Brexit and Bad Faith 696


My long article on the Chagos Islands sat unfinished yesterday, despite my passion for the subject, as I was horribly fascinated by the Gothic twists and turns of the Brexit debates in the House of Commons. I seldom write on the subject, but some observations seem now called for.

The Westminster system of handling business is designed purely to handle binary questions disputed between two major parties. Where those parties are both themselves hopelessly riven by internal conflict, and the issues not simply reduced to a manageable number of binary choices, Erskine May just cannot cope.

Parliament thus ended up yesterday with a vote in which the majority of MPs who voted against May’s Withdrawal Agreement view its Irish Backstop provision as almost the only decent thing in it – an opinion with which I tend to concur. They however were egging on the antediluvian DUP/ERG faction to join them, on the basis of an argument that the Irish Backstop is terrible and could be permanent, neither of which anyone sensible really believes.

It says something about the insanity of UK politics that the debate quite seriously hinged around discussions of what happens if the EU acts in bad faith and used the “backstop” deliberately to trap the UK permanently in the Customs Union. The notion that the EU is acting in “bad faith” is frankly ludicrous. No trading partner has ever accused the EU, which has the most transparent negotiating process on trade deals of any country or trading bloc, of acting in bad faith. In its own interest, yes. In bad faith – ie lying and tricking – no.

The notion that the EU is like SPECTRE, and its leaders sit round a table headed by Blofeld Junker conjuring up evil plots to trap the UK in a customs union, is stark raving mad. It is an absolutely crazed conspiracy theory. Yet pro-EU MPs were pretending to share this conspiracy theory in order to encourage the ERG/DUP nutters to vote down May’s deal. That is madness.

Nobody should be perplexed that the EU has absolutely had enough of May and her government today, having watched yesterday Westminster hold a debate entirely centred on the premiss that the EU acts in bad faith.

The most important demonstration of bad faith now comes from Theresa May. She proposed a motion for debate this evening ruling out “no deal”, but – her cunning plan – specifically ruling out a no deal Brexit on 29 March, so the Government can argue No Deal has not been ruled out on any other date, and also with a clause re-asserting that No Deal remains the default position in law. In live parliamentary proceedings, Yvette Cooper – a person of whom I am not the least fond – appeared the only one immediately to pick up on what May was doing, though I gather amendments now show others have cottoned on.

May’s plan is to ask for a short extension after the next two days’ votes, then pretend to be renegotiating (again), and then bring back her same hard Brexit deal yet again to the Commons for yet another vote, this time with imminent and unstoppable No Deal as the only alternative, the EU having been pissed off to the point where it will not agree to any further extensions.

The truth is, there is a Commons majority for a soft Brexit with a Customs Union. In a free vote without party whips, that would sail through. But it is not what May wants personally as it breaks her “red lines”, all of which are entirely predicated on stopping Free Movement. Hatred of immigrants remains the defining motive of her entire career. Customs Union and Single Market access are not going to be obtainable without Free Movement.

The truth is, it is May who is acting in bad faith. She has no intention of negotiating anything other than her Red Lines with the EU, and has no intention of engaging in any kind of meaningful renegotiation, delay or no. A delay to Brexit is absolutely pointless while May remains Prime Minister. May rightly calculates that her ultra-hard Brexit red lines were required to keep the Tory Party together, and thus keep her in power. She cares much more for being in power than she does for a solution. The comparison with Robert Peel is very apt. He reached across the aisle whilst PM and split the Tory Party to repeal the Corn Laws. There are many statues to Peel around the country. There will never be any to Theresa May.

The party, parliamentary and political system of the UK has simply become dysfunctional. This is a symptom of the much wider fact that the UK is no longer a viable socio-political entity and will not continue to exist much longer. Its system of economic regulation promotes the accumulation of vast wealth by a tiny minority, while not providing a decent standard of living to millions. There is massive disillusion with its political leadership and distrust of its extremely narrow mainstream media.

What we are witnessing at Westminster is plainly not a functional political system. It is essential that the SNP now strike out decisively for Scottish Independence. Westminster will never be held in more contempt by the public, so there will never be a better time to assert the right of the Scottish people to decide for themselves on Independence without being blocked by Westminster. Ian Blackford was very good on this yesterday.

The rise of Jeremy Corbyn to lead the Labour Party is not a chance; it is based on popular reaction to the failure of the UK political system to satisfy the needs of, and deliver a fair society for, the general population. Despite desperate Establishment attempts to smear the Left, I suspect these underlying factors may still propel Corbyn to victory. He needs to come to terms rapidly with Scotland’s right to self-determination, and stop regarding Scots as an irritant.

In looking at yesterday’s events in grim despair, in regarding May’s devious plans and contempt for the wider interest with profound distate, be comforted. It is all a sign that the British Establishment has its coat on a very shoogly peg. It is not long now.


696 thoughts on “Brexit and Bad Faith

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  • Some Guy in Britain

    Why do we have to listen to this constant cack about ‘usurping democracy’? Britain is not ‘a democracy’. It never has been one, and it isn’t one now.

    Monarchy. No country can be a ‘democracy’ when there is one family at the top, who are not elected, and whose every need is paid for by the taxpayer, without the latter being consulted (and where the threat of force is employed to force them to pay) – especially when that family can exercise power without accountability, and without that power even being recognised (or, as in the case in the UK, with its existence being strongly denied). Post-Franco Spain had a referendum, and that’s their business. But the British were never asked. I don’t doubt that if the British were to be asked, the monarchy would be very popular, but people are f******s.

    Privy Council. This is one of the organs of state, members of which are entitled to see (some) top secret documents. Membership is by invitation, although some people (certain cabinet members, the Leader of HM Opposition etc) are members by default. Admission requires that one kneel and kiss the sovereign’s hand. I shouldn’t need to tell you how obscenely undemocratic this is.

    In any given general election, there are around 50-55% of the people who vote for candidates who are not elected. Of the (IIRC) 650 seats in the Lower House, around 380 of these are ‘safe’, which means the party holding the seat could field a chimp as candidate, and the chimp would romp home with a landslide. Because of these figures, there are no more than 260 or so MPs who are in fact up for re-election (or election if he isn’t sitting), and there are no more than half a million people in the country who elect them. If you’re a Labour voter in the provinces, for example, you might as well stay home. Ditto for a Tory voter in many inner cities. In short, every five years, the British are called to elect a government. 65% of adults get to vote to choose 45% of the government. It usually takes 35% of the vote to win a majority, which in effect means that the government represents the political views of 22% of the people. The British have an electoral system (‘first past the post’) whcih doesn’t just entail gross inequality, lack of representation and complete absence of accountability, but which is designed to do so.

    House of Lords. Unelected, of course and able to influence government policy (although less so since the Parliament Acts of 1911 and 1949), as Brexit voters are finding to their cost. On the one hand, this is ‘good’ for those against the whole Brexit thing, but I cannot deny that it is thwarting the wishes of the government, although since that’s not democratically elected either, it’s all a bit moot. The Lords has around 770 members, mostly appointed by MPs (see above) or by the monarch. There are 26 ‘Lords Spiritual’ whose presence in the Upper House is purely thanks to their position as senior clergy. Which leads me on to …

    Separation of Church and State. See ‘House of Lords’ above. The Queen is head of the established church. Catholics are legally forbidden from being monarch since the Act of Settlement 1701 (a remnant of the fall of the House of Stuart), but in any case, a state with an ‘official church’ cannot be a democracy.

    Royal prerogative. A set of powers previously exercised by the monarch, now exercised ‘on the advice of the government’. This in effect means that the cabinet – or more accurately, the Prime Minister – can carry out these powers without the permission of Parliament. They include things like Royal Assent, summoning (and dismissing) Parliament, enactment of secondary legislation, declaring war etc.

    Neoliberalism. The overwhelming majority of the people of the UK are opposed to the neoliberal agenda – 64% of voters – 80% of the actual electorate – voted against the Conservatives in 2010. Yet because of the electoral system which I have outlined above, those views are ignored, and the British have to live with ‘austerity’ whereby the most vulnerable members of society are penalised for the crimes of the richest 1%, and if anyone complains, the British’re told that ‘Labour overspent’ and that this is what caused the 2008 ‘meltdown’. It doesn’t matter that over the past seventy years (of which Labour have had 28 years of power and the Tories 42), Labour has borrowed 488.1 billions, whereas the Tories have borrowed 961.8 billion (£26.8 billion pa as opposed to £33.5 billion). The British are constantly told that ‘Labour borrows more’ and that this is the reason why there is a financial crisis. Yet in every Labour government since the beginning of the 20th century, they have inherited a deficit and have left office with a surplus – the only two exceptions being post-1929 and in 2008, when there have been crises which have demonstrably not been of their making.

    Free press. It is often trumpeted that the British have a ‘free press’, but what the British in effect have is an out of control press. Not out of the control of the political class, which would be a desirable state of affairs, but because five out of the six largest media organisations in the UK are owned by billionaires (three of whom aren’t even UK citizens), the neoliberal agenda’s stranglehold on the country is strengthened, and the myths about the ‘dangers’ of socialism (see previous paragraph) are the songbook from which the newspapers, television and radio all sing. See also the Levenson Enquiry, which came about due to collusion between certain newspapers and the Metropolitan Police Service.

    Constitution. A favourite of mine. I got involved in many arguments with tutors at law school, because the overwhelming majority of us think that the British have an ‘unwritten constitution’. No the British don’t. A constitution isn’t just a system of laws. Constitutions are different. They stand above ordinary laws. They are unaffected by ordinary laws, but they serve equally as a reference for those promulgating those laws. And they cannot be altered by the same means that are used to change those ordinary laws. In this country, people chant the mantra of ‘Parliamentary supremacy’ as if it were a good thing, but it in effect institutionalises a lack of accountability because as the British learn early on in an LLB, ‘parliament can do anything – except bind a subsequent parliament’. Great. Woo-eeh. A left-leaning government brings in social protections? Human Rights law? European integration? No problem, Tories – the British’ll just sweep them away next time the British’re elected.

    Law and order. The passage of the iniquitous Public Order Act 1986 – s. 5 of which has thankfully been repealed now – in effect abolished ‘free speech’. It is now possible to be convicted of ‘race hate’ when one has not intended to give offence, but when the ‘victim’ has interpreted the words as ‘racist’. Can you imagine the minefield?

    The Police. The police in any liberal democracy are under the control of the civil power or – in countries favouring the Roman Law system such as most western European states – the judiciary, whilst maintaining no small degree of independence. In the UK – England & Wales, really, since Scotland is far better in this respect – the police have in effect gone rogue and – I might be repeating myself – are a political organisation with the right and the means to use deadly force to further their political agenda. When they have used this force in the past (Mark Duggan, Jean Charles de Menezes and Azelle Rodney are but three which spring to mind), they enjoy complete impunity from even having to explain their actions. The police are completely and wholly unaccountable to the public. Their indifference to road traffic safety is of course a small matter in the grand scheme of things, but acting as the ‘Praetorian Guard’ of the Conservative Party (as they have done since – in essence – 1982) is a larger problem. Were a hard left government actually elected in this country, the police would represent a very real existential threat to its members.

    Crime. Much – if not most – of crime is economically motivated. People in the main don’t enjoy commiting crime – mainly because most people are decent human beings who are ‘hard-wired’ not to hurt others, but also because they run the risk of getting caught. Yet the ruling class decrees that its economic policies are not responsible for crime. That’s fair enough – one can’t reasonably expect them to ‘fess up’ to what they’re doing. But that on the one hand, the electoral system allows them unfettered power to continue to impose these policies and that two, the press and police collude to enable this, ties the majority (most of whom did not elect the government) into a vicious circle where the British are subject to policies which are anathema to our innate notions of fairness, and where the British are told by the establishment to hate those who suffer the most from these policies.

    I have no doubt forgotten some things. The UK is a fascist state by most definitions, as power is concentrated in a small group. Intolerance and inegalitarianism aren’t incidental in this country. They’re part of the blueprint of the country. Cosnider the ‘fourteen points’ outlined by Umberto Eco, and Britain falls into the ‘fascist’ category in almost every one.

    And there’s Brexit – an exercise in unabashed bigotry which should never have happened, but which is now the sole obsession of the entire government and the media establishment.

    Britain. A definitively broken country. The only way we’re going to get change is through armed insurrection. And we can’t do that, because they’ve made sure no one has weapons. Brilliant.

    • Charles Bostock

      I have read through your screed.

      Nothing in it invalidates the claim that Great Britain is a democracy.

      And conversely, if all your criticisms/examples were valid in themselves (they are not), then there wouldn’t be a country on earth that you could call a democracy.

      Your last paragraph is the most nonsenical of all and displays an astounding ignorance of British history..

      • Guy Smith

        I have read through your screed.

        Nothing in it invalidates the claim that Great Britain is a democracy.

        Then I suggest you spend some time educating yourself as to what ‘democracy’ is, what it means, and why the word cannot reasonably be applied to the UK.

        You might look marginally less ignorant.

        Goodbye.

        • Charles Bostock

          Guy Smith (nice handle!)

          But “Some guy in Britain” has already spent quite a lot of time and effort – not to mention Craig’s bandwidth – trying to ‘educate’ readers as to the meaning of democracy and why Great Britain isn’t one. Now I can’t speak for other readers, but as far as I’m concerned, I feel that I haven’t been ‘educated’ at all. The words I would use are ‘misled’ or ‘told a pack of nonsense’.

          Goodbye? Let’s say ‘au revoir’, since I’m sure you’ll be back (under a different handle).

          • Herbie

            The UK hasn’t ever claimed to be a Democracy.

            It calls itself a Constitutional Monarchy.

            Same as Saudi Arabia.

        • pete

          This is an excellent analysis of the power structure in the UK. Democracy is one of those weasel words that means something different to everyone who uses is, hence the inability of Chas to see his own definition within this particular description.
          I would only add to the thoughts of Some Guy in Britain, that we need to reform the voting system on top of any other measures in order to see a proper reflection in our governing institutions of what people actually desire.
          I am not sure in his conclusion that you could call the present political arrangement “Fascist” since I think that should be characterised somewhat differently, still the powers that be, as they are, can hardly be called democratic in any meaningful sense of the word.

      • Ingwe

        Charles, wrong again as usual. The screed, well written and accurate demolishes the notion of what we understand to be democracy. So it just isn’t good enough for you to say it doesn’t invalidate the claim that Great Britian is a democracy. The onus is on you, if you seriously wish to engage (which I doubt given your usual modus operandi to simply deny of fault pick, without advancing anything) to explain how GB is a democracy given all the reasons Some Guy in Britain, a simple denial is inadequate however much it comforts you.

        • Charles Bostock

          Ingwe

          If I’m in denial then I’m probably in good company; I doubt if more than a couple of thousand people in the entire country would subscribe to his (and, obviously, your) views. Why should I bother to repeat and justify the common sense shared by 99.999% of all citizens for the benefit of a few nutters who would never change their minds no matter what anyone said?

          • Ingwe

            Charles, your failure (again) to engage and deal substantively with what was put forward relying on what you say is obvious and only a matter of common sense, demonstrates that you’re unable to gain say.
            Regrettably, it is you projecting, whose mind is set and closed to anything other than your smug, false view of the world. That your absurd assertion that 99% of the citizens agree with you is false is demonstrated by the posts of this and many other forums. Still, dream on.

      • Republicofscotland

        “Your last paragraph is the most nonsenical of all and displays an astounding ignorance of British history..”

        On the contrary the likes of the French and American revolutions changed the countries forever. France now has no royal leeches, and the USA ditched George III. Russian revolution also saw the removal of its royals in a rather move violent way.

        Britain is broken, Scotland will leave the union, NI might unite with RoI, Wales who knows.

        • Charles Bostock

          Closer reading required, I’m afraid. It is nonsensical precisely because the political evolution of the United Kingdom since the Protectorate has taken place WITHOUT the insurrections and violent revolutions which “Some guy in Britain” and you seem to like so much.

          • Republicofscotland

            History shows us Charles that revolutions occur. Only a fool would believe that somehow Britain is immune to such events.

          • Charles Bostock

            On the question of honesty when debating and discussing on online fora (very important!) , no one is claiming that Great Britain is immune to violent revolution. What is being asserted – and it is fact, even though you may not like to hear it – is that political change in the UK has so far occurred without violent revolution.

            Certainly revolutions occur – as do tsunamis. But so far, Great Britain has experienced neither.

          • Guy Smith

            It is nonsensical precisely because the political evolution of the United Kingdom since the Protectorate has taken place WITHOUT the insurrections and violent revolutions……

            I hope that your confusion is because of naivety and not stupidity.

            The reasons why this ‘political evolution’ has taken place as you describe are twofold. The first is that it really hasn’t ‘evolved’ at all. The UK is still a medieval, feudal theocracy where the ‘top brass’ of the ‘official’ religion get to sit in the upper legislative house simply because they’re good at recounting sky fairy tales, and where the head of state has to belong to a Christian denomination to which only 17% of the population state their affiliation (quoting from Wikipædia here).

            The second reason is that until about fifty years ago, most people didn’t have a clue how badly off they were.

            But you know, it’s no skin off my nose. I’m not ‘advocating shooting’ people based on their political opinions, as one of your fellow idiots suggested yesterday. But no matter how unpalatable it is, you are never, ever going to get real political change in this country without the use of armed force. Sure, you’ll get some window dressing. Maybe if Corbyn is elected, there will be some cosmetic changes. But there’s not much he’s going to be able to do because within hours of any such election, capital will have moved offshore. As it always does when socialists get into Number 10. And then, for the next fifty years, rightards like you can claim that ‘Labour bankrupted Britain’ again.

      • Deb O'Nair

        As far as CB is concerned it is a combination of heresy, treason and blasphemy to even suggest that there is a ‘democracy deficit’ in the UK. He still believes the corporate media are free, fair and unbiased and that the Brits single handedly invented the modern age and civilised the entire world.

        • Charles Bostock

          Hot ‘Air

          But the gentleman in question was not talking about a ‘democratic deficit’. He was attempting to prove that the UK was not a democracy. Very important difference. Close Reading 101 and How not to raise Strawmen 101 recommended.

          • Guy Smith

            I have demonstrated – amply! – the ways in which the UK is not a democracy. Whimpering about how ‘eww, other countries are worse, go there and then tell me that we’re not a democracy!’ is whataboutery, and since we’re on the subject of straw men ……..

          • Deb O'Nair

            “But the gentleman in question was not talking about a ‘democratic deficit’”

            I clearly never said the OP said that. I stated “…to even suggest that there is a ‘democracy deficit’ in the UK.”

            You seem to have missed the point (as usual).

    • The Same Guy in Britain

      [ MOD: NOTE: Kindly use a simple handle, not a slogan ]

      ‘A left-leaning government brings in social protections? Human Rights law? European integration? No problem, Tories – the British’ll just sweep them away next time the British’re elected’

      That should read ‘No problem, Britain – the Tories will just sweep them away next time they’re elected’.

      That will teach me to use global replace in vim! 😐

        • bj

          Vim or Emacs — that is not to say I don’t agree with your write-up (are you Mark Blyth, your nym keeps changing),
          which is excellent and would bear repeating – frequently.

          One element you left out: the worrisome and increasing tendency of military brass to speak their mind, off the cuff, on matters of policy and politics.

          • Some Guy

            I can only give you my word that I am not this person Mark. I read here often but this is my first time posting.

            And thank you for the praise. 🙂

    • giyane

      As a Muslim I would regard one group of morons hitting another group of morons over the head with clubs not as progress. I’m sure if on Monday the monarchy was abolished , by Friday another system would replace it with similar if not exactly the same bums sitting on the former’s seats. Do not despair. WSe are homo sapiens and we are susceptible to ideas. OK so we made a mistake and trusted one corrupt set of leaders who had a good slogan to uphold the Geneva Convention which our parents’ generation installed and them we entrusted another group who we knew were corrupt gangsters when we elected them in 2010 and all they did was borrow money from the world’s warmaking tribes and look the other way while those tribes continued to trash all of the rest of our Muslim neighbours.

      We now know who we really are. We were USUKIS and we are now USUKISKSA. As such we are now a medeival feudal power which wants to be removed from Western civilisation so that it can embark on Empire 2 just 70 years after Empire1 collapsed.Gnothi seauton know yourself, as both the Delphic Oracle and the prophet Muhammad SAW once said.

      • That Guy Again

        Sir (or Madam – forgive me, no offence intended but your nym doesn’t make it clear),
        If sense broke through and we put every single one of the festering, sponging layabouts to the sword, only to be replaced by another one as you suggest, then the solution to that is simple. We put that crowd of festering, sponging layabouts to the sword as well. And we keep doing it until there is no one left who is likely to be desirous of stepping into those shoes.

      • Republicofscotland

        “As a Muslim I would regard one group of morons hitting another group of morons over the head with clubs not as progress.”

        Do you mean like Shia and Sunni?

          • Republicofscotland

            Interestingly Giyane the indigenous folk of Burma referred to white colonialists as The Trouser People

          • giyane

            RoS

            I am wearing a pair of tartan pyjamas underneath with Kurdish shawwal over them. Deliciously comfortable. My Bengali neighbours always wear a sarong at home which would be the same in Burma..
            i suppose those first English must have been wearing some kind of trousers, not the Indian-style jodhpurs they adopted later, baggy at the top like shawwal and tight on the shins Indian style.

    • Goose

      The saddest part is how most MPs are either blissfully unaware, or worse, complicit in the perpetuation of the glaring lack of transparency and accountability.

      Only last year the Guardian and others reported: “SAS and other elite units operate without democratic oversight – unlike MI5, MI6 and GCHQ.” Link : https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/apr/24/special-forces-need-to-face-scrutiny-from-parliament-say-mps

      “Other countries with similar elite forces – such as Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Norway and the US – subject their forces to democratic scrutiny.”

      The Oxford Research Group’s Liam Walpole and Megan Karlshoej-Pedersen stated in their 44 page report on the subject: “Our research shows that Britain is alone among its allies in not permitting any discussion of the staffing, funding and the strategy surrounding the use of its special forces.”

      • Some Guy

        Yes, and what a surprise – the rancid filth over at the Daily Mail has already started to get its ‘Free Soldier F’ campaign on the road. I mean, who can blame them, eh? It’s not like shooting unarmed civilians is a problem, right? Right??

        • Goose

          Political oversight would be hugely in the interests of the members of the special forces.

          It’s not hard to envisage how having too much knowledge, could potentially be dangerous.

          • Goose

            And no, I haven’t been watching ‘The Punisher ‘ and Frank Castle’s exploits too much.

        • Mary Pau!

          I shall no doubt make myself subject to all sorts of abuse but I shall ask it anyway. If there are no plans to prosecute any of the IRA’s former paramilitaries for killing innocent civilians in mainland Britain, should we be prosecuting anyone on the British side? Should not forgiveness now be universal on both sides?

      • N_

        The political class laughs at the plebs in Britain. For example in 2017 prime minister Theresa May described I__ael and Britain as “close allies”, and yet no treaty of alliance between the “shitty little country” and the poshboy monarchist regime has ever been admitted, let alone published. Never mind that secret treaties of alliance are a breach of international law. No journalist has had the guts to use the phrase “secret treaty”, but secret treaty is exactly what there is. Britain’s secret intelligence service SIS was founded in 1909 but its existence was kept a secret until 1994. The 1946 UKUSA treaty which is probably the most important plank of Britain’s foreign policy was only published in 2010.

        • Rowan Berkeley

          “Britain’s secret intelligence service SIS was founded in 1909 but its existence was kept a secret until 1994.”

          – Excuse me? Are you referring to the opening of its new HQ at Vauxhall Cross by HMG, or what, exactly?

        • Guy Smith

          The political class laughs at the plebs in Britain.

          Because they know that whatever they do, and whatever iniquity they impose upon us, we’ll lap it up and say, ‘Please Sir [or Madam nowadays]. I want some more!’

          They also know that if someone like me suggests that we actually pick up guns and teach the thieving f*****s a lesson, then I’ll get a knock at the door, and my face will be on the Daily Mail website as I’m convicted of ‘malicious communication’ or whatever they’d finally decide to charge me with. I use a VPN and Tor to hide my identity, but at the end of the day, I’m neither planning nor seriously suggesting violence. If I were, they’d find me soon enough.

          • David

            Oh dear, using a VPN & TOR just attracts attention!

            I was amused about the Cabinet leaks today March 14, 2019

            Theresa May “went batshit” at Remain rebels
            She raised concerns about frequency & scale of leaks from Cabinet
            She said there are too many and they are happening too often
            She also suggested some ministers are being self-serving and are posturing
            Clark’s effort to defend himself “ended badly”
            Cox made a ‘unifying’ intervention at end
            Rudd “bashful”.

            (source nice journos in Grauniad & Torygraf live tickers)

        • Charles Bostock

          “For example in 2017 prime minister Theresa May described I__ael and Britain as “close allies”, and yet no treaty of alliance between the “shitty little country” and the poshboy monarchist regime has ever been admitted, let alone published.”

          The imbecile who wrote the above is unable to get what passes as his brain around the fact that you can be close allies with a country without there being a treaty of alliance with that country.

          It is somewhat difficult for most people – but perhaps not for a cunning Marxist – to see why a non-existent treaty should be admitted, let alolne published.

      • Blunderbuss

        “Other countries with similar elite forces – such as Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Norway and the US – subject their forces to democratic scrutiny.”

        I wouldn’t be too sure about that. I read, some years ago, that the Norwegian secret service built an illegal base for tracking Russian submarines without the knowledge or consent of the Norwegian parliament.

        I suspect that secret services do whatever they like in all countries because they are unaccountable.

    • kula

      You do good rant. I enjoyed it. Ignore Charles, he’s a bit tetchy. He does have a point however. While democracy has been ignored since Tony Blair enslaved us to the EU, none of your points show the lack of democracy.

      • Guy Smith

        none of your points show the lack of democracy

        Is political ignorance the norm nowadays in Britain?

        • defo

          Enjoyed your piece Guy, but i prefer simplicity (infer what you will).
          Without a decently educated, properly informed electorate, ‘democracy’ is a sham.
          An illusion to keep the peace, and the status quo.

    • Borncynical

      An excellent analysis, thank you. I’ve always found myself at a loss to identify the differences between our so-called democratic society and the cliched characteristics of a dictatorship.

    • Terence callachan

      You,covered most of the important stuff but the days of taking up arms in UK are gone, for good.

    • nevermind

      Thanks for that accurate description of a very old and ‘traditional’ system, at the end of its wits, some guy in Britain.

      Anybody who thinks that one day the status quo can once again permeate divide and con/infuse politically inept minds with talk of ‘taking back control’, whilst in the next sentence admonishing environmental destruction and the eradication of three species because that nice developer spend money on a political party, must have a screw loose. There are few rusty old bolts rattling in a can, they can’t contemplate changes to their existing takes.

      Parliament has been shown to fail, to lack mechanisms that interfere with outside influences, corruption and criminal finances that are allowed to use existing favourite tax laws to undermine the exchequer.

      ‘The EU should make it a main demand that any extension should mean that the new EU offshore tax/finance bill is to be fully implemented in the Corp. of London. The result would be that the PM is exchanged bgy a hardliner such as Boris and the whole Brexit show be called off in favour of the original date and a hard departure, after all corruption has to carry on, money launderers/pirates don’t like to be usurped by anybody.

    • Clark

      Some Guy in Britain, thank you for your brilliant deconstruction of the British ‘system’, and Happy Hacking 🙂

    • Chick McGregor

      I agree with much of your post. There is a crisis of democracy in the UK, more so than in many other democracies where democracy is also under threat, but it is essentially a problem pertaining to the mechanistics of governance and the lack of an ethically rigorous constitution.
      Not that I criticise your slight straying into leftish domestic spectrum politics, in UK terms a view most of us in Scotland might be inclined to share, just that that detracted somewhat from the more salient and powerful message your post contained.

    • uncle tungsten

      Thank you SGinB. Succinctly put. So good that it got a squeak from the unthinking yet reliable organ mouse.

  • N_

    Funny how leading figures in favour of a second referendum are calling on MPs not to vote for today’s amendment proposing one.

    This is a case of if you’re really clever you’ll understand that 2+2=5 and that the shit sandwich you’ve been served is actually a cheese roll.

    The big amendment today is Hilary Benn’s. Hold on to your seats for some unexpected fireworks next Wednesday and Thursday. I won’t be surprised if Jeremy Corbyn is no longer the leader of the opposition by the end of next week.

  • mike

    Yesterday, the US Senate voted to end US support for the slaughter in Yemen. This story is in the Congress subsection of CNN’s US Politics page and is buried in the BBC’s US/Canada section on their website.

    The vote is a rebuke for Trump, but not the kind of rebuke the war-hungry media giants are looking for.

    You won’t hear Emily Maitlis shouting at any UK Minister about our involvement in Yemen. Perhaps it’s all Barry Gardiner’s fault.

  • mike

    I should have added that although the state broadcaster covered the US senate/ Yemen story, it’s lack of prominence ensured a tiny audience and minimal impact on the “public mind”. It can now be allowed to slide down the memory hole as if it never happened.

  • zoot

    so after months of theresa may emphasizing no deal would be disastrous i see she voted for no deal last night…….

    • Guy Smith

      I thought she was going to vote against ‘no deal’.

      Oh. She lied. Fancy that.

      This disgusting pile of porcine fecal matter is a racist. I don’t agree with everything that Mr Murray writes, but on May’s hatred of immigrants, he is spot-on.

      Yet from the media? Silence.

  • N_

    You couldn’t make this up.

    In her speech Yvette Cooper acknowledged that an article 50 extension lasting more than two or three months would clash with the European elections. But she said she did not accept the government’s argument that the UK would inevitably have to elect new MEPs if it wanted to stay in the EU into the summer. She urged MPs to read a thread posted on Twitter by Eleanor Sharpston, an advocate general at the European court of justice.

    Why doesn’t this cretin go and send herself a tweet or lingeringly “like” herself on Facebook? What is the point in sending representatives to a national assembly if all they do is recommend that viewers of their idiotic show should go and read some crap on Twitter? Rather than voting, the electorate might as well keep on picking at their smartphones, most of which devices already function as terminals for the said US advertising company anyway – as they might be able to understanding if they knew Twitter was an advertising company and if they knew a little television device with an “app” on it is functioning as a microwave-emitting tracker terminal.

    • N_

      Now I’m wondering whether the post-crashout ration cards allowing 1000 calories of food per day will be put on smartphones? The authorities could say that ones made of literal card would be “unenvironmental” or “determined by scientific experts to contribute to climate change”. Sadly this is more likely than the better alternative of reducing the food ration given to anyone who leaves their tracker switched on for more than hour a day, and it’s far more likely than the even better option of turning the mobile phone network off so that people can focus on important stuff.

    • Guy Smith

      Brexit should be cancelled.

      Any claims that this would be ‘undemocratic’ are to be discarded, because as I have already demonstrated, Britain is not a ‘democracy’.

      The majority of this country is against neoliberalism. The majority of this country wants a nationalized rail service. These are but two ‘democratic wishes’ that are routinely ignored by the establishment, and about which curiously, no one in the rightard media bitches.

      Or is it only ‘wrong’ when they don’t get their own way?

      If Brexit were to be cancelled, then so what if seventeen million repellent racists decide to riot? The police have guns. Let them use live ammunition. It’ll be good target practice.

      Racism is like greed. It should not be rewarded. It should be punished. Severely.

      • Iain Stewart

        Ten minutes earlier : “I’m neither planning nor seriously suggesting violence. If I were, they’d find me soon enough.”

      • Northern

        Surely this is a satirical post? Or did you just advocate the genocide of 17 million people based on voting patterns in a completely straight faced manner? Unsubstantiated assumptions about the motives for how a group of people voted in a referendum apparently out weigh mass murder, who knew.

        • Guy Smith

          First of all, no. I didn’t advocate ‘genocide’, but then you seem to be another of the ‘Oh, what are dictionaries for anyway?’ cabal.

          There is no way that they would all hang around waving flags, chanting ‘wogs out!’ through mouths missing half of their teeth, as soon as the bullets started flying. Maybe a couple of hundred dead at most.

          Unsubstantiated assumptions about the motives for how a group of people voted in a referendum

          Oh, please. The overwhelming majority who voted ‘Leave’ did so for racial reasons. It was not about subsidies, or representation, or democracy. It was about race.

          • Northern

            Ok, so you’re clearly one of those faux-fascists so far in denial that you can’t see the irony of you telling me I should use a dictionary. So you start by trying to deny you were advocating the police shooting political protesters based on their voting affiliations, then spend the rest of your post continuing to defend exactly that based around some stereotypes that says far more about you than the people you were attempting to describe.

            The thing is, saying ‘Oh, please’ and using italics doesn’t persuade anyone and changes exactly fuck all in reality. Attempting to compute the motivations of 17 million people to one sole reason is arrogant hubris in the extreme and perfectly represents the attitude people voted to rebel against. This is leaving out the fact you take such a dim view of the electorate that you assume they don’t understand the difference between EU migration and the rest of the world?

            Regardless of people’s motivations for their voting choices, posting in a manner supporting the police shooting protesters is an abhorrent policy that renders any other contributions you may have to make to the discussion utterly null and void, you absolute moral pygmy.

            Oh and for a closing point – where do you include the British Army in this massacre of leave voters fetish of yours?

          • N_

            @Guy – “The overwhelming majority who voted ‘Leave’ did so for racial reasons.

            You are absolutely right about this.

          • Reg

            N_
            Untrue unless you can prove the vast majority voted for Brexit for Racial reasons, being worried about job security and low wages is not racial reasons. Is this just class prejudice as the working class is assumed to be more racist than the middle class?

        • Dungroanin

          Did you mean Holocaust?

          Collect prize for mentioning nazis immediately if you did.

      • Tony

        Fuck off Guy Smith. I support brexit and I’m not a racist. Neither are any of the brexit supporters I know. I’ve met more than a few remain supporters though, who argue that we get more white immigration in the EU, and will get more brown-skinned immigration outside of it. They’re wankers, just like you.

        • Guy Smith

          Very good, Tony. But wouldn’t it just have been easier to say, ‘I’m not racist – some of my best mates are nig-nogs’?

          It would have been about as believable.

          Brexit was about race. It was about kicking out ‘the wog’ (taken here to mean any non-white Briton).

          • Reg

            Guy you are just displaying your class prejudice in assuming the working class are more racist than the middle class.

    • Sharp Ears

      Be kind N. 😉 Mrs Ed Balls has been under a lot of stress lately wondering whether her hubby would survive the lack of oxygen on his assault on Mt Kilimanjaro!

      btw I saw him on a stage in Trafalgar Square speaking to a large crowd ‘celebrating’ Israel’s 60th birthday. The CST brigade were hovering around the fringes of the gathering. Paid for by HMG and trained by the Met incidentally.

    • Dungroanin

      The advice Coop points to is from a legal expert on EU aquis.

      It is clear Yvette is talking Balls from that – there would be no imperitive to have EP elections in a delay beyond June as long as Brexit was to ultimately proceed.

      She really has lost it, having been forced to table the amendment that passed, the look of panic and babble as she moved it was priceless! Funny how it will always be called Spellman who bottled it as all tories do, both her & Benn, or Mr Benn as Huw Edwards keeps calling him, need to fuck off along with the rest of the rump PLooPers NOW.

  • Goose

    Another hugely idiotic policy being pushed by HM gov…

    New UK porn verification rules may expose users to blackmail, campaigners warn : https://news.sky.com/story/new-uk-porn-verification-rules-may-expose-users-to-blackmail-campaigners-warn-11656801 and https://melonfarmers.wordpress.com/2019/03/07/sky-news-confirms-that-porn-age-verification-will-not-be-starting-from-april-2019-and-notes-that-a-start-date-has-yet-to-be-set/ – the latter says it’s now been delayed until June , because of the human rights implications. Depending upon how they implement it, this could eventually lead to ISP blacklisting of this very site.

    Apart from the risks of identity theft and contravening basic human rights. It’d send UK TOR and VPN traffic soaring, making people vulnerable to even more dangerous content (via TOR and its HSDirs),vulnerable to node malware and probably making those who monitor TOR struggle to cope with the large increase in traffic.

    • Guy Smith

      This is the thin end of the wedge. Although the Tory Party is staffed almost to a man (or woman) by pig-ignorant, sexually-oppressed, racist vermin, banning pornography really isn’t up there at the top of their agenda.

      No, their real target is the VPN user.

      Once this ‘porn ban’ starts to hit home, more and more people will start to use VPNs. I guarantee you that within five years (if the stupid dolts who vote in British elections keep this gang of mendacious, thieving curs in power for that long), there will be a Bill to ban the use of VPNs, on the grounds that they are ‘… used by terrorists and pædophiles’.

      I use a VPN, and I am neither a terrorist nor a pædophile. I’m just someone who doesn’t like the loathsome human flotsam that is the tory, knowing what I’m doing.

      • Goose

        They’ll have to continue to allow corporate and business VPN use scenarios . But they can make them register as such, so yes , they’ll probably try to ban consumer grade VPN services. If you remember the Opera browser had a built in “VPN” option, in reality it was just a preconfigured HTTP/S proxy protecting just the traffic between Opera and the proxy. Although DNS lookup was done server side iirc, offering real privacy. The truth is they won’t worry about the tech savvy(eg, complex things like SSL tunneling within a VPN), if they can stop the majority.

        The reason why UK access to Craig’s site may be at risk from this, is because by banning access to adult legal content they are setting a precedent they could use against this site. The plan is to block site access at ISP level, using alternative DNS servers is an option but it depends what deep packet inspection they use.

        • David

          last time I checked, the only thing that got through the Great Firewall of China (VPN live testing arena) was my old 3G Kindle with keyboard and ‘whispernet’ using experimental mail & browser

          I think most VPNs on offer today are rather pwned, you can use them of course, but remember that unlinkable pseudonymity is currently impossible

          • Guy Smith

            This is interesting, could you elaborate?

            I am assured by my VPN provider that no logs are kept. Of course, I only have their word for that, but if I use TOR over VPN, the literature I have seen would suggest that things are pretty secure., since in effect any malicious TOR exit node will only see noise. And any VPN logs will only have a TOR exit IP visible, so the risks of a VPN provider telling fibs about not keeping logs, is mitigated.

            Nothing is perfect, so if I announced here that I plan to assassinate the Queen, no doubt there would be flashing blue lights outside my house before tomorrow morning. But since I don’t intend to do that, I suspect that I’m reasonably safe.

          • David

            the key moment seems to be the obfuscation of the initial creation of the tunnel, the big virnet-x/in-q-tel/SAIC vs apple/M$ lawsuits that keep on coming and the original researchers of this (Robert Short & Edmund Munger, IIRC) are related to some of this VPN work, which they seemingly patented and continue to defend. Lots of lawsuit data over the pond.

            it is also public info that some very well resourced groups target the VPN set-up; amusingly some VPNs have been found just pretending to be private! certainly worth trying your own brew with an RPi, but you must assume that all messages sent are quite quickly rendered in plaintext, just how it is. I personally feel very safe and defended.

            further public info (US embassy sending info to a potential spook/defector in Russia) revealed that whatever technology
            you are to use at present, you would only get a single message out, before the “KGB” detected everything. And I believe in reciprocity.

          • Jack

            Guy Smith

            I am no expert. VPN is indeed better protection than no protection but the protection is on the level of wooden door vs no door at all for a burglar. Sure it is a protection but it is of no match for the burgler in the end.
            I wouldnt trust “no logs” reasoning, but there is also other ways to surveil a VPN user.

            VPN : 5 Eyes, 9 Eyes, & 14 Eyes Countries – What You NEED to Know
            https://www.vpnmentor.com/blog/understanding-five-eyes-concept/

            What Is “Five Eyes” Surveillance? VPN Users, Beware!
            https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/five-eyes-surveillance/

            But as you rightly say, its all about what you do on the internet, but unfortunately, writing here is such a place where intelligence is gathered I personally believe.

          • David

            gathered” well, that’s one way to put it!

            I’d say interviewed, chatted at , inveigled in leading discussions, incited to verbally/typingly commit a crime, asked about beliefs, on this very pleasant medium; all of which hard-factual data & opinion was then put into a report and given to my employer, as a ‘soft-assassination attempt.

            which is fine.

        • Goose

          You can easily create your own VPN server using a cheap rasp pi , along with something like Stunnel (TLS/SSL tunneling) used to disguise the VPN in the SSL (layer), data is very secure in transit.

          How secure? There are numerous videos of people accessing blocked services in China eg Facebook , Google and Twitter using this combination.

          • Goose

            Of course, if the UK became China, with it’s own version of the great censorship wall, a friend on the continent or in Ireland could permit access.

          • Guy Smith

            But if I built myself a VPN, and dialled into it from say, Prague? Would the fact that it’s on my UK fibre line not basically mean that the ISP could (and would by law) be in a position to divulge my traffic to the government?

            Because that’s really the only thing that made me go with a paying VPN service. If I can do it free with comparable security, then I’m up for that.

        • bj

          The question is, what have you defined as your most realistic threat, when using a VPN, and anything over that VPN.
          The likes of the NSA, the likes of the Corporations.
          That said, increasingly, the local police precinct, when push comes to shove, can be equated with the NSA.

          • bj

            The likes of the NSA, the likes of the Corporations.
            should read as:
            The likes of the NSA, or the likes of the Corporations.

        • Clark

          Virtual Private Network.

          Instead of direct connection to the Internet, a software package sets up an encrypted connection to a company that provides connection. So if you visit, say, craigmurray.org.uk your Internet Service Provider ISP can’t see that; it can only see that you’ve connected to your VPN company, and due to the encryption your ISP can’t read your traffic either.

          You can do a similar thing with the TOR anonymity network:

          https://www.torproject.org/

      • bj

        My recommendation, fwiw, would be to ditch Windows for starters, for a number of rather diverse reasons.

        • Clark

          Seconded. Use a GNU/Linux ‘distribution’ – it’s empowering!

          You can download, say, Ubuntu from the ‘net and try it from CD or USB without disturbing your Windows installation. When you’re a bit more confident it can be installed onto your hard disk alongside your existing system. Or install it on an old laptop; it’s a lot less demanding than Windows so it usually runs fine on old hardware. It’s low maintenance; updates are small and quick, and you don’t need anti-malware and all its attendant scans and updates. And it’s licensed to you, protecting your privacy and freedom, rather than having to sign your rights away with the dreaded, TL,DR “I Agree” contracts.

        • Adrian Parsons

          I only cited Windows because 90-something% of PCs worldwide run it – it was not a recommendation. I run it (Windows 7 will be my last iteration) holding my nose until someone resurrects the Amiga for the 21st Century.

          In fact, Prism-Break’s VPN recommendations are consistent across platforms, with Bitmask (https://bitmask.net/) and WireGuard (https://www.wireguard.com/) added for GNU/Linux.

    • Blunderbuss

      ‘Websites which are “more than one-third pornographic” could be blocked at an Internet Service Provider level in the UK if they fail to comply with the law, which is being enforced by the British Board of Film Classification.’

      Can’t they get round this by being only one-quarter pornographic?

      • David

        problematic?, as pornography, material which might offend one’s servants, could be hard to define.

        The NZ livestreaming terror-show referenced the top viewed Swedish youtube star PewDiePie.

  • Sharp Ears

    The herd of swine are shuffling off to go through the lobbies, once again. They are voting on Amendment H which calls for an extension of the Article 50 process in order to hold another referendum on leaving the EU. FFS.

    • Sharp Ears

      That amendment H was rejected, 334 to 85. There are 650 MPs. Where were the rest of them? Did 231 abstain??

      Now they are voting on an Amendment to Amendment I which allows for Article 50 to be expended to run until June 30th 2019. Ayes 311 Noes 314. Lost.

      The whole is playacting.

      • Goose

        If a 2nd ref is to come it’ll have to be dragged out of the HoC, it’ll have to be the last option in order to give MPs in Leave voting constituencies the necessary cover they need..

        This silly independent group is just attention seeking.

        • Michael McNulty

          I think a second referendum will lead to conflict at the polling stations and that could quickly become nationwide unrest. People are getting really sick of the abuse they’re living in their everyday existence, and another vote so they can overturn our first one is seriously taking the piss. I shall watch TV in expectation the country will burn; there aren’t enough police to stop the riots and there aren’t enough fireman to put out the flames. It just needs a catalyst and that second vote may well be it.

          Let’s see if those unelected dictators want Britain enough that the EU pays to rebuild this country. Nah! Thought not.

          • Goose

            Only if the tabloids provoke it. That’s the reality.

            We aren’t inclined to riot or fight in the UK – too passive and disunited. And suspicious of others’ motives.

            The French have always had better instincts around that sort of stuff; knowing the correct time to protest and shown more unity when they do so.

  • Sharp Ears

    Trump has been hosting Varadkar in Washington. He has been bemoaning the fact that Theresa May has not accepted his advice on the Brexit negotiations!

    If she had followed his advice, everything would have gone swimmingly.

    ‘”I’m surprised at how badly it has all gone from a stand point of negotiations but I gave the prime minister my ideas of how to negotiate it, she didn’t listen to that and that’s fine but it could have been negotiated in a different manner, frankly. “I hate to see everything being ripped apart now.”

    According to Mrs May, Mr Trump advised her to “sue the EU” and “not go into negotiations”.’

    https://news.sky.com/story/donald-trump-surprised-at-how-badly-brexit-negotiations-have-gone-11665325

  • CanSpeccy

    “Hatred of immigrants remains the defining motive of her entire career.”

    Sorry to see you resorting to this grotesque globalist slur against people opposed to the destruction of their own nation as a racial and a cultural entity through mass migration and multiculturalism.

    People opposed to the genocide of the British nation do not hate immigrants. What they hate is the British people being replaced by people from elsewhere.

    Immigrants are, for the most part no doubt, fine people, smart people, people pursuing their own economic interest who want to give up riding a cycle rickshaw in Asia for two bucks a day, or growing yams on a tiny plot somewhere in sub-Saharan Africa for a job at twenty quid an hour driving a London bus. But that doesn’t mean they have a natural right to do so, and collectively, take over a tiny European island nation, where they have already made the English a minority in their largest cities and where they will soon do the same to you friends in Edinburgh and Glasgow.

    There are a billion, going on two billion, Africans and the majority say they intend to migrate to Europe within the next five years. Apparently, you, Craig Murray, wish to encourage them. To you, then, I attach the label, Traitor.

    Africa is a vast continent, surely big enough for the Africans, wonderful people all. Likewise, Asia and the Middle-East are vast regions where the indigenous people should be encouraged to make their own country a decent place to live. It is not their right to usurp the place of the European peoples, in their tiny native lands.

    • Guy Smith

      the genocide of the British nation

      Hahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • Dungroanin

            Definitely majority British – like any other UK town unless you have some secret citizenship info?

            No?

            Or did you mean – ‘Non Anglo Saxon White English’ ? – in which case have a ‘fuck wit’ added to your nom de plume.

          • Andyoldlabour

            Dungroanin

            I should point out that Leicester is 50% “White British” so right on the cusp.

          • Clark

            Canspeccy, can we please have the one about the threat posed by human liberty miscegenation to the exquisite curve and slant of Vietnamese girls’ noses? Or the statistical cherry-picking that ‘proves’ that the people of India are more wealthy than those of the UK?

            Dungroanin, Canspeccy has an opinion, developed during his decades of professional experience in biology no less, that humans should be mostly confined to their areas of birth, in order to preserve phenotypic diversity. Anyone who disagrees he contemptuously derides as a ‘liberal’.

          • Dungroanin

            Andy the inhabitants of Leicester are majority BRITISH.

            Canspeccy has made an overt RACIST statement that they are “NON-BRITISH”.

            Just like the fuckwit in Christchurch has apparently said.

            I’m not standing for it.

    • kathy

      What nonsense! There was no emigration from Iraq, Syria and Libya to talk of prior to their destruction and looting by the axis of evil – America, Britain and Israel. The destruction of Libya also opened the door to African emigration. Stop blamng the victims!

      • Mary Pau!

        The reason no one arrived from Libya before its break up is because no one was allowed in or out. (You are aware that in many countries outside Europe you have to have official permission to travel outside them. Dictatorships tend not to grant this very readily.) Since Libya descended into chaos, it has been viewed by Africans desperate to leave there and by the people traffiking them, as a convenient route into Europe.

        • Borncynical

          I beg to differ. If no one was allowed in or out of Libya before its break up how do you explain that Cameron (when May was Home Secretary) specifically invited many known Libyan terrorists to come to the UK (the Abedi family among them) and then allowed them unhindered passage to and from Libya precisely because they would be useful agents assisting the West’s ambitions to overthrow Gaddafi? The UK government paid the ultimate price for that misjudgement, driven by greed and hegemony, and has never been called to account.

          • Borncynical

            @MaryPau! (15 March, 11.06)

            I take it you haven’t read the link:

            “But the situation was reversed once Libyan regime change was in motion. Passports were returned. Intelligence officers are even said to have ‘sorted’ exit for these exiles, so long as they were prepared to fight, produce propaganda or otherwise assist in removing Gaddafi.

            As a result numerous Libyan exiles in Britain and Brits of Libyan extraction went abroad…Among these is said to have been Salman Abedi…”

          • Mary Pau!

            My point related not to the removal of ghadaffi or the build up to it, but to the pre existing state of affairs when ghadaffi was Bliars friend. Hard-line regimes of all ues do not allow their citizens free passage in and out of the country. I was not including secret plots by foreign powers to destablish their governments. As we have seen so too often, their opponents can and do finance and sponsor internal opposition.

    • Republicofscotland

      The world is getting smaller and people want to live where they want to live, unless of course you live in Hungary, where they’re hellbent on isolationism, probably still holding almighty grudges on lost lands of the wars.

      • Mary Pau!

        Hungarians have only relatively recently managed to carve out a sustainable independent country for themselves. They are grimly determined to hold on to that independence at all costs and thus has led them into some regrettable political choices.

    • nevermind

      Can speccy has found the hobnail boots, guess they are polished and ready for marching into war against Africans. You utter fool, if you want to help Africans, stop their leaders using Londons offshoring services for their ill gotten gains, now that would keep much money in Africa and help its economies.

  • Dungroanin

    So another day of running interference by the rump secret brexiteers a quick assay.

    25 defied labour whip in 2nd amendment
    18 defied labour whip in 3rd
    = 43

    1 Commonality – Lloyd Russell-Moyle so that is 42 rebels add the Funny Tingers the not so secret LibDem collaborators and whatever deep cover front bench Labour members ready to turn, say about 60 odd in total that will potentially allow the No Deal option with the Tory brexiting government to proceed.

    Take away any actual Tories who might actually rebel – say 10.

    Leaves 50 to enable plan A and for them to form the crazy unvoted for coalition – excluding the Labour leadership! Job done.

    The Labour rebel PLooLpers final chickencoup without resigning and holding by elections as they take on a funny tinge with Russell-Moyle as their secret would be leader!

    ABC! There must be a GE or the country really will explode!

  • Jo

    One wonders if the EU would refuse the UK request for an extension..on the grounds that there was a majority vote to leave whatever……and EU itself will say a no deal brexit will come into force on March 29….

    • N_

      @Jo – If there is no “deal”, then an agreement on extension must be unanimous among the 27.

      Pick a person at random and the probability that they have the same birthday as you is 1/365. Pick 23 people at random, and the probability that at least two of them share a birthday is less than half.

      Say there’s 2.5% probability that any given member will oppose an extension. On certain assumptions, that would make it about 50:50 that permission would be granted.

      OK the positions of the 27 aren’t mutually independent, and there’s nothing random about this. But is an extension worth the Elgin Marbles? Is it worth Gibraltar? Is it worth making a bigger offer than 100 million euros to whichever mafia don calls the shots in Malta? And then once that’s all sorted out the British poshboys learn that the guy in Lithuania has been made an offer he can’t refuse by Jared Kushner? And…what’s this? News from Italy breaking.

      Both Nigel Farage and Arron Banks (still at liberty at the time of writing) have threatened to ask their buddy Matteo Salvini in Italy to refuse an extension.

      • Dungroanin

        N if the bad boys of brexit are colluding with a foreign government to interfere in our elected governments actions they should surely be dragged off to the Tower immediately?

        What if they were getting Putin to influence EU leaders to do the same?

      • Tony_0pmoc

        N_,

        Isn’t it even more complex than this with regards to the UK’s own legal position, since the UK’s Act to Leave was passed over 2 years ago? To reverse this legal position in The UK, would normally take a considerable time, and numerous processes – typically of the order of 12 months or more. It is not simply a case of asking The EU for their agreement, to delay the decision.

        The train is in motion, and unless both the UK and the EU discard all legal process, the UK will leave the EU on 29th March 2019.

        However, it would not surprise me if both parties discard all legal process, in which case there is very little if any point, in taking any further interest or notice in them, as they are beyond THE LAW. They are simply very rich Criminals, a point that has been obvious to me and many others for different reasons for the last 20 years.

        Now, almost everyone can see it regardless of their political views.

        Tony

        • Dungroanin

          A general election would allow the CJEU to halt the deadline especially if the manifestos suggested different redlines and we could have JC as PM.

          Y Not Compo? Do you not want to give him a chance.

    • OnlyHalfALooney

      “One wonders if the EU would refuse the UK request for an extension..on the grounds that there was a majority vote to leave whatever”

      Tonight in the Dutch parliament, the Dutch PM, Mark Rutte, could barely hide his anger and frustration. He said that the UK should only be given an art. 50 extension if the UK is able to indicate what it actually wants. He doesn’t want to give the UK an extension just to continue the farcical comedy that Brexit has become. No other parties dissented. And remember, the Netherlands is a natural ally of the UK. Two of the biggest Dutch companies, Shell and Unilever, are actually Anglo-Dutch companies.

      I think the UK will get an extension (what else can the EU do?) but it won’t be automatic and things are turning very nasty.

      I always thought Theresa May was the sort of personality who, if put in charge of a school, would have the parents, teachers and everybody at each other’s throats in no time at all. Successful political leaders unite rather than divide. In my view, the first step for the UK in getting out of this mess is to find a better PM.

  • N_

    Stephen Barclay, secretary of state for Brexit, voted against the government’s motion on requesting an extension today. So did Liam Fox and Gavin Williamson. This cannot go on for much longer.

    This could be a nice little earner for the prime minister of Malta!

    • Goose

      Reported that article 62 of the Vienna convention is being raised to get the DUP’s support.

      This allows signatories to terminate treaties if ‘an unforeseen and fundamental change of circumstances’ has arisen.

      Isn’t this incredibly bad faith from the UK to already be discussing how to worm our way out of a treaty we haven’t yet signed?

      If the EU has noticed this will cause huge problems, certainly for Ireland and the EU itself.

      If this is just a private promise to the DUP , the Tories may not be in office by then.

      • Goose

        The EU could make any extension conditional on the UK never undermining the treaty not using the Vienna convention.

      • N_

        The reason the DUP are signalling may be because they want to keep the Tories in office. They may persuade a few in the ERG so that the government loses MV3 by a smaller number of votes than MV2, perhaps by less than 100, but that’s all. It isn’t really about Ireland.

      • Vivian O'Blivion

        The notion that Cox will give reassurance to the DUP on circumventing article 62 of the Vienna convention is wishful thinking and desperation on their part. The DUP are rattled by the stated protocols to be implemented at the Irish border in the event of a no deal Brexit. As bad as a no deal Brexit will be for the economy of the Republic, under the unilateral, no tariff proposal for Irish goods (that won’t be reciprocated by the Irish), the economy of Ulster is screwed.
        Gove has also hinted at the permanent imposition of direct rule from Westminster. Does this mean shutting down Stormont and depriving the DUP of their all important salaries? Removing the power sharing mechanism does sound a bit like bluster on the part of Gove, but by this point, there will be a hard border so the GFA is already null and void and in any case Stormont will have been suspended for two and a half years so perhaps the DUP doesn’t see through Gove’s gambit.

        • Goose

          I obviously hope it doesn’t happen.

          But with this incompetent arrogant lot in power alongside the DUP , you can quite easily imagine them reigniting the troubles. Maybe not as per the 70s and 80s but certainly to a disruptive level again.

  • Dungroanin

    The beeb world news spinning and truncating Labour position with live broadcasts from outside parliament – ridiculous.
    Even the top tinger Chukka looks different under these lights.
    I need a shower – looks like some serious spazzing emanating on the msm.

  • Sharp Ears

    The exceedingly unpleasant Michael White tweeted this about Julian Assange.

    MichaelWhite
    ‏Characteristic stupidity and moral turpitude from Media Lens. Manning is a tragic figure deserving sympathy, Assange had always sounded unhinged and nasty, a self centred sexual predator who does business with Trump to disrupt US elections alongside Putin.
    https://twitter.com/michaelwhite/status/1105725222345469952

    Lifeboat News contributors often take the mickey out of White. White once said that Jon Snow of Channel 4 News was worth 6 Pilgers.

    ‘If Channel 4’s Jon Snow can’t be recognised for the national treasure he is – an unabashed leftie who has beaten the system (but also has to compromise, as we all do) – what hope is there? I’d say he does more good for progressive attitudes than half a dozen Pilgers, wouldn’t you?’ [ https://www.theguardian.com/global/2012/jan/27/media-lens-picture-michael-white ]

    • Anthony

      I would have to say White is the high lord of Westminster toadies, one of the most reliable conduits of received bubble wisdom and defender of the indefensible par excellence — MPs expenses, MPs pay rises, post-PM career of Tony Blair, etc. If somebody is in his bad books you know they’re doing something right and vice versa.

    • Charles Bostock

      Michael Smith is an idiot : Jon Snow is worth 10 Pilgers with a “Professor” Michael Chussodovsky thrown in.

        • bj

          Your eagerness to amplify anything denegrading Julian Assange and/or John Pilger blinded you to the point that you didn’t see where your cursor was sitting.

          That’s all.

          Don’t sweat it.
          Most of the regulars here know.

      • Mary Pau!

        Which Jon Snow are we talking about? if you are referring to the Kjng if the North and Lord of Winterfell, then I couldn’t agree more. if you mean the self regarding TV journalist, I am always surprised he can get into a room without falling over his ego, which wouldnt shame the most self obsessed rock star.

  • Tatyana

    Ah, there is where all you are 🙂 Hi! Just saying Hello to all of you kind readers of the blog 🙂

    No news worth atention from Russia, except for the OPCW March 1 report on Douma chem attack.
    And another joke for this event:
    – You know, Haime, that after your last visit, we didn’t find our silver teaspoons?
    – Oh, no, you don’t say we’ve stolen the spoons from your house, do you?
    – Calm down, we’ve found the silverware later, it was just moved to another cupboard, but… You know, we still feel that feeling about you…
    (in Russian it is “но осадок остался” – “all passed but a residue still remains”)

    – the same with the report – either chlor, or chlorine, or chlor-containng substance… either attack, or casual use traces – anyway, Russia is guilty 🙂

    • BrianFujisan

      Tatyana

      Aye, needless to say the Western Criminal media are mostly steering clear of the OPCW report.. There’s a surprise

      21WIRE editor Patrick Henningsen and UK Column editor Mike Robinson discuss the contents of this report and the implications of the fake news which was used as the pretext launch a US-UK-France tripartite military strike against Syria in April of 2018. Please note that the following video segment is only a brief summary of this very complex topic, so some information and details of this story were not mentioned, but will be covered in later updates.

      A militant-run weapons workshop investigated by OPCW inspectors revealed a large number of resources for working with chemicals to make explosives. Among an array of chemicals and equipment associated with making explosives, a yellow gas canister was found.

      The report would admit:

      Although the team confirmed the presence of a yellow cylinder in the warehouse, reported in Note Verbale of the Syrian Arab Republic (Annex 10, point 2) as a chlorine cylinder, due to safety reasons (risk involved in manipulating the valve of the cylinder, see Figure A.8.2) it was not feasible to verify or sample the contents. There were differences in this cylinder compared to those witnessed at Locations 2 and 4. It should be noted that the cylinder was present in its original state and had not been altered.

      The lack of interest by the OPCW in the canister despite the obvious implications of its presence in a weapons workshop controlled by militants calls into question the inspectors’ diligence and agenda.

      The canister’s “differences” are owed to the fact that those at locations 2 and 4 were modified to appear as bombs, while – admittedly – the canister in the militant workshop remained unaltered.

      https://21wire.tv/2019/03/12/syria-the-truth-about-the-opcw-report-and-chemical-attack-in-douma/

      • Blunderbuss

        This reminds me of a TV news report I saw during the Iraq war. Weapons inspectors found some “chemical weapons shells” and one of them casually unscrewed the cap, not wearing any protective clothing. He obviously knew it was empty so I deduced that the event was staged for the cameras.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Tatyana March 14, 2019 at 19:28
      Vanessa Beeley has written in the past that one of the ‘tricks’ the ‘White Helmets’ terrorists use is they wait for an air raid, then turn the lights off in the cellars or tunnels, sprinkle chlorine on the floor, and shout ‘Chemical Attack!’. They then shepherd the civilians to ‘cleaning centres’ where they are hosed down and filmed.
      What has been done to Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen is absolutely diabolical, yet most people just take it as ‘acceptable’.
      They are a long way away, our governments and MSM tells us 24/7 that we’re the ‘good guys’, and there’s always the football.
      The West has deliberately targeted these countries with proxy cutthroat terrorists, and with our own armed-to-the-teeth aggressive armed forces, and left them in ruins, with millions dead, millions of refugees.
      Though it is not widely known, the ‘War to End Wars’ was also deliberately fomented from 1905 by Britain principally but also with France, Belgium and Russia, to destroy Germany and assure Anglo-American hegemony (see ‘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’, both by Jim MacGregor and Gerry Docherty.

  • N_

    Even the government’s motion which passed this evening is confused!

    That this house:

    (1) notes the resolutions of the house of 12 and 13 March, and accordingly agrees that the government will seek to agree with the European Union an extension of the period specified in article 50(3);

    (2) agrees that, if the house has passed a resolution approving the negotiated withdrawal agreement and the framework for the future relationship for the purposes of section 13(1) (b) of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 by 20 March 2019, then the government will seek to agree with the European Union a one-off extension of the period specified in article 50(3) for a period ending on 30 June 2019 for the purpose of passing the necessary EU exit legislation; and

    (3) notes that, if the house has not passed a resolution approving the negotiated withdrawal agreement and the framework for the future relationship for the purposes of section 13(1)(b) of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 by 20 March 2019, then it is highly likely that the European council at its meeting the following day would require a clear purpose for any extension, not least to determine its length, and that any extension beyond 30 June 2019 would require the United Kingdom to hold European parliament elections in May 2019.

    Spot the confusion? Here it is: ANY date (for example 30 June 2019) can be put into a withdrawal agreement. A different date from 29 March 2019 would have to be agreed by both sides of course, but that has got nothing to do with requesting an extension of the period specified in Article 50, which defines the default date of exit if there is NO withdrawal agreement. Article 50 says absolutely nothing about what date of exit should be or can be specified in a withdrawal agreement.

    The motion was probably written in a rush last night.

    • giyane

      N_

      There will not be a HoC vote approving May’s Withdrawal Agreement and there is now a vote against No Deal. The EU will not give an extension to A50 until there is either a vote for the withdrawal agreement or radical change in UK policy such as arising from a general Election. The only logical outcome is for May to cancel Article 50 and not call a GE. Ha ha. let’s see all those armchair pit bulls who want May’s Fake Racist brexit , or else! come down to London and demonstrate for their little Englander cause. They didn’t get their bums off their sofas for Libya, Syria or Yemen. Does anyone think they will do anything about the EU.

      Is it possible that they wanted Britain to destroy Libya, Syria and Yemen, being wogs, and they will descend on London with their pit bulls to save this fickle realm from the Europeans?

      • Tony_Opmoc

        giyane,

        The logical outcome, is that May will do nothing, and the default legal position will run its course, resulting in us leaving The EU on 29th March 2019, regardless of whether any deal is agreed.
        All recent votes in the House of Commons have been purely advisory, with no change whatsoever to the legal position, and no attempts made to change it.

        It’s not easy trying to communicate out in the countryside, with only intermittent internet.

        Tony

        • michael norton

          Completely agree Tony, all votes purely their opinions, which means diddly squat in law.
          29th March is Freedom day.
          Bring it on.

          • michael norton

            We had a referendum on do you want what Nick Clegg wants.
            The people said if that liar Nick Clegg wants it, we don’t want it.
            Now Tony Blair wants us to stay in the E.U.
            he thinks there should be another referendum.
            Can you see where this would go,
            that liar Tony Blair wants us to vote again because Tony Blair thinks we voted the wrong way last time.
            I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions.

      • Dungroanin

        G you are correct but so are the hard brexit fuckwits – that was always Plan A – a disorderly brexit allowing the City to walk away from impending and future regulation.

        It will be blamed on the A50 default deadline of 2 years. “The Bastard EU made us have hard brexit” crocodile tears are long primed.

        The unilateral redlines and crazy clown antics of brexit secretaries and assorted back bench grandees and the ‘back stop’ imposed by May are all smoke and mirrors to pretend that some real desire and effort for a soft exit was being made – all a LIE.

        They are within two weeks of delivering the great heist! But they are worried that the truth may be out and it could still do a prat fall on the line. It explains the panic in the MP’s, MSM and the various trolls…

        Are there 50 tory MPs that would vote in a no-confidence motion yet?

    • Charles Bostock

      The motion seems perfectly clear to me. And certainly much clearer than your attempted critique of it.

  • Sharp Ears

    So will the UK be going through the farce of electing MEPs.

    The elections take place from Thursday, 23 May 2019 to Sunday, 26 May 2019.

    There are 10 MEPs for London and the SE**. There are 73 in the UK in total and 751 in total over the whole of the EU.. (down to 705 from this year)
    http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/faq/12/how-many-meps

    **I have written a few times to all 10. Only the Green has ever replied.

    A nice little earner – ‘The standard monthly payment for all MEPs is 7,957 euros (£6,537). It is roughly on a par with a British MP’s salary, but when the pound is weak, MEPs earn more than MPs. MEPs also get a flat-rate monthly allowance of 4,299 euros to cover office expenses, such as office rent, phone bills and computer equipment. 13 Feb 2014

    Probably more than that now, five years on.

    • Charles Bostock

      “It is roughly on a par with a British MP’s salary, but when the pound is weak, MEPs earn more than MPs.”

      And when the pound ir strong, MPs earn more than MEPs.

      Just to clarify your position : are you saying MEPs’ salaries and expenses are too high or too low?

      • fwl

        MPs should be paid far more circa £250K, but in return we should have ethics and anti-corruption laws with teeth and no minister should be allowed to work in the industry / sector they have governed for 10 years.

          • fwl

            Nurses don’t have the opportunity to corrupt defence procurement.

            If you want to pay MPs the same as nurses then expect them to be rich or corrupt or both.

            £250K is enough to keep one’s nose out of trouble.

            The difficulty is who investigates for breaches. The best solution is a very robust diverse and unfettered press, local and national, but sadly that seems to be a dream.

          • Blunderbuss

            “£250K is enough to keep one’s nose out of trouble.”

            I don’t think it works that way. My impression is that the more you pay people, the more corrupt they become.

    • Skye Mull

      Sky did the same, with useless commentary being spoken over Blackford. Whether you support the SNP or not, Blackford provides more convincing opposition than Corbyn.

  • Loony

    So the British traitor classes have made their move.

    Watch out now for the next time the British people are allowed anywhere near a ballot box. Say a big hello to people like Tommy Robinson – recoil in terror at such a “racist thug” But pay no attention at all to Vox who are about to hit the big time at the end of April.

    If the British cannot bear the burden then the Europeans will step up to the plate come the European elections. Get ready to applaud a clean sweep for Marine le Pen in France, and stand by for more gains for the AfD. The Hungarians and the Poles will continue to sneer at Western liberals – just as long as you keep giving them money they will not leave the room, but oh how they despise you. Being less sophisticated than you they will not bother to hide their contempt.

    Will the Italians look at what has been done to the British and raise the white flag of surrender? My guess is they will not.

    As the Chinese say “may it be your fate to live in interesting times” Speaking of which if you are so desperate for immigrants I understand the Chinese have upward of 10 million Uyghurs they would be happy to send you.

  • Humbaba

    The “binary choices” are the result of an antiquated political system that may have been useful to the empire but is not suitable for a modern state.

    The fptp election system is intended to produce a two-party system that avoids minority or coalition governments but has the advantage of suppressing new political movements from the political process. But since the political groundswells cannot be suppressed indefinitely, they will grow as anti-establishment movements to burst into the open through the backdoor from one day to the next. That’s what happened with Brexit and Trump in the UK and the US, which both basically have a two-party system. Since they have no experience of actual government responsibility, they face the impossible task of reconciling their fantasies with the economic realities of this world.

    The EU is a union of small countries to defend against the predatory instincts of the imperial powers. That’s why Trump and the closet imperialists among the Brexitters hate the EU. As long as the ghost of the Empire permeates its institutions and collective awareness, the UK cannot but have a destructive influence inside the EU. It’s unlikely that the UK will have the political will to reform its political system unless it is dismantled.

    • Humbaba

      Sorry correction:

      “but has the disadvantage of suppressing new political movements from the political process”

    • Mary Pau!

      Germany France and the UK are small countries.? In terms of physical size, GDP etc where do they feature?

  • Spiro Ozer

    Craig – your argument about the backstop reminds me of my work as a contractor. Some of the companies I worked for tried to get me to sign preposterous agreements accepting all financial liability for everything that could conceivably happen. When I objected, they’d say, But that clause is nothing to worry about, we’d never actually invoke it. And I’d say, well it doesn’t need to be in there then, does it? So let’s cross it out. What, you won’t? Then presumably you *do* want to use it. And they’d reply, surely you’re not accusing us of negotiating in bad faith … ?

    Simlarly with the backstop. If it’s never going to be used, it doesn’t need to be in there, does it? Or at least, it could be followed by a sentence saying “Actually we’d never invoke the above clause …”

  • Tom

    Funnily enough, the Queen seems to have gone missing. A real head of state would have sacked a treacherous, corrupt scoundrel like May months ago. But instead we have heard nothing from HM. Is she at Cheltenham?

    • kathy

      I think the Queen is predictably for Brexit. She is fabulously wealthy so wouldn’t want to jeopardize that.

    • Sharp Ears

      No Tom. Just the Croc Wife of P Charles. P Anne and her daughter too. Hard to distinguish them from the nags.

      ‘Seven horses died at Cheltenham last year – and a total of 40 have passed away since 2007. That total rose to 41 on Tuesday when Ballyward was fatally injured in the last race of the day. In 2017, four horses died, with seven being put down the year before.’

      The very cruel sport of Kings – and Queens.

      • Charles Bostock

        ” P Anne and her daughter too. Hard to distinguish them from the nags.”

        That sounds like the sort of comment you’d expect from a male chauvinist pig.

    • Mary Pau!

      She was at the Commonwealth Day service at the weekend with the rest of the family.

  • Sharp Ears

    This is a sad and very moving account of the funeral of the young Ethiopian pilot who was flying the Boeing 737 plane that crashed.

    The Sky News reporter attended the funeral and spoke to the young man’s father. Horrifying to hear that that there are no remains – ‘no bones or skulls, just sawdust’.

    Ethiopia plane crash: Anguish and anger at funeral for young pilot
    Emotional tributes are paid to Captain Yared Getecho, as two pilots reveal the difficulties of controlling Boeing 737 MAX planes.
    https://news.sky.com/story/ethiopia-plane-crash-anguish-and-anger-at-funeral-for-young-pilot-11664311

    • Anon1

      It appears to be false readings from the pitot tubes causing the software to interpret that the plane is stalling and automatically initiate a nosedive. Quite terrifying really.

      • Mary Pau!

        Wasn’t there a crash caused by iced up pivot tubes a few years ago? I don’t recall the problem being fixed -just an explanation that the readings from this has caused “confusion in the cockpit.” I think it was the French accident investigators who worked on that who now have the Ethiopian black boxes.

    • Tony

      There’s a very good article on Moon Of Alabama, which basically claims that the 737 MAX is not airworthy: It’s engines are too powerful, and cause it fly nose-up, with the related constant risk of stalling, so Boeing secretly installed software which corrects this. And it’s the malfunctioning of this software which has caused the crashes. The new satellite tracking system which has recently come online shows that pilots have regularly been battling against this dodgy software during ascent, and that’s why most aviation authorities grounded the aircraft.

      • Herbie

        That’s it more or less.

        But where you say, “It’s engines are too powerful”, should read “the direction of engine thrust, makes the plane fundamentally unstable”.

        They just bunged larger engines on the old fuselage, causing the instability, and sought to get around that with an additional piece of software.

        • Blunderbuss

          Moral: Don’t let software do the job of the hardware. I’m always saying that about computers.

        • Tony

          Makes one wonder about the new 777X. The engines on that have a bigger diameter than a 737’s fuselage!

        • Mary Pau!

          The heavier engines needed for the new plane have been mounted in a slightly different place, changing the aerodynamics of the plane ,- so a “secret” piece of software the MCAS was installed to automatically “trim” ie adjust down the nose on take off to prevent a stall. There are suggestions this MCAS responded to a malfunction on the Ethiopian plane as it took off forcing the nose down . If so, this means the plane is vulnerable to a single point of failure accident.

          Not sure how this relates to plane making an auto response to iced up pivot tubes which caused a different fatal crash a few years ago.

      • John A

        Boeing also marketed the 737 MAX as not requiring new aircraft type pilot training, a significant cost saving for airlines with existing 737 fleets. However, the bigger engines are further forward and affect the balance of the plane compared to existing 737s, hence the software fix that Boeing kept silent about.
        Capitalism in action, cut costs, sod safety. (That’s just ‘red tape’ or ‘Elf n Safety’ nonsense, innit, to quote typical Sun and Mail journos.)

    • Mary Pau!

      This is what seems to have shaken the airline industry the most -the crater and the disintegrated debris. Normally part of a plane in a crash lands parallel to the ground and some of the fuselage remains.In this case it seems to have crashed head first at full speed. And disintegrated everything.

  • Reg

    After the Carthiginian bail out imposed on Greece I fail to see how anyone could accuse the EU of ever acting in good faith.
    Specture is a supranational organisation of organised crime, I think Specture is a rather good description of the EU.
    In Greece the Trokia is acting like a cheap loan shark or vulture fund using debt to enforce compliance and grab its assets at fire sale prices. Did the EU act in good faith when Jean-Claude Trichet (FT below) the then head of the ECB force the Irish Government to abandon plans for its plans for a partially default of its private banks to distribute costs of poor lending and borrowing decisions between creditors an debtors and force a full bail out of its banks to be paid for with austerity after taking a bail out to rescue EU banks exposed to Irish banks with the threat of withdrawal of liquidity by the ECB from Ireland’s banks?

    The EU has frequently used debt and the threat of the financial markets by briefing against countries and or the ECB withdrawal of liquidity to override democratic decisions of member countries to enforce compliance. This is a matter of public record as the EU finance minster tried to use the financial markets to enforce compliance of Italy’s populist government, Mario Drahgi head of the ECB withdrew liquidity to enforce compliance in the Greek referendum and the ECB enforced compliance from Ireland as I stated above. Given the scale of devastation in Greece, this would surpass anything by Specture as the Trokia has enforced austerity projected into the 2060s, specture never tried to cut pensions the minimum wage unemployment benefit and medicine, with a massive increase in suicides documented in a peer reviewed paper in the BMJ. Do not forget the luxleaks scandal where the now EU commission president and former prime minister of Luxembourg a tax haven blocked EU curbs on tax avoidance. Also the revolving door with Goldman Sachs such as the former EU commission President ( José Manuel Barroso) disappearing to Goldman Sachs, the current head of the ECB (Mario Draghi) is also a former managing director at Goldman Sachs. I recommend watching the Brussels Business on the corrupting effect of lobbying in the EU, such as the European Round-table of industrialists writing the Single European act. This weeks renegade inc on RT also covers this quite well, “Myth-busting the European dream”

    If Specture was a real organisation it should sue Craig for slander..

    What is this misty eyed delusional belief in the EU by SNP supporters unsupported by evidence? They are not your friends.

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

    “EU budget chief accused of ‘bullying’ Italian voters after suggesting markets won’t tolerate populist government”
    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/italy-election-eu-markets-budget-populist-vote-gunther-oettinger-five-star-a8374796.html

    “Greece debt crisis: ECB ‘to end’ bank emergency lending”
    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-33303105

    “The impact of economic austerity and prosperity events on suicide in Greece: a 30-year interrupted time-series analysis”
    https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/5/1/e005619

    “The great Greece fire sale ”
    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/jul/24/greek-debt-crisis-great-greece-fire-sale

    “Jean-Claude Juncker blocked EU curbs on tax avoidance, cables show ”
    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/jan/01/jean-claude-juncker-blocked-eu-curbs-on-tax-avoidance-cables-show

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/mar/15/european-commission-rebuked-jose-manuel-barroso-ex-chiefs-goldman-sachs-job

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMuUEd6w54E

    “Myth-busting the European dream ”
    https://www.rt.com/shows/renegade-inc/453503-european-dream-economy-challenge/

    • fwl

      Yanis Varufakis on Question Time next week.

      He is definitely someone worth listening to about negotiating with the EU and bad faith.

      Unless we leave with no deal then this concept of bad faith and what it might be is going to become very important over the next few years (or decades).

    • Johny Conspiranoid

      ” Did the EU act in good faith when Jean-Claude Trichet (FT below) the then head of the ECB force the Irish Government to abandon plans for its plans for a partially default of its private banks to distribute costs of poor lending and borrowing decisions between creditors an debtors and force a full bail out of its banks to be paid for with austerity after taking a bail out to rescue EU banks exposed to Irish banks with the threat of withdrawal of liquidity by the ECB from Ireland’s banks?”

      What kind of a sentence is this?

  • Gary

    Not that I disagree BUT, what else can actually be done by a PM in her position?

    Separately, the issue of Free Movement. I must take issue with you putting ‘Free Movement’ and ‘Immigration’ in the one sentence as though they are the same thing. They are VERY different. I’m not even trying to argue whether it is good or bad but the problem has been that both terms were conflated during the EU Referendum Campaign (wrongly) and here you are doing it again! I know that you know better, slip of the pen?

    As soon as May promised parliament a ‘Meaningful Vote’ she must have known that she’d never get her deal through parliament. The DUP actually WANT a hard border with barbed wire and the ERG want ‘Fortress Britain’ with very low wages, no workers rights and zero tariffs for all. They are idealistic, and very wrong. Labour wants to keep it’s hands clean, any kind of participation in the deal, for them, is off the cards. They want to be able to look back and blame ONLY the Tories for the mess, this at the expense of helping prevent it.

    In these circumstances, and from the point of view of a Westminster Unionist Government, ‘Bad Faith’ would be if Brexit was not carried out. Indeed they are correct to say that UK voters would utterly lose faith in politics and Westminster if Brexit is not carried out. One thing May IS correct in, Free Movement was probably one of the major factors in the ‘Leave’ vote. In this case the right or wrong is not the issue so much as it actually being the will of the people. So, from this point of view she IS actually correct to insist upon it.

    However, Scotland and Northern Ireland BOTH voted to stay IN the EU. Given that could we stay? There IS a precedent for this. It may be (well, it IS) a thorny subject but the Irish Independence Referendum did EXACTLY that. The entire country voted, the majority was for Independence but the counties of what is now known as Northern Ireland were allowed to stay part of Britain, as a province, simply on the vote of a few politicians representing those counties. Were Scottish and NI politicians given this opportunity it would hold the same legal basis as the right of Northern Ireland to stay in the union that is the UK.

    Can I see any of that happening? Not a chance.

    Everyone has an opinion on how May is handling this but what NO ONE has is a suggestion for a route OUT of the situation. There simply isn’t one…

    • Dungroanin

      Dissolve parliament and go back to the country to have another go at ‘who governs’ is the traditional option.

      She is the exception that like turd on your shoe refuses to do the honourable thing. Her cowardly tory MPs are like crack obsessed junkies willing to steal and murder their families to hang onto their careers.

      It is Mays hands if she is wants.

      You probably knew that tho’?

    • Mary Pau!

      There’s an idea make it the United Republic of Scotland and Northern Ireland and join the EU. ?

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