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1,942 thoughts on “Craig is in Jacobabad

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  • N_

    Is there an unofficial D-Notice on the real reason that the Democratic Unionist Party opposes the EU?

    You’ve got to wonder, given that surely some editors among Fleet Street’s finest have sussed what the reason is. I mean in addition to the receipt of bribes from Russia and I__ael. (You can’t expect a Calvinist not to stuff his pockets.) I mean the religious culture which tells the bluenose Calvinist DUP nutters that the EU is the Antichrist and full of satanic representatives of the Church of Rome?

    I haven’t seen a single reference in the mainstream media to this.

    • Sharp Ears

      The rabble rouser Paisley lives on.

      ‘What does the DUP stand for?
      It is pro-union (UK, not Europe), pro-Brexit and socially conservative.
      The party is the fifth largest in Parliament, but it wasn’t always so popular.
      It started as a one-man-band, with Rev Ian Paisley, a fundamentalist Protestant preacher, at its helm.
      He founded the party in 1971 in opposition to what he saw as the increasingly liberal approach of the Ulster Unionists – the party of the political establishment since the state was founded in 1921.’

      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-46903876

      • N_

        They want Northern Ireland to be completely at one with other parts of Britain (except when they can scam heating grants) and to have a lovely open border to the Republic of Ireland too, and at the same time they want a rock hard Brexit and they want that very same border to be an external EU border. Check. They what? It’s clear that irrational ideology is coming into play here. They’re pissing into their own chips because their rabid religious bigotry tells them to. They are all about not letting Catholics or imagined Catholics tell them what to do or “infiltrate” into their midst. That’s who they see themselves as – the people who have done this for 300 years. If there’s one thing they hate, it’s Catholics. They think Donald Tusk sucks worms from the devil’s bottom. If they couldn’t imagine Catholics were telling them what to do and that they were heroically standing up to the threat, they’d feel as though they’d lost everything.

        • SA

          “They want Northern Ireland to be completely at one with other parts of Britain ..” except when it comes to terminations of pregnancy and gay marriage.

        • Herbie

          The DUP are both religious and secular. SF are secular.

          The millennials growing up today are clueless about the past sectarian strife.

          It’s almost like the pre-Troubles period again.

          And heading in a Globalist direction. We’d need a return to violence to bugger the Globalist plan.

          So, I don’t think the Globalist faction will be starting it.

          • IrishU

            You are woefully mistaken to suggest that ‘millenials’ are cluelss about past sectarian strife. One need only look at the youth wings of the DUP and SF to see that young people are as divided as their parents’ generation. It would be more accurate to state that ‘millenials’ by and large did not have the same exposure to violence as their parents and grandparents.

            Unless you are from Northern Ireland, please don’t suggest ‘we need a return to voilence’.

          • jake

            “The millennials growing up today are clueless about the past sectarian strife.”
            That, surely has to qualify for the most ignorant comment on the internet to date.
            It’s a troll, of course, but a true classic. Chapeau!

          • Herbie

            I’m not. You’re just looking at things as a political nerd, assuming younger people think like you.

            My knowledge of NI is fairly extensive.

          • IrishU

            A political nerd or someone with actual knowledge of NI and young people? Hmm…

            Your knowledge is certainly not extensive judging by your contributions here. When did you last visit and speak to a young person in NI?

            I live in Northern Ireland and I can assure you that ‘millennials growing up today are clueless about the past sectarian strife’ is absolute nonsense. It is taught in school, parents reference it and our politics is defined by two sectarian parties which emerged from the ‘sectarian strife’.

            As I stated, the youth wings of all parties are stuffed with people who know about sectarianism (some even practice it), our universities have thriving protest and counter-protest groups rooted in sectarianism and social media is awash with young experts on on NI’s history and politics.

            So all in all your comment was unsubstantiated nonsense.

          • Herbie

            “A political nerd or someone with actual knowledge of NI and young people? Hmm…”

            A political nerd.

            “Your knowledge is certainly not extensive judging by your contributions here.”

            Oooooh.

            “When did you last visit and speak to a young person in NI?”

            Christmas

            “I live in Northern Ireland and I can assure you that ‘millennials growing up today are clueless about the past sectarian strife’ is absolute nonsense. It is taught in school, parents reference it and our politics is defined by two sectarian parties which emerged from the ‘sectarian strife’.”

            Means nothing in terms of levels of cluelessness.

            “As I stated, the youth wings of all parties are stuffed with people who know about sectarianism (some even practice it), our universities have thriving protest and counter-protest groups rooted in sectarianism and social media is awash with young experts on on NI’s history and politics.”

            So, back to the political nerds again.

            “So all in all your comment was unsubstantiated nonsense.”

            I think I’ve got you on the political nerds. Your focus is much too narrow,

          • IrishU

            @Herbie,

            Haha where to start with that ‘response’?

            I will ignore your trope – political nerd as it is valueless. Although I always find it amusing when someone has to repeat something over and over rather than address the substance of the issue.

            Do you care to explain why you think millennials are clueless about the past sectarian strife’ when It is taught in school, parents reference it and our politics is defined by it? How can millennials or others be ignorant of that? No doubt you are aware that over 90% of children in NI are educated in religiously segregated schools. So how can you dismiss the above with ‘means nothing in terms of levels of cluelessness’?

            I will try a different tack, what evidence can you produce to support your claim (from a distance) that millennials are clueless about the past sectarian strife? Anything?

          • Herbie

            “I will ignore your trope – political nerd as it is valueless.”

            It has the value of distinguishing between those who are interested in politics and those who couldn’t care less.

            You, for example, are a political nerd, a political junkie if you like, and you assume therefore every young person has your interest in the subject.

            “Do you care to explain why you think millennials are clueless about the past sectarian strife’ when It is taught in school, parents reference it and our politics is defined by it? How can millennials or others be ignorant of that? No doubt you are aware that over 90% of children in NI are educated in religiously segregated schools. So how can you dismiss the above with ‘means nothing in terms of levels of cluelessness’?”

            WWII was a much more devastating event than the NI Troubles. Yet those born in its aftermath, the baby boomers, couldn’t care less about WWII. That was the past. Ancient history. Young people were looking forward.

            “I will try a different tack, what evidence can you produce to support your claim (from a distance) that millennials are clueless about the past sectarian strife? Anything?”

            The above baby boomers and the fact that young people, particularly these days, have many more distractions to occupy themselves with than politics.

            That and the fact that you have to be quite creative to get the general public interested in politics these days, never mind the yoof.

          • IrishU

            Herbie,

            You have provided zero evidence to support your claims on young people and sectarianism. It is nothing but your opinion, which must be based on very little experience of Northern Ireland. Anyone who has spent time here would not make such an obviously ridiculous statement.

            I refer you back to religiously segregated schools, lack of mixing across all generations etc.

            You claim I am too focused by comparing NI with WWII and the young of NI with the baby boomers.

            I wish your statement, “That was the past. Ancient history. Young people were looking forward” was true. Sadly it is not.

          • Herbie

            So, all these young people who aren’t involved in politics, what is it you claim they know about the past sectarian strife?

    • giyane

      N_

      Why would one use logic ( autocorrect doesn’t seem to like that word which is odd if it runs on that system ) on any aspect of Tory dogma please?

      I am a friendly kind of chap . I’m So sorry my pit-bull shook your little baby. So much of politics is creating false distortions of reality to busy our minds with irrelevant lies to camouflage their bastardly crimes.

      Tories always lie. Please switch off logical thought and reverse all lies. You’ll be closer to the truth : The DUP love the EU. NI will soon reunite with Dublin. Tories and their pit bull that eat babies will have to be put down after this deliberate trashing of the British economy and legislature called brexit.

      • michael norton

        It is a peoples protest.
        It has been going on for 1/4 year, Macron sends in terror forces to fight the peoples protesters.
        In the U.K. we had a peoples referendum, we have not rioted, yet.

          • Tony

            No, Clark, it wasn’t a silly question. The government explained in crystal clear language that leaving the EU meant leaving the customs union and leaving the single market. And they even went to the extent of illegally using thirteen million pounds of public money to support one side of the debate by sending out a leaflet recommending the remain option to every single household in the UK.

            The question wasn’t silly. Your answer was.

          • Clark

            A leaflet?! At the exorbitant cost of 48 pence per household, including delivery? To explain the impact of wrenching free of forty years of interactive development, and the volumes of complex legislation that regulate it? Wow, that was really bad.

            But hey, most of the people themselves paid for a whole newspaper every day of those forty years, with story after story about how bad the EU was, and how everything that’s wrong is because there are too many damn lazy immigrants.

          • Tony

            A leaflet in which our government broke from impartiality and advised us to support remain, using thirteen million pounds of our money to do so. And yet remainders would have us believe that a bit of spam on Facebook and Twitter had far more influence on the vote! And that one of the unofficial leave groups spending less than half of what the government spent on the leaflet makes the result invalid!

          • Clark

            Has this government leaflet been found to be illegal by a court? Has anyone even raised charges? Those aren’t rhetorical questions, and I don’t already know the answers, so please answer them. It seems to me that the government was just doing its job in this case, which is to give the best advice possible to the population based upon objective data.

            As for Cambridge Analytica, it was their own claim that they swung the vote, so that might be just a marketing exaggeration. But we are talking about a military grade psy-op, by an outfit with private school / military roots that has contracted to swing elections etc. in many parts of the world.

            Over the past few decades I haven’t noticed any pro-EU propaganda, but it has been impossible to avoid the constant drip-feed of completely facile anti-EU propaganda; you know, banana curvature, cheese naming, furriners interfering with our oven glove regulations, and so on and so on and… It really has been most tiresome. Plus all the tabloid immigrant bashing, of course. Feeding tribalism is ever popular, unfortunately.

            You’re obviously far more motivated about this than I am. Why do you hate the EU so much?

          • Clark

            “But we are talking about a military grade psy-op…”

            Just to expound a bit, you’re talking about a cutting edge psychological manipulation technique based upon covert surveillance of social media, to build a psychological profile such that the most manipulative messages can be personally targetted at the most critical moments, through the most personal communications channels available. Do you support this “bit of spam” technology in other cases, such as fomenting protests and “grass-roots movements” to precipitate regime change in places like Syria, Iran and Ukraine? I guess the end justifies the means for you…

          • Tony

            Clark, Clark, Clark…..remember where you are posting. The government isn’t going to be challenged over their overstepping the mark on referendum advice any more than Blair, Straw, et-al are going to be sent to The Hague ICC, where they belong. And the government’s using public money to support the remain campaign failed miserably, anyway, so nobody on the leave side is looking for recriminations.

            So now you’re, sort-of, supporting the facebook conspiracy theories? Wow, just wow! It’s amazing what nonsense people will support, when it appears to back up their opinion on a subject. Robert (WMD) Mueller and Damian (expense account) Collins have a leading ally on Craig’s forum folks.

          • Clark

            It’s well documented who Cambridge Analytica are, what they did and how they did it. They harvested personal data to create individual psychological profiles, to craft the most effectively manipulative propaganda devised to date. That’s not a conspiracy theory; we know exactly who they are, and which academic they ripped off to develop their system. No wider, generalised, undefined conspiracy is invoked.

          • Clark

            And I don’t care that violent shitheads support Remain. It has no bearing on the issue, and in any case, plenty of other shitheads support Leave.

          • Tony

            It’s well documented what Cambridge Analytica have TRIED to do. Whether-or-not their techniques are effective is unproven. I think they largely don’t, because most people using Facebook are only interested in their personal interactions. And it appears that CA agree, judging by their recent actions. But, hey it’s a great scapegoat for the globalists to use to blame for everything that doesn’t go their way. Well, CA and the Russians too, of course.

          • Clark

            OK, you claim that Cambridge Analytica’s technique doesn’t work, but the vast majority of people believe themselves to be immune from both advertising and the placebo effect, despite both being well validated statistically. I expect its effectiveness will be demonstrated in due course by experiments in the science of psychology. And you would say that anyway, because your Holy Grail secured a mere 1.8% margin in a constitutional referendum, which generally require either a 60/40 majority, or 50% of the entire electorate.

            But either way it isn’t a conspiracy theory because a vast but unidentified and unverifiable conspiracy was neither proposed nor necessary. Therefore you used the term either mistakenly, or as a smear tactic, just as governments frequently do. You could demonstrate that it was an honest mistake by retracting that claim.

          • Tony

            Clark, you are buying into the hype/Kool Aid about CA because it fits your prejudices. Such advertising techniques are in their infancy, and are seriously undeveloped. They might well bespoke their media posts, but the media they are using aren’t friendly to their campaigns: they are media where the vast majority of users are only interested in self-advertising and the self-advertising of their friends and colleagues. These users can’t be made to read or share posts that are of no interest to the vast majority of of them, no matter how bespoke they are. I’m quite sure that, eventually, with advances of technology, ways will be found to get this type of advertising home effectively. But we’re not even close yet. As opposed to the more traditional forms of advertising, which suckered in the masses long ago under the guise of being a part of the overall entertainment package that they enjoy when they use visual media or pick up printed media.

    • N_

      In May 1968 when burning cars were used for barricades on the Left Bank boulevards – not Porsches or Ferraris – the owners came down from their flats and handed out chocolate to the rebels.

      Unfortunately the Paris Bourse building only suffered superficial damage that month.

      Next time…and that time may be soon…

  • jeffleb

    A(n attempt at a) philosophical question to start the day (I’m a late sleeper) –

    If the universe that we exist in and all that inhabits it did NOT EXIST, could you* accept/acknowledge that it may well exist?

    *even though you wouldn’t exist 🙁

    This question may need refinement and may or may not be related to the question of God and faith.

    (nb. If the above makes no sense let me know as I may need to reduce my daily dose of peyote)

    Good day to ye all.

    • Clark

      The answer resolves to something like: “I think, therefore I am”, but that statement was too narrow. It should be: “I am aware of thinking, therefore awareness and thought exist”.

      • N_

        René Descartes was vicious and thought non-human animals could not feel pain because they could not feel anything, and that when one cried out in agony it was just an object making a noise. This is where “I think therefore I am” led its originator. He is a bête noire for antivivisectionists. Later his obscenely vile approach got applied to human beings in the form of behaviourism.

        • Clark

          That makes sense. Animals seem not to have thoughts as such, but they very clearly have awareness.

          Still, don’t judge too harshly; Descartes was a product of the social environment of his time, as we all are. The prevailing view was religious, that God had given man dominion over the animals, and since God is love, he couldn’t possibly have endowed animals with pain. Descartes’ mind-body dualism was necessary to free science from the intellectual despotism of religion, and it is that very science, in its developed form, that has proven that humans are just animals too.

          • Tony

            Animals seem not to have thoughts? That hasd to be about as dumb an opinion as I have ever seen.. Every species, right down to bacteria, might be currently below us on the the pecking order, but to describe them as thoughtless/unintelligent is as dumb as it gets. Tell your doctor that the next time you need some antibiotics Clark.

          • Herbie

            “it is that very science, in its developed form, that has proven that humans are just animals too.”

            Has it.

            Anyway.

            Any idea where that sort of thinking might lead?

          • Clark

            Tony, I didn’t write “unintelligent”; non-human animals are intelligent. But thought is a funny thing. People think some incredibly stupid things, whereas other animals don’t suffer from that. Can you imagine a dog buying a lottery ticket or thinking they’d be more attractive if they had an iPhone?

            The thing about thought is that it tends to dominate and thereby obscure our underlying nature from ourselves. That’s why things like Buddhist practice were developed.

          • Clark

            Ever encountered a hypochondriac cat or seen a deer suffering from a delusion that it had to find Father Christmas and pull his sleigh? These would be aberrations of thought; humans suffer from such problems quite commonly.

          • Clark

            Herbie, yes it has, in multiple ways. It should have been obvious, of course; humans eat, shit, breathe, reproduce and die, in similar ways to other animals, but because thought and ideas dominate, generations of people came to believe that they were God’s special creation, in a different class to the animals.

            Hey look; the rabbits have built an altar and they’re sacrificing their young to please the gods and ensure the rains come… Nope; rabbits aren’t that dumb.

          • Johny Conspiranoid

            Why do animals seem not to have thoughts to you? How can you tell if an animal is thinking or not?
            People learnt to enslave each other when they learnt to enslave animals. People, like animals, need to be conditioned in some way to be usefully enslaved.
            Everything you can see people and animals do is in contradiction to Descate’s mind body dualism.
            If peoples habituated muscle responses are changed, the larger patterns of behaviour the muscles are part of can change, suggesting the mind and the body work together as a single system.

          • Rowan Berkeley

            I should say that the real difference is that they don’t think in words. This is because they do not have any organs capable of forming words, so the possibility does not arise. If they did speak, as we do, then they would learn also to think in words. However, even in the absence of such, animals presumably think, but in images. To a limited degree, we can show that animals think in this way: when we observe a conditioned behaviour in a dog, for example.

          • Clark

            Jonny, I don’t claim that Descate’s mind body dualism was true; I’m a non-dualist myself. I claim it was a necessary backwards step on science’s path of going around the religious obstruction blocking its path.

            I should have specified “conscious thought”, but even that term isn’t really adequate. Humans have a conscious reasoning system which seems rudimentary at most in other animals. Rowan named part of it; “they don’t think in words”, but there’s much more to it than that, including geometrical reasoning, algebra, deduction, inference, long chains of cause and effect, imputation of motive, and many other aspects. But this just the tip of the iceberg, the little bit each of us is conscious of in our self.

            Underlying the above is the subconscious. By definition, we are not conscious of it, but it is vastly greater than that which we are conscious of. Notably, we can see its behavioural effects in others, but typically we each deny its operation in our self, preferring to (subconsciously) invent rationalisations to explain away such behaviour. Thus, our conscious thought obscures that which is subconscious.

            It’s really difficult to discuss our subconscious because from each individual’s point of view, by definition, it seems not to exist. Can we call it “thinking”? Ah, the imprecision of language! It certainly can’t be the “think” in “I think, therefore I am”, because, by definition, Descartes couldn’t have been conscious of it. But animals still [are, as in “I am”], without it. But we can come to know more of it through both meditation and self-reflection, but don’t take my word for that; try it and see if you find the same as I have. Replicate my self-experiment, write up the results, and publish them as fully as you can.

          • Tony

            And again you’re wrong Clark. Animals suffer from all kinds of neuroses due to all kinds of reasons.

          • Tony

            Rowan, dogs in particular clearly have a limited understanding of words. Many zoo animals respond correctly to word requests/demands from their keepers.

          • Clark

            Animals suffer (what humans call) neuroses if (1) they’re so conditioned, eg. attack dogs, mistreated throughout their developmental periods until they’re conditioned to a permanent state of fear, to evoke aggression, and (2) if they’re subjected to very unnatural conditions, eg. social animals such as dogs, left on their own for long periods – a few hours is a long period for a dog, which also has a much shorter life expectancy than a human.

            They don’t develop the more complex sort of pathologies we see in humans, and wild animals don’t seem to develop even those “neuroses” that pets and domesticated animals do.

          • Tony

            Firstly, the fact that humans complicate their neuroses due to our superior mental processes does not change the fact that all neuroses come from the same types of origins.

            Secondly, how do we know that wild animals don’t suffer from neurosis? They, all of them, must suffer from stresses (probably far worse than domestic pets) which lead to some ‘neurotic’ behaviour patterns.

          • Clark

            “how do we know that wild animals don’t suffer from neurosis?”

            How do you know the world wasn’t created by the Flying Spaghetti Monster (pesto be upon him)?

            You’ve got the burden of proof back to front. We don’t see deer self-harming. We don’t see rabbits performing pointless rituals. We don’t see birds with irrational fears of telegraph poles. We don’t see rats with obsessive compulsive behaviours. But you’re right; I can’t prove that wild animals don’t get neurotic.

          • Herbie

            The key here is “domesticated”.

            Humans have become domesticated.

            “Institutionalised” is the more usual term.

            But for the purposes of the above argument it means much the same thing.

            Dunno if there are any real wild humans of consequence to compare with wild animals.

            Aristos used to play at the wild animal man thing. I suppose current elites continue this tradition today.

  • Republicofscotland

    As Old Blighty flounders helplessly in the Brexit sea, a big hole in about to appear in its rusty hull.

    A Tokyo official last night warned that Japanese companies could ‘suspend’ operations in the UK if Britain exits the EU without a deal – even though the country’s firms have collected millions of pounds in UK state aid.

    “Analysis of European Commission records shows Nissan has been awarded £22million since Britain voted to leave the EU. This was on top of the £61million state aid revealed last week.”

    https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/markets/article-6686737/Japanese-firms-suspend-UK-operations-event-no-deal-Brexit.html

    • N_

      Trust the Heil to talk about “state aid”.

      If Britain leaves without a backstop, meaning that the trade negotiations during the transition period will either conclude in an agreement or break down, but that at the moment of exit no default has been agreed for if they break down, does that count as a Deal or a No Deal?

      This is what I think may happen.

      • Rhys Jaggar

        The default is WTO rules, which is nothing new.

        You guys really need to deal with your paranoia.

        We trade outside the EU mostly using WTO rules and make a profit.

        We trade with the EU at a loss.

        Suggests WTO with the EU is not armageddon….

        • Clark

          But production is now distributed across multiple EU countries. Components are transported into the UK from other EU countries, sub assemblies are transported back out of the UK and so on. This is one of the reasons that so many companies are announcing that they’re moving the parts of their operation currently in the UK onto the mainland EU; the delays that will occur at the border.

          A similar problem afflicts Ireland; parts of operations are on opposite sides of the Northern Ireland / Republic border. People work and live and shop on opposite sides. A border is going to seriously disrupt their lives.

          I doubt your assertion that UK trade with the EU is at a loss; can you substantiate it? And in March last year the UK declared it was having a gas shortage emergency; without the treaties there would have been rolling blackouts.

          • Clark

            I’ve not even been particularly keen on the EU since what it did to Greece and its support for the treatment of people who went out to vote in Catalonian. But anyone can see that this is a nightmare, utterly ill-prepared for. I feel sorry for the younger folk, losing the right to live and work anywhere across the EU, dragged out by older people who aren’t going to have to live with their decision for nearly as long. And the constant harping on about “the will of the people” based on such a fragile majority yet vehemently opposed to a second referendum is just rank hypocrisy.

          • Tony

            Why does this to-and-fro of components need to happen Clark? Are engineers and engineering facilities so disparate? Or have you considered that what goes on is a bit of a pantomime to justify the hugely inflated cost of the finished product in the UK compared to the cost of the same product in Europe? Remember when we used to be able to get a bus and ferry over to mainland Europe, and buy a right-hand-drive BMW for £20,000 and bring it straight back home without issues, when the exact same vehicle would cost £35,000 in the UK?

            And, what is the financial cost and cost to the environmment of this to-ing and fro-ing of engineering parts across Europe?

          • Clark

            “Why does this to-and-fro of components need to happen Clark? [… W]hat is the financial cost and cost to the environment […]?”

            My point isn’t that it should happen but that it does, and obstructing it with border checks will just make companies move their operations out of the UK.

            “Or have you considered that what goes on is a bit of a pantomime to justify the hugely inflated cost of the finished product in the UK compared to the cost of the same product in Europe?”

            Ah, a conspiracy theory. Companies are conspiring in a shared policy that increases production cost for international products, to create an illusion so that they can overcharge in one country. You’re quite keen on conspiracy theories, aren’t you?:

            https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2019/02/craig-is-in-jacobabad/comment-page-1/#comment-828383

            There probably is some degree of formal or informal cooperation between companies to avoid undercutting each other’s inflated prices, but conspiring to optimise their entire international systems of production around creating a “pantomime” seems highly unlikely to me; wouldn’t some non-EU manufacturers opt for cheaper production methods?

          • Clark

            Oops, I made an error above. I confused Tom, at the target of my link, with Tony to whom I was replying.

            Sorry Tony. I’ll amend my opinion accordingly.

          • Tony

            But there weren’t rolling blackouts. And, funnily enough, whilst we’re trying our level best to stymie Russian gas, our great American buddies are almost ready to come to the rescue with their own overpriced gas. You couldn’t make it up! Well, they do, and people fall for it.

          • Clark

            The UK was within 24 hours of rolling blackouts, and that was with EU assistance, provided by our EU partners under obligation of treaty. Without EU assistance, there would have been blackouts. Gas power stations would have been shut down to prevent depressurisation of urban areas, during the very cold easterlies that buried the whole country under blizzard conditions. We scraped by, with EU help.

            It was even colder in mainland Europe, and our EU partners’ long-term storage was dropping rapidly. Weather is not perfectly predictable and the cold could have continued longer; consequently our EU partners were unwilling to supply the UK with gas that they might have been needing themselves. That is why the UK government declared a gas shortfall emergency, to force our EU partners to supply us with gas under treaty obligations.

            The Skripal nonsense was kicking off right then, and I am sure that the UK government was very reluctant to declare a shortfall emergency, because Putin appeared on TV, personally pushing the button to begin filling the first tanker from the new Siberian gas field, to be sent to “our friends the UK in their hour of need”. The UK government ostentatiously sent the tanker away. It went to France, where it decanted into smaller tankers which immediately came back.

            The UK is the only EU country without a long-term gas storage facility. We had one; it was a depleted North Sea gas field called Rough, and it was classified as a “strategic facility of the UK” – you recognise the seriousness of that term; as important to the security of the UK as H-bombs are claimed to be, far more so in any sane reckoning.

            But our wonderfully democratic government sold it to Centrica Storage, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Centrica Energy, who used it to play the market, selling gas when the price was high and pumping it up again when gas was cheap, thereby knackering it out. They also did no maintenance over their fifteen years of ownership, leaving them in breach of their contract with the government. But instead of suing them the government let them close it, leaving the UK in breach of its EU treaty obligations. During the gas shortfall emergency and despite the declared dangerous condition of the facility, several attempts were made to draw gas from Rough, but each time, the flow rate suddenly collapsed and the attempt had to be abandoned.

            Our wonderful ‘news’ media that has been blaming poverty on immigration and urging you to “take back control” told you nothing of all this, though the Financial Times covered it, rather inadequately. If you have any interest in such important matters as our old folk potentially freezing to death, you can watch the drama as it unfolded here:

            https://squonk.tk/blog/2015/03/15/the-general-discussion-thread/comment-page-94/#comment-28449

        • FranzB

          We trade on WTO rules at the moment via the EU’s agreement with the WTO. The UK has not yet agreed a separate schedule with the WTO and until it does we can’t trade on WTO terms. I believe a number of WTO countries have objected to various aspects of the UKs WTO proposal, one of these countries being (dah dah daaaa) Russia.

          • Tony

            Franz, it became clear long ago that the remainer May was put in power to sabotage brexit. The same people who put May in power want us to be at loggerheads with Russia. So we will be at loggerheads with Russia. WTO trading is not rocket science unless you try to make it rocket science. Counties in the WTO want to buy and sell with each other on the most straightforward terms wherever possible. Why on earth would they not want to?

          • Ian

            So naive, Tony. Amazing the amount of people who are suddenly experts in trade, one of the most complex areas of modern intra country relationships. There are good reasons that trade deals take years of negotiation. We already know that the US, China, Korea,Japan are fully expecting to have us over a barrel if we leave and keep ourselves out of the advantageous trade deals we already have with them through the EU, thanks to superior trading power of a very large bloc. The brexit fantasy that we can somehow get better deals as a weaker nation is so delusional and laughable it is dangerous. In the ensuing chaos many, many firms will just go to Europe, it will make total sense for them to do so. And we will be left vulnerable to asset stripping, degulation and more deprivation. There is an absolute mountain of evidence and research on this, and nobody in a pub with their sudden expertise in trade gleaned from the internet and twitter is going to persuade anyone with a brain otherwise.

          • Tony

            Ian, if the markets want to trade, they will trade. Governments don’t stop markets from trading unless the biggest players in the market want to punish a particular market, and instruct the relevant governments to do so. Think: Venezuela. The UK is far too important a market for the big boys to allow us to be punished any more than a slap on the wrists: the stakes are too high, there is too much for them to lose. They would much prefer us to go along with their globalist program, but they won’t ostracise us if we don’t, because it’s not in their interest to do so.

        • N_

          @Rhys – “The default is WTO rules“.

          If WTO as the default is pushed to the end of the transition period, which is where the “backstop” would begin as the default under “May’s Deal”, is that Deal or No Deal? Or what if the backstop is time-limited, to say 10 years, with WTO if no further arrangements are made by the time the 2+10 years are up? Is that Deal or No Deal? Surely neither of those involves “leaving with No Deal”. Why would EU27 disagree to either?

          We trade with the EU at a loss.

          A trade deficit isn’t a loss.

    • Tom Welsh

      Whever I hear Japanese “officials” threatening the UK if it should dare to leave the EU, I always wonder when Japan is going to become part of China.

  • Republicofscotland

    Here we are in entering the habitat of the lesser brained Brexiteer. Its survival strategy is to isolate itself, in times of stress, and to puff itself up and act aggressively if challenged in any manner. The lesser brained Brexiteer, pften feeds in groups which includes the sloth like BBC gnu, a bad tempered foul smelling creature.

    Spoken in a David Attenborough voice, whose recently been told to shut it over the Brexit debacle.

    https://www.theneweuropean.co.uk/top-stories/sir-david-attenborough-told-to-button-it-on-brexit-writes-tim-walker-1-5592606

    • michael norton

      The European Union looks the other way and stays silent as the night while the Spaniard state thugs smash pensioners and women with batons for daring to ask for freedom for Catalonia.
      The European Union smiles as Greek pensioners and poor people starve, while the Germans rip the poor Greeks apart.
      The European Union stays quiet while Macron uses his forces to smash the anti-austerity protesters, maiming some French citoyens.
      The European Union is setting the Republic of Ireland up for a nasty fall, to try and intimidate the United Kingdom into re-running the Brexit Referendum.

      This is the union RoS wishes to rejoin when Scotland shakes off the shackles of the United Kingdom.

        • Republicofscotland

          Add in Clark that on Brexit at least, the EU is standing up for its member Ireland.

          Remind me again of Scotland’s position on Brexit with regards to a voice? Oh that’s right, it doesn’t have one.

          • Tony

            PMSL [email protected] Yes, the EU is really sticking up for the ROI. In the event of a hard brexit, the ROI’s economy will tank. But, hey, the EU will have the UK over a barrel (possibly), so who cares about the ROI? Certainly not the EU, which is using the ROI like a poker hand in a high-stakes game.

  • N_

    Some chimpanzees climbed their enclosure’s wall at Belfast zoo, and one escaped for a while.

    Zookeeper Alyn Cairns (…) told the BBC: ‘They’re intelligent primates and know they’re not supposed to be out of their enclosure, so got back in themselves.’

    That statement so sums up the attitude of the bureaucratic middle classes in Britain: you’re “intelligent” if you do what you’re told, what you’re “supposed” to.

    “Just like I always have. And it hasn’t done me any harm,” said the parkkeeper as he checked with Google whether it was time for his daily shit.

    • Herbie

      ‘They’re intelligent primates and know they’re not supposed to be out of their enclosure, so got back in themselves.’”

      Yeah. Read that earlier on. Thought it quite a funny thing to say.

      Thing is. Only one chimp got out and another was running around the wall. The other chimps, excepting a very young one, stayed put.

      The adult male who entered the human enclosure passed a few feet from a very frightened family.

      Seems he just dandered about a bit and then decided to return to his own family.

      A panda cub escaped last week and someone found it in their back garden, about a mile from the zoo.

      It’s a whole new concept in zoo management. Kinda like an open prison.

      The animals can come and go as they please.

    • Clark

      Andrew Feinstein, CEO of Corruption Watch UK, told The Canary:

      “This will be made worse by a post Brexit environment in which the government envisages the UK becoming an even less regulated offshore haven. There is simply no political will to address the issue, as a consequence of which Britain will, if anything, become an even greater enabler of global corruption and money laundering.”

      And the MSM serves its rich owners, thus we have had this perpetual drip-drip of anti-EU propaganda for decades.

      • Tony

        Strange that you think that we have had this drip-drip of anti-EU propaganda when we have had the beeb so pro-remain that their erstwhile star political presenter announced “We’ve lost!” with a look of horror on his face when the referendum exit polls came in.

        And we have a pro-remain prime minister who is clearly trying to make as big a mess of brexit as she humanly can, in order to stop it from happening.

        • Herbie

          Well. Look on the bright side.

          Littler countries like Ireland etc, are just told to vote again.

          Great powers like the UK are given the face-saving device of two full years of day-in day-out farcical drama and bollocks that ensures it looks like it was the British people themselves who demanded a second vote to escape the abyss unfolding before them.

          Problem is, elites will wish to really ensure the correct result this time.

          That means more abyss before the second vote.

          • Clark

            Er, you might have noticed, there are members of the elite on both sides. Who do you think controls the newspapers? Encouraging Brexit was a long game.

          • Herbie

            Yes, I’ve certainly noticed that there are elites on both sides.

            But in UK, the Globalist elites appear to be stronger.

          • Clark

            I’m not sure what Globalism means.

            I’m in favour of: A world where anyone can live, work and visit anywhere they wish. A global power grid so that renewable energy sources can be viable. Global systems of Earth resources satellites, GPS etc. Global communications where it costs no more to communicate right across the globe than to the house next door. Global tolerance, of minorities, and majorities, and any non-coercive way of life. Global liberty for anything that harms no one else. Global respect for international law and human rights. Global prosperity. Global scientific cooperation.

            I’m opposed to: Everywhere having to have a McDonalds and a Mataland. A single dictatorial power structure that makes everyone live similar lives. Governments being in the service of massive multinational corporations ie. global corporatism.

            There are probably hundreds more in each category that I could eventually think of, but that should be enough to give you an idea of my outlook. What do you mean by Globalism?

          • Herbie

            “I’m not sure what Globalism means.”

            It means full spectrum dominance of the planet by corporates and bankers.

            The Technocratic era.

          • Clark

            No, that’s not a conspiracy theory; it’s very well documented and doesn’t require a vast but vague conspiracy. By their nature, corporations dominate anything governments permit them to.

            OK, so what I call corporatism, you call globalism. ‘Corporatism’ seems more self-explanatory; many global developments seem very positive.

          • Clark

            Herbie, why ‘technocratic’? Technology, technique or technicians don’t seem fundamental to the dynamic. Each and all of those are merely used as tools, by the giant corporations.

          • Herbie

            Corporatism doesn’t work because it doesn’t identify the problem.

            Corporatism can be local and subject to challenge.

            Globalism is complete control of the whole planet.

            No alternative evermore.

            Chris Hedges, for example, views it as a neo-feudalism, and of course Zbig B has written about its implications.

          • Clark

            The word ‘globalism’ isn’t used once in the Off-Guardian article; it appears only in the title. But it’s used nearly fifty times in the comments.

            The term repeatedly used in the article is ‘global capitalism’. I’d say that corporatism goes much further than capitalism. Capitalism is just an economic system, whereas corporatism is used to describe corporate domination of political systems.

          • Herbie

            You’re getting much too caught up in semantics and not enough in what’s actually going on.

            Anyway, global capital doesn’t work either because global capital doesn’t yet control the world. As in, we already have global capital but it doesn’t control the world.

            Globalism is the term for when it does.

          • Clark

            OK, I know what you mean by globalism now.

            I think you’re wrong to stoke fears of experts. Experts don’t control people; they’re too busy researching and studying. We need experts because humans are creating increasingly complex systems; there’s no way we can each be our own expert on everything.

            Typically, powerful organisations employ experts to advise them, and then pick and choose how to use that advice. For instance, the UK government hired the expert Professor Nutt to advise them about drugs policy, but they didn’t like what he said so they sacked him and imposed the policy they wanted to anyway. When pharmaceutical companies hire experts to test their drugs, they first gag the experts under non-disclosure agreements. The experts are controlled, not controlling.

            If you call such a system “technocracy”, you’ll be misleading people, and cultivating distrust of the sciences and technologies we need in order to escape the global crises that globalised capitalism is producing. We also need science to prosecute our case that global capitalism is causing the problems.

          • Clark

            I’m not sure that there are any ‘globalists’, in the sense of people trying to bring about global corporatism. It is the nature of corporations to grow without limit, just as it is with cancer, simply because there is a “grow function”, which is “increase dividends for shareholders”, but there’s no “stop growing, that’s enough” function, as there is in biological systems.

            Therefore we don’t need any globalists to explain globalism.

            Rather, what we need is a regulatory system to control and restrict these organisations, and it needs to be powerful enough to succeed.

          • Herbie

            First off. It’s called the Technetronic Era, by Zbig B.

            “I think you’re wrong to stoke fears of experts. Experts don’t control people; they’re too busy researching and studying. We need experts because humans are creating increasingly complex systems; there’s no way we can each be our own expert on everything.”

            Nah. We need to live our own lives, make our own choices.

            “Typically, powerful organisations employ experts to advise them, and then pick and choose how to use that advice. For instance, the UK government hired the expert Professor Nutt to advise them about drugs policy, but they didn’t like what he said so they sacked him and imposed the policy they wanted to anyway. When pharmaceutical companies hire experts to test their drugs, they first gag the experts under non-disclosure agreements. The experts are controlled, not controlling.”

            The point is they will employ the experts who do as they’re told.

            “If you call such a system “technocracy”, you’ll be misleading people, and cultivating distrust of the sciences and technologies we need in order to escape the global crises that globalised capitalism is producing. We also need science to prosecute our case that global capitalism is causing the problems.”

            Technetronic Era.

            It’s not my term.

            But sure, it’s not the experts who are in charge. They’re simply hired to a purpose.

          • Herbie

            “I’m not sure that there are any ‘globalists’, in the sense of people trying to bring about global corporatism.”

            Of course there are.

            “It is the nature of corporations to grow without limit, just as it is with cancer, simply because there is a “grow function”, which is “increase dividends for shareholders”, but there’s no “stop growing, that’s enough” function, as there is in biological systems.”

            This is much too abstract. There are already rules in place to ensure things don’t develop in a competitive fashion and against elite interests.

            You often hear May referring to it as “the rules-based international order”

            Which seems to be under some pressure at the moment, from anti-Globalists and Nationalists.

            “Therefore we don’t need any globalists to explain globalism.”

            We do.

            “Rather, what we need is a regulatory system to control and restrict these organisations, and it needs to be powerful enough to succeed.”

            That would be nice, but who would enforce it.

            These elite gangs seem to be able to get away with whatever they want.

          • Clark

            “We need to live our own lives, make our own choices”

            I agree. But to do so effectively we need expert advice.

            “The point is they will employ the experts who do as they’re told.”

            Actually it’s rather difficult to make most experts say and do as they’re told, because becoming and remaining an expert depends upon being dedicated to honest assessment of facts. Those who aren’t dedicated to truth and honesty inevitably get stuff wrong, and either can’t become or cease to be experts.

            This difficulty is why the UK government sacked Professor Nutt, why pharmaceutical companies deploy non-disclosure agreements, and why the fossil fuel companies have spent a fortune deploying spurious arguments against climate science.

            You’ve probably noticed that I repeatedly recommend Big Pharma by Ben Goldacre. That’s because it goes into great detail about the enormously complex and varied methods the pharmaceutical companies have developed to warp the appearance of what the experts actually say. A great deal of it is achieved by influence over media, publishing.

            As for semantics, I need to go into it in order to clarify communication.

          • Clark

            Nationalism can’t defeat what you mean by globalism. Nations are restricted in size and therefore power, and multinational corporations will always be able to play each nation off against the others, forcing a race to the bottom, in workers rights, conditions, legislation etc.

            May is right in that a rules-based system could work. But the problem wasn’t pre-empted, the corporations had already gained excessive influence over the rules by gaining excessive influence over governments. And that happened partly because people voted for it, because the corporate media conditioned them to vote for pro-corporate political parties. “Deregulation” was openly promoted as a good thing to vote for, and people did.

          • Herbie

            “– “We need to live our own lives, make our own choices”

            I agree. But to do so effectively we need expert advice.”

            It’d be nice to have bona fide expert advice but not from experts hired by elites.

            We got on very well for eons, passing advice and knowledge and health from parent and grandparent to growing child.

            No experts needed.

            And generally those experts who turned up in the village were eventually turfed out as frauds.

            “– “The point is they will employ the experts who do as they’re told.”

            Actually it’s rather difficult to make most experts say and do as they’re told, because becoming and remaining an expert depends upon being dedicated to honest assessment of facts. Those who aren’t dedicated to truth and honesty inevitably get stuff wrong, and either can’t become or cease to be experts.”

            Academic work today is all about who is paying for it. That’s it.

            “This difficulty is why the UK government sacked Professor Nutt, why pharmaceutical companies deploy non-disclosure agreements, and why the fossil fuel companies have spent a fortune deploying spurious arguments against climate science.”

            He who pays the piper, calls the tune.

            Anyway, I thought Shell were very big on the Green stuff, back in the 80s.

            I differentiate between environmental damage and man-made climate change.

            The former is ongoing at an ever increasing rate, but rarely discussed in the reverential terms reserved for man-made climate change.

            “You’ve probably noticed that I repeatedly recommend Big Pharma by Ben Goldacre. That’s because it goes into great detail about the enormously complex and varied methods the pharmaceutical companies have developed to warp the appearance of what the experts actually say. A great deal of it is achieved by influence over media, publishing.”

            Yeah, I was reading about that opioid crisis in the US and the suggestion that medical and science journals had been purchased to present what amounted to fake peer review.

            Money has corrupted every facet of civil life.

          • Clark

            You say we need globalist individuals to explain global corporatism, but this is to look through the wrong end of the telescope. A corporation is more powerful than any individual within it; it selects individuals that will further its growth, and it replaces any individual that hinders its growth. It will even replace one individual that advances its growth with another individual that would advance it more. It self optimises for growth, because its structure was designed to do just that.

            Macrocosm determines microcosm.

          • Herbie

            “Nationalism can’t defeat what you mean by globalism. Nations are restricted in size and therefore power, and multinational corporations will always be able to play each nation off against the others, forcing a race to the bottom, in workers rights, conditions, legislation etc.”

            Yeahbut, it’s a unity of nationalisms. The nationalisms who are fighting globalism are united in a bloc against it.

            Globalism doesn’t suit the growing producer and commodity nations, so they’ye not playing that rape and plunder game.

            They’re actually trying to set-up land trade routes across Eurasia that can evade sea-power control.

            “May is right in that a rules-based system could work.”

            Her rules-based-system is what’s impoverishing the planet.

            “But the problem wasn’t pre-empted, the corporations had already gained excessive influence over the rules by gaining excessive influence over governments. And that happened partly because people voted for it, because the corporate media conditioned them to vote for pro-corporate political parties. “Deregulation” was openly promoted as a good thing to vote for, and people did.”

            And that’s what media is for.

          • Clark

            If an “expert” turns up in your village, ask why he didn’t stay in his previous village. Yeah, frauds would be chased out, but you’ve forgotten about those who remained welcome, because they really were experts.

            Then there’s the development of expertise, which you seem to have overlooked. Everyone wasn’t their own farmer, their own baker, their own blacksmith. So what if the blacksmith was hired by the lord of the manor, the elite? It makes the blacksmith no less of an expert.

            And no, the past wasn’t a paradise; that’s just a fairy-tale found in various sources, including the Garden of Eden in Genesis. Experts have made lives better. You don’t get antibiotics, vaccines and contraceptives without experts. You might get wheels, but if you want reasonably strong, circular ones you need experts.

            I can’t guarantee you that rising CO2 concentrations cause global warming, but I’m good enough at scientific reasoning to tell you that every argument I’ve seen thrown against that theory is fake. Science has standard rules whatever the field, and by comparing competing arguments against those rules it is possible to tell which are from genuine scientists and which are from frauds. I accept that CO2 causes global warming because the theory is consistent with the rest of science, AND because every counter-argument I’ve seen is not science. Further, those promoting the so-called denial arguments do not retract when their theory is shown to contradict facts or reason, and that’s another warning. Genuine experts admit error and correct their work accordingly. Frauds don’t, because their objective is not to optimise their theory so it accounts for the facts, but merely to convince as many as they can, to swing elections and to influence policy-making. For the latter, five wrong ‘theories’ are better than one right one, and it doesn’t matter if they contradict each other, because each will convince some.

            A few scientific journals are owned outright, but most aren’t. Peer review isn’t really that important; it’s basically just a check for competence. Publication in full matters far more – transparency, so that anyone who wants to can pull the work apart, propose questions and objections, exchange criticisms. Read Bad Science and Bad Pharma.

            May is right about a rules-based system, but she’s wrong about which rules. The rules she’s sticking up for had already been corrupted by corporate influence. For instance, she would have legislated against corporate gag orders and cut deep into commercial secrecy if she was right. Those sort of rules are desperately needed.

            The pursuit of money certainly drives corruption, but secrecy enables it.

          • Herbie

            You’re talking there about artisans and engineers.

            By “experts” we’re actually talking about bureaucrats and managers, allocating resources and so on.

            A bit like a more efficient Communism.

            On climate-change I’m more interested in the man-made bit of the argument. I mean, that’s the whole point surely.

            “May is right about a rules-based system, but she’s wrong about which rules.”

            That’s what the Russians, Chinese and others are saying.

            I think you’ll find that rules always favour elites. Peeps only get a better deal when labour is in short supply and elites need infrastructure.

          • Clark

            When you mean bureaucrats and managers, please write “bureaucrats and managers” rather than “experts”.

            CO2 concentrations are rising extremely rapidly. Look carefully, because the recent rise is so sudden it looks vertical, and can easily be confused with a vertical axis:

            https://scripps.ucsd.edu/programs/keelingclone/wp-content/plugins/sio-bluemoon/graphs/co2_800k.pdf

            Here’s the rise since direct atmospheric monitoring began in 1958:

            http://scrippsco2.ucsd.edu/

            Something must be driving this sudden change, and the obvious source is human activity – burning of fossil fuels, depletion of plant growth, farming of animals. Investigations confirm this, eg. isotopic analysis of carbon confirms fossil fuel sources. The actual experts are nearly unanimous on this, whereas bureaucrats and managers, especially politicians, were very reluctant to acknowledge its importance, and are still not taking sufficient steps to halt it.

            I know that some sources claim that atmospheric CO2 concentrations are rising because warming of the oceans causes them to release CO2, but this cannot be so because the oceans are becoming less alkaline, showing that the oceans are absorbing CO2.

            To say that rules always favour elites is an overstatement. If you deliberately think the other way for a while, you will find hundreds of rules and laws that do quite the opposite. In the UK, state healthcare, universal education, benefits systems, labour laws and environmental protections all work against elites. Regulation of finance worked against elites, but successful lobbying and propaganda had them weakened.

            It is truer to say (1) that the rich and powerful have disproportionate influence over rules, and (2) that the rich and powerful have the means to change systems under their control to exploit shortcomings of rules.

          • Herbie

            “When you mean bureaucrats and managers, please write “bureaucrats and managers” rather than “experts”.”

            They are the experts under consideration.

            “CO2 concentrations are rising extremely rapidly. Look carefully, because the recent rise is so sudden it looks vertical, and can easily be confused with a vertical axis:

            https://scripps.ucsd.edu/programs/keelingclone/wp-content/plugins/sio-bluemoon/graphs/co2_800k.pdf

            Here’s the rise since direct atmospheric monitoring began in 1958:

            http://scrippsco2.ucsd.edu/

            Something must be driving this sudden change, and the obvious source is human activity – burning of fossil fuels, depletion of plant growth, farming of animals. Investigations confirm this, eg. isotopic analysis of carbon confirms fossil fuel sources. The actual experts are nearly unanimous on this, whereas bureaucrats and managers, especially politicians, were very reluctant to acknowledge its importance, and are still not taking sufficient steps to halt it.”

            I think you’ll find that it’s the bureaucrats and managers who are driving this, rather than it emerging organically from climate studies in the universities.

            Funding will determine what is studied and emphasised.

            “To say that rules always favour elites is an overstatement. If you deliberately think the other way for a while, you will find hundreds of rules and laws that do quite the opposite. In the UK, state healthcare, universal education, benefits systems, labour laws and environmental protections all work against elites. Regulation of finance worked against elites, but successful lobbying and propaganda had them weakened.”

            I’ve been pointing out for years that the post-war consensus produced a better time for peeps. And this happened all over the western world.

            This post-WWII rebuilding produced a better deal for peeps. When elites had achieved that job by the 80s or so, they turned off the tap and feasted upon the fruits of those labours through privatisation. This happened all over the western world too.

            That’s how it works. All driven by elite interests.

            I’ve also pointed out that that post-war beneficence was but the teeniest 30 year blip when you look at political history as a whole.

            Far far from the norm. The period we’re in now is more like the norm of history.

            If you’ve any interest in the scientific method you’d have to

          • Clark

            “I think you’ll find that it’s the bureaucrats and managers who are driving this, rather than it emerging organically from climate studies in the universities.”

            Those are fucking measurements, replicated elsewhere. You’re not arguing with “elites”, you’re arguing with fucking nature, and I’ve just lost all patience with you. We’re just puny humans; we transgress nature at our peril.

          • Clark

            Herbie, the atmosphere gets everywhere. You can measure the increasing CO2 concentration in your own home; you can buy CO2 monitors on-line. The idea that the rising CO2 concentration is faked is patently ludicrous. You may as well tell me that the Sun doesn’t rise, it’s just a scam by the elites.

            Sorry Herbie, until you correct this, you’re just another conspiracy theorist.

          • Clark

            Those measurements began in 1958, when hardly anyone gave a damn about global warming. So what you’re saying is that a plan was hatched pre-1958 to fool everyone sixty years later, and to make it look convincing multiple monitoring stations began faking exponentially rising CO2 concentration curves, and have continued to do so through all the changes of staff over six decades, and not one student or graduate at any of these stations has ever said a word, even after they left or retired.

            Further, all the financial resources of the fossil fuel industries have never been applied to fake the CO2 concentrations in the opposite direction, in their favour.

            This is nuts.

          • Clark

            And no one in the block of anti-globalisation countries you referred to – none of them call out this massive scam either.

            And when some other field of science needs the atmospheric CO2 concentration, what do they do? Do they use the fake one and get their science wrong? Or if they happen to measure it themselves, do they not mention the discrepancy to their colleagues?

            Time to try some joined-up thinking, Herbie.

          • Herbie

            I’m only interested in the man-made bit. That’s the key.

            I mean, there’s measurements and then there’s hypothesis.

            That’s only speculation, isn’t it.

            And you’d be wrong to think that anti-Globalisation countries don’t critique the Western obsession with man-made climate change.

            I’m sure Putin has said something about it.

            More generally though these countries don’t like to critique the scams of other elites. They can’t give the game away too much, they use these scams themselves.

            Anyway, what does Piers Corbyn think about it all.

            He’s independent.

          • Clark

            No it’s not “just speculation”. The physical mechanism is sound, and the warming is measurable. Here’s the arctic ice loss:

            https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2a/Annual_Arctic_Sea_Ice_Minimum_1979-2015_with_Area_Graph.webm

            With science, I don’t need to take anyone’s word. Every step checks out, and all the counter-arguments are bunk, just superficially plausible. Crucially, even though they’re demonstrably bunk, their proponents never retract them, proving that the opponents are doing propaganda, not science.

            If you don’t have the scientific skills to follow the arguments, you should learn them, or shut up.

            I have no idea what Piers Corbyn is up to, but no, he’s not independent, he sells his forecasts. He also refuses to publish his methods, which means he’s not doing science – you HAVE to publish to be doing science.

            Putin is a politician of the state with the second most nuclear weapons, which places him in the elite, I think – which is exactly the group you say are deceptive. That state is also a major fossil fuel producer. Russia’s own scientific community – Russia’s actual experts – agree with the climate science.

          • Herbie

            “No it’s not “just speculation”. The physical mechanism is sound, and the warming is measurable. Here’s the arctic ice loss:”

            Again, I’m asking about the man-made bit.

            How do you make the leap from data to blaming Man.

            That’s the key element from the perspective of elite policy.

            So how do you make the leap from data to blaming Man?

            “I have no idea what Piers Corbyn is up to, but no, he’s not independent, he sells his forecasts.”

            I’d imagine people pay for his forecasts because he’s more accurate than the alternatives. I mean they’re not paying him to turn out fake results they want, are they.

            No, obviously not.

            They’re paying him for accuracy.

            There’s no logic therefore for your claim he’s not independent.

            “He also refuses to publish his methods, which means he’s not doing science – you HAVE to publish to be doing science.”

            He’s not doing science so much as he’s applying it. I’d imagine, for commercial reasons, he doesn’t want to reveal the scientific secret of his success.

            Otherwise he lose his competitive advantage.

            All that matters is that he’s more successful in his predictions than the others, and of course why they’re less successful.

            “Putin is a politician of the state with the second most nuclear weapons, which places him in the elite, I think

            He’s not the elite. He simply works for them, as he has done all his adult life. That’s the norm with politicians and experts.

            ” – which is exactly the group you say are deceptive.”

            Sure, they’ll all be deceptive.

            My only point here is that you claimed none of the anti-Globalist countries had criticised man-made climate change.

            “That state is also a major fossil fuel producer.”

            Yes, that might be a good reason for deception on both sides of the argument.

            “Russia’s own scientific community – Russia’s actual experts – agree with the climate science.”

            Where’s the evidence that they go along with Western claims of made-made climate change?

          • Clark

            “How do you make the leap from data to blaming Man?”

            Look carefully at the right end of this graph:

            https://scripps.ucsd.edu/programs/keelingclone/wp-content/plugins/sio-bluemoon/graphs/co2_800k.pdf

            See how it goes essentially straight up on the right? Where do you reckon all that CO2 is suddenly coming from? Hint: The US alone was burning a billion tonnes of coal a year, and that was before Trump.

            It doesn’t actually matter whether human activity is producing it or not. The physical mechanism is that it causes warming, so stopping the CO2 emissions would still be the most practical method of halting the warming.

            “I’d imagine people pay [Piers Corbyn] for his forecasts because he’s more accurate than the alternatives.”

            Actually I think he doesn’t have many customers, a very small proportion of the overall market. Most use the biggest models. I expect his climate change denial attracts a niche market for him.

            “Where’s the evidence that they [Russia’s own scientific community] go along with Western claims of made-made climate change?”

            Will Russia’s Natural Resources and Environment Ministry do?

            https://themoscowtimes.com/news/russian-ministry-warns-coming-environmental-apocalypse-fueled-climate-change-62804

            – At 900 pages, the draft report published by the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry on Monday breaks down the past and future consequences of climate change in the country. Here are the key findings:

            — Deaths from environmental disasters in Russia have increased 11-fold between 2016 and 2017.

            — Temperatures in Russia increased at more than double the rate of the world’s average of 0.18 degrees Celsius per decade.

            — The concentration of greenhouse gases, driven by economic and population growth in the past two centuries, reached record levels last year.

            — “This has led to unprecedented, at least in the last 800,000 years, levels of atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane and nitrous oxide.”

            — At 4.5 percent, Russia contributed the world’s fourth-most greenhouse gas emissions behind China, the United States and India.

            — The ministry report says it is 95 percent confident that human activity contributed to global warming observed since the middle of the 20th century.

          • Clark

            – “Where’s the evidence that they [Russia’s own scientific community] go along with Western claims of made-made climate change?”

            How about Alexander Sergeyev, president of the Russian Academy of Sciences:

            https://www.rbth.com/science-and-tech/329165-global-warming-russia-climate-change

            “The global warming doctrine is not about science, it’s about ideology. It’s the perfect ideology for the global bureaucracy, which wants to control everything,” journalist Yulia Latynina wrote in Novaya Gazeta.

            Most scientists, however, disagree. “For now, science knows only one factor affecting the climate so globally – greenhouse gases such as methane, nitrous oxide, and, most importantly, carbon dioxide. No other gas has increased so fast in terms of air emissions during the last century as carbon dioxide,” said Alexander Sergeyev, scientific journalist and member of the Commission Against Pseudoscience in the Russian Academy of Sciences.

            Or how about the Joint science academies’ statement, supporting the IPCC consensus and signed by the Russian Academy of Sciences?:

            http://nationalacademies.org/onpi/06072005.pdf

          • Clark

            Herbie, it’s taking me a lot of time to find this evidence for you; check the timestamps on my comments. The arguments you’re putting forward, essentially that global warming is false and a fabrication, have been vigorously promoted by a conglomerate of fossil fuel companies, using a set of front organisations to hide the funding sources.

            So it’s just little old me versus this huge corporate machine. But I care about my world, and that my fellow commenters are not deceived.

            The method you’re working to seems to be “global warming is widely published, so it is probably a product of the elite”, whereupon you accept opposing arguments, such as “it is not caused by human activity”. But the effort of countering this is doing me in. Could I ask you, please, to apply similar scepticism to the other side? There are plenty of the elite who have fossil fuel interests, as should be obvious – they keep finding sneaky methods to attack or overthrow countries that have lots of oil.

            As I have said, I assess from the science. When the global warming denial arguments are put to me, they are invariably very shaky; so shaky that if they were really science they would have been retracted. But the proponents don’t retract them, presumably because they still work as propaganda; theyseem convincing even though they’re false. Corporatism has a history of this; most famously they did it with tobacco.

            I apologise for losing patience earlier, but it really is hard work. There are loads of people who believe the denial arguments. They can just quote the denial propagandists’ sound bites without understanding the science, whereas I have to follow stuff up properly. I can’t keep this up indefinitely.

          • Herbie

            OK, Clark. Fair enough.

            You’ve answered my questions.

            I’ll take a look at the opposition to see if they’ve any reasonable alternative explanations, and if there are obvious political fault-lines which explain the disagreement.

            We’ll leave it for now and perhaps revisit at a later stage.

            Cheers.

          • Clark

            Herbie, in things like foreign policy people like you and me are almost powerless to determine the truth of most given events; we have only what governments tell us, though a pattern emerges overall.

            But in science almost everyone can check matters for themselves. All we need is some basic understanding of how scientific theories are tested and how the scientific community works towards conclusions, and we can check which claims are most reasonable, really in quite a lot of matters. For instance, there are experiments you can do in your own kitchen to demonstrate that CO2 absorbs more radiant heat than air does. With a bit of study and practice we could check the CO2 concentration for ourselves, and just getting a CO2 monitor should show it rising year on year.

            We don’t have to treat scientific matters as “this authority versus that authority”. Even when matters are complicated, we can check the scientific quality of the opposing arguments, rather than trying to judge by the reputations of the people proposing them.

            Ben Goldacre’s Bad Science seems like a pretty good guide to me. Fun, too, because he keeps exposing bullshitters, and shows that it’s really easy to do.

        • Clark

          The papers, Tony, the papers. Especially the high circulation ones. You know, the ones people buy to give them something to feel angry and superior about, to get their hearts racing and their blood pressure rising. No one watches TV news for its emotional impact.

          • Tony

            Here are the circulation figures Clark. I’ve done my maths, which show that remain got the most support. med

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

            Love your remainer tactic of casually dismissing any evidence of unethical support of remain’s campaign. I was discussing this with a remainer on twitter, who claimed that most households threw the government leaflet in the bin without reading it, but nearly everybody was influenced by a few spam facebook posts. Such logic is beyond hilarious.

          • Clark

            I didn’t follow the campaigns at all; I rejected mainstream media three and a half decades ago, but of course I see papers, on the bus, in waiting rooms, that sort of thing. I don’t remember there being an long term, highly emotive campaign pre-EU, but as I said, the decades long, highly emotive, non-rational, dog-whistle anti-EU campaign was impossible to miss. Remain was the obvious vote because no even vaguely coherent plan was ever proposed for Leave.

            And of course there’s the Irish border problem. What do you think would be a solution to that?

            I’m not particularly pro-Remain for myself, apart from the apparently highly likely economic degradation and unavoidable upheaval. But I’m pro-Remain for others, particularly the young, who thought they’d have the freedom to live and work anywhere in the EU. I have a friend from Germany who has lived in Britain for decades, has a long-term English partner and two sons. A former lover of mine has large family which is distributed across Europe, some in Sweden; her son went to Berlin to work and now has a partner there. A sound engineer colleague of mine works all over the EU. I have some Dutch friends, a father, and his son born in Yorkshire, who produce rave dance parties in Germany and elsewhere. These people’s lives will be disrupted by Brexit. And we used to get a couple of dozen, very pleasant, hard working and very helpful young volunteers at the Doune the Rabbit Hole festival, but that scheme withdrew from the UK post-referendum.

            You’re not keen on answering questions, are you? Now I wonder why that might be. Questions and answers are the foundation of rational debate.

            Do you dismiss the effectiveness of Cambridge Analytica-type psy-op techniques when they’re deployed to influence politics in, for instance, Africa? Were charges raised about the government leaflet and was it found to be illegal? What is it that you hate so much about the EU?

          • Tony

            “You’re not keen on answering questions, are you? Now I wonder why that might be. Questions and answers are the foundation of rational debate.”

            What a ridiculous and quite pathetic accusation/insult. You get away with ‘murder’ on this forum, whereas other posters get far more innocuous posts deleted. As to your pathetic insult, inbetween running an extremely busy limited company, having a family life, having a social life, and having lots of other personal interests other than Craig’s excellent website, I currently keep going back scanning through all the posts on old pages of the discussions (one criticism of the site is that it isn’t easily searchable) in order to reply to posters such as yourself. Feel free to flatter yourself, but it’s not a particularly good habit to have.

          • Tony

            The point about the government leaflet, Clark, is the thirteen million pounds of public money spent on supporting the remain campaign. The leave campaign (and the result of the referendum) is under an onslaught because far less money was used on an illegal overspend on an unproven advertising technique by an unofficial campaign. If you can’t see the dichotomy here, well…..

          • Tony

            How the hell will brexit stop people from travelling from Europe to perform or do volunteer work at a music/arts festival? And how on earth did a referendum vote stop people from doing the same?

          • Clark

            I have asked several times, and you have repeatedly evaded answering. In fact, you haven’t answered any important question.

            This is why my comments don’t get deleted; they address the argument, as per the moderation rules. So there was no need to invoke a conspiracy theory.

            If you’re not going to answer, you should simply have the decency to say so.

          • Clark

            The thirteen million pounds is trivial; it is barely more than the cost of postage to over twenty seven million households, and the government would have had to send out some sort of leaflet about the referendum in any case. Big projects produce large figures. You write as if you didn’t want a referendum at all; they cost lots of money too.

            I already explained about the volunteers; the organising company struck the UK off its list because of the referendum result. All sorts of EU based organisations are doing the same, because the Brexiteers have chosen against freedom of movement of people (as the leaflet you complain about explained). Yes, the Brexiteers have actually chosen less freedom, for themselves and everyone else. They’ve chosen less protection of their own human rights, too, presumably because the stupid “newspapers” kept banging on about what a dreadful thing human rights are.

            You clearly have time to complain about the time you have spent on this, but not time to answer my question. I’ll ask it yet again. What is it you hate about the EU?

          • Clark

            Tony, I agree about this site’s comments not being searchable; I really miss the moderation interface in that regard. Not quite as good, but a google.co.uk (google.com seems less reliable) site-specific search can be helpful, but it only takes you to the appropriate page; you’ll then need to use your browser’s “Find on this page” function.

            Site specific search here:

            http://google.co.uk/advanced_search

            or use for instance:

            globalisation site:craigmurray.org.uk

          • Tony

            Clark, I don’t deliberately avoid answering any questions. What would be the point in that? I’m here to discuss and learn, the same as every other genuine poster. But, as I said, my time is limited, so I tend to focus on the points that interest me. I suspect you’re being a bit…..well, I’ll be blunt….. anal in that respect.

            And again! You miss the point about the government using public money to tell the public which way to vote in a referendum (no, it’s not good advice. Good advice is giving the public all sides of the argument and letting the public make up their own minds. It was a downright abuse of public funds to tell people which way to vote). Meanwhile, very high profile people claim that the referendum result should be declared null and void because an unofficial leave campaign spent less than half the amount on an internet campaign of unproven effectiveness than the government did on their own dodgy propaganda.

            And thanks for the info about searching the site.

          • Tony

            Sorry Clark,I thought you were building a case that your volunteers were being excluded from participation. But if your Festival volunteers and other such voluntaries want to make a protest stand, it’s their call. Will they have difficulty travelling to you festival post-brexit? No. Will they be made to feel unwelcome at your festival post-brexit? You can answer that. But you and I both know the answer is no.

          • Clark

            The volunteers were organised by a pan-EU youth volunteering organisation, which supplied tents and arranged transport and supervision. They struck the UK off their list because the UK voted to leave the EU. Presumably the extra bureaucracy will add expense, but why would they help young people visit a country that has just expressed majority disapproval of Europe anyway?

            For what practical reasons do you want to leave the EU?

          • Clark

            Tony, this is the leaflet:

            https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/515068/why-the-government-believes-that-voting-to-remain-in-the-european-union-is-the-best-decision-for-the-uk.pdf

            “Good advice is giving the public all sides of the argument and letting the public make up their own minds”

            No, that’s called “false balance”, and it is what has warped coverage and misled the public on many issues including global warming, the media’s “MMR causes autism” hoax, and New Labour’s case for attacking Iraq. It’s not “balanced” to put a best assessment of facts next to false or marginal arguments and say “make up your own mind”. You can’t just say “we say that smoking tobacco is addictive and causes cancer, but some say its neither and that the data is fabricated” and call that “balanced”.

            The leaflet is not emotive or rhetorical. It is the government’s duty to supply factual information. The leaflet includes reference to the opposing arguments, but without going into them. It seems consistent with mainstream analysis. It would have been wrong to send it only if it is substantially misleading. We shall begin seeing if it was misleading in a few weeks time.

          • Tony

            Me: “Good advice is giving the public all sides of the argument and letting the public make up their own minds”

            Clark: “No, that’s called “false balance”…..”

            Wow!!! I mean…..just…..wow!!! 1984 here we come.

            And, despite your quoting from the leaflet, you omitted the part we were discussing. You know? The part where the government recommended we vote remain?

            Anyway, at least we’ve ascertained that your European festival volunteers made their own decision not to come this year. Though being anti-EU is not anti European.

            Now, about what’s wrong with the EU. Let’s start with it’s austerity policy. Then we can move on to the free movement which has stagnated the living conditions of the masses in our country. Then we could get on to the EU’s lack of democracy, where we only get to vote for a representative in it’s talking shop (though most don’t bother, and don’t even know who their MEP is). I’m sure you’ll have the usual remainer stab at giving us the convoluted explanation along the lines of ‘he/she was voted in by a group of people, one of whom was appointed by your own elected government’. (even though or government was elected for entirely different reasons).

          • Clark

            I think the government was right to recommend that people vote Remain, just as they are right to recommend that people don’t smoke. I smoke. The government was best positioned and in possession of the largest quantity of most relevant facts to make a recommendation. We shall begin seeing if they were right very shortly. The leaflet states the opposing arguments.

            There’s nothing 1984 about false balance. False balance in journalism has caused the recent rises in measles and mumps, and it’s the reason we’re mired in climate and environmental chaos that could have been dealt with by now had action been taken when the alarm was first raised.

            “Anyway, at least we’ve ascertained that your European festival volunteers made their own decision not to come this year”

            No; that’s nearly the opposite of what I wrote. The organisation that was enabling them pulled out of the UK, because of your favoured vote.

            “Let’s start with it’s austerity policy”

            I oppose that too, but the UK government’s austerity policy is at least as bad. Many governments have such policies, due to the triumph of neoliberal propaganda, pushed by the same ‘news’ media organisations that pushed Brexit, among others.

            “Then we can move on to the free movement which has stagnated the living conditions of the masses in our country”

            That is a gross oversimplification; decades of neoliberal policy, including that of the UK government, have contributed to it far more. But it also assumes that the people of the poorer EU member states that joined more recently don’t matter, and that the UK subjects who work in the EU also don’t matter.

            This is essentially the politically correct formulation of the “immigrants stealing our jobs” dog-whistle.

            “Then we could get on to the EU’s lack of democracy”

            I haven’t studied the democratic responsiveness of the EU system, but the EU seems to behave as a democratic organisation. It passes laws that protect consumers, workers and human rights; famously, the UK opted out of the EU’s Social Chapter and its Working Time Directive, and many Brexiteers exult the loss of human rights protections as some sort of triumph.

          • Clark

            The leaflet didn’t even mention the hardest problem with Brexit, which is the Irish border. What do you propose be done about that?

          • Tony

            I have to say, Clark, that you appear to be twisting facts quite recklessly as this debate develops.

            “I think the government was right to recommend that people vote Remain, just as they are right to recommend that people don’t smoke. I smoke.”

            Firstly, trying to create equivalence between the government giving health advice and the government telling people which way to vote is beyond silly. If you can’t see why the latter is very, very wrong then there is just no hope for you. And your “false balance” explanation is indeed a 1984 scenario. Or maybe you can explain the ‘realities’ of the brexit debate in a scientific framework, like you alluded to in a previous post?

            Regarding your European volunteers and their organisation: care to split any more hairs?

            Austerity policy: Our government confirmed a while back that, in the event of a no deal brexit, they will abandon austerity policy, thus confirming that austerity is an EU measure.

            You can stick your snide attempt to call me a racist where the sun don’t shine. Ugh!!! Disgusting!!!

            You state: “the EU seems to behave as a democratic organisation” and then go on to list a series of EU policies, that have absolutely nothing to do with democratic process, as proof. How bizarre!

            My view on the Irish border is that a solution could be achieved in an instant if the EU were willing to do so. Instead, they are using the issue as a bargaining chip. Which most remainers seem to find acceptable. I find it morally repugnant, and further reason why we should extricate ourselves from that dodgy organisation.

            “And it is simply perverse to criticise the EU because UK voters don’t engage with their MEPs.”

            You are conflating two different points. But I will attempt to bring them together for you. The criticism was of EU democracy (or, more specifically, lack of it): the only vote the electorate get is to send someone to the EU’s talking shop. Because the people they vote for do almost nothing that impacts their electorates’ lives, their electorate is largely uninterested in them, and quite rightly so: MEP elections are just a charade to give the illusion of the EU being a democracy.

          • Clark

            “My view on the Irish border is that a solution could be achieved in an instant if the EU were willing to do so”

            YOU want free movement of people stopped. That requires border checks. If Northern Ireland remains in the UK it must leave the EU, so there will need to be border checks between Northern Ireland and the Republic. Or, Northern Ireland could leave the UK and remain in the EU.

            You’re blaming the EU for “refusing” to do the impossible.

          • Tony

            There are various technology solutions that eliminate physical border checks. I believe the USA and Canada, for instance, use them. But, oh no, the EU won’t even entertain these very practical solutions. They much prefer to turn the border into a political issue.

          • Clark

            Tony, this isn’t just any old border. It’s the border the Troubles were fought over. If you’re suggesting RFID tags for the locals or similar, they could become dangerously valuable. It looks like a nightmare to me; I’d like to see the actual technical arguments.

            Is it the DUP that won’t permit the checks to be between Northern Ireland and Britain?

          • Tony

            No Clark, the border wasn’t the cause of the Troubles. And both sides of the Troubles made lots of money from the hard border through smuggling. A particular favourite was moving fuel backwards and forwards in concealed pipelines to take advantage of fluctuating tariffs.

            The technology solution needs next-to-nothing in the way of participation by border crossers. It would be seamless for 99.99% of users. It’s yet another (particularly nasty) Project Fear myth that this can’t be managed effectively with the UK outside the EU. It wasn’t a major discussion point pre-referendum because it was never a major problem, even pre-EU.

          • Clark

            “the border wasn’t the cause of the Troubles”

            The Provisional IRA

            IRA = Irish Republican Army. They fought for a united Ireland.

            “And both sides of the Troubles made lots of money from the hard border through smuggling. A particular favourite was moving fuel backwards and forwards in concealed pipelines to take advantage of fluctuating tariffs”

            Great! Let’s put it back! Because that’s what England wants, who the IRA fought against!

          • Tony

            But Clark, the UK has never had a hard border with the ROI. Irish citizens have always had the right to free, unimpeded travel to the UK, with rights to unrestricted residency and unrestricted rights to work. It’s all enshrined in UK law, and it’s why mainland UK has a huge, totally integrated (but fiercely proud of their roots) Irish Catholic community. What the ROI does with it’s only land border is down to the ROI (and it’s bully EU masters, of course). It’s always been UK policy to keep ALL borders with ROI open.

          • Clark

            “the UK has never had a hard border with the ROI”

            That’s not the issue, is it? Has the Republic had a hard border with Northern Ireland? It used to, didn’t it? As hard as could be implemented.

        • giyane

          Do zombies count as humans?
          Boris backed Al Qaida in HoC.
          The sole purpose of brexit is to dismantle English Law in the name of whatever algorithms tell the Tories the English will vote for.

          Corbyn should totally oppose a Tory brexit. A Labour brexit would deliver a better legislature.
          A Tory brexit will scrap the very soul of England

          PoliticallY May is not human. She just wants to trash Britain into the dark ages of feudal ignorance.
          Why does Corbyn not oppose the zombification of our country?
          Isn’t he paid to oppose the Tory liars?

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Republicofscotland February 10, 2019 at 15:17
      Just a thought – how do you think that Britain built up it’s massive Empire?
      Could it possibly be based on: ‘..To thee will I give all this power, and the glory of them; for to me they are delivered, and to whom I will, I give them. If thou therefore wilt adore before me, all shall be thine.’Luke lV : 5-7..’?.
      And what is corruption, but doing Lucifer’s bidding (in order to reap the very real, though ephemeral, rewards)?
      Fits like a glove, I would say.

    • Paul Barbara

      @: freddy February 10, 2019 at 16:26
      They have twigged that Caligula’s horse had more sense than the Orange Buffoon, something many Yanks haven’t seemed to have figured out yet….

      • freddy

        Some historians think that Caligula’s intention to make Incitatus consul was a deliberate attempt to humiliate corrupt and venal senators and other elites around him, rather than madness (historical bad press). The election of a reality show TV star could be seen as a modern day equivalent? (OK, probably not)

        Unless you’re referring to the Ozzie prog metal band – of whom I’d never heard until today – so thank you for that.

  • Contrary

    How about a bit of positivity for a change? Have you heard of the Green New Deal? It’s an economic framework.

    First a song
    Green new deal song
    Green new deal song
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=adngTOz55SA

    Comment on the petrodollar and the green new deal (an example)
    https://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/2019/01/05/the-green-new-deal-and-the-demise-of-the-petrodollar/

    Green new deal in America
    https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2019/2/7/18211709/green-new-deal-resolution-alexandria-ocasio-cortez-markey

    The person that’s presented it to congress in action
    https://mobile.twitter.com/mattzarb/status/1093610201540894720

    The idea is gathering momentum throughout the western world, and it will be interesting to see how far it gets through congress. Has neoliberalism seen its last?

      • michael norton

        glennuk
        nobody has seen or heard from the father of Yulia Skripal since he was Novichoked by the deadliest nerve gas known to the Russians.
        The U.K. state claims he has recovered and is O.K. His gaff is having the roof removed, yet we are not told how Sergei feels about that.
        Sergei has been disappeared.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ michael norton February 10, 2019 at 17:50
      More to the point, why have they not even contacted their beloved nonagenarian mother and grandmother respectively, despite her pleas to do so?
      The Mail’s ‘Russian Trolls’ could just as easily be from Integrity Initiative cells based anywhere.
      Anyhow, from the paper’s own article, whoever wrote the stuff admitted it was pure speculation.
      The world wants facts from HMG – the fact they refuse to produce the two ‘prisoners’ is just an indication of how far down the road to total disregard of statutory international agreements and norms of behaviour they have sunk, never mind common decency and humanitarian concern (the 90-year old Russian lady could die at any time).

      • michael norton

        Retired Army Officer and chemical weapons expert Hamish de Bretton-Gordon said: “These stories are so far-fetched it is ridiculous.”

        That must be quote of the week.

          • Herbie

            “de Ville”

            It’s posh.

            There’s loads of posh boys and girls at the barricades these days.

            Many more than usual.

            Don’t normally work this hard.

            Something’s up.

        • Tony

          Has Hamish put up any of the white helmet head-choppers up at his own house? Doubtful. But my momey’s on most of them being settled in Wiltshire until they are de-briefed and re-programmed.

    • John Goss

      Thanks Michael. I did a check on the утро.ру (utro.ru) site and found two pieces by former singer Kristina Chernitsova, one written on 20/12/18 the other 06/02/19. Neither mention an MI6 officer. Both are just speculative, as you say, twaddle.

      I left a comment but mentioned at the end that it would be better to ask if Yulia Skripal is alive since she has not been heard of since she went off-script in her last call to her cousin Viktoria (from memory 25/07/18). Hope they still publish it.

      • michael norton

        John, what I would like to suggest, is that there could be more than one Yulia, the one in the photograph in Salisbury with her father, taken by her brother ( pictutured in reflection) is probably the real one, note how wide her skull is.
        Now the skripted statement after the tracheostomy would seem to be of a more gracile woman, now some have said, well she barely ate for a month, so obviously, she lost weight, but how does her skull become more narrow?

    • John Goss

      Do people think I’ve waited long enough for the Mail to publish my comment? Last night at midnight the comments had not moved from 18. This morning it is up to 25. Mine is not among the latest. It does ask people to be patient.

      My comment read:

      “I did a search and found two blog articles by former singer Kristina Chernikova who is just speculating why Yulia Skripal has not been seen for so long. Pregnancy is the speculation in both. The first was written 20.12.18 and the second 06.02.19 and neither mention an MI6 officer. Their purpose seems to be to release rumours in the absence of any information coming out of London. Not worth giving your attention.

      Much better would be to ask if Yulia Skripal is still alive after her last telephone call to her cousin Viktoria.”

      I see nothing in the comment that contravenes the Mail’s Comments guidelines. It is polite, informative, contains no links and does not attack other commenters. Can anyone see anything wrong with it? Is it time to blog? Or have I been impatient?

    • BrianFujisan

      Caitlin Johnstone –

      ” If Guaido went to Saudi Arabia on morning,
      And declared himsel king and petitioned the military
      to overthrow the house of Saud, his headless corpse would be dangling from a cross before sunset ”

      I would Tend to Agree

        • giyane

          RoS

          Do you believe Erdogan’s Daesh film studios, Israel Inc ?
          Mr Kashoggi is probably tucking into a hearty breakfast in MB land.

          Why would anyone choose to believe stories put out by the CEO of Islamic State?

      • Kerch'eee Kerch'ee Coup

        @BrianFujisan
        But if an Al-Thani prince pointed out that the Al-Sauds were decadent ,corrupt and best replaced by the Al .Thanis(as one did some three or four years ago), then the whole of poor Qatar might be cordoned off and isolated in an attempted strangulation.

  • Dungroanin

    Wonder how much tory political trolling is being done by No10? And also how msm btl commentators are probably being targeted and silenced?

    ‘ in April last year, Theresa May set up a ‘Rapid Response Unit’ inside the Cabinet Office as a sub-unit of the Government Communication Service. Given an initial six months funding, the Rapid Response Unit brought together a “team of analysts, data scientists and media and digital experts,” armed with cutting edge software to “work round the clock to monitor online breaking news stories and social media discussion.”
    https://www.ukcolumn.org/article/beyond-integrity-initiative-scale-ukgov-counter-disinformation

    It is a direct evolution of NuLabInc Millbank – RabidRebuttal unit.
    The necon/lib cabal has thrown off all pretence of the fake two party system – since one of the party miraculosly metamorphosised as a distinctly opposite opposition.

    If a general election isn’t enforced soon they will have the imposed coalition government in place to evade their fate.
    Which colour vest should the ensuing revolt use? yellow? Orange? Redwhiteblue?

    • Clark

      “Which colour vest should the ensuing revolt use?”

      Well in terms of my RGB politics, yellow is red (social values) and green (environmental values) without any blue (personal and enterprise values – which have enjoyed nearly four decades of dominance anyway), so I’ll go with yellow. Seems to be working in France…

        • Clark

          I suppose it could be; I’ve never heard of either of them. Personally I don’t think of trade as evil. My own inclination, for living my own life, is pretty socialist; I’m more motivated by imparting information and making things that endure than by making money, but I feel no need to make everyone else behave like I do.

        • Clark

          I’d say there’s a lot more to ‘blue’ values than profit. It’s easy to be resentful because politics has shifted so far to the right, economically, and it has done a great deal of damage. But it’s futile to try to force evolved animals such as humans to purge themselves of all competitiveness; it’ll just leak out subconsciously.

      • Herbie

        Dunno if anyone’s mentioned it, but my mate Norbert says the reason for the yellow high-viz jacket is that it’s a requirement for driving in France to have one, for use in an accident or changing a tyre etc at the roadside.

        Everyone has one in their car.

        So, it’s to enable one to fix things safely, in a dangerous environment.

        It’s symbolic. of that.

        • Dungroanin

          Correct. And as a tourist you are required to carry them as well – all a bit french – hardly ever enforced, all a bit french.
          Gawd bless em!

          • John A

            No, tourists are not required to carry them. Only if you arrive by car. The jg must also be within reach within the car, ie not in the boot.

        • Clark

          “More like handouts for the rich values”

          Yes, that is what we have at present; it’s called neoliberalism. But that doesn’t invalidate the Blue human values of enterprise and liberty, no more than Stalinism invalidated the Red human social values.

          Like I said, the long-prevailing politico-economic environment makes it easy to get resentful.

        • Clark

          “And I think its secretly planned that way”

          Secretly? In the UK, people have consistently voted for it since Thatcher in the ’80s. In the US, Trump was elected. OK, you could quibble about whether he really had a majority or not, but still, many tens of millions voted for him. Or if you say that Clinton was really more neoliberal, many tens of millions voted for her, too. You could argue that the simple plurality voting system favours mainstream candidates and I would agree, but in the UK AV referendum, a change to AV that would have helped non-established candidates was voted down about 2:1.

          About the best argument I can think of is that the corporate media indoctrinates these values into the voters, but that’s the media, the polar opposite of secrecy.

          If there’s a secret plot, the plotters must be well below optimum intelligence, because their supposedly successful strategy is destroying their (and our) biosphere, corrupting their (our) medical understanding leading to ineffective and frequently harmful and medications, delivering insecure software, churning out particulate-spewing motor vehicles, etc. etc. etc. The secret plotters seem to be degrading their own living conditions along with everyone else’s. We’re all stuck on this planet together, and there’s nowhere else to go.

      • Dungroanin

        Just to reiterate the point of my op.

        ‘ in April last year, Theresa May set up a ‘Rapid Response Unit’ inside the Cabinet Office as a sub-unit of the Government Communication Service.’

        How do we guarantee and know public offices are not being used for party political functions?

  • Anon1

    We know what happened.

    Two entirely innocent Russian tourists were visiting Salisbury to asses the famous 123m spire there. They were travelling under false documents to avoid being outed as a gay couple. It was tremendously irresponsible for the British government to publicly draw attention to the sexuality of these two innocent bodybuilders as they will surely face discrimination back in Russia. I’m amazed anyone still doubts this.

    The most likely explanation for the attack on the Skirpals is that Israel did it.

    • Ken Kenn

      Have you heard anything about Dawn Sturgess’s Inquest yet?

      What did she die of?

      Or better still- when is it being reconvened?

      We know the Skripals have been ‘ helped ‘ but has Charlie received any ‘ help?’

      Last time I saw him he was in a bad way.

    • Clark

      “Explanation X is ridiculous, there the Truth must be the polar opposite of X”.

      That’s exactly the sort of polarisation argument that conspiracy theorists use.

      • Herbie

        It’s not.

        it’s the strawman that the polarised inhabit.

        And anyway.

        It’s Policy Theory. Assessment of policy, and where it’s taking us.

        • Clark

          Well stop being a conspiracy theorist then; I did. Yes I know the term is deployed as smear, but that only works because conspiracy theorising really is an inferior mode of thought which produces untenable, ridiculous explanations.

          • freddy

            Back in 2003, some people employed those inferior modes of thought to work out Mr Blair was telling porkies about the reasons to invade Iraq, For which they were labeled conspiracy theorists:

            https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2003/jan/15/foreignpolicy.uk

            Luckily, I guess, you, with your superior mind, knew the official line was completely true, and Saddam was a very,very bad man with an arsenal of WMDs 45 minutes away.

            Perhaps Johny is that sort of “conspiracy theorist” – having a theory about what’s really going on when it seems the official narrative is shot full of holes – rather than the “Secret Nazi Bases On The Moon” type?

          • Clark

            “Back in 2003, some people employed those inferior modes of thought to work out Mr Blair was telling porkies about the reasons to invade Iraq”

            No they didn’t; even the Guardian put the term in scare quotes.

            Conspiracy theory thinking isn’t about what one thinks is true; it’s about how one reaches that conclusion. If you keep having to increase the number of conspirators until, for instance, it includes 99.5% of the physics and engineering or medical and bioscience or climate science communities, or if you find yourself claiming that you’re only being called a conspiracy theorist because the CIA weaponised the term in 1963, or if you keep accusing anyone challenging your theory of being “supporters of the official narrative”; and especially if you find yourself repeatedly calling non-believers “sheeple” or imploring them to “wake up”, there’s a very high probability you’re promoting a conspiracy theory.

            Note that I quite frequently describe mainstream and government positions as conspiracy theories.

            I was on the February 2003 protest against the attack upon Iraq.

          • Clark

            Freddy, my accusation of conspiracy theory thinking above was directed at Anon1. A few comments down, you’ll see him giving passing approval to the climate science conspiracy theory; “Trump is on fine form on Twitter at the moment…” Now he’s never directly supported climate science denial on this blog, but he’s right-wing and a Brexiteer, and increasingly I have been noticing that such attitudes appear to cluster. For instance, nearly all expert advice warned that Brexit will cost the UK lots of money and damage the economy, so the Brexiteers dismiss the experts as part of an anti-Brexit conspiracy. The parallels with climate science denial / anti-vax etc. are obvious. It’s a flawed mode of thought.

          • freddy

            Clark, I don’t think Johny either expressed what he thought was true, or explained how he reached any conclusions. He just stated he considered himself a conspiracy theorist.

            Why not try to understand what people are referencing before lecturing? Not a great look.

          • Clark

            If someone is calling themselves a conspiracy theorist, either they’re admitting to abandoning critical thinking, or they’re mistaken about what they’re associating themselves with. It’s a fatally flawed mode of thought.

          • Clark

            In 2003, the actual experts were saying that Iraq didn’t have weapons of mass destruction. The weapons inspectors kept saying “we haven’t found any yet” and when the US/UK said they were going to invade, the weapons inspectors said “give us more time; we still haven’t found any”.

            It was the US/UK governments that were promoting a conspiracy theory, because all the people who should actually know best said there were no weapons. The US/UK governments had to think up ridiculous excuses as to why the experts were supposedly wrong – which is typical of conspiracy theories – and eventually those governments had to fabricate reports of weapons from anonymous sources, which is another red flag.

        • Clark

          Was it deleted or just not appear? There has been a problem with the spam filter. You could try rephrasing and reposting. And sometimes a wrong button gets clicked – a moderator locked Craig out of his own blog once that way!

          • bj

            Never mind. It was up. I always take screenshots. A problematic spam filter. I never spam. A trigger happy spam filter? Nah. An over-sensitive spam filter. Which over-sensitivity caters conveniently to ugly interests. Nuf said.

            [ Mod: For the record, bj, the only comment of yours that was deleted recently was a snide remark about Jews. Maybe Akismet has developed sentience and is conspiring with the CIA, but it’s not a plausible working hypothesis. ]

          • freddy

            Just to be clear – Skynet, not HAL (blimey). Even rhymes, sort of. Nothing to do with the CIA. Alright, I may be wrong there.

          • Clark

            Freddy, thanks for the explanation. I was never going to get it because I’ve never seen that film. I don’t go for much mainstream media. I like Terry Gilliam’s films though.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Anon1 February 10, 2019 at 21:00
      ‘…The most likely explanation for the attack on the Skirpals is that Israel did it….’
      Leave me out – shooting kids with banned exploding bullets you don’t address, but blaming ‘them’ with the Skripal shenanigans is a bridge too far – what evidence do you have?

  • Anon1

    Well, it happened again. Amy Klobuchar announced that she is running for President, talking proudly of fighting global warming while standing in a virtual blizzard of snow, ice and freezing temperatures. Bad timing. By the end of her speech she looked like a Snowman(woman)!

    Trump is on fine form on Twitter at the moment. He’s virtually destroyed most of his potential opponents before the race has even got going. At this point I would say only Kirsten Gillibrand has a chance against him.

    • Anon1

      Today Elizabeth Warren, sometimes referred to by me as Pocahontas, joined the race for President. Will she run as our first Native American presidential candidate, or has she decided that after 32 years, this is not playing so well anymore? See you on the campaign TRAIL, Liz!

      It’s over already.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Anon1 February 10, 2019 at 22:56
      ‘…At this point I would say only Kirsten Gillibrand has a chance against him…’
      Or perhaps his ‘Master’, Lucifer?
      Christians and Muslims are, admittedly slowly, wising up, as are, hopefully, other religions.
      ‘Mums Clean Airforce’, and other like-minded groups, may yet come up with a surprise.

  • Dungroanin

    Surprise surprise!

    May has written to Corbyn rejecting the Labour proposals for brexit.

    The pincer is complete. She has finally put it in black and white. It will be the centre of the Labour manifesto! I didn’t expect to see the kamikaze ‘dementia tax’ type gaff happen so early!!

    She was sleep walked into it. The establishment fuckwits game-theory is neanderthal.

    The Beeb radio4 even has it’s ‘news jack’ comedy spending half of its ‘jokes’ attacking JC for the tories brexit as i type – talk of echo chamber!!

    The voters are not fooled all of the time.

    • Sharp Ears

      You should have heard O’Brien on LBC earlier jeering at Corbyn. I was wondering whether the Tabors make it compulsory for their radio presenters to do this. Steve Allen was doing the same. Then I switched off.

      The Tabors own Global Radio. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Tabor

      Tabor must know ‘Sir’ Philip Green, a fellow resident in the South of France.

      • Dungroanin

        SE – i tuned into LBC to figure if Eddie Mair was pushed or he jumped from the beeb PM news slot for his supposed lefty views.

        The reason i did that was that the only daytime radio newsshow i found palatable was PM (easy by being not toady or wato) – the only other news prog they do that has a semblance of being more news than propaganda was the world service staffed world tonight (sadly deteriorated in recent years)

        Anyway the faux everyman urbanity and reasonableness that Mair lured us in with wasn’t long in dissipating to reveal that he must have ‘jumped’ much like that other ‘news personality’ Peston.

        They are there to bring the audience to the channels where they can be more effectively indoctrinated – by voluntarily having their eyelids removed!

        The fact that Mair set his show before the Fartages – gave Nige more middle class lefty listeners. Mair never criticised or followed up any news about Fartage. Mair often promotes Ferrari and O’Briens shows. Mair has ‘right’ journos from the papers for long segments. Mair has ex-politicians like Milliband D, Clegg, advancing the neolib, anti-Corbyn, anti-Momentum agendas. Mair lent voice to the White Helmets, the Dodgy Doctors and anti Syrian propaganda. There is no semblance of fair coverage on most issues and the callers and texters are all streamlined to fill the air with the daily propaganda.

        I used to thnk he was one of the good guys – maybe because he never had LauraK on his show – but Mair has shown his true colours. He is an equal if not worse, shiny turd of the msm.

        After all they would not have got to that position if they weren’t in the ‘team’.

        As for LBC yes it is a propaganda megaphone. Using supposed voxpop as its usp.

        Murdoch and co are all over local media – which miraculosly speaks with the same message at the same time! Local news for local people. My arse.

    • Anon1

      She’s built her career pretending to be Native American. Then she took a DNA test to prove it because Trump was taunting her so much – and it turned out she has more than 95% European ancestry.

      • Anon1

        Worth adding that liberals, some of them academics, are now saying it doesn’t matter whether she’s actually Native American. It’s what she feels that matters.

      • Herbie

        The Dems are lining up a whole new generation of younger cleanskins, and relatively newbie elders, to obliterate the memory of the degenerates who were previously running the party.

        Under new management, kinda thing.

        Yes, we know the old management was the worst thing since Caligula, but we’re determined to improve upon past performance.

        Not that the RINOs are any better.

        But they’re more honest.

        They’re completely bought and sold and tell you to your face, that’s the way of the world.

        The Dems pretend to be pure, and all the while they’re funded by the same horrible entities.

        Like professional Wrestling.

        Sometimes it all seems a bit fake.

    • N_

      Britain’s defence secretary Gavin Williamson, who wants to raise military spending in this declining country by 50%, will boast today that the British regime must be “prepared to use” “hard military power” (in other words, start more wars) and that its new aircraft carrier “is being deployed to the Pacific region, where China has been involved in a dispute over territorial claims in the South China Sea.”

      Got to wonder whether the vessel will actually arrive or whether it might sink somewhere near Ascension Island because the wrong rivets were used in a procurement fiddle.

      Are they going to start flying warplanes in front of the Chinese regime’s face?

      Imagine if Chinese investors follow Japanese ones out of Britain. The monarchist regime could be running to Roman Abramovich and Mohammad bin Salman begging for loans to tide them over. Not just to fund the Tory party’s election campaigns either, but to pay civil servants’ and soldiers’ wages.

      • Sharp Ears

        He needs locking up. ‘My boat’s bigger than yours’.

        The Heil (which I saw in a café) is carrying it too. It is actually a MoD press release, in the future tense.

        Williamson: be prepared to use `hard power´ or risk being seen as `paper tiger´
        By Press Association
        11 February 2019
        Britain must be prepared to take military action against countries that “flout international law” or risk being seen as a “paper tiger”, Gavin Williamson will say.
        The Defence Secretary will use a major speech to insist the UK will stand up to adversaries with both traditional military power and a significant investment in Britain’s cyber warfare capabilities.
        He will confirm HMS Queen Elizabeth’s first operational mission will take in the Pacific region, where Beijing has been involved in a dispute over navigation rights and territorial claims in the South China Sea.
        /..
        https://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/pa/article-6689531/Williamson-prepared-use-hard-power-risk-seen-paper-tiger.html

        • Vivian O'Blivion

          Excerpt from Williamson’s ramblings this morning.
          “We should be the nation that the world turns to when it needs leadership.”
          Gav is in training for a No deal Brexit by voluntary coming aff his meds..

        • Kay

          “Yes gentlemen, they are on their way in, and nobody can bring them back. For the sake of our country, and our way of life, I suggest you get the rest of SAC in after them. Otherwise, we will be totally destroyed by Red retaliation. My boys will give you the best kind of start, 1400 megatons worth, and you sure as hell won’t stop them now. So let’s get going, there’s no other choice. God willing, we will prevail, in peace and freedom from fear, and in true health, through the purity and essence of our natural… fluids. God bless you all.”

          And he hung up.

  • Contrary

    Re: Skripals. It sounds to me like they have accidentally killed Sergei. If you make the (wild) assumption that he was wholly part of the show, and the plan might have been for him to make a miraculous recovery and then, to great fanfare, denounce the Russians as having made the attempt on his life. If he has unfortunately died, the initial plan is thwarted and alternative stories need to be cooked up. It would explain why the daughter is being kept out of circulation, it would be a tough call not mentioning your father had died until the story was no longer needed. I’m sure Sergei will be found to have quietly passed away from complications at some point in the future.

    • Pyewacket

      Contrary, suspicion is further aroused by the apparent lack of interest in their fate & current wellbeing by the MSM in general. You’d expect them to be all over it, especially when an attractive young woman is in the mix. Where are the pictures of a grateful Julia & Sergei meeting up with the Army Nurse and her daughter who did so much to save their lives ?

      Although I’m aware of only one DSMS notice affecting their reporting the Skripal affair, which was about not mentioning Pablo Millar, it looks like they’ve all been told to lay off asking any awkward questions, and stick to the script.

      And why the heck are they taking the roof off Sergei’s house ? Because the fumes from a smeared, external door handle have penetrated the entire timberwork of the house’s roof space. Again, widely reported in the media, but questions about plausibility, came there none. If that answer is indeed true, then I eagerly await news concerning the fate of Charlie’s gaff. After all, according to reports, Dawn opened a bottle of the deadliest substance known to man, and splashed it all over, a la Henry Cooper in Brut advert. By now, surely the entire building should be a big hole in the ground like the one they’ve got in New York, USA.

    • Mighty Drunken

      Contrary, if your analysis is correct why didn’t they admit to Sergei’s death and plaster the news with it and therefore how evil the Russians are?
      My best guess is that Sergie is alive but he won’t say what the UK government wants him to say, and therefore he is not being shown. That is the only thing I can think of that makes sense to me.
      This may explain the re-disappearance of Yulia, once she learnt what the UK have been saying about the incident she wasn’t happy on being used.

      • Clark

        “My best guess is that Sergie is alive but he won’t say what the UK government wants him to say, and therefore he is not being shown”

        That sounds pretty convincing to me. We’ve already been told that he wouldn’t accept “the Kremlin did it” argument when he regained consciousness.

  • Dungroanin

    Excellent on GJ’s at O-G
    https://off-guardian.org/2019/02/10/10-reasons-the-gilets-jaunes-are-the-real-deal/

    Here’s my tuppence comment to go with it.

    Macron was dead man walking the moment Merkel survived.
    Merkel was attacked by the same powers that installed Macron; powered ukip/brexit; funded and coordinated all the fancy ‘alt-right populists’ across Europe, set up to counter the real grass-roots voices which have been emerging over the last decade. The attempt at creating identity political division has its limits – how many sub-groupings of humans needing equal rights can they make up? How many heart on sleeve, children crying anti ‘insert generalisation’ fake causes will people believe?
    Genuine Grass-roots?
    Syrizia, podemos, 5-star, momentum, gillets jaunes…
    Set up bullshit ‘populist’ in name only?
    Ukip/edl, AdF, ciudadnos, EM, all the fascists from sweden to hungary and ukraine. ..
    The militarist monster is cornered, the creators of that gollum are unsure about letting its ultraviolence loose in the heart of their home? Easily done in far off lands with no white people or media.
    It is not the violence they fear. It’s that the monster may baulk at killing its own family and neighbours and lay down arms leaving the frankensteins no protection from their victims demands for justice and fairness.
    The muted, cowardly msm and worm-tongued academia can’t keep a lid on it – peoples eyes (cameras) and voices (the internet) has made the overthrow of the old despots and their bought silver tongued thugs nearer by the day.
    What great terror can they deploy? Natural disaster? Manmade disaster?

    There is nothing except spiting their own faces left for the fucking wankers.

      • Dungroanin

        They are the alt-right northern italian ex berlosconnii voter base. The original old fascisimos. They think they are real italians and better than all the old peasants.

        They will likely disappear a bit more at the next elections.

        It is the genuine grass roots 5star that aligns naturally with the GJ’s

  • Republicofscotland

    Is it just me, or does it feel like the Tories aided with the help of their media buddies are gearing up for a snap election.

    First we had Blair attack Corbyn, then Bower released his book on Corbyn, throw in Tom Watson’s anti-Semitic hunt within the Labour party, and it would appear Corbyn and Labour are firmly in the spotlight.

    Now we have Rachel Riley (Countdown) JK Rowling and Blair’s formerchief of staff Johnathon Powell, get together and talk about forming a new political party, none of the above are Corbyn friendly from what I can see.

  • Carl

    Sorry to veer from.matters Pakistan but this is getting silly now with a figure you have had cause to reference in several recent blogs: young Williamson. His continuing obsession with Britain projecting military power to cow ‘enemies’ and his eagerness to get this started has crossed from the realm of comic delusion into the zone of danger. He seems to be convinced his own shit.

    It is long past time somebody took Gav to one side and forcefully impressed upon him the actual existing reality of British military power in the world. A force that had to be bailed out by the yanks in both Basra and Helmand – before enduring a decade of savage austerity cuts – is not a force that can intimidate the red army or the peoples army. Sadly it would require somebody from beyond the sealed bubble of neocon and tory berserkerism to convey that truth to him and Gav does not strike me as an individual who has regular contact with life outside those bubbles. Within tbe bubbles he is applauded and encouraged. Unsettling times.

  • Republicofscotland

    Well tomorrow the Spanish Inquisition’s start, as the uncharged political prisoners held in Spain, face their show trial.

    Spain’s Supreme court, has rejected the accused lawyers attempts to produce witnesses for the defence. Among the cited witnesses are three UN special rapporteurs.

    It’s astonishing that the accused are denied the right to produce witnesses on their behalf, whilst the Spanish courts can, in light of the very serious charges of rebellion and sedition aimed at the accused surely their human rights are being denied to them.

    Lets see if the EU or UN stand by and watch this fiasco unfold.

    • Isa

      Things in Spain are boiling at the moment . The right wing demo yesterday under the guise of keeping Spain ‘s territorial integrity in Madrid seems to have succeeded in making Sanchez call for early elections in April .

      Let’s see what happens during today .

    • michael norton

      Surely if the European Union is for the people, for democracy, for economic growth, for mental health, they should be demanding that the right wing generals are bought to book and the Catalonian Referendum should be re-run, they usually like referenda to be re-run.

  • Sharp Ears

    OUR NHS. I say don’t believe a word the Tories tell you. This below is from John Lister who is a co founder of Keep Our NHS Public. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Lister_(academic) He seems to think that the Tories are getting softer on their plans.

    Under the Radar – new NHS plan cloaks old themes
    By John Lister February 8, 2019

    Despite the Long Term Plan, the drive to cut, downgrade and ‘centralise’ services continues

    If we believe the promises made by the NHS Long Term Plan, published last month, then there is at least a truce if not an end to the war of attrition on hospital bed numbers that has been running for the last 25 years.

    The Plan differs from many previous plans in setting out what appears to be a more sensible approach, recognising the need to reduce the level of pressure on front line beds and staff, with many acute hospitals running close to 100% occupied for weeks and months on end.

    It says (page 9): “In the modelling underpinning this Long Term Plan we have … not locked-in an assumption that its increased investment in community and primary care will necessarily reduce the need for hospital beds.

    “Instead, taking a prudent approach, we have provided for hospital funding as if trends over the past three years continue. But in practice we expect that if local areas implement the Long Term Plan effectively, they will benefit from a financial and hospital capacity ‘dividend’.”
    This follows on NHS England’s “fifth test” that since April 2017 supposedly must be met before cutting back on bed provision:

    /..
    https://lowdownnhs.info/analysis/comment/under-the-radar/

    Look at all the other headings in the RH sidebar.

  • Mary Pau!

    I am and have long been, in two minds about the EU. On the one hand I am all in favour of an economic/ customs union, on the other I am against ever closer political union.I don’t like the idea of being part of a power block which, with political union, would be increasingly run from Brussels. That is not to say I think how we do things here is well done, far from it. But it seems to me the way Brussels is going, being in ever closer political union, will not protect us from the forces of neo-liberalism, given the armies of lobbyists in Brussels promoting just that. What happened in Greece is hardly a recommendation for the mutual support to be gained from being a member of the EU. Germany’s interests came paramount then, as they often seem to.

    And I do have another concern – I am unconvinced about the overall benefits of freedom of movement. Not because I think that EU migrants come here and steal UK jobs (although there is some evidence that they depress wages for the lower paid) but because I think we should be building up the depressed countries of Eastern Europe, not depopulating them of their brightest and best to do low paid jobs in western Europe. Romania is being depopulated on a frightening scale. Yet when I ask my younger friends why they support Remain, their reasons always seem entirely selfish, they want the freedom to work and travel abroad with few restrictions. They are not interested in people forced by poverty to live abroad away from their families doing low paid casual jobs with few benefits or on the impact on their home economies of depriving these countries of their brightest and best.

    And there is another factor which Remainers, like my son, dismiss and that is the pride and pleasure people in the UK can derive from living in a country which has never been invaded and whose traditions stretch back thousands of years. As a Londoner my son sees himself as a multi-cultural citizen of the world and sneers at my interest in history and tradition. (Interestingly this multi cultural woke attitude was not reflected in the ethnic make up of the guests at his recent wedding anniversary party , who were almost exclusively white and middle class. )

    Every year I visit relatives in Bury St Edmonds in Suffolk around Christmas where they hold a large Christmas fair and every year the beautiful medieval town is packed with visitors enjoying it precisely for its timeless history, old buildings and lack of inner city squalor and poverty. I was not surprised the residents voted for Brexit, to keep at bay forces of unsympathetic change. Salisbury is another similar town and I would assume also voted to leave, for similar reasons. When you look at the quality of life in some of our inner cities, the constant knife attacks and death of young men in London for example – mostly from ethnic minorities – is it any wonder that some UK citizens looked at the results of rapid unfettered expansion from abroad and turned their backs on it? And with the stifling impact of political correctness making it impossible to express these concerns in public, voting to leave was a form of protest.

    I hope we can sort out the backstop.

    • MJ

      “being in ever closer political union, will not protect us from the forces of neo-liberalism”

      In my view the EU is one of the principal examples of neo-liberalism in action.

      • Laguerre

        More the Tory government in London. That’s real neo-liberalism in action, where all shackles are about to be cut. The EU is far, far, too restrictive for entrepreneurs – far too many rules and protections for workers and consumers. It must be extremely annoying for neo-liberal dynamic businessmen, to the degree where you wonder where people like Mary-Pau! or MJ get their idée fixe.

        • Mary Paul

          I was reading recently about the EU transport policy which seem to have been drafted with neo-liberal competition policies in mind. These policies may be alleviated by some workers’ rights but it is not clear how many rights many workers have once they cross borders and take on part time and casual jobs. Where are we currently at with posted labour rights for example?

          • freddy

            My own aside is about the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). That’s the bit of legislation which tells you, whenever you visit a new website, that they respect your privacy and and if you really want to make a fuss about it, you can delve into your cookie settings and make your life difficult. Everyone click’s “I agree” and legitimises on-going practices. Another, less known facet, is that is it illegal not to have a currently supported computing platform for your business. What does this mean? Enforced OS upgrades for many users. This is a shame, because W10 sucks.

            Does regulation always benefit the people? Does it at any point become onerous, restrictive and pro-corporate?

          • Clark

            “it illegal not to have a currently supported computing platform for your business. […] This is a shame, because W10 sucks”

            Use GNU/Linux. It’s better anyway, and it respects your privacy and freedom.

          • freddy

            Clark, it’s only illegal for businesses, who often have different requirements, sometimes specific hardware, software and unusual or complex document formats. A small business I still support uses labeling software and devices, which are only supported under Windows.

            I’ve seen more instances of small businesses still running XP than I care to think about 😉

            Sometimes, they can barely operate Windows, never mind something else (people don’t buy Macs because they’re ‘different’ and ‘strange’, never mind use a linux distro) – no matter how easy you tell them it is.

            Clearly as a techie (GNU/Linux, you say) you find straightforward, but I guarantee, when you give ’em the pitch, they’re never that keen. They’d prefer to get the upgrade. TBH, they usually think W10 is the bees knees anyway, and it’s just me having a gripe.

            Anyway, let’s not bore people with it any more.

          • Clark

            “different requirements, sometimes specific hardware”

            Debian GNU/Linux is the operating system that supports more hardware platforms than any other.

            Some manufacturers of peripherals refuse to release their interface specifications, making the development of publicly licensed software difficult, but (1) there is always alternative hardware with non-secret interfaces, and (2) all popular hardware gets reverse engineered reasonably quickly. This sort of lock-in is anti-competitive and would be illegal if our neoliberal governments hadn’t sold out to corporatism.

            “unusual or complex document formats”

            Proprietary, secret and/or patent-restricted document formats are another example of anti-competitive lock-in which should be illegal. It doesn’t just prevent migration to publicly licensed software; it prevents migration between proprietary competitors. Breaking free as soon as possible is the sensible choice; there’s nearly always a publicly licensed alternative application, or if groups of businesses pooled their resources they could fund or cooperatively develop such an alternative, possibly offering it as a project at a university or college, thereby contributing to and forging links with the education sector as well.

            “Sometimes, they can barely operate Windows, never mind something else”

            This is caused by psychological lock-in, the most insidious abuse of all. Proprietary systems deliberately obfuscate the underlying structure of the system (eg. hiding file extensions, or file browsers that don’t display the path) leaving the users dependent upon the supplied interface. This is what makes Windows etc. “difficult to use”; it is inherently confusing. In depriving the users of the opportunity to gain understanding it is a type of dumbing-down, which is always deployed as a means of enforcing control.

            The move to Free, publicly licensed software should be thought of as an investment in the intellectual abilities of the staff. Yes, there is an initial cost of educating staff (and tolerating some moaning), but it will be repaid many times over by replacing action-by-rote with genuine understanding of the systems that staff have to use every day, thus also cutting down on stupid “computer says”-type mistakes that often require disproportionate effort to rectify.

            This is all additional to the monetary savings from not having to pay rent to superfluous software corporations, not being forced into frequent replacement of hardware (GNU/Linux is much less demanding and will run fine on older hardware), protection of your business’s privacy, and better security.

            Freedom empowers. I think we all understand that people cannot learn to act responsibly unless they’re given sufficient freedom. One of the reasons I always include GNU in GNU/Linux is that it was the GNU Project that championed the freedom aspect of public licensing (which they invented), rather than just the “many contributors, and many eyes on the code” aspect emphasised by “open source”.

            Free Society, Free Speech, Free Software.

          • freddy

            Yes, that was pretty boring 😉 And rather pointless from the perspective I was trying to bring. But I always appreciate a lengthy and well-informed answer

          • freddy

            Clark – you’re a rather amazing mind 🙂 That’s not sarcasm, it is genuine appreciation.

          • Clark

            Freddy, thank you. I think that a strong and supple mind arises from the self discipline of accepting and attempting to account for the facts of reality, which is so varied and complicated that submitting to it constantly stretches our abilities.

            Software freedom can seem like a niche issue, but its importance increases every day as our interactions with information systems become ever more intimate.

            https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/right-to-read.en.html

            It’s also one of the clearest and most easily understood examples of a whole range of so-called “intellectual property” issues, from drugs that don’t work or even do more harm than good, to genetic engineering of seeds that enslave farmers.

            Secrecy kills.

          • Mary Paul

            I didn’t say we don’t have a government implementing neo-liberal policies in the UK of course we have and indeed it is rampant in the City of London. What I said was I do not see that being in the EU will protect us from this all the time Brussels is full of lobbyists for banks and big business. The current policies that the EU is devising, seem to be cast with neo-liberalism in mind. Of course if you are a Corbyn supporter you might say electing him as PM offers an opportunity to curtail some of the current government policies in this area.

    • Contrary

      Mary, you say: “the pride and pleasure people in the UK can derive from living in a country which has ***never been invaded*** and whose traditions stretch back thousands of years” (asterisks are my only way to highlight) – this is somewhat re-writing a couple of thousand of years of history there, from the Romans right through to a few hundred years ago I think ‘invasion’ probably defines England; Scotland could probably just be defined as having been under constant attack – not exactly invaded in any permanent sense – since the Romans, the Irish had the English invade them (and a few others I believe) the Romans seemed to have limited interests in Ireland, and well, not too sure about Wales to tell the truth. But even if you don’t take into consideration outside invasions, the 4 countries that make up the UK seem to have spent the last two thousand years trying to invade each other anyway. I am being a bit facetious, I know, but you could go as far as to say invasions were a way of life in the UK?

      But apart from that, yes, people should have some pride in, and knowledge of, their heritage, whatever form it may take. (whether it is to learn from it, or to simply appreciate it) But young folk are going to be young, and usually only become aware of these things later on in life.

      • Dungroanin

        There is nothing wrong with ‘tribalism’ – our many football fans are proof, amongst many other examples, of profound locality of peoples.

        What is simply wrong is the leveraging of that natural human instinct – it takes a village to raise a child – into a ‘nationalistic’ mutation for the use of barons and kings to enrol into martial forces that become the imperialists muscle and canon fodder.

        Mary – and others equally flim-flamed by that old button pushing of our evolved human instinct, please consider why it is NOT pride worthy.

      • Kempe

        ” Scotland could probably just be defined as having been under constant attack – not exactly invaded in any permanent sense – since the Romans, ”

        Apart from the Vikings and the Irish. Up until the 15th Century Scot was a term used to describe anyone Irish.

        • Contrary

          Ach well, there was a wee bit of mixing and matching, nothing to worry about – no wholesale settlement across the entire country. A few examples of widespread slaughter, but not from Scots (actually gaellic I believe) or vikings – those are fairly localised, just little invasions and maybe a wee bit of slaughter, nothing to get worked up about.

          Are you a believer, Kempe that England – the good ol’ Anglo-Saxons, that is (mm-mmm, wonder what original tribe they came from…) – were never invaded, by the Normans or anything like that? Didn’t happen? All that Norman architecture? Or did the Anglo-Saxons come next? Ach, I forget these sort of details, difficult to keep track of what happened after the Roman invasion and settlement of England (the Romans employed widespread slaughter in Scotland, but couldn’t have been said to have conquered or settled).

          I mean, these are how countries form, change, develop – every country has a history of changing borders and people (Turkey has a crazy amount of variety!); it’s how culture and our beliefs form; you can’t remain static and expect to develop and thrive. I don’t understand why it might be something that anyone would want to invent to be proud of – ‘we were never invaded’ is hilarious – the Romans asset-stripped England totally (tin and silver were the prizes – in reality there weren’t any resources in Scotland for the Romans to try that hard for, it was just the prestige of owning the whole island that drove them to keep slaughtering north of the border). The Romans ‘left’ only 1600 years ago or thereabouts. I would like to see which country could actually claim to have never been invaded – any ideas anyone?

          • Mary Paul

            We have not been invaded and conquered since 1066. This is a very different history from most of Europe.

        • Contrary

          The French did that? The rotters.

          I thought the original statement was not made in any seriousness, but a bit of fun to see if everyone reading was being alert. But with the 1066 statement, I think it would be good to elaborate on the entire scope of inaccuracy of the original statement:

          “the pride and pleasure people in the UK can derive from living in a country which has never been invaded and whose traditions stretch back thousands of years”

          The key thing here, of course, is that the UK only came into being in 1707. There cannot be anything stretching back (or not) thousands of years – there are not thousands of years in that entity’s existence. Second, the UK is not **a** country. It is a collection (or whatever the official term is) of, originally, four countries. And the tradition of those 4 countries have been quite different from each other over the past couple of thousand years. Notably, 1066 is not a particularly interesting calendar year in Scotland and Ireland, not sure about Wales again, sorry. So we have 4 nations, with 3 of them not that interested in that particular date.

          So, on a more serious note, what I am interested in is why it has suddenly become unpopular to mention the words ‘England’ or ‘English’? I have noticed that over the past few years, there is this conflation of England /Britain /UK, all used interchangeably. They are distinct things, all with different definitions. So why is there this need to dilute england/english with all these other terms, as though they are something to be avoided – I don’t get it – what is wrong with being English or saying England? What is the point of talking about England then randomly throw in Britain as though they can be used interchangeably?

          England is a beautiful country, with vibrant and fabulously rich diversity of cultures, regions with their own traditions and dialects, lots of resources and variety of countryside and town and cities, etc etc. Why would people avoid mentioning their own country and nationality? Why dilute it by throwing in ‘British’ into the mix – if you use British you should be including other nations into whatever statement, but that makes things more complicated (particularly when you know nothing about those other countries. So did you REALLY mean Britain??). I really don’t understand it – this avoidance of using ‘English’, as though it was slightly distasteful, is the most bizarre thing that has appeared over the past few years.

          All the countries of the UK (+region) have very distinct histories and cultures – we don’t need to adopt each others, or pretend that England’s belongs to any of the other. No wonder there is a crisis with national identity in England, it has turned into a fuzzy meandering thing where no one seems to know who they are, or what their history is. We can’t change what has gone before, but we can change what happens in the future. Trying to grasp at non-existent events to justify a current world view – along that path only lies madness.

          So, to summarise:
          1. UK is NOT 1000s of years old
          2. UK is NOT a country
          3. The UK has got nothing to do with anything that happened in 1066
          4. If you are going to discuss only one country’s history or culture, just mention which country that is.

        • Dungroanin

          Mary,

          Billy Orange?

          How about the US bases amd personnel in UK territories?

          How about the foreign hedge funds and state investment funds that own an ever increasing amount of our public and private infrastructure?

          If It looks like a duck…

          The rabid ‘patriotic nationalism’ you espouse is a lie.

          Like i say to you above – can you not see that you are wrong and your son is right?

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