A Question of Loyalty 1016


I was just talking to an old friend in the European Commission about Scottish Independence. He said within the Commission there would now be overwhelming support for it and for immediate Scottish membership of the EU. He then added “But please can you leave Dr Fox with the English?”.

He was joking, but it led me to think about the loyalties of Unionist politicians. I don’t doubt Dr Fox would stay with the English – there will be no power in prospect for Tories in Scotland.

When asked in an interview during the last Indyref where his loyalty would lie if Independence won, then Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael replied without hesitation that of course he was a Scot and he would be loyal to Scotland. Where, I wonder, would Fluffy Mundell’s loyalties lie? The border is a short hop for him. Colonel Ruthie Davison has always had her eyes on high office at Westminster, and I expect she would be quickly down the A1. As for Labour, I don’t suppose anyone in England especially wants Richard Leonard. To be fair, I suspect Gordon Brown is not going anywhere and would reconcile himself to being the Scot who, in his own mind, saved the World. Wouldn’t it be lovely if J K Rowling upped sticks and went to be closer to her beloved Tony Blair?

With Scotland in the EU and England outside, would Andrew Neil be allowed to “queue jump” and stay as a top Tory at the England and Wales Broadcasting Corporation? Or would he fall victim to a hostile environment? Surely the mighty Laura Kuenssberg would demand a larger field for her snide right wing jibes than her home country?

I offer the “which way would the unionists jump” game to those of you whose minds have been frazzled by the banal spectacle of the results of British hubris, as relayed to us from Westminster all week. The game works much better with a few drams of Caol Ila.


1,016 thoughts on “A Question of Loyalty

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  • Sharp Ears

    Cherie Blair is at Davos for the WEF. She’s on tomorrow. I can’t see any mention of the other half of the gruesome twosome but I bet he’s there.

    China at the edge of Africa: 4 Perspectives
    With a combined population of 2.4 billion, the potential economic, societal and cultural impact of the relationship between China and Africa is huge. It may redraw global trade flows, drive unprecedented technological innovation, and create a foundation for a cultural renaissance for both societies. Or it may see the African continent become China’s largest overseas territory.
    Moderated by: Mikkel Hippe Brun, Co-founder and SVP APAC, Tradeshift
    Panelists:
    Cherie Blair CBE, QC: Founder and Chair, Omnia Strategies & Founder, Cherie Blair Foundation
    Chin Okeke: Managing Director, Eclipse Live Africa
    Parag Khanna: Managing Partner of FutureMap, Author

    • michael norton

      China is making a commitment to rape Africa,
      they are doing a more thorough job than the Europeans.
      I am surprized the Africans, are allowing them to gorge.

      • giyane

        Well, the neo-cons made sure Libya couldn’t lend them the funds to pay China.
        If they borrow from the neo-cons , the neo-cons will do the raping: e.g. having to dial a French corporation in order to buy credit for a little drinking water.
        It doesn’t help to project our guilt at our raping Africa , onto China.
        Europe will never be trusted again so if China doesn’t rape Africa they will become the moral high ground.
        Yes , and we will be the moral low ground.

      • nevermind

        I object to your insolence. How can you forget the mamny rapes by Britain, France,Germany, Belgium,?
        This Schwein is spinning Chinese.de elopment aid because they are so much better than the pennyfoggers of past.
        you are dragging the name of a great British motorcycle into pigshit.
        How about Houlligean instead?

    • Dungroanin

      Cherie – the typical ‘new-posh’ hyacinth bucket (bouquet!) scouse – when shown the nuclear bunker under whitehall where she should scarper to in the event of Armageddon, while still being lady muckbeth – insisted that the old style never used furniture be replaced with expensive posh John Lewis replacements – dystopian armegeddon should at least provide a bit of snobby vanity.

      And She was apparently a ‘top’ human rights Lawyer – as in her human right to be filthy rich and her hubby’s human right to be a mass murderer and squire to the Asianbabe sexstarved wife married to a mega billionaire propagandist and string puller. She don’t care and doesn’t need divorce just more wonga!

      Grrrrrr.

  • FobosDeimos

    Well, I found the announcement made by the CPS in September 2018 where they say that Petrov and Boshirov had been charged. Immediately after that tje CPS says that no request for extradition will be addressed to Russia because Russia never extradites their own citizens (they forget to say that it is in their Constitution). In other words: we charge them because we feel confident that there will never be a trial in England. End of the story.

    https://www.cps.gov.uk/cps/news/cps-statement-salisbury

    • Ken Kenn

      Not an earthly taht anyone will see the inside of The Old Bailey.

      For a trial you need the accused the victims and a little thing called evidence.

      Non are available at this time.

      Interesting class bias though between ‘ one of us ‘ Mr Skripal and one of them – Dawn Sturgess.

      Meanwhile the other one of them ( Charlie ) is struggling and is not having his flat ( riven with Novichock in a perfume bottle )
      either cleaned or dismantled.

      D.S Bailey is living somewhere.

      The Skripals?

    • N_

      They were charged as part of the psychological warfare effort.
      When was the last time an English court charged someone in absentia? Arrest warrant, yes. A trial if someone has absconded after being charged, yes. But the charge itself?

    • michael norton

      It is a wonder that the “First Responders” did not die from the most deadly nerve gas known to Russia?

    • John Goss

      The RT article points to all the coincidences, first responder being top military girl in country, who just happened to be closeby, and Porton Down also happened to be nearby to test the substance,and Sergei Skripal’s handler, Pablo Miller living just round the corner it must have been the rapid reactions of these guys that led to the Skripals having their throats cut. They’re made of strong stuff these military people and have obviously built up immunity to military grade organophosphates.

      • Tatyana

        not to forget Freya Church, who is not military, nor spy, nor daughter of military or spy 🙂 She is first responder too, and she is not affected

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Tatyana January 21, 2019 at 23:38
        ‘..A repost in Marie’s timeline says
        https://prnt.sc/mabi8w
        There was need for money in that family, I’m sorry if it sounds cynical.’
        I believe you misinterpreted it. It is not that the family need money, it is that she is going into some kind of a boxing tournament, to raise money for Cancer Research:
        ‘…Ultra White Collar Boxing is a unique opportunity for people with no boxing background to experience the wonderful world of boxing, in a safe and enjoyable environment. Raise money for Cancer Research UK and Get In Great shape!’
        https://www.ultrawhitecollarboxing.co.uk/

          • Paul Barbara

            @ Tatyana January 22, 2019 at 01:21
            You’re welcome. No need to feel ashamed – anything to do with the Skripal affair has to be taken with a pinch of salt (another well-used English expression, meaning essentially you neither believe nor disbelieve the information being imparted).
            So far as I am concerned, the whole thing was a False Flag put-up job.

        • SA

          Paul
          I am not addressing this particular issue but of the general use of charities in this country. This is a Victorian concept that society (the rich) should give back some of the money that they have expropriated back to the poor. In the 20th and 21st centuries this concept has been expanded so that even the less better off can also give back to society something. Except the giving back now is expanding to roles that the government should be funding. Surely any civilized society should be funding its own cancer research through steady channels based on the merit of research and peer reviewed and not through fickle random charity, whether by rich millionaires or through begging from people. Surely charities dealing with the third world are understandable but charities for feeding our own people?

          • Sharp Ears

            ‘Our total income for 2017/18 was £634 million. This was raised through: Donations (£192 million) – Donations included regular gifts, major donations and money raised by local fundraising groups and ….’

            They spend over £100m on fundraising

            Their CEO, a Sir Harpal Kumar is paid £240k.

            Part of the so called ‘Third Sector’.

          • N_

            this concept has been expanded so that even the less better off can also give back to society something

            I’d advise against putting cash into boxes shaken by air crew working for companies such as Flybe…or even Loganair…

          • Tatyana

            USSR tried to develop a social state, there were no charities then. All the regular needs of people were under state control. It is a very simple idea: if people need something, so the state allocates money for it.
            What I see now in my country is wrong. Usually charities raise money for patients, especially for children, who need expensive medical treatment, or for poor people who need food and clothes.
            In the USSR it was constant medical supervision that began as early as mother’s pregnancy. Any type of medical help was free, for all people. Vaccination, annual medical examinations, any kind of medicine tests, emergency medical care, clinical treatment, rehabilitation, spa treatment.
            Now we have insurance system in medicine. Some treatment is guaranteed by my state, but I can’t access it because of quota, and in fact, it turns out that there are not enough quotas for all.
            Why is it not enough for all? How can it be? How it turns out we have not enough money to keep people in good state of health? Who is distributing the state’s budget so wrongly? Why we have not enough medical vouchers (average $600 for one child to spend 3 weeks at sanatorium) and we pay $ 6 000 or $ 60 000 or even more monthly for some civil servants? Why parents advertise at central TV channels and ask for money to save their children?

          • Clark

            Tatyana, after the Wall came down I met people from the East for the first time. It is a long time ago, but if I remember correctly, they told me that they had telephones, but there were no telephone bills, and that if they wanted to go swimming, they just used the municipal pool which was available without paying. Is that right?

          • Paul Barbara

            @ SA January 22, 2019 at 07:11
            I agree, and wouldn’t donate to most charities, including Cancer Research UK, Save the Children or Oxfam (which was banned from Haiti after evidence leaked of sexual use of survivors). Also, of a great building program promised, I believe they built about three houses, and a luxury hotel in Haiti.
            And of course, as Sharp Ears mentions, the obscene salaries of the CEO’s and other officials.
            There are some charities I support on and off: SPICMA and Cafod are two. CIIR (later Progressio) were a great organisation, and sent people out to work in Third World countries, but had to close down due to DFID pulling the plug on their yearly subsidy (they worked in non-‘politically correct’ countries with whom HMG had issues, like Nicaragua), unlike the saintly mercenary Jihadi ‘White Helmets’).

          • Tatyana

            Clark, I’m not sure about telephone bills, perhaps it was so. Swimming pools were free. Everything about sports and health was free. Everything about education, any kind of it, including higher education, was free too.
            My mom originates from a small village near Voronezh, my dad – from even a smaller village near Krasnodar. If not free education, they probably would become peasants, as my grandparents.
            Mom and dad both attended simple public schools, then hold exams and entered institutes. Mom studied for milk-processing industry, and dad studied mechanisms and general engeneering. After young people in USSR graduated from institutes, they were obliged to work for 5 years at the place where this certain specialist needed. It could be another remote part of the country. So, the state guaranteed them a job and housing.
            My mom moved to Krasnodar region and met my father 🙂
            My sister and me, when at school, both attended additional training courses, for free. My sister learned English and painting. I entered the School of Arts and studied dancing.
            I was 13 years old when USSR dissolved, I remember this period. My sister is 4 years older then me and it was time for her to enter institute. No free mass education was available by that moment, quota spent for privileged, disabled, orfans… No payments were affordable for simple workers, who are my parents.

            I feel sorry they broke all good together with all bad about USSR.

          • Tatyana

            And now they cannot even feed children in schools for free! How is it possible, I don’t know.
            USSR managed to feed kids in kindergartens, in schools, in summer camps, patients in hospitals. OK, it was simple food, but people could get their hot meal while away from home.
            Women with babies got milk products at special ‘milk kitchens’.

            Are we poor country? Can we not boil a f*cking pot of porrige to give to our children?
            There used to be a small kitchen in every school, now it is special organisations under special contracts who bring food to schools. Agents and intermediaries earn money.
            And we have the same portion of f*cking porrige but at ten times the price! paid out of parents’ pocket.

  • Paul Barbara

    Kashoggi? Yemen?
    ‘US arms concern warns Canada of ‘billions of dollars of liability’ if Trudeau scraps Saudi deal’:
    https://www.rt.com/news/446737-arms-deal-liability-millions-canada/
    ‘German arms manufacturer to sue govt over weapons deliveries’ halt to Saudi Arabia – report’:
    https://www.rt.com/news/449290-germany-sued-arms-sales-saudi/?fbclid=IwAR1YNgt9PAKUCUH0CUUTorWzXnOZstGARGd3KX6JchREcLa5GEt7RbrrWiE
    So much for Christian Civilised Society – Britain is the same, of course.

  • Sharp Ears

    Elections upcoming in Israel so Benny goes first.

    ‘Benny Gantz, the former Israeli army chief, is bragging about how much killing and destruction he committed in Gaza in a series of campaign videos for his new political party posted on YouTube and social media over the weekend.

    Gantz hopes to replace Benjamin Netanyahu as Israel’s prime minister in elections scheduled for April.

    One of the videos, above, shows drone footage of a devastated neighborhood in Gaza in August 2014, following Israel’s 51-day assault on the territory. The video’s title includes the words “Parts of Gaza were returned to the stone ages.” ‘. (Electronic Intifada website)

    On the same website, you read that he is facing war crimes charges in a Dutch court

    Netanyahu challenger Benny Gantz faces Dutch war crimes case
    14 January 2019
    https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/adri-nieuwhof/netanyahu-challenger-benny-gantz-faces-dutch-war-crimes-case

    • Charles Bostock

      Contrary to what some readers might assume from the above, Benny Gantz is not being hauled up before the ICC. The fact is that someone with dual Dutch/Palestinian nationality is attempting to sue the good general in a Dutch court for the death of six of his relatives in 2014. And the good general is not on trial – the court has not yet said if it will hear the case.
      Furthermore, the good general never said anything about parts of Gaza having been bombed back into the stone age. That expression is used by electronicintifada and one might think they would say that, wouldn’t they. It is pure garbage, of course.

      Question : has Hamas revoked the part of its Charter which talks about destroying the Jewish state yet?

      Perhaps Hamas should face trial in the Hague for incitement to terrorism, murder and genocide.

      • SA

        Charlie boy
        You call him ‘the good general’. Is that through personal knowledge or is that through other channels of information?

        • Ken Kenn

          Is there any such thing as a “good General “?

          Was ‘ Mad Dog’ a good General?

          Donald a ‘ Bad President ‘ thinks not apparently.

          Dum – Dum bullets are a ‘ Good Idea ‘

          If memory serves me right the epithet ‘ Palestinian and Stoneage ‘ has been discussed on here before.

          What is the definiton of Absolute Poverty? – discuss.

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Charles Bostock January 22, 2019 at 17:41
        …’Furthermore, the good general never said anything about parts of Gaza having been bombed back into the stone age. That expression is used by electronicintifada and one might think they would say that, wouldn’t they. It is pure garbage, of course….’
        So we should take your word, already? Or the words in his promotional video?
        ‘Israeli election hopeful brags about Gaza bombing in new campaign videos’:
        https://www.thenational.ae/world/mena/israeli-election-hopeful-brags-about-gaza-bombing-in-new-campaign-videos-1.816538
        ‘…One of the videos brags that Mr Gantz sent parts of the Gaza Strip “back to the Stone Age” in the 2014 war that left more than 2,200 Palestinians, mostly civilians, dead.
        It claims that he destroyed 6,231 targets connected to Hamas, the rulers of Gaza and says that he killed up to 1,364 Hamas members in that conflict. Israel regularly claims that civilians are “terrorists” for loose affiliations with Hamas. Even the Israeli Foreign Ministry puts the number lower at 936 Gazan fighters killed in the 2014 war. Around 428 Palestinians killed in the Gaza war were unrecognised individuals, according to the official Israeli count, which means that Mr Gantz has determined that they were all fighters, without any confirmation.
        The video shows a counter of Hamas members killed, with video footage from their funerals….’
        ‘BENNY GANTZ: ELECTION ADS FOR CENTRIST BOAST ‘TERRORIST’ DEATHS AND BOMBING GAZA AREAS ‘TO STONE AGE’ UNDER HIS COMMAND’:
        https://www.newsweek.com/israel-election-benny-gantz-gaza-strip-hamas-death-destruction-protective-1298982
        ‘..The first boasts of the 6,231 Hamas targets destroyed in the war, of which Gantz took command as the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) chief of the general staff. Video captions proudly state that “parts of Gaza were sent back to the Stone Age” during the seven-week campaign, which involved intense aerial and artillery bombardment of the coastal enclave, as well as an incursion by ground troops…’
        ‘IDF chief turned PM candidate touts body count & bombing Gaza into ‘stone age’ in campaign ad’:
        https://www.rt.com/news/449379-israel-gantz-campaign-gaza/
        ‘…Former Israeli Defense Forces chief turned political candidate Benny Gantz is touting the body count he racked up leading Operation Protective Edge with a campaign that boasts about bombing parts of Gaza “back to the Stone Age.”…’
        So who is spouting garbage?

  • michael norton

    With all the uncertainty in the U.K. and Remainers keep banging on about how awful it will be when we leave the E.U.
    you would have thought the Pound would have dropped against the Euro,
    yet we find it is almost the same as twelve months ago, so what happened to fear,
    answer, the markets are not bothered, the U.k. is such a big market
    it will continue in or out, just dandy.

    • Martinned

      The Pound plummeted against the euro after the referendum exactly for the reason you say. Since then, it’s barely moved for the very simple reason that we have gained virtually zero actual information about what Brexit will be like since then. Just more kicking of cans down roads. Once the can-kicking stops, the pound will either go up or go down, depending on which decisions are made.

      • michael norton

        Have you seen this U.K. good economic news Martinned
        UK employment total hits record high
        https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-46958560
        “Meanwhile, the share of the workforce looking for work and unable to find it remains at its lowest for over 40 years, helped by a record number of job vacancies.

        “Wage growth continues to outpace inflation,
        inflation fell back slightly in the latest month,
        the labour market now looks tight enough to ensure that wage growth does not slip below the 3% mark.”

        • Republicofscotland

          Ah yes the usual feel good factor tosh, just before Brexit, news from the states broadcaster I’m sure that zero hour contracts, part-time etc will all be shoved in there to bump up the over inflated figures.

          In Scotland ITV’s regional mouthpiece STV news even has the audacity to say Scottish employment figures are even higher than the rUK.

          Ah don’t you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, Old Blighty’s just wonderful isn’t it?

        • Deb O'Nair

          “Meanwhile, the share of the workforce looking for work and unable to find it remains at its lowest for over 40 years, helped by a record number of job vacancies.”

          Yes, but unemployment is rising.

          “Wage growth continues to outpace inflation,”

          Anyone that regularly shops for food in supermarkets knows that the official inflation figure is tosh.

    • Deb O'Nair

      Kensington and Hammersmith has seen high end property prices fall by as much as 25% this last year. Camden and some other London boroughs have seen prices fall around 11%. Investment from foreign firms looking to set up operations in the UK, which create real jobs as opposed to foreign investment parking it’s money in the city, has already fallen of a cliff. The clouds of economic depression are forming on the horizon, don’t expect the BBC to be broadcasting it though.

    • michael norton

      Martinned,
      The pound sterling is now rated at a higher level against The Euro
      than twelve months ago,
      however this is more an indication of how poorly the Eurozone is doing, than how well The United Kingdom is doing.

      • glenn_pt

        I’m sure that’s exactly what right-wingers want you to think (both in the UK, and for Social Security in the US). Let’s get rid of it altogether, and trust the wonders of the stock market instead!

        • Bayard

          “Let’s get rid of it altogether, and trust the wonders of the stock market instead!”
          It doesn’t matter if we “get rid of it” or not. NI is just another tax. If the same money was collected via income tax then it would make no difference to Government expenditure on welfare. Why is labour taxed twice anyway? Three times if you count the compulsory payments to a private pension scheme.

  • Sharp Ears

    A near miss in the Irish Sea.

    43 mins ago
    Royal Navy submarine in near-miss with ferry
    By Press Association 2019
    https://www.guardian-series.co.uk/news/national/17374243.royal-navy-submarine-in-near-miss-with-ferry/

    ‘The ferry Stena Superfast VII was involved in a near-miss with a nuclear-powered Royal Navy submarine (Stena/PA)
    A Navy spokesman said: “We can confirm the sighting of a Royal Navy submarine between Belfast and Stranraer on 6 November 2018. We are co-operating with the MAIB’s investigation.”

    A spokesman for Stena said: “Stena Line can confirm that on Tuesday 6 November 2018, Stena Superfast VII and a submerged submarine came into close proximity during a scheduled crossing between Cairnryan and Belfast.

    “At no stage were the vessel, passengers or crew in any danger. The incident is now under investigation by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch and we will of course co-operate fully in this.”

    Of course there was no danger. Note how it takes over two months for this information to emerge.

  • N_

    This is the current position.

    * Hedge fund ERGer Andrea Leadsom is preparing to execute some moves in her role as the controller of the Government’s effort in the Commons…

    * Hedge fund ERGer Jacob Rees-Mogg is talking up the delights of “No Deal” (resultant famine will patently obviously be blamed on foreigners; he’ll probably get some photos of himself taken with his shirt sleeves rolled up, helping carry foodboxes)…

    * Hedge fund ERGers are running some extreme nationalist politics

    … benefiting from close links with the US embassy and guys like “ex”-MI6 Richard Dearlove,

    … benefiting from xenophobic propaganda that is rife among knucklehead snobs in the British armed forces

    …and placing memes such as the old and trusted “foreigners won’t let us do stuff” (in this instance, foreigners won’t let “us” “delay Article 50”).

    Meanwhile Amber Rudd is calling semi-publicly for a “free vote” on the “Grieve amendment”, which basically means that if the Cabinet tries to whip the payroll vote through the “No” lobby then large numbers of government ministers will resign so that they can vote “Aye”. Which side is behind the “40 ministers” expectation is unclear. Are they really aiming for 20 (“great failure”) or 60 (“great success”)? Certainly there is expectation management.

    What has been turned down to a very low volume is the recognition of the fact that it is thoroughly administratively possible for a referendum to be held at a fortnight’s notice, well before the two-year default A50 period expires on 29 March. All references to how it requires six months for the Electoral Commission to decide where to put some commas, as posh boys and girls bray that “that’s the way we do it in this country, you dirty oiks”, are bullshit. Hold it before 29 March or say hello to starvation. Then the issue of “foreigners don’t let us do stuff” doesn’t arise. It is the famine guys who are pushing the idea that “foreigners won’t allow an A50 extension”.

    It is quite possible that any remaining Remainers in positions of power believe that when that idea omes into the open they will be able to win through with the conclusion that “Therefore a revocation of A50 is needed”. That is extremely naive of them. If they play it that way they will find that the carpet gets pulled from beneath their feet. It is quite simple: the idea of having to do stuff because foreigners want it always helps Leave and the ERG. Anybody who thinks no referendum can be held before 29 March is in the nationalistic famine mob whether they know it or not.

    • Dungroanin

      Yes N_, I found this particular exchange yesterday telling :

      Sir Bernard Jenkin (Harwich and North Essex) (Con)
      “..I congratulate her on the vote last week that she won, namely the vote of confidence… on the basis that we either negotiate a successful deal for which the House of Commons votes or leave on World Trade Organisation terms.

      Will the Prime Minister take the advice of J.P. Morgan, which stood side by side with remain in the referendum, but which now warns that the extension of article 50 would be the worst of all possible worlds and
      “death by a thousand cuts”
      for the British economy? Will she ensure that we avoid that extension?”

      The Prime Minister
      “I had not seen that comment from J.P. Morgan, but I have been clear that it is important that we deliver on the referendum vote and leave the European Union on 29 March.” – she grovelled.

      That is as clear reading of the ‘riot act’ to the bought MP’s from the top of the money pyramid to Not even consider extending or cancelling A50 – with a threat of torture and death by a thousand cuts if they do!

      Does anyone still doubt that Brexit and Tories are not the product of the City and it’s ancient masters?

      • able

        The City was almost entirely for Remain. Along with all your other favourites like Blair, the BBC, big business etc.

        • giyane

          Did the City change its mind? Do we all get the right to change our minds? Or is it just the 1% who, when they change their minds, automatically get to change the policy?
          Or is it a question of the powerful being able to adapt to any conditions given enough time, while the weak are bankrupted by not being given any advance information to adapt, nor say in the changes?

          Your and Bernard Jenkins continuous right-wing trolling totally ignore the point, which is that ordinary people will not be able to afford the No Deal hike in prices.
          You both know it. You Tories just like getting off on the sufferings of the poorer .

          I’ll say it again because you took no notice last time. Anybody can do any deal they want with anyone they want outside the EU and the EU will charge a WTO or more tariff.
          The wealthy corporations can well afford to pay those EU tariffs, The boss of Nissan told us last week that Nissan pays WTO tariffs on stuff that comes from Japan.

          But it’s still possible to make money from the goods imported from japan when they are traded within the EU on zero tariffs. What you and Big Mouth Bernard Jenkin wants is for everybody else, including Nissan to lose the benefits of the EU zero tariffs, so that you tiny group of very rich MPs can have zero tariffs on goods imported from outside the EU.

          That’s like swapping a bangle for an African kingdom. But because it’s your bangle and you are rich, you’re saying my land is worth the same as your bangle.
          If you like tariffs so much, there’s absolutely nothing to stop you , within the current EU arrangements, from paying them. Do it. You are free to do it. You don’t need to crash the existing system in order to pay your darling tariffs today.

        • SA

          Anon1
          ‘The City’ is not a single monolithic entity. Also ‘The City’ did not get where it is because it has one position which it cannot change to take advantage of changing situations. ‘The City’, the ‘PTB’ and ‘The Establishment’ all share things in common, they decide, they divide and they rule

          • able

            Ah, they’ve changed their mind. I see. There was I thinking from Dungroanin’s post above that Brexit is the product of the City. Silly me. Never let the facts get in the way of the theory.

      • John A

        “on the basis that we either negotiate a successful deal for which the House of Commons votes or leave on World Trade Organisation terms”
        More unicorn thinking. If we leave, we leave on NO terms. It will take years to negotiate WTO terms to replace what we have today via our EU-WTO relationship.
        The leavers are utterly deluded about what No deal means. It literally means NO deal with anyone or anything.

    • Coldish

      Fortnight’s notice? I had an quick online look at the relevant legislation a couple of months ago and found clauses which effectively stipulated that the date of a referendum had to be not less than 42 days (so 6 weeks) and not more than 6 months after parliament decides on the date. The reason for the 42 day lower limit is to allow time for campaigning organisations to get organised and register. Sorry I don’t have the link to hand.

    • able

      What happens when (if we leave without a deal) there isn’t a famine? Will you come on here and apologise for being an idiot?

      • Republicofscotland

        The fact of the matter is we’ll be worse off, and if we accept May’s poor deal we’ll still be worse off. It’s a no win situation, other than it might, either way, work in Scotland’s favour to vote to leave this dysfunctional union.

        • SA

          R o S
          I find it incredible that you think that after all the mess that attempted Brexit has unearthed, that you think that Scotland’s troubles would be over if it leaves this dysfunctional union. This is the same argument that Brexiters use for Britain and you can’t see the irony? If Scotland becomes independent you will still have to hammer out trade deals with the rump UK, there will be defense issues and currency issues. You have to do all these deals with the dysfunctional British government and you think it will be a walk in the park? All that will change will be that the mess will be devolved to the Scottish government .

          • Republicofscotland

            “I find it incredible that you think that after all the mess that attempted Brexit has unearthed, that you think that Scotland’s troubles would be over if it leaves this dysfunctional union. ”

            Erm….I didn’t say that Scotland’s trouble would be over.

            However, independence will allow Scots to decide in which way the country should be ran using all the levers of government that it currently doesn’t possess.

          • Iain Stewart

            “What currency is this newly liberated Scotland planning to use?”
            What a silly question. Iron brew bottle tops of course.

          • Iain Stewart

            According to my source in the New Club bar, the banknotes will be Tunnocks caramel wafer wrappers, pegged to the bolivár sobrano. (Insert smiley face here in case Repubic thinks I am encouraging currency speculation.)

  • Republicofscotland

    So it turns out that racist EDF founder Tommy Robinson, who cornered a SNP MP in a Glasgow library, had a group of his henchmen block off the fire exits to prevent Mr MacDonald’s escape.

    One of the notorious thugs was Daniel Thomas, 29, who was jailed two years ago for the attempted armed kidnapping of a man in Hampshire.

    • Ken Kenn

      Tommy Robinson was at a library and can read?

      Janet and John no dout.

      The Sun on Sunday has an exclusive.

      It’s a wonder that Tommy can understand words never mind the Scottish vernacular.

      I honestly used to tape Rab. C. Nesbitt and watch it many times over to get the gist.

      Great satire – although my leftie Scottish friends thought it was a series based on stereotypes.

      I disagree strongly.

      I still watch it now on Youtube and Still Game is excellent as well.

      Tommy doesn’t know that Glasgow was a City of Culture and it’s Logie – Baird
      not Yogi Bear.

      Numptie.

  • Tom Welsh

    We are not hearing much these days about how Petrov and Boshirov were easily-penetrated pseudonyms. What happened to the supposed Russian intelligence officers, with quite different names, who were supposed to be the real persons involved?

    • Mary Pau!

      Skripals – the whole Skripal affair is a series of invented explanations/direct cover-ups/suppression of facts so that what is left is a completrly implausible and inconsistent mishmash of truths, half truths and lies. The Met Police did what it always does in high profile events, decide on their cover story and stick to it however much later information contradicts their version of events. Then go to ground.

      I don’t know why the authorities didn’t just say at the outset, this is top secret and affects national security so we are not releasing any information at this time. At least they would not be reduced to making up wild stories to put in the public domain. It is clear they could not get a prosecution to stand up on the basis of what we have been told to date. It is very depressing that the CPS has been inveigled into apparently issuing arrest warrants – they would have to produce an entirely different account of what actually happened to have any chance of making it stand up in court.

      s.

      • JohninMK

        If they had kept it under covers then they would not have been able to stoke up the anti Russia fire.

      • michael norton

        If Mr.Skripal is still alive, he would be expected to attend as a witness,
        he would be cross examined by the Russians brief.
        Some of the truth would come out.

  • Sharp Ears

    A scathing summary of Liam Fox in yesterday’s HoL debate on the Trade Bill by Lord Davies of Stamford. (He was the one who changed sides from Con to Labour)

    ‘It has already been said that we live in exceptional circumstances. Is it not exceptional that, over two and a half years, we have had a negotiation with the EU about our future relationship with it and have just decided by an enormous majority that the whole of that negotiation has to be terminated? It was the right decision, but it is the most extraordinary situation. Equally, on the matter of trade agreements, Dr Fox has been happily running around the world for the last two and a half years, no doubt at the taxpayer’s expense, and achieving precisely nothing.

    This country’s handling of the whole Brexit issue has been marked by the most extraordinary incompetence; the whole world knows that. That incompetence has often consisted of a quite extraordinarily naive tendency to overestimate our own bargaining power and underestimate the intelligence and bargaining power of other people. That is the very basis of incompetence in a negotiation, but that is the way this has been handled.`

    https://hansard.parliament.uk/Lords/2019-01-21/debates/AD4B4228-7F2D-43C4-A58C-755B49D0E694/TradeBill

    This morning the HoC is concerned about the lack of action in removing flammable cladding from high rise buildings following the Grenfell fire. Apparently there are 397 such buildings. The figure should be over 1,600 such buildings. What a scandal.

    Kit Malthouse is responding for the government using a variety of platitudes. He used to be a member of the Greater London Authority and before that a member of Westminster City Council. A protégé of Shirley Porter no doubt.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kit_Malthouse

    ‘In March 2016, Malthouse was asked by Andover’s MS Society to step down from his role as a patron. The charity felt he was no longer suitable for the role as he had recently voted to cut ESA to the same level as JSA for those in the Work Related Activity Group (WRAG).’ Enough said.

  • John2o2o

    “He then added “But please can you leave Dr Fox with the English?”

    No Craig, please keep him. I insist. He may be a Tory, but technically he’s more a Scotsman than you or I. He was, after all born in Scotland to Scottish parents.

    That’s not a boast you or I can make. We’re only “plastic” half-breed Jocks born in England. Unlike you though my born-and-bred Scottish mother didn’t get to vote last time. So much for Scottish Nationalism.

    Rectify this matter please before the next vote. (If you get one!)

    • Iain Stewart

      “We’re only plastic half-breed Jocks born in England.”
      As the Bard said, I’m a Barbie girl, in a Barbie world, Life in plastic, it’s fantastic, You can brush my hair, undress me everywhere,
      Imagination, life is your creation.

  • Big Jock

    One error in in your analysis. J K Rowling is not a Scot!

    You are a Scot because you have adopted Scotland as your home, and want what’s best for Scotland ,not what’s best for you . J K is an Englishwoman abroad who chooses to define herself as British, in order to own the natives. In other words the baggage of empire follows her like a bad smell.

  • michael norton

    Arrow 3
    In August 2008 the Israeli and United States governments began development of an upper-tier component to the Israeli Air Defense Command, known as Arrow 3, “with a kill ratio of around 99 percent”.
    The development is based on an architecture definition study conducted in 2006–2007, determining the need for the upper-tier component to be integrated into Israel’s ballistic missile defense system. According to Arieh Herzog, then Director of Israel Missile Defense Organization (IMDO), the main element of this upper tier will be an exoatmospheric interceptor, to be jointly developed by IAI and Boeing.

    So this means the missiles will be fired into space, to then take out targets in the Middle East, America and Israel in full collaboration.

    • JohninMK

      The Arrow 3, which had a live test yesterday, is now an anti ballistic missile missile with a presumed anti satellite function.

  • isa

    Could someone help me find what this “rare parliamentary mechanism ” actually is ?

    All media quote this “rare mechanism”but not one names it so it can be checked. Thank you in advance.

    “Damian Collins, the chair of the culture, media and sport select committee, invoked a rare parliamentary mechanism to compel the founder of a US software company, Six4Three, to hand over the documents during a business trip to London. In another exceptional move, parliament sent a serjeant at arms to his hotel with a final warning and a two-hour deadline to comply (…)”

    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/nov/24/mps-seize-cache-facebook-internal-papers?fbclid=IwAR3KS9gaHHfzIEOtZjJZ8TIvyhU3miS8149Sjqo23DESpzX530NAZFQsjUQ

  • Sharp Ears

    Kill. Kill. With impunity it would appear.

    ‘Israeli missiles seen near Damascus photo

    January 21, 2019.
    12 Iranian Soldiers Killed in Israeli Strike on Syria, Watchdog Says

    Twenty-one people were killed in the overnight Syria strike, which targeted Iranian sites and Syrian air defenses, Syrian Observatory reports.’

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/12-iranian-soldiers-killed-in-israeli-strike-on-syria-watchdog-says-1.6866755

    So who were the other nine humans? Six were Syrian soldiers and three were ‘foreigners’ according to the report.

    What right has Israel to carry out missile attacks on a nation state?

    Where is the law?

      • JohninMK

        The Syrian rep in the UN has been asking for international protection from Israel under International Law.

        He also said that if it didn’t stop they reserved the right to respond in kind, hit Damascus airport and they would hit Tel Aviv airport. They have missiles that are well capable of that.

    • michael norton

      I understood, Sony were primarily a Japanese conglomerate, they will do the best for Japan.
      While we in the United Kingdom, must do the best for the United Kingdom, RoS.

  • Republicofscotland

    Meanwhile as the Old Blighty ship sinks.

    “Brexit-backing businessman Sir James Dyson is to relocate the Dyson head office from the UK to Singapore.”

    “The bombshell announcement will mean Dyson is no longer a British registered company and Singapore will become its main tax base.”

    http://archive.fo/GHOnV

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Republicofscotland January 22, 2019 at 16:37
      One consolation if Old Blighty does sink, is bang goes one of Uncle Sam’s ‘unsinkable’ aircraft carriers.

      • JohninMK

        According to the Mail it means that 2-3 senior executives will move, at least to start. I suspect the main loss to the UK will be Corporation Tax.

  • Sharp Ears

    Ex DEFRA Minister, Owen Paterson, was on Sky News just now. Wearing a pale blue tie, he was sounding off for Brexit. This is what he has been up. Coining it and pushing GM in the process. What? No mention of chlorinated chicken Owen?

    These tweets say it for me.

    Paul
    (@PaulOnBooks)
    It seems Owen Paterson isn’t as thick as we all thought – he’s managed to find a loophole in Parliament’s rules (surprise, surprise) and is doing quite nicely out of anonymous donors (and by donors I do mean “corrupt business groups”). http://www.theguardian.com/pol…

    Molly Scott Cato MEP
    (@MollyMEP)
    Another dodgy Brexiteer straight out of Tufton Street, hiding behind his ‘think tank’ to fund trips to promote GM technology. More dark details about Owen Paterson here: https://badboysofbrexit.com/2018/01/16/owen-paterson/

    The Guardian link –
    Owen Paterson trips worth £39,000 funded by unknown donors
    Tory former minister’s trips including campaign for hard Brexit in US funded by donations to thinktank
    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jan/22/owen-paterson-trips-personal-thinktank-hard-brexit

    The Bad Boys of Brexit link –
    ‘Owen Paterson is a former cabinet minister, climate change “sceptic” and hard-line Brexiter.
    A regulation burner through and through, he has spent much of his political life railing against “EU red tape”, seeing this as an integral part of his neo-liberal Thatcherite ideology. Paterson’s war on “red tape” has dovetailed neatly with his refusal to accept well-established climate science. He opposes government support for renewable energy but backs fracking to the hilt, and when his views on climate change have been challenged he has trotted out myth after discredited myth.’

  • Republicofscotland

    More bad news for Old Blighty, though online banking is blamed this time.

    “Spanish-owned bank Santander is slashing its branch network putting 1,270 jobs at risk 140 branches will close.”

    • JohninMK

      Just following the well beaten path of the other banks. Nothing we can do about it unless we want our bank charges increased, use cheques again and call into branches.

  • Shug

    Does anyone know what the impact of a border will have in n ireland.
    So westminster will break the good friday agreement, so what. It would not be the first time they break their word.
    What will be the impact

  • Republicofscotland

    According to the BBC, a new terrorist spotting film funded by the FCO will, hit the cinemas soon.

    Remember to report anyone with a brown face who’s carrying a backpack, is I’m sure the underlying message.

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