A Moment in History 967

Sometimes we do not know when small actions could have the most momentous effects. The Archduke Franz Ferdinand loved his wife, which was most unusual for a Hapsburg. She was not of royal blood and strict protocol meant she could not appear in public ceremonies with him in Vienna. Which is why he chose to undertake a royal visit to the obscure Serbian provincial city of Sarajevo for her birthday. The rest, as they say, is history.

AJP Taylor liked to list Franz Ferdinand’s love for his wife as a cause of the First World War, a reminder that history is the study of human beings. Of course the massive arms race between the imperial powers, and the nationalist and democratic forces acting on old heterogenous dynastic empires, lay at the root of the First World War. But Taylor’s absolutely correct point is that even the greatest store of paraffin will not ignite without a spark, and perhaps the spark may never come. I am with Taylor on this, against the rigid determinists.

The vast transfer of wealth from everybody else to the bankers in the great banking collapse, and the huge growth in wealth inequality and obscene concentrations of wealth in a tiny number of private hands, are the underlying causes of the collapse in old political party structures across the western democracies and the rise of insurgent politics in all its various forms, mostly under the careful control of the elite using all their media control to misdirect popular blame for mass poverty against immigrants.

There are however genuine examples of insurgent politics seeking to craft a fairer society in the UK, of which the SNP and Yes Movement in Scotland, and Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters in England and Wales, are the most important examples.

Unusually for me, this article is addressed primarily to Corbyn supporters down in England and Wales. You don’t have to be an Austrian Archduke to stand at the moment when your own small actions can have profound, indeed historical ramifications. If just a few score less ordinary people had listened to and acted on Camille Desmoulins’ great speech as the revolutionary impulse teetered, the world might have been very different. Corbyn supporters are at that moment of historic decision right now – and mostly do not realise it.

Jeremy Corbyn represents the only realistic chance the people of England and Wales have been given in decades, to escape from the neo-liberal economics that have impoverished vast swathes of the population. But he leads a parliamentary party which is almost entirely comprised of hardline neo-liberal adherents.

The majority of the parliamentary Labour party are the people who brought in academy schools, high student tuition fees, PFI, who introduced more privatisation into the health service than the Tories have, and who brought you the Iraq and Afghan Wars. They abstained on the Tory austerity benefit cuts and on May’s “hostile environment” immigration legislation. They support Trident nuclear missiles. Many hanker after bombing Syria, and most are members of Labour Friends of Israel.

Even before the current disintegration of UK political structures, there was no way that these Labour MPs were ever going to support Corbyn in power in seeking to return the UK towards the mainstream of European social democracy. They have spent the last four years in undermining Corbyn at every turn and attempting to return Labour to the right wing political Establishment agenda. In the current fluid state of UK politics, with sections of Labour MPs already having split off and others threatening to, it is even more important that the very large majority of Labour MPs are replaced by people who genuinely support the views and principles for which Jeremy Corbyn stands.

Regrettably Labour MPs do not automatically have to run for reselection against other potential party candidates, but under one of those hideous compromises so beloved of Labour Party conferences, they have to notify their intention to again be the party’s candidate for the constituency, and there is then a very brief window of a couple of weeks in which local branches and trade union branches can register a contest and force a challenge.

That process has now been triggered and it is ESSENTIAL that every Labour Party member reading this blog acts NOW to try to get rid of those dreadful Blairite MPs. If you do not act, the historic moment will be missed and the chance to move England and Wales away from neo-liberalism may be permanently surrendered.

The right wing forces have the massive advantage of inertia. The local MP is very likely a crony of the chairs of the relevant local branch institutions and of the appropriate local trade union officials (and there is insufficient public understanding of the fact that historically the unions are very much a right wing force in Labour politics). I am willing to bet that in the vast number of constituencies local officials and MPs are pretty confident of getting through this without the large majority of their members – especially the vast new Corbyn supporting membership – even noticing that anything is happening.

Which is why you need to act. Phone the chair of your local constituency today and demand that they tell you how to go about forcing a reselection battle. Make sure that they give you the phone numbers for any local branches or institutions you have to go through. If you do not know the phone number for your local constituency chair, phone Labour HQ and get them to tell you. If you are a member of an affiliated trade union or organisation, take action there too

Do not be put off. Do not follow any instruction from anyone, not even Momentum, about MPs who ought not to be challenged. Politics is a dirty game and full of dirty deals. Use your own judgement. Certainly any of the Labour MPs who abstained on Tory welfare cuts, failed to oppose the “hostile environment” immigration policy or voted to bomb Syria must be subject to challenge. I would recommend that you challenge any Friend of Israel, given that Israel is now openly an apartheid state. Remember, you may be able to influence two constituencies – that where you live, and through your trade union branch that where you work.

Whether or not you are a Labour Party member (and remember I am not), please bring this article to the attention of any and every Labour Party member you know. Progress reports in the comments section would be extremely welcome, as would anyone willing to take the time to draw up “hit lists” based on the kind of criteria I outline above.

While the media are concentrated on the Tory shenanigans, it is the Labour Party members who have the chance to make choices which could have in the long term much more important effects upon society; if people act as I recommend, this could be a historic turning point. Otherwise it will just be one of those moments that passed, and the Corbyn insurgency a small footnote of might have been.


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967 thoughts on “A Moment in History

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  • Trowbridge H Ford

    Looks like Kim’s moment in history has arrived – figuring out how to denuclearize when North Korea had no nukes. That armored train which took whatever the North had to China, and it taking what Putin provided back on the train home.

    The dictator will probably share the Peace Prize with accommodating re-elected Trump.

    • MJ

      “figuring out how to denuclearize when North Korea had no nukes”

      Yes, I wonder about that. It may provide testing services to others wishing to evade the NTBT.

    • michael norton

      Yes Trowbridge, Donald Trump walking through the DMZ with Kim into North Korea
      is “A Moment in History”

      and very good news it is too.

        • Trowbridge H Ford

          Hardly just a photo opt: Trump is counting on a deal with North Korea to insure his re-election.

        • Loony

          Oh but it is a moment in history.

          A sitting US President simply walks across one of the most militarized and dangerous frontiers in the world. The “little Rocket Man” doesn’t know what to make of the entire thing, Perpetual war monger John Bolton is consigned to Mongolia. And all this while playing bait and switch with the Chinese.

          It is notable that Trump used Twitter to get a meeting at the DMZ – as the US war machine already fully controls normal diplomatic channels.

          …and for one final bonus the anti war brigade are revealed to be what they are really are – deranged morons filled with an unquenchable blood lust. These clowns would sacrifice the lives of billions if that is what it takes to “prove” that Trump is “literally Hitler” – But Trump has sidestepped you people as well.

          If you want to live, and live in peace then irrespective of your nationality Trump is your man. If you entertain fantasies of swimming in the blood of other people then I guess Trump is not for you.

          • Garth Carthy

            “…and for one final bonus the anti war brigade are revealed to be what they are really are – deranged morons filled with an unquenchable blood lust. These clowns would sacrifice the lives of billions if that is what it takes to “prove” that Trump is “literally Hitler” – But Trump has sidestepped you people as well.”

            You’re talking rubbish as usual. I’m sure most of the “anti-war brigade” are indeed unhappy with Trump but on balance consider Clinton, for example is a worse warmonger.

          • Loony

            Yes of course I am talking rubbish, because I rely on evidence to inform my perspective. Obviously the best way to form opinions is to rely on evidence free and fact free emotional intuition.

            Here is a fact. Over the weekend Andy Ngo, an ethnic Vietnamese homosexual was consigned to the hospital with a brain hemorrhage when he was attacked by “Anti-Fascists” for having the temerity to report on their activities. As everyone knows Hitler was “literally an Asian homosexual.”

            Where is the outrage? The answer to that question also informs my opinions.

          • michael norton

            Mr.Trump wants to do business with North Korea, this will be his deal, he doesn’t want the Hawks stuffing their noses in, that’s why he suggested the meeting at the last moment.
            Good for him and his effort to make peace and prosperity for the Korean Peninsular.

          • Soothmoother

            Wanting to do business instead of starting wars. Trump is so unpresidential! It’s the MSM that pushed the Trump hatred narrative. I ask colleagues why they hate Trump so much. He’s a misogynist, a racist and won’t show his tax returns.

    • RandomComment

      Where did all that U1 go after being sold? You sound like you know.

  • Cassandra

    RE: Sarajevo 1914 – Some CORRECTIONS are necessary here:

    1) There are no “Hapsburgs”in Austrian history, the correct spelling is “Habsburg”
    2) Countess Sophie von Chatkow and Wognin, the wife of Franz-Ferdinand, was born on March 1, 1868 (in Stuttgart, Germany) so he certainly DID NOT “choose to take her to Sarajevo “for her birthday”.
    3) It is also a myth that Franz-Ferdinand took his morganatic wife Sophie with him so she would receive public acclamation;
    4) Sarajevo was NOT “an obscure Serbian provincial city” but the capital of (of the fmr Ottoman province) Bosnia-Herzegovina, legally annexed by the Austro-Hungarian empire in 1908 (occupied since 1878, following the Treaty of Berlin where the major powers agreed on a “balkanisation” (as we now call it), with the creation of three new “independent” states: Rumania, Serbia and Montenegro and the “autonomy” of Bulgaria. (Divide et impera …as a prelude for the Great War)
    5) Franz-Ferdinand was ordered to go to Bosnia by Emperor Franz-Josef (as Inspector-General of the troops to observe military maneuvers);the date was set by the governor of Bosnia-Herzegoniva, Oscar Potiorek who insisted that the couple also visited Sarajevo ….( security measures were as “effective” as on Nov. 22, 1963 in Dallas ..)

    For a different perspective on the origins of WW I – and the ignored but sinister role of British politicians in manufacturing crises- I recommend the following (“forbidden”) books:
    LORD MILNER’S SECOND WAR by John P. Cafferky
    HIDDEN HISTORY by Gary Docherty and Jim McGregor (see https://firstworldwarhiddenhistory.wordpress.com)
    CONJURING HITLER by Guido Preparata …( from the preface:)

    ” To annihilate the German threat, the British ruling elites had gambled for high stakes; for over 30 yrs they had woven a web of financial machinations, international complicities, intelligence conspiracies, diplomatic devilry, military savy and inhuman mendacity, and they finally succeeded. This game of Anglo-American supremacy came at the cost of approx 70 million lives (2 world wars).. both conflicts were willed and set off by Britain … so (we) have to think again .. that there is something far worse than Nazism, and that is the hubris of the Anglo-American fraternities …”

    (…hence their hatred for people like Julian Assange who force them to look into the mirror and see the monsters they have become…)

      • George

        I thoroughly recommend the Preparata book – along with his other one “The Ideology of Tyranny”. As well as being a provocative thinker, he is also a wonderful writer.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Cassandra June 30, 2019 at 15:46
      Glad you brought this up. I have been trying to get commenters (and others) interested in ‘Hidden History’ and their sister book ‘Prolonging the Agony’ ever since I read them fairly recently.

    • wonky

      Isn’t the most interesting word in Preparata’s quote “fraternities”..?
      Don’t get me wrong. I like “systemic” and “structural” explanations, but somehow you can always boil things down to a small bunch of cynical, super-wealthy, super-racist, murderous super-predator bastard “fraternities”.

  • Doodlebug

    @ Cassandra

    Following an interesting exchange with J Galt earlier, I am quite prepared to accept that there was more to the build-up to WW1 than we typically get to hear about. I think however that your citing the Preperata preface as you have is both imprudent and inflammatory.

    It is presented as an authoritative statement of absolute fact, without further explanation or clarification where necessary. For instance, there was no 30 year interval between the wars. Presumably therefore the discussion (?) refers to the turn of the century or thereabouts. It has been said that a week is a long time in politics. Are we therefore to be surprised at the weaving of ‘a web of financial machinations, international complicities, intelligence conspiracies, diplomatic devilry, military savy and inhuman mendacity’ over a thirty year period? It’s what national governments do. And have always done, since time immemorial.

    ‘And they finally succeeded’ In what? Instigating WW1 after little more than a decade, or WW2, following the 30+ year interval alluded to? Not content with the latter claim, the writer accounts for the millions sacrificed in the two world wars, both of which were ‘willed and set off by Britain’.

    It takes two to tango Cassandra. While one might very well argue (as Docherty and McGregor have done) that Germany were finessed into entering Belgium in 1914, the same cannot be said of Hitler’s invasion of Poland twenty-five years later. The claim that the hubris of the Anglo-American fraternities is more dangerous than Nazism reveals an inadequate grasp of semantics and an over-zealous attempt at revisionism. Nazism is a doctrine, hubris a character trait.

    Careful re-examination of historical events is a healthy pursuit and often genuinely informative, but what one should not do is judge our forebears by current standards or interpretive inclinations. The world they inhabited was the one bequeathed them, and into which they were born. They saw it as they did in the context of their time, not ours. Of course the proclivities of humans as societal primates have not changed much, if at all, since our emergence as a species, hence the catalogue of unscrupulous behaviours referred to earlier is no doubt as validly attributed to politicians of yore as it would be today. Its application however is universal. To imply, or even suggest, that the British alone were imbued with such tendencies is wholly unjustified.

    • Dave

      Hitler’s pact with Stalin was to avoid war with Poland. Hitler offered Poland a reasonable resolution to the Danzig question, but Poland refused to negotiate, thinking they could defend themselves against either Germany or Soviet union.

      The secret part of the pact to divide Poland would have been made known to Poland prompting their need to do a deal as Poland couldn’t defend themselves against Germany and Soviet Union combined.

      Remember Poland was newly formed and had taken a large part of Russia during their civil war and had more to fear from Soviet Union than from Germany. The fact Poland chose to rely on a promise by Britain to defend Poland to defy the inevitable, is testimony to the poor leadership in Poland at the time.

      • Mr V

        This is complete BS. This “reasonable resolution” involved cutting Poland from sea (by both annexing Gdansk and by handing Germany land strip linking Prussia to mainland), which, combined with the fact Germans controlled every railway leading to west or south of Poland would make the country 100% reliant on Germany for exports/imports. On top of that, they demanded vassal status and joining the anti-Comintern pact. Which part of that strikes you as “reasonable”?

        If the Polish leadership was bad, though, it was in rejecting Soviet offers of assistance. Soviets first offered Polish-Czech-Soviet defensive alliance in 1938 (which Czechoslovakia already agreed to), then just with Poland in 1939 – sure, they demanded concessions too but nowhere near the scale of German ones, and much smaller than what they got in 1945 so Poland would be better off taking the offer…

    • George

      Ever so slight contradiction?:

      “…what one should not do is judge our forebears by current standards or interpretive inclinations. The world they inhabited was the one bequeathed them, and into which they were born. They saw it as they did in the context of their time, not ours.”

      But then:

      “Of course the proclivities of humans as societal primates have not changed much, if at all, since our emergence as a species, hence the catalogue of unscrupulous behaviours referred to earlier is no doubt as validly attributed to politicians of yore as it would be today. Its application however is universal.”

      • Doodlebug

        “Ever so slight contradiction?”

        No. There have always been (and always will be) saints and sinners. Exactly how our various attributes are given political expression is dependent upon the context of the age in which they are played out.

        • George

          Well let’s take that “Of course the proclivities of humans as societal primates have not changed much, if at all, since our emergence as a species…”

          I would say that our proclivities have changed enormously since we have emerged as a species. Consider the activities of the early hunter gatherer societies and those of modern people living in an advanced technological world e.g. the difference between the tribal ceremonies of the former and the passive consumption of television of the latter.

          And the very notion of “saints and sinners” varies too. Of course, those terms suggest a religious view based on the notion of the equality of individuals before abstract principles. That is an advanced notion. And in e.g. a feudal society there would have been different moralities relating to the different ranks.

          It could well be that the very notion of “politics” is a modern one. In the aforementioned feudal state, the world as it was was taken to be an absolute order that everyone simply accepted. Alternatives were out of the question. In our modern world we talk about politics because we see the order of our world as something we can change. Although, as Ellen Meiksins Wood suggested, the only reason we have this unprecedented degree of political freedom is because power no longer lies in politics but in economics i.e. you can vote for who you want and acquire as many formal rights as you want but your livelihood, i.e. the part that matters, is determined by financial forces over which you have no control.

          In short, human behaviour is not the same at all times and in all places. Times change, habits change, conditions change, expectations change – which ultimately means that people change too.

          • Doodlebug

            “Consider the … difference between the tribal ceremonies of the hunter-gatherers and the passive consumption of television by modern people”. Forgive my paraphrase for the sake of brevity, but aren’t you rather overlooking the ‘tribal ceremonies’ of modern people? Desmond Morris has written books about them.

            “And the very notion of “saints and sinners” varies too.” No doubt. I used the phrase as metaphorical shorthand – not to be taken quite so literally as you appear to have done.

            “It could well be that the very notion of “politics” is a modern one.” I’m afraid not. It’s at least as old as Aristotle.

            “In short, human behaviour is not the same at all times and in all places. Times change, habits change, conditions change, expectations change – which ultimately means that people change too.”

            Thank you for ultimately confirming my point regarding chronological context. The change in people you refer to is, I suspect, to be observed at a very superficial level. Our more instinctive urges are as they always have been. The fact that they are disguised in ever more sophisticated language, personal and social accoutrements, changes nothing. (William Golding’s ‘Lord of the Flies’ explores the very same premise).

          • George

            Yes, I had a feeling Lord of the Flies would make an appearance. That was supposedly Golding’s answer to the presumably idealistic Coral Island by R M Ballantine. However, I doubt if Golding’s lads behave any more realistically. The pressure to simply survive would force everyone to work together. But then again Golding’s scenario is clearly modelled on the society that he himself was accustomed to. Therefore, it makes sense that e.g. some of the boys split up to form “a military branch”. This novel is a modern version of those “Robinsonades” of yore i.e. those desert island stories that are supposed to reveal “true human nature in the raw” but which, as Marx ironically noted, simply reflect the prejudices of the time they were written.

            When I spoke of “politics” I meant the Aristotelian notion of weighing up different systems – something that the majority of a society wasn’t expected to bother about till relatively recently. In previous times, the vast majority of the population had to simply put up and shut up.

            I don’t think I am the one being superficial. To talk about the “tribal ceremonies” of modern people is surely an error of category. We don’t have tribal ceremonies because we no longer live in a tribal community. You may censure me for being “too literal” again but I get annoyed at the misapplication of terms under a supposedly metaphorical viewpoint. A truly tribal society has a point of view that we would scarcely understand in our advanced society. The very notion of the separate individual would not be available to them for a variety of reasons – not least the matter of people nowadays living very much separately from each other with very clearly demarcated private areas. And bear in mind that this separation is something that we all grow up with therefore it seems natural to us. And we are used to confronting each other on a competitive basis.

          • Doodlebug

            “When I spoke of “politics” I meant the Aristotelian notion of weighing up different systems”

            Maybe you should say what you mean in future.

            “I don’t think I am the one being superficial.” No one accused you of being so. I spoke of a superficial level of behavioural change in others.

            “We don’t have tribal ceremonies because we no longer live in a tribal community.”

            Do you inhabit Mars or planet Earth? What do you imagine was behind the genocide in Rwanda, or plagues the strife-torn Middle-East? Have you heard the phrase ‘tribal loyalties’ by any chance?

            So you “get annoyed at the misapplication of terms under a supposedly metaphorical viewpoint.”

            Perhaps you should learn to lighten up. I get annoyed at the quoting of nonsensical, unsubstantiated third-party claims in support of a mere opinion, which is where I came in. I don’t see it as incumbent upon me to go off and read the full story if the promotional extract is inciteful (as opposed to insightful) gobbledygook.

            Please now give it a rest.

          • George

            I *was* lightened up. You are the one who seems to be getting heavy handed. And under the threat of your obviously approaching meltdown (clearly indicated by increasing incoherence), I will agree to “give it a rest”.

          • Doodlebug

            I stay well clear of social media personally, but if you engage in twitter yourself then I imagine you’re one of those with more ‘follows’ than ‘followers’ (see Craig’s latest for significance).

            “You are the one who seems to be getting heavy handed”

            Said the fellow who gets “annoyed at the misapplication of terms under a supposedly metaphorical viewpoint.”

            Since from somewhere among the cumulo-nimbus you’ve harvested the idea that “We don’t have tribal ceremonies because we no longer live in a tribal community.” then this should really piss you off:

            “a few Corbyn outriders seem to have inched a little closer to the idea that Jeremy might be a sub-optimal leader, and that Labour’s Brexit position is, to paraphrase, a bit of a shitter. Owing to their reflex addiction to tribalism, we must assume these realisations will now be regarded as good ideas because they have had them.” (Marina Hyde, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jun/28/labour-corbyn-williamson-antisemitism).


    • Deb O'Nair

      “I think however that your citing the Preperata preface as you have is both imprudent and inflammatory. It is presented as an authoritative statement of absolute fact, without further explanation or clarification where necessary.”

      It’s a preface. The facts, authoritative statements, explanations and clarifications will be revealed while reading the contents. People should read as many opinions and views on history as possible in order to try and glimpse the big picture.

      Self censoring oneself because of emotive reactions or because it challenges preconceptions is the opposite of what is required when attempting to uncover the truth, or at least a version of events closer to the truth, especially when you have been told the same lies repeatedly all your life. The history of the defeated and conquered often contains more truth than the history of the victor and conqueror.

      • George

        “The history of the defeated and conquered often contains more truth than the history of the victor and conqueror.”

        Correct. Truth is not only the first casualty of war but often the last too. Indeed, every winning side knows that it must speedily establish the official story of the war to its own best advantage. Furthermore, every winning side knows that it must establish the basis of its forthcoming rule. It must set itself up as “The Great Good” whose job it is to police the world. Every empire needs a supporting ideology.

          • George

            “For instance, there was no 30 year interval between the wars.”

            What Preparata actually said was,

            “To annihilate the German threat, the British ruling elites had gambled for high stakes; for over 30 years (1914–45) they had woven a web of financial machinations, international complicities, intelligence conspiracies, diplomatic devilry, military savvy, and inhuman mendacity, and they finally succeeded.”

            And then this:

            “Presumably therefore the discussion (?) refers to the turn of the century or thereabouts. It has been said that a week is a long time in politics. Are we therefore to be surprised at the weaving of ‘a web of financial machinations, international complicities, intelligence conspiracies, diplomatic devilry, military savy and inhuman mendacity’ over a thirty year period? It’s what national governments do. And have always done, since time immemorial.”

            You have just agreed with Preparata! The only difference is that he wants to know what all that scheming was whereas you just shrug and say, “Yeah whatever”.

            “‘And they finally succeeded’ In what? Instigating WW1 after little more than a decade, or WW2, following the 30+ year interval alluded to?”

            Well yes, that’s what he’s saying.

            “Not content with the latter claim, the writer accounts for the millions sacrificed in the two world wars, both of which were ‘willed and set off by Britain’.”

            I’m not sure what “accounts for the millions” is supposed to mean. Yes, millions died in the war. So – yes, whoever was behind the scheming is responsible.

          • Doodlebug

            What Preparata actually said was,

            “To annihilate the German threat, the British ruling elites had gambled for high stakes; for over 30 years (1914–45) they had woven a web of financial machinations, international complicities, intelligence conspiracies, diplomatic devilry, military savvy, and inhuman mendacity, and they finally succeeded.”

            What Preperata is quoted (by Cassandra – see above) as saying is:

            ” To annihilate the German threat, the British ruling elites had gambled for high stakes; for over 30 yrs they had woven a web of financial machinations, international complicities, intelligence conspiracies, diplomatic devilry, military savy and inhuman mendacity, and they finally succeeded”

            Spot the difference. The former is, I grant, intelligible, the latter as presented by Cassandra not so in the context of statements following. Presumably, if ‘they’ finally succeeded with WW2 then WW1 was a failure?

            “You have just agreed with Preparata!” No, I merely repeated his turn of phrase.

            “The only difference is that he wants to know what all that scheming was whereas you just shrug and say, “Yeah whatever”.

            I suspect that were I to read his book there would be more than one difference between us. ‘He wants to know what all that scheming was’ in his capacity as Senior Lecturer in Political Economy. I take government duplicity (aka diplomacy) as a given in my capacity as a pleb. If Senor Preperata genuinely believes that any government deliberately lays plans for war thirty years hence, I would contend he has his head in the same clouds as yourself.

  • michael norton

    Don’t panic over Brexit, Mr. McCluskey tells Jeremy Corbyn.
    It has come to the notice of Mr.McCluskey that certain elements in the PLP want Jeremy Corbyn to come full out for Remain and another Referendum but it would seem that the Labour Party are shedding votes to the Brexit Party in the North of England to such an extent that Labour would not be able to form the next government if they ditch their Brexit leaning constituencies.

    • Mary Pau!

      There is too a view that even if Boris gets to be PM, he will struggle to form a government as he will lack the support of the majority of Conservative MPs

      • Ian

        That’s wishful thinking. Tories will have compunction about burying their ‘principles’ and falling in line behind Boris. They talk it all up, then fold like a pack of cards.

  • Trowbridge H Ford

    Thought the book ended too soon with the invasion of the USSR by the Nazis. Think why the Axis powers agreed to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and why Hitler declared war on America must be explained.

  • michael norton

    Labour M.P.s warn Jeremy Corbyn backing second referendum on E.U. would be TOXIC for party
    McDonnell has told friends that while he is sympathetic to Corbyn’s desire to continue trying to respect the referendum, and represent both remain and leave, he is concerned about morale among party members. The initial shift to supporting a referendum on any deal – or on a no-deal – was made in the wake of Labour’s disastrous showing in the European parliament elections, in which the party polled just 14%.

    I wonder if there is a cross-over of those Labour M.P.s trying to get Jeremy to change his tune and go Full-Out for Remain, with those hoping to destroy Jeremy,
    for their own ends?

  • Tatyana

    Previously in this discussion:
    June 30, 2019 at 11:19
    … May to press Putin over Novichok attack in face-to-face meeting…

    Russian news just reported, that Putin’s conversation with Mrs. May on the situation around the Skripal case was tough and face-to-face.
    “Quite clearly Putin explained to her everything that required an explanation”
    “We still do not know where are Skripals, do they exist, did something happen to them and so on. That is, here you just need to call a spade a spade”
    Dmitry Peskov, spokeperson.
    I cannot understand, what is the point? Is there something on the topic in western media?

    • Doodlebug

      “I cannot understand, what is the point? Is there something on the topic in western media?”

      Perhaps the point is that there SHOULD BE something in Western Media. President Putin has answers, whereas Theresa May has none.

      • Iain Stewart

        To add further to the fruitless speculation, is it conceivable that the British prime minister knows more than we do?

        • Doodlebug

          I don’t think there’s any doubt about that. We the public have been told ‘diddly squat’ (unless one considers the barrage of lies and propaganda to be informative in real terms).

        • SA

          For a start and for sure she knows where the Skripals are but is not telling anybody.

        • Andyoldlabour

          Iain Stewart

          She and other appointed ministers and spooks certainly know about it, which is why the public will never be given any more information.
          It may come out in fifty years time, when all responsible are pushing up daisies, assuming of course that armageddon doesn’t come first.

          • wonky

            Pushing up daisies is a nice little euphemism for sucking off greasy demons..

        • michael norton

          Mr.Skripal is a subject of our Queen, no longer Russian, has Yulia also taken the Queens shilling?

    • `

      ‘face-to-face’, what should I make of this? They both know something that they can only share in face-to-face meeting?
      Mrs. May intended to press Putin, and Putin “explained to her everything that required an explanation”
      Oh, thank you, dear Mr. Peskov, it is exactly what I’m eager to know!!! Is it all you can let out? I wonder how big is the salary you get from my state’s budget, I mean that same purse that I monthly pay taxes to??? We hire men for these state positions for them to do their job, and ‘the spokesperson’ means to kindly open your mouth and to kindly tell us something substantial.

      • Goose

        The fact the two Salisbury suspects appeared on RT TV trying to pass themselves off as ordinary Russian tourists, makes it impossible for Russia to now put forward any alternative explanation without losing face. By for example, admitting they were in fact GRU . If they were cleverly and elaborately baited here by Sergei and the intel agencies somehow(?) pre-identified and watched from the moment they arrived and a ‘framing plot’ built around their visit?

        We’ve heard and know nothing about what’s happened to the Skripals, zero news reports, which indeed is highly odd in a country that obsesses over minor details. I’d imagine the truth is hugely embarrassing to both sides, hence why Putin just wants to ‘move on’.

        • pretzelattack

          i’m not seeing putin wanting to move on as a bad thing, it was a farce on the part of british intelligence. absent any evidence, why would he want to prolong it?

          • pretzelattack

            whyever they were there, not hiding, and even if they were gru, not clear, they weren’t smearing some supersecret russian nerve poison the skripals’ doorknob, nor did they poison any ducks, or children. or homeless people.

          • Tatyana

            I wonder what does Mrs. May mean by “pressing”? To whisper in Purin’s ear “I know you’ve poisoned Skripals” ?
            Who am I in my barbaric Russia to teach the British Prime Minister how things are done in civilised countries? You’ve got evidence, so you turn to the court and get the court’s resolution, arrest warrant, I don’t know, some paper. According to this paper russian police could interrogate or detain the suspects, I’m sure there are mechanisms of mutual work on crimes.
            Otherwise, what kind of prolonging is possible?
            Does she think that the russian police could simply knock at the door of a russian citizen, shackle his hands and send to Britain?

          • Goose


            Well, we are merely speculating and there will never likely be any trial and it’d be conducted in secret if there were.

            I think the fact the Skripals have disappeared is odd, it means they can’t be asked even basic questions by a MSM journo :

            • when did return home to touch the door? (timeline problem Craig highlighted)

            • Why did they both turned their phones off ?

            • Why the first person on the scene the Army’s most senior nurse (who just happened to be in the vicinity)

          • Goose


            I’ve not followed it too closely because,…well,because, there is sweet FA anyone here can do about it. And the MSM seem wholly disinterested, they’ve got the official narrative and they are happy with it.

            I do find it bizarre though, that no one bothers to ask where the Skripals are, or how they are doing? nearly 17 months on from an incident that made world headliners and resulted in mass diplomatic expulsions.

          • Iain Stewart

            Dear Tatyana, when you wrote ” To whisper in Purin’s ear” were you deliberately referring to pig slurry? Tell me it is not true.

        • Johny Conspiranoid

          Why would the truth be highly embarrassing to Russia? Why would Putin care if the West “moved on” or not. They can move on without the West and it looks like they have.

          • Goose

            Johny Con

            ‘Why would the truth be highly embarrassing to Russia?’

            Because Russia paraded them before the Russian public on TV, as mere ordinary tourists.

            Tbh, both looked like rabbits in the headlights in that RT interview. When the UK first they were the suspects (before releasing further information) it was obvious the UK knew more about them and who they were(it led BBC news all day) think Mark Urban et al. I thought at the time Craig was pursuing a silly line of discourse by keeping open the idea they could be just innocent tourists.

      • Doodlebug


        You’re showing signs of western disbelief and frustration. Another area of compatibility?

  • Marianne Northam

    I was a member of the Labour Party – I joined because I wanted to vote for Corbyn. About 6 months ago I was contacted by the Disputes section of the Labour Party telling me that I had been suspended pending findings by the NEC. The said that posts I had shared on Facebook had been reported and sent me copies of these posts – none of them were “anti-semitic” – they wouldn’t be because I am not – however they asked me some quite extraordinary questions and wanted my assurance that I would not post any thing similar in future.
    I told them politely what I thought of them and their witch hunting nonsense and immediately cancelled my membership. I’m sure that I am not the only Labour member to have been suspended for similar reasons so, it seems, they are busy weeding out potential Corbyn supporters from the membership as well as subverting him from the inside.

    • Crispa

      I would do the same thing if treated in the same way. The Labour Party would simply not benefit from my subscription. And, despite the article on which this thread is based, it is possible to continue supporting Corbyn from outside the Party. And you can continue to post on Facebook without fear of censorship!

    • Deb O'Nair

      Perhaps it’s also a tactic to overwhelm the complaints process, to justify the institutional antisemitism narrative, i.e. when the media were reporting 800 complaints of antisemitism as if they were 800 instances of antisemitism. Which gets back to Chris Williamson and his misquoted statement regarding *accusations* of antisemitism.

    • Andyoldlabour

      Marianne Northam
      i think many people are leaving the Labour party for similar reasons to you.
      I am in a political wilderness at the moment, because most of the major parties are neo-liberal = globalism.
      I have no party to vote for.

      Being suspended by those scumbags is a badge of honour.

      • Dom

        One of the tiny number of non-neoliberal politicians in modern British history is now leading a major party. Corbyn’s enemies delight whenever they hear anti-neoliberals are abandoning Labour.

      • Goose


        Don’t you just wish Corbyn didn’t have the historic baggage his opponents deploy against him?

        Admittedly it’s the rotten PLP causing the trouble, but members must feel depressed & exhausted defending him, and for whatever reason he simply will not defend himself: his past; his views or in the case of Chris Williamson, his loyal friends.

        They apparently call Theresa May ‘Submarine May’ because she’d dive for cover when difficult issues arose at the Home Office. ‘Allotment Jezza’ seems apt for Corbyn.

        • Dom

          Corbyn has done fine in the face of all the baseless attacks and smears. He is very likely to win the next election.

        • Andyoldlabour

          Goose, why would anyone feel depressed and exhausted defending an innocent man?
          I am not bothered about Corbyn’s past, the so called “historic baggage” you talk about. Just because he walks where others fear to tread, and supports the Palestinian cause, or speaks to IRA members (history would show him to be in the right), all this somehow doesn’t make him bad, it does portray him as someone who cannot be bought.

          • Goose


            I meant in the sense members are sick of having to fight what feels like the entire PLP, the Deputy leader Tom Watson; recently Momentum’s chief Jon Lansman and all the MSM i.e., too many opponents from his own side when he should be fighting the Tories. This, when Corbyn himself won’t make it easier to simply replace these Blairite MPs. Last year Chris Williamson was battling to introduce open selection, and it was rejected at conference(due in large part to union opposition which Corbyn didn’t challenge) they accepted a lower threshold for trigger ballots instead.

            I’d agree with you on that baggage – he’s being judged against the wrong standards, as he never had any ambitions to lead nor was he fast-tracked as many politicians are these days so he wan’t going to be squeaky clean- he’s shaken hands with some murky characters and that’s ok. He involved himself in minority struggles all over the world standing up for the weak against the powerful.

      • Ingwe

        Anyoldlabour-I agree with you and am in the same position. For so many years, I voted Labour as their policies were more progressive than the Tory alternatives. But in office, they became almost as reactionary as the Tories. In fact, PFI and NHS privatisation were started by the Blair Labour government as so was the move away from any socialist policies.
        Now in opposition, we have Corbyn, McDonnell etc but they’ve embraced Trident, are fêting the City, talking about fiscal responsibility, won’t commit to reversing the NHS cuts and are also reliant on economic growth. So I no longer feel that I have to vote Labour, just because it’s less awful than the Tories. I don’t want a party that tries to make capitalism work or to merely ameliorate its worse excesses. Instead, I’ll not vote and if enough people do likewise, Labour will get their paltry 30%, the Tories will win the elections in the short term but eventually a progressive party, led by people who’s noses aren’t in the trough, will form offering a true alternative.

        • Andyoldlabour

          Ingwe, I hope you are right about a new party emerging, but only a party which rejects the Blairite rebels.

        • Dom

          You’re kidding yourself, I’m afraid. There has never been a leader whose nose is less in the trough than Corbyn or one more likely to institute a move away from Neo liberalism and neoimperialism. If you prefer continued brutal Tory rule to what is being offered by Labour’s manifesto please do not and represent yourself as part of some solution. If you really cared about the issues you believe Corbyn and McDonnell are betraying you on, join the party and hold their feet to the fire.

          • Ingwe

            Dom, I’m kidding no one including myself. If you believe that the Labour Party is capable of reform whether by holding Corbyn’s and others’ feet to the fire, it you who are being kidded. The political system is corrupt. Voting Labour into office will not be the answer and pretending otherwise is conning the electorate further. The brutal Tory rule of which you speak (and which I agree exists) won’t end just because the individual personalities change.

        • Michael McNulty

          After Corbyn was forced a second time to stand for the Labour Party leadership three years ago I said Jeremy should split from Labour and form a new party, taking most of the half-million new members with him. We’d have had three years behind us now and we’d have been clear of traitors like Watson and Hodge. We’ve wasted three years and may still be forced to break away from this Blair-tainted party in the end. Too much dilly-dally fuck-aboutery from people with passion but no balls.

          • Ingwe

            Well said Michael McNulty. We have wasted three years. It even if the Tories win again, their bankrupt policies won’t prevent or avoid the next financial crash and we must do all we can to ensure that a truly socialist party, not one that acknowledges the market economy and depends on economic growth, rises from the ashes of this pseudo-left rubbish.

      • Jeff

        Ever considered joining a true progressive party? Trade union section and everything…It’s called the SNP.

    • SA

      So Marianne what you have done exactly what they wanted, removal of support to Corbyn. It just now sounds like a witch hunt and sadly the Labour Party has got caught in this and there is no simple way out. But we can only fight from within.

    • Johny Conspiranoid

      Marianne Northam:
      You’ve done exactly what they wanted you to do. Now there’s one less vote for a Corbyn supporting candidate in your constituency. You’ve probably been targeted because of the constituency you live in.

    • Jo1

      And yet the media blames the departure of tens of thousands from the Labour Party in the last year on Corbyn’s lack of leadership or on AS within the Labour Party.

      They don’t highlight cases like yours.

    • wonky

      Why doesn’t Corbyn just leave this deeply corrupted Labour party already? He could take all these hundreds of thousands of new members with him and destroy the blimmin establishment parties once and for all.
      This is what Ron Paul should have done in 2008 and even more in 2012, this is what Bernie should have done in 2016, this is what Wagenknecht should have done in Germany the last time around..
      Why do they all choose to uphold their loyalties to these deeply illoyal party dinosaurs??

      • Ash

        I don’t think Ron Paul had that kind of clout, but certainly Bernie could have blown the establishment apart. He’s a company man though.

      • Mighty Drunken

        Because with a first past the post voting system the slight majority turns into a large majority in parliament, while a minority gets you nothing. If Corbyn created his own party it would dilute his vote and Labour’s. The main result would be a massive gain for the Conservatives.
        We had a referendum on this and voters rejected the slightly better option for the worse possible option. Of course the media backed the current option which keeps the status quo.

  • michael norton

    Eleven frontbenchers, including deputy leader Tom Fatboy Watson, are among those criticising the ruling.

    If I was Jeremy Corbyn I would dash round to the home of Fatboy, drag him out by the windpipe and thrash him in front of his neighbours,
    to show my utter contempt for him.

      • michael norton

        We do not know that Mr. Williamson has actually committed any actual offences?
        Is Kangaroo now the new name in place of Labour?

    • SA

      Watson has lost a lot of weight after a diagnosis of type two diabetes so ‘fatboy’ No longer applies.

    • Peter

      “I am bewildered by the decision” says Watson (from the BBC piece quoted above).

      Why so Tom, as the decision was taken by a panel advised by three jewish QCs – according to George Galloway, his talkshow now back up on Youtube – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eUcvy0rK3YY

      Watson has every inch the look of a wrong un, a guilty looking one at that. I’m sure there will be a few stray threads of his which if carefully pulled at he would quickly unravel – follow the money, as they say.

      With regard to Marianne Northam’s (previous comment) situation, there will be many sharp elbowed, anti-Corbyn MPs anxious about their seats, now that the reselection process is underway, looking at anyway that they can to undermine any opposition to them.

      There is a raging civil war in the Labour Party and I would recommend any member faced with such devious underhand behaviour to hang in, and if the numbers being so treated are significant, as seems likely, it is quite possible that a ‘class action’ (is that the right term?) could be taken against the Party.

      As an amusing aside, it was suggested on Galloway’s show last night, that in order to demonstrate his good health Corbyn should challenge Johnson to a cycle race, as they are both keen cyclists. Sometimes the simpler ideas are the best ideas.

  • SA


    Israel continues to provoke by attacking Syria with impunity and now killing civilians. Any outcry by our MSM? No. But this also underlines other issues. Has Putin provided Syria with dummy copies of S300? Does Putin have no influence to protect his client from the thug next door which presumably he has a working relationship with?
    Of course the reality is that neither Syria nor Russia want to provoke a full scale retaliation by the settler state and its backers but this really is getting a bit much.

    • michael norton

      Our newly deployed and very expensive F-35B warplanes may be at risk in Cyprus, they are involved in over-flying Syria.
      A missile or missiles have struck Cyprus this morning, perhaps coming from Syria.

    • Goose

      In previous incidents Israel fired from outside Syrian territory. They don’t seem to travel deep into Syrian territory with the impunity they once had. Maybe their air defence suppression systems aren’t as effective nowadays? Reported there is a lot of concern over the s-400 system for Turkey and the risk of Russian technicians gleaning further insight into Nato HW.

  • nevermind

    Thanks for the many comments and the lovely picture from Tom Gault Tatyana shared with us, depicting all that keeps us enthralled today.
    Listening to the statements of private discussions in Osaka, all very chummy and business orientated, bar some scratching of healed wounds by Mrs. May, everything seems to be just fine Trump and Kim Jong Un wandering through the DMZ of North Korea, making his/theirstory. Erdogan is in ecstasy over a promise of an S-400 surface to air missile system, which will not halt hostile military attacks from the rogue entity that stole the Gholan, much hilarity and fancy pats on the back, all agreed to meet again next year.

    Meanwhile the fear mongering, military posturing and faux indignation will carry on, we will be kept in line with fears about Brexit, lack of action on the environment, young generations comatosed by festivals, love island and much promises from the two Chunts, the 0.03% anointed candidates for PM.
    This is today’s game, keeping us under control with fear rigmarole and pratological MSM innuendo’s, a three year attack on Corbyn is now taking its toll as some Labour members are ridiculed and ousted by this witch hunt. Unless it happens to me I will carry on demanding that Labour changes the electoral system to the same system that got Corbyn elected, carry on demanding that all EU citizens who’s future is being decided by any referendum on Europe, get a say in the matter and I will continue to demand that our local services are better funded so they can deal with children’s services, can help people with mental problems and much more.

    We are being led by the nose, whilst the 1% is dancing to the tune of many living in misery, amen.

    • Sharp Ears

      You missed out Ivanka, Nevermind. She was strutting her stuff and annoying Madame Lagarde in particular.

  • Sharp Ears

    More of the same. Contest ongoing for a successor for Cable who said he was retiring in May as LD leader. The choice is between Ed Davey and Jo Swinson.

    Davey is a member of LD Friends of Israel.
    eg Liberal Democrat Parliamentarians met members of the Knesset in 2008 – ‘LDFI President, Sir Alan Beith MP together with MPs Ed Davey, Chris Huhne, Lynne Featherstone and Willie Rennie and Lib Dem Peers Lord Wallace, Lord Dholakia and Baroness Neuberger met Israeli Members of Knesset (Parliament): Yitzhak Vaknin MK – Shas, Tzipi Hotovely MK – Likud, Anastassia Michaeli MK – Yisrael Beiteinu, Majalli Whbee MK and Nachman Shai MK – Kadima.

    In 2009, he visited Gaza under the auspices of CAABU.

    Ms Swinson has no such connections with Israel or Gaza according to the LDFI website. She did have a company Equal Power Consulting Ltd (empowerment of women and reduction of the gender pay gap) but it was dissolved on 4th June 2019. She has received large donations with which to ‘run her office’.

    Davey has a 50% share in an energy consultancy, Energy Destinations Ltd to whom all his considerable earnings are paid ‘for his disabled son’.
    I did not know he had been knighted.

    Both Davey and Swinson were ministers under Cleggover in the Coalition.

    • Jo1

      I saw Swinson with Davey on the Victoria Derbyshire prog last week. The choice here is as bad as choosing between BoJo and Hunt.

      When asked how she could pursue a second EU referendum yet bitterly oppose a second referendum on Scottish Independence, Swinson said that was different. Derbyshire asked why. Swinson said it just was! Woeful.

        • Jo1

          I can’t stand Swinson, RoS, but there are conflicting views on whether the current Scottish Government “has a mandate”. It’s not “lying” to take a different view from yours, or Craig’s or mine. It’s just a different view.

          What I can tell you is that I know of people who voted SNP because of many of their domestic policies so it’s not just about independence. I’m for Scottish independence but I think it’s dangerous to start declaring the “mandate” case when it’s more complex than that. Some folk even wanted to invoke a UDI on that basis. I think that’s reckless indeed.

          Jo Swinson is doing what many politicians do. She dodges straight questions and plays games. She’s dishonest.

          I wish we could alter the tone of the debate up here and inject some calm into it because it’s the rage, even visceral hatred, on both sides that always makes sure a real debate never gets started.

          Take this thread, RoS, mostly all you’ve done is contribute more negative links about Corbyn. I’ve not seen one post from you condemning what’s going on there. If we want fair politics, clean politics, we should call out toxic stuff even if it’s not directed at the Party we would normally back. We saw what was done to Salmond. We called that out. I’d call it out no matter what Party it was happening to.

          • Cap'n Klonk

            Hear, hear, JHp1! (with regard to Republicofscotland repetitive, negative postings. They are normally in the blind-spot bin for me, but occasionally I skim one or two, to see whether there has been some sort of enlightenment, only to be roundly disabused of the notion.

          • Republicofscotland


            I can assure you there is a mandate, a majority of MSP’s voted for it.

            As for negative comments on Corbyn, I understand why Craig and those living in the UK but mainly outside Scotland want him as PM.

            However to me and many many others living in Scotland Corbyn is just a politician from a foreign parliament intent on keeping Scotland in a now defunct union.

            As for my comments on Corbyn some linked to anti-Corbyn media outlets, such as the Sun above whats the big deal? Scotland’s FM gets this kind of treatment daily by the media, and has done so since at least 2014.

          • Jo1

            I won’t say too much in response. Your own response says quite a lot about your mindset in any case and proves many of the points I made in my own post.

          • Jo1


            Mindset has everything to do with it. You see Scotland as a bubble with anything outside as foreign. You sound like one of those ghastly little Englanders. They’re equally as ghastly as little Scotlanders.

            SNP MPs have outshone many on the opposition benches as they’ve stood up against May and Brexit. Yes, they’re looking out for Scotland but they’ve also had the fate of ordinary folk in the rest of the UK in mind too. They don’t, as you do, dismiss those folk as “foreigners”. They know, as most sensible people do, that while they’re elected MPs they have a job to do.

            What you express here is your opinion, that’s all. That goes for Stuart Campbell too so I won’t use your link.

        • nevermind

          Swinson and Davey would both press the nuclear button, the most important question, apparently, to ask from a candidate that wants to lead a party. Unless you are deranged enough to annihilate half of the globe in a tit for tat MAD, you are not fit to be PM in this country, what utter Angst the establishment is now in…

          Both of them were ministers without brains, otherwise they would have had some ideas what a non binding referendum of the few ( 10 million had no vote) would do to the country. An Angst and slogan ridden bad decision the Lib Dems could have changed by resigning their wretched speed date coalition. There would have been another election and the issues would have been discussed at least. Mind, the MSM is not one for creating any unbiased debate, they slant everything.

          I agree the Swinson Davey candidatures are not far removed from the two Tory Chunts endless jostling. Why ever does their candidature drag out for three weeks, what a childish way of keeping away from negotiations they all want to ‘encourage and are eager to get in there’.

          • Jo1

            Swinson had another car crash interview with Iain Dale on LBC today. Spectacularly awful. He tied her in knots. Plus wee bits of real Scots kept sneaking through that other posh phoney accent of hers!

    • pete

      Re unfit to be PM

      The piece you cite is by Trevor Kavanarrrgh, according to his wiki page he is a few years older than Corbyn and one is forced to wonder if, maybe, he is fit enough to write for the Sun. It might be argued that it is therapeutic for him to get this stuff off his chest, I wonder what his carers think.

  • Monteverdi


    Julian Assange will spend his 48th Birthday on the 3rd July 2019 in the UK Prison HMP Belmarsh facing possible extradition to the US and an indefinite sentence simply for exposing US crimes. Will you send him Birthday greetings of support and solidarity. It doesn’t matter if it’s later than the 3rd July.

    [ PLEASE NOTE-Read the link attached carefully and please follow the instructions exactly, as the prison authorities will refuse your post unless their instructions and procedures are strictly adhered to.]

    • Goose

      Amazing the disconnect UK politicians queuing up to support Richard Ratcliffe’s protest + hunger strike in support of his wife Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, outside the Iranian embassy, yet Julian Assange’s plight is ignored by these same politicians.

      Find it odd that Richard Ratcliffe is allowed to decorate the Iranian embassy,block access to the building and intimidate Iranian diplomats. Would people be allowed to do the same at the US embassy in support of Assange, without being moved ? Somehow doubt it.

      The UK is increasingly becoming a country with very flexible laws, applied differently, depending upon who is involved.

      • Goose

        And that isn’t a commentary on the merits or demerits of Richard Ratcliffe’s campaign, everyone would do something similar, in his place, good luck to him on that. Although, he needs to be careful not to become a pawn in the propaganda against Iran with raised tensions.

        It’s more a point about how they don’t seem to be applying equal standards.

    • On the train

      Thankyou for passing on the info about sending letters to Julian Assange. I will do it today , and I will pass the information on to others who might be able and willing to write.

  • Sharp Ears

    The state broadcaster is running a repeat of its coverage of the investiture of the P of Wales 50 years ago. The ceremony and the participants resemble something from mediaeval times with a cringeworthy commentary from Richard Baker giving the minutest of details on the proceedings down to the identities of the numerous mounted guards. The royal females were dressed in extremely hideous clothes, in colours of pastel pink, turquoise, lime green and cream, almost emetic. The headgear was even worse with the Queen wearing a sort of helmet to match her coat.


    At least if this ceremony took place now, it would be massively trimmed down. Reading this, however, it would appear that not every Welsh person is in favour of having such an office.

    ‘For Welsh folk singer and former Plaid Cymru president Dafydd Iwan, it was easy to be cynical about the event, which took place in the castle built by Edward I – the English king who had killed the last Welsh Sovereign Prince of Wales in the 13th Century. “The 60s was a period of great change and amidst all the political turmoil came the investiture from nowhere,” said Mr Iwan. “We felt we had to resist that in 1969. We couldn’t forget the way the title Prince of Wales had been taken from us, as it were, and given to the heir to the throne.” ‘

    Prince of Wales dividing opinions on 50th anniversary of investiture

    • Goose

      He comes across as a huge tool in those old clips. With an opinion of himself and his intellect far above anything his academic record merits: Charles got two A-levels – a B in History and a C in French. Then went to Cambridge where he achieved a 2:2 degree in History.

      Even I managed grade A levels and I’m as thick as pigshit.

        • doug scorgie

          Don’t forget Prince Charles also became a qualified military helicopter pilot.

          • Republicofscotland

            Watching the royal spongers parade like peacocks on the Buckingham palace balcony, with chests full of medals, they’ve not earned, reminds me of a tinpot dictator such as Gaddafi strutting his stuff in front of foreign dignitaries.

        • Laguerre

          When did you take your A-Levels? In Charles’ day (1968?) it was difficult getting a grade A. Today there’s something wrong with you if you don’t.

          • Goose


            In the 1990s. Afaik they’ve lowered the grading thresholds since then.

            I agree, it was harder way back then in Charles’ day, even the old O levels were harder than GCSEs and people who boast about such things are generally assholes. Although, given Charles’ grades his admittance to Cambridge wouldn’t be on today. It’s reported Prince William decided against Oxbridge and chose St Andrews, because of the controversy it would’ve caused given his grades. It’s bizarre how David Miliband got accepted into Oxbridge with D in his physics A level, talk about cronyism.

          • Laguerre

            As far as I remember, being much the same age as Charles, his admission to Cambridge had nothing to do with his A-level results, but was gloriously described as democratic that a major royal had agreed to enter a public university, He was the first royal to do so. A special course was organised for him, where even then he got a 2:2 (which well describes him). His sister Anne did not bother with university training.

  • John2o2o

    I’m sorry Craig, but I think the Labour Party is a total waste of time. (I read George Galloway as well.) The treatment by the PLP of Chris Williamson is appalling.

    Politics is dead in the (dis)UK. It’s a complete pile of shit. Frankly. There’s more honour and integrity in a dog turd than in the average Westminster MP.

    You know, Peter Hitchens (a conservative with a small c who hates the tories as passionately as anyone) considers the disUK a lost cause and urges people to leave it. I love the English countryside, but I would gladly leave this rat hole for pastures new.

    • Goose

      As far as I can tell, CM shares your pessimism about the current state of UK political affairs.

      It’s why he and many across the UK, are passionately pro-Scottish independence. Many view reforming Westminster (HoC and HoL) as being almost like turning a supertanker around, and there is little sign the process has even begun. For instance, it’s a scandal that in the 1970s politicians were putting forward serious proposals to reform the HoL, and they’ve been in many manifestos since. Everyone accepts an unelected second chamber is democratic outrage. But here we are in 2019 – over 40 years later – still stuck with an unelected second chamber full of cronies.

      Change might happen very quickly once it does begin, and my god, there’s a lot to sort out. The real thing that’s lacking is someone with the drive to really force the pace.

      • Republicofscotland

        “Many view reforming Westminster (HoC and HoL) as being almost like turning a supertanker around”

        It will never happen, the meek will inherit the Earth first. The so called saviour party Labour has been promising to reform the HoL since before Methuselah was as boy.

        They’ve stuffed it with too many fat greedy self serving troughers, as have the Tories and Lib/Dems to ever think of reforming it.

        After Brexit English politics will lurch even further to the right, and those voters not in favour of that will either have to leave or revolt.

        • Goose

          Certain Labour party grandees are pushing for reform. I’m no particular fan of Gordon Brown, but in pushing for a constitutional convention and federalism, all under a new federal constitution, I believe he’s on the right track. Brown’s concern for wider devolution probably reveal his fears for Scottish independence, but the points he makes are still valid.

          Power is so concentrated in the South East it’s simply not healthy, nor is it an economically sensible approach with the SE often overheating – booming while the rest of the UK is in decline. The Tories tried to pre-empt these demands for regional devolution with half-baked proposals and mayors – which nobody really wanted because mayoral systems concentrate too much power in one(potentially corrupt) individual. Trust the Tories to look for such a solution. We really do need powerful regional govt as is in place in most other EU countries.

          • Republicofscotland


            You actually believe Gordon Brown? After five years of his lies cumulating in the notorious lie filled Vow, I doubt anyone in Scotland believes a word that slips from this man’s mouth.

            Of course he speak at closed shops full of doe eyed acolytes who teeter on his every lie, oops I’m meant word.

            Brown has no credibility in Scotland, a fact you’ll soon find out if the Labour party faithful put their trust in him.

          • Goose


            You actually believe Gordon Brown?

            Ordinarily I wouldn’t, but he’s been banging on about this for nearly 5 years now. Ever since his fright in the closer than expected 2014 Scottish referendum.

    • Sharp Ears

      Mixing the metaphors – a bunch of red, blue and yellow moral pygmies at the trough, with few exceptions.

    • Tom

      The only danger with that is you might end up in the same place as Hitchens. What a miserable, hypocritical git – bemoaning everything that his own newspaper promotes.

      • Borncynical

        “-bemoaning everything that his own newspaper promotes”.

        I’m not quite sure why you see this as a fault. Many of us bemoan the fact that so many mainstream journalists appear incapable or unwilling to think for themselves, and simply toe the party line without question. At least Peter Hitchens has been bold and brave enough to report on the engineering report suppressed by the OPCW and has pursued the OPCW himself for an explanation, with no success to date; ‘his paper’ hasn’t even considered it worthy of mention. He has also been vocal in stating that allegations of atrocities by the Syrian Government are not supported by evidence, has been one of few public voices questioning the status of the White Helmets, and has condemned outside interference by the US in the affairs of Venezuela.

        In my opinion Peter Hitchens should be applauded for his views and for standing up to ridicule from his professional peers. Of course may be you do not agree with his position on these matters.

  • Sharp Ears

    Resistance to Frans Timmermans as successor to Tusk as EU Commission President. Timmermans nomination was decided by the G20. It’s called democracy.

    Tusk briefs MEPs on Timmermans proposal
    Idea was drawn up at the G20 but needs to get approval of the EU leaders.

    EU leaders deadlocked on top jobs in marathon summit
    All-night talks fail to yield breakthrough after conservatives rebel against Timmermans as European Commission chief.

    • Laguerre

      Come on, SE, *at* the G20, not *by* the G20. You know better than that. It means the candidature was decided by the EU states who are also members of G20, during a side meeting at G20. It’s highly unlikely that the EU was going to allow US, China, Russia, and the rest to influence their decision. As you correctly note, the selected candidate was not approved by the actual decision-making body, the Council of Ministers.

        • pete

          Re: at or by

          It was at the G20 Summit by 7 of the 20 G20 summit EU members.
          Can we finish nit picking about this now, I am still debating with myself about whether Sarajevo is an obscure capital or not and if the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand by a Black Hand Anarchist was an unplanned event or part of a fiendish global plot by the British.

          The events that comprise history can be interpreted in a variety of ways depending on the weight you give individual elements. Historians vary, there is a delightful example of this in chapter 8 of Connie Willis’s Science Fiction fantasy: To say nothing of the Dog where Professor Peddick contrasts his interpretation of particular historical forces with his rival, Overforce.

    • nevermind

      this confusion round the trough is indicative of ego’s involved and it is time to stop appointing these top echelon representatives of industry and establishment. That’s why I believe it is a far better proposition to remain and work at the centre to change this undemocratic tussle. The UK under Corbyn should send the first ever elected Commissioner to Brussels, a person that could claim to have a far better mandate than any of the others. It would provide electoral scrutiny at the top and ensure that voters democratic will parallels that of the establishment power structures and traditional power bases.
      No deal will see a massive increase in child poverty, a continued creeping austerity, and a dire situation regards trading with countries that already have agreements with the EU, some 55 countries, adding the latest 800 million South Americans whose Governments just signed a trade agreement.

  • N_

    While the media are concentrated on the Tory shenanigans,

    BBC Radio 4 news an hour or so ago led on Hong Kong. There was some guy with a middle class accent reporting that he was looking at his screen and “I’m seeing” the police go towards the parliament building, and “I’m seeing” the demonstrators break things, and “these are extraordinary scenes”. His incompetence was truly laughable. He didn’t have the slightest clue what was going on, other than there was a punch-up in the parliament building. He seemed to like it when a British flag got unfurled, though. But we can stop laughing when we realise that nobody in “the Corporation” is going to consider he did a rubbish job at all. This was business as usual. He was no more help than any idiot saying “wow” as it watches stuff on its smartphone or its Twitter feed, and had no clue about what he actually was seeing other than it was a bit violent and something to do with resistance to the Beijing government in Hong Kong. He also tried to replay some other idiot’s “report from earlier”, who it turned out had basically said the same thing but in a less staccato fashion, but for a few minutes it seemed nobody knew how to press the right button, so those of us who didn’t press the “off” knob could listen to this rubbish.

    Got to wonder whether the availability of real news and worthwhile analysis of what’s happening in the world isn’t at a lower level than it’s been at any time in the past 50 years.

    Meanwhile the British monarchy’s men seem to be preparing for what will have the same effect as a trade blockade – to include food and medical shortages – sanctioned as it was by the knuckledragging population that voted a few years ago for “Like Duh, Brexit” for no other significant reason than they feel negatively about people whose skin tones are darker than their own and they’ve been called dirty every time they’ve got near to saying it in public. When the bottom falls out of sterling, though, what will it matter whether the “crisis fund” or whatever they’re calling it is £20bn or £40bn or £200bn? Two hundred billion times nothing is nothing.

    The sharper minded rich have already taken a lot of money out of the country or at least hedged.

    The question is where in Schengen to emigrate to.

  • Goose

    Anyone catch Jo Swinson and Ed Davey interviewed on Channel 4 news being asked if they’d press the nuclear button?

    Yes! Yes! they both responded without a moment’s hesitation.

    Ye gods! Anyone proffering such a snappy, glib response to such a serious question isn’t fit to lead anyone.

    Do these bozos, including the silly presenter, have any idea what a thermonuclear war would look like?

    The question should have been dismissed.

    • Doodlebug

      Jesus H Christ, Goose!

      I didn’t see the broadcast, but the question should not even have been put. If we can’t use the word ‘Israel’ without condemnation, what on earth permits a TV interviewer be so crass as to elicit such attitudes, where media exposure is global? ‘The Donald’ will be wondering why he’s suddenly been struck off Kim Jong Un’s birthday party guest list, when it all seemed to be going so well!

      • Goose

        The interviewer was Cathy Newman. She sometimes writes for the Telegraph and seems to have a soft spot for the Tories.

        Alex Thomson and Lindsey Hilsum are the only reason for watching Channel 4 news.

        • Borncynical

          Newman is as ignorant as journalists (and I use that term loosely) come. I am compelled to turn off Channel 4 news as soon as she appears. When the furore about ‘Assad’s atrocities’ was at its peak she and Jon Snow were all for declaring all-out war against the Syrians and Russians and anyone who happened to ‘make the mistake’ of suggesting otherwise was shouted over with venom and not allowed to voice an alternative perspective. I don’t doubt that she is anti-Maduro and anti-Assange as well. Can’t stand the woman.

          • Anthony

            C4 news is devoted to an agenda of rainbow coloured neoliberalism, agressively projected at home and abroad. Cathy is its most aggressive attack dog, attempting to shame and remove anybody who doesn’t adhere. Her lack of self-awareness often sees her stride cross the boundary into the absurd, as last week when she inquired of some Tory minister whether it was appropriate in 2019 that both leadership candidates had attended exclusive private schools. Streetfighting Cathy having herself attended …. [‘ahem’].

    • Laguerre

      The question of whether a LibDem would press the nuclear button or not is of no significance. The nuclear weapons are rented off the US, and the chances that there is no backdoor that would enable the US to prevent a launch are virtually zero. It would be their decision, not ours. They could probably launch, when we were opposed.

      • Goose

        It was the glib nature of their responses that was shocking. A full scale thermonuclear war could well be a human extinction event.

        Imagine if the presenter had posed the question : would you countenance causing the end of the world?

        • SA

          This is like schoolboys boasting a dare. I don’t think that either the presenter or the interviewees really work through the implication of what it would lead to.
          The question should be banned .

        • michael norton

          The Lib Dems seem to be for Nuclear Power, for pressing the Nuclear Button, for Immigration, for Exorbitant Tuition Fees,
          for LGBTI notions, but they are only against Brexit.
          Maybe time to remove the Dem bit in their name?

        • Deb O'Nair

          The absurdity of many politicians who claim to be concerned about the environment one minute and then stating that they would be willing to engage in the destruction of the planet the next.

      • Dave Lawton

        July 1, 2019 at 20:44
        Yes it was Gordon Brown who sold off the UK`s nuclear weapons design and development at AWRE.He sold it off quietly on Christmas Eve.He had previously sold off a large amount of the UK`s gold to Goldman Sachs at a knockdown price.

    • Ken Kenn

      The ultimate in virtue signalling.

      Not to us – the US.

      “We’re right behind you – no matter what you do”

      Imagine the response if you asked a Psychotic ordinary member of the public the same question and they answered yes?

      The media would call him or her ” a Pyscho ”

      Politicians must be different from us ordinary human beings maybe?

    • fwl

      That Colonial flag erect in Legco was to say as sarcastically as possible that even colonial Brits were not as bad as current overlords, but hardly a great idea to fly that flag nor even to invade the Legco as it will only invite the inevitable backlash and undermines the hard work of the peaceful mass protests.

      Can’t help but note that many in Hong Kong and also in many Chinese cities have shown extraordinary resilience and gutsy determination in protesting against an authoritarian regime with effective surveillance.

      Suspect that the reason the Chinese Government delayed its resistance was because it has never thought of Legco as a parliament, but merely as some sort of concessionary talking shop. If it really was a centre of power the students would never have got in.

      I heard a talking head on Bloomberg speculating as to how the US would have to do something if the riot police used unacceptable levels of force: good grief – can you imagine what would happen if UK students invaded the Commons or US students invaded Congress in a similar fashion.

      Anyway, that old flag. Who would have thought it? That is some serious loss of face there.

    • Deb O'Nair

      “Now I understand why MSM is so supportive of violent Hong Kong protesters…”

      Every weekend for months the French were on the streets of Paris and other French cities, some getting killed and many more maimed for life, but the MSM chose to steadfastly ignore it. There have been many large demonstrations on the streets of London which had been steadfastly ignored by the MSM but when there’s a geopolitical agenda at stake a minor skirmish on the other side of the planet make the headlines.

      “Can’t help but note that many in Hong Kong and also in many Chinese cities have shown extraordinary resilience and gutsy determination in protesting against an authoritarian regime with effective surveillance. ”

      The UK is hardly a beacon of civil liberties, ask the peaceful protester in Lancashire who are being surveilled by police using anti-terror laws for demonstrating against fracking. The surveillance extends to reading their private correspondence and eavesdropping on telephone calls. The +12 months custodial sentence handed to 3 protesters for sitting on a lorry was a diabolical abuse of authority by a judge with family ties to the energy industry.

      • Jack

        Deb O’Nair

        On Yellow vest’s:
        Yes it is so awful and really expose how propaganda works in the west. Same desinformation on Venezuela recently.

        So the Yellow vests have been protesting for almost 40 weeks right? Nothing to coverage, but
        when very violent protesters in Hong kong protest, THEN mainstream media is there covering it!

        • Iain Stewart

          Two million demonstrating in Hong Kong would be the equivalent of twenty million in France, so the comparison with the Gilets jaunes (who have just fizzled out in the heat) does not really support your argument.

      • jake

        “Can’t help but note that many in Hong Kong and also in many Chinese cities have shown extraordinary resilience and gutsy determination in protesting against an authoritarian regime with effective surveillance. ”

        It’s a geographically contained field experiment by the surveillance industry. When they’ve ironed out the glitches there’s a global market for this stuff.

  • David

    On your first point once the tinder is bone dry and piled high it usually burns in the end. WW1 was, in my view, overwhelmingly likely to happen. Perhaps not that day or that week, but it’s hard to see the British Empire simply handing over power to Germany without a shooting war. The world just doesn’t work that way.

    On your second point, Corbyn won’t change a darn thing. However well intentioned he is, his stated intention is to use the power of government to steal from the rich and give to the poor, and that doesn’t work. It’s never worked and it never will. Bastiat’s brilliant “The Law” illuminates the consequences for society when all men seek to steal from each other, and history provides countless examples. Not only is such behaviour just as destructive as war, the very concept of wielding coercive power to do good is fundamentally flawed. The nature of mankind guarantees that government powers are always eventually corrupted, and game theory ensures that the system inevitably tips towards a small number of rich thieves (oligarchs) who are both most willing to embrace corruption and whose incentive to sieze and abuse the government’s power for themselves grows in a self-reinforcing feedback loop. Centralized power is inherently unstable – just like a ball bearing balanced precariously on top of a convex surface.

    What does, on occasion, work is to stop the rich stealing from the poor in the first place. This is akin to flattening the convex surface on which the ball bearing is balanced. But note that Corbyn is not proposing to change any of the pillars of our society (bank of england, income tax, land ownership, intellectual property laws, limited liability and corporate personhood, our court system, vast tomes of regulation designed to provide the richest with monopoly pricing power and eliminate competition) which have institutionalized and automated the rich stealing from the poor. No, he will leave all those mechanisms in place and instead steal a small fraction of the loot back and provide a bunch of “free stuff” to poor saps who likely won’t realize until too late the price they will pay in inflation, lower wages, and lost opportunity. I suppose Corbyn might at least avoid some of the neverending wars and perhaps that is the best we can hope for.

    Of course stopping the rich stealing from the poor is a dangerous game. It usually requires a shooting war, and sadly more often than not, the new rulers are even worse than the old ones.

    • Laguerre

      “WW1 was, in my view, overwhelmingly likely to happen. Perhaps not that day or that week, but it’s hard to see the British Empire simply handing over power to Germany without a shooting war. The world just doesn’t work that way.”

      That shows the simplicism of your approach. Germany was not looking to replace the British Empire, but for recognition of its rights as a major European power, newly emerged. It took two world wars to get the position right, but now it is.

      • RandomComment

        Are you saying that, if you were Germany, and you could wave you “magic” wand at that time, you wouldn’t want to replace the British Empire?

        • Laguerre

          The Germans, being obsessed by the problems of central Europe, were little interested in their overseas empire. The French, having an Atlantic seabord in Britanny and Bordeaux, were divided between an overseas policy and a continental. Louis XIV spent most of his time on continental fights. That was why France lost in Canada. They simply didn’t give enough resources. The Brits however, from their geographical position, gave all to the overseas empire, and won.

          • Doodlebug

            “The Germans, being obsessed by the problems of central Europe, were little interested in their overseas empire”

            So they appropriated a portion of East Africa equivalent to twice the size of their own land area and funded construction of the Berlin-Baghdad railway to fill in time between their European obsessions.

          • Laguerre

            The British Empire was slightly bigger than our own small islands, I seem to remember. And since when was a contract to build a railway an indicator of much more than a contract to build a railway? Britain had many such contracts in S. America, without it being proven that Peru was about to become yet another British colony.

      • Loony

        Well, well well, oh well. So all is now right with the world is it? The 4th Reich appears all powerful in the limited areas where it holds sway.

        The British demand to be free but are hobbled at every turn by the sad equivalents of Honecker and Jarulezelski. The Italians and French are growing restless. But it is true that the yeomanry of Eastern Europe have been conscripted into serfdom to clean your toilets and sweep your streets. Naturally Southern Europeans are required to suffer and endure for the entertainment of the rich man in his chateau.

        But coming soon your dystopian visions will be interrupted by the arrival of 4 horsemen. One horseman will arrive from the west and that horseman will stop giving you money just because you are you. Another horseman will arrive from the East and that horseman will take from you all of your “high tech” jobs, a 3rd horseman will arise from within you and will be consumed by blood lust and the 4th horseman will be the remnants of the English working classes whose plaintive wails for freedom will grow so loud that you will never rest in peace.

        “They were given all the foods of vanity, and all the instant promises of immortality, but they bit the dust screaming insanity – 4 horsemen”

        • Laguerre

          “The British demand to be free but are hobbled ”

          Nobody says Britain can’t leave and starve. The EU says you are free.

          • Loony

            The British recorded the largest vote in their history for anything when they voted to leave the EU.

            The British remain ensnared in the EU. It therefore follows that someone is preventing Britain from leaving the EU.

            I note that your reference to starving is in fact a reference to your highest virtue – the great virtue of cowardice. What exactly do you need to know to understand that the ex-working classes of the UK have not signed up to the virtue of cowardice. If anyone starves it will not be politicians or eurocrats but ordinary people. The vary same ordinary people that demand to be free of the EU.

            “When the law break in how you gonna go, shot down on the pavement or waiting on death row?” – Neither choice is acceptable to those who kneel before the alter of cowardice but others will make their own election.

          • Laguerre

            Well, you personally won’t starve, will you, Loony? You’re comfortably off. That’s why you’re talking about others going out on the street in your place.

        • SA

          Quite biblical I would say Loony. You certainly have good sources of historical reference.

      • lysias

        Didn’t they hand over power to the U.S. without a shooting war? What was different about Germany?

        • David

          I tend to the view that the US and the UK are, in many ways, the same great power and that the transition of power from the UK to US was actually part of the solution to the rise of Germany. Perhaps similar in some ways (although not all of course) to the Eastern and Western Roman Empires.

          That is not to say I am right of course – just my view.

      • Doodlebug

        “Germany was… looking …for recognition of its rights as a major European power”

        What ‘rights’ might they have been?

        “It took two world wars to get the position right”

        What is ‘right’ about the current position?

        • Laguerre

          I didn’t say they were right to do so, but that’s what they wanted, and were ready to fight wars for.

      • David

        “That shows the simplicism of your approach.”
        Assuming you mean “simplism”, it is worth noting that simple is not always simplistic. My argument is simple. When a new great power merges and threatens to eclipse an existing great power, war almost always results. That has been true throughout recorded history from the time of the Peloponnesian War as reported by Thucydides.

        “Germany was not looking to replace the British Empire,”
        Three thoughts:

        1. This is a bit of a straw man. I didn’t say Germany was looking to replace the British Empire. I am merely observing that emerging great powers almost always end up at war with the existing great power. As a matter of fact I happen to believe it more likely that Britain would have forced war on Germany before Germany could grow strong enough that such a war would be unwinnable. And it is even arguable that this is what actually happened. But I certainly do not know exactly what happened, or why, nor what might have happened had what actually happened not happened, and something else had happened instead :-). My point is that history has shown that in such a political situation a war nearly always occurs. Who starts it, how it starts and exactly when it starts are merely details which do not change the outcome.

        2. How do you know what “Germany” wanted, and that it wouldn’t have changed its mind?

        3. Germany didn’t have to be looking to replace the British Empire in order for it to want to start a war. Even more modest ambitions may well have led Germany to start a war.

        “It took two world wars to get the position right, but now it is.”
        This is a bit of an odd statement. Why do you feel the current position is “right”?

    • bevin

      “..his stated intention is to use the power of government to steal from the rich and give to the poor, and that doesn’t work. It’s never worked and it never will. Bastiat’s brilliant “The Law” illuminates the consequences for society when all men seek to steal from each other, and history provides countless examples…”
      This will be welcome news for the people of India, America’s dispossessed First Nations and the descendants of England’s copyholders and peasantry.
      Or is stealing from the poor by the rich OK? It certainly seems to have worked, ask the Duke of Bedford.

      • David

        “Or is stealing from the poor by the rich OK?”
        Stealing from the poor by the rich is most definitely not OK. I am absolutely NOT a defender of the status quo.

        The thrust of my argument is that
        (a) Preventing the rich stealing from the poor in the first place, is a vastly preferable solution to that of allowing the rich to carry on stealing and trying to steal some of it back
        (b) Systems that purport to render justice through the poor stealing from the rich (e.g. socialism/communism) not only have not historically achieved their stated aims; they will never do so at any time in the future: they cannot do so. Their very design actually exacerbates the problems they claim to alleviate.
        (c) If we really want a better society, we need to re-examine our core monetary, legal, and political systems and the institutions which support them. Operating with the same core systems while redistributing a little cash from the middle class to the poor, will actually make things even worse than they are now.

  • John2o2o

    I’m not letting you get away with this one Craig: twitter:

    “Bloody hilarious BBC commentary just now as Queen drives past tiny audience mostly of tourists: “there’s no clapping and no cheering they are just being very respectful”. No, Scottish folk are just not monarchists, you lying arses.”

    – Well I am a monarchist Craig and I am just as Scottish as you are.

    “Pity we can’t mark the 20th anniversary of the reconvening of the Scottish Parliament without all this Royal crap, ducal mummery and stuckup flunkies wearing silly dress.”

    What silly dress might that be Craig?

    For someone who I have greatly respected for some time, this sort of bigoted language does you no credit at all. I don’t give a monkeys how many “likes” you get for this. Sycophancy is not genuine praise.

    I quote the head of state from December of last year:
    “…even with the most deeply held differences treating the other person with respect and as a fellow human being is always a good first step towards greater understanding…”

    Indeed, and this is why the Queen can meet with Saudi Princes and American Presidents and still remain dignified. It doesn’t mean she agrees with them! And for that matter bigoted former diplomats.

    I’ll say it again, though I am no doubt wasting my breath: the sooner Scottish nationalists (excepting the likes of myself and Mr Salmond) understand that it is Westminster and not Windsor that is their enemy, the sooner Scotland will achieve full independence.

    Trolls: spit all you like.

    • Jeff

      Get on your knees, kiss their arses and “dog bless them all”. Enjoy yourself.

      • Ken Kenn

        I think the Monarchy are a well worth the money.

        Jeremy Hunt is ” an Entrepreneur ” and although he likes privatising great institutions I’ve not heard anything
        about privatising the Monarchy just yet.

        Perhaps Boris will lease the Monarchy to Trump or even Macron as it’s the Republican nations that obsess about them more than the British?

        They could have Mrs May as a free gift too.

        A ‘ Pre-loved ?’ bonus.

        It’s just like living in Disneyland.

        • Michael McNulty

          Richard Branson was the subject of a local radio phone-in show back in the late-’80s when his star was still rising. One old girl called in and said, “We used to have people like him during the war. Today they call them entrepreneurs but back then we called ’em spivs.” I think that describes many wide boys who were around at the time who made money off Thatcher’s policies of privatisation and hawking out juicy contracts to the private sector etc. And then there’s the yuppies, burning ten-pound notes while nurses marched for better pay. Some were probably businessmen of that day but many were just sharks and parasites.

    • Hatuey

      “I am a monarchist”

      Just say that and nothing else. It’s really all we need to know.

      • Doodlebug

        I heard (or perhaps read) many years ago that the singular benefit of the Monarchy is that it denies the top job to others who would covet it.

    • Jay

      Anybody who doesn’t worship royalty like you is a bigot, sycophant or troll. Gotcha.

    • Sharp Ears

      Craig is spot on. It was a farce and extremely tedious in its length. Her Maj and the heir (the Duke of Rothesay* in another one of his iterations) even used the royal limo to take them back to Holyrood Palace which is just across the road.. They could have walked. Apparently Phil the Greek planted a tree at Holyrood so that the Scottish Parliament would be hidden from the royal view.

      The two female BBC commentators were sycophantic and I seem to remember the odious Brian Taylor popped up too.

      * ‘Duke of Rothesay (Scottish Gaelic: Diùc Baile Bhòid, Scots: Duik o Rothesay)[1] is a dynastic title of the heir apparent to the British throne, currently Prince Charles. It was a title of the heir apparent to the throne of the Kingdom of Scotland before 1707, of the Kingdom of Great Britain from 1707 to 1801, and now of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It is the title mandated for use by the heir apparent when in Scotland, in preference to the titles Duke of Cornwall (which also belongs to the eldest living son of the monarch, when and only when he is also heir apparent, by right) and Prince of Wales (traditionally granted to the heir apparent), which are used in the rest of the United Kingdom and overseas. The Duke of Rothesay also holds other Scottish titles, including those of Earl of Carrick, Baron of Renfrew, Lord of the Isles and Prince and Great Steward of Scotland. The title is named after Rothesay on the Isle of Bute, Argyll and Bute, but is not associated with any legal entity or landed property, unlike the Duchy of Cornwall.’ Wikipedia

      (Who writes that stuff? Ed)

    • Sharp Ears

      1) It’s now turned into the Royal White Heather Club, singing the Bonnie Banks. Just as the Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond have been sold off for bugger all to an abysmal theme park developer to build “Flamingoland”.
      Incredibly that is true not satire.

      2) Bloody hilarious BBC commentary just now as Queen drives past tiny audience mostly of tourists: “there’s no clapping and no cheering they are just being very respectful”.
      No, Scottish folk are just not monarchists, you lying arses.

      3) Pity we can’t mark the 20th anniversary of the reconvening of the Scottish Parliament without all this Royal crap, ducal mummery and stuckup flunkies wearing silly dress.

      Those three tweets by Craig on June 29th attracted hundreds of likes, retweets and replies.

      • Paul Barbara

        @ J July 2, 2019 at 00:26
        Bad news for nature, people, animals and vegetation in Scotland.
        They have already poisoned the air and depleted the ozone layer; contaminated the seas with plastic, mercury, radiation and God knows what else; bombarded us with harmful microwave radiation (and on the verge of massively increasing it with 5G); contaminated the land with pesticides, herbicides and GMO’s; poisoned the population with toxic vaccinations; and now planning the inevitable irrevocable poisoning of yet more essential water tables, having already set in train catastrophic Global Warming.
        When will the penny drop, that we are ruled by ghouls whose delight is creating wars, death and destruction, turning a pretty penny in the process?

        • Doodlebug

          Sadly, in light of an experience earlier today, I suspect it’s the ‘turning a pretty penny’ that governs every other category of myopic behaviour you mention.

    • Hatuey

      Sums up the SNP under Sturgeon quite perfectly… they banned fracking but are allowing fracking.

      The sad thing is she will be there in 10 years saying the same crap.


    • Jo1

      I’m fine with it. The current Scottish Government doesn’t have the authority to ban fracking since that power is reserved. Ineos’ licence was issued by UK. Where Scotland can act is by Councils using Planning regs to vote down applications involving fracking.

    • Sharp Ears

      So the original licence for fracking in 400sq kms was given by Brown to the company named ‘Reach Coal Seam Gas’. They say on their website that they have a long history of drilling and extracting oil and gas going back to the 40s.
      http://www.reachcsg.co.uk/reach-csg-operations.html Strange that the company was only established as recently as 2008

      Ratcliffe then acquired 4/5ths of the licence from them.

      Two geologists and an engineer are the directors. A front. Oil and gas from Central Scotland and Cumbria.

      Ratcliffe can acquire anything he wants. Shame about his newly acquired cycle team when Froome was seriously injured. Ratcliffe has his eyes on Man United now.

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Sharp Ears July 2, 2019 at 08:33
        Crooks love football teams, because they are great for laundering black money.

  • Paul Barbara

    NEC lobby in solidarity with Chris Williamson is now on June 9th, rather than today.

  • Dave

    Accusations of “anti-Semitism” will just become back-ground noise to the public and not affect by much the vote either way, and result in the wider public being accused of “anti-Semitism” for failing to take it ‘seriously’.

    This has been the same response to the repeated accusations of “racism” over any perceived heresy to mass-immigration, but as its a powerful lobby making the accusations, successful people are in effect being told to fall in line or get a kicking.

  • Doodlebug

    ‘Nine jobs George’ – ‘Two jags Prescott’. I detect to the potential for a Westminster-based Christmas Carol.

    • Doodlebug

      Is there some curious ‘auto-correct’ system processing comments? There seems to be an irritating tendency for my submissions to acquire unintended ‘corrections’ (I’ve been loaned a smart-phone, which, being ‘smart’, does something similar to text messages). I didn’t think my typing was that bad, but you never know. Anyway, I do not ‘detect to’. Just ‘detect’.

    • Doodlebug

      “UK politicians (MPs) at Westminster are more likely to have mental health issues than either the general public or other people in comparable professions/managerial posts”

      Hardly a surprise when psychosis or paranoia are virtual conditions of entry. A zoo is likely to house more animals than a typical residence.

      • remember kronstadt

        ‘A zoo is likely to house more animals than a typical residence.’ Depends on the number of visitors, who are also animals?

        • Doodlebug

          No it doesn’t. How many ‘also animals’ live with you? You couldn’t host as many living species if you invited your extended family to stay the week (assuming that is you have an extended family – no disrespect intended).

    • Deb O'Nair

      There was another stat released sometime ago which showed that MP’s are four times more likely than the average member of the public to be convicted of a criminal offence. Criminality and insanity within parliament explains a lot about the state of the UK today, amazingly the general population allows this useless shower to dictate how they live and how they spend ~25% of their hard earned wages

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