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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  • Matt

    I wouldn’t dream of telling anybody else who to vote for. I recommend you vote how your conscience wishes. If that happens to be for a party I don’t like, so be it.

    I like democracy. A key aspect of democracy is to respect other peoples’ political opinions. When did that stop happening?

    • squirrel

      I guess political campaigning isn’t your cup of tea Matt! Have you got a sign in your window saying “VOTE WHOMEVER”?

      • Matt

        No. Political campaigning is not my thing. I quietly vote, I don’t feel the need to signal my intentions to anyone who looks at my window. If a sticker in the window influences a fellow voter, then that person is politically inept, and I’m interfering with democracy.

        • Hatuey

          And one what basis do you vote, Matt? I’ll guess that it’s based on a combination of externalities, upbringing, peer pressure, TV, newspapers, etc. You wouldn’t dream, you say, of telling others how to vote but you don’t seem to mind others telling you who to vote.

          • Matt

            You’re wrong to make such assumptions. I vote based on my research. I look into the options and make a decision based on what the party stands for.

            I do have a problem with other people telling me how to vote, including bloggers who I have great respect for, hence my rather negative comments here.

          • james

            matt – i would be curious for your answer to hatueys question to you… do you think the msm is impartial? do you think the info you get is actually neutral? serious question..

          • Matt

            Who said MSM is my source of research? And who said my research was “impartial”? The main source of research would be the party’s manifesto (not remotely impartial), another might be how their politicians vote.
            If anything, MSM support for a politician is a negative, not a positive. I’m more likely to vote for someone who the MSM attack, than I am for someone they support.
            And from that, I’m sure you can guess who I recently voted for.

        • squirrel

          Matt on most general election days the newspapers will out come out with their recommended vote, this is perfectly normal and part of a functioning democracy

          • Matt

            A newspaper supporting a political party is part of a functioning democracy? No, it’s one of the flaws of a functioning democracy. It allows editors of newspapers to hold undue influence over politically inept people.

    • Andrew Ingram

      Another key aspect of democracy is free speech and the opportunity to change minds and voting intentions through it’s exercise.

      • Matt

        Change minds? That’s not how elections work. I know people who voted to join the EEC, and had to wait decades to “change their mind”. And free speech? I’m not sure if you’re aware, but free speech at a time of elections is curtailed somewhat. You might notice that they are not yet publishing exit polls… it’s because they’re not allowed to. So much for free speech, huh? That applies to me and you,too. If You know how many votes a party got, and published that information, you have committed a criminal act. Further, it is illegal to willingly influence another person’s vote.

        • MJ

          You don’t. There was no vote to join the EEC. Three years later there was a vote to remain.

          • Matt

            You’re right, forgive me for my lack of accuracy. The point remains though, that many people had to wait a long time to change their mind. Rightfully so, we can’t vote on this matter regularly, due to the massive amount of division and uncertainty that it causes.

        • BrianFujisan


          The BBC are Guilty…Telling Lies.. War crimes. Who Do You Trust.. Which of the Right wing
          many Billionaire news Propagandist’s

          Craig’s ‘ Murder in Samarkand ‘ is a good read.

          So too is Medialens ‘ Propaganda Blitz ‘

          • Matt

            I’m no fan of the BBC.

            I might read Craig’s books in due course. Thanks for the recommendations..

    • John Monro

      Yes, well, when you read Craig Murray, you won’t just get some information, you’ll always get an opinion. Which with Craig can occasionally be quite strident. For instance suggesting the UK should be shattered into as small into pieces small as possible. That really doesn’t sound like a very good idea. For Scotland that would presumably mean independence for Orkney and Shetland, just for starters. His disgust with the present state of the UK many would share, the solutions less so.

    • lysias

      Why is Australian citizen Assange operating in the UK even subject to the U.S Espionage Act?

      Was Iran within its rights when it issued a death sentence against Salman Rushdie for commiting blasphemy under Islamic law? Why didn’t the UK extradite him to Iran?

      • Jake Pelmet

        Probably because all the funding he and wikileaks received was using US dollars ultimately. Like international criminals those who use dollars directly or indirectly do so at their own risk.

      • Andrew Ingram

        “Why didn’t the UK extradite him to Iran?” I don’t think Iran applied for an international arrest warrant or made an extradition request.

      • Jake Pelmet

        Salman Rushdie was never indicted by any nation btw. He was issued a fatwa, which is merely a proclamation that he should be killed by any Muslim, rather than by an infidel or Kafir. Ultimately a killing by a non Muslim will be seen as unjust and probably an attack on Islam itself.

    • Jake Pelmet

      Jack, this isn’t breaking at all, it was reported 5 hrs ago. RT aren’t the quickest are they? They need to construct a story and get official authorisation before they can divulge facts to their followers.

    • Hatuey

      The Assange news is depressing. I had hoped he’d simply fight the hacking charge and move on.

      Assange predicted that “allegations of sexual assault made against him in Sweden would be a pretext to have him arrested and extradited to the US”, as rt points out, but why would the US require that sort of sequencing? Why not just apply to have him extradited regardless of the alleged sexual charges?

      • craig Post author

        Hatuey –

        A number of answers to your final question. The most important one is that it took the grand jury process time to get the indictment together, and meantime he could have moved to a non-extraditable country, so they needed something to get him into custody quick. Another is that the US weren’t confident the Cameron/Lib Dem coalition government would comply with extradition for publishing.

        • Hatuey

          Okay Craig, I’ll take your word on that. You are the expert in these things. It sounds like, based on what you say, they know the hacking and publishing charges are weak and had doubts about being able to extradite on them.


  • Phil Harris

    CS Lewis says of interrogation (in this case, of ‘witches’): “Answers to leading questions under torture naturally tell us nothing about the beliefs of the accused; but they are good evidence for the beliefs of the accusers.”
    Perhaps this goes some way to explaining the very nasty mess that Western ‘intel’ has got us into?

  • Rob Royston

    Looking at this #denied my vote fiasco, with some EU citizens resident in the UK and some UK citizens resident in the EU being disenfranchised in today’s voting, and hearing that the “legit” votes will not be counted until Monday doesn’t make for confidence in a clean result being returned.
    It’s as if the UK is out of control, or is it not?

    • glenn_nl

      Roy: What’s extremely odd, if not a bit suspicious, is the way postal votes are quite deliberately mixed in with the regular ballot-box votes. They are added into the mass of regular voting papers, then shaken and stirred around, before being distributed to the vote counter volunteers.

      When the counts are made, envigilators can walk around and see the votes as they are being counted, make sure that the tallies are more or less in line with each other. If one showed a remarkable swing to a particular candidate, that would be noticed.

      We might see such a swing in postal votes – but we are not allowed to know. Postal votes are quite deliberately obscured with this mixing process, in order that we cannot. Of course they have an effect on the total, but by what margin we are not allowed to say.

      This is the open and transparent voting system in action, which I have witnessed with my own eyes.

      (Even more remarkable is the fact that our voting paper has a serial number, which is noted and connected to our personal registration number when we show up – we certainly do not have secret ballots in the UK, and have not for many years.)

      • Jake Pelmet

        Any postal voter is aware that their postal ballot sheet can be put in the ballot box iaw European electoral rules.
        Didn’t you know that?
        All of these voters should know that a postal vote gives two options and no need to re-register for each election. It is detailed on the electoral registration websites for each council area.

      • N_

        @Glenn – Can you shed some light on how it is that returning officers are declaring turnout figures right now, as I type, 3-4 hours after the votes closed, which they say they’ve arrived at by a process of “verification”, and yet they say the “count” will begin on Sunday? They are declaring turnout figures sometimes to two decimal places. Are we seriously to believe that all ballots have been looked at, and a tally has been made of how many were correctly completed rather than having a c*** and b**** drawn on them, but nobody has made tallies yet of which way people actually voted? That sounds to me like the kind of lying language one is used to from British officials.

        Or are they using some strange definition of turnout that includes spoiled ballots? In that case, tellers could have been instructed to try only to look at the backs of ballots, and instantly to forget anything they saw on the front of a ballot during the “verification” process. Is that how it is? Seriously??

        In short, what is “verification”?

        • N_

          Returning officer Ian Fytche, chief executive of North Kesteven district council, has reported (using a trashy US advertising company) that exactly 30407 ballot papers were received, giving a “turnout” of 34.39%. Perhaps by using the word “received” he means stuck in the boxes and so his “turnout” figure includes blank ballots, ones with crosses in two boxes, and ones with large pictures of sexual organs scrawled on them? What’s he on – maybe 200K a year? He trousers a million quid in five years as chief executive and he’s the man in charge of the vote and he doesn’t know what “turnout” means? Is that actually right?

          • N_

            @Jo1 – I understand that they keep a record of how many ballot papers they give out, and which ones they give to whom, and they presumably have to follow a procedure if something happens which is different from the person putting a ballot (or at least something that looks like a ballot) in the box, but last night’s “turnout” figures after the “verification” process were being published 3-4 hours after polls closed.

            Are there one or two companies running “ballot box security” across most of Britain, as for example the single company Capita collects council tax for most areas?

          • Jo1

            I’ve long worried about the whole system.

            Anyone can walk into a polling station in the UK and declare they’re someone else…and vote. All they need confirm is the home address and name. We don’t even have to bring our polling cards. No verification at all.

            We’ve seen cases in Scotland where people have gone to vote and been told they’d voted already. We’ve had even dodgier situations with postal votes.

            It’s a mess.

      • nevermind

        You can also add postal votes that have not been registered beforehand as council are supplying you with a postal vote, and deliver it to your doorstep on the day of elections. Postal votes are favoured and promoted by councils, and candidates of major parties hand out postal voting forms to all those who want one, when they deliver their first leaflet in a campaign
        I have seen a Torry with a handfull at least 200 forms in one hand.

        Some people feel obliged tp vote for the ‘ nice person who enabled them to vote from home, no need to walk to the polling station, beats me what that has to do with politics.

  • Graham Else

    Whilst I very much agree with many of your analysis of the Shkripal case and other issues I do find your politics very strange. You urge people to vote for independence for Scotland yet against it for the UK. Then you would have Scotland continue to be a member of the most undemocratic organisation since the Soviet Union and be ruled by Brussels. Apparently you want independence but in name only. Of course this is a view shared by most of the political and bureaucratic class in England- is that where you caught the pro Euro bug?

      • Kerch'eee Kerch'ee Coup

        Thanks for reposting the news as would have missed it

        • D_Majestic

          No-one. But considering the utterly bonkers story, some surmised that he was. Perfectly reasonable, given the Noddy and Big Ears version of events we were served up as ‘Truth’.

          • Charles Bostock

            “No-one” ?? Not true, D_Majestic. Several people on here (most notably John Goss) have suggested repeatedly that the Skripals are dead.

        • pete

          Re “Who said he was dead?”
          Well I thought it, but a search shows that it was reported in the Daily Telegraph yesterday that he had voice-mailed a message to Victoria, so if it is true it is good news for him and a damning indictment of the efficacy of Novachok.

          • N_

            Voicemail, huh? Did he refer to that day’s newspaper headlines to prove contemporaneity?

          • D_Majestic

            Well, Sir Bostock, they well may be. We simply do not know. As it may just be that the esteemed Enid Blyton is alive, cloned, and still writing stories….

      • Tatyana

        As if there’s something bad in doubts. And if trust without evidence is something good.

        These are not criteria to sort people for clever/silly and not a reason for sarcasm.

          • Tatyana

            It is misunderstanding, Michael. Victoria says there was a missed call in her smartphone, when the second call came she was ready and received, that is why she heard Sergey was talking in english with somebody. His words were “no answer, may I leave a voice message then?”.
            I will look through the russian news this week-end and hope I’ll bring more information.

          • MJ

            “His words were “no answer, may I leave a voice message then?””

            I wonder who he was talking to.

          • Laguerre

            >His words were “no answer, may I leave a voice message then?”.<

            That is evidently asking permission of his (English-speaking) minder whether he can leave a voice message for Victoria.

        • Mighty Drunken

          “It is misunderstanding, Michael. Victoria says there was a missed call in her smartphone, when the second call came she was ready and received, that is why she heard Sergey was talking in english with somebody. His words were “no answer, may I leave a voice message then?”.”

          Is it a misunderstanding or is it because Sergei is not allowed to speak his mind without oversight? The best explanation I have heard for his silence is that he is now allowed to speak freely. In a real time phone call he could slip out some information he isn’t allowed to say. A recording could be pre-vetted and allowed.

    • Hatuey

      Graham, we get around 20 people a day coming in here asking silly questions like that. Everything you think is based on the assertion that the EU is the Soviet Union. It’s no coincidence that this sort of stuff was pumped out by extremists on social media etc., and many were fooled by it.
      Being in the EU requires a “sacrifice” of very little outside of tariffs and trade. The CAP, fisheries, and freedom of movement are all policies that either existed before and were deemed desirable or would need to exist in some form regardless of the EU.
      I say sacrifice but members get a lot back in return for that investment.
      Being in th U.K. for Scotland is very different and involves an almost complete sacrifice in sovereignty. Holyrood has no power except over decisions on how an allowance is spent. The allowance is decided elsewhere.
      On foreign policy, Trident, tax, most laws, spending on everything, defence policy and spending, the list is endless, scotland either has no power or very little say. We aren’t even allowed to decide if we want to stay in this relationship. And the whole msm is at war with the snp and independence. Brexit had a lot of MSM support, on the other hand.

      • N_

        Mm – fisheries – grants!

        You’re right that the British union is tighter than the EU. But this “we aren’t allowed” stuff distracts attention from the meaning of “we”, a term which excludes most of the bureaucrat and business Scots who rise in their careers to get well-salaried (and sometimes well-bonused) posts in London, including in the British administration and the City. England hasn’t got sovereignty either, and unike Scotland it hasn’t got a national government.

        • Hatuey

          The “bureaucrat and business Scots” in London and the City don’t represent people in Scotland. And they don’t represent equality or opportunity within a glorious union. I’d say they represent the dire state of Scotland’s economy, as a consequence of being in the UK Union, and lack of opportunity at home.

          Do you think Bulgarians and Romanians in London represent the success of the eu? I’d be surprised if you did.

    • nevermind

      Graham, what has your MEP done for you during he last 4 decades of undemocratic Europe?

      Did he make any efforts to change the equation, align him/herself with reformers in the Eu Parliament?

      Or did s/he fill his/her boots ?

        • Kempe

          At least when I’ve written to my MP he’s replied, four times I wrote to my MEP and he seemed to think it beneath his dignity to respond.

          I suppose he still expected me to vote for him though.

  • Muscleguy

    It was my hardest vote for the SNP today. They are on borrowed time. Craven over IndyRef2, allowed the witch hunt against Alex Salmond and defended the indefensible behaviour of the civil servants, tone deaf over gender reassignment and allowing the breaking of the law by councils changing rules without consultation or assessment of effects on women as required by law, attempting water Andy Wightman’s land reform bill (whose side are they on in land reform?) and an increasing managerialism and taking us voters for granted.

    I So wanted to vote Green but their polling suggest that would be a wasted vote. I wish it were other but it isn’t.

    But I will happily vote for anyone in favour of Independence or IndyRef2. I am not an SNP member so I am free to do so. It is one reason I have never joined a party, it cuts out the unpleasantness when my principles conflict with party policy.

    Are you listening Nicola and Co? The SNP are not the only Indy fruit. Just like in the last Holyrood vote, enough of us noted the danger of winning too many constituencies and that Greens could be elected on the list for an order of magnitude fewer votes than an SNP List person. We ensured the parliament had a majority for Indy. That you didn’t even pick up the phone to Patrick Harvie exploring even a confidence and supply deal lowered you in my estimation.

    The SNP do not have a god given right to a majority in multiparty proportional system. It doesn’t have a right to our votes or a right to expect them. We lend you are votes so long as you are a viable and tireless indy vehicle. That latter requirement is looking threadbare.

    Don’t make the same mistake Labour made. Mhairi can go the same way she got in. Stop managing and start innovating and agitating and organising. Get the new PM to deny a Section 30 stat then get in the court for a ruling on the arguable nature of the original Section 30 still being valid.

    I appreciate whether these EU elections were going to happen precluded making them a referendum. But you need to formally announce that absent a Section 30 the next elections in Scotland will be a plebiscite for Indy. This will in effect fire the starting gun for IndyRef2 focussed on 2021 and prepared for a snap GE. What is the problem with this? Is Nicola truly feart? Do we need a new leader? Do we need to decant en mass for the Greens or stage a takeover of SLAB?

    • N_

      you need to formally announce that absent a Section 30 the next elections in Scotland will be a plebiscite for Indy.

      Why not “formally announce” that the Scottish government proposes a Scottish general election right now? Assuming no SNP MSPs defy the whip, they should be able to find 24 from other parties to make up the 86 votes needed.

      Then the SNP could try to win back the majority the Scottish people took away from it in 2016. Sound good? Stand on a manifesto of “an SNP vote is a vote for a second independence referendum before the end of this year”.

      Not happening, though. Turnout would be way too high for the party’s liking. The result would be a smack in its gob too.

    • Vivian O'Blivion

      The new Tory leader (presumably Johnson) will undoubtedly go for No deal Brexit, the only issue will be timing. 31st October this year is default, but if I were Johnson I would take a pitch at selling Brussels on a two year transition period terminating 29th March 2021. This is not an outrageous request; “bloody stupid woman should have been working towards a No deal Brexit from the start!”. It would be a hard sell for Macron but a transition period lessens the economic shock so it may be winnable.
      Next Holyrood election is scheduled for 06/05/21. It should have been a year earlier but it was extended to avoid a (now redundant) UK General Election (doh!). The two thirds majority required to dissolve Holyrood can be bypassed by the First Minister resigning and the SNP and Greens refusing to put forward their own candidate while blocking any candidate from the Unionists side. The resultant Holyrood Election can then be a (non-legally binding) ersatz Indy ref..
      We would then enter a conflict to negotiation to transition period ending substantially later than 2021, but the details can be worked out at the time.

    • Johny Conspiranoid

      You should have voted Green anyway. It would encourage the Greens to continue campaigning and encourage others to vote Green at the next election and lead to a cumulative process over several elections until some tipping point is reached. Not voting only signals compliance.

  • Muscleguy

    BTW to those intending to jump ship post Indy and take SLAB back or form new parties or whatever. What’s keeping you from doing it now? It would put the wind up the complacent SNP and might just reap dividends.

    As the indyref approached I was resolved to join Scottish CND after the vote, to continue campaigning for Trident to go if No and to keep the pressure on Holyrood not to agree a long lease. Then I realised, why was I waiting and joined then and there.

    I ask again, why are you waiting?

  • Republicofscotland

    May gave a sombre speech with a wee tear in her eye, all very crocodile-esque in my opinion. Looking at her and Phil, they reminded me of Margaret and Denis, when the gravy train came to an end.

    • D_Majestic

      So despite all the constant spinning by the State Broadcaster and the Dailies, she couldn’t hold on to her job. And that speech: Truly incredible in the proper sense of the word. Hamlet, re-written by Eugene Ionesco.

  • N_

    Observations on Theresa May’s resignation speech

    1) Trump will be in Britain on 3-5 June, so she’ll get a chance to do some curtseying to the deranged jaw-jutting billionaire.

    2) Nominations for her successor as Tory leader will open in the week beginning 10 June. Following that, she says she will stay on as prime minister (and presumably also as Tory leader, but she doesn’t say) until the new leader is chosen.

    3) Between the lines she’s saying the Withdrawal Agreement Bill is now in the bin. In short, she has been forced out before she got a chance to table it and then open a debate on it in Parliament.

    4) In her “announcement of resignation in a fortnight’s time” speech she praises personal debt (“helping” young people onto “the housing ladder”) and the coming cull of the lower orders (“tackling climate change”). A Tory through and through, it needs to be said.

    5) She makes a few references to gender and skin colour, but none to homosexuality, transvestites, or transsexuals.

    6) She makes no references to Game of Thrones as far as I could make out.

    7) She refers to saving Jewish children from German Nazis in Czechosolovakia 80 years ago and to Nicholas Winton’s advice to her “at another time of political controversy” regarding the need to compromise. How knowledgeable about rhetoric does a commentator seriously need to be to understand that she is tacitly comparing EU27 to Hitler? But perhaps more interesting is the question of what political controversy she was taking advice on. Clearly some readers of her speech will know what she is referring to. Any ideas?

    • N_

      Caroline Fairbairn, director general of the CBI, responded to the PM’s announcement by…saying a lot of forgettable old rubbish. The end of Theresa May’s premiership is an “opportunity for a fresh start”, politicians should put the country ahead of their own careers, there can be no plan for Britain without a plan for Brexit, jobs and livelihoods are at stake, nation must be put ahead of party, and prosperity ahead of politics, and compromise and consensus must “refind their voice in Parliament”. In other words, she’s been asked for a quote and she doesn’t want to let her sh*t talk media training go to waste, so here you go, some phrases for ya.

      None of what Fairbairn has said has any interesting content whatsoever. So why refer to it? The reason is that some of us are old enough to remember the early 1980s when the CBI was an important institution in Britain through which a powerful faction of the rich wielded substantial influence over the government. Those days are long gone, as the skyscrapers in London’s financial centre, dens for all sorts of flavours of moneylending and ways of getting real wealth into the hands of those who deal in and develop paper wealth, reach ever higher and higher towards the heavens. (Whatever could go wrong?) “Industry” is nowadays a term more likely to be heard in phrases such as “mortgage industry” or “videogame industry” than in any context of actually making stuff.

        • N_

          At a price of 2.5 Johnson is a lay, I reckon – in the betting sense. I still doubt that the choice of Tory leader will be put to the party’s membership in a 2-3 month process. Many have had it up to here with the Tories. With a voteshare of less than 10% and having lost the majority of their voters to the extreme right single-issue “Those Europeans come over here, but they’re different, aren’t they?” Brexit Party, the Tories would be at risk of sinking further still if they were to parade their internal leadership guff in people’s faces all through the summer. The second favourite at Betfair is Raab at 5.5 and then Gove at 13 and nobody else under 16. (If it’s Gove, will Dominic Cummings get a job as super-spad? He is the sort of nutcase who’d be an excellent pal for Stephen Bannon if he isn’t already.)

          If Johnson does look as though he’ll be prime minister, I may leave Britain. There comes a time when it gets totally beyond a f***ing joke.

    • michael norton

      Mrs.Theresa May said on Wednesday in PMQ’s that the default position will be Cliff Edge Brexit on 31/10/2019
      unless Parliament agrees her Brexit Deal.
      Her Brexit Deal is now not going to happen.
      So we are now several steps nearer to NO Deal Brexit.

  • giyane

    Scots should take note of Tory MPs wresting the steering wheel from Mrs May because she is unable to revoke the Good Friday Agreement by removing the back stop.

    Take note that Tory politicians do not feel bound by international law in relation to their colonies even when they are next door neighbours.

    Yesterday most English voters will have punished the Tories for the actions of the foaming right wing ERG. They should resign and leave Mrs May to get parts one and two of Brexit through.

    The ERG has put the Tories alongside Ukip and all the other extreme right wing parties beyond the pale. It is now inevitable that Jeremy Corbyn will be elected as PM, so that The UK as a whole can be brought back inside international law and outside an EU sabre rattling for a European Army.

    If Craig is right in saying that the UK snd its electorate are incorrigible bullies then it must be collapsed with the same determination that they would collapse you.

    • N_

      I agree that no new Tory leader can expect much of a bounce.

      But I don’t think there will be a general election soon. The no confidence route requires support from the DUP or a handful of current Tory MPs; the two-thirds route, votes from at least 96 current Tory MPs.

      That said, anything can happen. Peterborough is coming. If there’s a by-election in Maidenhead, Nigel Farage will surely stand in it and win.

      That nutcase billionaire from New York is coming too – the genius deal-striker who told Kim Jong-Un that if he plays his cards right he can have skyscrapers in Pyongyang that dwarf the 105 Building.

      Autumn is a great season for a financial crash (1929, 1987, 2007).

      • giyane


        A referendum forcing out a PM is one thing. A far right wing pressure group that had no policies except to oppose their own leader is another thing.

        We didn’t like May because she’s too right wing, but they didn’t like her because she refused to create a civil war in Ireland by imposing a hard border there.

        No new PM can do it either. So after a lot of huff and puff we have to back to a soft brexit Norway style.

        There’s always a hard way and an easy way. Civil way in Ireland is the hard way for cocaine snorting Tories to find out what can and what cannot be done.

    • Sharp Ears

      An extract from May’s resignation speech.
      ‘”Security, freedom and opportunity. Those values have guided me throughout my career. But the unique privilege of this office is to use this platform to give a voice to the voiceless. To fight the burning injustices that still scar our society.
      “That is why I put proper funding for mental health at the heart of our NHS long term plan.
      “It’s why I’m ending the postcode lottery for victims of domestic abuse.
      “It is why the race disparity audit and gender pay reporting are shining a light on inequality so it has nowhere to hide.
      “And it is why I set up the independent inquiry into the tragedy at Grenfell Tower, to search for the truth so nothing like it can ever happen again, and so the people who lost their lives that night are never forgotten.’

      It is total hypocrisy in the light of her treatment of immigrants, (remember that poster van?). the Windrush scandal at her Home Office and latterly the Grenfell residents who have been cast aside. Not forgetting the imprisonment of Julian Assange. Nor the scandalous ill treatment of patients with autism and learning difficulties at Whorlton Hall revealed by Panorama.

      Go! Theresa May. Go!

  • M.J.

    “Far right rogue state the UK has become.. The UK is an evil and corrupt entity”. So how come you’re still alive, free to write and say what you like, have not been stripped of your citizenship, and (I assume) will be sustained by a comfortably large UK government pension from your diplomatic service in a few years? Surely far-right rogue states that are evil and corrupt entities would not allow such things.

    • M.J.

      PS. I thought Part 2 of the interview with Alex Salmond was very good, like part 1.

    • giyane


      British Steel customers still don’t know what tariffs they will have to pay. Eventually the whole economy will go down the same plughole. We are where we are because of opposing political ideologies voting out practical solutions.

      Craig is one of those political analysts with practical solutions. So he doesn’t deserve your swipe. Save your swipes for the hedge funders in ERG who make more money gambling on Britain ‘s failure than doing what they’re paid to as public servants on a measly £80k

      • giyane

        No politician who has any involvement with financial gambling or hedging should be allowed to stand as a member of parliament . What incentive is there for them to do the right thing for me and you when doing the wrong thing pocketsvthem millions?

        The misfeasance of hedge funding is infinitely more scandalous than MP expenses or even supporting Israel.
        The ERG have nothing to do with Europe or Research. They are criminal gamblers who swing our country to whatever dividend pays most into their pockets.

        That makes them fascists because they have no guiding principles at all except personal profit.

        • giyane

          A key moment of Mrs May”s tenure was her vitriol against russis at the Lord Mayor’s Banquet and the Skripal lies.
          Britain’s industrial military complex and political governance is now as shot as the US. War against the Syrian people served no useful purpose other than consolidating their control over their jihadist proxy army in preparation for attacking the outlying remnants of the USSR, countries like Azerbaijan and Georgia

          The vitriol against Iran is not intended for their ally against the Saudi, Iran. It is intended as a vehicle to move their theatre of from the Middle East towards Russia and China.

          Brexit paralysis and confusion was always intended as a smokescreen for their next chess steps in the Great Game. Soft power in the form of fake Islamism was always to be rounded off with overwhelming military force such as used on Mosul and Sirte.

          So I’m sorry guys May ‘s crocodile tears over losing her premiership are a cover for having successfully transitioned Zionist hegemony from the Middle East towards China. Agent May will get her damehood for services rendered to the US cause.

          Trump and May will bring a Zionist Triumph flakedout with monarchy crimson velvet and Ermine to celebrate the successful destruction of the Muslim World.

          • Hatuey

            If you think those who call the shots in this world are motivated by religion, or a desire to destroy the “Muslim world” (not that there is a Muslim world any more than there’s a Christian world), you’re quite simply wrong and rather naive.

    • Tom Welsh

      “So how come you’re still alive, free to write and say what you like, have not been stripped of your citizenship, and (I assume) will be sustained by a comfortably large UK government pension from your diplomatic service in a few years? Surely far-right rogue states that are evil and corrupt entities would not allow such things”.

      You are thinking of the early, low-tech days of rogue states – “far-right” is a red herring, as rogue states come in all shades of ideology, and the “left/right” paradigm has been obsolete for at least a century.

      In the bad old days the only way to get critics and the awkward squad to shut up was to kill them, imprison them, or threaten them with a fate so awful they wouldn’t dare speak up.

      Since… well, once more since about a century ago technology has come a mighty long way. Not just computer and communications technology, which allows states to spy on everyone at every moment, but the simpler human technology of propaganda and persuasion.

      I recommend the excellent book “Burning Beethoven”, which explains how the US government managed to reverse public opinion about Germany and Germans in about three years. In 1910 almost everyone in the USA felt that German-Americans, and Germans in general, were about the nicest and best people you could hope to find. Generally speaking, they were clever, hard-working, sincere, honest and productive citizens. By 1917 – just in time for Woodrow Wilson to declare war on Germany – they had suddenly become vicious, sadistic, violent, destructive monsters – “the Hun”. Men were queuing up to fight them – and those were men who had no previous experience of war, or even firing a gun – and women made sure they did, on pain of being cut dead and shamed as cowards.

      If Hitler had been wiser, he would have listened much less to the General Staff, Goering and the other warmongers and taken his cue from Goebbels. Left to his own devices, Goebbels could have established the Third Reich, perhaps a little less abruptly, and kept it going until now at least.

      The Americans – from whom Goebbels learned everything – had already found how to brainwash ordinary people with pervasive propaganda, so that they learned to love their servitude and to hate and fear the idea of freedom. In the 1920s and 1930s people like Aldous Huxley, Bertrand Russell and Freud could see this happening clearly. See, for example, “They Thought They Were Free: The Germans, 1933–45” by Milton Mayer, which explains just how similarly ordinary Germans felt in the 1930s to ordinary Americans and British people today.

      Aldous Huxley was the first and best in describing the state of politics in “the West” today; it is startling that he first published such views in 1932 (“Brave New World”) – the year before the Nazi Party took power in Germany.

      “Armaments, universal debt, and planned obsolescence – those are the three pillars of Western prosperity. If war, waste, and moneylenders were abolished, you’d collapse. And while you people are over-consuming the rest of the world sinks more and more deeply into chronic disaster”.

      – Aldous Huxley (“Island”)

      “A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude”.

      – Aldous Huxley (“Brave New World “)

      “It is perfectly possible for a man to be out of prison and yet not free – to be under no physical constraint and yet be a psychological captive, compelled to think and feel and act as the representatives of a national state or of some private interest within the nation wants him to think, feel and act. To him the walls of his prison are invisible and he believes himself to be free”.

      – Aldous Huxley, “Brave New World Revisited”

      “Under the relentless thrust of accelerating over-population and increasing over-organization, and by means of ever more effective methods of mind-manipulation, the democracies will change their nature; the quaint old forms—elections, parliaments, Supreme Courts and all the rest—will remain. The underlying substance will be a new kind of non-violent totalitarianism. All the traditional names, all the hallowed slogans will remain exactly what they were in the good old days. Democracy and freedom will be the theme of every broadcast and editorial—but Democracy and freedom in a strictly Pickwickian sense. Meanwhile the ruling oligarchy and its highly trained elite of soldiers, policemen, thought-manufacturers and mind-manipulators will quietly run the show as they see fit”.

      – Aldous Huxley (“Brave New World Revisited”, 1958)

      • Ort

        I’ve never read the book, though I’m tempted to add it to my overstuffed and highly theoretical “reading list”.

        As a US resident, though, I am aware of the WWI-era campaign to demonize Germany and its culture and people in the US.

        I don’t know if it’s mentioned in the book, but there were even instances of dachshunds being tormented or killed by US “patriots”.

        Later on, I believe, there was an attempt to “rebrand” the German shepherd breed with the euphemistic generic term “police dog”.

  • frankywiggles

    I think the UK’s reputation is set to reach a fresh nadir if it is to be led by the lazy, unprincipled Johnson, a figure who has sought popularity by targeting most vulnerable groups. He is if anything even more irredeemable than Trump, who has at least gestured in the past at changing certain things for the better (revoking trade deals than screw workers, dialling back overseas interventions and the new cokd war.) Johnson, by contrast, has only ever offered scorn for such ideas. Surreal that such a discredited, distasteful individual could soon be running the entire show.

    • N_

      Johnson is at better than evens (a short while ago he was at midprice 1.83) at the Betfair betting exchange. A case of people piling in to bet on the favourite?

      The Mirror has reminded its readers that Johnson is the wretch who called black people “piccaninnies”. He also said Muslim women looked like “letter boxes”, relished the prospect of sweeping away mere dead Arab bodies in Sirte, Libya, so as to create a beach resort for the international rich, and insulted the population of Liverpool, whom he called scroungers with “deeply unattractive” psyches (source). And that’s before we mention the cocaine use, the plan to get a journalist beaten up, the lies that got him sacked from the Times and from the Tory front bench, his effort to browbeat Helen Macintyre into keeping quiet about his paternity of her child, and the non-disclosure agreement he forced on Danielle Fleet, 30 years his junior, so that she would keep her mouth shut too.

      In short, a career of drugs, violence, telling lies, trying to force women to keep quiet, racism, and hatred for people who aren’t like himself, from black people to foreigners to the people of Liverpool.

    • Ken Kenn

      Johnson is a chancer and has no ambition or principles save being PM.

      He ( as favourite ) could history fail in his efforts as the Tories tend to choose someone from nowhere – like Major
      or even Cameron.

      Raab on the other hand is a die hard No Dealer and like the Brexit Parties Farage is quite willing to deliver the UK out of the hands of the evil called Europe into the even more evil country called the US.

      He is more dangerous than Johnson in that respect as Johnson will try to woo the moderates in what’s left of the Tory Party.

      Raab and Farage would be a better team for No Deal but Johnson will try and win the mass of Tory MPs over to his side.

      Unfortunately for him or Raab the Parliamentary numbers will still be the same no matter who wins.

      The solution would be to call an election but I don’t hear Farage calling for one in order to secure his Brexit MPs in Parliament.

      That means work and Farage doesn’t like working.

      It’s demeaning for a Stockbroker don’t ya know.

      My money would be on Hunt.

      My milkshake would be on Farage.

        • Ort

          FWIW, I posted this comment at the “Moon of Alabama” site after watching that video:

          I just watched a short video clip of RT’s “Going Underground” host Afshin Rattansi being interviewed by newsreader Nadira Tudor on RT News. He was there to express reaction to May’s lachrymose “resignation” speech, but Tudor wanted him to answer some clichéd questions about how the resignation would affect the UK’s (geo)political machinations, the mood of the country going forward, etc.

          The usually sedate Rattansi was so incensed by May’s swan-song that he rather rudely brushed off those banal follow-up questions in order to continue an impassioned, but accurate, polemic adumbrating May’s various high crimes and misdemeanors. Since he’s an interviewer and presenter himself, he obviously knew he was being non-responsive; Tudor was understandably frustrated, but I found Rattansi’s righteous scathing “obituary” gratifying.

          I expect that mass-media reports will sympathetically focus on May’s uncharacteristic display of emotion during her resignation announcement. But perhaps Rattansi’s undisguised rancor arose from the impression (which I share) that May’s final tears were all for herself.

  • Jack

    Leaving the union but the (european) union?
    What is the issue that cause one to being pro on the former but not the latter?

    • Goose

      It confuses many but…I’d guess the SNP see the EU as a mere cordial, mutually beneficial, consensual pooling of sovereignty, as other small Scandinavian countries do. Whereas the United Kingdom is and has always been a lopsided arrangement based on domination an imposition from London(the hated poll tax, trialled in Scotland being a classic example) by an unrepresentative southern English Tory dominated Westminster. The Tories, many of whom voted against and opposed devolution remember. Some Tories see Scotland almost like an English territorial possession. The respect just isn’t there for the Scottish people or their representatives, as seen over the last few years with Theresa May not even seriously consulting the devolved govts during her Brexit negotiations.

      Being in the EU also makes sense for an independent Scotland in terms of access to such a large consumer market on Scotland’s doorstep and the combined strength such a grouping has in opening up overseas markets to, at or near, zero tariff free trade.

      • Mary Pau!

        Really you are talking about the British establishment NOT the British people, a very large number, a majority of whom even, would be happy to grant Scotland its independence tomorrow.

        I have previously been concerned that loss of UK subsidies, and the pound, might cause financial difficulties for an independent Scotland, at least until its leaders negotiated membership of the EU.. However several pro Scottish independence supporters have reiterated here, several times, that Scotland is doing very well financially these days and could manage fine without Westminster subsidies. Also that access to the pound sterling after independence would not be a problem.

        Who am I to argue?

    • michael norton

      The European Commission made clear it would work with Theresa May’s successor but that there would NOT be any changes to the Withdrawal Agreement.

      In that case there are two options
      1) the U.K. revokes and we stay in the E.U.
      2) Cliff Edge Brexit on 31/10/2019

  • Vivian O'Blivion

    Boris Johnson has laid out his position. Number one priority is removal of the NI backstop. By implication, the rest of May’s WA, with no Customs Union is acceptable. No NI backstop and no Customs Union just won’t fly due to the reliance on the DUP and their flat out refusal to countenance Customs checks at Belfast and Larne. Up to the start of the week I would entirely dismiss the possibility of a General Election. The polling numbers for the Tories are terrible and the turnout at the Newport by-election was 37%. The whacky idea of a Tory, Brexit party alliance with the Tories standing in all their existing constituencies unopposed by the Brexit party and the Tories giving the Brexit party a free run in the rest of the country might just work in terms of the numbers. With the Tory, Brexit party alliance having a clear majority, it’s Customs checks at Belfast and Larne and Snarlene can fume all she wants.

    • Goose

      I think what’ll happen now is it’ll descend into a contest based upon who can take the hardest line with the EU. Especially if The Brexit Party has dominated the Euro elections. Certainly no candidate wanting to revive May’s deal stands a chance, you’d imagine.

      If it has to be a hard Brexiter, if they had any sense (because I’m no Tory supporter) they ‘d pick Steve Baker. He’s principled; maintaining his opposition to May’s deal throughout (unlike Raab and Johnson)and comes across as honest with no arrogance or chip on his shoulder. Although I’d expect them, to pick Johnson or Raab.

    • N_

      Peter Stubley’s supposed takedown of Boris Johnson in the Independent is scarily mild. He makes no mention of racism, violence, drugs, sex, or non-disclosure agreements. That Johnson used the exact same word “piccaninny” that Enoch Powell used in his famous “much blood” speech is easy to remember and verify. The wacky idea might work, although Tory strategists would want to minimise the number of complete and utter loons who stood for the Brexit Party. Maybe they could write its manifesto in cooperation with Nigel Farage? Do it somewhere in Somerset maybe. The Telegraph and the Daily Mail haven’t been boosting Jeremy Corbyn. Labour may have been beaten in voteshare by the Liberal Democrats which last happened in an all-Britain vote in 1910. Properly managed the Greens could probably hand a few seats to the Brexit Party or Tories too, if a general election were to be held in the near future. I expected Johnson to be removed from the leadership race within hours, so he is doing well so far.

    • giyane

      Vic o bliv

      The idea of no backstop exists in that special place in hell where the ultra arrogant Tories abide. It’s impossible . Boris knows it’s impossible . Same as his stupid bridge.

      However it does serve to deflect attention from the common sense Tories.

  • Kempe

    Dismantling the UK won’t help end human rights injustices and it certainly won’t help the Chagos islanders get justice. All it’ll do is enable Scotland to walk away and pretend its hands are clean.

    • Tom Welsh

      Which is amusing, since the so-called British Empire was really mostly a Scottish Empire.

    • JonJon

      Someone, somewhere on this blog, should be able to answer this, not least the author.

      • Hatuey

        Anyone with half a brain could answer, if they had time and were willing to waste it on a stupid question. There are countless books on nationalism and a thousand varieties. All examples of nationalism are different.

        But there’s a gaping difference between national liberation movements and forms of nationalism based on jingoism, racism, and culture, with aims of dominating others etc. The former is the Scottish kind and the latter is the English kind, as examples.

        Incidentally the N in SNP stands for National not Nationalist. There’s an important difference.

        • N_

          What is the SNP plan for Scotland’s national minorities such as the English, Polish, and Pakistanis? The question regarding the English minority is especially relevant because of the amount of bad blood there unfortunately sometimes is. (While there is anti-Asian racism in Scotland, nobody in the country says they support whoever is playing against Pakistan.)

          Croatian independence was once held up on this blog as a model for Scotland

          Many deeply unpleasant parties have called themselves “National” rather than “Nationalist” in their official titles: British National Party, National Front, National Action.

          Saying “our nationalism is better than yours” is just a wordy way of saying “our nation is better than yours”.

          • Hatuey

            You make some interesting points but interesting as they are you are wrong.

            I don’t have a nationalist bone in my body. I have no sentimental love of Scottish people and actually think we are quite a flawed bunch. I’ve been in about 20 arguments this week because of my scathing view of Scottish people (unionists in particular).

            The rivalry with England you refer to isn’t any more sinister than half of Liverpool supporting Tottenham in next week’s euro final.

            But Scotland’s nationalism is better than yours because it isn’t nationalism at all. It’s simplistic to say that all forms of nationalism are the same and I’m sick hearing people quote Orwell on this, as if Orwell somehow gives a stupid argument credibility.

          • Jo1


            “bad blood”

            There isn’t bad blood. If English people who live here experienced hatred towards them they wouldn’t come, they wouldn’t stay. It’s nonsense.

            We don’t focus here on nationality, people are welcome. The SNP is the national Party of Scotland. That’s all the N is about, not “nationalism” in the sinister sense.

        • JonJon

          Brian, I appreciate your comment and your referencing of it. There are plenty of nationalists of all stripes who support civic nationalism, including English ones. All this says is that no matter the colour of your skin, or your beliefs and so on, as long as you fit comfortably into a common cultural framework you are welcome. The complex bit is deciding what that framework is.

          In spite of some people’s tiresome efforts, with less than half a brain, to paint everyone else as ethno-nationalists, this simply isn’t true.

  • Ben

    “The only solution is to break the UK, to shatter it into pieces as small as possible”
    There is certainly something seriously wrong with the UK, but I am not sure if you are being practical or metaphorical here. Would you want an independent Scotland to be any smaller? Intrigued to know how England could be further divided. Hard decision for a Londoner such as myself, because the closer you get to London, the more corrupt the country seems to become.

  • Hatuey

    And so with May handing in her notice, the Tory party is now moving towards the hard right in an attempt to save itself. It won’t work.
    There are soon going to be three parties competing for the “no deal” vote — Tories, UKIP, and Brexit Party. That’s a tough market.
    Labour’s constructive ambiguity has been frustrating to watch but I always knew it was the clever thing to do. If they continue with that, and they will, they are more or less guaranteed office for about 15 years.
    The big problem for the Tories when they start representing that hard WTO Brexit position is that they might actually succeed. If that happens they are really screwed — that’s economic Armageddon for sure.
    I suspect the SNP are going to come good soon. When Scotland has its face forced into the toilet of a hard Brexit and Boris is threatening to flush, many of the thick and cowardly Scots will wake up.

    • giyane


      I fully agree with you. If there had been any value in a hard brexit the Tories would’ve rallied round it. But they haven’t . The Tories are beginning to rot like theunpicked fruit undrunk milk and uneaten meat of a WTO brexit.

      In 15 years I’ll be 70 Godwilling and I’ll probably die from a second Lib-Dem Tory alliance apoplectic fit.

      • Iain Stewart

        Fruit, milk and meat; but have you not forgotten the vegetables? 🙂

    • Hatuey

      Yes, well said. Imagine someone like that on the Indy side. Instead of the usual dancing on rice paper, someone that actually confronted them and their bullshit.
      And everything Owen Jones said about the plight of the poor could be said in relation to Scotland. If anything those problems are magnified here… we have six of the worst U.K. poverty blackspots in Glasgow alone.
      Life for canny Scots, too smart to vote for independence, is likely to be nasty, poor, brutal, and short… Apparently you’re canny and brave if you let a shower of twisted weirdos fleece your country.

      • N_

        we have six of the worst U.K. poverty blackspots in Glasgow alone

        Is the SNP promising to tax the rich until the pips squeak, come Independence Day? Who do they paint as being the problem – the rich or the foreigners? That’s a key question to determine whether they are on the left or the right.

        • Hatuey

          Good enough question — how do you deal with abject poverty and the damage it has done over generations? — but please don’t assume my solutions would involve taxing anyone.
          If Scotland was independent, it would be able to borrow and develop its economy like any other country. Ireland has done exactly that since 2008 and has jumped from being an economic basket case to one of the very few countries with a budgetary surplus.

      • Iain Stewart

        “brutal, and short”
        To be pedantic, Hobbes said brutish.
        Maybe it’s time to lose our Brutish citizenship 🙂

    • Je

      Iraq is all forgotten about… Theresa May voted for it. Hundreds of thousands of dead men, women and children. It was carry on regardless… become Prime Minister. So swept under the carpet now that I’ve seen no-one include it in their list of things she should have cried over.

  • Deschutes

    This is the BEST passage I’ve read all week–kudos to Craig!–

    “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.”

    I say amen to that brother :-))))

  • JonJon

    It’s been an interesting week:

    – May resigns (well we’ll see)
    – JA hit with 17 new charges
    – Declassification of docs showing UK involvement in 2016 US election (and so much more)
    – india, Oz elections
    – EU elections

    Going to be a fun few weeks ahead. Wonder what people will think at the end of it all?

  • Procopius

    I have long wondered about people who like to torture. Torture is thought to be useful as a policy to discourage actively disloyal acts, i.e. acts which the government wants to discourage. The School of the Americas used to teach torture as one of the techniques South American militaries could use to control their populations. Police forces have sometimes used it to get confessions. I’m thinking Chicago, but it happens in every city and town. It was widely used in ancient Rome and ancient China, but seems to have been more as a means of deterring. Whether or not the victim was guilty of anything seems not to have been important. The lesson was, don’t do anything that will bring you to the attention of the law. The modern use by Chinese and Vietnamese was to induce confessions of war crimes, which everyone knew to be false. So we use torture to obtain false confessions which then form the basis of our “intelligence.” Fascinating.

    • lysias

      Stalin’s NKVD secret police knew that torture was the way to get the false confessions that their bosses demanded. And the heads of the CIA had long studied what their Soviet counterparts had done, so that it’s easy to guess why the CIA turned to torture after 9/11, even though it’s a notoriously bad way to learn the truth.

  • Wikikettle

    Dishonest opportunist, BJ will like Trump, be the true face of our corrupt ruling class. Is this all we’ve got to represent UK in the world. What a sick joke.

  • EB

    You look great Craig. When I have some cash I will contribute as generously as I can. You are without doubt a singularly important and special commentator on the distortions and deceptions of geopolitics and deep state power. Thanks for all your hard work and wise words.

  • Chemical Britain

    Has Ms Sturgeon ruled out a new independence referendum while there is political turmoil in the United Kingdom?

    Don’t worry, she will rule it out soon.

    Now is not the time to pick a fight with Westminster.

    • Republicofscotland

      I sense the sarcasm in your comment, and I find it hard to disagree, Sturgeon won’t get a better chance than in the coming time it takes to organise a indyref. Especially when the tabloids are reporting that two million people were
      denied their right to vote in Thursday’s EU elections.

      • michael norton

        This must be Ms.Nicola Sturgeon’s best ever chance at gaining Independence, country in virtual collapse, now must be her moment

    • Sharp Ears

      Yesterday she was singing the praises of Theresa May.

      Nicola Sturgeon: Theresa May ‘deserves thanks for her service’. (BBC website) Tell us Nicola exactly who benefited from this ‘service’.

      Fluffy also added to the paean of praise. ‘Scottish Secretary David Mundell said no-one could have worked harder, or shown a greater sense of public duty, than Mrs May in delivering the result of the EU referendum.’

      The May successors jockey for position. Hunt. Raab. Stewart. McVey. Johnson. Leadsom. Gove. + + ??

      • Vivian O'Blivion

        Sturgeon’s statement on May could be attributed to simple civility and a desire to project a statesperson like stature, but there is another factor at play.
        “a role model for girls and woman across the United Kingdom”
        Any sister that breaks through the glass ceiling is a protected species.
        Scottish Civil Service highheidyin Leslie Evans spouts demonstrable lies in the aftermath of the Salmond court case and escapes censure from Sturgeon. Director of People (Scottish Government) Nicola Richards breaks protocol and behaves in an underhand manner in “investigating” Salmond and escapes censure. BBC Scotland highheidyin Donalda MacKinnon spouts demonstrable lies in an attempt to make the Menthorn Media / Billy Mitchell scandal disappeared and escapes censure. It’s a distinct pattern.

  • pete

    I feel enraged by Welby’s comments. Still, his is a political appointment and he knows who his true masters are. It is particularly ironic to compare what Jesus Christ is supposed to have done with the actions of May and her cronies, and it is by their actions that people should be judged.
    Austerity has had the worst damage to the most vulnerable in society and this government has followed the path of austerity without flinching. Whatever ignominy awaits May it will not be worse than what she and her followers has visited on many.

    • frankywiggles

      Twas ever thus with the CoE.. the Tory party at prayer. There is an unforgettable ribboning of charlatans like Welby in Robert Tressel’s The Ragged trousered philanthropists.

  • Dungroanin

    How to fail to earn a ‘seat at the table’.

    ‘You were only supposed to blow the bloody doors off Trezza!’
    The doors to a hard brexit. Which was always Plan A. FAIL

    But then she was also tasked with blowing up the Corbynites to save the necon/lib partners in government crime. FAIL

    Finally she was supposed to give immunity to the officers who gave orders to shoot civilians in the Troubles. (The grunts who pulled the triggers would testify and name names – some who even became MPs). FAIL

    There is a rush by the wannabees to have a last chance go at grabbing the hard brexit – the seat at the gazillionaire kings of the world table, next to Dave and Tony and Clegg … Trezzas tears were for her failed chance and being doomed to remain a mere millionaire and a gong and Lords seat …wahhh. ?

    A failure to hold a GE immediately will see a real uprising, not the PR/msm/FB generated ex-kippers one that has been perpetrated on the country – this was another snap election with a insignificant turnout to pretend that is what the majority want. It too will FAIL.

  • Abulhaq

    The British state will not let Scotland go without a bloody fight as the loss of face and the diplomatic consequences are decidely not to be wished. The emerging reactionary current in English politics which petceives Scotland as a possession virtually guarantees the transition to independence will require nerves of steel and and a leadership similarly steely.
    Not a few on the nationalist side have yet to get to grips with that. Plainly they do not read much imperialist history. Such political naïveté, if not soon corrected, has the potential to prove costly.

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