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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  • Dungroanin

    What has the Iranian capture of the Stena tanker achieved?

    1. They have shown they can do what the British Commandos did in the relatively safe waters of Gibraltar, but better in the Gulf – the video is impressive and professional.

    2. The Happiness Iranian tanker and crew held by the Saudis for two and half months was suddenly released.

    3. The B team has been faced off, their bluff called.

    What did it achieve for the UK?
    Besides from humiliation it is barely providing a distraction to the exploding can of worms in the US law courts of the linkage of the Integrity Initiative / Anti Russian ops / MI6 dodgy dossier / Syrian regime change failure / White Helmets, Isis, chemical weapons, UK/French special forces capture >>> Skripal Affair.
    Even withthe public sacrifice of the anyway retiring Ambassador to the US to assuage the potus and protect his bosses at the time and now the clown and the runt. If they try any further military distraction, it will not be as easy as picking on a undefended ship.

    • michael norton

      Philip Hammond, is not deffo going, if Hunt wins and promises not to do Bad Brexit then Speadsheet Phil will hang on for a bit.

      • Ken Kenn

        Michael – the question is; will Spreadsheet Phil and his Remain Tory ‘ Rebels ‘ actually rebel in a vote of No Confidence?

        My opinion is no and the Labour Brexit Constituency nervous Nellies could vote with the No Deal Tories as means to holding on to their seats until 2022.

        If they threaten to do so – they should be informed that they will be de-selected ASAP.

        They have to be put in a no win situation.

        Politics is a harsh game but the situation is so dire and dangerous drastic actions need to be carried out.

        I genuinely belive that because I don’t want ordinary people to bear the brunt of a No deal Brexit.

        It could be devastating depite the No Dealers rhetoric.

        • N_

          Yes, there needs to be a VONC on Thursday to bring down the new Tory government. Beforehand, Jeremy Corbyn needs to mount a surprise attack, because they will certainly be coming for him. See my post above.

    • giyane

      RoS

      If PTB are stupid enough to let Boris Johnson become PM, a man who does not even have the political nouse to handle a girlfriend, let alone a country, all the Tories will resign by means of a no confidence vote as soon as he is parachuted in. Boris is an embarrassment and nobody will stay to be tarred with his idiocy for long.
      His total inability to grasp the realities of Brexit, of No Deal, of Foreign Relations or economics ar anything… will lead immediately to a general election. I give him a day at most in No 10.

      • Republicofscotland

        Boris is the British Trump, and half of America loves Trump MAGA. Is Trump’s motto (Really make the rich, richer is the motto) Something Boris, and his well heeled followers can relate to.

        Boris and his backers see pound signs in their eyes, when they open up Britain to US businesses. Half of the parliament wants to stop him the other half don’t, I doubt Corbyn or Swinson or Davy if he becomes Lib/Dem lesder will oppose him, the Lib/Dems have a history of getting into bed with the Tories at the first whiff of power.

        • giyane

          RoS
          At half Trump’s age Boris has spaffed and snorted most of his braincells out. There’s no comparison between the two men.
          Apart from the way the hold the sides of the cot when trying to stand up.

          Mother May’s finally got her vocation. Keeping boris’ nappies changed and his spaffed up babygros.

          • Tom

            Exactly. Trump only plays the buffoon while Johnson really is. Incidentally, even by the cosy standards of our media, I was astonished to hear Peter Henessy on the World at One today allowed to refer throughout the interview to Johnson as “Boris”.

          • Ken Kenn

            The truth is that Johnson will be found out as PM.

            Being PM is a very serious job and requires diligence at least and for all May was hopeless she was genuinely trying her best.

            The fact that she was out of her depth emerged as time went by.

            I will make a prediction that Johnson will be lucky if he lasts two to three months as the impositions of the world of politics ( and maybe war – I hope not ) will interven to test him.

            This is an allegedly principled politician who had two speeches written before the Referendum and plumped after the result for Brexit.

            He is not an idealogue and has no principles.

            I would be forced to use a swear word but he is a contemptible self aggrandising – self promoting poltroon and he will be found wanting when in office.

            Basically he is a self centred pratt.

            He’s not alone in parliament.

            If Thatcher was alive she would have said: ” Has it come to this?”

            She must be rotating in her grave faster than the Hadron Collider.

          • N_

            Boris Johnson is unlikely to promote “MEGA” and thereby boost the Scottish independence movement. (They’re a pair.)

            One could imagine Stephen Bannon going for a “Europe of 100 flags” but I doubt he will. The extent to which he has been influenced by Julius Evola is probably exaggerated.

            But Alexander Dugin…

          • Rowan Berkeley

            @L_: “One could imagine Stephen Bannon going for a “Europe of 100 flags” but I doubt he will. The extent to which he has been influenced by Julius Evola is probably exaggerated. But Alexander Dugin… ”

            I don’t believe Dugin ever had any significant influence on Putin. Do you? Bannon professes to believe that he did, in an answer about 3/4 of the way down here:
            https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/lesterfeder/this-is-how-steve-bannon-sees-the-entire-world

            He says: “Vladimir Putin, when you really look at some of the underpinnings of some of his beliefs today, a lot of those come from what I call Eurasianism; he’s got an adviser who harkens back to Julius Evola and different writers of the early 20th century who are really the supporters of what’s called the traditionalist movement, which really eventually metastasized into Italian fascism. A lot of people that are traditionalists are attracted to that…. ”

            I think that Evola became pro-NATO after WW2. His anti-communism after all seems to have transcended everything else. And he taught his young followers accordingly, to obey NATO’s Gladio structure and its priorities..

      • Tony

        One of BoJo’s very few redeeming features is his ability to grasp the realities of brexit, as opposed to remain’s ‘Seventh Day Adventists, who keep on falling for the globalists’ ‘turn the world’s population into a herd of cattle to be moved wherever we want them for cheap-as-chips labour’ routine, disguised as ‘a recession will start tomorrow if you don’t fall for our bullshit’. And the recession never starts. And there is always an excuse as to why the recession didn’t start: increased consumer spending/freak increased construction/industrial buying confidence unusually high/etc/etc. And dumb-as-fuck remainers lap up this globalist nonsense month after month, year after year, despite it being proven categorically as nonsense month after month, year after year. But, hey! They’re evangalists. They believe.

        • giyane

          What you call a redeeming feature in Boris Johnson is merely a flaw in the system.

          Islam is fully democratic because it demands that rulers consult with a representative range of different ideas before making a decision.

          Majority decision as in the Brexit referendum permits a vast hoard of ignorance.and prejudice to direct the course of the common good. Whereas in Islam the leaders explore the range of opinion and extract a policy which caters for prejudice and ignorance while steering a course guided by knowledge and wisdom.

          I hope nobody thinks that the tyrannies of Saudi Arabia and Tehran are Islamic. Far from it. They are non-consultative dictatorships pandering to the nuclear powers.

          There is absolutely nothing democratic about a referendum in which the people are mis-directed and asked the wrong question.
          The right question would have been: What do you think would happen if we left the EU?

          David Cameron assumed he could
          get non-garbage advice after asking a garbage question.
          There is a better way to take decisions than ours. It wasbpartially our useless system to blame, not just a particularly poor bunch of Tory politicians.

          We need to move forward from Brexit and remove majority decision making from our system.
          It would be much easier to explain why we took a certain course than try to explain why we allowed ignorance and prejudice to direct national policy. The entire world is laughing at our frustration.

          • Tony

            What utter nonsense. We were already lied to about what would happen if we voted to leave the EU. The lies were proven wrong. And look what happened: Most of the globalist-controlled MSM has continued to promote scare story after scare story about our economy crashing. It’s always going to happen in the next quarter. And there’s always an inane, easily disprovable excuse as to why it keeps on not happening. When are you gullible remainers going to come out of your trances and realise that you are being mugged by globalists who are trying to create a controlled (by them) global market? Do you think that the people behind this scam care that countries like Romania and Bulgaria have acute workforce shortages because huge numbers of those countries’ able-bodied have fucked off to Western European countries to work for eight pounds/nine euros an hour plus any government benefits they can get? No, they don’t, because they don’t care about individual people or countries, and they make billions from the introduction of said migrants trashing the wage structures of the countries to which they migrate. Businesses get rich, a few million migrants become slightly better off, and the countries said migrants leave and migrate to get trashed. But hey, who cares? The globalists and their supporting industries make billions upon billions.

          • giyane

            Tony

            I’m not a remainder. I voted Leave to break up the coalition of European countries that , using mad Islamist proxies, trashed Syria and Iraq. A job well done.

            I want freedom of movement because it has pulled the ex Soviet countries out of poverty and economic collapse.

            I will have my cake and eat it when in a few weeks time Cornyn gets his Norway + Brexit. I am devasted at Totu populist racism. It stinks to high heaven.

            Any country that floods it’s economy with cash – any household even- will glow with affluence. For a time.
            By the time the no deal recession kicks in the bank manager will be back in Canada . Agriculture will collapse and industry will fail.

            The EU is as politically corrupt as the Tories, but somehow I don’t think all the mountains crushed into cement and all the ballast from the beaches is going to make enough concrete to wall Britain round.

          • Andyoldlabour

            Tony, great post, particularly the bit about “trashing the wage structures of the countries to which they migrate”.

          • aTony

            Andy, that, along with the damage done to the countries left behind by all the mass migration, are the elephants in the room that remainers turn away from. Instead, they ALWAYS utterly disingenuously drag the debate into the gutter by calling people who express such concerns as ‘thick racist zenophobes’ and suchlike. Maybe, when they grow up, some of them will realise how much they have been played by multinational corporatism.

        • N_

          Where are you going to sell the goods produced by expensive labour? Or are we not talking goods but financial services? Debt is sky high and bubbles burst.

          You sound as though you think British capitalism is going to keep on growing…while you call those who disagree true believers.

          A pound sterling is today worth 1.12 € and US$1.25. What do you think it will be worth on Friday 1 November if Britain undergoes a crashout Brexit?

          • Tony

            You obviously failed to notice that the UK left the cheap goods manufacturing markets decades ago. What’s left of our manufacturing industries (the ones that survived Thatcher’s savage cull) tend for the most part toward middle/ high end/ niche markets. These industries don’t need cheap labour to survive. They just use cheap labour because their cartels have made it available, and they consequently make far more money from using it.

    • giyane

      Evidence as in made-up evidence. Why do these wonks think they can spy on all of us 24/7 and yet us spying on them is illegal. The logic of a 2 year old. And their suspicion is a mental disease that one day the gold-fish is plotting to overthrow them. And our suspicion is that if they need to spy on us 24/7 then their mental disease has become a danger to society. The asylum they impose on Assange is what we should be imposing on them.
      trump first, then the neo-cons.

    • John2o2o

      спасибо вам, татьяна. My command of Russian is poor, so I still mostly use Google translate to understand.

      Moreno’s words are very much as to be expected. Unfortunatley Moreno, like the British government seems much too keen to ingratiate himself with the United States and is happy to lie openly.

      The Russian government always seems to behave with great integrity and moral fibre by contrast.

      • Tatyana

        I think all governments are the same when in need to hide their dirty secrets 🙂 The difference is that at the moment the russian government is closely watched, and this is good, fewer chance to play dirty tricks.

        btw, John, the package reached the country today.

        • giyane

          ” The package reached the country today”

          Isn’t that the phrase that was intercepted by our dumb intelligence services and used an an excuse to start a recent war?

          Don’t tell me Integrity Initiative are using CM blog to pass dark web secrets under the noses of the whistleblowers who are watching them….

        • John2o2o

          Hmm Tatyana, which package is that?

          Yes – if I understand you correctly – I expect that the governments of all countries are prone to corruption. I suppose we all have secrets and things we do not want to tell others, or at least only to very good friends in whom we can trust.

          Friendship is often undervalued.

      • Republicofscotland

        “The Russian government always seems to behave with great integrity and moral fibre by contrast.”

        I’m a bit surprised by that sentence John, I think Tatyana is nearer the point. Here’s a list of political prisoners held in Russia, and lets not forget the likes of Politkovskaya, or Pussy Riot, or Alexei Navalny, and his brother Oleg.

        Though Russia and Putin cannot be blamed for their action in Syria or Venezuela, with respect to Tatyana, there are no good guys, just levels of complicity in my opinion.

        https://memohrc.org/ru/pzk-list

        • Tatyana

          now it is my turn to be surprised, Republicofscotland.
          2 of 3 names are openly scornful of the whole russian nation, never lack a contemptuous epithet to the russian people. Navalny is also a hypocrite, he does what he accuses others of. Pussy Riot at least seem to truly believe in what they see as their mission.

          • Tony

            Don’t Pussy Riot receive funding and support from Western sources? Can you imagine how a Western music band protesting against abuse of power in the West would be looked upon/treated if it was found that they were funded by Russian sources???

          • Tatyana

            music band?
            Metallica is music, Anna Netrebko is music, Victor Tsoy is music, Rammstein is music, and even Timati is standing somewhere close to the music.
            Pussy Riot doesn’t even slightly smell of music, perhaps they once washed the floors in the room where a balalaika was stored 🙂

          • N_

            @Tatyana – Rammstein stole their look from Laibach!

            With the scope of their ideological mix, Pussy Riot might as well cite Alexander Dugin – although they wouldn’t like me saying so. They have their commercial heads screwed on right. In how they insult Russian orthodoxy they’re similar to Femen but with more clothes on, but they did not deserve to be beaten up as they were in Sochi.

            Voina are much cooler. (For those who don’t already know Voina, click here or here.) I liked both of these actions, especially the blue bucket one. They were essentially saying “In this vile epoch, there’s not much we can do – so let’s take the piss out of the guys in the limousines.” Love it.

        • Borncynical

          RoS

          Of those examples that you additionally name, Pussy Riot are attention seeking vandals who quite happily desecrated and damaged sacred places (just do an internet search for “urinating on Cenotaph” to see how the UK reacts to much more minor offences) and A Navalny is an attention seeking idiot who contrives situations to get himself arrested (for example, deliberately refusing to get official permission to hold demonstrations, knowing it is an arrestable offence), and fabricates nonsense tales of being persecuted by the Russian secret service. He is fully aware that permission is required for demonstrations so that the public are not inconvenienced, police can officiate and road diversions can be set up. But, of course if he did that, his actions wouldn’t get any publicity. Publicity? Oh yes, the tale of being targeted by security services with green paint as if they haven’t got better things to do with someone whom is regarded by anyone of intelligence as a minor distraction. You’ve only got to do an internet search of ‘Navalny green paint photos’ to gauge how totally lacking in credibility the allegations were. And presumably you have reason to believe the charges of embezzlement for which he and his brother were imprisoned were unfounded?

          And with regard to Anna Politkovskaya, a policeman was ultimately found guilty of her murder but refused to say who had ordered it – it goes without saying that fingers have been pointed at Putin but the infamous oligarch Boris Berezovsky, critic of Putin, has also been in the frame.

          • Tatyana

            Borncynical, it is not a permission, it is notice you need to hold a meeting in a city. The authorities must confirm that the place is free and provide police, medical and fire duty. We don’t want gays and skinheads running into each other in the same square, all drunk and with fireworks. No, thanks.
            Navalny is a lawyer, he knows the above law very well, so you are right – he looks for publicity. He also loves to collect money from his supporters and then spend it at luxury resorts.

          • giyane

            Borncynical

            With a all due respect , weeing on the cenotaph would be purer than laying wreaths to corrupt empire at the cenotaph.

          • N_

            The official imperialist British commemoration of the First World War should be put in context. It was about top landowners (including the royal family) and other posh scumbags saying how much they respected the dead poor (yeah right). So for example there’s an “unknown soldier” now, amid all the monuments in Westminster Abbey to royals and landowners and their political, cultural, and religious ‘n’ scientific hangers-on, thinkers, and functionaries. The whole business was a reaction to working class people who had very different ideas about how best to respond to the carnage of the war. It was cemented in thousands of local areas across the country using local monuments and freemasonic processions, with local government pillocks and their business chums being proud to march in their regalia representing “the authority of authority” with its implied threat against any members of the “masses” who might rebel, and with its upholding of “natural order”. (Openly freemasonic processions came to an end in the 1920s when it was decided they didn’t have the right look in the radio and mass media epoch.)

        • John2o2o

          Yes, quite right Ros, I was a bit over the top with that. lol – it struck me afterwards. Tatyana is certainly closer to the mark.

    • Ort

      Thanks for this report, Tatyana.

      Moreno’s latest lies and deceits are exactly what one would expect from this perfidious charlatan. He has placed his forked tongue in abject service to his El Norte masters.

      So it’s predictable that during this meeting, one fork of his tongue flickered forth the latest anti-Assange propaganda. The other fork is assiduously, er, licking Pompeo.

      • Republicofscotland

        Lets not forget Iran has Fateh class subs though there not as sophisticated as US or UK subs. However Russia could’ve helped upgrade them in ways unexpected by the Great Satan and its ever obedient minion Britain. No doubt Israeli subs will also be lurking close by.

        This reminds me of Russia in the 80’s who owed Pepsi cola a huge bill. Russia/Soviet Union, was skint, and paid Pepsi with 17 submarines and 3 warships, which Pepsi sold for scrap. However for a short period of time Pepsi had the 6th largest military submarine fleet in the world.

        • Rowan Berkeley

          @Republicofscotland: “Lets not forget Iran has Fateh class subs though there not as sophisticated as US or UK subs.”

          It is midget submarines that are the biggest threat, said former Royal Navy Commander Tom Sharpe. Commander Sharpe said: “The Yono midget submarine is a particular menace. Often lurking just below the surface in the middle of the traffic separation system, they are armed with a couple of heavyweight torpedoes. These will kill a frigate, and possibly even a carrier. There are always a couple at sea and they are hard to track and even harder to defeat.”
          https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1156053/navy-nuclear-sub-gulf-iran-uk-oil-tanker-middle-east-crisis

          • Republicofscotland

            For once the Express “newspaper” isn’t spouting drivel. Lord Beaverbrook kept hold of the news rag for entirely propaganda purposes. Something that still runs deep in the Express.

            I think the sub classes are the Ghadir and the Nahang. Which in my opinion have a slight advantage with their manoeuvrability and access to shallow waters, and their possibly unknown number.

          • Rowan Berkeley

            Thanks RoS, this is a nice little subject to look up on wikipedia:
            “The Ghadir class is based on the North Korean Yono-class submarine. Photographs indicate a pair of bow torpedo tubes around 530 mm in diameter, allowing them to fire typical heavyweight torpedoes. It could thus serve as a launch platform for the VA-111 Shkval rocket torpedo.”
            The entry on the Nahang is so vague I wonder if it really exists:
            “The Nahang was observed on satellite imagery at Bandar-e-Abbas on Jun 28 2009. As there has been much discussion as to the size of the Nahang versus the Ghadir, satellite imagery clearly shows the Nahang as being much shorter than the 29m Ghadir.”

        • Courtenay Barnett

          Tatyana,

          Promptly – truthfully – and realistically – let us all get real on this thread.

          Big powers want to control the narrative ( i.e. US – Russia – China et. al.). They may do so in different ways – but they do.

          No one engages in the espionage business without being a rather compromised and/or corrupted person – for that is the nature of the game ( maybe with a bit of nationalistic loyalty thrown in).

          The ongoing global power shift witnesses these processes at play.

          If your report is correct – then I guess the former President of Ecudaor has been left no choice:-

          1. He does not want his wife harmed.

          2. He does not want his child/children harmed.

          3. He does not want to be personally embarrassed ( for whatever reason) – nor does he want anyone close to or loved by him to be harmed – nor himself – actually.

          The statement speaks volumes about global corruption and/or coercion.

          Over and out my dear.

        • Ort

          Thanks for providing this dismal report. It’s disappointing to learn that Correa is also pushing obvious propaganda in his belated criticism of Assange.

          I don’t think that Correa treacherously distancing himself from Assange is as reprehensible as Moreno’s utter capitulation to his Western masters, but this certainly reduces my opinion of Correa.

          I’m not religious, and don’t mean to compare Assange to Jesus Christ in a literal sense, but just to make a parallel with the Gospel story: if Moreno is the “Judas” (or “Pontius Pilate”) who delivered the captive Assange to the authorities for virtual execution, it appears that Correa is like Simon Peter “denying Assange thrice”. Appalling!

    • Nevermind

      Thanks Tatiana. Many yesterday listened to the editor of wiki leaks Kristin Hraffson explaining the vacuum the general public is kept in and how MSM journalist, the bbc and the western orientated gate keepers/opinion formers are publishing and fermenting lies, just as the Paul Mannafort fairytale regards Julian Assange.

      Does anybody know the reasons why the justice 4Julian website has been taken down and when it will be reinstated? This attempt by western Governments to silence journalists, for facts of war crimes in Iraq, for which nobody has been prosecuted yet, is an attempt to manipulate and stifle those who speak out.

      And the public is being artificially divided with false outrage, kept like mushrooms in the dark. Journalists should by now be aware that their once honourable profession is being turned into a shallow occupation, paid well to perpetuate the status quo which is using the law, hallo Arbuthnot, to keep honest publishers like Julian Assange in jail.
      All the stories of him have been fabricated and he should/must not be extradited to US cangaroo justic.
      Remember the photo of the girl in Vietnam burned by Indiscriminate use of Napalm, the photographer was hounded and berated because the aggressors did not like it.

  • Olaf S

    An attack nuclear submarine to the area? These ”attempts at de-escalation” seem to take many curious shapes..
    (Only hopefully the speedboats will not run rings around it).

    • michael norton

      The Astute class Sub is the very newest type of sub, they are armed with the Scottish made Tomahawk Block IV,
      which has a thousand mile range, so could remain in the Indian Ocean and take out any point in Iran.

      • Republicofscotland

        “they are armed with the Scottish made Tomahawk Block IV,”

        I’m under the impression only the guidance system is made in Scotland.

        An interesting fact about the Iranian navy is that Britain and the Soviet Union all but destroyed it in 1941, to secure Iranian oilfields and stop them falling into the hands of the Nazi’s. However Iran was neutral, though they did have diplomatic relations with Germany during WWII, so they had the Shah removed, and replaced with his son, who as we all know was the last Shah of Iran

          • Hatuey

            The Brits are are seriously desperate, if that’s what you mean. The fact is they have nothing else to send. And I really don’t see how a nuclear submarine is going to play any part in interdiction, blockade, or counteracting Iranian boarding parties.

          • michael norton

            The Astute is powered by a nuclear reactor, it does not hold nuclear weapons.
            They are kitted out with British made Spearfish, two ton torpedoes, which should be able to take out any boat the Iranians put to sea.
            In very quick order.

          • Hatuey

            Michael, I didn’t think nuclear subs could only fire nuclear weapons. Please tell me what use this sub with its fancy missiles will be if the Iranians board another ship by helicopter?

            This, in case you don’t understand, is the part of the conversation where you either bugger off or change the subject.

  • FraPer

    Mr Murray please post anything, a map of Scotland or a weather forecast, don’t care what but please post something so I don’t have to see Tony Blair staring me in the face every time I open your blog……………………

      • Tony

        It’s like: “Yeah, I did. So what? I’m made, and you’re not”. He was a prettyboy (a cross-dresser, apparently) when he came to power. if ever a face told the story of it’s subsequent history, his is it. He converted to Catholicism to obtain forgiveness for his atrocities. He will go to his grave a haunted man, and rightly so.

        • Jo1

          He’s not haunted by his atrocities. He’s only haunted because he’s not seen as a hero.

          • Tony

            Oh, I think he fully understands his predicament Jo. It’s written all over his face. He desperately seeks redemption through remain. Just like he would do and say anything to establish his legacy when he was PM, he now does anything he can to reinstate his popularity through remain, including making borderline treasonous visits to his pals in the EU heirarchy.

      • Tom

        Interestingly, Theresa May also has completely dead eyes. It must be a side-effect of the job.

        • Mighty Drunken

          A side effect of the operation which removes their brain and replaces it with a soul sucking, mind control parasite?

          Thinking of Londo Mollari and his keeper.

    • Ort

      FWIW, FraPer, my ad-blocking software normally does not block images posted by Craig, but after a couple of days I manually blocked that photo of Blair– for some reason, he looks even more diabolical than usual.

      So, as the equally odious Bill Clinton liked to say on the campaign trail, “I feel your pain”. 😉

  • Tony

    Oh dear! We have one of the professional hysteric, Cadwalladr’s conspiracy theorists on board. Prepare yourselves for wild theories about Russian agents/Carter Page/whoever is currently their fave bogeyman visiting the Equadorian embassy in disguise/wearing a mask to aid Julian Assange’s round-the-clock surveilled attempt to overthrow the Western World..

  • Ros Thorpe

    I’m baffled about Craig’s silence due to some weird Scottish ritual. Come back Craig. Where are you? Is there no internet at that thing?

    • Tony

      Craig’s currently ‘Doune The Rabbit Hole’ as per the banner top left of this page. If I didn’t have a school-age son, I would probably be there too. It looks a splendid event.

      • Ort

        I don’t see a banner top left on my page, but I do see the poster reproduced on the right-hand side.

        Perhaps the reason some (including me) were puzzled by Craig’s absence is because last year he posted extensively about the festival. In fact, when I saw your comment my first thought was “Has it been a year already?”

        As we say in the USA, time flies when you’re having fun!

    • giyane

      Craig is not Dr Who, operating an unpredictable time machine into zones of historical conflict.
      In retrospect it does seem that the leaks of Darroch’ s words might have been intended to put Trump in a straightjacket over Iran rather than piss off Darroch.

      I’m very happy to see Craig being able to kick his FOC colleagues in the balls because they treated him appallingly over torture. The Kurdish CIA jihadist who stole money from me and befriended my elderly mother behind my back, is now employing my next door neighbour to spy and creat mischief against me.

      This is because I reported the imam for agreeing with Islamic State about the murder of Christian worshippers in Sri Lanka. In Islam you are not allowed to take revenge on some ordinary Christians just because Trump wears a Chritian hat in his politics when he is killing Daesh.

      Islamists fail to understand that two wrongs don’t make a right You can’t blame me for what the British goverment did to your country in 1918 or ecen 1818. . Winston Churchill’s statue has flames shooting out of his eyes in SW1.

      It is pure racism to sack a senior diplomat for standing against U.S. imperial injustice.
      I can understand Craig’s frustration that the Tories rallied round Darroch after insulting Trump but sacked Craig for rebuking George Bush. Craig was sticking up for Muslims, while Darroch was sticking up for white consumers of Muslim oil.

  • N_

    Welcome to the “Iran wants to blow you up” epoch… Robert Mendick in the MI6 house journal, the Torygraph: “Iran-backed terrorist cells could be deployed to launch attacks in the UK if the crisis between London and Tehran deepens, intelligence sources have warned. Among senior intelligence officers, Iran ranks behind only Russia and China as the nation state posing the greatest threat to Britain’s national security and the seizure of the UK-flagged oil tanker Stena Impero will have intensified concerns in MI5 and MI6. Intelligence agencies believe Iran has organised and funded sleeper terror cells across Europe including the UK and could greenlight attacks in response to a conflict in the Gulf.”

    This surely related to why Kim Darroch got undermined.

    Great words: “deployed”, “organised”, “funded”, “sleeper cell, “even if “greenlight” sounds a bit Hollywood. You would have thought a “sleeper cell” had already been “deployed” purely by dint of its existence, but never mind. The idea is that dark-skinned elements who value whitey’s panic and extreme fear so highly that they turn their evil commitment into an “ism” have been waved over the border without being properly checked, let alone stopped, and are waiting to kill whitey on whitey’s own turf. (Meanwhile my moronic neighbour believes illegal immigrants get social security payments. It’s as if her brain completely disengages when she hears or says the term “illegal immigrant”. It’s a term that bureaucratically objectivises people and has a peculiarly British tang of class cruelty to it, rather like “job seeker”, “special needs”, and many others.)

    One successful terror attack in Britain in the next week and the racist far right and their crashout Brexit government will be in seventh heaven.

    When she got into Number 10, Theresa May oh so steelily asserted that she was prepared to murder hundreds of thousands of people with nuclear weapons. I shudder to f***ing think what Boris Johnson might say and do in his first two days.

    Perhaps the filthy threesome of Scruton, Young and Cummings could cooperate on a eugenics paper. Joined-up government?

    • giyane

      N_

      The sole purpose of Prevent is to identify future pasties to commit terror fakes in the UK and abroad. Just as the sole purpose of expectations management is to conceal the vast profits being made by Tory Haves all the whole nothing is built or run for the benefit of the have -nots.

      The ERG will make many killings gambling on company failures after hard Brexit. All they need is a catalyst for that failure Which is No Deal.

      It is important for them to know the exact date of the next crash so that they can sell assets at boom prices before buying the back post crisis at a quarter of their old value.

      Anyway illegal immigrants get a free house with free bills plus about £ 850 per Mont while their asylum claim is processed. That’s probably quite a lot more in real terms than your neighbour gets. Britain needs workers which is why the government maintains the incentives .

      Asylum is a way of compensating people for colonial theft of their country’s assets.
      The profitsfrom the stolen gas and oil run into billions of dollars every day

      • N_

        @Giyane – I agree completely about knowing the date of the crash, or being able to control when it is. That is extremely lucrative information and influence.

        The vast majority of illegal immigrants work illegally and do not claim any benefits. This includes perhaps 1 million people in London alone. Most enter the country legally and become illegal when they overstay.

        Of those who have been identified as illegals a much smaller number, maybe about 25000, are held in holding camps run by companies such as G4S and Serco.

        How many illegals are allowed to live outside of camps while their asylum claims are processed? And of those, how many are given any actual cash in their hands at all?

        The only reference I could find to £850 per month were in articles such as this one in the Scum and this one in the Guardian, and they refer to LEGAL immigrants. Those people are probably doing two or three jobs in order to pay the rent for the third-world hovels that the live in.

        There are landlords who make millions out of letting hovels that are resided in by legal immigrants, by illegal immigrants working illegally, and doubtless also by some illegal immigrants who are waiting for asylum claims to be processed. Lawyers, medics and security companies also have their snouts in the trough. No illegal immigrant who is known to the authorities gets given loads of money by the state.

        My neighbour got given a free house by the Scottish authorities back in the 1980s. Like all right-wingers and all racists she is a hypocrite.

    • Hatuey

      Actually, terrorism is like any other service today; if you have the money, you can order as easily as you would a pizza. It’s been like that since the mid ‘70s, Carlos the Jackal being an obvious example.

      And it’s easy to imagine that Iran would have contacts in that industry, just as everybody else does. I would guess this sort of thing explains the heightened security over flights to Egypt. No doubt someone overheard something about someone looking to place an order.

      The “sleeper cell” stuff is hard to believe.

      Of course, when we want to scare someone’s horses or whatever, we don’t necessarily need to hire anyone else because we can send our special forces into Iran and elsewhere as we please. For the most part, then, we make and deliver our own pizzas.

      One man’s terrorist is another man’s pizza.

      • giyane

        I hate pizza. Too much fake cheese and tomatoe.Whereas a good pasty keeps all the flavour in and we never find out the truth.

        So Hatuey IYHO do you think the whole of Brexit is media sound bites of rent a yob racists and rent a gob politicians?
        Or are there really 120,000 foaming Tories out there who want Bozone and no deal?

        • N_

          @Giyane – Are you confusing pasties with patsies.

          A pizza is a glorified oversized cheese and tomato sandwich with poor quality bread and a spoonful of sugar.

        • Hatuey

          Giyane, the either/or implied in your question makes no sense.

          Earlier you talked about the advantages of an enlightened Muslim dictatorship over what we call democracy. They’re both virtually identical and premised on the same idea — that people are too stupid to make decisions.

          I agree with the premise. Maybe if we put less emphasis on breasts and sport democracy could work though. I don’t think a Muslim government could ever work and the more educated people get, the less likely they are to put up with crap.

          • N_

            @Hatuey – “the more educated people get, the less likely they are to put up with crap.”

            This is true. But much of what passes for university education in Britain today is anything but – it’s getting youngsters to spend time in buildings to justify whatever livestock-moving schemes nominally have something to do with the pretexts that are used for starting them off on 30 years of indebtedness. Anybody who says that everyone is born with the same potential is treated as a public enemy here. Lifelong learning? Education, education, education? This is the country of extreme hypocrisy and downward-pointing caste hatred.

            Eugenicists Roger Scruton, Toby Young and Dominic Cummings (whom even David Cameron called a psychopath) back in favour and plonked into state-paid positions? This could well happen. Scruton has been rehabilitated, what with the miraculously discovered audio tape. Young is a known friend of Boris Johnson. Top Leave strategist Cummings’s return to the heart of government may well be imminent.

            Much of the talk is of sorting out the “Remainers” in a “Remainer government”, a “Remainer parliament”, a “Remainer civil service”, “Remainer-heavy SW1”, etc. Froth froth, fury fury, rabies rabies, fake news, kill kill kill.

          • giyane

            Hatuey

            May I repeat that when I talk of Islam I don’t mean the fascist arseholes of political Islam, Islamism who spy for western governments for cash turning petty criminals into Mercedes owners just for sitting on their bums and looking at screens.

            As can educated person I don’t put up with that for a second. Spying I’d expressly forbidden three times in the Qur’an

          • Hatuey

            N_, apart from not thinking it’s very helpful or constructive to criticise standards in education today, I think it’s a myth to suggest standards are significantly worse today than they used to be.

            I might be lucky, but the young people I mix with today are much more rounded, conscientious, and intelligent than most young people i knew when I myself was younger… I include myself in that negative assessment.

            That said, just the other day I was attacked by a bunch of neds when in my car waiting at the traffic lights. They were racially abusing and threatening a young Asian chap whose only crime was to exist as a young Asian chap. Raising an eyebrow was enough for them to turn on me.

            I think instead of “people make glasgow” the city slogan should be “existence precedes essence”.

            Giyane, you’re letting this stuff about people spying spoil your vibe. Before, when you were an honest crackpot, you were probably worth spying on, but not now.

            I don’t think any form of authority that is based on religion is legitimate or desirable. I wouldn’t impose that view on anyone though or use it as a pretext for intervention, abuse, or anything, and everything I say about world politics rests on one simple axiom; western countries, as the biggest scoundrels and abusers in all history, shouldn’t even be allowed to discuss intervention in other countries.

          • N_

            @Hatuey – “N_, apart from not thinking it’s very helpful or constructive to criticise standards in education today, I think it’s a myth to suggest standards are significantly worse today than they used to be.

            It’s extremely helpful. Many leave school today in Britain not being able to do joined-up writing, write a proper sentence, or tell the time from an analogue clock. Imagine being that thick.

            A lot of behaviour is now so stupid that if we could get into a time machine and tell people even as recently as the 1980s that most native residents in Britain in 2019 aged under 40 can’t do much more in the literacy department than print words letter by letter and type into stupid personal television sets without using any punctuation, their jaws would hit the floor.

            Meanwhile moneylending is booming.

          • N_

            But wait, @Hatuey, the schoolteachers and the crooks who run schools say the successes as measured by target indicators are looking good? Everything else must be an illusion then or a “myth”

          • Hatuey

            N_, I’m sure the irony will be lost on you but you are required to provide evidence — anecdotal impressions etc., don’t count — when you say things like that.

            The reason it’s unhelpful to say what you’re saying is obvious and even if it was true I wouldn’t say it; the only chance under-achievers have of being able to lead meaningful lives is through education, i.e is the very thing you are slating.

            According to you, lots of people are thick and they can’t do anything about it because the education system is useless.

            Good luck with that on the doorsteps.

          • giyane

            Hatuey

            Your comment that terror is easily rented nowadays broke my gloom about religious betrayal. You are right. For these low level mercenaries spying is just converting hate into cash.
            Cash into flashy Mercedes.
            Mercedes into nice ladies and nice ladies into babies.

            In other words it is an ultimately fruitfall occupation for the unwanted uneducated rejects of society who are unable to make anything.

  • Sharp Ears

    Sense from Galloway here on UK and Iran, Boris etc. From the start for the first 25mins. (I did not watch beyond)

    ‘In this week’s show, George talks Iranian Revolutionary Guard capture of British cargo ship, the comments by Donald Trump on congress women of ethnic origins other than the US……’
    https://youtu.be/im4bi8XCXTc

    • michael norton

      On Wednesday we should be getting a new Prime minister, many ministers are already saying if Boris wins, they will cease to serve, so they at least must be quite sure, Boris will be the winner takes all.
      It is being said a massive clearing of the stables will be undertaken to put avid Brexiteers in charge and to make the point to the E.U. Elite that Cliff Edge is a very real outcome.
      There will be many immediate issues that the new Prime minister will face but the Gulf of Persia story is one that he should put on the slow burner until Brexit is over the line.

    • Wikikettle

      Sharp Ears. Good to hear Galloway. They took him of Talk Radio with antisemitism as an excuse. Now he has a worldwide audience on You Tube including US. It will be also good to see him battle Tom Watson for his parliamentary seat. He is articulate, powerful and speaks out on issues such as Palestine, Syria and Iran. The policies he rages against are never brought up, but always attacked personally. Go for it GG.

  • N_

    Is a 1980-style October Surprise afoot with Iran?

    Foreign Minister Alan Duncan has resigned. In his resignation letter he says that he remains “deeply upset that some fruitful discussions I had initiated about the possible release of Nazanin Ratcliffe were brought to such abrupt halt”.

    • Laguerre

      That’s a bit opaque for me. What sort of October surprise? Johnson holds an election, and the Iranians are arranged to release Zaghari-Ratcliffe in a last minute surprise? I wouldn’t have thought the British public were that bothered about her. Most people seem to think she was some sort of British agent who got caught.

      • N_

        I don’t know, but what was Alan Duncan on about when he says he started discussions about releasing her which were abruptly halted? He seems to be linking this to Johnson somehow.

        • Vivian O'Blivion

          I believe the simple and dull explanation is that Duncan and the Foreign Office were holding to the line that Zaghari-Ratcliffe was “only visiting family”. Johnson blurted out that she was “only teaching journalism”, which equates to “foreign powers fermenting social unrest at a time of war” to the government in Tehran.

          • Republicofscotland

            Well, said Vivian, pointing out what is more than likely the truth of the matter.

    • Dungroanin

      I suppose it has to do with releasing the funds illegaly held by the UK from the cancelled arms sales under the shah.

  • Sharp Ears

    Who stole our tanker, cont’d

    A quote from ex Admiral Lord West’s Observer article on Saturday.

    ‘Admiral Lord West, former head of UK navy:
    ‘Powerful groups in Israel, Saudi Arabia and the US want war and think a strike on Iran would lead to regime change. They are wrong. It would lead to open ended war with catastrophic consequences across the globe‘
    https://twitter.com/ShoebridgeC/status/1153026603997388800

    New PM, take note: the Iran crisis could escalate into war
    Alan West
    Britain must seek to reduce tension but its first duty is to protect ships and crews
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jul/20/new-pm-take-note-iran-crisis-could-escalate-into-war

    • Bob

      Presumably by mentioning Israel in a negative way, Alan West will now be thrown out of the Labour Party as an anti Semite. I wish Corbyn et al would listen more to Lord West, one of the few members of the Lords who speaks from real experience but who has been sidelined by Labour.

  • Sharp Ears

    In page 1 of Alan Duncan’s letter of resignation to No 10 (he couldn’t stomach the thought of working for Boris), he says that his work in Central Asia has resulted in reforms in Uzbekistan such as the release of political prisoners and the admission of the BBC, the Economist and Reuters to the country! He should have kept quiet about the introduction of those three organs of the UK state when speaking of ‘reforms’!

    https://twitter.com/AlanDuncanMP/status/1153238110475554821

    I see that in that AJ recording, The Lobby, Shai Masot at the Israeli Embassy made a threat was made to take Alan Duncan down, amongst others, for their pro- Palestinian views.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Duncan#Comments_by_Israeli_embassy_official

      • M.J.

        This looks an excellent article for furthering international justice and human rights generally. It reminds me of a book by Jimmy Carter, although he later regretted using the word “apartheid” in the title (whether he should have is a matter of opinion). But I wasn’t aware that Jonathan Sacks had condoned what was going on in the West Bank. Where did he condone such things?

      • Bramble

        The double standard was on display in Cif (not really: no comments allowed) yesterday with some Liberal MP coming out with a “pro Palestinian” article while at the same time criticising those who are anti Zionist. The stench of hypocrisy was overpowering. Obviously, if a Labour MP had written it he or she would have been suspended immediately.

      • N_

        Alan Duncan tried to table a Commons motion to establish on Wednesday whether the Commons would or would not have confidence in a Boris Johnson government. That is along the lines I was speculating about, given that it is usually said that the monarch appoints as prime minister a politician “who can command a majority in the Commons”. The question is what happens if it becomes publicly clear before Theresa May “goes to the Palace” that Boris Johnson cannot do that? Duncan tried to find out.

        Guess what happened. John Bercow refused to allow his motion to be tabled. You only have to watch how John Bercow tugs his forelock to Jacob Rees-Mogg to realise that the “anti-Brexit car sticker” story was chaff. Admittedly he is not at all subservient in his manner to Boris Johnson, but Rees-Mogg counts for much more. For a comparison, consider Rees-Moggian prorogation against Boris Island or Boris Bridge. Johnson finds it hard to talk anything other than sh*t. He’s a clown.

        It isn’t over yet. There are other places than the Commons where a sufficient number of Tory MPs might demonstrate that Johnson would not have the confidence of the Commons and should not therefore be appointed as prime minister. Such as TV studios. Such as the platform on College Green outside the Palace of Westminster. All it takes is four MPs – am I right? Clarke, Grieve, Duncan, Hammond? Call it 10 and will Theresa May still advise the monarch to “ask Johnson to form a (minority) government”? I somehow doubt that May would have the guts herself to say she would have no confidence in Johnson, although interestingly she is going to make a speech after the one she delivers in the Commons on Wednesday.

        Then there’s Sinn Fein. Will Bercow tell them they have to wait a week before they can vote? Or introduce a special rule where they have to shout “God bless Her Majesty, queen of the UK of GB and NI, and long may she reign!” before they’re allowed through one of the voting lobbies?

        C’mon, Shinners. Bring your berets when you take the oath if you like, and then untake the oath as soon as you’ve voted no confidence.

  • Sharp Ears

    Has Craig stopped using Twitter? The Twitter icon which linked to his account, and which was displayed alongside the Facebook icon, has disappeared from the top of the page.

  • Goose

    On the tanker saga.

    The Times reports Gibraltar updated its sanctions enforcement regulations 36 hours before Royal Marines impounded an Iranian tanker when it stopped for supplies in the territory, lawyers have said.

    In her Channel 4 news report tonight, Lindsey Hilsum claimed that the GRACE 1 seizure was potentially illegal because the tanker wasn’t registered in any EU country – therefore not subject to EU sanctions law? Spain has apparently described the UK’s move to capture the vessel as a hostile act. The BBC hasn’t mentioned any of this.

    • Hatuey

      And nobody in the UK has explained that the Iranian ship was only in the vicinity of Gibraltar because Egypt barred Iranian ships from using Suez, forcing them to take the lng route around Africa to Syria.

      This has all the hallmarks of being pre-planned months in advance which means it will probably escalate.

      Nice time to invest in oil and gold if you have more than two dimes to rub together.

      • N_

        @Hatuey – Have you got a view on why the Stena Impero changed course the way it did? That couldn’t have been an accident. I don’t think anyone has even offered a whoopsadaisyist explanation.

        • Hatuey

          N_, I assume you are referring to the way the Impero turned towards Iranian waters? I’m not sure if it was ordered to do that by the Iranians — according to the audio released, it was in International waters when it was ordered to turn around “360 degrees”.
          I guarantee there’s a lot more to this than any of us know, though.

      • Goose

        Hatuey

        The more you think about this, the more sinister these recent events seem.

        Hunt now states he wants a European maritime protection force to accompany tankers due to what he claims are threats to shipping in the Gulf, from Iran … But where is the threat to other European vessels? Iran carried out a reciprocal act after the UK’s illegal seizure and detention of the Grace 1; something that was unnecessary, illegal and certain not to go unanswered. Basically he’s manufactured a crisis from nothing, at the behest of John Bolton and now wants to involve the Europeans for cover or to be the victims of unspecified, nonsensical Iranian aggression that isn’t what it appears to be. What’s planned next is probably equally diabolical.

        • Hatuey

          I don’t buy the John Bolton slant. It’s worth remembering that the British claim they were upholding EU sanctions on Syria when the seized Grace 1.

          My theory on what’s happening is quite scary. I’ve watched a few episodes of sabre-rattling play out over the years with regards to Iran. I’ve commented on them on here too. In every one of those case I have guessed (correctly) that it would come to nothing. This time I think we are heading for a major conflict but I think it’s about a year or more away.

          The Trump story from a few weeks ago — whereby he supposedly decided at the last minute to call off an airstrike because he was concerned about loss of life — tells you a lot about what’s in the pipeline. That’s pretty clever propaganda, when you think about it;

          1) it rests on the assumption that bombing Iran is acceptable and uncontroversial. The media was busy talking about Trump’s decision and to my knowledge nobody discussed the assumption that bombing Iran was okay. Amazing that, when you think about it, in propaganda terms.

          2) it reinforces the idea that the Trump, decision-makers at the Pentagon, and the rest of the war dogs involved, have souls and act morally. If anyone really thought for a minute that was true, it would be front-page news everywhere.

          3) it primes us all for the real attack which I would guess is in the pipeline. When it happens, Trump will say he really wanted to avoid this — “everybody knows I don’t like killing people, look at he way I called the previous attack off” — but the Iranians have forced his hand and given him no choice.

          When the real attack comes, it will be massive. And it will take time to prepare for that. Between now and then there will be a few “incidents” along the lines we have seen in the last few weeks. It’s possible they have been secretly preparing and we are closer to that than I know, but I doubt it — it’s hard to move hardware on the scale required around without anyone noticing.

          The EU, as always, will be supportive when the time comes. The real threat and target here in all of this is Russia. Russia’s intervention in Syria, with Iranian support, etc., was — in historical terms — a major encroachment and violation one of the central keystones of the International System; that is to say, it challenges the assumption that the US and/or “the west” owns the Middle East.

          The EU leaders understand and accept all that, always have, because ultimately they are as dependent on that International system as anyone and they definitely don’t want more dependency on Russia when it comes to energy supplies. The same could probably be said of China, Japan, and most other big economies. The only people that really object to that assumption of ownership are people in the Middle East themselves and we can just kill them if they get in the way, as we always have.

          • Goose

            Just to add …Don’t forget Defence Secretary James Mattis’ surprise resignation late last year. He may have known about this and not been comfortable at all.

            A fool he was not.

          • Goose

            The key thing for the west is setting Iran up as the instigators or the aggressors, forcing the west to act, reluctantly – a big lie. This is political cover if it goes to hell.

            And notice how all our lying western MSM are using the same words, “escalation”, “escalation”. Usually portraying Iran as goading the west into war somehow, when nothing could be further from the truth. The last thing sanctions-hit Iran needs is a catastrophic war.

            We’ve become like the true heirs of the worse regimes in history. All because democratic accountability is shocking in the UK.

          • Goose

            It’ll be late August, early September and limited, is my guess. Trump won’t want a crisis in election year.

            As you say the military hardware isn’t in place yet. The troops aren’t there because there’ll be no land invasion/occupation – there is no staging country(Shia Iraq is pro-Iran) and due to Iran’s size and population it’s simply unthinkable.

            I can’t believe war planners would countenance the use of nuclear weapons against a non-nuclear armed state, it’d be diabolical, and justify every future state acquiring such weapons. Western leaders would be putting their own necks on the line with US /UK domestic populations who’d find such unwarranted mass slaughter utterly reprehensible.

            So as for conventional airstrikes, Iran has enough air defensive capability of sufficient quality(includijng a natively produced system, an advanced, modified S-300 which is nearly on a par with S-400 according to reports) and enough cruise missiles to make it far from a walk in the park. The US would prevail, but it’d probably take weeks

            AS for the political ramifications. Here in the UK Labour leadership would oppose, however many in the hawkish PLP may not, giving the membership a stark reminder why they disliked the Blairites so much.

            In the US, I’m not sure. Many Democrats will oppose and should it not go smoothly, criticism and protests would doubtless grow. The US public probably hasn’t got much love for hawks Bolton and Pompeo to begin with.

          • Hatuey

            Goose, it’s standard procedure to blame the enemy or victim for an attack so, yes, of course, they’ll do that with Iran. To be fair to them, all scumbags do that, on every that level scumbags operate on.

            “Trump won’t want a crisis in election year.”

            Have you been watching MSM again? That’s the sort of crap they say on TV. Everyone knows that wars boost ratings, loyalty, patriotism, etc.

    • Borncynical

      Goose

      Spain are correct in their judgement. The remit of EU sanctions against Syria is solely to prohibit EU Member States from importing, purchasing or transporting oil originating in Syria or coming from Syrian suppliers (who may have purchased the oil from another country). The sanctions (Article 6 of EU Council Regulation 36/2012) have no bearing on non-EU countries exports, including their exports to Syria. The EU has no jurisdiction over Iran’s exports, oil or otherwise, to Syria. So the UK’s justification (for the seizure of the Grace 1) that they were enforcing EU sanctions against Syria is just an out and out lie.

      I have written to my MP to ask him to obtain for me from the Foreign Office a chapter and verse breakdown of the legal basis for the seizure, pointing out that EU Regulation 36/2012 doesn’t ‘cut the mustard’. I facetiously said to him that they should be able to provide me with the information very easily as it would have been provided to Ministers and the Prime Minister to inform their decision to seize the tanker.

  • John2o2o

    I wanted to say a little about Julian Assange and his current circumstances. It seems to me that there is little that can actually be done by anyone to get Julian released from prison and it also seems very likely that he will be sent to the United States.

    Perhaps the only way in which he will be physically released from prison is if Trump pardons him or if Tulsi Gabbard becomes the next US President. Neither of these desirable outcomes seem very likely.

    Over the years I have read a number of books exploring such issues. It is worth considering the likes of Nelson Mandela. He was eventually freed after many years of incarceration.

    It is possible, so I read, that even in the midst of great pain and isolation to endure and even transcend that suffering. I don’t want to sound unduly optimistic about this, but the circumstances do not have to dictate the psychology. The mind can be free even if the body is
    imprisoned. Of course, how do you get that message to Julian and could he do it?

    I often struggle to remain optimistic and I am on the face of it as free as anyone can be. I don’t earn a lot in my work as a professional genealogist – and I am now bored of it – but I don’t have a boss leaning over my shoulder and I am generally not put under much pressure by my clients.

    I fell in love this year and it hurt like hell that I could not persuade the person to love me back. But I since find that there are others in her life who quite rightly have priority and I now find myself agreeing with her. Doesn’t make it any easier, but cest la vie.

    As for the Americans and Chelsea Manning. Frankly I find their trying to punish Chelsea by imposing a fine to in a way be quite amusing – Americans love their money. Filing for bankruptcy is not a particularly good thing to have to do, but it clears your debts and millions of Americans have to do it every year when they can’t pay their medical bills. A sick country indeed. With what Chelsea has had to endure over the years I doubt it would be a great ordeal if it came to it.

    • Goose

      John2o2o

      I wouldn’t be so pessimistic. The whole Assange/Manning saga already reeks of an abuse of power at all levels: political; judicial. Many US publications and journalists are already energised about the free speech implications, as are civil liberties groups. The idea he’ll be thrown in a cell and forgotten isn’t in any way likely. A travesty of justice will be seen as a travesty of justice.

  • Carl

    All that big talk about Britain projecting military power on the world must have impressed Trump. He’s said: go on then, have a crack at iran …. oops!!

    • Hatuey

      Britain humiliated again; they thought the bully of the playground would back them up.

      The idea that Britain could confront Iran in its own in the Middle East region is hilarious on a certain level. I’m sure even Trump would find that Idea funny.

      • Goose

        I think it’s more complicated than that…

        Hunt wants the EU involved partly because they are out on a limb over the Grace 1’s impounding, and, because if EU countries commit their limited naval forces to the Gulf, then lo and behold they get attacked, it’s easier to rope them into a war that otherwise the US and UK would be fighting alone. ‘International community’ cover is very important to a UK govt nervous of being accused of being Trump’s poodle.

        Call me a cynical bastard, but you can guess how these people think.

        • Hatuey

          If the UK Gov’t can’t get the US to back them, it’s hard to imagine they’d be so deluded as to expect the EU to do so. And there’s no way the EU is going to back a major confrontation with Iran caused by Trump and the ever-loyal poodle, Britain. All this as Brexit is due to land right on their laps again too…
          That said, as I understand it, Britain claimed to be upholding EU sanctions on Syria when it abducted the ship at Gibraltar… at least, I think I read that somewhere. The whole thing is immersed in lies and spin.

          • Goose

            You’d have more respect for the FCO and MoD and their ministers if they just came out and said we’re dumping the JCPOA and going to attack Iran with the US. Rather than set up this protracted ‘threat to Gulf shipping’ web of deceit ,that stated, let’s not forget, with the illegal seizure of the Grace 1. An act designed to make Iran look like the instigator and the aggressor when they retaliated in kind. Behind this is US and its lapdog the UK’s(sudden) bizarre desire for regime change.

            The elites know though, the UK public would be outraged by such a casual drift into another major ME war, a of choice, especially after Iraq. One with uncertain outcomes and huge risks, especially so with Trump ” I could nuke 10 million in Afghanistan’ as Commander-in Chief. So we get the lies painting Iran as the villain in their own backyard, not the victim of aggressors(US/UK) who are thousands of miles from home.

            Trump made clear tonight it might come to war, it might not, and he’s not bothered either way. Says it all really.

    • John2o2o

      Trump and effing Johnson or Hunt. Is this the best that “Western Democracy” can offer? What a bloody shitshow.

  • N_

    Has the name of the “independent” agency that the Tory party hired to “scrutinise” its leadership election – surely also including the counting of the votes – been revealed yet?

    • Goose

      I was looking at the odds tracker and the bookies are overwhelmingly confident Johnson wins, the guardian’s implied probability of Johnson becoming the next Conservative leader has him at 99% to Hunt at 5% – (the percentages are aggregated from 13 betting sites and will not add up to exactly 100%).

      Were Hunt to somehow win and the bookies be so very wrong, well, it’d be more than bizarre.

      • John2o2o

        Hmm, Goose. That Boris Johnson is likely to become the next PM of the UK is in itself “more than bizarre” in my humble.

        • Goose

          We know so much about Johnson, yet so little, about what he actually stands for.

          Very tentatively, I prefer Johnson over Hunt, if only because in the past he’s defended the guardian and Rusbridger over the Snowden leaks and more recently he was quick to criticise Neil Basu for ‘overreaching’ in warning newspapers not to publish the Darroch DipTels. Jeremy Hunt merely followed Johnson’s lead. Someone with a strong commitment to media freedom has to be better than someone who doesn’t?
          Anyone has to be better than the cold, elusive Maybot; she had little personality, making her difficult to define and hard to lay a glove on politically.

          • John2o2o

            Well Johnson has been a media editor, so he ought to know something of the issue of media freedom and/or the lack of it here. I think he’s very unpredictable though. Hard to know what he will do if (when) he’s PM.

            I find none of them appealing. I don’t know if any of them really know what they stand for. Our schools don’t teach values to people do they? I’ve learned my own along the way. Most of the Tories seem concerned with their own wealth and that of their friends. I’m not fond of the Labour party either with few exceptions. I like Jeremy Corbyn. That’s about it.

            .

          • Iain Stewart

            Is this the first time someone (Rt Hon Mr Hunt that be) has addressed the House of Commons wearing a wee Union Jack lapel badge? And… why? It’s bad enough everyone in the upper atmosphere of politics being photographed in front of their indoor flag (including Mrs Sturgeon, alas, and Mr Erdogan of course) but what is this spreading feeble imitation of USA style naff patriotism all about?
            When the French government starts I’ll be seriously worried.

          • Goose

            John2o2o

            ‘I find none of them appealing.’

            Neither do I. And I agree, things are highly unpredictable politically; even the best political pundits would have difficulty predicting the next six months: whether and how the UK will Brexit ; whether there will be military action against Iran(seems inevitable with Bolton in the driving seat) But the UK could balk at the idea of being involved in a war with the scarily erratic Trump as Commander-in-Chief.

            As for Labour, much depends upon how many Labour MPs(if any) end up being deselected. If things stay as they are, Corbyn most likely won’t win any election – there’ll be too many undermining Labour’s election campaign with resignations, and probably more BS about antisemitism.

          • Sharp Ears

            I expect that Hunt’s badge wearing is a throwback to his days at Charterhouse where he was Head Boy. He also wore one denoting ‘NHS’ perhaps to remind him what his job was when he was Health and Social Care Minister!

            All the ‘houses ‘ at Charterhouse here.
            https://www.charterhouse.org.uk/school-life/houses
            Which one did he belong to I wonder?

          • N_

            My guess would be that Jeremy Hunt belonged to one of the houses in the top row on that page, the ones that have the older buildings.

            When he was two and a half and in the bath with his 10-month old sister (who the f*** leaves two children that young alone in the bath?) she drowned in front of him. (Source.) The nanny had left the room. The children’s father spoke in support of her at the inquest: “We think she’s absolutely marvellous”. The upper classes – they’re not like the rest of us. Clue: part of the job of anybody looking after small children is to keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t run in the road, fall off a cliff, or drown. You kinda would have thought everyone would know that.

          • Sharp Ears

            His Daddy was an Admiral who was somewhat accident prone it would appear. Note the Russians were blamed for the prang. Also note the toadying around the royals.
            https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/military-obituaries/naval-obituaries/10418894/Admiral-Sir-Nicholas-Hunt.html

            A distant relative was in the East India Company and Jeremy is supposed to be related to Her Maj.

            There is a extensive family estate in the Surrey Hills at Shere where his elderly mother lives. Presumably that will be inherited by Jeremy.

            His father’s pal, Admiral Dunt, was Jeremy’s godfather. Dunt ended up as chair of a local NHS trust board here and I know of another admiral who was the chair of a Devon CCG. Suppose they are good at giving orders down the line to the minions.

          • Sharp Ears

            Will Hunt serve under Johnson? That is the question.

            All of 11 Surrey’s MPs are Tories and many are or have been ministers. eg Hunt. Grayling, Raab. Gove. Kwarteng. Milton. Hammond. Blunt. Gyimah. Beresford. Lord.

            It was a close run thing for Hunt in 2017 in SW Surrey. He was opposed by Louise Jardine of the National Health Action Party and his majority was reduced.. The Tory faithful were shanghaied to get out for the vote. Louise Jardine led the fight to save Lewisham Hospital.
            https://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/801911/Dr-Louise-Irvine-NHA-Party-general-election-Jeremy-Hunt-South-West-Surrey-health-secretary

            Hunt ‘inherited’ the SW Surrey seat from Virginia Bottomley. They are cousins! ie Tory mafia.
            The one-word secret of Hunt’s success:NEPOTISM
            https://hat4uk.wordpress.com/2012/10/10/revealed-at-last-the-hunt-bottomley-link/

            People I know who are some of the Tory faithful here are quick to get their NHS treatment, some of which is outsourced to private outfits such as Optegra for their cataract operations which cost circa £4,000 privately. At the tip yesterday, I met a man who was limping slightly. I helped him lift his garden waste over into the skip. I enquired after him and it turned out he had recently had a total hip replacement (THR) at a independent sector treatment centre in Epsom. ISTCs were set up under BLiar.

            Blair welcomes private firms into NHS
            16 Feb 2006
            Tony Blair today welcomed 11 private healthcare providers into the “NHS family”, as he promised them the chance to gain a stronger foothold in the NHS. Predicting that the private sector would soon provide up to 40% of NHS operations, Mr Blair said the independent providers could help drive up the quality of service to patients which he said was the “most important thing”.
            https://www.theguardian.com/society/2006/feb/16/health.politics

            The man assumed that he had been treated by OUR NHS. I tried to explain that the payment to the ISTC for that operation had left the NHS budget but he wasn’t interested. I wished him well.

            PS I cannot bear to see Blair’s photo at the top of this post. Nor can I stand him on the BBC all the time. He was being consulted by Ms Maitlis on Newsnight last night on the state of the country’s politics. No irony cf his war in 2003 and his sofa cabinets.

  • Dungroanin

    So to end the first day of a long week in politics a couple of delights of democracy.

    1. Ukrainian voters have given a massive finger to the Atlantist plot of Imperialist adventurism – again.

    2. The libdems have a new leader – where is Chukka going to scuttle off to now to be the king of?

    • Michael McNulty

      I think Chukka’s looking to move again. He said something about a Tupperware Party.

  • N_

    Crazy thug in the High Street: “I could kill you all and I could blow all your families up too. I know where to get the grenades. But I don’t want to kill 100 people. You’re not worth it.”

    Donald Trump: “If we wanted to fight a war in Afghanistan and win it, I could win that war in a week. But I don’t want to kill 10 million people.”

    One day people will debate whether it would be acceptable, if time travel were possible, to go back in time and assassinate the patently obviously deranged US President Donald Trump.

    • Goose

      N_

      The scary thing is N_, he actually sounded serious.

      He talks like an imbecile and the people who put him there should feel thoroughly ashamed for electing him.

      As though he could kill 10 million, turn a landlocked country in Asia in to radioactive wasteland and the Russians, Chinese and the US public wouldn’t notice. Would they turn a blind eye?

      If the UK govt is seriously thinking about (secretly) going into a major war with this guy as Commander-in -Chief

      DON’T!

      • Johny Conspiranoid

        Its all a psy-op and the real action is with the proxy armies in central Asia.

  • Republicofscotland

    Now that Britain has begun to realise the enormity of seizing the Iranian tanker (Grabbing a tiger by the tail) at Gibraltar, Jeremy Hunt, is urging the EU to flex its military muscles in the region.

    The Cobra meeting has come up with idea of a Europen led maritime mission (Yes those pesky foreigners that they can’t get shot off quickly enough) to patrol the Straits of Hormuz.

    Oh how Mad Dog Bolton must be rubbing his sweaty paws in sheer delight at the thought of the EU doing his dirty work for him via British stupidity, a fast becoming trademark of Westminster.

  • Hatuey

    I know it looks like foregone conclusion but I’m still excited at the prospect of Boris being PM.

    Is being described as verminous the same as being called vermin? I look forward to seeing supporters of the Union and other house-slaves in Scotland discuss that and get behind a man that so openly holds the Scottish people in contempt.

    If Boris is the cloud, a hard Brexit is the silver lining. We should see some reaction on the currency markets when the result is announced.

    Hong Kong right now isn’t a great advert for the Hong Kong economic model, but that’s where we are heading. It’s basically the third world model, the same model imposed on South America, Mexico, Africa, and various other economic moonscapes.

    It’s not hard Brexit I want, it’s hard karma. Every time you trip over a body in the street and say “fuck!”, you put 10p in the jar. That’s the new progressive tax system btw, for those that haven’t been paying attention.

    • Xavi

      Yes, difficult to imagine any scenario post-2014 more likely to speed Scottish independence than a no deal Brexit with this sneering buffoon at the helm. Similarly Irish unity, especially if he appoints Gove NI secretary as is being reported. Hopefully he’ill destroy the Tory party as a major electoral force in the process. His media fans finally see their boy achieve his ultimate ambition. The question they now have to ask themselves is, at what cost to their country and party?

    • Iain Stewart

      Personally I thought the James Michie poem he published was quite funny but it doesn’t describe us as actually being vermin, merely infested with it, as in the delightful old expression “scotch fiddle” (and soap isnae getting any cheaper ye ken).

      • Hatuey

        Iain, that’s an odd thing to say in the age of the web when things can be so readily validated.

        Here’s what he said in its entirety. And it goes way beyond calling us verminous;

        “The Scotch – what a verminous race!
        Canny, pushy, chippy, they’re all over the place,
        Battening off us with false bonhomie,
        Polluting our stock,
        undermining our economy.
        Down with sandy hair and knobbly knees!
        Suppress the tartan dwarves and the Wee Frees!
        Ban the kilt, the skean-dhu and the sporran
        As provocatively, offensively foreign!
        It’s time Hadrian’s Wall was refortified
        To pen them in a ghetto on the other side.
        I would go further. The nation
        Deserves not merely
        isolation
        But comprehensive
        extermination.
        We must not flinch from a solution.
        (I await legal prosecution.)”

        If I was a lying apologist for wankers like Boris, I’d do a better job than you.

        • Iain Stewart

          “If I was a lying apologist for wankers like Boris, I’d do a better job than you.”
          Odd or not, it’s still a pretty funny poem, if you knew anything about poetry (as a political manifesto, no). Who is this lying apologist to whom you refer? You are the one who was hailing his advent as the best thing yet for Scottish independence. And you are right, of course.

          • Hatuey

            The lying apologist description was based on reason. If you assume that you lied about the poem and its substance, then it follows you’re an apologist.

            We can see now that the poem was much more scathing towards Scots than you — the person who claimed to have read it and found it funny — suggested which can only mean you were lying, one way or another.

            Things matter. It matters that you were wrong about the poem and putting a positive slant on Boris. I don’t know what level it matters on, but it matters. And I find this sort of stuff suspicious. You could be a flawed crackpot, in which case I sincerely wish you well, or you could have an agenda.

        • Xavi

          If Iain reads that he will still insist he finds it quite funny. Just harmless teasing, clearly no malice, no offence intended, where’s your sense of humour, etc. All the usual blx.

  • Republicofscotland

    Meanwhile the Lib/Dems new Tory, sorry I meant Lib/Dem leader Jo Swinson has form.

    “Swinson’s voting record shows that she consistently voted to reduce welfare and benefits, including cutting payments for people with illnesses or disabilities. She also voted to cut the Educational Maintenance Allowance for 16-to-19-year-olds. And she helped to raise university tuition fees, despite promising not to as one of the key policies that helped elect many Lib Dem MPs in 2010. Her track record on environmental issues, meanwhile, shows she supported the badger cull, fracking and HS2.”

    Swinson also voted for the Bedroom tax, and for a cap on public the sector pay rise. She’s all heart this one.

    https://www.thecanary.co/trending/2019/07/22/the-new-lib-dem-leader-is-more-tory-than-some-tories/

    • Goose

      She’s a total political lightweight, someone described her as being ‘like a librarian’ and that seems a fair assessment.

      Suppose after Clegg’s ruinous coalition decisions though, it was a case of slender pickings. Neither Swinson nor Davey were impressive.

      This morning she’s idiotically ruling out any working relationship or pact with Corbyn-led Labour – even in the event of a hung parliament.

      So, she basically saying, that were a situation to arise where they could get long-cherished LD policies implemented; like HoL reform and PR for local elections, they ‘d forgo that because she’s bought into the personal attacks by the right-wing media on Corbyn. The Tories must already love her.

    • Blissex

      Jo Swinson also did IIRC the £1,200 charge for labour tribunal cases to ensure that most employees could be shafted out of at least that much before it would be worthwhile to complain, something that later a court called a denial of basic justice.

      The LibDems are just right-wing thatcherites-for-Remain (also known as “centrists”), just as the Conservatives are far-right thatcherites-for-Leave.

  • Wikikettle

    Will Iran stand alone against our blockade and eventual bombing ? I cant see a land invasion against a population of 80 million. Its interesting that the US is looking for a fight in different locations at the same time. Perhaps it thinks China and Russia cant, and it can ! These crazy war planners will as always be overtaken by ‘events’ that they did’nt have the brains to foresee. Iran does not want a war, neither does it want to build the bomb. Who is listening ?

    • Andyoldlabour

      Wikikettle

      Great post, all true. The US has such a massive military budget and an overinflated sense of self importane – “Exceptionalism”, that it is incapable of self reflection. It creates disasters time after time, always blaming the Law of uninteded consequences”.
      I don’t know if this will come to war, I very much hope not because I have family in Iran, and they certainly don’t want war.
      Iran of course was the seventh and final country in a Neocon plan to topple seven countries in five years, and many people are aware of this, just as they are aware of “Walrus” Bolton, the psychotic chickenhawk who decided he didn’t want to die in Vietnam, so didn’t serve.
      These are people who send poor fools to kill other poor people, who get pleasure from death and destruction.
      They are evil incarnate.

      • Wikikettle

        Andyoldlabour. People forget that we inflicted terrible revenge on Iran after they kicked ‘our man’ the so called Shah out. He sold his peoples oil cheap, and gave the money back to us in exchange for our weapons. We armed and unleashed ‘our other man then’ Saddam on them. The resulting war cost a million lives on both conscript armies ! Looks like we will never let the Iranians live in peace and trade if they insist on being their own masters. Amen….

      • wonky

        If it does come to a war with Iran, it will be attempted/started by the very deep swamp Nato fractions currently under most severe threat from the evidence in the Epstein affair. Be it on this or the other side of the Atlantic.

    • Mighty Drunken

      I could be wrong.. but I don’t think America will start a war with Iran. Mabe some sabre rattling. The aim is to neuter Iran by economic means, the same with Russia and Venezuela. By blocking as much trade with these countries as they can they expect the economic pressure (with a little help) will bring about change in their governments. If not, their ability to influence their neighbours will be lessened due to their economic troubles and because the narrative has formed that they are nasty countries.
      Think of America as a monopolistic multinational. You don’t have to wipe out your competitors, just weaken them so they are not a real threat to your money making.

      • Hatuey

        Mighty, that sounds very much like the strategy that lead to WWII. History teaches us that if you strangle a country economically then it is more likely to lash out and act aggressively — in the case of say Japan in the 1930s, historians quite widely accept that the Japanese simply had to expand militarily to secure access to resources and markets after the US and Britain started blocking them in places like Indonesia and the Philippines.

        They also used a variation of that approach during the Cold War, effectively pushing countries like Cuba and Vietnam towards alliances with the Soviet Union then pointing to those alliances as proof of guilt and a pretext for US aggression. We were lucky to survive that stuff and it has never worked in terms of promoting peace and stability.

  • Robert

    Off topic – but only slightly. I was walking with my 7 year-old daughter, who asked me “What countries has Scotland invaded?” “Errr … none.”

    Aside from the Darien advfenture, and some terrorist incursions into England, I think my answer was correct.

    Gives some hope for the goodwill of the rest of the world to an independent Scotland.

    • Goodwin

      This probably applies to any number of small irrelevant countries – Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Monaco etc?

      • Republicofscotland

        Luxembourg may be a small fish in military terms however its a founding member of the European Union, OECD, United Nations and NATO.

        • wonky

          yes. Look up evil shithole countries in any trustworthy encyclopedia, and it will pop up somwhere top of the list..

    • Dungroanin

      Err… as part of the imperialists the Scots covered a lot of ground – even as far as New Zealand.

      Plenty of slavers, plantation owners, farmers …from all parts of the British Isles left their mark (DNA/names/language/culture) all across the globe.

      The Welsh too left their mark in South America.

      Lets not get into nit picking here, there is blood on the hands of all peoples of UK, as the running dogs of the aristos and bankers.

    • Vivian O'Blivion

      By the 1707 Act of Union, the English state had already been engaged in conflict with France, Spain and the Dutch. While the Scottish state didn’t go where it wasn’t invited Scottish “entrepreneurs” have been involved in every substantive conflict in Northern Europe since records have begun (including in the army of Charlemagne).
      In 1418 a Scottish mercenary army was raised in support of the Dauphin in the French civil war (the English supported John the Fearless). 12,000 Scottish mercenaries, that’s 4% of the male population, say 10% of the fighting age male population. This is immediately after the Black Death when viable farmland was lying fallow and unclaimed. The chance of several lifetimes to become a landowning peasant and still one in ten men in their prime chose to go campaigning. Casually figures from major battles suggest that half did not return.

    • Hatuey

      Sorry, Robert, I’m a supporter of Scottish independence and have said on here it’s just about the only political issue I really care about, but that’s just plain wrong. Scotland was deeply involved in the whole British Empire project and I see little to be gained from deluding ourselves about the role we played.

      From Gurkha-like troops marching in on the ground, to the highest echelons of the military and politics, the Scots proportionally punched well above their per capita weight in forging and maintaining the Empire. And let’s not kid ourselves, that includes the dark chapters involving slavery and wiping out indigenous people who got in the way.

    • N_

      After Darien the British state was helpful to Scottish slaveowners, though – and to all the other Scottish figures who played important roles in the British empire. Promising to pay reparations after independence might really win some goodwill. Get those “sorry books” at the ready!

    • Iain Stewart

      According to Walter Scott in his “Tales of a Grandfather” Darien was occupied with the consent of the Indians living there, so it was not invaded until the Spanish showed up later to mop up what was left, encouraged by jealous (?) English merchants and King Billy. Scott’s habitual anglophilia is stretched to breaking point in his account of the disaster and its aftermath, which is probably worth reading from a modern perspective too (“the coldness and caution of the Scottish character”).
      http://bit.ly/Grandfather59

      • Republicofscotland

        “Scott’s habitual anglophilia is stretched to breaking point in his account of the disaster and its aftermath, ”

        Lets not forget it was Scott who rediscovered Scotland’s honours, and if I recall correctly he help retain the Scottish pound, and laws.

        An in teresting story on Scott’s memorial in Edinburgh, the largest I think to a poet author, and akin to a stoneage spaceship.

        Is that the person who created it, fell into the local canal and drowned on the very day of the momuments offical dedication.

        • Iain Stewart

          Something I found particularly relevant in the text was that King William became (according to Scott) the isolated driving force behind the idea of an Anglo-Scottish union when both sides were still fuming after the Darien disaster, as a way of preventing such a conflict ever happening again.

          Which makes me wonder (assuming that the Union really had this positive effect) what devious meddling an independent Scotland might look forward to in the future, assuming we ever get that far.

    • Kerch'eee Kerch'ee Coup

      @Robert
      It was very much Scottish businessmen who pushed for the invasion of Upper Burma,helped by tales of royal shenanigans(‘how like, how very like, the home life or our own dear queen’)and Randolph Churchill’s bluster. Burmah Oil,based in Glasgow, drained Burma’s oil and went on to become the Anglo-Persian Oil Co. and BP.

  • Olaf S

    A smart move of BJ would be the immediate release of Grace 1. It would be seen: 1. As a goodwill action, not a sign of weakness. 2. As a brilliant demonstration that it is him now at the rudder. (Consider this a prediction)

    • Mighty Drunken

      That would be a really good idea. Which is why I don’t think it will happen anytime soon. Especially from Boris.

    • Deb O'Nair

      Get a grip, BJ is yet another tool of the US power elites. Have you forgotten already his constant kow-towing to Washington when he was Foreign Secretary?

    • nevermind

      He would not know how to write goodwill,Olaf, its a word thats little in use at Eton or the Bullington club.

      JohnsonS Johnson got selected , what a surprise, but, some 20.011 Conservatives did not vote, very possibly renainers. They can vote for the no new policies yellow Tory Swinson.

  • Sharp Ears

    Anne Milton Con MP Guildford, Minister of State for Skills and Apprenticeships! under Damian Hindshas resigned. She says she didn’t want a No Deal Brexit.

    Good riddance. She is just another Tory stooge and was a PUS (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State) for Public Health under Lansley who put the Cameron/Clegg Health and Social Act through in 2012 leading to NHS privatisation.

    Her husband (the name Milton was from a previous marriage) is Dr Graham Henderson. He worked for Branson as Medical Director of Virgincare in Surrey. Previously she paid Dr Henderson as her HoC assistant although he was employed by a PCT ie a primary care trust, the previous acronym for a health trust. They are now called CCGs, Clinical Commissioning Groups!

    Tim Ireland/Bloggerheads who helped Craig to set this blog up wrote:

    Anne Milton, Dr Graham Henderson, and declarations of interest
    http://www.bloggerheads.com/archives/2008/02/anne_milton_dr/

      • Deb O'Nair

        “Why are the UK MPs such rubbish? ”

        Because the people who elect them are rubbish at making informed decisions on who they want put in charge of spending ~25% of their earnings. They are brainwashed idiots who are told who to vote for and who not to vote for by a bunch of foreign billionaires and tax exiles. I thought this was patently obvious.

        • Johny Conspiranoid

          Perhaps the MPs are rubbish because to become an MP you have to spend a whole lot of money which your going to get from lobby groups, think tanks etc. who want something in return. Only people who are rubbish are comfortable with this. A lot of them may have been deliberately selected and nursed through their political career by the inteligence community and be subject to blackmail.

  • Sharp Ears

    Johnson has been ‘elected’ Prime Minister. Votes: Johnson 92,153 Hunt 46,656
    The average age of a Conservative Party member is 72. 159,320 of them voted.

    Tory leaders: Who gets to choose the UK’s next prime minister?
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-48395211

    Where is our so called ‘democracy’?

    There should be a General Election now.

    Stanley, Rachel and Jo Johnson are present in the QE11 centre. No sign of current Mrs Johnson or GF Carrie.

    • Sharp Ears

      That should have been 159,320 COULD have voted. That means that over 20,000 did not bother or perhaps they are deceased or in care homes..

    • Deb O'Nair

      Johnson becoming PM, allied with the constant campaign against Corbyn, is the final nail in the coffin of British democracy. The oligarchs and power elites could train a pig to walk on it’s back legs, stuff it into a Savile Row suit, slap a blond wig on it’s head and then let their media stooges do the rest to ensure the pig is ‘elected’.

      • Ort

        “The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”

        ― George Orwell, Animal Farm

    • Laguerre

      I haven’t seen any news of GF Carrie since the famous row (taking it that the subsequent much-discussed photo of amorous relations actually redates the row). Have I missed something? Or are we to suppose that she was told not to appear in public with a split lip and black eye? Or indeed, has she very wisely left him?

      • David

        a newspaper strangely briefly mentioned yesterday that he and she have just spaffed £1.3mill via a joint mortgage…
        …some backup pad in London?

        no actual details were given , so it could be here-say

        (I for one welcome president for life BoJo, or whatever his title will be after nobbling the QEII on Wednesday, as supreme ruler of some of the Brits, for his two months of power)

    • nevermind

      Sturgeon should theoretically come out this afternoon starting a new campaign for Idependence, rather than wait for this philandering buffon to take us out at Halloween.
      Why wait?

      • Vivian O'Blivion

        Deput political editor of the Scottish Daily Mail on the radio just now. Flapping like a shellshocked budgie that Johnson failed to mention the “precious Union of Great Britain and Northern Ireland ©” in his speech.

      • Goodwin

        “Sturgeon should theoretically come out this afternoon” and nobody would be surprised …

    • N_

      The average age of a Conservative Party member is 72.

      Yes it could be that high. That statistic comes from the Bow Group. There’s some confusion over the exact figure (see also here), and I haven’t found anywhere that defines what is meant by “average” (members are skewed towards being older, so the median will be higher than the mean), but on average Tory members are certainly getting on a bit. Red-faced fascist old b*stards who have worshipped money all their lives is accurate for many of them. And throughout their lives, their hatred, racism, and in most cases stupidity will have been growing. Unfortunately they will live on average much longer than most of the rest of us.

      Two to one for Boris f***ing Johnson, because he channels their hatred of foreigners! British EU membership wasn’t a problem for any of his electors. It’s all a huge dogwhistle. Or perhaps there’s one Tory guy running a small business in Britain somewhere who will make a killing getting illegal immigrants to produce him some shoddy goods or other that he can sell to consumers at quadruple the price they used to pay for reasonably built ones when it was possible to import them from Germany. Or at least he’ll do well for five minutes before hyperinflation kicks in.

    • Alex Westlake

      1. The average age is 57, not 72,
      2. Conservative Party members have elected a Party leader, not a Prime Minister

      Prime Minister is not a directly elected position. We have a parliamentary democracy, we elect Members of Parliament, then a Prime Minister is appointed who can command the the majority of the House. Since the end of WW2, Anthony Eden, Harold Macmillan, Alec Douglas Home, James Callaghan, John Major, Gordon Brown and Theresa May have all become PM by becoming leader of the governing party. None of them went to the country straight away

  • Deb O'Nair

    Two Bullingdon Boys Club PMs at the start of the 21st Century and UK people think they live in a democracy? Looks more like something from the 18th Century.

    • wonky

      Nothing will change if you don’t throw the crown in the water and void all titles first.

    • michael norton

      Deb O’Nair
      yes we do live in a Democracy, you may remember in 2016 there was the largest Democratic participation there has ever been in the United Kingdom, seventeen and a half million people voted to leave the European Union, which was one and a third million more than those who wished to remain.
      We now have a government who are determined to follow the instructions of the voters of the United Kingdom.
      That is Democracy.

      • Xavi

        They are determined to follow the instructions of the banks, private equity firms, hedge funds and sundry oligarchs who have bought them. Taking back control is a joke so long as corrupt Tories remain in charge.

        • michael norton

          Xavi all main political parties in the United Kingdom, initially accepted the result of the 2016 Referendum, they and parliament signed up to making it happen, within two years.
          This has not happened.
          Some parties and individual members of parliament have betrayed the trust of the voters of the United Kingdom.
          Just now they had the new LibDem Scottish spokesperson Jo Swinson saying the LibDems are sure we need another Referendum to sort out Brexit, however, even if there is to be yet another Referendum on the E.U. and if leave won again, she and the Liberals would not accept it because they are wedded to the European Union but not Democracy.

          • N_

            Who do you mean by “all main parties” when you say they signed up to making it happen? That’s not true of either the third or the fourth party by representation in the Commons – the SNP and the Liberal Democrats.

          • Xavi

            Michael, the EU is also a corrupt, anti-democratic entity serving the agenda of big business. But there will be no functioning democracy in a notionally independent uk if its government is bought by international finance and committed to an even more steroidal neoliberal agenda. For all the talk of democracy, we have no more influence over the policies of someone like Boris Johnson than over those of Ursula von der Leyen or Christine Lagarde.

            Moreover, the no deal Brexit you desire looks good to Johnson and JRM because they see it as an opportunity to destroy the NHS, etc, under the guise of ‘securing our own deal’ with Donald Trump. It will be a bonanza for the interests bribing the Tories, but for ordinary people a complete disaster. Look ahead to what’s at the bottom of the cliff.

          • Andyoldlabour

            Xavi

            Was it the EU which gave us the NHS in the first place?
            No, it wasn’t, it was introduced in 1948, long before the EU existed.
            We have a democracy in the UK, it is far from ideal, but it is still far more democratic than the EU.

          • Xavi

            I stated my view of the EU in the comment you responded to and it included no claim that the EU created the NHS. I also pointed out that your government is compketely corrupt and intends to destroy the NHS.
            Your response is to celebrate British democracy, which suggests that like Michael you think you have somehow taken back control.

          • michael norton

            marxist you are right, I was wrong
            only the Labour and Conservative parties signed up for Article 50

            Members of Parliament backed the government’s European Union Bill, supported by the Labour leadership, by 498 votes to 114.

            But the SNP, Plaid Cymru and the Liberal Democrats opposed the bill.
            https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-38833883

        • Sharp Ears

          Mr Ree-Smog is approving of the election result for Johnson. You can bet on it.

      • Nevermind

        That’s BS, not democracy. A non binding vote that excluded people who live here by the millions, just because they did not have the required island paranoia that has befallen so many.

        Mind they heard some punchy slogans from Buffon Johnson and Forrage about money for the NHS and saw some fascist advertising on billboards been driven around, enough BS to feed Mr. Mc Gregors farm for some years.
        ‘We now have a Government’ you say foolishly, when you are governed by a tribal cabal who don’t give a flying fig about you,public services, child poverty, the sixth global extinction in progress, or the economy or peace.
        Your anti European sentiments here are futile and soon you will eat your own words Moishe Michael.

      • Deb O'Nair

        “yes we do live in a Democracy,”

        No we don’t; let me conflate two previous posts;

        “The oligarchs and power elites could train a pig to walk on it’s back legs, stuff it into a Savile Row suit, slap a blond wig on it’s head and then let their media stooges do the rest to ensure the pig is ‘elected’… because the people who elect them are rubbish at making informed decisions…they are brainwashed idiots who are told who to vote for and who not to vote for by a bunch of foreign billionaires and tax exiles.”

        The UK is no more a democracy than US occupied Iraq was in 2005 when the US organised elections that led to a CIA asset becoming prime minister.

        • glenn_nl

          Well said indeed.

          It was also well put by a commentator on a show I happened to catch while living in the US in the 90’s, in reply to an equally bland assertion that we live in a democracy.

          “No, we do not live in a democracy. We are governed by the paid representatives of the largest and richest multinational corporations on the planet.”

          How could that ever be mistaken for democracy, other than by people who read the Express, the Mail and the like, and think they have the full picture?

  • Rhys Jaggar

    I am currently laughing uproariously at Tory placeman claiming Boris Johnson has ‘a strong mandate’.

    He does have a strong mandate to be the Leader of the Conservative and Unionist Party, a party with around 150,000 vote members.

    He is therefore de facto first in line to be asked by the sovereign to attempt to form a Government upon resignation of the incumbent.

    He has no mandate to go off piste with new policies not put to the voters in 2017. He has a mandate to deliver Brexit based on a Referendum, a General Election and the performance of The Brexit Party in the European elections.

    But as the media consider details like those inconvenient to the job of brainwashing deluded Joe Public, they will say he has a huge mandate to govern….

    • N_

      He has no mandate to go off piste with new policies not put to the voters in 2017“. He’s only got a mandate for policies that were in both the Tory and DUP manifestos, or at least that were in the Tory manifesto and in one or more of the other manifestos that were stood upon by successful parties or candidates who could give him a majority in the Commons. He certainly has not got a mandate for introducing whatever was promised only in the Tory manifesto, however loudly Tories might claim to the contrary.

      I won’t be surprised if he tries for a general election right away.

      • Laguerre

        “I won’t be surprised if he tries for a general election right away.”

        Nor would I. But I don’t know that he’ll win it. A rapturous reception in the 1922 committee, hypocrites all, is not the same as a rapturous reception in the country. They’re not all convinced by the fake charisma, especially when people know now it’s either no-deal, or May’s deal, and they’re confronted with decision right now, not some vague point in the future.

        • Goose

          It very unlikely before 31st Oct.

          Not after the recent European Elections and with Farage’s TBP still on around 20% in GE intention. An election now would be all about ‘who will deliver Brexit’ i.e., it’d play right into Farage’s hands. The pro-Brexit vote would be divided under FPTP; resulting in far fewer seats for the Conservatives and the TBP than expected.

    • Courtenay Barnett

      “a huge mandate to govern” from the less than 1% of which the Tory party as party of the demographic whole of the country.

      This is democracy at work.

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