The Hague Comes of Age 138


I am delighted by the acquittal of Laurent Gbagbo at the International Criminal Court. As I explained at the time in a series of articles, Gbagbo was ousted as President of Ivory Coast by a corrupt election and an armed insurgency, both funded by Western oil interests, chiefly but not solely by Trafigura plc.

Gbagbo was guilty in western eyes of failing to do what left wing African leaders are supposed to do, allow himself to be quickly butchered and his supporters massacred. So Gbagbo ended up at the International Criminal Court as a war criminal, while Big Oil’s puppet, Alassane Ouattara, is now comfortably ensconced in the Presidential Palace of Ivory Coast, and getting very rich indeed.

So the acquittal of Gbagbo today – which comes as something of a shock – represents a very important coming of age for the Hague. I have always, as an internationalist, supported the International Criminal Court, but its failure to be pro-active in prosecuting Tony Blair on the Nuremburg aggressive war precedent, and its serial record of convicting only the Western powers’ designated enemies, made it very difficult to defend.

The media, insofar as they have noticed the Gbagbo acquittal, portray it as a failure and an embarrassment for the court, as though the role of a court is simply to declare guilty and bang up everyone before it. In fact this may be the occasion on which the ICC finally came of age and discovered a nodding acquaintance with the concept of justice.

The number of foreign correspondents employed by British newspapers has fallen by over 90% in 20 years. One purpose of this blog is to supply information on countries and situations which I know personally, to which the MSM simply do not pay attention. It is worth noting that this blog has been campaigning against Chinese persecution of the Uighurs for 12 years before it became the latest fashionable cause or pretext for neo-cons to pretend concern about. Indeed when I started writing about the Uighurs in 2005, I am willing to bet not one of the MSM so-called journalists who have recently churned out copy and paste articles on the subject, had ever heard of them. In a fortnight’s time I am heading for other areas where the FCO travel advice strongly advises British citizens not to venture.

Remember tonight, there is a world beyond the Brexit debate and the crass and sordid mess of Westminster politics.


138 thoughts on “The Hague Comes of Age

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  • John Goss

    I’m really pleased that the ICC has acquitted Gbagbo in whom you have so long had faith of innocence. While there is a world beyond Brexit one of my fears has long been that the checks and balances provided by higher courts than the Supreme Court of a nation-state will be eroded in favour of the US model. These courts do not always get it right (the European Court did not in the cases of Babar Ahmed and Talha Ahsan for example) but as the UK human rights are vanishing before our eyes one of the reasons I voted remain was the chance of an appeal to a higher court. Habeas corpus hardly exists in this country today.

    Theresa May sent Babar Ahmed and Talha Ahsan to solitary confinement in the States. I don’t think she would have any reserves of doing the same for Julian Assange (though he is white). Like the Yanks we would probably cease to signatories to the ICC if we left the Union. Unfortunately in the larger picture Brexit still features strongly.

  • Republicofscotland

    It’s interesting to see that the Great Satan (USA) and the Little Satan (Israel) haven’t ratified the Rome Statute of the ICC. Nor do they intend to, as does Sudan and Russia.

    As for Gbagbo’s acquittal, it is a surprise, out of favour African leaders were at one time the Hagues bread and butter convictions. I wonder what’s changed?

  • Clark

    Extradited in 2011, acquitted in 2019. Bloody hell, has he been incarcerated all that time? “ICC judges ruled on Tuesday that he had no case to answer and ordered his immediate release”.

    • Tom Welsh

      In his case, the Milosevic technique – to keep him in prison under harsh conditions until he died of a heart attack – seems to have failed.

  • Loony

    It is hard to see how a tangential reference to the Ivory Coast constitutes a plank in an argument that there is a world beyond Brexit.

    Take a very close look at the Ivory Coast and see if you can spot any historic and ongoing influence and meddling by an outside power. The answer you are looking for would be France – the same France that is currently bombing its own population with teargas. The same France that finances its meddling in Africa via EU largesse. The same France that in fact owns the opulent Presidential Palace in Yamoussoukro and charges rent for it.

    Obviously France is not the same as Belgium – a country that prohibits its soldiers from sleeping in tents in Africa in case it gives Africans the “wrong idea” about Belgian civilization. But nonetheless both countries are part of the EU – and a desire by the ordinary people of the UK to stop financing such behavior is all part of what you and your ilk are so desperate to divert attention from.

    • Jo1

      Have you forgotten how the Great British Empire came into existence? And the hardest of Brexiteers, incidentally, are bloody proud of “such behaviour” so don’t suggest otherwise.

      • able

        It was always better to be ruled by the British than the French or the Belgians. And what China are are getting up to is going to make the British Empire look like the most benign thing that ever existed.

        • Republicofscotland

          Tell that to the Chagossians or in days gone by those at the Indian Amritsar massacre, or Boer concentration camps, or starving Irish or Indians during WWII.

        • J

          Better we kill, starve and rob you than those other bastards. Hear, hear!

          “Later the British tried to suppress the facts about this British-inflicted holocaust in India, occurring simultaneously with the German-inflicted genocide in Europe, as shown in the 1997 Channel 4 Secret History programme The Forgotten Famine.
          Indeed, this was not the first British-inflicted famine holocaust in British-ruled India. In 1901, The Lancet estimated conservatively that 19 million Indians had died in Western India during the drought famine of the 1890s. The death toll was so high because of the British policy of refusal to intervene and implement famine relief (unlike the anti-profiteering measures etc. taken by the Mughals and Marathas during famines) as detailed by American historian Mike Davis in his Late Victorian Holocausts. Similarly in the 1870s some 17 million or so Indians dies in the Deccan and South India due to the “let them starve” policies encouraged by Lord Lytton and other British rulers. ”

          http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ww2peopleswar/stories/82/a1934282.shtml

        • Andrew Ingram

          Ask Ireland about British rule, better still go see Black 47. Australia is an ongoing crime scene – the crime is genocide.

        • Deb O'Nair

          “And what China are are getting up to is going to make the British Empire look like the most benign thing that ever existed.”

          What a perverse view. China are “getting up to” building infrastructure such as roads, dams, hydroelectric generation plants, hospitals, airports etc in return for access to natural resources. Unlike the British who turned up, enslaved millions, put millions more in bondage, and regularly slaughtered by the tens of thousand while they were busy stealing all the riches. I can not understand how anyone can be so willfully ignorant.

          • Stephen Ambartzakis

            Deb, you take an extremely short sighted view of the “benevolent” Chinese, as an African (albeit a white one) let me tell you that what China is doing is purely purchasing Africa’s resources under cover of loans for the betterment of the people. Most Africans cannot see this, but you, as an educated person should. China already controls (totally) the port of Dar Es Salaam, the airports in Kenya and Tanzania and far more importantly the agricultural lands in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and south Sudan. They control this land in the name of “food security”. Right! Food security for China maybe.

          • richardfalvey555101905

            Stephen Ambartzakis, the Chinese are only doing what the rest of the West have consistently been doing since decolonisation, just less effectively and without paying for the extraction with infrastructure. Of course the Chinese are self serving and buying out the resources of Africa, but to suggest it’s any different to the activities of any other foreign interest is ridiculous. I’ll grant it has some specific Chinese characteristics in that it is explicitly state led and extremely well coordinated – but it’s just crapitalism at work.

          • Deb O'Nair

            I was in Ghana 30 years ago and the Chinese were viewed in a very positive way by many ordinary people. China, along with Russia, provided good bi-lateral trade to the Ghanaian economy when the West were restricting trade due to cold war animosities. Additionally, the ‘long term’ view on European colonisation is that it employed slavery, forced labour and frequent massacres while plundering the wealth like a bunch of pirates, and more recently it topples decent governments and props up despots and gansters to appropriate whatever resources it wants while spouting self-righteous sanctimonious twaddle about human rights.

        • Muscleguy

          I grew up in New Zealand. One of the early Governors was Robert Fitzroy of Beagle fame. He tried very hard to be fair to the local Maori population and even had white settlers who had killed Maori prosecuted, Imagine! He was starved of funds and replaced while under fire in the Bay of Islands. His successor charged with obtaining Maori land by hook or by crook (preferably the latter) was installed with a very much improved budget.

          The later New Zealand governments have been engaged in trying to undo and give restitution and pay reparations for deprivations of the Treaty of Waitangi. Much of the NZ fisheries quota was handed over to various Iwi groups (tribes, tribal confederations) for eg.

          The British quite famously pronounced Australia as Terra Nullius, despite it having a few million Aboriginal inhabitants whose ancestors have been there since about 50,000 BCE and who had a highly varied language structure much of which has been lost.

          Tasmanian Aborigines were hunted like foxes for sport and driven off cliffs.

          Also never, ever forget that it was the British, not Nazi Germany who invented the Concentration Camp, in South Africa during the Boer war. Countless Afrikaner civilians died in the camps, of starvation, of thirst of preventable and curable diseases.

          And of course Britain conducted ATMOSPHERIC nuclear tests in South Australia on Aboriginal land.

          I could go on and on and on. Perhaps you have to have lived and been educated and encultured outwith the UK to properly appreciate the reality of British Colonialism. If you are interested I can thoroughly recommend the excellent Penguin History of New Zealand by the late Michael King. I have the paperback edition and have read it, cover to cover at least twice and consulted sections many times.

          • Mochyn69

            Wherein lies the nonsense, oh (not so) wise one?

            Sounds about right to me. Perfidious Albion. ‘Twas ever thus!

            .

      • Loony

        What a ridiculous remark.

        Every society everywhere and at all times has produced examples of behavior that is not considered right, just or tolerable. The identification of such examples does not confer an obligation on citizens of one country to subsidize the criminality of elites in a foreign country.

        It seems a strange kind of morality that wails about the crimes of the past in one country and seeks to atone for those crimes by forcing people to subsidize the current and ongoing crimes of foreign elites. Maybe the inanity of your position is one reason why the great unwashed despise you with the same fervor that you despise them.
        .

    • Ken Kenn

      Strangely enough what all three have in common is that they are ex ( in physical manner ) Colonialists.

      In the modern world this is done ‘ online ‘ via digitally signed for agreements and exploitation thereof- rather than shooting cannon and gunshot at men armed with spears and posing armed with gun for a photo op complete with dead tigers.

      None is superior or worse than the other.

      Interesting figures re: foreign correspondents.

      This would explain why ‘rebels’ now operate in certain countries with the help of their own battery powered satellite uploading equipment. in order to send ‘info’ to a waiting western media.All in the emission of truth no doubt.

      In my day it was fishing line and two tin cans.

      My -how times change.

  • Caratacus

    While I am not particularly religious, I am comforted by the thought that ACL Blair will have to answer to a far greater, awful and august authority than the ICC. He may enjoy his ephemeral riches and imagined superiority for the briefest of periods in the grand scheme of things … but he will pay.

    • pretzelattack

      naw, he’ll just take a dirt nap like the rest of us, but it will be high class dirt and worms, with a big monument.

      • Ort

        In the US, the more vile and reprehensible the Elected Misrepresentative was in life, the more they are mawkishly lionized in death.

        Naturally, mass-media Team Coverage ratchets up the maudlin pretense.

        I was far less politically informed and aware in 1994, but when Richard M. Nixon died I was astonished at the Orwellian history-rewriting expressed, especially at his funeral. I wondered if a different Richard M. Nixon had passed away, because I simply didn’t recognize the one posthumously lauded by fellow politicians and media celebrities alike.

      • Tony

        But, once he’s dead, his reputation and legacy will turn totally to dirt, instead of just among the enlightened at present.

    • Contrary

      I was discussing the ages of various PMs with a friend recently, and commented that Blair looks much older than his age – definitely has not aged well – and she insisted it was the guilt, I was skeptical, but then, if you think about it, his immediate conversion to catholicism after leaving office – well, that offers confession & forgiveness doesn’t it? Could very well be there is guilt. He does look pretty decrepit.

      • Shatnersrug

        You know The Hague still has the gallows as it’s number one punishment for the ultimate crime of a war of aggression ? to bad I don’t believe in capital punishment.

      • Deb O'Nair

        He’s doing a Dorian Gray in reverse; while his public image in the media remains pristine in real life he’s showing the effects of his evil deeds.

    • Node

      While I am not particularly religious, I am comforted by the thought that ACL Blair will have to answer to a far greater, awful and august authority than the ICC.

      As an agnostic, I’d rather not bet on a ‘supreme’ court. Let’s hang the fucker now, just to be sure.

  • Ingwe

    I don’t think that this is the IFC coming of age at all. It still remains the case that the ICC only seeks prosecution of leaders of mostly African states (9 of the 11 investigations it has been involved in have involved African states). It has no jurisdiction over the US which is not and has never been a member.
    As you have pointed out, leaders like Blair, Netanyahu are never even indicted never mind prosecuted. And after years of Western villification of Milosevic, including denying him medical aid whilst in custody, when he was exonerated by the ICC hardly any comment was made on the acquittal. That fact that none of the KLA, Croatian or Albanian leaders were indicted says it all; it is a court for former Colonial masters and imperialists to lord it over those states and leaders who have had the temerity to consider alternative routes to development and democracy to those of the west and USUK.
    The acquittal of Gbagbo is welcome but that gives no legitimacy to the court at all.

  • N_

    Can someone please explain to Ian Blackford about Article 50, which he has called for Britain to “suspend”. Britain may revoke its Article 50 notification but it does not have the authority to suspend it. And in any case a withdrawal agreement can specify an exit date that is any amount of time after the submission of the letter.

    • remember kronstadt

      Can someone also ask him to stop walking to the cliff edge in the house of commons with earnest words and hurt leaving me with the expectation that he’s about to announce a referendum – only to sit down resigned and bemused.

      • Ken Kenn

        The question for himself – his party and the Lib Dems is:

        Are you going to support Labour’s no confidence motion tomorrow?

        That’s next business.

        • Dungroanin

          Need the one-nation tories to do the right thing – a dirty dozen.
          Never in the history of parliamentry democracy has a government so defeated hung on instead of going to the country.

          Scandolous. Outrageous. The People demand a choice.

  • able

    “In a fortnight’s time I am heading for other areas where the FCO travel advice strongly advises British citizens not to venture.”

    Let me guess.

    It begins with S…
    It ends with …land.

    It’s about to become independent.
    But it’s not Scotland!

    • Ken Kenn

      Are you going in the next two weeks to:

      Begins with P and ends in land?

      It’s a currency and actually costs more than what it says it does.

      One for the older readers here:

      Remember The Penny Tray?

      Inflation put paid to that.

      I blame Thatcher and Howe.

      By the way young children pay tax – it’s called VAT on their sweeties.

      Give them the vote in a Referendum.

  • pete

    It is surely just that Laurent Gbagbo has been acquitted. It is singularly unfortunate that he seems to have spent more that seven years on remand when there was no evidence against him. I can’t quite agree that the court in the Hague has quite come of age yet, but is is promising.
    Having no faith in any deity the thought that Anthony Charles Lynton Blair will get away with his war crimes fills me with dismay. If anyone deserves Psalm 109 to be set to music and sung at his funeral it must be he.

  • djm

    “Remember tonight, there is a world beyond the Brexit debate and the crass and sordid mess of Westminster politics”

    Yes there is.

    But a lot of this world you champion depends on the largesse extracted under duress from the UK Taxpayer.

    Anybody expecting that gravy train to continue will be sadly disappointed

    • joel

      International “aid” is not altruistic. It is designed to help British business extract wealth from developing countries.

  • Jack

    ICC cannot be taken seriously considering their blindness to western nations and their wars. Total corrupt organization. I fully understand African leaders giving them the boot.

      • Paul Barbara

        @ michael norton January 15, 2019 at 22:15
        Perhaps for the same kind of reason that Bliar, Bushes, Clintons. Obamas, Cheneys, Rumsfelds, Netanyahus etc haven’t?
        Just a wild guess.

        • giyane

          No, your list are all either Anglo Saxons or USUKIS. The Hague could be seen as having no legitimacy in southern Africa. Such short shrift would undermine the Hague’s overall credibility.
          Just as prosecuting USUKIS war-criminals might jeopardise the current USUKIS colonisation programme.

      • Deb O'Nair

        “I wonder why Robert G.Mugabe was never dragged into court?”

        I wonder why, when the British media and government were continually accusing him of human rights abuses and corruption, they allowed him to visit the UK frequently to receive medical attention while his wife would go on wild spending sprees in London, sometimes blowing in excess of £1m in Harrods.

  • michael norton

    Led by European Council president Donald Tusk, EU officials sensed an “opportunity” in the chaotic aftermath of Theresa May’s humiliating Commons defeat, to suggest reversing the results of the 2016 Brexit referendum.

    • 123Bakery

      Who or what is the real driving force behind Brexit? When it was announced, I do not believe for a second it was due to pressure from the British population. My hunch is that it is another kind of human experiment or part of a larger plan. David Cameron is a Zionist, he arranged it. It is highly significant that he is a Zionist, as they have a lot of form for screwing up nations.

      • giyane

        123Bakery

        Quite right. If things had gone according to Cameron’s neo-con plan, Somalia would now be fully colonised by Western corporations, Libya working slowly towards the incorporisation of its vast oil reserves and Syria being peace-kept by the Israelis, the tired little victim of European Fascism with its own Fascist apartheid system and paper democracy not worth the paper it’s written on.

        UK politics has been indoctrinated by 40 years of MSM racism, and the algorapists reckon this is a haul worth pulling in. The one and only reason why the Tories are now in power is their liaison with the banks to keep the bills being paid on time, and the insurance policy of populist racism now being cashed in. Oh dear it’s back-fired. Russia and China have defeated USUKIS in Syria, and Jeremy Corbyn has check-mated the algorhythm by telling the truth on domestic and foreign policy.

        May-day mayday. I’m on a small dinghy stuck in the middle of the busiest shipping channel in the world.
        Don’t worry darling, we’ve called a rescue boat from France to get you back to the EU as fast as we can.

      • Deb O'Nair

        Cameron was put into power with the eager assistance of Rupert Murdoch, who is now equally keen to see Boris Johnson move into no. 10.

  • Jack

    What is Labour’s alternative to May’s Brexit deal?
    After all, it was a referendum years ago, the government should have solved this wth EU long time ago for the populace and their will. But I guess what people think, that is democracy doesnt matter for the elite.
    Strong forces try to keep UK within the EU no matter what thats for sure.

  • BrianFujisan

    Then theres Yemen
    Then theres Palestine
    Then Theres Latin America
    Then theres Climate Change,,Everywhere.

    The MsM, Esp the bbC should be at the ICC courts for crimes against Humanity..And some of them ( bbC ) for war crimes.

    Stay Safe Craig.

  • Paul Barbara

    Great post. I have to be careful with my pennies, but I have decided to donate towards your hard-hitting blog.

  • giyane

    China persecutes Islamism, which Erdogan is proselytising in Western China, as also Saudi Arabia has done in Myanmar , leading to attacks on the military by the Myanmar Muslims trained in Saudi Islamism.

    As a Muslim who has been cheated and lied to for half of my 20 years practice of Islam, I know personally that Islamism is a travesty of Islam. The Qur’an tells us these people are hypocrites, who use the name of Islam to create war, and from war profit as mercenaries , and from occupation of Muslim lands spend their ill-gotten gains on buying up the worthless property in the country they have despoiled of government or normal trade.

    The party that has been humiliated in the sordid little world of Westminster has only failed to deliver a competent Brexit because its sights are focussed against Russia and China, by foul means , not fair, supporting the disgusting philosophy of the organisation they founded, the Muslim Brotherhood, which believes in war. by telling the Muslims that they are weak because they don’t fight, the Muslim Brotherhood has allowed the Zionists to not just weaken but completely destroy a long list of Muslim nations.

    These hypocrites, the product of British Intelligence in Egypt after WWI, make themselves all things to all people. To Sufis they play tapes of the Qur’an like wailing cats echoing in a cave where the Sufis renounce the world. To the young they play Islamic raps and songs. To women they address household issues with feminist spin. Their political minds understand the psychology of their audiences. In Western China the Islamists , assisted by USUKIS have tried to do what they tried to do in Chechnya, infiltrate the Muslims with rebellion against their non-Muslim overlords. Russia obliterated Grozny. China is trying to cap the influence of Islamism by restricting the practice of Islam and imprisoning Muslims.

    The BBC visited one of those prisons containing 11,000 political detainees. Relatively small compared with the overall population of China. USUKIS propaganda against China is a tired old cassette. It is the West that is fomenting war and to tell the truth always has done. Yesterday heralded the arrival of a man of peace in the sordid corridors of Westminster. Yes it’s sordid. Piss ups in breweries comes to mind. But we shouldn’t forget that for ten years USUKIS has been fomenting war in Syria, and before that it destroyed the richest country in Africa. Before that they wrecked Somalia in which Cameron has a particular interest having cut his political teeth buying and selling South Africa’s nuclear weapons.

    If Jeremy Corbyn comes to power this week China will no longer have to protect itself against the Islamists. The Muslim Brotherhood and all its hypocrisy will be banned. Normal Muslim life can be resumed in the Middle East, and Erdogan will get his pit-bull neck chained.

    • Deb O'Nair

      I am not condoning China’s treatment on the Uighurs, but the reason that China fears them is that NATO and the Gulf states have been long engaged in a campaign promoting Jihad and civil unrest amongst the Uighurs. This is confirmed by the reports that up to 10,000 Uighurs went to Syria via Turkey to be trained up in terrorist tactics and then sent back to China, which is the reason that China recently locked up so many of them; as far as China is concerned they have a US/NATO trained army sitting within their borders.

      • giyane

        D O’N

        I agree. Ten years late we get to understand the full calculated evil of NATO ‘s plan. Thank goodness usukis will thus deprive themselves permanently of Chinese innovation by being so stupid.

        Pissups breweries modelled on a grand scale on its failed imperialism . Oh for the lost glories of the opium wars. Apologies to any Chinese readers that are not familiar with British irony. What i mean is that the brits think you didn’t notice what they did to you last time.

  • N_

    The “meaningful vote”: Ayes 202, Noes 432. Total votes: 634.

    There are 650 MPs, so who was the MP who abstained?

    I mean apart from the following 15:
    7 Sinn Fein
    1 Speaker
    3 Deputy Speakers
    4 Tellers

    Perhaps it was Fiona Onasanya?

  • N_

    Did anyone else notice Theresa May’s pathetic move to say she was being kind enough to grant government parliamentary time tomorrow to debate a motion of no confidence in her government? The truth is that parliamentary time is always granted when the leader of the opposition tables a motion of no confidence in the government.

    Who does she think she is – Donald Trump? Her behaviour reminds me of how he said he had acceded to the Democrats’ “request” to build a fence rather than a wall.

    She also didn’t have the backbone to say she will ask for talks with leaders of opposition parties. She said instead that she’d discuss with “senior parliamentarians”.

    Everyone knows she’s incompetent. Does any journalist in the country have the backbone to spot that she is arrogant and haughty with it?

    • N_

      I think it’s unlikely she’s going to pivot to Labour by espousing a permanent customs union (even if Tory PM Edward Heath did have to rely on Labour MPs to take Britain in to the EU in the first place).

      My instinct says this is heaven for the Tories in a long-term sense. They’re not in agony. They’re loving it. Malthusianism is coming home, and there’s nothing they’ll enjoy more, not even watching dogs brutally tear foxes apart and then wiping the blood on their children’s faces to give them “character”, than presiding over a mass cull of the proletariat, of the so-called “members of the public” whom they view as absolute filth and as uncouthly lazy and ungrateful even when they receive bowls full of rich men’s vomit that the self-denying rich have generously ladled for them. Most of the radical left underestimate the sheer evil of the Tory mentality. This is going to be No Deal, probably after another referendum.

      • N_

        Three cabinet ministers – foreign secretary Philip Hammond, business secretary Greg Clark, and Brexit secretary Stephen Barclay – were on the phone for an hour with Tesco CEO John Allan (who is also chairman of the CBI) after the result of tonight’s “meaningful vote”.

        Hoard food.

          • Sharp Ears

            Just saw that Allan is Chairman.

            ‘Allan took over chairman of Tesco from Sir Richard Broadbent on 1 March 2015. He is also chairman of the housebuilder Barratt Developments.

            Allan’s experience spans retail, logistics and housebuilding. He was deputy chairman of retailer Dixons Carphone and non-executive director at Royal Mail. He was also previously chairman of Samsonite and he has been a non-executive at National Grid, PHS Group and Hamleys. Allan was noted as an instrumental figure in the £3.7bn merger of Dixons and Carphone Warehouse’. Wikipedia

            Carphone Warehouse was co-founded by one Charles Dunstone, a pal of Agent Cameron who gave him a knighthood. What a ghastly crowd.

            ‘He is an optimist, he says. “I always think the best of everyone. I treat people like that and they rarely let me down.” Rebekah Brooks, Tony Blair and David Cameron were all guests at his wedding to Celia Gordon Shute in 2009, as was Peter Mandelson. Once a New Labour supporter, he switched to the Tories under Cameron, and it was Cameron who gave Dunstone his knighthood two years ago. He was the PM’s first follower on Twitter — even before his wife. “I am a Cameron supporter,” he says. “But Cameron is not Tony Blair.” ‘
            https://www.standard.co.uk/lifestyle/london-life/the-best-connected-man-in-business-carphone-warehouse-billionaire-charles-dunstone-on-cameron-9527339.html

    • Casual Observer

      Ms May reached the end of her road some time ago, the only reason she’s still there, and will remain so, is because nobody at this point will touch the job for fear of ‘Owning’ whatever transpires from the Brexit imbroglio.

      Needless to say the blowhard hard Brexit proponents will ensure that the government survives a confidence vote, but will avoid at all costs any meaningful testing of whatever support they think they may have.

      • N_

        What do you envisage happening after a motion of no confidence gets voted down?

        She won’t last long if she pivots to a permanent customs union. There’d be huge holes in the cabinet.

        There’s going to be another referendum.

        Boris Johnson has urged that people prepare “enthusiastically” (sic) for No Deal. What a sick bastard. But then look what party he’s in – a party of sick bastards.

        • N_

          So many “wise” commentators are opining that the oh-so-patrician and responsible politicians won’t “allow” a No Deal option to get put to the “people” in a referendum. Really? Nowadays they all think they are experts on advertising (election and referendum campaigning, meme engineering, Stephen Bannon, populism, whatever), and they copy each other’s references to Ramsay MacDonald and the Corn Laws, but many Tories are absolutely loving this and are in no mood to forgo what they’ve got a taste of in their nostrils.

        • giyane

          Mrs May will resign. An election will be called. Jeremy Corbyn will win on a Norway + ticket.
          Freedom of movement will be seen to be a price worth paying for freedom of trade.
          There is no other possible outcome in the ridiculous circumstances of a Tory Party that thought it could use populist racism as a tool in British politics.

          This is the party that thought you could feed cows with sheep offal. Dumbos. and rather expensive dumbos if war reparations for 30 years of trashing our Muslim neighbours ever had to be repaid.

          • Paul Barbara

            @ giyane January 16, 2019 at 02:48
            Actually it wasn’t ‘sheep offal’ that caused Mad Cow Disease. See ‘What causes BSE, CJD & MS? Organic Farmer Mark Purdey on Organophosphates (2001)’: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MheeiX2w8JU
            and read Mark’s ‘Animal Pharm: One Man’s Struggle to Discover the Truth about Mad Cow Disease and Variant CJD’.
            He ‘contracted’ brain disease and died.

          • Clark

            Paul Barbara – “Actually it wasn’t ‘sheep offal’ that caused Mad Cow Disease”

            Most odd then that Mad Cow Disease stopped when feedstuffs were regulated.

          • Clark

            I’m 12 minutes into the video and Mark Purdy has been presenting a pretty convincing case; he has answered my objection above.

          • Clark

            Mark Purdey has a Wikipedia page:

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Purdey

            His organophosphate theory was taken seriously, and published in peer-reviewed journals. The government inquiry into BSE considered Purdey’s theory, but found it to be inconsistent with certain evidence. Purdey accepted this criticism and modified his theory accordingly; the government enquiry referred to this in their final report:

            “1123. The theory that BSE was caused by a reaction to the use of organophosphorus compounds (OPs) poured on cattle as systemic pesticides cannot be reconciled with the epidemiology and is not supported by research. One experiment has, however, given some limited support to the possibility that the OP phosmet might modify the susceptibility of cells to the prion disease agent.”

            This story is a fine example of the scientific community applying the scientific method.

        • Casual Observer

          Sadly there’s no way the entertainment of seeing Johnson et al being forced to return to their own vomit can happen without forcing everybody to endure at least a decade of austerity plus. They know this, and so will continue to snipe from the sidelines confidant in the knowledge that their bluff will never be called.

          It will be particularly irksome to see these boobies years hence declaring that if only we’d have stuck to our guns, things would have worked. And in the process proving the old adage about Harlots 🙂

        • Tatyana

          N_
          I’m trying to understand what’s the fuss around Brexit.
          Here’s some opinions from an article by Irina Alksnis in russian news:

          “… Exit from the EU without a plan pre-agreed with Brussels, promises to turn for Britain, if not a catastrophe, then something close to it. At the Brexit negotiations, the European Union mercilessly pushed London into a corner, forcing the British to a very bad agreement for them. In the event of the release of Britain, without any agreement, Brussels is quite capable of putting the British economy on the brink of collapse, and maybe even pushing it beyond that boundary. Europe has opportunities for this, which is why, in fact, Mrs. May so ardently defended the agreement: she knows for sure that the alternative may be much worse…”

          “… refuse to leave the EU … another referendum … has the same problem as the exit without prior agreement: if Britain “crawls back”, Brussels will make her pay – and expensively – for trying to revolt … deprive of numerous privileges and advantages … openly subordinate position in relation to Brussels. And to Berlin.”

          “… The agreement with the EU is bad, very bad, but it is really the least evil for Britain in the current conditions. All other options threaten to turn into a disaster in the literal sense of the word. May’s position is that of a statesman who realizes and accepts reality, even if she doesn’t like it very much …
          the British MPs, who rejected the agreement yesterday… can, with a clear conscience, tell their voters, who don’t like it either, that they didn’t support it (the agreement) – and thus secure their political careers. But they showed complete irresponsibility as politicians and statesmen, demanding a different Globe for themselves, because the real one does not suit them …”

          source
          https://ria.ru/20190116/1549412203.html

          is it correct perception of reality?

          • James

            This is the argument put forward by Theresa May.

            The deal was worse in many people’s eyes than staying in as it restricted our ability to agree trade deals with other countries.
            Giyane:

            The writer gets it all wrong: the deal was a very bad deal no one could support.

            The writer of the article obviously has not read the 500 pages deal and is taking the side of Theresa May.

            The deal in many ways is like the association agreeement that Ukraine signed – all in favour of the EU and no benefits to the Ukraine. That is is the best way to understand it.

            And it also threatened the position of Northern Ireland which wants to remain part of the UK.

            The deal was voted against by those that want to leave and those who wish to remain so the assessment of the writer is wrong – a bad deal cannot be voted for.

            Theresa may in my view did not try to negotiate a good deal for the UK she wants to remain tied to the EU and that is why the deal was rejected.

          • Contrary

            T May’s ‘red lines’ – the conditions they set – are incompatible with each other. There is no reality in their thinking. If they want fully out of all EU institutions, they should ensure Irish reunification, if the want to keep Northern Ireland so badly, they should have forgone leaving the customs union and/or single market. The Tories want both, but it is an impossible situation and EU drafted the best agreement they could under these petulant conditions. It is a bad deal for the uk, everyone agrees, but it is the only deal that can even vaguely fit with the red-lines insisted on. There has to be a compromise somewhere, and politicians to start behaving like adults, before any kind of rational non-damaging arrangement can be made. It is the uncompromising red-lines that will cause the damage.

    • giyane

      N_

      is there any other religion than the Church of England, founded by a fat king 500 years ago? May is of the same opinion , that there is no other party than her own. It’s not called arrogance, it’s called exceptionalism. Same as brain-washing Muslims to violent jihad is politely called torture rendition.

      Looks like we’ve got to choose between loss of sovereignty and loss of dignity. We either go back to the EU with our tail between our legs and say ” It’s over to you”. Or we have to jettison our other euphemisms, like austerity for bankruptcy; hit above our weight abroad, for destroy our neighbours; or United Kingdom, for life-choice to remain in a master slave relationship with our peers.

      • N_

        @Giyane – Agreed it is crazed manic exceptionalism, a whole culture of it, akin to an ever louder banging of tables.

        • giyane

          ” banging of tables ” and dancing on the tables with their cod-pieces sticking out like a Breughel drinking scene.

          • Deb O'Nair

            There was a painter called Breughel
            Who’s use of colour was quite frugal
            One day in a rush he sat on a brush
            And now he can only doodle.

          • giyane

            Deb’ O

            There once was a leader called Smeagal
            Whose call to her troops was quite regal
            She’d sit on her throne
            With many a moan
            And call to the war with her bugle

      • BrianFujisan

        ” for life-choice to remain in a master slave relationship ”

        We Scots Know All about that N

  • Charles Bostock

    Murray

    Why not a single word about FRENCH INVOLVEMENT ??

    The nearest you get is “Western”.

    Is it because you only ever nominatively castigate the United Kingdom?

  • Sharp Ears

    Anna Holligan’s take on the significance of the acquittal. The BBC’s not happy!

    ‘An acquittal for Laurent Gbagbo won’t have a major destabilising impact on the court, but cumulatively and symbolically it will rattle its foundations.

    Any silver linings?

    Today’s ruling demonstrates the judges’ independence and impartiality while raising troubling questions about the future role and focus for this beacon of international justice.

    But at least allowing a former president to walk free makes it harder to push the narrative, popular among those who fear the long arm of the ICC, that the court is a biased weapon of neo-colonial justice, used purely to convict African leaders.

    As Ms Anderson points out: “It’s important also to find people not guilty or to find there isn’t a case to answer if there isn’t one.”‘

    BBC News – Laurent Gbagbo case: Ivory Coast leader’s acquittal rattles ICC foundations
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-46874517

  • Andyoldlabour

    As Joel correctly pointed out in an earlier post which many chose to ignore, the reason why Blair and others, particularly from the US will never face the ICC, is because of a very important piece of US legislation, which exempts the US and its allies from ever facing justice in the Hague.
    It is called – “The Hague Invasion Act”, which was signed off by George W Bush in 2002.

    https://www.hrw.org/news/2002/08/03/us-hague-invasion-act-becomes-law

      • giyane

        May thinks she has the electorate over a barrell . We blink and we get no deal. Craig is right about it being sordid. Basically it’s blackmail.

        She has underestimated how much people resent blackmail. MPs will face her down until she resigns. Nobody will ever sign for her joke of a deal.

  • Sharp Ears

    Not about Cote d’Ivoire but the DRC and the so called Royal Museum of Central Africa located in Brussels. There is also an article about this in the i today but there is no link. The website is poor.

    ‘Joseph Kabila, who has been in power in DRC since his father’s assassination in 2001, said he was seeking to bring back art and documents so they could be held in a new Congolese national museum being funded by the South Korean government.

    Belgium’s Africa Museum is located in Tervuren, on the outskirts of Brussels, near the site where a “human zoo” of 267 Congolese men, women and children was staged on the orders of King Leopold in 1897. It has been closed for five years to allow for a €75m (£67m) renovation and “decolonisation” process.

    The institution, whose 11,000 sq ft of exhibition space is now double what it was, is reopening on Saturday in the presence of Belgian and Congolese dignitaries, to tell the story of Africa and its colonisation through the eyes of Africans, with a “very critical” view of the racist and cruel Belgian regime in Congo.’

    Belgium’s revamped Africa Museum triggers request by DRC
    Congolese president’s desire for restitution of artworks will be considered, says director
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/dec/08/belgium-revamped-africa-museum-demands-congo-kabila

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