Violence and the State 515


The state rests its power on a monopoly of violence. Indeed, in the final analysis a state is nothing but a monopoly of violence. Even when a state does good things, like tax to provide healthcare, it ultimately depends on its ability to employ violence to enforce the collection of the tax. Arrest and imprisonment is, absolutely, violence. We may not recognise it as violence, but if you try to resist arrest and imprisonment you will quickly see that it is violence. Whether or not blows are struck or arms twisted to get someone there, or they go quietly under threat, confining somebody behind concrete and steel is violence.

I use the case of tax evasion and healthcare to show that I am merely analysing that the state rests on violence deliberately. I am not claiming that the violence of the state is a bad thing in itself. I just want you to recognise that the state rests on violence. Try not paying your taxes for a few years, and try refusing to be arrested and go to court. You will, ultimately, encounter real violence on your person.

John Pilger gave a harrowing account of the everyday application of state violence at the Free the Truth meeting at which I spoke last week. Here is an extract from his speech describing his visit to Julian Assange:

I joined a queue of sad, anxious people, mostly poor women and children, and grandmothers. At the first desk, I was fingerprinted, if that is still the word for biometric testing.

“Both hands, press down!” I was told. A file on me appeared on the screen.

I could now cross to the main gate, which is set in the walls of the prison. The last time I was at Belmarsh to see Julian, it was raining hard. My umbrella wasn’t allowed beyond the visitors centre. I had the choice of getting drenched, or running like hell. Grandmothers have the same choice.

At the second desk, an official behind the wire, said, “What’s that?”

“My watch,” I replied guiltily.

“Take it back,” she said.

So I ran back through the rain, returning just in time to be biometrically tested again. This was followed by a full body scan and a full body search. Soles of feet; mouth open.

At each stop, our silent, obedient group shuffled into what is known as a sealed space, squeezed behind a yellow line. Pity the claustrophobic; one woman squeezed her eyes shut.

We were then ordered into another holding area, again with iron doors shutting loudly in front of us and behind us.

“Stand behind the yellow line!” said a disembodied voice.

Another electronic door slid partly open; we hesitated wisely. It shuddered and shut and opened again. Another holding area, another desk, another chorus of, “Show your finger!”

Then we were in a long room with squares on the floor where we were told to stand, one at a time. Two men with sniffer dogs arrived and worked us, front and back.

The dogs sniffed our arses and slobbered on my hand. Then more doors opened, with a new order to “hold out your wrist!”

A laser branding was our ticket into a large room, where the prisoners sat waiting in silence, opposite empty chairs. On the far side of the room was Julian, wearing a yellow arm band over his prison clothes.

As a remand prisoner he is entitled to wear his own clothes, but when the thugs dragged him out of the Ecuadorean embassy last April, they prevented him bringing a small bag of belongings. His clothes would follow, they said, but like his reading glasses, they were mysteriously lost.

For 22 hours a day, Julian is confined in “healthcare”. It’s not really a prison hospital, but a place where he can be isolated, medicated and spied on. They spy on him every 30 minutes: eyes through the door. They would call this “suicide watch”.

In the adjoining cells are convicted murderers, and further along is a mentally ill man who screams through the night. “This is my One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” he said.

When we greet each other, I can feel his ribs. His arm has no muscle. He has lost perhaps 10 to 15 kilos since April. When I first saw him here in May, what was most shocking was how much older he looked.

We chat with his hand over his mouth so as not to be overheard. There are cameras above us. In the Ecuadorean embassy, we used to chat by writing notes to each other and shielding them from the cameras above us. Wherever Big Brother is, he is clearly frightened.

On the walls are happy-clappy slogans exhorting the prisoners to “keep on keeping on” and “be happy, be hopeful and laugh often”.

The only exercise he has is on a small bitumen patch, overlooked by high walls with more happy-clappy advice to enjoy ‘the blades of grass beneath your feet’. There is no grass.

He is still denied a laptop and software with which to prepare his case against extradition. He still cannot call his American lawyer, or his family in Australia.

The incessant pettiness of Belmarsh sticks to you like sweat.

You can see John give the speech here:

Assange’s “crime”, of course, is to reveal the illegal use of force by the state in Iraq and Afghanistan. That the state feels the need to employ such violence against somebody who has never practised violence, is a striking illustration that violence constitutes the very fabric of the state.

Just as we are not conditioned to recognise the violence of the state as violence, we do not always recognise resistance to the state as violence. If you bodily blockade a road, a tube station or a building with the intention to prevent somebody else from physically passing through that space, that is an act of physical force, of violence. It may be a low level of violence, but violence it is. Extinction Rebellion represents a challenge to the state’s claim to monopolise violence, which is why the Metropolitan Police – a major instrument of state domestic violence – were so anxious to declare the activity illegal on a wide scale.

Ultimately civil resistance represents a denial of the state’s right to enforce its monopoly of violence. The Hong Kong protests represent a striking demonstration of the fact that rejecting the state’s monopoly of violence can entail marching without permission, occupying a space, blockading and ultimately replying to bullets with firebombs, and that these actions are a continuum. It is the initial rejection of the state’s power over your body which is the decision point.

Just as I used the example of tax evasion and healthcare to demonstrate that the state’s use of violence is not always bad, I use the example of Extinction Rebellion to demonstrate that the assertion of physical force, against the state’s claim to monopoly of it, is not always bad either.

We are moving into an era of politics where the foundations of consent which underpin western states are becoming less stable. The massive growth in wealth inequality has led to an alienation of large sections of the population from the political system. The political economy works within a framework which is entirely an artificial construct of states, and ultimately is imposed by the states’ monopoly of force. For the last four decades, that framework has been deliberately fine-tuned to enable the massive accumulation of wealth by a very small minority and to reduce the access to share of economic resource by the broad mass of the people.

The inevitable consequence is widespread economic discontent and a resultant loss of respect for the political class. The political class are tasked with the management of the state apparatus, and popular discontent is easily personalised – it concentrates on the visible people rather than the institutions. But if the extraordinary wealth imbalance of society continues to worsen, it is only a matter of time before that discontent undermines respect for political institutions. In the UK, once it becomes plain that leaving the EU has not improved the lot of those whose socio-economic standing has been radically undercut, the discontent will switch to other institutions of government.

In Scotland, we shall have an early test of the state’s right to the monopoly of force if the Westminster government insists on attempting to block a new referendum on Independence, against the will of the Scottish people. In Catalonia, the use of violence against those simply trying to vote in a referendum was truly shocking.

This has been followed up by the extreme state violence of vicious jail sentences against the leaders of the entirely nonviolent Catalan independence movement. As I stated we do not always recognise state violence. But locking you up in a small cell for years is a worse act of violence on your body even than the shocking but comparatively brief treatment of the woman voter in the photo. It is a case of chronic or acute state violence.

Where the use of violence by a state is fundamentally unjust, there is every moral right to employ violence against the state. Whether or not to do so becomes a tactical, not a moral, question. There is a great deal of evidence that non-violent protest, or protest using the real but low levels of physical force employed by Extinction Rebellion, can be in the long term the most effective. But opinions differ legitimately. Gandhi took one view, and Nelson Mandela another. The media has sanitised the image of Mandela, but it is worth remembering that he was jailed not for non-violent protest, but for taking up violent resistance to white rule, in which I would say he was entirely justified at the time.

To date, the Catalan people and their leaders appear firmly wedded to the tactic of non-violence. That is their choice and their right, and I support them in that choice. But having suffered so much violence, and with no democratic route available for their right of self-determination, the Catalans have the moral right, should they so choose, to resist, by violence, the violence of the Spanish state. I should however clarify that does not extend to indiscriminate attack on entirely innocent people, which in my view is not a moral choice.

All of which of course has obvious implications should a Westminster government seek to block the Scottish people from expressing their inalienable right of self-determination following the election. Which fascinating subject I shall return to once again in January. Be assured meantime I am not presently close to advocating a tactic of violence in Scotland. But nor will I ever say the Scottish people do not ultimately have that right if denied democratic self-expression. To say otherwise would be to renounce the Declaration of Arbroath, a founding document of European political thought.

As western states face popular discontent and are losing consent of the governed, one of the state’s reactions is to free up its use of force. Conservative election promises to give members of the UK armed forces effective immunity from prosecution for war crimes or for illegal use of force, should be seen in this light. So also, of course, should the use of agents not primarily employed by the state to impose extreme violence on behalf of the state. The enforcers of the vicious system John Pilger encountered were employed by Serco, G4S or a similar group, to remove the state one step from any control upon their actions (and of course to allow yet more private profit to the wealthy). Similar contractors regularly visit strong violence on immigrants selected for deportation. The ultimate expression of this was the disgusting employment by the British and American governments of mercenary forces, particularly in Iraq and Afghanistan, to deploy brutal and uncontrolled violence on the local population.

The pettiness of the election campaign, its failure to address fundamental issues due to the ability of the mainstream media to determine and manipulate the political agenda, has led me to think about the nature of the state at a much more basic level. I do not claim we are beyond the early stages of a breakdown in social consent to be ruled; and I expect the immediate response of the system will be a lurch towards right wing authoritarianism, which ultimately will make the system still less stable.

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515 thoughts on “Violence and the State

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  • michael norton

    I think it is less likely that Usman Khan was wearing a Suicide Vest or a Fake Suicide Vest
    but more likely he was wearing a stab proof vest.
    https://www.thesafetysupplycompany.co.uk/p/9055737/covert-home-office-certified-stab-vest—5mm—stab-and-blunt-trauma–needle-protection—black—ve-bav-uc-kr1sp1-bl.html?utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=UK%20-%20Shopping&utm_term=4581115203137904&utm_content=All%20Products
    It would be difficult to go on a stabbing spree, wearing a suicide vest, they are bulky and heavy.

    • Laguerre

      There were five or six guys sitting on him, completely disarmed, then they were ordered to withdraw, and he was shot dead. Is that reasonable behaviour? Reasonable behaviour would have demanded that they try to arrest him. The only argument for instant death is that the plods thought he was wearing a suicide vest. The guys didn’t seem worried at the time, though.

    • Tom Welsh

      “It would be difficult to go on a stabbing spree, wearing a suicide vest, they are bulky and heavy”.

      And completely futile, as he could kill far more people quite effortlessly just by detonating. (And end his own troubles).

  • mike

    State broadcaster today bury Andrew Neil take-down of Bozo, then move tonight’s debate from marginal Southampton to safe Tory Maidstone, which is also a strong Leave seat. Cue packed Tory audience, just like QT.

    Apparently, Jeremy Corbyn will only be allowed to answer questions using semaphore.

    • Dungroanin

      While Agent bobozero will no doubt have his secret earphone plugged in as usual – spaffing DonCummings directly into his brain through it!

      (Sorry there is no time left to be delicate)

    • AKAaka

      speaking of bojo and burying bad news, did anyone hear him say “people of colour” earlier? My better half listened to it dozens of times and was sure he said colour. Certain. Then when I got home the clip she had that she wanted to show me had been taken down. In fact many clips have been removed from twitter. Now we can only find clips where he clearly says “people of talent”. And I mean clearly. No doubt. Don’t suppose anyone has or can get a genuine original?

        • Borncynical

          Very clearly says “colour”. I made a point of closing my eyes to listen as the slight picture/sound delay is distracting and it is clearly “colour”.

      • Macky

        I was on Twitter during this morning, the first version I saw he clearly says “colour” and it was subtitled as so; then a little later people were tweeting another version in which the word was very muffled,and it could have been either, and then a little later, another version being tweeted around has the word “talent” clear as a bell !! I didn’t keep tab on C4News twitter feed, but people have said that C4 took-down & replace their clip at least twice; and now there is no clip there at all. I can’t prove that all the versions I saw were from C4News, although I suspect they were, especially the first as they tweeted that their original clip was subtitled incorrectly due to being misheard.

        Shameless editing to cover-up for the PM by C4News, as as bad as the BBC.

        • AKAaka

          Thank you all for your input on this. This is exactly how it appeared to me. By the time I got home, the first clip I heard it sounded muffled, but if anything, he was saying ‘talent’. My better half was beside herself because that was not how it sounded earlier. It was clearly ‘people of colour’ earlier. As I went in search of an earlier release or copy of the original clip, I found more and more were taken down, and then the ones that were still available became clearer and clearer, him saying ‘talent’. So clear in fact that there was no way anyone would mistake it for ‘colour’ in the first place.

          It’s bigger than a C4 and BBC cover up, that’s a very technical cover up and wider spread. The funny thing is, if someone could prove it, it would be far far bigger than saying ‘people of colour’.

          Strange thing to say too, people of talent. That’s not a thing, people of colour is. He made a point of saying ‘people of talent’ in the debate tonight too. May also help them brush out any markers from their earlier hasty edits too.

  • Dungroanin

    He can’t even control his hair for half an hour. How does bobo think the voters can believe he can manage anything else.?
    Robinson has already intervened inappropriately a few times.

    Debate on beeb btw is what I am talking about.

    • Ingwe

      Don’t think my stomach could take that pri*k Robinson for 30 minutes never mind bobo. I’d like to read about his inappropriate interventions in due course, probably on this forum, as I don’t suppose the BBC will show the interventions.

      • Brianfujisan

        Steph

        WOW..That’s gotta be Pie’s Best Ever..Cheers.Absolutely Brilliant –

        ” Demonstrating such a lack of moral backbone from Boris, that I’m surprised he can still stand up ”

        ” Scotland wants to fuck off ”

        Just Stunning From Pie..A Must watch Folks.

        • Steph

          I know! It makes me feel better just watching him, sort of vicarious ranting.
          “A self-serving malevolent arsehole”

          • Brianfujisan

            Steph
            Me too.. He had me Giggling at times with his razor sharp Wit.. Sickening though that 99% of what he says is True / Facts.. All the MSM should be holding their heads in shame, that at least One comedian can inform us better than ALL their mass Bias stinking ranks

      • james

        thanks steph.. the video is worth the watch! put it in the microwave and etc.. some good lines in there!

      • J Galt

        Was ok until he started on about how wonderful our Washington ambassador, who was thrown under a bus by Boris, was.

        He was a prick as well.

        Let’s face it, you don’t get to be British ambassador to the US without being a reliable arsehole of the first order.

    • Ken Kenn

      Re: rigging the postal votes.

      The one’s to watch I think is Johnson’s Constituency – Raab’s and Ian Duncan Smith’s.

      Particulary Johnson’s.

      He can’t ” Get Brexit Done! ” unless he’s voted in to do it.

      ” Get Johnson Done!” has a much better ring to it.

      I hear it’s close.

  • lysias

    France is showing what a tyranny the EU has become.

    NOTHING reported in the U.S. media on the general strike in France.

    Melenchon and Le Pen seem to be making common cause.

    • N_

      @Lysias – Can you post more details regarding your third sentence. They could pack quite some force if they’re doing that.

      • Laguerre

        Lysias is right, as far as I know. Populism works on both left and right, as long as reality is not bothered with.

    • Laguerre

      Perhaps because it’s not so important? This is the fourth strike of this level in the last fifteen years. No, I don’t remember what the last three were about either. At least this one is clear; it’s about transport workers losing the right to retire at the age of 55. I don’t have a lot of sympathy for rail workers losing the rights they gained when steam engine crews had to get up at three in the morning to get the fires going for the day, and today they just press a button. Private sector workers have it much worse, and like everywhere things are not looking good for most future pensioners. But at least in France, pensions, even in the private sector, are guaranteed by the state, not subject to the potential failure of an insurance company.

      • bevin

        Just another neo-liberal. “Private sector workers have it worse…. people used to work much harder in the old days… At least the pensions are guaranteed.” At least they are until they aren’t, then they won’t be. And that will be Macron’s next step if he wins this time.
        Laguerre you are just a Thatcherite for whom Macron and his ‘reforms’ are long overdue. Why don’t you stick to commenting on countries you know look at from a distance? When you comment on France you are, sorry to repeat myself, just another bourgeois neo-liberal.

        • Laguerre

          Actually, I don’t think Macron is a neo-liberal. He comes from a family of doctors in Amiens, and followed that by a long training in the ENA (l’école nationale d’administration), the traditional education of French politicians, followed by a couple of years with Rothschilds the bankers, all of which speaks of a traditional French approach to politics.

          France is often faced with the same problems as Britain. For example, the coal-mines were closed at the same time, but without Orgreave.

          Macron does what he has to, another would not do better.

          • Andyoldlabour

            Macron supposedly a former member of a Socialist party, was made head of the ministry of economy and industry in 2014 where he introduced a set of business friendly reforms. He then set up his own party in 2016 to fight the election – En Marche. After winning the election the party was renamed “La Republique en Marche”.
            He has variously called himself a socialist and a liberal and is very pro European, yet when questioned, has said that he is neither pro or anti European??????
            How did he become President?
            All I know is, from speaking to various people in different regions of France – Alsace, Champagne, Burgundy – he is not very popular.

  • Pyewacket

    Did watch the debate, and thought Johnson got an easier ride than Corbyn. The audience and some of their questions appeared contrived. Overall Corbyn was the more articulate, and actually spoke in complete sentences, delivering reasonable argument, relating to his manifesto policies. Johnson did not. More errs, ummms and yer knows than actual words, and when his responses were flagging, he resorted to tried and tested soundbites and the usual smears relating to AS, IRA supporter etc. When NR mentioned about the reported resignation of the UK Embassy Brexit person today, who stated her reason for leaving was because, she could no longer work for a Govt, whose message was baded on half truths, Johnson claimed he didn’t know anything about it. That all said, Corbyn could have, and should have landed plenty more punches, against a far weaker and less articulate opponent.

    • SA

      I agree Corbyn did well, was more articulate and honest. Johnson’s recurring ‘get Brexit done’ was predictable and boring and meant nothing but a man and party with a fixed delusion. Beyond Brexit he has no visions. I think the Irish border issue was also strong. His ignorance about the resignation was telling and his waffle on the last question was miserable.
      Nick Robinson was quite fair on this occasion I thought.

    • David

      BBCR4 this morning getting Nimmo(1) to explain how Corbyn’s documents might have been leaked by a Russian called Zinoviev /sarc

      Nimmo was famously revealed to be an employee/consultant of the Integrity Initiative
      “Hugh Benedict Nimmo who the Initiative paid to produce anti-Russian propaganda that was then disseminated through various western publications. (Nimmo now works at the Digital Forensic Research Lab of the Atlantic Council)”

  • Laguerre

    Macron, coping with the strikes in France, is at least trying to cope with reality. Johnson just lies. He’s agreed to a customs barrier between NI and UK, but now pretends that such a barrier will not exist. I’m interested to see what happens when Brexit actually takes place, if it does.

    • J

      I’d love to know what you’re thinking of when you use the word ‘reality’ in the context of the above remarks. I have to agree with Bevin, your views sound indistinguishable from the mediated mainstream liberal/neo-liberal consensus this blog spends much of it’s energies contradicting. If you like to remember where it all leads, come and live in a decaying northern English town for a while.

        • J

          “Macron, coping with the strikes in France, is at least trying to cope with reality.”

          Still intrigued by what reality he’s coping with.

          • ZiggyM

            J.
            The one he created.

            Quick switch. The debate

            Who won the last debate?

            Britain Elects 33,000 votes

            Corbyn 57% Johnson 28%

            Paul Brand ITV 30,000 votes

            Corbyn 78% Johnson 22%

            Martin Lewis 23,000 votes

            Corbyn 47% Johnson 25%

            The Times 8,000 votes

            Corbyn 63% Johnson 37%

            YouGov 1,646 polled

            Corbyn 48% Johnson 51%

          • bevin

            Neo-liberal ‘reality’: that the rich need to be given everything they desire, in order to incentivise them to accumulate capital, whereas the poor need to be reduced to starvation in order to make them work harder.
            That is what Rothschild, Hollande and les Grand Ecoles believe.

        • Xavi

          Johnson represents the same sector of society as your golden calf Macron. (The sector that crashed the global economy and got bailed out on the backs of the most vulnerable.)

      • Laguerre

        By the way, I come from an East Midlands family, Brexit ain’t going to provide the solution. EU regional grants however may. Westminster won’t give it.

          • Hatuey

            J, you didn’t answer Laguerre’s question. Are Johnson’s lies okay with you?

            If I was pro-brexit, I’d be concerned that the bbc and whole establishment are on Johnson’s side today when they have more or less opposed Brexit for over 3 years.

            Maybe they think Boris’s abyss is better than paying tax and feeding people.

          • Doghouse

            It’s an exceedingly valid point Hatuey, and in a world where political duplicity and deceit seems to have no limit, only time will reveal the answer. The BBC have certainly on the surface appeared to openly support the remain camp, yet here they are throwing full weight behind Johnson the go getter get doner who has failed to meet his vociferous and certain promises in any way.

            Do they know something we don’t or does it all simply boil down to the power of influence, lobbying and priority? The imminent one being to absolutely ensure Corbyn does not become prime minister however hung. That job accomplished and it will be business as usual, remain cards turned back over and in full view on the table. If that proves the case it will be a frightening proof – if any more were ever needed – of certain powers and direction.

            I have no idea beyond you cannot trust a word that Johnson – or any of them for that matter say. Any of them, North, South, East or West of any imagined borders. Not a one, not a word.

        • bevin

          Where are the EU grants coming from? They don’t believe in combating poverty or deprivation by pump priming. Those days are over, look at Greece: the EU has a policy for regional development: lower wages, higher unemployment and transferring public wealth into private hands.

    • SA

      Laguerre
      How is Macron coping with reality. I think the man has a delusion about projecting French power overseas and has dealt badly with the GJs. France is now much more expensive in every way than U.K. maybe wages are higher but why is all the food in France, a major agricultural country with much consumed local products, so expensive?

      • Pyewacket

        Mary, last evenings Today programme reported that Khan’s funeral is to take place in his families home village in the Pakistan region of Kashmir.

    • J Galt

      Is it normal that a body involved in a high profile murder case like this is released so quickly?

      • michael norton

        J Galt, it is exceeding unusual and quite disturbing.
        If a second autopsy was called for, it will be too late.
        Was he actually shot in the head, if so how many times and what calibre.
        There are reports from Transport for London, at the time of the London Bridge events that two buses were shot.
        There is a picture of a bullet hole in the back window of a bus, featured on the BBC
        https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/extra/NNdZwVPPgP/300-seconds-on-london-bridge

        • Mary

          This is is the coroner, Alison Hewitt, QC, who opened the inquests for Khan and his two victims and then adjourned them.
          https://5essexcourt.co.uk/our-people/profile/alison-hewitt

          ‘Mr Merritt was course co-ordinator and Miss Jones was a volunteer at the event, organised by Cambridge University’s Institute of Criminology.
          Inquests into theirs and Khan’s deaths were opened at the Old Bailey by City of London senior coroner Alison Hewitt today and adjourned to a date yet to be set.’
          https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/12/04/hero-london-bridge-terror-attack-victim-lived-hour-stabbed-inquest/

          Important to know the name of the pathologist too. I think back to the travesty conducted by the state for Dr David Kelly. An inquest was opened and then subsumed immediately by Falconer, acting for Blair, into the Hutton Inquiry. That proved to be a whitewash, cost £2.5m and lasted six weeks. Dr Kelly never had an inquest which is a legal requirement in the UK for any unnatural death.
          https://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/3691159.stm

          • Mary

            This is a glossy bells and whistles report on the BBC website. John McManus, a BBC journalist, was at the scene. Handy that. He says ‘he heard TWO shots ring out’.

            But there is a photo of a bus with a bullet hole in its top rear window as stated above.

            ‘This could have been a ricochet from a police bullet, the Metropolitan Police suggested, but said there needed to be further investigations.

            A bullet hitting the back of a bus which was facing towards the site of the shooting of Khan, would raise other questions about the location from which the shots were fired.’

            ‘McManus is also certain there were shots other than those initially fired when the police reached Khan.
            But in those 300 seconds between the police being called and confronting Khan there had been another unexpected, improbable and extraordinary intersection of lives. ‘

            https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/extra/NNdZwVPPgP/300-seconds-on-london-bridge

            Not adding up at the moment. The long grass is coming along nicely.

          • John Goss

            “Dr Kelly never had an inquest which is a legal requirement in the UK for any unnatural death.”

            It was at the time of Dr Kelly’s death Mary. But not any more. Certain acts, including changes to Coroners’ law, have made it possible to have an inquiry instead of an inquest. It enabled Robert Owen to finally pronounce that Lugovoi (friend of the murdered Nikolai Glushkov) to be found guilty of the murder of Alexander Litvinenko. Two inquests were started with different coroners.

            Strange we hear nothing about who murdered Glushkov after more than a year and a half when in a couple of days our Prime Minister (then Theresa May) and Boris Johnson could tell us that the Russians were to blame for the attempted murders of Sergei and Yulia Skripal.

        • Spencer Eagle

          He was shot with a Swiss made SIG 516 rifle in 5.56mm Nato caliber (.223 in civilian nomenclature). I’m pretty sure he wasn’t shot in the head as the impact from a high velocity bullet travelling circa 3000 fps would have showered everyone in close proximity with brain matter and would have also been clearly visible in the video. As for the ricochet, I very much doubt it since the shot was directed at pavement just in front of the low bridge – if you watch the video the officer carefully chooses a position from which to take the shot. In addition, the police are not bound by the Geneva Convention so can fire ammunition with expanding heads of a type developed for shooting game animal, not warfare. This ammunition is used for three reasons, in urban environments it is very unlikely to ricochet from hard surfaces and will disintegrate on impact, it will not overpenetrate targets (pass through one person and hit another) and it is instantaneously and utterly devastating against human targets.

          • Willie

            Just the stuff for the animal Usman Khan.

            Save for a few screwballs who’ve blogged on this site I don’t think there will be many mourning not just the passing, but the manner of the passing of the absolute animal that was Khan.

            I’m no racist, no hang em and flog em merchant, nor am I anti immigration. However, despite Khan having been born in the U.K. the animal’s corpse was flown out in secret for a burial in Pakistan. What on earth does that tell you about this type of person and his family’s commitment to the adopted community in which they live when they fly his body in secret half way round the planet for burial.

            Now I know UK / US military policy in some spheres of influence is absolutely outrageous and nothing short of war crimes. And yes I know that one bad turn causes another. The UK had no Islamic terrorism issues until it went into Iraq and other countries. That tells you something.

            But we are where we are, and if flying this scum bag back to Pakistan for burial is the signal that his family and their community want to send after the two terrible slaughters that he carried out, one can see why there are others who would argue that the scumbag should have been fed to the pigs.

            But there you are. Violence begets violence. Division breeds division. Resentment feeds resentment with hatred following on close behind. Where does it stop or does it not stop until you stop the initial violence and unfairness.

        • J Galt

          Thanks Michael, I wasn’t sure, and as you say disturbing.

          It would be interesting to know if the two victims bodies have been released.

        • Spencer Eagle

          ‘Osama bin Laden and al Baghdadi’s bodies were dispatched immediately’ ….of which al Baghdadi’s body do you speak? so far this is the sixth time he has been confirmed as being killed.

          • Pyewacket

            Good point, and come to think about it, ObL was reported in some quarters to have died years before, of, I think, kidney disease.

          • Paul Barbara

            @ J Galt December 7, 2019 at 20:39
            And Epstein? Are we to take the PTB’s word that he is dead? It’s not as though they haven’t lied to us time after time.

  • SA

    So only a few days left before the fate of Britain is sealed. One was rather hoping a bombshell from our esteemed host.

  • Steph

    I was puzzled when the government refused to publish the intelligence report on supposed Russian interference in UK referendum/elections,.as early reporting suggested that no interference had been found, see https://www.buzzfeed.com/albertonardelli/intelligence-report-russia-no-interference-brexit Hard to see why it would be suppressed if nothing much in it.
    But I see today a rumour building that the papers containing US-UK trade negotiations about NHS might have been ‘leaked by russian campaign’. Ben Nimmo is hinting support for that rumour and we all know what that means. I wonder now if this isn’t the real reason why the report has been suppressed, just another tool in the box for Corbyn smearing. Having suppressed the report, thus ensuring everyone believes it contains damning evidence, its so much easier now to build a ‘kremlin connection’ around Corbyn.

  • stromboli

    This is directly in reply to Craig Murray‘s original article on the state and its relationship to violence:

    Power is held through terror. It‘s sometimes well hidden, sometimes openly shown.
    States are fear-based constructs regulated by hidden interest groups that operate beyond the rule of law and cooperate with other power-holders in other states – often covering for each other. The government one sees is a useless spectacle, a pageant to waste the energy of the masses.
    There are mountains of literature on this and it doesn’t need a simple commentator to point this out.

    The entire mass of the people would have to challenge the state secrecy that protects criminality. But if they start to organize in this direction, there are measures in place to deal with any organisation. The powers in charge will seek to become that organisation.

    A serious parliamentarian or another Julian Assange would have to jump the D-Laws, the 100 year long government witholding of evidence on atrocities carried out on the public by unknown parties.
    To mention just one – Dunblane, Scotland 1995. What happened? If the story is true and the lone assailant dead, why can’t all of the information be released?

    When the number of these incidents are counted it becomes clear that there were many amok incidents around Europe during a certain period. To mention a few: Hungerford, UK, Winnenden, Germany, Utoya Island in Norway.

    The present explanation is loners, ‚islamic’ terrorists, rightwingers, leftwingers. All resorting to violence with armaments on tap. What’s the likelihood of this being true?

    The lists of unsolved mysteries is long. Red Brigades in Germany and Italy, Licio Gelli. David Kelly. Does this list end somewhere? No.

    It is not even denied that Gladio was embedded within NATO and maintains/ed a Strategy of Tension during peacetime. There is a plaque the main square of the city of Bologna confirming the truth of this.

    It can not be denied that governments – behind the public face – agree to these types of methods of maintaining control of civilians.
    And manage informationflow skillfully.
    I understand it is called Trauma-based Mind Control.

  • Chick McGregor

    At least Britnats with more than three working neurons will no longer be able to point at 1930’s Germans and giffaw.

  • michael norton

    A man has been arrested in Bristol on suspicion of Islamist-related terrorism offences, police have said.

    The 33-year-old was detained at 23:00 GMT on Monday as part of a planned operation at a residential address in the Clifton area of the city.

    The suspect is being held in custody while searches are carried out at the address.

    Police said there was no risk to the public and the arrest was not thought to be linked to the London Bridge terror attack.
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bristol-50725569

    If the police are fairly sure Usman Khan did not have helpers, there are some questions to be asked.
    1) how did the gorrila tape, the two large knives and the fake suicide vest get into the toilets?
    2) where did he get the fake suicide vest from?
    3) Was he wearing the fake suicide vest as he first entered Fishmonger’s Hall?
    4) Why was it thought beneficial to shoot him dead?
    5) Who decided he should be released under licence, even before half his term had been served?
    6) Who determined it was sensible to let him travel to Fishmonger’s Hall/London Bridge, just before a Christmas General Election,
    even though it was known he had a hatred of Boris Johnson and had previously tried to kill him?
    7) who agreed to have his body flown out of England and back to Pakistani-held Kasmir, even before the legal proceedings had barely begun?

  • Wikispooks

    “Just as we are not conditioned to recognise the violence of the state as violence”.
    Do you mean “Just as we are conditioned not to recognise the violence of the state as violence”?

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