Vote SNP Today – Chagos Just One Example of the Need to Dismantle the Imperial Entity 354

In Scotland I urge everybody to go out and vote SNP today, as the priority must be to send an unequivocal signal of support for Independence. I have respect for those who will vote Green and intend to send the same message, but it is not what I recommend you to do.

In the rest of the UK, I recommend people to vote Labour or Green as your analysis dictates. I am afraid I still have not seen sufficient evidence that my old party the Lib Dems has recovered from its sharp Orange Book lurch to the right to be able to recommend it.

The Chagos Islands vote at the UN yesterday illustrated why everybody should be ashamed of the label “British”. By a thumping 116 votes to 6, the UN General Assembly voted to uphold the International Court of Justice and demand that the UK return the Chagos Islands to Mauritius.

In the entire world, the only five countries allied with the UK are Donald Trump’s USA, apartheid Israel, ScoMo’s climate change denying Australia, Viktor Orban’s near fascist Hungary and the ultra corrupt Maldives. The fact that in the EU only the far right racist pariah Orban was prepared to support the UK, shows exactly the kind of far right rogue state the UK has become.

The forcible deportation of the entire population of the Chagos Islands by the British military to make way for a US nuclear base, subsequently used for extraordinary rendition and torture, is a story so shameful nobody with the slightest moral sense can possibly support it. I outlined the horrific complicity of the UK judiciary and political establishment right up to the present day, in one of the pieces of work I am most proud of. The UK’s decision to brazen it out and simply defy both the ICJ and UN as part of a far right alliance should cause anybody in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland to prioritise leaving the UK in the current elections – unless they wish to live in a far right rogue state.

There was a media spasm earlier this week over the UK’s complicity in torture, which MOD documents revealed to be ongoing. The astonishing thing about this is that all the media and political class had previously agreed to pretend it had stopped. It has never stopped, and there has been no change whatsoever in the policy since I resigned and blew the whistle over the policy in 2003.

As recounted in detail in Murder in Samarkand, I was told officially, while British Ambassador, at a meeting called specifically for the purpose, that the policy was that we will obtain intelligence from torture by “allied” security services like the Saudis or Bahrainis, and that this was not illegal provided that we do not specifically request that they torture people.

That policy is entirely compatible with the Cabinet Office Consolidated Guidance on Torture that reads we do not “participate in, solicit, encourage or condone the use of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment for any purpose”. It can only be ill motivation that leads the entire UK political class to pretend that this guidance precludes the receipt of intelligence from the torture chambers of Riyadh, Guantanamo and Bahrain.

The guidance is specifically worded to allow receipt of material from torture. Otherwise the guidance would say “we do not receive intelligence material from torture”. It very deliberately does not say that. Government lawyers say that to get intelligence reports from a false confession wrung from someone beaten to death in Bahrain is not to “participate in, solicit, encourage or condone”. The defence is “we did not ask them to do it”. And so MI6 and British ministers, knowingly, see intelligence from torture on a daily basis.

The UK is an evil and corrupt entity, a supporter of torture, of the deportation of the Chagossians, of the slow genocide of the Palestinians, a key participant in illegal wars now looking to a new one against Iran to keep the profits of the military industrial complex rolling in. The UK as an institution will never be able to spurn its Imperialist and warmongering behaviour. The only solution is to break the UK, to shatter it into pieces as small as possible. The chaos at Westminster shows the Imperial power in the final phases of its political decline, something highlighted by the lack of international support at the UN. Let us hasten the UK towards its long overdue demise.

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Secondly the blog has used the same photo of me since 2005, and it is high time to change it. I have found a photo in which I look at least 80, so hopefully it might keep us going a few years. I hope my kind technical team will get that done today.


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354 thoughts on “Vote SNP Today – Chagos Just One Example of the Need to Dismantle the Imperial Entity

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  • Charles Bostock


    If the UK is as you describe toward the end of your post, given that it is unlikely to break up any time soon (this is your feeble nostrum for the “problems” you see), given that you are unlikely to influence many people and perhaps not even the majority of your readers to share your vision and given, finally, that you’re getting no younger (as you acknowledge in the bit about changing your photo), how can you bear to continue living in the UK? Should you not leave and go somewhere else before it’s too late?

    Of course you won’t. And that is because despite all you say about it, the UK is one of the best, most tolerant and most civilised places where you could possibly live. That is a truth which the gloom and doom mongers (they started up in the early 1960s, so you’re not the first by a long chalk) never seem to understand (like you, none of them ever left the country, one wonders why).


    Just pour la petite histoire : Graham Greene was famous for saying what a shitty country the US was and how he could never live there. Soviet Russia was much preferable, qaccording to GG. But he chose to live in …….Antibes, France 🙂

    • Sarge

      You know little of history Charles if you think dissent began in the early 1960s.
      PS Craig I like the current photo. It has a timeless air and well reflects your personality.

      • Charles Bostock

        This is the only comment I shall make to this stream of responses.

        I did not write that dissent began in the 1960s (Close Reading 101 is recommended). I wrote “the gloom and doom mongers” – as exemplified by the spate of “the state of Britain” books which enjoyed such a vogue in the early 1960s. A good example being Arthur Koestler’s (edit.) “Suicide of a Nation?”.

        • Andrew Ingram

          Charles. Now that you’ve mentioned Arthur Koestler, may I suggest you read The Heel of Achilles. In it he addresses ill placed loyalty and the harm it causes the rest of us.

    • Stonky

      “…how can you bear to continue living in the UK?

      That’s an odd question coming from someone who spends his whole life on a website full of people he hates.

    • N_

      how can you bear to continue living in the UK?
      That’s a funny choice of words, given that people live IN an area and UNDER a political regime. (“The Eurostar train is now leaving the United Kingdom for the Fifth Republic?”) But leaving that observation aside, if Boris Johnson becomes prime minister I think the flag saying “move out of Britain” will be well and truly up.

      Leave the EU to trigger food and fuel shortages at the end of October rather than in late March? Great plan…

    • Mr V

      “one of the best, most tolerant and most civilised places” You mean, if you’re tory WASP male? Because if not, you either need to buy glasses or start reading news other than published by UKIP, now. Ever heard of Windrush scandal? Which is literally the same behavior Nazis employed before Kristallnacht? I guess I also imagined all the racist attacks on and stabbings of central European workers, British state forcibly trying to break up international marriages with EU citizens by drastically ramping up residency requirements while also denying them under slightest pretense (and sometimes with none), and all the other recent nonsense, eh?

      Please, your racist, sleazy smugness is the best QED this post needs, Europe will be better off if all this disgusting behavior, together with tortures, ECHELON networks, unprecedented bankster robbery, and other middle fingers to decency and justice will be contained in as little state as possible, Then you can eat all the chlorinated chicken and whine about making UK great again as much as you want…

      • N_

        @Mr V – “Ever heard of Windrush scandal? Which is literally the same behavior Nazis employed before Kristallnacht?

        I agree that racism is growing and fast, but I don’t understand your Kristallnacht reference.

        The characterisation of a large number of now elderly black British immigrants to Britain from the West Indies as “the Windrush generation” is the result of a very recent racist operation to normalise the application of the label “Windrush”. Until LAST YEAR, the term “Windrush” was generally used only by white racist Daily Mail reader types who were the sort of people who would look at a black person (not knowing or caring that not all West Indian immigrants to Britain in the 1950s were black and that many arrived on other vessels than the Empire Windrush which sank in 1954) and say “he looks as though as he came over on the Empire Windrush”. They would say this as they might also say “he looks as though he’s caught too much of the sun”, “he has had a touch of the tar brush”, or, if they saw a person of Pakistani origin, “he’s a western oriental gentleman”, with looks on their faces that suggested that they thought that their use of such dehumanising filthy racist characterisations was witty. This is real racism, working in real society, in everyday life.

        I have just described how the term “Windrush”, or more usually “Empire Windrush”, functioned for 50-60 years until 2018. It was very much a term that was kept in an “Enoch was right” bucket. Now it has escaped and become normalised.

        Left wing people who use the term “Windrush” to describe a “generation” are perhaps well-meaning but nonetheless they are ignorant and they are too lazy to think about what it means to refer to a few hundred thousand British people by using the name of a single ship (and one that a large proportion of them didn’t even sail on). Meanwhile the racist right are of course loving it.

        If I mean black British I will say black British, and if I mean people who came from the West Indies in the 1950s or thenabouts, I will say that. So what if non-racist language doesn’t fit well on a tweet?

    • ADKC

      Charles, Can I ask whether or not you are a supported of Scottish independence? I believe that you are but I now think that I may be mistaken.

      France is a very nice place to live. In some ways it could be described as post “communistic” because the “gains” of the revolution back in 1789 remain in place to a large extent. It is a much more equal place that the UK and this would have been much more pronounced in the 1960s. That isn’t to say that France is without the same problems that the UK has. France still effectively maintains an empire via the Central African Franc, it’s military is very active in other countries (largely in the French “empire”), it’s particular model of equality is under stress, and the gillets jaunes protests are being suppressed in a way that could lead the protests to morph into something much more serious. Regardless, the fact remains France has for a long time been the preferred choice of those British (perhaps, more specifically, English) who wish to get away from the UK. No doubt this was, in part, the reason why Graham Greene choose to live in France..

      Russia is in many ways a much more fairer society that the UK is these days, it is more peaceful, integration of Christians and Muslims much more successful than the UK, its GDP per head is growing, it is a major world producer of food (and it is all GMO free) and it has recovered significant since the western rape of the nineties but language and emigrating is not easy. The reality is most people are conditioned to the countries, societies that they grew up in and moving to another country/culture is just not practical or even desired. What all people should be concerned is improving their own societies and not destroying other countries.l

      The UK has committed numerous war crimes and crimes against humanity. Choosing to ignore them (like you) is no solution. For example, the sinking of the Belgrano which had never entered the exclusion zone, was sailing away from the exclusion, and was done purely to scupper the Argentinian’s peace proposal (which amounted to a capitulation) was a clear war crime. Another example, it was the British state that killed the Miami Showband in a botched false flag operation.

      The UK is an imperialist entity and perhaps it is time for it dissolve and for Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland & England to become independent.

    • craig Post author

      Charles, I have no intention of continuing to live in the UK. I intend to take all of Scotland with me.

    • Garth Carthy

      “Should you [Craig] not leave and go somewhere else before it’s too late? ”

      Charles: Maybe Craig prefers to fight against the corruption and dysfunctionality of the country he lives in and cares about rather than abandon it.
      You say that “the UK is one of the best, most tolerant and most civilised places where you could possibly live.”
      Well, the UK is still some way down from the top of the list and I believe it is becoming more and more corrupt and dysfunctional.
      I’m appalled by your complacency. You obviously live in a cosy warm bubble but there are millions of people suffering from the austerity cuts. The point is that these austerity measures which hit the poorest and disabled in society most, were caused by the reckless gambling and greed of the Bankers and their pals. The poor in society have paid to bail out the bankers and help the rich to stay rich.

    • N_


      the UK is one of the best, most tolerant and most civilised places where you could possibly live.

      Or alternatively:

      “I had six of the best every day. Did me the world of good!”

    • Ian

      Well, since you are such an uncritical zealot for the UK, why don’t you go and live in the Chagos Islands and see how the wonderful UK will treat such a notion. Craig lives in Scotland, an idea you seem to find hard to understand. Good troll though, in there first, such devotion to your mission.

    • Mighty Drunken

      Silly post from Charles.
      A country is made of millions of components. You may have many reasons for staying or going, most of them have nothing to do with the government. Even if some parts are good, that doesn’t mean other parts cannot be improved.

    • Royd

      ‘…the UK is one of the best, most tolerant and most civilised places where you could possibly live.’

      That might be the case for now, if one keeps looking straight ahead and does not glance to the side. I find it an increasingly uncomfortable place to live when I see what the UK Govt. is up to in its very dubious alliances with the USA, Israel and Saudi Arabia, to name but three. I find it abhorrent that our MSM fails to hold power to account; when it would rather spout the establishment narrative. An MSM that keeps the public in the dark about what is really going on. Where, sadly, the ‘values’ that we think the British people hold dear no longer are held by those in power. Come back in ten years Mr Bostock and tell me if the UK is ‘civilised’ and ‘tolerant’. It is changing and if you cannot see it then you are blind.

    • George

      Charles – you can feel free to put whatever opinions you have down here but I do wish you’d stop writing as if you’ve already won the argument with all that “you are unlikely to influence many people and perhaps not even the majority of your readers” stuff. If you were so confident that Craig will fail then you wouldn’t comment at all.

  • Formerly T-Bear

    It is said a fish rots from the head down; probably ‘highly likely’. If so, attention should be drawn to that old thing currently in possession of Buckingham Palace; that nation’s longest reigning monarch, the reign of whom can best be marked by one prime characteristic – silence. Silence can be the result of many factors, the more notable being a self restraint being the near equal of ‘no there, there’, both producing the same affect. The reign of the current monarch, long as it has been has seen the nation it possesses move from recovery from the near defeat at war and the loss of a great maritime empire and the fortunes it brought to a morally benighted collection of pretend elite that have lost all capacity at self governance. The City of London is a wholly owned subsidiary now of Wall Street wealth, able to accomplish what Wall Street is prohibited; much like GCHQ, MI5, MI6 are able to do that the U.S. intelligence is legally prohibited from doing – of what Constitution do you refer? The silence of the British political epicentre has allowed if not encouraged the conditions that now beset a very Dis-United Kingdom. Machiavelli acutely observed that those (city-states) which had experience with self governance had distinct advantage over those not having such experience in returning from external subjugation. The crowning accomplishment of the British monarchy is the ubiquitous political apathy of its subjects – a thousand years and the monarchy has accomplished its one great accomplishment. One word of advise: Never confound for a moment the difference between ‘universal suffrage’ and ‘democracy’, they are in no way similar and if one cannot discern the difference – stifle your opinion, it is unneeded noise in the public discourse

  • Republicofscotland

    I think Britain (British government) is moving closer to the US attitude towards International Law, which is one of flouting it when it sees fit to do so.

    The same can be said on the domestic front on the same day the UN envoy on extreme poverty slammed Tory policies, that have led to a sharp increase in poverty in the UK. The DWP took out a four page spread in a well known tabloid praising Universal Credit.

    • Garth Carthy

      “I think Britain (British government) is moving closer to the US attitude towards International Law, which is one of flouting it when it sees fit to do so.”

      Well said ROS. When international law is flouted by major nations, where is everything going to end?
      I think the flouting of International Laws, smearing of whistle blowers, etc. is the sure fire way to war – and very possibly the end of humanity.

      I’m normally fairly optimistic but what troubles me most is this one factor that our supposedly “world’s policemen” are tearing up laws that don’t suit them – and yet they expect other nations to abide by the law.
      Philosopher and Social Psychologist, Erich Fromm wrote about the insanity of the world way back in 1955 (“The Sane Society”).
      I’m sure if he were alive today, he would say “I warned you”.
      Incidentally, Erich Fromm was Jewish and along with other great men like Einstein, Chomsky and many others, proves that Jews have so much to be proud of in spite of the appalling current regime ruling Israel.

      • Republicofscotland

        Garth Carthy.

        Thank you Garth, yes I agree with that, and I could add Elie Wiesel to your last paragraph as well.

        “In his political activities, he also campaigned for victims of oppression in places like South Africa, Nicaragua, Kosovo, and Sudan. He publicly condemned the 1915 Armenian Genocide, and remained a strong defender of human rights during his lifetime.”

      • Charles Bostock


        The following is from Fromm’s Wikipedia entry, make of it what you will;

        ” In reference to Fromm’s leftist political activism as a public intellectual, Noam Chomsky said “I liked Fromm’s attitudes but thought his work was pretty superficial”.[18]”.

  • N_

    Government Whip Mark Spencer who appears to be doing Andrea Leadsom’s old job pro tem has said the Withdrawal Agreement Bill that was supposed to be published on Wednesday, then today, will now be published “in the week beginning 3 June”, which is to say, on the eve of the Peterborough by-election. Believe that, and you’ll believe anything. May will resign by Monday morning at the latest. “Set a timetable” is an instance of poshboy British bullsh*t talk. When you resign, you don’t determine the process of your replacement.

    I still don’t think Boris Johnson will become prime minister, but my confidence in that opinion is eroding. There is an awful lot of dirt about him, senior figures in MI6 are said not to have trusted him with intelligence that they would usually give to a foreign secretary, and few would relish the idea of working with such a man, but…who is to say? One of the embassies in London is very powerful, and I don’t mean the Russian one.

    • N_

      And funnily enough, Donald Trump is due to arrive in Britain on 3 June, leaving on Wednesday 5 June, the day before Peterborough.

      When he was head of the CIA, George Bush was in London in 1976 on the day Harold Wilson “unexpectedly announced his resignation” as prime minister. It won’t be like that this time, because Theresa May is almost certain to resign before Trump arrives. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be “big stuff” in which Trump can interfere when he is here. Perhaps the new PM wll be able to ring-kiss the US president in London without needing to rush to the White House to kowtow as is usual for a new occupant of that post? Why not count the parliamentary party’s ballots in the US embassy as a courtesy? (A members’ ballot taking 2-3 months is seriously unlikely.)

      • ADKC

        “Theresa May is almost certain to resign”

        Hmmm, I expect that if May gets her way on vote on her deal then there will be “no reason” for her to resign and if she fails to get her way she will call a new general election.

        • N_


          I expect that if May gets her way on vote on her deal then there will be “no reason” for her to resign and if she fails to get her way she will call a new general election.

          First bit: yes, but she won’t get her way on a vote on her deal.
          Second bit: she hasn’t got the legal authority to call a general election. Before 2022, that can only happen if the Commons expresses no confidence and then there’s no expression of confidence in the following fortnight, or if two thirds of MPs vote for one. Not even the monarch has the authority to call a general election before the allotted time any more, although she can prorogue.

          • ADKC

            I said May would call for a new election; if she does then MPs won’t vote against because of fear of how it would be interpreted by the electorate (i.e. they voted against Brexit, they voted against a 2nd referendum, now they are voting against an election).

            The same powers that restrict May are the same powers that mean she can stay in place until’ 2022, unless MPs vote for an early election.

            May was not in tears and did not undertake to resign (she said she would set out a timetable for her departure) – it is all about the media and MPs trying to spin the situation. This has (more or less) happened many times before (not exactly the same) and, yet, May is still in place.

            Meanwhile, potential rivals (Rees-Mog, Johnson, etc) have unwittingly portrayed themselves as putting their own interests ahead of the country. Why do you think May keeps saying and giving a message to the effect that “I have voted for Brexit 3 times but the MPs have voted against” – she is talking directly to voters; she doesn’t care that it upsets the Tory MPs.

            May only recently set up and got rid of Gavin Williamson with a nonsense pretext over Huawei – does that sound like some one who is giving up and prepared to go?

            Everybody imagines that May is just staying on a bit longer so she won’t be the PM with the shortest term ever. If she cares that much about the length of her term then she cares a great deal more about achieving Brexit.

            My view is she won’t go and will continue and there’s nothing the MPs can do about it, unless they want to have a general election or vote for her deal. I could be wrong but there’s nothing in May’s history that suggests that she is just going to slink off quietly into the night and allow herself to be labeled forevermore as “The worst PM ever”.

          • Brian c

            There is talk that the Tories’ 1922 Committee will change the rules for getting rid of a leader if she refuses to go. Knowing the Tories they will do it.

      • Sharp Ears

        Mr Jeremy Richard Streynsham Hunt is saying May will still be around when the orange buffoon visits.

      • Tony

        But he claimed to be unaware of where he was when LBJ had Kennedy assassinated.

        That is rather odd and his links to the CIA go back to, I believe, 1953. Bush also had links to LBJ.
        Having said that, I do not believe he had anything to do with JFK’s death.

        Something else that is very curious is that the man who tried to assassinate President Reagan in 1981 was a friend of the Bush family. I do not claim to know what is going on here but I thought it would be interesting to bring it to readers’ attention.

    • Vivian O'Blivion

      Confirmed, the WAB is not on the HoC, Business Statement for w/c 3rd June. May is minded to amend the Bill after further consultation with the Cabinet. Seems she intends to bend with the wind to survive the storm. Tenacity twinned with clinical delusion. I’ve had ticks that were easier to remove. What did Kinky Friedman say about politics? “Derived from the Greek where poly means many and ticks a blood sucking parasite.”

      Anyways, I’m off to vote Green to try and frighten some backbone into Sturgeon.

      • Bones and Dirt

        I hope my fears about Sturgeon are unfounded, but: it’s worth pointing out that snakes are almost all backbone.

    • Charles Bostock

      It is certainly to be hoped that the Russians will not try to influence the outcome of the Conervative leadership process.

      But the chances are that they will try.

      Apparently Citizen Putin is very happy with Brexit.

      As are Bill Cash, Boris Johnson, Arron Banks, President Trump, Nigel Farage, Gorgeous George Galloway et al.

      A rascally crew ! 🙂

      • Northern

        Really? Come on Charles, you usually play a far more complex game than this. Or did Charles phone in sick today?

        • Charles Bostock

          Yes, really. Which one of that motley crew is not a rascal? Would you buy a used car from any of them?

          • ADKC

            Putin/Russia has no position on the EU; in terms of international/foreign relations what Putin/Russia value is stability and diplomacy above all else. You are just ignorant of, and ill-informed about, Putin/Russia.

            George Galloway is unfairly maligned and has been made into a hate figure by the media.

            Does Bill Cash really deserve the odium you are spreading?

            More to the point, would anyone buy a used car from Charles Bostock?

          • Iain Stewart

            “Putin/Russia has no position on the EU”
            Thanks for that, you wag! 🙂

      • Deb O'Nair

        “It is certainly to be hoped that the Russians will not try to influence the outcome of the Conservative leadership process.”

        Yes, let’s hope the only people influencing the leadership contest are the foreign billionaires and tax exiles bank-rolling the Brexit campaign and those providing the Brexit Party with more media coverage then all other parties combined with the intention of influencing the Tory party to choose a particular candidate, one who has been publicly favoured by the likes of Trump, Murdoch, The Barclay brothers etc. etc.

  • Mist001

    I live in France but am still entitled to take part in UK elections. I received my ballot papers for the European elections today which obviously means that I cannot participate.

    But it’s made me wonder if this was done by intention. I registered to vote months ago, so they’ve known all about it. I’d be interested to find out if this has happened to other UK citizens living abroad, just for comparison.

    • ADKC

      If you live in France then arrange to vote in France, become part of France, pay French taxes, become French, apply for citizenship.

      No one is going to worry about your delayed ballot. I’m afraid, the idea of someone living abroad having difficulties voting in the elections of a country where they no longer live is not going to engender much sympathy.

      • Mist001

        So by your comment, you’re saying that I haven’t done all that? I think you’re a bit of a balloon, you know nothing about my situation France is, yet you tell me to do obvious stuff? LOL!

        • Iain Stewart

          “If you live in France then arrange to vote in France, become part of France, pay French taxes, become French, apply for citizenship.”
          Paying tax is no problem, but the French nationality application takes two years to process (at the very least) with expensive official translations. But at least you can still vote in the UK until you reach Tony Blair’s cretinous 15 year limit.

          • Charles Bostock

            Yes, the French are niggardly when it comes to handing out nationality – even to people from other EU member states. Very unlike the UK, as it happens, but that’s probably because the UK is such a living hell and rapidly going down the road to fascism.

            Not surprised it takes at lest two years, you have to keep all those state employees busy.

          • ADKC

            “expensive official translations”

            If you want to live in France then learn the language.

            If you don’t want to follow French regulations and custom then don’t live in France.

            If you don’t live in the UK why on earth should you be able to vote in the UK?

        • ADKC

          And you are foolish and self-centred enough to think that your missing ballot papers enabling you to vote in a country where you do not live is of importance?

          Live in France; vote in France.

          If you want to vote in the UK then live in the UK.

          Why should you as an ex-pat get a vote on inflicting policies on the citizen UK when you don’t live in the UK?

          • sc

            Pointless irritation. British citizens living abroad can vote. Having a rule that fails because of delays and official incompetence is not a good thing even if you, personally, agree with the end result.

          • ADKC

            I don’t care one way or the other about whether ex-pats vote or not, or have the legal right to vote or not. My point is that ex-pats voting in UK elections is not a good thing and that the problems of an ex-pat who can’t vote because of a delayed ballot is of no interest or concern to the people who live and vote in the UK.

            Let’s take this to extremes:- If ex-pats were given a lifetime right to vote in the UK and there were huge numbers of ex-pats, then ex-pats could vote for policies that benefit them (financially or otherwise) and lumber the costs of such policies (via taxation) onto the people who live and pay taxes in the UK; untenable, you would agree. I accept that it is more likely that ex-pats would have marginal effects but the point still remains.

            In my view an ex-pat can remain a UK citizen but should not have the right to vote in UK elections. Therefore, Live in France, Pay Taxes in France, Vote in France, become a Citizen of France (by this I mean dual citizenship). If you want to vote in UK (even to vote to dissolve the UK – which, I am in favour of) then live in the UK.

            I am more aware of the issues of ex-pats in France that you may believe, and the uncertainty and future of ex-pats in France is a real worry for them (and that returning to the UK when UK house prices have soared and there are no buyers for their property in France, etc). But, I am also very much aware of the pre-dominant attitudes of ex-pats in France to those in the UK and it is not attractive (although, ex-pats are, largely, unconscious of this as many appear to be living in an imaginary world that is more similar to UK in the 70’s than the reality of the UK or, indeed, the real France, of today).

    • Iain Stewart

      It would be worth checking that you are on the liste électorale at your local mairie, if possible before Sunday. In urgent cases where they have made an error a waiting judge can be faxed to correct it immediately so you can vote as a non-French European citizen, using your passport for identity. It is taken very seriously, even if my “carte électorale” says I was born in the “Royaume-Uni de Grande-Bretagne et Irlande” where perhaps some of the more senior commenters on these pages were born.

      • Mist001

        I only wanted to vote for the Brexit Party which I believe would increase Scotlands chances of becoming independent. It’s a pretty uninspiring list otherwise and I’m not particularly fussed who wins what.

        • Iain Stewart

          They should stand in France too, where they would get a huge vote! If you ever see the very serious Franco-German Arte journal you may have noticed that one of the presenters wears a Scottish parliament tartan tie whenever the subject of Brexit comes up, often in front of a map of the UK adjusted to diminish the relative size of England (compensating for the traditional British “perspective” shrunken view of Scotland). All very subtle, confirming the general sentiment of impatience with the delayed departure, and exasperation that once elected the Brexit party clowns will do all they can to disrupt the European parliament while they can, at public expense in all senses of the term. But, as you suggest, some good may come of the coming splore.

          • Charles Bostock

            If you’re an ARTE watcher you’ll have noticed that they really have it in for Victor Orban and his govt. But it keeps well away from Poland, according to the well-known procedure of choosing very carefully whom to bully (small is better and keep well away from those liable or in a position to hit back).

          • Iain Stewart

            I hadn’t thought of Arte as being a bully until you suggested it, although I don’t see how anyone would be frightened of them. The DGSI (as you know, the French MI5) is investigating a number of their journalists over the leak which recently exposed the French government’s hypocrisy in supplying heavy weapons to Saudi-Arabia for specific use in Yemen while saying they were not, and claiming later that in any case no civilians could possibly get hurt by their tiny 155 mm shells when they landed in some obscure town 40 km away.

            But I’ll keep my eyes open for any absence of Polish news and report back as soon as there isn’t any.

          • Charles Bostock


            I meant that ARTE is very politically correct, and especially so with anything to do with the EU. But that’s not surprising since it’s a French-German thing and, as we all keep being told, le couple franco-allemand is the motor of the EU. (Except when it isn’t). It has a down on other member states who fall foul of le couple and the received wisdom of Brussels.

    • John A

      I live in France and I received my ballot paper a good 2-3 weeks ago. I imagine the efficiency of the local election administration system can vary from constituency to constituency but I do not think there was any deliberate subterfuge.

  • Andrea

    Brexit is a problem of English identity, and the concept of English identity is wrapped up with the idea of control and possession of the islands of Britain and Ireland. The concept of ‘British’ was invented to make people in the empire that were not English, more like the English, first and foremost, in terms of language. Investment in halting and reversing this process must be at the core of the process of decolonisation, but I do not hear this voice in the independence movement.

    • ADKC

      Perhaps, because your formulation would be used to cause inter-communal strife (anti-Engilish sentiment and, it’s counter, anti-Scottish sentiment) and the old game of divide and conquer. We can see how elites can provoke and use such sentiments in Northern Ireland and, currently, in the Ukraine.

      Most English people don’t care whether Scotland is independent or not and most English people don’t get a say, anyway.

      The English (the anglo-saxon) are essentially a conquered and oppressed people and have been since 1066. The snobbishness in England is just a result of the Norman conquest. The Doomsday Book was really an expropriation of property from the conquered to the the conquerors and this property relationship persists to this day.

      Your issue is not with English people but with the ruling elite of the United Kingdom. If the Scottish People want independence then it can be theirs, but probably you need to devote more energy to persuading all Scots on the case for independence and making absolutely sure that your representatives really want and will pursue independence for Scotland. DO NOT BE DIVERTED INTO ATTACKING THE ENGLISH!

      • N_

        The snobbishness in England is just a result of the Norman conquest.
        That was a very long time ago, long before even Oxford and Cambridge universities were founded, let alone the Clarendon schools or the Church of England!
        Is snobbery as strong in Sicily as it is in England?
        Also what about snobbery in Scotland and Ireland?

        • ADKC

          All that faux french that is in the English language, that goes back to the Norman Conquest.

          Those schools that you refer to; set up by the elite who owe their positions to the Norman Conquest.

          The snobbery in Ireland comes from the class of people (from England) that were put in place by Cromwell (an extension of the empire started in 1066).

          The snobbery in Scotland (the Scottish elite joined the with English elite with the Act of Union) also has the same source.

          The fundamental property relationship (the most important factor in wealth) in England, Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland all have their roots in the Norman Conquest and actions taken by the elite to preserve and extend their empire.

          I have no idea about Sicily. But we are talking about that peculiar class relationship that exists in the British isles; the disdain that the toffs has for the oiks and (it should be noted) vice versa.

        • lysias

          Watch Visconti’s “The Leopard” on the power and snobbery of the Sicilian aristocracy. The Normans even affected the Sicilian dialect the way they did the English language. “To buy”, for example, is “accattari” in Sicilian, related to French “acheter”, not “comprare”, as in the rest of Italy.

      • Deb O'Nair

        “The snobbishness in England is just a result of the Norman conquest.”

        An example of English snobbery is that the ‘Normans’ were in fact the Viking conquerors of Normandy. When the Vikings decided to conquer England that did so by first attacking the North and then invading from the south.

        For some reason it sits better with the English that they were conquered by the sophisticated French rather than the savage Vikings, whose attack on the North just before the invasion was presumably a coincidence.

  • Sopo

    I could not agree more with the thrust of this piece. However, didn’t the SNP vote to remain a part of NATO even after independence, and thus will continue to participate in imperialism come what may?

    • N_

      And they’ve never promised to use any part of the portion of British government funds that will be received by an independent Scottish state to pay reparations, for example in relation to slavery. Talk is cheap. But money? Got to keep your head screwed on.

    • Republicofscotland


      I recall, that vote was pretty close and several principled SNP delegates resigned in protest over remaining in Nato.

      Sometime down the road after independence has been achieved I’d like to see another question put to the public as to whether we should remain in Nato.

      However the flip side to that coin is that Scotland will be a small independent nation, with oil and gas assets, strategically placed on the opposite side of the pond. We are not the Republic of Ireland, which has many friends in the Senate and House of Representatives.

      • lysias

        You’ve just stated another reason for Scotland to join a federation with Ireland, in addition to the one I have long had in mind: joining such a federation would be much more acceptable to Ulster Protestants than joining a united Ireland. For what it’s worth, it would also be a way for Scotland to stay in the EU.

      • SA

        All the indications from recent states that have joined the EU, is that membership of NATO is part and parcel of joining the EU. In fact this aspect of the EU is one which I, as a remainer, have a major self conflict with. It may well appear that joining NATO is supposed to be a voluntary democratic decision but I see nothing to persuade me that this is the case.
        Having said that, I am also aware that there is a strong movement within the EU to form an independent European army, which would ensure military and political independence from the foreign policy of the US but I am not sure that it is strong enough to become reality.

  • Northern

    Forgive me if I cannot bear to vote Labour these days. I’m working class and have always voted Labour or Lib Dem. I like(d) Jezza for at least having the appearance of a man of principle but the last 3 years has seen him do a slow motion morph into an advocate of the centre establishment, taking all those Momentum members with him. I’d like to hope it’s a ruse to try get himself into number 10 but the nakedly anti democratic antics of virtually everyone else in his party is too much to stomach. And fuck Vince Cable and the Lib Dems, their commitment to anything beyond their own political skin is as thin as wet tissue paper.

    I keep finding myself repeating the same question of late; Why is it that when faced with a broken political system that serves the interests of a tiny few, a majority of people’s first recommendation is to put further faith in the same system? To paraphrase The Thick Of It, it’s like attending a therapy group being run by your own rapist.

    • lysias

      The ancient Athenians had good reasons for adopting their system of direct democracy. And that system succeeded in its primary aim of giving significant political power to average citizens and denying a monopoly of actual power to the rich.

      • Charles Bostock

        Ancient Athens oscillated between democracy and autocracy. You always make it sound as if it was a happy democracy throughout its existence but you know very well that that’s false. As an Oxford Greatsman (Lit Hum for the unitiated) you should know better!

      • lysias

        For the nearly two centuries of Athenian political independence between the reforms of Cleisthenes and Athenian defeat by Macedon, there were only two brief, months-long episodes of nondemocratic, oligarchic rule in Athens. They happened during and just after the Peloponesian War. In the second episode, Quisling government was imposed by a victorious Sparta. In both cases, democracy was quickly restored, showing how attached most Athenians were to the democratic system. The extremism of the oligarchs shows how much many of the rich hated the democratic system.

        • Charles Bostock

          And what about all the other centuries? You carefully omit to mention what happened then.

    • Michael McNulty

      I was a keen Corbynista and paid the £25 entry fee to vote for him, and after his decision to disregard the Brexit vote he has snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. Too many working class voters will turn away from Labour for that betrayal. Today I voted Brexit Party in protest, and in a General Election I’ll likely vote Independent or spoil the paper, as I’m not voting for any party that wants to rob me of an earlier vote and then tell me it’s what I really want. They can’t slap my face then tell me it was a kiss on the cheek.

      • Steph

        ‘his decision to disregard the Brexit vote’
        I seem to have missed that!

      • SA

        I am not sure where you get this information from as one of the reasons why the CHUKISTS have split and often joined by the Trojan horse Tom Watson is exactly that Labour should be a remain party and it is well known that what he says is against the party conference resolution. It would help if you understand the official party position before making a false allegation.

  • Node

    So it’s OK to watch child pornography as long as you don’t “participate in, solicit, encourage or condone” the making of it ….?

  • Cascadian

    Guess what, Craig.

    The facebook container on Firefox won’t let me share you or Off-Guardian. But, I can share other sites.

  • N_

    The milkshake campaign is in full flow. The Tory pro-Brexit Party press – the Daily Mail and the Telegraph – are beaming a story to millions of smartphones about how a teller for the Brexit Party was attacked with a milkshake at a polling station today. The man is in his 80s and he is an army veteran.

    The racist right are walking 10 foot high today.

  • Athanasius

    You’ve called Orban “near fascist” and “far right” in the same article. How can he be both left and right at the same time?

    • Republicofscotland

      I’m under the impression, that both are to the right, fascism though, being the more extreme.

      Orban’s Fidesz party is a right wing Nationalist Conservative party, driven by populist anti-immigrant, and anti-EU agenda.

    • glenn_nl

      I get it – you’re one of those jokers who likes to pretend that the Nazis were left wing. Very funny.

      • Charles Bostock

        Well, the words “socialist” and “workers” did appear in the official designation of their party.

        But I think we’ve already agreed that there is little point in trying to establish league tables on which is worse, the extreme right or the extreme left. Both were (are) ghastly. Historically, the struggle in the C20 was one between liberal democracy and totalitarianism (the latter represented by both Nazism and Soviet Communism).

        • glenn_nl

          This “Hitler was a socialist” line is an obvious lie to discredit socialism. If you think “National Socialism” as defined by the Nazis was – in fact – socialism, one is either deceiving oneself, or rather ignorant of an awful lot.

          It might be noted that one of the first things the Nazis did was round up socialists – actual, real ones that is – along with all the other undesirables.

          It’s such a mischief making, silly point that it’s hard to have any respect for the person perpetrating that myth.

          • Charles Bostock

            Hey Glenn, take a deep breath and calm down. I didn’t say Hitler was a socialist, I said the word “socialist” was part of the official denomination of the Nazi party (Close Reading 101 recommended!). It’s what the party chose to call itself, presumably to attract people to it (and it seems to have worked, eh?).

            I hope you’re not going back on your agreement with me that the political history of C20 was that of the struggle between liberal democracy and totalitarianism (the latter represented by Nazism and Soviet Communism)?

          • Athanasius

            My major point – which I thank you for making for me – is that folk on the left have no respect for anyone who doesn’t see things their way.

          • glenn_nl

            Athanasius : Keep your thanks, and keep your misrepresentations too. Shows your philosophy is rather hollow when that’s the main thing you do.

          • glenn_nl

            CB: Could you be a little less patronising, just once in a while? I wasn’t addressing your mis (or mal)-representation with the “Hitler was a socialist” anyway – it ought to have been clear I was talking about the mischief makers who pursue that dishonest line.

            I’m rather sorry to say that it looks like liberal democracy has lost the battle – perhaps it got corrupted by sympathisers of the various totalitarian mindsets along the way.

          • Republicofscotland

            “My major point – which I thank you for making for me – is that folk on the left have no respect for anyone who doesn’t see things their way.”


            And of course those on the right do.

          • Hatuey

            It’s very easy to prove if Hitler was a socialistic or not.

            Have a look at what German industrialists and the business community thought of him… that’s a real love affair. American investors loved him too btw… FDI from the US to Germany when Hitler was in power exceeded FDI anywhere else, if I remember correctly.

            Or, alternatively, have a look at those who Hitler rounded up and murdered or sent to concentration camps (communists, socialists, etc.).

            Case well and truly closed.

          • Charles Bostock


            You’re behind the curve here, it should have been clear to you by now what this little spat’s about (and not about).

          • Hatuey

            Charles, you’re a revisionist. That with regards to both words and events.

          • Athanasius

            BTW, it’s not necessary to use Hitler to discredit socialism. The mountain of skulls it left across Russia, China, Laos, Cambodia, North and Vietnam makes him look like a hobbyist.

          • Michael McNulty

            Hitler said he called his new political movement National Socialism because his Nationalism was about Germany’s interests; and Socialist because he wanted every German to be involved. As for Hitler’s socialist credentials he also once said, “I know I talk a lot about the German people but all I’m really interested in is the top ten thousand.”

          • glenn_nl

            @ “mountain of skulls” Athanasius :

            Try not being such a chump. In your binary worldview there is only good and bad government, with everything in the latter category simplistically lumped together as “socialism”. Do you imagine there are mountains of skulls across northern Europe, many of which are decidedly on the socialist side? Actually you probably do.

          • Athanasius

            There AREN’T any socialist countries in northern Europe. There never were. There are capitalist countries with varying numbers of socialist programs draining the treasuries and creating ever more powerful bureaucracies of self-important people “making a difference”, but no actual socialist countries, hence – so far – no mountains of skulls in northern Europe.

          • glenn_nl

            @Athanasius: Well not by your (with all due respect) frankly idiotic and circular reasoning, of course not. Effectively you’re saying “Since there’s no mountain of skulls, there can’t have been any socialism there.” That is as classic an example of a specious argument as one could find.

            It’s rather hard to take anything you say seriously, and it looks a bit like trolling, frankly, so I’ll leave you to it (unless you have anything better to offer than you’ve managed so far, at least).

        • Squeeth

          The differences between Stalinists, fascists and bourgeois liberals are distinctions without differences. All three political forms rest on mountains of corpses.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    To all…
    From my perspective over here in the Caribbean ( i.e. I was born in Jamaica – came to England at age 16 – completed my education – got some practical work experience – returned to the Caribbean) – there is a story to be told. Consider what I have said here:-

    The idea of the ‘British Empire’ obviously excites and ignites very strong sentiments. Some people in Britain have seriously contended that for the Blacks and Asians in the Caribbean slavery was a good thing of mutual benefit to Britain and the Caribbean enslaved people and indentured servants post-emancipation. That is one narrative. Most in Britain would have given precious little thought to the questions of: what did and does it mean to have had family life destroyed and denied for centuries; not to have been paid for forced labour delivered over centuries ( well forget all that) – who was the primary economic beneficiary of such a system and process? So, move forward – then ( as with my father’s friend who fought at Dunkirk and was awarded a Victoria Cross then settled in Brixton, married and remained in London until he died of old age; what did it mean to him to have fought for Britain then return to meet signs saying ‘Room for rent: Irish, Blacks and dogs need not apply’? Or, to be called on a work site ‘Nigger, Wog or Coon’? Empire in one narrative embraces racism and turns the history of brutality on its head to read as something of nobility and greatness that was delivered to a quarter of the world. That quarter tends naturally to read history differently with a strong tendency ( as with the debates which raged during the period of Apartheid) to call racism out for what it is. Of course, in the true spirit of ‘embrace of Empire’ and the opportunity to make exploitative profits – Mrs. Thatcher and her husband, Denis, saw Nelson Mandela as a ‘terrorist’ for he was a threat to Denis’ money making opportunities in Apartheid South Africa. So from the first slave landed from Africa in the West Indies there actually is a continuity of thought which embraces one or the other of the competing narratives.

    • David


      I read your article with interest, but I am not sure I completely agree with your views:

      You provided several examples of racism you encountered in your own life. But would you agree that, absent some overwhelming trigger event, individuals change their minds (those that do so at all) one at a time and often after considerable life experience and consequent reflection, and that therefore the attitude of the entire group can only change gradually. Would you agree that attitudes changed considerably between 1800 and the 1970s? And that they have continued to change since then? Surely is unfair to ascribe the views of some white people to all white people as your article seems to do, or perhaps I misunderstood your intent?

      2. I am no defender of Governor Northam. I despise most politicians and would certainly include Northam in that group. Nevertheless I know from my own experience that it would be extremely unfair to judge a man at fifty based on the views he held and the behaviour he exhibited at the age of twenty. To draw from my own life:
      – I joined the army at the age of eighteen. I now believe this to have been immoral, and would never do so.
      – I believed that the Royal Family was a jolly good thing. I now believe that all men are created equal and the very existence of a Royal Family is indefensible.
      – I believed that the British Government was absolutely correct to ban the speech of the IRA. I am now an ardent believer in free speech no matter who the speaker is, nor what he has to say.
      – I had a friend who, in response to the “Keep Britain Tidy” campaign would deliberately throw rubbish out of his car window crying “Keep Britain Colourful!”. I thought this was terribly funny and no doubt my laughter served to encourage his behaviour. Needless to say my response would be very different today.
      – I was not, at least in any conscious sense, racist but I am quite sure that, had someone had the bad taste to have thrown a blackface party, I would quite happily have blacked my face and attended. Not because I was racist, but simply because I was as utterly thoughtless as only a young man can be of anything beyond how much alcohol I could consume, and whether or not I could find a lady sufficiently lacking in discrimination that she would agee to sleep with me.

      My point is not to defend any of those views. I am very far from proud of them or my general behaviour as a young man. I cite these examples only to show that people change – and it is not fair to judge a man in his fifties by his behaviour while at University, nor is it reasonable to assume that his views have not changed, nor even to conclude with certainty that his blackface back then was indicative of anything deeper than the shallow thoughtlessness of youth.

      • Squeeth

        No-one ever thought of slavery as anything but evil. It was abolished, when at its most profitable because the non-slaving majority of the boss class resented footing the bill for the repression of slave uprisings.

      • Courtenay Barnett

        Dear David,

        Thank you for your lengthy and very thoughtful response to my post.

        Sorry for this late reply but had some family business to take care of yesterday and then we have the time difference Caribbean/UK.

        I shall try to touch on all your points ( of which there are many valid ones).

        This one below seems to be at the core of what you are inquiring of me:-

        “Surely is unfair to ascribe the views of some white people to all white people as your article seems to do, or perhaps I misunderstood your intent?”

        It is not my intent to include “all white people” in what I wrote and sought to convey. I did state towards the end of the article, “ I do not see as the White man sees ‘others’ – for ‘they’ too are my people;”.
        My intent was to indicate ‘some’ and the offence it brings to others at whom the racism is targeted. In my case I am referencing personal experiences and in a broader sense I spoke to historical injustices. In fact, historical injustices, which some Europeans in this year – 2019 – have in a collective manner recently acknowledged:-

        ” On March 26, 2019 the European Parliament adopted by 535 votes to 80 with 44 abstentions the resolution P8_TA(2019)0239 on “Fundamental rights of people of African descent”, recognizing at point S that […] the racism and discrimination experienced by people of African descent is structural […] and at point B […] whereas this correlates to historically repressive structures of colonialism and the transatlantic slave trade […].”

        My further point is that in a personal and individual sense I count amongst my close friends some people who happen to be White. I accept to some extent what you have quite clearly expressed and explained. Parochialism can extend to racism largely because of lack of exposure and thus narrowness dominates and dictates to the mind because of the ‘collective consciousness’ inflicted upon and into one by reason of infused dominant value systems ( i.e. the beliefs to which one has most directly been exposed to).

        Even further ( since you have been so open about yourself ) – let me share with you. My parents raised me to be both aware and self-confident. Additionally, never did I ever hear either my mother or father utter a racial slur or epithet directed against anyone. I was taught to be respectful of all. So, let me reconstruct an eye-opening story from my family history. My father was an extremely successful businessman in Jamaica. Of the four brothers, I was the first and only one to have attended University ( I was the youngest). My father never left Jamaica until in his early forties. He had two European business partners and one was a Danish medical doctor. So, his Danish business partner invited him to Denmark and he then made his first trip from Jamaica. Upon his return, my mother, Beatrice (‘Cissy’) and my Dad, Ralph, are in conversation as I eavesdrop. Here is my reconstructed version of the conversation.

        Cissy: So Ralph how did the trip go?

        Ralph: I had a good time and Charles treated me well but I had one bad experience.

        Cissy: What happened Ralph?

        Ralph: I was on the dance floor at a club with Charles and Inga(i.e. Charles’ wife) and while dancing with Inga a White American came up to me and called me ‘nigger’.

        Cissy: So what happened?

        Ralph: A fight broke out and I threw some good blows on him and then Cissy I stepped back and aim and give him a wicked upper cut and smash his nose and he was bleeding and that was the end of it.

        Cissy: But you were in a White country – you weren’t afraid that they turn on you and lock you up?

        Ralph: All the White people in the club saw what happened and who started it and they cheered me on. Some came up to me and congratulate me and said that the man got what he deserved. They assured me that Danish people were not like the man. Even when the police came they were not interested in any arrest.

        So there you have it as recounted by Ralph’s son.

        You went on to speak of past versus present then you gave your own examples.

        “– I believed that the Royal Family was a jolly good thing. I now believe that all men are created equal and the very existence of a Royal Family is indefensible.
        – I believed that the British Government was absolutely correct to ban the speech of the IRA. I am now an ardent believer in free speech no matter who the speaker is, nor what he has to say.
        – I was not, at least in any conscious sense, racist but I am quite sure that, had someone had the bad taste to have thrown a blackface party, I would quite happily have blacked my face and attended. Not because I was racist, but simply because I was as utterly thoughtless as only a young man can be of anything beyond how much alcohol I could consume, and whether or not I could find a lady sufficiently lacking in discrimination that she would agree to sleep with me.”

        In a way you make my point for me, here:-

        “I was not, at least in any conscious sense, racist but I am quite sure that, had someone had the bad taste to have thrown a blackface party, I would quite happily have blacked my face and attended”

        Just my point. Again, my father had rented to a Chinese family from Hong Kong, and I grew up playing with their two boys. It would be inconceivable for either my mother or father to have addressed either their Chinese mother or father in any insulting and/or derogatory manner or to have referred to them based on some racist stereotype. It is indeed an arrogant and instinctive ( instilled through learnt belief systems) stereotype to do the ol’ blackface Al Jolson stuff; as much as it would be for me to whiten my face and they mock White people.

        Not saying you are a racist – I am explaining where I am coming from in the article I published.

        Now – do you understand me better?

        • Courtenay Barnett

          That should have read: “as much as it would be for me to whiten my face and then mock White people.”
          Speaking of racism – while I do not endorse same – I can laugh at myself and then others too..
          “Do not be racist; be like Mario. He’s an Italian plumber, who was made by the Japanese, speaks English, looks like a Mexican, jumps like a black man, and grabs coins like a Jew!”

          • David

            Thanks for your response. Sounds like we likely agree on much.

            However in response to this specific point:

            “Just my point. Again, my father had rented to a Chinese family from Hong Kong, and I grew up playing with their two boys. It would be inconceivable for either my mother or father to have addressed either their Chinese mother or father in any insulting and/or derogatory manner or to have referred to them based on some racist stereotype. It is indeed an arrogant and instinctive ( instilled through learnt belief systems) stereotype to do the ol’ blackface Al Jolson stuff; as much as it would be for me to whiten my face and they mock White people.”

            Remember I never did attend a blackface party. It was merely a rhetorical device to show that it would be possible to attend such a party without being racist. Where you would never have insulted anyone, I would have happily insulted anyone on an entirely equal basis. I would have just as happily attended the hypothetical “whiteface” party you postulated as the hypothetical “blackface” party which I postulated. I treated the feelings of other people – all people, to the extent I was even aware that other people had feelings – as less important than mere whims of my own; and that this is not entirely unusual in young people although I was likely worse than many. So I would have attended such a party not _in order to_ mock or upset anyone, but simply because – to me at the time – that price would have seemed less important than the opportunity to enjoy myself. So I would argue I was not racist, simply callous, insensitive and boorish on an entirely non-discriminatory basis.

            My other point of course is that even were we to accept that Northam had been racist in his youth (and clearly it is one possible explanation for his behavior), that does not imply that he still holds such beliefs today, and we should attach a great deal more weight to any evidence which may or may not exist for his beliefs from more recent times.

  • Goose

    Quote : The UK is an evil and corrupt entity.

    That’s far too sweeping a statement. Ordinary Brits i.e., all of us, are some of the most reasonable, fair and generous minded people in the world (look at telethons & charity giving which is higher than most EU countries). I think it’s a problem with evil, secretive elites who happen to dominate the country because the system, with its lack of transparency and no codified written constitution allows all sorts of corruption and cover-ups. The population are kept in the dark and parliamentarians are either naive(many are just dumb) or happy with the status quo; too many MPs just want a quiet life, a career in politics and a fptp safe seat for life. That means not rocking the boat even when they know things are bad.
    What’s happened to the press is the most concerning, for it’s they who’ve traditionally investigated and informed the populace about nefarious activities, taking a moral stance, you’ve got things like the Integrity Initiative which seemingly just compromises journalistic integrity. Increasingly the agencies are taking control of the media(esp. BBC), paranoid as they are about the risks to them a free investigative press poses, especially after the Guardian’s Snowden revelations caught them blindsided. It’s happened under the guise of tackling supposed foreign(mainly Russian) inference , but the evidence isn’t there to support assertions of any such ‘at scale’ interference.

    Which outlet or journalist would a whistleblower be able to trust these days?

  • David

    As usual I find myself sharing your disgust at the corruption and general behaviour of the UK government in this case both in its treatment of the Chagos islands and its condoning of torture.

    Equally as usual I find myself bemused by your conviction that these types of crime are somehow limited to right wing governments. Do you believe that left wingers’ “shit don’t stink”? History doesn’t seem to conform to your viewpoint – it appears (well at least to me anyway :-)) that such corruption and evil appear wherever power is concentrated in proportion to the degree of concentration of power, irresepctive of whether it is in the hands of left wingers or right.

  • Ingwe

    Good article Mr Murray. Much as I’d like to see the UK broken up, I don’t believe that retreating back to nationalism is the only answer. Working people of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales have more in common with each other than with the ruling class of each country. Let’s all unite with others in these countries and kick out these awful reactionaries whether they’re wearing tartan or bowler hats!

    • Charles Bostock


      Your approach has a lot to recommend it in political terms but the problem here is that Craig is part of the “ruling classes” whether you look at him politically, economically or socially. He couldn’t espouse your approach ‘cos he’s on the wrong side of the class divide by any reckoning.

    • craig Post author

      Beautiful dream, Ingwe. Meanwhile in the real world the working class people of England are walking out to vote for Nigel Farage in their millions.

      • Goose

        Depressing, isn’t it.

        Most people in England know there is something seriously wrong with the UK’s political system, but don’t have the understanding of alternative ways of doing things(scrapping FPTP and federalisation) and what needs to be done. Nor the proper political vehicle to express their frustration. Farage is just more of the same; more horrible right-wing authoritarian nonsense, as seen by the people his party is attracting; people like former Tory minister Ann ‘Doris Karloff’ Widdecombe – her of chaining pregnant female prisoners to beds fame, and the pretentiously named Annunziata Rees-Mogg, sister of Jacob.
        People forget Farage’s old party, UKIP, were formed by disgruntled Tories, many of whom were well to the right of the atrocious David Cameron, he was at that time, casting himself as a ‘liberal’ reforming conservative.

        Scotland at least has the SNP and potentially independence to escape England’s political stupidity.

        • Republicofscotland


          Northern England has been led to believe that the current state of affairs is all, the fault of foreigners stealing jobs and sponging off the state. This mantra has been reinforced by the MSM.

          Of course the reality is that Northern England like so many other regions of England is suffering from unemployment, poverty, foodbanks and longer hospital waiting times due to bad governance, but it is much easier to scapegoat a section of the community than to address these issues.

          Farage and Johnson, thave taken advantage of the unrest caused by the scapegoating of foreigners, and channelled it into votes.

          • Northern

            Nice massive generalisation there. I know full well who the enemy of the working classes is, and it isn’t based on skin colour or nationality.

      • Northern

        Ideology drives people to strange places. I would consider myself left leaning liberal (I broadly agree with Ingwe), but I’m contemplating voting for Farage because I simply cannot identify with the useless idiots that form the majority of the Lib Dems or Labour.

        So does your narrative have that I’m just a simpleton Craig? ‘Hoodwinked by demagogues’ or whatever the fashionable euphemism is currently? What do you recommend all those people who’ve been made politically ‘homeless’ in the last 3 years do? Continue to endorse a broken political system that is these days openly conspiring against the interests of democracy? Disappointing.

        • Goose

          @Northern : I would consider myself left leaning liberal

          Interested then, to know what you think Brexit or Farage would actually improve?

          Former City trader Nigel Farage (he’s from a family of stockbrokers), used to promote the idea of the NHS being replaced US-style health insurance system. A system, which can leave people scrambling to pay medical debts, and those with chronic conditions struggling to get insurance cover. How anyone on the liberal/left can entertain voting for this loudmouthed, over confident ,right-wing charlatan who claims he’s a ‘ man of the people’, is beyond me?

        • Republicofscotland

          “but I’m contemplating voting for Farage because I simply cannot identify with the useless idiots that form the majority of the Lib Dems or Labour.”

          Ah, and Farage isn’t a useless idiot in your opinion? His mantra not policies I might add he has none as far as I know, is out of Europe, and take your foreigners with you.

          I’m struggling to contemplate what kind of useful idiot would vote for, well, a useless idiot such as Farage.

          • Northern

            Probably similar useless idiots to the ones who vote SNP in Scotland despite it obviously being part of the British Political Establishment designed to steer away from genuine independence. Still see you on here every day advocating for them.

          • Iain Stewart

            You maybe missed Mist001 further up the thread saying he wanted to vote Farage to accelerate the disintegration of the UK, which seems reasonable enough.

        • J

          “cannot identify with the useless idiots that form the majority of the Lib Dems or Labour…people who’ve been made politically ‘homeless’ in the last 3 years”

          Presumably, since the determined push away from the neo-liberal consensus occurred over the last three years (one of the most significant political developments in several decades) you’re telling us that you’re largely favour of open ended commitment to illegal war providing it comes in vaguely humanitarian packaging, increased privatisation, increased corporate capture of the state, continued lip service to environment while policy does the opposite, decimation of jobs and industry and virtual absence of any distinguishing characteristic between Labour and Tories.

          You seem to be suggesting ‘identity politics’ is a primary motivating concern, since it appears based on the ‘mediated’ view of the last three years, but lodge an emotional appeal that this should be taken seriously.

          Anyway, even if I wanted Brexit (I’m almost completely ambivalent) Farage would be the last man on earth I’d commission to deliver it. He’s taken millions in corporate bribes (that we know about) in money and property while committing himself to destroying the NHS, in his own words “we have to think about privatising.” That his first act after winning the EU referendum was to secure German citizenship for himself and his family should suggest how thorough are his plans to advance your interests.

          • J

            My grandfather made cloggs. Grandmother was deaf from the cotton mills (both went to work before their teens, neither educated.) Father was a successful blues musician in the sixties before several jobs in engineering. Until recently he drove a bus. Mother worked at everything from shop assistant and time share sales to cleaning toilets. I’m a mostly self taught, former illustrator and artist, largely self educated, relatively poor most of my life, lived large parts of it without modern conveniences from hot water to inside toilets. Worked at everything from washing dishes, warehouse work, roofing, gardening to illustrated books and games development. All of us would be offended to be told that Nigel Farage represents us. Just so that you know where I’m coming from.

          • Northern

            “Presumably, since the determined push away from the neo-liberal consensus occurred over the last three years (one of the most significant political developments in several decades) you’re telling us that you’re largely favour of open ended commitment to illegal war providing it comes in vaguely humanitarian packaging, increased privatisation, increased corporate capture of the state, continued lip service to environment while policy does the opposite, decimation of jobs and industry and virtual absence of any distinguishing characteristic between Labour and Tories.”

            I neither said nor suggested literally any of that so your insinuation that I’m pro-war is frankly, fucking offensive. I don’t understand how the part of my post you quoted bears any relation to what you’ve started discussing here. The time scale I decided to make my point on was the last 3 years in relation to the referendum, not because I’m in favour of the neo-liberal concensus as you suggested. I used the word ‘identify’ (specifically my lack there-of in regards to politics) to denote that I see very little promise in the words and actions of the mainstream political parties, not some ridiculous ideology – why on earth would I be suggesting that it’s a ‘primary motivating concern’? Your clearly an intelligent person but you seem to have grasped the wrong end of the stick completely with regards to the point I was attempting to make so I’ll thank you to refrain from projecting a whole host of things I didn’t mention into my post.

            And asked for the rest of you – do you not think I’m aware of all his shenanigans? Why do you think I used the word ‘considering’ when I discussed the possibility of voting for Farage? I’m sure you’ll all be delighted to know I spoiled my ballot in protest. Again, I’m continually mystified by these people who have enough critical faculties to understand the system is broken, but can only suggest further endorsing more of the same.

      • David

        I’m personally not voting in the EU elections, mainly because they are as irrelevant today as they have always been, but to your comment about millions of people voting for Farage….. who the hell else can they vote for to send a message to Westminster that they are deeply unhappy with the political process in this country ?

        Vote Labour ? you must be joking. No one in their right mind could vote for JC, he has only one ambition. POWER. All the rest is bullshit.

        We don’t need to break up the UK, and indeed I don’t personally think its a good idea, we need to find a way to retake control of our politics, and in doing so our own future relationship with the world. SNP are no better than any other party, they just fit with your currently very narrow view of the world. Scottish independence will not solve the problems for the Scottish people, you will just get more of the same.

        Its a sad state of affairs, but one that almost all people of the UK are starting to see and understand. Brexit if nothing else has highlighted to the general population just how self serving and utterly useless our politicians have become. We even use the phrase “ruling elite” like its a normal situation. We are not supposed to have a ruling elite, that’s the whole purpose of a parliamentary democracy, to prevent it. The greed for power has corrupted it completely.

        • Twirlip

          David: “Vote Labour ? you must be joking. No one in their right mind could vote for JC, he has only one ambition. POWER. All the rest is bullshit.”

          Perhaps I’ve been asleep for all these years, but it had never occurred to me that the lifelong obscure backbencher and hard-working constituency MP Jeremy Corbyn was consumed by a “greed for power”. If so, he has always had a funny way of showing it! Didn’t he only stand in the Labour leadership contest because – amongst the small band of forlorn left-wingers – it was “his turn”? Would it perhaps be possible for you to summarise the factual basis for your surprising alternative view of him? (A reference to some documentation would suffice.)

          • Xavi

            Indeed, the least power driven individual in parliament for most of his career. Now with a hugely unlikely opportunity to transform Britain’s domestic and foreign policy. He is not going to blow it by giving his enemies any cause to discredit him before he makes it to no 10. Taking a hard remain or leave position or making forlorn stands at this stage on issues like Venezuela, etc, are not going to help him achieve his goal of transforming the country.

        • Hatuey

          So, like some adolescent child who just found out the thing between his legs isn’t only for peeing with, you’ve just awoken to the idea that British politics is totally corrupt. Welcome aboard.

          Its clear that you think this realisation is the final piece of your jigsaw, and you now see the big picture, but actually it’s the first piece of a whole new jigsaw.

          A couple of issues — if JC simply wanted power, as you suggest, it would have been much easier for him to succeed if he renounced humanity and gave up on his commitments to things like raising tax, redistributing wealth, renewing Trident, and abandoning Palestinians, to name but a few.

          On a more light hearted note you talk about “retaking” control of “our politics”. Please tell me when you ever had control and when it was ever yours… maybe you fell for some idea on a Brexit leaflet that alluded to the old days when Britain was great, without it actually telling you when.

          The question of Scottish independence is for the Scottish people. Others should keep their noses out, especially when they are totally deluded.

      • Godolphin

        I’m not certain I’d be classified as working class but nonetheless the Brexit party has my vote.

      • Ingwe

        Mr Murray, the fact that large elements of the working class, through false consciousness, identify with Farage and his fascistic policies does not invalidate the reality that their actual best interests lie with the Woking classes of Scotland, Wales and indeed of all countries of the world.
        Promoting nationalism would not deal with the inequalities brought about by capitalism any more than Farages fascistic policies will offer the supposed remedies that they promise.
        We should be organising society to raise political consciousness and showing that Farage and his ilk have no answers to unemployment, that immigration is not the cause of society’s degeneration.

        I don’t inhabit a fantasy world that presupposes a radical working class, all working in unison to bring about a socialist ideal. But there are no short cuts and the groundwork needs to be done. Nationalism has a role to play in forging an idea of collective identity as in apartheid South Africa or amongst African Americans in the 1960s. But it has no progressive role in modern day Europe or the United Kingdom.

        • J

          Did you ever read J G Ballards Kingdom Come? Extremely enjoyable final novel from 2006 which I’d neglected until now. It’s remarkably congruent, not least for the concept of ‘Consumer Fascism.’ Ideology as vague adjunct to selling products, violence as lifestyle choice rather than means to goal, identity politics with policy undefined and identity through projection of threat and charm, cultivated, elective psychopathy. Mesmerising stuff.

        • Charles Bostock

          I always think its funny when members of the comfortably-off middle class (eg, lawyers) claim to speak for the working class.

          I know they try to square the circle by saying that “everyone who works is working class” but that’s just a sleight of hand, isn’t it.

    • Republicofscotland


      The Scottish independence movement isn’t retreating into nationalism in the sense you describe, that is more of a British nationalism.

      That we see in the likes of Farage or Boris Johnson. From what I can see the Scottish nationalists are civic and inclusive, infact many who vote for the SNP, or did so during the 2014 Scottish independence referendum aren’t members of the party, but saw the SNP as a vehicle to independence.

      It’s very unlikely that Westminster politicians of most who are trapped in the Westminster Bubble. Can or indeed possess the political will to change the system, that has led to Scotland, and now Wales in fledgling movements to pursue independence.

      There are millions of decent folk in England of that I’m certain, however, change doesn’tappear to be on the cards anytime soon. Maybe by breaking up the UK, England (Westminster) will somehow gradually change, again, Wales, Scotland and NI cannot wait around hoping for this to materialise.

      Mandela’s nationalism, helped to unite South Africa, in a good way, did it not?

      • Goose

        Ending FPTP for Westminster elections is the change I’d make.

        The Tories and their right-wing, regressive ideas dominate the political scene in England purely because of that electoral system. The fact a party can win a clear seat majority with as little as 35% of the vote in a GE, then have total dominion to do whatever they want for five years, is why we’re where we’re at in the UK. Changing FPTP won’t be easy, obviously; the lack of public understanding why we need change (conceptualisation of how it’d improve democratic representation) and types of representation, plus a Tory supporting press who are determined to keep the status quo by keeping the population in the dark about those alternatives.

        The first step is to abolish the current HoL – replacing it with a chamber elected using a proportionate system. This is eminently doable. How long can a wholly unelected 2nd chamber last in a supposedly modern country in the 21st century?

        • Republicofscotland

          Sadly the political will doesn’t exist to change the FPTP system at Westminster to say the ď Hondt system, used to choose MEP’s. The EU uses the closed list of the ď Hondt system, so we vote for the party and not the individual, as in the open system.

          As for abolishing or radically streamlining the House of Lords, many parties over the decades have promised to do something in order to win your vote, but have failed miserably when in office.

          I suppose its turkeys voting for Christmas in a way, most MP’s would like to be bumped up at some point to the House of Lords, as a recognition of their life time achievements. The stark reality is that the majority have had a mediocre career at best.

          Better to abolish the unelected, House of Lords and replace it with an elected (By the public) second chamber, but that will not happen anytime soon I’m afraid.

        • Squeeth

          Why replace the Lords? The only logical reform is abolition but it will make little difference because Parliament is a sham. The history of the C20th in the developed world is the history of the usurpation of legislatures by the executive.

      • Ingwe

        I didn’t see your post until after I’d replied to Mr Murray’s post to me. And some of what I said in reply to his comments applies to your post. Taking your last point first I agree that the ANC’s nationalism under Mandela in the 50s and 60s played a useful function in creating a sense of identity for oppressed black South Africans where apartheid’s policies of division and promotion of tribalism had delayed any real opposition to the government by a white minority. But the ANC and Mandela did not see the problem purely in terms of black versus white and, together with the SACP, said that what was required was a transformation of the entire society including the economy away from capitalism.

        Mandela did not unite South Africa and it remains hugely divided. The inequality is not decreasing but increasing and the fact that the ANC followed a market based capitalist path of development has led to a black middle class and done little for the mass of the population. I’m not decrying the very real progress that has been made since the end of apartheid in 1994 and let’s hope that the multi-millionaire Cyril Ramiphosa does take steps to end or reduce corruption in the ANC and the political body.

        I also accept that it doesn’t necessary follow that an independent Scotland would degenerate into Boris Johnsonish of Faragist type of nationalism. But the clue’s in the name;Scottish National Party and there is a degree of Scottish jingoism. I too am repelled by the UK government’s stance on so many issues; Assange, the Chagos Islands, nuclear weapons, the whole military, industrial and security industry and I am heartened by the progressive stance many SNP supporters have taken. But Scottish independence
        is neither sufficient nor necessary for all this island’s inhabitants to live together and reject the Tories, Farage, the Lib Dems, Labour (and even Corbyn who believes in making capitalism work) not to mention Sturgeon. Our future is in our own hands: we don’t need to be told or shown what’s best for us.

    • Jo1


      I’m a working class Scot. The whole Brexit debacle has rolled out many, many working class English people in all their glory. I have nothing in common with those people. I am sorry indeed for those decent English people caught up among such racism and hatred.

  • Hatuey

    Interesting to see an article that combines and considers issues of torture alongside Scottish independence. They’re not entirely disconnected though since being part of the UK is a form of torture for many of us.

    It’s interesting to see how the British State cheats and changes the rules on torture just as it cheats and changes the rules on democracy and referenda when it comes to Scotland. These animals think torture can be legitimised if they string a few words together in the right way on some piece of paper.

    Scotland is both an accomplice and a victim when it comes to British State malfeasance — that’s been the case for 300 years. The fight for Independence is a fight to be neither but, if I had to choose, I’d prefer to be a victim than accomplice. Of course, Unionists think differently and somehow imagine it is glorious to dominate others as we ourselves were dominated before.

    Time to go and vote.

  • pete

    I feel divided on the voting issue, it may be the case that voting for the Brexit party will increase the chances of Scottish independence, however there are consequences for the British in having such a disruptive force in office if we end up not exiting. However Craig’s plea comes too late in the day for me as I have already voted Green.
    Sadly, because of the disarray in parliament, we have now probably alienated our European neighbours to the point that they will have no desire to have anything to do with us, certainly not favourable trading terms.
    Craig’s criticism of the UK Government’s stance on issues like the Chagos Islands and using information gained from torture is totally right, I can’t understand how anyone could interpret criticism of such a stance as somehow indicating he did wish to live in the UK.
    Too much power had been grasped by governments, the only way to stop this would be to have a fairer voting system, like proportional representation, it would split the cosy two party deal we have at present. I have said it before and I repeat, we need a properly elected second chamber and a written constitution guarantee minimum rights for individuals.

  • Jake Pelmet

    Choosing to remain in an ever-integrating European super state is not a forward step. In fact to rejoin while signing up to their newer policies such as a joint EU armed force or the Euro would never happen anyway.

    • Iain Stewart

      The European Defence Community is hardly a “newer” policy, wouldn’t you agree? It was to be have been set up after the 1952 Paris Treaty, which (unfortunately in my opinion) the French parliament refused to ratify despite (and because of) strong USA support for the idea of a pan-European defence force and a West German army.
      The French have long considered the only other European armed force of any consequence to be the UK, which explains the 2010 Lancaster House Treaties for Franco-British military cooperation (another damp squib).

        • Iain Stewart

          Thank you for those interesting articles Jake, especially the one about Irish neutrality being compromised. But might it not be a good thing for the rest of Europe (or at least some of it) to become independent of Nato?
          Meanwhile, do you know about Eurocorps, in Strasbourg?
          “Committed to European Union Training Missions (EUTM) operations in the present and in the past, Eurocorps is strengthening its relations with the European institutions and aspires to become the privileged rapidly deployable headquarters for European Union operations.”
          “Eurocorps is a unique multinational headquarters (other NATO Rapid Deployable Corps being only national, bi-national or tri-national). From the start as a French-German Corps, the doors were open for other nations with the same rights as the founding nations. Between 1993 and 1996, Belgium, Spain and Luxembourg joined the Headquarters.
          Greece, Italy, Poland, Romania and Turkey are Associated Nations of Eurocorps.”
          (Yes, Turkey.)

    • Hatuey

      Actually Britain has commmitted to involve itself even after it brexits, if it ever does.

        • Hatuey

          It’s not difficult to find this stuff.

          “In the Chequers white paper, the UK Government proposed “a tailored partnership with the EU” on foreign policy, defence and development. This would see continued military collaboration between the UK and EU member states, on a case-by-case basis to maintain UK and EU sovereignty, as well as close working on military research and development, including through the European Defence Agency and the European Defence Fund.

          More recently, the Political Declaration accompanying the proposed Withdrawal Agreement expresses the intention of the UK and the EU to “establish a broad, comprehensive and balanced security partnership” including “ambitious, close and lasting cooperation on external action”.”


    • Michael McNulty

      It would not surprise me in the least if in the coming years the EU will have created its own army, and a divided and disarmed Britain is ripe for EU invasion (called something else like an intervention or “support”), its purpose to crush the majority British opposition to unaccountable foreign dictatorship. Nothing the EU has done before rules out this possibility.

  • Nigel Stapley

    I know we don’t amount to much down here in England’s oldest colony, and I know it’s too late to influence anything now, but this:

    “In the rest of the UK, I recommend people to vote Labour or Green…”

    omits the salient fact that Plaid Cymru has been consistently totally against Brexit and is also (if not ‘four-square’, then about ‘three-point-four-square’) against continuing colonial rule and the watering down of devolution (unlike Labour, which has enabled it by meekly handing our own powers back to Tory England without any sort of a fight whatsoever).

    Labour is a Brexit party anyway, especially under its current leadership; as I always say, scratch the British ‘progressive’ and you’ll find the old colonialist a millimetre beneath the surface.

    • Mochyn69

      Well said, Nigel Stapley.

      Just made exactly the same point down thread. Plaid Cymru is the only Remain party that can win in Wales.

      Pleidleisiwch dros Blaid Cymru heddiw! Vote for Plaid Cymru for an independent Wales in Europe today.

  • Loony

    If enough people vote for the SNP, the Greens and the Liberals then the whole of Europe will see that no peaceful means exist to exit the EU, While the British can most likely be relied upon to embrace their twin virtues of cowardice and idleness can you be so sure that rest of Europe see things your way.

    Anyone else seeking to exit the EU (maybe France or perhaps Italy) will see from the example of the UK that violence is a necessary first resort. So if you want war go ahead and vote for the SNP, the Greens and Liberals. But be honest – and recognize that you are casting your vote for some form of pan European warfare.

    • Goose

      You’re misrepresenting events.

      We’ve had a general election since the 2016 EU referendum, in 2017. An election in which the Tories asked for a big majority to deliver a their version of a hard Brexit : No to being part of the customs union; no to single market membership(Norway option) and no ECJ jurisdiction in the UK. The public rejected that and for what ever reason Theresa May and her party never came to terms with that rejection.

      • Loony

        Don’t you people have a saying about pot calling kettle black.

        At the last election both the Labour and Conservative parties stood on manifestos that involved leaving the EU. The UK has not left the EU.

        The Greens, Liberals and SNP are all standing in this current election on a platform that involves remaining in the EU, Should these parties in aggregate gain a large share of the vote then this will be cited as evidence as to why the UK should not leave the EU.

        There is already widespread violence in France. Should France wish to leave the EU then the experiences of the UK will inform them that violence should be their first resort.

        You are free to do what you want – but do not vote to start a war and then when the war comes deny that you have started it.

        • Republicofscotland

          I’m pretty sure the largest island in the world Greenland withdrew from the EU in 1985, without the outbreak of war.

          • J

            Loony only has the one tune. Not sure history lessons are allowed to interupt it.

  • Wikikettle

    People the world over, respect and admire the courage of individuals who speak out in their own countries. This makes them true Patriots.
    Put your own house in order before you tell others what to do. The United Kingdom is looked on by the world as having great attributes of culture, language, institutions and ingenuity. Brave individuals like Craig see these being undermined and choose for the sake of their own country to sacrifice everything and speak out. Its individuals like these that put the Great in Great Britain. A desire to have a just and independent Judiciary that is the envy of the world is just one of many examples. So when this institution is undermined and corrupted it is the duty of patriots to speak out. The sad decline and fall has been engineered by greed of these o so little scum bags, who then have the audacity to tell Craig to leave ! They have only the interest of their pockets and not their country let alone the peace and prosperity of the world.

    • Republicofscotland

      “Its individuals like these that put the Great in Great Britain.”

      I’m under the impression, that it is the land mass via the union, that puts the Great into Great Britain.

      • lysias

        The name comes from French, which calls Britain la grande Bretagne to distinguish it from the other, smaller Bretagne, Brittany.

        • Iain Stewart

          After extensive research hem hem I can also divulge the origin of the origin, which was (of course) Britannia:
          “The name is a Latinisation of the native Brittonic word for the island, Pretanī, which also produced the Greek form Prettanike or Brettaniai, which originally, in the fourth to the first centuries BC, designated a collection of islands with individual names, including Albion or Britain. In Modern Welsh the name remains Prydain. By the 1st century BC, Britannia came to be used for Great Britain specifically. After the Roman conquest in 43 AD, Britannia meant Roman Britain, a province covering the island south of Caledonia (roughly Scotland). When Roman Britain was divided into four provinces in 197 AD, two were called Britannia Superior and Britannia Inferior.”
          Britannia Superior and Britannia Inferior already (but which was which?). And what’s this about Greek Britain?

  • Hamish Kirk

    CHAGOS long incensed about this. Not many others seem to be. Could you come and talk to us about this ?

    Your talk at the beginning of the season went down well. People here still mention it to me.

  • Gary

    I saw that the BBC were reporting on the Chagos vote. Usually these things are reported throughout the wee small hours and don’t make it onto the fluffier ‘Breakfast’ show. this time it did.

    Although the did report it, they gave no background whatever and stuck to the most basic wording giving no idea as to the seriousness of the decision or gravity for those affected by the forcible relocation of it’s people.

    It’s almost like (exactly like) they want to be able to prove they DID report on it without actually reporting on it, not properly in a journalistic sense anyway.

    And on the point of today’s poll, yes, I have voted and voted SNP. I was surprised that my ballot paper included candidates for Change UK, UKIP and Brexit Party as well as the main parties. I had no idea that they would be able to drum up enough support to put candidates forward never mind win votes.

    Although we ignore UKIP & Brexit Party at our peril, we may laugh at them but those who voted for Brexit and then were informed that the voted had been won, had parliament confirm they would honour that vote are, quite rightly, aggrieved that three years later parliament is utterly stymied with no sign of ever being able to get out of the situation.

    I take no joy whatever in saying that they now know how the people of Scotland have felt for the past 50 or so years since they abandoned The Conservative Party, firstly, in favour of The Labour Party. never having our votes respected and latterly having powers removed without permission from our own Scottish Parliament.

    Bias and unfair treatment is very easy to see when it’s directed at YOU but easy to miss, ignore even, when it’s directed elsewhere. But one day they DO come for you…

    • Hatuey

      Let them have their hard Brexit. The harder the better. And let them impose it on Scotland too.

      Let them impose a multitude of hardships on ordinary people everywhere as the economy disintegrates, taking the tax base with it. And let them dismantle Barnett and close down Holyrood too so that nobody in Scotland can mitigate a single thing.

      That’s what Scotland is sleepwalking right into. And if Scotland walks into that, Scotland deserves that.

      I look forward to seeing Boris, Farage or whoever the hell England votes for cracking the whip over the head of Scotland the brave. Maybe then a few more Scots will wake up.

    • Hatuey

      Was the Roman Empire Spanish? Was the Mogul empire Armenian? Was the Ottoman Empire Syrian? Was the Soviet empire Polish?

      I can’t think of one empire that didn’t co-opt those it conquered into its ranks. So, sorry to break it to you but the Scots aren’t exceptional after all — they’ve submitted to overwhelming brute force in the same way that every other country did throughout history.

        • fwl

          Have you not read Craig’s history book? The Scots were more than passive co-opted participants. But I concur they were not exceptional. Who is? We are all capable of dark stuff and it’s a day dream to think UK = bad and Scotland = good.

          • Hatuey

            In what way were they more? You started this conversation. Don’t you have any supporting arguments? In what was was Scotland’s participation in the British empire any different from a Polish person’s participation in the Soviet empire?

            If you can’t answer then it’s time to concede and move along.

          • fwl

            Sorry to be slow in response but I have just seen your comment.

            You may know more about Poland and the USSR. If so:

            were there Polish opium traders in the Soviet empire who went on to found colonies?

  • Rhys Jaggar

    I am afraid I must take issue with you about calling Orban ‘a racist pariah’.

    It is not racist to say that unlimited and uncontrolled immigration is unacceptable, particularly if the country he represents agrees with him.

    He cannot be a pariah if he was democratically elected. He can be in dispute with the Powers that Be in the EU without being hated by the people he answers to.

    I do not know why Orban’s nation voted as it did in the UN, but your language, Mr Murray, is most undignified for an ex-ambassador. Hungary’s economy was in no condition to receive enormous numbers of immigrants and just because Germany needed more immigrants does not mean that every nation state in Europe did.

    When in lived in Scotland from 1986-1993, there was plenty of suspicion about English foreigners (even if I am half Welsh). Banking terms offered by Scottish banks aged 21 were far worse than those offered by English banks aged 18, so I continued to bank with an English bank having only one branch in Glasgow and not then having friendly cash point arrangements with Scottish banks. It was the principle of the thing: you treat me like an irresponsible child when my banking track record as an undergraduate was impeccable and I will avoid using the services of Scottish banks for life. Saying ‘we don’t talk to English banks’ when I suggested they took up a reference is about as racist as it gets.

    English-qualified teachers with 20 years classroom experience were required to retrain in their 40s to be allowed to teach Scottish children. Unbelievably right wing nonsense from a hard left country. I know this because they were the wife of a colleague who had relocated with the newly appointed Director of the Institute I worked at.

    We will not get into discussions about legal tender of English and Scottish banknotes. Suffice it to say, I never took money on the Glasgow-Euston train than I would need to spend on tea and sandwiches, as we appeared to have two currencies in one Uk. I did exactly the same on the reurn journey….

    Scotland has plenty of historical form in making life difficult for foreigners, especially English immigrants.

    Calling out Orban for not wanting hundreds of thousands of immigrants imposed on him is a bit rich from the Scots…..

    • Republicofscotland

      “Scotland has plenty of historical form in making life difficult for foreigners, especially English immigrants.”

      Oh please spare me the suffering and indignities, you conveniently leave out the Home Office, of which has degraded and humiliated, and refused entry to many foreigners wanting to live in Scotland for decades.

      Scots have absolutely no say in the matter, as its not a devolved issue. People have committed suicide in the likes of Dungavel detention centre and other prison like holding centres in England. My issues are current, the HO is still doing it you harp back to the early 1990’s.

      When I last looked Hungary was a member of Nato, and Hungary was part of the MNF that brought the illegal war on Iraq. Hungray helped create refugees, ergo it has a responsibility to take them.

      • Charles Bostock

        Has the SNP taken any sort of official position on the question of its policy on immigration and refugees in the event of Scottish independence? Or does it say – as with many other questions – “we’ll take a position on that after independence”?

        • Republicofscotland


          You might not know this but Scotland has already taken in around 3000 vulnerable Syrian refugees, the first nation to resettle them in the UK, though other Home nations have followed suit since.

          The British government made a commitment to take in 20,000 Syrian refugees by 2020.

      • Loony

        England has a population of something over 55.5 million people.

        Are you aware of any law, rule, regulation or convention that could lawfully prevent any of these 55.5 million people from relocating to Scotland.

        If no legal barrier or impediment exists then surely each one of these 55.5 million people live in England and not Scotland as a consequence of personal choice.

        • Republicofscotland


          You state the bleedin obvious, but is there a point to your comment?

    • Charles Bostock


      For once, you’ll be sorry to hear, I agree with much of what you’ve said. I would add the following, in support:

      1/. Some people appear to think that the Scots are morally superior to the English and that the institutions of a future independent Scotland would be morally superior to those of rUK. That is, in my opinion, nonsense.

      2/. It is sometimes said – also on here – that the Scots are more welcoming of immigrants than the English. That may be true – but only for the moment. I believe that if Scotland experienced the same level of immigration as certain parts of England, most Scots would react very similarly to how many English people have. It’s a question of numbers.

      3/. This finger-pointing at Hungary is hypocritical and silly. Most immigrants do not want to stay in Hungary, which is a poor country with a very difficult language (among other disadvantages from tgheir point of view). They want to go to Germany, Sweden, the UK. Hungary just happens to be in the (geographical) way. Any immigrants resettled in compulsory fashion in Hungary under EU edict would soon leave for greener pastures.

      • Republicofscotland

        Regarding your last paragraph Charles, would you want to settle in a country that didn’t want you? A country that would more than likely make life a bit more difficult than it had to be. I’m sure Ethiopian Jews, could easily relate to that feeling of being an alien in a foreign land, harassed and bedevilled to move on, as they were in Israel.

    • Mr V

      “He cannot be a pariah if he was democratically elected” – Hitler was democratically elected too. And? People still hide behind this nonsense non sequitur?

      “Hungary’s economy was in no condition to receive enormous numbers of immigrants” – complete and utter BULLSHIT. In 1949, Hungary was ruined to the ground from World War 2. The state still received 12.000+ Greek refugees fleeing annihilation from UK and US forces, not to tent camps like today, but to hotels, universities, and prepared workplaces. The argument that three orders of magnitude richer Hungary of 2019 cannot accept 200 refugees into appalling conditions is nothing but pure, vile, Goebbels-like alt right lie proven completely wrong by their generous ancestors. Craig is right, Horthy-like fascists ARE pariahs and their actions will bring lasting shame on their country. Please, do educate yourself before spouting nonsense:

      Incidentally, it’s my great shame my home country joined that scumbag in his fascist policies when both leaders loudly mouth their holier-than-thou adherence to the catholic faith (but apparently not to the things Pope speaks, after all, what some pinko commie knows of faith?).

  • Mochyn69


    In Wales, Plaid Cymru would get your vote. You could add that to your electoral advice to your followers.

    Plaid also has good radical policies for an independent Wales in Europe and AUOB has got off to a good start with thousands marching in Caerdydd/Cardiff a couple of weeks ago.

    All of us who are committed to dismantling the Imperial Entity should stand together in solidarity, whether we be in Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Cornwall, Britanny, Catalyunia or even England and further afield.


  • BrianFujisan

    Asking Craig to Leave ..Like WHAT, Scotand – A country voted the most beautiful country in the world.

    also we embrace Civic nationalism –

    “This (Scotland) is for the whole of mankind an inspiring example of a country inhabited by people basing their nationality, on civic rather than ethnic identity. For any country in the world . . . to base its values on those of principle, rather than merely what has gone before . . . this is always a good thing!”

  • Squeeth

    “The only solution is to break the UK….” Yes, we’ll make an anarchist of you yet.

  • JonJon

    Scotland is peace
    Scotland is freedom
    Scotland is solidarity
    Scotland is diversity
    Scotland is human rights
    Scotland is opportunities
    Scotland is Erasmus
    Scotland is research
    Scotland is protection
    Scotland is equality
    Scotland is the future.


    • Jake Pelmet

      Europe is free
      Europe is diverse
      Europe is Erasmus
      Europe is research
      Europe is a union of states
      Europe is human rights
      Europe is a global economy
      Europe respects the wishes of its member nations
      Europe is the future and is far more resilient and effective than any individual or nation
      Let us continue to expand into western Asia.
      Europe is identity unlike the nation’s it represents.
      Europe is a union of economies.
      The treaty of Rome.

      • wonky

        “Europe respects the wishes of its member nations”
        As a Greek citizen I can assure you that this naive statement is utter bollocks and proper scammy fake news.

        Europe is war, based on lies: Serbia, Kosovo, Ukraine, Libya, Syria..

        Also, the EU is NOT Europe!
        All the EU is, is a bunch of “elite” Round Tables using this technocratic construct to circumvent any laws or restrictions on their merry illegal moneysucking. It was founded by gangsters for gangsters.

        “Europe is free”.. this must be the softest thing I’ve heard in a long time.
        Europeans cannot possibly be free, ever, as long as the EU exists.

        • SA

          And as long as Europe is so closely associated with NATO it cannot be independent either from US foreign policy and as long as it is still very dependent on the dollar, the issue of economic independence is a non-starter.

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