The Blog That Reaches The Parts 167

Delighted to be back in Edinburgh after a fascinating three weeks in Pakistan. I left Pakistan two days after the Kashmir flare-up and just as Mohammed Bin Salman arrived, and you will be hearing my thoughts on this much neglected but vital country further over the next few days.

As I return, the Corrupt Seven are leaving the Labour Party and being much feted for their general Toryness, a quality they hold in common with the large majority of remaining Labour MPs, who calculate staying on is a better bet to preserve their incomes at present. I have missed an appalling official report from Frances Cairncross, who advocates that in order to ensure that we get our proper dose of official propaganda we should be obliged to pay with our taxes to subsidise newspapers which nobody wants to buy. This ties in with the report yesterday by MPs advocating more governmental control of Facebook to tighten the permitted narrative still further.

Much for me to get my teeth into; just give me a chance to unpack.

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167 thoughts on “The Blog That Reaches The Parts

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  • Willie

    Blogosphere was a much less interesting with your much appreciated commentary missing. Bella Caledonia, a well intenrioned journal, but with unfortunately now an infusion of narrow name calling policy lite malcontents, was a poor substitute.

    Great to see that you’re back and once again part of the alternative media which we so desperately need.

    • Sharp Ears

      Lebedev & co have given Chuka houseroom.

      I can no longer support Corbyn becoming prime minister, which is why after 22 years I’m leaving Labour – I hope you’ll join me
      It’s a difficult decision, but you do not join a party to spend years fighting those in it; you get involved in politics to change the world

      A jumped up little twerp with a delusion of self importance.

      The news channels are even more unwatchable and unbearable this morning as the propaganda against Corbyn is transmitted.

      • Rod

        On the Toady programme this morning Nick Robinson said Luciana Berger came from Liverpool when, in fact, she comes from London. Ms Berger was parachuted in as a candidate to the Liverpool Wavertree seat under Tony Blair’s scheme for all-women candidates. The people of that constituency had Ms Berger imposed upon them. Is it any wonder that there is an element of resentment toward her by the locals who perhaps had other preferences for their own chosen candidate ? The proper thing for Ms Berger to do is to resign her seat and stand for re-election if she wishes to continue as the MP for that constituency for she was elected to support the Labour Party, not as an independent.

        • davie

          Private Schoolgirl parachuted into Liverpool from London fighting against the party Liverpudlians voted.

        • Dungroanin

          ‘Berger began her career with the management consultant Accenture in its Government Strategy Unit, advising the UK Treasury and other parts of the UK government on how to be more effective and efficient…etc’

          Are the parachutes actually yo-yo’s?

  • Willie

    Now, in turning to today’s formal announcement by Honda that they will be quitting car manufacturing in Swindon with the loss of 3,5000 direct jobs, and maybe twice as many job losses again in the supply chain, one does have to wonder what this says about the newly emerging belligerent Britain able and willing to stride the world stage showing off its lethality of military hardware.

    Honda it seems represents something like 20% of all UK car production, and when you add in the loss of Nissans cancellation of production at their Sunderland plant, the re-location of new JLR capacity from the Birmingham area into new plants in Europe, and the impending shut down albeit on a short term basis immediately post Brexit of BMW at Cowley, one does wonder where it is all going.

    We could of course mock that the people who voted for Brexit deserve all the Universal Credit that they can stomach when they are jobless and struggling to pay their mortgage. But that would be inappropriate to do so. Yes a spell on the largesse of the state social security system and the inability to move freely to alternative job in the EU may be rich payback, but what truly of the consequences.

    Well an embittered, or should I say an even more embittered England on our doorstep is no great thing. The social division, the hatred towards foreigners, including the Scots will only get worse, and the case for independence becomes ever more compelling.

    Indeed, with recent trade talks with China cancelled due to Defence Secretary Gavin Williams sending the UKs new aircraft carrier to the south China Seas in a show of Britain’s lethality of force in foreign theatres one does wonder how this is all going to play out. Ditto the naval showboating duel between the UK. and Spanish military in the seas of Gibraltar, and the military build up in NI.

    Out of Europe, indeed hating Europe, and now threatening global powers like China, Swindon man and women must be proud of their new Britannic power.

    We would be wise to extricate ourselves from the Great Folly.

    • michael norton

      Wow you really do despise English people Willie.
      Have you ever given a thought to those that have family either side of the border, how your bitterness will divide families, do you factor that in?

      • davie

        So Scotland should remain a colony of an increasingly lunatic England because some people (including me) have family on both sides of the border? What a strange assumption.

        Willie is simply highlighting that England is getting the outcomes England voted for, and bizarrely according to opinion polls, still largely supports. They’re really shit outcomes but hey-ho; it seems a long hard period of pain, poverty and humiliation is required to shake the last vestige of Empire from English minds.

        Scotland not have to suffer with them. We did not choose this (unless accepting our colonial statues in 2014 counts)

      • Andyoldlabour

        michael norton

        Exactly what I felt Michael, really bitter comments from Willie. A bit of background to the JLR move to Slovakia may not go amiss – it was decided in 2015, long before the referendum, and they did it because of the huge investment made by the EU into Eastern European projects, projects which we in the UK are funding.
        Greed always plays a part in business, and when the average wage – not the minimum wage – in Slovakia is around 4000 Euros per year, then freedom of movement/cheap labour allows the rich swine to keep their snouts in the trough.

    • Reg

      As economically uninformed as I have come to expect from those supporting Remain. It is untrue that Honda (or Nissan for that matter) are moving production to Europe as both are moving production back to Japan as a result of a free trade agreement between Japan and the EU. The result of the free trade agreement is that there is no advantage in having production within the EU to avoid tariffs and no advantage for Japanese carmakers for having the UK in the EU over moving production back to Japan, if there was an advantage to having production within the EU, Honda and Nissan would of shifted production to the rest of the EU, and they have not. The other problem is the world is facing an economic downturn, with overproduction of cars with specific problems after the Diesel scandal of a collapse in demand for Diesels (as indicated by Macros attempt to hike duties on diesel). This affects vehicles like Nissan’s xtrail where a lack of demand has made Nissan move production from Sunderland back to Japan not to Europe. This indicates a wider problem overproduction and a slowing world economy have caused Japanese carmakers like Nissan and Honda to rationalise production to cut costs by moving production back to Japan as after the free trade agreement their is no economic advantage to retain production in the EU in many cases. This indicates that free trade agreements are not always in every bodies interests whether with the EU or Japan.

      This is not to say uncertainty does not have an affect on foreign direct investment into the UK, but this is not a significant factor here as production of the Honda civic is being ended by 2022, production also being curtailed in Turkey serving the non EU domestic market. This also indicates the risks of an over reliance on foreign direct investment and the need for an industrial strategy from the UK government to enable and carry out investment for the long term to fundamentally restructure the UK economy away from a over reliance on finance that crowds out the real economy and extracts rather than creates wealth increasing overheads for the real economy. Note that this approach would be inadmissible under EU and EEA rules requiring restrictions on state aid and free movement of capital as this is economically destabilising and undermines long term investment and undermines a governments economic policy.
      See Wolfgang Münchau, FTs Europe correspondent on the need to restructure the UK economy after Brexit away from a rentier model.

      “What Britain should do after a no-deal Brexit The UK must draw up a post-industrial economic strategy for the long term”
      FT Feb 17 2019

      “Honda closure may not be about Brexit, but it is about Brexports
      Politicians knew Japanese carmakers were in talks to make tariff-free EU trade possible” FT 18 Feb 2019

      This states “Honda is not closing its UK factory in favour of another plant inside the EU, or with more certain access to it.” and goes on to state “Honda production is returning to Japan for the same reason Nissan production is returning, and Dyson production is heading to Singapore: these countries have new free trade deals with the EU. Japan’s deal will slash tariffs on cars exported to the EU from 10 per cent to zero by 2027”

      As to your other absurd and typically patronising insensitive point, is that for those not benefiting from the present economy why would they care even if the UK experiences an economic downturn as they saw no upturn. I for one could not care less, and if those insensitive patronising remainers who have suddenly cynically discovered the working class experience serious economic loss, good. This level of arrogant self righteous moralising is the reason why remain lost the EU referendum and as they are to arrogant to learn anything from their abject failure to convince the UK electorate is why they will lose any EU referendum in the future.

      It is also worth noting for those with any political understanding that Remain was always really a cynical way of destabilising the labour party and removing Jeremy Corbyn by Blairite MPs after their failure to effectively weaponise anti-Semitism and their failure to engineer a electoral collapse in labours vote in the 2017 election. The Morning Star had an interesting article on this.

      “The true target of the People’s Vote is Corbyn, not Brexit”

      • Anthony

        It is indeed. Mr Peoples Vote Chukka Ummuna said in 2016 that a second referendum would be an unthinkable affront to democracy. Mr Peoples Vote and his pals in the liberal media know Corbyn cannot compel a second referendum (since only a small number of MPs want one) but they have adopted it as a stick with which to beat him.

        • Reg

          Yes, and the other problem is that to have a second referendum you would have an extension to article 50. When amendments calling for a extension to article 50 they have been defeated by the commons with labour MPs defying the labour whip in not voting for the Labour supported Yvette Cooper’s amendment, as the direction was to vote in favour of an extension to article 50, as Corbyn supported the extension to article 50 amendments. Labour amendments for a second referendum also have been withdrawn due to the lack of support. So I agree it is not true that the main impediment to a second referendum is Corbyn, as Corbyn cannot even get all of his party to vote for an extension to article 50, and is even less likely to get all of his party to vote for a second referendum given that 2/3 of labour constituencies voted leave and some of their MPs have voiced doubts about a second referendum (such as Caroline Flint). The link bellow indicates that a significant number of labour MPs voted against Yvette Cooper’s amendment and did not just abstain, with even those critical of Corbyn (John Mann for example) voting against indicating the lack of support for extending article 50 or for a second referendum.

          • Ian Stevenson

            Reg, the other problem is that of the alternative to remain on the second referendum.
            Vote for remain or no deal
            the Prime Minister’s deal with a blind Brexit
            The customs union
            even the Norway option.
            The Brexiteers would not agree on which alternative.

          • Reg

            Exactly as there is no agreement on the alternatives you describe it defaults to a no deal Brexit as in the absence of a deal, and without an extension for the reasons I described above we crash out on the 29 March,
            Article 50 has already been voted on by Parliament and triggered so in the absence of new legislation that would require a majority for any alternative we leave on the 29th without a deal, no fresh legislation is required for a no deal Brexit. As this is the only alternative that does not require further legislation in the absence of a majority for any of the alternatives, even though this outcome has no majority support this is the outcome (probably). This is the game theory of the prisoners dilemma where negotiation leads to a sub optimal outcome.

            It is irrelevant what the outcome would be of a second referendum as there will be no second referendum as this would require an extension within the next month, and their is no majority for an extension never mind a second referendum. The Cooper amendment for an extension of article 50 that would be required for a 2nd referendum was defeated before, so the UK defaults to leave on the 29th, so no majority in parliament exists to vote for an extension much less a 2nd referendum. Theresa May will not introduce an extension as the Brexiteers will remove her and the DUP will pull the plug. Corbyn cannot even get his party to vote as one on an extension never mind a second referendum as 2/3 of labour constituencies voted leave, so some will not support an extension and much less a 2nd referendum and Remain Support is unevenly distributed in London. Scotland and NI, with some of the most supportive of Remain in London being rich borough like Richmond that would never vote Labour, but might vote Lb Dem as a protest (as they did with Zac Goldsmith). In Scotland as the SNP already support Remain it is unlikely Labour would pick up seats from shifting to Remain. NI does not have mainstream mainland parties so is irrelevant to a Labour majority. This would suggest limited gains, but many more losses from Labour supporting Remain.

            This is why Brexiteers do not have to agree on a alternative, but those supporting Remain do, needing a majority in the commons to introduce fresh legislation or an amendment, that has so far failed with only just over a month to go.

            An incoming Labour government could (after the UK crashes out on the 29th) probably get a majority for a customs union, and alignment with the single market. I have no objection to this approach providing the UK is not part of the single market which would require conforming to EU rules on State Aid and maintaining free movement of capital. Free movement of capital is economically destabilising (which is why Keynes tried to restrict this in Breton Woods after the effects of this in the 30s, particularly on Germany), undermines a Governments economic policy and undermines long term investment, as it enables speculators (such as during the ERM debacle).

            For a threat to have purchase, it must be credible (something Varafacus did not understand). The EU is facing serious economic and political problems with slowdown in China affecting German exports, US tariffs, austerity causing a lack of demand in the Eurozone, political turmoil in France with a growing deficit risking the excessive deficit procedure, Italy with an excessive deficit and debt (as its private banks are holding Italian Government bonds and non preforming loans) that risks its banks falling over with France being the largest external holder of Italian debt via its private banks, with a political rift between Italy and France. With further tension between the EU core and Italy and Hungary. Rising support for the far right contributes to this instability in the EU. Reciprocal sanctions from Russia affecting areas like its agricultural sector, with the US trying to sabotage German trade with Russia such as over Nordstream 2. Germany is over reliant on exports having suppressed internal demand and wages to make its exports competitive, while exploiting an artificially weak currency for its exports and exporting adjustment costs of a trade surplus via the fixed currency onto the trade deficit countries.

            This is why the EU and Germany (which is facing recession with France and Italy), and can ill afford the cumulative costs of all the above plus a no deal Brexit, crashing out on the 29th may convince them the UK is serious, and agree to a customs union adhering to product standards of the single market without restrictions on State Aid and the economically self destructive policy of free movement of capital required of a EEA/Norway deal. Brexit will force the City of London to shrink, good it is a parasitic on the real economy, and this will require the long needed restructuring by Labour of the UK economy away from falling oil reserves and an over reliance on finance.

            It may be part of the reason of the sabotage by the right wing of the labour party to ensure the primacy of finance, With the worry that a left wing labour government may attempt to regulate and tax finance. The finance sector will also shrink without financial passporting with the EU that enables tax evasion and money laundering. Remind me what is Blair’s day job at the moment, JP Morgan with all the major US banks funding Remain.
            Hell hath no furry like vested interest masquerading as principle.


    • Mary Pau!

      Judging from the recent Nissan announcement, the car industry is struggling with new environmental regulations, issued at both at UK and EU level. The U-turn on diesel engines is welcome but car production lines cannot change overnight. Tighter controls on emissions must be a key factor here, but it is easier to blame Brexit.

  • Tom

    Why not extend the same zero-rating VAT to digital subscriptions and micropayments for online news that is already enjoyed just by print newspapers and periodicals?

    As for democratised public subsidy for the whole media industry giving every citizen a yearly allowance to donate to the publication of choice could hardly fail to diversify the current status quo.

    • Mighty Drunken

      Craig Murray’s Wikipedia page edited by someone in Parliment. From
      “Craig John Murray (born 17 October 1958)[1][2][3] is a British former diplomat turned political activist, human rights campaigner, blogger and whistleblower.”
      “Craig John Murray (born 17 October 1958)[1][2][3] is a British former diplomat turned political activist, conspiracy theorist, human rights campaigner, blogger and whistleblower.”

      The revision has already been reverted.

      • Charles Bostock

        A pity is it has been reverted because in my opinion the amended entry was more accurate. But both are over-generous.

        Let’s face it, Craig’s far more of a political activist than a human rights campaigner (and as the latter he’s highly selective). And is he really a whistle-blower compared to the likes of Peter Wright, Annie Macon, David Shayler or Carne Ross? And he has certainly shown signs of falling for conspiracy theories over the years, but it is true that perhaps he doesn’t really believe them and just throws them out to excite and validate a section of his fan base.

        • Garth Carthy

          Charles Bostock:
          “And he has certainly shown signs of falling for conspiracy theories over the years, but it is true that perhaps he doesn’t really believe them and just throws them out to excite and validate a section of his fan base.”

          Nonsense. Of course he’s a whistle blower and he does a great service in facilitating the exposure of establishment lies and propaganda.
          As to conspiracy theories: I’m sure as an ex-diplomat, he knows that not all conspiracy theories are just theories – Many are but many aren’t. Problem is that the deep states like to play their over-grown childish games and deliberately promote conspiracy theories as a smokescreen to divert us from the truth of their cynical activities.

        • Ken Kenn

          Keep your cling fill cap on Charles.

          Thinking that Craig Murray believes too many Conspiracy Theories may be Conspiracy Theory in and of itself.

          I must add though that some groups/blogs/youtube vides think that putting ‘ truth ‘ or ‘truth seeker ‘ in the title ( left or right)
          thinks it give their explanations credibility.

          Credibility has to be proven with facts.

          I will give Conspiracy Theorists their due ( left and right again ) in that at least they have tried looking for facts.

          The vast majority of alleged journalists and media commentators don’t even bother to look. Instead the government of the day just hands them the narrative for the day and they accept it.

          Unfortunately they believe that if you sprinkle the words ‘ Democracy ‘ and ‘ Freedom ‘ in various unresearched puff pieces
          then this equals their ‘Truth.’

          In the US some add God as backup which is really dishonest.

          If you were God would you really be friends with Donald Trump and John Bolton?

          I’m an atheist but if there was a God and I was him (sic) then those two would be smited rightaway.

          The break away ex Labour seven I wouldn’t bother with as their penance is just being boring.

        • Clark

          Yes, Craig really is a whistle-blower, he really did expose US/UK government political use of false confessions extracted under torture by the government of Uzbekistan. Since being sacked for that he has become more of a conduit for current insiders, so for instance it was Craig who alerted us that the DNC e-mails were leaked by an insider rather than hacked, that the Troodos GCHQ listening post had no record of the claimed intercepts of the sarin attack, that Porton Down scientists made no claims as to the source of the Salisbury novichok, and that Hillary Clinton agreed to the cross-border use of troops to attack pro-democracy protestors in Bahrain:

          A lot of Craig’s human rights work is less public these days as it concerns individuals, but it continues.

          • Clark

            Conspiracy theories are a symptom and a consequence of propaganda. Craig has a fair record of retracting those he gets sucked into (or he’d get a load of earhole from me!)

          • Clark

            So thank you Charles Bostock; your comment gave me a good opportunity to highlight Craig’s continuing value and relevance.

          • Clark

            Freddy, I agree; it’s a self-amplifying cycle. Conspiracy theories can stimulate the imagination and intuition; I’m in favour of thinking “out of the box”, but then critical thinking and acceptance of facts must be applied, both processes back and forth, expansion and constraint, similar to the scientific method. With expansion alone we end up like Tony Blair.

          • King of Welsh Noir

            Clark I am puzzled by the frequency with which you inveigh against conspiracy theorists when you are one yourself, or at least so it seems to me. Would you care to comment?

          • freddy

            Clark – is it self-amplifying? I see a baseline where people generally believe what they hear, until disappointed. Lies are at the genesis of this disease.

          • Clark

            King of Welsh Noir, yes, I’ll explain. It’s very simple. You haven’t been taking any notice of what I actually wrote.

            Now, I can go through it all again, but if I do I’m going to ask you to repeat it back to me so that I know you’ve comprehended it, because I’m fed up with wasting my time and effort. OK?

          • Clark

            Freddy, I agree; many people believe what they’re told until disappointed; this includes mainstream conspiracy theories eg. “MMR causes autism” (circa 2002), or “criticism of the neocon narrative is promoted exclusively by Russian bots” (current). Being disappointed provokes suspicion, prompting a proportion of them to turn to alternative conspiracy theories, where disappointment again awaits, unless they develop loyalty to one such flight of uncritical fantasy – they will find plenty who reinforce such opinions on either side.

            One problem is that good evidence is often sparse, and it isn’t obvious where to find informed and critical opinion. A less obvious problem is that people are predisposed to a “good people versus bad people” analysis rather than a structural analysis. And often we just can’t know for sure, but most people abhor such a vacuum.

            So poor habits of thought get reinforced, both by exercising them, and by agreement from the various groups that form to support such simplistic theories. The sides do battle (it doesn’t really amount to debate), accusing each other of being shills for this or that – and conspiracies would deploy shills, so such modes of argument come to appear reasonable, but they’re not.

            The minority of critical thinkers don’t follow either team, so they get misidentified and shot at by both sides.

          • Clark

            I think it is in our nature to descend into conspiracy theorising, because of our evolutionary heritage. In the last 200,000 years the majority of humans have been adapting to living in small groups of between about 100 and 1000, with little turnover of individuals. In such environments, individual agency is highly significant, so when we’re deceived or bad rumours about us form, we look for the liar or liars who are promoting it.

            But such thinking does not translate well into modern society, where structures of people are the major generators of narrative. We fail to see the structural distortions because we’re adapted to look for individuals.

          • King of Welsh Noir

            Clark, I do indeed read what you write about conspiracy theory but it puzzles me, that is why I ask.

            My problem is this. Theorising about, say, the evolutionary origins of conspiracy theorising is a vain occupation because they very phrase ‘conspiracy theory’ is vacuous for the following reason:

            It is always used to denote something that is considered a priori false. That is, no one ever says, ‘Oh yes I believe that, it’s a conspiracy theory.’ When they describe something as a conspiracy theory they mean it is not true.

            But here are a few well-known conspiracy theories:

            The Lusitania was deliberately sent into harm’s way so it would get sunk and draw the USA into the war.
            Lee Harvey Oswald did not act alone. (Or act at all.)
            Dr David Kelly did not commit suicide.
            Osama bin Laden was a CIA asset.
            The Skripals were not poisoned by a deadly nerve agent and the account given to us by the British government is false in almost every detail and invented in order to make false accusations against the Russians.
            Princess Diana was murdered by agents of the British State.

            They all strike me as plausible and some as almost certainly true.

            So what do you think? Are they all false? Or are they not conspiracy theories?

          • Clark

            KoWN, I’m certain I have written all this before. Please pay attention this time.

            FIRSTLY, there genuinely is a mode of thought that leads to what are properly called conspiracy theories. Such theories are not necessarily false, but their chances of being right are vanishingly small, because they are a product of faulty reasoning. In this category we have the “all contradictions of neocon narrative is exclusively the work of Russian bots” which requires identifiable people to really be software, the 2002 “MMR causes autism” mainstream media hoax and its associated alt-media anti-vax campaigns, which would require a vast conspiracy of medical and scientific professionals, current, retired and foreign to sustain it. We have “all vapour trails are chemtrails”, which would require a vast conspiracy of pilots, airport staff, chemical suppliers, climate scientists, spectroscopists and aircraft engineers, current, retired and foreign. We have Twin Tower demolition theory, no planes theory, and the “global warming is a hoax” conspiracy theory, and the modern “flat Earth” theory.

            It is the existence of the above class that enables the existence of the second class, which is theories wrongly described as conspiracy theories, either erroneously, or as a deliberate ploy to discredit them.

            Do you understand what I’m saying yet?

          • Clark

            Craig has just posted, and identified yet another mainstream conspiracy theory, and demonstrated that it is based upon unsound thinking:

            “Let me be perfectly plain. I want everybody convicted and imprisoned who is involved in anti-semitic hate crime. But the facts given above would cause any honest journalist to treat with more scepticism than they do, the repeated old chestnut claims of huge year on year increases in anti-semitic incidents.

            There really are in logic only two choices; either anti-semitism is, contrary to all the hype, thankfully rare, or the entire British police, prosecutorial and judicial system must be systematically protecting the anti-semites. And I hardly see how they could blame Jeremy Corbyn for that.”


          • Paul Barbara

            @ King of Welsh Noir February 19, 2019 at 20:49The simple reason there are so many ‘Conspiracy Theories’ around is that the world is full of conspiracies. It’s not rocket science, and doesn’t need a battery of psychologists and psychiatrists to figure it out.
            If a gang want to rob a bank, they don’t plan it down the pub in front of people, they discuss it in private. Similarly politicians and Banksters planning a war, don’t discuss it in Parliament. Same with Corporations fixing prices, and so on.
            Trouble is, many people are are just too naive and trusting that our government, regulatory agencies, schools and universities, doctors, judges, police and MSM are really interested in our well-being, our understanding of the truth, our health, our interests.
            One day the penny will drop – they have mostly (at least in the top echelons) been compromised, infiltrated, bribed and/or blackmailed into serving the PTB (principally Banksters).
            To add a few to your list:
            ’53 Admitted False Flag Attacks’:
            The following two books are chock-a-block full of conspiracies, real, bloody, murderous War Criminal conspiracies, and I heartily recommend them to one and all:
            ‘Hidden History: The Secret Origins of the First World War’ by Gerry Docherty and James MacGregor
            ‘Prolonging the Agony: How the Anglo-American Establishment Deliberately Extended WWI by Three-And-A-Half Years’ by Jim MacGregor and Gerry Docherty

        • Deb O'Nair

          “he has certainly shown signs of falling for conspiracy theories over the years”

          Conspiracy theories A.K.A. disagreeing with the logical fallacies, factual errors, lies by omission and outright nonsense that dominates so many ‘official narratives’ pumped relentlessly into peoples head by a corporate media and political class representing the interests of a tiny minority.

          • Clark

            So if I were the “PTB”, a good strategy would be to seed theories that are easily disproved (eg. anti-vax, chemtrails), and also criticise them (in the MSM presumably) as “conspiracy theories”. Because the term has been “weaponised”, non-sheeple would see these theories being targeted and therefore declare them true.

            The non-sheeple would thereby destroy their own credibility with all critical thinkers.

            Therefore, non-sheeple are even more stupid than sheeple.

  • Willie

    “ Panasonic will move its European headquarters from the UK to Amsterdam in October as Brexit approaches.
    The aim is to avoid potential tax issues linked to the UK’s decision to leave the EU, said Panasonic Europe’s chief executive Laurent Abadie “ ( from today’s BBC)

    The Brexit dividend continues.

    • Reg

      So Panasonic want to move headquarters to exploit the EU as a tax have to reduce its tax liabilities. Not much of a recommendation for the EU, as the head of the EU Commission, as the well lubricated Junkers blocked plans to reduce tax avoidance despite being previously the head of a tax shelter Luxembourg, as indicated by the Luxeaks scandal.

      As things are going so well in the rest of the EU, such as in France in Italy, in Hungary, Poland with France and Italy going into recession, soon to be joined by Germany going from negative to zero growth in the last 2 quarters maybe we should stay?

    • Glasshopper

      It’s going to take a long time to get away from the clutches of the slippery Brussels mafia.

      It doesn’t help that they have a slippery fanbase here shilling for them.

      • Republicofscotland

        “It’s going to take a long time to get away from the clutches of the slippery Brussels mafia.”

        Replace Brussels with Westminster.

          • Republicofscotland

            Oh you mean to be a independent nation and part of the largest trading bloc in the world. Give Brussels anyday.

          • Iain Stewart

            Slippery Brussels boot, please, and fitted with an iron heel (according to Loony). Or maybe just slippers?

          • Republicofscotland

            Jeez, Britain is desperately hoping to be fast tracked into the WTO, it’s lost several important EU bodies, corporations and capital are fleeing at an alarming rate.

            There maybe a shortage of foods and medicines, the army could be deployed to quell looting and rioting, the British government are clueless, yet you’re concerned that Ireland might not be a tax haven.

          • freddy

            Aren’t we also worried that the UK will be turned into a tax haven? Could we “out-tax-haven” the EU?

          • Reg

            No because free movement of capital (guaranteed by the single market) is required to be a tax haven, this would require financial pass-porting with the EU which would only be granted as part of a EEA/EU deal conforming to the single market. This is why the big US banks all funded Remain as London is a deregulated entreport into the EU for US banks, transfer pricing becomes more difficult without financial pass-porting into the EU. In the event of a no deal or any deal outside the single market the EUs own tax havens like Luxembourg and Ireland would want to pick up business from a shrunken City of London in the event of a no deal Brexit.

            The irony is though the right wing Brexiteers in the Tory want a deregulated Singapore tax haven on Thames, the unintended consequences are that this is less likely due to Brexit as they lost their majority due to Brexit.

          • Reg

            Scotland will not be independent without control of its monetary policy when it adopts the Euro or control of its budget due to the fiscal compact contained in the Lisbon Treaty allowing the EU commission to fine countries up to 0.5% when in excessive deficit procedure. Where budgets have to be pre approved by the EU Commission as with Italy, as the EU commission rejected the Italian proposed budget with a projected 2.4% of GDP deficit. What would of happened if RBS had gone bust without a central bank acting as a backstop acting as a lender of last resort (as the ECB discount window for private banks is subject to political considerations such as withdrawal of liquidity in Greek referendum). Scotland will have difficulty restructuring economy as oil runs out due to EU restrictions on State Aid.
            Do not try and bother to suggest EU state aid rules are no restriction read the Lisbon Treaty, its all there.
            All I can say is good luck, you are going to need it.
            I do wish remainers would bother to read the Lisbon Treaty to cure themselves of these delusions.
            Not so much Republic of Scotland as Vassal of the EU.


            Why is free trade under the Washington consensus enforced by the IMF/World Bank on the 3rd world with debt servitude bad, but good when exactly the same polices (with less flexibility due the euro) are enforced by the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund as the Trokia?
            Makes no sense?

            I am not trying to suggest that Scotland could not make a success of independence, but not as part of the EU/Euro.
            Sovereignty requires a sovereign currency with its own central bank and control of its budget and state aid.
            Remember when Iceland was thinking of joining the EU and the Euro, they had a lucky escape as the economic crisis broke as they introduced capital controls (in violation of the single market which they could only do as only part of the EEA as a member of the EU this would require EU commission approval). They also defaulted and refused to bail out the banks, not allowed as part of the EU as Ireland found out when the former head of the ECB Jean-Claude Trichet, pressured Ireland to a full bail out of all unsecured debt of its private banks as EU banks were exposed to the Irish Banks, as the EU is run exclusively to benefit its stronger members.

            “Financial Times ECB threatened to end funding unless Ireland sought bailout” FT 6 Nov 2014


  • Dungroanin

    Look forward to your impressions on Imran Khans, challenges and chances of success.

    That Cairncross statement in the HoC and the toady Watson’ response was sneaked out during the Brexit fog – it is worthy of your forensic attention. My instant reaction was of the global media moguls being handed more free money (charitable status) and some new official (state) comptroller to decide what is news and who can publish it!
    Not surprisingly there has been f-all in the media about it.

    That is a lot of shiny Toyotas in that photo! Can’t wait.

    • Sharp Ears

      Some time back, I was on a journey to the South Coast and encountered a convoy of large white 4x4s that had obviously been armoured in this country and were destined for the UN. More than a hundred. What was their destination? Syria? Who pays for them?

      The one in Craig’s photo has a UN plate and looks like a wide bodied Toyota Land Cruiser.

      What is the UN doing in Pakistan? Who’s fighting who?

  • David

    very nice picture , when it took a while to load I suspected it was an original image, including quite some metadata.
    We have you pinned down now Craig to visiting near to Yazman, Bahawalpur, Punjab, Pakistan 104 m a.s.l. @ 28°49’08.6″N 71°19’20″E, at 02:07z,,71.322222,9z

    Closest I managed to that , was a week on the other side of the Thar desert in the enchanting city fort of Jaisalmer, not far from the underground nuke testing.

    • Sharp Ears

      All I got from your link was a link to ‘Sajid’s Hostal’. Is that Javid’s other branch?

      He’s the one (our Home Secretary) who once said he would like to live in Israel! He is of course a member of the CFoI lobby group.

      Groomed by Robert Halfon as it turns out.

      ‘Two years after becoming an MP, Javid stole the show at the Conservative Friends of Israel Annual Lunch when he delivered a passionate paean to the Jewish state.

      “I am a proud, British-born Muslim, and I love my country more than any other place on earth,” he began, before declaring that, if he had to go and live in the Middle East, he would not choose Dubai, with “its vibrant city life and soaring skyscrapers,” nor Saudi Arabia, “a fabulously wealthy nation and the birthplace of the holy Prophet Mohammed.”

      “There is only one place I could possibly go,” he continued, “[to] Israel. The only nation in the Middle East that shares the same democratic values as Britain. And the only nation in the Middle East where my family would feel the warm embrace of freedom and liberty.”

      “For a British Muslim, this was an extraordinary and courageous intervention in the world of Israel advocacy,” noted the Jewish Chronicle’s political editor.’

      So there we have it from the horse’s mouth.

  • John A

    I saw a new play at the Almeida Theatre in London last night, ‘Shipwreck’, written by an American playwright, that is themed around Trump becoming president and discussed by a group of New York liberals, holed up in an upstart snowed in farmhouse. It also touches on race, with an adopted African kid as a side issue.
    The play is over 3 hours long. The first half is brilliant, the second half loses the plot somewhat with Trump all dressed up in native Indian outfit.
    Overall, I enjoyed it. What was most amazing was that in all the arguments and recriminations (one character admitted to voting for Trump), there was literally no mention of Russia, Russia, Russia or any references to the fantasy Russiagate. Which was refreshing, to say the least.

      • 123Bakery

        Here’s an interesting fact regarding Russia. All Prime Ministers of Israel are of USSR descent. Interesting, in the extreme

        • Republicofscotland

          Also rather interesting is that Netanyahu the current PM of Israel, is the first PM to be born in Israel. He is also the youngest Israeli PM, and if he wins another term in office, he’ll be the longest serving Israeli PM.

  • pete

    Welcome back Craig, it will be good to hear your views on the events of the last few weeks and any developments you can tell us about Pakistan.

  • Sharp Ears

    Theresa May is off to Brussels, again, tomorrow to meet Juncker.

    Why don’t Juncker, Tusk et al never come here for meetings? Do they hold the UK in such great opprobrium that they can never set foot on our shores?

      • Sharp Ears


        ‘A supplicant can be a fervently religious person who prays to God for help with a problem, and it can also be someone who begs earnestly for something he or she wants.’

      • defo

        Replicant more like. “I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Car plants on fire from the hard shoulder of the M1 in an Orion…”

        Welcome home Craig

  • Sharp Ears

    Spot on.

    Craig Murray
    ‏Verified account
    Feb 18
    Back to the UK after 3 weeks to news of probable new breakaway from Labour Party along SDP lines, only this time to be called SGP.
    Stands for Support the Genocide of the Palestinians, which seems the defining policy that unites them.

  • Vivian O'Blivion

    Fintan O’Toole in the Irish Times, fretting about the mutation of the great English “harmless” eccentric into the “harmful” eccentric as exemplified by Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Smugg.

    I worry Fintan is off the mark on that one. Does he really believe that Bullshit Boris and Softy Walter ARE eccentric? I have always assumed that they PLAY the part of eccentrics precisely because eccentrics are perceived to be “harmless”, whereas the true intentions of the gruesome twosome are entirely malevolent to anyone not of their background.

  • Republicofscotland

    News reporting that Honda plant shutdown with the loss of 3,500 jobs, will have huge knock on effects to suppliers, leading to far more job losses.

    Japan doesn’t need diminutive Britain, now its signed a deal with the EU. Toyota soon to follow I think.

  • Dungroanin

    “If it were not for subscriptions to this blog, I could not have journeyed to Pakistan.”

    IoS would happily be handing you thousands in cash – it keeps you away from internet access! They are missing a trick.

  • Jack

    Nice trip Craig, looking foward to future blogposts about the travel!

    Meanwhile in the west:

    “Merkel blames ‘outside influence’ for kids’ climate change protest… but could it just be a protest? ”

    • N_

      Perhaps Angela Merkel should wonder what Hans Merkel, Walther von Darré‘s right hand man, would have thought about it?

      Careful, or she’ll let slip where the usage of the word “organic” as in “organic farming” comes from.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Jack February 19, 2019 at 14:36
      Merkel may have had a point – you should have seen the riot at the sweet shop after the protest, when they wouldn’t accept roubles.

  • N_

    The British tabloid media are pushing the idea that today’s full moon is of the kind traditionally called a “hunger moon”. That is complete codswallop. Names for each month’s full moon are a very new thing in British and Anglophone culture, with the exception of the harvest moon and the hunter’s moon.

    But there’s more. Read how the Metro (the London Heil) spuriously explains it, for the benefit of those who will believe any old crap that they read in the media, which is most of the population:

    The grim reason why Tuesday’s supermoon is known as the ‘hunger moon’

    February’s full moon is known as the snow moon as it arrives during one of the coldest periods of the year.
    It’s also known as the hunger moon for a more sinister reason.
    Back in the day, this time of the year could turn into a pitched battle for survival for anyone who had failed to stockpile enough food for the winter.

    “Meme” is a much misused word, or at least its usage has been extended to cover the mundane “funny picture circulating on the internet”. Here we have a meme in the sense that is less easy to grasp for habitual smartphone users. This is the meme of dying of hunger because you didn’t stockpile enough food in preparation for the end days which you should have seen coming.

    Ring any bells?

    We’ll be hearing more of this.

    • Sharp Ears

      ‘February’s full moon is known as the snow moon as it arrives during one of the coldest periods of the year.’

      ‘LOL Sunny and 11C here today and getting warmer according to the forecasts.

  • Sharp Ears

    Shame on Imran Khan. Selling out to the bankers.

    ‘A public holiday and gold-plated gun: Saudi crown prince feted on Asia tour
    Mohammed bin Salman courted by Imran Khan in Pakistan as part of what analysts call a Gulf pivot towards Asia
    19 Feb 2019
    Motorcyclists in Pakistan pass a banner welcoming Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammed bin Salman. Photograph: KM Chaudary/AP

    Mohammad bin Salman has been welcomed with a fighter jet escort, a gold-plated submachine gun and Pakistan’s highest civilian honour on the lavish first leg of an Asian tour aimed at rehabilitating the image of the Saudi Arabian crown prince five months after the killing of Jamal Khashoggi.

    After being personally chauffeured from the airport by the country’s prime minister, Imran Khan, Prince Mohammed signed agreements worth $20bn on Monday, a crucial injection of funds for an ailing economy suffering a foreign-currency crunch and which is currently negotiating its 13th IMF bailout in 40 years.’

    The Pakistan population is reported as 212,742,631 in 2017. It is the 33rd largest country in the world.

  • Republicofscotland

    Rationing a real possibility after Brexit, as British supermarkets say we can’t stockpile fresh produce.

    “Mike Coupe, the boss of Britain’s second biggest supermarket Sainsbury’s, said supplies would not last long. “We don’t have the capacity and neither does the country to stockpile more than probably a few days’ worth.”

    The French Revolution springs to mind.

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