Julian Assange: Socialists and Liberals Must Now Choose Their Side. 661

Cassandra Fairbanks’ account of her visit to Julian in the Ecuadorean Embassy paints a truly harrowing picture of the conditions in which he is being held. Last week after receiving a message from Julian I applied to the Ecuadorean Embassy to go and see him. I have done this many times but a new regime has established involving forms and strict time windows.

The Ecuadorean Embassy claim not to have received my email with the application, which is peculiar as I received no undeliverable message and bcc copyees received it. I therefore re-sent it with a new email advising they may change the date and time if the original is not now achievable. I have heard nothing so far in response.

Chelsea Manning is currently entering her fourth week of solitary confinement for refusing to testify against Assange before a grand jury. The United States wishes to extradite Julian Assange to face charges, not of collusion with the non-existent “Russiagate”, not with a sexual offence stitch-up. They wish to charge him with publishing the evidence of extensive US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, and with publishing the US diplomatic cables including the one I drew on last week which prove that the US and UK conspired to establish a marine reserve around the Chagos Islands as an environmental fraud to maintain the deportation of the islanders from what is now the US nuclear and torture base.

Many tens of billions of dollars are spent every year on western security services, and they are not stupid. The use of contrived sexual allegations to detach progressive figures from their support base is well established practice. But the allegations against Assange in Sweden are long gone, never reached the stage of a charge, and fell away immediately once Assange was finally interviewed by Swedish police and prosecutors in the Embassy. The whole Russiagate fabrication has been exploded as the media confection it always was.

The false left and liberals have until now been delighted to hide behind Russiagate or Sweden to avoid asking themselves the fundamental question. Julian Assange is merely a journalist and publisher. The fundamental question is, should a journalist or publisher be locked up for life for publishing leaked documents showing war crimes? If the answer is yes, where is press freedom?

That is now the unavoidable question. The security service patsies at the Guardian, however, prefer to retail ludicrous accusations from CIA asset Lenin Moreno – accusations motivated by the revelation of Moreno’s Panamanian offshore accounts – in frenzied efforts to maintain the tactic of diversion.


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661 thoughts on “Julian Assange: Socialists and Liberals Must Now Choose Their Side.

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  • Republicofscotland

    Write h to your MP below (Do it now) and ask them to oppose Julian Assange’s extradition to the USA.


    “Leading human rights organisations Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch are categorically opposed to extraditing Assange. Amnesty has stated that it “believes that Julian Assange should not be extradited or subjected to any other transfer to the USA, where there are concerns that he would face a real risk of serious human rights violations due to his work with Wikileaks”. Human Rights Watch has stated that the “UK should reject extraditing Julian Assange to [the] U.S.”[vii] In addition, David Kaye, the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression has said that “prosecuting Assange would be dangerously problematic from the perspective of press freedom… and should be strongly opposed”.[viii]”

    • BrianFujisan

      Good Article, Good points – From your Link –

      ” One last thing, Mr. President: Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden are among the best, brightest and bravest people our world has to offer. We need people like them, and we need them badly. And it’s a lot more stupid than it is simply ironic, that they are the ones we are locking up and silencing. That way America will never be great again, guaranteed.

      And you, sir (I know, more irony) may be their -and our- best and even last hope. You have the power to set free our best. Please use it wisely. And Mr. President, sir, be careful out there.

      Know your enemies. ”

      Though, I’m not sure the Hero Trio will be safe after a Presidential Pardon.. And then again as we Know, Julian is not American.. The Australian Gov Are Just Despicable.. Every bit as Complicit as the U.K

  • Observer

    So many erudite commenters here effortlessly confusing JA’s bail violation with pending charges in the USofA and the ongoing standing so called Grand (fuckin’) Jury.

    It’s this Grand Jury that is the elephant in the room or even the snake.

    Wouldn’t surprise me if Trump personally would be happy if a civilised deal was done to give Assange his life back. But of course the optics of Trump professing a personal opinion wouldn’t be very good, would they?

    But then again Obama gave Manning a pardon. Wouldn’t shock me if in the event, Trump did this for Assange in the last days of his second term (of course he’s coming back! and i like it, i like it.)

  • Republicofscotland

    Meanwhile as the Great Satan continues to destroy socialism in South America, its illegitimate puppet president Guaido has the bloody cheek to ask Citibank to safeguard Venezuela’s assets (Gold bullion) by holding onto them for another 120 days.

    The Great Satan has the audacity to tell Russia not to interfere in US politics, whilst its Northrop octopus like tentacles infect everywhere.

  • mark golding

    Krishnamurti knew the need for a revolution in the psyche of every human being. He failed however to grasp the capacity and potential of intention and a way of associating human minds.

  • What's going on?

    Maybe the reason Assange isn’t available to see Craig at the Ecuadorean Embassy is due to the cuts to the police under austerity. Perhaps the police don’t have anybody to accompany Assange to the Embassy and so he can be there when Craig calls.

    As Marilyn Monroe’s maid said, I don’t know why I have to put up with this any longer.

    • Clark

      Warning – It looks like spam to a TOR hidden service; could be very dodgy. Note the “dot onion” top-level domain:


      “.onion is a special-use top level domain suffix designating an anonymous onion service (formerly known as a “hidden service”[1]) reachable via the Tor network. Such”

      Possibly supplying drugs, pornography or weapons, or pushing malware.

      • Herbie

        Or, someone trying to evade the great firewall of whatever scummy dictatorship they live under.

        That’s what the TOR project was supposed to be about, wasn’t it.

          • Clark

            I have nothing against TOR for reading and posting comments; that’s a legitimate way to avoid censorship and being tracked; I have used it myself.

            But the link was to a TOR Hidden Service, which are usually markets for something illegal.

          • Herbie

            What did the poster of the link say?

            I mean, was it a reasonable comment, or obvious spam?

            [ Mod: It was obvious spam. It should have been caught by the spam filter. ]

    • Clark

      On second thoughts, it’s probably what it says – providing a method to post spam on Facebook or the Jabber instant messaging service, and clicking the link won’t work unless you’re connecting via TOR.

      • BrianFujisan

        Sorry if that was a Bad Link ..
        And Cheers Clark for correcting without the added Gobbledegoo.. When I click on it it takes me direct to the Video.

        You told me before about deleting everything after the ?, and I have done that a few times, it works.

        I should be Doubly vigilant.

        • Clark

          No, your link wasn’t bad Brian! There was a spam comment with a link to a TOR hidden service, but it’s been deleted, leaving yours the next nearest.

          Regarding the gobbledegook, you weren’t to know, as it was a & this time instead of a ?, but it came right before the fbclid again.

  • Sharp Ears

    The excellent Joe Emersberger on the plight of Chelsea Manning. He criticizes Amnesty International’s double standards. They do not accept that she is a prisoner of conscience.

    Amnesty International still doesn’t recognise Chelsea Manning as a Prisoner of Conscience

    Will we be hearing from Amal Clooney, the newly appointed UK’s special envoy on media freedom, on Julian Assange’s incarceration? Her appointment was heralded by Mr Unt yesterday. It reminded me of Billy Fourteen Pints taking advantage of the reflected glory from Angelina Jolie in their ‘End Sexual Violence in Conflict’ campaigning.

    • Sharp Ears

      Weasel words from Hunt –

      ‘Writing in the Sun, the foreign secretary said: ‘Together we will work to ensure the legal protections available for journalists are maintained, and the global spread of laws against hate speech and fake news do not unintentionally harm the work of the media. ‘I will do everything possible to help journalists to work in safety.’

      As part of his plans to tackle press freedom, Mr Hunt also announced plans for an international conference to promote safety for journalists. Britain and Canada will co-host the first edition of the conference in London in July this year.’


      Hunt was in Dinard with Mrs Clooney at a G7 meeting.

      • Willie

        Not a lot of protection for journalist Assange.

        And well Hunt know that journalists are only allowed to operate with a certain range.

        Say too much, expose too much and you’re gone.

        Willie McCrae was in all probability killed by agents of the state because he had info on a paedophile ring at the heart of Westminster.

        And on the other side of the tactic of sliencing, the same dark forces have the other technique of setting up sexual smears.

        So the message is clear. Become a real threat to the establishment and something will happen.

        • pretzelattack

          or gee it could mean that not every threat is dealt with simultaneously or in the same manner. assange has been dealt with a smear campaign, and iirc murray has been, too.

        • Clark

          Depends what you mean by “largely controlled”. MIT/ARPA did a good job with the Internet protocols; it really is difficult to censor. I’m what you might call a meta-conspiracy theorist; I suspect that viral conspiracy theories are seeded and promoted, in search results etc., in order to corrupt the informational environment, precisely because it’s difficult to censor.

        • Clark

          It seems pretty clear that the new media has upset the traditional media-political power balance; there seems to be considerable competition over the evolving complexion of the establishment. There are quite a number of big players with varying agendas. Corbyn and his team have been looking into it, and have some of the best ideas I’ve heard so far. Corbyn isn’t even introduced until 12:00:

          Jeremy Corbyn | Alternative Mactaggart Lecture | Edinburgh TV Festival 2018


        • Clark

          “…the so-called gatekeepers are generally of which political persuasion?”

          Well, the underlying system is capitalism, of course, or you might call it globalised corporatism these days, but the biggest players are the ones who’ve won the biggest market shares in their sectors. So they’re all competitive, profit-maximisers.

          Half a billion dollars from the Pentagon to make ‘fake’ al Qaeda recruitment videos? The big film makers, working closely with the military so they can use locations such as aircraft carriers and nuclear subs? Google demanding NSA money for all that data the NSA stole from them before Snowden’s revelations? Atlantic Council contracting to “help Facebook combat fake news”? All the big PR companies? I dunno; how could I? Just keep campaigning for transparency!

        • freddy

          To give you a hint, it’s not conservatives or Republicans (of which I’m neither, in spite of what some people may think ;))

        • freddy

          W’re talking about Silicon Valley here and the social media giants. I.e. FB, Twitter, Google. (I’m more than happy to agree that this does not extend across all industry).

          We can start with this https://www.foxbusiness.com/politics/facebook-ceo-mark-zuckerberg-acknowledges-silicon-valley-left-wing-bias

          Are you really that unaware as to what Google has been up to? Hardly a hive of conservatism. But you probably can’t see it easily if you’re “Googling” it

        • Clark

          It’s funny what counts a ‘left’; just a little bit less right! Censoring Chick-fil-A! Oh no!

          I knew that Google, Facebook etc. had been banning Alex Jones, Infowars, anti-vax, Sandy-Hook-was-a-hoax etc.; all pretty blatantly fake, and definitely alt-right (“the gubmint’s commin’ fer yer guns!”). There’s quite a big problem with this in the US, with True Believers harassing families they’ve been led to believe are crisis actors. People get death threats; maps and diagrams of their homes get posted on-line.

          Yeah, Google, Facebook etc. employ a lot of young hackers (I don’t mean crackers), and they’re smart, they’re critical thinkers and have more progressive attitudes. They’re not going to take kindly to anti-science.

          I know Facebook had been deleting pro-Palestinian accounts on the request of the Israeli and US governments.

        • Clark

          One of the things the US-right will be moaning about is filtering out global warming denial. Sigh. I suppose there are complaints from the ‘pro-lifers’ too.

          One of the most cynical disinformation campaigns is the anti-vax. It’s not like top Republicans are going to stop vaccinating their kids; they know it’s best to vaccinate. No. It’s typical Republicanism, about “small government” and reducing tax. They’re funding these campaigns to scare the public, as a lever against the compensation system, to get the pharmaceutical companies to pay the compensation for vaccine injuries instead of the federal government. But Repugs aren’t high-tech money; they’re heavy /traditional industry and fossil fuels.

        • Herbie

          One of the great tells in all this stuff is the reaction which questioning produces.

          That’s how you know they’re lying and covering-up.

          In Craig’s case, for example, there was no debate. He was simply smeared and dumped into the cold. Luckily he was strong enough to get right back up and ultimately expose the tormenting liars for all to see.

          Everywhere you see people being smeared instead of debated, you know the institutions are lying.

          Plenty of people having their lives ruined for questioning institutional authority.

          Kinda obvious, really.

          It isn’t the scientific method that’s the problem.

          It’s institutional and financial control of science.

        • Clark

          Herbie, listen to Corbyn’s lecture, linked above. Funding streams to support independent journalism. Expansion of the Freedom of Information Act. A massive, public digital library.

          I’d like to see legal restrictions on Non Disclosure Agreements (NDAs), especially what I call meta-secrecy, where the NDA binds the subject to conceal the very existence of the NDA and its terms.

          The “climate debate” should require no further thought; the icecaps are melting, and it’s a travesty that commercial interests were permitted to distort public perception until the truth became so glaringly obvious.

          Pharmaceuticals are still a big problem; rigorously enforced trials registers would go a long way to solving that problem, and public access to the commercial databases of scientific papers, possibly in or through libraries:


        • Herbie

          Should have said:

          “It’s institutional and financial control of science and mass media.”

          And in this, mass media are more important.

          Mass media is everything. Defeats Science and Rationality and Humanity every time.

          So, yes, great to see some proposals to deal with the problem of some monied folks telling everyone else what to think, and berating them boldly for not thinking correctly.

          “and public access to the commercial databases of scientific papers, possibly in or through libraries:”

          Oh. Yeah!

          Ever hear of this guy?


          Look what they did to him for trying to enact what you suggest.

          A brilliant star of Humanity, crushed by Institutional anti-Humanity.

          That’s the Technocracy, for ya.

        • Johny Conspiranoid

          ” to get the pharmaceutical companies to pay the compensation for vaccine injuries instead of the federal government.”
          So there are vaccine injuries then.

    • Tony_0pmoc

      Sharp Ears,

      Amnesty International was infiltrated and controlled by The CIA, over 20 years ago. I provided evidence re this here about 6 years ago, to your (I guess) Irish sparring partner, who said she used to do voluntary work for them. I never did quite understand why you two didn’t get on, as you seemed to agree about most things, as I did with both of you.

      Dreoilin now only posts very occasionally. Her handle is very traditional Irish or Scottish. I personally can’t tell the difference.

      Meanwhile read this and weep. It will be our turn next.

      “Solidarity, Survival and Sabotage: Timeline of The Blackouts That Tormented Venezuela”



  • Sharp Ears

    What nonsense.

    IMHO Craig Murray is NOT a gatekeeper, nor is Julian Assange.

    Obama used the assassination by drone method to dispose of those he considered the enemies of the US. No other words for him. The record stands.

    He is visiting Germany (what’s that about?) and was given a warm welcome by Merkel.


  • J Galt

    Khruschev didn’t blink, Khruschev got exactly what he wanted, the removal of US missiles from Turkey on the USSR’s doorstep!

    • N_

      Yes – you’re right about Khrushchev. The western story is still that the US missiles in Turkey were “due to be removed anyway”. Chortle!

      At one point the Sovs had to lay out bomber-plane fuselages on the deck of a ship in the Caribbean to get the message through to thick US heads. A case of “Have a f***ing look at THIS!” Kennedy backed down.

      The US kept their influence throughout Latin America except in Cuba, which wasn’t Ernesto Guevara’s plan. But I digress.

      • N_

        Anybody who thinks those US missiles in Turkey were rusty and about to be removed anyway will probably believe that Greville Wynne was an innocent British businessman caught in a spy flap and that Britain and France did not cooperate with the Z__nists during the Suez War.

  • N_

    @Giyane – The elite are deliberately ramping up the uncertainty, using Tories in the ERG (both continuity and compromise factions) and in the less mouthfoamy parts of the party too, and in the Labour party, and probably also in the LibDems and the SNP. Enormous amounts of money will be made, perhaps next Friday night (12 April) or on some later day. (The following weekend might be a good bet, if one had to guess.) It’s all about money and not the relatively tiny amounts dealt with by the “Antichrist” heating-scam flute-players from Belfast village, who are useful idiots for the big hitters. Uncertainty means the raking in of fortunes on the derivatives and other financial markets. Whoops, did the food run out for the plebs? Did typhoid spread? Oh dear. Put us down for some gas grenade and medical contracts on top of all that money we trousered on the Big Day. This is how I would answer your question about why the BBC reports as it does about Keith Starmer.

    Any Labour or Tory figures whose careers are genuinely tied to the good health of those two particular party brands (especially Labour) do not, I should think, relish the idea of EU elections being held in Britain next month, in which the Labour party could lose most of its vote to the far right and the Tory party will try to hide because it won’t have anything to say. One could ask who in Britain gives a damn about EU elections. Not very many people know who won in 2014 (UKIP) or who has most British MEPs at the moment (Labour). But that doesn’t matter. EU elections in Britain would be used to further things along in the desired direction. Regardless of whatever they are saying in public, some would prefer revocation or No Deal or Deal or whatever else might be on the menu rather than an extension requiring the holding of such elections. But how much power have such figures got? If the unprecedented walloping doesn’t come in April, perhaps the elections will be held and they will be left to lump it. Expect the unexpected. Meanwhile media managers have been injected with the word “febrile”.

  • zoot

    the determination to prosecute assange contrasts very sharply with the clemency immediately offered to ‘crooked hillary’. further confirms trump is a business-as-usual snake-oil salesman, led around by the swamp creatures he claimed to abhor.

    • Andyoldlabour


      I always said that if and when they drain the swamp, the last creature to crawl and slither out, would be the “Swampmeister” himself – Donald Trump.

        • freddy

          Or will be. Devin Nunes has given Billy Barr a criminal referral to indict Comey and others for their part in “Russiagate”. If their crimes are successfully prosecuted, there will be some decent hope of HRC eventually following. She is well protected, and others will need to fall first.

          If nothing happens, I feel confident that you’re both right.

          • Herbie

            It’d be quite easy to take Trump down had the Dems really wanted to do that.

            There’s plenty of things they could have exposed.

            Instead they played at taking him down.

            For fear of exposing their own role in the same cesspit.

          • Herbie

            Well, you could start with the Epstein case.

            That’d be enough, but there’s much more than that.

          • Clark

            Sounds likely to me; Trump’s as compromised as hell, and should be an easy target.

            But really it’s always about big money, and was therefore about keeping Bernie Sanders out. If the Democrats’ first priority had been winning the presidential election, their own research showed that they should have fielded Sanders. From big money’s point of view, deposing Trump would be very easy, but very risky and counter-productive, since the Democrats can’t field Clinton again, leaving the way open for Sanders.

            So the known fallacy of Russiagate was thrown at Trump to safely run down the clock and keep up appearances. And note that Russiagate was fabricated in the private sector – Crowdstrike (US) and Orbis (UK), but all the media attention was thrown at the other sides’s private sector accomplices – Cambridge Analytica and co.

    • Robyn

      Australia has indeed produced some admirable people. The trouble is, nobody of this calibre is currently in Government or Opposition, or in the Australian MSM including the national broadcaster, the ABC.

      • Hieroglyph

        Australian politics is a joke. Everyone is either a total fraud, or an SJW. The current PM tricked his way into office, and how Turnbull didn’t see the gleaming knife heading towards his back is utterly beyond me. It was so obvious – and Turnbull is a genuinely smart guy. Pauline Hanson is clearly just a joke leader, put in place by ‘special interests’ to siphon off any nationalist sentiment, render it harmless, and slightly absurd. You’ve got future PM, crooked Bill. His career will end in disgrace, and I wish Betfair had some odds on it. Easy money. I may bookmark this post, for the inevitable ‘told you so, ha’ moment. Oh, and two former PM”s gave Cardinal Pedo a reference. True fact. Dead serious.

        We’ve now also got all these ‘strong wimmen’ independent candidates, who are just the worst kind of opportunists. I think, when I have time, I’m gong to do a follow the money trail post on these clowns. I’ll post on my nascent blog! Stop annoying Craig and his mods with my witterings (in so far as they ever read them).

        Luckily, I don’t watch Oz TV, and only skim read the newspapers. It’s all generally bullshit, and not worth analyzing. Ignore, avoid.

        Sort of off topic. But also not, because none of those clowns backed Assange, an Oz citizen. One Kevin Rudd did make noises about providing consular support – and look what happened to him. To this day, I strongly suspect Hillary was involved in all that too, via her proxy, the odious Gillard. Maybe Assange has those leaks too?

  • Charles Bostock

    So, it’s Saturday evening – 24 hours after the first shouts of alarm – and Mr Julian Assange is still safely ensconced in his embassy refuge.

    Could it be that his supporters panicked unnecessarily by believing the first rumour that came along?

    • Clark

      I think I heard that an agreement has been reached such that a UN human rights official visits Assange on around the 25th, but don’t quote me on it!

      • Babuška

        Do you mean 25 April Clark?

        ANZAC day.
        While national attention is focused on the bloodbath of over a century ago, the political class of the Five Eyes have shunned the plight of Assange for too many years.
        Hypocrites, all

      • Herbie

        There certainly was a biggie UN bloke who spoke out and is looking at Julian’s case. Dunno if this was prompted by all the talk about the planned expulsion. Likely, though. All sorts of problems with what Wikileaks claimed was being planned. The banning and subsequent unbanning of Julian’s mother from Twitter, is a coincidental curiosity.

        Let’s hope there’s a sensible way out of this nonsense, where all sides can save face and Julian gets his freedom at last.

        • Babuška

          I’m even suspicious of UN intervention, in that it -UN-seems to be a vehicle for global control in the context of current affairs in which international laws are ignored by the largest transgressors.

          Assange has not committed any crimes and should have been allowed to go home many moons ago.

          • Herbie

            I think UN intervention at a high level is a very good sign.

            It suggests a negotiated settlement is possible.

            And that all parties to the matter have some intent to resolve through higher level arbitration than through unilateral action.

            Could be wrong, but I hope that’s the way things proceed.

    • nevermind

      Our resident specialist in Moreno doubting that Julian will get shown the door. He believes that the powdrs to be will dd it on the weekend, when many people have the pppprtuniy to watch the police, we so pay and feed well, will arrest him in full view of the public.
      Sadly, Charles is either a fool or just a sock puppet too smal for his socks, he keeps slipping out of them.
      They will try and get him out in the early morning, with least amount of publicity as possible.

      Then he will be arrested, regardless of his health or physical state and deported on behalf of a secret cangaroo court in the US, with all the following consequences.

    • BrianFujisan


      Caitlin is great..Last night I was reading her post about releasing all copyrights to all of Her writing

      ” When journalist Elizabeth Vos told me on Twitter today that one of my posts should be on bumper stickers, coffee mugs and t-shirts, my first thought was, “Man, I don’t have time for that.” And my second thought was, “But hey, maybe some other people might.”

      On that note, I hereby release all copyrights to all of my writing to the people of the world. This includes tweets, blogs, poems, digital or print, past writing or future writing, to be used however anyone wants to use them. Put them on bumper stickers, coffee mugs or t-shirts, turn them into pamphlets or books, to distribute for free or for your own profit, or anything in between. You are free to credit me or not, or to claim authorship yourself.”..

      A wee Heroine of Mine is Caity.

    • freddy

      I’ve sometimes wondered what Julian’s (and the World’s) fate would have been if Hillary had won in 2016. Better? Worse? All I know is that he spoke at length about HRC. Feel free to provide the Trump links.

      The problem I see here, is that JA speaks truth to power, whereas the MSM is power lying to you.

      • BrianFujisan


        Sometimes things are so Obvious.. At least to many of Craig’s readers.. That your Sentence just slips past us.. But thank you for saying it –

        ” The problem I see here, is that JA speaks truth to power, whereas the MSM is power lying to you.”

        One of my problems with that being true is the Carnage the MSM made sure of..in the ME..And Ukraine…And Yemen.. A Carnage they are trying to Import to the South America’s.

      • SA

        Brian and Freddy
        The problem with Caitlin’s post is that it assumes that the MSM is free and equates attempted at suppression of Wikileaks and JA with future silencing of all journalism. But most MSM journalism is already not free, they are part of the system and do not need subjugation. This has been a carefully managed process but with hindsight we can pick some landmarks such as the smashing of the Guardian’s computers under supervision of MI 5, the embedded journalists during the Iraq wars, and the emasculation of the BBC and the Integrity initiative. The MSM has now been co-opted to be an extension of state propaganda and not the independent questioners of governments. This is why the MSM do not seem to perceive the attack on Assange as a threat to themselves as they are now full participants in the process of information management.

  • Sharp Ears

    There is no mention of Cameron’s, or the UK’s, part in the 2011 war on Libya in this BBC report on the tensions in Libya as forces gather for attacks on Tripoli. Libya is now lawless.

    Libya crisis: Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj vows to defend Tripoli

    The one to watch – ‘Who is Khalifa Haftar?
    Born in 1943, the former army officer helped Colonel Muammar Gaddafi seize power in 1969 before falling out with him and going into exile in the US. He returned in 2011 after the uprising against Gaddafi began and became a rebel commander.
    In December Haftar met Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj from the UN-backed government at a conference but refused to attend official talks. He visited Saudi Arabia last week, where he met King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for talks.

    A mess – https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/04/gna-head-accuses-haftar-betrayal-vows-tripoli-push-190406195133847.html

  • freddy

    One puzzling fact is the timing of the WikiLeaks drops. Why not during the primaries, when it would have considerably helped Bernie?

    • Clark

      Presumably because they hadn’t been leaked by then. That would be consistent with the motive of a DNC insider revealing the collusion against Sanders.

      • freddy


        But even more revealing is the timing. Supporters of Bernie Sanders are left ruefully imagining what these revelations could have done if WikiLeaks had made them during the primary season. What if Democratic voters had been shown these documents—testifying to Hillary Clinton’s intimacy with Wall Street, her advocacy of unrestricted free trade, her admission that the Clintons’ fabulous wealth had left her “kind of far removed” from the experience of ordinary Americans—when they still had a choice? As RoseAnn DeMoro, leader of a pro-Sanders nurses’ trade union, put it to The New York Times, “I think they should have put the damn emails out before the primaries were over.” Of course, this presumes not only that the documents would have changed millions of Democratic minds—far from certain—but also that Assange had access to them back then. Perhaps he didn’t. (Though it seems the hack took place earlier this year.)

        From a certain Jonathan Freedland.

  • Sharp Ears

    Fascistic prop for the MI spooks via the second in line, P William.


    This is the state broadcaster’s version –
    Prince William works with security agencies on attachment

    ‘A difficult and dangerous job.’

    He’s been at MI5 and MI6 in London.
    Was he at GCHQ’s new address, the successor to Palmer Street? Or maybe in Cheltenham.

      • Charles Bostock

        That post sounds as if you have something against LGBT people. For instance, that they are more likely to defect from the service or be out of control or something equally negative. Please tell me that I am wrong, or withdraw that shameful remark if I am right.

        • Paul Barbara

          @ Charles Bostock April 7, 2019 at 12:08
          Look up the history of spies in MI5/6, and their general sexual orientation.
          There is a limit to ‘politically correct’, which is trumped by ‘historically correct’.

          • Clark

            That is because, when non-straight sexuality was against the law and a cause for public scandal, non-straights were vulnerable to blackmail. I too find your comment shameful.

            Alan Turing was a great British mathematician and codebreaker. He was homosexual, and killed himself because he was prosecuted for it.

          • Charles Bostock


            Thank you for your support. Barbara is a nasty piece of work and obviously still displays anachronistic mental thought processes. Not surprising because he is a man of the 1970s.

            But just a point of detail : not 100% sure, but did not Turing kill himself not because he was prosecuted but because chemical castration had either been carried out or was prescribed or offered in part mitigation of sentence?

            Paul Barbara would probably have approved (in the interests of MI5/MI6, perhaps)

      • Sharp Ears

        Funny that you mention her name. The Heil on Sunday has a long screed from the pathologist of choice for the PTB, Richard Shepherd, which includes comments on Princess Diana’s death. It is an extract from his new book, Unnatural Causes.

        Diana’s fatal injury was tiny, just in the wrong place: UK’s top forensic pathologist DR RICHARD SHEPHERD who gave evidence in major inquiry into her death reveals how a tiny vein tear had devastating consequences for the princess in his memoir
        By Dr Richard Shepherd For The Mail On Sunday
        Published: 22:01, 6 April 2019 | Updated: 09:08, 7 April 2019

        • Paul Barbara

          @ Sharp Ears April 7, 2019 at 14:52
          I wouldn’t trust his account if I were you; read John Morgan’s books, ‘How…..The shocking truth’ in particular.
          I didn’t put the full title as it probably wouldn’t stay up long.

          • Sharp Ears

            I know. I should have said ‘Irony Alert!’ when I said the pathologist of choice for the powers-that-be, etc.

            I remember 7/7, the Peter Power ‘exercise’, the tented morgue already in place, the direction of the explosion through the carriage floor and so on.

          • Paul Barbara

            @ Sharp Ears April 7, 2019 at 18:22
            That’s what I thought, but it gave me something to hang John Morgan’s books on.
            I managed to get a few comments on the article, too.

  • Killer vote-winning app

    Labour must include free passage for Assange in their manifesto for the upcoming General Election, breaking with the long held tradition of not naming names in a manifesto. It must be remembered Putin took an even bigger gamble when he gave asylum to snowden, merkel has to this day not thanked him for snowdens revelation that obama was listening in on her mobile fone, instead we have had a relentless “barrel bomb” narrative on him whilst the great satan has been engaged in supplying vastly superior JDAMS at $50k apiece to the sods and such chicanery.

    • Jonathan

      That seems like a fine way to inspire a military coup or for Corbyn to be found having zipped himself into a duffel bag in the shower.

    • SA

      I think the Labour manifesto must include the general view of how to run the country for the benefit of the people. Naming persons will never mean anything to voters who are struggling to survive and who want an end to Tory misrule. These sort of things are matters of individual decisions once in power and make no sense to include in a manifesto.

      • nevermind

        Exactly SA, no need to name anyone, but a clear message of support for free speech and for journalists worldwide incarcerated for speaking the truth, informing the public about murderous crooks, organised state terror and or sophisticated psyops campaigns would be of help.
        Since we assumef free speech and whistle blowing to be a tradition in the UK, it would not be out of place to reafirm such long held principles NOW.

    • Charles Bostock

      @ Killer..etc…

      I suggest you write to the National Executive Committee of the Labour Party and also to Mr Jeremy Corbyn directly with your splendid idea about Labour including free passage to Assange in the Labour manifesto. As democrats and opponents of the Great Satan they will certainly wish to give very careful consideration to your helpful suggestion.

      • Ken Kenn

        A Labour government could grant Assange asylum in the UK if it wished.

        The ‘ Laws ‘ bandied about on here from you and a few others come down to this;

        What if said country doesn’t comply – what is the non complied with country going to do about it?


        Venezuela hasn’t complied with US ‘ Law ‘ neither should the UK under a Labour government.

        Then again you alleged British patriots would sell the UK to the Yanks like a shot either out of financial gain
        or fear so no surprise there.

        Jacob’s got his and his companies money stashed in Dublin – not Belfast ( don’t tell the DUP though ) so taking
        the Daily Mail’s advice today how are you shield your cash from Corbyn?

  • Paul Barbara

    ‘UN Special Rapporteur: US extradition of Assange would be violation of international law’:
    ‘…Nils Melzer, the UN Special Rapporteur on torture, issued a statement calling upon the Ecuadorian government of President Lenín Moreno to “abstain from expelling Mr. Assange … or from otherwise ceasing or suspending his political asylum.”
    Melzer warned that if Assange was removed from the embassy, he was “likely to be arrested by British authorities and extradited to the United States,” adding, “Such a response could expose him to a real risk of serious violations of his human rights, including his freedom of expression, his right to a fair trial and the prohibition of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”
    Things are looking brighter; all we need know is JC in No.10.

    • Charles Bostock

      With great respect to Mr Nils Melzer (who he?) , it is nonsense to suggest that a government cannot political asylum from anyone it has previously awarded it to. And it is even greater nonsense to suggest that withdrawing it is somehow a violation of international law. There is no text, no international agreement or convention which confirms that assertion.

      Melzer’s whole case is based on asserting as a fact that Assange will be extradited to the USA – an assertion which his use of the word “likely” does nothing to weaken (it is a weasel word to cover him in case he turns out to be wrong). That assertion remains just that and it cannot be assumed to be a fact, despite the best efforts of Melzer, Murray and consorts.

      In the link supplied by Barbara, I note that a grand total of 9 people are “mounting guard”. Plus a child, who should not be there at all, unless her mother has been unable to find care arrangements. I assume that none of those 9 people is a regular commenter on here.

      • Sharp Ears

        Paul Barbara has already said who Nils Melzer is!

        ‘Prof. Nils Melzer is the Human Rights Chair of the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights. He is also Professor of International Law at the University of Glasgow. On 1 November 2016, he took up the function of UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.’
        Throughout his career, Prof. Melzer has fought to preserve human dignity and the rule of law through the relentless promotion, reaffirmation and clarification of international legal standards offering protection to those exposed to armed conflicts and other situations of violence.’

        Quite easy to find if one is capable of using the search function on the internet!

        PS There seems to be some word(s) missing from your comment.

          • Paul Barbara

            @ Sharp Ears April 7, 2019 at 14:58
            When I was there, there was a charming little girl (about 4 or 5) and her mother, but I don’t think I posted a link showing her. And just what gives CB the right to say she should not be there? Is he perhaps worried that the British police would taser or attack her with batons? Heart of gold, that CB.

          • Charles Bostock

            I referred – and refer – to Barbara’s link, posted at 11h56 above. As you well know 🙂

        • Charles Bostock

          Thank you for that heads-up. The man, therefore, is employed by the “Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights”, which is a very impressive title but, unfortunately, a place I (and most other people) never heard of. I imagine it’s some sort of private institution. Not a recognized university, anyway.

          But anyway, let’s not concentrate on the “who he?” part of my post. Let’s look at the main point. And here, perhaps you could help us. Are there any texts anywhere, any international agreement or convention which says that a state cannot withdraw the political asylum it might previously have chosen to extend to someone?

          Perhaps you can use the search function you apparently master so well to find that out for readers?

          • Charles Bostock

            I stand partly corrected, in that this Academy does have some sort of link with the excellent University of Geneva. I also note that it offers 3 masters courses.

            As for the University of Buckingham, you appear to be suggesting it’s a “Zionist set up”. I’ve no idea whether or not it is but am always happy to learn (especially from you) and so would be much obliged if you could give some more detail here (NB – snorkelling holdays at Eilat do not constitute admissible proof 🙂 ).

            Oh, and while you’re at it, perhaps you could enlighten me as to how the University of Buckingham is relevant to this Geneva Institute and Professor Nils Whatever? Many thanks.

      • Mary Pau!

        I did think I was a news story last week that the US had delivered a formal extradition request to the UK for Julian Assange, something to do with releasing formally classified US state secrets. I assumed this was all connected with Assange’s request for a visit from Craig Murray, its refusal by the Ecuadorian Embassy and leaks in mmm that he was about to be evicted.

        There was also a deal of fluttering in legal dovecotes, presumably checking any arrest warrant was watertight/ could or could not be challenged in UK courts. All suggests to me his eviction is imminent.

    • Republicofscotland

      Indeed Paul.

      Then there’s Alfred de Zayas, whose report on Venezula has been sidelined. The Great Satan and its ever obedient minions only take heed of UN reports when it suits their needs.

      “U.N. independent expert who says the U.S. is staging an illegal coup in the country. Alfred de Zayas, who visited Venezuela as a U.N. representative in 2017, says, “The mainstream media has been complicit in this attempted coup. ”


    • michael norton

      Surely, if Ecuador, pushed Assange out their door, the British Police would arrest Assange, frog march him into Paddington Green Police Station, from there to court and then extradite him to Stockholm.
      #After that it would be up to Stockholm to sort it out?

      • Paul Barbara

        @ michael norton April 7, 2019 at 17:34
        You’re way behind the times. Stockholm have no interest in him, having dropped the case.
        It is just HMG which is after him for Bail Jumping, but then almost certainly would hand him over to the States when they ask(demand) for his extradition.

      • michael norton

        Chief prosecutor Marianne Ny officially revoked his arrest warrant, but said the investigation could still be resumed if Assange visited Sweden before August 2020. “We are not making any pronouncement about guilt”, she said.

        So does this mean the U.K. can sent Julian to Stockholm.

        Presumably when he is dragged before a British court, his brief would claim it was no longer sensible to have him extradited?

        • michael norton

          So it is not that Stockholm have no interest in Assange, just they have put his files on the slow pile.
          They know they have been wasting their money and time and making Sweden look stupid, I bet they now wish they had never gone down this silly road.
          However if Julian turns up in Sweden before August 2020, they would be interested to at least have a few words with him, and see if they could make two rape charges stick.

        • Paul Barbara

          @ michael norton April 7, 2019 at 18:42
          I didn’t know that, but as the warrant has been revoked, they can’t ask for his extradition. I’m sure he would not go there voluntarily, because the Yanks would then ask that they extradite him – what he was originally afraid of and why he didn’t go to Sweden voluntarily, so Sweden asked for his extradition, and so on.
          ‘..Presumably when he is dragged before a British court, his brief would claim it was no longer sensible to have him extradited?’
          Sure, but this has been shown to be a political trial, and would have a nice, compliant Establishment Judge, who would ‘do the right thing’ by HMG.

  • Mary Pau!

    The common consensus of keen Remainers currently seems to be that Brexit voters voted to leave because of the lies fed to them by the Vote Leave campaign and specifically due to false promises about false investment into the NHS of all the money no longer going to Europe and how easy it would be to get new trade deals.

    So, the argument runs, the “real facts” should be presented to the electorate who can then be offered another opportunity to decide having had an opportunity to study the “real ” facts assembled for them by honest Remainers. I am hearing this a lot lately. From my sister, from David Lammy on QT, from a newsreader interviewing a pro Brexit MP on the radio the other day etc. It is a beguiling argument but is there any hard evidence in the form of opinion polls etc that this is what would happen? ? And who would present these ” correct” facts to the electorate?

  • Mary Pau!

    ….and following on from my comment above, many Remainers have been claiming ever since the Referendum, that the turnout was not large enough and the Majority for Brexit not big enough to be a decisive mandate. So they would want a second Referendum to generate a larger turnout and a bigger mandate for Remain to be convincing. What happens if the turnout is lower and there is a fairly small margin for Remain?

    • Charles Bostock

      Mary Paul

      Those are very good questions to which you will not get a coherent reply, I suspect. Or then you will get argument of which the most cunning Jesuit could be proud.

      The problem for the UK is not that of EU membership per se (although there probably are certain almost philosophical differences between the general outlook of Brits and that of most continentals, brought up under entirely different political, economic, legal and military circumstances) but of how the UK behaves as an EU member, how it seeks to maximise its influence on how EU policies are shaped, how it seeks to build alliances, how it applies EU legislation and so on.

      The UK has been woefully behind the curve on these matters when compared to the other big beasts like France and Germany. Even certain minor players like Ireland and Malta (to take just two examples) have played their hand better.

      Let me give just one small example, that of public procurement. EU rules provide for the putting out to EU-wide tender of all public contracts over a certain value. I defy anyone to tell me he or she has ever seen a police car on German roads which was not of German manufacture, a French police car on French roads which was not of French manufacture, and ditto of course for Italy. This is either a miraculous coincidence or an excellent example of these three Member States tacitly agreeing to circumvent, or not apply, if you will, one of the laws they had all agreed to.

      The UK has never learnt to behave in similar fashion or, to phrase it better, has never learnt the cynical art of being a good European when it comes to passing laws but a bad European when it comes to applying them in spirit and in letter.

      Rather than leaving, it should remain and proceed with forked tongue and on the basis of pure self-interest. After all, everyone else does.

      • Republicofscotland

        “I defy anyone to tell me he or she has ever seen a police car on German roads which was not of German manufacture, a French police car on French roads which was not of French manufacture, ”


        Denmark, which doesn’t even use the Euro currency, uses German vehicles. As is the majority of vehicles in Belgium, Croatia. Italy uses a mixture of German and Italian vehicles.

        Oh and Israel has a rather varied fleet.

        The Netherlands uses a majority of German vehicles, I wonder if that pleases or upsets Martinned ? Norway uses German vehicles, and Sweden and Switzerland use mainly, you guessed it German vehicles.

        I’d imagine it has to do with quality.

        Check them out for yourself.


        • Charles Bostock

          I mentioned 3 large EU countries with their own car industry( it is clear that countries without their own car industry will use foreign made cars, isn’t it). Even your website makes it clear that those 3 countries use vehicle made in their own country. To which I would add personal observation based on travel which, I suspect, is somewhat more extensive than yours (OK, I know you live in the Orkneys as I believe you once told us).

          Poster “pete” has understood the basic point I was making and backing up with the example of EU public procurement.

          • Republicofscotland

            Charles why would the German police force, or any other official body in Germany use non German cars, when their cars are of better quality than most?

            Its akin to having good quality and comfortable shoes, but deciding to pull on your friends tired old ripped brogues with worn down heels instead.

            Stop stating the bleedin obvious.

          • Charles Bostock


            Better ask why, in that case, the French police use exclusively French cars and not the better German ones. Or why the Italians use Alfas and Lancias rather than the better German cars.

            You haven’t understood anything, have you 🙂

          • Republicofscotland


            If you’d bothered to check my link you wouldve saw Italy does use German cars.

      • Iain Stewart

        Charles, you will be delighted to learn that Land Rover Discovery vehicles are used daily by the French army Vigipirate force as they patrol the streets in pairs. I think you underplay the UK’s influence on the European Union. Firstly, Margaret Thatcher’s success in creating the single market, of course (we can all agree to give her credit for that if absolutely nothing else). Then Tony Blair persuading the EU to open up to the former Soviet bloc states (prematurely in my opinion). And finally Neil Kinnock’s EU civil service reforms (generally held to be catastrophic).

        • Charles Bostock


          If you look at the EU public procurement rules carefully, you will note that (1) they do not apply to military supplies, and (2) the “marché” has to be above a certain size for the obligation to tender EU-wide to kick in.

          • Iain Stewart

            Indeed. Which begs the rhetorical question, why would the French army buy Land Rover station-waggons.

          • Charles Bostock


            It begs no such question. The Landrovers in question used by the army are few compared to the number of vehicles used by the French gendarmerie and police municipale. Which, curiously enough, are all of French make. Quelle coincidence!

          • michael norton

            Jaguar Land Rover to start Brexit shutdown

            “Jaguar Land Rover is to shut down production for a week because of uncertainties around Brexit.

            It will affect thousands of staff at Castle Bromwich, Solihull and Wolverhampton in the West Midlands, and Halewood on Merseyside, from Monday.

            The shutdown is in addition to a scheduled closure the following week for Easter.

            Unite the union said the move was agreed in January when the UK was due to leave the EU on 29 March.”

            so is it true, instead of leaving on 29/03/2019, we are now leaving
            This Thursday?

            Mrs.Theresa May has done a folksy video, bit like val doonican,
            she convinces very few that she has it all under control.

    • pete

      I think Mary Pau!’s comments regarding any further UK EU referendum are real concerns, and, embarrassed as I am to admit it, what Chas says (at 14.26 only) is also true, the selective enforcement of EU regulations by various states is woeful, we seem to take some regulations – particularly regarding indirect or hidden subsidies for various industries – far too seriously, when they seem to be flaunted elsewhere. I believe the whole EU project is doomed without central fiscal control.
      I voted remain for other than economic reasons and I am not convinced another referendum will settle anything, indeed it may make things worse. While I love the idea of democracy, and hate elites, democracy presents many dangers, as Metternich said “Ten million ignorances do not constitute one knowledge.”
      The wisdom of the crowd may be an illusion. Clearly I will be put up against the wall and shot when the revolution comes.

      • Charles Bostock

        Thank you, pete, and don’t be embarrassed. See it as an edging towards a correct and healthy understanding of the world and its works 🙂

        • pete

          You see Chas says something sensible and then he goes and contradicts himself with regards to advocating being law abiding, he recommends less of it for nation states but more of it for Assange – not that I accept that Assange has broken any UK law, given that the charges against him have dropped away, as Craig put it.

          Re freddy, I am absolutely sure that nobody in their right mind wants to hear me on the subject of economics, I an not even convinced it is a science. There are far too many variables to make it useful either as a predictive discipline, or to have much facility as a common tool. I regard it a an arcane art mainly used by charlatans, it is mystification and more like a racket. Be that as it may, any common economic policy for the EU must surely necessarily have some fiscal control element, otherwise no one is in control of the beast at all, even if one could agree on how it might be controlled.

          See, did I not tell you you didn’t want to hear what I think?

      • freddy

        pete, I think that you, Mary and even Charles make good points here. I took your statement that the EU needs central fiscal control in order to govern more effectively – i.e. enforce directives that member states are currently shirking.

        As for when the revolution comes, Chas does indeed have some good advice for you proceed with forked tongue and on the basis of pure self-interest.

        • Charles Bostock

          I suggest that central fiscal control has nothing to do with the question of respecting EU law in spirit and letter. Ensuring and policing the latter is in the first place the job of national governments, some of which are more zealous in this regard than others (to put it politely). And also that of the Commission, the extent varying according to subject matter. To be noted that it is not unknown for the Commission to wink at non-observance by Member States: either the Member State is too big a beast to be safely tamed, or it is small enough for the non-observance to be considered “tolerable” if no other Member State complains. To this, one can also add that some Member States simply don’t change an offending practice even after they have been condemned by the ECJ (sometimes for a second time). It’s a bit of a jungle and the UK should learn to mix it with the best of them. So far it has been far too law abiding for its own good 🙂

          • freddy

            Jolly good, but I was hoping for pete to explain his thinking, not you. Your thinking I know 😉

    • Jo1

      For a question as important as the one asked in June 2016 it remains shocking that so many important aspects were ignored, not least what would constitute a decisive majority. By anyone’s standards 51.9% ain’t it.

      Secondly, it was an advisory vote and not legally binding. That changed very quickly.

      Precedent exists. The 1979 Referendum on Scottish Devolution was won on 51.6% of the vote. It was, however, decided that since this didn’t represent 40% of the overall electorate the vote would not be accepted. (For what it’s worth, I don’t think such a position is unreasonable.)

      What bothers me deeply is that in 2016 a 51.9% result – 37.4% of the overall UK electorate – was accompanied by no such requirement. That, frankly, is disgraceful.

      • glenn_nl

        It strikes me that Cameron thought he was on a lifetime roll – he couldn’t lose. So this was just another election/ referendum which he would easily win. So he didn’t bother thinking the entire process through properly – which is pretty staggering considering previous elections on independence (notably home rule for Wales) required 40% of those eligible to vote in favour of a proposal, before such a momentous change was enacted. Not just a slim majority of those who bothered showing up.

        But with the success of his seeing off the Scots Nats, and the Alternative Vote referendum humiliating the Lib Dems, hubris won the day.

        It’s worth noting that Farage and his motley crew were declaring on the day of the election that if they only lost by a couple of points or so, they would be demanding another referendum. Funny how quickly that principle evaporated.

      • Mary Pau!

        So what would you consider to be the parameters for a second Referendum that the result could be considered informed, fair and decisive?

    • Andyoldlabour

      Mary Pau!

      The turnout for he referendum was higher than any general election since 1992. In many areas of England the turnout was near 77%. If the remainers are unhappy with a 52% leave vote, then I presume they must be fuming at the country being led by a party which only gained 42% of the vote?
      The referendum vote was possibly the most democratic vote we have ever seen, because it was based on “proportional representation” – one person one vote.



  • Mary Pau!

    Mr P currently he works full time ( self employed,) and I work part time (self employed.) our thoughts are turning to retirement. Our eyes were caught by two different stories in the press at the weekend. The first criticising retired Brits for withdrawing their pension pots from pension providers and depositing ithe funds in their bank accounts instead of entrusting them to the financial services industry to invest on their behalf, and the other outlining how the middle class in northern and western Europe generally enjoy a much better standard of living in retirement than we do in the UK.

    Anyone care to explain the reason for the latter and whether it is connected to the former? Do they arrange pensions better in the EU? Is it the fault, as Mr P insists, of Gordon Browns raid on UK pension funds? If we are one of the most prosperous countries in the world in the UK why are we so relatively hard up in retirement compared to our European neighbours?

    • Charles Bostock

      That’s easy, Mrs Paul. Firstly, state pensions in a good few EU countries are far higher than in the UK, ie, they represent a far higher percentage of final earnings. A good example is France. But the downside is that this requires far higher taxation and social security contributions (read payroll taxes) than in the UK, and this downside is going to become much more serious the more the population ages (= fewer workers contributing and a growing number of pensioners). Secondly, additional private pension provision is either heavily encouraged and tax-subsidised or obligatory but still tax subsidised in many EU countries and elsewhere. The Swiss pension system, for example, is a three pillar affair (state pension, works pension, private pension). I believe the UK is rolling out compulsory employment pensions (“company” or “works” pensions, if you will) for everyone and not before time.

      • michael norton

        In France 1/5 of young persons do not have work.

        I think French persons can retire on state pensions at 57 or 58.
        Tax is eye wateringly high.
        That is why unemployment is also so high.

        so good early pensions supplied by the state, might seem like a wizzo idea by why should the young be cruxified?

        • Mary Pau!

          What is French tax on personal incomes compared to UK? I thought the Scandinavian countries were the ones with very high personal taxes. what is state pension in France?

          • Charles Bostock

            Mrs Paul

            French tax would take a long time to explain in every detail (you would understand what I mean if you saw a French tax return) but very, very broadly:

            French income tax is progressive (there are more bands than in the UK) and is levied on what you might call “net” earned income, ie, gross earned income from which various social security contributions have been deducted. In fact, personal income tax for an average earner is much less onerous than the social security contributions. To be noted that heavy social security contributions (perhaps 20% of gross earned income)from the employee are mirrored by equally heavy social security contributions levied on the employer. These payroll taxes make it expensive to hire labour. Back to personal income tax : there is a tax-free allowance of around €9.000 and the rates go between 14% and 45% on earning above that. The 45% rate kicks in at around €150.000 of taxable income.

            There are various income tax simulators online, if you like you could try keying in what you and your husband earn together (pretend you’re both employees and not self-employed, for the sake of simplicity) and see what your take home would be.

          • Charles Bostock

            I should add that the French have (finally!) gone over to a PAYE system as from this year. It was in the air for years but always foundered on the objections of the tax collectors who said it was too complicated to administer ( the UK has used it since the last war). That’s something positive Macron has managed to do.

            Historically, France has always preferred to raise government revenue from sources other than persona direct income tax. Hence in the 20th century a succession of government borrowings (loans) and an emphasis on indirect taxes of various kinds, property taxes and payroll taxes. As well as the introduction of VAT which, by its nature, covers a wider range than classical purchase taxes and thus increased govt revenue. VAT was a French invention 🙂

          • Iain Stewart

            Charles forgot to mention in his excellent summary that it was François Hollande who started the tax reform, which is apparently having a positive effect on the French economy, like a number of his other slow-acting innovations, for which Emmanuel Macron now gets the credit. And also that a big difference from the UK system is that the more children there are in a household, the lower the income tax, and the greater all sorts of other benefits (paid for by the carefree unmarried and childless members of society of course).
            I can’t follow his objection to the principle of VAT, which was designed to avoid penalising manufacture, by passing the tax on to the end consumer of a product. Its range and rate are political decisions (as abused by right wing governments everywhere).

          • Mary Pau!

            That was what puzzled me re France as invoice not see the eye eyewatering taxes described by one poster – on a personal level for salariesthey seemed comparable with the UK.

          • michael norton

            France has the highest taxation rate among developed countries.
            Data from the OECD economic think-tank for 2017 shows France top, with taxes equivalent to 46.2% of national output (GDP), with Denmark second (46%) and Sweden third (44%).

            But France also has the highest level of social spending, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

            That spending was 31.2% of GDP in France in 2018; in second place was Belgium (28.9%) and third was Finland (28.7%). The UK figure was 20.6%.

    • Kempe

      Voluntary take up of private pensions has been quite slow in the UK and we don’t seem to have the same level of personal savings as many other countries.

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