My New Year Wishes 322

1) Scottish Independence
2) Freedom for Julian Assange
3) A genuine, public inquest into the murder of Dawn Sturgess
4) Recognition of the State of Palestine
5) Genuine moves towards a paradigm shift in wealth distribution here and across the globe
6) Radical action on climate change
7) The decolonisation of the Chagos Islands

I obviously do not claim that as a comprehensive analysis of the ills of the world; it contains both individual cases and aspects of the widest scale public policy. It is however an indication of the areas where I expect to be expending my own small budget of energy and activism in 2020. What are yours?

I do hope you are all enjoying family and friends in a refreshing festive season. I know it can be a stressful time; mine has not been. I think the implications of an unbridled right wing populist government in Westminster took us all a little time to process. I feel fully refreshed now, and ready for the fight.

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322 thoughts on “My New Year Wishes

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    • nevermind

      Wishes are as aspirational as the policy promises of politicians, but they produce more hope, imho.
      Julians situation needs urgent attention and Vaughn Smith on RT has it about right, this Government seem to want to tranquilise him to death, what are his lawyers doing ?
      6) is an important issue that will continue to galvanise very young people who have no vote or say, with some mental ramifications to come.
      As for Independence, despite the gloom of some here, it will blossom together with a parallel Irish unity drive, welding Scotland NI and Ireland into a Gaelic Alliance very likely to be joined by Wales, with noises from Lancashire who also feel pummeled by Westmonster.
      My no.8) would be ‘ no major war against Iran’ and a diplomatic push to bring Shia and Sunnis to a table.

      Wishing everyone health and happiness in future.

  • Rowan Berkeley

    Have you seen this?

    Censured intelligence group Institute for Statecraft to offer degree
    Mark McLaughlin, Telegraph, Jan 1 2020

    A state-funded intelligence group that prompted a diplomatic row by distributing criticism of Jeremy Corbyn is preparing to award university degrees. The Institute for Statecraft, a charity based in Fife, is seeking to boost its educational credentials after censure by the charities regulator. It narrowly avoided being stripped of its charitable status in November by the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator, which found the work of a counter-propaganda subsidiary called the Integrity Initiative “difficult to reconcile” with the institute’s educational aims. The initiative retweeted articles critical of the Labour leader, including a column by Edward Lucas in The Times that described him as a “useful idiot” for communist secret police. Chris Donnelly, director of the institute, publicly apologised to Mr Corbyn in April and said that the tweets, sent by an unmonitored social media assistant, were a mistake. He acknowledged that they were in breach of Scottish charity law and strict rules from the Foreign Office, which gave the institute a grant to counter foreign propaganda. Articles of association filed with Companies House last week reaffirmed that the institute’s primary goal was to “advance education in the fields of governance and statecraft”. Private organisations can offer accredited degrees provided they meet certain criteria, and can be validated by universities. The institute will also “advance human rights, conflict resolution and/or reconciliation and religious/racial/ethnic harmony” and aims to assist governments and institutions “to respond to the challenges posed by new developments in the world.” Mr Donnelly, a retired intelligence trainer at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, founded the institute in 2006 amid fears that western leaders were unprepared for emerging threats, particularly involving Russia and its proxies. It published academic papers through the Free University of Brussels, which were largely ignored outside the intelligence community until it was targeted by Russian state media. It has a partnership with the University of Leicester to review its security, conflict and international development degrees, and has Oxford and Cambridge academics among its fellows. The charity watchdog found that it breached strict neutrality rules and employed trustees who acquired too much private benefit from its activities. It was allowed to continue as a charity after it ceased paying its trustees and improved internal governance. The institute’s Latin America programme has been praised by judicial reform campaigners. Celia Szusterman, its head, is working to export crime-fighting lessons and prison reforms to tackle gang violence in El Salvador.

  • Cubby

    Some New Year Wishes

    1. English people to stop saying England is an island.
    2. English people to realise there is no British Empire.
    3. English people to accept that the British Empire like all empires was not a good thing.
    4. English people to stop teaching their children that the British Empire was a good thing.
    5. English people to realise English is not the same as British.
    6. English people to stop saying the UK is an island.
    7. More English people to study the geography and history of the UK.
    8. English people to question why the honours system ( e.g. commander of the British empire CBE ) glorifies a lost empire that brutalised the world.
    9. English people to question the nature of the democracy of the UK instead of bowing to Royalty and Dukes and Lords.

    Sadly, I don’t hold out much hope of these wishes coming true in 2020.

    • John Pretty

      Cubby, I was born in England to an English parent and a Scottish parent. I have lived in England all of my life. I am generally happy to identify as English.

      I believe none of the things that you complain about. In fact I find it a little insulting tbh.

      • Cubby

        John Pretty

        No need to repeat who you are. I can remember info you know.

        If that is not you then why be insulted. Unfortunately that is the case with many of your fellow countrymen.

    • N_

      You need to get out some more, @Cubby, and stop blaming “English people” for your woes. What do you think “Scottish people” should do – fight against the badness of “English people” some more? The advice “GTFU” springs to mind. The UK is neither an island nor any other kind of geographical feature: it’s the monarchist political regime in Britain. Talking about the UK as if it’s a country is a form of bowing to royalty.

      • cubby

        N – more pish from you. Where do I blame English people for my woes? The truth hurts and you cannot come up with anything better than “get out more”

        Some English need to stay in more and look at a map of Great Britain and Ireland. Perhaps they can be more accurate when talking about the country etc

        • pete

          Oh, now you’ve set N_ off, any minute now he/she will be banging on about Steiner ( the Deep State and god knows what next. Your points about the knock on effects of the British Empire are well made, the ugly reality of being at the fag-end of empire had not struck home yet to many people in high office, but it will do in time. Craig’s wishes are well made and his list is as good as any other I have seen. Let’s stick to what we might be able to achieve and hope the planet does not go down the plughole in the meantime.

      • MJ

        “Talking about the UK as if it’s a country is a form of bowing to royalty”

        It’s a form of acknowledging reality.

    • Bruce H

      You seem bitter towards the English for some reason… are you sure that your own national group;is not guilty of the same faults? If not the you are a racist.

        • Bruce H

          I didn’t say the English can’t improve, my one and a half lines shouldn’t have tested your reading skills that much, I just suggested that it’s the same the whole world over. At present the British, and the English in particular (in terms of where they live – we have no way of knowing what their “ethnic” origins are, only how the voters in any given area voted, Many of Scottish origin live in England and vice versa ) have just shown a particularly stupid trait of character… so I hope they can improve on this, even if it looks depressingly unlikely in the near future.

          On the other hand nationalism, a particularly dangerous ideology, seems just as strong in other historically defined parts of Britain as it is in the part called England. The question we hardly see discussed is what happens after any historically defined bit of the country splits off and returns to the border of centuries ago… when the warm glow of clannish camaraderie has worn off people will realise that the old divides, the old inequalities and hardships are still there… that where the border was drawn and redrawn doesn’t change a thing.

    • Republicofscotland

      “English people to stop saying the UK is an island.”

      Erm…Uhmmm. It is an island.

          • MJ

            You’ve omitted Wales and N Ireland. The UK is a union between four different countries incorporating two separate islands

          • Iain Stewart

            This is the kind of debate that makes this blog’s comments worth ploughing through. But why Rosco and his readers should have declared the Hebrides, Orkney and Shetland (amongst other islands) off limits will probably remain another one of those unsolved mental mysteries.

          • Hatuey

            Wales was annexed in the mid 16th century. It legally ceased to exist, as I understand it, and was incorporated into England and subsequently the U.K. In 1707.

            Ireland wasn’t annexed but it was essentially a colony and was formally incorporated into the UK with a treaty in 1800/1801, so that the UK became the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

            The treaty that created the United Kingdom of Great Britain, created in 1707, only had two signatories— Scotland and England.

          • Bruce H

            If you look back a bit more the British Isles were divided into many more kingdoms than this four… it seems to be only a fairly recent convention to limit it to four “nations”, like in rugby competitions. Given a few million pounds and a good dollop of bad faith I’m sure the kingdoms of Wessex, Cornwall or Kent and many others could be revived. Why draw the line at the 17th century?

          • Cubby

            Bruce H

            “Why draw the line at the line at the 17th century”

            The line is being drawn in the 18th century because that is when in 1707 the UK was created. You know the current set up. Seems pretty obvious to most people I would have thought.

    • Chris Young

      Your wishes will all come true when Nicola Sturgeon stops beginning sentences with ‘eemmm’. ☺

      • Cubby

        MJ/Bruce H and others

        There is a lack of understanding of what Kingdoms and nations there are in the UK.

        TWO Kingdoms – England and Scotland and TWO monarchies but ONE monarch ( QE2 and Elizabeth Queen of Scots – two titles ) reigning over the two Kingdoms/ monarchies

        The UK is not a Union of 4 nations. It is a bipartite Union between the Kingdom of Scotland and the Kingdom of England. There are three nations within the two Kingdoms along with N. Ireland which some may call a nation others a province.

        In terms of islands the UK consists of a number of islands of which Great Britain is the largest, and part of the island of Ireland.

      • Chris Young

        Well done, thanks for pointing out my typographic error.
        You are a beautiful, amazing human bean.

        • Cubby

          Chris Young

          You would make a beautiful amazing comic but still a diddy that can’t spell.

    • Andyoldlabour

      Cubby, please get a grip on reality. Next you will accuse the English of eating live babies.

      • Cubby


        Total nonsense comment. Is that the best analysis you can come up with.

        The truth seems to upset a lot of people.

        I made simple points and it would appear that a lot of English people struggle to accept the reality of what the UK is and how English people relate to it. As it happens there are a lot of British in Scotland who are in the same boat.

    • Roberto

      10. English people to acknowledge that the British Empire brought administrative and political structure to its ‘members’, and that every member that has seceded from the Empire is now a basket case with everything left by the Empire to them physically, economically, and politically in ruins.
      11. English people to recognise that assessing historical eras in terms of political correctness-du-jour is not correct analysis of history.
      12. English people to recognise that marxist idealism is not democracy, but envy, sloth, and treason.
      13. English people to recognise that there is a structure in every society, whether they be Royalty, Lords, and Dukes bound by parliaments, or Party Bosses, nomenclatura and apparatchiks bound by nothing.

      • Cubby


        14. English people to realise that Roberto is an example of the delusional thinking of English people about the British empire.

  • N_

    Top three with a British focus:

    1. Abolition of private schools; nationalisation of their assets; destruction of their buildings.
    2. Withdrawal from NATO.
    3. Abolition of the monarchy.

    Thee more with a British focus: desired government economic policies:

    4. High rate of inheritance tax for top 5% of estates.
    5. High rate of land value tax.
    6. Abolition of beneficial titles (to assets held in trusts).

    Four with a more global focus:

    7. Increasing recognition of nature and effects of Jewish racism.
    8. Increasing recognition of role of media.
    9. Increasing understanding of bullshit nature of “stop climate change” propaganda.
    10. Increasing recognition of harmfulness of the smartphone plague.

  • Peter

    2020 – a new year and a new decade.

    Let the fightback begin.

    Best wishes for a happy and fruitful new year to Mr Murray and all who comment here to make this one of the most vital (British, no offence intended) sites on the web.

    Many thanks.

  • Jimmeh

    “Recognition of the State of Palestine”?

    That’s awfully complicated. Does this state include Gaza? If so, how is Gaza to be linked with the West Bank? Does this state have any sea-port?

    How will the Kingdom of Jordan feel about this state? Most “Jordanian citizens” are actually from the West Bank – the population of Jordan proper is pretty tiny.

    I think the real problem is how to reign-in the rogue state that is Israel. Unfortunately Israel benefits from the military and political support of most of the richest and best-armed countries in the world. The reasons for that are complicated; for example, US support for Israel seems to have a lot to do with the particular kinds of nutty evangelical Christianity that are popular there (the elect cannot be saved in the Rapture, until all Jews have moved to Biblical Israel). Russia has had important Jewish leaders, but it also has a nasty history of persecuting Jews. In the UK, I think it’s a mixture of WWII-era contempt for the Nazis, guilt about the Holocaust (and about a long history of persecution of Jews), and frankly, of simple, uncomplicated bigotry. And of course, oil has always had a big part to play – but I think it’s exaggerated. The Middle East will still be a mess, after all the oil has run out, and those of us that remain have all converted to solar.

    A Buddhist teacher once told me that the problems of the world are not generally fixable; this is Samsara, its fundamental nature is ignorance and hatred, and all you can really do is apply sticking-plasters to the most egregious defects. Well, I’m no longer a Buddhist, and that is dogma that I don’t buy. But nor am I a utopian idealist; I do think the world is improvable. It’s just not perfectable. The Midddle East seems to be a particularly poisonous carbuncle.

    I read Jonathan Cook’s blog; he’s a brilliant analyst, he lives there, and he’s very knowledgeable. But as far as I can see, he has no more idea of how to fix the problems of the region than I do.

    • Laguerre

      Long out of date. King Hussein of Jordan accepted the independence of Palestine fifty yeas ago. There’s nothing wrong with a state in two parts. Why is a sea-port obligatory? But I’d agree that it’s unlikely to happen before the decline of the colonial state of Israel, which given the unwillingness of Israeli soldiers to fight these days, other than shooting unarmed Palestinians, may not be so very far away.

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Laguerre January 1, 2020 at 16:49
        Both Palestine and Jordan have potential sea ports – Gaza and Aqaba.
        There is a port at Eilat, so I imagine some dredging and building could produce one at Aqaba.

        • Laguerre

          Of course there’s a perfectly good port at Aqaba. But Jordan is not Palestine, except in Israeli propaganda.

      • Mary

        Number of Palestinians in Diaspora

        Jordan 3,240,000
        Israel 1,650,000
        Syria 630,000
        Chile 500,000 (largest Palestinian community outside the Middle East).
        Lebanon 402,582
        Saudi Arabia 280,245
        Egypt 270,245
        United States 255,000 (the largest concentrations in Chicago, Detroit and Los Angeles
        Honduras 250,000
        Guatemala est. 200,000
        Mexico 120,000
        +23 other countries inc UK

        • Peter Close

          As I understand it, Israel does not accept that the vast majority of those people are Palestinians, because they were not born in the territory before the creation of the state of Israel in 1948. Israeli government statements always refer to ‘Arabs’, ignoring even those persons (now, of course, all over 70 years old) who are within that definition. The UN and every other international body recognise the descendants of refugees and other displaced persons as members of the original group, but Israel dismisses this as merely another manifestation of worldwide antisemitism.

    • Bruce H

      “The Middle East seems to be a particularly poisonous carbuncle”

      But this is not a simple coincidence, not even the zionist colonisation is… it’s all about oil. The discovery of oil and the realisation of its economic and military importance is the source of problems all over the world, and the greater the quantity of oil the greater the problem – look at the example of Britain, the resurgence of the demand for Scottish independence is totally aligned on the number of barrels of oil and cubic metres of gas coming ashore – try comparing election results with the oil and gas figures, plotted on a graph it’s flagrant. Then there’s Biafra, Libya, at present Venezuela. Oil is evil, or maybe it’s oil men.

      • Kempe

        ” the resurgence of the demand for Scottish independence is totally aligned on the number of barrels of oil and cubic metres of gas coming ashore ”

        If that were true than support for the SNP would have all but collapsed in the past twenty years!

        • Bruce H

          I am referring to the period when the SNP was refounding and growing, don’t forget that the nationalists went though a hollow period after the disgrace of the leadership during WW2. I looked into it many years ago, I haven’t looked back since. At the time people still referred to “tartan tories” and Labour was still the main party in Scotland. Once the SNP had created a momentum of its own and given the left of centre policies has taken over from Labour it has gone far beyond campaigning on the basis of “It’s our oil”.

          But don’t believe me, look up the figures for yourself on wikipedia.

          • Robert Graham

            What a load of tripe you type – Please note Wikipedia is not the font of all knowledge it’s a reference source that always should be checked because it can and is manipulated by those who control it , by all means go to it for information but don’t ever quote it as fact .

      • Jimmeh

        Then Middle East is not the only place in the world with oil reserves. Texas had lots of oil; famously, poor Texas farmers would suddenly become rich because oil was discovered in their back yard. There’s still plenty of “ahl” in the USA. Not to mention petroleum gas.

        We’ve mostly moved away from coal and lignite in the last couple of decades; petroleum products will go soon. But first we have to reform our economies. Burning trees, or making “biogas” from maize, instead of mineral fuel, is not a solution. Plastics are made in oil refineries – we have to wean ourselves off these amazingly versatile materials. And “soon” is almost certainly not soon enough – I have grandchildren.

        This is a big deal for an independent Scotland – mining petroleum products can only ever be a short-term economic solution.

        I’m not sure that solar is a good solution; but if it’s really not going to work with solar, then our grandchildren’s fates will be sealed in a decade (do a seem pessimistic? OK, I’m pessimistic). The good news (for me!) is that this disaster will become reality only after I’ve died.

          • Mary

            Israel imposed a total blockade on Gaza in 2007. Fishermen can only go out for 6 nautical miles. The people are throttled.

            ‘Between 2000 and 2018, Al Mezan Center for Human Rights has documented 1,283 incidents involving Palestinian fishermen, including 1,192 shooting incidents that led to the death of 8 fishermen and to the injury of 134 fishermen. During these incidents, 656 fishermen were detained, and 209 boats were confiscated.’

            Israeli gunships patrol the six mile limit.

            They even attack boats attempting to bring in aid.

            Little known is that there is a cemetery in Gaza containing the graves of over 3,000 British and Allied soldiers killed in WW1. It is looked after carefully and lovingly by the Palestinian Jeredeh family (in three generations) under the auspices of the Commonwealth Graves Commission.

            Even that has been damaged by Israel. See

        • Cubby


          The British Nationalist parties said before the 79 referendum that oil and gas would be finished in the mid eighties. They said in the 2014 referendum it would all be finished in 5 years. Recent figures from Oil and Gas now estimate up to 100 years of production left. Even the initial fields from the 60/70’s (Forte/Brent are still going strong). Massive new fields have started up production and the UK gov has been selling off licences for further exploration in new areas.

          You seem to to think a decade. What’s the common factor between your comment and the British Nationalist Political Parties forecast – They are all propaganda, misinformation, lies and complete shite.

          • Jimmeh

            I welcome your remarks, Cubby!

            I took my original info from the edition of the Ecologist, which I think was entitled “limits to growth” or something like that. I’m an old-timer. I recognise that that information has faded somewhat; but their apocalyptic declarations were roughly correct. Their dates were wrong, that’s all.

      • Rob Royston

        Oil is not evil and neither are oilmen. I have worked in oil since the sixties until a couple of years ago. The evil I saw was on a higher level and was aimed at power and monetary gain.

    • Mary

      Gaza had a port. Israel bombed it like the sewage system and water and electricity supplies.

    • Hatuey

      “ Does this state include Gaza? If so, how is Gaza to be linked with the West Bank? Does this state have any sea-port?”

      Gaza is on the coast.

      • Jimmeh

        “Gaza is on the coast”

        And blockaded by Israeli navy. A meringue? And is there a passage between the West Bank and Gaza? (Answer: no, there isn’t, and no: I’m not wrong)

        Come on dude, you surely know that there’s no unimpeded passage from one part of the West Bank to any neighbouring part – the West Bank has been comprehensively balkanized, with the complete compliance of successive British amd US governments.

  • Republicofscotland

    New Years Anti-wish list.

    A no deal Brexit occurs, Johnson further divides society financially, privatisation runs riot.

    The Global warming doubters win the argument, and we head for ecological armageddon.

    The Great Satan (US) emboldened by a victory over Iran, (millions dead) and a usurping of the Venezulean president, sets its sights on a final showdown with China.

    Japan resumes full scale whaling, with the backing of America, as the US no longer recognises the WWF, UN, EU which rails over the decision.

    The nuclear arms race steps up a gear, the UK spends more than ever on nuclear subs etc, whilst million go hungry as welfare payments are slashed. (Actually this ones a reality right now).

    Scotland is denied (physically) a second independence referendum, Holyrood powers are syphoned off, and its reduced to a unionist shibboleth.

    • Jimmeh

      “Shibboleth” – I believe this term refers to a distinctive ethnic characteristic, for example a way of pronouncing a word, that could be used to distinguish enemies from friends. I think that, in antiquity, Samaritans pronounced this word differently from Hebrews. Samaritans were disliked; The parable of the Good Samaritan has its meaning precisely because Samaritans were disliked – Samaritans were not expected to be “Good”.

  • Mary

    The PTB get everywhere, even on to the Committee of Cheltenham Racecourse, were they join P Anne’s daughter, Zara.

    Look at their multiple interests. Note the ex UK Ambassador to Afghanistan is there too. Sir Richard Stagg KCMG is also a director of Rothschild India and a JP Morgan outfit. Handy that. The chairman, St Quinton, has acquired 70 companies in his 30 year career. Lord Vestey’s eldest son is also there.

    A revolution? Nah. Never. Not in Great Britain.

  • N_

    If fears and predictions are on-topic in this thread as well as wishes, then here you go: one thing that may appear in 2020 is a cooperation between Dominic Cummings and the deranged Crown Prince, who may perhaps soon become “king”. Think

    ● a belief in natural hierarchical order, combined with
    ● cosmo-babble (“branching histories”, nanotech, grey goo, whatever)
    ● Britain’s sacred role as world engine
    ● a conviction that strong enlightened Leadership is where it’s at.

    Let’s try looking at Dominic Cummings’s role and ideas from Prince Charles’s point of view. What does he look like? Ri-i-ight!

    For background: Boris Johnson’s speech to the UN General Assembly, 24 September 2019.

  • Tom74

    It’s always worth aiming high. My only doubt is on the ‘climate change’ goal. It strikes me that just as Brexit seems to con some of the working and middle classes into removing their own rights and protections (under the guise of ‘democracy’ and ‘patriotism’) so the ‘climate change’ cult dupes working people into paying more for goods and energy (under the guise of saving the planet, helping the desperately poor). In fact in both cases, it seems quite likely that the public are serving the rich who want both power (Brexit) and raw materials (climate change) to themselves. No one actually knows that man has caused the earth to warm or cool. There is no way of knowing.
    I hasten to add that I believe in environmentalism and protecting the people and habitats of this planet – I’m just very doubtful about manmade climate change and most of the people behind the movement. It is also quite dangerous in that it potentially diverts resources away from projects and science that actually might help save the planet.

    • Marmite

      It seems a collection of little Trump trolls have invaded here. I find it truly remarkable that there are people posting here that want to continue to deny their role in extractivism, pollution and climate change. How much are you being paid to spread this deceit? Or is it just that you want to go on with your present lifestyle so much that it blinds you from what is so obvious. The idea that the rich benefit from the climate change acknowledgement has got to be one of the stupidest conspiracy theories I have seen here. Sorry, I don’t mean any disrespect, but we really need to wake up.

    • Mighty Drunken

      “No one actually knows that man has caused the earth to warm or cool. There is no way of knowing.”

      That is obviously false if you had done any research into the subject. How objects warm and cool has been known for hundreds of years, which is why the warming effect of increased CO2 in the atmosphere was predicted 200 years ago. You would think that when thousands of climate scientists almost unanimously tell you something, people would believe.
      I guess FUD works.

      • John Pretty

        @ marmite @ mighty drunken

        I detest Donald Trump.

        I suppose it’s flattering in a way – as someone who has a science degree – that you consider us all paragons of virtue, whose views can never be wrong.

        I think you need to understand that not everyone shares your opinion about this. And more fundamentally not everyone is interested. Me? I just don’t care. You may consider that a heretical thing to say, but there it is. I’m not interested in it, I don’t buy in to it and I really just don’t care about this issue.

        I’m old fashioned. I think the world is more at threat from thermonuclear war and American imperialism than too many cows farting all at once. But that’s just me. If climate change rattles your cage then good for you. Leave me alone. I’m not interested.

        I do wish you climate change evangelists would get the message that you are never going to convert the whole of humanity to your cause. No matter how noble and self righteous you consider yourselves. It’s just not going to happen.

        And hey, the good news is, you probably don’t need to convert everyone to your cause to get what you want.

        Live with this, rather than name calling those that disagree with you. Thank you.

        Mr Jaggar has created an off topic thread on this subject:

        • pretzelattack

          the subject is not climate change hysteria, it is climate change anti science propaganda. it’s ever so nice that you have a degree in science, could you explain why you disagree with the royal society? where are your papers proposing an alternative to the consensus. you touch a number of the ad campaign talking points–one doesn’t have to convert anybody, increasingly severe weather in our changed climate is doing that.

          • John Pretty

            I didn’t say I disagreed with anybody.

            I generally support Green initiatives. I would like (for example) to see all of the plastic removed from our oceans.

            But, I am not interested in this subject.

            And it is very foolish to accept without question the edicts of authority figures. No matter who they are or how important they consider themselves.

          • John Pretty

            “the subject is not climate change hysteria”

            – I didn’t say it was. That is Mr Jaggar’s description.

          • Dom

            John Pretty

            Noam Chomsky is virtually the only recognisable public figure who consistently highlights the threat of thermonuclear war. Yet he ranks that threat second as a peril to behind man-made climate change. Your attitude to the latter threat is “I just don’t care” and you expect to be taken seriously by adults on a public forum??

        • Marmite


          Where do you think conflict and colonialism originate. You say you are concerned with these, but don’t seem to appreciate what drives them. Climate change will continue to intensify both of these exponentially. There is no doubt that the earth has always been changing, but to deny what is called the Capitalocene is plain silly. Every toddler who has read The Lorax is aware of that. You might go a bit deeper and ask yourself why you don’t care.

      • Hatuey

        Mighty, don’t assume I am in denial about climate change.

        It is understood though that the earth had been warming and cooling long before we screwed things up. And it is understood that the biggest driver of that going back forever has been the sun.

        As for climate scientists, it would be interesting to know how many of those currently on the payroll were there 20 years ago, talking about the hole in the ozone layer, which seems to have miraculously disappeared, or, going back further, how many were warning kids like me about the impending ice age we faced if we continued to use deodorant and hairspray.

        • pretzelattack

          uh hatuey, there was an international effort to fix the hole in the ozone layer, which seems to have escaped your notice–sadly it wasn’t as effective as it could have been, but still did a great deal of good.there were a few, a small minority of scientists, talking about a cooling effect; after the aforesaid international effort it became less of a concern. the scientists on the payroll of the fossil fuel companies warned them that emissions caused global warming.
          always so refreshing to see the same recycled bullshit from the ad campaign. next, let’s hear about how 9 out of 10 doctors think cigarettes are good for you–was that hill & knowlton’s work, too?

    • Dom


      The only people benefitting from denialism are a miniscule number of polluting plutarchs. The Koch brothers alone have channeled $160 million to institutions denying man-made climate change since 1997. Various other Big Oil oligarchs have contributed hundreds of millions more to muddying the waters on this issue. I hope for your sake some money has been put your way your way for peddling their lies. Otherwise ..

      • John Pretty

        Mr Dom, your comment:

        “I hope for your sake some money has been put your way your way for peddling their lies.” (to Tom 74)

        Mr Dom, I think I can be confident in saying that you are not going to win converts to your cause by making evidence free assertions such as these against people who do not agree with you on this.

        And to be clear: I take no position on this issue because I am not interested in this issue.

        Does that mean that I doubt the apocalyptic predictions of the leaders of your movement? Probably, but as to the issue of climate change I personally take no position.

        There is only so much time that any of us has to devote to any particular cause. This is not one of mine. If you want to spend your time on this issue and you believe in it then fine.

        Just don’t expect everyone to agree with you or to be as interested in this as you are and do not defame those who do not buy into your dogma.

        You don’t need the support of 100% of the people to further your cause.

        • Dom

          You interjected at length on an issue you claim to have no interest in or time to devote to.

  • Ingwe

    One of the wishes I forgot is the hope that ‘The Guardian’ goes into liquidation taking, amongst others into unemployment, the oleaginous creep Jonathan Freedland. Watching him currently on University Challenge failing so far to get one thing right but still so arslikhan that he could pronounce whether Paxo has rectal polyps. What a loathsome toad he is (Freedland).

    • Peter

      One of the (many) things that BBC news presenter and self-declared Tory Paxo was famous for was his saying that whenever he interviewed a politician the question at the top of his mind was always “why is this b*****d lying to me?”

      The funny thing is though, that now whenever I’m listening to or watching a BBC news presenter, the question at the top of my mind is always “why is this b*****d lying to me?”

      • Brianfujisan

        Hit the Nail on the Head there Peter

        And Tragically a Lot of people are dead because of the BBC’s Propaganda War Crimes.

      • Ken Kenn

        When I was at Primary School we used to have to read out to the class and the best reader got a Gold Star.

        Our teacher would say: ” well done for reading that out ”

        I feel like saying the same to news presenters nowadays.

        They used to be referred too as ‘ Newsreaders’ and my favourite was Reggie Bosanquet.

        He more than likely knew the real news pissed than the sober one’s now.

        Don’t forget these experts at everything have a Producer and a Director shouting in their earpieces all the time.

        If a guest says anything they don’t want the public to hear -the director is in their ear trying to change the subject.

        They now just present the news.

        That’s all unless you are the BBC’s very own receiving phone mast – Laura.

        Laura has not Twittered anything for ages – but Johnson ‘s back tomorrow so never fear something(s) will be
        Twittered to the breathless masses for the Six O’Clock News.


      • John A

        Actually, if I remember correctly, Paxo actually said “why is this lying b*****d lying to me?”

        • Cynicus

          “Paxo actually said “why is this lying b*****d lying to me”

          He may have SAID it but he was not it’s originator.

          Robin Lustig attributes the quote to an earlier journalist, Louis Heren (1919-1995) long before he retired as deputy editor of The Times.

          I seem to recall that Times Columnist, Bernard Levin, a contemporary of Heren’s attributed the quote to the American journalist, HL Mencken (1880-1956). But I have been unable to trace it to Mencken but it is the sort of thing he WOULD have said.

          We do know that Heren obtained the quote, as a young reporter in 1946-47, from a colleague in the communist Daily Worker during the “shiver with Shinwell” fuel crisis of 1946/47.

          That was several years before Paxman was born!

  • N_

    3) A genuine, public inquest into the murder of Dawn Sturgess

    Then there’s the Nikolai Glushkov “inquest” which doesn’t seem to have been reconvened after it was opened and adjourned nearly two years ago. He was murdered in New Malden about a week after Sergei and Yulia Skripal fell ill.

    • Mary

      Not forgetting the death of Dr David Kelly. There was never an inquest just Blair’s and Falconer’s ‘Hutton Inquiry’.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ N_ January 1, 2020 at 21:17
      And we still don’t know the whereabouts and circumstances of Sergei and Yulia Skripal.

  • Kerch'ee Kerch'ee Coup

    Congratulations Craig ,fellow- commentators and moderators,
    “We have managed to initiate a respectful and republican dialogue that is without precedent in a democracy” as the royal Macron said in his New Year Address.

  • Teo Blas

    8) Prosecution of all those responsible and complicit in Yemen war crimes
    9) Jeffrey Epstein comes out of hiding and defeats Netanyahu to become Prime Minister of Israel
    10) Everyone on planet earth wins the lottery and becomes a multimillionaire

    Irrational Magical Fantasy 2020 list is now complete !

  • Wikikettle

    I wish Craig and all the rest of you well for the coming year. I would also like to congratulate the cretins that have done everything possible to destroy this countries institutions and standing in the world. The so called guardians of the deep state have been the most unpatriotic tools of corrupt power that have brought us to this sad decline and fall. People like Craig, Jeremy, Julian and a few voices for reason and peace are the real patriots. Take care and respect.

  • Sandra Crawford

    I believe that to achieve some of those objectives, we will need a resurgent Labour Party. We are in search of a decent leader. I remember during the last leadership election you wrote a very insightful and useful account of “the entirely fake Owen Smith.” Would you consider writing something on Kier Starmer including his role as DPP?

    • Brianfujisan

      I’m Wondering Why you think Corbyn wasn’t a Decent Leader.. I think there few more decent MP’s in Westminster.. Apart From oor SNP SMP’s

      • Mary

        Sky News in the shape of Ms Burley is suggesting Keir Starmer. She was extremely nasty to Andy McDonald just now on line, jeering and laughing her head off quoting the election statistics at him. He maintained his dignity and kept his cool.

        She even quoted the Chief Rabbi and Ruth Smeeth when saying that Corbyn held anti-semitic views. Then she brought up the subject of that mural! She is a piece of work and finished off with some of her oiliness by inviting him back into the studio at any time.

      • Bramble

        I can’t think of any more decent leader. Unfortunately decency lacks sexiness and charisma and what people want is an alpha male wrapped in The fucking Flag and dripping with blood (figuratively anyway – Mr Corbyn’s pacifism was fatal to his appeal) as a leader.

        • Paul Barbara

          @ Bramble January 2, 2020 at 11:46
          I cannot think of a more decent leader than JC either. I do not believe he is pacifist, rather he is non-militarist, and does not believe in taking the country to war on the back of lies and False Flag ops in the cause of Zion*sm, the Banksters or the Corporations.
          How right he has been shown to be with Iraq, Syria and Libya.
          Hopefully, he will have been refreshed by the hols, and will come back fighting over Bolivia and the OPCW disgrace.

      • Sandra Crawford

        Oh I do think Corbyn is a decent leader – the best one Labour has ever had, with maybe the exception of Attlee. I voted for Corbyn twice! I love the man – but he is resigning and I am very concerned about his replacement. The most worrying one being Kier Starmer, much of what he says is “Blairite” – inspite of his pretentions to keep Corbynisim. I was interested in his role as DPP particularly with regard to Julian Assange.

        • Cubby

          Sandra Crawford

          One MP in Scotland out of a possible 59. Your love is not shared in Scotland.

          Possible reasons:

          1. Backtracking on democracy for Scotland and the right of self determination.

          2. Backtracking on his long held CND position. Nukes on the Clyde not very popular in Scotland.

          3. Richard Leonard British Labour Party in Scotland branch manager is a total diddy.

        • Brianfujisan

          I Get your point on this Sandra..and share your fears..Even When We get our Independence, I will still share your fears, that – Rather than Corbyn – The Red Tories ( Blairites ) will be back

  • Hatuey

    Now that brexit is a certainty and Labour has imploded, the British state guns are being repositioned and fixed on Scotland. Nobody cares about Labour’s leadership, it’s a background issue.

    How will Boris respond, if at all, to the SNP request for a section 30? What will the SNP do if it’s a point blank “no”? These are the questions that matter today.

    I have an expectation that we are in for surprises.

    Can we rule out Boris throwing the SNP a bone? I don’t. They must see that the grassroots of the independence movement is losing confidence in the SNP’s ability to achieve independence and that the situation could change quite dramatically — instead of facing a rule-respecting Nicola Sturgeon, Boris could find himself facing a leader who is serious, determined, and flexible about achieving independence.

    This is an age-old problem that historians would discuss in terms of containment. The goal for Boris and the British State isn’t to humiliate, defeat, or confound the SNP. The goal is to prevent independence and to do that they need to contain the Scottish independence movement.

    It doesn’t take much imagination to see that it might be in The British State’s interests to actually help the SNP right now. Politics gets very murky at times. Through a certain prism, you could argue that the current SNP leadership and Boris have a common enemy today.

    We should be on our guard and not let any cheap stunts — by the SNP or Boris — distract us from the reality of Scotland’s situation right now. We are about to be dragged by the hair out of the EU against our will and thrown into a UK cage.

    • Cubby


      I do not see the comments on here being flooded with posts from English democrats supporting Scotlands right to choose. Democrats what a laugh – latent colonialists more like – yes even the great Labour saviour Corbyn was for self determination for everyone and democracy for everyone except when it comes to Scotland.

      The Labour party – what a bunch of frauds – colonialists masquerading as socialists.

      Look at all the trouble spots in the world today and consider how many have the legacy of being ruled by Westminster.

  • uncle tungsten

    My meek addition is to see the eradication from economic and political life of every spawn and vestige of the old doge rulers that descended from the Venice swamps of Italy. To see them exposed and taxed to within an inch of their lives and then to ensure, by whatever means even including those means that they employ, that they are incapable of accumulating any further power or wealth.

  • Australian lady

    Regarding wish no.7:
    Imagine if the Chagosians were given the right to return to their coral atoll. Maybe they might they might make it easier for small passing yachts to anchor in the expansive central lagoon than the present British Indian Ocean Territories Administration. I stayed there, on a small yacht, for two periods in1999 and 2000, and it was a unique experience,to say the least. We were not exactly alone- there could be up to 40 other yachts on anchor around the ring of palm fringed, white sand edged, uninhabited islands. All the sailors were crossing the Indian Ocean ,east or west according to the time of year but there were no restrictions on length of stay.
    Post 2001(“9/11”) the idyll was over. The proximity to the U.S.base at Diego Garcia island,a very important military and intelligence facilitator in the “war on terror ” precipitated a new B.I.O.T. regime on passing yacht ices: fees,insurance,and a time limit. Their excuse was the “conservation zone”. Please excuse my extreme
    Imagine if there wasn’t such a vast and intrusive military industrial complex. Mind you-the Chagosians would
    probably build a big,shiny marina,- don’t think there’s much to be made with copra these days.
    Happy New Year Craig, and may your all your wishes come true, especially no2.

    • Antonym

      IF the US navy left Diego Garcia, in how many months would the Chinese navy move in? The Chinese obtained many bases in the Indian ocean by luring the local rulers with big loans, which their populations are not able to repay. Just check

      Here is a suggestion: why not hand these islands back to the Chagosians under formal Indian protection/ support? Better aim for a multi polar world over one or two.

  • Ros Thorpe

    I’m not sure anyone murdered Dawn Sturgess. It seems Equally possible that she either died of a drug overdose or natural causes.

    • Pb

      You’re not alone there the police and CPS are not sure if anyone murdered Dawn hence no charges have been brought.

      She could have died of a drug overdose or natural causes but Porton Down said it was Novichok that killed her, tests confirmed that Dawn had no “recreational” drugs in her system, her body was cremated 3 weeks after her death leaving no opportunity for a private postmortem to be preformed.

      The Coroner may shed some light on the actual cause(s) of death when he eventually gets around to having an Inquest but at the moment he is involved with “complex legal arguments” regarding the process. A Pre Inquest Review has been re-scheduled again for 18th February but that too may get adjourned.

      It seems to me that if you rub the world’s most deadliest nerve agent into your skin and inhale it and you die then that is at least a candidate for the cause of death, yet her partner, Charlie, spilled some on himself, took a sniff of it and breathed it in again when Dawn sprayed it, called for an ambulance, went shopping, went home, went for a bite to eat, went home again and more than 8 hours after Dawn had been put on life support he too began to feel unwell.

      Police assisted putting Charlie into the ambulance (the wrong way round) they wore no protective clothing but the ambulance crew did. Charlie and Dawn were not tested for nerve agent poisoning until 3 days later.

      The person who rang for Charlie’s ambulance, Sam, had been with Charlie and Dawn the previous night and was there when they put Dawn in an ambulance, his blood wasn’t tested until two later.

      Charlie was told by the Guardian newspaper on the first anniversary of Dawn’s death that he had been administered with a nerve agent antidote at the scene by a Ambulance Control Room Commander who had coincidentally attended the Salisbury Incident and had assisted the Chief Nursing Officer of the British Army, Col Alison McCourt, in treating Yulia and Sergei Skripal.

      I don’t know about the complex legal arguments that have to be ironed out before the Inquest, it’s the bleedin’ story that I am having difficulty with.

      • Pb

        Sam’s blood was not tested until two weeks later by way of a thumb prick test.

        Charlie being loaded into an ambulance the wrong way after being given a nerve agent antidote, police unprotected yet 10 emergency services vehicles in attendance (police, fire and ambulances) including a decontamination unit from Swindon

        3 days later they tested Charlie’s blood for nerve agent.

        According to a Freedom of Information Request the Ambulance Response times are Classified Secret because knowledge of such would harm National Security. ACC Basu of the Met however said Charlie’s ambulance was called at 3:30pm however after Dawn had died he changed that time to 6:20pm; National Security prevents us knowing which is true. Or if both were.

      • John Pretty

        Pb, “the world’s most deadliest nerve agent”

        – Could you tell me what this is please? Because I don’t think there is conclusive evidence that it is “novichok”. (And why would that be relevant anyway?)

        I for one do not believe that the Skripals were poisoned by any sort of nerve agent, let alone anything called “novichok”. Why do you believe what Porton Down tells you? And even if the samples they tested contained nerve agent residues that does not mean that they were not tampered with beforehand.

        Remember, according to a recent legal ruling the security services are permitted to break laws if it is deemed (by the government) to be in the “national interest”.

        I have never believed that any nerve agent was involved with the Skripals poisoning or the poisoning of Ms Sturgess.

        I think you really have to question why the Russians (who I do not believe poisoned the Skripals) would have chosen to use an agent which would immediately point fingers at them, rather than something like Sarin which has been around for many years and which would be equally as effective.

        • Ros Thorpe

          Since it seems to have a ‘delayed’ effect, it’s pretty useless as a nerve agent. My feeling is it doesn’t exist. It’s a made up compound that defies all laws of chemistry and biology in that it has a delayed effect that takes place presumably exactly 4 or so hours after exposure regardless of dose, age, sex, size and health of the individual. It would be a joke if wasn’t so malicious.

      • Ros Thorpe

        Fentanyl seems a likely culprit given the physical contact and inhalation can prove deadly. The question I how did it get in the perfume bottle? I don’t believe Charlie’s story at all. I think maybe he knew what it was.

        • Pb

          The perfume bottle is a complex one

          It appears to be a counterfeit of a branded perfume (a very poor counterfeit)

          That counterfeit was manufactured in Russia and sold in Russia and the Ukraine

          But HMG said the bottle found in Charlie’s flat was not the Russian counterfeit, they said it was a copy of a Russian counterfeit, A very expensive, precision engineered copy of a Russian counterfeit.

          So the questions must be why copy a Russian counterfeit perfume, why not use a real branded perfume or copy a real banded perfume.

          The answer is that Russian Intelligence Services are extremely thick or their western counterparts are in trying to connect the perfume bottle with Russia in such a ludicrous way.

          • Ros Thorpe

            He maybe bought on the internet and it was sent from Ukraine packaged as perfume but containing fentanyl. He probably thought it was funny to dupe Dawn into spraying it as didn’t realise it is 50 times stronger than heroine and very dangerous to inhale.

        • Vivian O'Blivion

          In the case of the Skripals, BZ (American hallucinogenic / incapacitating agent) seems the most likely cause. From memory, the presence of BZ was reported in the leaked report from the Swiss laboratory. The OPCW put forward an explanation for the presence of BZ to the effect that it was added for “quality control” reasons. Creating test samples of known composition and distributing them to laboratories as a means of “calibrating” mass spectrometers is standard practice. Tampering with a live (and very politically sensitive) sample in such a way as to degrade clarity would not be best practice. The “explanation” proffered by the OPCW didn’t set alarm bells ringing ’cause at the time, the credibility of the OPCW hadn’t been holed below the waterline by the Douma fiasco.

          • Paul Barbara

            @ Vivian O’Blivion January 2, 2020 at 14:38
            ‘…the credibility of the OPCW hadn’t been holed below the waterline by the Douma fiasco.’
            Yet doesn’t seem to be sweet FA said about it in Parliament!
            Why doesn’t the Opposition hold the government to account for the war crime of bombarding Syria with missiles, on the suspicion they had used CW’s?
            And where are the reparations for the medical products factory they destroyed?

    • John Pretty

      I agree.

      I’ve never been convinced that her death was in any way connected to the Skripals.

      • Pb

        Novichok connects them.

        On the 4th May 2018 a specialist team raided the City Stay Hotel in Bow, London. They tested a room there and a positive result for Novichok was obtained.

        Later the same day another test was performed but a negative result was returned so the police decided to leave the hotel open for business as usual. The police did not tell the staff or management what had been discovered until 5th Sept 2018.

        Dawn and Charlie were poisoned on the 30th June 2018

        The only evidence that links the 2 Russian Suspects to Novichok is the City Stay Hotel.

        • John Pretty

          “They tested a room there and a positive result for Novichok was obtained.”

          – thank you, but see my comment above. I do not believe that anything called “novichok” would have been used by the Russians as this would immediately point fingers at them.

          I do not believe that these two gentlemen had anything to do with the poisoning.

          • Pb

            Novichok is whatever Porton Down say it is.

            However Porton Down did not know what it was according to High Court documents;

            I [High Court Judge] consider the following to be the relevant parts of the evidence. I shall identify the witnesses only by their role and shall summarise the essential elements of their evidence.

            i)CC: Porton Down Chemical and Biological Analyst

            Blood samples from Sergei Skripal and Yulia Skripal were analysed and the findings indicated exposure to a nerve agent or related compound. The samples tested positive for the presence of a Novichok class nerve agent or closely related agent.”


            “a nerve agent or related compound”

            “a Novichok class nerve agent or closely related agent.”

            The Prime Minister had told the HoC it was Novichok and it came from Russia (Novichoks have been sythethised in many countries)

            Boris Johnson as Foreign Secretary said that he had been assured by Porton Down that it was Novichok.

            Yet Porton Down couldn’t tell the High Court what it was.

            If they didn’t know what it was how did they know where it came from?

          • John Pretty

            I’m sorry Pb, but I do not believe what the government is saying about this.

            See my comment below.

          • Ros Thorpe

            I think what PB is saying is that the narrative is full of absurd contradictions and he/she is just pointing those out in a perhaps tongue in cheek way.

        • John Pretty

          If traces of a nerve agent were found in the hotel room that would imply that it had got out of the container in which it was being stored in sufficient quantity for it to be later detected.

          That is to say, it had been spilled.

          I don’t see that happening without it killing the Russian men who were staying there and also any staff members who would have cleaned the rooms or other guests that were staying there.

          The whole episode to me seems like a crude cover up. The government blamed the Russians for the Skripals poisoning and then manufactured evidence to support their actions.

          I do not believe that the Russian government had anything to do with this.

  • J

    Hi all, Happy new Year. 🙁

    Today is your last chance to send complaints to the electoral commission regarding the election:

    Topics may include:

    a) The level of media smears, lies and defamation against Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is probably unprecedented in the United Kingdom and rendered a fair election impossible.

    b) The possible use by the Conservative Party of deceptive practices including targeted social media campaigns such as those carried out by SCL Limited through their subsidiary Cambridge Analytica.

    c) Any activity during the 2019 election carried out by any company, public or private, with direct links to the Conservative Party which had any connection with any aspect of the voting process or maintenance of the electoral register.

    d) The unprecedented increase in postal votes and the potential for Fraud at many levels requires full disclosure of all postal ballots sent, cast, counted or rejected and where these occured.

    e) Apparent access of BBC journalists and Conservative Party MP’s to the postal vote and the broadcasting of the knowledge gained by this access indicating breaches of electoral law and potential voting fraud.

    f) Numerous* alleged irregularities have appeared in various media. These events should be investigated attention drawn to any more general pattern of election fraud which may resolve.

    * including stacks of undelivered ballots or cast ballots sitting in postal sorting depot’s.

    g) The investigation and disclosure of every role IDOX/Halarose have carried out in any way connected to any elections and referenda in the UK but with particular regard to the 2019 general election.

      • Marmite

        As the Guthrie song goes, one person might be wasting her time, but if a whole busload of conscientious objectors inspired thousands of others, then you’d have a movement. Why would anyone in their right mind discourage the questioning of transparency? That is never a waste of time.

    • On the train

      I have just done as you suggested and sent an email to the Electoral Commission . The point I made concerned the media treatment of the labour leader .

    • Republicofscotland


      Thanks for that link, I knew about the 3.5% pooulation thing. It goes onto mention the South African struggle for equality.

      However its not that well known that SA was backed in apartheid by the USA, among others but US approval is significant.

      Anyway Fidel Castro sent thousands of Cuban troops to Africa, to halt SA aggression towards Namibia, and Angolas civil war they were successful, not long after that the US being the US pull support for SA, and the tide began to turn.

      Nelson Mandela hugged Castro tightly as a brother when they next met. Castro took no credit for his African forays, the Russians supplied his Cuban fighters with weapons to fight in Africa, and there are memorials to wars in African countries with Cuban names here and there etched into them.

      It was said that African leaders were pleased that a black army had defeated what was once thought to be a formidable white SA army.

      I should add that Castro allowed thousands of Africans to come into Cuban to receive an education and to learn about medicines, so they could return to their respective countries to teach and heal their own people.

      No wonder the Great Satan tried and failed to assassinate him over 600 times.

      • Courtenay Barnett

        Republic of Scotland,

        ” However its not that well known that SA was backed in apartheid by the USA, among others but US approval is significant.”

        Truth be told – it was both Regan and Thatcher who were staunch supporters of then Apartheid South Africa. So far as encouragement and embrace of progressive African leadership is concerned – recall that Regan had nothing but high praise for the ‘good’ leadership of Mobutu in the Congo.

        There you have it; funny ol’ world – ain’t it?

        • Paul Barbara

          @ Courtenay Barnett January 2, 2020 at 15:19
          Needless to say, Israel also was backing SA.

      • Misbah

        Thanks, aware of most of that.
        Apartheid was backed by international capital sums it up.

  • Dungroanin

    The publication of Durhams investigation on Russiagate and criminal charges against the heads of the 3 lettered agencies and their co-conspirators including Clinton and Obama.

    To speed along the end of Anglo Imperial 5+1 eyed Old Slave Master Empire.

    That is already beginning to look like it is being buried … should have been published already!

    For us :-

    1. The demise of the BBC poll tax licence fee and it’s monolithic standing.

    2. The completion of Leveson2 and full implementation of his recommendation.

    3. An establishment of an international, independent body to oversee and regulate ALL national elections in the World, without veto!

    4. The emergence of Skripals and the reports by the OPCW and ensuing demise of Bellendscat and ii.

    5. The immediate collapse of the new government through all of the above and removal of several hundred tory MP’s criminally elected and replaced by the 2nd place candidates – resulting in a Corbyn led government before he is replaced as leader.
    Supported by a mass general strike and millions marching on Whitehall. Resulting in the end of the one arsey parliamentary system and replacement with a straightforward PR that would allow all voters vote to count in parliament/government.

    6. Eat the rich 0.0001% of humans on Earth and distrute their wealth equally to the lowest 10% by wealth across the planet.

  • Cynicus in Exile

    @ John A., Jan2, 1434

    “Paxo actually said “why is this lying b*****d lying to me”

    He may have SAID it but he was not it’s originator.

    Robin Lustig attributes the quote to an earlier journalist, Louis Heren (1919-1995) long before he retired as deputy editor of The Times.

    I seem to recall that Times Columnist, Bernard Levin, a contemporary of Heren’s attributed the quote to the American journalist, HL Mencken (1880-1956). But I have been unable to trace it to Mencken but it is the sort of thing he WOULD have said.

    We do know that Heren obtained the quote, as a young reporter in 1946-47, from a colleague in the communist Daily Worker during the “shiver with Shinwell” fuel crisis of 1946/47.

    That was several years before Paxman was born!

  • Chris

    The Chagossians were not an indigenous people. The indigenous people of the Chagos Islands are actually the British.

    • Cubby


      The old everyone conquered in the world by the British Empire is British viewpoint.

      That just illustrates the points I made in my wish list.

  • Eric McCoo

    Just expressing my views. No offence intended.

    1. I am Scottish, independence neutral but the SNP are low life, lying horrors and fantasists. I prefer Boris Johnson to any of them.

    2. Assange is an intelligence asset. Every part of his history shows that.

    3. Totally agree

    4. Fine

    5. Fine with that too.

    6. Global warming is unspeakable, silly nonsense based on fiddling computer models at every level, including measurement of global temperature. I grew up in a science family, maths degree from Glasgow University in the 1970s.

    7. Fine with that too

    You are more influenced by emotion and sentimentality than me. I grew up in a middle class family in a Paisley housing scheme.

    Best wishes.

  • N_

    Cummingswatch! Dominic Cummings thinks he knows

    * the underlying mathematical law governing the likelihood of wars happening, and

    * how to pick up the trillion dollar bills that are flapping about on the street waiting for Genius Failed Airline-Owner Eugenics Face to locate them!

    He has posted a hilarious job ad on his blog. I wonder how long it will stay up?

    We want to hire an unusual set of people with different skills and backgrounds to work in Downing Street with the best officials, some as spads and perhaps some as officials. If you are already an official and you read this blog and think you fit one of these categories, get in touch.

    The categories are roughly:

    * Data scientists and software developers
    * Economists
    * Policy experts
    * Project managers
    * Communication experts
    * Junior researchers one of whom will also be my personal assistant
    * Weirdos and misfits with odd skills

    We want to improve performance and make me much less important — and within a year largely redundant. At the moment I have to make decisions well outside what Charlie Munger calls my ‘circle of competence’ and we do not have the sort of expertise supporting the PM and ministers that is needed. This must change fast so we can properly serve the public.

    We need some true wild cards, artists, people who never went to university and fought their way out of an appalling hell hole, weirdos from William Gibson novels like that girl hired by Bigend as a brand ‘diviner’ who feels sick at the sight of Tommy Hilfiger or that Chinese-Cuban free runner from a crime family hired by the KGB. If you want to figure out what characters around Putin might do, or how international criminal gangs might exploit holes in our border security, you don’t want more Oxbridge English graduates who chat about Lacan at dinner parties with TV producers and spread fake news about fake news.

    Well that was an interesting bit. Figuring out what characters around Vladimir Putin might do is partly MI6’s job. Might the intersection of “the set of MI6 officers” and “the set of people who think somebody should shoot Dominic Cummings” be non-empty? Might the “No Cummings – No Problem” argument gain some traction?

    There is a huge amount of low hanging fruit — trillion dollar bills lying on the street — in the intersection of:

    * the selection, education and training of people for high performance
    * the frontiers of the science of prediction
    * data science, AI and cognitive technologies (e.g Seeing Rooms, ‘authoring tools designed for arguing from evidence’, Tetlock/IARPA prediction tournaments that could easily be extended to consider ‘clusters’ of issues around themes like Brexit to improve policy and project management)
    * communication (e.g Cialdini)
    * decision-making institutions at the apex of government.

    I smell Trinity College, Cambridge, and Cambridge University’s maths faculty!

    By Cialdini he means Robert Cialdini, author of “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.” (That’s one of the best books in its field published in the past 50 years, and it’s very well worth reading. What a shame for Dominic that I’m not for hire.)

    Talking about “fake news”, it may have been “fake news” that Cummings was about to leave his post to have a surgical operation that he chose to delay until after the general election.

    A. Unusual mathematicians, physicists, computer scientists, data scientists

    You must have exceptional academic qualifications from one of the world’s best universities or have done something that demonstrates equivalent (or greater) talents and skills. You do not need a PhD — as Alan Kay said, we are also interested in graduate students as ‘world-class researchers who don’t have PhDs yet’.

    You should have the following:

    * PhD or MSc in maths or physics.
    * Outstanding mathematical skills are essential.

    This loony thinks he can predict the likelihood of wars now, or at least that others can! “Complexity and prediction VI: a model predicts the frequency and severity of interstate wars, ‘a profound mystery for which we have no explanation’“.

    It sounds like he has just discovered the Poisson distribution! “Under the model, the 100-year probability of at least one war with 16, 634, 907 or more battle deaths (the size of the Second World War) is 0.43 ± 0.01, implying about one such war per 161 years, on average…

    That’s not a joke. It’s a quote from a paper by a computer scientist in Boulder, Colorado, US, who references Lewis Fry Richardson. (I wonder what Dominic thinks of Jeremy Corbyn’s brother Piers?) Another quote from the same paper that Dominic gives is as follows:

    The fact that the absolute number and sizes of wars are plausibly stable in the face of these changes is a profound mystery for which we have no explanation.

    What a nutter!

    He finishes up his “complexity” article by saying

    NB. a great lesson to science funders: it’s a great mistake to cut funding on theory and assume that you’ll get more bang for buck from ‘applications’.

    I would wager a pound to a penny that Cambridge mathematician and notorious self-regarder Timothy Gowers will be given some work in the State of Dominic. (Oh, and stop saying “great”, Dominic. You know who you sound like?)

    Those applying must watch Bret Victor’s talks and study Dynamic Land. If this excites you, then apply; if not, then don’t. I and others interviewing will discuss this with anybody who comes for an interview” (I urge readers to click on that Dynamic Land link.)

    E. Junior researchers

    In many aspects of government, as in the tech world and investing, brains and temperament smash experience and seniority out of the park. We want to hire some VERY clever young people either straight out of university or recently out with with extreme curiosity and capacity for hard work. One of you will be a sort of personal assistant to me for a year — this will involve a mix of very interesting work and lots of uninteresting trivia that makes my life easier which you won’t enjoy. You will not have weekday date nights, you will sacrifice many weekends — frankly it will hard having a boy/girlfriend at all. It will be exhausting but interesting and if you cut it you will be involved in things at the age of ~21 that most people never see.

    I don’t want confident public school bluffers. I want people who are much brighter than me who can work in an extreme environment. If you play office politics, you will be discovered and immediately binned.

    He finishes up as follows.

    Send a max 1 page letter plus CV to [email protected] and put in the subject line ‘job/’ and add after the / one of: data, developer, econ, comms, projects, research, policy, misfit.

    Is it actually legal for a government employee like Dominic Cummings to use a personal private-sector email address in this way?

    I’ll have to spend time helping you so don’t apply unless you can commit to at least 2 years.
    I’ll bin you within weeks if you don’t fit — don’t complain later because I made it clear now.

    I will use this blog to throw out ideas. It’s important when dealing with large organisations to dart around at different levels, not be stuck with formal hierarchies. It will seem chaotic and ‘not proper No10 process’ to some. But the point of this government is to do things differently and better and this always looks messy. We do not care about trying to ‘control the narrative’ and all that New Labour junk and this government will not be run by ‘comms grid’.

    As Paul Graham and Peter Thiel say, most ideas that seem bad are bad but great ideas also seem at first like bad ideas — otherwise someone would have already done them. Incentives and culture push people in normal government systems away from encouraging ‘ideas that seem bad’. Part of the point of a small, odd No10 team is to find and exploit, without worrying about media noise, what Andy Grove called ‘very high leverage ideas’ and these will almost inevitably seem bad to most.

    I will post some random things over the next few weeks and see what bounces back — it is all upside, there’s no downside if you don’t mind a bit of noise and it’s a fast cheap way to find good ideas…

    • N_

      Cummings is a real card! “(I)t’s a fast cheap way to find good ideas…” Really, mate? I’ve a good mind to offer him a good idea if he signs an NDA first!

      • N_

        It’s also a bit much for him to quote Alexander Grothendieck, who was a socialist all his life and would have spat on Cummings’s ferocious belief in IQ and his insistence that low or high “general intelligence” is largely inherited. How strange for a man who holds such views to feel that there needs to be a widespread cultural change in strategic public administration. “Nature” hasn’t come into force much then? So how do you know it’s nature? What is bad culture there for? (Or doesn’t it have a function, other than sitting there waiting for semi-dictator Cummings with his “call the bouncers” mentality to overthrow it?) What else does bad culture reinforce other than creep rule and arse-covering in the civil service and other parts of the public administration? As for the “move around every 18 months” practice, that’s not really about generalism – it’s supposed to show how serious they are about not being corrupt. (Yeah right.) For all his officiating at the altar of “transdisciplinarity”, Cummings has an amazingly blinkered (and very quoty) mind which doesn’t question the functioning either of the division of academia into disciplines or the notion of “science”, nor academia in general. Academia must have had a big effect on him in his youth, the poor lad.

        I smell Trinity College, Cambridge, here.

        I am not joking. Take a look at Cummings’s call for Oxford and Cambridge universities to surround themselves in startups too. Need I underline the role of Trinity College in Cambridge’s “Science Park” and the presence of AstraZeneca, Microsoft, etc., in Cambridge? Where the civil service is concerned Cummings’s approach may be “give everybody a kick up the a*se”, but in said science park environment – and the central knot of interests at High Table – it’s more like “Hey you’re all great, so let’s move even faster”.

        • N_

          I dunno whether anyone is actually reading what I’m posting. Those interested in “economics” might be interested to learn what John Maynard Keynes’s lifelong day job was, if they don’t know already.

          • N_

            And Keynes was very successful in his day job, albeit somewhat overshadowed as John Bradfield.

  • Rob Pettitt

    My likely scenarios:
    1) Scottish Independence, followed immediately by bankruptcy and a punishing austerity
    2) Freedom for Julian Assange when he admits to being a Zionist CIA plant
    3) A genuine, public inquest into the murder of Dawn Sturgess (OK, but Seth Rich too)
    4) Recognition of the State of Palestine – but only when the mass graves of the Palestinians are exhumed in the aftermath of WW3
    5) Genuine moves towards a paradigm shift in wealth distribution here and across the globe, via collapse of the western economies
    6) Radical action on climate change by admitting it was all a hoax, and revealing the technologies which can really kill the petro dollar
    7) The decolonisation of the Chagos Islands on realisation that they form a massive military base populated by aliens!
    Happy New Year. I will still contribute, despite your over-optimism that people might vote for something other than their own selfish interests!

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