The Removal of Humanity 370

Occasionally I post about my personal experience of butting up against the consequences of the removal of both common humanity and common sense from the administration of the systems which govern us. It is not that my experiences of this are worse, or more consequential, than those of anyone else. It is simply that I have a forum on which to rail against the contempt with which we all are treated.

Tomorrow we move home, within Edinburgh but about six miles away. Cameron has finished P5 at Royal Mile Primary School and will now be entering P6 at a new school. Hopefully. In Edinburgh there is no entitlement to a place in your local catchment area school if you move there after year 1.

About six months ago I phoned the primary school of our new catchment area to ask if they would have a place. They replied – in a rather brusque manner – that they could not give me any information and that I could not apply for a place until after we had moved. At that stage I had to send in a form direct to the school with a council tax demand plus utility bill as proof of address (making it impossible to apply until you have not only moved but received those bills).

As instructed, now we are moving I contacted the school again. It is closed for the school holidays. As Edinburgh schools restart on 14 August, I contacted Edinburgh Council. They reiterated that applications must be made straight to the school itself. They confirmed that applications cannot be made before moving and must be accompanied by a Council Tax bill and utility bill. They told me that school offices reopen on 12 August and I will then be able to apply for admission on 14 August. They told me that they hold no information on pupil numbers in schools beyond year 1 and that there is no entitlement to a place in the catchment area school after year 1.

So I have no idea where Cameron will go to school on 14 August – I suspect he will for a while end up not going anywhere – and no means of even beginning the process to find out before 12 August (which is the earliest I can submit the form, presuming I have somehow procured a utility bill after a fortnight). Doubtless there are people who do not worry about such things, and that may be admirable. But we, and I suspect many others put in this position, find it very worrying.

What is undoubtedly true is that this is a system formed around the convenience of bureaucrats which shows an utter contempt for the needs and feelings of parents and pupils. My small family problem is but an example of the deliberate hollowing out of normal human helpfulness from societal interaction which comes when you stop caring about people as individuals.

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370 thoughts on “The Removal of Humanity

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  • David

    Craig, when I have had similar problems I often have resorted to “mumsnet”, (I think as DH’s we’re allowed to read/lurk and there is much collective open source accurate intelligence to be discovered)

    a typical thread on Ed’ Schools here:-

    (Mrs Roberts/Katz’s group also discuss Ed’ state schools), now if only they would have a relevant thread on Forth Valley College, I might be able to solve my next problems…

    • Deb O'Nair

      The BBC licence fee is a compulsory political subscription, hence they promote political propaganda.

      • Loony

        Paying a BBC licence fee is an entirely voluntary act.

        The fact that so many people pay to be lied to indicates that in aggregate the general population of the UK suffers from severe cognitive impairment. A condition likely to be exacerbated by consuming BBC output. Perhaps an over reliance on the lies of the BBC has led to your, entirely erroneous, conclusion that the BBC licence fee is compulsory.

        I am unsure as to the exact mechanism by which the BBC is able to persuade people to spread lies on their behalf without the need to pay them for doing so. One thing you wont get from the BBC is an exhortation to appreciate Goethe “There are none so firmly enslaved as those who falsely believe themselves to be free”

        • Deb O'Nair

          “Perhaps an over reliance on the lies of the BBC has led to your, entirely erroneous, conclusion that the BBC licence fee is compulsory.”

          You’re talking complete bollocks (again) in order to make your snidey comments. I stopped watching and listening to BBC news and current affairs output long ago.

          “in line with the definition of a tax, the licence fee is a compulsory payment ”

          • PP

            BBC licence fee is only compulsory to those receiving live broadcasts. You are not obliged to buy a licence purely because you own a tv.

            If you wish to receive live broadcasts of any kind from any broadcaster home or abroad you are extorted on pain of a criminal record or imprisonment to pay a £150 levy to the BBC.

          • Deb O'Nair

            PP: Legal minutiae does not undermine the general points made in response to a ridiculous assertion by Loony. It is not just watching live TV programme broadcasts but watching recorded TV programmes which also requires a TV licence.

          • PP

            Wrong Deb.

            The only recorded programmes that require a licence are iplayer programmes.

            You do not need a tv licence for catch up tv from any other broadcaster.

          • Anti Beeb

            You don’t need a TV licence if you don’t have a TV or watch IPlayer. You can watch (non-IPlayer) catch-up TV through the internet or you could have a subscription service for TV on demand, as long as its not live broadcast.

    • John2o2o

      Thank you Tatyana, but I do not know much about this matter. I will perhaps find some time to read up on it. I have a friend who speaks fluent German (he works as a translator in the European Parliament) he may be able to read the German and give an opinion on it.

    • Kempe

      Somebody seems to be pursuing the long discredited lie that MH17 was shot down by Ukrainian jets in mistake for Putin’s aircraft.

      Not even the serial fantasists at RT and Sputnik are pushing that line any more.

      • Observer

        Was the Ukrainian jet a back up if the missile failed, the pilot has committed suicide? But Russki has a long memory, he even flushed out the Tashkentis who thought they had escaped the wrath of Omon.

          • John Goss

            That’s not an answer. The pilot that allegedly shot through the fuselage indeed did commit suicide (or was suicided). He was decorated a few days after the event. I think we know from your past posts who the serial fantasists are.

          • Tatyana

            Pilot’s name is Voloshyn. I don’t know if it is normal advance in the career of a military pilot, but Voloshyn was appointed to the position of the Director of the international airport in Nikolaev.

          • Kempe

            Get with the flow. Your masters aren’t pushing that particular lie any longer. If you remember they’ve accepted that the aircraft was shot down by a Buk but are claiming it was an old model used only by Ukraine; which isn’t actually true as Russian forces still deploy the older model.

            Voloshyn’s Su 25 was not capable of reaching the B777’s altitude, it’s maximum speed is slower than the B777’s cruising speed and it only carries 250 rounds for it’s 30mm cannon and yet there were over 800 holes in MH17s fuselage.

            Keep believing it though.

          • Tatyana

            Why are you so hostile? What kind of thirst is it that people should have certainly quickly take your point of view and do not ask questions? Don’t you understand that your manner only pushes people away?
            I don’t believe people can be so stupid as if they do not understand how others perceive them, because it is an innate ‘basic equipment’ of any social species.
            What are your motives for behaving like this? Is it an innate allergy to someone else’s opinion or is it an external reason?

      • Laguerre

        There’s new evidence, isn’t there? But it wouldn’t suit you if the truth came out.

    • Republicofscotland

      An interesting observation on Kafka, is that he would attend nudist camps but refused to go naked. He attend with such regularity that nudists at the camps called him, the man in the swimming trunks.

  • Luftwaffe

    I sympathise. The incompetent hard-left SNP government is a disaster for Scotland and incredibly difficult at a personal level. Why any sane Scot still supports the SNP is a mystery.

    • Republicofscotland

      Hard left, not quite more centerist, but not as to the right as Labour or the Tories.

      Now lets see, the Labour branch office in Scotland has no real policies, carping from the sidelines, and no to independence is their daily lot, the Tory branch office in Scotland has one policy, no to independence, and their leader loves the Rape clause. The Lib/Dem branch office in Scotland crows only about two things, a second vote on Brexit, but no second vote on Scottish independence.

      If sane Scots left it to those inept London lackeys to run the country, Scotland would in a terrible state right now.

      • Luftwaffe

        But those inept London lackeys do not run Scotland, and Scotland is not in a good state right now. The SNP is a one-trick pony which does not translate well into effective government, economic competence and efficient provision of public services.

        • RandomComment

          You have to wonder if devolution was designed to illustrate this point. But then, the whole timbre of the conversation appears to be more pro-Eu than pro-nationalism. It’s not like you can be both.

          • Republicofscotland

            “You have to wonder if devolution was designed to illustrate this point.”

            Devolution wasn’t willingly given to the other Home nations, the EU forced Westminster’s hand on devolution for Scotland, Wales and NI.

            Out of the nations ( Britain, Bulgaria, Croatia, Latvia, Moldova and Ukraine) forced by EU to delvove powers, Britain was the last to devolve powers (unwillingly) to the Home nations.

            Its a long running Labour myth, that they decided to devolve powers to Scotland, their hand was forced on the matter.

          • RandomComment

            Exactly RoS. It was “designed” under duress. Now you’re getting it (at least how I see it)

        • Republicofscotland

          “Scotland is not in a good state right now.”


          Can you elaborate on that fantastic claim?

          • Luftwaffe

            Well, I’m not going to write you an essay! The diminished condition of SNP’s Scotland is in plain sight.

          • RandomComment

            RoS, is that the best you can do for Scotland? Look over there? Who cares if the English eff it up, you’re a Scots Nat. These problems fall under the purview of the government you elected, you can’t blame this particular issue on the Westminster cabal (except via my intimations above).

            What amazes me is that you (and fellow crusaders) do not realise that this evil happens whether you’re in the UK, in the EU or a truly independent nation. You’ve been conditioned repeatedly to blame someone else, but meeting the new boss will be the same as the old boss.

          • Republicofscotland

            Ha, ha, you two guys (or one guy) are full of it. It must be a quiet night at Denison, at least Habb, had a bit of substance to his comments, even Anon1, occasionally has a real point.

          • RandomComment

            Anon1 is a good voice on this blog. It’s all about expressing yourself and challenging ideas in my book.When it comes to ideas you don’t like, or disagree with, the best way to challenge them is through logic and debate.Hopefully the best ideas win. If you don’t have an argument, accusation of trolling is a good move though.

          • Republicofscotland

            Wow, Danny Reeve wasn’t kidding when he advertised for snowflakes, you guys fit the bill perfectly.

          • RandomComment

            And yet you still have no coherent argument. Explain your snowflake reference. Please 😉

          • Republicofscotland

            If I were you and I were just another genuine commentor, the first thing I wouldve asked is who is Danny Reeve, you guys are so bleedin predictable, is it any wonder RT are way out in front in the propaganda war.

          • RandomComment

            Explain your snowflake reference

            If I were you and I were just another genuine commentor, the first thing I wouldve asked is who is Danny Reeve

            Work it out genius!

          • Shatnersrug

            Oh no! Looks like Charles is back! Don’t waste your time arguing with him folks. His Twitter explosions are hilarious but we don’t really want him back here upsetting threads with his lunacy do we?

        • nevermind

          Oh look, quickly diverting from Tatyana’s bomb shell submission here, by adding another ad hominem to fellow unionists, and that with a provocative name attached.
          The interest of the current flock of snowflakes at GCHQ points to in diverting and defusing information that points to western connivance and the spreading of another false narrative with regards to MH17 by these same actors.
          There are very common points with the events at Salisbury and in the Donetzk, both are blamed on Russia within 24hrs., with official narratives changing by the hour and false trails being laid, whilst the official investigation by Malaysia is being sidetracked and ignored.
          Luftwaffe with biplanes?


      Finally, someone who can see. I suspect they are there to keep the Scottish people down in some agreement with the English (establishment) . No different from any other administrator. Entire Scottish system wholly corrupt. Holly Greig, Dunblane report not released. Yes, no different. Taking sides with the Skripal fairy tale. Sending Scottish military to die in the endless English wars that serve no benefit to Scotland. Then there is the Scottish Legal System. Just don’t die without a will. Average probate when using solicitor in England around £500-800. Scotland 3500 -upwards. Legal system not fit for purpose. As Scotland is a Nato member I’d say the SNP leadership are as guilty of war crimes as the Americans. If not then speak up. There can be no future or prosperity under the same old tired system/regime. “END THE OCCUPATION” say it, repeat it to your friends. The English must leave Scotland alone. But the nasty despicable regime who will do nothing of the sort. Responsible for the torture, brutal murder, rape of women etc under the brutal occupation. How Scottish people can forget what they did to our ancestors is simply unbelievable.

  • Trowbridge H Ford

    Whatever happened to the investigation into who leaked Darroch’s memos to the media?

  • Willie

    Typical response from the cess pit of Scottish local authorities.

    Riven with corruption, inefficiency, and bureaucracy, one should never be surprised as to how councils deliver, or should I say don’t deliver what they are funded to do.

    But it is in the corruption that they excel. Corrupt procurement deals, overpaying contractors, taking bungs as a requirement to grant planning and or licences, local government is rotten to the core. And the SNP have done nothing about it. Like New Labour and Old Labour before that they disregard the corruption that is extant around them.

    Rubbing shoulders with the movers and shakers where it is only a small hop to the dark side our SNP Government are now even sending ministers to stay at exotic super expensive property conferences in super expensive hotels in Cannes. Far removed from a wee boy wanting to get to school, one has to ask why a Minister finds it appropriate to wine and dine in the finest of French resorts in trips costing upwards of £5k a pop.

    Maybe that’s why around 40 acres of iconic land on the banks of Loch Lomond are being sold to a millionaire real estate developer for the chicken feed sum of £200,000. You couldn’t make it up. Right under our noses, and all courtesy of our SNP Government.

    But back to the schooling. Education, education, education, that’s our First Minister’s cry. Rings a bit hollow when you read this story. Who cares if your son gets a schooling Craig. Certainly not your Edinburgh City Council.

  • Antonym

    Bureaucrats all over the world do this; it is their natural tendency. They feel not accountable to the public as doesn’t pay them directly as customers plus they cannot be sacked. Politicians who could upset pen pusher careers are usually much shorter in fields of administrative knowledge to tackle this kind of inhumanity so top bureaucrats can wind their “bosses” around their fingers.
    Not a typical Scottish nor English office malady alas.

    VIPs can sail smoothly through all this low stuff “of course” as a Name suffices…

    • Antonym

      The only solid solution is a (r)evolution of homo sapiens to a next species not guided by greed and a limited mind. This will take time, but some in India have attempted this and even got some where, beyond Buddha.

      • Johny Conspiranoid

        Bureaucrats are guided by the need to hang on to their jobs. If anything goes wrong they want to be able to point to the paperwork and say “I ticked all the boxes”.

  • Sim

    Craig Murray
    Hi Craig, sorry to post off-topic (a topic which, having an asd child and trying to get more than pc lip service from the public ‘services’, I have profound sympathy with) but re Julian Assange and his US extradition hearing, I just read this –

    “The campaign of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton alleged that Russia had released the emails to influence the November presidential election in the US. Both Trump and the Russian government, however, denied the accusations.

    In a ruling on Tuesday, US District Judge John Koeltl in Manhattan said members of the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks “did not participate in any wrongdoing in obtaining the materials in the first place,” noting that they, therefore, bore no legal liability for disseminating the information. ”

    Surely this must put an complete stop to the case for extradition? Please say that it is so.

    • John2o2o

      Would be nice Sim, but I don’t think it’s the only thing that the US is extraditing Julian for.

      • David

        lots of twitter news claiming that it does mess up the entire Intelligence Community Assange-hunt

        An important win for free speech: we have won our motion to dismiss for @wikileaks in the @DNC lawsuit against #Assange, WikiLeaks et al over the 2016 US election publications on First Amendment grounds.

        more …

        Legal implications
        The judge’s ruling could therefore have huge implications for US extradition proceedings against Assange.

        Greg Barns, a barrister and longtime adviser to the Assange campaign, told The Canary:

        The Court, in dismissing the case, found that the First Amendment protected WikiLeaks’ right to publish illegally secured private or classified documents of public interest, applying the same First Amendment standard as was used in justifying the The New York Times publication of the Pentagon Papers. That right exists, so long as a publisher does not join in any illegal acts that the source may have committed to obtain that information. But that doesn’t include common journalistic practices, such as requesting or soliciting documents or actively collaborating with a source. So this case is important in restating what is and is not protected under the First Amendment. But does it have implications for the extradition hearing? Well it certainly helps to remind the courts in the UK that the First Amendment protection is very broad.

        Assange is understood to be ill, while Manning is incarcerated for refusing to provide further information about her role as a WikiLeaks source. With consideration of this latest ruling, both should be immediately released from their respective prisons.

        • lysias

          The DNC will of course appeal, no doubt joined as an amicus by the Department of Justice. I would expect the appellate court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, to affirm Judge Koeltl’s ruling, but I will predict nothing about what the Supreme Court, which can reverse precedents, will do.

      • lysias

        Judge Koeltl’s reasoning would appear also to apply to the federal government’s Espionage Act case against Assange.

  • John2o2o

    Well, having had a sleepless and somewhat unhappy night I decided to speak to the Samaritans and had a very nice and quite lively conversation with a nice man which cheered me up quite a lot. I’m quite nice to speak to on the phone – he even thanked me.

    I am a big advocate of their service having lived alone all my adult life and having not had anyone to discuss personal issues with. You don’t have to be suicidal to talk to them.

    Regarding Cameron. Petty bureaucrats are people too, it is worth remembering – try not to take them too personally. They have their problems. I am sure Craig your son will soon find a place at school though I understand your anxiety completely.

  • Sharp Ears

    Guardian today. He’s got a lot to deal with on his plate. Will he succeed or is it all hogwash?

    ‘Will Boris Johnson’s present for hard-up teachers be enough?
    The PM has promised another £4.6bn a year for schools but many think far more is needed
    31 Jul 2019

    On Friday 27 September, the prime minister, Boris Johnson, by then comfortably settled into Downing Street and just five weeks away from the Brexit deadline, would, if he walked out of his front door, find himself faced with an unusual group of protesters.

    More than 5,000 headteachers from across England are promising to walk out of their schools to take part in a mass march on Westminster to highlight once again the shortfall in education funding that has been making headlines for months if not years. It is their second such protest and there will be more.


  • N_

    On the theme of the removal of humanity, take a look at this opinion piece by James Felton in the Guardian, in which he JOKES about the food shortages that Brexit will bring. This guy clearly does not have a clue of the difference between lies and truth, but he enjoys being sarcastic and he probably picks his mobile phone a lot. Could you imagine anyone joking about famine in Africa, in Latin America, in Asia, the Netherlands, Greece, even North America? But this “comedian and author” thinks it’s hilarious that people might have no other option but to eat their pets, and diabetics may not have access to their medicines, etc. Some people deserve all their “savings” wiped out in hyperinflation. I’m looking at you, Jim.

    • N_

      Perhaps I should start a petition calling on him to donate his fee for that vile article to a foodbank? What do you think, Jim? Hey, wait a minute – I’ve found a role for you. When all the people who suffer from diabetes are at death’s door because they can’t get their medicine, you can come and tell them your stupid jokes! Maybe dress up in monkey suit wth “Guardian” written on it? Perhaps once the shortages have started you can joke about the return of plenty.

      • Sharp Ears

        He’s a ‘comedy writer’, an author (‘The Dog Ate My Homework’) and an obvious Remainer.

        James Felton
        TV and Radio comedy writer: BAFTA winning The Dog Ate My Homework, The Guessing Game, BTN & others. Author of 52 Times Britain Was A Bellend.


        • Republicofscotland

          Interestingly John Steinbacks puppy ate half his script for Of Mice and Men, Steinback said at first I was furious, however on second thoughts maybe the little was critiquing my work.

    • Anon1

      Much as I wouldn’t mind if you punched Felton in the face, the idea of food and medicine shortages after Brexit is a joke. Just not the joke he intended.

      • Republicofscotland

        Is that the guff Fleming’s orderd you lot to bark out over the web? You’re about as convincing as BoJo is.

    • Kempe

      I think you need to lighten up. Even in the darkest days of WW2 people found something to laugh at.

      Felton is a comedy writer; on the basis of that article though I’d say not a very good one.

      • Kempe

        Yes, Brexit could reduce the incidence of obesity, heart disease and diabetes, good point.

        • Ken Kenn

          I think you’ll find that might be due to starvation.

          Keep drinking the Kool Aid.

          He will let you down you know.

          In the end – he will.

  • N_

    Russia Today star and 2019 British EU election winner (with a party formed only months before) Nigel Farage says that Dominic Cummings, who lived in Russia for three years and tried to set up an airline there when he left university (nice work if you can get it, but how do you get it?) is not to be trusted. No sh*t, eh, Nige?

    Maybe Cummings in his turn can expose some civil servant who claims he had innocent reasons for passing flash drives to the SVR in London after an hour of walking in spirals and using other tradecraft?

    …And weapons contracts loom…

    C’mon, Boris, go completely Emperor Bokassa and announce that the centrepiece and driver of the British Revival will be a moonbase, just as the eugenics nutter Cummings has advocated.

  • King of Welsh Noir

    The defining feature of these modern faceless bureaucratic systems that Craig describes is how quickly they can reduce us to despair. I’m sure this is one of the many reasons there is such an apparent epidemic of mental health problems today.

    In some ways we are like Orca whales kept in captivity. In the wild they navigate by echolocation, but in pools, the reverberations from their own sonar bounce off the walls and drive them insane. One consequence is, they destroy their own teeth by chewing the metal bars in frustration.

    For a simple reminder of how kinder the world used to be, try taking a bike on a train on a heritage steam railway. On a modern train you have to race with your bike up the platform to the place allotted for bikes on the train, you have less than a minute, there’s a good chance the three slots will be already taken which means you can’t get one and will have to wait an hour for the next train with no guarantee the same thing won’t happen again. You can reserve a bike slot but it is totally pointless because the staff don’t police the system. It is a very stressful experience.

    Then take your bike on the steam railway. There are staff everywhere (volunteers), all happy to help you. All smartly dressed in the correct livery replete with peaked cap and tie. No ‘blousons’ here. There is no rush. The guard takes your bike and keeps it in his van, he is actually pleased to help you. He asks which station you are getting off at and will put the bike on the platform at your station. There is lots of whistling and staff waving flags, but no sense of urgency. The train chugs gently off and heads back 50 years into a kinder world, old 1950s metal advertising plaques for Halls throat lozenges and similar adorn the stations. You sit back, relaxed and a strange long forgotten feeling enters your heart: peace.

  • Sharp Ears

    Ten of the twenty Democrat candidates for the presidency (2020) had a shouting match yesterday.

    I liked Bernie Sanders’ put down of Ryan/Ohio who was disputing what was covered when they were discussing Medicaid. ‘I wrote the dam Bill’.

    Ryan – ‘Ryan supported the Iran nuclear deal to prevent Iran from acquiring weapons of mass destruction. In April 2016, Ryan tweeted, “I was in Jerusalem a few weeks ago & saw firsthand the dangerous threat Israelis face. Israel has the right to defend itself from terror.”‘

    I see he also advocates a two state ‘solution’ for Israel and Palestine and that they should negotiate. Is he having a laugh? Israeli in settlements v Palestinians in bantustans in an Occupied land.

    • Republicofscotland

      “Ten of the twenty Democrat candidates for the presidency (2020) had a shouting match yesterday.”

      Whilst Boris dined in private with DUP, last night, however today he’s meeting the other NI parties in a group meeting.

      • Vivian O'Blivion

        He is meeting with the 5 largest NI parties on an individual basis as they can’t agree to be in the same room as one another. By limiting himself to the 5 largest parties, he is depriving himself the pleasure of meeting with the TUV, whose position in general is that Western civilisation began its decline when we stopped burning witches at the stake.

  • John Macadam

    Craig, this is nothing new. We had exactly this problem when moving to Edinburgh in ’04. Sadly, if you want someone to phone you back within the hour, call a private school

    • Deepgreenpuddock

      That is a strangely useless comment.I am sure that state schools would be on the phone pdq if there was the prospect of an injection of a few thousand pounds, But that is not the way the system works although you may be right in the sense that a sympathetic phone call and coherent explanation from a senior staff member is probably all that it would take and doesnt actually cost anything.I can assure you that some state schools can do this very well but unfortunately, not all.
      Why do some state schools have no idea how to deal with the public? The reason is somewhat obscure, but it is something to do with the state system (individual schools) feeling under pressure due to resource issues, and reacting defensively, with inappropriate zeal and fixation on the rules.

      • John Macadam

        the point was directed to the lack of response leaving a parent hopelessly at sea with respect to the education of his child. It does seem to be an Edinburgh thing. I didn’t experience it in Highland but I most certainly did in Edinburgh. And why should the State system go out of its way to make the private schools look good? Had anyone called Craig back I am sure he would not have written this article and so I fail to see how my remark is either strange or useless

  • Sopo

    This post reminds me that to marry my Taiwanese partner, the UKG required I make a 10,000 mile round trip, staying in the UK for at least a week, and then present myself at an office in the town of my birth in order to obtain a single sheet of paper declaring me free to marry. Total costs incurred 5k.

    • Republicofscotland

      Maybe you’ll be able to drive there and back (ferries of course required) in a Aston Martin, prices might be coming down, as they’ve dropped profits just as fast as the pound has.

    • John

      That is odd, when I got married in Japan I made a short trip to the embassy in Tokyo, and actually spoke to a British member of staff, which was a first, they normally don’t sully themselves dealing with the riff raff.

      • sapo

        Did Japan require a Certificate of No Impediment? Taiwan does, and the only way to obtain one in the UK is in person.

  • mark golding

    Humanity is of course benevolence and that charity contains empathy, goodwill, and kindness. Today these attributes have become peculiar, worn away by arrogance, ego, and exceptionalism fueled by an imperious superiority amplified by mainstream media repetition that attempts to indoctrinate and implant a false sense of duty and acceptance of Western unilateral ideals.

    Our world has entered a chaotic abyss that has forgotten about people and their lives, replacing liberal ideas by gunboat diplomacy.

    We accepted dropping millions of dollars’ worth of bombs on Iraq as punishment for a “crime” whose culpability had not been established, was a good idea; we have become apologists to the ‘Saddam/Gadaffi’ treatment never willing in any sense to decry US/UK intervention in countries that pose no threat.

    When a President or Prime minister maturates by bunging fifty or so cruise missiles into Syria killing civilians including children – – or smashing a country such as Libya in a quest for regime change on “erroneous assumptions and an incomplete understanding of the evidence” – and when Bolton says, “America will not kneel’ while condemning the ICC, dismantling the Rome statute, dismantling the INF Treaty and ending the START Treaty in 2021, we might be prompted to rewire our intellect. But then, of course, it will be too late, certainly for posterity.

    • Loony

      What makes you so certain that “Humanity is of course benevolence and that charity contains empathy, goodwill and kindness”?

      Presumably your certainty does not come from a study of history where you would find a vast array of violent killers. You can take your pick from people like the Mongols who are estimated to have killed about 40 million people or 10% of the world population, or the Aztecs who may have killed up to 250,000 people per year in human sacrifice ceremonies.

      Or maybe you prefer Islam. It is hard to know just how many Hindus have been killed – but certainly in the 10’s of millions. Between 1465 and 1367 some 500,000 Hindus were massacred in and around Vijayanagaa. More recently we have the ever reliable personages of Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin. Who could forget the approximately 40 million Chinese dispatched in the Cultural Revolution, or the delightful figure of Pol Pot who found a full third of the Cambodian population to be surplus to his requirements.

      For what possible reason would you expect the UK and the US to exhibit a radically different Modus Operandi from that deployed by substantially every other historically powerful culture. So far at least both the UK and the US have refrained from large scale human sacrifice and both seem devoid of policy ideas to exterminate large swathes of their own domestic populations.

      • mark golding

        I refer to humanity as the only sentiment on which a moral system can be founded. Human vs humane. Your reasoning is predictable as it attempts to posit a defense based on history to absolve recent war crimes, deception, and mass murder. vis. For what possible reason would you expect the UK and the US to exhibit a radically different Modus Operandi from that deployed by substantially every other historically powerful culture.

        The Scottish historian David Hume connected conquest and colonisation to slavery and presented the argument that the case of slavery shows what happens when the imbalance of power reaches extreme proportions, and the status of some human beings is reduced to that of the property of others.

        • Loony

          No sensible reading of my comment could allow for the conclusion that it is designed to absolve recent war crimes.

          Rather it provides a context in which to view recent war crimes. The strong grow stronger and the weak get crushed – it is the same now as it has ever been. A moral system that is not cognizant of the reality of human nature is neither moral nor a system that can endure.

          Just because David Hume connected conquest and colonization to slavery does not make it true. The worlds historically largest colonial power was also the power that abolished slavery – and which enforced this abolition at the point of a gun. Interestingly slavery in the UK is making something of a comeback, with best estimates suggesting that there are currently around 100,000 slaves in the UK. Ask why this might be, and ask why no-one cares. See if you get an answer that is in any way connected to vacuous and narcissistic virtue signaling.

          • RandomComment

            Sure when mark wrote I refer to humanity as the only sentiment on which a moral system can be founded. Human vs humane. he meant something more than vacuous and narcissistic virtue signaling. Or perhaps he’s genuflecting as we write.

          • RandomComment

            No Loony I understood you perfectly. You are not difficult to understand. Take that as a compliment. My comment was aimed at mark. Re-read mine, or ask for clarification if you think otherwise.

          • J

            That’s how I read it too. And I certainly don’t consider you an arbiter of ‘sensible’. Quite the contrary. You chose your name as a sneer, but it was apt.

          • Node

            The worlds historically largest colonial power was also the power that abolished slavery

            Slavery wasn’t abolished, it was restructured for increased efficiency. The British realised there was a better way of doing it rather than to transport people from their homes, feed and cloth them, prevent them escaping and oversee their forced labour. They set up control systems in the countries the slaves were being taken from, such that the natives worked to the their colonial masters’ bidding or starved. They created slave nations – much more efficient.

            Then the British ‘gave up’ their empire, ensuring the governing institutions remained in place. To this day, Africa and Asia are mostly composed of slave nations for the West.

          • Deb O'Nair

            “The worlds historically largest colonial power was also the power that abolished slavery”

            The slave trade was abolished, not slavery. The actual reason for abolishing the slave trade can be found in the industrial revolution. With industrialisation the UK was no longer dependent on slave labour, unlike their non-industrialised competitors.

            ‘We accepted dropping millions of dollars’ worth of bombs on Iraq as punishment for a “crime” whose culpability had not been established’

            That’s because his true crime was selling oil for Euros, which would not have carried much weight in the arena of public opinion and international law so the bogeyman had to be conjured up.

          • John2o2o

            Loony, that depends upon how you define the word “strong” and how you define the word “weak” in a human context.

            The strong are not (in my view) those with the biggest guns. They could be viewed as the weak as they feel the need to protect themselves with weaponry designed to kill and do not feel safe without it.

            Perhaps one of the strongest people in history (in my view) was Gandhi, who was physically puny, but mentally and intellectually a giant who liberated India from colonial oppression.

            Qualities such as compassion and kindness are human stengths. Qualities which I seek to cultivate in myself, but which I often seem to fail badly in achieving.

        • Tatyana

          Well, I have my own idea about it. The main motive of human actions is the desire to stand a) at least ‘in a proper place’ or b) better to be a ‘priviliged member of a society’. *It is a philosophical reasoning, so I ask you to not take my words literally, but to extrapolate them to different aspects in an abstract way.*

          For many people this goal means ‘to be rich’, for fewer people it means ‘to have power’, for even fewer people it means ‘to hold special information’, and for a very small number of people it means ‘to depend on no one and nothing’. * And this last category is particularly interesting, because it implies two opposite options. It can be either a human with wealth, power and information; or contrary, a human with no power, nor wealth, nor information. And this last version of human has all the chances to become a ‘messiah’ who will change the thinking of many people, perhaps for centuries. Because the level of wealth, power and information is relative, not absolute. It always correlates with the level available at contemporary reality, particularly, cannot exceed the limit available in this segment of history.*

          So I believe that all humane things, such as compassion, charity, etc. a person carries out when it helps him to take a ‘proper place’ or ‘privileged position’, or if he’s the ‘messiah’.
          Well, the bulk of humanity can easily push away all these wonderful manifestations of humanism, and will first take action to take this ‘proper’ or ‘privileged’ position.

          in a nutshell, selfishness before altruism. even in the case of ‘messiah’, because it also serves to his/her inner goals.

          Although this is all very interesting, but a society judges by the criterion of utility. And then of course a ‘messiah’ have a huge ‘advantage’. Because their humanity serves both the society and the ‘messiahs’ themselves, and the ‘messiahs’ do not seek other award then just expressing their humanity.
          Again, as long as the ‘messiahs’ carry out their mission in silence, they are very beneficial to society. But when they urge everyone else to follow their example, it is a threat to the rest of the more selfish categories of people.

          • RandomComment

            Our main motives are more basic than that. What you describe is our way of expressing those basic needs via whatever context is at hand.

          • Tatyana

            OK, if more clarification is needed, I’m talking about the role of the individual in a human society. Without touching very deep personal intimate details that affect only the individual him/herself and no one else.

      • Goose

        The lack of human compassion and indeed interaction these days, is largely driven by efficiency drives; thinly disguised cost cutting exercises due in no small part to austerity. Decision makers tend to arrogantly slash without thinking through the consequences, or mitigating them with transitional arrangements to smooth out any bumps and find problems that may occur.

      • J

        We appear to have staved off evolution for a negligible period at least in our imagination, in short term human perceptions at least. Human culture may have allowed us to select for (and, protected from short term consequence, foster) negative survival traits but these traits are approaching natural limits and have caused serious problems, look around. Whether we survive or not will be the proof. Arguably, if an intelligent species descended from the stars today and surveyed what we are by what we do, it might have difficulty distinguishing us from a particularly destructive termite or virus. Our finest works indistinguishable from a beautiful shell or a termite mound, because in the end it was going nowhere quite rapidly.

        • Tatyana

          our problem in many ways is that we don’t trust scientific data. The substance from which our bodies are composed was formed literally from the matter of the dead stars. *I adore those BBC series*

          If you do not go to such a distant scale, and just want to take a closer view, then please pay attention to the fact that we are omnivorous creatures. We have no inherent dominance/subordination mechanisms like predators do. This adds to the survival mechanism (*comparing to other species), but greatly complicates the intraspecific regulation of relations.

    • Republicofscotland

      Well said Mark.

      I’d say most people are inherently good, the need for some to make huge profits, and religious division, along with racism, brings out the worst in humanity.

      Its the few who govern badly, and those that run the economy at the top end of the scale, that seek to divide eternally. If we all pulled in the one direction, humanities achievements would be boundless

      This kind of sums it up.

      • Loony

        Ah so the problem is the need to make huge profits, religious division and racism.

        Consider Mao’s China. A communist country with the consequent abolition of the profit motive. A largely homogeneous Han Chinese population, and no particular devotion to religion – much less religious divisions. End result 40 million people exterminated.

        Cambodia also lacked the trigger points that you identify – but still managed to kill one third of the population.

        Oh say it aint so Joe.

        • acementhead

          Cambodians were killed by the US bombing. The population was driven out of the countryside by the bombing so almost no food was produced . They were fed in the cities by food shipped in by the US. The US then turned off the food supplies. Huge numbers people, perforce, were going to die one way or another. This was deliberate design. Kissinger.

      • John2o2o

        Wonderful lyrics Ros, my friend. I love the sentiment.

        I was in Scotland for my cousin’s wedding last month and spoke to my uncle about Scottish Independence. He can’t wait for the day, but thought that the religious divide would prevent it. I tried to argue against his point, but he was insistent.

        I’m not sure religion is so important as it used to be for Scots living in Scotland, but I live in England so I’m not really well up on it.

        • Jo1

          That’s interesting John2020. There is definitely a problem with sectarianism in Scotland. Unfortunately those most blighted by it aren’t so much caught up with spiritual beliefs but rather the support of their respective football teams and Irish politics.

          The debate has become increasingly toxic on independence with all the “Nationalists” v “Unionists” stuff….shades of Northern Ireland rhetoric really. It’s very disappointing, to put it mildly, when there should be a meaningful debate to be had on Scotland’s future. I understand your uncle’s fears.

  • Phil Harris

    I guess it goes wider than Edinburgh.
    Best of luck. Kids deserve better than this.
    But civilisations and their systems have the reputation of doubling-down on bureaucratic (and other) control when on their way down (or out).
    Some places perhaps hang onto humanity longer. Younger relatives tell me that by and large schooling in West Wales still hangs onto humanity. My guess is that Welsh native culture keeps a human face better than Edinburgh. The latter always had a top-down class approach, with a touch of colonialism thrown in. I remember some of the elitist (ignorant and occasionally corrupt) ripping up of working class communities back in the 70s and those ventures ranging from out-of-town Wester Hailes ‘re-housing’ to University/George Sq vandalism. Then there was the New Scottish Office (asbestos) / St James Centre project (deal) – remember them? I draw a veil over the outrageous HIV / heroin epidemic.
    Phil H

    • Kerch'eee Kerch'ee Coup

      @Phil Harris
      Chelsea Manning’s secondary education in West Wales was perhaps a little too humanity -focused for her to thrive in a far-from perfect or humane world.

  • Squeeth

    The Removal of Humanity

    What you describe is a boss class that no longer needs to clothe its fascistic nature in the trappings of democracy.

    • RandomComment

      I think we’re moving to that point, but have not reached it yet. We would not need the MSM otherwise. Nonetheless, we march onward towards a future where the individual has never had less power, privacy, personal freedom and responsibility and “The State” has never had more authoritarian tools at its disposal.

    • Tatyana

      And not to forget that the feet of ‘the state’ grow from the populace. The sooner you understand that society is a fertile field for the state, the better for you. Everyone who supports/opposes the state is a part of the state.

    • David

      Oh Joy!, a new anti-troll British Army Division, and they define “troll” as what exactly?

      Soldiers from the secretive 77th Brigade disinformation unit will combine forces with electronic warfare and intelligence specialists to create the new 6th Division.
      Based at Upavon in Wiltshire, troops will carry out tasks such as jamming enemy signals and disrupting communications.

      It will also include soldiers on computers working with GCHQ spies to take out internet trolls and wage its own offensive cyber attacks – such as erasing propaganda.

      The 14,500-strong force is the first division dedicated to tackling the blurred boundaries between conventional and unconventional warfare.
      Lieutenant General Ivan Jones, who in his role as Commander Field Army has responsibility for preparing for new threats, said: ‘The character of warfare continues to change. The Army must remain adaptable and evolve as a fighting force.’
      He said the intention was to ‘rebalance’ the Army’s formations to meet the challenges of ‘constant competition’.

      Lieutenant General Jones added: ‘The speed of change is moving at a remarkable rate and it will only get faster and more complex.’ The 6th Division, established today, will focus on cyber, electronic warfare, intelligence, information operations and unconventional warfare.

      It will include 1st Signal Brigade, 11th Signal Brigade, 1st Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance Brigade, 77th Brigade and the Specialist Infantry Group.
      Army chiefs were disturbed in June when Russian outlets spread fake information about British troops behaving badly during airborne exercises in Croatia.

      I for one never read any news about bad boys in Split, gaming thrones in Dubrovnik, so maybe ’twas erased correctly.

      the combination of angry fake news war-on-the-public typists (who are our active nudge threat to democracy) with the various sigint groups is probably good news, elint troop types are fairly sensible, hopefully they can moderate the 77th. into just shooting underneath old Norwegian bridges, rather than attacking free speech and our society?

      I’m sure that quite a few threads here have a lone provocateur 77th typist manipulating several ‘plausible digital identities’ to chat to each other and dilute Craig’s informed content. Hence why it is important to ignore some and carry-on

      • mark golding

        Laughable David. The clue lurks in the unfortunate title, ’77th Brigade disinformation unit’ existing to confuse truth with lies, to conflate certainty with ambiguity. Jamming signals is, of course, puerile, much like my granddaughter shouting over her mother’s guidance. Jamming signals is last resort rarely commanded by Naval captains and I remember the equipment was switched off and the compartment locked.

      • Sharp Ears

        The 77th Brigade is a rebranding. They obviously specialize in using silly names.

        ‘Based at Denison Barracks, Hermitage, the 77th Brigade was established in 2015 as part of Army 2020 by re-naming the Security Assistance Group, which was itself a newly created amalgamation of several existing British Army formations: the Media Operations Group, 15 Psychological Operations Group, Security Capacity Building Team, and the Military Stabilization and Support Group. On the British Army’s new website the Brigade is described as being about ‘information and outreach’, read ‘unconventional warfare’, especially information warfare. For General Carter it is all about the battle for the narrative.’

        Twitter trolls. Facebook warriors. -Brig Chris Bell.

        The Brigadier cosied up to the USA.
        ‘British Army Staff USA
        Great to see Brig Chris Bell back at the US Army School of Advanced Military Studies, discussing warfare in the Information Age. Sharing thought is a great way to collaborate – supported by two British Army students attending SAMS each year. @us_sams @DefAcUK
        1st February 2019

        Strange to see that group’s name. Is there a contingent of the British Army under US control?

        The ‘School’ referred to is at Fort Leavenworth, Texas.

        The killers.

          • Goose

            The guardian(which obv. is f’cking lousy these days under Viner’s editorship) concentrates on overseas , but then the lieutenant general in charge, reportedly said this capability will be used used to ‘shape public behaviour’ i.e., UK public opinion.

            The fact is, if not carefully regulated, it could be used as a form of cyber-vigilantism against UK citizens for merely doubting official narratives..

            Which feeds into ‘the removal of humanity” in a different sense..

            John Bolton famously said the truth must be guarded by lies. Bernie Sanders said recently : “Bolton wants to lie us into war with Iran, like he did in Iraq, like they did in Vietnam”. They’ve already nobbled the MSM journalists, so now they’re going after random tweeters and people expressing opinions on current affairs. This, our govt, is a govt that helps the KSA , Egypt(population 97m) and other brutal regimes establish similar surveillance systems to monitor their own citizens, ostensibly under the guise of tackling terrorism. Everyday in the ME people(incl. journalists and cartoonists and even a famous satirist) are locked up or disappeared for minor criticisms(nearly 250 disappeared in Egypt in a 6 month period in 2018 – using a system of repression built in part by the west. Can we really call ourselves the good guys?

  • Goose


    Sorry, I missed your post. I’ve elaborated on what they are planning below.

    Our MPs are absolutely useless if they don’t get a grip on this. This has the potential to be misused in so many ways it’s unreal. And the risks to free speech, stifling debate etc.

  • Goose

    Reported in the Guardian too, as Dungroanin points out.

    The Guardian cites examples given by the army of misinformation and disinformation in eg. The guardian reports at the end of a recent exercise in Croatia, stories circulated that British soldiers had tried to abduct a native child only to be fought off by locals. It mentions China and Iran. So British soldiers are going to counter Russia, China and Iran online, presumably in Cyrillic, hanzi and Farsi? Sounds like BS, this will surely be aimed domestically at a British audience like the anti-Corbyn stuff and is therefore incredibly sinister.

  • Willie

    Dominic Cummings got it right when he said that Conservative MPs didn’t care about the poor and the NHS.

    And that is becoming increasingly clear as austerity and the winding down of service after service in favour of corporate profiteering. And of course the combination of rotten, corrupt and bureaucratic council service just adds to the misery.

    Change continues and it ain’t going to be good for the masses and the Soweto townships in which they will live.

    And for many they bought the lie of being better together. Ah, let them feel the white man’s stick.

    • MJ

      “Better Together” was a slogan of the Remain campaign. Many did buy the lie but not enough to win. “Take Back Control” won the day. It’s important that democracy is maintained and parliament does what we tell it to do.

      • Garth Carthy

        “It’s important that democracy is maintained and parliament does what we tell it to do.” Yes, but is it democracy when what we tell parliament to do is based on lies, lack of information, misinformation, etc.?

        • RandomComment

          I suspect that the reality is the “it’s important that the illusion of democracy is maintained and we believe parliament does what we tell it to do.”

          The problem is that these myths are being shattered – not least because the internet is enabling the networking of ideas at a rate and intensity never before seen ( if you thought the invention of the printing press caused a few issues…and also why censorship is obviously prevalent on social media ).

          This concept from remain thinkers, who still cannot believe the result of the 2016 referendum, that people who voted leave bought into the propaganda, is a vast, desperate fantasy. Everything that has occurred in the last 3 years has hardened their resolve, and further illustrates that the elites, the BBC and a sizable chuck of the media didn’t like the choice of the plebs.

          The “Post-History” narrative has disintegrated. You., my friend, are living in interesting times.

      • Johny Conspiranoid

        Parliament has never done what we tell it to do. Once they get there they are free to do it thier way. I think this is a good thing.

        • RandomComment

          Assuming they have our best interests at heart. When the parliament no longer represents the people – is undemocratic – then this principle dies.

          In my life-time, my “betters” have never seemed to make decisions which were for my own good above theirs – but you’ll have some facts to back up your contrary position, won’t you?

      • John2o2o

        I think our democratic systems are very imperfect and deeply flawed.

        When I’m feeling especially cynical I think the masses having the vote is just a way to keep the control freaks who want to run our lives in check a little.

        Having a vote is very important, but an individual’s vote on it’s own does not count for anything. Has parliament ever done what I want it to do? No. And I doubt it ever will. Perhaps it is only through a collective organised structure that genuine positive change can be achieved. I suppose it was on that basis that the Labour movement and unions were originally conceived of and formed.

        Now of course the Labour movement of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries is gone and that noble institution is largely replaced by a metropolitan “liberal” Blairite elite.

  • John2o2o

    I decided to do something useful for a change today and write to Julian Assange. I hope Craig and the mods will permit me to share the website address:

    Most of us here are passionate and intelligent supporters of Julian, so I would think that he might benefit from hearing from some of us.

  • Wikikettle

    Michael Norton August 1st @ 07.48 on Tankers wrote…” If the Royal Navy shadow British registered shipping but not shipping from the rest of the world ( other than perhaps shipping registered to the USA ), there will be much greater pressure by Iraq/Kuwait and other Gulf States on Iran to comply with American/British wishes. So to almost complete shutdown of trade through the Straits of Hormuz will bring these matters to a solution, more rapidly. ”
    Michael Norton, you no doubt believe with what you wrote above, that we still rule the waves, can protect the US, and the world has to comply to our ‘wishes’ and can bring these ‘matters’ to a rapid ‘solution’. I am still in a state of shock that you believe this and so bare faced about it.

  • Sharp Ears

    Here’s how the Tories do it, ie win elections. They now use Sir Lynton Crosby, Mark Textor and Mark Fullbrook whose setup is called CTF. Thatcher used Saatchi.

    Revealed: Johnson ally’s firm secretly ran Facebook propaganda network
    Sir Lynton Crosby’s firm CTF has built unbranded disinformation pages for Saudi Arabia and major polluters
    1st August 2019

    ‘The disclosures will raise pressure on the prime minister to distance himself from CTF, with former staff members warning that the company might wield substantial influence in the new administration. CTF gave Johnson an interest-free loan to cover office and staffing costs earlier this year, while Crosby’s partners in the business are Mark Textor and Mark Fullbrook, with Fullbrook taking a leave of absence to run Johnson’s campaign for the Tory party leadership along with David Canzini.’

    You will recall Crosby’s involvement in UK elections on behalf of the Tories going back over decades. Crosby’s operations are widespread and include those on other continents.

    • John2o2o

      Well, okay Sharp. But if these particular organisations did not exist then there would be others. “Nature abhors a vacuum” (lol). Now where did I read that? (I can’t remember).

      Not that there’s anything especially natural about these monsters.

      The Tories use PR agencies – propaganda machines – to promote themselves. But do not forget the important role of the mainstream media in spreading their propaganda. I have a quote attributed to Malcolm X:

      “If you’re not careful the newspapers will have you hating the people being oppressed and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.”

      I think Sharp that propaganda will always be with us. It behooves us all to guard well against it.

    • Sharp Ears

      Johnny Mercer Con MP Plymouth Moor makes a big sacrifice. Note that the £85k pa job he is giving up was in the ‘cyber security industry’.

      ‘MP Johnny Mercer quits £85k job to fulfil minister’s role
      31 July 2019
      Johnny Mercer has been appointed as minister for defence families and veterans
      MP Johnny Mercer is giving up a second job which pays him an £85,000 salary for 20 hours work a month, to allow him to become a government minister.
      The Plymouth Moor View MP is a non-executive director of Crucial Academy, which trains veterans to work in the cyber security industry.
      The firm was linked to a company which marketed a bond scheme that collapsed owing more than £200m to investors.
      The Conservative MP has given up the role in line with the Ministerial Code.’

      He is an ex Royal Artillery Captain and did three ‘tours’ in Afghanistan. He is critical of the IHAT.

      Loads of lolly piling in in the form of donations including one from Rees-Mogg’s Somerset Capital I see. Also large sums from the Cayzer Trust. He records several funded visits abroad (Bahrain, Turkey and Eqypt plus one to Israel under the auspices of Conservative Friends of Israel.) He employs his wife in his office, ie we pay her.

      Crucial Academy Ltd is registered to a Brighton address and he is one of three directors. Their business is stated as ‘Educational Support Services’. LOL

      One of the directors of the Cayzer Trust.,_born_1957)
      ‘Follow the money’ is the maxim fpr Tory MPs like Mercer.

      The Cayzer Trust is a limited company registered to Buckingham Gate and has 9 directors. The nature of its business is ‘ Activities of other holding companies not elsewhere classified.’

      • Spencer Eagle

        The only reason he’s quitting the job is because of the conflict of interest. You make it sound like it’s out of commitment or decency, he’s the same as the rest of them, peeing in the same pot.

  • SIS

    Keep him at the same school. No need to tell them you have moved. Why conform to their enslavement bullshit.

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