Geoffrey Cox’s New “Legal Advice” on Brexit Incentivises Unionist Violence 1545

Brexit has revealed further the rottenness of the British political Establishment, but I am still truly shocked now to see the Government of the United Kingdom negotiating a major international treaty on the acknowledged, discussed and now published basis that it has every intention of breaking that treaty once it is in force. Officially published by the Attorney General, no less.

The Westminster Government’s contempt for international law was fully demonstrated just two weeks ago when it repudiated the International Court of Justice – an act which is the ultimate disavowal of the rule of international law – over the decolonisation of the Chagos Islands. So in one sense it is no shock that they are prepared to sign a treaty with no intention of honoring it.

But what is quite astonishing is that the discussions with the DUP and ERG on how to sign up to the backstop and then dishonour it, have been carried out fully in public, and with the potential other party to the treaty looking on.

I simply do not see how the EU can now sign the Withdrawal Agreement which was negotiated with May, when they have been given firm evidence that the UK intends to cheat on that Agreement.

I especially cannot understand the pusillanimous attitude of the government of Ireland to this development. The UK has published in advance that it is taking Ireland and the Irish people for fools and has no intention of keeping to the Irish backstop. The reaction of the Government of Ireland is to pretend not to notice. That is an astonishing dereliction of its duty to the people of Ireland, North and South.

The more so as Geoffrey Cox’s “advice” is an unsubtle hint to the DUP, should the backstop become effective, to restart the Loyalist violence with which they were for decades so closely associated, in order to provide the pretext for cancelling the backstop. In reading this, it is essential to remember that this legal advice was written, as a matter of definite fact, directly for the DUP audience to try and influence the DUP in the next “meaningful” vote. To signal to an organisation as steeped in blood as the DUP that the way out of the “Backstop” arrangement which they so hate, would be to demonstrate it is having a “socially destabilising effect in Northern Ireland”, clearly gives a very direct incentive to Loyalists to restart violence.

Anybody who knows anything about the history and politics of Northern Ireland must be aware that what I have just written is true. At the very best reading, Cox’s “advice” is grossly irresponsible and reckless.

It is also very poor legal advice. Unlike Geoffrey Cox, I have actually negotiated a number of international treaties, including most of the UK’s continental shelf boundary agreements, the Protocol on Deep Seabed Mining to UNCLOS and the Sierra Leone Peace Agreement. Cox’s interpretation of Article 62 of the Vienna Convention on Treaties is complete nonsense. To start with, Article 62 is designed not to facilitate but to prevent treaties being dishonoured under the excuse of “unforseen circumstances”. It reads:

Article 62
Fundamental change of circumstances
1. A fundamental change of circumstances which has occurred with regard to those existing at the
time of the conclusion of a treaty, and which was not foreseen by the parties, may not be invoked as a
ground for terminating or withdrawing from the treaty unless:
(a) the existence of those circumstances constituted an essential basis of the consent of the parties to
be bound by the treaty; and
(b) the effect of the change is radically to transform the extent of obligations still to be performed
under the treaty.
2. A fundamental change of circumstances may not be invoked as a ground for terminating or
withdrawing from a treaty:
(a) if the treaty establishes a boundary; or
(b) if the fundamental change is the result of a breach by the party invoking it either of an obligation
under the treaty or of any other international obligation owed to any other party to the treaty.
3. If, under the foregoing paragraphs, a party may invoke a fundamental change of circumstances
as a ground for terminating or withdrawing from a treaty it may also invoke the change as a ground for
suspending the operation of the treaty.

Very plainly indeed, neither 1 a) nor 1 b) apply to the situation Cox outlines. Just not working out the way you intended is not grounds to dishonor a treaty. Social discontent in Northern Ireland would not radically transform the obligations under the treaty nor is social content the essential basis of consent to the treaty.

The second, and frankly hilarious, point is that Cox’s advice is demonstrably nonsense. To permit the dishonoring of the treaty, a change in circumstance must not only be “fundamental” it must also be “unforeseen”. Yet in his legal advice Cox foresees and specifies the “unforeseen” event that might lead to cancellation!

I rest my case.

It is worth reminding you – as the MSM refuse to do – that the Tory Brexiteers oppose the Good Friday Agreement, and destroying it is to them a potential gain from Brexit rather than a disaster to be averted. Remember this by Michael Gove, asserting that the British military option would be better than the Good Friday Agreement?

Ulster’s future lies, ultimately, either as a Province of the United
Kingdom or a united Ireland. Attempts to fudge or finesse that
truth only create an ambiguity which those who profit by violence
will seek to exploit. Therefore, the best guarantee for stability is the
assertion by the Westminster Government that it will defend, with
all vigour, the right of the democratic majority in Northern Ireland
to remain in the United Kingdom. Ulster could then be governed
with an Assembly elected on the same basis as Wales, and an
administration constituted in the same way. Minority rights should
be protected by the same legal apparatus which exists across the
UK. The legislative framework which has guaranteed the rights and
freedoms of Roman Catholics and ethnic minorities in Liverpool
and London should apply equally in Belfast and Belleek…

In such circumstances, resolute security action, the use of
existing antiterrorist legislation and the careful application of
intelligence could reduce the IRA to operating as it did in the fifties
and sixties. Combining such security measures with a political
determination not to allow Ulster’s constitutional status to be altered
by force of arms would rob the republicans of hope.
It can be done. But does any Government have the will?

Interestingly enough, after I published an article on Gove’s 58 page pamphlet attacking the Good Friday Agreement, the Tory think tank which published it, the Centre for Policy Studies, immediately took it down from the web. I have, however, copied it to my own website.

By chance, my next couple of speaking engagements are in Northern Ireland. This is not the subject I was intending to discuss, but I never know what I am going to say when I stand up anyway. Happy to answer questions on anything.


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1,545 thoughts on “Geoffrey Cox’s New “Legal Advice” on Brexit Incentivises Unionist Violence

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  • Mary Pau!

    I am really struggling to understand the current position. What did J-C Juncker agree with Theresa May re the Backstop? did Geoffrey Cox say that their agreement had no legal standing? Does it all boil down to the fact that so long as the Good Friday Agreement remains in place, the UK cannot legally leave the EU ?

    • N_

      You could it put it like that. Or at least, not without staying in the single market and customs union.

      And if Britain leaves those two arrangements, the Irish government will be in a bit of a quandary because it will either have to break the Good Friday Agreement or it will have to break the EU treaties that will require it to impose strict border checks on its border with a third country.

      Incidentally if Sinn Fein’s MPs had turned up in the House of Commons chamber yesterday they could have voted for Hilary Benn’s amendment and it would have won.

      Against loyalists stuck in 1690, perhaps it’s time for Sinn Fein to unstick themselves from 1919?

      • Vivian O'Blivion

        Sinn Fein are on thin ice. The Irish Times poll from last week had 64% of Catholics stating that Sinn Fein should attend Westminster. Tolerance of tax funded salaries for no show jobs must have all but reached breaking point.
        Perhaps the merge of SDLP and Fianna Fáil will offer a viable alternative to the nationalist population. Can’t say I know enough to confidently predict.

    • Jimmeh

      “Does it all boil down to the fact that so long as the Good Friday Agreement remains in place, the UK cannot legally leave the EU ?”

      I don’t think that’s quite right; the ‘clean’ brexit that is currently the only legal outcome of this mess would, as far as I can see, render the GFA moot.

      The GFA doesn’t ban a hard border in the Irish Sea, only between Northern Ireland (note: that is not the same as Ulster) and the Ireland that was formerly Eire. A clean (or hard) brexit (without a deal) would appear to force a border in one or the other. I hope the UK doesn’t walk away from the GFA (as Gove and Cox seem to be favouring). I have long wanted to see a united Ireland – which would mean (following any meaningful brexit) a border in the Irish Sea. The GFA is set up so that in the long term, the reunification of Ireland is more-or-less inevitable.

      If there is a deal, then the EU will rightly insist that that deal is compliant with the GFA (they are co-guarantors with the UK of the GFA). That means either a customs union, or a border in the Irish Sea. But May is opposed to the customs union (because it implies free movement of people) and the maritime border (because the DUP wouldn’t stand for it). So I anticipate a no-deal brexit, with a new border between the north and the south, in violation of the GFA.

      As Craig has noted, the UK violating treaties is the new normal.

      • N_

        “The GFA doesn’t ban a hard border in the Irish Sea”

        It bans any change in the status of Northern Ireland “save with the consent of a majority of its people” (paragraph 1(3)). It’s just about possible to argue that creating a maritime border between NI and GB and policing it with customs cutters wouldn’t change NI’s status, even if gangsters continue to drive packed lorries freely across Ireland’s land border, because “status” should be interpreted as a binary choice between remaining part of the Union or becoming part of a united Ireland, leaving all other aspects of status for the concern of pedants only. But it would be a monumental case of taking the piss. And the DUP Antichrist boys don’t like it when people take the piss, not one bit.

    • Vivian O'Blivion

      Remove the DUP and their flat out refusal to countenance Customs checks at Belfast and Larne and the WA is compatible with the GFA (accepting that NI remains in the Customs Union with the EU). Theresa would take that deal in a nanosecond were it not for her reliance on the DUP. Theresa could spin leaving NI in the Customs Union as a “principled stance” as this does reflect the opinion of a substantial majority (59%) of the population of Ulster.
      There are already checks at Belfast and Larne on the movement of cattle. To quote Papa Doc, “our people are British, our cows are Irish”. I assume these checks are not conducted by uniformed, foot mobile Customs Officials. The DUP are implacable regards the indivisibility of NI from the mainland except of course when they ain’t.

      • N_

        “I assume these checks are not conducted by uniformed, foot mobile Customs Officials.”

        In the DUP’s imagination any customs checks they don’t want might as well be conducted by Hail Mary-saying rosary-fiddling IRA men straight outta mass.

    • MJ

      “Does it all boil down to the fact that so long as the Good Friday Agreement remains in place, the UK cannot legally leave the EU ?”

      I think it means that so long as the Good Friday Agreement remains in place Ireland, the UK and the EU cannot legally erect a hard border (no-one wants to of course except the EU).

      • Clark

        “no-one wants to of course except the EU”

        MJ, that’s utter nonsense. You know full well that the Brexiteers want to close the borders; that’s the main feature of Brexit that you lot have been clamouring for, “control of our borders”, “no mass immigration”, “end freedom of movement” – isn’t that last one of May’s “red lines”? Closing the borders has been the major thrust of the Brexit campaign. Plus, England’s colonial history is the source of much non-EU immigration into the UK, and we have really close ties with the Jihadis, as proven over and over again by terrorist attacks in the UK; the EU would be insane to just leave a gaping hole after Westminster has dropped out of security cooperation.

        Really MJ, I had come to expect better of you than that.

        • Tony

          As I have pointed out to you before, the UK has never had a hard border with the ROI, and Irish citizens have always had unrestricted access to and residency rights in the UK.

          Westminster has maintained the position that it wants to keep security cooperation with the EU post-brexit.

          • Clark

            And as I have pointed out to you, it isn’t the Republic of Ireland to Great Britain border that is the issue; it’s the Northern Ireland to the Republic border, and there very much was a hard border there until the Good Friday Agreement. And assuming Brexit, there will need to be again, in order for Westminster to maintain security cooperation with the EU.

            You present the most ludicrous argument. Post Brexit, which people enter or leave Great Britain will not be known to the EU. Therefore the EU could not permit simply anyone to travel between the EU and Great Britain, bypassing being checked just by routing through Northern Ireland (checking unacceptable to the DUP) and then the Republic (checking denied by you).

          • Tony

            Nope. The border was never ‘hard’. How could it be, when citizens of the ROI had free right of entry and exit? You are conflating business tariffs with people movements.

            And, as I have pointed out to you, the security and business arrangements can be comfortably controlled by technology. There will be no mass immigration from the south to the north, despite the scaremongering tactics of highly disingenuous remainers such as yourself.

            Tell you what, Clark, instead of all the hypothetical to-and-fro, how about we do a rain check until things settle down post-brexit? One of us will be proven to be mostly right.

          • Clark

            Tony, I’m not particularly a Remainer, but I do recognise contradictions when I see them, and I do think that a plan for a complex constitutional change has to consist of a set of defined objectives rather than just the word “leave”, and blaming problems on anyone and everyone else.

            Still, England has had it coming for a very long time.

    • Leftleaver

      “Does it all boil down to the fact that so long as the Good Friday Agreement remains in place, the UK cannot legally leave the EU ?”
      That is not a fact.
      If Ireland were to leave too, that would solve the problem.
      Even if there were no problem, ‘Eirexit’ would be in the best interests of the people of Ireland.
      So if the Irish government consider it more important to remain part of the EU empire than to have a frictionless border and peace in the North, then they simply have their priorities wrong.

      • Millsy

        Are you , perchance , the BBC’s John Humphrys in disguise ? That was his solution recently to the Brexit problem , suggesting to an Irish Minister during interview that Ireland ( ignoring the weight of history ) should simply rejoin the UK . Simples !

      • Vivian O'Blivion

        You’re gonna wanna think that one through Leftleaver.
        You suggest that Ireland leaves the EU on advice of its government. That is to say, the Irish people are not given a direct say. What if we had included the Irish in the 2016 referendum?

        Polls put support for the EU in Ireland at between 85 and 90%.
        Population of Ireland is 4.8M. 0.85 x 4.8 = 4.1M.
        Leave win in the UK by a margin of 4%.
        Population of the UK is 66M. 0.04 x 66 = 2.46M

        Outcome = Remain by a 2% margin.

      • nevermind

        If if if leftleaver. Ireland choose to stay in the EU you call ’empire’ and the EU has to somehow keep the integrity of its borders, as well as keeping its citizens safe from pseudo white helmets/jihadis/all sorts of needy mercenaries they once accosted.

        Another small but very important point. You speak as if the GFA is just a matter of NI, Eire and the Uk/England.
        It is not, the GFA is an internationally ratified agreement, not some non binding clapped out referendum by liars.

    • michael norton

      The IRA/Sinn Fein have to first kiss the Queen’s ring before being sworn in as sitting M.P.’s
      in other words they have to recognise that the United Kingdom exists and they are part of the United Kingdom.

      • michael norton

        Sinn Féin ‘England get out of Ireland’ banner – this in New York on Saint Patrick’s Day
        Ulster Unionist leader Robin Swann called for an explanation, and said the poster was
        “highly offensive and wrong on so many levels”.

        Perhaps Sinn Fein should remember that Saint Patrick was British?

  • N_

    @Craig – Here’s something else on Michael Gove, further illustration of how well he connects with Protestant supremacism. He has used the phrase “continuity Catholic” in Theresa May’s direction and he has called her “Britain’s first Catholic prime minister”.

    His exact words:

    The principle of Lenten sacrifice, of giving up something cherished to recall the 40 days Jesus spent in the wilderness, is a discipline observed by many Christians. But it is particularly a feature of Catholic practice. And Theresa May is, I believe, Britain’s first Catholic prime minister. An Anglo-Catholic rather than a Roman Catholic, but no less a Catholic for that. One of the many wonders of the Anglican Church is that it comprehends both those who think of themselves as definitively Protestant in the tradition of Thomas Cranmer and those who believe they are continuity Catholics practising a spirituality and believing in a theology that has passed down from St Augustine to Pusey and Keble. Theresa May’s father, Hubert Brasier, was a priest who very much subscribed to the latter tradition.

    For those who don’t already know, Gove is using the “assimilation method”.

  • frankywiggles

    Yes a very clear wink to say: pull out the orange terror card again. Worked like a charm for us a century ago, time to deploy it again. Difference being, a century ago the British government knew better than to signpost their evil intent to the entire world, let alone publicly publish it in black and white. Who knows why Varadkar is remaining silent. Unfortunately he does comes across as somebody who can be very easily bulldozed.

    • remember kronstadt

      ‘Unfortunately he does comes across as somebody who can be very easily bulldozed.’

      A small nation on the, now, outer disconnected fringe of europe with an unfriendly neighbour that is politicking with malicious intent. So what’s Varadkar to do? Is the EU going to provide support and comfort for the financial losses that will follow brexit – I suspect not. The establishment in the ‘UK’ is, like a dog and it’s vomit, returning to the Union mantra as a sacred and eternal glory. In times of stress always looking back – elysian fields of empire inhabited by knights on unicorns.

      • Muscleguy

        The gatling and maxim guns put paid to cavalry on the field of battle, unicorns, horses, camels or even elephants. I believe mule, donkey or ass drawn chariots get caught in the same crossfire.

        In fact the repeating rifle put paid to cavalry charging infantry even, recall the order flouted in that famous Crimean charge: horse do not charge guns. Even in the Crimea the horse were there to defend against other horse, screen the flanks, scout, advance and rearguard etc.

        My Great Uncle went to war in August 1914 mounted on a horse but he was mounted infantry (Yeomanry), one in ten to hold the horses while the rest go forward to firing positions with their carbines. Their sabres were for inter mounted encounters should they happen. He was dismounted into the trenches when things bogged down but in 1917 was part of the allied forces sent to bolster the Italians in the Po Valley. He was back on his horse patrolling the Dolomites. This I gathered was rather fun, shooting trout in mountain streams and tossing Mills bombs in mountain ponds as an alternative fishing method.

        As a wide-eyed 8yo I once asked him if he had been in a cavalry charge (not understanding mounted infantry tactics). He replied that since he was still there, no.

        At Waterloo the British rifle corps used the flash of French officer gorget’s to target them. The gorget was the last vestige of armour for the troops. There are enough examples of musket ball holes in Cuirassier breastplates as examples of how they were simply there to deflect sabre cuts or lances from other cavalry.

  • Isa

    Craig will you be speaking in Dublin by any chance ? I’d love to go to one of these talks but not possible to travel north during the week .

    I met Ray McGovern yesterday night at a public meeting here . What an absolute privilege .

    • Charles Bostock

      Glad to see that McGovern is up and about and in robust health. Last time he was written about on here he was apparently at death’s door, having been brutally ejected from a meeting which he was of course not disrupting by a fascist security guard in the pay of the PTB. The word was that he had suffered several serious injuries.
      So it is good to see that he’s made such a splendid recovery.

      • Isa

        Charles , Ray McGovern was “sound “yesterday , as people say around here , with an elasticity of thought and knowledge that only very few habe These days . In simple words , he makes a difference for the good of human kind and the world .

        I gather you ,fortunately , never experienced a fascist dictatorship in your lifetime . I have . It gives me the gift of insight to detect the truth behind comments similar to yours in less than one split second . It’s ilike a genetic intuition one develops. Give it up . You’re wasting your typing time on me .

        I have told you before . I give my thumb an extra scrolling down exercise when I see your name in a post . Do oblige and do the same with mine .

      • Borncynical

        In view of your interest in Ray McGovern and his well being, I presume you saw the video of him being wrestled to the ground and pinned there by two or three young, burly security officers with his arms behind his back and his glasses broken on the floor. A real physical threat to security – well, like any vocal, opinionated 79 year old would be. And, yes, in spite of your sarcasm, at that age the injuries he suffered would be deemed serious.

  • DiggerUK

    I am hopeful that brexit can assist the impetus for referenda is North and South Ireland to hopefully reunite Ireland as a sovereign nation.
    I am convinced that a united Ireland would only be possible if it meant being part ofthe commonwealth. Unionism has felt themselves betrayed by British Governments, but never felt they have been betrayed by the crown. I don’t think that anti crown history would deter enough nationalist republicans if the prize was reunification. Dissident republicans would do what dissidents do.

    The backstop is a little easier to explain than answer what jazz is I believe. But I am more of the opinion that a no deal exit, as opposed to a negotiated deal exit would help towards persuading minds that reunification is good.
    Just asking…_

    • remember kronstadt

      I suspect that the ex-colonies have a higher expectation of the ‘commonwealth’ than the english. In over seventy years I can’t recall any conversation when the word has cropped up. Likewise, never directly heard people speaking in esperanto. Is it because, despite being good ideas, they didn’t connect?

      • DiggerUK

        Well, the elected leader of Sinn Fein has mentioned “Commonwealth” quite a few times in the last 70 weeks, and so has the ex leader of the DUP leader Peter Robinson. Times change…_

    • giyane

      Digger UK

      Thatcher also lined up all the chess pieces over the poll tax and the grownups in her own party got the chloroform. Is it female guile or gross incompetence to ignore the entire world in the hop of public life. We are already having to work quite hard pretending this border in Ireland is just a trade border not an immigration border.
      Now Craig tells us May plans to eat terror vomit on the international border deliberately.

      Is that clever or unbelievably unwise?

  • Keith

    Well am I the only one that spotted this..No second referendum as the people have spoken..But lets try a third time for my deal…..What a joke ….

    • DiggerUK

      A rerun of the 2016 referendum is, I agree, not worth considering.
      But as parliament can’t agree what to do, a NEW referendum, with plebiscite authority, would definitely sort the chaos out. Transferable/preferential votes. No deal brexit, or May’s negotiated brexit, or remain. These are all the issues under discussion in parliament that would be sorted out by the many citizens, not the few parliamentarians, with a NEW referendum.

      May can be castigated and ridiculed all you like, but I see her getting ALL the chess pieces nudged exactly where she wants them. ..OK, it does help being up against incompetents, but she will get her deal accepted, or we crash out, or it’s a referendum. Whatever happens, it will be with her at the tiller…_

      Labour Party has a lot of members and mp’s pushing for a referendum. (I have rejoined the LP, so know this to be the case)
      Libs, (1)Green, SNP, DUP, are in support of, or elected by transferable/ preference votes…_

      • nevermind

        Who can vote on their and their childrens future?
        If it its done by STV and there are three choices, will ballot papers with one vote option be counted? If not, why not?
        Lastly, why is the Labour party not advocating to drag voters into the 21st. Century with a law stipulating fair and proportional elections at all levels?
        Could be a vote winner once voters realise that everyones vote count and that voting makes sense again.

        • DiggerUK

          Ballots with three options are valid with 1, 2, or 3 votes cast. The1,2,3, represents the electors order of preferences. You don’t have to exercise all your choices. Many elections in the UK are done on these kind of ballots.

          “why is the Labour Party not advocating to drag voters into the 21st century” ……is something I, as a rejoining Labour Party member, will attempt to find out…_

      • Stephen Ambartzakis

        Let’s keep having referenda until we get the result that we want? Really?

  • Lorna Campbell

    I do not share your shock, Mr Murray, because I can see that they can neither go forward nor backward. It was and remains all about England. That is the fundamental mistake we all, in the three satellite parts of the UK, fail to understand time and time again: we think, no, they won’t do that, they can’t do that. Yet, they almost always do. Brexit is a kind of madness that has gripped England, and certainly its ruling elite. If Brexit is reneged on, if A50 is revoked, the Tories (and Labour) know perfectly well that the lieges will revolt. We have to remember that the parliament, in a show of cowardice, turned the whole shebang over to ‘the people’, and the people have spoken, the b******s. Very few of them wanted, or want, Brexit, but they knew, and know, that many, many of their constituents did and do, even though those same constituents had no real concept of what Brexit would mean except that they wanted out of both the SM and the CU. That is what they voted for and what they demand or they will not sit back like the Scots while they are kicked around like a football. That is what Brexit really means, and even the dangerous situation in NI is a price worth paying to keep the Tory party and England intact.

    • Dungroanin

      They could just vote to show their displeasure by a greater margin for brexit then before. That would serve the bastards right. Hrumph.

      They could also have a riot too if they really want.

      They, they, they …

      Sorry, not convinced. What was turned over to the people was a coin toss, a dumb binary two dimensional decision. In or Out. Heads or tails? When what was inevitable but ignored was the third dimension – where along the Z-axis? The Withdrawal Agreement and its negotiating parameters – set unilaterally by the PM of the day, May, without consultation with all the other parties in Parliament!

      If you and 32 people had to decide something and 16 said one Thing and 16 said not that Thing, without being agreed on what else instead of that Thing. You would have the deciding vote. Would you go with the 16 who agree with a specific Thing or the other 16 who don’t agree on a specific alternative to the Thing?

      Would you think that was a decisive majority – 1 out of 33 – to proceed?

      • Lorna Campbell

        I was not trying to be unduly negative, Dungroanin, just realistic. How do you frame a second EU referendum (or, indeed, any) on a multiple question ballot paper? We tried that, remember, in Scotland, with Scottish and Council elections. Disaster. We have not, since 2016, challenged the obvious: that this was a crisis of Englishness in a world changing fast. Most Scots had not even thought of getting out of the EU except, perhaps, those who saw it as just another useless union (mostly YES/Leavers); the NI also appeared happy enough with the status quo; Wales voted for Brexit, but are less keen now, but, perhaps not for the reasons that anti Brexiteers in England would recognize. Only England voted decisively for Leave. I absolutely agree that a second vote might solve all the problems of the anti Brexiteers by revoking A50, but what of the Brexiteers who have already voted for Brexit? Few have even attempted to address their concerns at all as to why they thought that coming out of the EU might help their situation. I fear they would not like the answers if they tried – not that I believe that everyone who voted for Brexit were and are racists. They were people who are living in a crisis of identity, a crisis of Englishness that seems to be under threat, and a crisis of lack of jobs and opportunities in working class communities, particularly in the Midlands and the North. You may well get a Remain vote second time around, although that is not a given, by any means, but what then? How do you assuage the rage that will surely accompany the overturning of their vote, the vote that parliament itself was too cowardly to take but passed on to ‘the people’? England is not Scotland. We patiently wait for the next kicking. English people do not. They will riot; they will take to the streets; they will create havoc. The politicians know that; they know they will be deselected; they know they will have unleashed a rage that will be extremely hard to contain. Revocation of A50 would be the sane, practical thing to do for the greater good, but it will not happen for the reasons I have stated. None of us will remain unaffected if England implodes. This will play out till the bitter end and no one will win. Just to add: the very real antipathy towards the Union, in Scotland, is nothing like England’s turmoil, into which we have all been dragged; it is a thing apart; and the two are vastly different in their origins. Brexit or no Brexit will not solve Scotland’s deep, underlying problems that are part and parcel of the Union, and have little to do with Brexit except that it was the catalyst that brought it to the fore now.

        • Clark

          This is the most perceptive, intelligent conversation on the underlying emotional motivations for Brexit that I have so far seen.

          It never was the British empire, it was the English empire, and these are its death throes.

        • Dungroanin

          Sorry for the delay in replying Lorna, I’m on travels.

          I have to disagree that English exceptionalism was the root cause of brexit voters, that is another gambit of the Identity Politics divide and conquer stategy of the Robber Barons. One which is being pushed more now than at the time.

          Yes many were targeted with various red-rags in areas which voted Leave, through multiple means such as FB adverts – a billion were served up in short period of times; telesales type operations etc. We don’t know what ads and how many versions though Cummings was crowing about it immediately afterwards.
          It worked. FB refuses to cooperate and release what , who, when and how much.

          There were many proximate causes why people voted for Leave including the mischievious ‘for a laugh’ because the polls were telling everyone upto to the vote that Remain had a healthy margin – the polls lied and still lie

          There was but one ultimate reason that people were persuaded by the various lies – Austerity. Years of it. It was a long term operation and plan. Involving global interests.

          The question is why? The answer is as usual follow the money.

          So please don’t tell me it was about the Englishman and his castle – there are not many who have pure ‘englishness’ whatever that is.

          • Clark

            Dungroanin, it was the voters in England that secured the Brexit vote, and there are various aspects of it that are English. Scotland has more independent media for a start. And when I’m in Scotland, I find it much easier to have intelligent political conversations with people. That’s remarkably rare in Essex where I live. Either I get social disapproval for talking about politics at all, or the conversation is unlikely to rise above utterly stupid. One well respected gentleman in my parish actually hit me with his riding crop when I told him I voted Remain – not hard, it was a prank not an attack, but nevertheless. He said I’d “let the side down”.

          • glenn_nl

            Jesus, Clark – I’d hang around rougher pubs if I were you! Perhaps Tony 0 can suggest one?

  • Kempe

    Craig, Patrick Henningsen, Catherine Shakdam and Ray McGovern are all conspiracy theorists. Henningsen runs conspiracy website 21stCenturyWire and has links with infowars and neo-Nazi Alex Jones. Shakdam contributed to a book claiming the French terror attacks were “false flags”.

    Do you really think it a good idea to share a platform with these people?

      • Charles Bostock

        Well, it would have been a good criterion on which to judge Goering and Kaganovich, wouldn’t it (to take two examples you’re surely acquainted with).

        • bj

          I just knew that some nutter would create the single step from Ray McGovern to Joseph Goebbels.

        • Clark

          No, guilt by association is never a good way to judge; it merely looks that way – through the retroscope. And guilt by two degrees of separation, as Kempe’s method turns out to be (see below), would convict virtually anyone of virtually anything.

    • Clark

      Kempe, I have had a quick look at articles by Patrick Henningsen, Catherine Shakdam and Ray McGovern, and I have found no support for conspiracy theories. I shall dismiss your allegation unless you can cite examples.

      • Clark

        You’ll need several convincing examples for each, since I have seen plenty of well evidenced articles from Ray McGovern, and Catherine Shakdam has written for American Herald Tribune, Huffington Post and Middle East Eye.

        • Charles Bostock

          So many of these people – and others of their stripe like Thierry Meyssan, Neil Clarke, the egregious “Professor” Michel Chussodovsky (or is it Chossudovsky), Chris Spivvey and so on – do hold some very curious views. Most are zany but relatively harmless but the piece about Henningsen and vaccinces is particularly shocking. Perhaps even evil.

          • Clark

            None of the articles about vaccines are by Henningsen. You could just as well dismiss the entirety of the Mail, the Express, the Times, the Telegraph, and the Spectator because John Dellingpole is a global warming denier.

          • Clark

            And don’t be so melodramatic; without MMR, the sky won’t fall in. It is a great shame that the polio eradication programme was so badly damaged by a conspiracy theory, but the MMR-autism hoax was given its enormous initial boost by the British mainstream press, and I don’t see you calling that ‘evil’.

        • Clark

          21stcenturywire link – a minority of articles look decidedly dodgy, but the worst is from four years ago, and the majority seem to touch on vaccines in other contexts, including corporate media collusion with big pharma. But at an apparent rate of one dodgy article every two years, this compares very favourably against medical nonsense in the mainstream media, as documented in Goldacre’s Bad Science. I agree the worst should be retracted, but again, the corporate media have many times more to retract and have not done so.

          catherine-shakdam link: Catherine Shakdam is NOT the author of that book, and contributed only ONE chapter; without reading it no more can be said. The book rightly raises the possibility that the massacre was a Gladio B operation, a NATO secret services programme known to exist through the legally suppressed revelations of 9/11 whistle-blower Sibel Edmonds:

          Amazon link: That DVD is from thirteen years ago. Yes, some of the contributors held untenable theories; they had probably been taken in by false physics arguments which they were not competent to judge. But there is nothing recent from Ray McGovern supporting those theories, nor any continued connection between him and those other contributors.

          I’d like to give you 2/10 Kempe, but against the context of the corporate media, I can really only award 1/10, and anything under 5/10 is merely a smear job.

          • Tony

            Whilst I’m sympathetic to the argument you support on this issue, Clark, You do yourself no favours with your weak, smart-arse disingenuity, exemplified by claiming that someone ONLY contributed a chapter to a book, as though it were some random contribution. Prevarication alert!!!

          • Clark

            Could every contributor know what every other contributor was going to write? Could every one of them have contributed last, when they could judge whether the overall book was appropriate to include their own contribution? If not, Shakdam’s chapter must be judged on its own merits rather than by a throwaway remark about the book as a whole.

          • Tony

            Clark, I would be astonished if an author contributed a chapter to a book without finding out who else was contributing. And I’d be equally astonished if all the contributing authors were not given a copy of the proofs to read prior to publication.

        • Ken Kenn

          I’ll tell you what, if most posters on here are right then nearly all the comments board is populated by spies and conspiracy theories.

          I like a good conspiracy theory as much as the next man or woman.

          But I’ll let you into a secret – not all conspiracy theories are true and not all of them are untrue.

          Whether they can be proved is a different matter.

          If you and I live until we’re about 140 the truth may come out in released government documents.

          Therefore it is all opinion.

          The problem with liars is that they need a very good memory in order to keep up the pretence.

          I won’t go too deep but as you know The Salisbury saga started with A doorknob ( there isn’t one ) and a policeman
          who was at the bench and then the house later and so on and so on. It turns out he wasn’t and it was a Colonel who tende to the pair on the bench.

          Lovely pictures of two Russians and non of the victims.

          Is it any wonder that some people are skeptikal at least?

          Melting beams 9/11 – ( you need a Bessemer plant for that ) and defying all laws of physics ( sack Newton – sack Einstein as we’ve had enough of experts ) and so on and so on.

          It would be alright if all the government supporters just said their piece as evidence and stayed out of the way but the MSM has the annoying habit of re-inforcing lies. As if lying once wasn’t enough they have to reiterate ( with pictures for the Schmucks) to keep the pretence up. ‘ You do believe us don’t you? ‘ is the plea.

          Current stuff:

          Tell me this: If the New Zealand attack was on a Synagogue do you think it would have gone round the internet as quickly with some live commentators cheering the killing on?

          Do you think The Sun/Mirror and other news organisations in an effort to beat their competitors to the news punch

          Quite rightly it wouldn’t. It’s voyeurism of the worst kind promoted by a media that insinuates that all muslims are a potential threat to western world.

          May’s condolences were nauseating.

          I think the US government is extremely dangerous and I have never liked a President they have elected – ever.

          The American Dream is actually a nightmare and nothing else. A nightmare that will get worse like Freddy Kruger movie.

          But I am not in favour of shooting or terrorising the Americans as a people because I don’t like the way they vote and live.

          Trump’s a buffoon but he’s their buffoon – they can unelect him eventually.

          Watch out for the next conspiracy theory in this case and this will be due to two members of the Five Eyes having being blinded by the idea that you don’t need to look at white racist threats just the funny tinged ones. Or Trump Putin and Corbyn – that’s all the Guardian does these days.

          As informational guide on the matter see; Bill Binney – Wikipedia it.

          I’ll look at it and I’ll have an opinion about it.

          Whether it’s the ‘ Truth’ I won’t know for about 140 years and neither will you.

          End of.

          • Clark

            “I like a good conspiracy theory as much as the next man or woman.”

            Well I hate them because our new media has given us a way past the censors and gatekeepers, but it’s awash with conspiracy theories which are rendering it useless. I don’t care which ‘side’ they come from, mainstream or alternative; they’re all destructive, because it’s

            Truth, Justice, Peace.

            You can’t have peace without justice, and justice has to be based upon truth. But we’re not clearing the first hurdle, truth.

            “the MSM has the annoying habit of re-inforcing lies”

            Yeah but the general public are just as bad, and sometimes even worse. The Internet has given us an alternative to the MSM, but we haven’t risen to the challenge. The Internet has given us power, but we have neglected that with power comes responsibility.

            The collapses of the Twin Towers defied Newton’s laws without explosives? Bang! Your anti-war argument just lost all credibility with anyone who can do physics. MMR causes autism? Bang! You’ve just blown your anti-profit argument with the entire scientific medical and epidemiology community. Where will they go? Back to the MSM perchance?

            How can such nonsense still be doing the rounds nearly twenty years on? If I were a conspiracy theorist I could accuse you, Ken Kenn, of deliberately corrupting the alternative media to discredit it. Because there is such a thing as conspiracy theory, and that’s one of its features; anyone who says “no that’s wrong” gets dismissed as “an agent” instead of their argument being considered.

            Yeah, “conspiracy theory” gets used as a slur, but that only works because there are conspiracy theories. To identify one, you need to ask “does this conspiracy have a limit?” Are nearly all the experts of the entire relevant fields conspiring to mislead the public? No matter which country they work in, no matter who they work for or even if they’re retired? If you need to answer “yes”, you’re dealing with an actual conspiracy theory.

            And what rides on the back of this? Why, thirty years of denial of climate science, riding on the actual conspiracy theory that absolutely swathes of scientists, and every major scientific institution in the world, are conspiring to mislead the public. No secret files or decades of restrictions; you can go and read the scientific papers yourself, just like my previous two examples. But over thirty years this has been turned from a problem into an existential nightmare, by a conspiracy theory carried in both MSM and alternative media, and deliberately promoted by the fossil fuel industry.

            We all need to learn critical thinking, and we need to learn it decades ago. Information is the water we drink, and we desperately need to stop polluting it for each other.

          • freddy

            Interesting to note we are always taught to trust authority figures than question them. Ideologues also.

          • freddy

            PS – perhaps the impending destruction of the world through ecological disaster could be the most conspiratorial of theories yet. You have no proof. (Yet, ofc ;))

          • Clark

            The mainstream ‘news’ media typically present “scientists” as authority figures, but science is about evidence, and how well various theories fit with it.

            The three examples I have cited – Twin Tower demolition theory, MMR causes autism theory, and global warming denial theory – are all conspiracy theories, because they each require the overwhelming majority of relevant scientists to be engaged, not in science, but in deliberately fixing their work to systematically mislead everyone else, including scientists not in on it and enthusiastic amateurs like me.

            Don’t underestimate the complexity of the task. It would require that a convincing but misleading theory was worked out in advance, such that it would remain convincing as further evidence was gathered, ie. the real science had to be done first, such that the fake version could be crafted such that incoming data could be dishonestly accounted for. Or, or possibly additionally, fake data had to be decided upon by working the fake theory backwards, and then all the scientists or bodies that would usually collect real data would have to be co-opted and coordinated to release the fake data, but with differing fake experimental error added to make it look like real data (because there’s a field of science for spotting such fraud; it’s called forensic statistics, and it’s mostly used in finance and accounting, but you can bet that some people do it as a hobby).

            Who crafted this massive deception? Did the entire relevant scientific community double their workload, ie. the secret real science, plus the secret fake science that would eventually replace their normal output? Or did super-intelligent aliens do it and then hand it out to the normal scientists to copy up? And where was it done? Typically, science is developed in the publicly accessible scientific literature, a vast body of work that is constantly being added to. So the secret real science, and the fake science for release, would have to be developed collaboratively in secret, before being released into the regular scientific literature, in a piecemeal manner to make it look convincing.

            Do you see why this is called a conspiracy theory? Really, the conspiracy is by far its most important feature.

          • Clark

            How on Earth does this work with global warming? The climate science community said that CO2 would make the world warm, and the icecaps would start receding. So what really happened? They actually worked out that something else would make the icecaps recede, but blamed it on CO2 so that governments could raise more tax? Or they’re coordinating with the military, who have found a big enough power source to melt the ice to make it look convincing, and yet governments are still fighting over oil resources in the Middle East and the CIA are trying to foment a coup in Venezuela just for the sake of it? Or the scientists gambled that the ice would melt anyway and they just got lucky?

            Occam’s razor, mate. It’s just true.

          • Clark

            Grief, by presenting the odd scientist here and there as an authority figure, rather than presenting evidence ie. actual science, the mainstream media has a lot to answer for.

            Science isn’t about “trusting authority figures”. Quite the opposite. Scientists don’t become famous or win the Nobel Prize by confirming old work. We wouldn’t have much science if that were the case. We’d have no GPS in our Android devices (Einstein’s relativity). We’d have no Android devices (quantum physics for semiconductors).

            And again, it’s the mainstream media presenting the “impending destruction of the world”, not science. The science says that human activity is changing the biosphere more rapidly than at any time in the fossil record. But the world isn’t going away any time soon:


        • Borncynical

          Re the vaccine article:

          Intro inserted by 21 CenturyWire “We encourage you to read it [the article], but also do your own research from other sources to compare and contrast, in order to make up your own mind”.

          Not good enough for you? So you object to differing views being postulated in public and readers being encouraged to consider all angles? A perfect MSM stooge.

    • Sharp Ears

      I trust that Ray McGovern has recovered from the roughing up he received at a US hearing last year in the Capitol.

      ‘Because she wasn’t giving any straight answers, Ray McGovern, a CIA veteran of 27 years and frequent contributor to Consortium News, stood up in the hearing room and began asking his own questions. Capitol police were immediately ordered by the chairman, Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), to physically remove McGovern from the room. As he continued turning towards the committee to shout his questions, four officers hauled him out. They ominously accused him of resisting arrest.

      Once they got him into the hallway, rather than letting him go his way, four policemen wrestled him to the ground, re-injuring his dislocated left shoulder, as they attempted to cuff him.

      After spending the night in jail, McGovern, 78, was to be arraigned on Thursday. He has not responded to several voice message left on his mobile phone. A police officer at Central Booking told Consortium News McGovern was no longer under their control and had been sent to court. According to DC Superior Court, he has been charged with Unlawful Disruption of Congress and Resisting Arrest. Ray returned home Thursday night.’

    • giyane

      French flag . You mean the one with Bulgarian fake weapons that didn’t stop Macron winning the GE? Good point . This new Tory terror threat will seal the Tories’ fate at our next GE

      Somehow the deep dark state manual is backfiring more often than it works

  • eddie-g

    Your rare (but excellent) Brexit posts inspired this, but I now look at the Brexit process through the lens of: Who is Theresa May trying to hoodwink now?

    It is the most consistent feature of this farce, that we have a really not-that-bright Prime Minister who thinks at each step in the process she can fool someone and make some progress. It’s not just that every scheme is hair-brained, it’s the idea that the various interested factions, who all have so much at stake and are investing so much of their resources in following the Brexit process, are going to be hoodwinked that is so incredibly daft.

    Anyway, that’s my new prism, I think it’ll hold up unless May either gets smart or gets honest.

  • Sharp Ears

    Q Will either of the events be available online or on video?

    Good luck anyway.

  • Sharp Ears

    A view of Cox’s ‘advice’ is available on Gideon’s organ.

    Brexit deal latest: Attorney General Geoffrey Cox warned using Vienna Convention to get out of backstop is a ‘complete non-starter’
    NIcholas Cecil Deputy Political Editor
    1 day ago


    How come Cox has amassed such wealth when, if this latest is an example, so much of his output is questionable?

    According to The Daily Telegraph, based on the declarations in the Register of Members’ Interests, Cox’s extra-parliamentary work was worth £820,867 in 2014, or 12 times his annual MP salary, whilst the total time on extra-parliamentary work that was registered in 2014 (although the register shows the hours were worked over 3 years) was 1,954 hours. According to the Register as at 2 July 2018, his extra-parliamentary earnings in the 12 months from July 2017 to June 2018 were £487,043; the time expended totalled 1,070 hours, which equates to more than six months’ work, assuming a standard 40-hour week. ‘

  • Tony_0pmoc

    Despite disagreeing with Craig Murray on some of his long held political views and his moderation policy especially with regards to some very short words and numbers, I have always thought he is a man of integrity, and I completely agree with what he has written here. I very nearly met him on 3 different occasions, for 3 different reasons.

    House of Commons (witness inquiry on British Govt complicity in torture), Norwich (dropping leaflets for his election), and Royal Court of Justice (witness sued)

    But for 3 different reasons, I didn’t turn up, and haven’t yet met him, nor any of his closest supporters.


    • nevermind

      Are you actually real Tony?
      Just because you havent met Craig does not mean you dont exist.
      come doune the rabbit hole and meet him, you are travelling to just about every other fair/concert, so why not a Murray organised event?

  • jake

    All of what Craig said is true and needed to be said.
    However , as I see it, the calculation is that the current minority Government in parliament being dependent on the DUP is temporary and will only persist until the next general election. All temporary and interim arrangements currently being negotiated are predicated on that.

  • Simon

    I’ve trouble understanding all the drama around the backstop. Your Vienna convention notwithstanding, a treaty is a treaty, as Charles de Gaulle would say. It lasts while it lasts. I thought that was the whole point of recovering your sovereignty? What enforcement mechanism is being brandished? If you recover a ‘normal’ state to state(s) relationship with the EU you can walk out of treaties that have lived their life, no?

  • Steve Hayes

    The government has every intention of honouring the Withdrawal Agreement, right up until it (or a future government) can simply rejoin the European Union. This is evident from the government’s palpable concern to establish all EU law into domestic law.

    • MJ

      I think you mean it can simply reapply to join the EU. Actually rejoining may not be so simple.

      I believe the point of incorporating a great morass of EU law into UK law is to save the hassle of repealing each item. This can be done at leisure later..

    • Mighty Drunken

      I doubt the EU would have us back very quickly. They wouldn’t want to risk a in-out hockey cokey every decade. Also the requirements of getting back in would probably mean the Euro, no rebate and the schengen area. Would a future government want to join the Euro?

      As MJ says the current EU laws are being kept because it would take too much time to rewrite them all at once. Parliment can’t even get past the first hurdle and decide the exit terms for Christ’s sake.

      • Republicofscotland

        “I doubt the EU would have us back very quickly. ”

        Guy Verhofstadt, gave a good speech recently in which he said, a future generation might want to take England/Wales/NI (I’m hoping Scotland dumps the union sooner than later for some kind of EU deal) back into the EU.

        However for now the dreams of empire are swirling around in the minds of some at Westminster. They long for the days when Britain ruled the waves and the colonies with impunity, and the likes of Wolseley, Roberts and Clive came home to a hero’s welcome.

        • Charles Bostock

          Guy Verhofstadt is quite a nice guy but he has a problem. Or perhaps two. Once called “Baby Thatcher”, he has never really got over not being Prime Minister (of Belgium) any longer. Nor has he ever got over being squeezed out of being elected President of the European Parliament (the reason for that being that the two largest groups – the Christian Democrats and the Socialists – alwyas divide the office up between themselbes , 2 and a half years each). He is quite a large fish in the small pond of the European Parliament but quite a small fish in the larger pond of the European Union. That; come to think of it, might be his third problem 🙂

        • Dave Lawton

          March 15, 2019 at 17:13
          “I doubt the EU would have us back very quickly. ”
          Guy Verhofstadt, gave a good speech
          When Guy Verhofstadt rants he always reminds me of that chap who use to be
          the Chancellor of Germany. Guy Verhofstadt on his rant Makes sense as the EU is a dictatorship and always has been. If you do not vote the right way you will vote again until you get it right.

          “They must go on voting until they get it right.”
          (Jose Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission)

  • Charles Bostock


    I see you’re now teaming up woth retired ambassador Peter Ford. What is his particular beef with the UK government, he wasn’t a whistle-blower was he?

    (He must have quite a beef becuase he’s always appearing on RT).

    • Dungroanin

      What is wrong with whistle blowing?

      You Fu.. I can’t be bothered to finish, you well know what you are.

      • Charles Bostock

        Peter Ford’s not a whistle blower, is he.

        You Cu.. I can’t be bothered to finish, you well know what you are.

      • Dungroanin

        Bossie please accept my heartfelt apology for thinking you had something against whistle blowers.

        I didn’t realise you approved of the actions of Manning and Snowden and others that blow the whistle.

        But whats your hard on about Ford?

        And if you hate RT so much – why watch it?

    • Vivian O'Blivion

      Who is this Murray of whom you speak?
      Murray Walker, Formula Yawn commentator?
      Murray Hamilton, actor whose credits include Jaws, The Graduate and many other fine movies.

      • Sharp Ears

        I have told him before that it’s very rude, especially to insult the host who provides the bandwidth he consumes. It’s either ‘Mr Murray’ or ‘Craig’.

        • Charles Bostock

          Perhaps a teeny weeny bit old fashioned but surely better than this ghastly habit of using Christian names as soon as – or even before! – you’ve met someone.

          As for Murray’s bandwidth and good manners and this blog in general, if you restrained yourself and sent in fewer hate comments on your usual themes you would make the moderators’ job a damn sight easier.

          • Sharp Ears

            You get no ‘hate comments’ from me. I suppose you are referring to my support for the Palestinians and details I provide of what the Israelis do to them.

          • Charles Bostock

            Correction : WE (the readers) get fewer hate comments from you because the moderators weed most of them out. Would you like me to prove it?

          • Sharp Ears

            @ 18.13
            I know much better than you which of my comments are deleted, ie rarely if at all.

          • Tony

            Disingenuous Charles. The mods have made it clear time and again that Sharp Ears’ posts sometimes get deleted because they are links without anylysis/assessment.

          • George

            Considering that most commenters here will almost certainly never actually meet Craig (ooh look I just used his Christian name!) it only seems polite to refer to him as “Craig”. “Murray” alone is just rude. Isn’t it Bostock?

          • George

            Dear moderator – I have duplicated my comment since it does not appear to be making any impact whatsoever.

          • George

            Well that last comment did get through but the one I want to make obviously didn’t.

          • Charles Bostock


            From 2 threads ago :

            “March 12, 2019 at 12:31

            [ Mod: From Craig’s moderation rules for commenters:


            Contributions which are primarily just a link to somewhere else will be deleted. You can post links, but give us the benefit of your thoughts upon them.

            This is why so many of your “comments” are being deleted. Same goes for michael norton.

            Regards. ]

            A cover up, assisted by MI5, of child sexual abuse.

            MI5 did not tell police of minister’s ‘penchant for small boys’, inquiry hears
            Security service lawyer says it ‘regrets’ claims against Peter Morrison were not investigated

            You will notice the “so many of your comments” bit. Not your “sometimes” or her ‘rarely”.

            Secondly : most of her stuff is essentially cut-and paste. It is the hate speech cut-and-pastes, on her favorite topic, which are being deleted. Not because the Mods really object as to substance but they are mindful of the potential reputational damage to the blog.

            Thirdly : the Mods have not said it to her “time and again”. This is the first time in a very long while.

            Hope that helps.

          • freddy

            You can swear at people though? Not technically, ofc. Plausible denial

            Anyway, if you’ve gone to Public School in that time, that is how you refer to each other. You’d probably get a good slippering if you called someone by their Christian name.

          • Charles Bostock

            Calling someone by their Christian name at school might give entirely the wrong idea. Anyway, what’s your problem with independent schools?

            PS – You can say what you want, but Eton is the greatest secondary school in the world. That’s fact, not opinion.

    • bj

      And what is your dislike of Peter Ford?
      That he thwarted the boundaries of the promised land?

      • Charles Bostock

        Peter Ford has influenced and shaped events less than one of Bibi’s farts.

        • glenn_nl

          Indeed – one of the latter would have had the entire US house of Representatives leap to their feet and give a round of applause.

        • giyane

          The one that was instantly translated into 100 different languages including Trollese?

        • Republicofscotland

          Since you’ve mentioned Bibi…

          In the land of oppression and apartheid, Israel, Netanyahu said earlier this week, “Israel is not a state of all its citizens.” According to the Nation State law passed in July 2018, Israel is the nation state of the J**ish people and no one else.

          Of course the 1.5 million Palestinian Arab citizens, who make up 17% of Israels population, already know they’re marginalised in the land of apartheid and oppression.

          Haaretz newspaper columnist Gideon Levy, and Daniel Gordis, an influential Israeli speaker, author, and whom the Jerusalem Post claims is one of Israels top 50 renowned Israeli J**s have both said that there’s a dangerous shift of political mindset towards the far right.

          Manifesting itself in part as Netanyahu seems happy to embrace political allies like the J**ish Power party, which is openly racist and calls for the expulsion of Israeli Arabs from Israel.

        • kula

          So you’re not into first names, but you drop a ‘fart’ into polite conversation?

        • Tony

          Err…’re on first (nick)name terms with the prime minister of Israel then Charles?

          • Charles Bostock

            Of course not. But I wasn’t addressing him, was I – just referring to him, which is entirely different. Clear thinking 101 recommended.

    • Republicofscotland

      “He must have quite a beef becuase he’s always appearing on RT).”

      Its more than likely he gets to say what he wouldn’t be allowed to say on the British governments mouthpiece the BBC.

      • Charles Bostock

        I see that Peter Ford has several fans among Murray’s readers. I’m not surprised.

      • Charles Bostock

        RoS and Godolphin appear to disagree on whether Ford appears on the BBC or not. Make your minds up, lads, construct a narrative and stick to it!

        • Clark

          Peter Ford cleverly exploits two opposing propaganda mouthpieces, thereby getting his entire message to international audiences. Each tempers the other, neither wishing to be caught in the act of censorship.

          • Charles Bostock

            Oh, so both RoS (Ford never appears on the BBC) and Godolphin (Ford often appears on the BBC) are right. Well done, Clarkie, you’re a genius!

  • Dungroanin

    Sic ’em Craig – they are on your ground.

    The world needs to know that the pound shop Rumpole and terrible Brian Blessed impersonator is a stooge. I hope that Starmer takes off his velvet gloves and engages in this brawl too – it is about time he moves beyond the court room niceties and takes on the street brawler politicians demeanour, nice hair and wisecracks aint enough to see of these rabid mad dogs.

    • giyane


      These legal colonials used to be housed in three high rise green towers somewhere near the Tate. Cox is like a goldcrested newt , a genuine old fashioned leftover of bowler hatted empire. As you say , he’d have done better on the stage, Stratford and Chichester.

      • ZiggyM

        Nah, giyane

        He’s more Panto than Pinter. I watched him give his Widow Twankey in the debate.

    • Tony

      I wouldn’t put too much faith in Starmer. He’s Establishment through and through. He was inserted into the PLP to keep Corbyn in check, fer christsakes.

      • Charles Bostock

        Keir Starmer is an Oxford man (St Edmund Hall). He therefore lends intellectual ballast (of sorts) to Mr Jeremy Corbyn whose education has been, to borrow Ernest Bevin’s expression, “in the ‘edgerows of life”.

        • Borncynical

          “intellectual ballast (of sorts)…”

          “(of sorts)” is definitely the case with KS. A supposed legal background yet he was more than happy to blow the trumpet for the coalition attack on Syria in the absence of any evidence or enquiry. He is clearly of the ‘guilty until proven innocent’ school of thought. Not much of a legal brain.

      • Dungroanin

        I know … but he was a jobbing lawyer and has that authenticity. Being in the CPS is thankless and subject to ‘higher’ authority not persuing cases due to ‘public interest’ ie ‘protect the toffs’.

        The SFO is a lot lot worse – thats were inevitably easily prosecutable criminals get sent to disappear in the long grass – Ansari anyone?

        Having watched his speeches in recent months – they never make it into the msm – he is obviously on top of his brief and easily destroys all-comers when they try and throw him of kilter. He even took on Cuddly Ken Clark and posh brainiac Letwin at one stage, with a court room retort along the lines of ‘i’m loving it, how you lot are headless chickens’.

        I live in hope that he ain’t deeper than Watson, Benn and Cooper.

  • Republicofscotland

    “Brexit has revealed further the rottenness of the British political Establishment”

    Yes one wonder just how much more putrid it could become, quite a bit I’d imagine.

  • Brian Powell

    It hasn’t occurred to them that there are new generations in NI and they have said they will go for a re-unification vote, and it is possible that these new generations won’t blame their neighbours but the people who created the problem in Westminster.

  • Brian c

    Frighteningly brazen from Cox. Reeks of the strong colonial mindset toward Dublin that still pervades the Tory party. Before Christmas, the BBC quoted an anonymous senior Tory politician and former “modernising” minister: “We simply cannot allow the Irish to treat us like this. This simply cannot stand. The Irish really should know their place.”

    One good that can hopefully spring from the whole Brexit farce is Ireland washing its hands of English rule for good and all..

  • Conall Boyle

    Is Gove a complete cretin? He uses the ‘Ulster’ name as if it was the same as the six counties of Northern Ireland. It isn’t. As an Ulsterman of Co Donegal antecedents I know full well that not all of ‘Ulster’ is in the UK.

    What kind of moron would pontificate about Ulster without knowing what it was?

    • Republicofscotland

      Gove should read about the Nine Years war, in which the O’Donnells and O’Neils took on the might of England, however they eventually saw defeat at the Battle of Kinsale in 1601.

  • giyane

    Hilarious. My old Kurdish CIA friend has turned up here preaching the opposite of his former textbook Islamic state hate. What do lying politicos do when flouted by common sense?
    Why, carry on lying the exact opposite of the lies they used to preach.

    In effect Daesh is not defeated, just melted back into the background like beaten dogs.
    Neither argument or beating has any effect. They just loll their tongues out panting in the heat. Not my metaphor, Allah’s in the Qur’an.

    People of bad Faith, politicians like Theresa May, never get far in life. Putin swatted Daesh. Who will swat the Tory alt right? There always comes a time when someone says enough of this utter tripe. China might swat Trump and May in one swipe.

  • Joan Coverley

    Craig, did you see the exchange between Joanna Cherry, Keir Starmer and Dominic Greive yesterday in the chamber where all three agreed that employing Article 62 of the Vienna Convention would not wash.

  • writeon

    In a well-functioning democracy, this kind of detailed analysis, shouldn’t be left to individuals like Craig Murray; where’s the rest of our ‘free and independent’ media with all their substanitial resources? Where’s the BBC and the Guardian? And where is the Irish Government in this? Surely they can’t simply stand by and watch the last twenty years of progress and peace in Northern Ireland being sacrificed as the price of the DUP’s supporting the cripple May regime in Westminster? And it’s not as if the DUP really represents all the people of Northern Ireland. Obviously they don’t. A sizeable majority in NI voted to remain within the European Union. So giving a veto and so much power to the DUP is, outrageous. The absurd attitude of the Irish nationalists in NI is incredibly irresponsible as well. All those Westminster votes, pissed away for nothing except sentimental nationalist dogma and crassly irrelevant nostalgia. Votes that could easily hold the balance of power in Westminster, and, perhaps more importantly stop the conflict in Northern Ireland breaking out again. Downing Street is ready to sacrifice peace in Northern Ireland if they feel they have to.

      • Charles Bostock

        Willie Hamilton, the “great” Scottish republican, swore the oath of allegiance.

    • frankywiggles

      “All those Westminster votes, pissed away for nothing except sentimental nationalist dogma and crassly irrelevant nostalgia”

      SF have never recognised Westminster’s authority in Ireland or the laughably undemocratic sectarian statelet it imposed there a century ago. They were never going to do a 180 at this late stage and suddenly endorse British neo-colonislim just as the end of the orange state comes into sight.. You need to look closer to home for the authors of this shitshow.

    • Vivian O'Blivion

      I have some grasp of how the DUP all but entirely replaced the UUP at Westminster and became the dominant Unionists party at Stormont. Dogged rejectionism, playing up sectarian fears and a ruthless polit bureau organisation. Say what you like about the politics of the DUP (and I would say plenty) but they are “effective”.
      What baffles me is how Sinn Fein trounced the SDLP at Westminster and Stormont. Playing by the same gameplan as the DUP?

    • giyane


      Thanks for revealing something the British government has assiduously hidden from the people for 50 years.

      Constitutionally Corbyn’s Norway +is as far as Britain can go in a treaty with the EU . That cuts through all the Tory crap in the withdrawal agreement about working alongside the EU after brexit on military shared objectives.

      I voted Leave to extricate the UK from the Germans and French colonial daftnesses / ambitions in the middle east.
      The constitution seemingly prevents the UK from using proxy Saudi terrorists to mortgage ourselves out of debt because it is a standing army that may one day take a swipe at us, or want their money back.

      Fascinating. Thanks.

  • bj

    The surveillance state and its inherent racism.
    Again the peekers and snoopers were fixated a bit too much to their left.

    They entirely missed what was coming from the right.
    Or didn’t care.

    I hear NZ is a haven for billionaires and their holy bunkers.

  • Chris Barclay

    Of more immediate importance is the question of who sent the letter bombs from Dublin to British mainland targets such as airports and Glasgow University. It is unlikely that a Republican group would reduce the probability of them reaching their targets by sending the letter bombs from a different island and a different country. It would have made more sense to have sent them from the British mainland.

    The obvious alternative explanation is that a body opposed to Brexit sent them in order to use the threat of terrorism to persuade MPs to vote for May’s Withdrawal Agreement. That body quite possibly is part of the British Government.

    As I have said before, there was no permanent hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic during the worst of the troubles. The British Army set up roadblocks on the basis of intelligence. When the intelligence suggested that no arms or paramilitaries were on the move, traffic was allowed to cross the border without being stopped. The ‘hard border’ in Ireland is a fabricated issue.

    The ‘pusillanimous attitude of the government of Ireland’ is probably due to the penny having finally dropped amongst the Irish political class. They now understand that Ireland has been used as a pawn in the dispute between the UK and the EU with no regard for the possible economic consequences to the Republic. The only surprise is that this took so long. The EU stuffed the Irish taxpayers with the liabilities of Allied Irish back in 2011.

    • michael norton

      The E.U. establishment stripped Greece to the bone, Greece being the country that invented Democracy.
      The E.U.would let Ireland be skinned alive, if they wanted to use it as a demonstration of dominance over other small states.

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