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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  • Not

    EU is showing more and more what it is made of. As someone who has lived in Europe since before accession even, well the “lack of” freedom of movement was not a big problem previously, it was not welcoming either. The result was responsibility of nations towards their nationals, and a certain sense of exception enjoyed by expats. I’m British so will note that this familiar service is now gone, the FCO ( and @UKGOV) are MIA, citizen services are delegated back to the UK, and you are as likely to be given a list of lawyers on a pre-printed slip from behind a bullet proof desk than any form of advice – in fact the consular staff will involve themselves in very little, they will not give written replies to questions for example, but just a receipt that you were present in their offices.

    The EU superficiality as replacement to the old order has turned to dictate via an incoherent international framework, innaccessible to most citizens. It is a corrupt shambles and a chaos, only held together by lingering goodwill in the populations, and sideshows such as “Brexit as presented” that would make even Benny Hill seem positively academic.

    Brexit should allow at least the British to eventually concentrate on demanding and obtaining responsibility from their own leaders and government. What would they all do if they were not zipping between London and Brussels as if it held the only functioning toilet in christendom ?

    Something actually constructive maybe.

    • giyane

      Not
      You or I are unlikely ever to be in the shoes of a losing gambler in a posh casino. the last labour government paid all the gambling debts run up by the Thatcher marketites, and the current ragbag that took over have run up as many gambling debts again, seeing how to get Labour to pick up all the bills. Those trips to the brussels toilets might be just playing for time before handing the poisoned chalice back to Corbyn.
      Tory borrowing in the last 8 years has doubled what they inherited from Brown. Corbyn is cleverly avoiding the blocked toilet at No 10. Let the Tories pay for their own gambling mistakes. and unblock their own drains.
      A banking crash on a Tory watch is basically unthinkable. Hence the need to condone Kashoggi and Yemen and Syria in order to keep paying the bills.

    • Paul Greenwood

      UK was always odd-man out. Freedom of Movement was effective in EEC since you did not require a Work Permit pre Lisbon and pre-Maastricht. A Residence Permit was required and registration required Employer and Rental Contract, the latter was not possible without bank account and income. So the Control was through Residence Permit and Registration within 90 days of living in an hotel or hostel.

      UK does not register Residents nor ID cards. In fact UK Nationals in Europe must carry Passports plus Registration Document and cannot access Age Restricted Netflix movies since they lack an Electronic ID card, nor can they use Online Government Services lacking as they do an Electronic ID card.

      The Uk created the mess for itself and Blair-Brown deliberately exacerbated the Immigration Problem by opening the borders and inviting EU Accession States to send their excess to the UK which is how UK acquired 200,000 Roma and a similar number of Somalis expelled from Netherlands for Benefit Fraud. Even Victoria Climbie died as a result of a Benefits Fraudster using her for welfare fleeing French investigators to UK. UK even takes in Islamist preachers Germany expels as terrorist activists and makes Leicester his home.

      UK is a country extraordinarily badly run and you are forced to ask Cui Bono ?

      • SA

        Paul
        You stated:
        “Problem by opening the borders and inviting EU Accession States to send their excess to the UK which is how UK acquired 200,000 Roma and a similar number of Somalis expelled from Netherlands for Benefit Fraud. “
        A sort of unnuanced statement you expect to hear from Nigel Farage or worse. Where is the evidence of the 200000 Roma? And did Bulgaria and Romania send their excesses? What people count as excess? Your devaluation of whole categories of people is blatantly racist I am afraid.
        The effect of export of these excesses on countries like Bulgaria has been devastating, a country now that can’t even maintain its agriculture and is useful to us only as a forward NATO base against Russia. Even Poland did not send us their excesses but highly qualified people without whom the maintainable sector would be struggling.
        The truth is that this immigration has benefitted Britain for the sake of the moneyed class but this was a deliberate policy. To reduce this to simplictic devaluing of people is I a am afraid playing into the hands of hard eight Brexiters.

        • Andyoldlabour

          @SA,

          In 2017, there were 411,000 Romanians and 69,000 Bulgarians in the UK. These are of course the ones they know about – officially employed.

      • Brexiter

        We are seeing France increasingly send its 6m pool of algerian,moroccan and west african colonial sins across the channel and its going to be much more damage than the 300k somalis,etc given EU travel documentation and stealthily transferred into the UK by northern europe. The tory government has been fast asleep and there is no reason to doubt a great arab tide of aggrieved EU hijabis will be similarly admitted to an easily accessed benefits system. But there may be a more insidious cui bono reason behind this incompetence. The alliance between sugars and salafis is a bit puzzling to say the least, unless the plan is to hand over a Tfl bus driving franchise to the white helmets !!

        • giyane

          ” the alliance between what? and salafis ”

          The Uk is gasping like a goldfish at its defeat in the Great Game in Syria. in which the UK has continuously deployed violent , terrorist, nihilist, criminals to pre-destroy territory they want to colonise. I came across them personally and they robbed me, through their lies, of a house I owned on behalf of my children. Criminal liars will never be allowed to succeed, neither the British criminal government, nor its criminal Islamist proxies Erdogan and his Islamic state, all falsely purporting to represent Islam.

          Right now if it wasn’t for Brexit making a black smokescreen to bury bad news about their defeat in the Great Game, criminal prosecutions would be being prepared against recent war-crimes by previous and currently serving members of the British parliament.

          Brexit is just an armchair thrown in the path of justice and both Labour and Tory parties will get tazered.

  • Glasshopper

    As far as a “people’s vote” goes. Remain would probably win and the result would be considered illegitimate by the other half of the country. Game on for ref 3.

    I find it strange that remainers are talking about a 2nd ref as a solution to the problem when it is plain as day that it would make things much worse. A new cross party pro Brexit party is already being talked about to take on the 3rd ref after a People’s vote win for remain. And that is precisely what would happen. Such a party would pick up a million members within days of a Remain win and become the largest political party in Europe within a week.

    Meanwhile the EU would not welcome back the UK as a prodigal, but see it as even more of a threat than before with one foot out the door. And let’s not forget the elephant in the room. The EU has made it clear in the last 2 years that they are determined to push federalisation way beyond where most 2016 remain voters wish to go.

    Never mind the leavers, It is time for remainers to decide what sort or remain they want. Because our position of June 2016 is no longer an option.

    • Paul Greenwood

      Since there needs to be “Punch” and “Judy” to make things work in UK, no doubt “Punch” would be lavishly funded by BBC/Treasury/Assorted Millionaires. and “Judy” would be banned from presenting itself since it is “Russian backed”, “Racists”, “Homophobic” and the children of any supporters would be denied School places as happened to AfD politicians in Berlin.

      So why not scrap a Second Referendum and simply have the House of Commons declare it null and void and pass a Resolution declaring Black to be White and Moon to be made of green cheese ?

    • sc

      I’m not convinced that remain would win, I know people who voted both ways, and I don’t know anyone who has changed their mind since.

      Some people have convinced themselves that they know why people voted leave (Facebook ads, Brexit Bus, lies and money spent on Leave campaign, or simply a protest vote) but I’m not sure they actually talked to people about their reasons, nobody I know had any of those reasons.

      But maybe there are enough people who see the chaos now and think maybe better stay in after all … not sure ….

      We are not even getting better information after two years of this, same old nebulous scaremongering from all sides.

      • Mary Paul

        .My sister remains convinced people voted Brexit because of the Brexit bus…..she refuses to discuss the impact of the mass migration of people from East to West Europe on the depopulated countries they are leaving behind….when I asked about where the Germans will sell their cars once the UK and US markets become difficult to access, she said they already had a replacement market in China sewn up……..

        • Deb O'Nair

          One of the triggers for “the mass migration of people from East to West Europe” was the EU sanctions imposed on Russia at the repeated insistence of the UK/US over the consequences of the fascist coup orchestrated by the US (Victoria Nuland at the US State Dept.) and UK (Baroness Catherine Ashton as EU rep. for foreign affairs). East European economies which relied on trade with Russia nose dived. Another prime example of the UK, running obediently behind the US, causing problems and then blaming it on the EU. Exactly the same modus opearndi as when creating millions of war refugees from Syria and Yemen, and turning Libya into a failed state run by armed gangs of people traffickers.

          • michael norton

            The Americans have been trying to encircle Russia for over one hundred years and defenestrate them since the war.
            Alaska, the Philippines, the Korean Penninsular, Japan, Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and now Ukraine and other ex-Soviet states.
            Ukraine is virtually broken, yet it should be thriving, in many of these cases, the aim is to reduce trade with Russia, hoping it will collapse in on itself, this is of course war.

  • John Stone

    I think we might also add in the EU’s copyright reform which is designed to run ordinary citizens off the internet.

    • James

      Indeed. A truly awful piece of legislation that will be a gift to copyright trolls.

      And you could add GDPR and the EAW too. Misconceived sledgehammers to crack tiny nuts.

      And the 2015 Firearms Directive, a bureaucratic shambles, which will do nothing to inconvenience the terrorists that it was supposed to target.

      The thread that runs through all of this is a myopic and out of touch bureaucracy dominated by vested interests, which the EP is totally unable to hold to account.

  • Dave

    You have to question corruption in this country and just how far you can get with a big enough bag of cash. After the EU ref the was hardly a sound of interest in a 2nd one, we then had an election months later where a party ran solely on having a second ref and hardly a dog barked in support of them, their vote dropping off the scales.
    Then a rebranding and shed loads of cash and after two years of their representatives being guest on all politics TV & radio shows we now get to this. The is no support in this from the public, naturally, they have a pond of 16 million to fish in so why would 700k of them turning up on a bright sunny day mean anything? We are being railroaded into staying in the EU against the democratic vote.
    The will be bloodshed if they get away with it, riots in the street akin to France, mark my words.

    • Glasshopper

      I don’t think there will be much violence. There will be a 3rd referenedum after a couple of years of mayhem caused by a new cross party political movement (see my post above). There will also be growing problems in the EU which make it look less and less appealing.

      In my view, historians will look back on the “people’s vote” as a delaying tactic that kept us hanging around in the EU for a couple of extra years, but ultimately failed to stop the split.

      The bottom line is that our trade with the EU is flat lining, while it is increasing globally. Eventually, even Remainosaurs will see which way the wind is blowing.

      • michael norton

        Russia has between 1/4 and 1/3 of all the World’s resources, yet the Americans will not let us trade with Russia, this is a massive down for the U.K. economy.

        • Paul Greenwood

          Prior to 1913 Russia had the fastest growing economy in Europe and Siemens had near monopoly on railway systems and lighting and UK exports depended on Russia well into 1917 – yes there were exports of textile machines from Yorkshire to Russia even during WW1. English was the language at the Russian Court pre-1914

          The loss of Russia as a major market after 1917 is what destroyed the European Economy. It is why The Mahan Strategy is to block trade with Russia to stop Germany and France being a land bridge to China. The weaker Europe is the better for the USA to have Full-Spectrum Dominance

          • Tatyana

            It was more than 100 years ago, Paul. Let’s look at contemporary projects.
            We all can do simple math, it is easy to calculate:
            Nord Stream-2 ensures $2,1 transit cost v. $2,5 Ukrainian transit (price for 1000 cubic meters transitted per 100 kilometers).
            Nord Stream-2 goes alongside the already existing Nord Stream -1, no worries about ecology, everything is checked for the first pipeline and tested during operation.
            Gas turbine’s efficiency is about 60 per cent v. 40 of those working with coal, also CO2 emission is 14 per cent less.

            USA demands from the EU to stop Nord Stream-2.
            Thanks God, Germans are good at Math too.

    • Kerch'eee Kerch'ee Coup

      Dry-stone walling is a skill of many rural Bulgarians and other Balkan dwellers .I know several who have worked in Welsh Wales and got the basics of yr hen iath.I presume the new Kosovo Army,formed contrary to undertakings, will be brought into NATO so perhaps the squaddies should learn and use Albanian. That should really confound and confuse those Serbs.

  • FranzB

    CM – “Today we have a completely deranged – even by Nick Cohen’s standards – attack on Jeremy Corbyn in the Guardian/Observer, on this issue”

    Cohen’s derangement is off the scale in his article. If his main thesis was correct (that Corbyn wants the working class to suffer), then presumably Corbyn would be in favour of a no deal brexit. In fact what Corbyn wants is a Brexit with a customs union plus single market deal.

    It’s impossible to take Cohen’s article seriously, so what is the point of it? And how on earth can the editor at the Observer possibly justify including it in the paper? Cohen’s article belongs on Infowars not in the Observer.

    Quote from Cohen’s article:-

    “His Stop the War coalition was founded by Trotskyists from the Socialist Workers party and Islamists, ….”.

    • Paul Greenwood

      Cohen is very odd. In the beginning he was interesting but in recent years he gives the sense of a man beset with treatment for mental ailments ins rancid fanaticism

    • Dungroanin

      Unadulterated hasbara vitriol – like a rabid dog. Should not be approached. He will not respond to kind words or treats. Swivveleyed and spewing poisonous foam at the mouth.
      He don’t care. Editor don’t care. Board doesn’t care. The whole Obsessive groaning beast has been taken down the kamikaze route – knowing it will end with its destruction (inevitable since the NoW closed, Morrdorrk insists on an eye for an eye).

      Send for an Atticus Finch with a steady hand and a sharp eye, time to put the demented beast down and save the remaining readers from a horrible affliction.

  • Wikikettle

    Both May and a military member of COBRA have said in public they would never allow JC to become PM.
    The privatisation of the secret services is as mad as those in other civil sectors. I cant see the difference between the EU and NATO. Both supported the wars. The French “Spring” is going to spread and attempts will be made by the right to co opt the high viz brand. How can Scotland be independent without its own currency ? How many people born abroad with Scottish links will want the new passport/citizenship ? Will NATO, USA, the deep state in UK and EU allow Scotland to remove WMD ? I have no Scottish blood or any links, yet would consider moving north of the border. Would I be allowed ? Would a new independent Scotland be welcoming, cosmopolitan, WMD free, NATO free and non sectarian and non Nationalist, especially in a economic crash. I was lucky living in cosmopolitan London but fear a return to the 30’s and the rise of Fascism caused by economic collapse. The elite will always promote Nationalism to preserve power. I am bitter at the role played by the MSM and Blairite Labour MP’s to paint JC with their lies. It was they who caused all these wars, refugees and economic and moral decay. Do the people deserve the likes of Julian, Craig and Jeremy ? They have no excuse in the near future when it all goes tits up. I doubt I can sail away to a new Scotland, but will dream on.

    • Decline to State

      To: Wikikettle
      December 17, 2018 at 00:07
      Link would be useful to these public statements:
      “Both May and a military member of COBRA have said in public they would never allow JC to become PM.”

      • Wikikettle

        Colonel Richard Kemp. Express article 23/8/15
        I also heard Kemp on a radio programme saying the the same.
        May quote from Talk Radio Galloway Show 14/12/18

  • exiled off mainstreet

    I would think that both the fact that Blairite war criminals are leading the “Remain” efforts for a second referendum along with the support of fascism in Catalonia should make Ambassador Murray, whom I respect as a brilliant, moral, honourable man, see clearly that, though the idea of a European Union might have virtues, what has happened has been a disaster. The fact is, even Scotland should change its tune, since an advanced mixed economy program of the sort Socialist parties supported 30-70 years ago because of its benefit to the general welfare, is not possible under the Eurocrat’s regime. I think Blair and the rest of the corrupt element will, as Murray perhaps surmises, poison the remain element. Meanwhile, other factors such as the unrest in France and how the EU intends to deal long-term with Italy makes the European Union as it exists now, a flawed model which will have to be replaced.

  • Brian MacLeod

    After seeing the way the Greece crisis was handled by the EU, I too lost my enthusiasm for the EU.

    Not to the extent of voting Leave though because unlike our Union within the UK, in the EU we would have a voice and would be listened to.

    • Paul Greenwood

      Greece was betrayed by Tsipiras who has been a perfect turncoat. Then again I have seen how Greek Officials work inside EU Institutions and run a “network of influence” for their own and corrupt recruiting processes. Greece was betrayed by Greeks INSIDE the EU Apparatus

      • Reg

        It is too simplistic to suggest that this was exclusively Greece being betrayed internally by its political class including Syriza. After all the EU has often used to ECB to get the financial markets to discipline errant members. As member countries cannot create currency as only the ECB can, member countries borrow in what is effectively foreign currency, so any suggestion that the ECB will not stand behind a countries debt (such as with QE or rolling over the debt when it becomes not possible on the open market) encourages speculators to sell its bonds causing the interest rate at which this country borrows to the point where it is unpayable and can no longer roll over its debt when its bonds mature.

        Central Banks also have another central duty other than inflation targeting to control inflation by changing interest rate it will lend to banks, acting as the lender of last resort to private banks. In a normal monetary system the central bank and government borrowing are on the same regional basis, only in the Eurozone does this happen on different levels, so member countries central banks cannot act as the leader of last resort to its private banks and are dependent on the ECB to do this, (as banks never hold enough liquid assets to pay all of its depositors at the same time).

        The ECB that has no democratic accountability has threatened member countries with withdrawing liquidity from private banks of member countries not following EU dictate on economic policy.The ECB withdrew liquidity from Greek Banks during the Greek referendum and threatened Ireland if it did not bail out its private banks and tried to use financial markets to discipline Italy’s populist Government. This is not to excuse Syriza, but they were put under intolerable pressure, which the structure of the EU made difficult to resist and impossible to reform. Syriza did not approach the EU with the level of cynicism required, whatever the present Italian governments many faults the right wing government may have the level of cynicism required and a level of support among right wing populist governments in the EU. It is unfortunate that the left cannot match this because if the left cannot supply an effective to EU imposed austerity, the far right are all too willing to do so.

        • Dungroanin

          Excellent Reg – except for one misperception, the present Italian government is not exclusively ‘right-wing’ – it is a coalition – comprised of the Fivestar grassroots movement representing the majority of the country and the rightists of the north (they are mostly ideological opposites)

          A compromise agreed by 5star to achieve national government for the first time in it’s short life, rather then having an imposed technocracy if they didn’t compromise with the rightists. So far so stable.

          The next Italian election should see the 5Star-ers extend their success into the fascists northern strongholds. Matteo is showing his lunacy to his own voters as expected of a neocon pawn.

      • Sharp Ears

        and Goldman Sachs, never forget.

        They are in the frame for more dodgy dealing.

        Abu Dhabi sues Goldman Sachs over ‘central role’ in bribery scam
        US investment bank Goldman Sachs has been accused by an Abu Dhabi sovereign-wealth fund of playing a key role in an international corruption scandal and enabling bribes to former top executives at the fund.
        https://www.rt.com/business/444615-goldman-sued-abu-dhabi-fund/

  • Jo Alexander

    I was among the 700,000 honouring an undertaking to accompany a friend with whom I have a long and close relationship somewhat fractured by our disagreeing about Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour Party – I am a whole-hearted supporter recently joined; she, with her husband, a long-term member who feels side-lined by recent developments. I voted Remain but on that Saturday felt increasingly alienated by the realisation that I was keeping company with Umuna and Soubry et al. When a mocking chant of Where’s Jeremy Corbyn started my hackles rose but my companion was amused which about sums up the gap between us. My own feeling about the Brexit fiasco has been overshadowed since the General Election by my feeling that the absolute necessity is to rid ourselves of this disastrous government. Blair’s attempt to ride the Brexit wave is yet another irritant and as for his New Labour cronies…and Nick Cohen – I cancelled my weekend subscription to the Guardian/Observer and his vitriol was one of the reasons. Thanks for this blog and please keep blogging.

    • Dungroanin

      You are correct – your friend is not.
      If they read only the hard copy of the paper instead of the web – they will have missed the comments – the trolls, the real people, the censorship and banishment of many regulars.
      They are hanging onto a corpse like a demented wild animal mother with a dead baby. It is pitiful but you can’t do anything to make them see that they should move on.
      Good luck. Be patient. Keep digging for and sharing the truth.

  • John

    Essentially political movements such as the second referendum campaign need acceptable figureheads. Many still hold Blair in high regard. He was a very successful leader whatever his shortcomings. ‘War Criminal’ is going too far to be credible and bordering on liable against any private individual.

    • Tony

      Blair IS a war criminal. Even the half-hearted enquiry exposed this fact. He just hasn’t been sent to trial yet, because he is being protected by the Establishment that he served (and continues to serve) so well.

    • Carl

      Blair committed the ultimate war crime as defined by the western powers at Nuremberg – the act of aggressive war. And he did so on the basis of a tissue of fabrications. Hundreds of thousands were killed as a result and Isis was brought into being. There is little scope for arguing he is not a war criminal.

    • MaryPau!

      What “many” is that and where are they? Not in the UK. My large extended family contains all political views from extreme left and to extreme right as well as card carrying members of the Tory and Labour party. There are avid Remainders and avid Brexiteers. Every single one, male and female, is united in regarding Tony Blair as a unscrupulous, lying, confidence trickster who did untold damage to the UK while Prime Minister. And that is being polite.

    • Beth

      ‘Many still hold Blair in high regard’ —-What is your definition of the word ‘many’ ? Apart from the Blairites in Labour who on earth holds Blair in high regard . I think his approval rating is 2% , which I suppose is quite high for say a mass murderer.

    • Tom Welsh

      “Many still hold Blair in high regard”.

      I am reminded of an amusing episode in Justin Hill’s novel “Shield Wall”, where a very nasty treacherous jarl who has consistently sold out all his friends and peers for money comes to King Cnut at a feast and publicly reproaches him. “You promised, Lord King, to raise me high above all men. When will you make good that promise?”

      To which Cnut good-humouredly bawls to his guards, “Take this man out and hang him from the highest tree you can find”.

      General mirth…

      In those days, men were men and treacherous snivelling backstabbing curs got what they deserved.

    • SA

      It was not the only big crime that Blair committed. He presided, together with Brown, in the laissez-faire control of the banks that has led to the crash of 2007-2008, and it would have been within his competence to make sure this did not happen. But New Labour was busy making sure that the filthy rich, as Mandelson called them, would only get richer. Also Blair did not act as an honest broker in being a peace envoy to the ME.

  • Chris Barclay

    The likes of Blair lead the campaign for a second referendum because the EU in its current form is their sort of organisation: undemocratic, bureaucratic and corrupt. At least Nick Clegg is too busy at Facebook helping the US corporate media fight off their critics on social media to get involved.

    My view was that Corbyn missed a trick in 2016. He should have supported the EU on condition that it was fundamentally reformed by a new Treaty. He would now be leading a left-wing populist campaign throughout the EU.

    The 2005 election showed how few Labour voters cared enough about the Iraq War to not vote for the War Criminal. Similarly, on the pro-EU march there would have been a large number of people who like the EU for its lack of democracy and bureaucracy. A self-selecting and self-supporting clique who don’t want to be questioned as to how they spend public funds. People who like the obscurity that quangoes bring. Well paid executives of charities who receive most of their money from the government and whose main function is now to lobby that same government. Employees and directors of financial companies who like the ECB as it is – as unaccountable as the German Government with whom they run the EU. What is remarkable about the pro-EU rallies is how few BAME people they attract despite holding the rally in a city where the BAME population is in the millions.

    • Reg

      The problem is reform of the EU is not a credible position. All major changes to EU treaties require after the qualified majority voting to also be ratified by member countries. Also in the European parliament the countries with the largest population have the largest number of votes, the country with the largest number of votes of any single country in the EU parliament is Germany. Debt is also used by the stronger countries to control the weaker countries. So no reform is going to occur with German opposition, and recent statement by German political leaders indicate no support in the German Political class for reform of the EU that does not include extending control of members budgets by the EU. The Tokias projections of Greece having to run austerity/a primary surplus up to the 2060s and the rejection of the Italian budget by the EU despite the rise of the far right and the fracturing of the EU with right wing populist governments indicate a total inability to reform or learn from history, and any belief in reform of the EU is mere delusion.

      Has evens Macrons limited attempts at EU reform never mind Greek attempts at reform had any success at all? If 10 yrs of economic crisis have not produced any tangible EU reform, nothing will other than its disintegration. How is the support by a opposition leader for a reform agenda that does not exist and has not been defined and has no support in the EU other than countries in debt peonage to the EU credible? The Italian governments opposition to EU imposed austerity having tangible policies such as a social wage and being in power and being the 4th largest economy in the EU is a far more credible leader of opposition to EU imposed austerity than Corbyn who is not even part of the ruling government, (this is not to criticise Corbyn who has been undermined by the neo-liberal pro EU PLP and understands the EU’s limited capacity for reform ). If Corbyn supported such a position, the inevitable failure of such a program would destroy Corbyn’s credibility and leave to door open for the far right.

      Here is a copy of the Lisbon Treaty, read it and tell me the mechanism by which this can be reformed without German support, never mind unanimity?

      http://en.euabc.com/upload/books/lisbon-treaty-3edition.pdf

      https://carnegieeurope.eu/2018/07/19/eu-reform-does-everything-have-to-change-for-things-to-remain-same-pub-76871

      “Germany rejects idea of joint euro bonds after Macron victory”
      https://www.reuters.com/article/us-france-election-germany-idUSKBN18412U

      “France and Germany Far Apart on EU Reform”
      http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/macron-and-merkel-not-in-agreement-on-eu-reform-a-1213650.html

      • Brian c

        Very true Reg. Despite those realities, Paul Mason is going round insisting that Corbyn could completely transform the EU with Spanish and Portuguese help. Confirms my view of Mason as a very suspicious figure.

  • Rhys Jaggar

    Freedom of Movement is a middle class luxury, Mr Murray. At the lower end of the wages scale, it is an instrument to drive down wages, bringing in those whose home country has house prices 10% of those in rural England. Just imagine buying a family home for £30,000 in Bulgaria or Romania and competing on wages for those whose monthly rent is five times your mortgage payment. Of course you can accept lower wages, as you send home child benefit to the child back home living off the UK state. Have you heard of the Romanian Govt paying housing benefit to British workers for their wife and kids back in Sunderland, Newcastle, Castle Bromwich or wherever? Of course not. You have your gold plated FCO pension: why would you worry about things like that??

    The orher thing about free movement gone mad is infrastructure and housing? No way do low paid immigrants pay vaguely enough tax to cover housing costs, school costs, NHS costs and more. It is absolute lies saying that they do. Housing costs will be £3-5,000 a year for starters, forget all the rest. You need to earn £25-30,000 a year before you pay enough tax to cover one other family.

    Every time a migrant takes a job which makes someone already here unemployed, you have their housing costs, social security costs etc etc. What has happened is an employer has cut their costs by £3,000 a year and landed the State with a bill of £5-10,000+ a year in associated costs. The private/public sector has behaved selfishly and irresponsibly but is not sanctioned for having done so.

    I am strongly of the opinion that Free Movement titans put their money where their mouth is and house an immigrant family/pay the costs of their housing. You want them here, you welcome them here. Display Hogmanay hospitality 52 weeks a year. It will make you feel much better and it will make the Chancellor feel much better too.

    I am sure clamours will decrease fairly soon once that is enacted. Amazing how quickly those of principle lose their principles once they have to open their wallets.

    • James

      Rich people have always had Freedom of Movement.

      Stripping UK citizens of this right (one of May’s “big wins” we are told) will hurt ordinary people without special skills the most.

      Because they will soon have no chance at all of travelling to EU countries to see what work they can find. They won’t have a cat in Hell’s chance of getting visas/work permits.

    • Mr Shigemitsu

      In pure economic terms, your “usefulness” to the nation is measured in what you are able to produce and consume, and not what amount of taxation is imposed on the transactions in which you happen to participate.

      Taxation in the UK (and most other non-Eurozone economies) simply drains away excess govt currency, so that the whole public spending cycle can continue year-on-year, without causing the massive inflation that would result if that continuous flow of spending went untaxed.

      There’s no virtue in someone paying more tax than anyone else, it only reflects their involvement in larger or more frequent transactions.

  • MaryPau!

    I cannot imagine why Blair and his small clique of supporters should think they carry any political clout. Blair must be, by a long shot, the most despised living politician in the UK today, hated by both Left and Right.

    • michael norton

      Tony Blair is most reviled by Labour party members.
      It must be a plot to discredit peoples vote.

    • laguerre

      “Blair must be, by a long shot, the most despised living politician in the UK ”

      Isn’t that Cameron and/or May? At least Blair didn’t destroy the country.

      • Mary Paul

        No Blair by miles. Depends on your definition of destroy the country. Who opened our borders to the EU from the outset, something he still advocates BTW. This is the origin of our current EU situation.

        • Tony

          Blair was described on another forum I read as “A man who is slightly less popular than Gary Glitter.”

      • SA

        “At least Blair didn’t destroy the country.”
        Close call. Blair presided over the light touch regulation that led to the crises of 2007-2008.

    • Tom Welsh

      It is a standing reproach to the UK’s claim to be a country ruled by law that Blair is at liberty. If he could not be hanged as he deserves, he ought at the very least to be in prison for life without parole.

  • .Peter

    Re: freedom of movement. it is meant for citizens of Europe, since when has it been extended to immigrants?
    I am an immigrant to Canada and back to Europe, Portugal, and in both cases I had to go through a process of being permitted to enter as a resident.
    Since when does any immigrant have the right to enter any country by just showing up at the doorsteps clamouring for access? Since when does any Nation NOT have the right to control who and where from any immigrant enters their country?
    Since when is it good policy NOT to control who enters the country as a resident?
    Is Mr. Murray really so naive to believe they are all good and straight up folks knocking at the doors of Europe?
    Is all this because most European countries unlike Canada have no immigration policies, setting numbers and conditions who can and who cannot enter? they lack an effective immigration policy?

  • pierre

    I have a lot of time for your analysis, CM, but sometime things seem to get a bit out of hand. You speak in pejorative terms of “the media are whipping up a climate of extreme division”, and then you seem to be whipping up the same extremist response by referring to “the deeply odious Chuka Umunna”. and then lumping in eight UK politicans under the general description of “the most detested and discredited politicians in the UK”. Hardly a nuanced approach, and one even that is the more likely to encourage a divisive and extreme position.

    • Makropulos

      For Craig to describe those figures as “detested” and “discredited” seems pretty accurate to me. In any case what he’s doing is hardly a matter of stirring up extreme divisions in the time honoured manipulative way of the media.

    • Mr Shigemitsu

      Wouldn’t it have been equally divisive if Craig had stated that the “People’s Vote” figureheads were all truly wonderful people?

  • James Chater

    Your reservations about the EU are understandable, but they make the case for reform from within rather than cutting oneself off and not having a say in any future reforms. I think Greece was shamefully treated, and there has to be some structural reform to allow poorer and more backward EU states to improve their governance: this would include Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal. With hindsight, it was a mistake allowing them to join the Euro. But these mistakes and bad behaviour are, I believe, an argument for reform, not an argument for leaving the EU and thereby weakening it.

    • Reg

      Does the last 10 years since the economic crisis indicate any capacity for reform in the EU?

      How is reform of the Lisbon treaty such as abolishing free movement of capital (that would make tax evasion more difficult) and the abolishing of the Stability and Growth Pact & later fiscal compact and EU state aid rules that date back to the 1957 Treaty of Rome possible when this would require this to be ratified by all member Governments after being voted on by qualified majority voting in the EU parliament and the Council of the European Union who co-decide on EU legislation. Such legislation would also have to be proposed by the unelected EU Commission, as this is the only body that can propose legislation, as your elected EU represented cannot propose legislation or stand on an manifesto, so is difficult to hold to account.

      This has little to do with Governance issues, this is a red herring. Spain, Cyprus and Ireland after all not in violation of the fiscal compact unlike Germany before the financial crisis, with Spain and Ireland running very low government debt to GDP ratio’s that were far lower than in Germany that was running debt to GDP in excess of 60% in violation of the Stability and Growth Pact at 67% in 2005.

      No the problem was the structure of the EU that set interest rates for disparate countries needing different interest rates, an interest rates set by the ECB suitable for Germany having destroyed the wages terms and conditions of its own workers via casualisation via mini-jobs and using reunification and migration to increase the reserve army of the unemployed needed far lower interest rates than Spain or Ireland where very low interest rates led to a speculative boom in housing. The EU’s single market required free movement of capital also limited the ability of countries to restrict a speculative boom. Market fundamentalist beliefs in the EU also led them to ignore the destabilising role of private debt and free movement of capital. It a fact of life a currency union without fiscal transfers leads to divergence as trade deficit countries cannot devalue and have to pay for net imports with foreign borrowing, generally from trade surplus countries like Germany. Internal devaluation where wages are slashed to restore competitiveness does not work as the economy collapses and with it tax revenues as a large part of any economy is the service sector. This is why government debt to GDP went up in Greece after the first ‘bail out’ in 2010.

      Joseph Stiglitz ‘The Euro’ and Varafacus ‘And the Weak suffer what they must’ and ‘Europe Isn’t Working’ Larry Elliott (Author), Dan Atkinson (Author) describe the EU structure quite well.

      https://data.oecd.org/gga/general-government-debt.htm

      https://tradingeconomics.com/ireland/government-debt-to-gdp

      https://tradingeconomics.com/spain/government-debt-to-gdp

      https://www.ceicdata.com/en/indicator/germany/government-debt–of-nominal-gdp

  • James Chater

    One project the EU could undertake as part of its reform is what I would call a “good governance” project. Compare and contrast different EU countries’ policies over a number of areas: tax, encouraging jobs and growth sustainably, education, security, tackling crime etc. to see which policies work and which do not. Establish a record of “best practice”. I have lived in the UK, the USA, Canada, France, the Netherlands and Italy, and I am acutely aware of different approaches to policy in different countries and the need that each country has to learn from the successes of other countries. There is so little awareness, not only among the general public, but also it seems among law makers, about how other countries tackle the same problems. Just one example: in the Netherlands there is no capital gains tax, just a wealth tax on all savings, stocks, shares bank accounts that exceed 20,000 euros. The idea of a wealth tax is abhorrent to many, but having lived under this regime I can say that it makes it much easier to calculate how much tax to pay. Ideally inheritance tax should also be abolished and wealth tax should take its place. The less time spent on compliance, e.g. making pernicketty calculations for CGT, the more time you can spend making things like windpower turbines that are actually useful and actually contribute to your country’s bottom line. But oh no, we live in a world where the Brits do according to the Brits, the French according to the French etc., because “that is how we do things in this country”. The result, a dreary, painful mess, wasted human potential, waste, waste, waste.

  • James

    Your concerns about the EU were more or less the same as mine.

    The EU has made a lot of frankly disturbing moves of late – and has more in store. And its handling of the Ukraine situation was hardly very good diplomacy either.

    These were the kinds of things that led me to vote leave in the hope that the UK would move towards a Norway-type status, where we would keep the good stuff like Freedom of Movement, along with the Single Market.

    Of course, looking back at how things have developed, this was very naive, as Brexit was always likely to become the plaything of red faced English nationalists, with a hate-filled view of foreigners becoming the driving force. This is the reason why May’s “deal” is so ghastly.

    Sadly, there now seems to be no place for any kind of nuance at all. I am glad you raised this point as I was beginning to wonder why on earth I had voted leave.

  • MaryPau!

    There is also a sizeable community of Goans in Swindon,over. 10,000, who have migrated here using Portuguese passports. There are believed to be over 20,000 Goans in the UK. Portugal gave everyone born in Goa before 1961 a Portuguese passport with full EU rights which is how they arrive in the UK.

    Separately I have been concerned for some time at the damage the EU’s Freedom of Movement is doing to the Eastern European countries whose citizens are moving in large numbers to the west. Romanian doctors for example.There are countries in the world, like the Philippines, where they train nurses specifically to work abroad, but I don’t think that was the case in Eastern Europe. Yet EU policy positively encourages this sort of migration.

    Various different bodies estimate there are between 200,000- 300,000 Roma and Travellers in the UK.

      • Geoffrey

        Yes. It is regarded as one of their great exports persuading Northern Europeans to immigrate, they bring in large amounts of investment and provide a great deal of employment.
        When in Lisbon recently I had lunch with a Portuguese lawyer friend who explained that they were in the fortunate position that all non EU migrants quickly move out of Portugal and on to Northern Europe as benefits were so low, and that they were free to entice the richer Norther Europeans with special tax arrangements.
        Ching ching !

      • Mary Paul

        But the Goans here never lived in Portugal they were part of Portugal’s colonial empire. And I would guess that the great majority of Brits living in Portugal are doing so on pensions, not dependent on state for benefits or pensions.

        • Republicofscotland

          Ah colonial empire, just like Britain’s that saw Brits takeover and live off the assets of other nations. Now you’re not to pleased as the tables have turned.

        • A Portuguese Man

          As a matter of fact, Goa was Portugal.

          It just so happens that everyone in the Portuguese “colonial empire” was a full-fledged Portuguese citizen since at least the fifties.

          And before that a Statute of Indigenousness was in place to protect native societies from abuse and exploitation. That had to be scrapped because it was deemed as “racist” by, among others, the enlightened people on this very island – apparently it discriminated the poor people since they couldn’t work for the money which was completely useless to them…

          But it only applied to Africa and Timor. The Portuguese of Goa had no need of such protections. As such, they have been Portuguese citizen/subjects since the 16th century.

          I should also say that no one here did anything when the then Indian Union – and the “pacifist” Nehru – invaded and annexed Goa, after every single international law diligence for the past 10 years had been in favor of Portugal.

          Portugal invoked the Anglo-Portuguese alliance expressly, by the way. Britain (it was not yet referred to as YouKay) refused, claiming it could not act against a member of the Commonwealth.

          Portugal wanted to keep Goa, and the people of Goa wanted to remain Portuguese. The “progressive” and “enlightened” world thought otherwise.

          You reap what you sow, is it not?

          PS: I should think a lot more Africans come in that way. What I’ve heard is that the Portuguese consulate distributes passports to any person of black phenotype that claims to be from ex-Portugal.

          PS2: I am a Portuguese immigrant in this country and I think labour lefties and remainers are complete fools and so is Mr. Murray if he believes one single immigrant gives a flying toss about whether or not Theresa May or anyone else hates them.

          • Geoffrey

            Interesting comments A Portuguese Man, I was unaware that Goa was considered a part of Portugal and was then annexed by India under Nehru. However, it is a bit much to say the Brits should have defended another colonial power retain it’s colony in India when it had just conceded independence to the rest of India.
            I am interested in your comment about lefties and remainers, and I am sure you are right.

  • James

    As for Blair and his friends, again, I totally agree with you.

    These people are all widely hated and were probably decisive in getting a leave win. The key thing to remember is that this long-standing hatred was mostly hidden by the “safe seat” FPTP electoral system where most votes are simply wasted.

    The referendum, whereby every vote counted for a change, revealed the majority against Blairism – authoritarian, neo-liberal, war mongering – much to the surprise of an out of touch London-based ruling class.

    It is surely significant that one of the ways that Blair has sought to promote remaining in the EU is by suggesting that Freedom of Movement might be abolished, which is for most people its greatest achievement.

    So yes, if we are going to have a second referendum, do let’s have a leader who isn’t tainted like Blair.

  • Sharp Ears

    Theresa May to make a statement today in the HoC.

    Oral questions
    Education (including Topical Questions)
    Ministerial statement Statement from the Prime Minister – Mrs Theresa May
    Adjournment Criminal justice system and the death of Kayden Dunn – Ruth Smeeth

    Education. Ha! That’s Gove’s construct of ‘free schools’ and ‘academies’ (both misnomers) where teachers are leaving in droves and children are saying that they are not able to learn.

  • Molloy

    .

    .

    Pro Bono Law
    Cambridge MA Glasgow Edinburgh New York Perth (Aus) Dublin Paris Oslo

    17.12.2018
    Notices of Intended Prosecution:—

    For the personal attention of — All below named individuals:—

    Mr J Hunt
    Mrs T May
    Mr D Gauke
    Miss A Rudd
    Mr Geoffrey Cox
    Mr Jeremy Fleming
    Mr C Falconer
    Mr D Irvine
    Mr P Mandelson
    Mr A Blair
    Mr M C Smith
    Mrs C Blair
    Mr A Campbell
    Mr D Cameron
    Mr H Benn
    Mr C Windsor
    Mr J Straw
    Mr I D Smith
    (and others yet to be named)

    At care of:
    Mr J Jones
    Government Legal Department
    One Kemble Street
    London
    WC2B 4TS
    United Kingdom

    * Pre Action Protocol – Warning Letter (in accordance with CPR) *

    Take notice of our intention to serve the above named (see end) with notices of intended prosecution.

    (Service to be via Royal Mail at care of GLD and at each individual’s last known home address.)

    2/

    Preamble

    Crimes against humanity – Iraq – Afghanistan – Libya – Palestine – Yemen – Syria – Serbia – Ukraine

    Crimes (Misconduct in PO) arising from war crimes (above) committed against UK and NI public and asylum seekers & named States viz. endangering/placing public at risk/exposing public to injury and death, as follows:

    Crime and Disorder Act 1998 — hateful behaviour towards a victim based on the victim’s membership (or presumed membership) in a racial group.

    Unlawful imprisonment; aggravated by UK State ‘fake-news-abuse’.

    Unlawful killing (Kelly; Murrell) aggravated by UK State ‘fake-news-abuse’.

    Unlawful killings (others as yet unnamed) by UK police/prisons.

    Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 (Defendants acting against UK NI public & others)

    Crime and Disorder Act 1998.

    Terrorism offences / Proceeds of Crime.

    Public Order (Northern Ireland) Order 1987 (S.I. 1987/463 (N.I. 7).

    Serious Crime Act 2015 & CYPA as amended by SCA

    3/

    Common Law offences – duress – coercive control – intimidation – slander – criminal defamation – harassment – perversion of course of justice.

    Human Rights violations (aggravated and reinforced by unlawful acts outlined above – false imprisonment – withholding access to justice/competent LR, deliberate and aggravated – deliberate obstruction of peaceful family life/aggravated coercive intimidatory – deliberate denial of rights to land and resources – wilful coercive intentional exploitation of vulnerable individuals – torture/psych. harm & killing via UK State direct actors and via UK State associates & proxies – unlawful possession of land & property

    Plaintiffs — UK Public and other individuals (costs immunity to be applied for)

    Pro Bono Law — 17th Dec. 2018

    (Preliminary. For GLD information only.)

    Please note —acknowledged 16.12.2018 by Fleming/Fitzsimmons at Cheltenham)

    .

  • C Politicians

    There are 3MILLION+ BRITISH PASSPORT HOLDING CITIZENS that were denied their DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS to cast a vote on their future, I mean it’s not like they would be affected more than most right? (Sarcasm) so this bullshit that May is peddling that the vote has been decided is untrue unless you actually believe that Democracy is best served when you deny a part of the Passport carrying population their rights to a say in it.
    A new second PeoplesVote is the ONLY way to go one that includes everyone’s voice, May’s incoherent babbling right now is Brexit driven waffle and needs to be stamped on with force, give all the people a vote and if the majority then wants a KKK/GRU backed Brexit then let them got to hell with it, but make it at least all inclusive to start with.

    • James

      Good point.

      Blair chopped people living abroad off the franchise after 15 years because he was afraid they might be Tories.

      Not looking such a clever move now.

  • Jay

    Anything embodied by the personage of Anthony Charles Lynton Blair must be treated with the greatest caution.

  • Patmur

    I don’t really understand Craig Murray’s reasoning on separatist movements in Europe. He seems to believe that whenever a separatist movement arises in the EU it is the duty of the EU to back the separatist region of that country against the member state. It is surely correct that the EU should stand aside and leave the the conflicting parties to come to an agreement which suits both. It would then be the duty of the member state to inform the EU of any separation which is to take place.

  • Gary

    I too felt conflicted about Brexit but one thing I have agreed with May on (the only thing I have agreed with May on) is that having a second referendum WOULD break faith with the voting public. Politicians don’t like the result of the referendum and, frankly, resent the fact that the decision was taken out of there hands. If they do not honour this OR if they put it back to the public there would rightly be an outcry, why would we ever trust them again to honour any vote, any promise or any law again.

    The one thing that I think swung the vote for many was Freedom of Movement. It doesn’t suit the low paid for employers to be able to bring in EVEN lower paid eastern Europeans who are dependent upon employers for housing as well as wages and, due to lower standards of living, can send back money for relatives at home. Wages are kept low, the workforce of eastern Europe is drained AND importantly, as contracts may be very short (eg fruit pickers) the employees will neither pay tax here nor spend much of their earnings here either as they are rootless. Many pass through and don’t stay and THAT is a problem. People who stay permanently contribute to the economy. A system of immigration WOULD be good, Free Movement is not and cannot be good when you have wildly varying economies across the EU. The tests on a joining country’s economy SHOULD negate this, at least to some extent, but as we saw with Greece, all you need is a smart accountancy firm who will cook your country’s books for you. NB did you ever wonder why an accountancy firm with such a good reputation would do such a thing? No? Then you should…

    I can see why the EU didn’t suit England, but a lot of that is the mentality of England (and I don’t mean that as any kind of an insult) Since Henry created his own church, robbed Rome of it’s properties and monies in England and went his own way the English have never wanted to be European, the Scots were traditionally allied to the French (against the English) but this meant we were more outward looking. The mind set of a country has a long memory and way back when UK was initially refused membership to the EEC by those including France’s Giscard D’Estaing he had given his reason for voting it down as being that they (the UK) would never stay (in the EEC) and would end up leaving anyway. It may have taken 40 years but he was eventually proven correct.

    We ARE going to be out. The fact we are leaving and that May’s ‘divorce settlement’ is on the table strengthens our point that we are being ‘dragged out against our will’ but due to Sturgeon having said that there would be no call (second call) for Indy until we knew what the deal was going to be, we will have to wait until we are actually OUT as the new trading relationship could easily take another two years to hammer out (in principal) and the government have taken our powers for ‘up to seven years’ So it looks like ‘Indy 2’ could be around 2030 before it actually takes place!!

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