Chagos and the Dark Soul of the British Labour Party 634


Even if you think you know all about the Chagos story – an entire population forcibly removed from their island homeland at British gunpoint to make way for a US Air Force nuclear base, the people dumped destitute over a thousand miles away, their domestic animals gassed by the British army, their homes fired and demolished – then I beg you still to read this.

This analysis shows there could be no more startling illustration of the operation of the brutal and ruthless British Establishment in an undisguisedly Imperialist cause, involving actions which all reasonable people can see are simply evil. It points out that many of the key immoralities were perpetrated by Labour governments, and that the notion that either Westminster democracy or the British “justice” system provides any protection against the most ruthless authoritarianism by the British state, is utterly baseless.

Finally of course, there is the point that this is not only a historic injustice, but the injustice continues to the current day and continues to be actively promoted by the British state, to the extent that it is willing to take massive damage to its international standing and reputation in order to continue this heartless policy. This analysis is squarely based on the recent Opinion of the International Court of Justice.

Others have done an excellent job of chronicling the human stories and the heartache of the Islanders deported into penury far away across the sea. I will take that human aspect as read, although this account of one of the major forced transportations is worth reading to set the tone. The islanders were shipped out in inhuman conditions to deportation, starved for six days and covered in faeces and urine. This was not the 19th century, this was 1972.

The MV Nordvaer was already loaded with Chagossians, horses, and coconuts when it arrived at Peros Banhos. Approximately one hundred people were ultimately forced onto the ship. Ms. Mein, her husband, and their eight children shared a small, cramped cabin on the ship. The cabin was extremely hot; they could not open the portholes because the water level rose above them under the great weight of the overloaded boat. Many of the other passengers were not as fortunate as Ms. Mein and shared the cargo compartment with horses, tortoises, and coconuts. Ms. Mein remembers that the cargo hold was covered with urine and horse manure. The horses were loaded below deck while many human passengers were forced to endure the elements above deck for the entirety of the six-day journey in rough seas. The voyage was extremely harsh and many passengers became very sick. The rough conditions forced the captain to jettison a large number of coconuts in order to prevent the overloaded boat from sinking. Meanwhile, the horses were fed, but no food was provided for the Chagossians.

Rather than the human story of the victims, I intend to concentrate here, based squarely on the ICJ judgement, on the human story of the perpetrators. In doing so I hope to show that this is not just a historic injustice, but a number of prominent and still active pillars of the British Establishment, like Jack Straw, David Miliband, Jeremy Hunt and many senior British judges, are utterly depraved and devoid of the basic feelings of humanity.

There is also a vitally important lesson to be learnt about the position of the British Crown and the utter myth that continuing British Imperialism is in any sense based on altruism towards its remaining colonies.

Before reading the ICJ Opinion, I had not fully realised the blatant and vicious manner in which the Westminster government had blackmailed the Mauritian government into ceding the Chagos Islands as a condition of Independence. That blackmail was carried out by Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson. The court documentation makes plain that the United States was ordering the British Government on how to conduct the entire process, and that Harold Wilson deliberately “frightened” Mauritius into conceding the Chagos Islands. This is an excerpt from the ICJ Opinion:

104. On 20 September 1965, during a meeting on defence matters chaired by the United Kingdom Secretary of State, the Premier of Mauritius again stated that “the Mauritius Government was not interested in the excision of the islands and would stand out for a 99-year lease”. As an alternative, the Premier of Mauritius proposed that the United Kingdom first concede independence to Mauritius and thereafter allow the Mauritian Government to negotiate with the Governments of the United Kingdom and the United States on the question of Diego Garcia. During those discussions, the Secretary of State indicated that a lease would not be acceptable to the United States and that the Chagos Archipelago would have to be made available on the basis of its detachment.
105. On 22 September 1965, a Note was prepared by Sir Oliver Wright, Private Secretary to the United Kingdom’s Prime Minister, Sir Harold Wilson. It read: “Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam is coming to see you at 10:00 tomorrow morning. The object is to frighten him with hope: hope that he might get independence; Fright lest he might not unless he is sensible about the detachment of the Chagos Archipelago. I attach a brief prepared by the Colonial Office, with which the Ministry of Defence and the Foreign Office are on the whole content. The key sentence in the brief is the last sentence of it on page three.”
106. The key last sentence referred to above read: “The Prime Minister may therefore wish to make some oblique reference to the fact that H.M.G. have the legal right to detach Chagos by Order in Council, without Mauritius consent but this would be a grave step.” (Emphasis in the original.)
107. On 23 September 1965 two events took place. The first event was a meeting in the morning of 23 September 1965 between Prime Minister Wilson and Premier Ramgoolam. Sir Oliver Wright’s Report on the meeting indicated that Prime Minister Wilson told Premier Ramgoolam that “in theory there were a number of possibilities. The Premier and his colleagues could return to Mauritius either with Independence or without it. On the Defence point, Diego Garcia could either be detached by order in Council or with the agreement of the Premier and his colleagues….”

I have to confess this has caused me personally radically to revise my opinion of Harold Wilson. The ICJ at paras 94-97 make plain that the agreement to lease Diego Garcia to the USA as a military base precedes and motivates the rough handling of the Mauritian government.

Against this compelling argument, Britain nevertheless continued to argue before the court that the Chagos Islands had been entirely voluntarily ceded by Mauritius. The ICJ disposed of this fairly comprehensively:

172. …In the Court’s view, it is not possible to talk of an international agreement, when one of the parties to it, Mauritius, which is said to have ceded the territory to the United Kingdom, was under the authority of the latter. The Court is of the view that heightened scrutiny should be given to the issue of consent in a situation where a part of a non-self-governing territory is separated to create a new colony. Having reviewed the circumstances in which the Council of Ministers of the colony of Mauritius agreed in principle to the detachment of the Chagos Archipelago on the basis of the Lancaster House agreement, the Court considers that this detachment was not based on the free and genuine expression of the will of the people concerned.

A number of the individual judges’ Opinions put his rather more bluntly, of which Judge Robinson gives perhaps the best account in a supporting Opinion which is well worth reading:

93. … The intent was to use power to frighten the Premier into submission. It is wholly unreasonable to seek to explain the conduct of the United Kingdom on the basis that it was involved in a negotiation and was simply employing ordinary negotiation strategies. After all, this was a relationship between the Premier of a colony and its administering Power. Years later, speaking about the so-called consent to the detachment of the Chagos Archipelago Sir Seewoosagur is reported to have told the Mauritian Parliament, “we had no choice”42It is also reported that Sir Seewoosagur told a news organization, the Christian Science Monitor that: “There was a nook around my neck. I could not say no. I had to say yes, otherwise the [noose] could have tightened.” It is little wonder then that, in 1982, the Mauritian Legislative Assembly’s Select Committee on the Excision of the Archipelago concluded that the attitude of the United Kingdom in that meeting could “not fall outside the most elementary definition of blackmailing”.

The International Court of Justice equally dismissed the British argument that the islanders had signed releases renouncing any claims or right to resettle, in return for small sums of “compensation” received from the British government. Plainly having been forcibly removed and left destitute, they were in a desperate situation and in no position to assert or to defend their rights.

At paragraphs 121-3 the ICJ judgement recounts the brief period where the British government behaved in a legal and conscionable manner towards the islanders. In 2000 a Chagos resident, Louis Olivier Bancoult, won a judgement in the High Court in London that the islanders had the right to return, as the colonial authority had an obligation to govern in their interest. Robin Cook was then Foreign Secretary and declared that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office would not be appealing against the judgement.

Robin Cook went further. He accepted before the UN Commission on Human Rights in Geneva that the UK had acted unlawfully in its treatment of the Chagos Islanders. And he repealed the Order in Council that de facto banned all occupation of the islands other than by the US military. Cook commissioned work on a plan to facilitate the return of the islanders.

It seemed finally the British Government was going to act in a reasonably humanitarian fashion towards the islanders. But then disaster happened. The George W Bush administration was infuriated at the idea of a return of population to their most secret base area, and complained bitterly to Blair. This was one of the factors, added to Cook’s opposition to arms sales to dictatorships and insistence on criticising human rights abuses by Saudi Arabia, that caused Tony Blair and Alastair Campbell to remove Robin Cook as Foreign Secretary.

Robin Cook was replaced by the infinitely biddable Jack Straw. There was never any chance that Straw – who received large donations to his office and campaign funds from British Aerospace – would stand against the interests of the arms industry or of the USA, particularly in favour of a few dispossessed islanders who would never be a source of personal donations.

Straw immediately threw Cook’s policy into reverse. Resettling the islanders was now declared “too expensive” an option. The repealed Order in Council was replaced by a new one banning all immigration to, or even landing on, the islands on security grounds. This “coincided” with the use of Diego Garcia, the Chagos island on which the US base is situate, as a black site for torture and extraordinary rendition.

Straw was therefore implicated not just in extending the agony of the deported island community, but doing so in order to ensure the secrecy of torture operations. I don’t have the vocabulary to describe the depths of Straw’s evil. This was New Labour in action.

The estimable Mr Bancoult did not give up. He took the British Government again to the High Court to test the legality of the new Order in Council barring the islanders, which was cast on “National security” grounds. On 11 May 2006, Bancoult won again in the High Court, and the judgement was splendidly expressed by Lord Hooper in a statement of decency and common sense with which you would hope it was impossible to disagree:

“The power to legislate for the “peace order and good government” of a territory has never been used to exile a whole population. The suggestion that a minister can, through the means of an Order in Council, exile a whole population from a British Overseas Territory and claim that he is doing this for the “peace, order and good government” of the Territory is, to us, repugnant.” (Para 142)

The judgement did not address the sovereignty of the islands.

Unlike Robin Cook, Jack Straw did appeal against the judgement, and the FCO’s appeal was resoundingly and unanimously rebuffed by the Court of Appeal. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office then appealed again to the House of Lords, and to general astonishment the Law Lords found in favour of the British government and against the islanders, by a 3-2 judgement.

The general astonishment was compounded by the fact that a panel of only 5 Law Lords had sat on the case, rather than the 7 you would normally expect for a case of this magnitude. It was very widely remarked among the legal fraternity that the 3 majority judges were the only Law Lords who might possibly have found for the government, and on any possible combination of 7 judges the government would have lost. That view was given weight by the fact that the minority of 2 who supported the islanders included the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Bingham.

The decision to empanel only 5 judges, and the selection of the UK’s three most right wing Law Lords for the panel, was taken by the Lord Chancellor’s office. And the Lord Chancellor was now – Jack Straw. The timing is such that it is conceivable that the decision was taken under Straw’s predecessor, Lord Falconer, but as he was Blair’s great friend and ex-flatmate and also close to Straw, it makes no difference to the Establishment stitch-up.

If your blood is not now sufficiently boiling, consider this. The Law Lords found against the islanders on the grounds that no restraint can be placed on the authority of the British Crown over its colonies. The majority opinion was best expressed by Lord Hoffman. Lord Hoffman’s judgement is a stunning assertion of British Imperial power. He states in terms that the British Crown exercises its authority in the interests of the UK and not in the interest of the colony concerned:

49. Her Majesty in Council is therefore entitled to legislate for a colony in the interests of the United Kingdom. No doubt she is also required to take into account the interests of the colony (in the absence of any previous case of judicial review of prerogative colonial legislation, there is of course no authority on the point) but there seems to me no doubt that in the event of a conflict of interest, she is entitled, on the advice of Her United Kingdom ministers, to prefer the interests of the United Kingdom. I would therefore entirely reject the reasoning of the Divisional Court which held the Constitution Order invalid because it was not in the interests of the Chagossians.

It is quite incredible to read that quote, and then to remember that the British government has just argued before the International Court of Justice that the ICJ does not have jurisdiction because the question is nothing to do with decolonisation but rather a bilateral dispute. Thankfully, the ICJ found this quite incredible too.

You may think that by the time it fixed this House of Lords judgement the British government had exhausted the wells of depravity on this particular issue. But no, David Miliband felt that he had to outdo his predecessors by being not only totally immoral, but awfully clever with it too. Under Miliband, the FCO dreamed up the idea of pretending that the exclusion of all inhabitants from around the USA leased nuclear weapon and torture site, was for environmental purposes.

The propagation of the Chagos Marine Reserve in 2010 banned all fishing within 200 nautical miles of the islands and, as the islanders are primarily a fishing community, was specifically designed to prevent the islanders from being able to return, while at the same time garnering strong applause from a number of famous, and very gullible, environmentalists.

As I blogged about this back in 2010:

The sheer cynicism of this effort by Miliband to dress up genocide as environmentalism is simply breathtaking. If we were really cooncerned about the environment of Diego Garcia we would not have built a massive airbase and harbour on a fragile coral atoll and filled it with nuclear weapons.

In retrospect I am quite proud of that turn of phrase. David Miliband was dressing up genocide as environmentalism. I stand by that.

While the ruse was obvious to anyone half awake, it does not need speculation to know the British government’s motives because, thanks to Wikileaks release of US diplomatic cables, we know that British FCO and MOD officials together specifically briefed US diplomats that the purpose was to make the return of the islanders impossible.

7. (C/NF) Roberts acknowledged that “we need to find a way to get through the various Chagossian lobbies.” He admitted that HMG is “under pressure” from the Chagossians and their advocates to permit resettlement of the “outer islands” of the BIOT. He noted, without providing details, that “there are proposals (for a marine park) that could provide the Chagossians warden jobs” within the BIOT. However, Roberts stated that, according to the HGM,s current thinking on a reserve, there would be “no human footprints” or “Man Fridays” on the BIOT’s uninhabited islands. He asserted that establishing a marine park would, in effect, put paid to resettlement claims of the archipelago’s former residents. Responding to Polcouns’ observation that the advocates of Chagossian resettlement continue to vigorously press their case, Roberts opined that the UK’s “environmental lobby is far more powerful than the Chagossians’ advocates.” (Note: One group of Chagossian litigants is appealing to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) the decision of Britain’s highest court to deny “resettlement rights” to the islands’ former inhabitants. See below at paragraph 13 and reftel. End Note.)

Incredible to say, that is still not the end of the ignominy of the British Establishment. As the irrepressible Chagossians continued their legal challenges, now to the “Marine reserve”, the UK’s new Supreme Court shamelessly refused to accept the US diplomatic cable in evidence, on the grounds it was a privileged communication under the Vienna Convention. This was a ridiculous decision which would only have been valid if there were evidence that the communication were obtained by another State, rather than leaked to the public by a national of the state that produced it. For a court to choose to ignore a salient fact is an abhorrent thing, but it allowed the British Establishment yet another “victory”. It was short lived, however.

Mauritius challenged the UK to arbitration before a panel constituted under Article 287 of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, a Convention I am happy to say I was directly involved in bringing into force, by negotiating and helping draft the Protocol. Mauritius argued that the UK could not ban fishing rights which it enjoyed both traditionally, and specifically as part of the agreement to cede the Chagos Islands. The UK brought four separate challenges to the jurisdiction of the panel, and lost every one, and then lost the main judgement. It is pleasant to note that acting for the Chagos Islands was Elizabeth Wilmshurst, the FCO Legal Adviser who had resigned her position, telling Jack Straw that the attack on Iraq constituted an illegal war of aggression.

Which brings us up to the present Opinion by the International Court of Justice after the government of Mauritius finally took resolute action to assert sovereignty over the islands. Astonishingly, having repudiated the decision of the Arbitration Panel on the Law of the Sea, very much a British-inspired creation, Jeremy Hunt has now decided to strike at the very heart of international law itself by repudiating the International Court of Justice itself, something for which there is no precedent at all in British history. I discuss the radical implications of this here with Alex Salmond.

This is apposite as throughout the 21st Century developments listed here in this continued horror story, the Chagossians’ cause was championed in the House of Commons by two pariah MPs outside the consensus of the British Establishment. The Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on the Chagos Islands was Jeremy Corbyn MP. His Deputy was Alex Salmond MP.

Chagos really is a touchstone issue, a key litmus test of whether people are in or out of the British Establishment. The attacks on Jeremy Corbyn, the manufactured witch-hunt on anti-semitism, all are designed to return the Labour Party to a leadership which will continue the illegal occupation of the Chagos Islands; the acid test of reliable pro-USA neo-conservative policy. The SNP, at least under Salmmond, was an open challenge to British imperialism and hopefully will remain so.

Chagos is a fundamental test of decency in British public life. If you know where a politician – or judge – stands on Chagos, most other questions are answered.


634 thoughts on “Chagos and the Dark Soul of the British Labour Party

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  • Anon1

    Sneering leftist ars*hole, Jon Snow, claimed on C4 News last night that he’d “Never seen so many white faces in one place” as he had at yesterday’s Brexit rally.

    Perhaps he ought to look at the EU*. There are no non-white European Commissioners, nor has there ever been one. Just three out of 751 MEPs are non-white, two of them British. The European Commission and Parliament are the whitest organisations on the planet.

    *C4 News investigate anything about the EU? Sorry for the bad joke.

    • fwl

      The remain march last weekend was a very peaceful event with a remarkably good vibe and made me feel I was on the wrong side, but it did look like a middle class white carnival.

      • Mary Pau!

        Interesting that everyone seems to assume that a large rally of “typical” London citizens will include a large percentage of people whose skin colour is not white, reflecting London’s current ethnic mix. Are there any other European capitals which have a similar high profile thnic mix.? Did the original gilet-jaune rallies in Paris for example, have a similar ethnic mix to the one observers expect to see in London?

        • Ian

          It’s a massive diversionary exercise, by people who weren’t there, but are keen to find a reason to be smug about it.

    • pete

      I though the whole point about reporters is to say what they see. London is a cosmopolitan place, you would expect to see a representative section of the population in any demonstration on a issue as broad as leaving the EU.
      Alexei Sayle in his radio show (https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0002rjm) makes the point about the “absence of normal” advice given to troops on patrol, (to look out for people/things that should be around but are not and for people/things that are not normally around being there) The absence of normal is a signifier that something is wrong. Jon Snow was just saying what he saw, the absence of normal.

      • fwl

        I thought the same when watching the remain march. What does that tell us if they were both basically white event? That other races (very generally speaking) feel so disenfranchised that they don’t bother with these marches, which ever side.

      • Adrian Parsons

        So the absence of the manual working class at the Remain march should also have been worthy of comment in the MSM. But wasn’t, of course, because that would have been to draw attention to the overwhelmingly intellectual working class/”middle class” nature of the event.

        The “morality” of the EU Referendum can be summarised as follows: the manual working class voted according to their own economic interests and are characterised as knuckle-scraping, ignorant, xenophobic, racist scum, while the intellectual working class/”middle class” voted according to their own economic interests and are characterised as intelligent, sophisticated, cosmopolitan, impressive rays of sunshine.

        • fwl

          I’m not that fussed about this point. I only commented because last weekend I was surprised by what a peaceful relaxed white middle class march the massive remain march was.

          I don’t know about the morality of the ref.

          What I have been wondering about is how Brexit gets to work for Mogg and co.

          I like Brexit for sovereignty reasons because I was always peeved that we had given up control to EU and were drifting to give up more, but what I had not hitherto really taken on board was that when we began to give up control and sovereignty to the EU we also did something else, something positive, we gave our own courts sovereignty over parliament so that they could challenge an Act of Parliament by interpreting it in accordance with EU law, and later in accordance with the Charter of Fundamental Rights. The EU allow our courts to up their game and steal a constitutional upper hand and if your worried about a fascist state (i.e. unchecked control of the executive) that is no bad thing.

          So membership of the EU gave us some sort of constitution by the back door because it allowed the courts to challenge parliament.

          Now Brexit means not only that we exit EU but that we also reverse the constitutional gain which allowed our courts to keep our parliament in check.

          If one considers how our political elite have also undermined other aspects and ways n which parliament is kept in check this is worrying, for eg see Peter Oborne’s book The Triumph of the Political Class, which looks at how the establishment was neutered, how the civil service was undermined, how the intelligence service came to outrank the Foreign Office.

          We can also consider, as people often do on these pages, how our media and press have all lost their essential focus and enthusiasm for dissent and for investigators journalism. New Labour were certainly responsible for a lot of this.

          So in this context suddenly and almost invisibly and without any discussion losing the protection of the courts, the ability of the courts to challenge parliament is a very significant issue.

          If labour and the SNP were to concentrate on a negotiating issue it should be this. If I were SNP which I am not I would also concentrate on the Plaid concept of a constitutional Council of the Isles to protect devolved powers (including those non-reserved powers, which would have been devolved if they had not been with the EU and which were clawed back to Westminster). These constitutional points are fundamental. Customs Union or World Trade Terms and the economic concerns are so uncertain and unknown they are basically a red herring.

          Basically what I am saying is that when ditching the EU we would be bloody stupid if we also ditched the constitutional role of the courts.

          Like it or loathe it the EU is a sort of roof or I think the Russians say sky or mafia or protection. Some of that protection is good. When we leave we should not at the same time undermine our own domestic roof, sky or constitutional protection ie our own courts.

          Bercow, as annoying as he is, also seems to be reflecting a sort of constitutional response because he is creating a parliamentary check on the executive (government) and so although I feel frustrated by his recent gamesmanship I respect what he has done because we need to have checks on government.

          The Speaker is the check on government because he has empowered the opposition and back benchers. The courts are (but may cease to be) the check on parliament.

          • giyane

            Fwl

            You’re worrying about Mogg.
            Darling they are proto-fascist Alt vampire Right wing vampire capitalist hedge funders who bet on failure while being insider’s to govt decisions.

            Cry for yourself if you like for being the emptied veins of capitalism raw in tooth and claw

        • fwl

          But Adrian I sympathise with your depiction save that I don’t really think that either manual working class Brexiteers or intellectual middle class remainers necessarily voted entirely according to their economic interests. Yes it was visceral for the remainers, who are winners and so stand to lose more through change unless they are fast actors and for both it is a question of badges and identification of where they stand. For the working class there is not much to lose so it makes sense to protest.

          For some fast acting shrewd well funded actors change means a major opportunity. That is why the manual working class Brexiteers and their labour representatives need to consider carefully how best to protect themselves.

          Labour gave up protecting anyone when it embraced PFI and Tony Blair.

          My suggestion is that in leaving we need to retain something which we gained through Europe – constitutional oversight by the courts.

          • Mary Pau!

            I still cannot work out what Labour’ s position is on EU membership. Is it ask the EU for a delay and open a new round of negotiations? I have asked my Labour “remaining” friends and cannot get a coherent answer.

          • fwl

            Mary

            Unfortunately labour don’t really have much of a position and are instead hoping to capitalise on a Tory collapse. If they had a real position which they held with real conviction they would be banging on about it so often we would know it inside out by now, but no one knows what their position is.

            Labour need some courage and to use this as an opportunity to fight for some sort of post EU constitutional protection because what we have is about to disappear along with the EU. And so far all that is replacing it is the new turbo charged John Bercow.

            The only reasons I can see why Labour are not pushing for constitutional protection are: 1) not a sexy issue as people just don’t get it; 2) as stated they prefer to watch Tory collapse; ad 3) John MacDonald and Jacob Rees Mogg may both be secretly looking forward to an unfettered parliament because without court oversight whoever gets a parliamentary majority can pretty much do what they they like after Brexit.

        • pete

          I am slightly puzzled by your response to my observation about the absence of normal.
          In a multicultural city you would expect to see a representative section of the population in any demonstration about something that crossed traditional class and cultural divides. What Jon Snow observed was a disproportionate representation of what he called “white faces”. You seem to have determined that the white faces were working class white people, since you say that he should therefore have been able to tell and then make the observation, from seeing demonstrators on the remain side, that there was a significant absence of white working class folk. I can’t tell what such a crowd would look like since I find it hard to determine who, amongst the while folk, is working class or not, and I suspect that Jon Snow would not be able to either.
          You may be correct about the support for the leave campaign being working class white folk, I have said before that I have seen the effect of an influx of migrant workers into traditional working class areas, like Lincoln, nor do I blame them for wanting that to come to an end, if it was me in that environment I might want that too, the working class have been poorly dealt with by successive governments.
          As far as Anon1’s observation about Jon Snow’s political affiliation goes, I have no idea where he stands politically, he does ask awkward questions, but that is the job of a reporter.
          As far as your observations of the way the Remainers and the Leavers have been characterised, you may be correct, I don’t read the papers or watch much TV any more so I can’t say, however it seems to have made no difference to the outcome so far. The future remains as it always has been, uncertain.

          • fwl

            The Jon Snow issue arises because many Brexiteers will be alert to the suggestion that they are racists and sensitive to a possibility that Snow’s comment “never seen so many white faces” was signalling a negative.

            The Remainer march was many times larger and also did not reflect what you refer to as the normal. I didn’t conclude that the “normal” were absent out of a lack of support but because they were getting on with their life. Of course I would concede that if I had said “I’ve never seen so many white faces” about the remainer march I would not have been signalling that they were racists. Just as you wouldn’t call the North London white audience of a Stewart Lee gig racists.

          • pete

            Re fwl at 22.59
            Yes, you are probably right about the composition of the remainer crowd, I did not observe that march in any detail, but I am assuming they are mostly middle class, particularly if they can afford to live in London (a remain area).
            I hold by my assertion that the future is uncertain.

      • Tom

        I agree. I don’t know why Snow apologised for his comments. On a similar subject, I recently complained to the BBC about the bias of their Brexit vox pops, among other things noting that they always seemed to feature mostly working class white people. I suggested that given the BBC’s oft-stated commitment to ‘diversity’ that it was hypocritical, as well as badly failing the public in journalistic terms,. not to seek the views of ethnic minorities on Brexit (or, indeed, most other sections of society). I have not yet had a reply.

    • michael norton

      vilification of remain m.p.s has already begun, there will be no hiding place for them, most await deselection.

  • Laguerre

    “Eurostar trains cancelled as man with St George’s flag spends night on station roof” (Graun)

    That’s the spirit of the age, isn’t it? Loony Brexiter wants to stop Eurostar – too much contact with the outside world. It’ll soon be government policy (next week?). Machine guns at the entrance to the Tunnel, etc.

  • Sharp Ears

    How galling for many of our fellow citizens who are using food banks to keep themselves add their families alive to switch on the box just now and see cooking of expensive ingredients by chefs on two out of the four terrestrial channels. I just came in from outside for a break to see what news was developing and there is Rick Stein on one and Ainsley Harriot on another. The latter was performing his culinary arts on a Caribbean beach just for good measure.

    Sky News were expounding on ‘Hamas militants’ and quoting Israeli propaganda when reporting on the Gaza ‘border’ protest.

    Tens of Thousands of Palestinians Gather in Gaza for March of Return Anniversary
    Hamas leader Haniyeh, accompanied by Egyptian officials, joined demonstrators, also commemorating Land Day ■ Palestinian shot dead by Israeli forces overnight and 10 wounded by live fire Saturday, Gaza authorities say
    30 March 2019
    https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/palestinians/palestinian-shot-dead-by-israeli-forces-gaza-authorities-say-ahead-of-mass-protests-1.7066638

    The IDF snipers use dum dum bullets which are illegal under international law. They expand within the flesh of the limb down to the bone.

    • Republicofscotland

      SE.

      I don’t watch the terrestrial channels, most are full of brain melting tosh. I do watch the news on them to see just how much any particular narrative is twisted to suit the story of the day.

      As for the Palestinians, today marks a year from the great march of return. When over 190 Palestinians were killed and over 6000 wounds by Israeli troops and snipers.

      The UN General Assembly condemned Tel Aviv for excessive use of force against the protesters. The UN investigators further said that some of the violations committed by the IDF, may constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity.

    • freddy

      Can’t bear to watch TV these days, but I’m occasionally obliged to watched Masterchef. Almost sickening to watch the contestants waltz through their “larders”, agonising over which micro-herbs to choose.

      Mind you, I’m a rubbish cook.

  • Vivian O'Blivion

    Looks like the petition to Revoke Article 50 may limp over the 6 million mark later today.

    Fancy participating in another exercise in infinite futility? Sign up for: Vote on England and Wales to Leave the UK and EU. Scotland and NI to Remain in both.
    I just did.

    https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/238034

  • Republicofscotland

    The Great Satan appears to be agitated that Russia has sent troops to Venezuela, under an agreement wih Caracas in years gone by.

    John Bolton has threatened more sanctions on Russia if it doesn’t withdraw its troops, more sanctions, what’s new.

    US General Keane has stated that Venezuela is the USA’s backyard and Russia must get out. General Keane omits, that the Great Satan has over 800 bases in 70 countries, the hypocrisy is astounding.

    https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/06/us-military-bases-around-the-world-119321

    Meanwhile the convicted criminal and US Special envoy to Venezuela Elliot Abrams, tried desperately to put a brave face on it, when it was pointed out to him that the number of UN nations backing the Great Satan’s Venezulean unelected puppet president Guaido, hadn’t moved from the original 54 countries.

    • Kempe

      Venezuelas need food and medicines, not to mention somebody to fix the power grid.

      Putin sends troops…

        • Kempe

          You mean left to fall apart as a result of years of under-investment. I can’t see what good sending a lot of soldiers is going to do.

          • Paul Barbara

            @ Kempe March 30, 2019 at 15:55
            You know damn well that the electricity grid was sabotaged, and then sabotaged again. Why pretend otherwise?
            If ‘Al Qaeda’ (‘Al CIA-dah’) suddenly sabotages the UK’s electricity grid, will you put it down to ‘bad maintenance’?
            And a ‘lot’ of soldiers, already? 100?
            How many British ‘soldiers’ are floating about in foreign countries, unlike the Russians in Venezuela with government permission, murdering local folk?

      • glenn_nl

        Didn’t you read RoS’s post? Venezuela has an agreement with Russia. That’s why they’re there.

        You might want to explain why America keeps threatening and sanctioning Venezuela, and please spare us the crap about how freedom ‘n’ democracy loving America is just concerned on a humanitarian basis.

        • Kempe

          Fine. They have a right to be there but what good does it do? They might be of use supporting the Venezuelan forces in putting down demonstrations but other than that?

          • Republicofscotland

            How about building 10,000 houses, in The Great Housing Mission, previously agreed between Chavez and Russia.

            Of course I’m pretty sure some of those Russian troops will be engineers to help maintain the essentials, like power and water etc, and to prevent others from tampering with important issues such as lines of commnication, fuel food etc.

            If the Great Satan has its eye on your country, it might be a good idea to agree a memorandum of understanding, or some sort of treaty with Russia, in the event of the US decides to come after your country’s assets.

          • Laguerre

            “According to the Kremlin they’re there for “military-technical” reasons.”

            That, of course, would include repairing sabotaged infrastructure.

          • Paul Barbara

            @ Kempe March 31, 2019 at 14:34
            In many progressive countries (like Russia, Venezuela, Cuba) the military also build and repair civilian infrastructure, like building/repairing bridges, electrical systems etc.
            Unlike the West, where it’s forces concentrate on rampaging around the world, killing the locals and stealing their natural resources.

          • Charles Bostock

            Barbara

            In fact, troops in the UK have been used for civilian purposes on occasion, usually when greedy, anarchical unions were attempting to plunge the country into chaos. The dockers’ strike (under Wilson) and the firemen’s strike.

            Come to think of it, I believe they were used to unload vessel cargo during a dock strike at some stage during the St Clement Atlee Labour govt.

          • Kempe

            The US Army Corps of Engineers also builds and maintains a lot of civilian infrastructure. It’s not progressive, it’s not what the armed services are for and is only necessary when the civilian sector is not sufficiently developed. Nobody would expect the British Army to have to turn out and repair power stations or water supplies.

  • Sharp Ears

    Afshin Rattansi has that spirited young Palestinian woman, Ahed Tamimi, on his show.
    30 Mar 2019
    On this episode of Going Underground we speak to Palestinian Activist Ahed Tamimi who was previously jailed by Israel. She discusses the Great Return March, Israel’s occupation of Palestine, possible war crimes by Israel on the Gaza border, the UK government being under the control of Israel and more! Next we speak to Gil Hoffman, The Jerusalem Post’s Chieg Political Correspondent on the peace deal being formed in the US and what it entails, the upcoming Israeli elections with frontrunners Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz. Finally we speak to the Palestinian Liberation Organisation’s Chief Negotiator Saeb Erakat on the Great Return March, the Nation State Law, the US recognition of the annexation of the Golan Heights and the US ‘Deal of the Century’ peace deal.
    https://www.rt.com/shows/going-underground/455142-palestine-netanyahu-golan-heights/

    • Charles Bostock

      In that interview Ms Ahed Tamimi is speaking in Arabic. I think you will find that the voice-over simultaneous translation has her saying a lot more (and more fluently) than she actually said. RT and Rattansi are relying on the fact that very few viewers in the West know Arabic and that even those cannot easily access her actual words in Arabic. Not that they would care, probably.

      • Ian

        So you speak Arabic, then, and will be able to tell us what she said. Or are you relying on your usual right wing websites to tell you what you want to hear?

        • Charles Bostock

          You will find what I say difficult to check because you only have access to the English voice over and can’t hear her speaking in Arabic (except for few words at the beginning of her every answer to Rattansi). I have the advantage over you there, I’m afraid. No right-wing websites involved, sorry!

          • Ian

            So what is she saying that is different to the English? Do you actually speak Arabic?

          • pete

            Chas, I assume you did read the report on her case in the right wing press when it first arose and this may have coloured your view of her: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/21/world/middleeast/ahed-tamimi-palestinian-israel-soldier.html
            and I suppose it was one of those greedy anarchists you do not approve of who posted the following comment on the NY Times web site: “Damn! This would mean that #AhedTamimi will end up in jail for about as long as Elor Azaria, the #Israeli soldier who murdered a wounded #Palestinian. So under Israeli occupation, slapping an Israeli soldier =‘s murdering a Palestinian. https://t.co/lHC5hSVF1U
            — James J. Zogby (@jjz1600) March 21, 2018”

          • Dave Price

            Bostock, could you please provide a link to the full Arabic interview, so that we may verify your assertion.

          • Ian

            Bostock makes another of his wild claims, with no evidence, and avoids answering the question. No evidence. No credibility. And just why is he so interested in what Tamimi said, and so keen to undermine it?

          • Charles Bostock

            Price

            If you want your own access to the Arabic language transcript of the interview, ask RT either directly or Rattansi. And good luck! 🙂

        • Charles Bostock

          Price

          I should have added that you are not going to find that transcript on the internet – for reasons which should be obvious to anyone who understood what I was saying.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Republicofscotland March 30, 2019 at 17:12
      That was the Yank’s purported role in Vietnam, till LBJ arranged the ‘Gulf of Tonkin Lie’, when it became a full-fledged military operation (never, I don’t believe, actually accepted as a ‘war’, though it was called that and had all the hallmarks of a war).
      ‘…Have we been deliberately mislead on this?’
      Well, well, that would be a big surprise, our esteemed ‘Great Leaders’ misleading us!!

      • Republicofscotland

        Yes Paul mislead and we’ll probably never know the truth of it, I particularly liked the remark that says Britain is an elective dictatorship, Theresa May’s bungs and constant attempts to push through her deal only adds weight to that claim.

        These few paragraphs are revealing.

        “The U.K. has elections every five years, an independent judiciary, freedom of speech and association, and strong laws protecting the equality of all citizens and civil liberties. Yet real power rests in the hands of an elite few who control policy-making institutions and the dominant ideas in society.”

        “British foreign policy-making is so centralized that it is akin to an authoritarian regime. A prime minister can send troops into action without even consulting parliament.”

        “Britain is currently fighting several covert wars with no parliamentary authorization or debate.”

        “Parliament is easily dominated by the government of the day and faces few constraints on its power. But this was before former prime minister Margaret Thatcher centralized decision-making still further, regularly bypassing the cabinet and relying on a small set of advisers – a strategy continued by Tony Blair, leading to the disastrous invasion of Iraq.”

        Like I said DUP bungs Tory dark money, promised monies to Labour MP’s to vote in May’s deal, then there’s May’s deal constantly brought back to the Commons.

        • Bayard

          “I particularly liked the remark that says Britain is an elective dictatorship,”

          I think oligarchy is closer to the mark, especially given the remark below “Yet real power rests in the hands of an elite few who control policy-making institutions and the dominant ideas in society.” What we miscall a democracy, Aristotle would have called an oligarchy: “It is accepted as democratic when public offices are allocated by lot; and as oligarchic when they are filled by election.”

          • Republicofscotland

            Bayard.

            I can’t disagree with that, you just have to look at the front bench of the government to see most came from privileged backgrounds, some are Oxbridge educated and are rather wealthy.

          • giyane

            Tory bungs

            Since Thatcher the Tory party has continuously bought all opposition by providing excessively well paid sinecures to liberal personalities .

            You can’t call it a bung if you get a £250 k job as CEO of a Malaysian trillionaire’s company, but you know your boss is the Tory party, not the triillionaire

            Tories never spend their own money. They divert the wealth of others to their cause. Hence the need to keep Saudi Arabia sweet, in order to finance the bungs to politicians and CEO sinecures

          • giyane

            An elective squanderate?
            An elective buggerate of the U.S. Zionist would-be Empire?
            What about all those elective MPs who didn’t manage to remove the elective prime minister this week?

            An elective succubate of the declining U.S. satanate ?
            Surely in a democracy you could if you wanted to vote to be vassal to a different empire?

  • Garth Carthy

    @Anon1
    “Sneering leftist ars*hole, Jon Snow, claimed on C4 News last night that he’d “Never seen so many white faces in one place” as he had at yesterday’s Brexit rally.”

    If you think Jon Snow is a leftist, you are completely deluded. If he was a leftist, he wouldn’t be reporting in the mainstream media.
    If he was a leftist he would be pressing friends of Israel to reveal actual evidence of anti-Semitism and explain allegations that US/Israel is funding and supporting a smear campaign against Corbyn.
    Jon Snow does challenge politicians strongly on certain issues but not on the issues that the establishment don’t want discussed.

    • michael norton

      Rather unfair Sharp Ears, Mrs. May would have be capable of twisting her head ninety degrees to get the stick throgh, now she has a letter telling her to go for No Deal Brexit, as the majority of the Conservative party wish, stop bloody wasting everybodies time.

      • Clark

        That “fascist dictatorship” the EU Parliament wants to ban them, but the “Take Back Control” UK government would probably rather Make Britain Great Again by producing and selling them. Rule Britannia!

    • freddy

      Aren’t the Chinese going full steam ahead on this too? Sadly there is an inevitable arms race. Even if countries join the ban, some will be continuing in secret. The only way I could see a ban as effective would be under a global govt – which would probably build them anyway to police the populace (the only threat to power, unless aliens rock up)

      https://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/3062232/ai-is-bigger-threat-than-climate-change-or-terrorism-scientist-warns

      • Clark

        There’s no secret to keep. We already have miniature quad-copters, the processor in Android devices already does face recognition, and fitting a 3 gram charge of high explosive is trivial.

        What’s needed is to prevent production, by an international treaty, and an inspection regime like the IAEA.

        And no, climate change is much worse:

        https://xkcd.com/1732/

        • Republicofscotland

          Alas Clark, I think these types of weapons will be produced and used no matter what, countries will try to stay ahead in the arms race regardless of UN rulings.

          Scouring YT last night after watching your link, it’s apparent that robots, minature drones etc, are very close if not already suitable to be weaponised.

          Add in that what we see on YT is usually a few years old, and you could well imagine that the likes of DARPA might have already successfully weaponised humanoid robots.

        • freddy

          There seems no reference to killer robots in your link – how does it show it is “much worse”? We get it. This is the way we’re all going to die and you will brook no dissent or even doubt as to this particular doomsday scenario (let us say inevitability)

          I even carefully chose a link intended to highlight the gravity of the situation, rather than inflame your sensibilities.

          As for the rest – well RoS, below, gets it.

          • Clark

            Freddy, global warming is not likely how I’m going to die; I’m 56. But people are already dying from the flooding, famine, migration and conflict caused by it, and that is set to become much worse.

            Look at the recent end of the graphic; “best case”, “optimistic” and “current path”. Note how “current path” is shown zooming off to higher temperature, not levelling out. Note also that just four degrees increase in global average is the difference between a mile of ice over Boston, and temperature in about 1970. Note that the scenarios shown only include the increase from human-induced emissions, and not possible run-away effects such as methane releases from permafrost, seabed methyl hydrate emissions, albedo effects, biological effects etc.

            Then there’s palaeoclimatology, which includes the study of what caused previous mass extinctions. CO2 emissions are currently going off the scale. We can’t be sure, but it’s looking increasingly likely that CO2 increases were the cause of the previous catastrophes for life:

            “The Earth has experienced five mass extinctions before the one we are living through now, each so complete a slate-wiping of the evolutionary record it functioned as a resetting of the planetary clock, and many climate scientists will tell you they are the best analog for the ecological future we are diving headlong into. Unless you are a teenager, you probably read in your high-school textbooks that these extinctions were the result of asteroids. In fact, all but the one that killed the dinosaurs were caused by climate change produced by greenhouse gas. The most notorious was 252 million years ago; it began when carbon warmed the planet by five degrees, accelerated when that warming triggered the release of methane in the Arctic, and ended with 97 percent of all life on Earth dead. We are currently adding carbon to the atmosphere at a considerably faster rate; by most estimates, at least ten times faster.

            http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2017/07/climate-change-earth-too-hot-for-humans.html

            The corporate media have been playing down global warming until, arguably, the last year or so – what else can you expect from a media system that derives its income from advertising? There are also some four hundred nuclear power reactors at coastal locations around the world, which will of course be flooded by sea level rise, unless they’re defuelled in time. Yep, killer robots are dreadful and the smaller they get the worse, but at least production of them would stop if society broke down.

            But it doesn’t really matter which way you look at it; us humans are our own worst enemy. We need to change. Fast.

          • Clark

            And Freddy, it isn’t that I’ll “brook no dissent”. No one has shown me any serious flaw in the science; all I’m offered are rehashes of the tired sound-bites of the denial industry – and it is an industry, funded by the fossil fuel companies – I curse them for this, and for their resource wars.

            Of course I hope the science is wrong, but with the polar ice melting away, even faster than predicted, I see no reasonable chance of that. But that isn’t really surprising, because over 95% of climate scientists have been in agreement for years.

          • freddy

            *Sigh* Clark, no one was offering you an argument on that score. Why bother? We were just saying sentient AI was a worry.

            Life is too short to argue with a zealot. Which is you.

          • Clark

            “Zealot”? Encourage your grandkids to inject adulterated heroin, why don’t you? Tell your nieces to float to the shops by jumping off a high building. And you don’t because you’re a “zealot”, right?

            The scientific debate was concluded a decade ago. It’s now a simple question of morals; should we almost certainly destroy the living conditions of the children and continue on course for extinction for the sake of our own convenience?

            OK, I’m a zealot. Yes, I rejoice in evolution. Yes I do think that parents’ responsibility is to provide for the children. And if you think the young should be sacrificed for the old, then you are my mortal enemy, and the enemy of life itself.

          • freddy

            Clark -https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/children-carbon-footprint-climate-change-damage-having-kids-research-a7837961.html

            Sorry, but you’re not even able to make a logically consistent argument

          • Clark

            Yes, tragically, it is wiser not to have children at this time, but that does not alter the logic of the argument one jot; it is still the responsibility of the older generations to leave favourable conditions for the younger generations, and it is you making no logical sense.

            It is not me that’s a zealot, it is you, and I suspect that you are only posting a fraction of your thoughts on this matter. Global warming is not fake news cooked up by spooks and amplified by the mainstream media; it is simply a fact that science warned us about decades ago, and more recently established beyond doubt by simple observation eg. the melting of the polar ice.

        • pete

          Re Clark @ 9.21
          Thanks for the XKCD link, I was going to post this the last time the climate change debate emerged but failed to note where the precise link was. The cartoon is both accurate (except for the Pokemon reference) and strangely compelling. I like to think that someone will etch it on a cave wall somewhere so that any survivors – or visiting aliens – after the coming climate disaster will find it amongst the ruins to show them that we were dimly aware of the situation we were in.

          • Ian

            The sad and tragic thing is that we are not ‘dimly aware’ of it. We have highly sophisticated systems of data and research which are adding to our knowledge every day. We have technology which can ameliorate it and change our entire energy dependence. Yet we have crude political systems stuck in outmoded ways of tackling problems, unable to both join together in the necessary international effort and to face down the vested interests which are blocking progress. In other words, we are very well aware of it, but lack not the means, but the will, to do something about it.
            The young are our only hope, more power to them as they realise the future facing them, built by us.

          • jake

            If you actually want something done about climate change there is no point in claiming it’s anthropomorphic and that somehow “we” are responsible. Some “othering” is called for.
            For domestic catastrophes blaming immigrants or foreigners works fine. For something global like climate change it needs to be blamed on wee green men or a similar extraterrestrial malign influence.

          • Clark

            Jake, well spotted. Climate change is a misfit in the ubiquitous blame game. Blame the scientists for making it all up.

    • Stonky

      Surely it’s a good thing if wars turn into armies of robot warriors fighting each other. Instead of fascists and psychopaths, our militaries will be run by “robot wars” type geeks with scrubby foody beards who will adjourn to the pub for a pint of your best real ale landlord when the battle is over…

      • Michael McNulty

        It’s quite possible autonomous robots are being developed not to fight each other but to kill the masses. If robots do become smart they’ll likely develop a survival instinct, perhaps an enhanced one, so hopefully they soon grasp the biggest threat to them comes from those who commission them and can presumably put them back in the box. The elite. I doubt robots will be able to reproduce certain human traits like lateral thinking, hand dexterity, artistic creation etc, so maybe after they’ve wiped out the elites they decide they’ll need some humans alive to do the things they’ll never be able to. The Morlocks and the e-Eloi.

        • Clark

          “It’s quite possible autonomous robots are being developed not to fight each other but to kill the masses”

          Check the video; we’re talking about face-recognition devices, so specific that they can suppress activism, or swing a vote in parliament or congress by killing specifically only those who support any given motion:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TlO2gcs1YvM

          “You can identify the enemy by a hashtag”.

      • Republicofscotland

        Stonky.

        I see your point and its a reasonable one robots killing each other instead of people.

        However its the domestic application of such robots thst should worry us. They could be used very efficiently to police the masses. They feel nothing, have no moralistic traits, no conscience, they cannot be persuaded or bribed, infact they’ve no inclination of what’s right and what’s wrong. They’d only carry out whatever theyve been programmed to do.

        • freddy

          Think they’ll also be used to wage wars more easily and effectively. People will still suffer and die – homes destroyed, lands ruined, resources stolen etc – whether they (ppl) are actual combatants or not.

        • Paul Barbara

          @ Republicofscotland March 31, 2019 at 12:49
          ‘…They’d only carry out whatever theyve been programmed to do.’
          Not unlike the IDF, or Brits (Chagos and elsewhere).
          ‘Only following orders, guv’.
          At least robots have an excuse – humans are aware of right and wrong, and most times accept orders which go against their consciences.

          • Republicofscotland

            Yes one wonders Paul what soldiers think, when asked to carry morally or ethically abhorrent orders.

            Do they just think to themselves, well I’m only following orders, so really its not my fault?

            Also is the rise in PTSD in military veterans a moral side effect from the realisation of their actions and from what they’ve witnessed in the field.

            Many military veterans end up destitute and sleep rough, could that also be a side effect as well?

          • Clark

            We get military veterans here in Chelmsford; some are full of anger and cause trouble at weekends. The “training” is dehumanising; it has to be, the “enemy” has to be devalued to make the killing easier:

            Let’s shoot.
            Light ’em all up.
            Come on, fire!
            Keep shoot, keep shoot. [keep shooting]
            keep shoot.
            keep shoot.
            […]
            Oh, yeah, look at those dead bastards.
            Nice

            https://collateralmurder.wikileaks.org/

          • Paul Barbara

            @ Republicofscotland March 31, 2019 at 14:12
            Yes, many do get hit later on with the realisation of what they have done.
            Some join organisations like ‘Winter Soldier’ and ‘Veterans For Peace’, to confess and campaign about the truth of the wars they have been part of.
            And of course, the suicide rate is very high.
            The Refuseniks in Isra*l are to be commended, as are Conscientious Objectors around the world..
            ‘All wars are Banksters’ wars.’
            ‘….Kill, hate‐mutilate!…’:
            https://www.nytimes.com/1976/09/05/archives/kill-hatemutilate-women-are-being-trained-to-be-officers-in-the.html
            “Kill Kill/ Hate Hate/Murder Murder—Mutilate!”

          • Clark

            If you just blame the “banksters” Paul and thereby let yourself off the hook, you’re as guilty as anyone else, because making excuses like that, playing the blame game instead of taking responsibility – that is the root of it all.

      • Sharp Ears

        Williamson is behind a big push on robotics for the UK military.

        He was in Colchester last month announcing this £66m plan for the Army.

        Army robotics receive £66m boost
        Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson commits £66m of defence’s new multi-million-pound Transformation Fund to fast-track military robotic projects. 5 March 2019
        https://www.gov.uk/government/news/army-robotics-receive-66m-boost

        Tonight he was shown on BBC South Today speaking in Portsmouth announcing similar expenditure for the Navy.
        https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0003ybk

  • Aloha

    Thank you Craig for your invaluable coverage of this and all of the other topics that you bring into the light. It seems that every day in the news there are 5, 10, 15 stories of abuse that one group of human beings does to another and we need to stop it. We need to put down the guns, bombs, spy programs, hatred, ignorance, etc. and start to walk and talk peace and help even in some small way all of the human beings that have been treated like abused dogs and worse in every country on this planet at one time or another. The orders from the .01% need to be ignored. After reading your article my thoughts and questions are about the MIC having no morals, no checks and balances, just a “we want this and so we will take it” attitude all around the world. What would an outsider find if they were able to make a surprise visit to Diego Garcia today? Aside from the illegal prisoners and torture since 2001, my imagination is running wild… A thriving business for sex slave trade, worker slave trade, drug trade, organs, etc. babies/children, women and men being flown in and sold and then flown out to god only knows where and to top it off I bet that if this is going on we are all paying for it with taxes no matter what country we live in. What we are allowing is shameful.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Aloha March 30, 2019 at 21:38
      You are right, of course.
      One angle to try to wake people up to is expose big historical incidents which have been wrongly portrayed, like the lie that Germany caused WWI (in turn leading to the inevitable WWII), that Pearl Harbour was not foretold and deliberately allowed to happen and indeed engineered to happen, that the great majority of deaths on all sides in Vietnam occurred after the ‘Gulf of Tonkin Lie’, deliberately told to massively ramp up a highly unpopular war, the pre-planned murderous attack on the USS Liberty and the subsequent massive cover-up, the Kuwaiti Incubator Baby Lie’, Iraqi WMD Lie, of course, and the lies abounding around Libya and Syria.
      I’ve been trying to wake people up since 1972, when I awoke with NI ‘Bloody Sunday’, but it is a thankless task. Most folk just don’t want to know, and bury their heads in ‘Coronation Street’, ‘East Enders’, football or whatever, anything but what is important.
      47 years of banging my head against a brick wall, it’s no wonder i seek some solace in the ‘demon drink’.

      • Clark

        Paul, I sympathise. Because I have criticised you, you probably think I don’t mean that, but I do. People disregard such things for many reasons; some because it is uncomfortable to contradict the majority, and some because they may sense their own involvement as consumers, workers and taxpayers. But also for a reason you share with them; they seize upon the mainstream narratives as you seize upon alternative narratives, because false certainty is more comfortable than perpetually questioning one’s own beliefs.

  • Sharp Ears

    Major has been on Marr this morning, looking as expensively attired as Blair, and was suggesting that a National Government be formed to deal with the current political stagnation.

    He said that, up to the present, ‘our political system has served us very well’. He did not specify who the ‘us’ are though. LOL

    After he left office, he joined Carlyle.
    ‘The Carlyle Group
    https://www.carlyle.com
    Founded in 1987 in Washington, DC, The Carlyle Group is one of the world’s largest and most successful investment firms with $212 billion of assets.’

    https://www.carlyle.com/media-room/news-release-archive/john-major-appointed-european-chairman-carlyle-group

    • SA

      To be fair to John Major, he is one of the few politicians who speaks in a considered way and makes sense a lot of the time. He almost sounded like a socialist, saying how Brexit has clouded over the real serious other issues in NHS policing and social services.

      • Vivian O'Blivion

        Robin Ramsay has come to the defence of John Major on several occasions. Given Major’s background in banking, he was surprisingly supportive of manufacturing industry, often to the frustration of Whitehall Mandarins. Perhaps Major’s technical background alerted him to the delusiary capital being magically created in the City and gave him a greater appreciation of the worth of the real economy.

        • giyane

          John Major saved Kurdistan from Saddam Hussain. Tony Blair transferred Free Kurdistan to the much more compliant western pimps of fake democracy who are in power now.

          As Trump invites us to Tory led trade deals with the U.S., anyone like to speculate on how Trumps deals managed to make him a multi billionaire?

          Don’t worry the Tory cabinet will make a killing betting on our failure

      • Ian

        Major is one of the few decent tory politicians, having assisted the GFA, as well as having a serious industrial policy, something most tories aren’t interested in. He also faced down the anti-EU lunatics, in contrast to May’s disastrous appeasement of them.
        However, you are only interested in what he is wearing – nice suit! – or his unsurprising subsequent career in banking (shock, horror).
        Play the ball, not the man. If you can.

        • Ian

          He is also, may I say, one of the few politicians who can talk with knowledge about the brexit debacle, and its disastrous effects on NI, the economy, trade and the social fabric. It is horrific how many MPs, some deliberately disingenuous like Mogg and Johnson, have no idea what they are talking about regarding the EU, NI the economy or trade. It is all reduced to a handful of ridiculous slogans, fuelled by the oligarch press.

          • Mary Pau!

            Are you talking about current or potential disastrous effects of the “Brexit debacle” in Northern Ireland. ?

      • Sharp Ears

        I have to disagree SA and with others who see Major as having been a benign PM, he led the way for Public Finance Initiative funding of public buildings such as hospitals. We and our grandchildren for decades to come have been landed with £billions of debt to be repaid to the sharks.

        ‘Up and down the UK, Private Finance Initiatives (PFI) are destroying public services. Introduced by John Major’s government and expanded by New Labour, the PFI policy was designed to use private financing to build and run public sector infrastructure projects. … The NHS has more than 100 PFI hospitals.13 Jul 2016
        https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/nhs-funding-pfi-contracts-hospitals-debts-what-is-it-rbs-a7134881.html

        Years back, so therefore the state’s indebtedness is even greater now, the Guardian produced this spreadsheet of PFI contracts.
        https://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2012/jul/05/pfi-contracts-list

        • Sharp Ears

          Following on from Thatcher, I was forgetting the part he played in the first Gulf wars, Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm, which were the beginnings of the rout of the country of Iraq by the West in collaboration with Saudi Arabia. Read up Felicity Arbuthnot’s essays. She lived in Iraq and knew and loved the country and the people and saw the destruction

          Major’s role is indefensible.

          • SA

            Sharp Ears
            I in no way want to defend Major and especially his role in the first Iraq war. But he will probably be remembered as the fairest most honest PM we had since Thatcher. I know that is not saying much because the bar is set so low. But two points: at least the first Iraq war was in retaliation for the invasion of Kuwait. I am aware of all the arguments that it was a setup and a trap. I resigned from the Labour Party then because of their support for that war but it was not so blatant as the 2003 war which was based on blatant lies. As to PFI Blair and Brown embraced it with gusto and were the main cause of this expansion. Moreover new labour set in place all the mechanisms for the privatisation of the NHS. To me this was a huge betrayal more so than from Major because you expect that from Major but not from a Government said to be Labour.
            Unless we break the system we will continue to have to discuss this moral relativism in badness I am afraid.

          • Ian

            Misses the point entirely, of course, which is what he was saying about brexit. But typical way to do some grandstanding and avoid the issue.

          • Sharp Ears

            What is so funny? The use of the word ‘grandstanding’ to describe my telling of some truths?

          • SA

            Sharp Ears
            On this one , I agree with Ian. We were discussing the sensible and responsible way that Major discusses the subject of Brexit and given his knowledge, that it was illuminating. I do not think it advances our knowledge immensely if we discount valid arguments even if they come from individuals who have done things we may deem criminal or with which we disagree. All that this will do is to increase our ignorance in a bubble of confirmation bias.

          • glenn_nl

            But SA, you must have noticed by now – that’s not the way the Sainted Sharp Ears’ mind works.

            If you have ever fallen short of her rather lofty standards, you have become an Enemy of the People. Following which designation, nothing you say can possibly have the slightest worth, and the only time that person can be mention is in derogatory tones, to condemn and remind ourselves of their crimes.

            Come on, she does it with people on this very blog, who probably agree with her on 95% of issues, just because they had the temerity to cross her at some point – even if that took place years ago.

          • Clark

            glenn_nl and Iain, I think Sharp Ears has loved the oppressed, and their prolonged pain has left her angry. The only remedy is compassion, and it seems to be stretched far too thin these days.

          • glenn_nl

            Clark: Very possibly. But do you think any cause is served by denouncing anyone and everyone like this, unless you have provided nothing but fawning deference and unconditional praise and gratitude over the years?

            No – I think it’s an ego thing. Self righteous indignation is never a pretty spectacle, and is positively counter productive if there is a cause one is supposed to be promoting.

    • Republicofscotland

      “He said that, up to the present, ‘our political system has served us very well’. He did not specify who the ‘us’ are though. LOL”

      Yes SE, I think you hit the nail on the head there.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Sharp Ears March 31, 2019 at 11:05
      Yes, Carlyle Group, which including Saudis and Bush Sr. were meeting on 9/11, from which they have proceeded to make a mega-killing from all the wars and interventions fomented under the 9/11 umbrella.
      No one associated with that group can in any way be rightfully described as ‘decent’.

  • SA

    I wonder how many people are aware that 24 hour opening police stations are becoming a rare thing. This gradual change has been happening and not all of it seems to be Tory initiated. Examples here are from Scotland (presumably policing is devolved?), London, under Sadiq Khan and in Berkshire the PMs own back patch.
    https://www.scotland.police.uk/contact-us/police-station-opening-hours#Edinburgh
    https://www.getreading.co.uk/news/local-news/new-opening-hours-police-station-4198474
    https://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/just-one-24hour-police-station-to-stay-open-in-every-london-borough-mayor-announces-a3673381.html
    Some of this goes back to 2012 and therefore may be old hat, but does it have to do anything with the rising knife crime?

    • Republicofscotland

      Spot on SA, and its been going on for years now, smaller localised police station are either closed early, or sold off altogether. Only the larger police stations remain open to receive guests.

      • giyane

        Police work is now done by bugging and phone tapping. This obviously requires compliance by the criminal fraternity in grasping on their peers, but what would you do – earn an executive income spying on other criminals from the safety of your own home, or go out and grab swag knowing your friends are shopping you while you get GS4?

        Nobody in Tory wonderland ever asked the question whether totally disempowering already disempowered people would lead to more or less crime.

        Tories have neither brains nor hearts.
        Rory Stewart is Tory dogma breakfast of empty soundbites and military ignorance
        who trumpets Tory political gobshitevfrom his arse. I cant remember when we had a government that cared.
        But if Jeremy Corbyn wins the forthcoming election we will get one soon. Inshallah

        • Republicofscotland

          “Police work is now done by bugging and phone tapping.”

          Im afraid I have to disagree with you there Giyane, although there is a niche for that type of police work.

          No I think the public are far more reassured by the physical presence of Bobbies on the beat. The Tories have cut around 22,000 police officers which must surely translate into less footfall on the streets.

          New deeper stop and search powers are to be given to police officers in England, though I’d imagine some officers will be dressed in plain clothing.

          https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-47760645

          • Bayard

            “though I’d imagine some officers will be dressed in plain clothing.”

            Perhaps the plainclothes branch could be renamed the “State Security Service”.

  • Republicofscotland

    North Korean officials are livid with Spain, after what NK calls a US backed attack on its Spanish embassy in Madrid. Embassy staff were tied up, electronic devices stolen along with a huge cache of documents, the North Korean attaché was asked to defect.

    Spanish authorities said ten suspects fled to the USA, some are known and arrest warrants have been issued.

    https://www.rt.com/news/455182-north-korea-mission-madrid/

  • Jack

    What about the ukranian elections today? Poroshenko has like top 15% support, cheating could not be ruled out if he get a great majority of votes – of course MSM will not tell you that.

  • Roger J Wise

    The market town of Bicester has also seen the removal of people from what has now become a restricted area, this cannot be compared in the the terms of human suffering incurred by the Chagossians over the years, but does serve as a warning to the depths society sinks when financial advantage is sought.

    In and around the 1920’s land in the Oxfordshire town was required to provide sport for the community, a fund raising campaign was organised, individuals a canvas of the townspeople and local clubs and organisations paid into the Ground Purchase Fund.

    The conveyance of the land took place in 1929, and a Private Trust deed was signed in 1936 setting out the terms of the trust.

    Over the years several parcels of land were sold off, including to Tesco Stores for £3.5m with an intermediary receiving £1.51 then some 8 years later, in 1996 a further sale of land took place to Value Retail (Bicester Village) for £1.5m.

    Bicester Town FC, were forced off the site in 2011, as the organisation that control the site the Bicester Sports Association had decided to sell the remaining land and pursue their facilities at a village location outside the town.

    Thus the football club which had a rich history and thriving social club was forced to resign and seek a new home, which has yet to be secured.

    Several questions were asked at this time regarding the trust deed from a legal perspective, also the loss of a community based sporting club and a vital green-space – if the site disappears under a sea of steel, tarmac and concrete.

    I approached the then local MP Tony Baldry, at his held surgery, who, refused to shake my hand and used an expletive in his opening gambit, towards me, which raised the alarm bells, the latest MP Victoria Prentis in more recent times informed us, that as regarding the site ‘the deal was done’ and we should move on, this was not the case as the then purchaser of the said sports ground U+I have since sold the contract, which was acquired by Value Retail. The townspeople had expressed that this would be the expected outcome – that an organisation seeing in excess of six million visitors a year to the Bicester Village retail park located next to the Oxford Road Sports Ground, would secure the land.

    The Home Secretary office has been contacted twice, but has not taken the effort to acknowledge the correspondence. The local town council have at least made the effort in labelling the site as a community asset, but it appears that the appropriate authorities who should have tested the trust and protected the communities interest, have buried their head in the sand.

    • Republicofscotland

      Roger I think the scenario you describe is a national one. In Scotland similar small land plots etc are being sold by councils, and small, local community groups are having to find other alternatives.

      One of the more prominent cases was that of Castle Toward, used and run by the community in Argyll and Bute. For it to cruely sold by the council to a private buyer.

      The local comunity who relied heavily on the building did try to buy it, and for a fair price but the council wouldn’t let them. Those councillors forget who elected them in the first place.

  • michael norton

    It seems not everyone agrees with Donald Trump and Netanyahoo that Golan should be legally recognised as Israeli and no longer Syrian.

    https://www.rt.com/news/455190-saudi-king-golan-syria-sovereignty/
    Saudi King Salman said he “absolutely rejects” any steps that would undermine Syrian sovereignty over the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights, after US President Donald Trump recognized the area as Israeli territory.
    Speaking at an Arab League event in Tunisia on Sunday, Salman also reiterated his support for a ‘two-state solution’ for Israel and Palestine, with East Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian state.

    • Republicofscotland

      Sounds to me Michael like King Salman, is preaching to the already converted. What I mean by that is he is saying what the Arab League wants to hear. Whether he means it or not, is another matter, bearing in mind Israel and Saudi Arabia are allies.

      • giyane

        “whether he means it or not ”

        The whole jihadist syndicate has been forced to utter the opposite of their inner beliefs on a temporary basis until somebody can think of something even vaguely believable to stick against Putin who has won the war against them in Syria. This isn’t too difficult for those who normally preach the opposite to Islam which is a religion of peace. All that counts is that in the double de-clutch process the words come out the direct opposite to the direct opposite of the truth.

        Sorry if that sounds complicated but that’s the basic requirement for political dialogue at the moment, like walking backwards before the monarch. Double reversing of the well-known truth.
        e.g. ERG-speak: We will vote for May’s deal if May goes. or the DUP: We will never accept the back stop ( even though we know we would be breaking the GFA if the back stop wasn’t present.)

        Is it any wonder that people are apathetic about politics when politics is enshrined in the opposite of reality? When the Soviet Union got to this level of double-think and double-speak, it collapsed.
        No government is sustainable without being comprehensible to ordinary people who can then bring ordinary approval or disapproval , support or non-support. After the melt-down of Soviet Communist bullshit Putin emerged with a clarity of vision that has defeated the USUKIS empire whose neo-con policy was frozen by contradiction and double-think.

        • Laguerre

          You’re missing out on the niceties of the situation, RoS. Firstly it’s old King Salman there, and not MbS. MbS has been severely downgraded recently, because of the Khashoggi murder, and other errors. Secondly, no Arab ruler can ever publicly admit to having a deal with Israel (if they haven’t got a peace treaty, and even then it has to be very low profile, like Jordan, who can’t refuse). Israel trumpets its so-called “success” in making deals with Saudi, but they can’t ever be admitted to by Saudi and the Gulf, because there’d be a revolt at home if they ever did. So they’re not really the deals Israel claims, although widely propagandised in the West. You’ve got it the wrong way round.

    • Charles Bostock

      Have you tried contacting Private Eye with that story? Sounds up its street.

    • Tony_0pmoc

      Roger J Wise,

      That’s nothing. They recently destroyed the school, I went to, because it was too successful. A google satellite view, makes it perfectly clear, that it was literally wiped off the map, as if it had been nuked, or hit from an enormous asteroid from outer-space.

      I know the political, religious, and ethnic displacement reasons why, but they are too painful to mention.

      Tony

    • giyane

      Roger

      Your Bicester problem is interesting. I was once chauffeuring a couple through a market town and the good lady wife of the good gentleman asked him who ” owned ” the town. ” Nobody darling ” he quickly replied to cover up her gaffe. Your problem lies somewhere on the modulated gradient of vicious parish council politics and the total shambles of Brexit. it sounds as though whoever ” owned ” Bicester got the best bid from a business conglomerate whose shareholders could easily be anywhere on the planet.

      The problem then becomes ‘ how can the town of Bicester best serve the interests of those outsiders? rather than how can those outsiders serve the inhabitants of Bicester best? As Craig points out, Blairite New Labour became deeply involved in the privatisation of communal assets. You’re right , it’s the same as Chagos, Britain sold or leased Diego Garcia to the US. There is no way to enforce a sense of responsibilty on the purchasers of the asset. Sir Alan Duncan can hide behind the word “bilateral” all he likes, but he’s lying. There is now a third party involved which is the US.

      By the time people have become “bi-” they should probably be called “poly-” , even down to using the car gearstick…

  • Sharp Ears

    Sajid Javid (a media opportunity for the leadership?) is being shown visiting an underground station in Islington where the Met are carrying out searches to discover whether any members of the public are found to be carrying knives. They are making use of a ‘knife arch’.

    Does anyone know if these arches are at all harmful to us?

    There is a description of how they work on here – https://www.insight-security.com/walk-through-metal-detectors-knife-arches
    Not cheap – over £3k

    • Charles Bostock

      If they save even one life, they are cheap.

      One would have expected those who loudly lament knife crime to welcome this initiative.

      • Charles Bostock

        And as an afterthought : even if they are harmful, less harmful than a knife blade stuck into someone’s heart, surely?

      • freddy

        Clark, my dear chap, my point is “What next”? We have no guns, so it’s knife crime; they take away the knives (apart from Masterchef contestants), scissors may be next. Before long it will be illegal to carry a sharpened banana. This will not solve anything – unless you’re looking for a convenient and acceptable way of restricting freedoms even more.

        Symptom, not cause, is always used.

        Your liberties are being taken away one step at a time. (Or perhaps loads together, if you live in New Zealand). We are in an age of mass-surveillance; never have TPTB had more control. When the full virtualisation of our lives is complete (i.e. when we cannot live by any individual agency whatsoever) we will be slaves.

        And we’ll go happily along with it, because of the shite they have been pumping into our heads from day one.

        • Ort

          The metastasizing authoritarian panopticon expands faster than the speed of sarcasm and irony.

          So it’s almost certain that some well-connected business interests are fast-tracking the development of costly state-of-the-art sharpened-banana detectors, to be installed at every public access point in the UK at taxpayers’ expense.

          There will be much fanfare: ribbon-cutting ceremonies to allow the “responsible” politicians to crow and thump their chests about their noble efforts to make the streets safe and secure for all.

          Next comes the weaponized marrow and zucchini detectors.

          • giyane

            ” Ort
            March 31, 2019 at 16:53

            The metastasizing authoritarian panopticon expands faster than the speed of sarcasm and irony.”

            Big kiss for you on your forehead. You are a poet.

      • Tony_0pmoc

        Clark,

        Last year, they made my wife go through one of them.

        I wanted to shout and scream.

        I found it the ultimate humiliation, just short of queuing up as if in Schindler’s List at Gatwick Airport.

        No one complained.

        I know someone who did. He was travelling alone. After 24 hours in solitary confinement, and examining all the evidence in the toilet, they said he was now free to go, and had committed no crime.

        He is nearly as old as me. Ex SAS. My wife met him doing next door’s garden, after he had been living on a park bench.

        That is where we are heading. In fact for many we are already there, largely thanks to Tony Blair.

        Tony

    • Charles Bostock

      In reply to your question : no, they are not harmful to human health. No more than the arches you go under at airports.

      In any event, the safe amount of radiation you get is much less harmful than a knife blade in your heart.

      This initiative by the police – and its extension to other places – is to be welcomed by anyone who genuinely wants to see this wave of deadly knife crime reversed.

      • Charles Bostock

        The Met are to be congratulated. While others wring their hands and blame the knife crime wave on the government the ^police afre actually trying to do something. To everyone’s satisfaction except those who can never be satisfied.

    • Republicofscotland

      Although some will be caught, persistent perpetrators will just adapt and use plastic or carbon fibre knives. Though there is some controversy over whether the latter is or is not detected by metal detectors in every instance.

      Here’s a carbon fibre knife being made, it makes for a deadly weapon.

      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Mzl3-ft0jXg

      • Charles Bostock

        You seem rather well informed about offensive weapons. This blog’s RoS the Carbon Knife?

  • Sharp Ears

    Chris Huhne. Where is he now since his fall from grace?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Huhne

    I ask as I have just seen his ex wife, Vicky Pryce, on Sky News giving her opinion on the current political situation. She and Huhne both went to prison for perverting the course of justice.

    • giyane

      Chris Huhne

      A man not sufficiently bribable to be bought according to the Tory custom of silencing people who think, and yet sufficiently immersed in the sordidity of government politics to believe he could do a bit of innocent perjury and get let off. I personally think he was a good politician , like John Major and like Chris Williamson, but Tories and Blairites will always stab anyone of any integrity in the back, if they won’t be bribed in the normal way. Such people will always have their weakest points splattered across the gutter press, while others of much less integrity like Arsehole Johnson are forever rising out of the sea in a flowery scollop shell like Botticelli’s Venus

    • Charles Bostock

      Sharp Ears

      The answer to your question about Chris Huhne (16:24 above) is that he is getting on with his life after having committed an offence, been convicted for it and having served the sentence imposed.

      Saddam Hussein and Muhammar Ghaddafi : where are they now since their fall from the high state of absolute dictatorship- are they sitting with Allah or burning in the flames of Hell?

      • Republicofscotland

        “are they sitting with Allah or burning in the flames of Hell?”

        Well Charles it was the Great Satan (US) that sealed their demise. Thankfully the legitimate democratically elected president of Venezuela Maduro, looks like he’ll join Assad, and escape the clutches of the Great Satan, and hell.

        • Charles Bostock

          Oh, don’t be too sure, RoS – justice may catch up with them yet. The wheels of God…….well, you know the rest 🙂

          • J

            Haven’t seen anyone so pleased about the prospect of mass slaughter since Tony Blair.

            He also said it was the will of God. Never gets old that one. Whenever anyone can’t explain their position, “a higher authority spoke to me in a very refined accent. Bush was a bit fiery but he made complete sense.”

    • Charles Bostock

      It is correct that Vicky Pryce also served time for the motoring offence affair. Before that she was a very high powered government female economist and, I’m glad to report, made it to the top all by her own efforts and ability. Of course, we are all flawed in our different ways, which is something the Pharisees among us appear to have trouble recognising.

      • Monteverdi

        Some however inadvertently display their flaws more openly and more often, eh Charles ?

    • Charles Bostock

      What I simply can’t understand is how politicians like Macron (if he were a horse, his line would be described as follows : “Out of ENA by Rothschild”) manages to attract the unqualified support of the sort of people one might call “Nanterre Man”. It’s very strange.

      • Republicofscotland

        Oh you know how it is Charles, a fairly young exciting candidate that appeals to the younger generation comes along and whispers sweet nothings into the electorates ears. Tired of the same old corrupt faces governing, they give his promises a chance.

        Not unlike Thatcher, who at first was seen as novelty, only to turn out to be a complete and utter disaster (EU deal aside which is now all but gone).

        Or Tony Blair, a young dynamic enthusiastic PM lauded from all corners, until we saw behind the mask (No not Miranda) but a dummy to Bush ‘s ventriloquist.

        Or Obama, who was considered the great democratic hope of America, only to turn out to be at war throughout his entire tenures.

      • Jack

        Charles Bostock

        Yes I cant understand that. I think those “nanterre” leftists isnt really leftists, rather liberals and that is why they like Macron.

        • michael norton

          Jack, why would anybody like or want Macron, he is like their identikit Tony Blair.

  • Charles Bostock

    Is it true that Mr George Galloway, the former Labour and “Respect” MP, apart from rarely attending the debating chamber (by his own admission) never served on one of the select or standing committees and never attempted to introduce a private member’s bill?

    If I were a Labour Party head honcho I’d think twice about re-admitting the ageing blowhard into the party, Why, the next thing you know he’d have the chutzpah to attempt to re-enter Parliament as a Labour party candidate!!

    • Republicofscotland

      Charles.

      I can’t quite speak for George Galloway’s record in the Commons, although he did stand against the illegal war in Iraq, and I don’t agree with him on several points.

      However his trouncing of the US Senate, still very entertaining to watch, and his undying commitment to the oppressed people of Palestine, more than makes up for apathy whilst within the House.

      I recommend you watch his Sputnik tv show on RT. Its produced in London, by GMS, a subsidiary of the American news agency Associated Press.

      • Charles Bostock

        I suppose Mr George Galloway hasn’t demonstrated his undying commitment to the oppressed people of Palestinr bhy actually visiting lately because the Israeli authorities have refused him entry? Or is he showing “poathy” there also?

        • Ken Kenn

          You leave George alone.

          He is threatening to stand as a Leave Candidate in the upcoming ( and they will be upcoming) EU Elections.

          So any Gammonite worth their salt will back him to the hilt so that he can stand next to the adopted german Nigel in his fight against the ‘ Establishment ‘ that appears to run Europe and nowhere else.

          ‘ The EU’s a Bosses Club!’

          Who knew?

          What puzzles me is why Lexiters though they’d be in on the process?

          Even the Tory Party wasn’t in on that and they are Tories.

          Anyway not to worry as Mays Deal will be pitted against Parliaments Deal and we’ll see where we go from there.

          Best of 124?

          Oh…and don’t forget the possibility of a GE where in if May wants one she hasn’t got the numbers but if Corbyn wants one
          he and his Parliamentary friends might just get them.

          Just in passing what’s the ‘Official Line’ on Russia post Mueller?

          Is it the Chinese we’re after now?

        • Republicofscotland

          Yes Brian, like I said in my comment above I don’t agree with George Galloway on several matters, and the one you mention is one of them. However I do agree with him on other matters.

          • BrianFujisan

            RoS

            Aye.. I Agree with GG on many things Too.. But When They ALL Gang up on Scotland..

            And Look at the Fucking States of it Now.

            UDI is the only Option.. Lest the same bbC ALL In UK MSM Lies

  • Chris

    Thank you Craig for your detailed analysis. I take two key messages from this post:
    1 The powerful are always able to call on moral authority to justify itheir own violence,
    2. The only crime against humanity we need to honour (cf Milliband) is the holocaust.
    Everything else can be ignored.

  • Sharp Ears

    Deborah Haynes has moved seamlessly from Murdoch’s Times where she was Foreign Editor to Sky News, another arm of the Murdoch empire, as their ‘Foreign Affairs Editor’.

    You have to scroll through this offering to read the full facts about the deaths and injuries inflicted on the Palestinians at the so called ‘Gaza border’. Gaza is described as an ‘enclave’. It is in fact a strip of land 25 miles long and 4.5 miles wide where 1.8 million Palestinians are virtually imprisoned. Some are allowed out through militarily controlled ‘crossings’ to go to menial jobs in Occupied Palestine, aka ‘Israel’.

    Haynes describes the ongoing slaughter.
    https://news.sky.com/story/truce-talks-between-hamas-and-israel-on-track-after-latest-gaza-protest-11680320

    So far, ‘In 2018, Israeli security forces killed 290 Palestinians, including 55 minors. Of the casualties, 254 were killed in the Gaza Strip, 34 in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and two within Israel.
    17 Jan 2019
    https://www.btselem.org/press_releases/20190117_2018_fatalities

    Thousands have been injured with many of those injuries described as ‘life changing’. Two more Palestinians have been just been killed and 112 injured. Dum dum bullets are being used, illegal under international law.
    https://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Two-dead-112-injured-in-clashes-along-Gaza-Border-Palestinians-report-585244

    • Sharp Ears

      Correction. Comcast acquired Sky News last year.

      ‘On June 19, 2018, it was reported that Disney has agreed to acquire Sky News. However, Comcast won the bidding war over the stake for £17.28 per-share, thus aligning Sky News with its NBC division of its wholly owned subsidiary NBCUniversal. Sky plc had until 11 October to formally accept this offer. On 12 October 2018, Comcast announced it will compulsorily acquire the rest of Sky after its bid gained acceptances from 95.3% of the broadcaster’s shareholders[21] and later Comcast acquired the rest of 5% of the shares of the (sic) Sky.’
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sky_News

  • Mary Pau!

    A side issue but one relevant to a discussion with my sister re council tax. Anyone have some answers please.

    Central government pays out Unemployment Pay. Local government pays social security benefits etc for registered Disabled, Unfit for work etc as part of Adult Social Care responsibilities. Is that correct? Assuming so, does local government get any grant aid from central government towards this or does it all come out of the rates? Who asesses who receives Adult Social Care payments?

    My local authority ASC budget accounts are full of the issue of pre-paid credit cards My sister tells me that these are for recipients of ASC benefits someone from local government budgets. For example her friends have a grandson who is an adult but with a mental age of 11. He gets a pre paid card and is looked after by a full time carer who budgets for him. Are carers a cost on the local authority?

    Just trying to establish the facts here.

  • David

    hope this isn’t also a joke

    reports from Washington that members or all of the Saudi Khashoggi drug/bag/dismember Special Operations assassination squad were trained under a State Department License of a CIA US-Saudi security exchange program via Arkansas based “Tier-1” and its owner Cerberus Capital Management.

    Jamal Khashoggi denies any part in his murder, as do random other folks.

    (Caution: the ‘above scooping’ author David Ignatius, of the WaPo, was famously very wrong about Muellergate and is approximately embedded with State Department according to some , including Robert Parry of Consortiumnews Dec 1st 2016 ‘orwellian war against skepticism’ article)

    • Paul Barbara

      @ David April 1, 2019 at 16:12
      Wouldn’t be at all surprising – the worst of the Latin American Death-Squads and torurers were trained in the ‘School of the Americas’, first in Panama, then I think Georgia. Congress ordered it closed down – it just carried on under a different name.

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