Heroes, Villains and Establishment Hypocrisy 567


Trump and Johnson’s populism have shaken the old Establishment, and raised some very interesting questions about who is and who is not nowadays inside the Establishment and a beneficiary of the protection of the liberal elite. Yesterday two startling examples in the news coverage cast a very lurid light on this question, and I ask you to consider the curious cases of Hunter Biden and Brendan Cox, two of the most undeserving and unpleasant people that can be imagined.

The BBC news bulletins led on the move to impeach Donald Trump for, as they put it, his efforts to get the President of Ukraine to undermine a political opponent. To be plain, I think Trump was quite wrong to get personally involved in this, but please park the entire subject of Donald Trump to one side for the next ten minutes.

What I find deeply reprehensible in all the BBC coverage is their failure to report the facts of the case, and their utter lack of curiosity about why Joe Biden’s son Hunter was paid $60,000 a month by Burisma, Ukraine’s largest natural gas producer, as an entirely absent non-executive director, when he had no relevant experience in Ukraine or gas, and very little business experience, having just been dishonorably discharged from the Navy Reserve for use of crack cocaine? Is that question not just little bit interesting? That may be the thin end of it – in 2014-15 Hunter Biden received US $850,000 from the intermediary company channeling the payments. In reporting on Trump being potentially impeached for asking about it, might you not expect some analysis – or at least mention – of what he was asking about?

As far as I am aware, the BBC have not reported at all the other thing Trump was asking Zelensky about – Crowdstrike. Regular readers will recall that Crowdstrike are the Clinton linked “cyber-security” company which provided the “forensic data” to the FBI on the alleged Russian hack of the DNC servers – data which has been analysed by my friend Bill Binney, former Technical Director of the NSA, who characterises it as showing speeds of transfer impossible by internet and indicating a download to an attached drive. The FBI were never allowed access to the actual DNC server – and never tried, taking the DNC’s consultants word for the contents, which itself is sufficient proof of the bias of the “investigation”.

Crowdstrike also made the claim that the same Russia hackers – “Fancy Bear” – who hacked the DNC, hacked Ukrainian artillery software causing devastating losses of Ukrainian artillery. This made large headlines at the time. What did not make any MSM headlines was the subsequent discovery that all of this never happened and the artillery losses were entirely fictitious. As Crowdstrike had claimed that it was the use of the same coding in the DNC hack as in the preceding (non-existent) Ukraine artillery hack, that proved Russia hacked the DNC, this is pretty significant. Trump was questioning Zelensky about rumours the “hacked” DNC server was hidden in the Ukraine by Crowdstrike. The media has no interest in reporting any of that at all.

It is plain in that case that Trump is the media’s villain and the Bidens, father and son, are therefore heroes being protected by the Establishment media. Now let us look at the case of Brendan Cox.

Boris Johnson’s behaviour in the Commons two nights ago was reprehensible. Watching the unrepentant and aggressive braying of the Tory MPs, I was genuinely concerned about the consequences for democracy should these empowered right wingers ever get a majority. Johnson has removed the social restraint which used to cloak their atavistic instincts.

This Tory display also very much reinforced what I have been saying for years, that we will not gain Scottish Independence through a repeat of 2014. We were allowed a referendum with only moderate cheating by the British state purely because they believed there was no chance we could win. They have been disabused. There will never be a Section 30 order an an agreed referendum again. We will have to seize Independence by means which the British state will deem unlawful. Anybody not prepared to do that is not serious about Independence.

I digress. Johnson’s behaviour is appalling and he is at an interesting stage where the Establishment and its media is unsure whether to embrace or repudiate him, the calculation depending on whether they think he will win, and on the impact of Brexit on their personal financial interests. But as with Trump, I ask you to set aside your judgement on Johnson and not think of him for a moment.

Yesterday BBC news programmes brought us repeated appearances of Brendan Cox to comment on Boris Johnson and other MP’s parliamentary behaviour. This Brendan Cox:

One such allegation was that Cox pinned a co-worker to a wall by her throat while telling her ‘I want to fuck you’. Cox left the organisation before being subjected to scrutiny on this and other allegations. However, another woman, a senior US official who met him at a Harvard University event, made similar allegations against him, ‘of grabbing her by the hips, pulling her hair, and forcing his thumb into her mouth’ ‘in a sexual way’. In contrast to Assange’s treatment, and despite a social-media furore, for nearly three years there was largely a media blackout on the story. At last, in February 2018, a right-wing tabloid broke the embargo and reported the allegations, and other news organisations had to follow suit. Finally, ‘Cox apologised for the “hurt and offence” caused by his past behaviour’ and announced he was withdrawing from public life.

I strongly recommend you to read that last linked article. Cox is very much on the wavelength of the Establishment media, a full member of the New Labour neo-liberal elite who shuttled between jobs in the Labour Party and in high paying neo-liberal propaganda organisation Save the Children. Cox was personally pocketing £106,000 a year plus expenses from donations to the “charity”. A serial unfaithful sexual aggressor, his wife’s murder sees him recast by the media as the grieving survivor of a perfect marriage. Precisely his strongest political supporters – Jess Phillips, Stella Creasy etc – are Julian Assange’s bitterest opponents due to far flimsier, hotly denied and less attested sexual allegations than those against Cox. But neo-liberals get a free pass from the modern feminist movement (cf Bill Clinton).

Boris Johnson’s behaviour was a dsgrace. But that is no reason for the BBC rehabilitation of the “retired from public life” sexual predator.

The fascinating thing is the binary, good versus evil, narrative which is being pursued in the liberal media. Trump and Johnson are bad. Therefore Hunter Biden and Brendan Cox must be good. The truth, of course, is much more complex than that. I am afraid to say that if you want an excessive simplification, a more accurate one would be that the entire political elite on all sides are self-serving and venal.

There is a more interesting story inside that, where significant portions of the public have lost respect for the Establishment, due in large part to the vast and increasing wealth gap in society, but this disillusion has been battened on by populist charlatans, and particularly directed against immigrants. This feels like an extremely unstable phase in society and politics. But instability brings the possibility of radical change, which is indeed much needed. We must all work for good from it.

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567 thoughts on “Heroes, Villains and Establishment Hypocrisy

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    • David

      prima facie evidence of gap propaganda and distortion in the UK media can be seen by doing a diff & sentiment analysis on the above German news report compared forensically with the British equivalent linked below

      https://www.standard.co.uk/news/world/julian-assange-private-security-firm-spied-on-wikileaks-founder-in-ecuadorian-embassy-for-cia-a4248096.html

      UK media has more quotation marks (implying that maybe Julian wasn’t bugged), (deliberately?) misses shocking facts about Julian Assange’s situation (real time streaming from women’s bathroom), and throws in rape again, for good measure

      making a simple Wordle type word map – checking trivially for frequency and emphasis between the two articles show that UK under-reported “CIA” under-reported “security” under-reported “bugged”, minimsed “Julian” even, and missed out further searchable terms such as “David Morales”, “Rommy Vallejo”, “Aitor Martinez” which could’ve helped any curious Brit to search further, should they have wished to learn more. UK article massively overemphasised “extradition” pushed/nudged an amazing 500% more than the equi-epoch news in English from Germany!

      As a news-junkie enthusiastic amateur, I don’t even wish to see if/how ‘auntie’ herself is reporting this gross human rights violation about a “hero” whistleblower – but the “impartial” BBC would surely never be interested in the ramblings of any “hero” whistleblowers?

  • michael norton

    The Police have been set on Boris.
    This is like a mirror image of the troubles Trump has to go through, the aim of course is to take the will power away from the leader, so they just give up.
    Thuis no Brexit.
    The aim of 3/4 of members of parliament is to thwart the will of the people.
    To Stop any meaningful Brexit.

    This will end in a horrible way.
    Not because of Brexit but because of the Elite Remainers who despise Democracy.

    • Ian

      Alt-right trash talk. If you think Johnson, Farsley, Cummings and Murdoch aren’t the elite you should stop smoking that stuff. Brexit is merely a means for them, and has zero you do with democracy or the fantasy ‘will of the people’. You are being played for a fool by these hedge fund backed elitists.

  • Alec

    Do you really not get it? Boris and his suporters are not acting appallingly. It is the Remainers acting for the establishment that act appallingly by seeking to pervert the democratic will of the people using highly questionable tactics and outright lies. If Boris and Co. prevail it will be a victory for democracy and if they fail there will be very bad consequences. Again and again in the last 40 years the establishment has proved itself the enemy of the people and Brexit has made it obvious to anyone who can think rationally. You leftists rail against populism and doing so reveal that you are completely authoritarian because what else is democracy but populism? If Boris had to arrest half of Parliament and put them in soundproof cells until November 1st he’d have the backing of the majority in this country that are fed up with the Remainer MP’s and their lies. If you’re so concerned with democracy why aren’t you calling for an election? Because you’d lose and you know it.

      • James Charles

        “From the financial data publicly available, Byline Times can reveal that currently £4,563,350,000 (£4.6 billion) of aggregate short positions on a ‘no deal’ Brexit have been taken out by hedge funds that directly or indirectly bankrolled Boris Johnson’s leadership campaign.
        Most of these firms also donated to Vote Leave and took out short positions on the EU Referendum result. The ones which didn’t typically didn’t exist at that time but are invariably connected via directorships to companies that did. ”
        https://bylinetimes.com/2019/09/11/brexit-disaster-capitalism-8-billion-bet-on-no-deal-crash-out-by-boris-johnsons-leave-backers/
        Or?
        “No deal Brexit is not a hedge fund conspiracy”
        https://ftalphaville.ft.com/2019/09/12/1568281802000/No-deal-Brexit-is-not-a-hedge-fund-conspiracy/

      • Dave Lawton

        You are very wrong it is the Hedge fund managers of the City of London who are using the 1950 European Convention on Human Rights adopted in 1950 Article 8 which they use to stash their clients cash in the Cayman Islands to avoid paying any tax. In an interview on BBC after the Panama papers tax scandal a Hedge fund manager sneeringly admitted that was the case. Why do you think the Hedge fund managers and Bankers of the City of London oppose the British people who voted to leave the EU. An example is Gina Miller an extremely wealthy Hedge fund Manager who is doing her worst to stop Brexit.

          • Yarkob

            “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.” F. Scott Fitzgerald

          • Forthestate

            “And your rationale for still being. Brexiters”

            It’s been pointed out above, but if you really cannot cope with the possibility of more than one rationale for being a Brexiter then the first question that has to be asked concerns the state of your mind.

      • Tom Welsh

        “Boris *is* the establishment. I’m a Brexiter, by the way”.

        So why is he the only person doing anything to make Brexit happen?

        • Forthestate

          He isn’t. Corbyn is the man to deliver the fairest, least divisive and most economically viable Brexit; certainly more economically viable than turning us into even more of a US vassal and an even bigger tax haven than we already are.

        • Ian

          You seem to have forgotten he was one of the gang who undermined May and brexit, all so that he could get the top job, and then, without any legitimacy, crash us out, as encouraged by his paymasters and ideological puppet master, Bannon. His focus, as theirs, isn’t to make brexit happen, that is merely a means to the end of the alt-right coup, the economic shock they seek in order to instil a client economy for the offshore and corporate US interests.

    • nevermind

      jadda jadda, democratic will of the people, blah blah 17.4 million voted according to what they were told blah blah, we will take back power, smirk smirk, and puit an end to immigration, heil heil.
      We want a Brexit general election only, screw your leftist talk of austerity and child poverty and lack of opportunities ( bar burger flipping, zero hrs, jobs off course), bluster blow hard, we stand by Borias like Trump is standing by the NRA, hurray hurray.
      Thanks for boring our pants off Alec, you are so smart.

  • joel

    C4 news has arguably even less scruples than the BBC when it comes to rehabilitating disgraced figures in service of a vapid liberal agenda. Jo Cox’s husband is one thing. But to see the Bush era neo con David Frum dawned over by Matt Frei last night was truly stomach turning.. Frum was on demanding Trump’s impeachment, even though the programne’s US correspondent had just discovered, to their horror, that nobody in real world America cares that Trump sought details of a rival’s corruption.

    Btw interesting to see how much more agitated the Democrats are by any probing of Biden’s corruption than they are by Trump’s actual policies .. policies that in reality diffee little from those of the other corporate owned party.
    Anyway, the impeachment effort will obviously fail and likely be hugely counterproductive electorally. For the venal reptiles that lead the Democratic party, however, that is by the by. Their primary task in coming months is to stop not Trump but Bernie Sanders.

      • Yarkob

        i actually read “fawned”. that shows the substitution powers of the brain. it sees what it expects to see, and hears what it expects to hear, no doubt

    • Tony

      Frum appeared on the Today programme a few weeks ago and complained about something Trump had said. He said that it was as if President Nixon had accused Lyndon Johnson of having killed President Kennedy.

      Nixon never, of course, did that. However, he did believe that Johnson killed Kennedy (and he was far from alone in thinking that).

      Before he could go to trial for killing the president, Lee Harvey Oswald was shot dead by Jack Ruby who just happened to be there at the right time and when such a supposedly valuable prisoner was not properly guarded by the Dallas police. Nixon recalled when he saw the shooting of Oswald that Jack Ruby had been introduced to him by Murray Chotiner back in 1947 as ‘one of Lyndon Johnson’s boys’.

      Like David Frum, Scott McLellan also worked for the George W. Bush’s administration. He is the son of Bar McLellan who wrote the book “Blood, Money and Power: How LBJ killed JFK”. Perhaps Frum should have had a word with the McLellans.

  • Forthestate

    Athanasius
    September 27, 2019 at 10:28
    “I did not vote for Brexit, but I would seriously like to know how you justify your claim that millions of people who did where motivated by racism. This is as disgraceful an accusation as anything Johnson has said in parliament.”

    Reply ↓
    craig Post author
    September 27, 2019 at 10:46
    “Have you been living under a rock? There is a massive amount of polling evidence that anti-immigration was the largest interest of Leave voters.”

    Ironically, in conflating concern over immigration with racism, I think Craig has made precisely the same miscalculation as to the extent of racism motivating the Brexit vote as Boris Johnson and the mainstream media. Firstly, this conflation has never addressed a fundamental law of economics, that of supply and demand, or explained how the free movement of labour between countries whose economies and standards of living are radically different can fail to drive wages down in the larger economies.

    And secondly, a recent VoxPop, from the BBC of all people, in Newcastle, shows a community which overwhelmingly voted leave in unanimous opposition to Johnson and his behaviour. Not one person interviewed has anything but condemnation for him. I think this is what Johnson will come up against in any election, and what Craig and others will learn – that the framing of 17.4 million votes by the media as driven overwhelmingly by xenophobic, little Englander racism is really very stupid indeed, and supposedly intelligent people who have come to this conclusion should be ashamed of themselves, not least because their ignorant prejudice has meant that the “respectable left wing reasons to be anti EU” to which Craig refers is a debate that has never seen the light of day. Hard though it is to believe, those respectable reasons are held not merely by a respectable minority of intellectuals offering their opinions on sites like this, they’re also held by large swathes of working class people who, probably unlike said intellectuals, have seen a serious decline in their standards of living over the last few decades, and yet have been characterised throughout this crisis as uneducated, thick, knuckle dragging scum motivated by racism. I’m reminded of Hilary Clinton’s “basket of deplorables”. As ‘Jonathan Pie’ once asked, how the fuck do you think people will vote if you talk to them like that?

    I have greater faith in the basic decency of my compatriots than Craig or Johnson or the mainstream media. I think Johnson will lose any forthcoming election. I hope and believe that Corbyn will be the next PM. I’m not lazy or simplistic or privileged enough to assume that racism was a greater factor in the disenchantment of 17.4 million people than their declining standards of living, and like so many others, I’m sick to death of those supposedly on the left demonising its constituency instead of, finally, at long last, addressing its grievances, which may not be theirs, a fact that might well lie at the heart of their antipathy towards it.

    • Hatuey

      If Brexit voters have been mis-characterised as having racist leanings, as you suggest, redefining them as left wing intellectuals with an advanced understanding of macro economics is not the answer. Spend about 12 seconds in the Telegraph comments section and you’ll soon learn that they definitely come much closer to the former, have zero understanding of economics, and detest the left.

      It’s hard to imagine you being more wrong.

      Incidentally, I studied the economics of migration at degree level. It’s much more complicated than you suggest. Here’s an interesting thing to consider; every significant economic boom in history depended upon the presence and abundance of migrant labour. Far from driving down economies and living standards, the presence of large numbers of migrants is well understood to be a prerequisite for stimulating economies and economic boom periods.

      If you are going to look into that, I’d advise looking at the work of Charles P. Kindleberger, one of my favourite economic historians.

      Case closed.

      • Yarkob

        anyone who says “case closed” at the end of a comment is either Sherlock Holmes or someone who is unfeasibly sure of their own correctness, and usually fond of the sound of their own voice.

        anyway, why use the telegraph as example? do you suppose all who voted Brexit read the telegraph? is that now the arbiter and klaxon of what motivated people to vote to leave? your prejudices are as obvious, and as bad as those you seek to smear my friend

        • Hatuey

          For every person you find that says he or she was motivated to vote for Brexit because of the decline in living standards, we see a thousand that were motivated by thinly veiled racist ideas, notions of “taking back control”, and sovereignty.

          You might say that they were motivated by both but that’s even more stupid since Brexit has already resulted in a further decline in living standards and will undoubtedly result in the situation worsening again, probably severely, if or when it goes ahead.

          Even the most optimistic forecasts of the economy after Brexit suggest we face a 20 year decline in Economic activity.

          Let’s be blunt for the sake of clarity; anyone who thinks their economic prospects will be improved by Brexit is basically a certifiable crackpot.

          That’s all said, I’m all in favour with going ahead with it.

      • Forthestate

        “If Brexit voters have been mis-characterised as having racist leanings, as you suggest, redefining them as left wing intellectuals with an advanced understanding of macro economics is not the answer.”

        No one’s doing that. You display the condescension and contempt towards the poorer section of our society – those who, largely, voted to leave – that has been the habitual response of the more affluent remainers. The best analysis I’ve ever heard of the referendum vote was from a casual interviewee from Leeds, I think, who said “it’s simple: if you’ve got money, you voted to remain, if you’ve got nothing, you voted leave”. What is being suggested is that they do understand the economics of their declining living standards, and most studies have found that people on the lowest incomes – the same people who, by and large, voted Brexit – are those on whose wages immigration has had a negative effect. There are an awful lot of people in our society on low incomes. For those on middle and higher incomes, it has had a largely beneficial effect. A brief google will bring up a plethora of evidence to that effect. “Incidentally, I studied the economics of migration at degree level.” Then you’ll be aware of this fact.

        “Spend about 12 seconds in the Telegraph comments section…” .

        I doubt very much that working class people who voted to leave spend much time in the Telegraph’s comment section. Obviously right wing Remainers detest the left. You haven’t stumbled on anything particularly startling there.

        ‘Case closed.” No, that’ll be your mind, I suspect.

        • Hatuey

          I think you’re confusing yourself and the subject.

          Nobody is disputing the decline in living standards. Based on what I have seen, heard, and read, in places such as the telegraph forums, radio, and elsewhere, the vast majority of those who voted for Brexit were motivated more by “concerns about immigrants” and confused ideas of sovereignty than by left wing economics or any plans along the lines of closing the gap between rich and poor.

          The quote from the guy from Leeds you present is a perfect example of the confusion I see.

          The decline in living standards had nothing to do with being in the EU.

          Blaming the EU for that is blaming the wrong guys though, and I’d be happy to provide data, examples that corroborate —if not prove — the point, and further information.

          Anyone who knows anything about politics, history, and social attitudes knows that people generally turn to political extremes when times are hard. Most people understood that back in the 1930s.

          I didn’t see many complaining about migrant labour when the economy was booming before 2008 when skilled migrants were driving the property market boom. UKIP membership figures from 2007 suggest more people were interested in ping pong than leaving the EU back then.

          The fact is that the collapse in the economy that resulted in misery and austerity for poorer people was down to home grown talent and decisions by bankers and politicians in the UK, not foreigners. And it was unnecessary. Austerity achieved nothing towards reducing the structural deficit or national debt.

          Btw, nobody who uses this forum has wasted more time than me attacking the selfish middle classes for the state of Britain in terms of how the working classes and poor have been royally shafted since 1980. That isn’t an argument for Brexit though, as you are suggesting, it’s an argument for something else.

          • Forthestate

            “The fact is that the collapse in the economy that resulted in misery and austerity for poorer people was down to home grown talent and decisions by bankers and politicians in the UK, not foreigners. And it was unnecessary. Austerity achieved nothing towards reducing the structural deficit or national debt.”

            I’ve heard this said again and again, and it’s thoroughly disingenuous. Austerity is the EU policy response to the financial collapse. If you’ve any doubt about that, never mind Greece, look what happened when the Italian government passed a budget to end austerity. Brussels rejected it. It’s the first national budget to have been rejected by the EU, although a Greek budget to the same effect would have been had Tsipras had the courage to present it. What do you imagine the Gilets Jaunes movement in France is protesting?

            “Btw, nobody who uses this forum has wasted more time than me attacking the selfish middle classes for the state of Britain in terms of how the working classes and poor have been royally shafted since 1980. That isn’t an argument for Brexit though, as you are suggesting, it’s an argument for something else.”

            The argument for Brexit is over. We had a referendum, and were assured that the result of that referendum would be honoured. There is no way out of that except betrayal, and that simply isn’t right. That would be to put a crowbar into the seismic crack in our society and give it an almighty heave. Corbyn offers the best solution in proposing to put any final deal to a popular vote. It’s hard to find fault with that.

          • SA

            Thank you both. I had not thought of it this way but I now know that for the nationalists there is a selfish reason behind this. Why not then just back Brexit as the better option and then you will make sure that UK goes down the drain and at the same time ensure Scottish independence? A sort of disaster capitalism otherwise practiced by Rees Mogg and the like.

          • Hatuey

            Usually when you hear something over and over again, it’s because it has relevance to the stupid things you say.

            You seem to be arguing for Italy and Greece leaving the EU and I thought we were discussing the UK.

            Does EU membership explain this: “UK state pension worst in the developed world” https://www.ftadviser.com/pensions/2018/02/13/uk-state-pension-worst-in-the-developed-world/

            Across the board, welfare provisions in the UK are at the lower end of the scale, from child benefits to unemployment benefits and maternity care.

            The tragedy is that most other EU countries wanted to harmonise that stuff and they partially did with the social chapter. Britain opted out and wants to win the race to the bottom.

            We are the dumb scallywag workforce of Europe, not the Romanians. And that has precisely nothing to do with the EU which has raised standards and everything to do with the wankers who are heading the Brexit campaign.

          • Forthestate

            Howdy, Hatuey.

            You begin your post with an insult in your opening sentence: “Usually when you hear something over and over again, it’s because it has relevance to the stupid things you say”, which you then go on to merit yourself in your second : “You seem to be arguing for Italy and Greece leaving the EU and I thought we were discussing the UK.”

            No, what we were discussing, and I accept that in your eagerness to impress us all with your extremely rudimentary understanding of economics, you’d probably forgotten, was your contention that austerity was a homegrown policy. It isn’t, and only someone utterly clueless about the EU and its policies would imagine that it was. I repeat, what do you think the Gilets Jaunes movement is protesting? You need to address points that are in response to yours, rather than insult them, if you want a discussion, but given that you prefer abuse, let’s call it a day, shall we?

        • SA

          So you think the answer to the woes of the poor is Brexit and that is based on some concept that immigration is the cause of the reduction of their standards of living and earning and that Brexit will reduce immigration and therefore improve their living standards?
          Let my try to answer your presumptions :
          1. Increased Immigration is not the result of us joining the EU. Half the immigrants in this country are not from EU countries and successive governments chose not to reduce non-EU immigration. Moreover we have never been forced to accept immigrants from the EU who are not productive, all countries in the EU have a right to grant leave to stay on a limited basis and certainly immigrants from the EU cannot get all the benefits unless they are productive in the first place. Try claiming social security or free medical treatment in France as a Brit and see how far you can get.
          2. Brexit will not solve the problem of immigration nor that of lower standards of living for the poor. The neoliberal system which is leading to impoverishment is equally in operation within the EU as outside the EU. Trade deals have to be struck with other countries and these will have strings attached. The main alternative for us jumping out of the EU frying pan is into the US fire with all the consequences. That is why I am not sure how anyone who pretends to care about left wing policies would support Brexit under such circumstances. This is the inevitable consequence at least of a no deal Brexit.
          3. The working class have consistently voted for conservative governments and if a general election is called today, may well bring Johnson back into an unchallenged majority government. So can you tell me why?
          4. I think you are mistaken that only those of middle or low income will benefit from remain. When industries close down, as they will with Brexit, the poor will suffer even more. There are many projections that show this.

          So in conclusion I challenge you to tell me why you think Brexit is such a good thing? I asked you this question earlier but you chose to use insults, something that tells me that someone has no real argument, instead of answering. If that is the way you argue then I believe you are best to comment in the pages of the DM.

          • Iain Stewart

            “So in conclusion I challenge you to tell me why you think Brexit is such a good thing?”

            A helpful bystander replies: If you had read only one or two of Hatuey’s previous contributions with any attention you would know that the two benefits of Brexit should be the disintegration of the United Kingdom, and the severe punishment of its guilty middle classes. That is why he thinks Brexit is going to be a good thing, but you may of course disagree.

          • Hatuey

            Thanks for that, Iain, most sincerely.

            I’d possibly add as a third reason that it’s just hugely entertaining to see the British establishment tear itself apart. We clearly have two factions there and it’s hard to say which is the most unpleasant.

            For the first time in my life I feel like I can’t lose…

          • Forthestate

            “So you think the answer to the woes of the poor is Brexit and that is based on some concept that immigration is the cause of the reduction of their standards of living and earning and that Brexit will reduce immigration and therefore improve their living standards?
            Let my try to answer your presumptions… “.

            I stopped reading after that. The presumptions are all yours. Nowhere have I said that “the answer to the woes of the poor” – a phrase which oozes complacent contempt – is Brexit. I merely pointed out that those on low incomes are impacted negatively by immigration. Study after study has found that, although they often describe the impact as modest. I imagine most people conducting those studies are not on low income. I also pointed out that studies have shown immigration to have had a beneficial effect on those with middle and high incomes – people like you, I’d imagine. The notion that I think Brexit is the answer to declining low incomes is a simplistic presumption that is entirely yours. My reasons for voting out are by no means restricted to this single issue. That declining incomes led to what was effectively a protest vote by people marginalised by our economy is undeniable. Brexit by itself cannot mend that – it depends on the deal, and it depends on whom we put in power. Mending inequality is a great deal more involved than being in or out of Europe; since you presume that I don’t think it is, we don’t have anything to discuss.

          • SA

            For some reason you like to patronise. If you wish to stop reading, stop writing in answer otherwise you open yourself to obvious criticism.

          • Forthestate

            @ SA “So you think the answer to the woes of the poor is Brexit and that is based on some concept that immigration is the cause of the reduction of their standards of living and earning and that Brexit will reduce immigration and therefore improve their living standards?
            Let my try to answer your presumptions… ” Patronising, much?

            I’m not aware of having insulted you, other than to offer a sharp rebuke to another of your presumptions, and one you had no reasonable right to hold, namely, that Boris Johnson was my rationale for being a Brexiter. It was an unintelligent and provocative remark, and got the response it deserved. I was not alone in observing the lack of thought that went into it.

          • Forthestate

            “And your rationale for still being. Brexiters”

            I think Ive got it. Was this a question? In which case, it needs to be written as such, in proper English, with a question mark. I took it to be a statement that Johnson was my rationale for being a Brexiter; so did Yarkob. You can hardly blame me for the confusion, but I apologise nonetheless if my reply was inappropriate.

          • SA

            OK let us clear the air. Apologies for mispunctuation. my question should have been and your rationale for being Brexiters?
            I just feel that those on the real left who advocate Brexit, probably for the right reason, a socialist one, do not follow this by considering the rule of unintended consequences. A fully blown ‘socialist’ Brexit is a good thing that I would support. Failing that remain and working within the EU is also a good option. But we are not offered any of these with our current parliament whatever the outcome because there is simply no possibility of achieving any of these under the current climate.
            Whether you are a remainer or a leaver, the bottom line is that the country is divided roughly down the middle and therefore respect for the opposite point of view is necessary. I therefore fully applaud Corbyn’s stance but I think the message has not got across to the electorate.

        • bevin

          You are right.
          Craig’s oft expressed contempt for English working class voters, as racists, bigots or idiots, is troubling. There is something very much akin to racism in the attitude that members of the middle classes have towards working people. There always was, as can be seen from the appalling callousness of Liberal governments in the C19th towards the poor. A callousness that was apparent even to Tories such as Disraeli.

          • Iain Stewart

            “Craig’s oft expressed contempt for English working class voters, as racists, bigots or idiots, is troubling.”
            That is very unfair and unworthy of you, Bevin (but I am sure you will get over my disappointment). You might have written “some” English working class voters, with more accuracy, or even “the majority of” them, but you are implying that Craig has contempt for these people on the basis of their social class and ethnic origins, and not for their misguided ideas. This is the kind of false argument the late Habbabkuk would use (as you should recall as a frequent target).

          • Hatuey

            Lots of them. You are assuming that a downturn is a the same as a bust and it isn’t. A bust is quite specific and is characterised by a rapid decline in growth, amongst other things. Countries experience booms all the time without those boom periods being followed by rapid economic decline. A list of examples would be a mile long.

          • Herbie

            You’re assuming that any bit of growth is a boom. It isn’t.

            So, again, which economic boom wasn’t followed by a bust?

      • Herbie

        “Incidentally, I studied the economics of migration at degree level. It’s much more complicated than you suggest. Here’s an interesting thing to consider; every significant economic boom in history depended upon the presence and abundance of migrant labour. Far from driving down economies and living standards, the presence of large numbers of migrants is well understood to be a prerequisite for stimulating economies and economic boom periods.”

        You’re arguing that “the presence and abundance of migrant labour” itself produces the boom.

        That’s nonsense.

        Rather, the labour is attracted to the boom.

        The boom is produced by capital investment.

        But what happens when you’ve got “the presence and abundance of migrant labour”, but little capital investment, and no boom, only bust.

        • Hatuey

          “You’re arguing that “the presence and abundance of migrant labour” itself produces the boom.”

          No I’m not. I’m saying it’s a prerequisite.

          And history shows that labour is not always attracted by capital investment. People migrate for various reasons. If you look at Germany in the immediate post war period, the migrants were fleeing to the west, away from the soviets, but there was no capital investment waiting for them. What awaited them was a country in ruins. Many starved and died of hunger.

          The same could be said of the US before capital took an interest. People from all over the world flocked there to explore what was essentially a wilderness. The economy for most migrants revolved around skinning animals for fur and whatever you might call that it didn’t represent capital investment.

          There’s good evidence to suggest that it is the other way around, that capital is attracted to labour. China’s development since the 1970s was premised on that belief and it’s why western manufacturing is largely non existent today (in the west).

          Do you think our capitalists and manufacturers move to coastal China because they liked the build quality? No, they go there because there’s an abundance of migrant labour, i.e. large numbers of people who moved from the countryside to the special economic zones on the coast. And that’s the exact same dynamic you find in Britain’s industrial revolution.

          • Mr Shigemitsu

            You haven’t addressed the point made which asks, what is the effect of increased (low and semi skilled) immigration, once the boom ends?

            A perfect storm of sustained and vandalistic public sector cuts to housing, health and local authority funding, combined with large scale low and semi skilled immigration resulted in reduced earnings at the lower margins, and increased competition for those scarce public sector resources mentioned above.

            The resentment towards newcomers (of whatever race – and most of the NMS immigrants were white Christians) by the existing population (of whatever race, Leave voters included members of BAME communities too) has to be understood in that light.

            If a Govt is happy to see a 3m increase in the population over 10 years, it should at the very least plan for, and implement, an increase in the supply of public sector resources to match the demand.

            The UK is probably one of the least racist countries in Europe – perhaps even the World, with the possible exception of Cuba. But make people at the lower margins of the economy scrabble in competition with each other for diminishing wages and public sector resources, and an anti establishment lashing out (albeit one that’s also egged on by maverick alt right libertarians) as embodied by the Leave vote is the result.

          • Hatuey

            Shigemitsu, my original comment wasn’t intended to address that question. Indeed, that question didn’t exist until after I had answered the original post.

            I’m happy to answer that but I’m guessing since you know so little about economics it might take some time.

            For starters, instead of defining migrant workers as a drain on resources, you need to define them as producers of wealth. That’s been proven above and is a given in the classical economic framework. Go study The Lewis Model.

            Now, in the context of an economy in say recession, you are saying these producers of wealth magically transform into a drain on resources. That’s almost a superstitious belief since no obvious change in their characteristics or the skills they offer can be discerned.

            But let’s assume you are right. I think we could also assume that people who have lived here all their lives (British people) who are surplus to the market’s requirements at a given moment might also be magically transformed and described as a drain on resources. How do we deal with all these people?

            Well, it turns out that economics has a great solution for them all, a solution that re-stimulates growth whilst providing all the houses and services the unemployed need. It’s called welfare. No need for racism or the National Front.

            Just one problem, in this country they are too stupid and ideological to see or admit the cushioning and stimulating effects of welfare in the economy — although nobody seriously denies its importance. The best way to get any economy going is to put money into the hands of the poor and as it happens they need it anyway. Another great way is to build houses. These are considered truisms in economics.

            The Tories would rather invest billions propping up banks that failed than feed or provide for the poor. They’d rather upgrade Trident than build houses. They’d rather bomb people abroad than feed people at home. That’s politics but crucially it has precisely nothing to do with the EU and everything to do with the bunch of vile bastards that tricked you and others into voting for Brexit.

            According to your logic, cutting things like welfare and public spending would improve the economy. That’s a really stupid old lie. The opposite is true. History shows that when you cut welfare and public spending dramatically, the economy basically dies.

            And, so, the unemployed provide the solution when there’s a downturn. That applies regardless of their skin colour or ethnic origin. If you provide for them properly, you stimulate growth or at the very least cushion your economy from deepening recession.

            This is all well understood. One of the reasons economists don’t fear another 1929 type recession is down to the cushioning effects of welfare and public spending. In most advanced countries about 35% of the money in circulation is recycled tax money.

            They’re already doing what I’ve described above basically everywhere. Britain is in the grip of right wing ideologues who’d rather line their own pockets with that money than use it to stimulate growth.

            Britain could invest any amount of money in wanted in house building and hospitals. But they want to keep property prices high because they own them basically and they hope to sell the NHS to themselves and make a killing.

          • Mr Shigemitsu

            Well done for completely misrepresenting my point, attaching motivations and concepts to my post with which I couldn’t agree less, insulting my knowledge of economics.

            And for showing such disrespect; it’s Shigemitsu-san to you!

            “According to your logic, cutting things like welfare and public spending would improve the economy.”

            Eh? I don’t know where on earth you got that from, I know how the automatic stabilisers function perfectly well, thank you, and how importatnt they are to the economy!

            No one is saying that any inhabitant is a “drain on resources”. Far from it; labour is one of the real resources that a country needs to thrive.

            My point was that, given the paucity of public sector resources, mainly to accommodate, but also to educate, and medically treat, a rapid and considerable increase in population, with no central planning and only market-based solutions available, compounded by ten years of Coalition and Tory austerity, the competition for those resources, and for better pay at the lower margins, post-boom, led to increased resentment of newcomers of whatever race, by whatever race. Hence the Leave majority.

            Yet in your long reply you failed to address this essential point.

            “If you provide for them properly, you stimulate growth or at the very least cushion your economy from deepening recession.”

            Of course. But this didn’t happen – which, IMO, is why the Leave vote won.

            If you reply, please try not to use straw man, or excluded middle, logical fallacies, or ascribe to me political and economic opinions which should be obvious from my posts that I do not hold. Thanks!

          • Mr Shigemitsu

            Britain could invest any amount of money in wanted in house building and hospitals.

            Absolutely.

            Although, of course, only up to the point where the real resources – (including labour!) – in the economy were able to absorb that spending without leading to inflation.

            Very glad to see you’re beginning to get MMT ; ))

          • Hatuey

            Here’s the very specific question you recycled on behalf of someone making the very tired and superficial argument we have heard a million times in support of Brexit (context matters): “what is the effect of increased (low and semi skilled) immigration, once the boom ends?”

            I thought I answered that very thoroughly. I’m telling you here in more simplistic terms that from a macro economic standpoint that increased supply of labour, which was once driving productivity, doesn’t suddenly become a burden when the economy goes into decline.

            Moreover, and I thought it was obvious from a stimulation standpoint, it really doesn’t matter where the temporarily surplus labour derives from. Indeed, you could argue that they take on greater value during a downturn because they continue to be economically active and with adequate resources and distribution will play just as important a part in stimulating growth as home-grown labour.

            I don’t see the point in distinguishing between those who were born here and those who weren’t. They are equally important when it comes to productivity whether there’s a recession or not. And I don’t see public spending as a burden. I see it as an opportunity, especially during a recession.

            If you look at what happened in Australia after 2008 and the credit crunch, the point is demonstrated clearly. The credit crunch coincided with a massive investment in education and IT infrastructure there. Consequently, Australia didn’t experience any ill effects.

            We could have done the same but instead we came out of it with a weakened tax base, lower earnings, more debt, and 130 thousand people dead as direct result of austerity. It would probably have cost less to do what Australia did — no 130,000 dead, no lower earnings, less debt, etc. The reason we didn’t had nothing to do with the EU.

      • James Charles

        “But this is evasion and deception. The mass immigration of the past decade wasn’t caused just by the absence of transitional controls on new EU member states. It was the result of a policy of encouraging immigration to generate economic growth – a policy NuLab copied from Bill Clinton’s America. In a speech about the policy, then Home Office minister Barbara Roche said:
        ‘The evidence shows that economically driven migration can bring substantial overall benefits both for growth and the economy. In the United States, as Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan has commented, the huge recent inflow of migrants – 11 million in the 1990s – has been key to sustaining America’s longest-ever economic boom.’”
        http://www.lobster-magazine.co.uk/free/lobster68/lob68-view-from-the-bridge.pdf

    • J

      Agreed. This a a powerful essay from Craig, marred only by this ‘attitude.’

      The ‘racist’ argument was the tacit establishment and media position before, during and after the referendum. As surely as if BBC, The Times, Telegraph, Mail and Guardian had collaborated on strategy. The simple explanation is that all media embody the same easy class prejudice and one which Craig seems to share. Perhaps he finds no difference between the casual and ambient racism of those who absorb it from parents, peers or state as an explanation for their circumstance and the deep, abiding racism of the class who procure, design and implement commercial resource wars, invariably against poor and dark skinned peoples and for whom racism is merely a necessary tool which their various policies and organs deliberately maintain.

      There are many flavours of this same thought stopping argument but the aim has always been broadly similar, to prevent any discussion of the real problems between the UK, the EU or the relationship of both to the US and also to avoid any discussion of practical solutions or strategy for system change, pushing everyone toward the most divisive possible understanding of economics, politics, Europe, the EU and the referendum, toward whatever least threatens the various establishment factions.

      Apparently he sees little or no prospect for change. Either through a fairer and more inclusive politics, different systems of governance, changes in energy production (which obviate the endless resource wars) improved understanding of our own history, possible through better governance and regulation of information and communication monopolies, leading to longer term thinking through better use of education and technology. The ongoing and gradual cultural change arising from the masses familiarity with other cultures can either be suppressed or accelerated.

      I’m surprised Craig has fallen into this narrow view again. The ecological realities we all face offer a unique opportunity for collective action at community, national and international levels, via trade, manufacturing and energy production to geo-politics. We should seize the opportunity to shift the argument irrevocably away from division.

      • Forthestate

        Good comment, and I agree it’s “a powerful essay by Craig, marred only by this ‘attitude’.” The most depressing outcome of Brexit is to see people who clearly consider themselves to be on the left adopting a wholesale attitude of utter contempt towards the working class worthy of any nobleman at Le Salon de l’Oeil-de-Boeuf.

          • Iain Stewart

            MJ, I’m impressed you knew what the Œil-de-bœuf was, but the level of erudition in this blog should be of no surprise. I had to look it up, and now know it was where Louis XIV hung out at Versailles, with a bull’s eye window, and a place no doubt especially notorious for its disdainful aristocrats even today amongst the purest of left wingers.

          • Forthestate

            @ Iain Stewart

            Anyone familiar with Carlyle’s brilliant “The French Revolution: A History” will know the reference, as he uses it throughout. Its a grand read.

        • Mr Shigemitsu

          Although I’m broadly speaking a fan, I’m not sure our host is to be considered as “on the left”. At one time he was an actual LibDem supporter, a Liberal with a capital “L”; these days I’d say he’s a liberal with a small “l”.

          They may think they do, but not many liberals actually know, or care, very much about what any class lower than their own middle or upper middle is really all about.

          They certainly fail conspicuously to act on behalf of the working class, or propose genuine solutions to their problems. You need a socialist to do that.

          • Forthestate

            Point taken.

            “They may think they do, but not many liberals actually know, or care, very much about what any class lower than their own middle or upper middle is really all about.”

            I have never seen that demonstrated more clearly than it has been over the last 3 years.

      • kathy

        “The ‘racist’ argument was the tacit establishment and media position before, during and after the referendum. As surely as if BBC, The Times, Telegraph, Mail and Guardian had collaborated on strategy. The simple explanation is that all media embody the same easy class prejudice and one which Craig seems to share. Perhaps he finds no difference between the casual and ambient racism of those who absorb it from parents, peers or state as an explanation for their circumstance and the deep, abiding racism of the class who procure, design and implement commercial resource wars, invariably against poor and dark skinned peoples and for whom racism is merely a necessary tool which their various policies and organs deliberately maintain.”

        Really? I think that is the best bit about his “essay”. You must have misunderstood the point he was trying to make. I suggest you go and read it again in order to grasp it’s true powerful meaning which obviously went right over your head.

        • J

          I suggest you haven’t understood the essence of what’s been happening or what I wrote or that Craig appears to have ammended his essay to remove the phrase I’m writing about.

    • pete

      I can’t help but feel some sympathy to the argument that the Brexiteers were not primarily motivated by racism, not least because of the tendency of immigrants to move to areas already populated by their own nationals, which will have left the less mobile native members of the community, unable to move, feeling like strangers in their own land.
      This is not an evidence free assertion, take a gander at the place I grew up in, London: https://www.citylab.com/design/2016/05/london-immigrant-neighborhoods-communities/483974/ Compare the up to date map with maps showing the sites of the previous influxes of migrants, say from Europe or the middle east or the Caribbean. These are big changes in a relatively small time scale.
      Once you also factor in the pressure on housing caused by the decline in public housing, the inadequate replenishment of the housing stock and the equal, if not greater pressure of caps on public spending and the mythical minimum living wage, you get the present split of opinion on the free movement of people which is at the heart of the Brexit argument: the poorer natives at odds with poorer still newcomers.
      For the richer Brexiteers there are the rewards of exploiting the deregulation that will follow our exit from the European Union, hence the flow of misinformation from them. Nor does it promise to be much, if any better, to remain part of the union, so long as we are happy to believe that without a central fiscal union the common market will never have the power to help us much.
      Aside from that, and the absurd political system that governs us, everything is fine.

    • Ralph

      ‘I hope and believe that Corbyn will be the next PM.’ You talk about declining living standards, and then want a nutcase liebore party to be in power to open Britain to anybody & everybody???! THEN, you ain’t seen nothing yet!

  • Disinterested Bystander

    Tangentially related to this article, the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) has recently been heavily publicising its guide to combating trolls on the internet. CCDH, which describes itself as a ‘not-for-profit non governmental organisation’ and has very opaque funding, has endorsed Rachel Riley’s stance against online trolls which is some massive reversal of reality as described by the Zelo Street blog here:

    https://zelo-street.blogspot.com/2019/09/dont-feed-rachel-riley.html

    CCDH has some very interesting people running it including:

    Imran Ahmed who was once a SPAD to Hilary Benn and subsequently worked for Angela Eagle as a researcher and was allegedly the instigator of the Brickgate myth.
    Morgan McSweeney who was campaigns director for Liz Kendall during her bid for the Labour leadership.
    Kirsty McNeill who was a SPAD to Gordon Brown when he was Prime Minister and is now Executive Director of Policy, Advocacy and Campaigns at Save the Children.

    At a level guess I would say that the Center for Countering Digital Hate has been set up to promote neo-liberalism and attack non-establishment voices under the guise of opposing trolling.

    • Sharp Ears

      Given the BBC seal of approval here.

      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/newsbeat-49712728

      I always say ‘follow the money’. They say there ‘part funded by Urban Philanthropy’.

      https://www.counterhate.co.uk/ I see Papadopoulus there. She is frequently a talking head on Sky News.
      https://www.counterhate.co.uk/meet-the-team

      ‘CCDH is a new think tank that says it aims to find “practical solutions” to the “increasing use of racial and religious intolerance, sexism, homophobia, and other forms of identity-based hate to polarise societies and undermine democracy”.

      Directors CCDH
      MR MORGAN JAMES MCSWEENEY
      Director
      DOB Apr 1977
      Date Apoointed 19 Oct 2018

      MR DAVID CRAIG ROBERTS
      Director
      Jan 1965
      19 Sep 2019

      DR SIOBHAN MARIE MCANDREW
      Director
      Mar 1978
      19 Sep 2019

      MS KIRSTY JEAN MCNEILL
      Director
      Feb 1980
      19 Sep 2019

      ‘It is part funded by Unbound Philanthropy – another think tank that helps immigrants and refugees integrate in their new countries.’

      Any more funding via ‘the only democracy in the Middle East’ having seen Rachel Riley’s name earlier?

  • Chris Barclay

    “We will have to seize Independence by means which the British state will deem unlawful. Anybody not prepared to do that is not serious about Independence.”

    Not just the British state but the EU and the US. It has bemused me how Scottish Nationalists are watching the Brexit saga and have not drawn an obvious conclusion – that Scotland will not be allowed to leave the UK to become an independent country. The military bases in Scotland are just too important.

  • Ros Thorpe

    Great article. I’m not entirely clear whether Cox had admitted the allegations and was charged. However, I agree that there are double standards. The knighting of Geoffrey Boycott a convicted domestic abuser is an outrageous insult and shows the liberal establishment tolerate such things.

  • Sharp Ears

    The voluble Bercow on Jo Cox. He nearly shed a tear or two. Sorry it’s a Sun video.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hj1K_9U3GhM
    John Bercow fought back tears over the murder of Jo Cox as he remembered her and what she stood for

    ‘John Bercow has pleaded with MPs on all sides to tackle the ‘toxic’ political culture, as the fallout continued from Boris Johnson’s combative Commons performance.
    The Commons Speaker said the house ‘did itself no credit’ in the angry exchanges. The prime minister had told MPs they should honour the memory of the murdered parliamentarian Jo Cox by delivering Brexit.
    Bercow asked MPs to ‘lower the decibel level and to try to treat each other as opponents, not as enemies’.
    Boris Johnson urged to calm Commons ‘inferno of rhetoric’ Guardian

  • Atalanta69

    I write as someone who has never liked or trusted Boris Johnson. However, I am genuinely curious as to why you believe his performance in the HOC this week was so reprehensible. I watched the proceedings, and was actually very surprised by his moderation. Perhaps you could write a line-by-line analysis of his speech, pointing out the areas which you consider to be so inflammatory and irresponsible, and why? However, for the sake of balance, you should also provide a similar analysis to the speeches of his opponents, which were quite hysterical in many cases.

  • N_

    Carole Cadwalladr is retweeting a threat Nigel Farage made against her in April 2018, plus an excerpt from a Washington Post article also from last year, which she commented on by asking whether Robert Mueller was “making plans” for Nigel Farage.

    But a few days ago the British National Crime Agency announced that it was NOT going to continue investigating Arron Banks, at least in relation to certain specific matters.

    If only a faction in MI6 could remove Trump, give Richard “Paris Tunnel” Dearlove something to drink, and so on! 🙂

    • N_

      Yesterday Nigel Farage promised to execute civil servants who stand in the way of his “national independence” project. “Once Brexit is done, we will take the knife to the pen pushers in Whitehall.”

      Meanwhile, in the event that a crashout Brexit does not happen, Farage has threatened military conflict – civil war –. (By Brexit he means a crashout Brexit, since he views something like Theresa May’s deal as Brexit In Name Only and has explicitly called her offered deal worse than Remain.)

      Meanwhile he has called for an end to the ban on handguns.

      And in the most recent election, the Brexit Party plus UKIP got at least as many votes among white voters as the Labour, Liberal Democrat and Conservative parties combined.

      See where this is going?

      • Vivian O'Blivion

        Gwent Police are investigating the “take a knife to the penpushers” comment. Fartage has said, in retrospect he should have said “take an axe” as this is the regular synonym for cutting bureaucracy. That’s the beauty of using a dogwhistle, when you’re caught out you can say you “miss-spoke”.

      • Dave Lawton

        I will tell where the EU is going.Europe a Nation was a policy developed by British Blackshirt Fascist politician Oswald Mosley as the cornerstone of his Union Movement. It called for the integration of Europe into a single political entity.

        And this from a Remain paper recently which has just woken up.

        The EU commission has been accused of adopting “grotesque” and “fascist” rhetoric after it created a new “Commissioner for Protecting our European Way of Life” role to oversee immigration policy.
        Incoming president Ursula von der Leyen unveiled the new job along with the rest of her cabinet at a press conference in Brussels on Tuesday, explaining that it would cover migration issues.
        But critics said the new job’s Orwellian-sounding name suggested that immigrants were a threat to the European way of life. 
        https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brexit-news-latest-commissioner-for-protecting-our-european-way-of-life-ursula-von-der-leyen-a9098991.html

  • Sharp Ears

    There is still no mention of ‘Crowdstrike;’ on the state broadcaster’s search box..

    ‘Sorry, no suggestions were found.’

    Their latest effort on the Trump/Biden His Time saga is here –

    Trump impeachment inquiry: Pompeo subpoenaed by House Democrats
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-49860079

    The three committees involved –

    ‘What is the Pompeo subpoena about?
    The subpoena was issued in a joint letter by the House’s Foreign Affairs, Intelligence and Oversight committees.
    The committees are headed by Elliot Engel, Adam Schiff and Elijah Cummings, respectively.’

    Do they report to Israel or to the US? 🙂

    • Vivian O'Blivion

      Trump has no shortage of contacts with Ukraine himself. His jailed and repentent ex-lawyer, Michael Cohen is “married to the Ukrainian mob”. His business partner in property Felix Sater is a Ukrainian immigrant. Sater enjoys some form of immunity from prosecution having “worn a wire” when dealing with the Russian / Ukrainian mob. Sater has a record for having stabbed someone in the face with the stem of a martini glass. Nice chap.
      The population of the Ukraine when the Soviet Union broke up was 52 million. The population has subsequently dropped by 7 million. It would appear that to quote Trump, “they haven’t been sending their best people “.
      The Bidens and Trump are equally mired in dirt. I wouldn’t give much attention to this particular three ringed circus.

  • N_

    Philip Hammond suggests in today’s Times that Boris Johnson is aiming for a crashout Brexit because he is backed by financial interests that have taken a huge bet on a fall in the currency and soaring inflation.

    That makes Johnson a major criminal, but sweet Philip doesn’t put it like that. He writes

    Boris Johnson asserts, ever more boldly, that we will leave the EU on October 31, ‘with or without a deal’. But as his sister has reminded us, he is backed by speculators who have bet billions on a hard Brexit — and there is only one outcome that works for them: a crash-out no-deal Brexit that sends the currency tumbling and inflation soaring. So they, at least, will be reassured to see no evidence at all that his government has seriously pursued a deliverable deal; still less that it has been pursuing a deal that could get us out by October 31.

    It was for retaining links with Hammond that Eugenics Cummings had Treasury adviser Sonia Khan marched out of Downing Street by armed police.

    This suggests that Johnson and Eugenics Boy have a weakness here.

    (Hammond goes on to say that Britain won’t leave on 31 October, that the lovely Supreme Court will not let him ignore the Benn Act, and that Johnson will then have to moderate his demeanour and language and negotiate a nice smooth exit deal in the months that follow. I suspect Hammond’s knowledge of finance, economic leavers and Whitehall politics exceeds his knowledge of crowd psychology, the strategy of conflict, and the role of violence. It’s as if he doesn’t realise a general election or referendum is coming.)

    • Ralph

      Who’d believe another shit like hammond??? This is the dumbf**k who, as Foreign Secretary in 2014, told the people defending their lives in the former Eastern ukraine to lay down their arms, which would have resulted in them being massacred.

      • N_

        What language did he tell them in? Did he have vans going round with loudspeakers? And why does his support for fascist Kiev forces mean he must be wrong when he says Boris Johnson is helping financial interests bring about a crashout Brexit so they can cash in on a very large scale?

        • Ralph

          It’s how hammond thinks that matters, and the fact that he doesn’t care about others suffering, even to the point of them ending up dead. Taking his shit advice can have major negative consequences.
          That is what speculators do, regardless, there are those who bet the £ will go down, and others who will have an opposite view; who says it’ll end up as a ‘crashout’? Look what soros did back in the early 90s, that’s what those /greedy/evil/shit types do.

          • Mr Shigemitsu

            Look what soros did back in the early 90s, that’s what those /greedy/evil/shit types do.

            John Major took Sterling into the ERM at DM2.95 – a rate far too high for the UK’s economy to maintain.

            Imposing high interest rates to defend that DM peg (12%, and hitting 15% on Black Weds), was needlessly punishing the UK economy, and Sterling’s exit – a good thing btw – was only a matter of time.

            Soros merely took a bet that Sterling’s ERM exit, and subsequent – and necessary – fall was inevitable, and he made a lot of money. Some other buggers who bet against him (not likely the poor and needy!) lost a lot of money. They would have been hedge funds, banks and financial institutions – and I wouldn’t weep for them.

            Once out of the ERM, the pound could freely float, and interest rates dropped considerably. As a result, the economy was out of recession in a matter of months, and Lamont’s “green shoots of recovery” were evident soon enough.

        • Mr Shigemitsu

          “helping financial interests bring about a crashout Brexit so they can cash in on a very large scale”

          Who do think the counter parties are? Sweet little old ladies? The poor and needy?

          There are, by definition, equal bets on the other sides of those contracts – that will win big time if there *isn’t* a No Deal Brexit. Probably more so.

          Who do you think will cash in in that case? Investment banks, other hedge funds, and City institutions. You don’t think they’re bankrolling pro-Remain interests? Of course they are. But somehow if they win billions going long Sterling that’s OK?

          In pre-referendum 2016, there were business articles bemoaning the high GBP/EUR exchange rate (@1.42), and the damage this was doing to UK exporters. Some people are never happy!

  • Cap'n Klonk

    Ralph: Regarding biden, and what a nasty pile of murderous shit he is, consider this background article: https://www.stalkerzone.org/joe-biden-and-ukraine-a-quick-reminder/

    The warmongering, mass murdering USG’s involvement/interference goes way back, and nuland admitted that the USG had spent (at least) $5 billion on ukraine, and that amount of money goes very far in a poor country like ukraine, with its massive corruption, and pays for snipers to shoot both the police and civilians in yet another ‘color revolution’ called Maidan.

    obama had almost washed his hands of ukraine, leaving it to biden, who even joked that he spoke more to poroshitko (the former pres) than his wife. No problem for biden to also support neo-nazis if it achieves the USG’s aim of causing trouble for Russia, while civilians get murdered in the former Eastern part of ukraine.

    So the focus should be on more than biden and his corruption: he is responsible for the deaths of thousands in ukraine, like that other evil sick shit bliar being responsible for the many deaths of civilians in Iraq.

    In a couple of short paragraphs, you have pithily depicted the vile USA actions and intent in Ukraine since 2014 (and long time in plan). Good post.

    • Ralph

      Thank you, Cap’n.
      I’ve been intensely involved in what is happening in the 2, now independent republics of the former ukraine for over 5 years.

  • David

    this ongoing freedom & democracy discussion space afforded here by our generous host Ambassador (retd.) Craig Murray is highly confusing to some organisations. I posted a couple of times towards the top of this page on the subject of Julian Assange, contrasting manifestly measurable media micro manipulation

    and around two hours later I received a ‘live’ cyberattack from a hostile state cyber security agency.
    Are they crazy?, I updated my mac yesterday for the latest security updates, my browser Safari was patched to v13.0.1, and some militaristic hierarchy has computed that my threat to the British state warrants to burn an unpatched cyber vulnerability (so called zero-day) in Safari on mac, that is wasting money, these vulns are expensive to compile & are usually used sparingly, certainly not wasted on an idiot like me who wishes to type sometimes on the ‘net. furthering my human rights.

    So whilst browsing a uk website, within a second of landing, I was browser hijacked through a google/doubleclick.net ‘badvert’ an inline advert that featured malicious content, often javascript. I was redirected through several servers, hosted in Bulgaria, until I reached a page where I was informed that “my Mac was infected”
    and needed to be cleaned ‘click-here’ [No]

    I registered the servers “mac-virus-detect.abgffttrrdsulhxstyyyfsacnitesvf.net type bad places (not actually this, obvs) at VirusTotal.com as attack websites, and returned to my .co.uk page

    Hilariously (sic), the page loaded this time but all the adverts were (genuine) “GCHQ is recruiting”, inch high adverts, and they kept nudging my browser page so the advert was at eye-level focus, impressive “mastery of the internet”.

    The fun stopped when I switched on my rasberry Pi-Hole auto-DNS dump, consigning google/doubleclick.net ‘badverts’ to never be seen again.

    This is astonishingly rare of whichever nation state cybersecurity agency attacked me, for what I’m writing here, and obviously policing the thoughts that I have. Compliments, I will update further should i forensically analyse my attack and might write a paper on the subject.

    here’s a few links

    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/intelligence-agency-could-be-used-for-offensive-cyber-operations-in-australia-20190614-p51xst.html
    https://www.privacyinternational.org/news-analysis/3017/hack-job-bt-responds-report-claims-it-develops-malware-gchq
    https://www.manilatimes.net/2019/08/09/opinion/columnists/topanalysis/cia-linked-outfit-funds-davao-based-anti-duterte-news-site/597194/597194/
    https://cryptodaily.co.uk/2019/09/max-corner-edward-snowden-telling-us-centralised-authority-1
    https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/09/no_author/the-terrorists-among-us8-trump-whistle-blower-the-odni-fbi-cia-dod-nato-coe/
    https://www.dailydot.com/parsec/fbi-secret-subpoena-video-game-developer-valve/
    https://theintercept.com/2019/09/21/edward-snowden-permanent-record-book/

  • Sharp Ears

    Ref the Johnson/Arcuri saga, Ms Theresa Villiers has come to his rescue. ‘ A political smear, he observed all the proprieties, blah blah.’ How does she know?

    Boris Johnson has been referred to a police watchdog over his alleged relationship with an American businesswoman
    https://edition.cnn.com/2019/09/27/uk/boris-johnson-police-watchdog-intl-gbr/index.html

    Villiers is incidentally a fervent member of the Conservative Friends of Israel lobby group. They and the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs funded her visit to Israel in 2017 from Cyprus (She is also a Friend of Cyprus).
    https://www.theyworkforyou.com/regmem/?p=11500

    A Mr Hilton Nathanson also gave her a donation. She certainly moves in the right circles. He is ex Goldman Sachs and comes from Perth in Australia. He owned a hedge fund so he could afford it –
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/markets/2820599/Marble-Bar-founders-share-193m.html

    He gave a Torah to the synagogue in Lodz where his family came from. https://jewishnews.timesofisrael.com/uk-couple-donate-first-torah-since-shoah-to-lodz-community-in-poland/

    • N_

      Under the Greater London Authority Act 1999, a person who ignores an order of the London Assembly to attend its proceedings or produce evidence (s62) is guilty of a crime carrying a maximum jail sentence of 3 months (s64).

      This is the position if the person

      “(a) refuses or fails, without reasonable excuse, to attend proceedings as required by the notice,
      (b) refuses to answer any question which is properly put to him when attending any proceedings as required by the notice,
      (c) refuses or fails, without reasonable excuse, to produce any document required by the notice to be produced by him, or
      (d)intentionally alters, suppresses, conceals or destroys any document required by the notice to be produced by him.”

      But there is a question as to what arguments the Assembly could make for expediting the prosecution and trial. As I understand it, sticking two fingers up at the London Assembly in this way is an offence but it is not contempt of court – the difference being that sadly I don’t think the LA have the authority to send police round whichever of his poledancing friends’ flats Boris Johnson is staying at that night, bundle him into a Black Maria, and chuck his arse in a cell, whereas a judge who considers that his court has been the object of a person’s contempt does have that authority.

  • OnlyHalfALooney

    Nothing in the UK mainstream press about Sangcom – the UK government’s secret £1.8 billion plus deep involvement with the Saudi Arabian National Guard. The SA National Guard is the house of Saud’s family “protection force” (except also involved in Yemen) and separate from the normal Saudi military forces.

    https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2019-09-27-britains-secret-saudi-military-support-programme/

    Has the UK government forbidden the UK press to publish this?

    The job ad that accidentally revealed the true extent of the programme is still available here (it has been hurriedly removed from other sites):
    https://findonejob.com/2019/07/01/sangcom-c2-project-manager/

    Not only that. Ministers have provided questionable answers to parliamentary questions about the project.

    Company accounts show that GPT, whose sole project is Sangcom, employed 535 people in 2018 and has consistently employed more than 480 people since 2015.

    UK government ministers have consistently understated the size of the full Sangcom programme. In March this year, parliamentary under-secretary of state for defence, Stuart Andrew, was asked [[by Stephen Gethins, SNP North East Fife]] in a written question how many civilian staff and military personnel based in the UK and Saudi Arabia “were employed on the Saudi Arabian National Guard Communications Project”. Andrew’s reply stated 76, of whom 74 were based in Saudi Arabia. He was echoing previous ministers’ answers to the effect that the programme employs only 50-60 people.

    However, these figures refer only to Sangcom’s MOD team. No minister has ever mentioned the number of staff employed by GPT, which actually runs the Sangcom project.

    Why does this information have to appear in a South African publication? Does the UK government have the UK press in shackles? Or does the UK MSM just not care?

    Again this proves why organisations like WikiLeaks are essential. We can’t trust our governments or the press one bit.

  • Sharp Ears

    Has anyone else come across ‘Brexitcast’ on the BBC News Channel where four highly paid talking heads (Kuenssberg, Adler, Mason and someone called Adam Fleming) sit around a desk chatting about the EU, the UK government and Brexit? It’s low level stuff. An Upper Fifth Debating Society would do better. Excruciating.

  • Steph

    Meanwhile. As parliament squanders the time recovered by the court ruling on proroguation bickering about how ‘outrageous’ Johnson’s behaviour is and demanding ‘apologies’ from all and sundry (what an utterly pointless exercise that is) no deal Brexit, and much more importantly a neo-con hell hole moves steadily and inexorably closer. It is my belief that such ‘provocative’ behaviour is no more than a distraction to waste a bit more time as we move towards ‘The Queen’s Speech’. And boy has it worked. Next step. The Queens Speech, which promises we will leave with or without deal on 31st , is voted down and Johnson immediately trundles along to the Queen to offer his resignation because he has no majority in parliament and it is accepted. Now, we have no PM so the Benn Bill insisting the PM request an extension from the EU cannot be enforced. Johnson is off the hook legal-wise AND he does not need to die in a ditch because he has not asked for an extension. Next. An interim caretaker government must be hastily formed from the opposition. The interim PM goes to the EU to ask for the extension and here is a very interesting little turn of events. The Kinnock amendment (you know, the one which ‘curiously’ passed automatically because the government didn’t put up any tellers) means that the reason given for asking for the extension must be that May’s WA will be brought back for debate a 4th time. The extension is granted and, having ‘secured’ the extension the caretaker government has fulfilled its purpose and a GE is called. Johnson now forms an alliance with Cummings mates the Brexit Party. They go into the election as the united no-deal leave option whilst the opposition is saddled with offering May’s WA which almost all of them voted against in its first 3 appearances and the public hoped they would never see again.
    How does that sound as a hypothesis? And what could be done to prevent it?
    BTW, re the Acuri stuff. I think it will turn out to be no more helpful to the opposition than the pussy grabbing revelation was to Clinton. This has gone way beyond the point where ‘decency’ is a deciding factor. But all helps to keep eyes off the ball.

  • Goose

    Watching RT’s report and this Biden business certainly looks incredibly shady.

    Ukraine’s top Prosecutor Viktor Shokin claims he was fired for investigating Hunter Biden’s company Burisma at the behest of his father- video footage has emerged seemingly at least confirming Biden’s intervention …and the Dems are going all out trying to impeach Trump?

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    If the Bidens had done nothing wrong, why according to the whistleblower, did Trump put the highest priority on two separate investigations onJoe and Hunter, and why did the White House try to hide these facts by puttining a rough cover up of this under the highest security classification?

    What crimes did Trump suspect Joe was involved in?

  • Brianfujisan

    It’s a great post, and work from Craig

    I had been seeing snippets about the Biden’s in the Ukraine all week

    But Craig does a great Job of knitting in the Details, thanks for this.

    • Baron

      Brianfujisan:

      Google “bfp-exclusive-stench-of-corruption-a-ukraine-oligarch-shale-gas-civil-war-baby-biden august 5 2014”. It’s dated, but furnishes an outline of the Burisma affair for the Bidens.

  • tunde

    Whilst we’re after Hunter Biden, why don’t we have a look at Jared Kushner’s relationship with the Saudis, the approval by the Trump admin of the economic blockade of Qatar by Saudi Arabia and the UAE, and the subsequent bailout of Kushner’s bankrupt property company by the the Qataris.
    Besides, the Republicans won the 2014 midterms, controlling both Houses of Congress. Hunter Biden was obviously not a priority then.
    And quite frankly, it’s impossible to put aside Trump because his outsize ego and need to treat everything like a shady NY real estate deal has landed him in trouble. Darroch said he “radiated insecurity”. Yep. He. Does.

  • Republicofscotland

    Schiff states that Trump has betrayed his oath of office, the points of course that need proving is did Trump abuse his power of office by using millions of taxpayers dollars “aid” to pressure a foreign country to damage a presidential rival, and just as important, did the Whitehouse cover it up.

    Of course like Johnson, it will be claimed by the POTUS that the removal of the president/PM, by impeachment or VONC is all about subverting the democratic process . Trump also hit back claiming Hunter Biden’s father abused his position in the Whitehouse. Former Ukrainian prosecutor Yuri Lutsenko said From the perspective of Ukrainian legislation, he did not violate anything.”

  • Zeb Buzz

    “But instability brings the possibility of radical change, which is indeed much needed.”

    Indeed. Power to the people. Disenfranchiesment of the elites.
    hear hear

    • Ian

      Naive, wishful thinking. Yes, the drivers of brexit want radical change, but nothing like the change you would like. They will be in control of the stripping of the UK.

    • Ken Kenn

      Hmmn ………….

      Ayn rand – out of chaos comes calm.

      Manufacture chaos – create problem – from problem create solution.

      Boris Johnson/Cummings – create chaos – provide solution.

      An old chestnut.

      This chaos is very simple – it is Farage’s and Johnson’s mission as great patriots to deliver up the UK to the US.

      That chaos – that solution.

      If you blink – you’ll miss it.

      Can they get away with it?

      No.

      Perhaps Jordan Peterson can help you?

      Walk tall ( white men ) and look the world right in the eye.

      • glenn_nl

        Steady Ken…. you’ll have everyone tearing up (as did poor Peterson) while talking about the plight of the poor, hapless white male in society, who just cannot get a break anymore.

        Read The Shock Doctrine? Klein talks about creating shock, or waiting for it to happen, and then being prepared to benefit while everyone else is reeling.

      • Loony

        Yes indeed the chaos is very simple.

        Simply put i 2016 17.4 million people expressed a desire that the UK leave the EU. There is no intention on the part of the political classes to actually leave the EU. Naturally the political classes are imbued by cowardice and are afraid to state clearly that they entirely despise 17.4 million people who they regard as untermensch and of whose opinions they are entirely contemptuous.

        Not being willing to tell the truth they naturally have to lie and claim that the few people who are trying to give voice to 17.4 million people are agents of chaos. Useful idiots entirely ignore the contradictions and criminal venality of the EU and instead endlessly insinuate that 17.4 million people are a toxic combination of white supremacists and idiots.

        • N_

          To call the Leave-voting morons “white supremacists” would be to ascribe them a defined ideology. Supporters of white power is what they are. Brexit means white power. (It may not be long before Nigel Farage or another leading Leaver gives the “okay” hand signal and lays into those who criticise his action as being a bunch of whingeing politically correct liberal losers.) What proportion of the 17.4 million had (or have now) a clue about what the difference is between the EU’s Council and its Commission, or what a customs union is, or what the difference is between the ECJ and the ECHR? How many of them can even spell the word “sovereignty”. What they care about first and foremost is immigration. Regarding the EU they “think” that for 40 years there has been a traitor faction in Britain that has wheeled out billions every year from honky state coffers and handed them over to foreigners, while – oh look – the number of people living near them who are foreign or dark-skinned or of foreign descent has increased, and they want their lives back, and they’re only thinking of their children, etc. They’re racist filth. There are of course some exceptions, and these include some people for whom I have very great respect, such as Dennis Skinner, but they are few and far between.

          • Loony

            Why don’t you mention the fact that 1.4 billion people in China were denied a vote in the UK referendum on EU membership – that way you can convert 17.4 million into a tiny fraction. If you like even smaller numbers just add up the entire global population and use that as the numerator.

            You people really are pathetic – every ludicrous claim is made not because you believe it, but because you genuinely believe that your audience is so stupid that it is the kind of thing that they might believe.

          • Michael

            You Remainers come out with nonsense and bile because we all know full well what you’re after is stealing a democratic result using anti-democratic means. Any second-vote mechanism is anti-democracy in the guise of democracy. We’ve had the vote, don’t need another.

  • OnlyHalfALooney

    Julian Assange ‘subjected to every kind of torment’ in Belmarsh prison as he awaits extradition
    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/julian-assange-latest-extradition-hearing-belmarsh-prison-father-john-shipton-award-un-a9124586.html

    It’s just heartbreaking that somebody who only told the truth is being tortured while the real criminals in power are living it up while wrecking the planet and causing mass misery and deaths.

    Even more heartbreaking that so few seem to care.

  • Sharp Ears

    Just enough time to pop along today to Cliveden (of Profumo/Keeler infamy) to Tina Brown’s Literary Festival. Today you can see and hear General Petraeus, Sir Richard Dearlove. Gen Sir Nick Carter, Chief of the Defence Staff*, and other assorted warmongers like Corera and Aaronovitch. All supported BLiar’s Iraq war.
    http://clivedenliteraryfestival.org/programme/
    A snip @ 90 quid plus 38 quid for lunch.

    Brown is the second wife of Harold Evans, who is now 91. He features in this piece by David Hare, a favourite playwright of mine.

    We know Boris Johnson is a liar – it’s his enablers who are most culpable
    Those people who felt freshly insulted by the obviousness of his lies have simply not been following the story so far.
    https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/uk/2019/09/we-know-boris-johnson-liar-it-s-his-enablers-who-are-most-culpable

    *https://www.gov.uk/government/people/nicholas-patrick-carter

    • SA

      And not many miles from the venue there is the Henley Literary Festival. In Boris’ old constituency we have an old torture veteran and war criminal talking about our relationship with Iran on :
      “The former Home Secretary and Lord Chancellor adds his name to the high- powered politicians to come to the festival. The English Job is about our difficult relationship with Iran. Amongst British diplomats there’s a rather poignant joke that Iran is the only country in the world which still regards the UK as a superpower. An opportunity to hear about Britain’s place in the Middle East, from one of our longest- serving Foreign Secretaries. Interviewed Alistair Bunkall. This event is sponsored by The Burnside Partnership.”

      https://henleyliteraryfestival.co.uk/hlf-event-system/jack-straw/

      Due to the high demand for tickets for Theresa May’s talk we will be hosting the Festival’s first ever Live Broadcast. Join us at Pither Hall, Christ Church, for a live screening of Mrs May’s event where she’ll be discussing the Books that Shaped her Life. This is an exciting and unique opportunity to see a live broadcast of the former Prime Minister’s first public speaking engagement since stepping down.
      Tickets for the screening are £10 and the proceeds will be donated to Mrs May’s chosen charity, The MS Society.
      This event is limited to two tickets per customer.

      https://henleyliteraryfestival.co.uk/hlf-event-system/live-broadcast-theresa-may/

  • michael norton

    In the coming days Boris is going to hold a Queen’s Speech.
    In the event that members of parliament vote this down, Boris & J.R.M. will likely trot off to Scotland to confer with the Queen.
    They might decide that it would be best if Boris stands aside, letting another person who could best hold ( if only for a while) the confidence of the house.
    Step forward the Labour Party backed by the SNP, the Greens, the Liberal Democrats and may be a few rebels from other groupings.

    What will be the price Nicola Sturgeon will extract from Jeremy Corbyn?

    • Republicofscotland

      “What will be the price Nicola Sturgeon will extract from Jeremy Corbyn?”

      If it comes to that, then a cast iron, watertight, set in stone, guarantee of a S30 order would in my opinion be the price.

      However like Labour of 1979, I’m sure Sturgeon will be wary of trusting Labour of today.

      • nevermind

        why would she want to do that RoS? when she could just go with the flow the general lawlessness and declare UDI, shirley the Tory’s or Labour for that matter, all wanting to run away from Europe at one time or other, rather than rattle the cage and reform it from within, there are many other countries who want to reform its top down machinations, they have no legs to stand on bleating about the union they are destroying. What could they possibly do to stop Scotland?

        • Republicofscotland

          UDI, is tricky, although and I believe this is what really matters, that international recognition is the key to independence, that Westminster would cry foul, that the route chosen was not a democratic one, and attempt to have it negated.

          No as much as I would like to see UDI, to be done with this unfit union, it would appear that the gold standard approach of holding a democratic referendum and winning it through the ballot box is the correct way to go. It would mean that Westminster would have no recourse on overturning the result.

          I’m hoping international recognition is a two-way street though, I’m specifically focusing on Westminster’s continued unwillingness to even consider offering a S30 order if and when asked for, which is very undemocratic, and should I hope, been seen in the international community as not allowing a sovereign people to decide their own future through the ballot box.

      • michael norton

        So if Jacob is dispatched to Balmoral to beg the Queen for another prorogue and she graciously agrees, Jacob trots back to the House of Lords and tells them the Queen is allowing another prorogue, then Gina Miller gets her cheque book out and books next week with the Supreme Court, it will be like a merry go round.

    • N_

      A queen’s speech happens at a state opening, and Parliament can’t open if it hasn’t first been prorogued. So a queen’s speech requires a prorogation.

      A legislative programme that features a large increase in state spending and at the same time a big cut in taxes would have comedy value in other circumstances. Let’s roleplay it from the viewpoint of the ratings agencies: here we’ve got a country that’s trade-blockading itself, cutting taxes, and at the same time it’s raising its borrowing like nobody’s business. Hand out a triple-A with added cherry sauce and a headmaster’s recommendation? I don’t think so.

      I doubt there’s going to be a Boris queen’s speech this side of a general election. Boris recommending that the monarch asks Corbyn to try to form a government could happen before an election if the Boris government gets VONCed – which could happen as early as tomorrow.

      The House of Commons can set any date it damn well wants for a general election. There is AMPLE time before 31 October to hold one.

      A successful VONC doesn’t stop Parliament from passing acts DURING the 14-day period. The Commons could VONC Boris tomorrow and pass a motion on Tuesday to hold a general election on 10 October or 15 October if it wanted.

      Eugenics Boy and his team may want Corbyn to request an extension so that the gutter press can then slander him all over the place as a surrender monkey and traitor, as flames roar at refugee centres and in areas with large British Asian populations, and as those who condemn the attacks get condemned as weak whingers who are of undesirable ethnicity or treacherously accommodating towards those who are. The line would be that dirty traitors have weakened poor ol’ Boris, but the “people” must rise – using both the ballot box and the petrol bomb – to put lovely Boris who loves the NHS back in office and with STRENGTH this time, with the strength that you can see the traitors are trying to take away from him because they removed him from office, and so it is up to you, dear honky People, whose rights are in danger of being stolen from you by traitors and the dark-skinned, to put our Boris BACK. “Give us our country back”, etc.

      The price that Nicola Sturgeon would extract from Jeremy Corbyn is that the Scottish people get punched in the face by being sent back to the polling stations to vote in a second “once in a lifetime” indyref. Personally I think that’s a price Jeremy Corbyn should pay. Sorry, Scotland, but sometimes you gotta take one for the team.

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