Sorry For the Silence 445

I am working on two big pieces: one on the Skripals and one on the Chagos Islands judgement. The Skripal piece in particular is occasioning a great deal of thought, so apologies for the delay. Nadira is away working so I am single parenting, which means very little Lagavulin, without which my brain synapses don’t connect properly. I hope however to get enough sparks flying and get the Skripal piece up today.

Sorry For the Silence

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445 thoughts on “Sorry For the Silence

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  • Republicofscotland

    Meanwhile a British born man, has been stripped off his British citizenship Tauqir Sharif, an aid worker/anti-Assad fighter has been told he’s no longer welcome in Britain. The Home office deems him to be a terrorist.

    Of course men like Sharif, who fought with the rebels, hold information that would be very embarrassing for the British government if it came to light. So he and many other cannot under any circumstances be allowed back into Britain.

    • Mary Pau!

      Aid worker seems to be a very elastic job description when it comes to British Muslims who turn up in Syria and Afghanistan. Just saying.

      • Jo1

        Many of the “rebels” fighting against Assad were funded, trained and armed by the US and UK military. The groups some of them were with were affiliated to Al Qaeda and ISIS. Just saying!

        • Antonym

          Non of that hanky panky was sanctioned by the UK parliament or the US Congress/ Senate, and certainly not by the public.

          Why assist the CIA/Mi6 cleaning up their dirty Syria laundry here or in the UK?

          • Dungroanin

            Oh Antzy as you shirley know, Le Mesurier and De Bretton Gordon are fully approved by the British Government – they are the crown!

    • michael norton

      What I am sure,
      is that the final destruction of Islamic State, with nobody left alive, is to stop them talking.
      Who initiated I.S.
      Who funded I.S.
      Who built the weapons
      Would supplied the weapons
      Who devised the tactics
      Who did the training

    • Martinned

      I don’t know about this case, but the power to remove citizenship under s. 66 of the Immigration Act 2014 is limited to naturalised citizens. I am not familiar with any legal provision that allows for a person who is a citizen by birth to be deprived of their UK citizenship.

      (Then again, it’s not my field, so there might be a legal provision somewhere in one of the terrorism acts. There’s no limit to the mess that’s hidden in those.)

  • Sharp Ears

    If this was not so serious, it would be laughable.

    ‘£33m Eurotunnel payout not recoverable, government confirms
    Details of out-of-court settlement reveals three £11m payments due whatever Brexit outcome
    Wed 6 Mar 2019 17.07

    Eurotunnel sued the government for allegedly breaching procurement rules with its award of ferry contracts.

    The government has revealed details of its £33m payout to Eurotunnel, confirming it will hand over three instalments of £11m over the next three years.

    The first payment, due by 1 April 2019, is legally earmarked for expenditure on projects at the Folkestone terminal.

    Details of the out-of-court settlement were published on the government’s website and confirm that none of the payments will be recoverable.’

      • Andrew Ingram

        I seem to remember Thatcher threatening lefty councillors with surcharging should their councils go over-budget. Now we have millions of pounds bandied about like snuff at a wake and not a word is said.

  • Dungroanin

    Surprise surprise the JLM didn’t manage to leave en mass out of the Labour Party last night after huffing and puffing on Monday. They are finding it hard to blow the house down – with all that bluster. Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf?

    Hodge / Smeeth and co are performing another nursery rhyme at the same time – their version of the Grand Old Duke of York. Just as Grieve/Soubry did with the WA, as Letwin/ Cooper ‘cross party’ are doing, all the while not following through their words with actions.

    They are delivering the neocon dream from the back benches, it’s not a theory it’s a conspiracy.

    They are not dislodging the Labour members support, they are reenforcing it!

    They are not blowing away their own strawman caricature of Corbyn – they are enhancing his realness in the publics eyes daily.

    The Groaniad spins the utter failure with nonsense that some ineffectual body wants to find something AS that is not there! The British voters absorb daily that an ‘everyman’ like themselves, is getting a daily knocking, like themselves – the JLM and Board of Deputies seem to have created a true British underdog!

    Priceless. Lol.

    • Sharp Ears

      Whereas Jeremy Corbyn stood in the back row of the HoC chamber defending the Palestinians over years. I heard him speak at many gatherings too. He signed Early Day Motions. A decent human unlike the moral pygmies mentioned above. Shame on them.

        • Sharp Ears

          Are you referring to the warmongers/killers Blair and Brown?

          Corbyn is a TRUE Socialist, not a Red Tory.

        • Andyoldlabour


          I consider the duty of an MP to vote as their constituents would wish, and I believe the vast majority of the UK populace was against the Iraq war.

          • Martinned

            I don’t agree, I consider it the duty of an MP to vote as their constituents would wish if they were perfectly informed, or at least if they were as well informed as the MP. No government by opinion poll, please.

            Regardless, if that’s your view you’re clearly disagreeing with Corbyn’s approach to Labour MPs representing Remain constituencies.

          • Ralph

            Martinned is under 2 delusions: 1, he thinks MPs are properly informed, and doesn’t include the fact that MPs can – and have been – deliberately misinformed by the Govt.
            2. That MPs always make the correct judgment, and that they can not be persuaded to vote contrary to this.

            Martinned March 7, 2019 at 13:35

            I don’t agree, I consider it the duty of an MP to vote as their constituents would wish if they were perfectly informed, or at least if they were as well informed as the MP. No government by opinion poll, please.

  • Sharp Ears

    Billionaires here are rushing for the tax havens, according to Paul Morgan-Bentley of The Times, He is head of their investigations team. He was speaking to Ferrari on LBC earlier.

    ‘A third of British billionaires have moved to a tax haven
    Paul Morgan-Bentley | Billy Kenber, Investigations Reporter | Louis Goddard, Data Team
    March 6 2019, 5:00pm,

    A third of British billionaires have moved to tax havens after an exodus over the past decade, a Times investigation has found.
    They are among 6,800 Britons controlling 12,000 UK firms from low-tax jurisdictions. The Exchequer is denied billions a year but many of the bosses still reap the benefits of British assets.

    Some have bankrolled political parties while living offshore as successive governments have failed to enact a law passed in 2009 that would have banned large donations from anyone resident abroad for tax purposes. Many have been awarded honours or hold titles, with at least one viscount, one baron, six knights and one dame among the billionaires.

    The findings come after Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the wealthiest man in Britain and founder of the…paywall
    March 6 2019

    The world’s most popular tax havens
    Billy Kenber

    No income tax, capital gains tax or inheritance tax, making the Caribbean island particularly attractive to older expats. Companies are not subject to direct corporation taxes and are not required to file accounts. The standard rate of VAT is 7.5 per cent.

    British Virgin Islands
    No personal tax on worldwide income, including dividends and profits from share or property sales, and no inheritance tax or tax on gifts. Foreign investors must pay stamp duty of 12 per cent if buying or selling property on the island. Popular with offshore companies attracted by privacy but this status is under threat after the UK government ordered it and other overseas territories, including Bermuda and the Cayman Islands, to publish a public record of share ownership by 2023.


    What was that a frequent poster on here said earlier about everyone paying their taxes and to stop whining?

  • Charles Bostock

    One would have to be blind not to notice the degree of glee with which are reported on this blog the various bits of news concerning the UK car industry after a hard Breixit – or indeed any sort of Brexit. Company X will leave, Company Y will freeze investment, Company Z will move production of some models elsewhere, etc.

    And the same sort of glee is shown for news concerning other firms and sectors.

    Now of course all of this may happen. But if it does, all this glee seems somewhat misplaced because what it would mean is that government would have to tighten the public belt somewhat. Obvious candidates would appear to be abandoning the Barnett formula (let Scotland raise the missing revenue by using its devolved tax powers), greater prioritisation within the NHS (should so much be spent on keeping the older, non-productive baby-boomers alive? Let them use their accumulated capital to contribute to the cost) and cutting down on military outlays (let our European NATO allies cough up more if they wish a solid defence). There are certainly further possibilities which could be suggested.

    Perhaps Brexit will provide the stimulus for a radical rethink about the economic, social and military culture of the UK?

    • D_Majestic

      Or perhaps Brexit will just be a complete and utter disaster for all, except the exceedingly rich, Charles ?

      • Charles Bostock

        Yes, it may well lead to far tougher economic conditions and to the need for the government to cut spending. That was exactly my point. What I was also trying to say was that the glee shown at this prospect may be very misplaced – at least the glee which emanates from those who are doing well (basically, the baby boomers with their indexed final salary pensions and owning expensive houses), because they might end up doing rather less well post-Brexit. Those who are already losers can of course glee away to their hearts’ content because they will have little to lose.

          • Charles Bostock

            THat a bit meager by way of counter-argument, surely? Debate and discuss, as Craig would say. Or just scroll past.

          • Charles Bostock


            It’s like that army of terra cotta figures that was unearthed in China some while ago – you seem to see straw men wherever you turn 🙂

        • Mary Pau!

          I am not entirely convinced that the increase in social services budgets is all down to baby boomers, who are generally very healthy as a generation. (Goodness knows what we can expect of the health prospects of the current generation of techno-couch vegetables, apart from enlarged thumbs.)

          How much money isnow being diverted to providing resources for all sorts of hitherto unknown children’s issues, as a result of Baroness Warnock’s 1978 report on Special Educational needs which created a monster. Its findings have been appropriated and exaggerated by educationalists and social workers, used to hijack resources to build a completely new state funded arm of the social services, driven on by middle class parents demanding full state provision for their children’s “special needs” to be analysed, studied, supported, if they turn out to be less than perfect.

        • Sharp Ears

          Do people know that the name being used @ 10.29 is the name of a character in the film ‘Whistle Down the Wind’? When I contributed on the Lifeboat News, the same person channelled me using a different pseudonym. Hilarious.

          • Charles Bostock

            “Whistle down the wind” – 1961. Bit dated, I’d say.

            Do people know? Probably only the oldies. But who – oldies or youngies – really gives a toss?

          • Blunderbuss

            “Do people know? Probably only the oldies. But who – oldies or youngies – really gives a toss?”

            I love that film – I’ve seen it lots of times.

      • Charles Bostock

        No, you can say whatever you like. But I wasn’t thinking of your posts actually (which I usually appreciate). I was thinking of the glee contained in the posts from those who criticise the UK day in and day out and who seem particularly gleeful at the thought of the UK suffering various negative consequebces from Brexit. Their glee is very silly because they themselves live in the UK (in the case of some Scottish contributors whether they like it or not) and will themselves suffer those consquences alo,g with every other citizen. It just seems silly to express glee at the thought of something which is going to harm you yourself. It’s a sort of verbal masochism, isn’t it.

    • Blunderbuss

      “One would have to be blind not to notice the degree of glee with which are reported on this blog the various bits of news concerning the UK car industry after a hard Breixit”.

      I haven’t noticed any glee. I just want to nationalize all these unpatriotic car manufacturers.

    • D_Majestic

      Despite the bleatings of the State Broadcaster on this matter, it seems highly unlikely that one civilian casualty only could be a possibility.

      • N_

        After the warplanes dropped the bombs killing 4000 people, did the boys with clipboards go in to find out the names of the casualties and their military or civilian status?

        4000 killed and 300 injured? No war has figures like that, at least not unless most of the injured are rounded up afterwards and murdered. Normal would be something like three times as many injured as killed.

        This is all lies. The figures probably spell out the birthday of the scumbag who answered the FOI request or something like that. They’re having a laugh. They have total contempt for the truth.

        • glenn_nl

          But don’t you remember, N_ – at the time of the last Gulf War, we were told by the MOD that there were special, secret sensors in the noses of planes and missiles (perhaps bullets too!) which ensure that only the bad guys are killed.

          By the way, you might like this:

          • Kempe

            ” special, secret sensors in the noses of planes and missiles (perhaps bullets too!) which ensure that only the bad guys are killed. ”

            I thought only the Russians had those.

    • Sharp Ears

      Add many noughts to the state broadcaster’s figures. They promoted the war from beginning to end.

      ‘Today, the body of media evidence that we have accumulated shows precisely the opposite. In particular, the bulk of BBC output on Iraq can be characterised by one word: ‘Newspeak’. In 2003, a Cardiff University report found that the BBC ‘displayed the most “pro-war” agenda of any broadcaster’ on the Iraq invasion. Over the three weeks of the initial conflict, 11% of the sources quoted by the BBC were of coalition government or military origin, the highest proportion of all the main television broadcasters. The BBC was less likely than Sky, ITV or Channel 4 News to use independent sources, who also tended to be the most sceptical. The BBC also placed least emphasis on Iraqi casualties, which were mentioned in 22% of its stories about the Iraqi people, and it was least likely to report on Iraqi opposition to the invasion.’

      Tell the BBC to try Medialens for some facts on the death toll and not to take the Iraq Body Count figures,.

  • Republicofscotland

    Tension rising as Bloody Sunday decision nears, have the so called “Irish packages” turned you against Ireland yet?

    “Victims’ families have called for the Northern Ireland secretary to resign over comments she made about the Troubles.
    Karen Bradley said that killings at the hands of the security forces were “not crimes”.”

    • Garth Carthy

      “Karen Bradley said that killings at the hands of the security forces were “not crimes”.”
      Well, the Tory government act like a bunch of criminals so we shouldn’t be surprised at what this airhead says.

      • ciarán

        If they were not crimes then why did David Cameron stand up in the house of commons and apologies for Bloody Sunday, wtf was he playing at.

      • Republicofscotland

        Yes as a concerted effort over the past few days, in my opinion, has been made to turn public opinion against Ireland Bradley’s crass remark, has effectively undone all that.

    • Kempe

      ” have the so called “Irish packages” turned you against Ireland yet? ”

      No. Why on earth should they?

  • Republicofscotland

    A SNP MP has pressed the PM on what was discussed in a private meeting with Cambridge Analytica boss Alexander Nix, the SNP MP received no information from the PM.

    “Cambridge Analytica used private information from more than 87 million Facebook users without permission.”

    “Nix was also caught claiming his company was using honey traps, bribery stings, and prostitutes.”

    The British government simply cannot be trusted.

  • N_

    The “White Phosphorus Approved” “Equality and Human Rights Commission” is threatening to take action against the Labour Party for “anti-Semitism”.

    I bet you couldn’t say that on Twatter or Faecebook.

    A cowardly spokesman who didn’t allow his name to be published has arrogantly declared that his organisation has ‘engaged’ with the Labour Party “to give them an opportunity to respond.”

    Can someone in the Labour Party please have the guts to “respond” by wiping their bottom on the babyburners’ letter and sending it back c/o the White Phosphorus Embassy or perhaps the Anti-Defamation League?

    I would rather the Labour party dissolve so that a new party can be formed on an explicitly anti-babyburner platform than watch it allow itself to be beaten up by fascists, each time telling the goon who dealt the blow “Thank you, Sir; we promise we will try harder to do exactly what you want, Master”.

    • Jack

      One wonders whether the CEO of the EHRC, a certain, Rebecca Hilsenrath, who declares in her EHRC biography that, she is an “active member of the jewish community and member of 2 synagogues” will recuse herself?

      • Charles Bostock


        You are in effect suggesting that a Jew cannot investigate charges of anti-semitism (in another organisation, to boot). Is that suggestion itself not anti-semitic?

    • Martinned

      That’s what it’s come to now? No respect even for a statutory guardian of non-discrimination? Wasn’t the Labour party supposed to be in favour of equality? Does it matter that the ECHR was created by the Equality Act 2006 under a Labour government pursuant to a manifesto promise in the 2005 general election?

  • mike

    Labour reported to EHRC for possible anti-semitism. Who reported them? The Campaign Against Anti-Semitism. Who are their honorary patrons? Margaret Hodge and Ian Austin!

    They will use any means necessary to stop Corbyn. He HAS to call this cobblers out.

      • Dungroanin

        If Labour broke a law the police should have arrested them!

        Why haven’t they? Are they AS??

        Lol you trolls, that’s not the sky falling you hear – it’s the bridge! Where you going to hide now?

    • Sharp Ears

      Labour antisemitism: equalities watchdog opens investigation
      EHRC says party may have ‘unlawfully discriminated against people because of their ethnicity and religious beliefs’
      Follow all the day’s political developments – live updates
      Dan Sabbagh
      Thu 7 Mar 2019

      They are trying all means to grind Jeremy Corbyn into the earth, Falter of the CAA being the main player in the opposition.

      CAA (not the Civil Aviation Authority)

      [The neutrality of this section is disputed. Relevant discussion may be found on the talk page. Please do not remove this message until conditions to do so are met. (September 2018) (Learn how and when to remove this template message]

      The CAA was set up in early August 2014, after an increase in antisemitic incidents that accompanied the 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict.[5][6]
      A grassroots campaign, it grew largely out of social media activity among those who felt more should be done to promote the Jewish community’s concerns after a meeting to discuss responses where a campaigner had her concerns dismissed by Board of Deputies president Vivian Wineman.

      Falter, Unnamed, Stephen Silverman (Management Board)

      14 names including Eric Pickles (CFoI), former Archbishop Carey , a recognized Zionist supporter, Col Richard Kemp (HJS), Baroness Deech and so on (Honorary Patrons)

      The author of the Guardian piece, Dan Sabbagh, seems very pleased with events.

      • FranzB

        Tony Greenstein (expelled by the labour party) has a blog entry on the CAAs dodgy anti-semitism audit. According to the CAA, for their 2016 audit,

        ” …in Derbyshire there was a rise of 1050% in anti-Semitic incidents. Tykytyn asks whether a pogrom occurred in Derbyshire that year. In fact the number of such incidents increased from 2 to 23 and as the Police explained, the change was due to a difference in how they record incidents.”

        [For Tyktyn see – Eve Tyktyn’s ‘Exposing the Vigilantes’ in The Anti-Semitism Wars, 2018]

        Greenstein further notes:

        “Wiltshire’s 514 Jews seem to have endured almost Nazi levels of persecution. There was a 13,900% increase in anti-Semitic incidents! Even the CAA realised that something was amiss and decided exclude Wiltshire entirely from their ‘audit’!”

  • Republicofscotland

    Meanwhile as the Great Satan continues its sanctions against Iran, even after reneging on the JCPOA deal.

    It’s most prominent partner in unpunished activities Israel, is threatening Iran, that it will take action if Iranian oil tankers put to sea. Iran has stated it will send naval escort ships with its oil tankers.

    Listen out for the Great Satan’s favourite minion Britain pipe up that it will back Israeli actions in the Straits of Hormuz.

  • Republicofscotland

    As a meagre 50 odd nations back the illegal coup against the democratically elected president of Venezula, to install a US puppet president.

    The US revokes another 77 Venezuelan visas. John Bolton has also stated that foreign companies are “On notice” not to do business with Venezuela in any way.

    • Martinned

      Art. 233 sub 1 and sub 2 of the Venezuelan constitution:

      Artículo 233. Serán faltas absolutas del Presidente o Presidenta de la República: su muerte, su renuncia, o su destitución decretada por sentencia del Tribunal Supremo de Justicia, su incapacidad física o mental permanente certificada por una junta médica designada por el Tribunal Supremo de Justicia y con aprobación de la Asamblea Nacional, el abandono del cargo, declarado como tal por la Asamblea Nacional, así como la revocación popular de su mandato.

      Cuando se produzca la falta absoluta del Presidente electo o Presidenta electa antes de tomar posesión, se procederá a una nueva elección universal, directa y secreta dentro de los treinta días consecutivos siguientes. Mientras se elige y toma posesión el nuevo Presidente o la nueva Presidenta, se encargará de la Presidencia de la República el Presidente o Presidenta de la Asamblea Nacional.

      Or, in English:

      Article 233: The President of the Republic shall become permanently unavailable to serve by reason of any of the following events: death; resignation; removal from office by decision of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice; permanent physical or mental disability certified by a medical board designated by the Supreme Tribunal of Justice with the approval of the National Assembly; abandonment of his position, duly declared by the National Assembly; and recall by popular vote.

      When an elected President becomes permanently unavailable to serve prior to his inauguration, a new election by universal suffrage and direct ballot shall be held within 30 consecutive days. Pending election and inauguration of the new President, the President of the National Assembly shall take charge of the Presidency of the Republic.


        • Martinned

          And so when the President is unavailable due to there not being a valid election, the president of the national assembly takes charge of the presidency. Which is what the president of the national assembly has done. Why that should be described as a coup escapes me.

          • Jay

            When a party decides to boycott an election whenever they know they will lose that does not render the election invalid. That’s why this is transparently a coup. Hope that unclouds the mystery.

          • Martinned

            No, what renders the election invalid is shutting the opposition out of any access to media, generally preventing them from campaigning, and carrying in falsified ballots by the bag.

          • Jay

            Complete BS. Venezuela’s media is dominated by the billionaire class and is ferociously anti-Maduro. Meanwhile former US president Jimmy Carter has described Venezuela’s electoral system as the best in the world. Of course some will always choose to believe the talking points of those other renowned champions of truth, democracy and human rights – Donald Trump, Eliot Abrams and Bolsonaro.

          • SA

            This is a new meaning of not available. My little spies tell me that Maduro is not only present and available but also in charge of the Government. My little spy also tells me that he won an election carried out according to the Venezuelan constitution. My little spy also tells me that Guaido has bypassed the constitution in that he is third, not second in line and that he has not abided by the constitution in carrying out an election within 30 days. Did you say you were a lawyer?

          • Martinned

            @Jay: If the Carter centre is so positive about Venezuelan democracy, I’m sure they published a monitoring report about any Venezuelan election in the last five years. Please feel free to send me a link. I’ll wait.

            As for Trump, this may well be the only thing he and I agree on. Certainly at this moment I can’t think of anything else.

            @ciarán: You’re right. But expiry of previous term surely belongs in that list too.

          • John A

            “carrying in falsified ballots by the bag”

            Except Venezuela has an electronic voting system, supplied by a British company, so no paper ballots of any kind. Which renders your claim nonsense. Like most of what you post, TBH.

          • Martinned

            @John A: That just saves them the heavy lifting. (Literally.) I’m not sure why electronic voting is supposed to make me feel more confident in Venezuelan democracy.

          • ciarán

            expiry of previous term: is at the discretion of the Venezuelan electorate who voted on all articles of the constitution when Chavez was in power, he was quite insistent upon this.

      • Blunderbuss

        Which of the Article 233 provisions is being invoked? Is being a socialist evidence of permanent mental disability? I’m often accused of that one.

  • mike

    From BBC: An Equality and Human Rights Commission spokesperson said: “Having received a number of complaints regarding anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, we believe Labour may have unlawfully discriminated against people because of their ethnicity and religious beliefs.”

    So the EHRC have not even begun their investigation but have reached a verdict? Hmm. I wonder who the spokesperson was. Hodge or Austin?

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Since Craig is invoked in trying to fix two serious problems, why not try to help him rather than go on with some irrelevancy, dreaming. trolling, etc.?

    • IrishU

      Trowbridge, calling time on irrelevancy and dreaming?

      Let’s all join together to spend our time studying tusmani creating submarines. That would be of immense help to Craig.

      • Trowbridge H. Ford

        Actually,I have contradicted myself here, mekimg casesi to look into the murders of Dr. David Kelly. and Michael Hastings.

        Nothing about US special attack subs making politically important disasters. That’s your irrelevancy..

    • Jay

      They’re safe in the knowledge it will make no impression compared to another couple of years of dailly headlines about Labour’s ‘existential Anti-Semitism ‘crisis’. Simply allows them to insist they have given a voice to alternative POVs.

      • SA

        I am aware of that. But imagine if this was written by Corbyn or one of his supporters?

        • ciarán

          Jeremy Corbyn and other labour members are being accused of being AS for speaking up for the Palestinians who are Semites. A convention of Language perhaps, others are using it as a smoke screen.

          • Martinned

            If they can’t find a way to talk about the Palestinians without opening themselves up to any Tom, Dick, and Harry who wants to accuse them of antisemitism, they should really get into a different line of work. Politics is not a profession for people who don’t know how to parse their words.

          • Martinned

            It doesn’t matter. This is politics, not linguistics. Being objectively right gets you two pieces of nothing if you’re convicted in the court of public opinion. Manipulating public opinion is literally a politician’s job. And if they suck at it, they should go do something else.

          • Blunderbuss

            @ciarán, March 7, 2019 at 13:14

            “What is the definition of Semite?”

            Dictionary definition of Semite: A descendent of Shem or a member of one of the peoples (including Hebrews, Phoenicians, Aramaeans, Assyrians, Arabs and Abyssinians) reputed to be descended from Shem.

    • FranzB

      Interesting that Peter Beinart ( associate professor of journalism and political science at the City University of New York, a contributing editor at the Atlantic and a senior columnist at Haaretz. His books include The Crisis of Zionism (2012)) makes a point about ultra-orthodox Jews that will test Macron’s plans:

      “Consider the Satmar, the largest Hasidic sect in the world. In 2017, 20,000 Satmar men – a larger crowd than attended that year’s American Israel Public Affairs Committee policy conference – filled the Barclays Center in Brooklyn for a rally aimed at showing, in the words of one organiser: “We feel very strongly that there should not be and could not be a State of Israel before the Messiah comes.””

      I’d disagree with his point about having a safe country for Jews, i.e.Israel. Antisemitism should be challenged everywhere, so that Jews can be safe in whichever country they choose to live in. Beinart makes the point that Zionism is prepared to make alliances with antisemites as long as they defend Israel, e.g. Orban of Hungary. Of course. antisemites want to kick Jews out. I’d say each person should be free to worship in whichever way they please in the country in which they live – J.S. Mill’s harm principle stands of course.

  • Republicofscotland

    Watch as veteran reporyer Matt Lee, rips apart a US spokesperson, who repeats the utter lie that Guaido is the Venezuelan president in waiting.

    “To make this even more absurd, Palladino’s key argument for Guaido’s legitimacy is that he invoked the Venezuelan constitution – except that constitution only envisions a 30-day period for an “interim president,” and only in case the normal chain of succession is disrupted, which it manifestly was not. Guaido declared himself president on January 23. His “mandate” has long since expired.”

    • Martinned

      You’re forgetting the part where the reason why there’s supposed to be only a 30-day period is that in that period a new election is supposed to be held. Whose fault is it that that hasn’t happened?

      • ciarán

        Which part of article 233, which you brought up, gives Guaido any authority. None of it ! He does not have any legitimacy. If he was not such a nobody, he would have been arrested.

  • Republicofscotland

    With the brutal murder of Khashoggi, still fresh in the mind of some.

    At least 36 countries including all 28 members of the European Union have signed a statement criticising Saudi Arabia’s human rights record at the United Nations Human Rights Council today.

  • mike

    “we BELIEVE Labour may have unlawfully discriminated against people because of their ethnicity and religious beliefs.”

    This is not quoting the relevant act verbatim, Martinned.

    This is a verdict – a judgement.

  • Sharp Ears

    A few words from the Grenfell Survivors and Bereaved – #Grenfell United.

    ‘Last night we had an update from the police about the criminal investigation into the Grenfell Fire. It was difficult news. We found out that criminal charges for the Grenfell fire are unlikely to be brought until 2021 at the earliest.

    There are reasons for this. The police are working through millions of documents relating to the refurbishment of the tower. The Public Inquiry, although independent, is proving useful to the police but won’t finish until at least 2021. But it doesn’t make it any less of a bitter pill to swallow.

    We are living in limbo with no individuals or organisations being held accountable and it is so painful for all of us who lost loved ones and our homes that night. We wait month after month, our lives on hold, for some kind of justice and progress.

    Today your support matters more than ever. We need to make sure politicians know that what happened at Grenfell won’t be forgotten.

    Please share this message to show your support:

    We’ve been dignified throughout all of this, but underneath we’re angry and frustrated. There are companies and people still going about their business whose actions led to the deaths of 72 of our neighbours.

    The week after the fire Theresa May promised us justice. Justice for us means accountability and change. Today we see little real change – thousands of people are still living in homes with dangerous cladding, people in social housing are still being mistreated by landlords and we still wait for any kind of justice. That’s why today I’m contacting the Prime Minister Theresa May to demand an urgent update on what the Government is doing for justice and change.

    We will not allow this Government to let this fade away.

    On days like today, when the news is hard, your support matters the most. Grenfell United is made up entirely of survivors and bereaved families from the fire. There is a long road ahead of us and your support is keeping us strong.’

    Thank you. Grenfell United
    media AT

  • Sharp Ears

    An explanation for the banning of Israeli competitors at the Para Swimming championships held in Malaysia and the repercussions of that decision for Malaysia.

    Malaysia not alone in boycotting Israel

    ‘SOME Malaysians were unhappy when the government banned Israeli athletes from competing at the World Para Swimming championships in Kuching in July. Subsequently, the International Paralympic Committee stripped Malaysia of the right to host the event.
    This was seen as a missed opportunity for the nation because it turned down the chance to host an international event.

    To understand why countries such as Malaysia cannot tolerate Israel, we should look at the historical beginnings and current developments………………..’

  • Sharp Ears

    I while back I posted a link about Louise Ellman saying that ‘nobody in Gaza is innocent’. This was in relation to her calling for Chris Williamson’s dismissal because of his support for the Palestinians.. The quote from Ellman was queried by ‘Irish U’ suggesting that I had invented her remark to suit my purpose, I resented that and would point out that I am quite punctilious about accuracy.

    Here is the quote:
    ‘Mrs Ellman said: “The problem is Hamas, who use these children as human shields, who give the children explosives, or sometimes force them to have explosive belts, and send them to blow up Israeli civilians.”

    She later said: “How can they meet, and how can we be without a barrier, when Hamas are sending those very children with their explosive belts across to kill Israeli children and Israeli civilians? All of that has to stop, and nobody is entirely innocent.”‘

    This is the Twitter comment I had linked to. From Jolly Angelina. Of course I know that does not come from Angelina Jolie as was also suggested. Duh!

  • Ronny

    Lagavulin is the bee’s nads and no mistake but I do tire of the addition of caramel to the regular 16 yr old, which leads me to the 8 yr old or the more expensive cask strength stuff. Anyway, no wonder you always seen to be strapped. I wouldn’t mind so much myself if Islay wasn’t almost entirely run by multinationals siphoning off cash.

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