The Incredible Disappearing Farage, and Other Electoral Oddities 622


For a decade Nigel Farage has been flung into our living rooms continually by the BBC. Even when UKIP barely registered a blip in the opinion polls, he was a regular on Question Time and the other news, current affairs and politics programme. Farage’s celebrity was a BBC creation. He served an important purpose. At a time when the wealth gap was growing exponentially, and working conditions and real incomes of ordinary people were deteriorating sharply, Farage helped amplify the Establishment message that the cause of these problems was not the burgeoning class of billionaires sucking up the world’s resources, but rather the poor immigrants also scratching to make a living.

Having undermined the prospects of a left wing reaction to massively increasing inequality, Farage has now served his purpose. The exigencies of fighting an election under first past the post are such that Farage has become a potentially serious problem for the wealthy elite. The Brexit Party is a fundamental threat to Boris Johnson’s strategy of moving the Tory Party decisively to the hard right and attempting to win seats on the back of working class anti-immigrant votes in the Midlands and North of England. More liberal Scottish, London and South Western Tory voters have been deliberately abandoned, and consituencies sacrificed, in order to chase hard racist votes. Those indoctrinated to hate their fellow man if he has a Polish accent, are now required by the elite to vote Tory, not to vote for the Brexit Party.

The remarkable result of this is that, at precisely the point where Farage’s influence will be most crucial in determining the future of politics in the UK, he has been dropped by the media. I am extremely confident in my perception that he has appeared less in the last month than at any period in the preceding decade. Having been boosted into prominence by the BBC when they were insignificant, the BBC will do everything it possibly can to dampen down Farage and his Brexit Party now they legitimately deserve coverage as a critical factor.

I am happy to state with confidence that this election will backfire on the Tories. The strong evidence from both the 2017 election and the Scottish referendum campaign, is that once broadcasting rules on equal time come into play, the impact on voters is profound of hearing direct from normally derided people and their normally ridiculed arguments.

The Johnson/Cummings electoral strategy is catastrophically bad. First past the post rewards regional voter concentration. Cummings plan is to sacrifice votes in traditional Tory areas in order to pile them up in traditionally hostile areas. The result will be to even out their vote, lose regional concentration and lose the election. They can pile on two million racist votes in traditional Labour constituencies without gaining more than a dozen seats. That will merely cancel out losses in Scotland. That people en masse are going to forget the devastation of their communities by Thatcher or the generations of fight for a decent living is far from probable. The antipathy to the Tories in parts of the UK is not “tribal”, it is the result of generations of hard experience.

The Brexit Party may have more appeal than the Tories in traditional Labour consituencies, but neither they nor the Tories will win any significant number of them. It is in the marginals of the Midlands and Lancashire where the Brexit Party may damage the Tories’ chances, not in Sunderland and Hartlepool which will stay Labour. The SNP is going to sweep Scotland, the Liberal Democrats make substantive gains in London and the South West and the Labour Party will do much better in London and the North than anybody now expects. The Midlands, both East and West, are hard to predict and the key battleground, but the number of possible Tory gains is not enough to compensate for their losses elsewhere. The Tories could end up with the largest share of the vote, perhaps 36%, but less seats than the Labour Party. That is what I expect to happen.

The fly in this alluring ointment is that the Liberal Democrats have shifted so decisively to the right on economic policy. In general I advise everyone in England to vote tactically to defeat the Tories in their constituency, but obviously both Lib Dems and Labour have individual right wing horror candidates I could never ask anyone to vote for.

Here in Scotland, Independence remains the overriding priority. We must escape from Tory domination and the right wing jingoism that so infects English politics; but also it is simply normal for a nation to be Independent. So we all have to vote and campaign for the SNP in what could be a decisive moment in our history.
Incidentally, there is not a single constituency in Scotland where there is a plausible argument that to vote SNP risks letting a Tory in. I am hopeful that we will sweep the Tories out of Scotland completely this time. I am also quite keen about the SNP helping Corbyn pass the basis of a radical left wing reform agenda through Westminster, whilst briefly on a swift route to Independence.

Now that would be a good Christmas present.

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622 thoughts on “The Incredible Disappearing Farage, and Other Electoral Oddities

1 2 3 4
    • michael norton

      An ex-colonel Tory MP for Milton Keynes is standing down because he has had enough of the death threats.
      You’d have thought an ex-colonel would have had more backbone?

      • Squeeth

        British colonels are traditionally happier killing unarmed civilians than fighting people who can defend themselves.

      • Tom Welsh

        Easy for you to say. But ex-colonels (to say nothing of their families) are no more bomb-proof or bullet-proof than the next person.

  • Dave

    As an impartial observer, Corbyn’s promise of a second referendum with a Remain and Soft Brexit options could win the general election, because the promise of a referendum wins nearly all the Remain vote, and Soft-Brexit wins most of the Leave vote. The irony by casting themselves as an illiberal and anti-democratic Remain Party means Remain voters need to vote Labour to get a referendum chance to Remain and Leave voters are mostly angry because we haven’t left rather than because they support No Deal. Whether a PM Corbyn would be allowed to deliver Soft-Brexit is another matter.

    • Loony

      Very much like the Labour Party you appear to be promoting logical incoherence as a vote winning strategy.

      If you want to remain ion the EU then why would you want a referendum? There has already been a referendum and that did nothing to dissuade those who wish to remain in the EU. Why would a second referendum work any better than the first?

      I am aware that the clever, the classless and the free despise leave voters for their ignorance, bigotry and stupidity. The fact is that they want to leave the EU and they are not so stupid as to believe that a “soft Brexit” constitutes leaving the EU. Luckily for them their innate stupidity means that they remain impervious to the nefarious sophistry that seeks to persuade them otherwise.

      The only people that should be voting for Labour are anarchists and revolutionaries that want to see the entire system burnt to the ground, people who want to behave as parasites and suck resources from the state for no other reason than “they deserve it”, organized crime networks and intellectuals who are too clever to understand the real motivations of real people.

      • Squeeth

        “The only people that should be voting for Labour are anarchists and revolutionaries that want to see the entire system burnt to the ground, people who want to behave as parasites and suck resources from the state for no other reason than “they deserve it”, organized crime networks and intellectuals who are too clever to understand the real motivations of real people.”

        This really is loony, a Liarbour vote is a Toy vote. Anarchists wouldn’t touch that shower of shite with rubber gloves on.

        • Hatuey

          Squeeth, as an anarchist, I can tell you that what you’re saying, viewed in isolation, is correct. And as an anarchist, there’s not one party I’d vote for, taken in isolation.

          But you need to understand what praxis means for the anarchist. For me it means choosing what’s the better of so many evils. On that basis, I must recommend Corbyn for English voters.

          Anarchism is ultimately about human freedom and if there’s one thing that undermines human freedom profoundly, it’s poverty. As I understand it, about a third of the English people are in abject poverty and the best way to address that is with a left-leaning Labour government.

          • Squeeth

            Voting for the lesser evil is voting for evil. I vote in democratic elections which means I don’t vote in British state elections. There has never been a democratically-elected British government so there has not and never can be a left-leaning Liarbour anything. The future for the working-class lies in smashing the Liarbour Partei from the outside, just as its fascist-zionist-antisemite wing tries to smash it from the inside.

          • Hatuey

            Squeeth, you’re just being a stupid fundamentalist. And if everybody who opposed the Tory domination of English politics took that view, it would only guarantee Tory domination.

            You haven’t though this through.

      • kathy

        ” Why would a second referendum work any better than the first?”

        Because, recent polls show a majority support remaing in the EU.

        What the hell is your problem? Are you some sort of filthy rich plutocrat who stands to gain hugely by leaving?

        • Billy Brexit !

          … and that is the crux of it, the Eu know if they just hang on in there and string HMG along with endless extensions and fake deals, then eventually something new will come along and hey presto the UK remains as a de-facto member in perpetuity. Not that that outcome would be in any way acceptable to the 17.4 million people who voted to leave and have seen a legal and democratic exercise overturned through bloody mindedness. This is not over by a long stretch and this is just the start of a very long fever with no cure and an uncertain outcome.

        • glenn_uk

          @Kathy: Loony’s problem is that he is an absolute Trump suck-up, who will tell you with all seriousness that Trump is a “stable genius” and so forth, while patronising the hell out of you with his insistence (and apparent belief) of total knowledge. Trump doesn’t like the EU because his handler Putin hates the EU. End of story.

          • giyane.

            Glenn UK
            Talking of suck ups, aren’t you the Richard Rodney Bennett suck up who accused me of bullshit when I was only repeating what the fan man had told me.

            Grown up politicians like Trump Corbyn and Putin don’t operate on hate. .

            Tories and LibDems have resorted to hate in the Brexit debate because they don’t know how to compromise.
            Like you.

        • Loony

          Yeh Kathy – but you and your ilk don’t seem to want to take that bet do you?

          What happens if there is another referendum and the vote is the same? Are you going to shut and get behind exiting the EU, or are you going to . whinge, whine and complain about the tyranny of democracy?

          The fact that there has been no second referendum, that the Peoples Vote campaign has imploded and that the Liberal Democrats simply want to ignore the results of the referendum provides all of the answers.

          I don’t have any problems. The fact that I have not embraced cowardice as a virtue seems to trigger you though. Get off your knees and climb out of the gutter – you will feel a lot better for it.

    • Tom Welsh

      “…Soft-Brexit wins most of the Leave vote”.

      There’s your mistake. So-called “soft Brexit” is actually just remaining by another name – usually under distinctly worse terms than we have now.

      One of the cleverest (though unprincipled) tricks the Remainers have pulled is to introduce talk of “deals” as though they were somehow desirable.

      What people who voted to Leave the EU meant was a “No Deal Brexit”, more honestly known as a Clean Break.

      • glenn_uk

        “What people who voted to Leave the EU meant was a “No Deal Brexit”, more honestly known as a Clean Break.

        You have proof of this, right?

        Even the Brexit promoters were saying a deal would be perfectly well worked out beforehand. They said nothing about having to abide by EU standards in order to sell goods there, but selling out to the US and accepting their incredibly poor standards in order to trade with them. They also said nothing about massive deregulation of human rights, workers rights and hiving off profitable parts of the NHS to the Yanks.

        I don’t recall any mention of paying the EU a huge divorce settlement either – remind me where and when that was made clear. And that whole point about paying WTO tariffs on imports and exports – that trifling little matter – where and when was that spelt out?

        • Tom Welsh

          “I don’t recall any mention of paying the EU a huge divorce settlement either…”

          Neither do I. That’s part of the various “deals”.

          The proper Brexit – the clean break – is where we say “We are no longer part of the EU as from today”, and from then on the British government makes the laws for the UK. Why on earth would we pay the EU a single penny?

          • Ken Kenn

            What Farage pointed out today ( I have heard about it from the days of the Referendum ) that the ECJ and various other august bodies of the EU will have hold sway over any Trade negotiations is interesting.

            Not from the point of view of a crash out No Deal which The Brexit party wants and isn’t hiding- but the possibility that
            Johnson and many other Cabinet members and some ERGr’s know that what Farage has said is true.

            Three years of obeying EU rules and no input or say in those three years.

            That means that surprise surprise – Johnson and Cummings are lying ( as are many others) as they are not repeating what Farage says.

            The opposition should be digging around for these potential bombshells when Johnson say’s he wants to get Brexit done.

            If Farage is right then Johnson is lying to his own troops as usual.

  • Rowan Berkeley

    I wonder whether people could point me at evidence that Swinson is a double-dealer. I am primarily interested in whether she can be trusted to revoke article 50. This may be “undemocratic” but it isn’t double-dealing. So spare me the polemic. What else is there against her, please?

    • Anthony

      To revoke article 50 the lib dems would need to form a majority government. Two years ago as an ardent remain party they won 12 seats.

      As for Jo Swinson, there is no need for polemic. The facts speak for themselves. Just consult her voting record on things like tuition fees, the bedroom tax, the health and social care (nhs privatisation) act and so on. Alternatively google “Jo Swinson donors”. It’s all out there in the public realm.

    • Mr Shigemitsu

      Hmmmm, that’s a tough one!

      How about the double dealing resides in calling yourself and your party Liberal *Democrats*, whilst at the same time your prime policy is, as you so rightly point out, completely “undemocratic”?

      • michael norton

        Then let’s shed a bit of illumination of one of her predecessors the disgusting two faced and very rich
        Sir Nicholas William Peter Clegg

      • Rowan Berkeley

        @Mr Shigemitsu: Hmmmm, that’s a tough one! How about the double dealing resides in calling yourself and your party Liberal *Democrats*, whilst at the same time your prime policy is, as you so rightly point out, completely “undemocratic”?

        – I agree. They are only called that to indicate that back in 1988 they merged with Labour spin-offs, the briefly-so-called Social Democrats. I think that now they should just revert to being called Liberals. But I am not a member of anything personally, so I’m just sayin’.

    • Vivian O'Blivion

      The LibDems are pure AstroTurf. A handful of professional politicos performing tasks determined by their masters. A front for a faction of the Deep State.
      They have 35 party members in the whole of Sheffield (Private Eye). They spent £367K in one 10 month period on Facebook advertising alone (salmonofdata @ Slugger O’Toole). Swinson’s own party branch (would that be Dumbartonshire East or Chippenham?) has 110 likes on its Facebook page. Swinson overspent on allowable election expenses at the last election and was let off the hook with excuses that would insult the intelligence of any election watchdog that wasn’t (purposefully) looking the other way.

      • Rob Royston

        I live in East Dunbartonshire in a cul de sac of 10 houses. Yesterday afternoon my doorbell rang and a guy who was obviously not a local offered me leaflets and wanted to talk about Swinson. I said there was nothing to talk about, Swinson had wanted our area cut out of the constituency after she retook the seat in 2017.
        By this time the other four of his mates had gathered in a group in the street so I assume they got short shrift from the other houses as well.

    • TonyT12

      I don’t think Swinson is a double-dealer. What you see is what you get: someone with ambition to be P.M. who voted with the Conservatives on many issues (apart from leaving the EU). Personally, I have no doubt that Jo Swinson would revoke Article 50 if the LibDems obtained a working majority in the forthcoming general election. However it is a promise she is unlikely to have to honour, given the first-past-the-post voting system in the UK and the significant number of constituencies where the result is predetermined by past large overwhelming majorities for incumbent MPs.

      For example in my local constituency in the last General Election the Conservatives got 30555 votes, Labour 16575, LibDems 3813, Greens 1268, UKIP 1171. Both the Greens and UKIP lost their deposits. Remain voters shifting allegiance from Conservative to the LibDems would hardly deliver enough of a swing. Hard NoDeal Brexit Labour voters would be unlikely to do anything significant to these numbers by shifting to Brexit.

      Once you do the sums on many constituencies you can see the most likely outcome of the December General Election will be another Hung Parliament. It looks likely that the LibDems will gain some more seats, and we could have some BREXIT Party MPs, maybe a couple more Greens, but overwhelmingly the Conservatives will hold on to many constituencies, as will Labour. Then almost inevitably Boris Johnson will still be unable to get many of his neo-Right Wing legislation plans through.

      Until the major parties, especially the Conservatives, get used to the concept of minority government and working with other parties, we will be in permanent logjam stalemate on all major issues including Brexit.

      • michael norton

        There are now ( nominally) twenty one LibDem mps.
        Many like Sir Vince are stepping down at the end of this parliament, which is this Wednesday.
        All the big majorities are with the turncoats, none of the real LibDems has a big majority except Sir Vince who has 9,762

        So it is quite likely the Lib Dem mp numbers will be small after this election, just like normal.

      • Hatuey

        Not really. It depends in your case and other conservative seats what the Brexit Party do. Hurd is resigning too which means he will undoubtedly be replaced by someone that your fellow constituents feel less loyalty towards.

    • nevermind

      how about looking at her voting record? Rowan. This should keep you busy for a while.

      -We don’t have enough information to calculate Jo Swinson’s position on a right to remain for EU nationals already in living in the UK.

      Almost always voted for reducing housing benefit for social tenants deemed to have excess bedrooms (which Labour describe as the “bedroom tax”)
      Show votes
      11 votes for, 1 vote against, 6 absences, between 2012–2018
      – Consistently voted against raising welfare benefits at least in line with prices
      Show votes
      0 votes for, 5 votes against, in 2013
      – Consistently voted against paying higher benefits over longer periods for those unable to work due to illness or disability
      Show votes
      0 votes for, 7 votes against, between 2011–2012
      – Consistently voted for making local councils responsible for helping those in financial need afford their council tax and reducing the amount spent on such support
      Show votes
      4 votes for, 0 votes against, in 2012
      -Almost always voted for a reduction in spending on welfare benefits
      Show votes
      26 votes for, 0 votes against, 5 absences, between 2012–2015
      -Almost always voted against spending public money to create guaranteed jobs for young people who have spent a long time unemployed
      Show votes
      0 votes for, 8 votes against, 1 absence, between 2011–2014
      -Almost always voted against an annual tax on the value of expensive homes (popularly known as a mansion tax)
      Show votes
      -Almost always voted for reducing the rate of corporation tax
      Show votes
      15 votes for, 0 votes against, 2 absences, between 2010–2015
      -Voted for new high speed rail infrastructure{ thats HS2)
      – Voted for raising England’s undergraduate tuition fee cap to £9,000 per year
      Show votes
      1 vote for, 0 votes against, in 2010
      -Almost always voted for academy schools
      Show votes
      7 votes for, 0 votes against, 1 absence, between 2010–2011
      -Consistently voted for ending financial support for some 16-19 year olds in training and further education
      Show votes
      2 votes for, 0 votes against, in 2011
      -Consistently voted for university tuition fees
      Show votes
      3 votes for, 0 votes against, 1 absence, between 2010–2017
      -Generally voted for reducing central government funding of local government ( cuts to services)
      Show votes
      3 votes for, 0 votes against, 3 absences, between 2010–2019

      -Generally voted against a more proportional system for electing MPs ( pivotal, PR was a basic core Lib Dem policy)
      Show votes
      3 votes for, 1 vote against, in 2010
      -Generally voted against transferring more powers to the Scottish Parliament( pivotal for the GE in Scotland)
      Show votes
      5 votes for, 13 votes against, 9 absences, between 2011–2018
      – Consistently voted for the introduction of elected Police and Crime Commissioners
      Show votes
      8 votes for, 0 votes against, between 2011–2012
      -Generally voted for requiring the mass retention of information about communications( hallo MI’s)
      Show votes
      4 votes for, 1 vote against, 1 absence, between 2009–2014
      -Generally voted against financial incentives for low carbon emission electricity generation methods
      Show votes
      1 vote for, 3 votes against, 2 absences, between 2011–2018
      -Generally voted for culling badgers to tackle bovine tuberculosis
      Show votes
      2 votes for, 0 votes against, 2 absences, between 2013–2014
      -Generally voted against greater regulation of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) to extract shale gas
      Show votes
      1 vote for, 2 votes against, in 2015
      -Voted for new high speed rail infrastructure
      Show votes
      1 vote for, 0 votes against, 6 absences, between 2013–2019
      – Has never voted on greater public control of bus services ( no elecric buses for LD councils)
      -Consistently voted against slowing the rise in rail fares
      Show votes
      0 votes for, 5 votes against, in 2013
      – Generally voted against greater regulation of gambling
      Show votes
      4 votes for, 5 votes against, 2 absences, between 2005–2014
      -Consistently voted for capping civil service redundancy payments
      Show votes
      5 votes for, 0 votes against, in 2010
      -Almost always voted against Labour’s anti-terrorism laws
      Show votes
      1 vote for, 19 votes against, 4 absences, between 2005–2010
      -Generally voted for the privatisation of Royal Mail
      Show votes
      4 votes for, 1 vote against, between 2009–2011
      -Generally voted for the policies included in the 2010 Conservative – Liberal Democrat Coalition Agreement
      Show votes
      50 votes for, 10 votes against, 21 absences, between 2010–2015

      • Rowan Berkeley

        @nevermind: how about looking at her voting record? Rowan. This should keep you busy for a while.

        – Thanks! I wouldn’t offhand know how to conjure that so handily. It’s ghastly, all right. Is it because she was locked into a coalition agreement, to support the evil ones straight up and down the line like that?

        In a way, I wouldn’t care, at least for the purposes of this thought experiment. I’m english. I live on the south coast. What I care most about right now is averting brexit completely and with certainty. I do not want Corbyn’s Lexit.

        I do want the welfare state back, but that will only be possible if we avoid the sharks now circling at the smell of blood – Farage, Bannon & ultimately Trump. We need to keep a-hold of nurse, for fear of finding something worse. And yes, I do know about Hilaire Belloc’s politics, but I still love his doggerel.

        • SA

          ” What I care most about right now is averting brexit completely and with certainty. I do not want Corbyn’s Lexit.”
          Realistically the choice will be either Corbyn or Johnson. To think that annulling the referendum will be a policy that will win the elections outright seems to be sheer fantasy. But then as you say you are indulging in a thought experiment.

      • Andyoldlabour

        nevermind

        She is an absolutely disgusting person, consistently voted for UK military operations abroad and the so called war against Daesh which was/is a war to remove Assad.

    • Tom Welsh

      “I wonder whether people could point me at evidence that Swinson is a double-dealer”.

      I believe she is a professional politician, isn’t she?

      • Rowan Berkeley

        “I believe she is a professional politician, isn’t she?”

        yeah, but nobody has actually come up with a specific, concrete promise from her that she subsequently betrayed, am I right?

        • Anthony

          Apart from tuition fees and fracking, she’s as honest as they come. You can be certain she will keep her promise to oppose any softening of austerity if she achieves her dream coalition with the Tories. That is what she believes in above all else, check her voting record and donors.

        • Ken Kenn

          If you fancy boring yourself to death here’s Swinson’s voting record:

          https://www.publicwhip.org.uk/mp.php?id=uk.org.publicwhip/member/41555

          By the way she 2Categorically 2 ruled out working with a Corbyn led Labour minority government.

          Logic dictates that if her delusion of the Lib Dems winning outright is wrong ( and it is) then the Lib dems would have to work with/support via a Confidence and Supply arrangemnt a non Labor minority government.

          Now- unless the Welsh Plaid Cymru win the GE qwith a very very shock result this can only mean the Lib Dems would assist an outright Brexit party despite having a Revoke./Remain position.

          That is the Tories led by Johnson.

          I can only pray that the SNP get rid of Swinson and the Labour Party get rid of Johnson.

          Unless both ‘ leaders’ jump their respective constituencies for safer seats.

          A nice Xmas present that would be.

          The LIB Dem electorate will not be happy with what Swinson said today.

          Not happy at all.

          Someone described her demeanour as ” frenzied ”

          I’d describe it as frantic.

          • Vivian O'Blivion

            Swinson’s 10K majority is not unassailable. Average SNP support in the last two YouGov, Scottish sub-samples is 47%, this is back to 2015 levels. In the run up to the decision to hold another GE, someone has been distributing a glossy leaflet in East Dumbartonshire trashing Swinson. Voting record, funding of personal office, all the stuff widely available on the net. My 85 year old mother (who has voted for Swinson a couple of times) was appalled by the content of the leaflet and will no longer lend her her vote.

    • giyane

      Rowan

      You asked me about evidence that Swinson would add Lib Dem support to the Tories in a hung parliament.
      I think I must have been thinking of her categorical refusal to back Corbyn as a stand-in PM. If she’s in that position and she’s adamant against Labour then I must have concluded that she would back Johnson.
      As a kind of afterthought she’s now decided it would have been better to say she wanted to win.

  • Vivian O'Blivion

    The headline for the Sunday Telegraph comes courtesy of Tory Chairman, James Cleverly. A walking refutation of nominative determinism. Jews will leave the country if Corbyn is elected. I think this wil play to Labour’s advantage. People know when folk protest too much.
    Meanwhile, Margaret Hodge hates the supposedly rampant anti-Semitism in Labour so much she is running for office again at the age of 75 ffs! And it ain’t like she needs the money.

    • M.J.

      A BBC Panorama programme about antisemitism in the Labour party indicates that it is a fairly recent phenomenon, and the party officially disapproves of it, judging from Corbyn’s pronouncements and the expulsion or suspension of a number of members for making anti-semitic statements.
      Labour seems to be trying to appeal to both Remainers and Brexiters. If it can also emphasize their remedies for the effects of Tory austerity over the past 10 years, it might work. One problem is party discipline – the potential clashes between party leadership and the Blairites. But Corbyn seems to have handled the heat in the kitchen with a very cool head. So that may be OK. I would expect Labour to exploit Trump’s crass attempt at interference in the UK election. In particular, the the idea that a vote for Boris is to sell the NHS to Trump.

      • M.J.

        The Tories in their benevolence have announced that the freeze on benefits will end in 2020. I am sure that this announcement will not be contradicted till after they have won the election, if they do. Those who believe it deserve the public spending cuts that will follow the lowering of living standards that Brexit will bring, assuming that we are out of the EU by February, and no Golden Age of international trade for the UK materialises, as claimed by Boris & Co.

        • Squeeth

          Tens of millions of people have had their living standards drastically lowered since the mid-70s without the need to leave the EU. Your claim is spurious.

          • M.J.

            The proportion of car owners in the UK seems to me a lot higher than in the 70s. The UK joined the EEC/EU becauise it brought economic benefit.
            But if you’re talking about inequality and workers’ rights, that’s a good argumewnt for Remain!

      • kerdasi amaq

        Anti-semitism: who gets to decide what is or isn’t anti-Semitic?

        Hint: no man is allowed to be a judge in his own case.

    • Loony

      What is the obsession with Jews? Leftwing people seem to hate them and right wing people seem to want to send them large amounts of weaponry and other peoples money.

      I am not sure that too many votes will be cast based on any kind of analysis of Jews. However it is likely that once again intellectuals will stage a public demonstration of their own stupidity. Despite the fact that these people believe the UK to be infested with racists and nascent right wing paramilitary groups this is simply not true.

      The British are some of the most tolerant and fair minded people on earth. Whilst they don’t have very much interest in Jews they will certainly be repulsed by people endlessly obsessed with them to the point that they become attractive to bona fide anti Semites.

      Possibly people like you. What is so interesting about Margaret Hodge? It certainly cannot be that she is 75 years old and that that fact is somehow interesting. Dennis Skinner is 87 and has not announced that he is not running for reelection. Why isn’t he more interesting than Margaret Hodge.

      Still we learn that Hodge does not need the money. Conservative MP Richard Benyon is estimated to have net worth of over £100 million – and yet that provokes no comment as to whether he needs the money.

      I do hope that Hodge is not Jewish – otherwise people could well think that your comment about money is stereotyping a particular religious group and as such would travel perilously close to shores of virtuousness protected by a raft of hate speech laws.

      • Andyoldlabour

        Loony

        Margaret Hodge was born in Cairo to Jewish refugee parents. and is a current member of Labour Friends of Israel.

      • George McI

        “The British are some of the most tolerant and fair minded people on earth. Whilst they don’t have very much interest in Jews they will certainly be repulsed by people endlessly obsessed with them to the point that they become attractive to bona fide anti Semites.”

        Yup – now you’ve sussed out the manouevre.

      • Squeeth

        Left wingers don’t hate Jews, we hate injustice like zionism and all the other forms that racist imperialism take.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    With Nigel Farage not standing for a Commons seat, he will be working 24/7 to get a controlling minority of Brexit seats to make a Johnson coalition likely, and a Labour government impossible.

    • Vivian O'Blivion

      Why would Nigel Farage vehicle, the Brexit Party fare any better than Nigel Farage vehicle, the UK Independence Party? UKIP only ever had one Westminster MP, the Tory defector Douglas Carswell. Carswell did the decent thing and only held his seat as an independent MP for a short period of time before offering himself up as UKIP at a scheduled GE. An honourable contrast to these snakes in the grass that defect to the LibDems and Changelings and refuse to grant their constituents a right of reply.

  • kerdasi amaq

    The EU has no more use for an independent Scotland than England does. Your choice is to be a province of one or the other of them.

    • Hatuey

      That’s not exactly true. Being in the U.K. requires Scotland gives up about 90% of its sovereignty, over defence, macro economics, foreign policy, most taxes, industrial policy, etc. The list is endless.

      Being in the EU requires Scotland gives up about 10% of its sovereign powers, mostly over boring stuff like trade and regulations. But EU members get a lot back in return for that “sacrifice”, such as access to the free market and about 50 other markets worldwide as a result of EU trade deals.

      No need to respond here. Case closed.

      • Iain Stewart

        If I may be permitted a footnote: Scotland will need the EU as protection from England.

        • Hatuey

          Yes, Iain, and people forget the importance of being part of the EU when it comes to negotiating future relations with England. The likelihood is that we will be covered by some sort of free trade deal negotiated by Boris.

          The bottom line is that English threats of tariffs on Scottish exports to England are completely hollow. England won’t be in a position to impose tariffs on our exports.

          • Old Mark

            The likelihood is that we will be covered by some sort of free trade deal negotiated by Boris.

            Well that’s hardly good news- it is plain as a pikestaff that the EU will only grant a free trade deal to the UK in return for continued access to UK (and thus Scottish) fishing grounds. Maybot’s ‘red lines’ were and are disastrous in relation to negotiating tactics- needlessly taking the UK out of the single market by definition makes the UK supplicants when it comes to any trade deal, and fishing rights will be demanded by the EU as a quid pro quo as plainly as light follows day.

          • Hatuey

            Old Mark, that’s a fair enough point. But you forget that regardless of what Boris or England negotiates, an independent Scotland in the EU would be required to make concessions on fishing anyway. A small price to pay, as I see it, when you consider that a high percentage of fish industry exports from Scotland go to the continent.

      • Republicofscotland

        I have to say that I’m totally disgusted with the LBC radio presenter Maajid Nawaz, who said live on radio today, that Scottish independence would be bad for the world, but good for Putin.

        Who do these unionist mouthpieces think they are.

        • Squeeth

          Why not let everyone in the UK vote on its nature? If the denizens of England were enfranchised, Scotland and Nireland would be out in a jiffy.

          • Republicofscotland

            Nuclear weapons are bad for the world, pollution and global warming are bad for the world, why is an independent Scotland bad for the world?

            Of course the black hole that is London has been draining Scotland’s resources for centuries, which will be sorely missed when Scotland becomes independent again.

            Scottish independence is only bad for England, and that’s why the whole unionist established decry it night and day.

        • Tom Welsh

          “Who do these unionist mouthpieces think they are”.

          People on the up, who will be richer and more influential next year than they are now.

          All you have to do is sell your soul.

      • Tony

        The minor problem being that everybody pays through the arse for everything when they buy through the EU. It’s one giant ripoff.

    • kathy

      -The EU has no more use for an independent Scotland than England does- (sorry, quotation marks not working)

      Oh?

      The EU, like any other country would welcome Scotland with its glittering array of natural resources, like oil, renewable energy, vast tracts of water and fish, not to mention its highly educated and enlightened population with open arms. Modesty prevents me from mentioning all its other rare attributes. You speak utter shit.

    • SA

      I know, it is really heartbreaking to see labour go down that route. But at least he was there in the Yeltsin years. The real thing to go after is that money donated to Boris by the wife of an oligarch for a game of tennis.

    • Andyoldlabour

      Jack

      Labour are pathetic, so far removed from the party I used to vote for. They are now reduced to copying the US Democrat smears in order to make political gain, and I have no doubt the MSM will push this, even though they hate Johnson and Corbyn equally.
      Dominic Cummings, after leaving Uni, spent three years in Russia, helping to set up an airline service from Samara to Vienna – ultimately curtailed by the KGB.
      I suppose that having visited Iran several times, would rule me out of ever having a career in politics?

    • Dungroanin

      Try to keep perspective chaps. There is Russia (Putin) and there is Russia (Bowder).
      Also remember there is politics an election during which posturing will be deployed. As the DS goes into overdrive ABC mode, Off-G has two articles on them!

  • Vivian O'Blivion

    Oh, this is interesting. Labour candidate for Glasgow East is one Kate Watson. And what a cv.
    Paid functionary to ultra Blairite MP Douglas Alexander from 2010 to 2015 (the great Scottish Labour wipeout). Director of Operations for Better Together in 2014. Went on to work for Alexander’s consultancy Consequitur. A Masters degree from St Andrews University in Terrorism studies. The pièce de résistance …. a Specialist Reserve Officer in the 77th Brigade.

    https://theclarionmag.org/2018/06/02/glasgow-east-selection-the-inside-story-2/

    The Deep State thrives in Scottish Labour.

  • Tomonthebeach

    From across the pond, Farage looks like a political saboteur who brazenly misled his countrymen regarding the economic risks associated with Brexit, not to mention the national security impact as well. With Trump in the White House, looking to the USA as the UK’s backstop is about as dumb as trusting Farage in the first place. Trump is a lying con man whose only motivations for any behavior is exploitation. Doubtless Trump and his billionaire buddies (most are chums of Farage I might note), already have plans for buying up the UK for 10 pence on the pound. We Yanks might even reverse roles making the UK a US colony.

    Finally, I cannot stifle my urge to point out that the UK monarchy has shown itself to me as useless as a rubber crutch. Not only is the Royal family now a clown show titillated by Andrew’s whoring with children, but the Queen was too afraid of feeble-minded to stand up and say: “We have had quite enough of this tomfoolery about Brexit. We shall stay in the Union for the sake of our economy and our national sanity.”

    • Dave

      The deep state is based in City of London, hence the Steel dossier. Trump needs a British PM as an ally against the deep state.

      • Herbie

        “Trump needs a British PM as an ally against the deep state.”

        Both Trump and Boris are as deep state as it gets.

        What made you think otherwise?

    • jimmy

      Royal Family want Brexit as they want to protect the offshore money laundering business that liz in in charge of.

    • Bayard

      “We Yanks might even reverse roles making the UK a US colony.”
      I seem to recall that happened when your troops came to the UK in 1944 and never left. Just like the English in Ireland in the C13th, came to help, remained to occupy.

    • George McI

      “His father said he had always been on the ‘socialist spectrum’ but would be voting for the Conservatives at the election because Mr Corbyn ‘disgusts me’. ”

      Which is the whole point of the exercise. (on the ‘socialist spectrum’ my arse!)

      • N_

        His father Alastair Chambers – the man who was holding the camera and presumably benefited from the exclusive deal signed with the Sun “newspaper” – lives in Cheltenham and has been the director of 12 companies. These include firms working in the building and “development” trade, and seemingly also others involved with a gym and recycling. His current company In the Shire Ltd describes its area of business as “motion picture production activities”, i.e. filming.

        Any guesses for which large local employer in Cheltenham (or its employees) he may have had contracts with (or owed a favour to)?

        The idea that he is a former Labour supporter who doesn’t like Labour any more and is voting Tory instead is classic election propaganda. Apparently he is disgusted by Jeremy Corbyn, who he believes has somehow disrespected the SAS. He sounds like what in the army is called a “Walt”.

        Some buildings in the area, including gyms, doubtless have interesting features 🙂 I bet you know all the secrets, eh, Alastair, with your terribly powerful network of small companies and two grand (?) stuck in your back pocket from the Sun?

        The interest in Iran TV, Hamas and Hezbollah too! You gotta laugh!

  • Doghouse

    Tomonthebeech 22:54
    Of course he’s a lying conman he’s a politician – why do people find this concept so difficult to grasp preferring instead to attribute ethereal qualities to a candidate they misguidedly invest interest in? At the last US election just as with this UK election the question should not be who to vote for but rather ‘how did it come to this and why are they always so effing dishonest?’

    Hilary and her billionaire buddies wouldn’t also have an eye on this country’s infrastructure by any chance – she wouldn’t let a small thing like laying waste to what parts of the ME Obomber left standing get her way would she now? Here’s the lesson…..

    Not Hilary good Trump bad. Not Dems good Reps bad. All bad, that’s it.
    Dems bad, Reps bad, Cons bad, Labour bad, Libs toatlly shyte, Trump, Hilary, Obomber, Bush, Clinton, Bush, Johnson, Swinson, Corbyn, Sturgeon, May, Cameron, Brown, Blair yadda yadda all bad.

    All of them are there to represent major business and do not give a feck about the man in the street other than to get the mug to give his tick of approval. All are globalists controlled by one faction or another within that ethos and we currently witness in house positioning for ultimate control when, not if, that vision is completed.

    If there’s an answer I don’t have one. It’s a massive enterprise running a country and if the only ones that can get that done are the types that like their palms plenty greased and they are not shooting people in the streets maybe that’s the price we have to pay. Heck some monkeys tried to project manage my bathroom recently, what can go wrong did – if bunging them would have remedied incompetence I’d have done it. How much more difficult a country ….

    • Seb

      To Doghouse- You are right of course – we are outnumbered- but in the long term, evolutionary speaking, the majority is always wrong, cheers, Seb

      • Seb

        P.S. to Doghouse -Be careful though, I once had my dinghy behind a boat called Doghouse, Poor Doghouse had its transom sledgehammered in, -some difficulty over mooring fees. And then the owner was forced to chainsaw it up and burn it. Not a nice world.

          • Seb

            to Doghouse- Sorry, not meant as threat, Just nudging the discussion towards realising that its not all theoretical, there are real personal dangers out there. Not a threat but friendly advice. Just calling someone a monkey could land you in hospital. And it was a good boat, sound 3/4mahogany. I:ve still got the engine bearers,lovely close grained oak, soaked in diesel, last forever. It was:nt me wot dunnit! Just making the point that the world out there is not as the bbc would have it. Doghouse sunk at moorings and settled onto a massof old l;ive bullets tht must have been chucked in the river at the end of ww2. Environment agency?

  • Dave

    I admire Trump and Farage, but as a Britain and Ireland Unionist I support a healing soft-Brexit (stay in customs union for now) as I don’t want Britain to leave the EU just for Scotland and N.Ireland to leave Britain. The long term solution to the Irish border is for the Republic to leave the EU too.

    • giyane

      “The long term solution to the Irish border is for the Republic to leave the EU too.”

      But Ireland is ready to scoop up a lot of financial trade which is going to leave Britain because of brexit.
      i believe in making it difficult for the EU to meddle in the Middle East, If the people who earn their livings trading with the EU want to damage themselves , they have nobody but themselves to blame if their competitors benefit from their folly.

  • N_

    Here’s an interesting one: how about taking Boris Johnson to court for sitting on the Intelligence and Security Committee’s report into possible Russian interference in the 2016 Brexit referendum and the 2017 general election?

    Yes, the 2017 election. What was that all about then? Any guesses for which party Russian intelligence may have supported? (Chortle.)

    Does anyone fancy becoming the new Gina Miller? I can’t see any reason why the government’s delay isn’t justiciable. Of course they could claim national security – but let them do it in court.

    Why isn’t Jeremy Corbyn onto this? And the answer can’t be because of the Privy Council, because Dominic Grieve is onto it and he’s a Privy Counsellor too.

    • N_

      This is not going to go away.

      Who knows, maybe it will blow up four days before the election, as the Daily Mail’s “Zinoviev Letter” did in 1924?

      I suspect Jeremy Corbyn’s lack of public involvement derives not from weakness but from strength. As far as I am concerned, the dirtier the blows against the Tory scum the better.

  • David

    I was at the rally in George Square on Saturday. I was listening to Maggie Chapman telling everybody how independence was coming while I was reading my twitter feed and picking up the news that a Green candidate will be standing against Pete Wishart in the general election. Oh the irony of that moment. The crowd cheered Maggie Chapman but I just looked at my phone and thought about the insufferable media frenzy that bigged up Ruth Davidson after her first past the post victory in the Scottish Parliament election of 2016. I know I should be grateful for the existence of Green politics and their support for the independence cause just like I should be grateful for Green arithmetic where we get proof that 1 + 1 = -1.

    • N_

      @David

      -1/1 = 1/-1. Agreed?
      OK, so take square roots: sqrt (-1/1) = sqrt (1/-1)
      => sqrt(-1)/sqrt(1) = sqrt(1)/sqrt(-1)
      Cross-multiply: sqrt(-1)*sqrt(-1) = sqrt(1)*sqrt(1)
      => -1 = 1

      Why did you take your smartphone to a demonstration? Do you like GCHQ knowing what demos you go on, just in case all the other channels that they get information from (cameras, buses, cars, bank machines) somehow malfunction?

      • Hatuey

        “Do you like GCHQ knowing what demos you go on”

        LOL. Do you honestly think GCHQ cares? Really?

        • David

          (different David here)

          Yes, the matrix of intelligence agencies do care about acquiring people’s intimate data crumbs.

          it is the most power that they have ever had, they will be misusing that data. There is evidence.

          • giyane

            David

            What they know about you can only damage you if you regularly spend time inside a major corporation or educational institution . Corporations exercise massive blacklisting power.
            The mere presence of unanalysed and unproved data is very important for your career. You won’t be getting work in right-wing blinkered companies. This will be an enourmous advantage for your life in general and sanity.

          • David

            Thanks giyane, you are as often, highly accurate with your analysis!

            I’ve been for many years inside an enormous major corporation or educational institution, and I think I was only recruited here because I accidentally went to spy-school – many years ago, during the cold war. And lived a very neutral life after that, not being very interested in politics or radicalism, I still am not.

            Recently the matrix of intelligence agencies have already attempted to sabotage my career – accidentally again that wasn’t possible, as I was doing something that I was asked to do, but I am constantly being nudged to intimidate me, by either the Russian KGB or the our own dear KGB, and I rather suspect it is UKUSA flavor, as I can document to whomsoever wishes to know.

            yesterday’s ‘innovative’ hack attempt was hilarious!

            I bought recently the Udo Ulkotte book translated into English(*), from a large digital online outlet.
            And yesterday another standard package arrived from that large digital online outlet – it was sent from Spain, flown around Europe, trucked for days to my remote village – and opened by my family. And it was a potential illegal item, such that I will be registering the delivery as a crime with my local constabulary.

            I called the large digital online outlet, and ‘lo’ their amazing distribution system has no knowledge of any of the tracking codes that cover the brown cardboard package with a smile. Wow, “Russian” hackers again!

            (*) in case anyone missed the book that gets you targeted, hacked items after purchase, here’s the blurb

            The eagerly awaited English edition of “Bought Journalists” was suppressed for three years under the title “Journalists for Hire” — and still got 24 five-star-only Amazon reviews from would-be readers. 18 months on the bestseller list in Germany. Now it’s finally here!

            Ever get the feeling the media tries to manipulate or lie to you? You have plenty of company! And you are right — the facts are in. A world-class media insider has blown the whistle on what really goes on inside the media industry.

            Author Udo Ulfkotte was a respected journalist for 17 years with Germany’s newspaper of record, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. He begins this explosive exposé by first owning up to his own career, where he had to sell out to have the job. He then reveals the deceptive tricks and secret networks of power within the media. How perks are used to bribe journalists and opinion makers to twist their reporting. How the tone of corruption is set from the top — play along or quit. How the long arm of the NATO press office enrolls the media to get Europe to support more foreign wars.

            Ulfkotte names hundreds of names and gives you a behind-the-scenes look at the organizations that influence the German media with one-sided propaganda, such as The Atlantic Bridge, Trilateral Commission, German Marshall Fund, CFR, and Aspen Institute. He unmasks the intelligence agencies behind these lobbies groups and the propaganda techniques they use, such as US Embassy grants for projects to influence European public opinion.

            When the CIA holds the hand that holds the pen

            Would you be surprised to learn that spies sit and write articles in newspaper editorial offices? Which are then published on op-ed pages under the names of well-known journalists? Or which journalists receive bribes for their reporting? Have you heard how prestigious “journalism prizes” are a reward system for cooperation? Much as “Heroes of Labor” were honored for writing the best communist propaganda in the former East bloc. Seen from the inside, the difference between journalist and propagandist isn’t as far as you might like.

            The elite owners of the media feel it’s their right to think for us, and to mold public opinion to their agendas. Their Freedom of the Press is Freedom to Censor the news.

            Our nation depends on the media to understand our world, just as each one of us depends on our eyes and ears. The media are our senses. When they hide the truth, or lie to us, they put us all in danger.

            A million people died in Iraq, Libya and Syria because the press didn’t just report the news, didn’t just lie about the news, but they invented and sold the events that served as pretexts for wars. The author spent years in the Middle East, surviving an attack with chemical weapons supplied by US and German firms.

            This book is a veteran’s guide to the media spider’s web. It shows how the system works, sharpens your common sense skepticism, and increases your immunity to the controlled media’s attempts to do our thinking for us.

            You will gain a whole new perspective on media reports. A good idea of how much you can believe the news on TV or the radio: almost nothing. Ulfkotte dissects the German media establishment, which media outlets are owned by political parties, the journalists that are under their influence, and what keeps them there. You will see how whole countries are manipulated – and who is pulling the strings and why. Here is the bad news about the news: our idea of a free press with a broad spectrum of opinion is pure fantasy. Very often, what is called the “news” is simply brainwashing.

            Presstitutes Embedded in the Pay of the CIA: A Confession from the Profession (paperback) – 18 Oct 2019
            by Dr. Udo Ulfkotte (Author), John-Paul Leonard (Preface), Andrew Schlademan (translator)
            ISBN 978-1-61577-017-5

        • N_

          Who’d want to go on a demo with thousands of people all carrying NSA-GCHQ microwave trackers?

    • Hatuey

      “the insufferable media frenzy that bigged up Ruth Davidson after her first past the post victory in the Scottish Parliament election of 2016.”

      Davidson had a victory? You mean she won her own constituency?

  • Anne Mowat

    I am seeking official international OSCE observers for the next Scottish independence referendum.

    • N_

      @Anne – Why? Don’t you think there any people in Scotland who are honest enough to do the job?

      Wait a minute…who ran the Scottish government at the time of the first independence referendum? Were they… (shocked!) crooked?

      • Hatuey

        N, the 2014 referendum was “ran” by the British government and its totally discredited Electoral Commission. That’s the same Electoral Commission that has let the Tories away with about 25 counts of electoral fraud in the last 6 years.

        Funny how your fake radicalism towards the British State turns into patriotism when you discuss Scottish independence.

        “You what, you what, you what…”

        • N_

          Funny how your fake radicalism towards the British State turns into patriotism when you discuss Scottish independence.

          Your care for facts goes completely out of the window when you scream abuse against those who oppose your nationalism. There is absolutely no patriotism in what I said. People who oppose nationalism necessarily oppose Scottish nationalism. It’s as simple as that. If they happen not to be Scottish then that’s not the reason. To say otherwise is racist. It’s straightaway saying “You’re Welsh (or English, or whatever), therefore you would say things like that”. Opponents of Scottish independence (who incidentally include most Scots) have NOT got it in for the Scots. Everyone can see that, Hatuey, other than loony Scottish nationalists. You need to do a job on yourself to appreciate that everyone can see it. Those who insist on not seeing it could easily be throwing petrol bombs through the windows of Scotland’s national minorities with a few years.

          Is your last line a literary reference?

          • Hatuey

            There you go again. I think you used the word nationalist about five times in that short paragraph. But I don’t regard myself as a nationalist, however much you might insist I am — it’s a word that has negative connotations and I take it as an insult.

            It isn’t nationalist to want self determination and independence. It’s democratic. To oppose that in the context of the UK framework is actually a British nationalist stance which means you are the nationalist here.

            I really have no idea why you are talking about petrol bombs going through windows. I think you should relax.

            As for your second instalment below, there are plenty of English people living in Scotland and they are most welcome. I married one of them and she’s every bit as keen on Scottish independence as I am. Actually I’ve stopped caring.

            You seem to have been programmed to see the world in very simplistic, embittered, terms, one minute havering about nationalism, next minute petrol bombs, and below we see you talking about Pakistanis.

            There’s a very fine line between that communist junk you preach and national socialism and, looking at the language you repeatedly use and the tone, it wouldn’t surprise me to hear that you were once in the National Front or some such group. Or maybe that’s where you’re heading.

        • N_

          @Hatuey – Do you think an English immigrant to Scotland should have as much say about what happens in Scotland as a Scot who was born in Scotland and all of whose known forebears were too?

          Why is thinking “No” not equivalent to wanting to disenfranchise naturalised British Pakistanis?

    • N_

      I had to record the following statement from “an Environment Agency spokesman”: “At certain times of year we get a lot of calls about foam in rivers and still waters.”

      Yes mate, I’m sure you do. That statement encapsulates the total contempt that officials at every level, and practically the whole of the middle class and lower middle class, have in Britain for “members of the public”.

      “Oh yeah, seen some foam, have you, Missus? If you saw a firework you’d probably think it was a UFO.” Stupid morons who treat other people as if THEY were stupid morons. Welcome to Britain.

      I once reported a suspicious package at a railway station and got a similar response: contempt.

      There is so much hatred coming downwards in the social hierarchy in Britain that there is simply no way this country could stand up in war or economic collapse.

      Siegfried Sassoon’s WW1 poem “The Hero” is worth a re-read.

      “He’d told the poor old dear some gallant lies
      That she would nourish all her days, no doubt”.

      • N_

        “Oh yeah, saw three men in gas masks spraying chemicals out of fire extinguishers and everyone getting convulsions and then dropping dead, did you, missus?” (Thinks to himself: “Silly cow. These members of the public, eh? She probably saw some guy in an unusual hat and then someone else trip up a step.”)

  • Dungroanin

    So while the dead cat got bounced in the commons about the Russian interference report this report by the Scottish Charity people on the Institute of Statecraft and Integrity Initiative whooshs past unnoticed in Parliament.
    https://www.oscr.org.uk/media/3771/2019-10-31-statecraft-s33-report-pdf.pdf

    luckily MoonofAlabama is on it. Check it.

    Not a charity. Unusually salaried employees. Now de registered as charity andgone private.

    Never mind tge msm why didn’t Thornberry not mention it today – an open goal deliberately missed.

    • N_

      I haven’t had time to look at this one, but when a charity gets bought up and turned into a profit-making company that’s an interesting process. Assuming the charity is solvent a price has to be paid for it, and the money that is paid then has to continue to be used for charitable purposes. This is what happened to the Edexcel examination board in Britain, which was bought up by Pearson. The charity’s board can’t just say “Right everyone, we’re going to stop being a charity and start making a profit now”. But of course the new entity that is supposed to be charitable isn’t going to compete with the new profit-making entity. So it can be a case of “Oh please please, can someone think up some charitable stuff for us to do”. There’s also the question of how much should be paid for an entity that up until then wasn’t making a profit and wasn’t paying tax either. They love this kind of stuff in the City and at the “Big 4” accountancy firms.

      • Doghouse

        The problem for charities is as that faced by the public sector infrastructure. There is massive financial input to both and certain mindsets thus – “that money could be ours, should be ours”. With charities it appears ingenious methods are created in order to divert large amounts of cash from intended beneficiaries to others more worthy, all above board legally if not morally.

        I’d wager one might find a real interesting story in fund raising.

  • Wikikettle

    First you get EU into a country, then the EURO, then NATO. Ask the Balkans. Serbia is surrounded. Pity the ‘ Airial Denial’ afforded by S400
    now nearly stationed in Serbia can’t stop NATO’s growth. We are told that the European Project has prevented war in Europe. Yet it marches in step with NATO starting Wars and will eventually, I fear, go onto its ‘System of Alliances’ causing WW3, as those ‘Entente Cordials’ did to WW1…from the Balkans….

    • giyane

      Wikikettle

      The logic of the EU’s expansion into Eastern Europe is that it will extend its power over the Middle East Turkey Syria Lebanon and Iraq. That is the one and only reason I voted for Leave. The more armchairs, flowerpots, lampshades etc get thrown in its path of telling Muslims how to be Muslim through the western created Muslim Brotherhood, the better so far as I’m concerned. I fear Craig might like a tamed Islam but judging by Erdogan the Muslim Brotherhood is not qualified to tame anything. By definition and in practice its loyalties lie with the enemies of Islam.

      • Wikikettle

        Giyane. I bow to your knowledge of religion. I can see how distortion and how religion is used by power seekers. Yet the people also seem to have a need for identity, especially if they have nothing but wars inflicted on them because of the curse of oil. I will have to read up on Pan Arabism, the Baath party and Sufiism and anything else you suggest.

    • Dungroanin

      Wiki, can’t agree with you, The EU does NOT march in step with Atlantic Bridging Nato Imperialists – didn’t in the Iraq or Syrian escapades and isn’t with Ukraine and Kurds.

      Or have you forgotten of the ‘cheese eating surrender monkeys’ and ‘freedom’ fries?

      Giyane,
      The EU’s economic security (therefore ALL its future security) is clearly best served by a closer EU/EurAsian trading arrangements – this is underpinned by the network of energy supply – the natural gas pipeline grid which ensures a low priced secure supply which has been heavily invested in by European energy companies in partnership with Gazprom etc. That SCO Eurasian block already contains many muslim nations. Should we really leave the greatest voluntary rule based trading block that will ever exist and will give us resource and energy security? Rather than relying on Yankee fracked ‘freedom’ gas to be paid in their defunct $$$?

      There is no use crying about the diminishing of the long past its use by date – nato – which should have collapsed with the Berlin Wall and USSR instead of turning into the equivalent of a cross between, a lying cheating gobby drunken old patriarchal bully boy gangster and a manipulative sleighted Miss Havisham!

      While i’m multitasking the Groaniad has failed to publish todays panel of Steve Bell’s ‘If’ which is … not surprising (check it at his belltoons site instead).

      The unworthy publication waves a few fig leaf journos and a single pro Labour editorial (not a crumb on the cheating charity IoS and their total lack of integrity initiative coverage – why is codwalldr not frogmarched out of the building ? Why have the employees of the rag not sent her and the others implicated to ‘coventry’? – come on you guardianista employees do you approve of being the handmaidens of such reactionary manipulation??)

      • Wikikettle

        Dungroanin, I hope you are right and I am wrong. The EU supports sanctions which are not authorized by the UN. It won’t sanction Israel. It’s leaders are all neoliberal supporting US. The irony is that Trump is under siege for trying to change policy of interventions. I am glad Tulsi and Rand Paul are getting the truth to him.

    • Vivian O'Blivion

      Very much under the radar given our Brexit fixation and Trump impeachment, Germany Defence Minister, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer has been calling for direct EU military intervention in Northern Syria. Boots on the ground in fact. That’s a specific, AKK is pushing for an active, interventionist EU posturing in general. Turkey has all but parted from NATO and Germany is signaling a European centric focus (Nordstream pragmatism v’s Washington dogmatism).

      • michael norton

        Indeed Vivian, Turkey has all but parted from Nato, no longer to be a part of the most massive Military Programme, of all time – F-35

        I suspect Erdogan got the arse when an American ochestrated coup d’etat
        tried to overthrow his twisted regime.

        • Wikikettle

          Erdogan is in trouble at home. Turkey was booming economically. He had grand ideas with the Brotherhood.. The EU played him along with no intention of admitting him. He overcame the old pro NATO Military and Judicial establishment at home.Only to support jihadist destroy Syria. I think Russia made a big mistake selling him S400. He will never leave NATO. Turkeys geographical position in relation to Russia’s access to warm water will used as leverage. He was wise to buy S400 knowing he could’nt cancel F35 without big financial penalties. He banked on US stopping F35 – now already outdated, not stealt at all. He is a fox cornered. and will cause problems for Syria to divert attention at home.

  • Wikikettle

    The hope was that the Kurds would join forces with the Government and accept limited autonomy, instead it seems their leadership has again been seduced by EU and US promises. They keep making the same mistake.

      • Wikikettle

        Its very complicated. Israel has always supported the Kurds and helped the Jihadists (as we have) against Syria. Turkey is using these Jihadists in front lines against Kurds and Syria ! Russia is on back foot because of trumps withdrawal in North. US military is hoping NATO Turkey will clash against Russia. New US bases in East around oil fields will continue to strangle Syria. Hope for liberation of Syria from US, Jihadists and Turkey premature. The Kurdish leadership have again chosen oil and power over loyalty to secular Syria.

  • michael norton

    Wow, he has gone.

    Deputy leader of the Labour party and nonce finder general is no longer an MP
    that must be a great relief to Jeremy Corbyn.

    • Wikikettle

      Hopefully he will now go to Palestine and help the long suffering people in Gaza and highlight their brutal repression.

      • Wikikettle

        As should Hilary Benn go to Syria and highlight the actual makeup, funding, origins of the jihadist ‘rebels’. Not really doing much for Labour here.

        • Hatuey

          Good comments, wiki. I’ll never forget the speech Benn gave in the Commons that day in favour of attacking Syria. Quite staggering when you think of the mess they made in Iraq, with the usual references to appeasement and WWII etc.

          The scary thing is they seem able to convince themselves that bombing and destroying countries like Iraq, Syria, Libya, etc., is the moral and right thing to do.

          Yet, you’d struggle to find an example in all history supporting the argument that bombing is ever effective never mind moral. The British should know that better than anyone — The blitz, intended to demoralise and break the will of the British people, had the opposite effect.

          • glenn_uk

            Oh yes, Benn (the lessor)’s “Give War a Chance!” speech. Which was immediately hailed as the most brilliant speech, splendid in its searing oratory, positively Churchillian – nay, almost Christ-like in its magnificence!

            I was quite stunned at such praise from all sides (both Red and Blue Tory), and was expecting some resounding rhetoric unmatched even by MLK. Imagine my disappointment to hear nothing but a rather short bluster in praise of a bit more bombing of an already heavily beset tiny country!

          • Wikikettle

            Hatuey, Indeed, Its very hard for me to get worked up about domestic issues when our own population has little or no Empathy for the consequences of our governments wars overseas. The Presstitutes, Lord and Lady Haw-Haw’s, so called Labour MP sellouts, all on the gravy train. I am wary of both Nationalism as well as the EU Club. Jeremy has hardly any reliable Cabinet candidates to pick. I did however get cheered hearing Tulsi Gabbard speak the truth.

          • Hatuey

            Lol @ give War a chance

            If I remember correctly, the proposal was defeated that day and he made a slime bag of himself for nothing.

            And I agree, wiki, the terrible things we do abroad, the turmoil and torment we cause for essentially innocent people, outweighs everything in domestic politics.

            If there’s an argument against that it’s that by ousting certain bastards here — and radically altering our politics — we might curtail them and the misery they sow abroad but that seems like an unrealistic and naive thing to say these days.

            I go back to things Craig Murray’s said though about Scottish independence and the break-up of the UK. Success here would definitely undermine them. They’d lose their permanent seat on the security council and without the cloak of Britannia they’d look and I’m sure feel a lot weaker in the world.

            The British state is managed by sociopathic animals. And we should never forget that. They have centuries of form.

            And, odd as it sounds, I don’t think they fear Scottish independence as much as they fear English independence and the prospect of facing the world weakened, without the symbolism of Britishness and the lie that they represent anything more than a cabal of murderous rogues.

          • Wikikettle

            Hatuey. Yes. The UN HQ has to move from US. They prevented people attending proceedings ! Remove
            the veto and get rid of the Permanent Five and have majority voting for resolutions. Yes, and pigs could fly…but if they don’t we are screwed. There is already gossip that Deutsche Bank might go bust. In which case nothing matters any more. Our fantasy life styles floating on a sea of others blood are about to capsize.

      • Ken Kenn

        No – not really.

        Reading between the lines Watson has got a few good jobs lined up like most MPs who are stepping down.

        Somehow I can’t see Watson leaping on as a conductor on the Jeremy Corbyn Battle bus.

        The Swinson one – just maybe.

        The stand downers do remind me of the shirt kissers in football who swear fealty to the club and transfer two months later.

        My hero Mick Doyle would have chinned many players for that kind of attitude.

        My other hero Bill Shankly would have just shook his head in disgust.

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