Peoples Vote in Danger of Becoming War Criminal Rehabilitation 290

Regular readers know I have largely steered clear of discussing Brexit for the three years its possibility then prospect has dominated the UK political agenda. I used to be enthusiastically pro-EU, as part of my general outlook of supporting international law and organisations. I was however shocked, deeply, by the enthusiastic support of all three institutional strands – council, commission and parliament – for the appalling Francoist paramilitary violence in Catalonia, and decided that the EU is no longer an institution I can support.

The increasingly illiberal developments of the EU’s Third Pillar – including the abuse of arrest warrant procedure against Julian Assange and the internationalising of “Prevent” style Islamophobia – had already increasingly been worrying me. My reservations about the EU are therefore different to those of many. I particularly bemoan the loss of Freedom of Movement which I believe to have been one of the greatest achievements of civilisation in my lifetime. I remain incensed at the success of the elite in conning the deprived that their poverty is caused by immigrants, whereas it is caused by massive inequality of wealth.

So I am conflicted on Brexit, but on balance would prefer to leave but stay part of the single market, thus retaining freedom of movement. My personal preferences aside, there is plainly a huge majority against leaving the EU in Scotland, so for Scotland to leave the EU at all at present would be wrong. It is my profound hope that the SNP will find the courage shortly to move on towards Independence.

Having a nuanced view on Brexit is not in the least fashionable at the moment, when the media are whipping up a climate of extreme division. It is very plain that Tony Blair and the Blairites see Brexit, and the growing stock of the People’s Vote campaign, as a rehabilitation opportunity for discredited war criminals – war criminals who have to date avoided punishment. That the Blairites succeed in smuggling themselves back into political power via the People’s Vote campaign is the biggest danger in the entire process.

Tony Blair yesterday made a speech on the People’s Vote platform at the Royal Academy, widely reported. Who exactly is running the People’s Vote and why are they giving a platform to Tony Blair? Three days ago it was Margaret Beckett representing the People’s Vote, and on Newsnight last week Peter Mandelson. It is like plunging into a recurring nightmare. Today we have a completely deranged – even by Nick Cohen’s standards – attack on Jeremy Corbyn in the Guardian/Observer, on this issue. And on Marr we had the deeply odious Chuka Umunna.

The major reason that Remain lost the referendum campaign in England and Wales is that the Remain campaign was fronted by the most detested and discredited politicians in the UK: Blair, Brown, Cameron, Clegg, Mandelson, Osborne, and Kinnock and Straw jr. There is nothing these people could propose which would not be rejected out of hand by huge numbers, just at the sight of them.

The question arises, who are “the People’s Vote” and who agreed that Tony Blair speaks for them? My strong belief is that a large majority of the 700,000 who marched through London would regard Blair as a war criminal and be horrified. Plainly, the People’s Vote does not in any sense belong to the People as a campaign but is being controlled by the New Labour war criminal elite, who see it as a chance to redeem their loss of political power.

My disinterested advice to Remain supporters, if they wish to win a second referendum, is for “the People” to wrest control of “the People’s Vote” from the self-appointed war criminal friendly clique currently running it, to ditch the war criminals and to lead with Caroline Lucas. If the People’s Vote is really – as it seems to be – the Blair Bandwagon, it will crash into the buffers of entirely well-merited public distrust.

England and Wales voted for Brexit 53.3% to 46.7%. I do wish Sturgeon would accept – as every genuine believer in Scottish Independence should accept – that the vote in England and Wales is no business of us here in Scotland, and leave the English and Welsh to it. Sturgeon should be working for nothing else but Scottish Independence, which is the way to honour Scotland’s clear vote to Remain.

290 thoughts on “Peoples Vote in Danger of Becoming War Criminal Rehabilitation

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  • No 2 EU (founded by George Galloway)

    The UK does not need federalism from the UK. Scotland does not need federalism from being part of the UK.

    Both should be independent. Brexit independent and Scottish indepencence.

    As per expected, Jeremy Corbyn – the final bulwark against a second referendum – is coming under massive pressure to call for a vote of no confidence in Theresa May’s government. He would lose this vote of no confidence and would open the door to a second referendum if he calls it.

    In cahoots with Theresa May and the Tory Remainers, Kier Starmer, Tom Watson and Chuka Umuna are all circling around Corbyn to demand he calls a vote of no confidence.

    We need Corbyn to stand firm over the next few weeks. He is the last line of defence. If he caves in and calls the vote of no confidence, he will lose that vote and in doing so give May the second referendum of Remain vs Remain.

  • MJ

    “the vote in England and Wales is no business of us here in Scotland”

    Of course it is. The vote was UK-wide and Scotland voted to remain in the UK.

    • Merkin Scot

      ‘“the vote in England and Wales is no business of us here in Scotland”

      Of course it is. The vote was UK-wide and Scotland voted to remain in the EU’.
      See what I did? Easy.

  • Chris Ferguson

    I have to say I agree almost totally with you. I used to be a huge supporter of the EU – seeing it as a bastion for human rights and international co-operation and of the opportunity for ordinary people coming and working to together But my illusions about the EU have been crushed by first Greece and then Catalonia, where I lived for a while and have quite a few Catalan friends. Now I have seen it for the giant bureaucracy it has become, unanswerable (I emailed Junker, Tusk, Merkle even the EU Commission and Parliament – in all about 20 of them etc about Catalonia – and it was very hard to get any contact information for any of them – which to me indicate just how unapproachable they are. I also did not receive one reply – not even one acknowledgement!). I hate to see the way it is being used for big business and big states – and not for individuals and not defending human rights.

    I to greatly object to having freedom of movement removed from me. And from others – all for the sake of a bunch of xenophobic right wing bigots. But I too have grown alarmed at the rise of the ghosts of Mandelson Blair etc – for the vote remain side. We are surrounded by monsters on both side. There seems no sanity in any of this.

    I greatly hope that Scotland does get independence – but I do not want to see Scotland just jump straight back into bed with the EU. Our relationship needs to be re-evaluated and reconsidered. We are a small country. There are other small Northern European countries that work together. For me it feels instinctively right that we should look in that direction and see what kind of arrangement we can have – and have some ties to the EU – but not the EU as it stands in its present form!

    Until the EU does stand up for the individual citizens in this Europe and the EU does stand up for Human Rights – then I am very, very wary of being part of what is in effect – a large financial and bureaucratic organisation – not an organisation to bring the peoples of Europe together to work together in peace -as it was originally intended

    • Dungroanin

      Like the subterfuge being revealed in the previous article it has always been my belief that brexit is not really about free movement (I expect that will be restored immediately).
      It is also not about NI either – except that the backstop, would enable the EU tax avoidance regime being imposed on the City under CJEU.

      • Christopher Dale Rogers


        The Elite, where ever they are, love to talk about tax avoidance and stamping out Money Laundering, much of what they say and do is just Tokenism, its one thing having Regulations, another imposing them.

        Having worked on the Regulatory front of Financial services across Europe, i find it strange that an Institution that makes so many claims actually underfunds its Pan-EU Regulatory bodies, hence, if the Rules ain’t enforced its all meaningless.

        Having had an extended conversation about the documentary ‘Spiders Web’ covering the City of London I was struck by the fact that the Documentary only scratched the service – I don’t in any way subscribe to the view that ‘dark’ City of London money funded Brexit, and that this was due in part to a Tax Avoidance clampdown by the EU, which is laughable given Mr Juncker’s Tax Avoidance enabling background.

        For those interested in really what’s happening, particularly in the City of London on places like Delaware I highly recommend Nicholas Shaxson’s Treasure Island, which is a real eye opener.

        Again, and reinforcing my point why I cannot subscribe to the view that the City of London wholeheartedly supports Brexit, is the fact that all main Industry Lobby Groups in the City are opposed to Brexit, with the exception of a few Hedge Funds – the loss of Euroclearing has been a blow and many banks have laid off staff, whilst setting up shop in Dublin, Frankfurt or Paris.

        • Dungroanin

          Thanks i’ll check out Treasure Island.

          I appreciate that ‘City’ is shorthand for a whole range of activity.

          I refer to the bit that allows tax avoidance and evasion on earnings and wealth created in the EU – a deliberate conspiracy.

          I say there is a difference, with say Luxembourg, which is more about sheltering money from outside the EU for denizens of the world.

          That is the key. I would bet my house that, were the fair tax and open register rules exempted to the ‘City’ – Brexit would be instantly cancelled by a simple Cabinet majority.

  • TFS

    The arrogance of a ‘People Vote’ defies belief. Had I been a remainer I would have hung may head in shame at the Remoaners and voted with the Brexiteers.

    Craig, you view the movement of people within the EU as a major milestone in staying within the Customs Union. I say what a farce. By any stretch of immagination why would I want EU people in this country as immigrants. Get them to stay in their countries and sort their governments out. We have enough Red in our Ledger over here to replace EU immigrants with people from Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Lybia, Palestine. And whats better than can see first hand the ‘Democracy’ and the ‘People’ who stood by and watched their countries being turned to dust. Also they get to watch first hand how a losing group in the referendum tried to overturn the orignal ‘Peoples Vote’.

    If the People Vote wins to remain by 52% to 48%, will we have a People Vote 3, or does the International Weights and Measures team need to define:

    a) The difference between winning and losing.
    b) What a Majority means.

    • Sharp Ears

      Please tell me where all these Palestinians are who came to the UK. I take what you say with a large pinch of salt.

    • Deb O'Nair

      “And whats better th[ey] can see first hand the ‘Democracy’ and the ‘People’ who stood by and watched their countries being turned to dust.”

      Taking an active part in the bombing, invasion and occupation of said countries is hardly standing by and watching.

      • Captain Bluntschli

        Why don’t you tell us Sharpie? Don’t be shy….So what is your solution to the Wahabi’ists?

  • Tony M

    Surprised to see the ‘better inside the tent pissing out, than outside pissing in argument’ still bandied around Conor-of-Darkest-Sessex’s comment boiling down to just that. Well done with that old chestnut, bit cracked though. We can change it, with just a teensy bit of input, mould it bend it to our will, control it, run it. This is exactly the position of Scotland gripped fast in the sadistic Union with England/Wales. The very same argument is made. In the case of the analagous UK (or any other EU state) and EU mismatch, the data, the evidence after a 300-year stringent trial, is that such wishful-thinking is folly.

  • Jeff

    Dear Sir,
    IMHO, you are making two errors in your reasoning.
    One is, you are not leaving the ‘EU’ if you stay in the single market. The ‘EU’ is many things to many people, but staying, entering or leaving is against the single market, and everything that that entails.
    The second is with respect to Scotland. If Scotland would claim its independence, it would start as a ‘new’ nation, and as such not be part of any international agreement: it would have no seat at UN, not be part of any European institution etc. While Scotland might get a seat, none of this will be immediate. I think you should look forward to a generation of hardship.
    Now Brexit will probably bring a generation of hardship anyhow, so that may be your opportunity after all.

    • TJ

      Scotland could just send a letter to the UN stating it will abide by all the current UK international agreements, that is what the Czech Republic and Slovakia did when Czechoslovakia was dissolved if the rest of the UK has no objection. Of course the UK can do the same when it comes to all the EU agreements with the rest of the world, hence why all the nonsense about renegotiating 800+ agreements by Project Fear has been and always will be nonsense, that is unless HMG decides to deliberately damage the Crown, Realm and People of the UK at which point boiled rope becomes the only solution.

      • StephenR

        Sorry, but ‘grandfathering’ of our share of the deals that the EU has negotiated with third countries is not proving to be the ‘piece of cake’ Boris et al had hoped to have and eat.

        The third countries are – rightly – demanding that they have some say in the matter as are individual EU countries who produce the same things we do.

  • Aidan Turner

    Easier said than done, Craig. It does though explain why the People’s Vote were so annoyed with the Liberal Democrats for putting down an amendment for a PV in the HoC. I do despair sometimes.

  • michael norton

    Mrs. May has said Tony Blair should shut his gob, nobody wants to hear from him.
    Mrs. May has said the people have already voted for Brexit, no need for another round of obfuscation.
    No freedom of movement, no Single Market, No Customs Union.

    Cliff-Edge Brexit here we come.

  • James Robb

    Rehabilitation of offenders was illustrated in Ballater’s Church of Scotland service last week. In place of the Good News Bible the lesson was taken from “The Mail”. ( Daily or Sunday wasn’t declared) and the reading was a handy pull-out of The Gospel according to Jeffrey Archer! JEFFREY ARCHER! In the Church of Scotland.
    My wife and I decide not to stay for the tea and shortbread after the service. I was wearing a wee SRU thistle badge and feared for my safety.
    Not many Indy votes there I fear.

  • Sharp Ears

    Growth of the right wing on Europe.

    ‘Water cannon, firecrackers as thousands rally against UN migration pact in Brussels (PHOTO, VIDEO)

    Police have deployed water cannon during a rally against the controversial UN migration pact in Brussels. Officers were seen scuffling with protesters, who threw firecrackers before facing off with law-enforcement.

    The rally was dubbed the ‘March against Marrakech’ in reference to the city where the pact was signed earlier in December. It was organized by the right-wing Vlaams Belang party which has long been a vocal opponent of the agreement.’


    Was there any mention of this on the BBC?

  • Tatyana

    @Molloy, this comment is for you. I can’t stand it any more and I hope the readers of this blog forgive me for the off-topic.

    Molloy, you are boring me with your statements. You are following me, waving ‘racial abuse’ banner over my comments.
    I’m not a racist, nor I am a bigot.
    I’m a normal human being with normal human internals.

    Educate yourself, learn more about Russia and russian people.
    Try your best to imagine what it’s like to be born and brought up and to live in a multi-national, multi-religions, multi-cultural post-USSR country.
    You can get the idea from this video, where religious and non-religious people of diffrent nations sing the popular russian children’s song

    I’ve got no problem with pronouncing the names of any nationality, be it Jews, Germans, French etc. I do not intend to offence people by mentioning their ethnicity. If you think I’m deceiving and pretending to be naive and have some hidden agenda – it tells more about you, Molloy, than about me.
    Here you are, exactly what I think about YOU. Weird way to entertain oneself, playing people’s emotions and be legally not an abuser.

    I am never tired to say “I’m sorry if accidentaly I hurt someone’s feelings”

    Copied from the previous discussion, ‘couse the adressee seems to never come back and reply.

    • Conor of Darkest Sussex

      To Tatyana(exclusively):
      & to ensure there is no misunderstanding in my rather cavalier usage of the expression “frightening the horses”. I would post in Russian my reply, but it’s probably against the rules (and my Russian is really crap these days)

      I think you come across very well indeed in your comments on here, very much as a “normal human being, with normal human internals”. I don’t know if you are familiar with Syd James and the “Carry On…” brand of UK humour, but when you said “human internals” Syd’s infectious guffaw did rather spring to mind.
      I am sorry for the trauma caused by Molloy, but think your opprobrium should be directed against the mods for allowing it to continue.
      When I was in Moscow on and off in 1995 I met many a Russian nutter, and very entertaining it was too. [Less entertaining were the frozen dead drunks on the way home. That was a “funny old time” in Russian history.]
      We all have the nutters and the drunks, though! Go well!
      Enough said, you seem to be a lovely personality, and I wish you (and your human internals) well.

    • philw

      Suggest you ignore ‘Molloy’. He is just a classic troll – he just wants to upset you.

      Plenty of us appreciate your posts.

  • Kat

    First of all Blair, if there was a referendum on whether or not he should be tried for war crimes he’d be in the hague as soon as the vote count was finished.

    So why are “they” letting him promote the peoples vote? To ensure that Brexit happens obviously. If they let Caroline Lucas run it they risk Remain winning. But let the most toxic ex PM front it and you can basically guarantee England will not vote for anything other than a no deal Brexit. (And I deliberately say England because they outnumber all other parts of the UK so only their votes count.)

    As for Nicola and the SNP, they are playing a blinder in my opinion. By fighting for the UK to remain in the EU, by showing they care about the welfare of the whole UK, nobody can acuse them of caring only for independence. So when they do finally announce the next IndyRef they can in all good faith tell the electorate they did everything they could to get the best outcome for all but now they need to do what is best for Scotland. They can stand in front of the voters in Scotland and say look, we tried to mitigate the damage that is being done by Westminster, we went to the highest courts, we offered solutions, but they did not listen, they even moved the goal posts. They have demonstrated good will to the UK only to be ignored by Westminster and the UK Government. What better way to demonstrate to Unionist that their precious union cares so little for them.

  • nevermind

    Well agree to exchange Labours Blair brigade for Caroline Lucas. It seems as if Bekett Mandelschleim and Bliar are out to wreck a peoples vote.
    When these selfservets be told to be quiet and to stop wrecking Uk politics and the publics resolve/mood with their opinions.
    For whom are these Tory leadership contendets speaking for when they speak of their preferred Brexit options?who have they consulted?
    Is the.electoral commission aware that Ms. Rudd Plc,
    nhs wrecker Hunt, best uk foreign minister ever Boris de Peffel J. , as well as ‘ cut foreign aid to the needy Penny Mord aunt are now using the limbo at Brexmas for their own personal electoral addresses?, with soft camera shots focusiing on smiling Mps, what they wear, and what couls/should/would happen if.

    The same hardening of resolve we are wtnessing in the EU can be seen in the US, Uk, i.e. all wrstern countries who see their UNSUSTAINABLE policies and actions challenged.
    The more we challenge their status quo mentality and ferocious climate agenda, the more are they enacting the 1984 repressive and fascist agenda. Postponinh votes because you want to stay in power, tipping disabled fracking protesters out of their wheelchairs and keeping millions on the breadline, whilst cutting local services to the bone.

    Norfolk is cutting 80% of early start nurseries, leaving children and parents wanting. Kids miss their friends and the activities, they have to stay at home now, further exacerbating the pressures of working parents.

    The ministry of truth and justice is a true occurence.

  • Nick

    A Scotland aligned with the EU and an rUK without is the basis for this post. Could be ok, depending on your perspective.

    Let me posit something different: most people in the world, want to get on, survive, if possible, be happy and pass their legacy onwards. They want to feel special whoever they are-they aren’t all -ist. As long as you are not telling them what to think, they won’t do the same.

    Your average Joe everywhere in the EU (and beyond) has ZERO interest in these manufactured divides,

  • Tony M

    Absolutely every company and agency forced workers to formally opt-out of the fabled, only observed in the breach, Working-Time Directive, on pain of not hiring in the first place, one place I was in many were signed Mickey Mouse. 48-hours would have been gruelling enough, but a typical 6×12 hours=72, plus an hours travel either way daily, adds another 12 hours, giving 84. Work, eat, sleep, repeat. Even machines have a duty-cycle and get more R&R.

    It’s all very well to laud EU law, but not to overlook it was never enforced, was positively discouraged here, was something of a joke, with the DWP ready to pounce with sanctions, destitution, if you politely exerted the principle and declined a golden opportunity to flog yourself half-to-death for minimum wage rates, till collapse. Whoever might have benefited it certainly wasn’t those workers in the UK who most needed such protection from employers and from their own understandable in such desperate circumstances, poor judgement in accepting it en-masse, fearful of repercussions.

    So what have the EU ever done for us, again? The benefits, that accrue to all, and not just to a minority that travel a lot to water the plants in their overseas properties.

  • Sharp Ears

    This tool on Twitter has met with a lot of flak.

    A ‘no deal’ for our country would actually be a blessing in disguise. It would force us into hardship and suffering which would unite & bring us together, bringing back British values of loyalty and a sense of community! Extreme change is needed! #nodeal #suffertogether

  • Paul Damascene

    Mr. Murray,
    Very pleased to see you posting again more frequently (or so it seems). Your entry on the nauseating Integrity Initiative, which should be considered an outrageous scandal in an actually mature democracy, was a welcome island of commentary.

    Anent your most recent entry, as a Canadian, I agree that the EU’s response to the crackdown on Catalonian sovereigntists was odious, but should have thought the earlier treatment of Greece to have been evidence enough of what the EU has become.

    I will say that I had taken your statement that England and Wales had voted heavily in favour of Brexit at face value, and was a little shocked to see the numbers so close to parity. But even in Scotland, with opinion apparently much more in favour of remaining, a significant proportion of the Scottish population risks feeling disenfranchised, which may be an unavoidable consequence of any relatively close referendum.

    But to your main point, the repeated near-resurrections of the undead Blairite war-criminals are of a piece with the sickening MSM rehabilitations of the Bushes and the annoying refusal of Hillary Clinton to quit the stage.

    Of a piece with this dynamic also, I suppose, is the regrettable failure of Corbyn’s Labour to maintain its standing in the polls, when it should be wiping the floor with the Shambolic Tory Brexiteers. As you say, it may be that the public discourse of our democracies is now largely inhospitable to nuanced thought of any kind. As an outsider, though, it does seem as though Corbyn’s advocacy (and yours, I gather) of a left-Brexit while retaining membership in a single market seems to be promoting a project that has virtually no chance of being realized, at least in the short to medium term. Could he simply be playing for time, while hoping that the astroturf “People’s Vote” movement burns itself out?

    Better, could Corbyn’s longer game be a provisional rejection of May’s execrable Brexit deal, with a view to pursuing a long-term Lexit that has been well prepared, competently negotiated and ratified with a referendum on the actual deal, with an EU that is already rapidly losing its moral authority…?

    • uncle tungsten

      Thank you Paul, agreed with all you say but your closing paragraph assumes that there is a rational EU side to ‘competently propose’ one’s case. I dont believe thugs respond to anyone’s competent proposals.

      • Paul Damascene

        Valid point — only with an EU that was itself considerably transformed would any such deal be likely. Aside from the arrogance, unaccountability, authoritarianism and incompetence, the structural obstacles to a Lexit deal with the “Bosses Club” are likely insurmountable.

  • fwl

    All in support of nuanced views and seeing the other’s perspective.

    TB speaks for no one these days, but it is curious that remainers preferring a 2nd referendum are obliged to rely on him and can’t find a more attractive spokesperson. Perhaps TB is after a 2nd referendum on himself.

    I voted to leave but its not the end of the world if we have to stay. I don’t like the idea of a 2nd referendum in so far as it stinks of a C17 jury being ordered by the Judge to come to the right decision and convict i.e. vote and vote again until you get the right result. Of course fingers up to that.

    I like even less May’s deal, which appears dead in the water. What would be unfair would be ether a three way vote (which would unfairly split one side), or a vote to stay or leave with no deal.

    It has been proposed that there should be a binary choice to leave or stay and if leave then a second choice as whether to leave with no deal or May’s deal. Superficially that looks as if it could swing it for leave, but I suspect would perversely result in the very worst ending i.e. May’s deal (unless it has been improved upon by then). Some remainers might vote to leave so as to be able to vote for the subsidiary question of May’s deal rather than no deal.

    I am not sure if quite agree with Craig’s reason for changing his mind, i.e. a realisation that decisions are illiberal. The EU elite is not new nor suddenly illiberal and a UK ambassador will have had a pretty good overview. But more than that it its the structure of the thing that gets me. There may be something to be said for the pragmatic emergence of organs of state and checks and balances (the British model) but one has to admit the the US had a good think about it and set up a robust good system. In EU it may be unfashionable to harp on about the US of Europe project, but it seems that is the plan and has been for a long time. I can’t really say if that is a good thing or a bad thing, but if it is going to happen then (1) its different to the US because of national diversity between states and (2) it needs a proper accountable set up not just to happen. So in the meanwhile I remain sceptical. Sceptical also because the elephant remains in the room. The elephant is the economy and how to get off the QE railroad and restore some semblance to economic normality: do we want to be part of the EU or not when the curtains are drawn and the elephant appears on the stage?

  • Ian Foulds

    Wow! As an ordinary punter, to use the vernacular, I applaud your rapier sharp observations but am sure the literati/political superior commenters will be trying to rubbish, yet again, your opinions

  • Athanasius

    Put not your trust in princes, Craig. That’s the problem with the modern concept of “human rights”: they come from human institutions, and what human institutions give, they can just as easily take back. The EU is a human institution. So is the UK, of course. Strange that there’s nothing the UK state can do which would surprise you, but the EU’s reaction to Catalonia was a kick in the ribs.

    • Tom Welsh

      “Strange that there’s nothing the UK state can do which would surprise you, but the EU’s reaction to Catalonia was a kick in the ribs”.

      It seems to me that Craig is an optimist – generally speaking a very good way to be.

      However it could mean that his lesser knowledge of the EU’s people and mechanisms might have led him to hope it would be better than London.

  • OperaTown

    This is a golden interview about Brexit, the UK and the EU. My post will no doubt get deleted, but I’m just trying to make sure all the information is out there so people can make balanced choices. Being aware of the EU’s primary purpose is important no?
    And here are some hilarious quotes, “Why we should leave the EU in their own words”. I love this Barosso guy, he’s properly in the club, now a big cheese at Goldman – rock on Jose, the guy must have been to some wild parties by now lol:

  • Casual Observer

    First referendum,
    Would you like to own a Rolls Royce motor car, yes, or no ?

    Second referendum,
    We’ve now worked out how much your new motor car will actually cost you, do you wish to proceed, yes, or no ?

    Although in fairness it would make more sense in any ”Peoples Referendum” to have a choice of maybe four options ranging from, no deal, through to staying in. Splitting the contestants into four or so groups is really the only way to go at this stage, it is after all how Democracy usually works, something along the lines of everybody getting what nobody wanted 🙂

    • Tony

      Correction: “Would you like to drive your own car? Or would you prefer to have someone you don’t know and didn’t choose, and who has the interests of many other road users at least equal with, and in some cases ahead of your own interests, drive your car for you?”

    • bj

      First referendum,
      Would you like to get rid of your Reliant Robin motor car, yes, or no ?

      Second referendum,
      We’ve now worked out how much your scrapped motor car will actually save you, do you wish to proceed, yes, or no ?

    • Tom Welsh

      @Casual Observer:

      I hear from the BBC that about the only position with little support in Parliament is a “no deal” Brexit – which I take to mean “leaving the EU”, which we voted for.

      The various “options” on offer seem to be “leaving the EU 5%”, “leaving the EU 7%”, “leaving the EU 23%”, etc.

      Whereas, by “leaving the EU” I meant “leaving the EU”. As in “leaving completely”, “shaking the dust off our feet”, etc.

  • Adrian Parsons

    “I remain incensed at the success of the elite in conning the deprived that their poverty is caused by immigrants, whereas it is caused by massive inequality of wealth.”

    1. Poverty is caused by the Capitalist mode of production, more specifically, the mechanism (supported by the juridico-political power of the State – in the last instance, the police/armed forces) whereby the surplus labour of the working class (intellectual and manual) is appropriated by the capitalist class. To say that poverty is caused by “massive inequality of wealth” is like saying “water causes rain” – it’s ‘sort of’ right, but explains nothing about how water gets into the atmosphere in the first place. Mutatis mutandis, “massive inequality of wealth” explains nothing about how that inequality originates.

    2. Liberals are quite prepared to accept the principle of supply and demand as a determinant of the price any commodities EXCEPT labour-power. Why? Simply because they will then be forced to admit that an over-supply of labour-power can and DOES reduce or, at best, stagnate wage levels which, in turn, violates their moral certitude that the white working class are nothing more than oafish, knuckle-scraping scum who only oppose open borders because of their innate racism.

  • Tom

    Tony Blair is a red herring here. The strongest support for military action in Iraq came from the same kind of Conservative politicians and their client media that have been baying the hardest for Brexit.
    It is not Blair’s role you should be looking at but the connections of the right-wing Tories and some of our newspapers with the US establishment, as well as Theresa May’s role as patsy.
    Blair was duped over Iraq (and if he were not so arrogant he would admit it) but that doesn’t mean he is wrong over Brexit.

    • Tony

      Utter rubbish! Blair was NOT duped over Iraq. Read the (hard-fought-for) historical evidence. It beggars belief that, after everything we’ve been through, people are still trying to whitewash Blair’s criminality.

      • giyane

        Blackmailed more than duped. We now live in an age of constant live recording and if any single one of us had the temerity to utter a syllable of truth, we’d soon find our minor follies and peccadilloes magnified and splashed across the media.

        This evening on Radio 4 the BBC had a slot about the British army, IRA and Loyalist murders in Northern Ireland. The BBC’s line was that the victim’s families wanted retribution against soldiers and others who shot civilians.. But soldiers are under strict command. They certainly didn’t travel to Northern Ireland for any mission of their own. We know now, from whistleblowers like Assange and Craig , that strategies of fear and tension are deliberately pursued by Western governments, which is why the BBC dwelt on the question of blame on individual soldiers. Prime afternoon listening, propaganda time.

        In my observation in Birmingham political Islam has found much in common with its sister community from Ireland. Both acknowledge the necessity of terrorism to achieve political ends. Both deny British government sponsorship of that terrorism, even though in the case of political Islam that was the purpose of torture-rendition-brainwashing IMHO. Both rely heavily on media propaganda to try to divert the blame for terrorist atrocities from the British government and from their terrorism and places it on the target who is to be removed, i.e. Assad in the case of Syria and the armies they control.

        God forbid the evil politicians sitting in Whitehall ever got accused of terror. Creeps like Blair do not appear from nowhere. They are acquired by the British intelligence services because they are easily persuaded to do silly things and gullible enough to do them. There is a constant stream of british government crimes that need to be whitewashed. Britain’s crimes carry on on a daily basis, the latest being Yemen. There are far more British government crimes being committed than patsies stupid enough to carry the can.

        This is where Auntie comes in, manipulating the blame away from the criminals onto their proxies and foot-soldiers, in prime middle-class , middle-age listening time, peeling the spuds as a modern house-husband and drunk on whatever skripal fantasy Auntie wants to feed them.

      • Tom Welsh


        Blair not only was not deceived – he kept sending back the intelligence summaries until they contained exactly the disinformation he insisted upon.

    • Dungroanin

      Yo Blair was not ‘duped’!
      He was one of the architects.
      He ordered the dodgy dossier, including the 45 minute scare.
      He lied to the country, the MP’s and in the Privy council.
      Even The Iraq Inquiry was unable to ignore his malfeasance.
      The ressurection of the ghoulish nazgul by their Sauron is aimed clearly and directly at tge current labour membership and their audacity to chose the current leadership that would deliver most peoples demands for publicly owned public services and an end to the privatisation of everything. That is the only reason for his posturing on brexit – it makes no difference to that because that is in the hands of the current government – held in place by the DUP hired gun majority.

  • John2o2o

    “I particularly bemoan the loss of Freedom of Movement which I believe to have been one of the greatest achievements of civilisation in my lifetime. I remain incensed at the success of the elite in conning the deprived that their poverty is caused by immigrants, whereas it is caused by massive inequality of wealth.”

    This is a small island. I don’t want this island to become filled with houses fit only for human habitation. The population of this island has been increasing for the past 200 years from about 5 million to 65 million.

    When will it be appropriate to have sensible limits on human traffic, Craig. When? When the Highlands are urbanised? When there are no fields left?

    Because at some point if you don’t set sensible limits this island will become an urban landscape. What will they eat? What will they drink? Food doesn’t grow on supermarket shelves. Water doesn’t come from taps.

    I want freedom of movement to be limited. And don’t you dare accuse me of xenophobia or worse. I just want this insane developers greed to be ended.

    • giyane


      It’s not that small. I’m going to wear out my tyres and engine travelling to Glasgow and back on xmas day. I could do with the UK being quite a lot smaller, especially on the Eastern side of the country where the road is little more than a country lane with pot-holes. When are we going to start growing what we need locally?
      For some reason best known to Western capitalists it makes more sense to them to raise the land prices in equally cold Poland by importing everything thing we need from thousands of miles away. I would love tariffs on imports because that’s the only thing that will ever persuade bonkers capitalists to grow local. once they’ve cracked how to do it, they can stop invading other countries to pinch their oil.

      • Tom Welsh


        “It’s not that small. I’m going to wear out my tyres and engine travelling to Glasgow and back on xmas day. I could do with the UK being quite a lot smaller, especially on the Eastern side of the country where the road is little more than a country lane with pot-holes”

        If you find out how much farm land it takes to feed one person adequately, healthily and sustainably; and then find out how much farm land there is under cultivation today, and how much of what appears to be “empty” land is unsuitable for farming; you will be quite surprised.

        “When are we going to start growing what we need locally?”

        Now that is the right question to ask. The answer is “not any time soon”, because the people who run the huge corporations don’t care at all whether the rest of us are hungry, malnourished, or actually starving. Just as long as they keep collecting more and more money, which is nothing more than a status symbol to them.

        During the World Wars the British government did a good job of providing enough food for all the inhabitants of Britain. Even when little could be imported due to submarine warfare, etc., there was enough to go round – and of the right kinds to maintain health.

        Immediately after WW2, perhaps in the belief that such a war would never happen again, all attempts at self-sufficiency were dropped in favour of “efficiency” (i.e. profits).

        If Britain were once again to produce all the food needed by its people, it would have several very good effects. (One of which would be a realisation of how hard it is to feed 60 million-plus people).

        It would also be good to give up the vile factory farming, put cows back in grassy fields, sheep on grassy hillsides, pigs in orchards and hens and turkeys wherever they could forage; and to grow multiple interdependent plant species in small, individually-cultivated kitchen gardens.

        Very much like what the French have always aspired to.

  • Christopher Dale Rogers

    @Craig Murray,

    Thank you CM for such wise words and always glad you have come to accept many of the concerns we on the Left have had with the EU dating back to the GFC in 2008, these economic responses at both the Commission & the ECB have resulted in a growth of fascism, which we should all fear.

    Its heartening that you now recognise that us Leftwingers anguished about the direction the EU has taken were not driven my immigration concerns, which as you are aware have been used by Blue Labour and the Right to facilitate fears and ensure folks look away from the real causes of their economic plight, namely huge inequality.

    As for the so called People’s Vote, as far as I; aware its a gift to the Tories and undermines, rather than facilitates democracy here in the UK, this based on the fact that the 2016 Referendum Result has yet to be acted upon, as such, not only would a People’s Vote rescind the 2016 Vote, it would cause far more social divisions, which presently are acute.

    Now, if a People’s Vote was not bad enough, we now have criminals pushing said vote and undermine the duly elected Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal opposition, which of course is causing further tensions within the Labour party, which is its intent, namely to prevent Corbyn from ever entering Number 10, we know this because of all those who are pushing it.

    As for Ms Lucas, well, if Labour ain’t a happy ship, I must confess neither is the Green Party, many senior members have left and many general members think the obsession with Brexit is detrimental to the actual ecological principle if was actually founded upon – Brexit will have a real economic impact, but that does not threaten an actual existential threat to either the UK, or the planet, on the other hand Global Warming and continued environmental degradation most certainly do threaten our existence, so Brexit has proved a boon to those who just plunder away as the Greens focus all energy on Brexit and a People’s Vote.

    With regards Scotland’s future, and despite Brexit being a UK-wide vote, I take no exception to desires for Scottish indolence and will support the will of the people should they desire to leave the grasp of Westminster. although I don’t fancy being part of a rump UK dominated by England with a Tory government at Westminster, already being Tories out as I am.

    Again, a timely article covering important points which may have been considered a little earlier in this political cycle, nonetheless, they’ve now been made and at least have given me something to dwell upon.

    • Iain Stewart

      “I take no exception to desires for Scottish indolence”
      A man after ma ain hairt, aye!

      • giyane

        Indolent, Not a doulos, greek for slave. Independence is a totally unnecessarily long and latinate word for freedom. Language just needs to evolve, and autocorrect is the catalyst for that change.

    • Blunderbuss

      @Christopher Dale Rogers

      “As for Ms Lucas, well, if Labour ain’t a happy ship, I must confess neither is the Green Party”.

      I am a former member of the Green Party but I left, mainly because I don’t believe in man-made global warming so I felt I was an embarrassment to them.

      Aside from that, there is an internal contradiction in the Green Party. They have a “site here to sell here” policy (which I agree with) but this is at odds with their enthusiasm for the European Union, which is all about free trade.

      • Christopher Dale Rogers


        Concur with you, Global Warming is a fact, what’s at question is the impact man has made to exacerbate this, so it was good to hear Jeremy Corbyn’s brother actually discuss this on George Galloway’s talk radio show a few weeks ago.

        However, we do face an existential crisis as a species, with over population and environmental destruction on a massive scale being the primary drivers, thus addressing Capitalism would help, together with reducing population numbers over the course of 4 or 5 generations, if we don’t do then nature most certainly will, i.e., environmental degradation will drive massive famine, or some Virus will kill us off, and that’s before we even begin addressing the impact of rising sea levels – all complex.

        Obviously, the Elites answer is to have a Third World War with Russia and China and they can then all live happily in New Zealand, whilst we are ashes!

        • Dungroanin

          Tch tch Christopher, just as I was thinking you were a straight arrow too! You have failed my litmus test.

          It is no coincidence that the malthusian bogey is being raised across a few boards then.

          For any who would buy into such nonsense i suggest a study of populations and the Bell curve.

          For a scientific and statistical analysis please listen to a few lectures by the late great Professor Hans Rosling.

          Have you CDR?

          As for the green party I never got past the posh boy Porritt’s deployment to the cause – identity politics and split of the socialist vote.

        • bj

          Jeremy Corbyn’s brother had been debunked right there, in GG’s show.
          Manmade global warming is a fact.
          Some small powerless portion of the population that cannot accept that is unimportant.

          • Blunderbuss

            I think what bj means is this:

            1) Piers Corbyn gives his global warming theory
            2) Mr Alarmist gives his global warming theory
            3) bj labels theory (2) as fact and theory (1) as fiction

  • Chris Fraser

    Your life is very different to the lives of the working class, many of whom have been unemployed, undercut and otherwise undermined by EU free movement which is primarily designed by EU neoliberals to facilitate the lowering of workers wages. You don’t have to compete with desperate cheap workers from Eastern Europe who may be younger, smarter, stronger or prettier than you. Try talking to some workers on a few building sites if you want to understand free movement – because you’re clearly out of your depth…

    • giyane

      Chris Fraser.

      Some anger-managers prefer noisy foreigners on building sites. It makes them look cool and in control. I can’t hack it and many Muslims opt for quieter jobs in security which is about as boring as anything . The corporate world has no respect for a person’s skills and character. they too need to exercise total control over people much more competent than themselves. Craig’s point is a good one, that we suffer more from despicable treatment by power-mad managers than from the antics of foreigners, but we have to obey the sods in charge and the foreigners get the blame for our injured pride.

      I think Craig knows very well what it’s like to be disrespected by managers who refuse to listen to commonsense, and I think he recognises that we all have a tendency to take out our anger at being abused by self-important little jobsworths at work on foreigners, who aren’t the main problem.

      The fact that foreigners are allowed to be noisy and we aren’t, allowed to make mistakes and we’re not, is just part of a managers’ bullying game. But it is usually the managers way of playing games with us while the foreigners have been deliberately brought in to force us to accept worse conditions and lower pay.

      Managers are to blame not foreigners. They are taught how to do it in management schools.

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