOrg/status/1080952219669876736

      • JohninMK

        All kinds of stories about the Donald Cook but non substantiated of course. Suffice to say that it ventured back into the Black Sea a year or so after the incident with no adverse effects. It also went to the Baltic.

          • Paul Barbara

            @ Blunderbuss January 7, 2019 at 02:07
            And the Russians are not the only ones to use that kind of thing:
            ‘CALIFORNIA FIREMEN FIND SIGNATURES OF DIRECTED ENERGY WEAPONS’:
            https://forbiddenknowledgetv.net/paradise-destroyed-california-firemen-find-signatures-of-directed-energy-weapons/
            I’ve seen several more similar videos – there just is no rational explanation for cars burning out next to pristine trees in such numbers except some type of directed energy weapon.
            And the PTB have been targeting California for years with devastating Chemtrail/HAARP weather warfare.
            The Agenda 21 business should not be sneered at.

          • Clark

            “there just is no rational explanation for cars burning out next to pristine trees in such numbers”

            Live wood doesn’t burn unless you get it seriously hot – I’m speaking from experience here; my primary heating for twenty-seven years has been a wood burning stove. Live wood has a high water content.

            Vehicles are much easier to set alight because they’re full of fuel, oil and plastics, with very little water. Experience again; people often dispose of vehicles by abandoning them near where I live and setting fire to them. Their favourite spot seems to be under the biggest, oldest oak tree on the estate. The vans and cars burn out completely – sometimes even the aluminium engine block melts to a puddle – but the old oak tree never shows so much as a scorch.

        • Paul Barbara

          @ JohninMK January 6, 2019 at 22:16
          And just how do you think it could be substantiated? Is the USN going to admit it?
          Even the ‘Voice of America’ article, quoted by Kempe, states ‘…“Russia’s claims about harming the Donald Cook are false,” said Jorge Benitez, director of NATOSource and senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security. “The Russian fighter jet was unarmed and there is no evidence that it damaged the U.S. ship in any way.”…’
          But of course, the Russians didn’t say they had ‘harmed’ or ‘damaged’ the USS Donald Cook (which would have been mega-serious), but that they had temporarily blanked out their computer screens.
          Reports that the ‘Cook’ sped off with it’s tail between it’s legs, and that a number of sailors quit the Navy when the ship made port, are credible to me.
          They will now almost certainly have been warned off talking about it, like the surviving members of the USS Liberty, with draconian threats.

    • JohninMK

      That US ship’s main function is not as a landing ship, its a command and control ship loaded with comms, computers and God knows what.

      It and another similar regularly trek into the Black Sea along with random US destroyers.

      Our Naval ship, forgot the name, after its supporting Ukraine against Russia role, is now safely back in the Med.

      • Tatyana

        You’d better sent a trawler loaded with fresh cod to support Ukraine.
        Seems like omega3 and vitamin D is in utter need there, to improve cognitive abilities.

        • bj

          Speaking about cognitive (in)abilities — who is the fella with 25 years experience watching Russian affairs, 25 years of editorial experience, and whose wife is Ukranian?

          • Tatyana

            I wouldn’t be surprised if that misterious person is some Mr. Turner.
            I’ve discovred some ‘Ukrainian wife’ (not sure she actually is wife, because she has an ukrainian lover as well. Regarding her photoes and posts on her Facebook page, she is either divorsed already, or simply deceiving her Mr. Turner).

            Missis ukrainian wife works in London at a company which helps rich people from ex-USSR to move to Britain (visas, property etc.) She is founder of some charities as well. Gathering money for poor wounded ukrainian children.
            Noble mission you think, until google her charity PayPal account and discover that her friends in Ukraine publish this account on social media to gather money to buy weapons. Reporting with scanned financial receipts how much shells and gunpowder they managed to buy for that charity money.

            I found no traces of her husband on the web.
            The only name ‘Turner’ anyhow relaiting to Ukraine is Robert Leigh Turner, former British ambassador to Ukraine. But I don’t think this high ranked diplomat could be any relation to that Yana Turner.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ bj January 6, 2019 at 20:51
      About time some Russian ‘trawlers’ did a bit of snooping in the Gulf of Mexico (though they wouldn’t be so stupid as to actually try to catch any fish, unless they were going to present it to the Pentagon as a ‘good will’ gesture, as what there is left there, which isn’t much, is as toxic as hell, thanks to BP’s ‘oil spill’ (deliberate?) and then the further mega-toxic Corexit (deliberate)).

      • Blunderbuss

        I thought Corexit must be something like Brexit (exit from Costa Rica perhaps?) but it turns out to be an oil dispersant.

    • giyane

      bj

      Trump cannot be held responsible for the actions of his predecessors who were neo-cons employing every kind of proxy violence round the world, making the US universally despised and hated. He has decided to leave the creators of Islamic State (Disney) Inc Turkey and Britain and the Clinton neo-cons in the capable hands of Russia ( backed by China). Partly because Russia jams his military prowess in places that it hurts.

      Of course the neo-con true believers are going to try to portray Trump’s draining of the neo-con swamp as a failure. However the process of earning the world’s respect isn’t going to be earned overnight.
      A cheap jibe from a dry-catfish, buried under the mud. Britain should also give up playing silly buggers in the Middle East. A peace-making Jeremy Corbyn government would get exactly the same reaction from the architects of the war on Islam. They’ll find out when they’re fossils the side of history they were on was wrong.

  • nevermind

    Its on twatter so it must be true. How about us Europeans trusting ourselves and create our own protective entity?
    Propably wasting my breath talking about European ideals as envisaged by the club of Rome when the angst to loose power and running away from signed commitments is the preferred action for a split society.

    You hang on to poodles tails if you want to.

    • giyane

      European ideals

      It is the job of politicians to explain state ideals to the people they represent.
      Germany explained those European ideals when it bankrupted Greece and refused to condemn Madrid’s violence. So far Germany hasn’t explained why it bent the rules for the sake of European ideals to allow Greece to belong to the EU, and then decided to punish them for not meeting the criteria afterwards.

      This is particularly relevant at this moment for the people of this country because the EU has refused to give the UK any details about our future trading agreements. The EU has already explained via Greece that collective punishments are in store for anyone with whom it enters a political agreement ignoring the small print, because after the agreement they will destroy that country with the small print, which so far as I know the people of this country haven’t yet been given a chance to read.

      So yes you are probably wasting your breath , nevermind, talking about European ideals at this moment.
      In the next few days the British parliament will reject Mrs May’s withdrawal agreement as not being worth the paper it’s not written on , because we haven’t been allowed by the EU to know what we are agreeing to and the EU refuse to give us any hint until after we sign it.

      Ve have vays of making you talk, sends shivers down the spines of most English men and women.
      Craig is right, the UK is too small an entity to survive without our neighbours in the EU. Our MEPs have never managed to gain any influence over those European ideals and in reality our ideals as a people are completely different from its ideals, which is why so many millions of refugees reject European ideals as too much like the ideals of the countries they have left.

      This is divorce. It takes two to tango. The EU’s ruthless strength is inherently incompatible with British bloody-mindedness, and it’s all the EU’s fault. Any agreement our Tory politicians signed in the past was not explained to us. Nor are we going to sign another agreement which the EU now refuses to elucidate.

      • Sharp Ears

        Failing Grayling’s idiotic lorry park exercise is underway between Manston and Dover. Each fleet owner (Eddie Stobart to the fore!) is being £400 for each vehicle taking part. It is being repeated at 11am.

        • Laguerre

          87 out of the promised 150 lorries (or 79 in the Grauniad). Not much compared to the actual thousands there are going to be in the queue. Like the numbers transportable by the mythical Seaborne Freight ferries. “The port [of Dover] handled a record 2.6m lorries in 2017”. Umm, 2.6m / 365 = 7,123. I.e. they’re testing on a figure of 1.22% of the real traffic. And that’s apart from the additional 1.6m which passed through the Tunnel in 2017. In both cases traffic in the two directions.

          “Honda UK said it relied on 350 trucks a day arriving from Europe to keep its giant Swindon factory operating,” All figures from the Graun.

          • JohninMK

            Interesting, That’s a truck in/out every 2 minutes 24/7/365. Impressive vehicle handling.

          • giyane

            350 trucks a day, @ £1 per mile, 156 miles to Swindon = 42000 litres of fuel every day.
            This is an advanced economy?

          • MaryPau!

            agreed. all these massive trucks on the roads, hardly saving the environment. Interesting thought. when are big trucks going electric?

          • Clark

            Electric trucks are impractical because the batteries are so heavy; extra energy is used by the vehicle because of its extra weight. As things stand, electricity generation to charge the batteries also produces CO2 emissions, and the lower efficiency results in roughly equal CO2 emissions.

            A good solution is expansion of electrified rail transport – far more efficient, and mains electricity can be used directly, without batteries. But that would require massive investment, with all its anti-austerity drawbacks of economic growth, increased employment etc. Fashionable governments as promoted by the media would rather give that money directly to the financial sector.

          • Clark

            Blunderbuss, reading your other comments we actually agree about most things. I’m not even that opposed to underground coal gasification; it’s a relatively low-CO2 approach that could serve as a stop-gap. It sure beats fracking.

            I just wish you’d learn to tell anti-scientific arguments from scientific ones. Especially as you claim a background in science.

      • MaryPau!

        Successive.UK governments have fudged or not revealed aspects of various EU Treaties to the UK electorate knowing they would not be well received. The freedom of movement which followed Maastricht for example. And when the Labour government decided to allow unrestricted access to the UK after that, instead of putting in places processes to monitor arrivals, they just pretended not many people would arrive or if they did, they would return home after a couple of years. We all know how accurate that was. It was always clear the citizens of the impoverished Eastern European states who gained entry to the EU would move west to improve their lives.

        In the UK these arrivals were added to the arrivals from the Commonwealth to change the very character of many settled communities. Politicians ignored or scorned local disquiet, urged on by business eager for cheap labour. I think it is hard for anyone living in London and the major cities to understand just how dramatic a change this imposed on many parts of the UK where local communities enjoyed a traditional and settled way of life. These communities were jeered and scorned by London media commentators for their concerns. But no one attempted to explain to them what the likely impact of the EU treaty changes would be. When they got a chance to give their opinion in a vote,we can see the result.

        I have been travelling a lot found the UK recently. Everywhere in England, where journalists are not present, people are scornful of politicians, fat cat businessmen and bankers. This has been the case since 2008. Politicians did not listen and have repealed the whirlwind.

        Why didn’t they listen to the electorate? Maybe because some of the more senior ones had their eyes on lucrative posts in the EU itself in due course. There are plenty of examples of former MPs turning up in Brussels, if not as a Eurocrat then as a lobbyist.

        And even now Brussels is refusing to budge. Leaving aside German cars (my sister, a committed Remainer, assures me they have a brand new market stitched up in China, good luck with that), what is going to happen to all the produce that pours into the Uk daily? Dutch cheese, Dutch and Spanish tomatoes, Italian salami and tinned tomatoes, etc whole EU regions are dependent on exporting to the UK, are they being written off by their political leaders too?. It is no wonder right wing parties are flourishing when voters feel conspired against by the political classes.

        • Laguerre

          You should compare people’s feelings in Britain with the sentiments of the Gilets Jaunes. The complaints are very similar, nay almost identical. Except they don’t blame it on Brussels (except for a small bit). If you do that, you’ll understand that people’s discontent is nothing to do with the EU, and will not be solved by Brexit.

          • michael norton

            There is much I agree with you Laguerre, the Conservatives under David Cameron used the E.U. as an excuse, to tell the People that Austerity was the fault of the Labour Party or the Bankers or the E.U. but not the fault of the Conservative Party. Hence, eventually, giving the People the chance to vote to leave the E.U.
            David Cameron was often to be found drinking in pubs, sometimes he even went home forgetting he had left his daughter behind.
            He even went drinking in pubs with the president of China.
            Does Emmanuel Macron get out drinking in pubs much?

          • freddy

            Point 9 of the “Charte Officielle Des Gilets Jaunes” is:

            Frexit: Leave the EU to regain our economic, monetary and political sovereignty (In other words, respect the 2005 referendum result, when France voted against the EU Constitution Treaty, which was then renamed the Lisbon Treaty, and the French people ignored)

          • Mary Paul

            The Freedom of Movement had nothing like the same impact on France in such a short time as it did on the UK. In the first place the French did not allow the EU8 unlimited access from Day 1 like the UK. It is a much larger country geographically. And much more officious in its bureaucracy. I have a Romanian friend who left Romania for the west some years ago, he tried France and found he was constantly checked on and had to submit to all sort of stifling procedures to start a small business. He arrived in the UK and found, as a self employed person, no one checked up on him and he was free to go into business. This is presumably why later waves of Romanian and Bulgariansinto the UK have mostly claimed to be self employed.

          • Mary Paul

            The Brexiteers blame the EU for the impact of Freedom of Movement because it came in with Maastricht and thereafter meant we could not control who could come here from Europe to the UK to work and settle. And large numbers arrived from Eastern Europe. You can say the UK should have managed it better in the first place (blame Tony Blair who still claims our decision not to impose entry restrictions was in response to requests from businessmen.) But it was a problem when such large numbers arrived so quickly, and when David Cameron eventually asked the EU for some relief in response to political pressure as home, he was given two fingers and that included by Angela Merkel. (I am always intrigued by that element of the Remain Lobby which thinks Brexit supporters should just be ignored.)

            There is a different mind set towards the EU in the UK. The UK was not occupied during WW2 like France, Holland and Spain and did not have to did surrender like Germany and Italy. It has not been run by fascist dictators like Spain Italy Germany and Portugal or under the heel of a Communist Russia like the Eastern European countries without the freedom to move to another country. So there is not the same interest in organizing together to avoid war and oppression. For the UK it has always been primarily an economic project. And there is not any tradition here of having to obey regulations initiated by failed European politicians like Juncker or France and Germany. Indeed many of the older generations recall having to rebuild the ruins of their country after a war which originated on the continent and find it hard to find common cause with the likes of Germany. There is also a clear democratic deficit in the EU which I will not bore you by reciting again here, but just point to the secretive way in which the EU Group of Economic Ministers operates.

          • Laguerre

            Freddy
            There is no organisation of the Gilets Jaunes. That is why the “Charte Officielle” doesn’t represent more than one faction, and there is no one policy. That’s why I said no blame for Brussels except for a small bit – I was aware of the 24 claims, but Frexit is not supported by most.

          • Vivian O'Blivion

            Mary Paul.
            “There is a different mindset towards the EU in the UK.”
            Let me fix that for you.
            There are different mindsets towards the EU in the UK.
            Scotland and NI voted substantially more decisively to Remain than England and Wales voted to Leave.

          • freddy

            laguerre, you’ve gone from people’s discontent has nothing to do with the EU to most french people don’t want Frexit. I quoted the manifesto to show it was at least on some people’s minds – enough to make it there. (And where are the competing charters?). You’ve asserted without evidence that this issue is so small as to be dismissed.

            While I agree that there are significant differences, and that there is a majority in France opposed to Frexit, it is not insignificant, especially when you add protesters who want to stay in the EU but with root and branch reform. Of course there are many people in the UK would like to stay and see that also.

            I wonder how that’s going? Or has gone? To paraphrase Leia to Tarkin “The more you tighten your grip, the more countries will slip through your fingers”

            This movement has transcended political divides and national borders. It embodies a strong element of national popularism on left and right. I don’t know where it’s going, but I respectfully disagree there no similarities of consequence. In fact if you dig below the surface, the fundamentals are more similar than not.

          • Laguerre

            freddy
            I was only clarifying my point. Yes, there are some Frexiters, but it’s not strong, and Le Pen was forced to drop Frexit like a hot brick in the last presidential election in 2017, because it wasn’t helping her, rather a negative for her campaign. I don’t think things have changed that much since then.

        • JohninMK

          Note also how the authorities have carefully not installed the systems needed to count, let alone identify, those who exit the country. So no data no analysis, apart from guesswork, possible.

          • Mary Paul

            Indeed when Germany asked the UK for a list of foreign nationals living here, we could not supply one because we do not register them.

        • giyane

          Mary Pau!

          What sticks in the gullet of british voters is that the Tories are trying to make people feel guilty about taking benefits and guilty about their productivity at work, while industry of all types squanders trillions on unnecessary transport costs to and fro the Channel.
          All of that oil comes from gunpoint -threatened or completely colonised countries where no benefit at all descends to the ordinary citizens.

          We Brits are globalised by the experience of Empire, while the politicians are still talking a narrow intellectual vision of just what benefits business in the UK.

          We’re utterly sick of the microscopic vision of the Tories and Red Tories who refuse to reveal the actual cost to humanity and to the planet, of their money-making schemes. Jeremy Corbyn is a man who has retained his global perspective while the Tories are plucking their nose-hairs.
          The narrowness of political vision in the continents of Europe and America is the reason why their communities are restless. Our hearts are being chewed alive by the fascist, colonial minds of politicians who inflict utter misery on our human neighbours in order to achieve total luxury for the 1%.

          Not in our name, the destruction of Afghanistan Somalia Libya Syria Tunisia.
          Not in our name , the 350 million pound salary of 365 bet CEO.

          • Mary Paul

            The people I have been talking to in recent months are by and large in work. Their concerns are politicians who are all seen as self serving, dictat by Brussels, large numbers of immgrants over which we have no control, and the greed of bankers and businessmen fat cats.

          • giyane

            They hate Labour and Tory equally because of British foreign policy which is murderous in the extreme, while holding the ordinary British punter to much higher standards of behaviour than their evil politicians.

            a little bit of differential between rich and poor is to be expected, but trashing Syria with extreme. violent jihad , trashing Afghanistan with carpet bombs, trashing Baghdad to get the oil, and trashing Yemen to get cash from the Sods… is another.

          • Sharp Ears

            You are wrong to castigate Labour like that. There is a distinction between the Blairite relics and the rest.

            I agree that the Tories are hated. I think an election is in the offing. Theresa is suddenly letting out the money for the NHS. I have just read in the Guardian that ‘tens of thousands’ of Type 1 diabetes patients can now obtain the device known as Freestyle Libre that assesses blood glucose levels on prescription. May herself wears this device. They cost £70 approx.
            https://www.freestylelibre.co.uk/libre/

            The NHS 10-year plan: what we already know
            Changes will include a mental health overhaul and advances in diabetes care
            https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/jan/06/the-nhs-10-year-plan-what-we-already-know

        • Mary Paul

          Indeed I should have said that England and Wales were the Remain voters. I strongly support Scottish independence btw. (Not sure about them using the pound sterling.) I tend to agree with posters here who say the Scottish ruling political class, like ruling political classes everywhere, has got comfortable and does not wish to move out of its comfort zone.

      • nevermind

        Im surprised that your Hollywood German has not.been corrected by bj, Gi yane Hahaw

        You made me laugh, thank you, have you tried writing for the sun or the daily heil?
        So Greece’s youngest pensioners in Europe are feeling financial hardship because of Germanys allowance to their entry.
        Have a guess who else agreed to accept these crooks assumption.
        I was in Greece in 1981 and can tell you that it was the freebooters and rich landowners on the Pellepones wanted to join whilst most of the workers in the fields and factories did not.

        It was Goldmann Sachs and most EU countries, incl the cowards who now want to run awa, who supported this acceptance of Greece into the EU.
        Ve will gas them on the beaches, in Armenia and in Syria, and then blame someone else for it.
        Hypocrit

        • MaryPau!

          Wasn’t Tony Blair keen for their entry? Along with leading EU leaders and Eurocrats. And who lured them into debt – G-S and Germany?

  • michael norton

    After Egypt and Syria kiss and make up, that will leave Israel and Turkey in “interesting” positions.
    Syria now has reasonable relations with Iraq, Russia, some of the Ex-Soviet Union Successor States,
    North Korea, Iran, Lebanon, Jordan, some of the Gulf States,
    Israel and Turkey do not get on.
    Israel and Turkey both attempt to get on with Russia.
    Sooner or later Israel and Turkey will have to choose, do they change tack, had back occupied Syrian land then be peaceful or is it to be never ending trouble?

  • Sharp Ears

    Another of the US tubs is grandstanding, this time in the S China Sea.

    ‘A US Navy vessel, USS ‘McCampbell,’ has sailed past disputed islets of the South China Sea in a ‘freedom of navigation’ operation. In response, Beijing sent military ships and aircraft to warn it off, condemning the “provocation.”

    The guided-missile destroyer sailed within 12 nautical miles of the Paracel Islands archipelago, the US Pacific fleet said on Monday. The operation was carried out to “to challenge excessive maritime claims,” according to the fleet’s spokeswoman Rachel McMarr.’

    https://www.rt.com/news/448222-us-destroyer-trade-talks/

    Q Will there ever be a USS Donald J. Trump? 🙂

    Way back, my brothers used to play a board game called Battleships

    • michael norton

      This must be false news?

      Two American men fighting for the Islamic State (IS) group in Syria have been captured, according to a US-backed Syrian militia alliance.

      The Syrian Democratic Forces said on Sunday they had captured Warren Christopher Clark from Houston,
      Texas, and Zaid Abed al-Hamid during fighting.

      According to the alliance, the men were caught planning a terrorist attack on fleeing Syrian civilians.
      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-46785140
      Irish and Pakistanis.
      I thought it was supposed to be The Syrian Civil War.

      A civil war is a war where almost all the participants are natives of that land, not people from other continents.

      • michael norton

        US officials have previously estimated that the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have more than 700 foreign fighters in custody coming from around 40 different nations.

        The American men were arrested along with two Pakistanis and one Irishman in an operation to clear a region of northern Syria of remaining IS fighters, says the SDF.

        Well if the Kurds have terror people from forty different nations, it does prove, without question, that the war in Syria
        is not just a Civil War.

        How to prove that this war was pre-programmed by outside countries.

        Any administration that was caught pre-planning a civil war in another country would be breaking many international laws, they would have commited war crimes.

  • michael norton

    There seems to be “some” confusion in the top ranks of the American Government
    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/01/assure-israel-security-syria-pullout-190106202334381.html
    Donald Trump has claimed that America is pulling out of Syria, he has suggested that Turkey can sort what is left, out.
    Mr. Bolton assures Israel that America will not pull out if the pull out would damage Israel.
    Then they conflate the destruction of Islamic State with the safety of Israel?

    Islamic State ( other than a rare rocket) has not challenged Israel, in fact there was an enclave of Islamic State that seemed to garner protection from Israel against Russia/Syria, nestled against The Golan, this I.S. enclave has now been taken by Syria but not before beligerents were spirited into Israel, thence to Jordan and then distributed ( why?)

    I think they ( America) wants to get its story straight.

    • Deb O'Nair

      Israel also ran field hospitals in Southern Syria to patch up the Jihadists so that they could get back to the ‘frontline’ and continue terrorising defenceless civilians, I mean fighting for freedom and democracy.

  • Glenn

    Thank you for sharing this Craig and big love to you and all of the other carers, sharers and helpers for doing what you did to ease the suffering of the victims in this case.

    • Anthony

      One of the true greats. Did not know he was a friend of Craig’s, that speaks volumes.

        • Deb O'Nair

          Whenever Tony Blair or Alistair Campbell is allowed to speak on the BBC a link to Pinter’s speech should be shown on screen so that people may know exactly what sort of monstrous criminals they are. I find it sickening that these two morally bankrupt degenerates are allowed to rehabilitate their images on the state broadcaster, particularly recently by jumping on the Brexit bandwagon, when they have so much to answer for.

    • remember kronstadt

      apropos of nout. when i moved to london and had contact with theatre folks there was a strong antipathy towards Harold due to his dumping of actress wife and mother of his son, Vivien Merchant, in favour of ‘lady’ Antonia Fraser. Cultural tribalism as with Plath and Hughes, dame Taylor and Burton et al.

      • bj

        Histrionic personalities, all those in acting.

        It’s their strong point on stage, their weak and highly annoying one in real life.

        • John A

          As both are dead, doubt it can be corroborated, but Alan Coren is alleged to have said to Pinter, at a posh show biz event, ‘we’re assimilated now’, Pinter’s reaction was to punch him. I thought Coren was a brilliantly funny writer. Less so, his nepotism launched offspring.

  • giyane

    https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/8132327/saudi-arabian-girl-stuck-bangkok-cant-go-home-parents/

    Well done sister Rahaf for renouncing the Islamist cult of Saudi Salafism which specialises in head-chopping, crucifiction, cutting up journalists with mechanical butchers knives, gang-rape, extortion, and persecuting innocent Muslims in countries like Syria where the UK protects them in the House of Commons.
    Welcome to Islam, which does none of those crimes, and punishes those who do commit them not with free hajj and watered down zam zam, but with fair trial.

    You have not left Islam. You have left a Satanic cult which is only supported by the Zionist enemies of Islam.

    • mike e

      Welcome to Islam, which does none of those crimes…….

      Giyane, how many Islamic countries would kill me for being an atheist? Or an apostate? Are these countries part of a satanic cult?

      • giyane

        There is no compulsion in Islam. Whoever wants to believe, believe. Whoever wants to deny, deny.
        Muslims are not permitted to live in non-Muslim countries except if they have some special skills which raise the respect of Islam or if they behave in a way and speak in a way that invites people to the religion of Islam.

        Getting 100s of houses on mortgage interest and swaggering around in big 4 x 4s gives Islam a very bad name. All that interest which is illegal in Islam goes to the Zionist bankers who use it against the Muslim countries. Islam is not a religion of pride, of the 1%, of different levels of justice for different classes of people.

        God prescribes double punishment for them, 1/ for not practising Islam , 2/for not showing a good example to those who know nothing of Islam. God is equally severe to believers who fail to set a good example in a foreign country as to those who are completely ignorant of Islam. The Muslims don’t feel threatened by the words of the Qur’an, but for some reason you do. Why?

      • remember kronstadt

        Aren’t all the abrahamic faiths a cult? You can take the boy out of the religion but you … etc. Having been brought up CofE I can’t walk past a font without a great desire to urinate. bless

        • remember kronstadt

          sorry, that should read ‘death cult’ not a satanic cult. just making an allowance for the souls in limbo -there’s always the possibility of a score draw.

        • giyane

          How do you know it’s your urinating sensor, not your original sin that needs to be thrashed out of you sex-addiction sensor?

          Do you know, in Muslim culture children are brought up having their sexuality and marriage all recognised and discussed from an early age? Not like our culture where you have to shower in public with a serious health and safety risk from the big boys’ dongs?

          For some reason I forget I stayed the night at my ex’s once. in the night she must have arranged for friendly stud to come and giver the once over because in the middle of the night the whole house was filled with cow-like moos and groans.

          Islam has a simple rule, not to ever get involved with anything to do with your ex (s ).
          Ahh , just another example of the blessings of Islam.

          • giyane

            Blunderbuss

            It was not interesting at the time. She was antes with a local black SAS man so I kept shtum in case I got my neck squeezed . We will never know the psychological damage done to my children. My ex was training to become a C of E vicar at the time , and she is one now, having passed all the necessary qualifications…..?

  • remember kronstadt

    theresa smeagols NHS speech familiarly devious but noticeably a developing tightness in the throat – is her conscience trying to strangle her?

    • giyane

      Simon Stevens was pretty nauseating this morning. I had to switch him off. He was using a combination of managerial assertivess and girlie victim whines. Exactly what you would expect from a waiter on the Titanic arranging the deckchairs round the band.

  • Mary Paul

    I have a very specialist niche hobby (not worth mentioning what) which in the past has involved me travelling to the USA and Mid West. As a result I have a number of US friends both people I met in person while there, and others who share my interest, on facebook groups etc. Many are from the mid-West and are Republican supporters and more than that, a percentage are Trump supporters. Make our country great again and see off the lily-livered liberals really resonated with them.

    Not surprisingly there has been a lot of discussion by these supporters about the impasse over funding a wall with Mexico and the impact this is having on peoples’ incomes, which is severe in many cases as so many Americans live hand-to-mouth. The comments by Trump supporters, among my fb groups, seem pretty equally divided between those who say he promised Mexico would pay for the wall, and those who take at face value his claims it will be paid for by trade deals and think the Democrats in Congress should give way. The division of opinion over funding the wall between Trump supporters, is the first crack in his massive fan base I have seen so far.

    Yesterday one of the die-hard Trump guys wrote an impassioned post on facebook about how everybody was disrespecting their President who had to be respected because of his office. He felt Donald Trump was doing his best, and not a bad job in the light of the relentless criticism he faced, and everyone should support him. The criticism Trump was facing at home was making him cry.

    Well you might think, he is a bit of an extreme case, because if you have seen Trump making his case on tv, he seems positively incoherent (I don’t recall him always being this rambling.) Anyway my friend was in a right state as we say here. I thought there would be a few likes but not many. The Likes flooded in. Trump is always going to have a host of supporters no matter what he does. That is where I think the UK differs from the US. Outside his own clique and a few media players, Tony Blair no longer has any supporters and he was quite a convincing confidence trickster in his day, certainly a lot better than anything Trump can come up with.

    • Dave

      The Wall is a metaphor for border security and easily understood and so an effective message that resonates with people, almost everyone, fed up with immigration. Its a clear message, a bit like Stop Immigration is a clear message.

      Except in practice neither the Wall or Stop can be taken literally as you don’t need a continuous Wall for border security and you can’t have a policy that Stops All Immigration, due to the normal movement of people e.g. marriage, tourism and jobs.

      Hence in practice the Wall wont be built and immigration wont be Stopped and so it looks like Trump isn’t delivering on his promises to do so, if taken literally. But both the Wall and Stop mean significantly reduce immigration (aka the invasion), but Reduce Immigration doesn’t have the cut through, because all politicians truthfully can say that, but only mean by one person or the conservatives “reduce to the tens of thousands”.

      And you can’t say invasion, because that would warrant a whole range of measures, that even those who want to reduce immigration would find unacceptable.

      Or as Farage neatly said, you should take Trump seriously but not literally, and the people who do take him literally know they are cheating and trying to score points rather than seriously understand the message is to end the open door policy.

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Dave January 7, 2019 at 14:29
        If the Indigenous Native Americans had had a wall, the world wouldn’t be in the state it’s in now, with the US murderously bombarding, raping, looting and destroying all around the world.

        • Dave

          See what I mean, you used the Wall as a metaphor as a Wall wouldn’t have saved the Red Indians, even if they’d had the means to build one.

    • remember kronstadt

      Very useful firsthand witness MP – ‘things’ appear to change very quickly in the US presumably by media partisanship and frenzy. Reading your piece I got to thinking that making a political choice is very like picking a marriage partner. Good grief, then I realised it was really about death and dying which is much more entertaining.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K%C3%BCbler-Ross_model

    • giyane

      Hand to mouth.

      Why should we be made to feel guilty by Mrs May for living hand to mouth. It’s her job to make sure that government runs smoothly , not ours. The EU told us at the beginning of Brexit that we would have to complete the divorce BEFORE the terms of the trading agreement were discussed. Why did Mrs May not challenge that premise, that we should sign the divorce before knowing the trading terms, publicly?

      Why has she left us thinking for two years that the government HAD somehow obtained reassurances about the trading contract , so that we only realised she had not got any reassurances about trade at all when the withdrawal agreement was upon us? As Jeremy Corbyn has consistently said in the last few weeks, Mrs May is totally incompetent because she somehow thinks we , our MPs on our behalf , are going to sign a blank cheque.

      Is it because the Tories are so rich that a 30% hike in food prices, or car prices, or medicine is such a trivial expense for them that they can afford to completely ignore it? Yes.
      Is it because the Tories manage their companies without any regard to the interests of their employees’ interests, so why not government? Yes.
      Is it because government so routinely lies to us about other aspects of foreign policy that they see no difference between lying about Syria and Yemen and lying to us about Brexit? Yes

      Personally, I am a baby boomer and I own my own house, so I’m spoilt enough and solvent enough to survive the threat of the existing loss of value in my pound in my pocket, and the future 50% rise in my living costs
      …. possibly …. just. But there are literally millions of us Just managing, who are going to go under financially on a hard Brexit. That means new opportunities in the housing capital market for the wealthy to buy up bankrupt stock. Our homes…

      And this from a woman who dares to claim to be interested in addressing the housing crisis.

      We will not sell out to the bullies in the EU and we will not sell out to the bullies in the Tory party.

      The only way out is a change of government and a total redefinition by Labour of what can be achieved by Brexit.

    • Dungroanin

      Mary have you not noticed that the simple conservative minded, small state, personal freedom, hard work and God folk, that yoi have contact with were hijacked by the pathocracy?

      That they are being set up to lose their inherent belief in their now completely compromised constitution? Their 200 odd year old escape from the robber barons has been halted and reversed? And the death of the $ is nigh – as the Anglo empire contorts itself into the next mutant financial control obscenity.

      Watch as the dumb free ‘usa usa’ smuchks are shorn of their stockmarket savings, followed by a grab of their real assets by the bankers – the usual rinse and repeat.

      They will be ‘saved’ by a new deal, world currency, fully electronic, which can be turned on and off at the whim of their AI algo so as to be as easily managed as the serfs boundaries and actions of the old barons. The anonymity of cash is to be dispensed with. Every purchase recorded and all purposes known …

      Many little helpers are ushering in the not so new age – all futuristic sounding but actually a return to the old master-slave relationship. It is running almost on schedule with just the odd unexpected headwinds – from western Europe of all places!

      Our choice is to be a vassal enabler for the new-NWO or RESIST.

      Pick your side.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Mary Paul January 7, 2019 at 13:55
      ‘…Tony Blair no longer has any supporters and he was quite a convincing confidence trickster in his day, certainly a lot better than anything Trump can come up with.’
      Have no fear, Bliar has plenty of supporters among the PTB, and certainly has no probs getting MSM coverage.
      The PTB are all ‘confidence tricksters’ and worse, so Bliar fits right in, ‘birds of a feather’.

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Sharp Ears January 7, 2019 at 16:11
        You mean this definition doesn’t describe him?
        ‘a person who sets out to defraud or deceive people by persuading them to believe something that is not true.’
        He’s many worse things, at the very least a sociopath, hypocrite and War Criminal, but he is also a con artist.

        • Dave

          Blair was/is extremely insecure and obsessed with money, because he thinks the more money he gets the greater his status, except as he’s prepared to do anything to get it, it lowers his status, which drives him to pursue more money, hence his road to hell.

          I don’t know if this makes him “anti-Semitic”, but he ingratiated/debased himself to the neo-con agenda, because he believed they had the money he coveted, despite having far more than he really needs.

          • Clark

            Tony and Cherie are New Age Hippies.

            ie. they are keen to believe anything that makes them feel good about themselves. That’s why the media were so keen to get Blair elected in the first place, and so keen to keep him prominent – hippies are ideologically opposed to thinking critically (eg “science is just one of many belief systems”), and they’re very easily manipulated; just stroke their egos in the direction you want them to go.

          • freddy

            New Age Catholics?

            Anthony “Igor” Blair is one of those (extra) new-NWO vassal enablers Dungroanin has mentioned.

          • Clark

            “…anything that makes them feel good about themselves”.

            I don’t know why that should be Catholicism. The absolution conferred by Confession, maybe?

          • Clark

            Freddy, your own link references the Times and the Daily Mail. The short-lived inclusion of “alternative” therapies under the NHS is a matter of record, as should be the dodgy property deals.

            Interesting that Nick Cohen was so critical of the Blairs – until the devastation of the Iraq.

          • Clark

            My own source was Ben Goldacre’s Bad Science. The Blairs were the biggest element of the media’s “MMR vaccine causes autism” hoax.

          • Dave

            Blair converted to Catholicism (which shows the Pope isn’t infallible) to assist with attempts to become President of the EU. He needed the support of the ‘right-wing Catholic’ parties so converted with fingers crossed, but to keep in with the ‘left-wing progressives’ said the Pope needed to adopt the more liberal policies of the Anglican Church he had just left!

          • Capt Bluntschli

            Good summary of the squirming worm, Dave. He and his wife are the King & Queen of the Federation of Parasites to which also belong The Clintons and that twat David Milliband.

    • Capt Bluntschli

      Mary, what you have just described is the full spectrum of neurotics and hope you don’t mind my saying so, in the process are sounding it yourself. I have no difficulty in understanding the straight-talking Trump.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wojm7tMT84&t=388s

      Donald Trump on Saddam Hussein, Benghazi and Hillary Clinton (Part 2: Full Interview)

      • giyane

        Talking to the Virgin Mary might be normal where you come from Habbabkuk but here on CM blog you are dangerously close to being declared insane.

      • MaryPau!

        you can find examples where Trump makes sense but there are plenty of others where his thread of coherent thought is impossible to discern!Dr alone follow. I think the pressure of the job and not enough sleep, due to staying up all night with his Twitter feed, are taking a toll. He makes less sense more often.

  • Republicofscotland

    The lunatics at the Westminster asylum, are harvesting from the magic money tree.

    “My civil service friends are telling me alarming stories about other contracts as bad as Grayling’s ferries. Large amounts of the £4bn for ‘no deal’ preparations are going on ‘dodgy, panicky & frankly disgraceful’ expenditures, according to an official. Watch this space”

    https://mobile.twitter.com/Andrew_Adonis/status/1081990825922449409

    With regards to the Seaborne Freight fiasco, I’ve read that the port where the invisible ferries are meant to dock, is in no fit state to receive the ferries, and that the local council haven’t yet been informed or asked to upgrade it.

    Not to worry though I hear Failing Grayling has asked Sajid Javid, if he can use the boats confiscated from the few migrants that have managed to cross the Channel, as makeshift ferries.

    • giyane

      RoS

      You mean the boats our government gave to the asylum seekers to create the crisis. It was theirs. Why not?

      • Republicofscotland

        I see that one of the MoD’s staging posts the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth is not due to go into service until next year.

        Surely the Empire 2.0 zombie Gavin Williamson could allow the anti-Midas (Everything he touches turns to shit) Failing Grayling to use the aircraft carrier as a stop gap until real ferries can be magically conjured up from Ferry (Fairy) Garden at the back of Number 10.

        • giyane

          RoS

          Leave our Queen out of it. She’s doing an excellent job and if you listened to her Xmas speech you wouldn’t be spouting off about her pets..

          • Republicofscotland

            By our queen, I take it you mean your queen? I’ve read that she’s not the queen of Scotland but the queen of the United Kingdom.

            Can’t say for sure but have read other people’s comments saying that at her 1953 Coronation she didnt/wasn’t declared queen of Scotland, however she did touch Scotland’s honours indicating Scotland’s vassalage position.

          • giyane

            RoS

            It’ll end in tears but no harm in riding the Tory embarrassment at their brexit cock-up for the entire day.

            I mean The Queen, the head of Al Queenida, the proxy Islamist army that wears long kilts and gets airlifted to safety by US helicopters when their tortured captives get bombed to oblivion. Not your Scottish queen, Nicola, or my Kurdish queen, Victoria [ as of fxxx the EU fame ]

          • Deb O'Nair

            The Queen is officially Queen Elizabeth I in Scotland. She was also crowned on the Stone of Scone (pronounced skoon). Having said that the closest living relative to Richard III is a Canadian fella called Jeff, so I guess none of it really matters anyway.

          • Republicofscotland

            Deb ONair could you kindly provide a credible link that proves she’s the queen of Scots. As I’m under the impression that Mary Queen of Scots was the last queen of Scotland.

            Thanks in advance.

          • Deb O'Nair

            RoS. Technically she’s the monarch of the UK and Scotland is in the UK. Additionally she is also a direct descendant of the last Scottish monarch and her mother was Scottish, so she is more Scottish than most British people.

    • Dave

      Whatever the preparedness for No Deal, the fact remains Brexit provides the “money tree”. This is because if you control your own money, it never runs out, because if you’re running short you just print (digitally or in paper form) more. The only issue is have you anything to spend it on, which depends on whether you have the people, skills and resources required.

      Conservative and Labour austerity was in fact EU austerity to save the Euro/Banks and now there is no prospect of Britain joining the Euro (for now) to save Remain, the government has announced the “end of austerity”, with spending plans (could do more) that they recently denounced as reckless Marxism coming from Labour (involving less amounts).

      • Dungroanin

        Not all EU members have adopted the Euro. It is unlikely that Sweden and Denmark will anytime soon.

    • Blunderbuss

      @RoS 14:47

      Now I understand about the invisible ferries. They are inflatable ferries and they haven’t been pumped up yet because nobody can find a bicycle pump.

  • isa

    WEll

    Facebook has banned the sharing of the PDF II leaked files as they violated their community standards. They even banned it on a message I tried to send to Portuguese politicians. Happily there are other means of communication than facebook but this shows you their despair, as in the Atlantic Council that monitors our post despair.

    Meanwhile I see an army of trolls attacking Craig on twitter trying to minimise the fact that Dan K published a press release paid for and ordered by the II .

    Finally a poll by you.gov yesterday. about a new Brexit referendum. ordered by the “people’s Vote” resulted in an article in the Observer attacking Corbyn and not linking to the actual study so we can make informed decision sre the questions and methodology.

    The cockroaches are on the lose and they are angry and disoriented as if sprayed with insecticide.

    • Dungroanin

      Yes the AI has been busy re-calculating (built in the artic regions to keep its processors cool- it has been running hot because of all the extra calculations it has had to do – explains the faster ice melt ;-)).

      The propaganda machine has re-calculated and come up with the latest plan of action for all the minions to follow as of today. Trezza is but a minion too.
      II/Ios are it’s creation – Orwellianly named.
      Designed to be found out. A few sacrificial journos. Some old spooks… but none of the real top echelons.
      Wondered why top echelon names, like Keunnsberg aren’t in any of the revealed lists so far?

      • Clark

        “Designed to be found out” etc…

        I wondered that. Or, more hopefully, it could be hubris, of which we get a lot these days. These Integrity Initiative / Atlantic Council types do seem to live in a bubble of their own making; they seem to dismiss everyone who questions their line as “Russian trolls”.

    • Dave

      May’s plan is to run it to the wire to halt Brexit, but when her plan, goes according to plan, and loses by 400 votes to create the “crisis”, will it result in No Deal or 2nd Referendum. It appears to hinge on JC, as it relies on him sacrificing the Labour Party to secure Remain and continued conservative government by supporting, against his instincts, a 2nd referendum, as its almost impossible for May to do it, but then again as a puppet, she may.

      • giyane

        Dave , you are assuming that May is intelligent enough to have a plan. I remember my ex teaching her daughter how to totally ignore me, because she thought I might find that annoying. It’s not annoying once you know it’s deliberate. Mrs May is trying her level best to make our male logical minds angry with her incompetence. Even Jeremy Corbyn nearly lost it today when May was out campaigning for the forthcoming election instead of facing questions in parliament.

        May knows full well that the only thing that’s going to exit is herself from No 10 and she’s reserving her strength. As soon as MPs sign the withdrawal agreement she’s off to the Bahamas, passing the buck to Gove and Williamson who will treat all opposition with Macron indifference. She will have seen out Corbyn’s chance of becoming Prime Minister and we will have to wait, as with Thatcher’s resignation, for Labour to regroup.

        All she has to do is smile sweetly for a few days so as to be able to withdraw gracefully from politics.
        I expect she’s got the dirt on most of parliament from MI5 . It’s just a matter picking the exact right time to give them their ” me too ” moments.

  • giyane

    It’s an ill wind….

    I am happy to inform you that the Asian Muslim spy network, in co-operation with the Muslim Brotherhood one and therefore MI5/6, is working like a steam engine. Whoo! Whoo!

    Within an hour of me criticising the Asian Muslims’ intense relationship with money , interest and the worldly life they got on the blower to the Kurdish MI5/6 agent who is allocated to my case and who bugs my phone and takes pictures of me in my nothings in my own house, and he gets straight in touch with me for the first time in 8 years on viber with ” ??? “.

    I apologise for recently criticising the efficiency of MI5/6. you are obviously a well oiled machine, doing a superb job of monitoring a nobody like myself.

  • Paul Barbara

    Amazing, isn’t it? In WWII, with U-boat packs roaming the oceans, most of the transport ships still got through.
    Now Brexit is going to cause us to starve?
    Does Germany want to starve us of BMW’s, Porsche’s and Sauerkraut? Does France want to starve us of Peugeot’s, Renault’s, frog’s legs and snails? I’m pretty sure the EU sells us far more than they buy from us. Financial ‘services’ know no boundaries.
    Dig for victory!

    • giyane

      Paul Barbara

      Apologies for repeating myself. The problem is that corporate transport is riding on cheap colonial diesel and millions of unnecessary litres of black gold get used ferrying stuff around un-necessarily.
      Food grown in Poland has to travel 1200 miles to get to the centre of the UK. That’s exactly the same distance travelling twice to and from Birmingham to Glasgow which I did the other day. One example given above was Honda which runs 350 lorries per day etc etc.

      This is a massive crisis created by a free market economy in conjunction with neo-liberal policies of trashing the counties that own the oil, or threatening to trash them if they don’t comply. Like Obama’s Daesh.
      The problem is that our government, Theresa May herself, would like us to believe that this colonisation is historical but it is now, on Tory watch, live today. They don’t want us to realise that everything the Green party has been saying for years is now on open display. The answer to market distortion , which favours Atlantic investors in Poland by increasing their speculative capital in the new EU countries, can never be to just fudge it with ferries.

      The market system has to stop its filthy distortion of the economy through colonial oil.
      The neo-cons need to know that Russia and China now control their military.
      The tiniest thing, like a blockage caused by customs, will bring the entire profitability of their stupid un-ecological system to have a heart attack / stroke / seizure.

      How can we dispose of this oversize elephant in the room without people getting wind of the fact that the market system has failed?

      • giyane

        I’ll never forget the time the CEO of Brunei Wafirah UK Ltd confided to us that those in the know, like the CEO, were concerned about Food Security. Most of the chicken in the supermarkets actually comes from Thailand and gets processed in the UK.

        Food insecurity is made by a market economy that sees a quick buck in ferrying meat of all things half way round the world. Because it depends on oil. Now one can see why the government gave permission for the police to infiltrate and intimate with green protestors. Their solution was to do the farming far away. If only pigs could fly…

        • Clark

          Giyane:

          “The problem is that corporate transport is riding on cheap colonial diesel and millions of unnecessary litres of black gold get used ferrying stuff around un-necessarily”.

          Hear, hear! Liquid fossil fuel is amazingly cheap. Oil costs under fifty pence per litre, yet it has had to be extracted from underground, often in deserts and war zones, refined, and transported thousands of miles. You can’t even buy bottled water at that price!

          If the price of the wars to control the oilfields was included oil would be prohibitively expensive, but of course taxpayers pay for wars.

          • Clark

            You could even argue that almost the entire war budget is a subsidy to oil companies.

            Hence the demonisation of Russia. Russia has loads of fossil fuel, but unlike Iraq, Libya, Syria, also has Weapons of Mass Destruction. Can’t just leave Russia in control of the base of the economic pyramid, can they?

          • bj

            Liquid fossil fuel (…) it has had to be (…) transported thousands of miles

            Actually, the fact that it can be transported so easily and efficiently is one of its features (from an objective standpoint).
            Try to carry a jerrycan of solar, wind or water around.

            Disclaimer:
            I own no car and hate them with a vengeance for reasons of health, climate, cultural disruption.

          • Clark

            Bj, my point was that liquid fuels are among the cheapest liquids of any sort.

            “Try to carry a jerrycan of solar, wind or water around”

            Precisely. The energy from these sources are all easily moved as mains electricity, but that’s no use for anything that can’t be connected to the electricity grid. At the most essential end of that list we have combine harvesters, tractors, aircraft*, portable power tools and heavy road transport. We have no technology that can replace liquid fuel in such applications. Government policy should prioritise infrastructure to synthesize liquid fuels before energy scarcity becomes any worse:

            https://dothemath.ucsd.edu/2011/10/the-energy-trap/

            (* Aircraft are light and highly efficient, and there is considerable progress with electric aircraft.)

          • DougLazy

            The Pentagon has more than 21 trillion in unaccounted for, missing money. That’s quite a lot of money to just vanish into thin air. 2.1 trillion of Pentagon funds was famously announced missing on 10th September 2001, but something huge hapened the following day which pushed the issue to the side of the news agenda. The Pentagon (the company) does things like just making little anonymous 800 billion adjustments. Now they have altered the system so they do not legally have to provide accurate accounts and they have changed the law to enable them to lie about what they are spending. Lockheed Martin provide and manage the Pentagon’s “accounting system”! Full details here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJ5K4lezE3E

        • MaryPau!

          I have yet to recover from my shock at the horse meat lasagne revelations. How could it possibly be economical to ship dead frozen
          horsemeat across the Atlantic to Rotterdam, then tranship it in lorries to Eastern Europe where it was turned into mince and frozen then moved again by road to warehouses in Holland then by road to southern France to be made into lasagne, then back (I think,) to Paris environs by road for packaging for British supermarkets, then by road and sea to British supermarket warehouses, then by road round the UK to sell in local Tescos and Asdas at what £2.99 box?. It can only make sense if large subsidies are involved but the environmental and other costs don’t bear thinking about.

          • Dungroanin

            Shipping meat eh? Think of all that NZ Lamb. The Argentinian Beef. The Thai prawns (actually the atlantic prawns get a return trip to asia), the baby chickens of our red tractor fantasy.

            Though if you really love your horse meat lasagne with the fewest miles … hop on a day trip ferry to France while you can. Whole shelf loads in every supermarket. Yum.

    • michael norton

      We even make our own yoghurt, cheese and wine these days in Dear Old Blighty, we grow our own cerials, we grow sugar beet and spuds, how are we ever going to manage with the finer things the Europeans want to flog us, oh wait a minute we can buy stuff from Brazil, Argentina, U.S.A. Canada and Africa,
      we will probably just be able to survive.

    • Dungroanin

      Amazing? Yes the logic fail certainly is.

      JC said it today – it is project fear.

      We are NOT going to stop RECEIVING as much food as we want FROM the EU.

      The lorry parks are going to be HERE because they will be held up by bottlenecks at the EU ports that have to make sure their IMPORTS comply with all the EU wide regulations.

      Why would the EU want to not maximise exports? To STARVE the UK? It is completely bonkers suggestion. BONKERS.

    • giyane

      Anonymous is boring. You’re not boring, but how do you have the patience to wade through all those layers of fake news? The website is like Al Jazeera, bursting with fake Arab lies but useful if you want to know the weather in Dubai.

    • Isa

      Excellent article by Kit . Thank you for linking it here . Kit has been doing excellent work on the II.

    • bj

      That GERMAN CLUSTER INTERIM REPORT is a nice example of circular reasoning.

      The outing of II/Nebenstelle Deutschland is well done and deserved.

      One could call it a ClusterFick.

      • Ken Kenn

        More of a Nutcluster of the Institute for witchcraft ( sorry statecraft).

        Full of paranoid nuts.

        The Americans gained a nickname in the seventies ” The Paranoid Nation”

        It appears that morbid fear of Commies has transformed into a morbid fear of everyone.

        Even other Americans.

        Donald does have a fear of germs though and this has transmitted itself through the body politic of the US.

        I hear that George W has taken up painting since retiring but it’s painting by numbers and he can only add up to ten.Therefore his output is garbage.

        Donald when he retires should take up being an adult once he’s older.

        The arm folding because he couldn’t get his wall was priceless. I used to go to school with a lad who defied his mother this way.

  • APOL

    This was a lone person out for a walk. !
    The pictures can be seen at thegatewaypundit.com
    “All’s well Orwell?”
    “Yes; all going to plan”

  • APOL

    No citations then.
    Even if you re-copy them instead of Copy/paste..
    It was about a mother in Holland who was arrested for walking her baby while wearing a Yellow Vest.
    Alone and not part of a demonstration even..
    Putin must be at work in Holland too, confederation those who dont want a totalitarian superstate..

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