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.

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1,152 thoughts on “The Darroch Affair

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  • Willie

    Reading all the various comments it is difficult not to think that what Britain needs a good going war to show what a mighty power it is.

    As a projection of our world superiority we celebrate and cheer the loss of the Belgrano all those years ago, whilst applauding the RAF’s more recent humanitarian bombing in the Middle East. But we haven’t had a good going ground war in recent years. So, time maybe for an Afghanistan war times a factor of maybe ten. Iran could be good for that and with substantial troop losses we could hold our heads high and show to the world that we’ve got world class bottle.

    The Second World War is a cause for much celebration in establishment eyes. The reality that millions perished whilst the UK was irreparably damaged financially, is neither here nor there. WW2 was a victory, a cause for celebration, and we are still being told that. Britain won the war.

    And so it will be again. We hate the Europeans, despise the Irish, have a desire to show lethal power around the world and are currently noising up the Iranians – and in the Iranian adventure we could get into a real good going conflict requiring troops on the ground.

    And that ladies and gentlemen would be the mark of who we are. Prepared to commit to a war that would make the recent Afghanistan conflict look like a playground fight would set us up just grand and restore Britannic pride.

    Brexit, England, Restoration of Empire, Hunt the Foreigners, Show Lethal Force. It’s a death cult and death it will bring. But will it bring us Glory.

    Maybe, because we do seem to need a war every so often to keep us sane.

    • N_

      It is a widespread view in the British army that the war that Whitey has fought against Muslim people in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria will soon break out in Bradford and elsewhere in Britain. Have a look around at, the army’s main socialising website, to confirm. Not all army personnel think this way, but a substantial proportion do and the opinion is accepted as legitimate. I am not joking.

      Is Farage going to join the Trump wagon and start shouting “Go back where you came from” at non-white politicians and others? The Brexit upsurge was a release…but no, it was a kind of semi-release… It is still not understood in most leftwing circles why so many people voted for Brexit, and more recently for the Brexit Party, even though the basic explanation can be given in no more than about 10 words. Many decent people don’t want to hear it. They block it out. This is very dangerous.

    • Vivian O'Blivion

      ” … what Britain needs … ” “We hate the Europeans, despise the Irish … ”
      Substitute “Britain” for “England” (and possibly Wales) and your satire is perhaps more accurate.
      Scots certainly do not hate the Europeans or despise the Irish.
      Is there a separate national psyche or is this just racist tripe?
      In an aspect of science just recently to come under investigation, scientists exposed mice to a specific odour while subjecting them to trauma. The children and grandchildren of the mice exhibited trauma behaviour when exposed to the same odour.
      Experience can be encoded into DNA.
      400 hundred years of Pax Romana set the English on a separate course from the Scots. Differential experience of the Normans likely also had an impact. The term serf (agricultural not industrial) appears in the English historical records for 500 years, in Scotland, serf appears to have been in use for 200 years.
      This is in no way a “racist”, no superiority or inferiority, just a different psyche regards lands and peoples beyond national borders.

      • N_

        So basically the Anglo-Saxons might as well be the Romans, and every Anglican might as well swing some incense?

        Where does this leave Edwin’s burgh? 🙂

        • Vivian O'Blivion

          Obviously other factors are at play. Gavelkind inheritance traditions were the norm in Wales, Ireland and parts of England according to the Normans (ok, not the most reliable source but why would they lie in this case?). In Scotland there is only ever mention of primogeniture. In Scotland, the 2nd and subsequent sons would have to find an alternative trade. In practice, this meant travel to continental Europe to sell goods (pots and pans) or services (sword arm). There were Scottish mercenaries in the ranks of Charlemagne’s army and that wasn’t yesterday.
          Brexit vote by country.
          England – 53.4% Leave. Wales – 52.5% Leave. NI – 56% Remain. Scotland – 62% Remain.
          Why the differential votes if there isn’t a vestigial “national sentiment”?

          • N_

            Scottish intercourse with continental Europe explains why Scots law is far more Roman-influenced even today than English law has ever been.

            Leave is largely a racist and xenophobic phenomenon. The “we hate everybody who’s not like us” feeling that exists in much of (white) England is less prevalent in Scotland, but (or because?) the “we love everybody so long as they’re not English” feeling that exists in a minority of minds in Scotland (albeit often put on) has no real parallel in England. Part of the reason for the high Remain vote in Scotland was also to do with the weight of the SNP, who made the (valid) point that there was no reason for Scots to vote the same way in the EURef as voters down south.

          • Northern

            “Leave is largely a racist and xenophobic phenomenon.”

            Hey N, no desire to deal with the argument for Lexit then? Would have thought that would be right up the street of a self defined Marxist? Of course it’s always far easier (and more self congratulatory, to boot) to use simplistic good versus bad narratives, although in this instance you seem to have managed to generalise both sides of the debate in short order. Anybody describing a whole grouping of people (household/city/nation etc) and their opinions as a homogeneous block is either lazy or stupid, or both. As I would be if I attempted to assert why everyone who voted to remain did so.

      • Hatuey

        “Scots certainly do not hate the Europeans or despise the Irish.”

        This is a generalisation, though, and hatred is a difficult thing to measure. Just last week we had tens of thousands of Scots marching in Glasgow and celebrating what many regard as anti-Irish culture.

        To my knowledge, no English people marched in England’s biggest city last week celebrating their anti-Irish culture.

        The above suggests hatred of the Irish is a bigger issue in Scotland than England. And I think you could say that without any tongues in cheeks.

        • Vivian O'Blivion

          Reasonable point, but “plantation Irish” hatred of “native Irish” is not representative of majority opinion in Scotland.

          • Hatuey

            I know. And I don’t think it’s representative of the majority of English either.

        • iain

          Indeed. Difficult to countenance a more visceral and visible hatred of a minority group being sanctioned in any other European country. Has to be a Presbyterian thing.

        • Republicofscotland

          “The above suggests hatred of the Irish is a bigger issue in Scotland than England. And I think you could say that without any tongues in cheeks.”

          I think you’ll find that many of those knuckle dragging O/O members are themselves Irish, (They visit Scotland to march among our own homegrown bigots) Northern Irish protestants. Still living with the 1690 mentality of hatred towards catholics.

          DUP leader Arlene Foster came all the way over from NI last year to march at the head of one of our homegrown bigot strewn O/O bands.

      • Kempe

        I’m sure the crofters turfed off their lands by their Scottish overlords took great comfort in not being called serfs.

        • Vivian O'Blivion

          At no point in time were the Highlanders classified as serfs. The concept of serf was introduced by King David I, and was reserved for the peasants of the Central belt and East coast. There is an odd notion in history that “the enclosure of the commons” never occurred in Scotland. The Highland clearances were in effect, the enclosure of the commons (just a few centuries later). While the Highland clearances understandably garners sympathy, we forget that at the same time a larger number of cotters (one time serfs) were being denied renewal of their tenancies as a result of the Great Improvement and were being driven into the towns to prime the pump for the Industrial Revolution.

          • Kempe


            ” an agricultural labourer bound by the feudal system who was tied to working on his lord’s estate. ”

            Whatever name you want to use it reads like a pretty accurate description.

  • Sharp Ears

    You might be interested in watching the proceedings of the Foreign Affairs Committee on 10th July during which Sir Simon McDonald gave evidence. Two FCO directors accompanied him, Edward Hobart (Estates and Security) and Paul Williams (Chief Information Officer).

    10 July 2019
    Sir Simon McDonald, KCMG, KCVO, Permanent Under Secretary and Head of the Diplomatic Service, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, will be the first witness for the Foreign Affairs Committee’s urgent inquiry into the FCO’s secure communications and handling of classified information.

    Watch Parliament TV: FCO secure communications and handling of classified information inquiry
    Inquiry: FCO secure communications and handling of classified information inquiry
    Foreign Affairs Committee
    Witness Sir Simon McDonald, KCMG, KCVO, Permanent Under Secretary and Head of the Diplomatic Service, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office
    Purpose of the session
    The inquiry was launched yesterday, following publication of confidential communications from the UK Ambassador to the US.
    The inquiry will consider:
    The necessity of secure communications and information handling for the good functioning of the FCO and the impact of leaks on that functioning
    The steps taken by the FCO to ensure that its information and communications are treated securely
    Whether the steps taken by the FCO and other Government departments in response to apparent leaks are adequate;
    • Whether the classification regime used by the FCO is appropriate;
    • Whether the sanctions in place to deter such leaks are effective and fit for purpose.
    Written evidence is welcome and should be submitted via the Committee’s inquiry page.

    McDonald was extremely smarmy throughout and has Blair’s disease, ie too much movement of his hands and hand waving as he speaks.
    Chairman Tom Tugenhadt.
    Tom Tugendhat (Chair) Conservative present
    Chris Bryant Labour present
    Ann Clwyd Labour absent
    Stephen Gethins Scottish National Party present
    Conor McGinn Labour present
    Ian Murray Labour present
    Priti Patel Conservative present
    Andrew Rosindell Conservative absent
    Mr Bob Seely Conservative present
    Royston Smith Conservative present
    Catherine West Labour . absent

    In his evidence, Sir Simon mentioned that he had been the UK Ambassador to Israel at one time.

    • Cascadian

      No more than your racist tripe.

      I was born and raised in the Welsh mining valleys, my wife’s father was Irish.


      • Sharp Ears

        I think your charming comment, ie concluding in ‘GFY’, is in the wrong place Cascadian.

      • Cascadian

        You are correct, please accept my apology for misapplication of the ‘reply’ button.

        However, VOB should take note.

  • Goose

    The equivalent US system costs twice as much apparently.

    Although, I’d imagine there is more to it than that. Turkey is building its first nuclear power plant – or the Russians are. It’s under development at Akkuyu, in Büyükeceli. Turkey is very wary of Israel and being dependent on US equipment is probably seen as unwise. Especially if Turkey decides to develop its own nuclear weapons capability.

  • Komodo

    Just to address some misconceptions in this debate:

    You don’t need to have signed the OSA (1989) to be caught in its net. See Section 2.3 of the briefing.

    Members of the public are bound by the
    Official Secrets Act
    ; it is not
    necessary for
    them to have signed it. Under S
    ection 5, if a
    member of
    the public (or any person who is not a Crown Servant or government
    contractor) has in their possession official information in any of the six
    categories, and this information has:

    been disclosed to them by a Crown Servant without lawful
    ; or

    was entrusted to them by a Crown Servant in confidence
    then it is an offence to disclose this information without lawful
    It is also an offence to make a “damaging” disclosure of information
    relating to security or intelligence, defence or international relations if
    this has been:

    communicated in confidence to another State or international
    organisation; and

    the information has come into the person’s possession without
    the authority of that State or organisation.

    This applies to anyone

    And (section 4.2 of the briefing) There is no statutory public interest defence in any of the Official Secrets

    As anyone who has signed it knows, the OSA is a pretty crafty catch-all out of whose provisions, if someone is determined to have you, it is very hard to wriggle. If a major breach is not pursued, it’s often because it will lead to problems elsewhere. Note, once the leaker is determined to be a Crown servant, Section 5 of the act applies, and the Mail’s arse is due a kicking.

  • Tatyana

    Mr. Trump says
    “We will never be a Socialist or Communist Country. IF YOU ARE NOT HAPPY HERE, YOU CAN LEAVE!…” ttps://
    Nice, nice, Mr. Trump. Do tell who is to leave and who is to stay.
    My close friend migrated to USA smth about 20 years ago. She was visiting Russia this weekend and we spent a day together and had long conversations. Mostly about families and kids and kitchen receipts 🙂 but also about the current matters in Russia and in USA.
    What we both agreed on is that the governments and “upper” classes have no sense of reality.

    • Tatyana

      This is the most reasonable reply in Mr. Trump’s twitter, imho:
      “WE ARE NOT LEAVING. If we are unhappy here, we will change it. That means changing out our president. We love our country, we are unhappy with the administration.”

  • Tom

    ‘Sir’ Malcolm Rifkind seemed to let the cat out of the bag regarding Trump on R4’s PM programme earlier. Whereas Theodore Roosevelt had talked softly but carried a big stick, said Rifkind, Trump had all kinds of threats to Iran and Syria, but had failed to carry them through. Personally I’d take Trump’s occasionally off-colour tweets any day over the CIA wars of their stooges Bush and Obama – but it must be frustrating for Rifkind and his warmongering bosses.

    • Sharp Ears

      Rifkind had a lot to say in the Guardian too on Saturday.

      The Guardian also gave room for a piece about the paramount war criminal’s spin doctor. Australians beware. He’s on a speaking tour.
      Campbell refers to Boris as the ‘wretched charlatan’.

      Rifkind and Straw (both former Foreign Secretaries) were accused of taking cash for access in 2015. They were later cleared needless to say.

      Straw and Rifkind deny ‘cash for access’ claims
      MPs Sir Malcolm Rifkind and Jack Straw are secretly filmed apparently offering their services to a private company for thousands of pounds

    • Pyewacket

      Tom, although Trump’s reluctance to engage in a hot war against Syria, Iran, and perhaps Venezuela may be frustrating to the US MIC, in that their $million missiles are not being fired off with great abandon, to the sounds of kerrching, kerrching, kerrching. His greater use of ever increasing sanctions are still causing plenty of destruction, and no doubt loss of life, particularly to the more vulnerable members of those societies. A very effective weapon indeed, and one that once deployed, is difficult to defend against, when secondary sanctions are also used. The UK’s Act of Piracy last week is a good example. Maybe some of that Syrian bound Oil would have been used by Assad’s Military, so what, some could well have been destined to power Hospitals Generators or other social infrastructure.

    • Xavi

      Rather have neither. Trump is said to have changed his mind about attacking Iran only because of re-election fears, which will cease to exist if he is re-elected. As for “Sir” Malcom, I read recently that he is the politician who holds the record number of invitations to speak on the BBC. A reliable “moderate” voice of reason.

    • Dungroanin

      Agree re potus Tom, but owt on the noxious beeb, the msm (especially the groaniad) and out of the mouths of owned and discredited ministers is best dealt with by a barge poll and face mask.

    • Vivian O'Blivion

      Trump has falsely accused Ilhan Omar of supporting Al Qaeda, at least I think that is the take from his verbal word salad. You can’t just go around accusing people of supporting Al Qaeda.
      Trump may or may not be intent on starting a foreign conflict but he is hell bent on provoking a civil war. He has already goaded some nutter into launching a pipe bomb campaign. What happens when some gun nut kills Ilhan Omar ’cause grampa Himler “told me to”.
      Trump is already on record as believing that, (paraphrase of standard word salad) “My people are in the Police and Military, they are tough and have all the guns.”.

      • Jo1

        His press lunatic Conway demanded today that a journalist declare his ethnicity! What the blazes is going on?!?

      • Spencer Eagle

        Regarding the ANTIFA bombing of ICE center in Tacoma. All four of these ‘offended’ women flat out ignored press requests to condemn the attack. Maybe Trump is privy to some information on Ilhan Omar’s real allegiances?

      • N_

        It’s the US government that supports Al Qaeda in Syria!

        Video of Trump rally: “Send her back”.

        Have the big anti-immigrant raids started in the US, or are they just not being reported? They were said to be starting about a week ago.

    • N_

      The ADL (!) has condemned Trump’s recent tweets!

      The reason is that the saga runs as follows.

      1) Ilhan Omar criticised Israeli influence in the US. Her comments obviously referenced the strong support that most of the organised US Jewish “community” offers for the Zionazi regime.

      2) Trump sneers that Omar has not apologised to “the people of Israel”.

      Get it? He doesn’t say she has not apologised to Jews in the US for denying that they always put an allegiance to the US first, before any allegiance they may have to their perceived communal interest or the interest of the state of Israel. He says she has not apologised to “the people of Israel”!


      And unsurprisingly, the ADL were immediately on the case. “As Jews, we are all too familiar with this kind of divisive prejudice,” said ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt. “While ADL has publicly disagreed with these congresswomen on some issues, the president is echoing the racist talking points of white nationalists and cynically using the Jewish people and the State of Israel as a shield to double down on his remarks.”

      Greenblatt is telling Trump “You didn’t clear what you said with us first, boy. On anything to do with Jews or Israel, you gotta read our scripts, only our scripts, you’re not allowed to shoot from your hip, and you gotta call me ‘Sir’. Don’t you worry your stupid head about any of this. We decide the talking points, and we tell you what to say about them. And I’m not taking any f***ing questions.”

        • N_

          I think he does it accidentally rather than as a dogwhistle.

          He said that thing about “short guys that wear yarmulkes every day” too, and how he likes it when they count his money. It’s his way of trying to express respect. But he’s so slow mentally, or quick to tweet, that he doesn’t realise there are more restrictions on what he can say now that he’s President. Or he realises and then forgets. The thing during the campaign about “international financiers like George Soros” (I can’t recall the exact words) was a dogwhistle but he was probably given pre-clearance to blow it.

          • Mike E

            off topic, but I often wonder this: it’s wrong to be a Nazi because they are murderous, yes? but you are ok with supporting marxism, which has killed many more people than the nazis managed. How do you justify this?

          • N_

            @MikeE – Some pointers… The Nazis didn’t call themselves “Nazis”. That was a term used against them by their opponents (albeit once or twice adopted in self-reference, as doubtless a keyboard warrior or to is about to point out). The Nazi ideology was principally “Aryan” rather than “Nazi”. The Anglosphere’s word for “Aryan” is “Indoeuropean”. Of course they were into more recent ideas about race movements too – not surprisingly, as their principal tool was the local German state. As for “Marxism”, it has indeed been claimed by mass murderers who have been as bad as the Nazis. What different people mean by a term isn’t always the same. For example, Sylvia Pankhurst was no Mao Zedong and nor was Anton Pannekoek. That’s all I have to say.

          • glenn_nl

            Mike: Not wishing to speak for N, but there are two things here:

            – Real Marxists have never gone in for mass murder
            – N isn’t really a Marxist. He’s a bigot.

          • Deb O'Nair

            Mike E: If you want to get into ‘numbers’ why not total up the number of directly attributable deaths courtesy of the British Empire, including it’s mendacity in fomenting WW1, and marvel at the UK’s preeminent and unassailable position as the global leader in mass slaughter.

          • Deb O'Nair

            Mike E: While you’re at it you may want to research who was actually behind the Russian counter-revolution that gave the world the Bolsheviks and Stalin instead of clinging on to “Land of Hope and Glory” school text book history.

          • Spencer Eagle

            Slow mentally ? Do me a favor. He’s done more to positively turn the US economy round than the last five presidents. The tweets are so smart and trolling you don’t even know that you are actually hearing and responding to a ‘dog whistle’.

          • glenn_nl

            Spenser: Demonstrate this “turning the economy around” – I’d be delighted to see official graphs showing the upward change in direction of economic measures since Trump took charge.

            As for “The tweets are so smart and trolling…” – nobody denied he was one good carnival barker.

    • anuncommonwealtharian

      “Off colour”. There’s a joke there somewhere with the current brouhaha. Trump over Rifkind ? Why ? I’m still waiting on anyone on here to address Trump’s atrocious comments towards the congresswomen. But, you know, the Blairites, Hillary, heck even the Epstein palaver.

      • Xavi

        Did you notice Trump has adopted the Blairites’ preferred smear when it comes to demonizing the left? Who says the UK has no influence over him?

      • Courtenay Barnett

        Trump’s comment to the Congresswomen simply further confirms his racism. He told them to go back to where they came from. Three of them came from (i.e. were born in) the US – one was naturalised – having been born in Somalia. But being born in the US or Somalia is not the point. They are all US citizens.

        What Trump does not get – because his brain hastens to the ad hominem – is that sensible leadership addresses policy ( and he does not listen or take sensible advice, so not surprisingly he comes up with chaos – e.g. not noting the rule based role of the WTO and ending up with a harmful trade war instead). So far as the targeted Congresswomen are concerned it would be desirable to debate why their proposed policies are less effective and/or workable than his – and say how and why his policies are better and more effective for all – than simply to attack them personally. But Trump is not analytical – but he is indeed calculating. He knows that there is constituency of hate and racism in the US and he panders well to that base.

        He has a well established and proven history of being racist:-

  • Komodo

    This just out:

    The Washington Examiner is a right-leaning paper, but not noted for careless journalism. Tom Rogan, the writer of the piece is an established journalist on both sides of the Atlantic. He says:

    According to one current and one former U.S. government official speaking on the condition of anonymity, Darroch repeatedly leaked classified U.S. intelligence information, including highly classified information, to a journalist for a U.S.-based media outlet. The sources are consolidated by the reaction my related inquiries have received from other government officials.

    These leaks are unrelated to the diplomatic cables which sparked Trump’s anger and Darroch’s departure. (continues)

    • Geoffrey

      That is interesting. So maybe the new theory should be that US intelligence gave the story to Isabel Oakshot to get rid of a leaker. And even better the likelyhood would be that Brexiteers would be blamed because of her new boyfriend.
      Clever !

      • Komodo

        I have no theory. Not enough evidence….but the Mail leak is probably a sideshow.

    • N_

      What was that intelligence about? (As if we don’t know.)

      From that Washington Examiner article:

      “That source says that non-U.S. government derived records showed the ambassador and journalist exchanging messages on a continuing basis. The source emphasized that these communications were not derived from U.S. government actions.”

      So whose interests was the Unknown Listening Party serving?

    • David

      another “just-out” leak, except not a leak but a stakeout of former school-teacher turned Billionaire Epstein’s pad. The DailyMail shows Ehud Barak and a bevy of (named) beauties, in the same place at the same time, several years ago.

      This is naked Cambridge Analytica/AIQ “interfered in 200 worldwide elections” type stuff, seemingly to the benefit of NetenYahoo/hence Jared/hence Trumpton

      Searching for the piece’s author (Martin Gould) & “integrity initiative” just got this hit (which is a US legal blog, certainly digs deep into Epstein), just casually mentions “Toby Young” once…..

      deep stories, great pictures taken over three years ago, revealed exactly two calendar months before the snap Knesset elections

  • StephenR

    As Darroch has revealed (well duh) that Trump acts out of spite, do the facts that; a) the UK Government acted with the Democratic Party to smear The Donald with the Russia Dossier in a failed attempt to deny him the Presidency and b) the PM in waiting described The Donald, in 2015, as “clearly out of his mind”, “stupefyingly ignorant”, and “unfit to be President” bode ill or well for the UK in a future trade deal with the US?

      • Vivian O'Blivion

        Johnson is in safe territory. Around the same time that then Mayor Johnson was stating his opinion of Trump, Sen. Lindsay Graham (R. SC) called Trump out as ” a race baiting, xenophobic, religious bigot.”, on national TV. Graham now heads up the cheerleaders for Trump and all is forgiven.
        Trump is the ultimate in transactional politicians.

    • Pyewacket

      Regarding fact a): Although widely known in some circles, it hasn’t, to my knowledge been mentioned by the UK’s MSM for some obscure reason. I’m still hearing the line “Russians meddling in elections” bandied about, as they do with the “deadly Novichok” bollocks.

      • Doodlebug

        Indeed. There are also claims in certain quarters of Russia having meddled with the Brexit referendum (a Russian tech co. is thought to have been behind a ‘bot’ blitz on Twitter). Well we know the US State Department’s accusations against Russia are hogwash. So my question would be – IF a Russia-based firm engineered mass brexit ‘re-tweets’ of one complexion or another, who paid them?

        • Michael McNulty

          Like the IT security specialist John McAfee said, “If it looks like the Russians did it, then the Russians didn’t do it.”

  • Dungroanin

    So as we enter the final furlong …

    “If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal.”

    Well that is pretty much what is happening in the UK. A labour MP just claimed they may not support a No Confidence motion!!! Does her constituency party know?

    Doesn’t she know that the quickest way to get rid of the dreaded Corbyn and his evil henchman is to have a general election in which he and Labour are so obviously going to get trounced. Again.

    Then the real Labour darlings can get back in to provide the corrective to the tory policies of the last decade or 4. Like they did last time.

    So why hasn’t the election been called already? Maybe they were waiting to find a jolly populist who would appeal as a Tory leader – the affable Al ‘dya’wanna be a yummy mummy’ Johnson.

    But if Jezza and co are so shite and losers, why do they still wait?

    Also, Cooper and co don’t do themselves any favours, by never defending their time in government, every time May or the tories or the media bring up the failure of nu-labour and it’s destruction of the public services and funds. Why?

    They were in charge – some are still on important committees in the House. Why?

    I’m absolutely certain the old guard lefties who put Blair into power are right about JC – they keep telling me so.

    As for the racists in the party I am shocked that there are many many more than used to be under Blair and Cooper and it is ALL because of Corbyn. I haven’t seen any with my own eyes, not being a member – but if it’s on the beeb, the Mail and the implacable Guardian – it MUST be true.

    Yeah, yeah.

    I can understand the bamboozlement of the old folks and the working classes by the daily miasma of propaganda, but it is an amazement to see that otherwise clear thinking persons and experts and professionals slurping up the daily tripe. It is almost as if they have become soft minded and believe in wizards and dragons – i blame it on their willing dumbing down, years of Harry Potter consumption.

    • SA

      You make some assumptions and draw banal conclusions from them. For example you seem to think that
      “..otherwise clear thinking persons and experts and professionals slurping up the daily tr Ipe”. Is this
      really surprising. Is it not that some of these so called experts not on some cases the originators of the propaganda?
      The Labour Party is now three parties. The Corbyn wing, the Watson, wing incorporating some or most blairites and a shady non commuted center biding there time.

      • Dungroanin

        I see you clearly got my point;-)

        As to the divisions in the Labour Party – you are looking at the wrong people.

        The Labour Party membership is not divided along these lines. You may wish to find out which they prefer as a majority.

    • N_

      So why hasn’t the election been called already? Maybe they were waiting to find a jolly populist who would appeal as a Tory leader – the affable Al ‘dya’wanna be a yummy mummy’ Johnson.

      Yes. And there aren’t only internal party considerations. The Tories will not want to go into the next election with a weak-looking leader.

      Meanwhile Boris Johnson brandishes an Isle of Man kipper and he says its wrapping shows how burdensome EU rules are, seemingly ignorant of the fact that the Isle of Man is outside the EU. “What a fool,” some will respond. But personally I think the “Saying Wrong Stuff And Not Giving a Damn” tactic is deliberate. It echoes Trump. Tories don’t really believe “lefties” are “wrong”, any more than Trumpers believe “liberals” are “wrong”. They don’t want to have a “debate”. “Rightness” isn’t where they’re coming from, and neither – as they make clear – is “virtue”. They’re scum and they know it. What they believe is that we are weak whingers who take the side of the underdogs and the losers, and most of us are actually in those categories ourselves, and we need to shut the f*** up. The Johnson campaign has been pretty clever. Ask him a question he doesn’t want to answer? He’ll clown about or lead the conversation in another direction, all the while with contempt in his posh voice. He genuinely is the British equivalent of Trump and I have little doubt that Stephen Bannon has had a major role in his campaign.

      • Dungroanin

        Yup, 100% on how the Clown has been told to keep his gob shut and let the media presstitutes do the job of getting him ‘elected’. Even the midnight domestic and bus crash live interview wasn’t allowed to sink him.

        They needed to see if the actual wizard behind the curtain in the tory government – Hunt – could get a rise in public approval , and take the lead role. He has after all been running the show for years and is on first name terms with Donald. His move to the FCO was to bolster up his cv for the top role.

        It has NEVER been about what the Tory membership wants – they have never mattered, in ANY leadership choice in my lifetime.

        It is done through the local chairmans, the senior NCO’s, at the will of the ‘officers’ of the 1922 type, who represent the actual backers and funders of the Tories – the wealthy few.

        Even now they could pull the clown and elevate the runt – it is more likely that assassin eyed and cold hearted ‘Noddy’ would deliver the hard brexit that May failed to do, for which she defenestrated.- and then avoid the GE while they hope that the Blairite bumchums find someway to succeed in destroying the Corbynite challenge.

        This summer already has the feeling of fermenting riots in the streets… it is palpable.

  • Rowan Berkeley

    Suppose all the US manoevres in Europe, whether from the White House or from its deniable friend Steve Bannon, are attempts to weaken the incipient drive for EU independence from NATO, to prevent NATO from losing control of EU. NATO is inherently American-imperialist. It is the tool par excellence by which America controls Europe. It is irreplaceable. In that case, it must mean that Trump’s complaints about the cost of NATO are mere red herrings taught to him by his military advisors. There are three obvious methods of weakening Europe:
    * Neo-nationalist politics is being promoted with large sums of money throughout Europe both East & West. Neo-nationalist ideological agitation, as in Brexit, is method one.
    * The floods of refugees are deliberately stimulated by death squads in multiple source locations in order to deliberately start a “race panic” in Europe, are method two.
    * Propaganda about a fictitious Russian threat are method three.
    The Euro and British dimensions also contain one red herring, I think. The Catholicism of Rees-Mogg and Steve Bannon seems like a red herring, pointing towards rather than away from Europe, to anyone who fails to0 note that it is much more right-wing than any mainstream Vatican policy outlook, and that the heritage of the EU is secular, meaning that the EU is opposed as such by right-wing Catholic reactionary elites, just as secular Zionism is opposed by right-wing Israeli-Jewish elites. The right-wing Catholic elite in Europe are allied on both pro-capitalist and anti-secular grounds with the American Jewish neocons. Their aim is to drive secular Europe into an alliance with Russia, and then ally themselves with the Anglo-American and Israeli (anti-)Zionist axis to destroy both. I place (anti-) in brackets because the right-wing religious Jewish elite reject the term ‘Zionist’ itself, and probably plan to stage a religiuous coup inside the ‘Zionist’army and state, to rebuild the temple etc.

    • Deb O'Nair

      Interesting observations. It can not be forgotten that the reasons behind WW1 was the fear of the Anglo-Saxon elites that Germany would ally with Russia and turn what was known as the “world island” into a global fortress, impregnable to it’s fleets and trading sanctions.

      Seeing the EU today, with a strong Germany, going down the path of energy alliance with Russia combined with China’s Belt and Road efforts to create a modern-day silk road from the Far East to Western Europe and one can literally see the pieces falling into place for another global conflict and how the UK is simply a dispensable pawn in the game of US global domination – which perfectly explains the anti-EU insanity that has been unleashed on the UK today courtesy of the US elites.

      • Rowan Berkeley

        Thanks. It seems to me that the logic of the Brexit demand, minus the elusive “tweaked backstop” is that Britain intends to reconquer the Republic of Eire for the British Crown. I’m sorry to even mention such an unpardonably stupid idea, but there it is. The US wants disintegration of the EU’s defense potential, and Britain was always the wrecker of EU power, the American catspaw, for just this sort of purpose.

      • Blissex

        «the reasons behind WW1 was the fear of the Anglo-Saxon elites that Germany would ally with Russia and turn what was known as the “world island” into a global fortress, impregnable to it’s fleets and trading sanctions.»

        Their fatal mistake is that they continued to think of the USA as a country of uncouth simpletons, when instead the americans had spent a century or two turning both americas into their own “world island”, as well as a thalassocracy with much bigger resources than theirs. Eventually mr. Roosevelt told mr. Churchill the english options were to surrender either to him or to mr. Hitler, and Churchill made the obvious choice.

  • Rowan Berkeley

    @Sharp Ears: What do you reckon this from six days ago?
    Former prime minister Sir John Major has told the BBC he would seek a judicial review in the courts if the new prime minister tried to suspend Parliament to deliver a no-deal Brexit. A source close to Boris Johnson told the BBC that Sir John “has gone completely bonkers” and had “clearly been driven completely mad by Brexit.” They said the threat of court action was “absurd” and risked dragging the Queen into politics.Speaking to Radio 4’s Today programme, Sir John said:
    “In order to close down Parliament, the prime minister would have to go to Her Majesty the Queen and ask for her permission.”
    He said it would be “inconceivable” the Queen would refuse his request and that she would be put “amidst a constitutional controversy.” However, he said:
    “The Queen’s decision cannot be challenged in law, but the prime minister’s advice to the Queen can, I believe, be challenged in law, and I for one would be prepared to seek judicial review to prevent Parliament being bypassed.”

    • SA

      So the queen can do away with parliament and this is supposed to be a world leader in democracy?

      • nevermind

        The Queen , which lost her political role over a century ago, can abolish Parliament…Why did she not do it in the past?why now when the bounders of history are at their wits end devoid of sense and ideas?
        And Tory politicians, in a u turn of some proportion, are able to just scrap the EUHRA, SO THEY CAN ADVANCE THEIR FASCIST AGENDA?
        On Monday the Torys at norfolk county hall backed another 3.9mile road through an SSSI at an estimayed cost of 153 million. The last time they overspend by 60 million and 2 maternity roosts for Barbacelle bats, used by genetations, will now be ‘moved’….My estimate will be about 50 million/mile, its amazing what Torys can do for their fav. Contractors.

        And finally, the vilification of extinction rebellion has begun today on Radio 4
        The police described protectors of our childrens future as ‘ hardcore anarchists with a smile ‘who want to destroy our democracy’. 5 Cities are shutting down and people who want sustainable change are being tarred with a brush they cant hold up anymore.

    • N_

      Please save me from the ludicrous line spouted by politicians and by scribes in the media and academia about “not dragging the queen into politics”. This is the monarch who agreed not to open Parliament in 2018 so as to help her beloved Tories avoid suffering the inconvenience of a formal reading of their legislative programme followed by a vote (a “queen’s speech” as it’s called in this mediaeval theme park country).

      She’s the same monarch whose support for Brexit got splashed on the front page of the Sun immediately before the EU referendum, a propaganda moment which may well have won it for Leave.

      And she’s the billionairess who can veto government bills before they even get tabled in Parliament, under a procedure called “queen’s consent”.

      If you sign documents off, you’re responsible for them. Same in any country. I don’t care who your father was.

  • Xavi

    Yep, May is in no.position to be condemning even Trump when it comes to racism. But it’s assumed nobody is capable of remembering beyond last week. Or of noticing how the great demon Trump has adopted British liberal tactics in trying to discredit leftwingers.

  • SA

    Does the POTUS not know that if you adopt this policy throughout, the US population would be depleted as the majority are settlers?

  • J

    As if the Epstein case was not explosive enough, with the potential to implicate everyone from Trump to Prince Andrew, pulling in everyone from Blair to the Clinton’s along the way, this other story has been gaining ground over the last few days, the implications of which should be fairly obvious to everyone.

    “Fox News news analyst Ellen Ratner relayed information from Wikileaks founder Julian Assange to Texas businessman Ed Butowsky regarding Seth Rich’s role in transferring emails to Wikileaks, according to an amended lawsuit that I filed this morning on behalf of Mr. Butowsky.”

    Businessman Ed Butowsky filed a lawsuit on Monday alleging among other things that murdered Democrat staffer Seth Rich was the source of the DNC leaks. A link to the full complaint PDF below, here’s a few extracts:

    41. Just as Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page realized on May 4, 2016 that they needed to bury the MYE investigation into Mrs. Clinton quickly, the Clinton campaign and the DNC recognized an opportunity to rewrite the narrative about the damaging emails that would soon be released to the public. Rather than acknowledge that a DNC employee was so appalled by the corruption he had witnessed inside the DNC and the Clinton campaign that he leaked emails to Wikileaks, the DNC and Clinton campaign decided they would instead blame the leaked emails on the Russian government, then blame Mr. Trump for colluding with the Russian government.

    42. The DNC employee responsible for the leaks was Seth Rich, and he was assisted by his brother Aaron. Mr. Butowsky does not know exactly when the DNC figured out that Mr. Rich was the source of the leak. On July 10, 2016, however, Mr. Rich was fatally shot while walking home in Washington, D.C., and the murder has not been solved. Mr. Butowsky does not know whether the murder is related to Mr. Rich’s role in leaking DNC emails.

    43. Shortly after the murder, the interim DNC chair at the time, Donna Brazile, reached out to Mr. McCabe and Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser for help in dealing with the political consequences of the murder. Ms. Brazile knew suspicions would soon arise, fairly or unfairly, that the murder was connected to the email leaks. D.C. police allowed the FBI to unlock Seth Rich’s electronic devices, and the FBI obtained data showing that Mr. Rich had indeed provided the DNC emails to Wikileaks. At Mr. McCabe’s direction, however, that information was kept secret with orders that it not be produced in response to any Freedom of Information Act request. For her part, Ms. Bowser directed D.C. police not to pursue any investigative avenues that might connect the murder to the email leaks. At her direction, local police blamed the murder on a “botched robbery” even though Mr. Rich’s watch, wallet, and other belongings were not removed from his body.

    44. On July 22, 2016, Wikileaks began publishing thousands of email that had been downloaded from the DNC’s servers by Seth Rich and his brother, Aaron. Those emails showed how the campaign of Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton had corruptly taken control of the DNC for the purpose of sabotaging her primary opponent, Bernie Sanders. Per their game plan, the Clinton campaign and the DNC immediately claimed that the emails had been obtained by hackers working for the Russian government.

    45. Mr. Butowsky stumbled into the RCH crosshairs after Ellen Ratner, a news analyst for Fox News and the White House correspondent for Talk Media News, contacted him in the Fall of 2016 about a meeting she had with Mr. Assange. Ms. Ratner’s brother, the late Michael Ratner, was an attorney who had represented Mr. Assange. According to Ms. Ratner, she made a stop in London during a return flight fromBerlin, and she met with Mr. Assange for approximately six hours in the Ecuadorean embassy. Ms. Ratner said Mr. Assange told her that Seth Rich and his brother, Aaron, were responsible for releasing the DNC emails to Wikileaks. Ms. Ratner said Mr. Assange wanted the information relayed to Seth’s parents, as it might explain the motive for Seth’s murder.46. Upon her return to the United States, Ms. Ratner asked Mr. Butowsky to contact the Rich family and relay the information from Mr. Assange, apparently because Ms. Ratner did not want her involvement to be made public. In the two months that followed, Mr. Butowsky did not attempt to contact the Rich family, but he grew increasingly frustrated as the DNC and #Resistance “journalists” blamed the Russian government for the email leak. On December 16, 2016, Mr. Butowsky sent a text message to Ms. Ratner:Ms. Ratner subsequently told Mr. Butowsky that she had informed Bill Shine, who was then the co-president of Fox News, about her meeting with Mr. Assange in London. Ms. Ratner also informed Fox News producer Malia Zimmerman about her meeting with Mr. Assange.

    47. On December 17, 2016, at the instigation of Ms. Ratner, Mr. Butowsky finallycontacted Joel and Mary Rich, the parents of Seth, and he relayed the information about Ms. Ratner’s meeting with Mr. Assange. During that conversation, Mr. Rich told Mr. Butowsky that he already knew that his sons were involved in the DNC email leak, but heand his wife just wanted to know who murdered Seth. Mr. Rich said he was reluctant to go public with Seth’s and Aaron’s role in leaking the emails because “we don’t want anyone to think our sons were responsible for getting Trump elected.” Mr. Rich said he did not have enough money to hire a private investigator, so Mr. Butowsky offered to payfor one. Mr. Rich accepted the offer and thanked Mr. Butowsky in an email.

    A recent interview with Butowsky:

    • Hatuey

      “the implications of which should be fairly obvious to everyone.”

      As in what?

      None of that takes us any closer to anything. Everyone knew Seth was the source and Assange had already hinted at that in an interview.

      We will never know who killed him, especially if it was connected to the email leaks.

      • pretzelattack

        well, everyone but the idiots who fell for the “the russians did it”.

        • Tatyana

          ‘the russians did this and the russians did that’… Reminds me of the popular saying from the times, when the commonplace opinion put the blame for everything on the jews
          “Если в кране нет воды, значит выпили жиды” – if there’s no water in your tap, then the Jews drank it all out

          • Komodo

            I can certainly see why the Russians would post that. From the mass of speculation dressed as fact in the complaint PDF linked above, one salient question from a defence lawyer:

            This is very telling. On the one hand, Mr. (Aaron) Rich boldly denies that he and/or his brother leaked DNC emails to Wikileaks. On the other, he refuses to authorize disclosures from the witnesses who are in the best position to know who leaked those emails. That begs a question: if your client has nothing to hide, why is he hiding it? (P34)

            Incidentally, liked your comparison. When the shit hits the fan, both groups are extremely quick to play the victim card. Maybe it isn’t so absurd?

          • Doodlebug

            I’m currently being teased by the thought that ‘the Russians’ did not sponsor Arron Banks and Brexit, as some are inclined to infer. In fact I’m wondering whether money might not have moved in the opposite direction. A tech company in Russia has apparently been identified as marshalling an unusually high percentage of ‘retweets’ on Twitter in the run up to the referendum. So, who paid them?

          • Tatyana

            well, actually, this saying is sarcastic, because it’s obviously absurd 🙂 The old analog was “the West is to blame, that’s why” and modern one is “Putin sneaked up and sh*t in your pants”

            It is not about ‘groups’ or ‘playing victim’, it is about stereotypes and usual suspects 🙂

          • Tatyana

            When I was young and slim and dyed my hair blonde, I was working at a ‘tech’ company. In fact it was a small private trading company, but it was the time when computers were selling by assembling from individual parts according to customer’s tasks. And the modern idea of a ready solution, an over-priced PC stuffed with everything was an object of jokes. When a person capable of mounting a hard drive and of giving an advice on software was considered a tech-savvy person. No ‘corporative rules’, free internet, young and therefore single colleagues, beer in the next door pub in the evenings, and great desire to look like an elite professional 🙂
            Ah, what am I talking about? Oh, yes, I was working at a tech company.
            If you ever worked in a collective of tech-savvy people, you would probably realise that no flashmob is considered silly if you try to impress your young slim blond colleague.
            Special atmosphere is in these companies.

    • Doodlebug

      Freedland’s is a hatchet job. The starting points you quote are taken from very near the end of his piece. What about the very beginning?

      “The roots of Labour’s antisemitism lie deep within the populist left” and “Much of the hate spewed out against Jews harks back to conspiracy theories about bankers and the Rothschilds”

      In other words, anti-Semitism in the Labour party is a given according to Freedland, whose arguments are vacuous and whose logic flawed. Only an idiot would argue that meat-eating and being a vegan are contingent behaviours, which he does in order to dismiss the point that any political party is likely to include members with seriously divergent opinions, including, whether one likes it or not, anti-semites. It’s what statisticians would call a normal distribution. I doubt Freedland has ever encountered the concept.

      Again according to Freedland, “huge chunks of the egregious anti-Jewish racism spewed out in left circles and on social media has nothing to do with Israel or Palestine: it’s all bankers and Rothschilds, control of the media and Holocaust denial.”

      Since Freedland and innumerable others are so fond of the word beginning with ‘Holo’, maybe they would care to entertain another – Holodomor. I dare say there’d be quite a bit of resultant ‘denial’ on their part also.

      To be perfectly frank I despise those who incite invective, then cry ‘Mummy’ when it happens. The unremitting accusations of anti-Semitism aimed at Jeremy Corbyn and other prominent members of the Labour party are as transparent as cellophane. And I say that as a non-member – of any party.

  • Ingwe

    @mike at 09:40. Indeed.
    An ad in the Guardian, by people like dodgy mortgage Mandy, nose-in-the-NATO-trough Robertson and John Reid, who’s judgement on the Afghan war was that British troops would return without a shot being fired, shows the desperation of the anti-Corbyn Labour peers. It’s not working!

  • Doodlebug

    “illegal immigrants are being rounded up right now.”

    Presumably the word ‘illegal’ is of some significance here. The statement begs a rather obvious question.

  • David

    desperate stuff from the state/media nexus

    agreed, plus the problem that the scary ‘control the communications channel’ gov mob have is that many of the voting youth of today no longer watch TV, don’t listen to niche and dying dinosaurs of shame like Radio Four… and from personal experience, three or four years ago – relatives who were sixth-formers were being accurately briefed by their teachers on the nascent Corbyn takedown, even then.

    in the Soviet union they would’ve had to steal more ballot lorries, stuff more postal votes, but in the current UK climate that might not be enough?

  • Doodlebug

    “There is no anti-semitism crisis in Labour. There is only a relentless, orchestrated campaign to destroy what is a fairly mild alternative to neoliberalism.”

    I don’t know what exactly you mean by ‘a fairly mild alternative to neo-liberalism’, but I’d have to agree with your statement up to that point. Whatever JC and his supporters represent, the incessant onslaught is easily viewed as a politically motivated enterprise, as you have done. Whilst that might appear a statement of the bleeding obvious, I can’t help wondering whether it has as much if not more to do with money than it does ideological principles – specifically, an international cartel of parties with a seriously vested interest in ensuring Brexit happens, and that Corbyn’s ‘Labour’ does not get in the way.

    • Greg Park

      “I don’t know what exactly you mean by ‘a fairly mild alternative to neo-liberalism”

      Instituting some policies that are not purely in the interests of the rich.

  • Dungroanin

    Mike they (the Obsessive Groaniad) and its editor La Whiner, appear to have not published Steve Bells ‘IF’ strip online this morning.

    Fatbergslim rides out as antisemitism witchfinder general on his pale white horse , there are tropes to be found.

    Steve, who’s been here before with the censorship, seems to have published the whole weeks strips on his fabulous site


    There are still a very few concientous independent journos left there, but they must feel stifled.

    • Michael McNulty

      Yesterday George Galloway announced he intends to stand for election as an Independent against Tom Watson in his Birmingham constituency. He’s opened a GoFundMe page for campaign funds, which I’ll chip in towards on pay day. As a pro-Brexit candidate George will surely take the Labour Leave vote because so many despise the treacherous Watson, so his chances should be good.

    • Vivian O'Blivion

      Not a big fan of Bell here at O’Blivion towers, but that was genuinely pointed and amusing.

  • Ken Kenn

    They’ll respond the usual way.

    They’ll inite margaret Hodge to make unverifiable claims of anti -semitism then some one will whisper he said she said
    and due to Ian McNichols great stewardship of the party machine have it redacted – shredded – trashed ( email ) and so
    on and so forth.

    Via Non Disclosure agreements of course they are not allowed to say what they were ordered to do and why it was done.

    These were McNichol’ s NDA’s not the new set up.

    If any one from the left meets Hodge I suggest they record every word that’s said.

    If she told me it was raining I’d have to go outside and check.

    Nice to see 60 plus useless Peers getting involved.

    John ( work with no purpose ) Reid is still claiming I see.

    Corbyn wants to abolish the Lords.

    That’ll save £300 a day on the elderly.

    Surely the Tories will go for that?

    Think of the savings for tax cuts for the rich.

  • Vivian O'Blivion

    Things move fast in Wales.
    Conservative MP Guto Bebb (Aberconwy) will not be standing at the next GE.
    ” … not possible for someone like me to believe in the type of English nationalism that we are now seeing within the Conservative Party.”
    ” … the nationalism I see in the Conservative Party currently concerns me.”

    Earliest this month from Welsh First Minister, Labour’s Mark Drakeford.
    ” … you have to face the possibility that some of the component parts of the United Kingdom may no longer choose to be part of it.”
    ” … any sensible political party or government would have to reassess Wales’ part …. in the future.”

    This from 52.5% Leave voting Wales (not that this appears to have sunk in with the professional, political class).

    As the no deal Brexit precipice looms ever closer will any Scottish Labour or Conservative MPs / MSPs show such foresight and initiative?
    A widnay haud yer breath.

  • Sharp Ears

    In her bright yellow dress, with frills, she was shown being challenged by the reporter on last night’s Channel 4 TV channel that she worked for Cambridge Analytica on the Kenya elections. She tried hard to brush it aside but finally admitted the truth. How dare she and her lot meddle in another country’s democracy.

    A YT from Kenya Citizen TV.

    Here is the Channel 4 segment. A liar exposed.
    She has belonged to more parties (including the Tories!) and causes than we’ve had hot dinners.

    She had her own company, Speechwright Ltd, in 2014, dissolved in 2015. Its purpose was never declared.

      • S

        Cheers, I’ll try to tie it to the Darroch affair better.

        As I wrote, Freedland says Labour’s racism has its roots with Blair’s “many, not the few”, and Corbyn’s “immoral minority” arguments. Is it really inherently racist to dislike super-rich people, as he suggests?!!

        I try to understand how people like Freedland think. He writes about it being better to hate the structures rather than groups of people. Is this like establishment versus popularism? Is this neoliberalism? And is Darroch an establishment choice? A neo-establishment choice? A popularist choice? Is it OK to dislike Darroch, Blair and Clinton, or should we instead dislike some more abstract thing?

        • Doodlebug

          I’m quite sure the erasure was through no fault of yours. I basically blew my top at Freedland’s illogical, partisan arguments based on a premise of anti-Semitism in the Labour party being a ‘given’. I fear I dare not elucidate further as to do so would no doubt see us both castigated once more.

          As to your point about the choice between disliking individuals or the doctrines that shape them, I am not personally of the ‘forgive them for they know not what they do’ persuasion. Others may have a different point of view, but as far as I’m concerned both options are simultaneously open.

        • N_

          S – It’s interesting that Jonathan Freedland is pushing that line. I’ve come across the idea before that accusing the filthy rich of manipulating things in their interests is “anti-Semitic”, even if the mentioned stratum or group does not consist wholly of Jews, even if it does not contain any Jews whatsoever, and even if you were not intending to imply anything about any Jews at all.

          There has been a little bit of a move towards this in the mainstream, where it is now commonplace to denounce as “anti-Semitic” any accusation against George Soros as being a powerful guy. The indication is that any reference to Soros in the mainstream media now gets specially vetted, as if it were about Israel.

          It may well become the standard position – and perhaps very soon, given that there are some who stand to pocket a huge amount of money from a crashout Brexit and the collapse of the British economy. (But look on the bright side: most buy to letters will be ruined.)

          • S

            Thanks N. I think you are being racist against landlords now. Joking aside, one has to be careful because there are a few racists who do make up conspiracy stories about Soros.

    • SA

      Sorry to intrude. I have not read Friedlander’s article but I dare say that I believe one must focus one’s rancor mostly on the system because individual behaviour is the result of what the system allows. A case in point is the Nazis where many ordinary people had to acquiesce or become victims themselves and in many way living in Britain we are all complicit in the misery of the much abused third world as we mostly enjoy security and plenty at their expense. Capitalism is what we should fight overall and not just its individual manifestations whether it is Trump Clinton or Johnson. Did we really notice much difference when Obama took over from Bush and when Trump took over from Obama?

      • S

        Very interesting points, SA. I think it is part of our evolved behaviour as social animals to despise those we consider antisocial. But this doesn’t mean it is a good idea.

        Two genuine questions about your argument.
        * It is often insinuated that the people at the very top of the Nazi regime were not normal people, there was something very wrong with them. Is that misleading too?
        * If some people on the left do despise the few people at the top of the capitalist establishment food chain, does that inevitably lead to racism (which is Freedland’s argument)

        • SA

          Thank you for your answer. I am not really trying to absolve individuals actions but merely pointing out the fact that once a system is established, ordinary people will be as complicit as the original perpetrators. Of course the success (a bad success) of the people on top of the Nazi system was that they managed to develop a system which evolved in such a way, and slowly as to become an accepted system. So no I am not absolving the originators but merely pointing out that you then have to root out the system. To the same extent many of us have not contributed to the rise of capitalism and hate it but nevertheless prosper from it.
          As to your second point, I do not agree with the argument that you ascribe to Freelander. He is looking at it from his own prejudiced point of view. It is more a question of class than race and if many people of a certain race are privileged and use this privilege and also use their unique race as an example of this success and solidarity then there is a tendency for criticism to to drift towards racism. But to take an example, the excesses of the numerous Arab princes who plague the western world with their debauchery and antiques, and act with impunity and are protected both politically and legally as we have seen in this country on numerous occasions and in international affairs, encourages islamophobia. But this is a misinterpretation, this people are not misogynistic playboys and sometimes killers because they are Muslims, but because they have plenty of money which protects them.

    • N_

      Freedland has such a nerve, telling those who are opposed to capitalism not to have any strong feelings against capitalists. Mustn’t dislike your enemy, eh? Treat the class struggle as if it were a debate in the Oxford Union, and go out for a meal together afterwards. What a pillock.

    • Andrew Ingram

      Freedland elides anti-semitism and populism whilst further eliding Corbynism with populism. I doubt that many of JC’s people view the Rothschilds through a non-green lens. Fuck it man I’m jealous of the Rothschilds. I wish my family had – generations back – created an international banking system and I could enjoy unlimited inherited wealth. Alas that is not the case and as unfair as that is I am not allowed to vilify an industrious Jewish family, nor should I be. I’m sure there is a massive Venn overlap when it comes to Moon landing deniers and Rothschild baiters and very few of that sub-set are in the Labour Party.

  • Ingwe

    So I’m gently reminded by the MODS to ‘stay on topic’ when I post about the list of Tory errs in today’s Guardian. What, like the other 400 plus posts as deviant as mine?

    • lysias

      In the past, the rule on this forum has been that we should stay on topic on the first page of new threads. Has that rule changed? When? Why?

      • Ingwe

        I guess the policy changed as soon as Kath Viner started as moderator on this once great forum. Do you spot a trend? Comment is free??

      • N_

        The Darroch affair connects or might connect with the Tory leadership contest, Brexit, British-US relations, Iraq, Iran, the rest of the Middle East, the weapons trade, communications intelligence, the possible imminent sorting out of the civil service, the EU, and Trump. And we don’t know for sure who leaked and why. Just saying.

        • Northern

          Yeah the free speech in most cases principle the mods seem to apply here has left me scratching my head before. Less so since Charles Bostock was banned, although that in it’s self is another symptom of the same problem. It seems evident that mainstream media journalists and security shills definitely do read below the line here, though for some reason mentioning it is beyond reproach.

          That being said, this place has far less blood and soil 4th Reich types than other boards who do not moderate at all, so I understand there is something of a balance to be struck from Craig’s point of view.

          • glenn_nl

            Fair point there. If you don’t like moderators, you would have loved Usenet back in the day. One big, happy family.

          • N_

            The Usenet form of discussion forum, subtype “unmoderated”, is superior to the privatised form of the blog in several ways.

            With a decent newsreader you can block comments by certain users and even those referring to those users’ posts in their headers if you wish. I doubt many internet users today would understand what a news forum or a mailing list were even if you told them, because their minds and behaviour have been so entrained by privatised and boss-allowed forms usually run by advertising and surveillance companies. Their minds aren’t active enough for them to want to understand the meaning of a phrase such as “decent newsreader”. Most programs today are terminal programs, cutesily called “apps”. It’s like the descent of man. “Install a newsreader”? Wossat?

            The email mailing list also has a lot going for it. But since it doesn’t work well with the torture of one-liner smartarse tweet-like comments, or with the “freedom” wherein the surveillance companies make “everything” idiotically “convenient”, it doesn’t flourish in the present epoch.

  • Sharp Ears

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    • Vivian O'Blivion

      She sure don’t do “self aware”. There is too much “rancour and tribal difference.”.
      Oh, I dunno, perhaps is someone hadn’t taken a 4% mandate on Brexit and run wild with it, entirely ignoring the 48% that voted Remain and the two out of four nations that voted Remain (in a significantly more emphatic manner than the two nations that voted Leave), we wouldn’t be in this mess.

      • Andyoldlabour

        Vivian O’Blivion

        Turnout in N Ireland – 63%
        Turnout in Scotland – 67%

        In my area the turnout was 76%

        In Northern Ireland 55.5% of the people who bothered to vote, voted to leave. That is not very different to 52% IMHO.

        • N_

          Then there’s London: 70% turnout, of which 60% voted to Remain. One can prove anything with statistics…or ideas about ancient race movements.

        • Vivian O'Blivion

          The (rounded) figure I have for Northern Ireland is 56% Remain. Please consider link. I have never heard anyone quesion the “fact” that NI voted Remain before so I regard it as an established fact.

          The percentage turnout for any given area is a nebulous argument. It is commendable that a high percentage of people in the North of England were sufficiently motivated to get out and vote. On the other hand perhaps people in Scotland felt that a Remain vote was such a foregone conclusion (as judged by the sentiment of friends and neighbors and remember the opinion poles pointed to Remain to the extent that they pointed anywhere) that they failed to trouble the poling station at all.

      • N_

        @Viv – What do you think they should have done, given that they couldn’t make the withdrawal agreement straightforwardly an issue of confidence because of the Fixed Term Parliaments Act, itself a relic of a promise the Tories made to the Liberal Democrats in 2010? They could have set up an English body for the purpose, told the Northern Irish politicians to reconvene the NI Assembly or else not to complain about being on the outside, and then held some kind of round-table four-nations talks to thrash out a way forward which could have got support in all four countries. But that would be far too sensible for the English Tories who don’t want anyone telling them what to do, whether they’re from one of the other home countries or from another party. For them, “Unionist” means Tory. They shout the word “entrepreneur”, but they haven’t got the guts to risk what they’ve got or genuinely to seek input or approval from the large majority of the British population that they so despise.

        …Lions led by donkeys…

        • Vivian O'Blivion

          Theresa May’s problems were of her own making. Attempting to reconcile too many contradictory threads.
          Arrange a relationship with the EU that allowed free movement of goods while excluding free movement of people from continental Europe.
          Avoid a hard border in Ireland while allowing free trade agreements outwith the EU whilst avoiding Customs checks at Belfast and Larne.
          Avoid a split in the Conservative Party.

          As a notional Remain voting PM, May felt unable to pitch remaining in a Customs Union that allowed free movement of people. Forcing through Customs Union with the assistance of Labour was always an option (with consequences). Rumours are that Johnson is aiming at just that (see Mick Kealty in today’s Slugger O’Toole) as per Nixon in China. Labour would accept a slightly tweaked Customs Union (their, “A” Customs Union). A tweaked Customs Union would be in any case necessary as the states currently under “The” Customs Union would not welcome the petulant bully UK into their club.

          May would have taken the option of Customs posts at Belfast and Larne in a nanosecond if she weren’t reliant on the DUP, and don’t kid yourself. The DUP’ position of; Brexit, no hard border, no backstop arrangement and no Customs line in the Celtic sea is magical unicorns to the power of ten.

          Cameron’s attempt to lance the Eurosceptic boil for a generation failed (even assuming that it was possible in the first place). Nothing has altered to remove the rancour within the Tories. Where is it written that a political party must exist in perpetuity? May could have negotiated “A” Customs Union and watched the lines of division in UK politics reform as they may. This would act to protect “the precious Union of Great Britain ©” (not that endangering the Union bothers me).

    • Greg Park

      “They have embraced politics of division, identifying enemies to blame for our problems and offering apparently easy answers”

      Says a politician notorious for scapegoating migrants and “citizens of nowhere” and who embraced the DUP.

      • remember kronstadt

        ‘who embraced the DUP.’

        er, stuffed their mouths with gold rather.

        • N_

          Whether the DUP support the Tories or not depends on how much cash they get stuffed in their pockets.

          “But” their hatred for the EU – an organisation which dates back to the Treaty of Rome is “genuinely” “religious”. By that I don’t mean it’s separate from monetary considerations or even different. But as soon as anyone in the leadership started to say the EU isn’t so bad they’d get others who’d shout “No Surrender” and “Traitor Lundy” at them, and who would find all the “cultural capital” rolled over to their side.

          As far as I know, not a single GB journalist has had the knowledge or guts to mention why the DUP – which strongly supports an open border in Ireland – is so anti the EU.

          • Rowan Berkeley

            @N_: “DUP’s hatred for the EU, an organisation which dates back to the Treaty of Rome, is “genuinely” “religious.”

            Steve Bannon & Jacob Rees-Mogg are members of right-wing imperialist Catholic factions which hate the Treaty of Rome because its basis is secular and democratic, just like the Israeli-Jewish haredim hate ‘zionism’ because its basis is secular and democratic. Bannon & Rees-Mogg want a right-wing imperialist Vatican. They expect Britain to separate itself from Europe and retrench itself with the english-speaking Protestant five eyes, meaning essentially the USA & Canada. Britain will belong to the Protestant Anglo-American bloc, which will be contreposed to the Catholic European continental bloc. Don’t ask about the Lutherans of northern Europe, they don’t seem to feature in this fantasy at all.

          • N_

            @Rowan – Good point about Bannon and Rees-Mogg.

            The DUP is Calvinist, not Lutheran.

            How do you read Bannon and Rees-Mogg in relation to the present Pope who is a Jesuit? When they see him e.g. wash the feet of Muslim migrants on Maundy Thursday, smoke must surely shoot out of their ears?

          • Rowan Berkeley

            Quite so, Calvinists in France & England, plus the lowland Scots … I was referring to Scandinavia, which really is largely Lutheran. North Germany, Denmark (think Kierkegaard), and the so-called Nordic countries, all Lutheran.

            Both Rees-Mogg and Bannon are on the Catholic right wing, though they don’t repudiate the Pope. Rees-Mogg is a member of this, which is mainly Anglican High Tories.
            “it emphasises England’s Anglican heritage (although some are looking to the Continuing Anglican movement and Roman Catholicism in view of the increasing liberalism within the CofE).” They think Vatican II was a sell-out. Bannon’s new centre or hub for training neo-nationalist politicians, seems like a direct challenge to the Vatican. This seems to be Bannon’s ideological network:

    • Ken Kenn


      Hopefully now every MP will stop asking her to do this and do that in the future.

      She didn’t have one anyway and she doesn’t have one in the future.

      Her ‘ retirement ‘ as leader of the Tories showed the contempt that the Conservative Party has ( and still has ) for the electorate
      as a whole.

      She’s rubbish as the leader our party but you lot can have her as your leader until another idiot comes along.

      And lo and behold like 350 million quid buses the candidates all come at once.

      I’m sure we’ll all remember her great work for years to come.

      Useless with a capital U.

      Like a tin of Corned Beef with the key missing.

      • Sharp Ears

        What now for Theresa? A peerage perhaps. Lady May of Sonning Common. Or perhaps a few seats on company boards.

        • N_

          She’ll get a non-executive directorship or two, probably. I doubt she’s worth much on the after-dinner speech circuit.

          Unless there’s a general election, she’s unlikely to get a seat upstairs, because of the danger of losing a Maidenhead by-election to the Brexit Party, perhaps even to Nigel Farage.

          All the “experts” (ahem) say that the outgoing prime minister is supposed to recommend that the monarch appoints as her successor the person who is likely to be able to “command a majority” in the Commons. What happens if there isn’t such a person? For example, what happens if three or four Tory MPs tell Theresa May privately that they will vote in favour of a vote of no confidence in a government led by Boris Johnson? What is Theresa May supposed to do then? Since the Fixed Terms Parliament Act the monarch no longer has the authority to dissolve parliament and trigger a general election, whatever “advice” she receives from whoever.

  • Bill Thomson

    Craig, “…..any of the more baroque conspiracy theories.”
    Are you suggesting the Americans don’t have access to Darroch’s emails simultaneously with, if not prior to the intended recipients?
    That seems to me to be the elephant in the room in this story.

    • remember kronstadt

      Having paid little attention to story I assumed it was the author who had leaked, sacrificially wetting his own pants, for a greater cause. It would ensure/explain why there was not etrail to follow.

    • George

      And I note that Craig follows that up with the usual “attraction of simplicity” sneer that implies: “Gosh! Life is just far too complicated and no-one can really understand anything! Be a grown up and face up to chaos!”

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