The Darroch Affair 1152

I am amused when I hear the resignation of Kim Darroch mooted as an attack on an apolitical civil service. Darroch’s rise to the top of the FCO was in fact a startling example of the politicisation of the civil service – there is no doubt that his enthusiastic support for the Iraq War, and for every neo-con war of aggression since, is what endeared him so strongly to the people who make the decisions on the top posts (and do not believe the fiction that ministers have no influence on them).

Kim Darroch and Tony Blair

I have annoyed quite a few people – including regular readers – for refusing to endorse any of the more baroque conspiracy theories involving Trump and Johnson conspiring to get rid of Darroch. These have the attraction of simplicity, with the evil Johnson and Trump on one side and the angelic Darroch on the other.

But many things do not easily make sense. The notion it is a plot to make Farage Ambassador to Washington is bizarre. If Johnson wishes to appoint Farage as Ambassador to Washington, after the summer break he could do it on Darroch’s retirement – which could have been if desired quietly brought forward two months with no fuss.

More to the point, the Brexit Party like UKIP is nothing without Farage. The idea that, at this crucial point, he would voluntarily lose his political leverage by going off to be a diplomat in Washington is a nonsense. And – crucially for Farage – there is just as much cash in being an MEP.

We do not know who leaked the telegrams and why. One overlooked possibility is the intention was to damage Trump himself, by releasing Darroch’s criticisms of him. As I pointed out, Darroch is an abrasive character with many disaffected people who have worked for him around, and I still think that is a likely source for the leak.

We just don’t know. But what I do know is that the idea that Darroch is an apolitical civil servant is a nonsense. I would remind you also that my objections to torture and extraordinary rendition were entirely in internal highly classified communications at the time the FCO first decided to try to move to sack me. I only leaked afterwards. So the idea that the FCO encourages honest and candid reporting is still more of the hypocritical nonsense being talked around Darroch’s resignation.

1,152 thoughts on “The Darroch Affair

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  • M.J.

    If it weren’t revenge by a disgruntled subordinate, then to my mind the most likely explanations are
    (a) A Brexiter wanted Kim Darroch out of the way, to prepare for a Brexiter ambassador. Perhaps someone lile Nigel Farage. And who wanted Farage as the UK ambassador to Washington, apart from Farage himself?
    But is it possible that the USA would engage in an intelligence operation against the UK? Surely not. That leads me to
    (b) Who would want to conduct a disinformation operation that would drive the USA and UK further apart? The answer is proverbially contained in the question – дезинформация, “dezinformatsiya”, a Russian black propaganda department!

    • Komodo

      (a)The US indulges in intelligence operations against the UK when it forwards its interests, and I sincerely hope we return the compliment. Farage is on record this week as saying that he doesn’t think he’s the man for the job, although he is admittedly good at kissing Trump’s fundament.
      (b) is at least plausible.
      (c) is my favourite. Jeremy Hunt.

      • N_

        Jeremy Hunt has a political future. What one, I don’t know. But here is a corker of a sentence from the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg, published yesterday:

        There is also, one source points out, a difference between ballots arriving at the party’s Westminster HQ and actually making it to the returns centre, where the counting will take place.

        Somebody hinting at something? 🙂

        She continues

        The final result, the mandate of whoever ends up winning, is of course of enormous political sensitivity.

        Yes, this is true. And this is a very good reason why radical leftwingers should be interested in the identity of the agency the Tory Party has hired to “scrutinise” the leadership election. They might remember Stalin’s statement that it’s not who votes for what that is most decisive; it’s who counts the votes. C’mon, RT, get on the case!

        • N_

          Who knows, for certain figures south of the river perhaps “mislaying” half of Johnson’s votes might be considered preferable to ordering a “Jo Cox” job from an available nutcase? I wouldn’t trust the judgement of anybody who thinks they know what will happen – same with Brexit – but expect surprises and shocks.

          • N_

            It is truly remarkable that the political editor at the news department of the British state broadcaster, Laura Kuenssberg, suggests that there might be centrally organised cheating in the Tory leadership election and there is so little response to what she wrote, because it wasn’t in a headline or on Twitter.

            Here’s a question for any legal eagles reading this: assuming no theft or fraud occurs, is cheating in the said leadership election necessarily an offence? Mightn’t it simply be a civil matter?

    • N_

      Nigel Farage hasn’t got the wherewithal.

      Stephen Bannon has.

      So has an anti-Brexit faction in MI6, although I have framed that very crudely and it may be more accurate to call it a faction that is redhot with anger at what the US embassy in London has been up to, as well as at that massive security risk called Boris Johnson. You just have to look at headlines in the tabloid press to realise that the leadership battle is real. It is not fake. Jeremy Hunt is not a non-entity or foil. The Daily Mirror has literally called Boris Johnson a traitor. The Daily Mail has stuck two fingers up at the Official Secrets Act. The latter isn’t a decision that was taken by mere journalists, and neither I think was the former.

      Behind all of this is the British defence review, no longer called by that name if I recall correctly, so let us call it the still apparently open question of how much the British state will spend on weapons over the next few years and its strategic orientation in a number of parts of the world including in relation to the South China Sea, the Baltic, and Iran. Gavin Williamson’s return as defence secretary will sound like a bell ringing for those who fear that Britain might be Venezuelaed – or is that Central Africaed under Emperor Bokassa? Either way, sterling isn’t a hold. If it’s a choice between guns for the army and butter for the single mothers, it’s a no-brainer what will be chosen in what is likely to be a right and far right landslide in a general election. Venezuela is a very useful comparison country here. If people are shocked by how the Brexit business has played out so far, that will be nothing compared to the shock they will get from what happens in the next year or so.

      Kremlinology or Westminster bubble-ology is one thing. The big money will be looking at how the Darroch affair affects the markets. Britain is about to trade-blockade itself, at the hands of the Tories – not just the politicians but the membership – who are well into “no matter what” mode, where “no matter what” doesn’t mean what might happen to them, to small business owning moneygrabbers and to English honky golf club tossers, but rather what “might” happen to the “great unwashed” whom they so deeply despise, whom many of them actually hate. Self-blockading with regard to continental trade puts a premium on trade with countries outside of the EU, including a) the United States, b) China, c) the Gulf, and d) Russia. People may wish to analyse and speculate on the involvement of money from all four of these areas in i) the backgrounds and current activities of both Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt, and ii) the whole sorry Brexit saga.

      I am not quite sure how the recent appearance on the British political stage of two former heads of MI6, Richard Dearlove and John Sawers, might figure in the Kim Darroch story, but I have a feeling that it does.

      • Northern

        Reckon you could summarise this for us ill informed types in a concise manner? Your posts always seem to contain a few grains of factual information buried in an avalanche of nudge insinuation nudge obscured reference wink wink. If your purpose here is to inform people, could you try to be more clear? Please note I’m not saying this as an attack on the actual content of your post or your opinions, it’s just frustrating enough trying to understand world events without introducing a whole unnecessary layer of obfuscation on our own parts.

      • Komodo

        When the Daily Mail sticks “two fingers up at the Official Secrets Act”, enquiring minds ask themselves how this might differ from Wikileaks sticking up its own digits at the OSA…but that’s a quibble.

        The main thing affecting the markets even now is Trump’s random behaviour. The EU/£ exchange rate has only gently deteriorated over the entire period of the Brexit clusterfuck to date, and what’s driving that is the uncertainty rather than the prospect of our detachment. If we’d got out in March, on a no-deal, the repercussions would I think have been rather severe, not least for Germany, and some interim measures on both sides would have had to be agreed by the banks who print our money. But by now we’d be looking at a viable future course. Which, yes would involve better relations with China, the US and the rest of the world. We already import massively from China, whose undergrads are paying our unis FAR more than the EU’s students, we’re already geopolitical parasites on the US backside, and we are happy to talk to any heathen dictator with an oil well or a goldmine in his backyard, so what, fundamentally, changes?

        • MJ

          “If we’d got out in March”

          Should really have left last summer if Cameron had honoured his pledge to invoke Article 50 the day after the vote and not resigned instead.

        • N_

          What about British visible exports? I don’t think the outlook is more positive than it was in the run-up to March. These can’t just be replaced by the expansion of money-laundering educational services sold to the Chinese market.

      • N_

        Here we go: Jeremy Hunt in the Torygraph: “It’s time to put our money where our mouth is on defence funding, starting with the Royal Navy“. He shovels the line that Iranian vessels threatened a British tanker and “the Royal Navy” (and he doesn’t mean from the UAE) came to the rescue. “We should be honest about the situation our armed forces are in. As many former defence chiefs have warned, we have been underspending for a while on ensuring our capabilities are up to 21st-century conflict”. In other words, “Hey look at the Christian year number! The first half of it is bigger now than it was 20 years ago! Guns! Guns! More guns!”

      • Doodlebug

        “Self-blockading with regard to continental trade puts a premium on trade with countries outside of the EU, including a) the United States, b) China, c) the Gulf, and d) Russia. People may wish to analyse and speculate on the involvement of money from all four of these areas in i) the backgrounds and current activities of both Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt, and ii) the whole sorry Brexit saga.”

        Oddly enough I had already so speculated, with particular regard to that turbulent outpost in the Gulf – Israel. It appears UK – Israel trade is on the ‘up and up’ with post-Brexit agreements already in place. People have been sounding off about internecine squabbles within the Labour Party being behind the wave of anti-Semitism accusations levelled at Jeremy Corbyn et al., but should Corbyn be a closet ‘remainer’, no doubt other agencies would be only too keen to fix a limpet mine or two below his political water line.

    • Laguerre

      You must be American to think Epstein is the real news. Only Americans are so obsessed.

      • Tom Welsh

        re Epstein:

        I haven’t wasted any time reading about the matter, but as far as I can see the story is that:

        – A rich man has a predilection for sex with children;
        – A rich man has political connections;
        – A rich man’s political connections (and money) insulate him, to a degree, from the law.

        In other news, it’s summer and the temperature is warm.

        • Ian

          The relevance of the Epstein case is his links to Trump and their long association.

          • PP

            No the relevance of the Epstein case is his links to the Clinton’s, the Clinton Foundation, Mueller and the so called deep state.

            The meme at the moment appears to be to try to link this with Trump as a possible distraction from where this really leads. It references child trafficking and blackmail as well as reaching into the intelligence services. If Trump was involved likely is the DS would be all over it.

            This story also references UK PM Blair as well as Prince Andrew and has huge repercussions although I doubt much of this will ever come to light.

          • N_

            This story also references UK PM Blair as well as Prince Andrew

            …and Conrad Black, recipient of a full pardon from Donald Trump a few weeks ago.

          • Northern

            July 11, 2019 at 15:56

            Yeah I think it’s fear of further publicising those links to other establishment figures that’s preventing them from making maximum hay over his (Epstein’s) links to Trump. Find it quite hard to believe how little media attention there is in the case given we’ve had nearly 3 years of Russia-gate supported by absolutely nothing. As other posters have pointed out, once you discount the more ridiculous alt-rite conspiracies it’s actually a bit of a non-story seemingly, so I could understand the lack of interest were it not for the utter desperation visible in some of the other attacks on Trump. Documented links to a convicted paedophile should be the smoking gun they’ve been searching for, should it not? This story is absolutely nowhere by comparison with a whole host of other manufactured stories in the last few years. Who is benefiting here?

          • defo

            And good old Sir Bob Maxwell, & wife.(the procurer)
            Shame he never made it to pension age

          • Godolphin

            July 12, 2019 at 20:21
            Did you consider checking anything in that statement?

      • Casual Observer

        Just imagine the ‘Obsession that will take off here in Blighty if the Epstein malarkey spreads to involve the House of Windsor ?

        My money is on the, ”He had a heart condition, who knew” spot. 🙂

    • Sharp Ears

      ‘It never happened. Whilst it was happening…..etc’ (Harold Pinter).

      ‘The internet’s unofficial Ministry of Truth has been hard at work trying to memory-hole links between former US President Bill Clinton and financier Jeffrey Epstein, who was recently arrested and charged with sex trafficking.

      Epstein’s Wikipedia bio came in for some quick whitewashing, with one editor removing multiple references to Bill Clinton flying on the billionaire’s private jet – nicknamed the Lolita Express – on Sunday morning, after the news of Epstein’s arrest broke. The fact that Clinton had flown on the jet 26 times, despite being well-sourced and not in dispute, was “not relevant to [Epstein’s] personal life,” editor ‘Joeblacko’ complained, calling it “a smear toward bill Clinton.” ‘

      ‘Reputation managers’ get to work scrubbing Clinton-Epstein connection from Wikipedia
      10th July 2019

    • Dungroanin

      There is Epstein, there is also Mueller and his pants on fire… the Internet Research Agency called him out and a judge backed their argument.

      The can of worms is exploding in slow motion.

      Even serious provocation to get the Iranians to defend themselves using our cowardly lackey armed services chiefs is failing to divert attention from their decades of shit shovelling down our throats.

      Not even any grainy footage of Iranian boats this time. No exposition of why ‘our’ oil tanker was empty and turned its Identifier off. Except maybe for some dumb grunts on board to repel ‘invaders’ Yeah our commandos are good at taking over an undefended ship – big brave boys (&girls i’m sure!) all in their frilly blouses …hut,hut,hut.

      I’ll say it again – Darroch is the sacrificial scapegoat to try and appease the Westwingers who are mighty pissed! As they may say in yankdom.

      Why does the UK partake in the continued charade? To avoid a general election my dears.

      Deedee/Scarlet/SCL .., all their masters, are heading into their bunkers! They have lost in the ME. They have lost the subcontinent – again. Hell they have just lost a Nato member, Turkey is buying the Russian weapons. They have lost their petro$ hagemony and don’t know which easy targets arse to shove a dagger up to make a lesson of this time. The SCO under Russias presidency is pushing back on all their fronts.

      It is the Last days of their Rome! Justice awaits them and their minions.

      The worms, the worms …

  • M.J.

    How many would agree that for not backing up Kim in the TV debate, Boris was a coward, and so unfit to be PM?

    • Laguerre

      That’s going to be quite a thing among the flag-waving Brexiters. They don’t understand about little complexities like Britain’s obligation to brown-nose Trump.

      • Xavi

        Tory party members demand total subjection to Washington. It is a pillar of their British patriotism. Another is the flogging off of national infrastructure and public utilities and services to foreign corporations and governments. You will wait in vain to see them protest either one.

          • Johny Conspiranoid

            Subjugation to the EU is the lesser evil compared to direct subjugation to Washington because the pace of privatisation, errosion of safety standards and workplace rights will be a bit slower.

          • SA

            We were part of the government and governance structure of the EU but we have no say in what the US orders. Part of a club as opposed to lackey.

    • Tom Welsh

      Having strong principles and sticking to them is a great way never to get political office.

      Appearing to have strong principles and stick to them can, however, be very helpful sometimes.

      “A courageous decision, Minister!”

    • Jimmeh

      Oh my goodness.

      “Boris fails to express opinion”? Isn’t that what he’s been doing since the start of the leadership contest? Isn’t that itself the epitome of cowardice?

      Didn’t Boris initially even decline to express an opinion on Brexit/Remain?

      I imagine Boris will win; I hope that will precipitate a General Election, which I really can’t see the Tories winning (despite Labour’s difficulties). Boris might even call the election himself; he would have a bojority [sic] in the HoC of just two. I can’t believe he’s really looking forward to becoming PM.

      • InterestingTimes

        Let’s look at the ‘facts’.

        – Under current parliament makeup – despite all the Boris bluster, there will still be deadlock.
        – The only way to break this is to have an election, and change the makeup of MPs in your favour.
        – The main impediment to Boris winning any contest is Nigel ( as Nigel is the Brexit party ), if you believe the polls.

        So, the strategy has to be to call a general election where the conditions are set and the contest framed so Boris can win.

        – blame the inevitable Brexit impasse on those ‘behind the scenes’ elites trying to frustrate the will of the people ( people like career civil servants… ).

        – eliminate the Brexit party problem – by bringing Nigel on board – pretty much set the scene by Boris essentially copying all the main brexit party memes. ( Nigel will understand that at a general election the Brexit party could let Labour in – not what he wants either ).

        – bear down on Corbyn on all fronts – no need to say anything here.

        – ensure that while the right is united, the left/centre is splintered – while ChangeUK has largely failed, the resurgence of the lib dems will do the job nicely

      • Goose

        I don’t like either of them.

        But let’s be honest here, Hunt only challenged Boris to keep Darroch because Hunt is desperate. If he[Hunt] thought he was going to be PM himself, he wouldn’t have demanded such a statement in support by challenging Johnson. An ambassador no senior official will talk to is about as much use as a chocolate teapot.

        • Jimmeh

          Agreed – Darroch was a busted flush once Trump declared him Persona Non Grata (although he didn’t use those words, and probably wouldn’t know what they mean, or even how to pronounce them). I hope he gets gardening leave on full pay until he retires, and loses no pension or benefits. I think a position like that normally leads to a peerage; I’m for the complete abolition of the House of Lords, so I hope he isn’t elevated.

          I have no idea how unpleasant he was as a man; and I gather he was a neocon and a warmonger, which are big black marks as far as I’m concerned. But it’s not the job of the UK Ambassador to Washington to be everyone’s bestie mate. And his politics don’t really come into it; he’s there to represent the interests of the government of the day, which AFAIK he has done well.

          It’s a huge job, very complicated, lots of staff, with lots of conflicting interests at play. Tough jobs call for tough men. I’m sorry that he got pissed on by Trump and then Bojo. And I’m pleased to hear that May is thinking of replacing him forthwith – Farage as Ambassador to the USA doesn’t bear thinking about.

          • Anny Squire

            Most sensible of comments..however unpleasant..the role is to relay advice in whatever context or outcome…mind you there was an awful upset when Callaghan appointed his son in law even though he was a competent fellow!

      • michael norton

        “I imagine Boris will win; I hope that will precipitate a General Election, which I really can’t see the Tories winning (despite Labour’s difficulties). Boris might even call the election himself”

        Yes, Boris will become the next Prime minister, he wants Cliff Edge Brexit
        and that is what you will get unless some parliamentary scam can be thought up which could sidetrack us.
        Then, Boris will call a General Election, this will be vote for Boris and get Brexit or let the LibDems turn you over and slice you up for the E.U. Elite to feast on what will be left. Utter humiliation all round if the LibDems win you can remove the Great from Great Britain.

        • Jimmeh

          “Then, Boris will call a General Election”

          You imply this will only happen in the event of a parliamentary “scam”. I think he will have to call one anyway, because he’s not a big enough man to run a minority government, which is what becoming PM will mean for him, because the DUP will immediately cancel the “confidence and supply” agreement, because Boris’s No Deal will mean a hard border and a huge trade hole for NI.

          Even if the DUP stay on-board, he will have a technical majority of just two; but many Tory MPs think he would be a disaster, and would not support his policies.In practice he would have a minority government without a General Election, and if he called a General Election he would lose. Even a Bojo/Farage coalition wouldn’t command a majority over (e.g.) Labour/Libdem (yuck, but has to be better than Bojo).

          • Tom

            I hope you’re right. But we should never underestimate the greed and self-serving behaviour of the Tories and their government partners the DUP.
            Unless Johnson can turn around the polling, which I doubt, I can see the Tories clinging on to power by whatever means it takes. An enormous amount of money and power both here and in the US depends on it.

          • Alex Westlake

            The DUP has no objection to a “hard border”. NI’s trade with the UK mainland is far bigger than its trade with the Republic

    • Jo

      What is not being revealed is who in government asked Darroch to do this correct assessment on their behalf…

      • N_

        What is not being revealed is who in government asked Darroch to do this correct assessment on their behalf…

        …or what intelligence the assessment was based on.

        Which agency provided that intelligence is obvious.

        The most important line in Darroch’s reports, going by what has been revealed, is the one that says Donald Trump might be a conscious Russian asset. That’s what “the worst” means. Everybody knows Trump is mentally ill. This is way beyond his personality problems.

        • Steve Ambartzakis

          N_ if he really said that Trump could be a conscious Russian asset then, not only is he a bad mannered pr*ck but a complete fool as well

  • Sharp Ears

    This question was asked of Dr Fox this morning in the HoC. He said he was in Washington earlier in the week. There is no show without Liam.

    ‘UK-US Trade and Investment
    Michael Fabricant (Lichfield) (Con)
    7. What recent discussions he has had with his counterpart in the US Administration on trade and investment between the UK and the US; and if he will make a statement. [911901]

    The Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade (Dr Liam Fox)
    Over the past three years, the DIT has laid the groundwork for an ambitious free trade agreement with the US once we have left the EU, including through the UK-US trade and investment working group, which met for the sixth time in London yesterday. This week, I have been in Washington to discuss the progress of these preparations with my American counterparts and make sure we are ready to grasp this golden opportunity once we have left the EU.’

  • Artificial Eye

    Perhaps if Darroch had been schooled by the likes of Sir Humphrey Appleby he of “Yes Minister” fame, his corrosive rhetoric may have been couched in more diplomatic, ironic and measured language which might not have caused such immediate insult and later discomfort. I always thought this is what the much revered British Civil Service was so good at and why such highly educated and refined men of quality and breeding (rarely women) were recruited. If Craig’s assessment of the man’s character is fair, and I have no reason to question that, then really he has been hoisted by his own petard. It would seem his mentor could have been Alastair Campbell, not someone renowned for diplomatic speak. However I’m sure he’ll received a good civil service gold plated pension and some unexpected time off in the summer to write a memoir or two,

  • Tony

    If the US wanted to, it could easily pull the plug on Britain’s nuclear weapons.
    That is one very obvious reason why the government will do their bidding.

    This is why Britain should cancel Trident replacement.

    • Wikikettle

      I can’t see why we and France are in the P5. Instead of pretending that we are both great world powers, we should sort our own houses out first. Constitutional, electoral, economic and industrial reform. New Labour and their mates, the Tories have milked the country dry. They should bloody leave and buy a place in the sun… We can rebuild this country.

      • Antonym

        Hear, hear!

        UK and France out, India and Japan in, but that would make to much sense and hurt some European egos.

  • mark golding

    I agree that Sir Henry Wotton’s most enduring legacy was his observation that “An ambassador is an honest gentleman sent to lie abroad for the good of his country.”

    Obviously a paradox delivered to normality by truth and accuracy from Craig Murray – Bravo!

    • Bob

      Boris misunderstood this quote when foreign secretary. He thought it read ‘to lie with a broad for the good of his country’ and got straight to work.

  • Goose

    Got to fear what the EHRC will find ..

    The Chairman of the EHRC David Isaac is Jewish himself. It’s reported he is a supporter of Conservative Party think-tank and pressure group Bright Blue.

    • Goose

      It’s a witch hunt in the truest sense.

      Panorama wheeled out former General Secretary Iain McNicol to attack current GS Jennie Formby for cleaning up the mess he and the rest of the Blairite mob left behind. McNicol was in post three years , Formby’s had just one year. There were backlogged cases from his time when she took over.

      • Garth Carthy

        I was, as Craig would say, ‘incandescent with rage’ over the bilge that Panorama dished out last night.
        I’ve sent a strong complaint to the BBC (fat lot of good that will do, I know) telling them they are manifestly biased.
        I asked them why they didn’t get the views of the many members who don’t support the premise that there is a lot of ‘Anti-Semitism’ in the Party and why wasn’t any attempt made to probe the allegations of Israeli Embassy interference and attempts to undermine Corbyn. I asserted that those who allege Anti-Semitism are creating their own definitions and keep moving the goal-posts.
        I also asked them why they didn’t interview members of “Jewish Voice for Labour” who, though of course Jewish, don’t support the idea that Labour is full of Anti-Semites.

        I didn’t swear but I did write: “How many times does the BBC have to be reminded that we pay you our licence fee for a service that is supposed to adhere to a Charter to always be unbiased?
        You really are disgusting – overpaid, unprincipled and corrupt like the politicians and bankers.”

        …And yet there are still those idiots who say the BBC and the Guardian are left wing. Gawd, strewth and stone the bloody crows as they say in Australia.

        • Johny Conspiranoid

          For those unfamiliar with the celebrated work of John Ware, architect of last night’s edition of Panorama , here’s a directory of Lobster’s coverage of some of the more contentious aspects of his career.

          • S

            Wow. Also wikipedia explains how over the last 20 years John Ware has caused the BBC to pay libel damages to Muslim Council of Britain and won prizes from Zionist organizations.

            In fact I am glad that people are allowed to take a strong position and to air it, and I am glad people push the limits of libel law. But it shouldn’t then be dressed up as impartial news.

      • Mary Pau!

        Speaking as someone who is not a Labour party member or supporter ( nor a Tory party member or supporter either,) and looking in from outside, the problem for Labour with accusations of anti Semitism seems fairly obvious. A significant number of left supporters eg Seamus Milne, support the Palestinian cause and with it the view that Israel is a rogue nation illegally occupying Palestinian land and mistreating the Palestinians at every opportunity.

        It used to be possible to distinguish between believing in the right of Israel to exist, in its current location, seen as a “Zionist” view and opposition to it, seen as ant Zionist with this debate being separate from prejudice against Jews generally, often expressed in many of the traditional tropes about Jews.

        But Jews world wide these days support the existence of Israel bring where it is, so to fhe the left in Labour all Jews can be seen as Zionist and open to criticism. How to express this criticism in a nuanced way which does not personally criticise Jews for being Jewish, is a step too far for more simple minded Labour supporters. And indeed criticising Israel’s existence is accepted as inevitable for Moslems in the middle East and their fellow travellers, like Corbyn with his historical support of Hamas and Hezbollah.

        Under these conditions, defining and implementing a policy to root out anti Semitism in the Labour party seems nigh on impossible, you would need to believe two impossible things before breakfast. Bit like solving the back stop in Ireland really.

        • glenn_nl

          Labour put up Ed Miliband as their leader between 2010 –> 2015, and he’s definitely of the Jewish persuasion. Kind of odd behaviour for a party that’s supposed to full of anti-Semites, wouldn’t you say?

          • Peter Close

            During the 2015 election campaign, Jonathan Arkush ( then the President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews) told British Jews not to vote Labour because Ed Miliband had expressed support for Palestinians.

        • Goose

          Far from being obsessed with Israel – Palestine , Corbyn, who is advised by Milne, has never mentioned the Palestine issue once at PMQs since he became leader in 2015 afaik.

          The only people banging on about his past support for the Palestinians are those trying to remove him. Labour under Corbyn would be critical of Israel, and would recognize Palestine – the latter probably being what Pompeo was referring to when he said ‘Once it happens, it’s too late ” in that secretly recorded interview to a Jewish audience? I.e., once it’s formal there is no way any future govt could change it.

          That’s just my guess, who knows.

          • Doodlebug

            “Labour under Corbyn would be critical of Israel, and would recognize Palestine”

            Interestingly that is exactly what EU trade rules regarding the description of product origins require Israel to do. Of course if Israel had a European trading partner that wasn’t an EU member the problem might just go away?

          • glenn_nl

            There’s supporting Israel’s foreign policy (and its racist domestic policy for that matter), and supporting Israel in the sense that one wouldn’t particularly want a disaster to befall any country. There are a couple of people who are definitely Jewish on the highly acclaimed Majority Report, and they most certainly do not fall into the former category.

            Sam Seder has said numerous times that the apartheid regime is despicable, and ought to withdraw to the 1967 boarders. Have a listen to / watch of them sometime – about the most intelligent, unbiased and independent political talk shows around these days:


          • Goose


            I don’t think it’s a very happy society. It’s politics are increasingly right-wing and extreme, resulting in tensions those clearly unjust policies create. Protests are frequent by various groups: recently Ethiopian Jews have been protesting over ill-treatment by Israeli police. The 2nd class treatment of Israeli Arabs (23% of the population) is well documented.

            It’s all a bit like South Africa under apartheid; where people were permanently angry and would openly express hatred for ‘Blacks’ when interviewed in the streets… Injustice and anger kind of permeates a country’s psychology.

          • glenn_nl

            @Goose: It’s an extremely racist and right-wing society, there are very few people who even think there’s a problem with practicing such extreme discrimination. The far right has so much of a grip on the country – and US foreign policy – it even managed to suppress a documentary which exposed how much control it has :


            (This was on RT, and I’m not sure if it has the actual documentary there. I heard interviews with the author on the Majority Report.)

            Right wing countries are not pleasant regimes to live under, I think that’s been pretty well proved by every example we have on one.

        • FranzB

          ” … so to fhe the left in Labour all Jews can be seen as Zionist and open to criticism…”

          Tony Greenstein, Moshe Machover and Jackie Walker are left wing labour supporters who are all Jewish and who have all been expelled from the Labour party. They are all anti-zionists. Presumably left wing members of Jewish Voice for Labour don’t consider themselves to be Zionist. The left in Labour does not see all Jews as Zionist. Anybody defining Norman Finkelstein or Noam Chomsky as Zionist would be wide of the mark. Is there anybody, let alone anyone to the left in Labour, who has described all Jews as Zionist, which would be itself an anti-semitic statement of course. Begs the question about who is simple minded here.

          “And indeed criticising Israel’s existence is accepted as inevitable for Moslems in the middle East ”

          Well the Wahabi state of Saudi Arabia doesn’t question Israel’s existence.

          Israel was formed in 1948 with an act of ethnic cleansing, when 750,000 Arab citizens of Palestine were driven from their homes.

          • Mary Pau!

            Of course there are some high profile Jews who are anti Zionist but I think the majority of Jews world wide support the idea of a Jewish homeland in Israel today, regardless of their personal political beliefs. Similarly I cannot envisage any circumstances in which a Jewish homeland in Israel would be supported by Seamus Milne and those who think like him in the Labour party.

            While it does not make Milne, and those like him, anti Jewish, it is inevitably going to bring him, and those like him, into conflict with the great majority of Jews. who are pro Zionist.

            Can anyone clarify for me the official Labour policy on Zionism and Israel’s right to exist?

          • Ken Kenn

            Well – the problem seems to be the right for Israel to exist.

            It does indeed exist.

            The question for all friends of Israel now that it has existed for many years is;

            How far will you go in your support of Israel’s to ‘ defend ‘ its right to exist?

            Will you excuse ( understand? ) certain military actions in order for Israel to exist in its current political state
            and in the future?

            Does going near a fence lead to military actions as a defence?

            It’s a defence against what exactly?

            Is blowing up a Palestinian with a tank shell a legitimate form of ‘ defence’ just for going near a a fence?

            Or is sniping at unarmed people going near a fence ‘ proportionate ?’

            If it all goes off in Iran will the MSM be giving us unbiased descriptions of Iran’s ‘ proportionate ‘ actions?

            Definitely not.

  • Trowbridge H Ford

    Assange better be worried that they will make him out the leaker of Darroch’s memos.

  • Wikikettle

    That picture of Blair – those cold eyes, expressionless face of a devil, still not sick of sin.

    • Sharp Ears

      And still breathing fresh air unlike many of his victims lying buried in the sand in Iraq.

    • Goose

      Evil personified.

      Compare pictures of him circa ’94-;97, then post the Iraq war.

      I don’t know how any New Labour era people today have the cheek to go on about ‘our values’ eg Lord Falconer and Tom Watson – Watson not only voted for the invasion of Iraq in 2003. But he also voted against all later inquiries into that blood-soaked chapter of history.

        • Goose

          These people pose as Christians too, I believe they are churchgoers.

          If you think about the combined number of deaths and torture cases they are either directly or indirectly responsible for, the idea any of them will end up in heaven has to be the biggest joke of all time.

          • Geoffrey

            They were very successful at helping those who killed Christians too. Some of the oldest Christian communities in the world have been driven out of the Middle East by the head choppers supported by the christian Tony Blair.

  • Barbara Ann

    Craig, please, some of your readers are doubtless, like myself, of a sensitive disposition. To assail us, without warning, with an image of the Bliar is unkind – what were you thinking?

  • AnCan

    A quick comment from a relative of the UK across the Atlantic (Canada). In the coverage on CBC’s The National (, the report included Darroch’s reflection on Trump’s ability to “… emerge from the flames battered but intact, like Schwarzenegger in the final scenes of Terminator.” “Don’t write him off.” Darroch said further. (Likely winning himself lots of appreciation over here, including from me.) Maybe it’s just wishful thinking, but his remarks sound awfully nuanced for a blowhard that just yells at people that they’re effing stupid. In Canada, when a leak like this appears, no matter how highly unlikely it seems, 9 times out of 10 the leak traces back to the Minister him or herself. I didn’t see it mentioned in the comments, and since we’re related politically, I thought I’d bring it up.

    • AnCan

      A quick add-on: CBC’s Sunday episode of The National is the key one of the week, so expect the Darroch affair to be reported on tonight. A glimpse into how that special relationship between the US and the UK is reported on in Canada lately — VP Mike Pence made a very presidential visit to Canada, to promote the new North America free trade deal, at the end of May (May 30th, I think.) Reporting emphasized how predictable Pence is, in contrast to his boss. Implicit suggestion is that powers (more powerful than the Canadian PM) may wish to replace Trump with Pence. Who might these powers be?? In the reporting on Trump’s visit to the UK in early June, the reporter mentioned how significant it was that Trump would comment on who should be the new PM in the UK, and so on. Okay, just by CBC’s reporting on The National, there is a suggestion of division between Trump’s administration and the political world of the UK (whoever that all includes specifically), and there is some coordinated push-back against Trump, that is being led publicly by the UK. (Since you’re the ones with the special relationship and all, I guess!) Take it or leave it, that’s the suggestion made by the Canadian news, as reported recently on CBC’s The National. (I came across a suggestion that Trump will be replaced by Pence by the end of summer on another Canadian news outlet.) Thought you might be interested in this trans-Atlantic gossip!

    • Goose

      I know it’d be dangerous, but I kind of wish Russia and China would say they’ll fully back Iran up militarily as Russia did for Assad.

      The US travelling circus of death needs to be halted. Smashing Iran and creating one big ‘dysfunctional’ State would simply create millions of refugees. Bombing water treatment facilities and other life sustaining Iranian infrastructure isn’t toppling the Mullahs it’s a war crime destroying an ancient people. A relatively new country destroying an ancient people as per Conquistadors and the Incan tribes in central and South America.

      And the Americans and British will be acting like mercenaries for Israel and KSA – the two countries urging all out assault. American and British leaders (brutes) throwing their own men a women into battle at the behest of others.

      • Antonym

        Better not: than nefarious Pakistan has to be supported again as launch platform, as in 2001 against Afghanistan with all additional negative side effects.
        AfPak 2001 brought the Pakistani generals Chinese nuclear tech and uranium while the CIA promised to keep mum about it, plus lots US cash and hardware. What will the price be this time?

      • Tatyana

        That’s nice!
        Perhaps you could consider not supporting USA in their war activities? Wishing for Russia to military back up Iran you in fact wish that more people are involved into war.

        • Goose

          Hopefully it’d prevent war in the region as it’d raise the ante.

          In the same way Nato, at least initially, was a force for stability between east and west.

          I remember Iran and India having some sort of mutual defence pact way back, wonder what happened to that?

        • Ingwe

          Absolutely, Tatyana (@08:01). There is a tendency here in the the UK to ‘discount’ foreign lives!

  • Hieroglyph

    I am observing that The Darroch Affair has become a sort of litmus test for aspiring leaders. BoJo has many flaws, but he was entirely correct to throw Darroch under the bus. His position was untenable. Of course, this ‘reveals’ that BoJo isn’t sufficiently anti-Trump, has not imbibed quite enough TDS juice, and is thus to treated as suspicious, and possibly a Dictator. Boris has not passed the test. This is not to argue that the leak was specifically designed this way – but who knows these days? – just that it’s being used in such a manner, after the fact.

    The Guardian disgusts me, every day. It’s an unpleasant mixture of security services propaganda, and weird 3rd wave feminism. And true enough, they are bashing Boris on precisely this score. Hunt urges envoys to speak ‘truth to power’. I should like Craig’s take on this if he has the time. This seems like terrible advice for a diplomat, especially one with TDS.

    • Goose


      Re: The guardian. Infuriating isn’t it. Kath Viner is the worst thing that ever happened.

      They could have been at the vanguard; shaping current anti-establishment feeling into real democratic change. But instead they’ve jumped firmly into the establishment camp: constant attacks on Labour and their supporters ; Russophobic scaremongering; Assange and Snowden betrayal having abandoned both; and a voice for every angry feminist and Corbyn basher out there.

      • Laguerre

        “Re: The guardian. Infuriating isn’t it. Kath Viner is the worst thing that ever happened.”

        She’s cut the losses to nothing, broken even. They announced it the other day. That’s an achievement, I think. Better than having to sell it off to the next hard right billionaire, or close down to a wreck, like the Indie. You don’t appreciate what you’ve got, Goose.

        • J

          Astonishingly naive and intellectually contortionist definition of success. Congratulations.

          • Laguerre

            On the lines of – you don’t appreciate what you’ve got till it’s gone. I never understand the bitterness and venom commenters reserve for the Guardian, because it’s not ideologically pure. Well, it’s a lot better than any other of the MSM, in practice. You can palpably feel the hatred of the flood of commenters from the Mail and Express come to combat the vile Lefties, and declare the glorious Brexit. They evidently do feel it’s a left-wing danger, and think differently from Goose.

          • Brian c

            That Express readers deem it too liberal hardly disproves any of the facts Goose points out. As for interpreting the pointing out of such facts as a demand for “ideological purity”, I think somebody has been listening to too many Obama or Nancy Pelosi speeches.

          • RandomComment

            We’d appreciate it when it’s gone. It’s fake news. We would celebrate. Perhaps the Graun of Old, which exhibited some journalistic integrity at times, was a beacon to some (and me oft-times); but now it’s like CNN. Unless – Laguerre – you also watch that avidly, which explains things somewhat.

            It’s not that the Left is under-represented in media these days. There are some mad fools who think it isn’t. But is it the faux-left, as Craig might say?

        • pretzelattack

          well if the guardian announced it, it has to be true. you know, like manafort visiting assange multiple times in the ecuadoran embassy. i’m assuming you weren’t being snarky, so my apology if my assumption is wrong.

  • Paul Barbara

    That picture says it all. Darroch is a Diplomat? Looks more like a Cray brothers gang member, and I know one who (if still alive) would put him to shame re integrity.

  • N_

    Recalling that British ambassador to Israel Matthew Gould attended the opening of the Hasbarah centre in Leeds (imagine if that was a state propaganda centre for Russia or Iran, and remember that Gould was supposed to be the British ambassador to Israel, not the Israeli ambassador to Britain), you have to wonder what depth of brown tonguiness the next British ambassador to the US might stoop to. Who would want the job? There’s an amusing side to this.

  • Hatuey

    The Darroch affair has played out entirely as expected and spurred a predictable discussion about UK-US relations, with the usual emphasis on how special we all are, how we ought to be the closest of allies, invented democracy and the wheel, and beat the nazis together. To suggest this is apolitical is quite a nonsense.
    Britain is about to walk off a cliff and is hoping the US will catch it or at least pledge to help out with the funeral costs. Europeans are watching this closely and wondering if it’s all a bluff. Boris is trying to convince them that we really are stupid enough to jump and to be fair that’s a difficult negotiating position.
    Meanwhile, back in the jungle, the BBC is doing its best to convince us all that any objection to the slaughter of Palestinians is tantamount to antisemitism. Actually, it’s now antisemitic to point out that’s what the BBC is up to.
    On the subject of slaughtering Palestinians, anything more than a polite smile is officially antisemitic 😉

    • Iain Stewart

      “Europeans are watching this closely and wondering if it’s all a bluff.”
      Not quite. Europeans (on the continent at least) have really lost all interest, having run out of patience long ago. As for Boris Johnson’s credibility, that concept was never even a working hypothesis, so there is no wondering going on, apart from the sort of grim fascination of watching a slow motion train crash, wondering just how bad Brexit is going to be.

      • glenn_nl

        Europeans (on the continent at least) have really lost all interest, having run out of patience long ago.

        This is my observation too. They were rather shocked at first, then amazed that the whole thing was going to be steamrollered through, notwithstanding the fragility of the margin the leave, the blatant lies from the Leave campaign even from top politicians, and the damage that would inevitably result.

        This turned to something of annoyance, and now frank irritation that we’re still banging on and giving them problems, and all they want – on the whole – is to be shot of us, so they can get on with life.

  • squirrel

    I think Johny Conspiranoid may be right. Bill Clinton 26 flights on Epstein’s jet… presumably to his private island?
    Sadly I think there is a cabal running things and they are bonded over activities so atrocious that they have each other’s absolute loyalty.

        • RandomComment

          “P(a)edo Palace”? Some huge names connected to this, which is why the MSM is desperate to downplay certain links and uptick others (eg Trump – you’re being brainwashed btw if you think that one has traction).

  • Laguerre

    They do talk some guff on Radio 4, hard to credit the idiocy. I mention it as subject close to the blog-owner’s heart. In two bulletins this morning, 7am and 8am, we had a story about how the corals on the Chagos Islands were dying from climate change, especially two heat waves in 2015 and 2017, including interview with an academic environmental specialist, who said that the Chagos Islands were very isolated and far from human activity, so it had to be climatic. I did a double take. Are there two Chagos Island atolls? Wiki says no. Apparently we are supposed to think there’s no environmental effect from one of the most massive US airbases on Diego Garcia. Leaking toxicity from the nuclear weapons stored there? Certainly poisonous detritus from the hormonally-pushed beef the x thousand staff get flown in – they don’t eat anything local, only US production. That alone would kill off the corals. But no the Beeb read an academic study, and it has to be climate change. The expert, although she didn’t say it, is of course right that the Chagos Islands are far from human activity (apart from the airbase), as Britain expelled the native population, as we’ve heard many times on this blog.

    • nevermind

      Thats why we here chew over the same guff, being ahead of the curve is not required, even when it sticks us in the eye,
      The Darroch leak was designed to cover up whats being prepared in the Gulf, once the media got its teeth into it, it smothered all other news, Epstein and his wide friend circle, from Royals to railway/space travel tycoons.
      Darroch is the blanket that smothers all.

    • Ian

      You’re really pushing it there Laguerre, with some wildly speculative assumptions. i would trust the scientists, who have actually done some research, especially as it fits with the wider patterns of coral reef loss.

      • Laguerre

        Yes, I’ve done some research too. And if you fail to take account of obvious factors, like human pollution, then you get your conclusions wrong. It’s that simple.

        • glenn_nl

          Indeed. What do these pointy-headed “scientists” who “know stuff” and “do research” have to say of any value, eh? They’re all stupid and probably corrupt. I’d trust someone dropping a comment on someone else’s blog under a pseudoname any day. After all, they did say they’d done some research too!

          • Laguerre

            Oh really? What evidence do you have that I’m not one of those “pointy-headed scientists”? There are lots of them around writing comments on blogs in their spare time, and writing simply for the evidently non-scientifically-minded people like yourself.

          • glenn_nl

            Bit of a stupid point that, with all due respect.

            If you really were a scientist, you wouldn’t assume another (without a shred of evidence) had “fail[ed] to take account of obvious factors”. You would probably also notice that coral reefs _worldwide_ are dying, not just in one place where pollution may also be a factor.

            Then there’s the bleaching from the heat waves in 2015 and 2017, which you quoted but then dismissed. Did the pollution you allege coincide with this? Can you control for these heat waves?

            Do a search on “coral reefs dying”. Is this all down to newly introduced pollution, do you think, or is the problem a bit more widespread?

            No. There’s just one point you had to make, so you ignored everything which wasn’t convenient for that point, and dismissed anyone not making just that point. That tends to make me think you’re less than scientific in your approach.

          • Laguerre

            Well, you wouldn’t have got a light reply, if you had not made an equally light, and unthought-out, accusation.

            The problem with climate change evidence is that it is commonly very slight, if you can prove it (apart from glaciers and arctic ice melting, which I will come back to). Other factors, such as pollution, are much more evident. I haven’t worked on climate change for many years, but to take an example, there was a work called the “Mediterranean Valleys” by a UCL geographer, C Vita-Finzi, in which he noted a change in those valleys with large erosion deposits in Late Antiquity. He hypothesised a climate change at that time. Well it was a long time ago, and things have moved on. Today, anybody with any sense would realise that the erosion was more likely due to excessive land-clearing for agriculture in fragile environments.

            The same is true here. There may be evidence of climate change, but it is hidden under the massive evidence of local pollution from the US airbase. How can you distinguish the one from the other? It was a badly chosen site.

            Actually, I’m generally in favour of the idea of AGW (Anthropic Global Warming), but it’s difficult to distinguish the effects from those of the non-anthropic global cooling of the Little Ice Age in the 17th century, and the emergence from it (well witnessed in drawings of the Alpine glaciers at that time).

            I believed, then and now, that the real problem is human pollution of the planet (plastic bags in the bellies of whales, etc.), the cause of AGW. You can do something about that, you can’t do much about its effects on global temperatures.

          • James Charles

            “For climate change, there are many scientific organizations that study the climate. These alphabet soup of organizations include NASA, NOAA, JMA, WMO, NSIDC, IPCC, UK Met Office, and others. Click on the names for links to their climate-related sites. There are also climate research organizations associated with universities. These are all legitimate scientific sources.

            If you have to dismiss all of these scientific organizations to reach your opinion, then you are by definition denying the science. If you have to believe that all of these organizations, and all of the climate scientists around the world, and all of the hundred thousand published research papers, and physics, are all somehow part of a global, multigenerational conspiracy to defraud the people, then you are, again, a denier by definition. 

            So if you deny all the above scientific organizations there are a lot of un-scientific web sites out there that pretend to be science. Many of these are run by lobbyists (e.g.., Climate Depot, run by a libertarian political lobbyist, CFACT), or supported by lobbyists (e.g., JoannaNova, WUWT, both of whom have received funding and otherwise substantial support by lobbying organizations like the Heartland Institute), or are actually paid by lobbyists to write Op-Eds and other blog posts that intentionally misrepresent the science.”

        • pretzelattack

          you did some research? what, 30 seconds worth in the internet? if only scientists were aware of pollution, eh?

          • pretzelattack

            oh dear, the cursory internet research has revealed to you that the evidence of agw is “slight”. this is why anybody with sense knows you aren’t one of those scientists.

    • Sharp Ears

      How about this for chutzpah? I have just been watching Dr Catherine Head from the Zoological Society speaking on Sky News about coral death in the Chagos Islands and as Laguerre says, the blame was laid on two heatwaves in 2015 and 2016.

      I thought I would look at reports of the expedition which was funded by the Bertarelli Foundation incidentally, to see if there was any mention of the effect of the US base there on the environment.

      I found this. ‘This relatively rapid recovery suggests that the reef is highly resilient and the lack of disturbance it has from humans – a result of the UK’s controversial removal of local people to make way for a US military base – increases the probability the reefs will recover again over time. But as these kinds of heatwaves become more frequent, the ability to recover will become “increasingly compromised”.

      So never mind the ‘controversial’ expulsion of the people for the creation of the US base. It’s beneficial!

      Look at the photo on here to see the number of fuel tanks. Any leakages? Any spillages? What else ends up in the sea from the emissions?

    • Borncynical


      This is similar to media reports on increased wildfires and floods being due to climate change, overlooking the multitude of those fires subsequently found to have been started deliberately or by human carelessness, and flooding caused by building developments on higher ground or detrimental changes to farming practices in the surrounding areas. For some paradoxical reason many people who are up in arms about the need to act against climate change, ignore many of the possibly more significant and immediate causes of the perceived impact which could be dealt with relatively simply and quickly.

      I previously lived in a rural community in the southwest of England. About five years ago, a cottage was the victim of flash floods in the area, just after a family had moved into it, and all the locals were saying that it had never flooded before in, however many, generations and it must be symptomatic of climate change. A surveyor came for insurance purposes. His conclusion? Quite simple really. The flooding was caused by the previous owners recently overlaying a grassy area with patio paving slabs between the back of the house and the bottom of the adjoining sloping garden to make the property more appealing to house-buyers. That’s just an example demonstrating the potential impact of housing developments on higher ground miles away from inhabited areas on flood plains, and the impact of the (popular) practice of paving over gardens, front and back, often to accommodate multi-vehicle households..

      With regard to pollution in the Chagos Island atoll the following links refer to evidence acknowledged by the UK and US Governments that the US presence their has almost certainly had a negative impact on the coral reef system.

  • Conall Boyle

    As a Daily Mail reader (!!!!!) — yes, honestly, but it’s the wife’s — I was astonished to read a verbatim and respectful quote from Craig, including the “fucking stupid” comment.

    Of course it was lifted straight from this blog without any credit being given, but it’s nice to know that Daily Mail journalists read Craig, and as a result surely must know of the lies they are forced to peddle e.g. on Salisbury and the Skripals.

    • Ian

      It might be nice to know, but it illustrates how attacking Darroch as a person plays into the narrative and strategy of the right. Interesting piece of gossip, but fuel to the Mail’s obsessional Johnson/Bannon agenda.

      • Geoffrey

        Presumably you are Mail reader too, Neil…and why not ? The only paper that opposed the Iraq invasion by the loathsome Christian war monger Tony Blair.

        • Sharp Ears

          I am afraid to say that you are totally wrong Geoffrey about the Daily Mail opposing the Iraq war in 2003.

          ‘The mismatch between the views of the people and their papers could not be more stark, as a review of the national dailies shows. There are six titles supporting war – Telegraph, Times, Mail, Sun, Express and Star – which have a combined circulation on the latest count of 9.4m. Three papers oppose war – Guardian, Independent and Mirror – with a total sale of 2.7m. The pro-war majority of the ten Sunday nationals is roughly the same – 10.3m to 3m – and boosted by the Observer’s surprisingly belligerent stance. It was still pushing yesterday for a second UN resolution.’

          Shame on them.

          Peter Hitchens who wrote for the Mail on Sunday did oppose the war.

          • Geoffrey

            I am afraid Sharp ears your memory or your source is incorrect. The Mail was anti war as was The Independent and The Mirror under Piers Morgan until he was sacked. The Guardian was pro war. You appear to have fallen for sn Orwellian rewriting of history

          • Geoffrey

            I see what you have done Sharp Ears. You have got your Iraq invasions mixed up. Your Roy Greenslade article refers to the 1991 invasion.
            You obviously have not newspapers for many years.

  • J

    Early signs Tom Watson is finished in the Labour party. Meanwhile former and current BBC employees are in revollt over the disgrace of Panorama, perhaps enough to go public with what they know. On both counts, better almost too late than never I suppose.

    • giyane

      Judging by the impunity with which the BBC is delivering Pompeo’s ” gauntlet ” for Jeremy Cornyn, any journalist challenging the ZBC fiction about AS would be blacklisted across the spectrum.

      That could be a good thing because of enough jobless journalists blow the whistle on Auntie’s antics, Auntie might have to stop being such a stripper , along with Boris , pandering to U.S. needs.

      • Tom

        The Guardian seems to be involved too. They have been spouting frighteningly similar headlines to the Mail this week in what is obviously a pre-prepared campaign based around the Panorama programme and timed to coincide with the Tory interregnum. It is also noticeable that the Guardian is lamping down on readers’ comments even more than usual because it knows it is betraying its readers.
        I’d urge everyone NOT to click on these “anti-semitism” stories, which are simply propaganda they have been paid to peddle and which readers are not allowed to meaningfully comment on.

        • Jo1

          The Guardian is in it up to its neck from its editorial people and across its sorry collection of columnists.

      • Jo1

        Let’s remember the gauntlet came from Labour’s own Fifth Column who directly involved the BBC every step of the way. Watson is their leader. Without that Fifth Column kicking it all off nearly four years ago it would never have have sunk to the vile depths we see today.

        • Ken Kenn

          I think that this had to be sorted out by July the 8th.

          Some have said they will retire but I’ve not heard anything in the MSM about a ‘ Corbyn like Stalinist Purge ‘ yet so it looks like most are still in place.

          Watson in common with Johnson and Farage are in the lazy camp.

          Apparentlly Watson is usually good at starting something but terrible at finishing it.

          He couldn’t lead a dog.

          Johnson’s going to be found out – and he knows it.

          Bluffers always get their bluffs called.

          Farage would love to have job with Trump and is too lazy to become involved in running a national party.

          He prefers the easy money of the EU but Johnson might ruin his plans by calling a GE.

          The common theme is lazy.

    • Dungroanin

      I trrust he is heading to AI clinic for an emergency elective procedure…

      ‘Earlier this week, Labour’s ruling national executive committee said pregnant MPs would only be subject to a trigger ballot process one year after their return from maternity leave and would be automatically reselected if a snap election occurred within a year.’

      As if they may avoid jail or become incapable of making decisions by being a little bit expectant?

      Surely EVERY MP should automatically have to be put up for reselection for EVERY election they stand in?

      • remember kronstadt

        are you suggesting Blaire’s babes get knocked up to keep their seats?

        • Dungroanin

          It seems the only way to preserve neolib con artistes survival into the future human race!

      • Goose

        A determined Corbyn should have, and could have, forced the issue. Even against idiotic (and suspect) union opposition.

        If he only achieves one thing as leader, it should be introducing open selection or mandatory reselection.

        • remember kronstadt

          I think he’d be happy with that…it’s a start to move in the right(left) direction.

          • Goose

            It should be a no-brainer.

            So much of the authoritarian right-wing, control freakery New Labour agenda, involved first seizing control of all levels of the party: Rewriting the party’s constitution; taking the NEC, promoting New Labour supporting union candidates; influencing CLPs and most obviously candidate selection for the PLP. Some of the very things Corbynistas are accused of doing now – the only difference being – the membership have done it democratically, whereas the Blairites had to impose. arm-twist, retire and parachute in. Alas, the membership haven’t been thorough to date, the party’s re-democratisation hangs by a thread.

            If the GE candidate selection process becomes democratic, I see no way the right-wing ‘fake left’ will ever be able to take such control again. And eventually, the party will once again become much more representative.

    • Ingwe

      J at 09:52. Where do you get the stuff about Tom Watson being finished in the Labour Party and I’d also like some links on the disgruntled BBC employees. Or are both, just wishful thinking?

    • Jo1

      Watson should have been finished a good while back. He’s broken every rule in the book…. threatened to set up an alternative PLP, a Complaints Process to run parallel with the Party’s official process with him as judge and jury, constantly undermined the leadership and worse. Why he’s not been challenged as DL is difficult to understand. He’s a disgrace.

    • Doodlebug

      “former and current BBC employees are in revollt over the disgrace of Panorama”

      Bloody good job too. I’m not a party member of any sort but was disgusted by the programme.

  • David

    I agree Craig that “the FCO encourages honest and candid reporting” is inaccurate.

    If you read the media, carefully & widely, it is still possible to find some honest and accurate news…. I found this Darroch unrelated bunch whilst getting ready for the beach, good reading

    this weeks’ new report details ‘UK involvement in rendition to torture’ does highlight hard fought facts from Reprieve et al, concerning UK complicity in torture, rendition, Diego Garcia etc (not much covered in MSM)

    other ‘unrelated’ news? , sadly an academic is “ill” and will not be appearing next week at the Cambridge security event organised by Richard Dearlove, former chief of the Secret Intelligence Service, MI6

    And pictures have just been added to this website of an sexual provocateur (not Epstein) , SDS agent from one of our KGB’s The undercover officer who used the cover name “Rob Harrison” between 2004 and 2007 is shown whilst partying

    To date, it has been revealed that more than 100 British undercover police spied on more than 1,000 political groups between 1968 and 2011 ….The Special Demonstration Squad which “Harrison” belonged to was a unit of Special Branch – the part of the Metropolitan Police supposedly dedicated to tackling political violence.
    But in reality most of the groups targeted were nonviolent and left-wing groups like London Greenpeace, trade unions and the justice campaign for Stephen Lawrence

    good to read widely, even the Mail on occasions

  • RandomComment

    I suspect someone’s going to squeal (and not just those gals – allegedly – on the island)

    • Goose

      House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s daughter tweeted that some [of our] favorite figures may be implicated in the sex trafficking case alleged against billionaire Jeffrey Epstein.

      Oh dear.

      For those following this in Europe, when are there likely to be major developments, if ever?

  • Peter

    The MSM’s all out attempt to blame Darroch’s resignation on Johnson is just one more unequivocal example of how utterly in hock to the Establishment they are now. Darroch’s days were numbered as soon as the leaks hit the internet. To suggest he could have carried on as the UK’s number one diplomat to America after that is just ridiculous, he was properly torpedoed by the leaker.

    Love him or loath him, Tory or not, you do sometimes have to have a little, if grudging, admiration for Andrew Neil. As a political interviewer he is clearly head and shoulders above anyone else in the broadcast media, as was demonstrated during his interviews with Johnson and Hunt this evening.

    His dissection and demolition of Hunt, and his demonstration of the emptiness of Hunt’s position was easily, for me at least, the TV highlight of the week. Hunt was left flailing, his head shaking, and struggling to keep air in his chest and his eyes in their sockets, in a babbling mass of self-contradiction.

    The Establishment must be in despair that this is the best they can find to put up for the top job.

    Neil was less effective, I thought, with Johnson as he stuck to the, now tired, MSM and Establishment attack lines on Darroch, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe etc, but did strike the funniest blow of the evening when, in relation to Gatt 24, he asked Jonson if he knew what paragraph c was, and Johnson had to flatly reply – no!

    After three years of May we are now facing, however long, a Johnson premiership.

    God save this country.

      • Shatnersrug

        Andrew Neil is a Bannon cohort a Linton Crosby cohort, Johnson’s it a “..but make it look convincing “ easy ride which is exactly what you’d expect from Neil.

        Johnson’s position is every bit as vacuous as hunt’s he is less adept to interview and he has quite literally done fuck all during all the time he has been in government – a sixth former could have taken Johnson down without lifting their head up from their phone. The fact is neither of them have anything to offer, just as the Lib Dem leadership and labour right have nothing to offer. Quite simply the establishment is so far removed from the public now that it simply does not see an interest in conceding ground to the demos, so fake arguments strawmen and nothing policies are booted about a supposed distraction. The whole thing is teetering on the brink of collapse, but I fear what comes next will not be pretty and an awful lot worse.

        This is why I support the Corbyn movement despite the awfulness of the Labour Party hierarchy including the Israel shill lansman. Not because I think it will succeed, not because labour and ‘my team’ but because there is *no* other hope.

        I felt this long before Corbyn – after the snowden revelations I thought, “that’s it We’re fucked” the state is even more powerful and paranoid than I thought.

        So first Ed Milliband bumbling leadership showed just a glimmer of light, then Corbyn a bigger one. Then this whole manufactured crisis proved to me that we’ve got the fuckers rattled. Make no mistake, the chances of beating them are slim, but watching the establishment including the awful journalists and TV presenters run around like headless chickens trying every useless smear in the book that only leaves them looking more idiotic is worth it. It’s worth upsetting these Bellends. It’s the process not the end result

        • Peter

          @ Jake.

          No, that’s not what I’m saying. I don’t know if Neil (intentionally) gave Johnson an easy ride, maybe he did, personally I doubt it. All I’m saying saying is that his attack lines just followed the usual hackneyed Establishment/MSM lines and were therefore less effective than the forensic evisceration of Hunt.

          @ Shatnersrug.

          I’m not sure what you mean by Neil being a Bannon and Crosby cohort. Are you saying that he is a close confidante and colleague of their’s and a collaborator with them? That he’s therefore, effectively, in ‘cahoots’ with them and like them, a Johnson supporter, hence the ‘easier interview? If so, you maybe right, I don’t know.

          I agree with most of the rest of what you say but remain more optimistic that, as in 2017, once we’re in an election period and the impartiality rules on broadcast media are both more stringent and more stringently monitored and scrutinised, that Corbyn and Labour’s case will get more air-time and ‘fairer’ treatment and will win through.

          • Shatnersrug

            Yes I do believe Neil is a supporter of Johnson, as I say, his political career has been an absolute joke, from bridge overspending to making an arse of himself, he has no discernible talent in anything other than self promotion and even then I doubt in times gone past he’s have survived even David Frost’s establishment techniques. The idea that such a pillock could come this far after arrogantly predicting he would is ludicrous and doesn’t reflect well on British collective intelligence at all.

            It was late last night and my spellcheck changed a lot of words and I didn’t proof read sorry.

  • lysias

    It has been my understanding that we’re only supposed to stay on topic on the first page of a thread. This is the second page.

    By the way, the Darroch affair involves Anglo-American relations. Prince Andrew and who knows who else (Blair?) Is involved in the Epstein scandal. As is Robert Maxwell’s daughter Ghislaine.

  • David

    100 years old, bunch of hi-tech spies, military flypass, surely they could not in any way be involved tangentially in Darroch?

    15 years old, unmentionables,

    several years ago on reddit (caution: r is a bit raw, essential reading but raw & unfiltered)

    back-off, Epstein is intelligence according to Herald Tribune

    and we are all Assange, apparently, at least according to BTL comments who also ask about prevailing ‘D'(aSM) notices on the wider Darroch stories

    what could possibly link Darroch and ‘D’-notices and the playful cheery Safari-clubs of spook-land?

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