An Unpopular Article 904

This article is probably unpopular. The point of this blog is not to make you agree, but to make you think; if I did not express views which are not the view of the majority, there would be no point in writing at all. This is not an applause seeking echo chamber of popular sentiment.

Boris Johnson has no more ardent political opponent than I. But some of the hysteria about him is overblown.

As a teenage delegate to a Liberal Party conference in 1976 (I think in Llandudno), I had to fend off the amorous advances of a politician who persisted even after I plainly told him I was not gay, and I ended up stabbing his wandering hand with the pin of my delegate’s badge, after which he went away. I regarded his behaviour as over drunken and over randy, but took the attitude then and now that humans are not perfect and inclined occasionally to fall prey to their basic instincts, especially when drinking. If we expected everyone to be perfect, we would live our entire lives in a state of disappointment. I expect a majority of sexually active adults have similar experiences at some time. I do not believe it healthy or sensible to elevate them to serious crimes.

(For the sake of clarity, I should add that I have never personally been accused of an unwanted physical advance).

I really do not care whether Boris Johnson squeezed Charlotte Edwards’ leg 20 years ago. I firmly believe women are every bit the equal of men, and I do not understand why it is somehow reckoned that Ms Edwards, and others in the same position, were unable to stab his hand with a fork, throw a drink in his face, or embarrass him by telling him clearly to stop. I do not accept the notion that difference of age and status between full adults makes firm rejection impossible – that thought did not cross my mind with the politician in Llandudno, who was a good deal older, more famous and wealthy than I, and in a position to further my political ambitions. Ms Edwards saying nothing at the time, saving it up for twenty years and then attempting to use the claim to cause major damage, appears to me behaviour as bad as the original.

I do realise that in this I have outlived the mores of the times. But no matter how fiercely I oppose a no deal Brexit – and I think it would be disastrous for every one but a few nasty financial speculators – I do not think the approach of throwing the kitchen sink of accusations against Boris Johnson is good for the long term health of politics. It also obscures with chaff the allegations of real wrongdoing, like directing public funds and assistance to the company of a woman with whom he was in a sexual relationship. That should be investigated. That is real wrongdoing.

Johnson’s arrogance before the Commons in refusing to apologise for the prorogation of parliament was deeply unpleasant, but I do not approve of the effort to delegitimise his use of language. Words like “surrender”, “betrayal” and “traitor” have centuries of political use behind them. Boris Johnson is as entitled to free speech as anyone else. It is perfectly legitimate for opponents to argue that his language is deliberately divisive and thus people ought to vote against him in the interests of harmony. The electorate can pay heed or not to such argument, as they see fit. But it is quite another thing to argue that such language should be excised from public life. Robust debate is an important aspect of free speech. Controlling the language of your opponents is the antithesis of democracy. I am firmly with John Stuart Mill on this one.

People were offended by Galileo and Darwin, by Gandhi, by Jesus and Mohammed. Causing offence is important to human development. Everyone is entitled to do it, even Boris Johnson.

Finally I had the misfortune to see Jess Phillips on BBC Breakfast TV yesterday morning and she gave, as an example of abuse of MPs the fact that every time she speaks about anti-semitism in the Labour Party she receives emails stating that she is exaggerating, or is a puppet of Israel. A great deal of what MPs plainly see as abusive online activity looks to me simply like people expressing their disagreement. People can be entirely right or entirely wrong in their views, but they still have a right to express them to Members of Parliament. I found Ms Phillips objection to people expressing disagreement deeply worrying.

I have no doubt MPs do receive death threats – I do myself sometimes, generally originating in Florida for some strange reason. But I do wonder how much exaggeration there is of this.

The Laura Kuenssberg case is seminal here. You may recall that 35,000 people signed a 38 Degrees petition calling for her removal for pro-Tory bias and after a major headline news campaign headed by the Guardian and BBC, claiming that the petition was full of abusive and misogynistic comments, 38 Degrees deleted the petition. However I went through all the comments personally and could only find one comment and a single related tweet which was in any way abusive or misogynistic. When I challenge 38 Degrees to produce the evidence of abuse, there was none. That was a very worrying example of the limiting of perfectly legitimate protest against Kuenssberg, on an excuse of “abusive social media” which was a lie.

There is insufficient plain speaking already in politics and the attempt to further contain and constrain, and limit political thought to acceptable channels and vocabulary, is worrying. Let Johnson say what he wills, and let the electorate judge that.

As for behaviour, I do not wish to see any further correspondence of the Overton window with sex negative feminism. I can personally think of one mutually fulfilling physical relationship in my own history, where the crossing of that difficult line from friendship to physical intimacy did indeed start with the squeeze of a leg under the table. The initiation of more intimate physical contact is the most critical point in the complex courtship rituals of developed human societies. To insist that verbal agreement must always be sought before a move to kiss or an exploratory caress of a leg or a shoulder, is a fundamental change in culture which I am not at all sure is desirable. The essential qualifier is of course that, if the other person either verbally or by action does not welcome the tentative first move, then the initiator must desist immediately. It is my own belief that sex-negative feminism seeks quite deliberately to invalidate perfectly normal heterosexual courtship and that the chattering classes have far too readily adopted this, in the interests of identity politics.

I am perfectly aware that what I have written will offend some pleasant people and is against current fashionable thinking. I am also well aware that less pleasant people will utterly misrepresent what I have written as a justification of sexual assault. I deplore entirely any non-consensual sexual activity forced on anyone, and I believe that the slightest indication of disapproval should lead to an instant stop. But to deny the existence of non-verbal communication, and make an issue of non-violent initiation of contact outside an erogenous zone, is to me not legitimate. I would also refer you to my last post, and the extraordinary difference in the treatment in these matters by the media and political classes purveying identity politics of those within the neo-liberal “centrist” consensus, like Bill Clinton and Brendan Cox, and those outside it, like Boris Johnson, Alex Salmond or Julian Assange. This is a misguided and an extraordinarily selective outrage.


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904 thoughts on “An Unpopular Article

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  • Tatyana

    great news. perhaps this will encourage manufacturers to expand to Russia? 🙂 Really, there’s a huge market for alcohol here. We already are familiar with Lagavulen. And you have such a pleasant thing Smokehead.

  • Gary

    Well, you’re as entitled to your opinion as any. But the article plays down Johnson’s behaviour without actually knowing the truth or detail behind it. To my mind you are saying it’s all about the context? I agree, we DON’T seek verbal permission before touching, kissing etc. And the touch of a leg sounds innocuous, doesn’t it? But we can’t empathise with Johnson without hearing his side, or even perhaps the full details of the incident alleged.

    I do appreciate that not EVERY allegation is truthful. Those who have money and influence COULD be targeted in order to gain financially or ruin their reputations. But dismissing allegations, minimising them or writing them off as a natural part of how courtship works takes us back to the old days. The old days were when victims were either disbelieved or made out to be ‘asking for it’ Certainly justice was much more difficult to be had. Many women (and some men) worked in jobs where groping was a near=daily occurrence which they either put up with or changed jobs.

    MPs and other powerful men are those least likely to be brought to justice and those who are feared most by their victims. Bad things happen to those who make accusations towards MPs. Look what happened to Natalie Rowe, she has been harried and harassed, legally, by Osborne’s abuse of his position. MPs simply walk away from their crimes, charges are dropped (if they are ever even brought) They make a call to a high up in a shady department and ‘it goes away’ The public find out about it many years after their death, like Cyril Smith. Or like Nigel Evans & Greville Janner, expensive lawyers ensure that their clients go straight back to work and they pick up exactly where they left off, but this time victims feel powerless.

    The truth is we have no idea of the truth of the matter. I can’t say why the woman waited so long, but the fact she did does not affect the truthfulness. Many victims have not come forward immediately and they have had many good reasons for this as you can imagine.

    Talking this down affects victims and comes across like you’re saying ‘boys will be boys’ Which I know you are NOT, but from a victim’s point of view this is how it could feel.

    We have to accept, on this occasion, we can’t comment as we don’t know…

    • N_

      You’re being too kind. Craig is saying that it’s OK for a man to stick his hand up a woman’s skirt if he fancies her, so long as he pulls it away sharpish if she shows she doesn’t want it. That notion is wrong. It’s not OK. I mean not in general. If she has given the man signals and he has good reason to believe, blah blah, and of course there is a grey area too – they exist in most things in life – but on the whole it’s not difficult to distinguish between what’s OK and what’s not. I have no idea whether Charlotte Edwardes is telling the truth or not, but if she is then Johnson was clearly in the wrong.

      • glenn_nl

        N: “I have no idea whether Charlotte Edwardes is telling the truth or not, but if she is then Johnson was clearly in the wrong.

        No idea at all? Not when one party is a reputable and – all evidence to my knowledge indicates – is a journalist with some integrity. While the other party is an absolute shameless liar, proven beyond any doubt, and utterly without integrity concerning personal relationships.

        Powerful bullies get their way an awful lot of the time. It takes quite some courage to speak out. Your total lack of any ability to discern who might be telling the truth particularly in this case is – unfortunately – what keeps you bumping along the bottom of the morality scale.

        • giyane


          ” bottom of the morality scale ”

          This thread has demonstrated something very basic about humankind, We are composed of very high instincts and very base instincts . Even the Stalins of this world fully possessed the highest instincts in some aspects of their life, The oldest granny playing bingo and listening to the Archers in bed is possessed of the capability of the lowest instincts.

          In my experience these things have a tendency to wash over one’s life for no apparent reason to trigger them, I am a Muslim in order to try to please my Creator to set my feet on the highest instincts, Does that happen. i do believe by and large it keeps my feet above the centre of the scale, occasionally dipping into absolute degredation and occasionally rising to angelic heights.

          So really brother we cannot, in reality are totally unable to evaluate even our own selves, let alone some anonymous poster on a blog. That isn’t sensible or nice I don’t think.

    • Alyson

      Being challenged for speaking the truth is hard to bear and this young Tory woman took her own life after speaking out. Many women have committed suicide on discovering that making the rape or sexual assault public, in a Court of Law, or on social media, brings further degradation. Her last statements online: “We shouldn’t have to put up with the bullying from each other. We shouldn’t have to be worried that our friends are going to be raped at conference or at the very least sexually assaulted. ‘We shouldn’t have to put up with creepy weird old men maturating over us or grabbing us to go and chat to their friends and try to take us home at the end of the night. There’s a reason we don’t feel safe at conference.” Speaking out is the first step to changing the culture of abuse in the Conservative Party – and as well, in some other parts of the UK, where women’s autonomy and right to go any place a man can go, is sometimes seen as an exposure to attack that an ill educated oaf thinks gives him a sense of entitlement to commit a crime

  • Hatuey

    The SNP, the Tories, Labour, the Liberals, they all have weak leaders. They’re all poll-watchers, the political equivalent of spam bots. That’s why Brexit happened, it’s why Parliament is paralysed, and it’s why Scotland is screwed.

    It says a lot about the situation we are in when the speaker of the commons is the most formidable and effective political leader of the day.

    In the old days heavyweight politicians were everywhere. I didn’t agree with their politics but I understood that they were highly capable and intelligent people. I’m talking about people like Heseltine, Ken Clarke, Robin Cook, Mo Mowlam, etc.

    The Tory party today is full of crooks. They aren’t even good crooks. It’s like they’re playing some perverse rich kid game of taking the piss out of the electorate. Not one of them comes across as honest.

    Half of the Labour Party are pretending they’re socialists and the other half are the only people in the country that believe them.

    If you had a vote on starting completely scratch, with a whole new system that didn’t encourage these fraudulent careerist bastard types, it would win 90% of the vote.

    • Brianfujisan


      Who told you The speaker is the most formidable and effective leader of today….I think you will find that Nicola is.. especially in the watching eyes of the international community.

      • Hatuey

        Scottish independence is to Nicola Sturgeon what socialism was to Tony Blair.

        Funny you mention the international community.. apparently she’s been looking for a job with them — unsuccessfully.

        • Brianfujisan

          H atuey

          No one is saying that Scotland and SNP are perfect
          But what we won’t have, is a laying, war criminal like Johnson trying say the SNP have been doing a terrible job of running Scotland.. a and we won’t have Labour, of the Lib Dems telling us either

          We have possibly 250,000 on the last All Under One Banner march /Rally in the capital tomorrow..I may not make it, as I’m in the Highlands.. Pitlochry’s ‘ Enchanted Forest ‘.. is absolutely out of this world, ( the theme is ‘ Cosmos ‘ This year..) spectacular

          As regards the Alex saga.. yes we would love to hear more on that, as Craig did hint that he has some inside info

          Still Alex’s Thursday RT show is usually worth a watching

          • Hatuey

            “what we won’t have, is a laying, war criminal like Johnson trying say the SNP have been doing a terrible job of running Scotland..”

            You won’t hear me saying the SNP have been doing a terrible job. I wish they would do a terrible job. For example, I wish they’d stop cancelling out Tory cuts and things like the bedroom tax.

            Independence is all that matters to me. Call me narrow minded. The best way to get the Scottish people behind independence is to let them suffer at the hands of the Tories.

      • Northern

        Besides conspiring to remove the SNPs biggest assett from the independence discussion, what has Nicola done that could be considered effective leadership? If knifing your former leader in the back and then hoping your enemies will simply give you what you want is the standard then its quite easy to see how we ended up in this mess really isnt it. I understand the Scottish ideological attachment to the SNP vehicle but at this point its akin to thinking a vote for Corbyn is radical socialism in action.

        • Hatuey

          As it stands, we are all guessing about the “stabbing in the back” stuff. There’s enough out there from respected figures to assume there’s truth in it though. I’m talking about Wings and Craig Murray, amongst others, and the Spectator article seems to have corroborated things.

          For me it comes down to a simple question. Is Scotland closer to an independence referendum today than it was the day after the Brexit referendum? I think we are further away which is just amazing when you think what a gift Brexit was — and with that sub chapter in the 2015 manifesto, it should have been straightforward.

          It’s rank failure. As I understand it, no formal request for a section 30 has been made. I guess she would say there was no point in making the formal request when they knew May would have turned it down. But anyone who understands politics would not fall for that. Knowing they’d have rejected it is all the more reason to make the request.

          The SNP sit and watch polls when they could and should be out generating momentum. We could have had an honest debate and fight for independence. Instead the SNP shunned the independence movement and devoted themselves to baby boxes and lgbt issues.

          If we add to all that the alleged back stabbing and it turns out it’s true, if it turns out that Salmond was thrown under a bus as part of a strategy to undermine his supporters within the SNP and undermine those of us who wanted to go down the momentum creating route (instead of the poll watching route), well… I think a lot of people would be very angry about that.

          If there’s one thing that suggests it might not be true it’s the fact that she’s still there.

    • Squeeth

      There is no need for heavyweight politicians when the legislature is in the decorative part of the constitution.

    • nevermind

      Ignorance is bliss, tell us Hatuey, can you smack somebody if they forget that they are governed by Holyrood which also contains the Green Party? As for Bercows remarkable transition from a Tory to a more incandescent level headed figure amongst a sea of baying moo’s, he has done his job well,imho.

      • Sharp Ears

        Did you hear him croaking the other day? Too many ‘ORRRRDDERRs Bercow. He uses ten words when one will suffice.

        Anyway, they are not there today, as a four day working week appears to be have been established. How much per actual day worked are the troughers paid, discounting the recesses for holidays, conferences and the like?

    • N_

      To add some perspective on the Tories…

      there is the case of Rory Stewart, the MI6 landowner who was a deputy governor out in some far-flung part of the British Empire Afghanistan when he was about 30. His act deserves study. He clearly thinks he understands how the natives’ minds tick (a subject that his fellow Old Etonians Boris Johnson and David Cameron couldn’t give a toss about) and I have no doubt that he wants some of the “clever” natives on his side. Yes, folks, welcome to the British Empire. The way he uses the phrase “on the ground” in connection with areas of Britain, and London in particular, is especially repuslive. And just listen to how he talks about “love” too. He’s going to bring “love” to London, apparently. Will he start in Carnaby Street, or will he choose Peckham? Somebody should write a song about this guy. What are his policies? Well I dunno. He’s going to do it all through that Paddy Ashdown-esque squint into the far distance of the desert, or is it into the Broadwater Farm Estate? Just trust him. He’s got the character. He’s the focus for compromise and good order and common sense. And he’s brave. He walks about in Britain in civilian clothes, without the hint of an SA80-carrying armed escort. Whoever you are, he’ll listen to your concerns and take them on board. He’s the Guv’nor.

      …and this guy has today resigned from the Tories…

        • Andyoldlabour

          different frank

          Doesn’t like poor people, agrees with the wars overseas and doesn’t want any enquiries into them. Wants to raise tuition fees to over £9K a year.
          Yep, he is a Tory, fully signed up member of the “nasty party”.

          • Willie

            Yes, another piece of shit just like Johnson, Rees-Mogg. All cast in the same die, wealthy, born to be elites to lead the peasantry, the difference between Scotland and England could not be clearer.

            Voting or should I say not voting for them doesn’t restrain the bastards. They are the colonial leaders who the lumpen Brittanic ( aka English ) masses follow in their vainglorious fiction that Britain will once again be Great.

            That the bastards have no electoral mandate in Scotland we should to use their policies create the Unpleasant Environment for them.

            The polarising bastards allude to war when they talk of surrender and all of the jingoistic words and phrases that they use. Like Trump this type of behaviour encourages tragedies like the murder of Jo Cox. And no, for Johnson her death was outrageously conflated with the need to do Brexit.

            That the bastards have no electoral mandate in Scotland we should take a leaf out of their policies and create the Unpleasant Environment for them. They and their kind need to be told.

            Sadly, they will I fear create more than a hostile environment in NI. But hey, it’s war war, and lethal projection of force from these dirty bastards now at the helm of the Westminster government.

        • pretzelattack

          as long as you don’t start talking to an invisible 6 foot rabbit i will believe you, provisionally.

  • giyane

    The reason Brexit has happened, and it one phenomenon of popular rebellion amongst many others, is that politicians do deals over the heads of ordinary people but which directly affect ordinary people.

    To take a distant example, Syria, Usukis at the highest level of diplomacy does a deal with political Islam that if they attack Assad they will protect them logistically and diplomatically. Political Islam concedes free access to oil in countries like Kurdistan , Somalia or Libya , which is not in their hand either to give or stop them from taking it and in exchange Usukis will turn a blind eye to any breach of human rights o that occurs in Susana bin Laden’s programme of radical change to how Muslims practise Islam.

    Now political Islam can fuck kill, torture, extort, sell, rape, with impunity an thing that moves in Syria . They’ve bought the rights. But the people Syria haven’t been consulted so they go to Assad and demand protection which comes in the form of Russia. That’s the example.

    Blair and by implication Craig etc did a deal on an Free Movement over the heads of the people. That is what Brexit is about. Same with India Pskistan the right of UK citizenship etc involved massive defence concessions by India Pakistan which Enhlish people know nothing about . In all these cases the invomers believe they have purchased abdolute and outright rights to do whatever they like
    . But the English people know nothing about the weaponry, landbillions of defence budget that has been spent..

    I get it all the time in the Muslim community
    They understand the deal with the British goverment and it makes them cocksure and arrogant. Our right to be respected and treated equally as citizens of this country has been sold off above our heads by our own government.

    Craig is the first to complain about English people feeling put upon by immigrants..
    But these immigrants do not come with a sense of fitting in. They come with a sense of having purchased the right to be here at a very high price. Their country has been auctioned off and their governments have in talked wesponry, gulag prisons, politicians , rules and taken over the place. The immigrants want what they’ve paid for but we haven’t been told the price.
    We think they just turned up like nomads.
    They didn’t

    The right wing policies of the West has come back with Brexit to bite its arse . The right wing politicians and their henchmen like Craig don’t like it up em. But maybe they are being destroyed now only by the massiveness of their own arrogance.

    • giyane

      Susana Bin Laden, Whoever you are, sorry. What I actually typed was Usama, in a very very tiny font.

    • SA

      This is a very confused and confusing post. This is partly because of the many spelling mistakes but also textually there is a mishmash of conflation. The West uses anything to get what it wants, Islamists And other fanatics in the ME, Nazis in Ukraine and many dictators of all sorts of political leanings including people like pol pot.
      You mix Kurds with Islamists but it is a well known fact that at least the Kurds in Syria want to operate a socialist system and strong equality for women, something you would struggle to find in Islamism.
      You also lump our host with Blair in a meaningless conflation dknowing very well the injustice of this accusation and how deeply it would hurt given the history.
      Religion could be a tool for self improvement and acceptance of the human condition but when it becomes a method of control of others, as most religions have a tendency to be, then they have outlived their usefulness.

      • giyane

        The subject is confusing because it is full of massive political lies. The main one being that Islamism is part of Islam .it’s not. It’s a USUKIS army and a justification for its own use of terror.

        Kurds in Kurdistan in Iraq are governed by an unelected U.S. puppet who is a partner in crime with Islamist Erdogan .
        They control Islamic State and you know terrorists don’t attack their masters so Iraq Kurdistan are safe. The price of this is that most of Kurdish oil production money goes directly to USUKIS pockets.
        Barzani has made an open door to Kurdish asylum seekers even though the country is safe. Safe that is except from USUKIS terrorists controlled by their own leader.

      • giyane


        You shouldn’t blindly defend Craig withou listening to the argument. I have no doubt that Craig believes absolutely in the expansion of Europe and in Free Movement. Soviet hegemony was appalling but Western hegemony is not morally pure. Nobody gets to be a refugee in the UK without a trail being created by government to receive them .
        The UK uses its comprehensive benefits system to oil the wheels of its diplomacy. This is the unseen shadow of Empire which continues to deliver the colonial aims of Empire while on the surface the now free countries govern themselves.

        Craig has never come clean about torture rendition being used to harden Muslims into I slamists on an industrial scale. These are sort of admissions that get you Robin Cooked or Dr Kelly.
        So I don’t blame him for staying silent .
        Brainwashing your enemies is kinda fascist. Unfortunately Tony Blair is one of them. I certainly don’t blame Craig for not lifting the lid on that can of worms especially as this article shows Craig fundamentally opposes the moral rigour of mainstream Islam. Why would he help to protect an institution that neither you nor he believe in?

        • Hatuey

          I think your emphasis is interesting, Giyane, unusual, but I don’t think it throws much light on things. I think you’re getting wrapped up in means too much and forgetting the ends.

          It’s now more or less accepted and uncontroversial to say that the west has been in league with what you call islamists since the 1970s. We are talking about mujahadeen, alqaeda, etc., and more recently ISIS and others.

          And I think we now know that one of the enticements they offer is a life here in the U.K. but we couldn’t guess at the numbers. The Manchester bombing raised a few issues on this stuff.

          But get back to basics. The root concern is oil and gas. If it wasn’t for oil, most of us wouldn’t be able to find the Middle East on a map.

          We used to promote “democracy” in countries that had oil but the people kept voting for politicians that proposed to spend the oil profits on things like schools, hospitals, and living standards and that has huge implications.

          If they spend their money on creature comforts, two things happen: 1) the costs of oil production go up in line with living standards, and 2) they stop buying arms and bombs.

          In the old days we called politicians who did stuff like that Arab Nationalists and and then we called dial-a-coup. The west learned its lesson – easier to create an atmosphere of eternal chaos, war, violence, and uncertainty than try and create a democracy. That was the lesson or Iraq.

          And now I give you the future. Imagine a Middle East that’s without law, without structure, and without politics. Even the old national borders are being wiped away. It’s all being replaced with perpetual war, chaos, violence, turmoil, and extreme uncertainty.

          This works for the west. It’s a great environment for selling arms and it’s a great environment for armed interventionism. Might is absolutely right in a post-apocalyptic Middle East of unending carnage and chaos. And, as we have seen in Syria, we can still get our hands on the oil.

          It’s no coincidence that US bases in Syria were right next to the oil fields. The Turks didn’t need anyone to explain the new system to them either; they were sending convoys of trucks in and out of Syria to steal its oil right in front of us all.

          That’s how it works. That’s the future. You dismantle everything, ignore national borders and all the old laws of sovereignty, pump in arms, and steal the oil in trucks. And that’s why the west will support islamists when it suits it and why about 30 million people came screaming and bleeding to the doors of Europe.

          • SA

            The common underlying problem of the world is oil and gas. I read an article recently about the whole problem in the Ukraine which seems to suggest that the prime mover there was the discovery of potential large deposits of frackable gas in Sloviansk, bordering the rebel area in Donetsk. This is why Biden and his son were involved. This also had the political dimension of removing the dependence of Ukraine and maybe also the rest of Europe from Russian energy.
            It is only when the world accepts that oil and gas have turned from a blessing to a curse and diversify, that sanity will return. But will a future independent Scottish administration learn from this and will there be enough diversification in the Scottish economy to address this? This has to be one of the core questions in selling Scottish independence.

          • giyane


            Thanks for digesting and replying. Would you agree with me that our security services probably panicked at the idea of a vocal and articulate campaigner for Syrian people changing her understanding of the role of the White Helmets and arranged for to be silenced by one of their clowns?
            No need to answer that one.

          • Hatuey

            Ukraine has an abundance of natural resources, SA, it’s like the Brazil of Europe. When you’re surrounded by predators, resources generally are a curse.

            I think if you were serious about global peace and security, the first thing you’d do is resurrect international law. There isn’t even a pretence today.

            The underlying cause of all this is the west losing its grip. When America dominated economically, it suited them to enforce the rules. As it loses relative strength, more and more it suits them to break the rules and ditch the whole system of law.

            It’s basically apocalypse now. Humanity is on a boat that’s being sucked into the darkest recesses of depravity. Anything goes. We are cushioned to an extent here, separated, but go to the Middle East and its corpses hanging from trees and ashtrays made out of human hands.

            There’s another big recession coming. You can expect everything to get ratcheted in the wrong direction when it comes. The masses, as usual, are asleep at the wheel.

            “Who is in the jungle this year?”

          • Deb O'Nair

            “It’s now more or less accepted and uncontroversial to say that the west has been in league with what you call islamists since the 1970s.”

            This goes back to the 1920’s in Egypt with the Moslem Brotherhood, which had very close links to British intelligence.

          • Iain Stewart

            “It’s all being replaced with perpetual war, chaos, violence, turmoil, and extreme uncertainty.”
            Good stuff, Hatuey, good analysis, well expressed. You make even Loony sound like Pollyanna 🙂

          • Hatuey

            Lol @ Pollyanna— is that another reference to a kid’s book? Some people were discussing polyannic optimism on the radio recently in regards to Brexit. I didn’t understand it but it sounded very cynical.

          • John A

            Ukraine is not surrounded by predators. It has one predator, thousands of miles away separated by the Atlantic Ocean. Crimea was always Russian in heart and soul. A clue, who did Britain fight the Crimean War against? When the USSR was dissolved the population of Crimea voted to join Russia but was ignored. When they got a second chance, they took it with both hands.

    • OnlyHalfALooney

      “Blair and by implication Craig etc did a deal on an Free Movement over the heads of the people.”

      There was never a free movement “deal”. Free movement is simply one of the EU’s Four Freedoms. You cannot be a member of the EU single market without accepting the 4 freedoms. All EEA countries and Switzerland also accept the 4 freedoms including for persons and all are members of the Schengen zone.

      The Maastricht treaty simplified free movement, gave rights to family members and clarified some matters, but John Major was PM then not Blair.

      • SA

        giyane seems to conflate freedom of movement within the EU with the refugee crisis created by the success of Isis in Iraq and Syria in 2014-2017. Although many in this blog know that ISIS may have been encouraged at least by our proxy Saudis and Turkey, if not directly, by our governments, the ongoing narrative deliberately erroneously blames it all on Assad and on Iran. It was only after Russia’s intervention in Syria in September 2015 that the tide was turned against ISIS and the US then pretended to be fighting back. The only areas where ISIS still has a strong base appears to be in the oil-rich area east of the Euphrates which is nominally under the control of the YPG. giyane in successive posts appears to conflate many of these rather complex happenings with his own narrative that there is a difference between Islamists and true Islam. This may be the case but is a distraction in so much that he absolves the large part played by many Sunni countries in the war against Syria blaming it all on the imperialists without conceding that these Muslim countries have also got their own agendas that coincide with that of the imperialists.
        The refugee crisis has become conflated with freedom of movement and of being swamped by outsiders. Their is no finesse in this discussion. To solve this supposed ‘swamping’ the answer would be simple, just stop interfering with the ME. facilitate the return of immigrants return to rebuild their own countries rather than serve as cheap labour and racist punchbags in the west. But of course this runs against the neoliberal creed.

        • giyane

          Obviously I don’t confuse the two.
          Does it actually make a difference to a homeless person if its a Bulgarian or an Afghan occupying the accommodation built for them

          • OnlyHalfALooney

            London has the biggest concentration of immigrants and the worst housing situation, but London voted against Brexit.

            In the Netherlands, Wilders’ anti-immigrant “Freedom Party” gets votes in areas with few immigrants and no shortage of housing or facilities.

            This reasoning “it’s because the immigrants are taking away locals’ facilities” is simplistic and deeply flawed.

          • Mrs Pau!

            its not merely about immigrants taking local jobs, or even fear of that. It is about things like pressure on resources like schools, health, housing and on the loss or dilution of a valued local culture. London is not like anyone else it is a giant international port city, free floating from the rest of the country. Mr Pau! was born in London and is now in a minority, his local culture, which he grew up with, has long since vanished.

            On the other hand in places like East Anglia, and other regions, it is still strong and valued and people want to hang on to it. Many years ago, before I met Mr Paul, I had a boyfriend, a left wing academic, who took a keen interest in European politics. He had a mock alter ego, (humorous) called Hans Woodhouse, new European, sheet metal worker from Dortmund and champion ball room dancer. He used it to mock the pretensions of politicians seeking to persuade Britons they wanted to be integrated into Europe. He used to say politicians ignored at their peril the attachment of voters in regions remote from London, to their local community, local culture and environment. Sneering at Brexit voters in the regions, as ignorant racist yokels, as so many London based Remainers, has further poisoned the debate.

            I do think it a great shame and mistake that so many major changes ushered in by successive EU treaty amendments, were swept under the carpet or denied (like when were told the Polish arrivals would all go home after a couple of years, or there would not be many arrivals from Romania.) Of course Blair was behind a lot of this. So much of what he did has led to massive mistrust of politicians and associated classes.

          • giyane

            Half a pint. Half beer half water.

            So you don’t think building more accommodation is the solution . Baby boomers rejoice. The cost of cheap rented housing in Birmingham is now £800 p.m. its only a problem if you’re the one trying to rent one. Obviously landlords are going to worry themselves sick about the problem

          • OnlyHalfALooney

            Birmingham voted for Brexit by a narrow margin: 50.4%.

            Blackpool voted Leave by 67%.

            There are comparatively very few “immigrants” living in Blackpool. Property prices in Blackpool are among the lowest in the UK.

            Blaming everything on immigration is far too simplistic.

          • giyane

            Only half a loonr

            You’re not going to give up trying to pin a racist label on me. What’s the point of talking with someone who only reads half, then jumps into accusations.

            I was just explaining from the point of view of someone who lives inside the immigrant community that the tensions that arise result from government arrogance and their refusal to explain to people why these immigrants are there.

            I hope that fills in the half you fsief to grasp.

          • John A

            Of this alleged huge concentration of immigrants, how many are from other EU countries, and how many from countries Britain, the US and Nato have tried to smash into tiny pieces? And how many are economic migrants taking their chances from Africa?
            The Poles and other East Europeans all come to Britain to work, unlike the other categories that are mostly a drain on resources for years until they can be sufficiently assimilated, if ever.

        • Mrs Pau!

          The US got a new commander in ISIS land around this time who announced he would hit ISIS economically and introduced a strategy of targeting the oil convoys between ISIS territory and Turkey and started blowing them up, to considerable effect. I heard a radio interview with him. Sorry cant recall his name right now. So yes Russia made a difference but so did the change in US approach.

          • Laguerre

            Well, before that, the US wasn’t fighting ISIS, so any new policy would have had an effect.

            The reason they weren’t fighting ISIS is not so much that they were in cahoots, as many have accused, but rather the path goes through Saudi. Much of the finance and support came from Saudi, from wealthy princes, not officially from the state. There was and is a lot of sympathy for ISIS in Saudi; after all their state was built by Ibn Saud based on a very similar movement.

          • Tatyana

            didn’t they know about the oil convoys before the new commander?
            Just asking because the russian news say when we entered Syria we were apalled by the scale of money ISIS gains through selling the oil to Turkey with US silent approval.
            That was the time when our plane was crashed by Turkish air force, exactly for going too close to the Turkish border.

          • Mary Pau!

            I don’t think it was with US tacit approval the Turks were buying oil from Isis. It sseemed more like the US army saw itself as there to do soldiering and saw attacking commercial convoys as outside their brief.

          • Tatyana

            strange point
            I think that being silent about a crime is also a crime.
            If you believe that the United States came to fight the ISIS, and the ISIS’s weapons are bought with some money, then why didn’t they stop this cash flow? They could turn to the responsible power, if the stopping was “outside their brief”.
            Are there any comments in media on this question?

          • Mrs Pau!

            i imagine there was a lot of US sensitivity about blowing up any convoys which were run by Turkish civilians. Anytime the military in the West targets any civilians there always is. Also, I am guessing here, maybe the US needed Turkish cooperation and did not want to be seen killing Turkish civilians. It probably took a while to work out how to blow up selected targets which would cause maximum effect on ISIS and minimum protests from Turkey.

          • Tatyana

            The pipe which ISIS controlled went from Aleppo up to Mosul, the biggest field is in Der-es-Zor (btw, USA fought severely for it with russian private military company “Vagner”), to the East from the Euphrates river there were territories controlled by the Kurdis, who are hostile to the Turkish so hardly those could cross the territory.
            Why do you think the convoys were run by Turkish civilians? It is ISIS members who ran the convoys up to the Turkish borders.

        • giyane


          The difference between a Muslim and an Islamist is whether you make takfir i.e. declare that another Muslim forfeits all their human rights because of some deficiency in their islam , or not.

          It is sufficient for Asian Muslims to decide that Syrian Muslims are not real Muslims for them to kill rape torture them.
          This is simple divide and rule text book stuff. The money for the bribery and corruption of the I slamists comes from the interest the Asian Muslims pay on their multiple mortgages.

          Hell and brimstone

        • Hatuey

          SA: “blaming it all on the imperialists without conceding that these Muslim countries have also got their own agendas that coincide with that of the imperialists.”

          It would be extraordinary if their agendas didn’t “coincide” since we put them in power, prop them up, and essentially provide life support in an environment that we control.

      • giyane

        0.5 x 0 = 0

        Yes Major. New Labour continued immigration and These Tories expanded it further. My point is that the electorate was a bit astonished at the result of this globalist policy coming to roost in their communities. Typical arrogance from the colonial British not to consult their pleas before doing something

    • N_

      Most immigrants coming to Britain at the moment are citizens of another state in the EU, a state in the New Commonwealth, or China.

      • Mrs. Pau!

        i believe there is still a steady flow of Romanians. There around 8000 in 2001 increased to c100,000 in 2011 and then really started to take off in 2014 when increased to 240,00 and has continued to rise ever since. Last year estimated increase to 430,000 end of last year. Meanwhile Romania is depopulating rapidly. All these extra people have to live somewhere, register with doctor/use hospital when needed, send children to school if they have them. Yet in 2014 we were told that initial numbers arriving after EU restrictions were lifted were low and likely to stay that way.

        The UK housing shortage cannot be the same in Germany or indeed France, which are very large countries with plenty of space. I am having work done on my house at present and am hostess to a stream of honest British tradesmen. As they are mostly a good deal younger than me, they cannot afford to live locally and they commute quite horrendous distances each day, living where they can afford to, mostly in outer Kent and outer Essex. They do not understand why the political classes are so hostile to the British white working classes and they despise all politicians as a result.

        • N_

          Do they despise Nigel Farage? He doesn’t like Romanians.

          My experience in Britain with tradesmen whether native or immigrant is that they are all thieves and liars.

          • Mary Pau!

            Then I must introduce you to the Paul Irregulars. A sterling body of men with whom I enjoy excellent working relations. But then I spent my working career managing all male teams so I have a lot of experience bossing men about…….

        • Iain Stewart

          “The UK housing shortage cannot be the same in Germany or indeed France, which are very large countries with plenty of space. I am having work done on my house at present and am hostess to a stream of honest British tradesmen.”

          I’m beginning to suspect this is some kind of a tongue in cheek parody account, or that the only space left in “the UK” must be between some people’s ears.
          I so do like the “honest British tradesmen” which of course contrast sharply with their implied dishonest foreign colleagues, soon to be sent homewards to poor depopulated Romania, sniff.

          • Mary Pau!

            I was merely defending the honour of British workmen. Nothing else implied. In fact I had my bathroom redone by a Romanian a few years back who did an excellent job. We remain on cordial terms. But unlike many people here I do not scorn the British working classes as an ignorant racist rabble and am happy to step up to the plate to defend them.

          • Iain Stewart

            “But unlike many people here I do not scorn the British working classes as an ignorant racist rabble… ”
            It’s unclear whether by ‘here’ you refer to your neighbours, ‘the UK’ or the wonderfully diverse denizens of this blog, where Bevin was (unjustly in my view, and I told him off accordingly, no doubt to his secret chagrin) accusing Craig of contempt for the whole English working class only a few days ago. Scorn for people is quite different from scorn for their ignorance or misguided ideas, as I’m sure you would agree.

          • Hatuey

            “I was merely defending the honour of British workmen”

            They, of course, need all the help they can get with this brexit stuff… it must be terrible wondering if you are getting deported, if you might lose your house, your livelihood, be separated from friends, children, family, etc.

            I hope you will defend the honour of the British aristocracy and super rich too.

            And if I can think of any other category of people that don’t need any help or sympathy, you’ll be the first to know.

            Rule Britannia.

        • Dungroanin

          These British tradesmen all moved out of their RTB council homes in innercity London to large it up in the sticks – Essex man and woman.

          Rental housing is expensive because there is not sufficient affordable social housing. These RTB white van men daily crawl into their old neighbourhoods and earn buckets from all the renovations.
          They are the ones who have encouraged the stream of cheap labourers THEY pick up for cash outside the builders’ merchants. The fucking hypocrites.

          I know a number of Romanians – the latest being a young man recently arrived to work in McD’s late night shift for a pittance. Others are highly trained and are working overnight keeping our railways maintained Network Rail employs them by the score – they earn good money.
          If they went away our railways would pretty soon suffer.

          I also know many Brits working across Europe.

          What exactly is the beef here?

          • Iain Stewart

            I think Mary Poo! is probably a fair representative of the Brexenophobic (C) majority.

          • Dungroanin

            She is racist and a hard brexiteer – never responds to being called out as such. Thinks it’s very clever of her. The last laugh is imminent. Should change her name to lady haha.

  • Laurens

    Well said imo. It’s frustrating to see the ease with which what I assumed to be common knowledge goes out the window.

  • James Chater

    The political establishment is dominated by alpha males. The lust for power and the lust for women are clearly correlated. Also, charisma, which increases your chance of getting elected, is correlated with attractiveness. It is the chicken and the egg: the male’s desire for power is inseparable for their desire for women; also, power corrupts, and this increases the likelihood of men making indecent advances towards women. Also, from the standpoint of the women, power is definitely an aphrodisiac. It is regrettable that it is so, but that is human nature. If there is a solution, it lies in better education, so that the voice of reason does not get drowned out so often. However, because of our brainwashing media and their fixation with sociopathic men, this is easier said than done.

    • Hatuey

      I don’t think women put up with abusive men because they find their power an aphrodisiac. Not in most cases anyway. I’d guess for most their jobs and career prospects are on the line if they complain or resist.

    • Stygg

      > The lust for power and the lust for women are clearly correlated.

      As someone with a raging lust for every woman I see even as I’m pushing 40 yet no interest in dominating or having power over them or anyone else, I must disagree.

  • OnlyHalfALooney

    The anti-Semitic smears didn’t work against the Labour party.

    So now the “mysogynist” smears have started. Very vague and some sound simply made up.

    Helen Jones MP: We must acknowledge the culture of contempt towards women in the Labour Party

    This PoliticsHome website seems an odd place for Jones to publish her attack on her own party. It seems to have been originally founded by the Tory Lord Ashcroft.

    According to Wikipedia, Helen Jones “is a member of Labour Friends of Israel.” What a coincidence!

    • Hatuey

      The attacks will vary and intensify as a general election looks more likely and imminent. Basically the establishment is divided on Brexit but united on hating Corbyn and the poor.

      For them that’s the fabric of society — a third of the UK population needs to be kept in abject poverty otherwise the whole system is screwed.

    • Sharp Ears

      There are said to be 80 Labour MPs in the LFoI set up chaired by Joan Ryan. I bet there are more than that number in the total of 246 Labour MPs.

      Helen Jones has been an MP since 1997 (one of the BLiar Babes? 🙂 )]but I have never heard of her.

      A trip to Israel with LFoI in 2007 but otherwise uninteresting register of interests.

      A supporter of Owen Smith according to Wikipedia. That fits.

    • Andyoldlabour


      Women are leaving the Labour Party in droves, because of the party’s pandering to “gender theory”, which finds women very much marginalised. It is the fault of the “woke” left, odious people such as Owen Jones, then you have the policy of allowing transgender women (male bodied) people to take women’s leader posts and sit on women only shortlists.

      • Dom

        Amazing the things you learn on here. I’ll file that alongside UK austerity was imposed by Brussels and Conservatives are the real workers’ party..

      • Mary Pau!

        I find the idea of allowing genetically male self identifying females to enter female space and be treated as females, rather depressing. I have a lot of sympathy for their unhappiness but at the end of the day they are not women and it gives rise to some odd situations. (Mr P has an acquaintance who has decided to be treated as a woman. He has had no surgery and dresses in a vaguely androgynous style but looks and sounds male – even is partly bald. It is very difficult to know how to treat him/her).

        It allows men to occupy territory hard won by women. If men are allowed by self determination to enter the female realm, it reduces and diminishes the opportunities open to women. And don’t get me started on unisexToilets.

        • Tatyana

          In my opinion, there are a lot of people in the world and we should somehow live together and not kill each other.
          Someone wants to be called a woman, another wants to be treated as a slave, and the third wants to be addressed as the Priest of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. And in this crazy world, where many people are trying to convince me of the reality of their percepcion, I reserve the right to believe my eyes.
          Therefore, my firm opinion is that if a person’s desire to change sex is truly sincere, then let him do the surgery. Otherwise, he can only ask a favor from me to play along with him, and this is my right to agree or not.
          Because it’s a lie, and I’m not ready to lie out of politeness. Now this is called intolerance, but excuse me, I have my own values and please respect it too.

          Today I saw the news on a doctor who refused to call a trans a woman

          The most apalling about it that he didn’t refuse medical help, he just refused to play the game of referring to the person in the way he/she would be pleased.
          ” refuse to refer to “any 6ft-tall bearded man” as “madam”

          • Hatuey

            On a certain level we are all trying to define and invent ourselves, and we all always fail. It’s hard to look into the void of the human soul and accept the nothingness. But it goes with the uniform; it’s the price we pay for our freedom.

            I can’t criticise some guy who wants to define himself as a woman any more or less than I can criticise a guy that defines himself as a Christian, a postman, or even a man. They all fail and they are all equally stupid for trying.

            People need to realise they are nothing.

          • Tatyana

            So deeply phylosophic, Hatuey.

            Though we are the dust in the wind in the Univerese’s scale, it doesn’t prevent us of finding some compromise to live together better than now?
            Or, do you think it’s not worth the effort?

          • Hatuey

            Tatyana, it’s because we are nothing that we are free. If we were rocks or dust, things would be simpler and we wouldn’t need to worry about inventing ourselves or combing our hairs.

            I’m an existentialist. Existentialists believe we are all existentialists. But being an existentialist isn’t an identity or a role, it’s an acknowledgement that we don’t have identities or roles.

            I started as a libertarian but it got a bit stuffy and didn’t seem to lead anywhere so I moved on to Marxism. I quite like Marx but Marxists are generally annoying bastards who think they can explain everything — see N 😉

            Most sensible Marxists end up anarchists — the parties are better, and you don’t need to listen to Marxists.

            One or two STDs later and you end up in the basement of existentialism wondering what the point in it all was.

            As for compromising and living in peace etc., yes, I believe in that but only for the right reasons. It’s in our interests to do that. It isn’t a moral thing, it’s a matter of convenience.

        • Laguerre

          “I find the idea of allowing genetically male self identifying females to enter female space and be treated as females, rather depressing. ”

          How do you feel about trans-men, FTMs, female to male, an increasingly important part of the population? Guys don’t mind about that. Shouldn’t one treat them equally?

          • Tatyana

            I see the question is posted for another person, please do not consider my answer as an intervention.

            I think that your sosciety balances somewhere around the gender equality, that is why so many transitional forms – people are free to chose their social role. I think when ‘increasingly important part of the population’ turns into ‘majority’, then they will find out it is simplier to name it ‘matriarchy’ and stop trans-gendering. (or ‘patriarchy if another increasingly important part of the population prevails).
            It is the law of saving the effort.

          • Mary Pau!

            I am old enough to have been seriously discriminated against as a young woman in terms of career choice and opportunities so I do appreciate how hard it can be to be discriminated against on grounds of gender. But the other side of the coin is that young women today have many more opportunities because women like me fought for them. And now we find men moving in on our hard won women’s space.

            If self identifying men-to-women men are allowed to colonize women’s space ,( and stats indicate the great majority of transgender sex changes are men to women) then there is less space for women. A friend is a performer, a female Stand up comedian. Not an easy furrow to plough. Recently she entered a competition at an club for a bursary to go perform at the Edinburgh festival. There were two prizes. One for male stand ups and one for females. The male prize went o a male, the female prize to a male identifying as a female (with no surgery). My friend felt doubly disadvantaged.

            I realise this is a difficult debate but why should the needs of biological men self identifying as women tske precedence over those of biological women self identifying as women . If men really feel they are trapped in a woman’s body, and want to be treated fully as a woman, they should get surgery. I still think they would not really be on a par with women if they have grown up as as men. Their formative experiences would be different.

          • Andyoldlabour


            You cannot be female to male, because a human being cannot change sex. If you are born with XY chromosomes you are male, if you are born with XX chromosomes you are female. There are very few exceptions such as “intersex” people who have DSD’s. Gender theory is an ideology, it does not replace biology. I am quite happy to let someone believe what they want to, until it starts to impact negatively on others.

        • Andyoldlabour

          Mary Pau!

          Well said, I agree with everthing. I would add that there are male bodied people – sex offenders being placed in female prisons, male bodied people winning at female sports.
          It is insanity, the lunatics are in charge of the asylum.

  • Willie

    Funny old world how in their xenophobia the lumpen moron classes rally to the rhetoric of the elites who care not a jot about the lumpen welfare.

    And when the social protections vanish as the economy bombs who will the lumpen blame next for the misfortune of their falling living standards. Will the Beasts of England revolt against their elite masters or will they viciously scapegoat the remaining coloured, the very poor or the sick as the reason for their glorious lands failure.

    Who gives a shit. The Beasts of England need to sort their own shit hole out. Let them riot, let them starve, go without fuel. A barbarian nation on our doorstep and on the doorstep of Europe. Let them do what they want to do and let us get on with our own lives and take Scottish Independence.

    • Hatuey

      I found your comment here funny but be in no doubt that your beasts of England are every bit the victim you are. And the abuser is the same too.

    • N_

      Willie – You ask who they will blame next, but who do you think they are blaming now? There is sometimes little difference between blaming immigrants and the offspring of immigrants and blaming those who allowed them to come here, or who, in the parlance, “brought” them here.

      The left has a massive blind spot in this area.

      Most of the population don’t know any important feature of the EU from their own cr*phole, and are far too lazy to find out, yet many are getting angrier and angrier about, ahem, the EU – oh yes, of course it’s the EU. Cough, cough. And at the lily-livered political class that makes such fine promises and yet drags its feet rather than solving the, cough, the EU problem that’s plaguing our lives so much. “Let’s get our country back, get this job done, no more Mr Nice Guy, etc.” That’s the vibe.

  • Willie

    And if Johnson and his shit hole band of Brexiteers come to Scotland to swamp the place with their Union Jacks let us take them down.

    It’s already happening in our stores with the Union Jack branding offensive – ASDA particularly in relation to beef.

    And we should all remember the jingo …” if it’s got a Jack, then put it back “ No one needs to buy from these stores or buy such branded produce. Moreover, weakening the Scottish branding, trailing food from English farms, and burning food miles, comes at the expense of Scottish farms destroys jobs and destroys brand identity.

    If you can wrap scotch whisky in a Union Jack you can make whisky in Argentina and wrap it in an Argentinian flag. Ditto salmon, Scottish fish, Harris Tweed etc etc.

    These people, this English Government are out to destroy Scotland the brand.

    Mind you, out of the EU, and especially without a deal, many Scottish businesses might find it difficult to export their goods. Fishing, whisky, farmed salmon, beef etc But that’s another story.

    • remember kronstadt

      ‘Mind you, out of the EU, and especially without a deal, many Scottish businesses might find it difficult to export their goods. Fishing, whisky, farmed salmon, beef etc But that’s another story.’

      All things we can live better without no?

    • Reipublicofscotland

      The idea is that Johnson gets his way we leave the EU without a deal. Some time later the Tories win a GE. Further down the road the new Queen Elizabeth (I’m sick of that name on buildings in Scotland) building opens in Edinburgh with it 3000 staff and only cabinet office outside London.

      The stage set the unionist politicians can start weakening and syphoning, (like a Black Hole draining a star that’s gotten too close to it) powers from Holyrood to the hub, Johnson has already said that he thinks the devolved parliaments around the UK aren’t governing well, he should look closer to home.

      Without EU protection, Westminster will attempt to turn Holyrood into nothing more than a talking shop, and eventually a tourist attraction.

      Of course if Johnson gets his no deal and Operation Yellowhammer’s worst case scenario occurs Westminster could suspend Holyrood and use its powers to implement what it wants under the guise of trying to stablise the UK in the short term. Under that scenario all powers devolved to Holyrood might not return, just look at the power grab that’s ongoing over powers returning from the EU.

      Next year will definitely be a make or break year for Scotland, if we want to retain our parliament and obtain independence we will have to become more proactive en masse.

      • N_

        Johnson has already said that he thinks the devolved parliaments around the UK aren’t governing well, he should look closer to home.

        Why on Earth might that be a good basis for deciding whether or not the Scottish government is governing well?

        • Reipublicofscotland

          Because Westminster never wanted devolved parliaments around the UK in the first place they loathe them. The EU Monitoring Committee on Pluralist Democracy gave a damning report in June 1996 with regards to devolved democracy within the UK The EMCPD, likened it to former communist states such as Bulgaria, Croatia, Latvia, Moldova and the Ukraine as having problems meeting EU standards.

          The Council of Europe made it clear to Westminster that failure to meet international norms of pluralist democracies would make the UK’s membership incompatible with the EU.

          Westminster dragged its feet on the matter so much so that it became the last state at the time to agree to devolved administrations. This is why Johnson is currently denegrating the devolved administrations, so when the appropriate time comes he can negate them and transfer powers away from them, and since we’ll be out of the EU we won’t have any protection from them on the matter.

          The monster that is Tony Blair eventually complied with the EU, signing the charter in June 1997, the last to adhere to EU rules at the time.

          Blair said of devolution, It is a damnable nuisance.

          Though you’ll often hear or read the myth that Labour gave the Home nations devolution, as though it was some sort of benevolent gift granted by them. When in fact it was the EU who stipulated that it must be so.

          • N_

            Top trolling! The EU Monitoring Committee on Pluralist Democracy may be non-existent, but wow, what great expenses payments it probably hands out! And it must have been good news for French colonialism if Britain was the last to adhere to EU rules, given that Brittany has no devolution even now.

            Is it thinking that the Scottish government is cr*p that’s verboten, or is it the wicked view that the Scottish government’s cr*pness is its own fault rather than being forced on it by the English?

      • Iain Stewart

        “Next year will definitely be a make or break year for Scotland, if we want to retain our parliament and obtain independence we will have to become more proactive en masse.”
        I’m behind you, Reich (?) public. Throw aside our keyboards. The revolution will start only when the shattered plate glass of Jenners sparkles in the flames of Princes Street!

    • N_

      These people, this English Government are out to destroy Scotland the brand.

      This is why the Harris Tweed orb mark is red and white. If you fold it the right way, it makes a Flag of St George.

    • bevin

      “These people, this English Government are out to destroy Scotland the brand.”
      So that is what it all about: Scotland the Brand.

  • N_

    Is ERG boy Mark Francois mentally retarded, or is it simply against his religion to waste logic on the proles?

    We are open. I’ve got to say, to be frank, this is our clear final deal. We think it’s a good deal, delivers legally, security, for here… and our friends in Europe. This is the final deal, but we will see what our friends and partners come up with.

    If you had such a gumbie spouting this muck to your face in real life, would you bother explaining to him the difference between an offer and a deal, and the meaning of the word “final”, or would you turn your back and find somebody else to talk with?

    • Dungroanin

      I always see him as more hirsute gobshitier Greg Wallace. A right muppet. All bark, no bite.
      Can’t take him seriously after that.

  • Dungroanin

    It is great that the Impeachment proceedings have allowed Trump to choke a few more of the neocons plants. The Ukrainians will be forced to come clean – if they want to carry on aligning with the EU, and escape the insane US fracking plans at the root of Maidan. Nordstream2 will be completed and the Danes won’t be able to delay it once it is. Pompey and Haspell must be feeling the heat there and HERE DeeDee (6) and Bobo too as they realise the potus is not going to forgive and forget! HE will have his pound of flesh (re-election, mega riches, NHS, peace prize, Mount Rushmore …)

    Only a couple of weeks left, tick tock.

    (Ps – why isn’t Wato being forced to resign?)

  • Deb O'Nair

    The Met are “deeply, deeply sorry” for the distress that they caused to powerful rich people in pursuing the baseless allegations of Carl Beech at the insistence of Tom Watson, in spite of being warned that Carl Beech was not an individual to be trusted.

    There is no apology to the dozens of people who reported similar allegations and were ignored because of lack of evidence, who now find that they will be tarred with the brush of “delusional, attention-seeking, fantasist”. Instead they were referred to the inquiry that has been repeatedly hobbled and setup to fail. The media have been careful to talk down (protecting) Tom Watson’s involvement in hectoring the police to launch the investigation.

    I suspect that the whole thing has been a charade to undermine public confidence in the genuine cases of establishment child abuse, with the police happy to play the incompetent, useless fools (something which they have great experience of).

    • N_

      Talking of child abuse allegations: Alistair “Lord” McAlpine wrote a book called The New Machiavelli. Here’s an extract:

      First, create a situation where you are wrongly accused. Then, at a convenient moment, arrange for the false accusation to be shown to be false beyond all doubt. Those who have made accusations against both the company and its management become discredited. Further accusations will then be treated with great suspicion.

    • Tom74

      I agree with you. I can only believe there is some arrangement with the Metropolitan Police and BBC where they play the fallguys for botched investigations into important people. It seems to happen so often. Alistair McAlpine and Cliff Richard both received huge payouts from the BBC for allegedly flawed journalism. How can such a well-connected and well-funded organisation keep making such costly mistakes?
      The BBC were busy peddling sob stories about Harvey Proctor on my way home today – I had to switch off the radio.

      • Mary Pau!

        Sadly my experience of the Met Police, gained over many year watching them at work, suggests they are just slapdash and incompetent, sad though I am to say so.

        • N_

          That hardly distinguishes the police from, say, those who run schools, hospitals, universities, transport policy, or local councils. So long as the contracts for “IT” etc. get signed and honoured and Capita are kept sweet…not to mention all the money from speed cameras and the “arrangements” with gangs in every area.

          Out of interest, has anyone looked at what morale and hopes and fears are likely to be like in the British police in the event of Brexitmageddon? I’d kind of be surprised if there is such solid support for Brexit and such a raring for race war in the police as there is in the army. (Perhaps this is because the police “get out” more?) Is there a main gathering place for British cops on the internet?

  • Ross Stanford

    Amen. Common sense and critical reasoning appear to have gone on a very long vacation. Glad to read a post that displays both to such good effect.

    • N_

      The BBC quote “a senior Downing Street source” as saying “The government will comply with the Benn Act, which only imposes a very specific narrow duty concerning Parliament’s letter requesting a delay – drafted by an unknown subset of MPs and pro-EU campaigners – and which can be interpreted in different ways.”

      Who else in Downing Street but Dominic Cummings would use the word “subset” here? And imagine criticising a law for being drafted by “unknown” people when you yourself are wearing disguise!

      Cummings is losing it.

      • lysias

        Who would use the word? Surely a subordinate of Cummings’s could.

        Employees do imitate the language of their bosses.

  • Laguerre

    Frankly, Johnson’s idea is going down. Brexit can’t be achieved that way.

    If the Brexit revolution is to be achieved, it can only be done with popular support. That doesn’t exist. Polls say preference to remain.

    The trouble that the Brexiters complain about is essentially that they’re trying to do something for which there is not popular support (If Brexiters don’t agree, let’s have a new referendum).

    • lysias

      If the people does not support Brexit, why do the Remainers oppose a General Election?

      • Laguerre

        It”s not the role of a General Election to produce a single result on a single question. A referendum is better for that.. That’s why its necessary.

        • Stonky

          It”s not the role of a General Election to produce a single result on a single question. A referendum is better for that.. That’s why its necessary…

          I thought we already had one. Silly me.

    • N_

      I think a recent poll found that in the event that Leave is declared as achievable only through a crashout (“No Deal”), more Leave voters would be in favour of a referendum with Remain as an option than would be opposed. (Can’t recall which pollster.)

      That could of course change, big time, with a single piece of footage of illegal immigrants disembarking from a dinghy on the Essex coast, or with a “Tell them Again” poster that whips up the idea that the Turks are coming. Numbers would loom large in both stories.

    • OnlyHalfALooney

      The EU commission is currently trying to introduce rules to prevent “tax shopping” within the EU. For example, CCCTB (common consolidated corporate tax basis). Ireland, Sweden, Denmark, The Netherlands, the UK, Malta and Luxembourg have objected.

      But this is a global problem. It is one of the reasons African countries remain poor despite having resources. Marc Rich’s Glencore “made its profits” from Zambian mines in Switzerland.

      Macron has decided to go it alone on taxing American internet giants. Small countries are too scared to act alone

    • OnlyHalfALooney


      What about Cameron’s austerity while British overseas territories are the world’s biggest tax havens? His father even made use of the huge loopholes. And I wonder how much tax Richard Branson (just an example) pays in the UK?

      I don’t think it’s “tax evasion”. It’s legally tolerated theft.

  • Brianfujisan


    Thank You.. And Well Done your Crew.

    Watch this video I took Last A Forest in Scotland – COSMOS – I walked around this –

    I was Born in

  • Pyewacket

    Hi Tatiana, thanks for reminding us of this 62 year old, historical event, and great achievement in space exploration. I guess, if little Sputnik were still orbiting the Earth, things will have got a whole lot more congested over the past six decades. They say that 5G roll out will take 1000s more satellites, so near Earth orbit looks like its going to get busier.

      • Brianfujisan

        IT’s a Good Thing RT news keeps Sputnik on peoples minds..Though I have been Going off George Galloway.

        I have a feeling you would Enjoy reading ‘ The Martian ‘ Book..

        • Tatyana

          I’ve seen the film with Mattew Damon, you may know him by Ocean’s Friends or Dogma.

          Pyewacket says about 1000 more satellites for 5G and I’m thinking of how people use Internet. Texting each other by Whatsapp “buy bread” or “where are u?” 🙂

          Ah, look what I’ve got for your friday night entertainment – World Leaders chat

  • Deb O'Nair

    If this was a US achievement it would today have been celebrated as an example of the supremeness of “Western” (i.e. Nazi) technology and advancement, ushering in a new era for mankind, opening up the frontiers of global communications and space exploration, a landmark achievement in the story of the human race. But as it is largely Russian it gets totally ignored.

    • Tatyana

      And this would also make little Sputnik stop smiling, I think it would feel offended and betrayed, if alive.

      But another good thing that happened 1957 – “12 angry Men” film, by USA.
      Maybe, the things are not that bad.

        • Tatyana

          Mikhalkov made russian version titled “12” and the boy is chechen adopted by a russian officer. It really adds some real emotion for the russian auditory.

  • Brianfujisan

    so.. I came out of Jiu Jitsu ..

    went into the Local Co-op.. ( yes ) Got my stuff.. i’m in the car when a a tap on the window.. ” Aye . What “.. ” Could you give me a lift ?

    A 30 odd year old, with face black n blue.. ” Can you give me a Lift home, I’m Scared to walk ”

    ” No Sorry ”

    Then a moment later Aww, Ok,, Jump In..

    within Two moments in my Car she is telling me she is Going home to Put power in the metre..Then Going to Glasgow..” you Know ” Things Dawn .. ” You gatta get outta that shit ”

    Here Am I.. A Martial Arts Expert..Listening to this..A girl Exploited ..

    She Try’s to give me a Handful of small change for the lift “Don’t be Daft, Just Take Care ”

    A day Later..A Lady Friend said to me..” So That Girl / Woman was Going on the Game.. She could have wound up Dead.. And the Last sighting of her. getting into your car..”

  • Smiling Through

    “Rory, how can you claim to know what Londoners want when you’ve spent most of your life elsewhere?”

    “But you’re forgetting – or perhaps you never knew – that my old head office was in Vauxhall…”

    • N_

      Rory Stewart has had a presence in London for at least nine years, or 20% of his life. I wonder what the median percentage is for people who live in London. (I’m at 43%.)

      If he were to answer honestly he might say, “I was the deputy governor of two provinces in Afghanistan, so I know how to talk and listen to natives servants people on the ground.”

      I wonder what he sees himself as – a person from the sky? Given his links to the insane crown prince, that’s possible.

  • Clark

    Craig wrote: “Boris Johnson has no more ardent political opponent than I. But some of the hysteria about him is overblown.”

    It’s a distraction; sex on the brain displaces critical thinking.

    Here is an interesting diff (“difference between revisions”) of Wikipedia’s Johnson page; you can see links before another editor deleted them:

    There seem to be quite a few like that; revisions with a big green positive number or a big red negative number:

    “A university that was not elitist would admit everyone indiscriminately to its lecture halls, including the mentally deficient, and award everyone the same mark in examinations, if indeed it held any. It would cease to be an institution of learning.

    – Without elites and elitism, man would still be in the caves.”

    “Cave men”? Can he be forgiven for not having heard of hunter-gatherers?

    • Hatuey

      Clark, is there a way for me to know what you are saying without following links all over the place?

      • Clark

        As Craig has blogged about before, and as Glenn points out below, Wikipedia is a battleground for information. By looking through a page’s History, you can find out what the propagandists would rather you did not find links to. As Craig said, it’s a waste of time obsessing about Charlotte Edwards’ leg 20 years ago. Johnson has done plenty that we might disapprove of, and helping us to find it there are those who try to remove it from Wikipedia; their trail is marked as described above.

    • glenn_nl

      Clark: A few years back the writer and broadcaster Thom Hartmann paid a visit to The Heritage Foundation, a neo-con think-tank at Washington DC. While being shown around, he noticed scores of staffers, including a lot of interns, working away at screens. To his surprise, they all had Wikipedia pages open. It turned out they were busy editing everything they could to give a pro-right bias on content which had anything to do with policy and government, and negatively slanting anyone less than an enthusiastic right-winger.

      This was in just one floor of one building of one institution. The effort that goes into creating disinformation and bias is simply staggering.

      On anything not entirely politically neutral, Wikipedia simply cannot be trusted as a source of objective information.

      • lysias

        Orwell’s Ministry of Truth come to life. I wonder how much of that Orwell already saw working for the BBC.

      • N_

        On anything not entirely politically neutral, Wikipedia simply cannot be trusted as a source of objective information.

        Damned right. And in any case, as the Socialist Patients’ Collective of the University of Heidelberg wrote in 1972, whoever claims they want to “observe the bare facts dispassionately” is either an “idiot” or a “dangerous criminal.” (Turn Illness Into a Weapon).

        As well as Wikipedia, another insidious and highly influential website that helps establish in certain markets the kind of topics and the kind of facts and opinions about them that are acceptable is Stack Exchange. Wikipedia at least gets some criticism from the outside; SE gets hardly any. (What with ongoing events it may soon get some, but I doubt much of it will point the finger that needs to be pointed, given that it will be dominated by those who were ignorantly sucked in for years. The same actually goes for much of the internet.)

        The effort that goes into creating disinformation and bias is simply staggering.

        Indeed. Do they really think we are so powerful?”

        Lyrics to that song I just linked to:


        They’ve got all their law books and their regulations,
        They’ve got all their prisons and fortresses.
        All their welfare institutions don’t really count.
        They’ve got all their prison guards and judges
        Who are overpaid and far too keen to oblige them
        Well why’s that then?
        Do they really think they will wear us down with all that?

        Before they vanish, and that will be soon,
        They will surely notice
        That all that cannot help them any more.
        All that cannot help them any more

        They’ve got their newspapers and printing presses
        With which to attack us and silence our voices.
        All their statesmen we don’t need to count.
        They’ve got their parsons and their professors
        Who are overpaid and far too keen to oblige them
        Well why’s that then?
        Is it because the truth’s so frightening?

        Before they vanish, and that will be soon,
        They will surely notice
        That all that cannot help them any more.
        All that cannot help them any more

        They’ve got their tanks and their cannons,
        Their policemen and their soldiers.
        Well why’s that then?
        Is it because their enemy’s so powerful?

        They think they must find some support soon
        To halt their imminent fall.
        One fine day, though, and that will be soon,
        They’ll come to see that that’s not good to them at all.
        They can shout out and oh they won’t stop now –
        Neither money nor cannon will answer their call.
        They can shout out and oh they won’t stop now –
        Neither money nor cannon will answer their call.

      • Clark

        “The effort that goes into creating disinformation and bias is simply staggering. On anything not entirely politically neutral, Wikipedia simply cannot be trusted as a source of objective information.”

        Yes, but we are cleverer than them; see above.

      • Iain Stewart

        “On anything not entirely politically neutral, Wikipedia simply cannot be trusted as a source of objective information.”
        Even a lot of basic factual articles have errors, which I was amazed to find are easy to correct anonymously within seconds, no questions asked. So it is probably just as easy to work the other way round. [Citation needed.]

        • N_

          @Iain – That depends whether any a*seholes are watching the article, ready to pounce on any addition or correction they don’t want, and ready if necessary to “take it to talk” and come up with a bunch of specious and repulsive arguments that either draw you in or make you run away thinking your life may have its unhappy themes but at least you can be glad you’re not like one of those obnoxious system-lovy people.

      • Squeeth

        That’s true, except for the articles I write but then my subjects tend to be a century old. Notice that they are fuelled by a cottage industry of source and citation provision, to create a spurious right-wing consensus? This is not new, cabals and caucuses have tried to slant letters pages in newspapers and magazines and the CIA Five etc have financed right wing rags for decades.

    • George McI

      The last link is a hoot. As here (emphasis added):

      “Mr Brown has, for reasons of cheap demagoguery, confused an elite with an oligarchy. The two are not by any means the same. An elite exists by virtue of its superiority, both aesthetic and intellectual. It is open to new talent, indeed welcomes it, THOUGH IN PART IT IS INEVITABLY SELF-PERPETUATING BECAUSE OF THE ADVANTAGES ITS MEMBERS ARE ABLE TO CONFER UPON THEIR OFF- SPRING. An elite serves some end other than its own power.”

      I love the qualification “in part”. But this (admittedly generous) admission that elites can (and very easily) become corrupted through oligarchic tendencies is soon forgotten – indeed it is forgotten in the very next sentence.

      • N_

        @George, be aware that this is Clarendon school arrogance talking. One could say it’s British empire arrogance too. But they’re the same thing. Johnson has been steeped in it. His whole culture is steeped in it.

        “Open to new talent”! As if that justifies anything. As if that justifies or even identifies who is doing WHAT to whom. Oh wait, they are “serving” some higher end. Right. Spot the sociobiology,

        “We’ll get the clever chavs on our side”.

        For all their self-justifications, the British ruling elite have little or no self-awareness. And that’s a very polite way of putting it.

    • Ian

      In general maybe, in Johnson’s case the Lothario-like tendencies tell you a lot about his character, attitude to women, and how easily corruptible he is, as in the absurdly ridiculous Arcuri case. This is a man who deigns to ‘speak for the nation’, make decisions on our behalf and speak on our behalf. But like Trump, his apparent model, takes his uncontrolled libido as a sign of his virility and roguish ‘charm’. In other words, a loathsome kind of aggressive male vanity and self-obsessive ego which he assumes others admire/desire.

  • Sharp Ears

    Moreno in Ecuador is rolling over to the IMF. Result – riots and protests. He has cut fuel subsidies and declared a national emergency.

    Ecuador protests: Hundreds held as president decries ‘criminals’

    RT video

    ‘Ecuador’s government has agreed to cut public spending as part of a loan deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
    The agreement, signed in March, allows Ecuador to borrow $4.2bn (£3.4bn).
    On Tuesday, Ecuador announced it was leaving the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) to pump more oil and raise revenues.’

    Lagarde (latterly the MD of the IMF signed Ecuador up to the deal. She has been replaced by Kristalina Georgieva, a Bulgarian.

    Just another stooge for the gangsters-in-charge.

  • exiled off mainstreet

    I agree with your comment, including about Boris, and concur with your cynicism about identity politics. The Laura Kuensberg case is complicated by the name all of her detractors call her when they are not being monitored in some way.

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