1,952 thoughts on “Craig is in Jacobabad

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  • Republicofscotland

    “Government officials have admitted for the first time that they will not be able to renegotiate all trade treaties involving the European Union by the end of March.”

    “The UK is party to around 40 European treaties, covering trade with more than 70 countries and making up 12% of the UK’s total trade.”

    “Each needs to be rewritten, either with new terms or by mirroring the existing terms, a process known as “rolling over”.

    “Two years ago, the International Trade Secretary Liam Fox said that updated versions of all those treaties should be ready to sign within a minute of Britain leaving the EU.”

    “Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive!” (Sir Walter Scott, 1808).

    http://archive.is/Ns1Kw

    • Charles Bostock

      From RoS’s link (but of course not excitedly cited by said RoS):

      “It is understood that the target is now to have deals in place that would cover “around 90%” of British trade within the existing agreements.”

      Around 90% diesn’t sound too bad for starters.

      ““Oh, what a tangled web we submit, when first we practice to omit!” (Charles Bostock, 2019, as dedicated to RoS).

        • Charles Bostock

          the “as to” is redundant, “bj”. You should read some Sir Ernest Gowers to help you develop a better style (but there’s nothing even he can do to help you with the content, I’m afraid).

        • freddy

          My keyboard has the “i” and the “o” right next to each other. I know, it’s probably unusual

    • FranzB

      Not forgetting that Liam Fox’s plan to fast track UK WTO membership has been spiked.

      As I understand it the UK submitted its schedule to the WTO on 3/12/18, then there were 45 days for existing members to comment. So should have heard something by now but I can’t find anything.

      The UK currently participates in the WTO via the EU’s deal with the WTO

      https://www.ft.com/content/5336653a-d93b-11e8-ab8e-6be0dcf18713

    • Deb O'Nair

      Worry not because corrupt criminal Liam Fox has not only concluded a deal with Switzerland but has also managed to get that global trading titan The Faeroe Islands to put pen to paper. Tinned whale meat should see the UK through the darkest days of post-Brexit economic misery.

  • Republicofscotland

    As Gavin Williamson throws idle threats towards China and Russia, British firms are exiting Old Blighty.

    “About 250 companies are in talks with the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency to potentially relocate activities to the country, according to a statement published on Saturday. The candidates would join 42 companies that made the move last year, and the 18 early birds in 2017.”

    https://www.bloomberg.com/amp/news/articles/2019-02-09/brexit-s-corporate-refugee-numbers-in-netherlands-set-to-swell?__twitter_impression=true

  • Sharp Ears

    That’s the way they do it! The Mentorn lot ‘producing’ QT.

    ‘7 hrs ago
    Failed UKIP candidate claims he was personally invited on to Question Time
    The failed UKIP candidate claims he was invited by the show’s producer to appear in the unionist-heavy audience in Motherwell last week.
    A failed UKIP candidate who has appeared in the BBC’s Question Time audience four times has claimed he was invited on to the show to fill the audience with more right-wing voices.
    William Mitchell, who has now appeared on the show more often than most SNP politicians, became the centre of a row around bias in the BBC after eagle-eyed viewers complained about his recurring appearances.
    According to The Times, the loyalist claims that he was invited by the show’s producer to appear in the unionist-heavy audience in Motherwell last week, in part to make up a shortage of conservative speakers.’

    /..
    https://www.thenational.scot/news/17425710.failed-ukip-candidate-claims-he-was-personally-invited-on-to-question-time/

    • Vivian O'Blivion

      Menthorn Media have just asked “Rev.” Stuart Campbell to appear on a BBC Scotland debate show being scheduled for filming in Glasgow. Do they know he lives in Bath? Being unable to attend, they have asked him to suggest a replacement. Is Craig’s return from Pakistan imminent?
      BBC Scotland trying to get the toothpaste back in the tube. Schadenfreude is a guilty pleasure.

      • defo

        It is. Guilty though ? hmmm
        Craig? Nae chance. Too dangerous all round.
        Send in the Peat Worrier

        What chance some frantic editing of the audience shots on their newfangled, impartial (honest guv) Politics show.
        Apparently the Billy boy was there too !

  • Dungroanin

    What fresh hell as the tory government uses the Cairncross report to give the local newspapers charitable status – now they are owned by foreign billionaire neocon propagandists.

    The BBC to be encouraged to link them.

    A new body to ‘approve’ who can publish ‘news’.

    A further deepening of the billionaire foundations control of news content.

    A grab for power and money – Tom Watson lamely approves, in reply!

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Xavi February 12, 2019 at 17:40
      Interesting, I hadn’t known about that.
      I previously put up the following comment, but it is relevant here as well.
      Some of the information in the books was partially known and commented on in Parliament and some sections of the press, so it is not at all surprising. I may buy the Mail book just to see how much of the info about the shenanigans leading up to, and running through and after, WWI is covered. I suspect very little – too near the bone.
      ‘Even fewer would have a clue that WWI was planned in Britain by Empire aficionados in 1905.
      But then again, they will also be oblivious to two books by Gerry Docherty and James MacGregor, ‘Hidden History: The Secret Origins of the First World War’ and ‘Prolonging the Agony: How The Anglo-American Establishment Deliberately Extended WWI by Three-and-a-Half Years’.
      Check out the Amazon review, if nothing more…
      Lies,machinations to foment wars, Bankster’s and racists at the heart of it, massive loss of life, massive profits for the Banksters and Corporations – what’s new?’

    • Huw Manoid

      Interestingly, an old boss of mine was an antique weapons collector/dealer (not to mention still a happy shooter who moved all his weapons to France when the bans came in) told me that the first gun restriction laws in this country were not passed for public safety reasons but because the authorities had seen what had happened in Russia and were terrified that thousands of trained and disgruntled troops might get the same idea when they got back to Britain, so restrictions on access to firearms was paramount.

      • Xavi

        I can well believe it. The first series of the bbc’s peaky blinders – set in Birmingham in 1919 – focused on government alarm at the theft of machine guns from the BSA factory. They were concerned the communists would get hold of them.

    • Johny Conspiranoid

      Do you mean the General Strike and all that? It was featured on black and white telly in All Our Yesterdays, when I were a lad, but that was when lots of people who were there were still alive. Its gradually disapeared from history since then.

    • michael norton

      “It opens up the possibility Mrs. Theresa May could delay the final Brexit vote until days before the U.K. is due to leave the E.U.”

      What would be the point of members of Parliament being given a meaningful vote, just a few days before the final countdown?

    • Republicofscotland

      “When questioned (Maduro) of hunger in Venezuela, the president said it is a creation by the Western media which are only interested in showing the 4.4 percent of extreme poverty and also a fault of the U.S. imposed sanctions on the country.”

      Of course you just have to look at the sanctions inforced by Britain’s great ally Saudi Arabia on Yemen, to see that, first you create the disaster, then use western backed humanitarian NGO’s to blame it on the government you want removed.

      Western sanctions on Venezuela only help exacerbate poverty and hunger, but then again that’s the plan.

      • Charles Bostock

        Spoken like a ScotNat who blames all of Scotland’s problems on someone else. It’s as Scottish as haggis and oatcakes.

        • Lillian

          Let us escape, then? Allegedly you would be better off without us. Ok then – money where your mouth is – tell your Westminster parties to stop opposing Scottish independence. Bye bye!

        • Paul Barbara

          @ Charles Bostock February 12, 2019 at 19:11
          Haggis! Are you trying to put me off my jellied eels?

        • Andrew Ingram

          What’s with the negativity thing Charles? Are you paid to piss on other peoples parades? There is nothing wrong or unwholesome about haggis or oatcakes.

        • J

          Apparently you and Anon1 aren’t aware of 70 or so years of history in Latin America. Apparently you’ve been on Mars with Mr Musk for the last twenty years of in your face aggressive war, barely a straight fact between the lot. Are you actually an imbecile? Are you both in some kind of hardcore alternative comedy trolling duo? If so, you both need new material.

    • SA

      RoS
      Whilst not condoning the action of the Egyptian Government I think your likening this to violent actions practiced by the Saudi regime is a bit extreme. Have you seen the video? It is really soft pornography not art, extremely suggestive. Many countries have laws against what is named as public indecency and until recently we in this country have had very suppressive laws against homosexuality. Unfortunately you cannot expect the whole world to suddenly change from rather conservative societies to ultramodernity. There are many more important women and other equality issues in Egypt before this h can be tackled and in this respect Egypt is better than KSA.
      In fact focusing on such issues, very much like the focusing of the activities of Pussy Riot in Russia is actually a distraction from real feminist issues.

      • Republicofscotland

        Yes I watched the video, it’s nothing special, in a provocative sense, two years in prison for eating a banana and licking an apple, I’m under the impression that Egypt is more of a secular state than anything else.

        I should add that very soon Britain and the US followed by the EU, and other minor US minions, will impose severe sanctions on Egypt for this. The outcry should at least reach the fever pitch of Pussy Riot in Russia, or so one would think.

        • SA

          But you are watching it with western eyes applying your own standards. Even though Egypt is secular and yes much more advanced than KSA you must surely realise that Islamists are strong. After all they actually win an election but started to suppress others who didn’t conform to their way of thinking.

          • Andrew Ingram

            Winning an election does not entitle one to impose a stone age orthodoxy on 51% of the constituency. Assad in Syria has always known this.

          • SA

            Andrew
            “Winning an election does not entitle one to impose a stone age orthodoxy on 51% of the constituency. “
            Ah! So you are saying that democracy (winning an election) is not OK when it produces a result you do not like? Does that apply to backward countries out there, only? Should it also be applied to countries like U.K. with Brexit vote and the Tory government?
            Although I do agree with the basic tenner of what you say I do not agree with the way you say it.
            My personal feeling is that democracy can only work when there is a fully free and fully informed electorate. Sadly this often does not apply even in the West where we do not have a ‘free’ unbiased press.

          • michael norton

            The French have recently sold Egypt two Warships.
            They were to have been sold to the Russians
            but the Americans said NO.

        • Kerch'eee Kerch'ee Coup

          @RoS
          So you had a quick’ shuft at the bint ‘. The words were probably picked up in Egypt,’which had quite a reputation for R&R in the 8th army

          • SA

            KKC
            Egypt and other Arab countries were much more open and advanced societies in the 50s and 60s than now. Islamism , encouraged by UKG according to Mark Curtis in order to combat nationalist movements has since reversed most of that.
            The project still continues as seen in Syria and Libya.

  • Republicofscotland

    “Washington has no “sense of shame” in its response to the Venezuelan crisis” said Russia’s Foreign minister Sergey Lavrov.

    He should know, after helping to thwart the US and its minions in the illegal seven year invasion of Syria. The same demonisation that the west regurgitated daily of Assad, is now happening to Maduro.

    They follow a closely linked script, of murder, imprisonment, torture, poverty and destitution all caused by the target figure, in this case it’s Maduro.

    The western media helps ramp up the frenzy against the target figure, mainly in the hope of gaining public consent on further action besides sanctions, which cause poverty and hunger.

    • Deb O'Nair

      I’ve noticed that C4 News has been carrying US anti-Venezuelan propaganda every day for the last couple of weeks. Disgraceful yellow journalism. Funny how they criticise Trump at every turn by when he’s angling to overthrow another country they all get in line lock-step and start marching the truth into the dirt.

      • BrianFujisan

        The US So called Media is owned by the CIA, And AIPAC.. as is much of Hollywood output.
        The Treatment of Ilhan Omar for telling the Truth is just Despicable.

  • Jack

    Hackers have released a sixth batch of Integrity Initiative leaks, this time focusing on how the project sought £5.5 million in funding from the British government to establish an influence campaign in the Western Balkans.
    https://on.rt.com/9o8g

    How much tax money is really involved in this propaganda organization?

    • Charles Bostock

      Let us suppose that Vice Chancellors were only paid £150.000 tops. THat would free up say about £150.000 for other purposes in the average university. I wonder if the individual who wrote in to bitch about Vice Chancellors’ pay has any idea of the annual revenue and spend of the average UK university?

        • Sharp Ears

          \Irish U

          Q. Why do you come on here to join in Habbabkuk’s trolling. Are you summoned?

          Mods. Why are you allowing them on here?

          • IrishU

            Sharpie,

            Nice try playing the victim again.

            I do not come on here to join in with Habba. I sometimes agree with him and sometimes disagree with him, which is the same for everyone on this blog wiht the exception of Trowbridge (I don’t believe I have ever commented in support of one of his posts but then after 10 years it is hard to remember). On occasion, I have even commented in support of your own musings. Though if it makes it more acceptable to imagine those who disagree with you as government operatives, please do so!

            Q. Why do you never engage in debate but simply post articles or cry foul when challenged?

          • Charles Bostock

            IrishU

            The fact that she doesn’t even attempt to defend herself when she has her ear twisted shows that she knows she done wrong.
            Ooh er, Missus!

          • glenn_nl

            IrishU: “Q. Why do you never engage in debate but simply post articles or cry foul when challenged?”

            Far be it for me to speak on SE’s behalf, but I think I can answer this one.

            Anyone who dares to contradict SE, even gently, is quite clearly an Enemy of the People, and deserves to be treated as such (like myself, for instance). Why should SE deign to “debate” with someone as degenerate as an Enemy of the People? No – they should be spoken _of_, in scathing terms, labelled “trolls” and so forth, and complained _about_, but certainly not engaged _with_.

            As mentioned before, my views on Palestine and so on are pretty much aligned with those of SE, but that makes no difference. Once you are cast out of the circle of favour, you never go back, and are utterly without any saving graces.

            At least Habbabkuk will actually debate with you from time to time, and doesn’t just call you a “troll” and whine to the mods because you disagree.

            (Over to you, Sharpie – don’t keep proving me right all the damned time!)

          • Sharp Ears

            Fuck off all you trolls working in concert.

            Is it because I uphold justice for the Palestinians and condemn Israeli atrocities?

          • glenn_nl

            SE: I asked you to prove me wrong, not right once again!

            Didn’t you see the bit where I said my views on Palestine are about identical to your own? Didn’t you understand that?

            So you respond to criticism about failing to debate, and abusing critics and calling them “trolls” by…. failing to debate, abusing critics, and calling them “trolls”. Brilliant.

          • IrishU

            @SE,

            That response really did you no favours. Once again you resorted to yelling trolls and trying to paint yourself as the oppressed victim because you stand for Palestine. For my part your steadfast defence of Palestine doesn’t enter it.

            For me your comments regularly lack any intellectual rigour or analysis and are usually cut n’ paste jobs. I also find many of your postings verge on being anti-Jewish, be it through your constant references to Israel or displaying your detective work by linking individuals to Jewish organisations or people of Jewish heritage, when the original comment or thread had nothing to do with either. When you are asked to explain the relevance of your posts you either ignore or claim you are being trolled.

            As for working in concert, have you considered that not everyone is part of your group think? Alternatively, perhaps your views and postings are so important that the intelligence agencies must detail a band of us to prevent you destabilising the world order. Must be one or the other.

            All in all I rather feel Glenn’s response summed it up.

      • Sharp Ears

        As I said that article was written by a Richard Adams in the Guardian and I linked to it. Universities are in trouble. There are too many of them and the number of new undergraduates is falling.

        • glenn_nl

          Not surprised. Why would potential students want to run up a £100K debt, just in order to serve coffee or work at an off-licence?

    • Shatnersrug

      Society is being split into two tiers the ultra rich and the underclass, university chiefs and journalists who would have historically spoken out against this are in effect bribed by outlandishly high salaries, at this point to even speak out against inequality might threaten their lifestyles and so they stay dumb. It’s a terrifying situation when you study it, and quite frankly it makes me wonder just what those at the top have planned for us lowlifes 😖

      • Tom

        Absolutely. It is terrifying. And even more sinister is how clever these highly paid journalists are at pretending they are just like average people, hiding the propaganda behind blokeish/mumsy banter and regional accents. Five Live are especially good at this.

        • Kay

          The only growth sector left: looters and their flunkies trying to scam a percentage of existing value or existing sources of value.

          It’s like some kind of dystopian Planet of the Carpetbaggers.

        • Xavi

          Spot on Tom. Just seen some plain spoken northern lass delivering the business/investor news on BBC breakfast. Artful new strategies need to be deployed to keep people blind to the long con.

          • Vivian O'Blivion

            Xavi.
            Is this an attempt at sarcasm? If not, your logic appears to be; for the BBC to only employ Private school, Oxbridge graduates to front their output, ’cause that way we’ll know were being lied to. I accept that Steph McGovern is a sop towards claiming some kind of representative demographic employment in the BBC, but you’ve got to start somewhere.

          • Xavi

            No, it is to give an impression that the priorities of corporate boardrooms and investors ought to be shared by ordinary people.

    • Sharp Ears

      Nobody’s ‘bitching’. Richard Adams wrote the Guardian article and I linked to it.

      Two trolls however decided to add their two pennyworth.

      PS Universities are suffering from the decline in the number of school leavers deciding to go to university. They see better prospects in getting into employment straight away.

      • IrishU

        Sharpie,

        Haha! One isn’t a troll simply because they disagree with your asinine take on a situation, in this case pointing out the pay of Vice Chancellors without any context.

        Charles made a good point re. the complexity involved in running universities, they are serious enterprises with turnovers in the 100s of millions. Those sorts of jobs command big salaries.

        There are a number of reasons why UCAS numbers have dropped, a growing economy and more jobs will certainly make people think about employment. However, there are other reaosns too including the myths around fees, the expense of accomodation in many university towns and the fact that the numbers applying were inevitably going to taper off after more than a decade of increasing applications.

        • Hmmm

          What’s your definition of a troll then? Because you’ve jumped straight in to a discussion because you disagree with the OP sentiment.
          the argument is that now fees are paid the wages have increased. Is that reasonable? Put forward your case (as you’ve just done) rather than trolling.
          Personally I feel that universities, much like hospitals, shouldn’t be run for profit. Paying chief executives ridiculous wages suggests that is goal.

          • Charles Bostock

            You overlook the fact that universities are not run for profit. Or are you suggesting that universities are companies with shareholders? If so, to whom are the dividends paid?

          • IrishU

            @Hmm,

            The following is a widely accepted definition re. a troll and one which I would broadly subscribe to:

            “A troll is a person who starts quarrels or upsets people on the Internet to distract and sow discord by posting inflammatory and digressive, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community.”

            I don’t think my comment of ‘doubt it’ in support of Charles’ statement that SE ‘has any idea of the annual revenue and spend of the average UK university’, falls into your definition. If you apply your defintion of trolling to anyone who posts in support of one person’s view or opinion over another person’s then this blog is full of trolls, no? Also it isn’t jumping in to a discussion which two comments long. As for those who post repeated inflammatory, digressive, extraneous and off-topic messages… (no names please!)

            Turning to the substance of your reply, I don’t believe the argument is that now fees are paid the wages have increased. University VC pay has been increasing for 30 years, propelling it from the pay of middle- senior Civil Servant to an exceptionally well paid position on a par with company CEOs but one which retains all the assoicated perks (house, staff, car) that once made up for the less than startling salary.

            Few universites are actually run for ‘profit’, rather they are run to generate a surplus for reinvestment (capital and resource) or to provide a cushion. The economic impact of universities to their local regions (espeically if they are research intensive or members of the Russell Group) is remarkable. This was the nub of Charles’ repsonse and my echo in support.

            Sharpie loves to play the victim and scream troll when her views are challenged. Sorry, that doesn’t wash with me.

            Cheers,
            IU

        • Charles Bostock

          IrishU

          Your take is correct but the essential point I was attempting to make was that the £150,000 which might be saved is but a drop in the ocean when compared to the total cost of running your average university. To complain, as did the OP, about the high salaries of VCs is all very well but if those salaries were halved (say), that would make only a minuscule difference to the university’s overall finances and financial position.

          More widely, what is depressing about the comments from certain commenters is that they are just so…unthinking. They are just expressions of negativity and “getting things off the commenters’ chests” with no attempt to understand why things are so and what the consequences (intended and unintended) might be if the things complained about were not so. Given the unthinking nature of such comments it is hardly surprising that the reaction, when challenged, should be to shout “troll” rather than engaging in rational discussion.

          • Xavi

            The salaries VCs award themselves are demoralizing to the entire academic profession. That is the largest cost, especially in an age when many highly qualified academics subsist on poverty level zero hours contracts. Nobody who thinks about the situation at all could arrive at the conclusion it is a healthy situation.

          • Rowan Berkeley

            IrishU: Despite the narrowness of your definition, there are wider ones. In my experience, most trolls are there to waste everybody’s valuable interacting time.

          • IrishU

            @Rowan,

            If someone doesn’t want to interact then surely all that is required is to skip over and pay no attention?

            I will end this sideward trek on trolling by saying that if this blog is a home for the discussion of ideas and for challenging prevailing thought then that notion must surely apply to those who post and comment here most often?

      • bj

        Most universities have ditched their humanities and replaced them with managerial courses, or other nonsense having to do with ‘the economy’.

        Might as well teach astrology.

        • Charles Bostock

          That statement really is rubbish. Those who see universities as simple factors of production would say that there are far too many arts courses on offer. I suspect your acquaintance with academia is slimmer than a Rizla cigarette paper.

      • Dungroanin

        Oh you trolley bots – universities, education, is not run for profits???

        You are badly educated and baffled. We have now the full US model, thanks to the Blairites and LibDems.

        Here the Baffler will help unbaffle your usual brain fart bs:-

        ‘The coming of “academic capitalism” has been anticipated and praised for years; today it is here. Colleges and universities clamor greedily these days for pharmaceutical patents and ownership chunks of high-tech startups; they boast of being “entrepreneurial”; they have rationalized and outsourced countless aspects of their operations in the search for cash; they fight their workers nearly as ferociously as a nineteenth-century railroad baron; and the richest among them have turned their endowments into in-house hedge funds.’
        https://thebaffler.com/salvos/academy-fight-song

        • IrishU

          Dungroanin,

          On the contrary, I am very well educated (and by British universities).

          Tell me, what is your issue with universities and the researchers, applying for and securing pharmaceutical patents and ownership chunks of high-tech startups? What issue is there with boasting of being “entrepreneurial”? Surely, the growth of private enterprise is a good thing?

          Also in reply to BJ, many Universities have slimmed down their Humanities base but that reflects the number of students applying for those courses. If students don’t want to study a particular course, should staff, lecturers, be employed to sit in empty lecture halls?

          • Dungroanin

            I was making a general reply to the fake idea presented in the conversation that “..the fact that universities are not run for profit.”

            You perhaps think they are run for profit?

            Please elucidate what great learning you accumulated in your education and how much it cost?

          • IrishU

            @Dun,

            The universities which I have studied at or been involved with are run to generate surpluses, where possible. Given the uncertain political climate and evershifting government views on Higher Ed, that seems sensible. A generated surplus enables reinvestment in resources without the need to be beholden to state handouts.

            As for my my education: MA (Hons), from Dundee, MSc from Queen’s Belfast and MBA from Uni of Edinburgh. Total tuition fee cost for all three c.£50k, reduced with scholarships and employer’s assistance for the MBA.

          • Dungroanin

            That is a large loan. How much you paying back? That’s a lot of degrees! Subjects? Happy? Happy that your grandkids will pay a lot more?

            Saying Education needs surplus incase of future government cuts is same as the armed forces saying the same!

          • IrishU

            @Dungroanin,

            I have paid back about half of the total. Paid my undergraduate tution fees upfront as it was the old system in Scotland (c.£2k p.a), I have paid off the loan for my Masters but there is a good bit left on the MBA as that was only a few years ago. Subjects were, History & International Relations at undergrad and then a Masters in Irish Politics. Happy with what I paid for or generally? Haha. I have to say I am one of the few people who is totally happy with their experiences across three universities, excellent teaching, good facilities and some terrific memories.

            ‘Saying Education needs surplus incase of future government cuts is same as the armed forces saying the same.’ I am quite certain that prudent 2* and 3* commanders do trim some fat for a rainy day! However, in the military they are more constrained than a university in exploiting commerical opportunites.

            I tend to think that wihtin 20 years the whole tertiary system will be unrecognisble. I think you will see a liberalisation in fees and teaching for the large research intensive universities which will eventually form the top rank of global facing universities, charging astronomical fees but with the best facilities and teaching. This will be followed by rank 2, the majority of Russell Group, as semi private institutions specialising in research led teaching and postgraduate study and then a third rank which will be more undergrad and technically focused with a capped fee structure in place and greater government support.

          • Clark

            IrishU, February 13, 14:54:

            “what is your issue with universities and the researchers, applying for and securing pharmaceutical patents and ownership chunks of high-tech startups? What issue is there with boasting of being “entrepreneurial”? Surely, the growth of private enterprise is a good thing?”

            Read and understand Bad Pharma by Ben Goldacre; we don’t know what our pharmaceutical drugs really do. We often don’t know if they really work, and we hardly ever know how serious their side effects are.

            Gaining commercial advantage is dependent upon maintaining others’ ignorance; it entails restriction and control of information that should be made universally available.

          • Dungroanin

            IrishU
            ‘History & International Relations at undergrad and then a Masters in Irish Politics. ‘
            Well i hope you understood why NI is a unicorn.
            And why the ‘backstop’ is just a guarantee that the Belfast agreement will stay honoured and so is a ‘red-herring’ issue – except for these who may want to get out of the GFA – there are some unreconstructed Neanderthals still amongst us.

            So you spent years doing history and politics and then decided to spend more years becoming a cog in a commercial enterprise – great.

            You are right about what the future plan is – it’s in the link i gave you, did you read it? – there is a lot more I could give you including how Adonis sold our schools off – for profits from kids!

            By the way I think you have an admirer in Bossy – he seems to think you are man worthy of his gaze! He is following me to tell me you have replied to my inquiry and demanding that i give my paltry qualifications in return. But seeing as how you are not interested, don’t know why you would, i won’t get in the way of the no doubt rosie lipped Bossies bromantic urges at Valentine time.

          • IrishU

            @dingroanin,

            Re. the backstop I agree with you 100%, it is merely about protecting the GFA and ensuring an open border N/S. Anyone who supports the GFA and wants to avoid tanking NI’s economy would back it. Unfortunately the DUP and Tory right she this fight as another way of unpicking the GFA and closer N/S links.

            As for my view on NI, it is more nuanced than a unicorn. Though I spent more time on N/S relations and southern parties’ attitudes to the North since partition.

            Haha, yep I’m a cog in the corporate machine but it pays better than either politics or academia so…I can live with it.

            The less said about the image you conjured up about Charles / Bossy the better!

            Cheers,
            IU

  • nevermind

    Here we are at the dithering date,29 March. The PM had her meaningful vote on not very much, the Good Friday Agreement has been kicked down the road into a deep bog, and she is waiting, waiting for rain to fall over Wills house, waiting for Godot and that notion of

    ‘Going to the wire’. But, what if the EU has more internal problems in France, Italy, Germany, and Hungary/Poland to focus on, what if there is no wire and they meant it when they said that a backstop/breaching of EU borders and the negotiated deal are not going to be revisited?

    The Tories are splitting the union, nobody else is. By their intransigence and sheer re election Angst they are cocking around each other and their hens and geese in the MSM shall they be known.

    And by the pitchfork sticking in their backside should they be identified. Cowards who are masquerading as our representatives, useless leaches on the taxpayers who declare themselves PlC’s, just to circumnavigate tax.
    Tusk was right, there is a special place for them in hell.

  • Chick McGregor

    Craig, when are you getting your arse back from Islamabad and Jacobabad to Snpandalbabad?

    Just askin? Does the desperation show?

    • BigMac

      Craig always showed 100% sympathy for Islam, so he should feel right at home in Pakistan.
      His main Achilles heel is talking about Scottish independence in Pakistan: their Deep State doesn’t want to hear that at all fearing for a free Balochistan, Sind, or Paktunistan apart from Kashmir. Of course they preach independence to Indian Kashmiris, but that is obvious spin, just ask Pakistani Kashmiris.

      • J

        “Craig always showed 100% sympathy for Islam”

        I haven’t noticed that, I’m sure you’ll be furnishing us with some evidence since it’s not a particularly obvious reading. By making the point, you’re suggesting he shouldn’t. Why? And why is it relevant to anything? If you argued he supports Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Taoism and Judaism 100% because of his support of the Chagos Islanders, you’d still be making 100% of no sense.

  • Contrary

    So, how many of the problems, like excessive greed, the buying off of key chiefs of industry and education, the maintenance of the state within a state, secrecy for secrecy’s sake, is down to the neoliberalism on speed seen in the uk?

    Is neoliberalism terrorism? Here is a paper exploring it:

    https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17539153.2015.1009761

    Extract of abstract:

    “Thus, the conference sought also to stimulate research into the ways that neoliberalism could itself be understood as terrorism, asking – amongst other questions – whether populations are themselves terrorised by neoliberal policy. The articles presented in this special issue reflect the conference aims in bringing together research on the neoliberalisation of counterterrorism and on the terror of neoliberalism.”

  • Sharp Ears

    Regime change cont’d…..

    Ms Guerin conducted a snarky interview with President Maduro which was carried on the BBC last night. She kept pushing for Guaido as the president.

    And the excellent Joe Emersberger writes:

    Facts Don’t Interfere With Propaganda Blitz Against Venezuela’s Elected President

    The Miami Herald (2/8/19) reported, “Venezuelan leader Nicolás Maduro continues to reject international aid—going so far as to blockade a road that might have been used for its delivery.“

    The “Venezuelan leader” reporter Jim Wyss referred to is Venezuela’s elected president. In contrast, Wyss referred to Juan Guaidó as Venezuela’s “interim president.”
    /..
    https://fair.org/home/facts-dont-interfere-with-propaganda-blitz-against-venezuelas-elected-president/

    The agenda from here and the US is clear to see.

    • Charles Bostock

      One man’s snarky interview is another man’s hard-hitting interview. One’s take basically depends on whether one is pro or anti the person being interviewed. If one’s pro, then one would wish the interviewer to be gentler than a goose down duvet and allow the interviewee to propgandize shamelessly: if one’s anti, then one would deplore any mercy shown by the interviewer toward the interviewee and expect the former to go in fists flying. Call it human nature, if you will, from which no one is exempt.
      Hope that explains matters.

      • J

        A lie is not an opinion nor the other side of the debate. It’s just a lie. Or something claimed by Habbahasbara.

      • bj

        (International) law was meant to curtail human nature.

        No word yet on your opinion of the ‘most moral’ Israeli Air Force using civilian airliners to hide behind.

        • bj

          I was trying the Levenshtein distance between “diesn’t” and the dictionary, and it came up with ‘dissent’.

          Charles?
          Dissent?

  • michael norton

    In February 2019, in Paris, during Act XIII of the Yellow Vests, a protester, present in front of the National Assembly, had his hand torn off. According to one witness, this is a “de-encircling grenade” launched by the police.

    According to lawyers, since the beginning of the Yellow Vest movement in France and until the end of January 2019,
    17 people have lost one eye, at least three have lost a hand and others have had their faces or members of their bodies mutilated by defensive ball launchers and grenades.

    In the European Union, only France is allowed to use these grenades.
    17 people losing the sight of an eye in 1/4 year during Yellow Vest protests would cause howls of anguish were it in Venezuela.
    Why are the European Union not complaining to the government of France?

    • Charles Bostock

      To me – I’m not based in Nanterre, admittedly – it sounds as if there have been more serious injuries and deaths of civilians during the gilets jaunes protests in France than there have at and following the big demonstration in Barcelona to which some human rights activists and political anarchists sometimes refer to with great indignation on here.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ michael norton February 13, 2019 at 08:15
      ‘…17 people losing the sight of an eye in 1/4 year during Yellow Vest protests would cause howls of anguish were it in Venezuela….’
      Good point. Same reason they keep shtumn about Catalonia, and keep selling arms to the genocidal Saudi regime.

      • michael norton

        Emelien, who served as Macron’s “special” advisor and was frequently described as his closest confidant, said in an interview with French weekly Le Point on Monday that he would be quitting by early April at the latest.

        The 31-year-old’s name had recently surfaced in a sprawling investigation involving the president’s former top security aide Alexandre Benalla, who faces a number of charges after he was filmed roughing up protesters at a May Day rally last year.
        https://www.france24.com/en/20190211-ismael-emelien-macron-advisor-resignation-benalla-france

        It is a snake pit in the Élysée Palace

        • Charles Bostock

          “It is a snake pit in the Élysée Palace”

          And has been throughout the Fifth Republic.

          Downing Street is amateur in comparison.

  • Paul Barbara

    ‘BREAKING: FDA Sued for Recommending Untested, Unlicensed Flu Vaccine for Pregnant Women’:
    https://agrdailynews.com/2019/02/12/breaking-fda-sued-for-recommending-untested-unlicensed-flu-vaccine-for-pregnant-women/
    More evidence (not ‘conspiracy theory’) that the FDA and CDC couldn’t give a toss about serious vaccine safety, or, indeed, about anything to do with the people’s safety, but rather they care about Corporate profits ‘Uber Alles’.

  • N_

    Another haversack ruse! Olly Robbins was “overheard in a Brussels bar” saying it was “deal or lengthy delay”.

    Believe this and you’ll believe anything. There will be no delay.

    “The issue is whether Brussels is clear on the terms of extension”, Robbins is quoted as saying. A government spokesman said “we don’t propose to comment on alleged remarks from a private conversation”. In other words they are saying it’s true. Yeah, because they set it up in the first place.

    Most of what you have read about extension is bullsh*t.

    Channels for government propaganda include 1) statement from press office, 2) tell Laura Kuenssberg to say she has heard it from a source, 3) the ol’ haversack ruse.

    Government propagandists reading this…you think you are so clever, but you’re about as “creative” as a smear of dog crap.

    • Charles Bostock

      Well, the govt propagandists were clever enough to get you into overdrive again, Neil (and so elegantly – “a smear of dog crap”).

    • N_

      Discussion in the opiniosphere is always dominated by a few buzzphrases handed down from the top, but until about two weeks ago the discussion about Brexit at least had some reality to it. Since then it has become complete and utter fluff. Many are still caught in the whole “Deal or No Deal or Remain” optic. For example there are those who are saying it’s “either Deal or Remain”, and there are those who are talking about legislation and amendments to motions in the Commons when they have little clue as to the real conflict and possibilities. The paths to Remain without leaving the EU first are 1) referendum either before 29 March or after an extension and 2) unilateral revocation, and neither of those paths will be taken. Parliament is not as important as many people think. Britain will leave the EU, almost certainly on 29 March, and probably with a fudged deal. Reportedly “deals” with Switzerland and I__ael are in the bag. Forget the Faroe Islands.

      • michael norton

        I think the most likely option will be, as Yvette Balls/Cooper
        https://www.theguardian.com/politics/blog/live/2019/feb/12/brexit-latest-news-developmens-mays-statment-mps-need-to-hold-our-nerve-may-to-tell-mps-as-leadsom-hints-uk-softening-call-for-deal-to-be-rewritten-politics-live

        wants, which seems to be no Brexit or a one year retard clause.

        During this time we shall be given the Remainers choice, “People’s Vote”

        What if Yvette gets her year time-slot and what id The Peopl’e Vote gives an incredibly slim margin for Remain, where on Earth would we go from there?

        • Sharp Ears

          Whichever option, the stagnation continues and we go down the pan. There is no government and the current proceedings in the HoC are farcical.

        • N_

          @Michael – Be aware that

          1) neither Parliament nor the Government have the authority to instruct an extension (I wouldn’t take any media article seriously where the author seems to believe otherwise);

          2) Parliament can’t “rule out No Deal” without instructing the acceptance of a specific withdrawal agreement (a treaty) – it can say it does, but that doesn’t make it true;

          3) there are EU elections in late May, which would be held in Britain if an extension were agreed pending a referendum with a Remain option – this is not going to happen for a number of reasons, but even if we assume it might happen then the holding of EU elections would be taking “volatility” too far;

          4) hundreds of Brexit-related statutory instruments have already been laid before Parliament.

          • N_

            Turnout in Britain in the most recent EU elections (2014) was 36%. The elite can’t control everything. Allowing an EU election to be held in Britain in May – as it would have to be, if the whole reason for an extension was so that a referendum could be held later with a Remain option – could burn the f***ing paint off the walls in this country from one end to the other.

    • michael norton

      Great news for the U.K. Economy
      HMRC data shows Scotch exports hit record high in 2018
      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-47211794
      Analysis of HMRC data by the Scotch Whisky Association found exports grew 7.8% by value to £4.7bn.
      The number of bottles exported also reached record levels, growing by 3.6% to 1.28 billion.

      Shepperton film studios expansion backed by councillors
      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-surrey-47216578
      A half a billion pound expasion has been agreed for the new film studios at Shepperton, great news for jobs.
      Shepperton, which is part of the Pinewood group, said the development would secure the future of more than 1,500 jobs and ultimately provide a £322m boost per year to the local economy.

      • Dungroanin

        Fullers turners smith got bought by chinese.

        That and all other instances you proudly flag are direct consequence of devalued sterling.

  • mike

    Another day, another flattering photo of the Maybot, with a positive headline, on the state broadcaster’s website. Corbyn is nowhere to be seen, unless he’s “defending” (always defending) some silly stance on human rights or justice or jam making.

    And as for last week’s Question Time…colluding with a unionist plant. Nothing less from the state broadcaster.

  • Republicofscotland

    As the US ramps up its puppet lead coup in Venezuela, and the goal is to remove Maduro, which will allow US firms to asset strip Venezuela, we should consider that, the US and its obedient minions, especially the diminutive ever loyal Britain are by no means innocent interlopers.

    As Maduro is probably guilty of accusations aimed at him and his retinue, so it goes, so are both the US and UK guilty.

    Abduction, extraordinary rendition, Britain aided and abetted the US, corruption, the Bush presidents close ties with Saudi Arabia, allowing the royals to waltz off hours after 9/11. Britain’s deal in the desert, the US and Britain both cosying up to Saddam and Gaddafi Britain’s inability to collect billions in corporation tax, as the government buddies up to them.

    Poverty, in British poverty is rife, thousand dying homelessness on the up, food banks here to stay. A similar story lies across the pond in the US, only on a much larger scale.

    The demonisation of opposition leaders in Britain Corbyn, Sturgeon, by the state broadcaster, and media in general.

    So you see, the US and its ever reliable favourite landing strip Britain, are not on some kind of democratic peace loving humanitarian quest in Venezuela. No as in the past the US and its minions want to overthrow and asset strip Venezuela, that’s the real goal here.

    I should add if it were really about removing oppressive regimes then Israel and Saudi Arabia would be high on the agenda. Also it’s obvious to those who look, that Trump barks at North Korea’s Kim Jong Un on nuclear weapons, but stays very silent on Israel’s arsenal of nuclear weapons.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Republicofscotland February 13, 2019 at 13:01
      ‘…As Maduro is probably guilty of accusations aimed at him and his retinue,..’
      Hold your horses…
      The main accusation is that the elections weren’t pukka.
      I was at a meeting in Goldsmith’s Uni yesterday, at which Dr Francisco Dominguez spoke:
      https://www.theguardian.com/profile/francisco-dominguez
      (‘..Dr Francisco Dominguez is a senior lecturer at Middlesex University, where he is head of the Centre for Brazilian and Latin American Studies, and secretary of the Venezuela Solidarity Campaign. Dominguez came to Britain in 1979 as a Chilean political refuge..’)
      He explained, in detail, how it was impossible for electoral fraud to happen in Venezuela. He also cited an international ‘Observer’ who had ‘observed’ elections in scores of countries around the world, and had said Venezuela had the best electoral system in the world.
      So as this US piglet puppet Guaido is claiming a fixed election, as his ‘Masters’ have ordered him to, they are all full of sh^t.
      He and his ‘followers’ boycotted the election, because they knew they didn’t stand a chance.
      Even most of the other anti-government parties detest the little rat (though that may change, with ‘Langley Dollars’.
      A vocal ‘opposition’ in the meeting did cause a bit of disruption – when I spoke to one of them later, and referred to the ‘opposition’ litterally burning people alive, dousing them with petrol and setting it alight, she defended them and said ‘what do you expect if ….’ (I didn’t quite catch the rest, something like ‘what would you do if your family were starving’) – but irrelevant – she was defending the brutal murders. The hate, in a young college girl, was startling.
      I could not get any of them (speaking after the meeting and outside) to explain when any US interference, anywhere in Latin America had ever benefited the people. They just would not go there. I tried to explain I had been in Nicaragua for three and a half months in 1984 when the ‘Contra’ war was on, but they refused to listen. ‘Have you been to Venezuela?’ ‘No?’. ‘Then don’t speak to me about Venezuela’.
      I countered with ‘I haven’t been to Yemen, but that doesn’t prevent me from speaking up about Yemen’. No dice. They were blinkered, brain-washed and impossible to reason with.
      Abbey Martin’s video (already put on here by another commenter) shows the BS and baloney served up by the MSM for what it is.
      If you missed it, here it is again:
      ‘Abby Martin Meets the Venezuelan Opposition’:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dtu1DwHo1Zg
      Such lovely, persecuted ‘peaceful’ demonstrators….

  • jeffleb

    Rachel Riley is a bit of a racist. Tut tut.

    What are they filling young minds with at Oxbridge lately. Are Islamophobic classes mandatory. Or was she raised this way by her parents? Tut tut. No more Countdown for me.

  • Republicofscotland

    Meanwhile Ford sticks it to May and Old Blighty.

    “Ford Motor Co told British Prime Minister Theresa May that it is stepping up preparations to move production out of Britain, The Times reported on Tuesday.”

    “The automaker told the prime minister during a private call with business leaders that it is preparing alternative sites abroad”

    http://archive.vn/WnSSp

    It’s all swirling around the plughole.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Republicofscotland February 13, 2019 at 13:21
      Great stuff! After they clear out, Austin Mark II can take over their sites, and pump out ‘Made in England’ (or Britain, if Ford’s have facilities in the ‘outer suburbs’) British-built cars which all good patriots will be lining up to buy, sending the Yankee’s Ford a big ‘BDS’.
      Don’t try to tell me we can’t make cars any more. Heck, we can make ‘Frighten the Chinese’ ‘State-or-the-(F)Art’ aircraft carriers, whose empty decks only show just how ‘Stealthy’ the aircraft are – they are literally invisible to sight, radar, thermal or any other confirmation of presence. Pretty much like the planned 3rd aircraft carrier, HMS Invisible’.

    • michael norton

      Ford Transit stuck to Southampton a few years ago, 49 years of trouble free construction, then bye bye England, hello Turkey, all before David Cameron thought up the Brexit Referendum, RoS

  • N_

    The Belgian prime minister says that “no deal” is preferable to a “bad deal”. (The silly sod probably watches too much TV, but there you go – never mind his choice of phrases). The Lithuanian president says “no deal” is preferable to continued uncertainty. Extension requires unanimous agreement by the EU Council. This is not going to happen.

    • bj

      Make no mistake.

      Belgian prime ministers have great futures.

      That is exactly because they are silly sods.

  • Sharp Ears

    The QT website is plastered with images of Ms Bruce/Mrs Sharrocks (income from the licence fee payers pre her QT gig £350k- £399,999k).
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0c3c35f

    Tomorrow’s programme is coming from Aylesbury. The panel has not been named yet. Suppose Mentorn leave their options open until the last minute – who’s available and who’s most newsworthy, as if.

    Question Time is to have a ‘softer’ feel after Fiona Bruce agrees to take over as host in addition to her four other BBC roles https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/12/07/question-time-have-softer-feel-fiona-bruce-agrees-take-host/

    What tommy rot there in the Torygraph.

      • Sharp Ears

        No. I did not know that. Who will he get to come on RT though? There will be a Tory embargo for sure.

          • Charles Bostock

            Mr George Galloway has the habit of saying things and then quietly – very quietly – dropping them.

            As per his threat to sue “Philip Cross” and the mysterious person allegedly controlling him.

  • Republicofscotland

    Nevermind we’ve got two aircraft carriers, and a statute of Maggie Thatcher, and HS2 or not, ..ha ha, beat that Europe.

    “A huge 9,000km trade route is being built right across Europe from Finland to Malta. It’s one of the biggest infrastructure projects ever constructed and will capitalise on the benefits of free trade in the EU single market. ”

    https://mobile.twitter.com/JamesMelville/status/1095213809206206474

    • Charles Bostock

      RoS

      You really don’t understand much, do you. The “trade route” you mention with such excitement is part of the concept of TENS (Trans-European Networks, involving road, rail, intermodal transport and indeed energy networks) which has been around for at least two decades now and which the EU has supported and continues to support financially from a discrete budget line. To be noted that the financing from that line is mostly to meet the cost of feasibility studies, etc (the EU can contribute to actual construction costs via its Structural Funds within the framework of National Development Plans). The idea can be, for example, to complete so-called “missing links” along designated European axes (for the ill-educated, I mean the plural of axis) so that traffic can continue along motorways when crossing nation frontiers.

      A couple of such transport axes were determined for the UK decades ago; one goes up from the Channel ports to Scotland and there is an east-west axis which extends into Ireland,

      I detect a poke at the UK in RoS’s squib but perhaps he could explain what is the point he’s trying to make (if any)?

  • Sharp Ears

    Today’s PMQs as reported by the state broadcaster. The Seaborne Freight fiasco featured. Note that Grayling spent £800,000 on it. Note also that Ramsgate council is £2m down.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-47227107

    ‘The transport secretary had told MPs the decision to award a contract to Seaborne Freight “had no cost to the taxpayer”, said Mr Corbyn, but the National Audit Office found that £800,000 had been spent on external consultants to assess the bid. Could the prime minister “correct the record”?’
    [..]
    Mr Corbyn said taxpayers were facing a £1m legal bill for contesting Eurotunnel’s court case against the government over its “secretive and flawed” no-deal transport contracts process.

    Not only that, he told MPs, Thanet Council, in Kent, was facing a £2m budget deficit as a result of the Seaborne Freight debacle. Could the PM offer “cast iron guarantees” that the people of Thanet would not be hit with this bill?

    Mrs May said Department of Transport officials were “in discussions” with Thanet council. The ferry contracts were about safeguarding medical supplies in the event of a no-deal Brexit, she added.’

    Never mind. It’s only money – in £millions.

    The transcript is not available yet.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    I accept this site is addictive, or I wouldn’t still be reading it 10 years later, and occasionally succeed in having a post appear. I am impressed with many of the regular posters here, and always have been, even when I don’t agree with you. However, what amazes me, is that some of you seem to post almost every single day, often several times a day. I know you do some exceedingly good research, and are highly intelligent, but there is something about you I do not understand.

    Do you ever go out, sleep, eat, or do something completely different? I know some of you do cos you mention these things.

    I don’t expect this post to appear. Most of them don’t.

    Tony

    • Dungroanin

      If you can multitask – smart gadgets make it piss easy to do exactly what you suggest (having a bath now actually 🛀), by not having to sit infront of a screen in some barracks, like the multi-personality propaganda bots.

    • IrishU

      Tony,

      I second Dungroanin. The availability of wifi on trains and airports allow me to post in between meetings. Though I rarely post at the weekends, that’s reserved for sport or debates with real people in the pub!

      • Charles Bostock

        @ IrishU

        That was an interesting remark. You strike me as the sort of person who would not be afraid of saying directly, in the pub, that which you write (anonymously) on Craig Mirray’s blog.

        I wonder of how many other commenters one could assume the same…….

        • IrishU

          @Charles,

          No point in being opinionated and then being quiet, especially in Northern Ireland!

          As for the anonymous moniker, it started years ago when I started commenting on the Slugger O’Toole blog (which I would recommend as background reading for the all the NI / Ireland experts cropping up on this blog). The rentention of IrishU now has more to do with work policy relating to social media but it is my username across various blogs and sites so there is consistency.

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