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
21
(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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  • Sharp Ears

    My post about the new Home Affairs Committee’s report on the deplorable state of detention centres for immigrants appears to have been deleted?? Why. It is matter of great concern.

      • D_Majestic

        If you want to see cut and pasting, try any right-wing ‘Contribution’ on any paper that still allows comments. They all come from some sort of ‘Script’, without a doubt. And mostly from persons with silly made-up names, such as ‘BingoWings’, or ‘MotherShipton’.

      • Sharp Ears

        No it wasn’t and mind your own business.

        [ Mod: Yes it was; and it’s everybody’s business. ]

        • Sharp Ears

          I left a link from the parliament website to the Home Affairs Committee report, released today, and another from the Guardian. it was not a copy and paste job

          The state of detention centres nationally is terrible and is a matter of concern. Perhaps you don’t know that Nadira (Murray) made a film on the treatment being handed out to detainees in these centres.

          Why are you supporting someone who has trolled me over years on here? His contribution is almost nil.

  • N_

    Some facts.

    The British government spent a long time negotiating a withdrawal deal.

    There is absolutely no legal requirement for a deal to specify a withdrawal date of 29 March 2019. Anybody who thinks otherwise has not read Article 50 properly. (It’s not hard to understand: that date is the default withdrawal date in the event of no deal.)

    And yet, as we know, the proposed deal specifies 29 March.

    But the British government says it can’t be ready for 29 March, whether or not the deal is ratified and concluded.

    A question: in between discussing the details of what may or may not upset the “Antichrist” boys in Northern Ireland (for whom the EU is fundamentally a Papist construct), is any senior opposition politician making the point that agreeing a date and then saying you won’t be properly ready by that date is truly gross incompetence? Or to be more exact, those tiny few who are calling the shots know what they are doing, but this is still completely taking the piss.

    • MJ

      Another fact:

      It’s the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 that specifies March 29 as the departure date.

    • OnlyHalfALooney

      I am beginning to smell a rat. Surely a different date in the Withdrawal Agreement would (at least arguably) represent a change in the WA, that could lead to it being put to the HoC again?

      Surely, May’s (non-)government could simply say “all right then, the WA will take effect from 20 May”? If this was agreed by the HoC and the EU, it would simply automatically extend the UK’s EU membership until the day the WA takes effect. No separate agreements would be required.

      The question is: why has the UK government not done so? I alternate between thinking May and her cronies want “no deal” and thinking they are simply incompetent idiots. One can’t help suspecting some forces are involved that have sabotaged any sort of orderly Brexit from the beginning. (A “hard Brexit” can be orderly and well-managed. What we have now is “chaos Brexit” with maximum damage.)

      • Millsy

        Your are correct on both assumptions – they ARE incompetent idiots who want a No Deal !

      • MJ

        The Act allows for a different date if it is agreed in withdrawal negotiations. In the absence of any agreement (the current situation) the date in the Act is the default position.

      • D_Majestic

        I’ve maintained from the very start that the reality of Cretxit is in fact a projected right-wing coup.

  • glenn_nl

    New petition today: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/241584

    Revoke Article 50 and remain in the EU.

    The government repeatedly claims exiting the EU is ‘the will of the people’. We need to put a stop to this claim by proving the strength of public support now, for remaining in the EU. A People’s Vote may not happen – so vote now.

    • MJ

      The strength of public support for remaining in the EU was expressed in the referendum.

      • glenn_nl

        The strength of public ignorance, and how subject they are to lies and propaganda was expressed, you mean.

          • glenn_nl

            Are you afraid of the people confirming their wish, now they have a better idea what it’s all about? Why?

            I am confident you are aware of how thoroughly ignorant people were the first time around, the lies told about how easy and profitable it would be to leave, and you’re not going to pretend this was an informed decision based on facts and truth.

          • MJ

            The only new fact that has arisen since the referendum is that contained in the EU contingency plans for a no deal Brexit, made public in December. I haven’t noticed that it has had any appreciable effect on levels of ignorance. People still trot out all that nonsense about cliff edges and crashing out.

        • Reg

          glenn_nl
          Until I find a Remain supporter that understands the structure and is not ignorant about the EU the assumption of leave supporters ignorance is only an indication of middle class prejudice against the working class and their ignorance. Being middle class is the ability to talk utter B* with a sense of entitlement and conviction, it is one of the few skills taught at university. If you had any understanding at all you would know the lies told by the treasury & the bank of England in its projections on the outcome of referendum.
          I will later be setting a quiz to prove you understand nothing about the EU.

          • Reg

            glenn_nl
            Explain to me the difference between EU and WTO rules on State Aid?
            Explain to me the major differences between Bretton Woods and the Single Market?
            Explain to me the difference between the Fiscal compact (as amended) and the Stability and Growth Pact and how this applies to the UK?
            Explain to me where the funding came from for the setting up of the ECSC/EEC via the European Movement and the Action Committee for a united states of Europe?
            Explain to me the convergence criteria and which countries were compliant upon entry, and before the 20078 crisis?
            Explain to me the theory about what is required to make a successful currency union, and give historical examples of successful/unsuccessful currency unions and why they failed/succeeded?
            Explain the similarities between TTP and CETA?
            Which business organisation wrote the single European Act?
            Explain the role of the Eurogroup, and who they are accountable too?
            Explain where the Trokia is given legitimacy in the EU treaties?
            Explain the role of the ECB and the ESCB in setting monetary policy?
            Explain to me the role and how the EFSF, EFSM, ESM operate, and the section and treaty that defines their role?
            Explain to me the main organisations of the EU and their roles, such as who proposes legislation?
            Explain to me the differences between the European Commission and the UK Civil Service?
            Explain to me how long the Trokia has projected Greece to have to run a primary budget surplus and how much for, and explain what a primary budget surplus is and give a link to a reliable source to prove this?
            (such as the FT as evidence of this).
            Explain to me a discount window, and how this differs for the ECB to other central banks?
            Explain to me the operations of QE in the EU when it started and which countries most benefited from it?
            Explain to me the sanctions that the EU can apply for violating the fiscal compact and state aid and which body does this?
            Have the Eurozone Economies converged or diverged since the launch of the Euro, look up and link to data from a reliable source on this?
            Which economies in the EU have recovered back to pre crisis levels, link to reliable source for this?
            List all the main treaties of the EU that you have read?

          • SA

            Reg
            This is not a quiz it is a test for a degree. Anyway you are obviously very well informed about the ins and outs of the EU. But what matters here is simple and my quiz to you is much simpler. With Britain out of Europe do you really believe that we will be able to steer an economically and political sovereign course between the Scylla of the EU and the Carybdis of the US.
            If I may be permitted I will add another question: do you think that Britain out of the EU whilst remaining a member of NATO will be a truely independent power?

          • Clark

            Reg, March 21, 21:12:

            “the assumption of leave supporters ignorance is only an indication of middle class prejudice against the working class and their ignorance”

            Nonsense. The whole debate has dripped with ignorance; you don’t need specialist knowledge to recognise that. You only have to look at some of the comments on these threads. And most here are anonymous, so we have no idea of each other’s class, so I find it suspicious that you mention class at all; it is not relevant to the arguments, but it is emotive.

            SA, March 22, 19:48:

            “Reg, […] you are obviously very well informed about the ins and outs of the EU”

            Not necessarily; Reg may pose questions and have few answers, or merely have someone else’s answers, for instance, from reading one specialist book that cherry-picks facts to make a specific case. Some of Reg’s arguments on other pages have been distinctly unclear.

            Reg, I think you should try to always remain helpful, and not descend to competitiveness.

          • Reg

            Clark
            The point I am trying to make here is that Remainers keep repeating things that are blatantly untrue, do not do the reading and even after you correct them and link to the piece of text from a reliable source proving its incorrect they maintain this faith.

            Common Remain untruths

            The EU commission is just like the UK civil service
            Its not it can propose legislation the UK Civil Service can not

            EU state aid does not prevent nationalisation
            It does and it has

            It is possible to reform the EU
            It isnt, Syriza proved that

            The EU is a force for peace
            No it is not France bombed Syria, Germany recognised Croatia fomenting the Civil war and Nato expansion, and the EU used a trade agreement to foment civil war an illegal coup supported by the US.

          • glenn_nl

            Reg: “ Explain to me the difference between EU and WTO rules on State Aid?

            Reg – I think you’ve got this all the wrong way around. You are making the case, so why don’t you explain why each of these points of yours makes leaving the EU a favourable option.

            Don’t pretend all Brexiteers are fully conversant with all the points you’ve raised, and don’t pretend that unless every point is well understood one has no business engaging at all. You haven’t got a clue how your computer and the Internet actually works, nor do you know exactly how your body and brain work, but I imagine you’re still happy to use them.

        • Dave Lawton

          glenn_nl
          How presumptuous you are I was aware the EU was a fascist dictatorship for many years.You should find out who created it and who funded it.I am not going to say as you need to find out for yourself.Also I see Italy who have the bottle told the EU today up yours Herman.

          • Clark

            Oddest “fascist dictatorship” I ever saw. I thought it was meant to be all about specifying banana curvature and viciously suppressing the names of English cheeses?

          • Reg

            Clark
            I think the Carthaginian bail out imposed on Greece by the Trokia comes close to rule by Fascist dictatorship.
            Particularly given the massive increase in suicides documented by the BMJ in a peer reviewed study.
            I would regard this as more serious than the shape of bananas.

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

          • Clark

            It looks like the suicide rate rose by around one third.

            That’s bad, but nothing like dictatorial control over people’s lives, mass conscription, and thousands or millions of people rounded up according to their ethnicity and subjected to concentration camps and mass executions. Why the hyperbole, Reg?

          • michael norton

            The treatment by the EU Elite of the Greek people, has been threatening, degrading and in some cases life-shortening.
            But a torturer mostly degrades himself.

        • glenn_nl

          Doing a damned sight better than the pro-leave petition, which is odd if that’s supposed to be the most popular sentiment.

          • glenn_nl

            It is odd, actually, because people who are so keen on leaving would be making themselves heard. Just like you’re doing now, for example.

          • Michael McNulty

            Your conceit is boundless! You lost the referendum and voting to deny that is anti-democracy disguised as democracy.

          • glenn_nl

            Michael: Giving people a chance to vote on something they actually have the facts about now, is exactly what democracy is about.

            Sounds like you’re frightened people will vote a different way now the Brexiteer’s lies have been exposed. Say it ain’t so!

    • Clark

      The petition site is “down for maintenance”; it was over a million when I tried to sign and rising by hundreds per second; it failed to send me the e-mail with the confirmation link. I suppose the government servers were overwhelmed by demand.

      • Clark

        glenn lives in the EU. He was using ‘glenn_pt’ a while ago – Portugal, in the EU. Like all of us in the EU, he has the right to live and work in any of the incredibly diverse 28 EU countries.

        I can see that a lot of people want the borders closed again; should we rebuild the Iron Curtain while we’re at it? Trump’s keen on walls, and so’s Israel, so you’re in good company.

        • Blunderbuss

          I’m a nationalist. I support the concept of the nation state and nation states have borders. I don’t think glenn_nl, or anybody else, should be allowed to cross our border without showing a passport and declaring the purpose of his visit.

          • Blunderbuss

            I also want to re-introduce exchange controls. I am totally opposed to free movement of capital.

      • glenn_nl

        @BlunderBust: “What’s it got to do with you? You don’t even live in Britain.

        What’s it got to do with me? Well let’s see… I’m an EU citizen, with business which crosses a good couple of different EU countries. I also stay for fairly lengthy periods in other EU countries, despite being British.

        Is that a good enough explanation for you, about what all this has got to do with me?

          • glenn_nl

            No explanation will do then. Hard to take anything you have to say with the slightest seriousness, this must be some sort of parody account, you are not an honest correspondent.

  • Jack

    The colonial thinking is still plaguing France,

    French Defence Chief: ‘We Will Strike Assad Again if Necessary’
    https://sptnkne.ws/kYMN

    I wonder what the same France would say if Assad told the same threat to them?

    • SA

      If Assad had the ability to carry out such a threat and have two other members of the Security council backing him, and he also had a permanent seat in the SC than that would be OK, it’s called rule of the jungle otherwise labelled as the rule of Law by doublespeak countries.

  • N_

    Britain imports most of its toilet paper from the continent and keeps about one day’s worth in stock.

    Newsprint can serve as a substitute – especially the Murdoch and Rothermere offerings – but many nowadays prefer to read articles on their smartphones and they wouldn’t know how to hold a newspaper properly let alone tear one into strips. And you can’t wipe yer bum on a smartphone. There is no such thing as e-toilet paper.

    Calvinists may experience an awfully guilty feeling when they flip the pages of their bibles. I mean if three of the gospels are synoptic, can’t two be dispensed with?

    I’m determined to find something to laugh about next Saturday even if the overall circumstances are not funny in the slightest.

    • J Galt

      You could always have a laugh about all the dire shortage scares that turned out to be so much hot air!

      • glenn_nl

        You mean shortages caused in the future, AFTER leaving, have already been proved false?

        • J Galt

          In the same way you say the “Brexiteer’s lies have been exposed”, we’ll have to wait and see who is proved right.

          • glenn_nl

            Some of the lies already have been exposed – such as how simple the process would be, and how we’d have vast numbers of trade deals (which were all lined up!) signed and raring to go. Perhaps you weren’t aware of this, but it was supposed to be the chief advantage of leaving. A total lie.

            Is that handle supposed to be “John Galt” by any chance? Are you an fan of Ayn Rand’s fairy tales, which I understand appeals to the narcissist your posts often suggest?

        • Loony

          @Glenn – You seem to be entirely focused on what you perceive your own self interest to be – which is odd given your willingness to write off vast swathes of the population as fascist and to constantly express your views as to what is in the best interests of the US population.

          So tell me – do you think that denuding Eastern Europe of its working age population is a pure and noble policy aim?

          Do you really want to be in an economic and political union with France – a country seeing an upsurge in civil unrest, and a country which may well topple into some kind of civil war? Or perhaps the chance to ally yourself with Vox is something of interest. I know you like to use the term “fascist” as kind of insult – but if you call Vox fascist then their chests will swell with pride. Or how about Victor Orban – is he the kind of guy that embodies your liberal non fascist principles? Or how about the Law and Justice Party in Poland – a party devoted to a number of things including Catholicism. I seem to recall that you are not too keen on religion. Why then would you want to be allied with them?

          Still if all else fails there is always the AfD in Germany – less extreme than Vox but, if history is any guide, likely to be much more efficient.

          Did you know that in the 2016 Presidential Election 47.22% of voters in Wisconsin voted for Trump and 46.45% voted for Clinton. Quite a close vote. Do you think that the EU assault on the Wisconsin cheese business may have had any effect in tipping the balance toward Trump?

          • Ian

            Genius. If it wasn’t for Wisconsin cheese, Trump would be back on daytime TV. You really should be writing for the Mail.The Wisconsin Mail.

          • SA

            Being on the EU doesn’t equate with being allied with AFD or Orbsn or the Polish fascists. They are all sort of Eurosceptic. By your argument we should all boycott Westminster because we have a Tory government.

          • Loony

            Let us just pretend that Europe is a democratic entity. In such a case then the EU is a voluntary association – i.e. people choose to voluntarily enter a union with countries governed by people such as Orban and entities such as the Law and Justice Party and countries with significant and growing right wing pressure groups.

            On this basis the UK being a member of the EU absolutely aligns the UK with these people and these groups. If you don’t like “right wing fascists” then you can leave, if you do like “right wing fascists” then you can lobby to remain.

            I don not know how much attention you pay to this blog – but a consistent theme of the Scottish Nationalists is that Scotland should extricate itself from Westminster precisely because there is a Tory government. So if my argument is wrong then by logical extension the entirety of Scottish nationalist thinking is wrong.

          • Clark

            See? I knew it was about cheese.

            Loony, that’d be the Eurosceptic Vox, the Eurosceptic Victor Orban, the Eurosceptic Law and Justice Party, Eurosceptic AfD, right? Supporting Remain would seem to be opposing those. Interestingly, the further right they are, the more anti-EU and the less popular they are too.

          • Loony

            @Clark – Have you ever heard of Tony Benn and Michael Foot? I am not aware of anyone describing these people as “right wing” They were though passionately against what they knew as the EEC which, as they predicted, morphed into the EU.

            Jeremy Corbyn has much in common with both Foot and Benn, although he remains obdurately unclear as to his exact current stance on the EU. Or perhaps nor, because when he speaks in Spanish he seems to have no problem in fully denouncing the EU.

            To quote Bob Dylan “aint it hard when you realize he really wasn’t where it’s at” And so to compensate you need to ignore actual, verifiable and uncontested history.

          • glenn_nl

            Loony: You’ve come up with this simple-minded nonsense before, drawing straight lines between anyone supporting the EU and fascism, based on childishly linking the EU as a whole with any leader in the EU you don’t like, and then pretending that is the totality of it.

            Kindly stop wasting everyone’s time with such a transparently nonsensical line, both here and elsewhere – despite it being the favourite tool in your trick-bag.

          • Clark

            Loony, 08:46:

            Have you ever heard of Tony Benn and Michael Foot?

            Who? No, I’ve never heard of these condescending tossers.

            – “[When Jeremy Corbyn] speaks in Spanish he seems to have no problem in fully denouncing the EU.”

            Link please.

          • Loony

            How do you know that they (Mssrs.Foot and Benn) were “condescending tossers” if you have never heard of them?

            Incidentally they are both deceased so even if the “condescending tossers” sobriquet is accepted it should be “they were…”and not “these…”

            Hope that helps.

            Por cierto “Contacto con Maduro” te puede ayudar

          • Mary Pau!

            I have to agree with the fact that Remainers seem to have zero interest in the impact of EU policy on countries like Romania. Everyone I ask why they wish to Remain, describes it in terms of self interest – because “I” want to be free to move to Europe to work or holiday etc. When I ask how this works for people who do not have the money or education to move freely around Europe, Remainers look surprised.

            My son, who is a bankster and keen Remainer, admitted to me the other day that he did not know socially, a single traditional ” working class” person and had little dealings with tradesmen. He is always at work, his wife deals with any tradesmen they need to employ. This was not how he was raised but the amount of money swishing through the City and, I suspect, the upper echelons of the EU, isolates them from day to day concerns of working class people and those on low incomes.

            When I ask Remainers about youth unemployment in southern Europe they look surprised. When I ask about the impact on Romania of its brightest and best young citizens leaving in unprecedented numbers, they look surprised. When I mention Greece they look puzzled and say something about it being a difficult case.

            I understand the benefits of a common Customs Union. I can see a lot of benefits in Remaining but no answers to important questions. against Remain . Where are the plans to rebuild the more impoverished areas of Eastern Europe. Is the only answer really to decant their populations into Western Europe where in some cases, they undercut the local lower paid workers? Could this flow not be managed better?

            Come on Remainers, explain to me however stripping Romania of her younger better educated indigenous population is a good thing. Explain to me how the Posted workers scheme operates and who benefits. Explain to me how being in the EU is any use to unemployed steel workers or miners in the UK or indeed in northern France. Explain how the EU dictating their economic policy to Italy is not an infringement of their national sovereignty. Then I might buy into your commitment to Remain.

          • Clark

            Mary Pau!, would the UK leaving help any of those things?

            I admit I had assumed that the problems with poorer countries would work out in time, as seems to have happened before. Getting the financial sector back under control is an international problem, which the EU seems to have more enthusiasm for than does the UK. ‘Unemployment’ is a ‘problem’ in most of the ‘more developed’ economies isn’t it? Scare quotes because unemployment presumably rises with productivity, so the eventual solution is to spread the work and the money around more equally – but that’s a political matter, and it will start happening when people stop voting for neoliberals.

            A lot of this seems to be about lack of political engagement from the population. You only have to look at these threads to see that lots of people are thinking more in terms of conspiracy theories, and less in political, structural terms. The new media has given us a way around the corporate media gatekeepers, but generates this huge distraction at the same time; “if we expose the truth the whole edifice will come tumbling down”. It won’t. It doesn’t care what we believe, unless we organise, discover which of our representatives are any good, present them with our concerns.

          • SA

            Mary Paul
            What you describe as the sins of the RU against Romania and Greece would have happened anyway under the neoliberal globalist agenda. The EU may be seen as a framework and as such will operate within the current predominant system. That is no reason for dismantling the framework whilst living the system intact and also much more enabled and uncontrolled. At least with the RU there is hope of change from within rather than enforcement from without.

          • Mary Pau!

            Do people really want a neo liberal agenda of the type the EU has morphed into promoting, under the influence of international fanciers and their lobbyists in Brussels,(who always seen to have a nice warm job ready for former senior EU eurocrats.) I doubt it.

            I don’t buy pious hopes for some sort of trickle down effect of wealth from rich to poor or from Western to Eastern Europe, sorry that does not cut it with me. Yes there is terrible government and leadership in many European countries right now leading people to turn to ultra nationalism. The EU meanwhile has apparently adopted a policy to improve the lot of Eastern Europeans by encouraging their populations to migrate from East to West Europe, without any co-ordinated planning. Yeah right that has gone down well in the UK hasn’t it.? Not mention the impact on their home countries in Eastern Europe.

            If the EU means anything surely it should be more that moving all the unemployed and low paid from East to West coast, managed by “market forces,”. ?

            And there are huge disparities in youth unemployment rates across Europe – I don’t have the link to hand – you can go and look them up on Eurostat.

          • Clark

            Mary Pau!, I ask again, how would the UK leaving the EU help any of that? By expressing spite?

            I don’t want neoliberalism, and I don’t accept the “trickle down”argument either. But the solution is political engagement; political disengagement is the cause, and leaving is disengagement on a national scale.

          • SA

            Mary Paul
            I don’t think you understood what I said and it may be my fault. Clark explains it better. Leaving the EU is not going to solve any of these problems, neither for east Europe or for the EU nor for Britain.

          • michael norton

            Mary Paul you are talking a lot of sense.
            The mass migration of peoples from the newly joined Eastern Block to the United Kingdom and most want to come to the U.K. not France or Italy or Germany, 500,000 a year for the last decade or so is not sustainable, not for the U.K. but as you point out not for Romania or Poland either.
            If we stay in the E.U. we cannot get out of “Free Movement”
            David Cameron already tried that suggestion with the Elite of the E.U. and they told him to bog off back to Britain,
            thereby leading inextricably to the Referendum
            and now in held limbo by the appalling House of Commons..

          • Clark

            If we stay in the E.U. we cannot get out of “Free Movement”

            Oxymoronic! If we leave the EU, we lose the right to free movement within it. You may not want or appreciate that right, but millions of the UK population do, including a lot that live in the UK and have relationships and families with people from beyond the UK.

            The young appreciate that freedom more than the old. I’ve read a lot about class, but Leave is characterised by those who are older forcing their will upon those younger than them, much as climate science denial is. Both are really quite ugly.

          • pete

            Having read through Mary Pau!’s points about the reasons against remaining, and the reactions to it, I think her thoughts are are both important and valid. Over the last three years we have seen the two opposing sides wilfully and deliberately misrepresenting each others views. Mary has crystallised the difficulty of defending the remain position very nicely. My own reasons for voting for remain seem shallow, the main one being retaining the freedom to move freely in the EU zone. I also hold a crazy idealistic notion that there might one day be a unified European Federal government, a proper social service and a single currency. I know, crazy.
            However I have seen from personal observation the effects of the sizeable migration of poorer Europeans to places like Lincoln and I can well understand the resentment of the local population to an influx of workers willing to work for minimum wage or even less, and how this affects their own prospects. Although I don’t mind encountering a variety of languages and cultures, it is evident that some people find this intimidating and others are clearly alienated, this is often only suspicion of motive, not necessarily racism.
            For this reason, while a second referendum might give me another opportunity to vote for my own selfish reasons, I am tempted to believe that the outcome would be the same. We have all had to focus our thoughts about what we wish the best outcome would be, unsurprisingly we have a thousand different ideas, the government has failed to resolve the matter and some, less than desirable, weird outcome now seems inevitable. Wait and see is all we can do.

    • Monster

      The Guardian is soft and multi-gender but still the fundament of modern liberal thinking

    • Mary Pau!

      Fortunately Mr Paul came home with a 28 roll pack – it was on special – last week.

        • Mary Pau!

          No. But I have a cookery book which turned out to be written by a Mormon who explained in the foreword about their food storage principles. I must admit I found them rather appealing (the food storage ideas that is) but it does depend on being a joint enterprise within the local Mormon community. Two problems with that, well three actually. I am not a Mormon, do not plan on becoming one and there is no local Mormon community .

    • Northern

      So you don’t reply to my questions a few pages back, but continue to post easily debunked scare stories?

      Like I said before, you really don’t understand what the phrase ‘just in time’ means. Last week there were over 72 hour delays at Dover-Calais, journey’s from the continent which would usually be possible in less than a day’s travelling time were taking between 3 and 4 days to make. By your own source, we only have 1 days worth of stock piled toilet paper – so why is your link to an article in a pro EU publication from 6 months ago with no corroborating evidence, not a link to an article last week discussing the catastrophic toilet paper shortage? Oh, yes, because there wasn’t one.

      • N_

        By your own source, we only have 1 days worth of stock piled toilet paper – so why is your link to an article in a pro EU publication from 6 months ago with no corroborating evidence, not a link to an article last week discussing the catastrophic toilet paper shortage? Oh, yes, because there wasn’t one.

        Correct – at the moment there isn’t a shortage.

        Is there any reason to believe that supply lines or the quantities kept in stock have changed significantly? I’m guessing when you read those words you will think “But is there any witness evidence to support the proposition by the oh-so-learned Foreigners’ Defence Club that they haven’t changed significantly?”

        Don’t blame me if you run out! I’ll be adding to my already quite large stocks tomorrow.

        “Just in time” isn’t a hard concept. It means inventory at all points is minimised. I have to admit that I don’t know how demand for toilet paper fluctuates. My guess would be that it’s fairly stable. Perhaps there’s an increase over the Christmas break when many people eat more. The key point isn’t “just in time” as it affects the whole of the supply chain right down to production but simply that wholesale and retail stocks are kept very low. Combine that with the fact that most toilet paper used in Britain is imported from EU27 through seaports.

        For the record, my understanding is that supermarket companies have increased their stocks. But even quadrupling them won’t make much difference.

        There are bound to be some shortage stories in the run-up to next Friday. This particular good may or may not feature.

  • ciarán

    Cancel Brexit petition has ‘fastest ever signature rate’
    The petition to revoke Article 50 (in other words, cancel Brexit), which has been crashing on and off throughout the day, has generated the fastest-ever rate of signatures on Parliament’s website – right now just over 1,058,000 have signed it.

    Social embed from twitter

    Petitions Committee

    @HoCpetitions
    · 3h
    Replying to @HoCpetitions
    A lot of people have been asking about numbers. Between 80,000 and 100,000 people have been simultaneously viewing the petition to revoke article 50. Nearly 2,000 signatures are being completed every minute.

    Petitions Committee

    @HoCpetitions
    The rate of signing is the highest the site has ever had to deal with and we have had to make some changes to ensure the site remains stable and open for signatures and new petitions. Thanks for bearing with us.

    5,341
    12:45 – 21 Mar 2019
    Twitter Ads information and privacy
    3,841 people are talking about this

  • Matt

    the Revoke Article 50 and remain in the EU. petition shouldn’t be seen as Remain or Leave,

    it’s about disabling a dysfunctional process that’s spiralling towards chaos,

    Evoking Article 50 is the one thing no politician, media pundit or talking head has even entertained,

    it’s actually the simplest and most do-able way out of the mess we’re in,

    I’m perfectly happy for another referendum to be scheduled in the future on the proviso that a win margin is agreed beforehand and the Exit vote is based on a specific proposal.

    https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/241584

    we really need to take back control from politicians in general, at home and abroad, they’re living in a parallel reality.

    • Xavi

      The commons voted on a second referendum amendment, sponsored by TIG MP Sarah Wollaston, on March 14. It was defeated by 334 votes to 85 – a majority of 249.

    • N_

      @Matt – The SNP’s Angus MacNeil tabled an amendment to revoke the Article 50 notification. It was supported by Ken Clarke but unfortunately not called by John Bercow.

      A motion or amendment calling for revocation should surely be allowed next week, if not later this week. There may well be indicative votes on all sorts of rubbish, but the main choice is between Revoke and No Deal.

    • Some Random Passer-By

      By Votes
      17.4million Leave : 16.1 Million Remain

      By Constituency
      406 Leave : 242 Remain

      By Constituency Party
      Lab-148 Leave : 84 Remain
      Con- 247 Leave : 80 Remain

      By Region
      9 Leave : 3 Remain

      BY MP
      160 Leave : 486 Remain

      There’s yer problem…

      • Clark

        The politicians have to realise that the corporate media is unfit for purpose. They have this nice cosy relationship over making war on poor countries, and I’m sure that the rich and the powerful were very glad to have the corporate media constantly misdirecting the public’s anger at immigrants and the EU, but bills come due and this one landed on the doormat at the House of Commons.

        • Clark

          Note that the anti-EU vote is almost entirely in England, where the Big Few corporate media most strongly reign. Scotland and Northern Ireland both have more news media diversity. For example:

          A ProQuest newspaper database search on 19 March revealed that there were but four newspaper articles about the imprisonment of Chelsea Manning in the whole of the national print press: The Times, the Daily Mail, The Herald and the Daily Record (the latter two newspapers are based in Scotland). The Guardian article mentioned above, based on an Associated Press release, was published online; but not in the print version. There was also an online Telegraph piece which was also just a press release (by Agence France-Presse). As far as we could tell, there was not a single editorial or column in a major national newspaper defending Chelsea Manning, nor pointing to the grave danger to press freedom that her new incarceration posed. That is a disgraceful indictment of our so-called ‘free press’.

          http://www.medialens.org/index.php/alerts/alert-archive/2019/898-the-destruction-of-freedom-chelsea-manning-julian-assange-and-the-corporate-media.html

      • Mary Pau!

        Thanks for that. Presumably would be even more skewed to leave if Scotland were removed from the stats.

  • N_

    The draft EU summit conclusions that have been leaked are being commented on by British media as if they lay down conditions for an “extension of Article 50”. In fact, those draft conclusions say that EU27 is willing to change the date on the Withdrawal Agreement to 22 May but no later. That has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with the famous “Article 50 date”.

    Several petitions are circulating, including for Revoke, for No Deal, and for May’s Deal.

    A better one might call for Theresa May’s resignation by the end of Monday 25 March. These have been run before: she scored 400,000 signatures in 2017. Twenty million signatures before Monday and she might the f***ing message.

  • freddy

    Why is Dr. Patrick Moore being erased from history as one of Greenpeace’s founders? Gaslighting?

    • Ian

      You can’t beat this site for random tangents, and nothing to do with Craig’s writing. Toilet rolls, cheese, Patrick Moore. A smorgasbord of hobby horses and special interests, British ecocentrism is nothing if not diverse in its obsessions.

      • Loony

        The EU assault on cheese industries located outside of EU borders is absolutely relevant to the issue of Brexit.

        Oh I know that the prevailing intelligentsia only operate in soundbites – most of which have to do with racism, but that is only a distraction to take attention away from the all pervading evil that is the EU.

        You dare not look into the rotten and corrupt heart of the EU and so instead rely on vacuous ad hominem responses.

      • freddy

        Hi Ian, I admit I like (and admire) this site for random tangents too. Some very interesting comments thereby. It’s not as if I’m leaping in at the first comment with something random and OT. I’m sure you can work it out from there 😉

        Don’t think I am “ecocentric” – great new word to me, which I plan to use in future unless you copyright it quick (and things are getting good for owning ideas and thoughts these days). But you’re wrong, if anything I’m “envirofugal”, or something, maybe “envirofeudal”.

        If I obsess about anything, it is the ability to edit the past (see comment below) to manipulate people’s perceptions. Mr Murray has suffered from this (and, indeed has written about the environment).

        But I’m not the obsessive type.

        Sorry you put Dr Moore in the same basket as your shopping.

      • freddy

        Of the digital kind.

        “Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.”

        I will forbear to mention the comparative impacts on the environment of each 😉

    • Blunderbuss

      @freddy

      It’s because he no longer supports the carbon dioxide theory of global warming. No, I didn’t convert him. He worked it out for himself.

        • Blunderbuss

          @Clark, March 22, 2019 at 15:45

          You are ignoring the 800 year time lag. The rise in CO2 concentration we are experiencing now is a result of the Medieval Warm Period, c.950 AD to c.1250 AD.

          The thermal capacity of deep oceans is so large that they take hundreds of years to warm or cool.

          • glenn_nl

            ^
            |

            Just what this blog needed. Another high-volume, low-integrity, uninformed and ineducable poster.

          • Blunderbuss

            @glenn_nl, March 22, 2019 at 18:06

            You say ineducable, I say resistant to brainwashing.

          • Clark

            So what are you suggesting, Blunderbuss? How did the scientific community predict the current observable warming?

          • Clark

            As I remember it, this was quite a big deal. The environmentalists started drawing attention to the message from the scientific community at about the same time as ozone depletion was recognised as a problem, so that would be the late 1970s. That was fixed, but politicians were notably dismissive about global warming and kept saying that they couldn’t do much about it because the economy was more important. The environmentalists made more and more noise, until in 2006 the Stern Review put a monetary cost on the problem, and it was enormous, which finally made the politicians treat it seriously.

          • Blunderbuss

            @Clark

            “How did the scientific community predict the current observable warming?”

            If the climate is warming then it’s a reasonable assumption that it will go on warming until it reaches the next peak. Then it will start cooling. I estimate the cooling trend will start around 2050 (whether or not CO2 production is reduced) but as there’s a margin of error of +/- 200 years I can’t guarantee it.

          • Blunderbuss

            @Clark

            “And why did they predict it?”

            A very good question. Why don’t you ask the “scientific community”?

          • Clark

            The scientific community predicted warming due to rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Are you saying they were all lying about the cause?

          • Clark

            There’s no need to ask the scientific community because they have already spoken – for two centuries, and more insistently from the late 1970s.

          • Clark

            Blunderbuss, I have watched your disinformation video, a lecture by a consultant to industry funded by lawyers for the fracking and fossil fuel industries. Moore sounded very nervous.

            Now, I want you to talk about climate science. In the 1970s, the climate science community predicted global warming due to rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations. That prediction has proven true.

            How do you think that prediction was made?

          • Blunderbuss

            @Clark

            “In the 1970s, the climate science community predicted global warming due to rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations. That prediction has proven true.”

            No, it hasn’t. The warming caused the rise in CO2 concentration.

        • Dave Lawton

          Clark you are aware I hope that that the stratosphere was being blasted by very high power ELF transmitters in the 1970`s and sometime`s it would glow and they would get streams of particles,This was happening in the Antarctica.

          • Clark

            Well I know of HAARP; I thought the similar projects for the Antarctic electrojet were more recent than the 1970s, but I haven’t looked into it. But none of that invalidates the findings of climate science. And it depends what you mean by “very high power”; it’s many orders of magnitude less than global warming, which is equivalent to about four Hiroshima bombs per second:

            https://www.skepticalscience.com/4-Hiroshima-bombs-worth-of-heat-per-second.html

            You know the ELF was to communicate with submerged nuclear submarines?

      • glenn_nl

        BLunderBust: “No, I didn’t convert him. He worked it out for himself.

        Jeez…. you are one conceited snowflake, are you not?

        • Blunderbuss

          @glenn_nl, March 22, 2019 at 16:09

          You’ve got it the wrong way round. I would be conceited if I said I had converted him.

          • Blunderbuss

            @glenn_nl

            Have you watched the video about Patrick Moore? See freddy’s link below. You might find it educational – or are you ineducable?

          • Clark

            What’s conceited is that you claim to have worked anything out for yourself, because you just continually quote debunked canards from the denial industry.

          • Blunderbuss

            @Clark, March 22, 2019 at 21:12

            And you just continually quote debunked canards from the alarmist industry.

          • Clark

            The first link proves that you will argue both that CO2 concentration is too low to affect climate, and too high to affect climate – it proves that you don’t care what argument you support, so long as it manufactures false doubt.

            The second proves a similar thing about the temperature record. Both links prove you to be dishonest.

          • Blunderbuss

            @Clark

            “The first link proves that you will argue both that CO2 concentration is too low to affect climate, and too high to affect climate”

            No. What I am saying is:

            (1) The mass of CO2 produced by human activity is tiny, compared to the mass of CO2 produced by natural processes.

            (2) At 400 ppm, the CO2 in the atmosphere is already absorbing nearly all the radiation in the band of maximum absorption, so increasing it beyond 400 ppm will have little effect.

          • Blunderbuss

            @Clark

            “The second proves a similar thing about the temperature record.”

            No. What I am saying is that the fact that CO2 concentration and temperature are rising together does not prove cause and effect. This is explained in more detail in the Patrick Moore video.

          • Blunderbuss

            @Clark

            “Climate science predicted that rising CO2 would cause temperature to rise, and it did.”

            You are not listening to me. The warming caused the rising CO2 concentration so they got it the wrong way round.

            I’m not avoiding the questions. It’s just that you don’t like the answers.

          • Blunderbuss

            @Clark

            “Sorry mate; wrong isotope of carbon for that explanation. The extra is coming from fossil fuels; carbon from underground is radioactive.”

            The source of the CO2 is irrelevant because I don’t accept that CO2 is a major contributor to global warming.

          • Blunderbuss

            @Clark

            “Sorry mate; wrong isotope of carbon for that explanation. The extra is coming from fossil fuels; carbon from underground is radioactive.”

            And from Yale Climate Connections:

            “plants contain the radioactive isotope carbon-14, which decays over time. Geological materials like coal, oil, and natural gas are so old that they no longer have any carbon-14.”

            https://www.yaleclimateconnections.org/2018/11/isotopes-point-to-the-culprit-behind-climate-change/

            Who is right?

          • Clark

            Your Yale link is right; I got it back to front.

            But that doesn’t affect the argument. The relative concentrations of carbon isotopes are consistent with mainstream climate science, not the random straws your deniers keep grasping at:

            Sequences of annual tree rings going back thousands of years have now been analyzed for their 13C/12C ratios. Because the age of each ring is precisely known we can make a graph of the atmospheric 13C/12C ratio vs. time. What is found is at no time in the last 10,000 years are the 13C/12C ratios in the atmosphere as low as they are today. Furthermore, the 13C/12C ratios begin to decline dramatically just as the CO2 starts to increase — around 1850 AD. This is exactly what we expect if the increased CO2 is in fact due to fossil fuel burning. Furthermore, we can trace the absorption of CO2 into the ocean by measuring the 13C/12C ratio of surface ocean waters. While the data are not as complete as the tree ring data (we have only been making these measurements for a few decades) we observe what is expected: the surface ocean 13C/12C is decreasing. Measurements of 13C/12C on corals and sponges — whose carbonate shells reflect the ocean chemistry just as tree rings record the atmospheric chemistry — show that this decline began about the same time as in the atmosphere; that is, when human CO2 production began to accelerate in earnest.***

            – In addition to the data from tree rings, there are also of measurements of the 13C/12C ratio in the CO2 trapped in ice cores. The tree ring and ice core data both show that the total change in the 13C/12C ratio of the atmosphere since 1850 is about 0.15%. This sounds very small but is actually very large relative to natural variability. The results show that the full glacial-to-interglacial change in 13C/12C of the atmosphere — which took many thousand years — was about 0.03%, or about 5 times less than that observed in the last 150 years.

            – For those who are interested in the details, some relevant references are:
            – Stuiver, M., Burk, R. L. and Quay, P. D. 1984. 13C/12C ratios and the transfer of biospheric carbon to the atmosphere. J. Geophys. Res. 89, 11,731-11,748.
            – Francey, R.J., Allison, C.E., Etheridge, D.M., Trudinger, C.M., Enting, I.G., Leuenberger, M., Langenfelds, R.L., Michel, E., Steele, L.P., 1999. A 1000-year high precision record of d13Cin atmospheric CO2. Tellus 51B, 170–193.
            – Quay, P.D., B. Tilbrook, C.S. Wong. Oceanic uptake of fossil fuel CO2: carbon-13 evidence. Science 256 (1992), 74-79

            http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/12/how-do-we-know-that-recent-cosub2sub-increases-are-due-to-human-activities-updated/

          • Clark

            So at this point, if you are making a scientific argument, you should retract some assertions you made about increased CO2 coming from the oceans:

            March 23, 01:32 above: – “The warming caused the rise in CO2 concentration”.

            March 22, 16:46 above – “You are ignoring the 800 year time lag. The rise in CO2 concentration we are experiencing now is a result of the Medieval Warm Period”

            Oh you’ve made it so many times on this page I can’t be bothered to list them all. It’s obvious that your only interest in the science is to confuse other readers about it. Your objective appears to be political, and anti-scientific.

          • Blunderbuss

            @Clark

            As I said earlier, I am arguing that CO2 has little effect on the climate so, from a climate angle, it doesn’t matter what the source of the CO2 is.

          • Clark

            Another thing that matters; you claimed to be a “minor politician”. What influence over policy do you have, and where?

          • Blunderbuss

            @Clark

            “What matters to other readers is whether you’re arguing honestly or not. And you’re not.”

            What do you mean by not arguing honestly? Do you mean that I don’t really believe what I am saying and that I am only saying it because somebody is paying me to say it?

            If that is what you mean, then you are wrong.

          • Blunderbuss

            @Clark

            “Another thing that matters; you claimed to be a “minor politician”. What influence over policy do you have, and where?”

            The only influence over policy I have is by writing on blogs. Nobody is under any obligation to take any notice of anything I say.

          • Blunderbuss

            @Clark

            “It’s obvious that your only interest in the science is to confuse other readers about it. Your objective appears to be political, and anti-scientific.”

            Well, you’ve been quite confusing yourself.

            (1) You said carbon from underground is radioactive, then you said it isn’t.

            (2) You said radioactive 14C was a marker for fossil carbon, then you dropped that and said the marker is the 13C/12C ratio.

            I’m not a nuclear physicist and I don’t claim to know much about nuclear physics but it sounds as though you know less than I do.

          • Blunderbuss

            @Clark

            I’m not sure that Yale Climate Connections has got it right:

            “Geological materials like coal, oil, and natural gas are so old that they no longer have any carbon-14.”

            I’d be surprised if fossil fuels contained no 14C. Many years ago, I was told by a distinguished scientist that coal-fired power stations produce more radioactive waste than nuclear power stations because of 14C in the flue gases. Was he wrong?

          • Blunderbuss

            @Clark

            I’m doing some research on the 13C/12C ratio. As I understand it, growing plants preferentially absorb 12C so the 13C/12C ratio is lower in plants than in the atmosphere. When coal is formed from dead plants, it retains the same 13C/12C ratio as the plants.

            When coal is burned, the CO2 produced will have the same 13C/12C ratio as the coal and this will slightly dilute the atmosphere which has a higher 13C/12C ratio.

            However, the same will be true when wood is burned, so the dilution of the atmosphere is not just a measure of fossil fuel burning, it is a measure of fossil fuel plus wood burning and wood is generally regarded as a renewable fuel.

            The use of the 13C/12C ratio as a measure of fossil fuel burning will therefore over-state the mass of fossil fuel burned because it will count wood as fossil fuel.

            Am I right?

          • Clark

            I think the solution to our confusion about 14C is that the radioactivity is in the fly ash not the CO2, and it comes from impurities of uranium and thorium in the coal:

            https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/coal-ash-is-more-radioactive-than-nuclear-waste/

            Note that the article was corrected due to readers’ feedback – real science vigilance in public.

            Coal is millions of years old, so with a half-life of 5730 years, 14C should have decayed away to insignificant concentrations. My mistake was thinking that 14C was produced underground by activation, by decay of nearby uranium and thorium. This was a very old memory, and maybe the scientist you mentioned was under the same misapprehension. But come to think of it, it doesn’t make sense because we don’t get uranium from coal mines, and even if we did coal is found in seams, so most would be too far from any uranium to be affected. I expect there’s only significant uranium in coal ash because such huge quantities of coal are burned.

            At a first guess I’d expect so much more coal to be burned than wood that the wood doesn’t make much difference to the isotope ratios. The US alone was burning around a billion tonnes of coal per year, I think, just in generating electricity.

            Beyond that, I don’t know if you’re right. From the Suess effect Wiki page it seems quite complicated, with differences in preferential isotope uptake between plants that fix carbon by different methods, C3, C4 and CAM. You might find something in the papers linked here:

            http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/12/how-do-we-know-that-recent-cosub2sub-increases-are-due-to-human-activities-updated/

            When I get something wrong, I admit it and correct it. That’s the proper procedure in science, too. You should try it; it’s liberating.

      • freddy

        I think this is the main reason. In effect he’s a turncoat for the “ecocentrics”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdmBaBS4zkU

        His stance re nuclear power is big issue. Not so sure about his background/family interests, but it seems strange that after a lifetime of environmental activism he’d do this. Not credible (imo) I’m afraid.

          • Clark

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

            “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. The rate is accelerating.”

          • Clark

            If I want to understand climate, I’ll listen to climate scientists. Patrick Moore is not a climate scientist, nor a palaeoclimatologist. He’s an industry consultant with a B.Sc. in Forest Biology in 1969, and a Ph.D. in Forestry, and a policy advisor on climate and energy at The Heartland Institute. I see that the lecture featured the corporate logo of Spilman Thomas and Battle, corporate lawyers for the fracking industry:

            https://www.spilmanlaw.com/dataentry/services-categories/energy-environmental?srvc=energy-law

            Our Oil & Gas Legal Services – Litigation:

            – Spilman attorneys have experience defending clients’ interests across a broad range of matters in the oil and gas industry, including:

            – Oil and gas drilling rights disputes
            – Fracking ban disputes

            etc…

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Heartland_Institute

            The Heartland Institute is an American conservative and libertarian public policy think tank founded in 1984 and based in Arlington Heights, Illinois. The Institute conducts work on issues including education reform, government spending, taxation, healthcare, education, tobacco policy, global warming, hydraulic fracturing, information technology, and free-market environmentalism.

            – In the 1990s, the Heartland Institute worked with the tobacco company Philip Morris to attempt to discredit the health risks of secondhand smoke and to lobby against smoking bans. In the decade after 2000, the Heartland Institute became a leading promoter of climate change denial.

            – Oil and gas companies have contributed to the Institute, including $736,500 from ExxonMobil between 1998 and 2005. Greenpeace reported that Heartland received almost $800,000 from ExxonMobil.

            – The Institute has also received funding and support from tobacco companies Philip Morris, Altria and Reynolds American, and pharmaceutical industry firms GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer and Eli Lilly.

            – On February 14, 2012, the global warming blog DeSmogBlog published more than one hundred pages of Heartland documents said to be from the Institute. Heartland acknowledged that some internal documents had been stolen.

            – The documents included a fundraising plan, board of directors meeting minutes, and the organization’s 2012 budget. Donors to the Institute included the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, Microsoft, General Motors, Comcast, Reynolds American, Philip Morris, Amgen, Bayer, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer and Eli Lilly, liquor companies, and an anonymous donor who had given $13 million over the past five years.

            – The documents contained details of payments to support climate skeptics and their programs, namely the founder of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change Craig Idso ($11,600 per month), physicist Fred Singer ($5,000 plus expenses per month), geologist Robert M. Carter ($1,667 per month) and $90,000 to blogger and former meteorologist Anthony Watts. The documents also revealed the Institute’s plan to develop curriculum materials to be provided to teachers in the United States to promote climate skepticism, plans confirmed by the Associated Press.

            BLUNDERBUSS, it took you moments to post a link to disinformation. For the sake of humanity’s future, I have spent over an hour collating the information above. You owe me ONE HOUR of your life.

          • Blunderbuss

            @Clark

            “If I want to understand climate, I’ll listen to climate scientists.”

            Climate scientists are people, not gods. Like all people, they are capable of being wrong. I could be wrong but you are not entitled to claim that climate scientists can’t be wrong. If you do make such a claim, it is a religious claim, comparable to Papal infallibility.

          • Blunderbuss

            @Clark

            “BLUNDERBUSS, it took you moments to post a link to disinformation. For the sake of humanity’s future, I have spent over an hour collating the information above. You owe me ONE HOUR of your life.”

            No I don’t. I didn’t ask you to waste an hour of your time. And for goodness sake drop this ridiculous belief that you, alone, can save the planet. You are just making a rod for your own back.

          • Clark

            I do not claim that scientists can’t be wrong; the authority of this scientist or that is not a scientific argument. Over the course of many decades the climate science community made a prediction based on theory, and that prediction has been confirmed. That is strong evidence that the theory is correct. That is how science is done (and as you have claimed to be a scientist, I shouldn’t have to explain that to you).

            You say their theory is wrong, so how do you explain their correct prediction?

          • Blunderbuss

            @Clark

            “You say their theory is wrong, so how do you explain their correct prediction?”

            Coincidence. As I’ve already said, the fact that two factors change at the same time does not prove that one causes the other.

            When I heard Patrick Moore’s claim about the relationship between ice cream sales and shark attacks, I thought he was joking, but he wasn’t.

          • Clark

            “When I heard Patrick Moore’s claim about the relationship between ice cream sales and shark attacks, I thought he was joking”

            Then you’re not a very good scientist; it was immediately obvious what the most likely connection was. I’d be more inclined to wonder if there were enough shark attacks to find statistical significance.

    • Clark

      I think it’s Moore doing it himself, isn’t it? It seems he became very critical of Greenpeace over their zero tolerance of nuclear power and genetic modification, and has been distancing himself from them. He’s from a Canadian commercial logging and fishing family and his doctorate is in forestry, and he’s advocating more logging, whereas Greenpeace don’t like clear-cutting.

  • michael norton

    The E.U. has today said it will grant the U.K. a Brexit delay until May 22nd, if the United Kingdom parliament agrees to Theresa May’s “deal”
    https://www.euronews.com/2019/03/21/live-brexit-to-dominate-eu-summit-talks-in-brussels?fromBreakingNews=1

    And therein lies the rub.
    They have already massively voted down her “deal” twice.

    What would be their incentive to vote for the same deal?

    It would make them look ludicrous in the eyes of the electorate.

  • Maywood

    Downing Street responds after #RevokeA50Now petition hits 1 million signatures

    Downing St on the petition to revoke Article 50: ‘The PM has long been clear but that failing to deliver on the referendum result would be a failure of democracy and a failure she wouldn’t countenance. The PM has said many times she will not countenance revoking Article 50.’

      • michael norton

        I think Mrs.Theresa May, may yet deliver Brexit for the people,
        despite the 75% Remainer M.P.’s./E.U.Elite

    • MJ

      The problem is that someone (eg Yvette Cooper) will sneak in some innocuous-sounding little amendment somewhere, parliament will vote for it and it won’t matter one jot what the PM won’t countenance.

  • fwl

    Had a look at a De Spiegel for Brexit coverage and its lead article is on the election campaign in Israel the likes of which I don’t think see in the UK. Coming from our cautious and nervous media it appears shocking. It considers the death of the intellectual Amos Oz and the rise of the right wing Otzma Yehudit and takes note of Ayelot Schakel, whose video campaign is to say the least surprising.

      • fwl

        Sorry Misspelt her name: its Ayelet Schaked and her New Right video is Fascism – a perfume which she says smells more like democracy. Apparently she has been called a fascist for her opposition to the liberal Israeli Supreme Court and she supports (rather like Trump) the power of the voters to neuter the judiciary?

        Anyone got some intelligent context or explanation for this? She makes Ukippers sound moderate.

        • Paul Barbara

          @ fwl March 21, 2019 at 20:38
          Blimey! If they call that Supreme Court liberal, they’re even sicker than I thought (very difficult!).

        • Loony

          Do you have any actual evidence that Trump believes that voters have the power to neuter the judiciary? Or do you just make things up, rather like the 57.6 million Americans who believe either they or their fellow countrymen have been abducted by aliens.

          • fwl

            Loony I respect your request for some data to confirm my comment on Trump’s respect for the judiciary, but it’ll have to be after I have stopped laughing.

          • fwl

            Loony have a look back through trump’s tweets over the court’s setting aside is executive order travel bans eg 4 Feb 2017 where he refers to a so-called Judge and directly pits the electorate against the Judges.

          • Loony

            That had nothing whatsoever to do with “neutering” the judiciary. That was publicly seeking a judicial outcome in line with Trump’s own understanding of the law. An understanding that was subsequently confirmed as correct by the Supreme Court.

            On your logic the lengthy appeal process undertaken in the UK by groups like the Guildford 4 would constitute them seeking to “neuter the judiciary.”

            Only a fascist or a fool would make such an argument.

          • fwl

            check out the collection of T’s numerous anti-judicial tweets at the Brennan Centre for Justice
            brennancentre.org

            They are all coming out of his frustration that the court stops his executive orders.

            Trump thinks that being elected means that he is mandated to do whatever he said he wanted to do in his campaign speeches regardless of the constitution or the law and that he can do this through Executive Orders. He doesn’t have a cunning plan or legal argument in this regard (as had The Vice – DC) and he is realising that it doesn’t work.

            Regards,

            A Fwl

        • Some Random Passer-By

          Same thing thats always gone on. The change is they aren’t really trying to hide it anymore.

        • fwl

          I was hoping for some intelligent contextualisation and honest comment perhaps from Habba about what Ms Schaked is up to and why?

  • remember kronstadt

    mmm, Trump tweeted Netanyahoo that the Golan is all his – just to perk up his run for reelection

    • Paul Barbara

      @ remember kronstadt March 21, 2019 at 21:02
      I wonder if Trump is related to Balfour?

      • remember kronstadt

        tee hee, at least Balfour had some notional claim on the land he disposed. I suppose both Trump and Netanyahoo are both on election alert. A gift that goes on giving for sure.

  • remember kronstadt

    Brexit aftermath – it would be good political sense to run a people’s vote to approve the deal. Not to provide closure in what are most likely to be times of rancour and disaffection is irresponsible. Either way it needs putting to bed.

    • MJ

      Yes a deal or no deal referendum might resolve an issue that our MPs are finding too difficult. Problems are that firstly there is no extant deal to consider and secondly it is difficult to envisage the actual outcome if we delivered the wrong answer.

  • Glasshopper

    I didn’t vote in the referendum, but the vile snobbery of Guardian readers pushed me towards leave afterwards.

    Julie Burchill on the bigotry of remainers…

    “They have felt free to indulge in the forbidden taste-thrill of bigotry for once in their self-censoring lives. The parasexual kick derived from hating the old and the working-class has energised a supine and smug ruling-class who have outed themselves as the true enemy within.”

    Not a fan of Burchill usually, but this is spot on.

    • remember kronstadt

      Julie Burchill on the bigotry of remainers…

      “They” have felt – sounds like bigotry to me

    • Xavi

      The Guardian employed Burchill for years, specifically to express reactionary and bigoted opinions of every type. It is about as wary of bigotry as it is of making up stories about figures who threaten the establishment.

    • Clark

      “the vile snobbery of Guardian readers pushed me towards leave […] Julie Burchill on the bigotry of remainers…”

      So you let the media influence your position. That’s daft. Decide according to the issues.

      Media propaganda has far more influence that we should permit – and than any of us like to admit. The direction of the influence is less important than its existence – it swamps the democratic signal with random noise (believe or react), pushing all results towards 50/50.

      • Sharp Ears

        Witches. Yes. Also these in an Independent article from way back. ‘A waffle’ was chosen as the best.

        ‘A waffle of MPs
        As in: “‘Newsnight’ will be inviting a mixed waffle of MPs to debate the question.” (Winner: David James)

        Hypocrisy and windbaggery were the themes on which most people dilated: all those reports about politicians sinking ever lower in the public esteem are clearly on the mark. A spin of MPs was the favourite, but we felt that it lacked something and was not as instantly self-explanatory as waffle. Others include: a duplicity; a mendacity; a dishonesty; a corruption; a backhander; a blather; a bluster; a prevarication; an evasion; a sham; a fence; a gravy-train; an ambition; a mob; a babble; a prattle; a rookery; a circumlocution; a malady; a Machiavelli; a mullarkey.

      • Sharp Ears

        Brian. Did you find another YT of Craig in (London)derry yesterday? Thanks for previous links.

        • BrianFujisan

          Sharp Ears..

          Sorry, nothing on RT, I don’t think they Recorded it in Derry.. I had a look on Thursday night.. But nothing, and it seems no one else filmed it.. RT probably Logically assume it will be all Mostly the same presentations.. Good on RT for being there many a time..when the Imperialist MsM are absent.

    • Blunderbuss

      The BBC claims that Theresa May has been stirring up hatred against MPs. Talk about pot and kettle. The BBC has been stirring up hatred against Theresa May for months.

  • Paul Barbara

    For Corbynites who are sick of the scam AS smears, there is a rally near Holborn on Monday 25th March, and also Jackie Walker’s ‘disciplinary’ hearing on Tuesday 26th March: the exact venues will be communicated to ticketholders at a later date:
    https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/hands-off-the-left-reinstate-chris-williamson-mp-dont-expel-jackie-walker-tickets-59076121269#tickets
    https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/labour-party-disciplinary-hearing-against-jackie-walker-tickets-59172950889?invite=&err=29&referrer=&discount=&affiliate=&eventpassword=

    • OnlyHalfALooney

      What will they do if it reaches 18 million?

      It’s at almost 2.5 million already.

      Is it possible for the public to petition the Queen directly to have Theresa May sacked and banished to a very small island?

  • remember kronstadt

    Europe blinked AGAIN – May triumphant, what a deal maker. Street parties announced and Chris Grayling put in charge of sourcing five million tins of the finest spam for the celebrations. May’s next challenge is to get the UK out of that song contest.

  • Sharp Ears

    ‘Imperialism on trial’. Indeed. St John’s College, Oxford is advertising for a member of staff to investigate the college’s past connections to colonialism, uncovering benefactions to St John’s and the alumni who served in the empire. Salary £32-39k pa. This follows on from the furore about the Rhodes statue at Oriel College

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/03/21/oxford-college-hires-staff-investigate-colonialism-links-rhodes/

    connections between the college and colonialism, uncovering benefactions to St John’s and the alumni who served in the empire”.

    • Charles Bostock

      Sharp Ears

      On a point of information : when referring to Oxford colleges, there is no need in general to use the word “college”. It is enough to say, for example, “St John’s” or “Oriel”. One only needs to specify “Oxford” when there is a college of the same name at Cambridge (eg, “Corpus Christi” or “Trinity”.

      Hope that informs and helps.

      • Loony

        How would the reader have known that the St John’s college referred to was in Oxford had the writer failed to specify either Oxford or college?

        Why could a reference to St. John’s not be interpreted as a reference to any of the myriad St. John’s institutions – for example St. John’s Cardiff or St. John’s Nottingham or St. John’s in Maryland or St. John’s in New Mexico. I could go on but you probably get the point.

        Perhaps there is some convention in the UK that a mere reference to St. John’s necessarily means a reference to St. John;s college Oxford. I do not know – but I do know that ant such convention cannot possibly apply outside of the borders of the UK. If this latter point is even close to correct then I suppose it itself acts as a justification for inquiry into colonialism.

        • Charles Bostock

          Loony

          I do get your point but think it was fairly clear from the rest of her post and from the wording of the link which St John’s we were talking about. Some, indeed, would say that that St John’s is the only St John’s worth talking about (in the academic world, that is. I do not of course refer to, for example, the St John’s Ambulance service and so on…).

          As for certain conventions not applying outside the UK (although I’m not sure we’re really dealing with a convention here), you’re right but since this is essentially a UK blog (although hosted in Russia) from a UK national (however reluctantly so) and read/commented on by a mostly UK readership/kommentariat, I don’t think we need worry ourselves overmuch about the territorial relevance of conventions.

          Hope that elucidates and helps.

          • giyane

            Bostick

            Oxnard university has a particularly selective view of Islam. Why should one respect the ancient traditions of an institution that does not respect the ancient traditions of its elders?

          • Charles Bostock

            Guano

            Were we discussing the respect of ancient traditions or how Oxford colleges are called in common parlance? The latter, of course. Your going off at a tangent is typical of you and shows you don’t really listen; you just use this blog as a megaphone for your various complexes and obsessions.

          • Clark

            CB, I have known this blog to be hosted in various countries and some unlikely places, I’ve even known the physical servers to be moved across the US by truck! But I have never know it to be hosted in Russia. It is currently being distributed through the Cloudflare Content Delivery Network – check the Javascript sources or look up the nameservers by submitting the domain name to a whois search if you don’t believe me – Cloudflare is a US company.

          • Clark

            So CB, if you have some technical reason to believe that this blog is being served from Russia, maybe your connection is being diverted or otherwise interfered with.

      • Borncynical

        You need to inform the producers of University Challenge. The graphics under two competing teams were “St John’s – Oxford” and “Peterhouse – Cambridge” respectively. Presumably those labels were for the benefit of us plebs who may be ignorant of accepted convention.

        • Charles Bostock

          Yes, that is exactly the reason. But since the readers of and the kommentariat on Murray’s blog are extremely intelligent, well-informed and highly cultured, there is surely no need to follow University Challenge’s example on here?

      • Jimmeh

        I believe you are wrong, Charles.

        The majority of Oxford colleges are properly called “[thing] College”. Some are called “[St. thing] Hall” (perhaps those halls are not technically colleges, I’m not sure; I do believe that they are all highly theological in nature, and that they mostly have less than 30 members).

        There is one college in Oxford that is not called “[thing] College”; that institution is called Christ Church. It is a solecism to refer to “Christ Church College”.

        For what it’s worth, referring to “St. John’s Oxford” could be a reference to St. John’s Church on Iffley Road – not everything in Oxford is a college. Many Oxford townies object to the notion that Oxford stops where the colleges stop.

        • Charles Bostock

          Jimmeh

          Thank you for that and allow me to comment little because we can do so on the basis of fact and not fancy (as with the latest Brexit developments).

          Formally you are of course right – but in common parlance both at Oxford and indeed further afield the word “college” is not used. There is however one strict exception to this and that is New College, which is always referred to like that and never just as “New”.

          Entirely right about Christ Church and it might be worthwhile to point out for future reference (of people other than yourself) that CC is commonly known as “The House” or, depending on context, “House”. This arises from its Latin name of “Aedes Christi”, ie, the House of Christ.

          I must put you right in the question of Halls, where one should not forget that there are two full-blown colleges with the word “Hall” in their title. One is thinking here of St Edmund Hall (one of the oldest institutions in Oxford, dating from before 1238) and the former women’s college of Lady Margaret Hall. These are known in common parlance as Teddy Hall/Hall/SEH and LMH and there is hardly any need to use anything else. So one is not talking only of the theological halls when we frefer to “Hall”.

          Lastly I would recommend to everyone – whether a support of hater of Oxford – ,a most wonderful book called “Oxford Then and Now” by Dacre Balsdon (Duckworth, 1970). I defy anyone who has read it to persist with the silly kind of comment about Oxford we see thrown about here and elsewhere.

          • Jimmeh

            Huh? “Silly comments”?

            Do you mean like saying that “St. Johns” in an Oxford context always refers to St. Johns College in the University of Oxford? Perhaps you would allow that, dependent on context, it might refer to St. John’s Care Home on St.Mary’s Road? Perhaps the church of St. John The Evangelist, on Vicarage Road, in Hinksey? I already mentioned St. John’s Church on Iffley Road. Oh, excuse me – none of these places are within the walled city (which is completely packed with Oxford University colleges), so they don’t count.

            How pompous. How sickeningly parochial.

            Regarding the Halls: you give the appearance of correcting me, but named both St. Edmund and Lady Margaret as Halls, not colleges. Perhaps you were drawing my attention to the fact that both might have more than 30 members. Well, I did say that this was my belief, meaning that I hadn’t checked the number of members for each example. I overlooked Lady Margaret Hall, which of course is like any other Oxford college. So is St Edmund, it seems. Whatever. Your compendious knowledge of schools for rich kids does you little credit.

          • Jimmeh

            I’m grateful to you for noting that I’m “formally” correct; You might equally have noted simply that you were mistaken, and I was right.

            Also, regarding “The House”, I think you are again distorting things.

            To the best of my limited knowledge, “The House” refers to the members and fellows. It does not include the Dean and Chapter of the college chapel – which also happens to be Oxford Cathedral. And as it happens, if ordinary Oxford townies want to visit that cathedral of theirs, they need a signed note from their parish priest attesting that they are true believers – everyone else is excluded. This is in marked contrast to just about any other cathedral in Europe, where you can just walk in more or less any day during daylight.

            This so-called cathedral is basically just a jumped-up private chapel.

          • Charles Bostock

            Jimmeh

            The “silly comments” did not refer to your post – most of which was correct but needing fleshing out – but to the sort of silly comment which seek to devalue or condemn some public figure because he or she attended Oxford. Apologies if I was unclear.

            That said, the rest of your response puzzles me – inasfar as I’m able to understand what you’re actually getting at.

            Re your first para, of course St John’s could refer to the buildings you mention.But if you go back to the post which started off this mini-thread (Sharp Ears at 06h50), I think it is fairly obvious that we were talking about a college and not one of the church building you mention. Why, I do believe tht if you look carefully, you will even see the word “college” in the main body of her post.

            Re your second para it is a little harder to answer because it’s not entirely clear what you’re on about. But if you explain the relevance of “thirty members” and perhaps reformulate your grievance so as to make it more understandable the I’d be very happy to respond more fully. Over to you, squire.

          • Charles Bostock

            Jimmeh (17h49)

            You are correct that the formal name of, for example, Oriel is Oriel College (or even better, Oriel College in the University of Oxford), But the point was that in common parlance, Oriel College is referred to as simply Oriel and everyone (except perhaps most of those who view University Challenge) what you’re talking about. There’s no point in you being in denial about that. The same applies of course to St John’s; and if anyone wishes to refer to a church nearing that name he will evidently make it clear he’s referring to a church by the judicious use of a few supplementary and appropriate words.

            You seem very displeased with the idea that there is a cathedral within the grounds of Christ Church. I shall not of course enquire why but am happy to assure you that I respect your right to be displeased. But what is the relevance of what you write to the question of whether or not Christ Church is referred to as “The House” (or just “House”, as appropriate) in common parlance?

            Please promise me you will invest in a copy of Dacre Balsdon (out of print of course but you can get it though abebooks for a very modest price)!

        • Jimmeh

          [google’s Dacre Balsdon] Doesn’t look like my kind of thing. I’m more interested in vernacular histories of Oxford the town.

          In particular, it looks as if he wrote a book about Oxford University, and named it “Oxford Life”. You want me to read it why? You already know that I think the attitude that Oxford is a University first, and a town second, is arrogant and rude – an attitude that is not so uncommon among Oxford students and alumni.

          • Charles Bostock

            I’m glad to see that you seem to have got over your peeve. So I can tell you that Dacre Balsdon wrote both “Oxford Then and Now” and “Oxford Life” (the latter came first by over a decade). Of course I recommend both for your attention and am sure you’d like them.

            I think you’re stuck in the past because I get the impression that the Town v Gown thing has become a non-issue. But anyway, historically, Oxford was the University/Colleges for most of its existence and industrial Oxford only started up less than a century ago with the Morris motor works.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Sharp Ears March 22, 2019 at 06:50
      They could do worse than read ‘Hidden History: The Secret Origins of the First World War’ and ‘Prolonging the Agony: How the Anglo-American Establishment Deliberately Extended WWI by Three-And-A-Half Years’, both by Jim MacGregor and Gerry Docherty.
      Trouble is, they let too many cat’s out of the bag, to the detriment of our ‘Establishment’ and the hallowed ‘narrative’ of WWI.

      • Charles Bostock

        I would not recommend to anyone to read any “history book” whose title starts off with “The Secret…..”. This is because they are not likely to be reading a well-researched and scholarly book but a thesis which is put into the public domain either because the author really believes in the conspiracy he is hawking (but it remains a conspiracy theory notwithstanding..) or because he is trying to earn a crust from the credulity of the weak-minded and forgetful.

        • fwl

          Congratulations you started off a highly amusing line of posts on this topic of sinjin or not sinjin etc

          But what is this you’ve said about this blog being hosted from Russia? is it?

          • Clark

            This blog is under Craig’s control, via his system administration team.

            Last I knew, it could be hosted just about anywhere, and moved at short order if needs be. But I never knew of it being hosted in Russia.

    • Blunderbuss

      Is the College going to pay back all past donations from colonialists? That would cost a pretty penny.

      Nowadays, colleges get donations from arms dealers which is a very respectable trade. In the 22nd century when (perhaps) arms dealing has ceased to be respectable, will they undergo a similar crisis of conscience?

  • michael norton

    Trump to keep control of Al Tanf Triangle, the Syrian land bordering both Jordan and Iraq.
    Trump to recognize The Golan is Israeli.
    These are connected.

      • Charles Bostock

        I believe you are the only poster on here who refers periodically to the (40-odd year old) Oded Yinon “plan” (inverted commas because the word “plan” is a of course a misnomer). It is a dead horse which won’t rise and run no matter how much you and other Israel-haters flog it. Typically your link is to that well-known purveyor of falsehood and fake news the pretentiously-named “global research” website.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    See that Turnip has paid off Bibi for making the New Zeal\and massacre by making Jerusalem Ihe ]country’s’ soffical capiral.

    • IrishU

      Yet again you mention Israel in connection with the New Zealand massacre. What is your point or evidence?

          • Charles Bostock

            Your indignation is due more to the fact that the miscreants are Israelis than to the identity of the involontary donor. Hence your indignation is, I am sure, entirely artificial.

            On a more general point : you are surely aware that your persistent, obsessive posting about Israel (and often, those who just happen to be Jewish although not Israeli) pisses off Craig Murray, his moderators and probably more than a few readers (the proof of the latter lies in the embarassed silence with which much of your stuff is greeted). Why they are pissed off is not for me to explain but pissed off they are.

            If you are not aware of it then you have been made aware of it recently. Discreetly but fairly clearly.

            So why is it that you’re unable to take the hint? If you re genuinely unaware, then you possess very blunt antennae. If you are aware but nevertheless persist, then you are guilty of selfishness and a total lack of self-restraint.

            One shows respect for Mr Murray not by reminding readers of his various tweets or complaining when he is addressed simply as “Murray” but by responding positively to his wishes however unpalatable they might be to you personally.

          • Blunderbuss

            @Charles Bostock

            “Your indignation is due more to the fact that the miscreants are Israelis than to the identity of the involontary donor. Hence your indignation is, I am sure, entirely artificial.”

            What makes you sure? I suspect Sharp Ears would have said the same if the miscreants had been Russian or Chinese or North Korean.

            “On a more general point : you are surely aware that your persistent, obsessive posting about Israel (and often, those who just happen to be Jewish although not Israeli) pisses off Craig Murray…”

            What is your evidence for this? Criticizing Israelis who have committed crimes is not antisemitism, although you might think it is.

          • Charles Bostock

            Blunderbuss

            “I suspect Sharp Ears would have said the same if the miscreants had been Russian or Chinese or North Korean”

            And I suspect you are the only person on this blog to believe that.

            But you don’t really believe that, do you – you’re just disgorging a kind of omertà.

          • Blunderbuss

            @CB 19:19

            omerta – The code of silence in the Mafia

            Well, I’ve been called a lot of things but that’s the first time I’ve been accused of being in the mafia.

          • glenn_nl

            BlunderBust: Replying to CB: “the first time I’ve been accused of being in the mafia.”

            Nobody is accusing you of being in the Mafia – calm down, dear.

            This is getting ludicrous. If someone said, “You’re quiet as the grave tonight, old boy”, would you start screaming for the police, crying that someone wants to put you in a grave?

            See a shrink, mate – as the Mod suggested.

      • Trowbridge H. Ford

        My point is that islamophobic Sheldon Tarrant has been finaanced by Israel seeking more Nazi relics, trained to be another Anders Breivik, and carried out the mission so New Zealanders,r especially the PM,, have been so scared that they are willing to become its scapegoat.

        Greatly successful Mossad mission.

        • Blunderbuss

          @Trowbridge H. Ford, March 22, 2019 at 15:37

          I suspect you are right but I haven’t seen any evidence yet. Perhaps some evidence will surface in a few years time, when most people have forgotten about it, like the “accident” to Helen Clark’s plane.

    • Trowbridge H. Ford

      More accurate to say that the US Embassy to Israel moved to Jerusalem, and more important, Washington recognized Israeli sovereignty over Syria;s Golan Heights.

      Some boost to Bibi’s re-election!.

  • zoot

    interesting how the uk is said to be in total ‘ crisis ‘ because of some difficulties negotiating brexit, whilst macron is presented as the model of political stability, despite months and months of riots tearing his country apart.
    guess it’s the way you tell em.

    • Andyoldlabour

      zoot

      That is just our MSM, they will not air anything which shows Macron or the other pro EU leaders in a bad light.

      • Blunderbuss

        Maybe there is an error in translation. “May you all be blessed” easily gets mis-translated as “May you all be wounded”.

  • Sharp Ears

    This is the Guardian’s idea of reporting from Palestine. Tucked away in their photo gallery yesterday was this photo of a Palestinian family gathering up their belongings after their home had been demolished by the IDF. No identity of these pitiful people is given just this one line caption.

    ‘Yatta, West Bank
    Palestinians collect their belongings after Israeli forces demolished their house.’
    https://www.theguardian.com/news/gallery/2019/mar/21/thursday-best-photos-seoul-fashion-inflatable-sculpture-guardian-picture-editors#img-14

    • Charles Bostock

      Sharp Ears

      The caption appears to be succinctly accurate. What exactly are you complaining about this time? What is missing from the caption in your opinion? Are you capable of telling u?

        • Charles Bostock

          Clark

          What the f…. do you mean by “token balance”? Sharp Ears was saying that The Guardian hadn’t identified the houseowners. But her link clearly does. So what has “balance” to do with this?

          But let’s pin you down for once in your miserable, hand-wringing life. Tell readers and me how the caption should have read and what the article (if there was one) should have said.

      • Sharp Ears

        @16.03

        No thoughts about the fact that people’s homes are being demolished, unlawfully? Would you like it if it was your dweling place?

        • Charles Bostock

          If this happened in the West Bank then it happened under the Israeli military law applicable for that territory. You may not like the law that gives the possibility of tearing down the house of the family where the terrorist lives but you cannot say the action is “unlawful”. Lex dura sed lex.

          • Blunderbuss

            dura lex sed lex – the law is harsh but it is the law.

            I wish Israel was equally scrupulous about obeying UN resolutions.

  • Republicofscotland

    So Donald Trump has tweeted that it’s time for the world to recognise that the Golan Heights now belongs to Israel.

    Of course apart from the oppressive apartheid state of Israel, and a few obedient lickspittle nations, who agree with Trump’s tweet, the Arab League, Syria, Iran, Turkey, Germany, France, and the majority of the UN, and most of the other nations in the world believe that the Golan Heights does not belong to the oppressive apartheid state of Israel.

    It’s more than plausible to think that Trump’s timing of the Golan Heights tweet, is an attempt to aid his friend Netanyahu in his historical attempt to become Israels prime minister for a fifth time, thus surpassing Israels first PM David Ben-Gurion, in the number of tenures as PM.

    • remember kronstadt

      as previously mentioned – this is as much for his own reelection as didi’s. the base may provides the votes but who bankrolls the campaign?

      • Republicofscotland

        Indeed, Trump keeping onside the AIPAC, and powerful lobbying groups of a certain persuasion, is a statement by him which as you say will, see him well funded for the 2020 campaign by them.

        However it would appear Trump’s opposition are moving away from such groups if this is to be believed.

        “Democrats running for their party’s presidential nomination in 2020 are staying away from next week’s American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference, in what progressive groups see as a sign of a shifting political tide.”

        https://thehill.com/policy/defense/435234-2020-dems-avoid-this-years-aipac-conference

        • IrishU

          It is a pity that neither ‘remember kronstadt’, ‘Andyoldlabour’ or RoS have the balls to spell out what they mean.

          Looks like the nudge, nudge, wink, wink approach continues on this blog.

          • Charles Bostock

            They are gutless. But in a way that’s a good thing because if the revolution depends on characters like that then I think society as presently constituted has every chance of surviving for quite a while yet.

        • Herbie

          ““Democrats running for their party’s presidential nomination in 2020 are staying away from next week’s American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference, in what progressive groups see as a sign of a shifting political tide.””

          Yes. The Dems are Globalists.

          Israel is now run by Nationalists, quite extreme Nationalists, and they’ve been in power for almost thirty years.

          They’re moving to cement their control of Jerusalem and their claim to leadership of the people.

          Further, they’re developing independently of the Globalists and making their own economic and international relations.

          The Dems aren’t happy with anyone striking out on their own, not even Israel.

          And again, this is the dynamic we see playing out all across the world.

          It’s basically Globalists against those trying to peel off from Globalism.

          And in this there are two Israels.

          There is the Nationalist Israel, and then there is the Globalist Israel.

          The Nationalist plan is to fulfill the prophecies, unite the people and undermine Globalist ideological control of the people.

          They’re well on their way to achieving this on the ground, but in pushing so fast they’re alienating young potential supporters in the US who’ll remain with the Dems.

          This is why you’re now seeing the Dems and its cleanskin youngsters getting a bit more bitchy with Israel. Obama did a bit of that. Clinton did it. Bush the father did it. Even Bush the younger.

          But now this Rightward swing is a real real threat to Globalist dreams.

          It’s kinda like urgent and imminent.

    • Sharp Ears

      Good to see that the lobbying of the UNHCR on behalf of Israel has failed today. Jeremy Hunt must be very disappointed at this outcome!

      ‘UN Adopts Report Condemning Suspected Israeli War Crimes on Gaza Border
      The report says 183 Palestinians were killed by Israel, including 35 children, during protests along the Gaza border
      Noa Landau 12:00 22nd March 2019
      The UN Human Rights Council adopted a report on Friday morning condemning Israel’s “apparent intentional use of unlawful lethal and other excessive force” against civilian protesters in Gaza.
      /..
      https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-un-adopts-report-condemning-suspected-israeli-war-crimes-on-gaza-border-1.7045175

      • Charles Bostock

        UN reports or not, I doubt if more than a very small proportion of the general public would not express general support for Israel if asked. I also doubt if that same general public is very impressed by the UN either for that matter.

        • giyane

          Bostick

          I’ve never met anyone who supports Israel’ s antisemitic crimes against their brothers sisters and fellow countrymen who are children of Ishmael .

          I find it difficult to take your addictive trolling seriously but most people here just choose to ignore your repetitive racism and misogyny.

          Men are better at hard principles ;
          Women at compromise and moving on. That’s not misogyny, that’s reality.

          • Charles Bostock

            Guano

            I suspect you move in rather limited circles.

            At the height of the Profumo scandal, PM Harold Macmillan is reported as having said plaintively – in order to explain away his lack of cura and scepticism – something along the lines of “I do not live among young people fairly widely”.

            If we replaced the adjective “young” with “normal” then that sentence might well apply to you.

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Sharp Ears March 22, 2019 at 15:29
        And Britain performed ignominiously, as per usual:
        ‘A dereliction of responsibility: UK charities alarmed by UK decision not to support UN Commission of Inquiry at the Human Rights Council’: https://www.map.org.uk/news/archive/post/985-a-dereliction-of-responsibility-uk-charities-alarmed-by-uk-decision-not-to-support-un-commission-of-inquiry-report-into-gaza-protests-at-the-un-human-rights-council-22-march-2019?
        On shooting down unarmed protesters with banned dum-dum bullets, Britain abstains, but they can’t fire off their missiles quickly enough when their mercenary White Helmets set off chemical attacks or hoaxes in Syria.

    • Charles Bostock

      High time too, RoS. Trump has done the right thing for once. Syria’s a big country, it’ll survive. And it’ll get over it in the end, just as Germany got over losing a far larger part of its pre-1937 territory to Poland after WW2. Of course, its courageous military has been unable to shell Israeli villages from the Golan Heights (clue ; Heights) since 1967 but hey, it’s open to it to prove its military valour in other more direct ways if it feels so inclined. I do hope that Syria won’t attempt to complain on the basis that international law (military or civilian) has been violated; that really would be the height of hypocrisy.

      • giyane

        Syria will survive ten year attack by the superpower and its poodles? Or:
        USUKISKSA have been defeated by the Syrian people. It really doesn’t matter what Trump utters to get his future election chances illegally bribed with something which is not in his hand to offer.
        Blind leading the blind

        • Charles Bostock

          Survive the loss of part of the Golan Heights, you chump. Close reading 101 recommended.

          • giyane

            Chump

            Prittstick Patel, a softer version of you, became unstuck when it became publicly known that Foreign Aid was intended to be sent from the UK to jihadists operating as UK proxies in the Golan. Mrs May who was in the loop quickly denied all knowledge and sacked her.
            A particularly inglorious day out of all the many in May’s feeble career as a tory politician.
            Since when is illegal colonial expansion by illegal colonial warmongering the proper beneficiary of British charity? May Cameron and Blair all share the same neo-con facility of repelling blame on themselves. May thinks she has a populist mandate for a racist Brexit , and she has tapped into this ugly vein with the same vigour as Trump and Netanyahoo.

            They all drop like ticks when they are bloated and full

  • Salford Lad

    It has since been discovered by mapping of the Remain petition that over 1 million came from overseas, suggests external vested interests at work.
    A similar mapping previously showed that the migrants flows into Europe were guided by Twitter and Facebook posts ,possibly by George Soros Open Society funded NGOs’.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    You, Sharo Ears, failed to mention that the long-planned visit to New Zealand by the Israeli President was cancelled, country relations deteriorated, and Israel ultimately apologized, and promised never to do it again, so the PM was not assassinated this time.

    • Charles Bostock

      The NZ PM was not assassinated “last time” either, you clown. What the f… are you talking about?

      • Blunderbuss

        @Charles Bostock, March 22, 2019 at 16:14

        No, but she might well have been the victim of a failed assassination attempt.

        • Charles Bostock

          “Might well”. Sure, WW2 might well have been averted if Hitler had died in 1937. And if that black rat hadn’t stowed away on that European vessel returning from the Indies the Black Death might well never occurred.

    • Goose

      I’m pro remain and would support revoke , but I do find this bizarre, bordering on suspicious. Consider the petition for automatic by-election if an MP changes party. Which shot up quickly to 20,000 then slowed to a crawl (it’s currently around 41,000) and there are 500,000 Labour members who’d like the TIGs to face by-elections, go figure?

      remember Snowden , JTRIG …https://www.schneier.com/gchq-catalog/

      UNDERPASS – Change outcome of online polls (previously known as NUBILO)

      A huge number could intimidate MPs to support a deal they don’t like.

      • Goose

        To add…

        Anecdotal admittedly , but I watched it updating in real-time last night around 9:30PM -10PM- ish and it was jumping up in the 10,000s every few minutes. I find that hard to believe tbh , given revoking would be a controversial step, more controversial than a referendum even.

        • Sharp Ears

          RT -Russian collusion’: Farage mocks ‘cancel Brexit’ petition with signatures from Russia
          Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage has reacted to a tweet making fun of the fact some Russians have signed a petition calling for Brexit to be stopped, suggesting that an investigation should be launched into “Russian collusion.”
          Mar 22, 2019 13:56

          Farage also says he will come back to lead ‘a Brexit party’ if Brexit is delayed beyond May 22nd

          • Goose

            Deffo barking up the wrong tree there.

            There could be no perceivable motivation for Russia to back revoking. If, as some claim, Russia wishes to divide the EU and fracture Nato.

            Tbh I’ve never bought into that whole ‘Russia as genius manipulators’ stuff. Blaming ‘others’ is just a symptom of our democratic malaise as elites are so far removed from the voters they are supposed to represent, including media elites.

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Goose March 22, 2019 at 16:51
        I’m convinced they rig them. If it’s possible, they will.
        If someone can rig a horse race and get away with it, they are highly likely to do so, and that’s with ordinary half-way decent folk, never mind political sharks.

      • Goose

        Portillo dismissed it as complete rubbish last night on BBC’s This Week. I don’t know but it should be above reproach.

        I.e., they should have an independent auditor who can verify a random sample of say 200 names, from it, to show the people actually signed it are genuine and not some adapted proxy server spewing out fake signees. The postcode + email is stored so this should be possible.

  • Sharp Ears

    Craig mentioned Dr Kelly’s death in his speech on Belfast the other day and how he would like to know who murdered him.

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