London Will Never Give Independence – We Must Take It 797


Yesterday the Scottish Government published “Scotland’s Right to Choose“, its long heralded paper on the path to a new Independence referendum. It is a document riven by a basic intellectual flaw. It sets out in detail, and with helpful annexes, that Scotland is a historic nation with the absolute and inalienable right of self-determination, and that sovereignty lies not in the Westminster parliament but with the Scottish people.

It then contradicts all of this truth by affirming, at length, in detail, and entirely without reservation, that Scotland can only hold a legitimate Independence referendum if the Westminster Parliament devolves the power to do so under Section 30.

Both propositions cannot be true. Scotland cannot be a nation with the right of self-determination, and at the same time require the permission of somebody else to exercise that self-determination.

I was trying to find the right words to discuss the document. One possibility was “schizophrenic”. The first half appears to be written by somebody with a fundamental belief in Scottish Independence, and contains this passage:

The United Kingdom is best understood as a voluntary association of nations, in keeping with the principles of democracy and self‑determination.

For the place of Scotland in the United Kingdom to be based on the people of Scotland’s consent, Scotland must be able to choose whether and when it should make a decision about its future.

The decision whether the time is right for the people who live in Scotland again to make a choice about their constitutional future is for the Scottish Parliament, as the democratic voice of Scotland, to make.

Yet the rest of the paper completely negates this proposition and instead argues that the necessary powers must be granted by the Westminster Parliament:

The Scottish Government is committed to agreeing a process for giving effect to its mandate for a further independence referendum. When they make a decision about their future, the people of Scotland must do so in the knowledge that their decision will be heard and respected and given effect to: not just by the government in Scotland, but also by the UK Government, by the European Union and by the international community.

For a referendum to have this legitimacy, it must have the confidence of all of those that it would effect. This means not just the UK Government acknowledging and respecting the Scottish Government’s mandate, but the Scottish Government and UK Government seeking to agree the proper lawful basis for the referendum to take place.

We call on the UK Government to enter discussions about the Scottish Government’s mandate for giving the people of Scotland a choice, and to agree legislation with the Scottish Government that would put beyond doubt the Scottish Parliament’s right to legislate for a referendum on independence.

I am frequently told that this paper is all just a cunning ploy, and that when the Tory Government rejects – as it will reject – this servile request to grant Scotland the powers to hold a referendum, the Scottish Government will go to court to say it has the right to a referendum.

If that really is the cunning plan, it is the most stupid cunning plan since Baldrick and his turnip. In what way does publishing an official Scottish Government paper which states explicitly that a referendum “must have” the agreement of the UK government to be legitimate, prepare the ground to go to court and argue the precise opposite? Plainly that is not the intent here.

Nicola Sturgeon’s speech presenting the paper made the acceptance of a veto from “the rest of the UK” on the holding of a second referendum even more explicit:

It is based on the solemn right of the people of Scotland to decide their own future.

The Scottish Government believes that right should be exercised free from the threat of legal challenge.

In line with our values, we acknowledge that a referendum must be legal and that it must be accepted as legitimate, here in Scotland and the rest of the UK as well as in the EU and the wider international community.

We are therefore today calling for the UK Government to negotiate and agree the transfer of power that would put beyond doubt the Scottish Parliament’s right to legislate for a referendum on independence.

And what does Ms Sturgeon plan to do when Boris Johnson just says no, as he assuredly will? To be fair to Nicola, she could not have been clearer about what she intends to do. Absolutely nothing different.

Of course, I anticipate that in the short term we will simply hear a restatement of the UK government’s opposition.

But they should be under no illusion that this will be an end of the matter.

We will continue to pursue the democratic case for Scotland’s right to choose.

We will do so in a reasonable and considered manner.

So this is the Sturgeon plan: in the short term, we accept Johnson can block Independence. Beyond the short term (how many years is that?) we do nothing except continue in democratic politics as the SNP already is, operating at Holyrood and putting before Scottish voters “the democratic case for Scotland’s right to choose”, while accepting Westminster’s veto. This will have the pleasant side effect of keeping Ms Sturgeon living very nicely indeed in Bute House, with her husband picking up a massive salary as CEO of the Party, and the SNP just like the last five years doing nothing whatsoever about Independence other than occasionally blether about it, “pursuing the democratic case”, while very explicitly accepting Westminster’s veto.

The truth is there is no route to a referendum by legal challenge in the UK courts. The UK Supreme Court has already ruled that Westminster, the “Crown in Parliament” is sovereign, that the Sewell Convention has no legal force and that any powers that the Scottish parliament has, and indeed the very existence of the Scottish Parliament, is entirely at the gift of Westminster. The clue is on the tin. It is the UK Supreme Court. To be fair the Scottish Government paper plainly does not anticipate any such pointless legal challenge, though it is not inconceivable that one may be futilely undertaken at some stage to keep the SNP’s pro-Independence activists happy, by pretending to do something and kicking Indy yet a few months further down the road.

Because the truth is, that is the purpose of the current Scottish Government paper. The reason it is schizophrenic is that it is a deeply dishonest document. All the stuff at the beginning, about Scotland’s ancient right as a nation and the sovereignty residing in the Scottish people, is no more and no less than window dressing to keep Scottish Independence activists happy. The actual meat of the paper, that Indyref2 “must have” Westminster agreement or it is not legitimate, sits there like a great steaming turd whose stink cannot be disguised no matter how much the SNP leadership has tried to conceal it under flowers.

I have to say, I am astonished how many very decent people in the SNP have fallen for the trick.

The Scottish Government position is fundamentally incorrect. The Independence of a nation is a matter of international law, not of domestic legislation. The UN Charter enshrines the right of self-determination of peoples, and nobody has argued that the Scots are not a people in the encapsulated sense.

It is perfectly normal for States to become Independent without the permission of the state from which they are seceding. The UK Government itself argued precisely this position before the International Court of Justice over Kosovo. I here repeat a post I wrote almost exactly one year ago setting out the legal position:

BEGINS

The London Supreme Court last week not only confirmed that the Westminster Parliament could overrule at will any Scottish Government legislation, irrespective of the Scotland Act and the Sewell Convention, but it also ruled that Westminster had already successfully done so, by retrospectively passing provisions in the EU (Withdrawal) Act that overruled the Bill on the same subject, within the competence of the Scottish Parliament, that had already been passed by Holyrood.

Not content with that, the London Supreme Court confirmed that London ministers may, by secondary legislation, under the Scotland Act decree laws for Scotland that are not even passed through the Westminster parliament.

Which leaves Scotland in this extraordinary situation. English MPs or English ministers in their London Parliament can, at any time, impose any legislation they choose on Scotland, overriding Scotland’s parliament and Scotland’s representation in the London parliament. Yet, under the English Votes for English Laws rules of the London Parliament introduced by the Tories in 2015, Scottish MPs cannot vote at all on matters solely affecting England.

That is plainly a situation of colonial subservience.

I am firmly of the view that the Scottish government should now move to withdraw from the Treaty of Union. Scotland’s right to self determination is inalienable. It cannot be signed away forever or restricted by past decisions.

The Independence of a country is not a matter of domestic law it is a matter of international law. The right of the Scottish Parliament to declare Independence may not be restricted by UK domestic law or by purported limitations on the powers of the Scottish Parliament. The legal position is set out very clearly here:

5.5 Consistent with this general approach, international law has not treated the legality of
the act of secession under the internal law of the predecessor State as determining the effect
of that act on the international plane. In most cases of secession, of course, the predecessor
State‟s law will not have been complied with: that is true almost as a matter of definition.

5.6 Nor is compliance with the law of the predecessor State a condition for the declaration
of independence to be recognised by third States, if other conditions for recognition are
fulfilled. The conditions do not include compliance with the internal legal requirements of
the predecessor State. Otherwise the international legality of a secession would be
predetermined by the very system of internal law called in question by the circumstances in
which the secession is occurring.

5.7 For the same reason, the constitutional authority of the seceding entity to proclaim
independence within the predecessor State is not determinative as a matter of international
law. In most if not all cases, provincial or regional authorities will lack the constitutional
authority to secede. The act of secession is not thereby excluded. Moreover, representative
institutions may legitimately act, and seek to reflect the views of their constituents, beyond
the scope of already conferred power.

That is a commendably concise and accurate description of the legal position. Of major relevance, it is the legal opinion of the Government of the United Kingdom, as submitted to the International Court of Justice in the Kosovo case. The International Court of Justice endorsed this view, so it is both established law and the opinion of the British Government that the Scottish Government has the right to declare Independence without the agreement or permission of London and completely irrespective of the London Supreme Court.

I have continually explained on this site that the legality of a Declaration of Independence is in no sense determined by the law of the metropolitan state, but is purely a matter of recognition by other countries and thus acceptance into the United Nations. The UK Government set this out plainly in response to a question from a judge in the Kosovo case:

2. As the United Kingdom stated in oral argument, international law contains no
prohibition against declarations of independence as such. 1 Whether a declaration of
independence leads to the creation of a new State by separation or secession depends
not on the fact of the declaration but on subsequent developments, notably recognition
by other States. As a general matter, an act not prohibited by international law needs
no authorization. This position holds with respect to States. It holds also with respect
to acts of individuals or groups, for international law prohibits conduct of non-State
entities only exceptionally and where expressly indicated.

As I have stressed, the SNP should now be making a massive effort to prepare other countries, especially in the EU and in the developing world, to recognise Scotland when the moment comes. There is no task more important. There is a worrying lack of activity in this area. It may currently not be possible to spend government money on sending out envoys for this task, but if personal envoys were endorsed by the First Minister they would get access and could easily be crowd funded by the Independence Movement. I am one of a number of former senior British diplomats who would happily undertake this work without pay. We should be lobbying not just the EU but every country in Africa, Asia and South America.

My preferred route to Independence is this. The Scottish Parliament should immediately legislate for a new Independence referendum. The London Government will attempt to block it. The Scottish Parliament should then convene a National Assembly of all nationally elected Scottish representatives – MSPs, MPs and MEPs. That National Assembly should declare Independence, appeal to other countries for recognition, reach agreements with the rump UK and organise a confirmatory plebiscite. That is legal, democratic and consistent with normal international practice.

There will never be a better time than now for Scotland to become an Independent, normal, nation once again. It is no time for faint hearts or haverers; we must seize the moment.

ENDS

Events since I wrote that have made the case still stronger. With the UK now leaving the European Union, EU states will be extremely eager to recognise Scottish Independence and get Scotland and its resources back inside the EU, while sending out a strong message that leaving the EU can have severe consequences. At the UN, the UK’s repudiation of the International Court of Justice ruling and overwhelming General Assembly mandate over the Chagos Islands has made the UK even more of a pariah state, while senior statesmen in the developing world see Scottish Independence as a wedge issue to open the question of the UK’s ridiculous permanent membership of the UN Security Council.

The claim that to proceed to Independence without Westminster consent is illegal and illegitimate lies at the heart of this truly disgraceful Scottish Government paper. That claim is wrong at every level.

You cannot both believe that the Scots are a people with the right of self-determination, and believe that Westminster has a right to veto that self-determination.

This paper by the Scottish Government is nothing more and nothing less than proof that the gradualists who sadly head the SNP are perfectly happy operating within the devolution system and have no intention of ever paying any more than lip service to Independence.

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797 thoughts on “London Will Never Give Independence – We Must Take It

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  • Richard B

    Craig – I have no axe to grind in the independence debate, other than a general belief that peoples should have the right to self-determination.

    I have seen the breakdown of voting by age at this site http://www.progressivepulse.org/economics/15329 and wondered why the SNP seem to be losing the votes of younger people. Are the SNP seen as not radical enough, too comfortable as you have said? Or do they not have the desire for independence?

    • Courtenay Barnett

      I had some direct and personal experience with a Hungarian Diplomat and a Hungarian journalist over the question of Eretria at the time that Mengistu had taken power in Ethiopia. The debate centred on the issue under International Law that the provision of UN Resolution 1514 do not fluctuate based on the political expediencies of the situation ( i.e. at the time Mengistu was pro-Soviet Union and before Eritrea was viewed in a different light under Haile Selassie).

      So – to Scotland and let us read what 1514 actually says:-

      Adopted by the UN General Assembly Resolution 1514 (XV), 14 December 1960

      The General Assembly,
      Mindful of the determination proclaimed by the peoples of the world in the Charter of the United Nations to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small and to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,
      Conscious of the need for the creation of conditions of stability and well-being and peaceful and friendly relations based on respect for the principles of equal rights and self-determination of all peoples, and of universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion,
      Recognizing the passionate yearning for freedom in all dependent peoples and the decisive role of such peoples in the attainment of their independence.
      Aware of the increasing conflicts resulting from the denial of or impediments in the way of the freedom of such peoples, which constitute a serious threat to world peace,
      Considering the important role of the United Nations in assisting the movement for independence in Trust and Non-Self-Governing Territories,
      Recognising that the peoples of the world ardently desire the end of colonialism in all its manifestations,
      Convinced that the continued existence of colonialism prevents the development of international economic co-operation, impedes the social, cultural and economic development of dependent peoples and militates against the United Nations ideal of universal peace,
      Affirming that peoples may, for their own ends, freely dispose of their natural wealth and resources without prejudice to any obligations arising out of international economic co-operation, based upon the principle of mutual benefit, and international law,
      Believing that the process of liberation is irresistible and irreversible and that, in order to avoid serious crises, an end must be put to colonialism and all practices of Segregation and discrimination associated therewith,
      Welcoming the emergence in recent years of a large number of dependent territories into freedom and independence, and recognizing the increasingly powerful trends towards freedom in such territories which have not yet attained independence,
      Convinced that all peoples have an inalienable right to complete freedom, the exercise of their sovereignty and the integrity of their national territory,
      Solemnly proclaims the necessity of bringing to a speedy and unconditional end colonialism in all its forms and manifestations;
      And to this end Declares that:

      1. The subjection of peoples to alien subjugation, domination and exploitation constitutes a denial of fundamental human rights, is contrary to the Charter of the United Nations and is an impediment to the promotion of world peace and co-operation.

      2. All peoples have the right to self-determination; by virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.

      3. Inadequacy of political, economic, social or educational preparedness should never serve as a pretext for delaying independence.

      4. All armed action or repressive measures of all kinds directed against dependent peoples shall cease in order to enable them to exercise peacefully and freely their right to complete independence, and the integrity of their national territory shall be respected.

      5. Immediate steps shall be taken, in Trust and Non-Self-Governing Territories or all other territories which have not yet attained independence, to transfer all powers to the peoples of those territories, without any conditions or reservations, in accordance with their freely expressed will and desire, without any distinction as to race, creed or colour, in order to enable them to enjoy complete independence and freedom.

      6. Any attempt aimed at the partial or total disruption of the national unity and the territorial integrity of a country is incompatible with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations.

      7. All States shall observe faithfully and strictly the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the present Declaration on the basis of equality, non- interference in the internal affairs of all States, and respect for the sovereign rights of all peoples and their territorial integrity.

      • Richard B

        Answered the wrong question I think. Why under the age breakdowns do Labour get a majority of seats among the young and the SNP among the older groups?

          • Richard B

            Did you look at the graphic? They may want independence, but maybe don’t trust the SNP to deliver?

        • Cubby

          Richard B

          Maybe they haven’t learned the lesson yet – Labour is a wasted vote. It has been estimated that approx 40% of Labour supporters in Scotland would vote for independence. Hard to see anyone voting Conservative who wants independence but you do get people who claim to be right wing Conservative voters who want independence.

          The biased media of course only mention that some voters who vote SNP do not want independence.

  • J

    It seems to me Craig is facing a dilemma. A Boris Johnson government is the best recruiting sergeant for Scottish independence imaginable, frankly, there couldn’t be better one. But his premiership is very likely the result of fraud. The last election ‘result’ is a ticking time bomb for everyone in UK politics, but which of them know it?

    • John Pretty

      J with respect, I don’t quite follow your point here. I would agree that a Johnson government may be a good recruiting sergeant for independence as you put it, but “down here” in England there is no escaping the monster.

      I have been extremely disturbed by the implications of the Queen’s Speech (which is basically where the Queen is forced to read the government’s intentions for the coming term) and in which there are plans afoot to reform the secrecy laws.

      Alan Rusbridger ( former editor of the Guardian) tweeted on 20th December:

      “Watch out for the reform of official secrecy. Expect to see an effective ban on any kind of meaningful national security reporting and long jail sentences (& no public interest defence) for journalists who “offend” “

      I think this has very scary implications for Scottish nationalists and those who want to view Russia as a friendly country and those who do not accept government narratives on Syria and other matters involving the security state.

      I baulked at the description of Johnson’s government as “far right”, but I am wondering if I need to revise my opinion.

      • Ken Kenn

        This is the lack of the defence of Julian Assange a creepin’ up on the Tweety Pie media.

        The MSM always reminds me of the much lauded ‘Markets ‘

        They are promoted in the public sphere as leaders of change/ innovation and dynamism as if they create events rather than follow them or react to them.

        Both are followers – not leaders and it may explain their envy of someone like Assange.

        He reminds the MSM every day as to what they should be doing but are too scared to do – namely findout facts in the public interest and report them.

        During the election Laura Kuenssberg and many other ‘ reporters/journalists ‘ may as well have been Mobile BBC Phone Masts because all they were doing were waiting for Tweets from CCHQ and then relaying them to the News presenters in the studio who then relayed them to the watching people.

        There are children of eight who do that with their mates every day of the week.

        I wouldn’t describe them as hard hitting journalists – they just chat.

        I’m still puzzled as to how Laura Kuenssberg got to know what the postal vote results were?

        More to the point – who were the people who told her and how the hell did they know?

        If they did know should they not expect a knock on the door from the police?

        Sorry- I forgot we are living in a Hard Right world now.

        As someone say’s above this election result may come back to haunt some people in the future.

        For the media today the tale is about one of their own with the sentencing of the Saudi ‘ Rogue ‘ killers.

        Brutal stuff Guardian Readers but nowhere near as brutal as to what is happening to the Yemeni’s.

        It’s still going on but is not reported.

        It will ruin the Arms Sales so be quite.

        I’m sure Johnson will pay a homage – sorry a visit when he’s torn himself away from Mr Lebedev.

        He has got a rather full Diary “Doing Brexit ” ( whatever that means ? ) so it’s to be expected.

        • John Pretty

          “I’m still puzzled as to how Laura Kuenssberg got to know what the postal vote results were?”

          Ken, I got criticised strongly for defending her on this. She did not actually say she had the results, only that she had been told informally – by the people doing the counting – that labour wasn’t doing very well.

          I don’t want to see journalists jailed or prosecuted in the course of their jobs. Even if they are doing a bad job or even if they have connections to the security services (as some certainly do).

          As a matter of principle the state should not imprison journalists. That is my view. If Rusbridger is right then Boris is going to enact laws to do just that.

          • Laguerre

            Nobody, absolutely nobody, should have been looking at what the postal votes were, before closure of polls. It’s illegal. What Kuenssberg did was illegal, as far as I know. Not on freedom of journalism law, but electoral law.

          • nevermind

            This would be a reason for a totally Independent not for profit Electoral Commission to stop all postal voting in future. It has been seen and used as a manipulative tool in places like Blackburn and Birmingham.
            I’m sure that the Irish metjhod of visiting those too invalid/ill or disabled to cast their vote is a good way to enable everyone
            If you go on holiday you can leave a proxy vote with friends or family, but if you are able to walk to the ballot box you have no reason to ask for a postal vote.

          • Laguerre

            Yes, it is bizarre how Johnson and the First Girlfriend have gone straight for the elite life of privilege, only a week after the announcement of the People’s Government. Nicolas Sarkozy did that, first holiday after election was in Martha’s Vineyard. That did not go down well with the French. He began to lose it there and then, and things only went downhill afterwards. Pity the English are so tolerant.

        • Alex Westlake

          When postal votes are opened, the candidates’ election agents are allowed to observe. The staff verify that the vote is legitimate, remove the ballot paper from the envelope and place it face down in a tray. While counting can only begin when polls close, the agents are able to get a glance at enough ballot papers to know how things are going, and they will have done it for previous elections so they can make comparisons.

          It’s significant that Laura K said she was getting the same picture from both sides. She shouldn’t have broadcast it and the agents shouldn’t have talked to her, but that’s how they knew

          • Laguerre

            “the agents are able to get a glance at enough ballot papers to know how things are going, “

            It is that that is illegal. The staff are supposed to put the ballots face down without looking.

    • Courtenay Barnett

      So J and John Pretty – go on and have the debate:-

      “I think this has very scary implications for Scottish nationalists and those who want to view Russia as a friendly country and those who do not accept government narratives on Syria and other matters involving the security state.”

      • John Pretty

        Courtenay it is not only the secrecy laws that are up for reform. The Guardian reported the following on 19th December:

        “A third new element was the promise of “espionage legislation”, which would include introducing a new Official Secrets Act. The current legislation is more than a century old and needs updating to deal with “hostile states”, according to the government. They could also look at introducing a register of foreign agents operating in the UK and updating the treason laws.

        Human rights groups expressed reservations about plans to review the possibility of reviving the offence of treason, which dates back to 1351 and was last used to prosecute the Nazi propagandist William Joyce, or Lord Haw-Haw, after the second world war. Clare Collier, advocacy director at Liberty, said: “Creating new criminal offences is rarely justified and existing laws already define hostile state activity extremely broadly.” “

        Presumably “hostile state activity” could potentially include activists pushing for Scottish independence. And I can’t see RT (which is probably where I get most of my news from) surviving this government legislation. Certainly their journalists are likely to have – at the very least – to register as foreign agents.

  • Tarla

    The Scottish government has every right to hold a referendum without having to ask the Westminster government. An international precedence is Norway’s succession from Sweden.

    “The dissolution of the union (Bokmål: Unionsoppløsningen; Nynorsk: Unionsoppløysinga; Landsmål: Unionsoppløysingi; Swedish: Unionsupplösningen) between the kingdoms of Norway and Sweden under the House of Bernadotte, was set in motion by a resolution of the Norwegian Parliament (the Storting) on 7 June 1905. Following some months of tension and fear of war between the neighbouring nations – and a Norwegian plebiscite held on 13 August which overwhelmingly backed dissolution – negotiations between the two governments led to Sweden’s recognition of Norway as an independent constitutional monarchy on 26 October 1905. On that date, King Oscar II renounced his claim to the Norwegian throne, effectively dissolving the United Kingdoms of Sweden and Norway, and this event was swiftly followed, on 18 November, by the accession to the Norwegian throne of Prince Carl of Denmark, taking the name of Haakon VII.The geographic, economic and language ties between Norway and Sweden are as intimate as those between the Great Russians and many other Slav nations.

    From Lenin’s Right of Nations to self determination.

    “But the union between Norway and Sweden was not a voluntary one, and in dragging in the question of “federation” Rosa Luxemburg was talking at random, simply because she did not know what to say. Norway was ceded to Sweden by the monarchs during the Napoleonic wars, against the will of the Norwegians; and the Swedes had to bring troops into Norway to subdue her.

    Despite the very extensive autonomy which Norway enjoyed (she had her own parliament, etc.), there was constant friction between Norway and Sweden for many decades after the union, and the Norwegians strove hard to throw off the yoke of the Swedish aristocracy. At last, in August 1905, they succeeded: the Norwegian parliament resolved that the Swedish king was no longer king of Norway, and in the referendum held later among the Norwegian people, the overwhelming majority (about 200,000 as against a few hundred) voted for complete separation from Sweden. After a short period of indecision, the Swedes resigned themselves to the fact of secession.

    This example shows us on what grounds cases of the secession of nations are practicable, and actually occur, under modern economic and political relationships, and the form secession sometimes assumes under conditions of political freedom and democracy”.

    Why is Sturgeon dragging her feet? Is it because she doesn’t want to upset the English? The vast majority of English people say, ‘I don’t blame the Scots for wanting to leave this shithole of a United Kingdom’ or they say ‘good riddance’ as their English national chauvinism spews out. Maybe, Sturgeon is getting cold feet due to the leftward push from the working class that they fear may lead the SNP to go to places they don’t want to go i.e the working class pushing for a socialist republic as advocated by James Connolly and James Maclean. Which is the question that should be posed.

    • John Pretty

      “Why is Sturgeon dragging her feet? Is it because she doesn’t want to upset the English?”

      I would say no. And as someone who is half Scottish but who is happy to generally identify as English I would certainly hope not.

      I don’t think a lot of people down here in England give Scotland much thought to be honest, particularly if they have no personal connection to Scotland.

      I think Nicolas Sturgeon is right to be cautious, but certainly this Tory government is one which most Scots will want to be free of.

      And at least I might have the option of emigrating to Scotland – I regrettably miss out on the possibility of being an Irish citizen by one generation.

      • Brianfujisan

        John

        Of course You, and many others will be Welcome in Scotland…

        Do you really stand by this Quote –

        ” I don’t want to see journalists jailed or prosecuted in the course of their jobs. Even if they are doing a bad job or even if they have connections to the security services (as some certainly do).”

        How many, and Ongoing are Dead / dying because of MSM lies.. BBC. ect .

        Perhaps the Only Journalist’s you would like to see tortured are ones like Julian.

        • John Pretty

          Brian,

          I have written to Julian Assange to express my support for him and I was privileged received a reply from him.

          As a matter of principle I do not want to see ANY journalists prosecuted, tortured or imprisoned.

          • John Pretty

            The point I am trying to convey is that is it not journalists who are the problem as such. They are the message carriers, they are not the ones making the decisions.

            It is not desirable to start jailing and imprisoning journalists and publishers. Any of them. Press freedom may be ugly a lot of the time, but vital for a functioning democracy.

            It is not the MSM that kills and wrongfully imprisons people. it is corrupt states, governments and regimes.

            I hope that is clear 🙂

          • George McI

            “It is not the MSM that kills and wrongfully imprisons people. it is corrupt states, governments and regimes.”

            It is the MSM that justifies it all. The job of the MSM is to create the necessary illusion for the corrupt states, governments and regimes to function as they do.

          • John Pretty

            @ George: I am not defending bad or lazy journalism in the MSM.

            But many journalists who work within it are honest and decent people just trying to do their jobs.

            Many of the Tories apparently hate the BBC as much as many people here do. This was reported by the Guardian on 9th December:

            “Boris Johnson has threatened to take the BBC’s licence fee away, as he called into question its status as a publicly funded broadcaster. The prime minister suggested the licence fee, which is guaranteed to continue until at least 2027, was a general tax that could no longer be justified when other media organisations have found other ways of funding themselves.”

            and:

            “A Tory source said the government had been looking at two options: scrapping the licence fee and decriminalising its non-payment.”

          • Kevin Brown

            I wrote to Nicola Sturgeon, with copies to my MP (Glasgow south) and MSP to ask what position the Scottish government proposed to take on Assange’s incarceration, torture, and ultimate extradition. The letter was logged, but no one sent a reply.

    • Andrew Paul Booth

      Perhaps the absence, currently, of evidence of an “overwhelming majority” in favour of Scottish independence is seen as an obstacle by Sturgeon? Perhaps a lot more work would need to be done in this area?

      • Andyoldlabour

        Andrew Paul Booth

        Exactly what I was thinking Andrew. At the last independence referendum 44.7% of Scots voted to leave the union. At the latest general election 45% of Scots voted for the SNP.

        • Andrew Paul Booth

          Yes. As an aside, those are similar to Catalan separatists’ numbers.

          Not as an aside, the sense of Catalan self-identity has been greatly encouraged by the Generalitat, these last thirty years or so, through the development of regional TV, radio, theatre, the arts, news and opinion reporting, sport.. and of course the language.. all supporting that cause. Perhaps the Scottish government could act to encourage something similar.

          • Republicofscotland

            “Perhaps the Scottish government could act to encourage something similar.”

            Broadcasting is a reserved matter to Westminster. They’ll never devove it, its the main source of their lying propaganda.

            We in Scotland are forced to watch unionist tv channels that carry 99.9 % of ITV, BBC content from South of the border.

            Speaking of borders our border regions with England don’t even carry STV (which is unionist watered down propaganda) content, those folk are forced to watch content from Northern England.

            The Catalans and even a tiny region of Moldova have more say on broadcasting than we do in Scotland.

            We must break this union for good.

          • Cubby

            Andrew Paul Booth

            In the run up to the Referendum that established the Scot parliament in 1997 Labour had in the bill the devolving of power over the media only to pull it at the last minute ( the treacherous barstewards ) and dare the SNP not to support it. That’s what we deal with in Westminster – it has been called perfidious Albion for a long time for very good reasons.

            Similarly after the last minute infamous vow just before the 2014 indyref when it promised devo max powers the British Parties subsequently refused to countenance media control being devolved. Treacherous barstewards once again.

            Is it any wonder a lot of Scots do not vote for the London based parties.

          • Andrew Paul Booth

            RoS & Cubby:

            “Broadcasting is a reserved matter to Westminster.”

            I would certainly recommend fiercely challenging that politically and constitutionally. Every Spanish semi-autonomous region has broadcasting and other cultural powers.

            “Perfidious Albion” :

            Más claro, el agua.

          • Andrew Paul Booth

            I would like to add:

            Propaganda must be fought with more propaganda, and the most effective propaganda, eventually, is that which speaks truth and is of a genuinely moral rationality.

          • Republicofscotland

            “Propaganda must be fought with more propaganda, and the most effective propaganda, eventually, is that which speaks truth and is of a genuinely moral rationality.”

            Thankfully the Fifth Estate, social media isnt fully controlled by the unionist media or the 77th Brigade.

            It’s been fertile ground for the independence movement over the years for folk wanting to know the truth about how badly Westminster treats Scotland.

            For the independence movement its not about pumping out propaganda, its about putting the truth out there about this unfit for purpose union, and why we should leave it as soon as possible.

          • Andrew Paul Booth

            RoS: “… its about putting the truth out there about this unfit for purpose union, and why we should leave it as soon as possible.”

            Ça, c’est vrai. Es verdad. Thats true.

            So, do it. I’m willing to work for that. :=

  • Brianfujisan

    ” It is not the MSM that kills and wrongfully imprisons people. it is corrupt states, governments and regimes.”

    And how do they sell Their Evil John ?

    How Do They Sell It ?.

    You see.. There are Many of us here at Craig’s For his International Knowledge..as well as UK.

    • John Pretty

      I understand what you are saying Brian. I don’t like the MSM. They peddle a lot of rubbish.

      But if you have laws to punish journalists then the good ones can get caught out as well as the bad ones. Better to have the courage of your own convictions. I like to think the MSM does not unduly influence me.

      • Brianfujisan

        You see John…You are saying ” Rubbish ” When, in Fact it’s Outright Lies.. and people Die.

        And if you think a War With Iran will be a good Idea

        • John Pretty

          I am opposed to ALL wars of choice. I would say I am a borderline pacifist.

          I am also opposed to American Imperialist foreign policy.

          I would like to see NATO disbanded and all military operations in the Middle East and on the borders of Russia to cease.

      • nevermind

        The peoples Representation Act and its rules about secret ballots are taught to every student of journalism.
        She knew fulwell that she should have kept quiet about it. Her opinions after the count could have persuaded many waverers during the last three days before proper voting commenced. It is unbecoming as a so called top journalist, to act like a party politician on the side of the Tory party.
        I would fine her 100.000 and give her a new desk after long and very quiet holiday.

        She is now a loose canon who cant be trusted to obey electoral rules as they exist and she will have to live with that fact.

        • Tom74

          The BBC is rotten to the core like the rest of the mainstream media. The only way the BBC is going to change is if they’re hit in the pockets and people stop paying the licence fee. If half the country stopped paying, it would send a message their bosses could not dismiss with mealy-mouthed lies.

      • Cubby

        John Pretty

        You seem a very decent guy but I do have to say that like nearly all English who have relatives or friends in Scotland they think they know all about Scotland and it’s fight for independence but you don’t. You may know a little bit more than the average English person, who as you rightly say, sees Scotland, Wales and N. Ireland ( well since they stopped bombing England) as irrelevant to their lives. Most have no clue at all about where any of the borders are and when pressed can mutter something about Hadrians wall – which is in England. Many commonly state that England is an island. Yet people expect us to be told what to do by an English majority.

        • John Pretty

          Thank you Cubby, that’s very kind of you to say so. I appreciate it. I would vote for independence if I lived in Scotland, but the issue doesn’t carry the same emotional intensity for me as it does many Scots.

          I don’t want to offend anyone here and I like to think I respect the opinions of others. I feel though that I may be able to sometimes offer a slightly different perspective.

          In terms of the MSM, SA has linked a report on media bias in the off topic section here, which I found interesting.

          I have a cousin in law who works as a journalist (I think) for the Glasgow Herald. I don’t know how that publication is viewed here. My cousin in law is not involved in reporting on politics. I saw him in the Summer and he expressed sympathy for the Palestinian cause. I asked him why he did not consider going freelance to do political type work. He just said that he had a family to support and didn’t want the insecurity of being a freelancer. He was happy with what he had and his job security.

          So it’s just a job for some people. A way to earn a living.

          • Cubby

            John Pretty

            The Glasgow Herald was once many decades ago a decent paper. It has been calling itself the Herald for a long time now. Sadly it is just another (politically speaking ) anti independence paper that just spouts propaganda. Even now some of its journalists who used to write very eloquently for independence have now been turned and now write propaganda – to save their job obviously.

            Every TV channel is anti independence and only the National newspaper ( a recent paper ) which is a sister paper of the Herald owners is for independence. However all over Scotland people hide the National behind and in amongst the other papers. Pretty ( no pun intended ) pathetic. It’s not enough that the newstands are full ( about 10 -12 ) of papers supporting the union they are so insecure they feel they have to hide the one paper for independence.

          • Mary

            The Glasgow Herald is owned by the voracious Newsquest outfit who have morphed into Gannett. The death of decent local journalism.

            Note Kohlberg Kravis Roberts.
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kohlberg_Kravis_Roberts

            ‘Newsquest’s history goes back a long way – one of our news brands, the Berrow’s Worcester Journal, was first published in 1690 and is the oldest surviving newspaper in the world. As a company however, Newsquest is relatively new, formed in 1996 as a management buy-out of Reed Regional Newspapers with backing from US private equity company, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co (KKR). We floated on the London Exchange in 1997. In July 1999, Newsquest was acquired by Gannett.

            Newsquest’s acquisitions have included CN Group, NWN Media, Isle of Wight County Press, Romanes Media Group, SMG plc, Newscom plc, Westminster Press, Contact-a-car, Kinsman Reeds Ltd, Review Group, Horley Publishing, Dimbleby Newspaper Group, Surrey & Sussex Publishing, Exchange & Mart, and Auto Exchange.’

            http://www.newsquest.co.uk/about-us

            These newspapers are now basically advertorials.

      • Tarla

        Humbert Wolfe;

        You cannot hope
        to bribe or twist,
        thank God! the
        British journalist.

        But, seeing what
        the man will do
        unbribed, there’s
        no occasion to.
        “Over the Fire”, from The Uncelestial City (London: Victor Gollancz, 1930) p. 30.

        Because they spew out the ideology of the ruling class. If they don’t they’re sacked, ignored and persecuted. As long as ‘journalists’ tow the line they’ll do very well but stray and it’s curtains. The vast majority of the MSM are the Goebbels propagandists for the state.

  • bj

    In the category “Loose Ends”, the following.

    Appeal to Archbishop of Canterbury to Support Release of Julian Assange“.
    This, about a month ago, reported here.

    Quoting, in part:
    “A letter signed by 61 intellectuals from 16 countries was delivered to Lambeth Palace calling on Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, to use his moral influence to end the unjustified imprisonment of Julian Assange.”

    Did the Bishop’s moral influence, or the reach of it, become clear in the meantime?

    • jmg

      bj wrote:

      > “A letter signed by 61 intellectuals from 16 countries was delivered to Lambeth Palace calling on Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, to use his moral influence to end the unjustified imprisonment of Julian Assange.”
      > Did the Bishop’s moral influence, or the reach of it, become clear in the meantime?

      “For him not to speak out about an issue does not necessarily mean that it is not of concern to him, but the context and opportunity must be right if any intervention is to be effective.”

      Plea for the Liberation of Julian Assange. Response from the Archbishop of Canterbury.
      https://www.globalresearch.ca/plea-liberation-julian-assange/5697818

      And speaking of Canterbury and Scotland…

      5 Scots marching into Canterbury Cathedral
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZRVS4XxSn9Q

    • David

      According to Mitrokhin Archive and other sources, the Moscow Patriarchate has been established on the order from Stalin in 1943 as a front organization of NKVD and later the KGB. All key positions in the Church including bishops have been approved by the Ideological Department of CPSU and by the KGB. The priests were used as agents of influence in the World Council of Churches and front organizations, such as World Peace Council, Christian Peace Conference, and the Rodina (“Motherland”) Society founded by the KGB in 1975

      the above xmas message was from Wackypedia, describes how
      their KGB functioned in the day, and should in no way be assumed as how our current KGBs function. Merry Christmas Bishop Welby. /sarc

      and merry christmas to the rest of you…..
      https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/11/no_author/ex-cbs-investigative-journalist-explains-how-mainstream-media-brainwashes-the-masses/

    • Republicofscotland

      “Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, to use his moral influence to end the unjustified imprisonment of Julian Assange.”

      It will never happen the clergy are part of the First Estate, and occupy seats in the undemocratic, unelected House of Lords.

      Of which Johnson is parachuting in Tory candidates that lost in the GE, such as Zac Goldsmith.

      England is fast becoming a Plutonomy.

  • Monster

    The usual end of year MSM dross is distracting us from what is going on beyond our shores. Boris’s surprising visit to tiny Estonia was significant. The 850 troops based there are not alone. The US embassy in Tallinn houses 450 staff among whom are a contingent of special forces. Increased airforce activity over Estonia’s skies is also worrying. Chatter among intel groupies suggest the Estonian front would be an ideal location for a military ‘accident’ to happen.

      • Alex Westlake

        The Baltic States were invaded by the USSR in 1940, while Stalin and Hitler were allies. They remained under Soviet occupation until 1989 It’s quite understandable that Estonians see the USSR as the bigger enemy

        • Jack

          Alex Westlake

          No doubt that, they collaborated with the nazis and they have no shame pointing that out even to this date as something normal. Very weird people.

        • Alexander

          A timely reminder from President Putin about how Poland very eagerly tried to participate with Hitler in the dismembering of Czechoslovakia in 1937/38, and almost managed to take a slice for itself.

          Worth reading – apparently most of the documents relating to this are still classified in the UK.

          http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/62376

        • John A

          It’s quite understandable that Estonians see the USSR as the bigger enemy.

          The USSR does not exist anymore.

      • Republicofscotland

        I doubt Johnson gives a toss about Estonia, the Estonians are being used as a bullwark against Russia. The US has a strike base just 20 miles South of the capital Tallinn.

        Of course the UK is also a US staging post.

  • Sam

    “For a referendum to have this legitimacy, it must have the confidence of all of those that it would effect.”

    Effect? Does nobody in Scotland know how to write or what?

    *SMH*

  • Mary

    Johnson has been extolling the virtues and marvels of the NHS saying that it is not up for sale. Is he a user of its services or have the many members of his extended family ever done so?

    Heavily privatised now of course.

    Related video: Jeremy Corbyn says he has documents which ‘confirm’ under Boris Johnson ‘the NHS is on the table and will be up for sale’
    The Tories claim the NHS is not up for sale – the truth is, it’s already been sold
    https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/nhs-privatisation-sale-boris-johnson-conservatives-general-election-a9241881.html

    Reinstate our NHS
    https://weownit.org.uk/public-ownership/nhs

    Like social housing under the Right to Buy scheme, the NHS has been privatised
    https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/nhs-privatisation-sale-boris-johnson-conservatives-general-election-a9241881.html

    • SA

      Mary
      The NHS privatisation now means that about 7% of services are provided by private organisations. The trick here is that Boris can claim that it is not privatised because it is sort of run centrally and free at point of use. I of course disagree but that is what they claim.
      The Blair government paved the way to privatisation by first of all introducing a tarriff for each procedure and then allowing GPS to refer out of catchment area and introduced targets which then produced penalties which meant that trusts lost money to build up their monitoring and accounting mechanisms instead of doing the job of treating patients. The introduction and universal rolling out of ‘foundation trusts’ was also a further step to privatisation as the trusts effectively became stand alone businesses under chief executives. Everyone also knows Brown’s PPE initiatives which transferred lots of taxpayers’ NHS allocated cash to conglomerates. Lansbury’s reforms under the coalition meant that gradual piecemeal privatisation of services within the NHS can take place slowly under the radar. So we must remember that privatisation of the NHS has not only been encouraged by the Tories but started in earnest by New Labour and even the Lib Dens contributed. One can no longer trust any of these three with the NHS an some of Blair’s ex ministers are rolling in profits accrued from starting private healthcare firms. I am sure you are aware of who I mean.

      • Republicofscotland

        “The NHS privatisation now means that about 7% of services are provided by private organisations. The trick here is that Boris can claim that it is not privatised because it is sort of run centrally and free at point of use.”

        Chomsky said, if you want to weaken or remove a body or institution that the public relies on, first you have to defund it. Well the defunding of the NHS has being going on for years.

        Chomsky also said on the matter, once the institution is defunded there will be a public outcry for something to replace it, enter privatisation.

    • Mary

      He has also been visiting a women’s refuge in Marylebone, along with his pal, Evgeny Lebedev.

      ‘Together we can end rough sleeping’: Boris Johnson joins Evening Standard homelessness campaign
      https://www.standard.co.uk/homeless-fund/boris-johnson-evening-standard-homelessness-campaign-a4320336.html

      Amber Rudd’s brother is quoted in the piece. He is the chair of Finsbury who are one of the donors to the fund, the Marylebone Project.

      Their consciences have been salved for yet another year.

      Sadiq Khan has also opened up City Hall to the so called ‘rough sleepers’, with services of medical and veterinary helpers laid on.

      What happens when Christmas is over? And are there any ‘smooth sleepers’?

      • Laguerre

        In France there is a criterion of temperature for when they open up gymnasia and community halls for the homeless. That’s better than doing it just for the Xmas holiday.

  • nevermind

    And to the tune of ‘ here we go here we go….’

    UDI UDi UDI,
    UDI MIGHT BE NIGH,
    For all of Scotland
    Low and High
    UDI UDI UDI…..

    Frohe Weihnacht to you all.

    • Stonky

      And to the tune of ‘ here we go here we go….’

      I’m singing it to the tune of “God rest ye merry gentlemen”. It still doesn’t come within a million miles of scanning, but at least it’s appropriate to the season…

    • Laguerre

      I’d be surprised if there’s any difficulty with Scotland remaining or rejoining the EU. The French will definitely champion it, and as we know, they are one of the most influential voices.

        • Laguerre

          You’d do well on Private Eye’s Pedantry Corner. The point remains though, that the case is likely to be treated as remain/rejoin, rather than putting Scotland at the end of the queue, as Brexiters like to suggest. The Auld Alliance may be old, but there’s still a lot of enthusiasm in France hidden away.

          • Iain Stewart

            In my extensive experience of the subject, French enthusiasm for Scotland is usually little more than an expression of ancient contempt for England. I suspect Irish people have noticed something similar. The deaths of Margaret Thatcher and the Queen Mother were given great prominence by French media, just like the retrocession of Hong Kong, and of course the hilarious Brexit capers.

  • Republicofscotland

    Just a wee reminder that Europe is willing and able if Scotland is also willing and able.

    “Two years ago, we (50 politicians from across the EU and political spectrum) wrote a letter to the Scottish Parliament.”

    “Maybe now is the moment to remind everyone in Scotland of our commitment:”

    “Your future is for you to decide, but we will leave our door open.”

    https://mobile.twitter.com/TerryReintke/status/1208110750813872128

    There’s a bright future for Scotland as a EU member nation if we have the courage to grab it.

  • M.J.

    Which members of the UN would recognise UDI by the Scottish parliament, even in the unlikely event of it happening? Not even Russia, much as it might want to see the UK broken up and for British influence to decline, because the precedent would be too dangerous since it has Chechnyan separatism to deal with. The only bodies likely to have any sympathy do not represent members of the UN e.g. the Catalonian parliament, government of Northern Cyprus, Palestinian authority, and various ethnic groups such as Kurds, Chechen, Uighur, Tamil, Rohingya, or Karen.
    Even if the Scottish parliament voted for a second referendum on independence post Brexit, Boris would most likely refuse.
    Therefore, no matter how one looks at it, Scotland will remain part of the UK in the foreseeable future.

    • Republicofscotland

      “Even if the Scottish parliament voted for a second referendum on independence post Brexit, Boris would most likely refuse.”

      We don’t require Westminsters permission told hold a second indyref, the S30, only requires that Westminster agrees with the outcome.

      However if Johnson continually denies the sovereign Scottish people their democratic right to determine their future through a indy vote, then that will leave us no alternative but to take matters into our own hands.

      I see no good reason why EU members wouldn’t recognise Scotland as an independent nation, and the enemies of Westminster would be delighted to see the union broken as would many Scots and EU/International citizens living in Scotland.

      I recall David Cameron going around Europe in 2014 during the first indyref asking EU countries to say that they were firmly against Scottish independence, they politely told him to bugger off.

      As for Putin supporting Scottish independence I think he would, the breaking of this unholy union, would be a massive boost to Russia, via the Great Game. Spain no matter the Catalan situation has already said it won’t block an independent Scotlands route into the EU, they have their eyes on Gibraltar.

      • M.J.

        You don’t really think that Boris would approve an illegal referendum? Following the probable outcome of telling the organisers to get lost, just how would they take matters into their own hands? Anyone who advocates armed rebellion is a raving lunatic. British justice will, I imagine, deal swiftly with any such conspiracy.

        By all means tell us of statements by governments of UN members (EU or not) saying that they would recognise Scottish independence following an illegal referendum. I’ll bet they won’t include Spain or Russia. If no readers can find such statements, then pehaps there’s no evidence that UDI would be recognised in aninternationally convinging way. Ergo, no illegal attempt at UDI by Scotland will succeed.

        • Laguerre

          UDI in Scotland may well be more attractive than remaining shackled to the extremist nutters in power in London. Johnson himself doesn’t care, but recent announcements show well that, despite the majority, the ERG is still in power, and it’s their policy which is going to be put into practice

        • Republicofscotland

          “You don’t really think that Boris would approve an illegal referendum? ”

          It won’t matter what Johnson thinks as long as international recognition is forthcoming.

          “Anyone who advocates armed rebellion is a raving lunatic. British justice will, I imagine, deal swiftly with any such conspiracy.”

          The only country reaching for its arms would be England, British justice don’t make me laugh tell that to Assange or the Chagossian folk.

          “Ergo, no illegal attempt at UDI by Scotland will succeed.”

          UDI would only be illegal in the eyes of a foreign government at Westminster, we’re in a union, we don’t belong to England, in the end it won’t matter what Johnson thinks or wants, we’ll decide our own future we are two different countries.

          At the moment Johnsons refusal to agree to a democratic referendum is seeing the indy movement grow stronger and bigger, the longer the tyrant Johnson carries on like this the stronger we become. Sending in the tanks will, only help see us carry the day. Westminster is becoming more and more irrelevant by the day.

          • lysias

            The seceding Southern states in 1861 had similar thoughts. So did Biafra.

            Success is not assured. But it should be attempted.l

          • Republicofscotland

            “The seceding Southern states in 1861 had similar thoughts. So did Biafra”

            I read a few years back that Abraham Lincoln pushed the free the slave mantra to specifically destroy the Southern states economy, and make them more compliant and in the long run easier to defeat.

            Westminsters role on forcing Brexit on Scotland will also have disastrous economic consequences. As for Biafra, I have a good book on again Britain’s role in Nigeria, but I cant seem to find it at the moment.

        • Cubby

          MJ

          What law would be broken to constitute an Illegal referendum? Take your time answering – no rush.

          When you keep referring to UDI I will post once again that Scotland cannot by definition do a UDI. Scotland was a sovereign Kingdom when it signed the Treaty of Union in 1706 and implemented it in 1707. As such terminating the Treaty of Union cannot be a UDI. No more than England terminating the Treaty of Union can be termed UDI.

          If you keep repeating this error then I will have to treat it as misleading propaganda rather than ignorance.

        • Cubby

          MJ

          Still cannot say what law is broken to constitute an illegal referendum can you.

          It’s a rarety if a post of yours is not total pish.

      • Tatyana

        It seems that, even a discussion of your completely internal affairs, does not do without mentioning Russia and Putin.

        We have a saying “ride or checkers?” It’s about a person who doesn’t ride with a driver if there’s no taxi icon on his car. So, in your case: “independence, or recognition?”
        Undoubtedly, it would be great to have both, but if not, so what? When you don’t even honk because you’re afraid of getting into trouble, then what are you going to do with independence? You may have to defend it.

        • Republicofscotland

          “Undoubtedly, it would be great to have both, but if not, so what? When you don’t even honk because you’re afraid of getting into trouble, then what are you going to do with independence? You may have to defend it.”

          Indeed first up would be to withdraw all our MPs from Westminster that day is surely coming.

          We have no weapons in this so called equal union, however there’s more than one way to skin a cat. Civil disobedience, ignore Westminster correspondence blockade disrupt internationally get people onside if it comes to that.

          Johnson and his government are the Nazis, the Star Wars empire, we are the freedom fighter movement, we’ll win in end.

          • John Pretty

            “Indeed first up would be to withdraw all our MPs from Westminster that day is surely coming.”

            Do you really think they’ll do that ros? Is this being seriously considered?

            I appreciate and respect your commitment to the cause, but – I hate to say this – you only have about half of all Scots with you on this. How will civil disobedience go down with Scots who have no interest in independence.

            Personally I feel you need more Scots on side first.

            As for Putin. I doubt Russia would really care one way or the other. The hostile attitude of the UK government must be very wearing though!

          • Tatyana

            Civil disobedience seems the only way without violence, Republicofscotland.

            I’m damn against violence. And I will never support the “victory at any cost”. I hate conflicts, any sorts of them, but I am not afraid of and do not avoid these situations. If there’s a chance to settle everything peacefully, then this is my choice. I will not hit first, but be sure I’ll hit back for defense.

            Here and there in the comments I meet examples that are not relevant for the Russian reader. e.g. Chechnya. Do you know that many deaths preceding real military events are now simply hushed up, for the sake of peace and national tolerance? Mr. Murray casually hinted at this in his previous article.
            Btw, I will step aside a little. A rather emotional comment about the prospects for relations with Chechnya upset me. I know that a couple of generations should change, and maybe then the children will be able to sincerely say “please forgive me” to each other.
            Something like this is happening now between the Russian and Crimean Tatars. People want to live and develop, and not kill each other.
            But there is sure to be some old man who lacks wisdom, but remembers that he didn’t take revenge. And a historian who will dig up petrified piece of shit (missing a piece of someone else’s petrified shit lying nearby) and on this incomplete evidence, the cauldron of negativity and violence will again begin to stir.

            I wholeheartedly wish the old generations to solve their problems during their own lives and not drag the blood feud of Montague and Capulet into young children.

            Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
            from Russia with love 🙂

          • bj

            @Tatyana

            Thank you for your insightful comment.
            I hope you will have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

    • Laguerre

      I rather doubt that a UDI Scotland would be treated as a pariah state. There’s a general feeling that the UK has descended into madness with its Brexit policy. Nobody’s going to prevent Britain weakening itself, but if one element (Scotland) decides it doesn’t want to be part of that, I’d say there’ll be quite a lot of sympathy on the world stage.

      • John Pretty

        As it is now midnight here I would like to wish a Merry Christmas to all.

        I am posting this link as a tribute to my friend Julian Assange who sadly is spending his Christmas in Belmarsh Prison.

        “He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Brother” :

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_Jx9nqnxOM

        Julian: A much loved father and son. An award winning journalist and publisher. Illegally detained by a cruel and inhumane British government on behalf of the United States.

        • Brianfujisan

          Well Said John.

          The UK treatment / Torture of Julian is sickening

          And all the best to you n yours too.

          Have a Peaceful Christmas everyone.

      • Giyane

        Laguerre

        Madness has descended on the entire world.
        The smelliness and stenchiness of industrial production has been magically removed from the industrialised world and exponentially increased without any attempt to contain it. The world’s oceans and skies are polluted to the point that Nsture has died , and humankind with it.

        Etc.

        There is one cause of all this destruction. Political lying.
        The political classes that have ravaged the planet have systematically raped the core of intellectual integrity which is the Muslim world. So we are fucked both physically and mentally.

        Not only is it completely irrelevant what English politicians think about rebellion in Scotland but it’s essential that the Anglo saxon total destruct mentality is put in its place by a coalition of Russian and European nations whose mentality is not to see what this machine we call the planet can do and how far it can be pushed.

        Pathetic little politicians like Boris who pathetically rig elections and only want to make money and exploit the planet, need squeezing out. His only plan is to privatise assets the nation has invested in in previous generations. Like a child opening another bag of sweets.
        The radical change of attitude proposed by Jeremy Corbyn was mocked with withering disdain by the Oaf Child and his panel of spoilt millionaires.

        The world is not going to wait for Bunter.
        It needs to engage with the reality of now.
        Europe and bigger than Europe. Much much bigger than Johnson’s pop corn and fancy bits.
        ..

      • Cubby

        Laguerre

        Please see my comment above re using UDI re Scotland or for that matter England terminating the Treaty of Union. It is incorrect terminology. It implies a master state and a secondary region – totally wrong legally.

    • lysias

      Speaking as an Irish-American, I hazard the view that most people of Irish descent would sympathize with the cause of Scottish independence.

      • John Pretty

        Divided in my family Lysias. My mother is one of four Scots of Irish descent. Two are for independence and two against it. Of course, that is just in my family.

        I think Scotland is more divided on the issue than the views of most people here might suggest. Craig is quite radical in his views on the issue and naturally that attracts more radically minded people. Personally, I would vote for independence, but living in England it is not an issue that carries as much emotional charge for me.

        I came here originally about 18 months ago, though I have been away for some time for personal reasons. My main interest in Craig was for his generally sympathetic views on Russia, which was being heavily and unjustly demonised by elements of your media especially.

    • romar

      You’ll perhaps like to know that Russia’s position on Crimea is based precisely on the legal argument as discussed above by Ambassador Murray: the Kosovo precedent.
      “What happened in Crimea? Firstly, the Crimean Parliament was elected in 2010, that is, when Crimea was still part of Ukraine. This fact is extremely important. The Parliament that had been elected while Crimea was part of Ukraine met and voted for independence and called a referendum. Then the citizens voted at the referendum for reunification with Russia. And the events in Kosovo took place after several years of war and a de-facto intervention by NATO countries, after the bombing of Yugoslavia and missile strikes targeting Belgrade.
      “It is important to always respect international law. In Crimea, there was no violation of international law. Under the UN Charter, every nation has the right to self-determination.
      Concerning Kosovo, the UN International Court of Justice ruled that, when it comes to sovereignty, the opinion of the central government can be ignored. If you [Putin is talking to Germany’s “Build”] are a serious periodical that is honest with its readers, find the transcript of the statement made by the German representative in the International Court of Justice in the archives and cite it. Take the letter… from the US Department of State, or the statement made by the British representative. Find them and read them. The Kosovo parliament [merely] approved a secession resolution, while people in Crimea expressed their opinion at a referendum, [then] parliament ratified the decision, and formally asked to be reintegrated with Russia.” http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/53151
      See also: http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/58848 and http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/58848
      Obviously, a decision to recognize Scotland’s secession will depend on how Russia perceives its interests in the matter – and whatever other factors – but Russia’s position as regards the legality of it is clear.

  • Brianfujisan

    Thank you Craig for the Brilliant and Precious Rallying Call – Over at ‘ All Under One Banner’s new Site –

    ” There are moments on which history turns. It does not happen often that all the forces which govern the destiny of an entire nation are so aligned that ordinary people can move history with their shoulders. But we are currently at just such a point, with the powerful impetus for Scottish Independence balanced on a fulcrum by the forces of extreme reaction. These are times when we all must act, times when if we do not act it is not only we who may regret it, but our children and grandchildren.”

    ” It is essential now that the Scottish people display their determination not to be ruled by Boris Johnson’s government, which is an affront to every value that we hold dear. We have put up with London rule for far too long. We are calling a stop, and the first concrete action which everybody can take is to get to Glasgow and fill the streets on 11 January with a demonstration which even the BBC cannot ignore. “

    The full Piece is here –

    https://auob.org/articles/rallyingcry?

    • romar

      I think the gist of Ambassador Murray’s post was the discussion of the legal aspects of the anticipated referendum and ensuing secession. I am intrigued by the lack of attention to this by most commenters.
      Reading Ambassador Murray’s reference to the Kosovo precedent. I was reminded of President Putin’s own frequent references to the same, in relation to Crimea’s cessation. Answering a question from Germany’s “Build” magazine:
      “The UN International Court of Justice ruled that, when it comes to sovereignty, the opinion of the central government can be ignored. If you are a serious periodical that is honest with its readers, find the transcript of the statement made by the German representative in the International Court of Justice in the archives and cite it. Take the letter… from the US Department of State, or the statement made by the British representative.” http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/53151
      It does seem, does it not, that London’s enthusiasm for Yugoslavia’s breakup and Kosovo’s independence may come back to bite it…
      ICJ’s Kosovo “UNILATERAL DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE (ADVISORY OPINION)”: https://www.icj-cij.org/files/case-related/141/141-20100722-ADV-01-00-EN.pdf
      https://www.icj-cij.org/files/case-related/141/141-20100722-ADV-01-00-EN.pdf

  • David

    Guardian issues a correction to their Assange / Russia story of last year’s Xmas-eve

    https://www.theguardian.com/info/2019/dec/20/the-review-panel-narvaez-decision

    meanwhile this year’s story does not appear to have been covered

    https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/12/no_author/absolutely-unaware-assange-testifies-in-trial-of-spanish-company-that-spied-on-wikileaks-founder-inside-embassy/

    The High Court in Madrid is hearing Assange’s case against Undercover Global Ltd, a Spanish security company that allegedly bugged him during his stay at the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Undercover Global was contracted to provide embassy security between 2015 and 2018, and in that capacity secretly recorded Assange’s every move via hidden cameras, microphones and electronic surveillance, the lawsuit says.

    Assange told the court “he was absolutely unaware that the cameras recorded audio, that hidden microphones had been introduced” into the fire extinguisher mounts inside the embassy, his attorney Aitor Martinez told reporters in Madrid after the testimony.
    Assange was “an absolutely passive subject of an illegitimate interference that would have been eventually coordinated by the United States,” Martinez added.

    If the illegal surveillance targeted Assange’s legal team and violated his attorney-client privilege, that has ramifications on the proceedings against him in both the UK and the US….

    • Mary

      Yes. The Guardian has been forced to retract its lies. Our old friend Luke Harding was one of the contributors to the piece.

      RT –
      Guardian corrects article about Julian Assange embassy ‘escape plot’ to Russia…a year later
      24 Dec, 2019
      https://www.rt.com/uk/476767-guardian-correction-assange-story/

      This is their mealy mouthed statement. I cannot see any sign of an apology. Shame on them.
      https://www.theguardian.com/news/2019/dec/22/corrections-and-clarifications

      • John Pretty

        It’s good news that they have corrected this story.

        You should realise, however that the newspaper has corrected itself – it has not been forced to do this by an outside party.

        The Scott Trust owns the Guardian newspaper.

        Alan Rusbridger who used to edit the Guardian described it on twitter as

        “an impressive example of independent self-regulation”

        • Mary

          It was obliged to following complaints from the Russian Embassy

          Russian Embassy, UK @RussianEmbassy

          Another example of disinformation and fake news by British media
          (Photo of Guardian article)
          202
          11:40 AM – Sep 21, 2019
          168 people are talking about this
          https://twitter.com/RussianEmbassy/status/1043102728757669888

          and from Fidel Narvaez.

          ‘The correction was made after a complaint from Fidel Narvaez, who served as Ecuador’s London consul at the time of the alleged “plot.” The paper described Narvaez as a middleman between Assange and the Kremlin. Narvaez outright denied any discussions with Moscow.’

          We know who owns the rag. What’s that got to with their dissembling?

          • John Pretty

            Mary, the Guardian does not take orders from the Russian Embassy.

            It is a (relatively) independent newspaper. Though regrettably it employs Russophobes like Luke Harding who thinks Vladimir Putin is plotting against him.

            I am not defending the Guardian. I am pointing out that it corrected itself.

            Perhaps if you or someone else here would write to the Guardian they might consider correcting Harding’s misleading Assange-Manafort story too.

          • SA

            The Guardian ‘Independent’?
            It is well known that the guardian ceased to be independent when the security services smashed their hard drives after the Snowdon revelations. The Guardian was then co-opted to send a representative to the D notice committee:
            https://twitter.com/DCKennard/status/1138493594728304640
            There are many other examples and it is well known. Why the Guardian apologised and retracted here must be because it was told to do so by someone.

          • pretzelattack

            if the guardian was an independent newspaper it would not be catapulting so much intel bullshit like manafort visiting assange in the ecuadoran embassy. it doesn’t regulate itself, and it isn’t owned by a trust, it’s owned by a company now.
            the scott trust ltd. it’s just another propaganda rag like the washington post.
            The Scott Trust is a limited partner in GMG Ventures LP, founded in 2017, whose Chairman & Co-Founder is David Skipwith Pemsel as of December 2018. [3] According to the GMG 2018 annual report, “this £42m venture capital fund is designed to contribute financial returns and to support GMG’s strategy by investing in early stage businesses focused on developing the next generation of media technology”.[4

        • Anthony

          “The Scott Trust owns the Guardian newspaper”

          The old Scott Trust disapoeared in 2014 when the Guardian was bought out by a private equity firm:
          https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-guardian-apax-idUKBREA0K10Z20140121

          The trust was then replaced by a private company, the Scott Trust Ltd, whose board is awash with figures from the predatory and parasitic financial sector.
          Since the time of the Snowden affair the Guardian has also been acting as a propaganda arm of MI6 and the MoD.

          That is why it has never retracted its false “Manafort visited Assange” front page; why it led the Labour “antisemitism crisis” psyop, the demonization of Russia, China, Maduro, Evo Morales, etc.

    • pete

      Re “meanwhile this year’s story does not appear to have been covered”

      And there is an excellent reason for that, the Russian Plot story was obviously of much more public interest, because the words ‘Russians’, ‘Plot’, ‘smuggle’ etc. suggesting a clandestine or underhand operation which would be v exciting to read and sell lots of papers and would further the idea that Julian was trying to evade the law so he could carry on his subversive activity elsewhere.
      Whereas the second story, about a covert operation to monitor an individuals private correspondence in order to try to collect incriminating evidence, if such material existed, is just normal, everyday work by the intelligence community and of no concern or interest to anyone and nothing to get excited about. So no need to report it.

      Hope that has made the matter clear to all.

  • Pyewacket

    All the best everyone, I hope you all have a happy trouble free day, especially if you’re doing the cooking.

    Regarding comments above about the privatisation of the NHS, well worth a watch is John Pilger’s film length documentary, The Dirty War on the NHS, which was broadcast earlier this week by ITV. No wonder that it couldn’t be screened before the election, because it shows all the main parties have been actively involved in the process, of its fragmentation and saddling it with debt that stretches far into the future, and expenses on business consultancy etc that has soaked up £millions & millions. This apparently has been ongoing since the mid 70s, and every party, has played its part. From now on, Whenever, I hear a Politician say how much he/she loves the NHS, I shall picture a Fox, saying how much they love Chicken, when they’ve got their eyes on the Hen’s neck. Another thing, is that, since it was aired, I’ve not heard a peep more about it. One might think that JP’s powerful revelations about just what’s been going on, these past 40 odd years, and also naming the names of principal movers and shakers, would have caused a stir, but apparently not.

    • SA

      You have described this correctly and the process started with Maggie thatcher. Even when Labour under Blair increased payments to the NHS a lot went into ‘option appraisals’ ‘consultancy fees’ and such like commissioned from firms such as Deloitte, McKinsey and others. There followed the PPI initiatives where a lot of supposedly NHS allocated funds go to private companies. Many trusts now have privatised services including catering and housekeeping as well as clinical support services such as Diagnostic laboratories X-rays and Pharmacy services. Even some operations are farmed out to private hospitals to reduce the waiting lists.
      The whole thing is one big scam and I feel that this is also why Corbyn was demonised. He is the only leader of a major party in the ;last 30-40 years who meant to bring the NHS back to the nation and that is a cash cow too far to loose for the fraudsters.

  • Mary

    The state’s archbishop is doing the state broadcaster’s job in his Christmas Day sermon. He is raking up the London Bridge attack so we will be hearing of terrrrrism no doubt.

    ‘The Archbishop of Canterbury is to reflect on the London Bridge Terror attack in his Christmas Day sermon.
    During the service at Canterbury Cathedral, Justin Welby will say “darkness is a monster that lies” compared with “love-filled whispers of the light.”‘

    Justin Welby to speak of London Bridge attack in Christmas sermon
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-50907176

  • Republicofscotland

    Merry Xmas to everyone, and to Craig for his year (one of many) of keeping us informed on matters that otherwise might have passed us by.

  • SA

    Happy Christmas to Craig Murray and his family and to all those who visit and contribute to this website. Visiting here and following the dialogue makes the task of facing the pervasive culture of lies and fake news more tolerable as we know that there are others who think the same way. Even when we disagree we often do so amicably with some exceptions. But even those who do not agree with the general philosophy of this site, make their contributions in general in a way that keeps us on our toes.
    Happy new year to all.
    SA

  • Jm

    They’ve put Karl Marx under surveillance…and he’s been dead nearly 140 years.

    It’s endless.

    • John Pretty

      That is interesting Jack. And very disappointing. Disappointing that Boris is suggesting that it is impossible to restart relations with Russia.

      The fact that they didn’t hesitate to blame Russia for Skripal, before even beginning their investigation is not exactly going to help!

      Boris could also stop siding with the Americans over so many matters. How about condemning the Nordstream 2 sanctions?

      The RAF could stop flying over the Black Sea and NATO could stop performing provocative military exercises close to the Russian border.

      Truly Boris is either lying or not trying hard enough.

      • Wikikettle

        John Pretty. US sanctions against Germany over Nordstream are a big gamble. Both France and Germany have followed US
        directions till now. Even China and India stopped buying Iranian oil under sanctions threat. On the other side, there are many who believe economic regeneration for Europe will only happen by the huge potential Russia offers, with its energy and investment opportunities. looking across the Atlantic or a fortress Europe doing US bidding will only see Russia and China get closer and closer.
        German industrialists have always looked East…..I think England leaving Europe has given urgency to the question of German and French ditching US orders…interesting times. Russia despite sanctions and NATO on its doorstep now has a hypersonic conventional capability able to defend its huge land mass and an air defence capability despite thousands of US bombers which are only good for their shareholder class and devastating for their citizens economic future.

        • Wikikettle

          I was hoping that India and China would keep on buying Iranian oil despite US sanction threats. The blockade on Iran is a criminal act and Iran stands alone with no real friends.

        • John Pretty

          Interesting times indeed wikikettle.

          “Russia despite sanctions and NATO on its doorstep now has a hypersonic conventional capability.”

          Well it would be foolish of Russia not to develop the means to defend itself against unprovoked aggression on it’s borders.

          I very strongly disagree with Boris Johnson. Obviously I cannot speak for Russia, but I feel confident that positive relations and cooperation between Russia and the rest of Europe not only makes economic sense, but also is good for the peace and stability of Europe.

          The United States seems determined to continue with it’s aggressive and warlike foreign policy agenda. Presumably at the behest of the military-industrial complex that Eisenhower warned about in his farewell speech in 1960.

          The United Kingdom government appears to have regressed into some sort of a delusional colonialist fantasy. Britannia may still be an economically important nation, but it no longer “rules the waves” or half of the world. In my opinion we have no need for aggression against Russia. NATO should be disbanded. I think if we are genuine in our desire to restore good relations with Russia, then we must try harder. I fear however that Boris Johnson really has no interest in this. He is much too keen to ingratiate himself with the Americans.

      • Courtenay Barnett

        John Pretty,

        So if all the peace-loving measures that you suggest were to be followed by Boris – then how would the RAF and the arms trade find on-going and/or new business?

    • Mary B

      More of the pathetic MoD stuff ref the English Channel.

      Royal Navy forced to shadow Russian ship through English Channel on Christmas Day
      The Navy launched HMS Tyne from Portsmouth as the Soviet era class of training vessel the Smolnyy Perekov passed close to UK territorial waters on Christmas Day
      https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/royal-navy-forced-shadow-russian-21162007

      Who ‘forced’ the HMS Tyne to perform this task? Was not the Russian ship in international waters?

      • Pyewacket

        Indeed Mary B, it’s truly ridiculous that we respond militarily, and the media plays along by hyping the tired and worn Soviet threat angle, every time a Russian ship transits the North Sea and the Channel. I do wonder if other Nations also perform this pantomime, whenever Russian Naval vessel goes sailing by.

        • Mary

          I agree. I assume the anti Russian propaganda is emanating from the current UK Defence SoS. He is Ben Wallace ex Qinetiq who replaced Mordaunt who replaced the dimwit Gavin (Shurrup and Go Away) Williamson.

          https://www.gov.uk/government/ministers/secretary-of-state-for-defence#current-role-holder

          ‘Pre 2005…… Ben was employed by QinetiQ as their Overseas Director in the Security & Intelligence Division.’
          https://www.benwallace.org.uk/about-ben-wallace

          Handy that.
          Nothing other than UK came up in answer to ‘Do European countries monitor Russian shipping in English Channel?’

          • Republicofscotland

            Yeah Mary the only Russians that aren’t monitored are the ones that donate to the Tory party, they are okay.

          • John Pretty

            NATO was formed to combat the Warsaw Pact which no longer exists. So it is us in the West who are the aggressors.

            But this all might be routine behaviour. It’s maybe just that they don’t usually publicise it.

            The Perekop has been around for 40 years. I’m sure it’s been seen hundreds of times in the English Channel. I would think that all navies monitor each other’s ships all the time.

            The government seems keen to hype up the notion that the military is protecting us from Russia. The last time England was invaded was (correct me if I am wrong) 1688 and that was by invitation (King Billy). So no, I am not afraid of Russia or Russians and I don’t see why I should be.

            By hyping this up in way they can presumably justify increased military spending and their aggressive stance towards Russia.

          • Republicofscotland

            “NATO was formed to combat the Warsaw Pact which no longer exists. So it is us in the West who are the aggressors”

            NATO’s original purpose is no more, its now a corporate military gang, deciding who is and who is not an enemy.

            No matter what Jens Stoltenberg says about its function, its warped into a bully and an aggressor, headed up by the Great Satan the USA.

            I recall Chomsky saying that post 1945, if the Nuremberg laws were used to hold US presidents to account, every single one of them post 1945 would’ve been hanged.

          • Michael

            When Russia and China go abroad for something they want they build bridges and hospitals. When the US goes abroad for something it wants it bombs bridges and hospitals.

      • Giyane

        No
        According to Israel he hasn’t come yet.
        That’s you and I and half the known world down the drain. In the zionist mappa mundi the clock stopped at the end of the BC era when apart from the chosen people, wooded thugs with bommyknockers slugged it out in the service of the boobed goddesses. They have since then tried to return the world to the salaf or last known working version of Intel.

  • Dungroanin

    A few post xmas day thoughts for our undeterred keyboarders to muse:

    First here’s hoping that the new Russian ‘wiki’ will be a genuine world resource free from Integrity Iniative PhildoubleCross type editing.
    —–
    Tuned in on LBC briefly this morning looking for Test Match Special ( err not on BBC! That was just about the last program I was consuming from them – if you haven’t already – STOP paying the licence fee poll tax)
    LBC are still shilling brexit! WHY? What is their agenda? What are they worried about?
    Anyway, a dumb caller claimed that with Boeings demise Airbus benefits hughely and that means we will, because we make their wings and engines.

    The idiot completely forgetting that Airbus was a EU project! In what way is the FUTURE investments of Airbus going to involve a non-EU country without a customs union?
    —–
    Internationally – India is cruising for a severe bruising as it resists China BRI projects and works the Global Britain (New English Speaking Empire) and looks to be positioning itself as a 5+1’s PLUS another ONE! Nato looking to add Indian Ocean to North Atlantic. Lol.
    Having screwed Indian taxpayers and busted the national banks with failed loans to TaTa under Rothschilds enduring East India Co shenanigans – Modi, their latest Clive, Rhodes, Nehru..clone, lit the blue touch paper. Their man in Pakistan, Imran, is playing both sides.

    While the rest of Asia, SE Asia, Africa and South America, partaking in the Trillions of infrastructure/knowledge investments by China that will charge humanity for the next century, India is stuck with the old Empires rusty train tracks.
    —–
    Ho hum – i’m looking forward to Parliaments return and getting a few more of the Select Committees finally freed of NuLabInc shoe bottom nastiness.

    Should have a few more SNP.

    • Giyane

      Dung

      I’ve been watching some of the first series of The Bodyguard.
      So far, episode 5 , we are in more or less the equivalent of now, with a highly compromised PM assassinating at will.

      I expect more twists and turns to emerge in parallel with reality, but how do they get away with screening so much political evil?
      Surely the proles
      would eventually rebel?

      Oh, the whole election was a fraud. No votes were counted.
      We already in a post-anti-democratic Peter Lillean dystopia where bollocks is reality and they are trying to convince us we are in the previous status quo of anti-democracy.

      Dumbo me. All that eco- protest was staged by the stock exchange. Including your select committees of which you are hoping to get a preview.

      • Republicofscotland

        “I’ve been watching some of the first series of The Bodyguard.
        So far, episode 5 , we are in more or less the equivalent of now, with a highly compromised PM assassinating at will.”

        I haven’t watched that programme, however it sound similar to tactics used by the FBI in the COINTELPRO programme, its job “was” to discredit, discriminate, infiltrate, agitate and even kill if necessary.

        The British state must surely be running its own version of COINTELPRO via MI5 etc, I’d even go as far as to say that the neoliberal media, owned by billionaires aid and abet them.

        You just have to look at the character assassinations of Corbyn and Salmond to see them in action.

        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/COINTELPRO

    • Dungroanin

      Psyops have restarted immediately as people are finally mentally relaxing and seeing that they may have become rather insensibly bothered by the prospect of a Labour government.

      I gave up on self inflicted propaganda a couple of years ago and it makes it much easier to see the psyops.

      Apparently all Anti-Semitism has completely vanished in the Labour Party and Corbyn hasn’t upset any self declared representatives over xmas! Will miracles never cease at this time of the year.

      I say this while listening to cricket from SouthAfrica and a lunch break where there is an earnest explanation of APARTHEID in SA because the idea that a minority could control a majority through a superiority complex is apparently such a fading memory that the young radio producers don’t know why the D’olivera trophy is named after a guy who NEVER played for SA!

      The argument goes that there would not have been a mass protest against apartheid if sports and politics were considered to be separate.

      The anti BDS law that we, in the UK, are being readied to be stuffed down our throats to legitimise the Israeli apartheid against Palestinians can NOW come centre stage – no more eggshell tiptoeing around the issue.

      Infact a whole host of psyops can be vigorously pushed back on – and their perpetrators indeed can be handed their lumps.

      Vive la France revolutionaries and Catalan freedom seekers who will be joined by our Scots, what are our English gonna do when we realise we bought a pup dressed in a unionjack again?

      Don’t over indulge on the entertainment psyops! But do have fun.

  • Brianfujisan

    I found Tonight’s Alex Salmond Show – which has just ended – to be very interesting with regards how Finnish children are educated some of the explanations of Finnish educationalists, are things I have been saying for years.

    For its Christmas edition, Alex is searching for an answer on why the Finnish education system has a track record of international excellence, despite children spending less time at school and less time on homework. Key Finnish educationalists explain to Alex that there is much more to child development than formal education in the classroom.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcYyLstioT8&feature=youtu.be&

    • Bramble

      I was sorry to hear one Finnish “expert” say he thought teachers were too autonomous and should have their professional independence taken away from them. That is what happened here. Slippery slope stuff with the “management revolution” round the corner.

    • Cubby

      MJ

      Another silly post. The UK will cease to exist because more and more people in Scotland are seeing that Westminster has been ripping off Scotland from the very start of the Union in 1707.

      People do not like being stolen from and they don’t like to be told they are rubbish. They don’t like their democratic rights to be trampled over.

      Brexit just helps to make more people wake up earlier than they might have but wake up they are and it will happen sooner or later. The UK is just the dirty fag end of the British Empire.

    • Laguerre

      MJ
      What has that affair got to do with Scottish independence? Would it be more or less likely to happen if Scotland were independent?

    • Mighty Drunken

      Labour did not blunder on Brexit. It is all about framing. The Brexit referendum was close, appealing to one side or the other doesn’t gain you very much. Yet, how many stories did you see in the MSM saying how the Conservative’s “Get Brexit Done” disenfranchised 48%+ of the population? Well nowhere.
      But you did see how Labour’s plan was confusing and disrespected the referendum result. Event though it simply gave another vote on a concrete proposal, rather than a vague desire. A policy which was inclusive to both sides, as long as you respect democracy.

      • andic

        Mighty Drunken
        December 27, 2019 at 00:05
        “The Brexit referendum was close, appealing to one side or the other doesn’t gain you very much.”

        I disagree, for that to be true being a Labour voter and wanting Brexit have to be independent variables. That clearly is not true. Labour’s traditional base is regional working class, patriotic, goes to the footie etc etc. These are also by and large your Brexit voting public and they are starting to abandon Labour – partly because of hatchet reporting on Corbyn but also because the party which should represent their values is bogged down with what its traditional base view as niche issues and WAS wishy washy on the big issue of the election.

        • Bramble

          You say “patriotic” as if it were a good thing, not a leash and dog-whistle device designed to get people to fall in line. They used “patriotism” to undermine Mr Corbyn. He thinks the rule of law should apply to everyone you know; he thinks that bombing people is wrong; he thinks that terrorists are people too and can be negotiated with. He doesn’t like jumping to conclusions when blatantly stupid stories are dreamed up just to demonise Russia. Arghhhh! He doesn’t love his country! “Loving one’s country” requires one not to think, just to follow the flag. You can, it seems, count on the working classes to do that.

          • George McI

            Unfortunately the patriotic bellow always works. That’s why, back in the 80s, the Tories were determined to scupper any peaceful way of resolving the Falklands issue. They knew they needed their little war so the foaming masses would jump up and wave their little bits of cloth at the end of sticks. It’s all just “footie” in the end (which is another crock of divisive shit.)

          • andic

            I actually just wrote patriotic, no emphasis on my part.
            And you have completely missed my point by latching onto it and giving it your own meaning.
            The point is that Labour made a mistake or have lost their direction or just aren’t relevant enough. And the maths can’t work for them if they don’t appeal to the breadth of their base. Their position on Brexit cost them

        • Sarge

          One of the niche issues was the revelation the Tory government was in talks to end free healthcare in Britain.

          The true patriot would obviously say affordable healthcare is unnecessary. Any illness can be beaten by singing God Save the Queen or Ten German Bombers even louder; and even if they die prematurely or drown in medical bills at least they spited the elite by re-electing the Tories.

      • Jack

        Mighty Drunken

        Yes there are division on Brexit, but in a democratic procedure the side that gains the majority of the vote, that side win.

        • Giyane

          Jack

          Yes , that is why Corbyn personally wanted Brexit . Because he is a Democrat. But being a Democrat he was in charge of a party that did not like Brexit so for internal reasons he decided to call a second referendum. He could have done what the Oaf did, and remove his senior party opponents from the party whip. That will have repercussions for the junta in power now ,later when the chips have been called by the ERG hedge fund gamblers and the economy has taken a massive knock.

          Meanwhile imho Corbynism is very much alive and the non- prospectors of populist democracy are clearly to blame for the bodies of the Labour train having come off the wheels.

          What the Party should have done is follow their leader, to a damage limiting soft brexit retaining many aspects of free movement and trade.
          Corbyn is a patient man and a survivor.
          If Johnson has done a deal with some significant interest group rather than rigged the election outright, then they will soon come to light and they can be disciplined for causing chaos.

          The first time we know who they are will be when we see some significant benefits accruing in unexpected quarters. Right now they are hiding under their stones. Only Cummings knows.

          • Jack

            Giyane

            2 elections to Tory, + the referendum, it is obvious which way the people want to go.
            Instead of trying to come up with excuses, judge the situation from the fact that people wasnt appealed to what Corbyn/Labour had to offer.
            Its like the situation after the US election. Clinton lost and tried to come up with all different reasons but to judge her own party/failure.

            “Labour shows no sign of wanting to get to know the electorate. Indeed, it seems to hold them in contempt,”
            https://www.facebook.com/TELEGRAPH.CO.UK/posts/labour-shows-no-sign-of-wanting-to-get-to-know-the-electorate-indeed-it-seems-to/10158574831599749/

          • Giyane

            Jack

            Getting to know the electorate

            Well if the electorate want a blonde porn star and not a humane and wise elder, then they have what’s coming to them.
            Blairites want zionist war which is the same as the Tories, so they are in the bag so far as Snobslob is concerned.

            I want to know who the scabs are:

            Islamist right wing Asians or
            Small business men and women.

            Yobs who want celebrities, – I just don’t buy it, but I night be wrong.

  • jmg

    Julian’s Christmas in London:

    > Julian Assange called my family from prison this Christmas Eve while we were preparing for dinner. Please spare a thought for him. He spoke to my wife, Pranvera and our girls – who remembered Christmas with him in 2010 when he was our guest while on bail.

    > This was the last time that Julian had a family Christmas. He told my wife and I how he was slowly dying in Belmarsh where, though only on remand, he is kept in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day and is often sedated. His US extradition proceedings start in February…

    > and he desperately needs our support.

    Vaughan Smith — @VaughanSmith — Twitter — Dec 26, 2019
    https://twitter.com/VaughanSmith/status/1210278651171934210

    • Kim Sanders-Fisher

      Good to see you are still fired up on this issue of Electoral fraud as it continues to bother me a great deal. The full results from the 2019 General Election were posted on the House of Commons Website in the 19th of December. The Electoral Commission site was the wrong place to look as they only publish a report at a much later date. I have posted a link on the Discussion Forum “Election Aftermath” where we should continue this debate. I hope you will let us know how your analysis is going by commenting on the forum.

    • John Pretty

      Before I say anything else I want to make it clear that I do not like the Conservative Party.

      I think you are making the assumption here that some people are deliberately falsifying results. I would challenge that assumption.

      From the interesting piece you have provided it is clear that an error was made. So that would certainly need to be looked into.

      However, unforced human error could be the cause of it. (I know that you don’t want to believe that, but you have cannot prove that the mistake was deliberate.)

      There should be a procedural system in place already to ensure that this cannot happen. Election votes should be counted in such a way as to ensure that errors like this are found before it it too late to change them. Either the system was not adhered to as it should have been, or the system is faulty. The system should be designed in such a way as to ensure that it cannot be gamed.

      An investigation is certainly needed and changes certainly need to be made to ensure that this cannot happen again.

      The people who work on election days have very long hours on that day. My sister works for a local council and has done this work for years. I would think that errors do occur due to fatigue, though I would hope not generally on this scale!

      • Ross

        My comment was mostly tongue firmly in cheek. The greater point, is that it demonstrates the lack of integrity in the voting system. If this can happen by accident, what could a determined group of conspirators achieve?

  • David

    Baroness Lady Hale president of supreme court is guest-editor on BBCR4 “Toady” program. She made the powerful state broadcaster cover the inane situation of perfidious UK vs. the rest of the world concerning the freedom of the Chagos Islanders.

    Biased bBC then produced a masterpiece in nuanced gap propaganda, explaining the Chagos location, history and court-cases, without once mentioning American military bases, there was a bit of vox-pop around the issues, and a hurried “security needs” comment. Historically, as the bBC never mentioned, inhabitants of Diego Garcia, Peros Bahnos and Salomon Islands – all part of the Chagos Archipelago – were deported in the 1970s. These inhabitants, who number a few thousands, were forcibly gathered and placed aboard the ship Nordvaer and sent to Seychelles and Mauritius. They were left on their own and have lived in poverty since then.

    Craig has often published articles supporting Chagossians.

    Well done Lady Brenda, I didn’t know that individuals in the UK gov are soon to be charged for serious crimes against humanity(*)… happy retirement to you.

    (*) International Criminal Law outlaws crimes on a mass scale, including genocide, crimes against humanity (attacks on civilians during war or peace) and war crimes (serious violations of the laws that apply in wartime). These crimes are contained in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court which is located in the Hague. The International Criminal Court decides cases against individuals.

  • Tatyana

    Just see how easily they do it, when they really have will to work together! Putin and Zelenskiy met in person and settled it all about gas pipe.
    We pay $US 3 billions due to Stokholm court decision, then on January 1 all other mutual claims and property arrests will be nullified, and we have a new contract with Ukraine on gas!
    evil tongues say that this became possible when one Ukrainian official (who is a devoted ‘friend’ of the American government and also had personal benefit from the reverse scheme of gas supplies) was removed from negotiations.

    The news about the payments can hardly be called pleasant, but certainly the improvement in the general situation is encouraging. Maybe they can settle it about Donbass as well?

    • Dungroanin

      The UK benefits instantly by virtue of EU membership, our gas prices are dropping! Which means many will not have to worry about staying warm over this winter.

      Nordstream2 (Turkstream too) and Ukraine are the start of the end of US/Nato hagemony post WW2 in ‘Western’ Europe – we may finally get OUR peace dividend from the end of the Cold War and ‘defeat of the USSR’!

      As the oil and gas industry tries to ramp up USA dirty expensive dangerous LNG supplies to Europe with a $Billion bribe in the latest Bill approved by Trump AND Democrats (yup!), it is hard to see how they have major western companies such as Exxon/ BP/ Shell etc being PARTNERS with Rosfnet and Gazprom in Nordstream while trying to stop it !

      Anyway here is a very informative article that will help fill in a few holes.
      https://astutenews.com/2019/12/24/nordstream-sanctions-a-sad-coda-to-u-s-foreign-policy/

      ‘By keeping Russian gas out of Europe, it was supposed to constrain not only Russia’s growth but also Europe’s. Because then the U.S. government can control who and how much energy can make it into European markets at critical junctures politically.’

      • John Pretty

        dungroanin, here is another very interesting discussion of this on the Duran by Alex Christoforou and Alexander Mercouris:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jiGh1wSIt5c

        Alexander Mercouris:

        “These sanctions are not going to stop Nord Stream 2. The Russians – Gazprom – has made it absolutely clear that if there is any attempt by the United States to interfere with the last phase of construction of Nord Stream 2 … the Russians will finish the pipe laying themselves.”

        The Americans are really losing the plot !

    • Tatyana

      Actually, when speaking of Ukraine and Russia, I’m much more concerned with human lives, than with big business’ money and I have little interest in discovering who benefits from what.

      There’s war, they shoot, people die while those in the governments calculate their dividends. I wish they could work on Donbass with equal motivation as they work on money earning problem.

      • Dungroanin

        Tatyana i can only say what i have learned myself. Please don’t take offence. I am but drunk writing this.

        Human lives, us, are just a commodity to our masters.

        The masters are all about power.

        Power is money.

        Money is politics.

        Politics is war with a different name.

        War is dead humans – us.

        It is all connected and understanding that, is what i try to do every day.

        That is what Craig Murray’s blog and us commenteting here is for me.

        All the best for new year and I hope the 30 million russian dead of WW2 are appreciated more than they have been and we achieve the world peace of their sacrifice instead of the crap we are given daily to divide us.

        The poor Ukrainians made a bad choice like we did with brexit here – made for us by the powerful and rich. It will take a generation for a peace to return there.
        I believe that it is happening since the direct meetings between Putin, Merkel and Zlovinsky recently. Fingers crossed.

  • Mary

    I made a contribution to the fund set up by Nadira’s friend, Shahida for her film about the Ronhingya people expelled from Myanmar.

    She sent this:

    Dear Backers, I am writing this message to wish you all Happy holidays and a fantastic year ahead! We all did it- the film you supported was released in November on Al Jazeera English and had a very good feedback.

    But, more importantly, this is the only film which tell the story of persecutions of Rohingya since 1978 and clearly states that there is state policy of extermination of Rohingya. Because of your generous help I could go to Myanmar and get a testimony of a mastermind of genocidal policies against them. And now, evidence we have obtained is used by the activists and the International Criminal Court.

    I can never thank you enough for believe in this project. On behalf of the tea behind the film, I wish you all the best in 2020!
    Best regards,
    Shahida

    _____

    Good work Shahida.

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