Yes Minister Fan Fiction 433


I have been rather unwell this last week with atrial fibrillation, and at 5am last Sunday morning had the paramedics out and puzzling over the ECG results. This particularly severe episode was a result of being out in the cold and storm for hours on the AUOB march, and I felt so guilty at being a self-inflicted drain on the NHS that I declined their offer to take me into hospital and decided to recover at home.

I did however get to thinking about whether, had I indeed toddled off on my next great adventure, I would regret holding information which I had not imparted to you. Well, I couldn’t in those circumstances regret not having imparted it as I would be deid, but you know what I mean. As it happened the thing I found I was most worried about not being able to impart was not, at least on its surface, a case of world sweeping importance, but rather of individual injustice. Though the surface often hides a great deal.

Anyway, having recovered I was saddened by the death of Derek Fowlds, who to me was always Mr Derek of Basil Brush. In fact I remember my confusion when Mr Derek replaced Mr Rodney, who I only learnt this week was in fact Rodney Bewes, another great comic actor of whose wider work I was at primary school unaware. Derek Fowlds of course became most famous in his brilliant role as Bernard in Yes Minister. Lying in bed getting better, I decided to while away the time by writing some Yes Minister fan fiction in tribute.

As with the original series, although based on a realistic civil service scenario dealing with similar events to those the civil service actually deals with, this conversation between a Minister and Permanent Secretary is purely fictional. No real situation is alluded to and any resemblance between the people and situations portrayed here and anything that is happening in real life is entirely accidental. Please do not attempt in the comments section to relate this entirely fictional hommage to Yes Minister to any actual events involving any actual court cases. Because you might wander into contempt of court.

This is of course my first Yes Minister effort.

FIRST YES MINISTER

Perm Sec. You see Minister, all you have to do is destroy your predecessor’s reputation. In the modern “Me Too” atmosphere, you accuse someone of sexual offences and politically they are finished. In fact you can do what you like to him.
Minister Like Julian Assange?
Perm Sec Exactly, Minister. Like Julian Assange. We yelled “rape” at him and then had to do nothing else. The left themselves destroyed him, led by the feminists of course. You see Minister, we feminists can be useful sometimes. (Canned Laughter)
Minister Yes, by the time they had finished with him, the government could torture him to death in plain sight and nobody cared.
Perm Sec Precisely Minister, and the hilarious thing was that there never was any rape and we never had to produce any evidence in court.
Minister Yes, brilliant. But it’s not an exact parallel with Orpheus though, is it Permanent Secretary? We don’t have any extradition request for Orpheus once any sexual charges fall.
Perm Sec The charges won’t fall, Minister, they won’t fall. We will get him found guilty.
Minister But he isn’t actually a rapist, you know. Not one of these incidents looks anything like rape. In fact they are all very flimsy. There isn’t one single independent witness and I don’t think any of them could be proven in court.
Perm Sec Please don’t worry yourself. It doesn’t matter, Minister. All we need is the word “rape” in the newspaper headlines. “Attempted rape” will do. You just tell the prosecutor to get the word out there, spread it in the media and Orpheus is finished.
Minister Even if he is not guilty?
Perm Sec He will be guilty. Whether he is guilty is irrelevant, he will be found guilty. This is where we use “more of”.
Minister “More of”?
Perm Sec Yes, “More of”. It’s not an official legal term, but all the lawyers know it as the oldest trick in the prosecutor’s book.
Minister What do you mean, Permanent Secretary?
Perm Sec Well look, we have the canoodling episode, the kiss in the office and a couple of suggestive remarks about sexy clothes.
Minister The sexy remarks are hardly illegal, are they?
Perm Sec Good God, Minister, what century are you in? (Canned Laughter). Sexual harassment, Minister. Kiss someone at the office party and tell someone else their figure looks good in that blouse, and you have established a pattern of behaviour. “More of” you see, Minister. The “more of” this stuff you throw, the better chance some of it will stick.
Minister But we don’t have that many instances. We went through absolutely everything. We had a team of 24 policemen working on it for 10 months and this was all we can find.
Perm Sec It is time to get creative then, Minister. We need more women to make allegations. In these circumstances it is always best to keep things close. Activate the women you know, Minister, activate the women you know.
Minister I don’t have that many friends, Permanent Secretary. I spend all my time reading books. (Canned Laughter).
Perm Sec Oh really, Minister, think. You must have some women very close to you.
Minister Well, there is Miss Barclay, my own Private Secretary.
Perm Sec Perfect, Minister perfect! Miss Barclay should be good for at least four allegations! Get her to say he tried to kiss her. Often.
Minister But surely nobody will believe my own Private Secretary – and she was involved in putting the dossier together and in discussions on handling the case. Nobody is going to believe her. And (gasps in horror) it really leads straight back to me being behind it, doesn’t it?
Perm Sec It can’t be traced back to you, Minister.
Minister Phew, that’s a relief. It can’t be traced back to me you say. How does that work?
Perm Sec Accuser anonymity, Minister.
Minister Accuser anon… oh yes! Oh yes! I am beginning to see!! They are sexual allegations so…
Perm Sec The identities of the accusers can be kept hidden by the court under penalty of severe jail sentences for anybody who reveals them so…
Minister …the accusers can just be my closest political cronies and the public will never be aware of that! That’s brilliant, Perm Sec!
Perm Sec Thank you, Minister (Canned Laughter)
Minister And thank God for that, because if the party faithful thought that I was trying to stitch up my predecessor they would have my guts for garters (Canned Laughter).
Perm Sec Heaven forfend, Minister!
Minister What? Oh too right. I was just thinking, Permanent Secretary, you know I am starting to get the hang of this. What about old Marmalade? He is very keen to get back into parliament and sees himself as a potential successor.
Perm Sec Marmalade? Well I suppose if we start adding in gay allegations, it does give a slightly more exotic tinge for the tabloids.
Minister I was thinking more of his wife, Permanent Secretary. If the old Marmalade family want a nice safe seat in the capital, let them do something to earn it.
Perm Sec Indeed, Minister. And is the wife not a former Special Adviser?
Minister Yes, is that a problem?
Perm Sec On the contrary, Minister. You see it is very useful. A SPAD is of course only a particularly spotty political hack whom politicians have conned the taxpayer into paying, but technically a SPAD is still a form of civil servant.
Minister Yes, and what of it?
Perm Sec Well, the words “civil servant” convey integrity, honesty and trustworthiness. (Canned laughter). We can leak to the tabloids that one of the accusers is a civil servant, and people will believe it must be genuine and independent. Very cunning idea if I may say so, Minister.
Minister Was it? Oh yes, I am cunning, aren’t I. (Canned laughter). But I still worry that none of the accusations is going to be individually convincing.
Perm Sec Doesn’t matter, Minister, doesn’t matter. Remember “More of”. Quantity not quality, Minister, quantity not quality. They don’t have to be individually convincing, just to give the impression of no smoke without fire.
Minister Oh well, I understand that now. In that case I can think of three or four more women very close to us indeed who can make allegations, if independence or credibility are not important and nobody will ever know who they were.
Perm Sec Volume is important, Minister, volume. It does not have to be heavy stuff. Just get them to allege an attempted kiss here, a brush of the hand on the bum as they were going out the door there.
Minister To build a pattern of behaviour.
Perm Sec Precisely, Minister, precisely. To build a pattern of behaviour. I see you have got it.
Minister But isn’t there a problem here, Permanent Secretary? If this man was a sexual predator on a large scale, there would be whispers for years and people in political circles would surely know. But he doesn’t have that reputation at all.
Perm Sec Don’t worry, Minister, he soon will have that reputation. (Canned Laughter). The media will believe it because we will tell them to believe it. And once the media believe something, the population will believe it too. Every politician has enemies, Minister, Orpheus more than most.
Minister But isn’t there a potential danger here, Permanent Secretary? I mean all of this is nonsense, so won’t he be acquitted and emerge possibly stronger than before?
Perm Sec Don’t worry, Minister, he won’t be acquitted. We have a legally invincible alliance on our side. “More of” is powerful, but “more of” combined with “home” becomes an irresistible force.
Minister (puzzled) “More of” and “home”.
Perm Sec Yes Minister. Answer me this. What does a jury want more than anything?
Minister To do justice?
Perm Sec Wrong, Minister, wrong. Home. A jury wants to go home. (Canned Laughter) Jurors are ripped away from their homes, jobs and families for weeks. At the end of it they are locked in a stuffy room with other jurors they don’t like, and not allowed to go home until they have all reached a verdict. So what do they do to reach agreement?
Minister Aaah, I see now. They compromise.
Perm Sec Exactly, Minister. They will compromise. It’s a natural human instinct to avoid conflict. There will be some people who think him totally innocent as nothing was individually proven, but there will be others who will think he must have done something wrong or there could not possibly be so many accusations. The power of “more of”. Of course they will chuck out the “attempted rape” very quickly as obvious nonsense. In the end they will find him not guilty on nearly all counts, but as a compromise will convict him of stroking someone’s hair, patting their bum or saying they look sexy.
Minister But surely he will hardly be jailed for that?
Perm Sec Doesn’t matter, Minister. “Rapist” will already be firmly printed on the public mind, and so long as we have the magic word “guilty” it does not matter what he is guilty of. And it can’t fail. With so many charges, the jury is simply bound to find him guilty of something so they can compromise and all go home.
Minister Brilliant, Permanent Secretary, brilliant.
Perm Sec Thank you.
Minister So that’s finally going to put a stake through his heart. No more Frank Sinatra comebacks and no more Quixotic campaigns chasing unicorns.
Perm Sec Yes, Minister.


433 thoughts on “Yes Minister Fan Fiction

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  • Marga

    Theres another story in Spain, or rather Catalonia, same difference, a bit like yours, the hero (or villain)is a political Titan, outed with an enormous fortune undeclaréd, an inheritance, wartime security he claims. Succulent pickings for press!

    But this guy knows too much, so never sees court, no proof offered, now shelved, the result being that hes for ever morè “màfia, famiglia, thief, corrupt, fallen ídol” etc. Tràgic end. Trial by Newspaper, the story goes, works just fine. The sequel, all about lawfare and repression of the guy’s followers, is a bit grim, so neednt concern ús here.

    Are we seeing a new genre here? Do hope its your story that sets the tone. We could all do with a bit of a laugh, even if canned.

  • Wikikettle

    I think George Galloway wears a hat to hide the scars on his head when he was attacked. He has been in politics for decades and strongly and bravely articulated the counter to the state narrative at great risk to himself. Name me one politician who is as outspoken and continually denigrated by MSM. Attack his arguments on Scottish Independence, NOT him personally. Otherwise you are adopting the Bush Doctrine / Threat of “Either You are with us or you are against us “. I always watch MOATS on Sunday evening. Was very pleased to see Craig and hear him on George’s show. George’s introduction of Craig as a Prince among men was the measure of the man. I really believe in having an orator with the strength that George projects for the issues of world peace and justice. Craig countered all of George’s points on Independence. Yet they remained respectful to each other as they agree on the other 90% of issues concerning the world.

    • michael norton

      It is a good interview and they were both respectful of each other, certainly not shouting at each other as is normal these days.
      So does what happens to the Economy of Scotland, play into this much, apparently unemployment in Scotland is the lowest in a very long time and currently the best in the U.K. If Scotland continues to do well, does that bulk desires for Independence or lessen those desires?

    • Rose

      Agree with this comment absolutely. I watched that interview and enjoyed it in a way that is all too rare now – listening to two informed and intelligent speakers with differing views about a subject, having a mutually respectful discussion. Wish there was more of it about..

      Somewhere or other there is a conversation between Tony Benn and Roy Jenkins about the pros and cons of Britain joining the Common Market which the BBC broadcast in the early 1970s. As far as I remember, it was not mediated by a third party, just a civilised exchange of passionately held points of view which was actually enlightening.

      Gratuitous remarks about personal appearance and speculations about motives of participants are neither useful nor enlightening.

    • Cubby

      Wikikettle

      “Name me one politician – denigrated by MSM ” – I’ll name you two – Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon.

    • Brian c

      Yes Galloway’s is still an important voice. His first MOAT (on TalkSport back in the 2000s) was the only place in MSM you would hear any dissent being expressed to neoliberalism and neo-imperialism.

      There are now none.

    • Tom Welsh

      Mr Galloway’s epic disembowelling of the US Senate committee endeared him to me forever. While, like many others, I disagree with many of his political views, I see him as one of the greatest British orators ever. He also embodies the classic Scottish virtues of truthfulness and clarity.

      • Cubby

        Tom Welsh

        He may be good on the clarity but as regards Scotland in the UK zero out of ten for truthfulness.

        Justice and freedom for the Palestinians but for the country where I was born – naw – subservience, subjugation and humiliation. That sums up Galloways stance on Scotland.

        • N_

          His position is summarised with these words:

          My message is that class is more important than nation. Nation is a transient concept. Scottish working class people have nothing in common with the bankers, landowners and capitalists in Scotland. They have everything in common with fellow workers in Liverpool. Why would anyone want to turn the people of Liverpool into foreigners?
          (…)
          With the Queen still the head of state and the Bank of England still in charge, what is on offer is worse than the current situation

          I’m not a great fan of Gorgeous’s, but credit where it’s due.

          • Cubby

            N

            Typical British Labour in Scotland guff that most people in Scotland now recognise as nonsense. Hence British Labour in Scotland has one MP.

            So I guess Galloway is not British then – totally stateless is he – no passport. Happy for the Palestinians not to have their own own nation is he.

            British Labour in Scotland is most definitely a transient concept. The party that promised Home Rule for Scotland 3 centuries ago. Now once again prattling on about federalism and more devolutuion or let’s just talk some more about the Scotland problem. Labour have had long enough.

            The stuff about the Queen and the Bank of England is that with independence we can vote to change or remove both. At present we are told your votes don’t count. Now if you and Galloway cannot see that then you are a pair of diddies.

        • Wikikettle

          Mary at 18:45. George is indeed a rare politician to not only speak truth to power but on subjects like Israel compared to other politicians who won’t or can’t as they are compromised.

        • Brianfujisan

          Mary

          Cheers for the Reminder of GG destroying Ms Botting..Epic stuff.

          And thanks too for the info Regarding Grenfell the other day..The webs they weave to screw over the poor. Sick sociopaths that they are

          • Mary

            Cheers Brian. Hope you’re OK.

            I hope I haven’t said this before on here but it sickens me that the chief planning officer in K&C BC who signed off the cladding on Grenfell, left to join the Planning Inspectorate based in Bristol.

            He is now handing over the Green Belt and agricultural land to housing developers in the SE and elsewhere in appeals against planning permissions.

            eg
            Jonathan Bore increased Mid Sussex District Council’s housing target from 800 to 1,026 homes a year after a series of examination hearings earlier this year, a decision which was met with dismay by residents, campaigners, MPs, and councillors.
            https://www.midsussextimes.co.uk/news/planning-inspector-signed-grenfell-tower-refurbishment-852393

            The same has happened in Surrey and Outer London.

            This is the sort of overdevelopment of building sites. The example is in Plymouth.

            ‘Last year, the housebuilder completed 15,855 homes and made an annual profit of £1.09bn –
            the biggest ever reported by a UK housebuilder.’

            ‘The worst new estates lack nearby amenities such as shops, pubs and cafes. They are unconnected to surrounding areas, with few public transport links. They lack enough green spaces and playgrounds. They do little to encourage cycling and walking. The architecture is standardised and undistinctive, with affordable housing sometimes concentrated in particular areas, rather than mixed in with private homes.’

            https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/jan/19/housing-giants-put-profit-before-peoples-needs-report-reveals

            Other reports list defects such as the lack of walls in the roof void of terraced housing thus creating a fire risk for the whole building and in general, very poor design and build quality.

            Many of the developers are Tory donors needless to say.

  • michael norton

    Unemployment has fallen slightly in Scotland, and across the UK as a whole, according to the Office for National Statistics.
    In the three months to November, the number of people out of work and looking for a job in Scotland fell by 7,000, to reach 105,000.
    Scotland’s unemployment rate now stands at 3.8% of the workforce.
    Once we are out you can claim your fish back.
    I remember staying in bed and breakfast with my father in Aberdeen in the early sixties and we got up at four in the morning to watch the fishing fleet, then said to be more than 400 boats, the largest fishing fleet in all of Europe.

    • Cubby

      Michael Norton

      I like fish I just don’t fancy eating it for every meal for the rest of my life.

      • Tom Welsh

        If the traditional Scots breakfast of porridge and herring were to make a comeback it would be a tremendous start to rolling back the high cost of the NHS. A properly-fed nation is a healthy nation.

          • Tom Welsh

            A wee dram every evening might well help people live healthier lives. I wouldn’t recommend it for breakfast, unless you need inspiration or Dutch courage.

          • Magic Robot

            Ros
            I love a grilled Manx kipper for breakfast – with homegrown tomatoes, a sprig of parsely, a slice of brown bread and a strong cup of English Breakfast tea.

    • Republicofscotland

      “I remember staying in bed and breakfast with my father in Aberdeen in the early sixties and we got up at four in the morning to watch the fishing fleet, then said to be more than 400 boats, the largest fishing fleet in all of Europe.”

      That led to a total collapse in North sea cod due to over fishing, step in the EU after we joined and voila, stocks began recovering after the EU shortened quotas.

      Greedy fisherman took huge loans from the banks to buy ever increasingly bigger vessels before we joined the EU, to catch more and more fish. If the EU hadn’t stepped in we’d have probably seen cod stocks plummet even further.

      If I recall the fishermen, were given cash incentives to scrap their boats some did. Today around five greedy families run the fishing business in Scotland.

      I take a bit of schadenfreude from their up and coming betrayal by Westminster over fishing rights that will be handed on a plate to the EU to allow London’s financial sector access to Europe. The fools voted no in 2014, because they didn’t want independence as a independent Scotland wanted back into the EU, and the fishermen saw the British government as a protector as I said fools.

      The Scottish farming community mainly voted no as well in 2014, now we’re leaving the EU and a deal will be made with the US and other non EU nations to import inferior produce at a cheaper price, Scottish farmers will suffer, hill farmers will go bust with no EU subsidies and cheap US etc, imports will see lowland/highland farmers businesses damaged greatly, again I have very little sympathy for them.

      • Cubby

        ROS

        Spot on comment.

        Britnat betrayal of Scotlands interests is as certain as February following January. It hardly gets a mention in the Britnat press now but the Tories promised the fishermen that they would get out of the CF in the transition period. The Tories reneged on that. Next month when the transition period starts the CF still applies.

        • N_

          Staying in the CFP for 11 months longer must be “a betrayal of England’s interests” too, given that the same policy applies to England, and of Manchester United fans’ interests, etc.

          • Cubby

            N

            The vast majority of fish landed is in Scottish ports therefore a far greater impact in Scotland than anywhere else. The vast majority of fish landed comes from Scottish waters.

            It may be fish but it’s still pish you post.

            The key point is Britnat Betrayal of Scotland is the norm even for Britnats in Scotland who vote for them.

          • michael norton

            I would imagine once the U.K. has left the E.U., if we are allowed too, that Michael Gove will be put in charge of fishing, he has said Europe can whistle, they are having none of it.

          • Cubby

            Michael Norton

            “……Europe can whistle, they are having none of it.” Eureka now I realise what the two aircraft carriers were built for – to chase away these nasty foreigners from Scottish fishing grounds. What planning – once the plane or planes even are actually on the aircraft carriers they can bomb and strafe the Spanish, French and Danish fishing boats.

            So Britnats actually believe Gove – he is only second to the great liar himself Johnston in telling pork pies as the Cockneys would say. Just when is Johnston going to die in a ditch then. We could get Big Ben to bang away.

          • N_

            @Cubby – So you’re saying that the reason that continued British membership of the CFP is a “betrayal” of Scotland but not of England because more fish get landed in Scotland. What’s the Barnett formula then?

          • cubby

            N

            I know fine well what the Barnett formula is do you?

            If so explain the point you are making with that comment.

          • Deb O'Nair

            michael norton January 21, 2020 at 18:59.

            After Brexit, and for some years to come, Britain’s fishing waters will still be visited by fleets from EU nations. This is because a large chunk of the EU fishing quota allocated to the UK have been sold to foreign fleets (notably Dutch and Spanish) – at the suggestion of the Tory government under Cameron.

        • cubby

          MJ

          So just when did Scots regulate their own fishing grounds to prove to you that they are incapable?

          17th century was it?

          • MJ

            I suppose the point is that UK fishing waters required no regulation until they were thrown open to Spansh factory ships and the like.

          • Cubby

            MJ

            A pretty poor attempt to avoid the point that I am making. The UK regulated the Scottish fishing waters before the EU and basically did a very poor job – a free for all was their idea of regulation and sustainability.

            So let’s go back to your racist comment that “it’s a well known fact that Scots are incapable of regulating their own fishing grounds”. So where is this inaccurate belief well known MJ? Is it in the minds of those who propogate racist propaganda that Scots are just rubbish at everything. A bit like those who propogate racist beliefs that the Irish are thick.

      • michael norton

        RoS you seem very bitter with the Scottish fishermen, do you have something against fishing
        or is it more to do with them voting for their own best economic reasons in the 2014 Referendum?

        • Magic Robot

          “best economic reasons”
          What, like fishing the species to the brink of extinction?
          That’s called ‘killing the golden goose’.
          They may be fishermen, but they aren’t businessmen.

        • Cubby

          Michael Norton

          The EU put a stop to the over fishing. The UK was in control prior to that.

          With regards to believing what Gove says do you still believe in Santa Claus?

      • Dungroanin

        A dangerous industry that had regular tragedies – we are well rid of it.
        Children in families were doomed to go to sea instead of being allowed to choose their education, careers and futures, many a parent abandoned their families and friends when they realised their children would be trapped into the same dead end.

        I wouldn’t mind a fishing industry, safety first and environmental, if we really ATE that much fresh and varied fish on this ‘island’ – but since most goes to European and World markets and we end up battering deepfrying just a few species while making pet food out of the rest – it is a bad move to try and recreate that industry.

        Anyway when a Dutch supertrawler can park itself at the approaches to the Channel and vacuums up EVERYTHING using the most modern hunting methods – there is not much that can be done except sink it!

        I enjoyed 3 types of smoked fish this week and leftovers made a lovely fishcake!

        • michael norton

          Well, if fishing is too dangerous for you,
          what about farming, forestry, coal mining, oil and gas getting, steel making or ship building or nuclear power stations or nuclear submarines, even wind farms are dangerous.
          If you remove all potentially dangerous industries
          you will emasculate Scotsmen.
          Not everyone can be a middle manager/pen pusher.
          Same goes for the rest of the U.K.

          • Dungroanin

            Duh – My reference to the supertrawelers MEANS fishing is NO LONGER as dangerous as used to be and would not be economical with the old type of trawlers.

            All except one of your examples – FARMING – is pretty safe unless you want to show me some FACTS which you are immune to.
            Like it this for example
            https://www.activehse.co.uk/2017/07/21/most-dangerous-jobs-in-the-uk/

            Right now being a nurse or working in A&E is probably going to be the most dangerous when the pandemic arrives – even for the penpushers.

  • Republicofscotland

    Soon we’ll be out of the EU and all that goes with it including European Union Law, of which its (PGS) Protected Geographical Status, protects the origins of food and drink emminating from the UK, this will of course apply to the other nations of the UK as well.

    Infact that status might already be lost, if this is anything to go by.

    “The UK Government did not make even 1 submission to protect our food names in the Canada or Japan trade deals while our continental neighbours protected 3000 of their names.”

    https://mobile.twitter.com/keepScotBrand

    • Tom Welsh

      QAs long as wine, cheese or other products are honestly labelled with their places of origin, buyers should be able to protect their own interests. “Champagne” from Spain or Australia? Only if you don’t want genuine Champagne from Champagne. (It may be just as good, or indeed even better – that’s up to you to decide). “Cheddar” from the USA? Maybe, although nothing I have seen about American attitudes to cheese would give me the tiniest spark of hope.

  • nevermind

    The lives and futures of future generations, stolen by a status quo obsessed establishment and the political puppets they allow to form Governments here!

    The same people who are now planning to indebt the NHS some more so they can privatise all of it.
    Its time for Citizens Assemblies to take over policy making, we cant trust civil servants to do a sustainable job, or regulate? Or maintain what they create.

    We need to implement a more caring agricultural policy that looks after the soils from which we feed us.
    Chemical farming impact is turning fields into a sandy structureless medium to be washed away.

    Johnson wants to scrap environmental protection measures, he will scrap the Erasmus scheme for students and his trade deal will fail to leave us all with a cold hard exit.
    So Scotland will ask the Navy to protect its fishing waters? Or will it be done by Trump, the fairies?
    So how will the EU fare in Irish waters? Visavis the Scottish and English vessels that also still fish these Atlantic waters…
    These are questions nobody in Johnsons Govetnment has answrts to and they will not be solved in 10 days.

    So, not very much will change to the unsustainable fisheries in European waters and I reject terms as ‘stolen’ , that are not true, and there is no such thing as Scottish fish, they do travel and migrate, Herr Norton.

  • Tom Welsh

    Er, fish are fish. I doubt if you could get a single plaice, mackerel or herring to declare that it is “British”, “French”, “Norwegian” or anything else except “oceanic”.

    Any agreement about who “owns” fish or is entitled to catch them must be thrashed out between human beings.

  • Michael Hughes

    Everyone in the UK should write their MPs telling them the facts about Julian Assange’s persecution. Most MPs just take the party line/regime line as gospel. Repost or use the points below in leaflets or fliers even though it is very late.

    Factors to consider when writing MPs, plus any others that you may be aware of.

    • Prosecuted by those he exposed as criminals
    • All Wikileaks reports proven accurate
    • He personally redacted names from documents he published to ensure no one was put at risk.
    • Smeared – Publicly (and in court room) called a Narcissist
    • Slandered – Puerile lies about personal habits, treatment of cat
    • Spied Upon – For CIA while in Ecuadorian Embassy
    • Tortured – UN Report
    • Pilloried and victimised by the press
    • Never charged for any crime in Sweden
    • US interfered in Westminster Court Proceedings
    • Imprisoned with Excessive Penalty by judge who has since recused herself from the case because of conflict of interest
    • Remand Prisoner but held in Solitary Confinement
    • Mail Delayed by prison for months
    • Denied adequate means to prepare defence
    • Denied Access to Evidence
    • Denied Medical Attention despite request from 80 or more doctors.
    • Cubby

      Michael Hughes

      “Everyone in the UK should write their MPs telling them the facts about Julian Assanges persecution.”

      I totally agree and at the same time they should do the same for Scotland.

      • Piotr Berman

        That makes it complicated, what about Ireland d or Australia?. Perhaps a contraction would be better, “Everyone should write their MPs…”. Americans could write to their Military Police.

      • Magic Robot

        What, the same ‘MP’s’ that were involved either through commission or omission in the so-called expenses ‘scandal’. By the way, do you think if you falsely completed a claim for the dole, or a tax return, it would be called a ‘scandal’? It would be called the crime of fraud, you would be fined at best, have to pay victim compensation, and get a criminal record.
        The same ‘MP’s’ that voted for an illegal war that killed countless thousands, and according to the Nuremburg principle, a war of aggression is a crime punishable by death?
        And you believe appealing to them concerning Julian Assange’s treatment will be heeded?
        I would have nothing to do with these people, at all.

    • Deb O'Nair

      “Everyone in the UK should write their MPs…”

      LOL – many people in the UK do not even know who their MP is, nor Julian Assange for that matter. They may know his name but will invariably think he is a rapist who hid in an embassy to avoid prosecution.

  • Ros Thorpe

    I doubt whether AF can be brought on by weather conditions and since it causes stroke, I would get it sorted no matter what. Get well soon Craig but seriously go to a special and get it sorted. Lots of people are relying on you.

    • David

      Craig, there are also quite accurate fitness/timepiece such as the ubhal Watch, which can track similar heart conditions and give early warnings. (from £169 online/refurb/clearance on their uk site) also available ‘nearly free’ from some health insurance companies (who would delight in the reams of sensor data for your future premium pricing)
      in science terms the best selling device has been non-academically tested via a purely observational study designed to see whether the Watch’s heart pulse monitor can successfully identify people who have A-fib. Yes, was the conclusion, but it wasn’t double-blind random trialling, at least not last time I looked.

  • Contrary

    The Scottish Covenant 2019 webpage is up and running for signing:

    https://digitalcovenant.co.uk

    So sign it. If you are ‘waiting for the SNP’ you’ll be cold in your grave before anything happens – in saying that, only do what you feel comfortable with. At least read the first page of the signing process which describes what you need and explains that it is a legal document, so make sure that you agree with the statement before signing.

    I haven’t actually been through the process yet, got to scan a couple of documents, so not sure if it is easy or not – does anyone have experience of it they would share?

    WE are the Plan B, if you take no action then nothing will happen. Lots of little things by lots of people is cumulative – no need for major ground breaking events of organising, just whatever you feel able to do. We are the driving force.

    Signing this covenant thing is just one thing – I suspect it will take a while, so best to get it underway as quickly as possible and keep advertising it.

    If Forward as One gets a ruling from the court on their case, that will be more progress – either forcing the the Scottish Parliament to hold a referendum, or giving us a better idea where we stand and so can take whatever next steps based on knowledge instead of speculation.

    Lots of Yes Groups coordinating via the IndyApp will likely be the most productive thing – I hope to see lots of ideas and actions from that quarter. I also hope to see many super-large independence marches throughout this year.

    Can the leadership of a political party survive failures to deliver on promises? Usually not, surely? Certainly not stagnant, weak leadership, surely? Rumours and speculation on prospective new leaders might be useful.

      • Contrary

        Independence?

        All of it?

        Living?

        Not sure what is wasting your time, when you were not obliged to even read the comment let alone take any action on it.

        Many small actions – water on stone.

        • Hatuey

          The digital covenant itself is a distraction and a waste of time, whether I sign it or not.

          Here’s my attempt at a little scene for a sitcom/play;

          Alister: “Prime Minister, over 2 million Scots have signed a digital covenant, committing themselves to Scottish independence…”

          Boris: “Who gives a fuck?”

          It probably needs polished a little but I think the plot is pretty solid.

          Can anyone, anywhere, show me an historical example where such a covenant, digital or otherwise, has been effective in similar circumstances?

          • Contrary

            Good screenplay – I wonder how it would look, what would be the situation in which Boris did give a fuck – there would be none I think, at least I can’t think of anything.

            But, um, well, you do realise the purpose of the Scottish covenant is to collect signatures (official ones) to present to the UN, that is, it’s a way (within international law) to bypass Westminster and get international recognition (which is the main criterion for becoming independent), Scotland’s own constitutional laws allow for us to have that say as well. Bypass Westminster.

            It’s not the only thing that can be done – every and all options should be explored – and there is no harm in having back-up plans, indeed it lends us strength.

            Your desire for Boris-approval is quite bizarre.

          • Contrary

            Also, it’s a strange question to ask if there are other examples of where a collection of signatures has brought about independence – this is part of the legal framework, they have all this stuff written down, and the ICJ can rule on it to determine if you meet the criteria. Self-determination is a human right. It’s an established, and legally sound, route.

            How do you think other countries gain recognition? They prove to the UN and the ICJ that a majority of people in the country want it – we should not have to do this, we are in a treaty agreement and should have a route to vote on dissolving it within our own union arrangement, but if there is not, then the NORMAL established route that other countries take will be fine too. I really don’t see the issue, or what is time-wasting, or what about it is a distraction, if you believe Scotland should be an independent country.

          • Hatuey

            Contrary, I’m sure you mean well and indeed think you are doing well. But I’m afraid you there’s a depressing plethora of factual errors in what you say. I don’t have time to address them all but on the important ones;

            1) I don’t require Boris’s approval. The currently configured SNP does though — sturgeon herself has made clear that she believes the only route to independence is through a section 30. I actually disagree with that.

            2) your description of the role of the ICJ and UN is pure fantasy. There’s no requirement to produce a covenant or petition.

            Recognition of new nation states is largely down to the prerogative and acceptance of existing nation states. If what you’re saying was true, Palestine would have become a nation state decades ago.

            3) there’s actually nothing to stop Scotland becoming an independent state today. The only real condition is that the Scottish people want to do so and by that I mean a majority. Scotland has that majority now. The polls suggest it’s 50/50 but those polls reflect nothing more than the potency of lies and propaganda. We can safely assume support of around 65 to 75% in the absence of the lies and propaganda.

            England is a wife beater that knows it can do nothing to stop the wife, us, leaving. All they have is bluster and empty threats. Everything hinges on us believing the threats and lies and that’s where the constant propaganda in the media and newspapers comes in.

            The only obstacle to Scottish independence is in the minds of Scots themselves.

  • Mary

    From the mouth of one of newspaper reviewers on Sky News’ Press Review, Mark Wallace, we have just heard the words Russian, Malign, and Assange being used in one sentence, ie that Julian Assange is working for Russia.

    The story they were discussing was about a Saudi Prince hacking the phone belonging to Jeff Bezos. Can you see any connection to Julian? I can’t. Julian released documents that exposed crimes and injustice. The Saudi Prince invaded Bezos’s privacy for what purpose?

    This is Wallace.

    ‘Mark Edwin Wallace (born 20 August 1984) is a British journalist, newspaper columnist and political activist. He is Chief Executive of the website ConservativeHome, and is a former Campaign Director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance.’

    Enough said.

  • Richard Bowskill

    Top marks – it sums up the scene so well , I can envisage it on the TV . Amazingly true to life !

  • Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh

    Re SNP website ‘HISTORY’ page –
    https://www.snp.org/history/

    An hour or two ago Stuart Campbell retweeted the following from Christopher McEleny:

    🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿CHRISTOPHER McEleny
    ‏@SNPChris

    Appalling: the 2 time party leader of @theSNP , 1st ever SNP First minister, & the leader that won us the majority that delivered Scotland’s referendum has been removed from the history pages of the SNP.

    Orwell died 75 years ago but this is 1984 levels of historical negationism.

    • Cubby

      Fearghas

      It is a crap note for people who want to read an extremely brief summary rather than a history. So the website calling it a history is a big exaggeration. Since Angus Robertson gets a mention I agree that Alex Salmond not being mentioned is deliberate exclusion. Poor show by the SNP. I am not a member but if I was I would complain.

      • N_

        I guess they couldn’t agree what to say about Alex Salmond, given that the major criminal charges against him have not yet been resolved.

        Meanwhile they mention the Scottish National Movement but not its leader the racist occult scholar Lewis Spence.

        • pete

          Spence died in 1955, so his influence today is marginal at most. His Encyclopaedia of Occultism is available at: https://archive.org/search.php?query=an Encyclopaedia of Occultism%3A
          I would say he was a product of his time and leave it at that, but I’m guessing you will not let it lie.

    • Republicofscotland

      The Scotsman newspaper, if you can call it a newspaper takes great pleasure in informing us of this.

      However no one is sure who ommitted Salmond from the SNP history. It could’ve been a junior doing it on the orders of a Westminster plant to further agitate the indy support and divide it.

      Again we must take into account the timing of this trivial story, as the unionist media begins to ramp up the pressure to seal a conviction against Salmond.

      Craigs above articles shows the routes the b#stards will take.

      • U Watt

        Craig’s article only references the media in the line: “The media will believe it because we tell them to believe it.”

  • Piotr Berman

    On another topic, in the UN building there was a presentation with a follow up discussion on the topics of shenanigans in OPWC. RT describes Russian presentation, The Times of London describes the Western rebuttal*. As no other established western medium took the topic (according to Google News), I used an offer of one month free subscription. Then I perused other stories with tag “Russia”. Thus I have learn, to some surprise, that our host is an awful person:

    Israel conspiracy peddler Craig Murray to address SNP activists
    Kieran Andrews, Scottish Political Editor
    January 21 2020, 12:01am,
    The Times

    Nicola Sturgeon
    Scottish National Party
    UK politics
    Syria
    Middle East
    [photo, Craig looks better than in the most recent ones!]
    Craig Murray has written on his blog that Israel was more likely to be behind the Salisbury novichok poisoning than Russian agents
    TIMES PHOTOGRAPHER JAMES GLOSSOP

    A former British diplomat who has promoted a series of conspiracy theories, including that Israelis might have been behind the Salisbury poisoning, has been invited to address SNP activists.

    Craig Murray is due to speak at the nationalists’ Braidburn branch in Edinburgh on Saturday on the same billing as Joanna Cherry, the party’s justice spokeswoman at Westminster. It is understood that Ms Cherry will not be present for his speech.
    =======
    A bit hard to figure out why speaking list in a branch meeting 400 miles from London is of interest, motivating inquires in Ms. Cherry plans to listen to the poisonous Mr. Murray. Apparently, she planned to be to busy to stay and, if needed, save the minds of impressionable good people of Braidburn with a timely rebuttal. Should we write to her and implore to have more care for her fellow Scots?

        • bevin

          In fact he took out a free subscription-for 30 days- to The Times. But your link explains the matter well and to Piotr’s credit.

      • bevin

        It’s clear enough that Piotr’s comment is intended to show how biassed and pro imperialist Google News and its ‘sources’ are.
        Surely Cherry’s alleged intentions are of real interest? Either she is being scandalously misrepresented or she is discreetly distancing herself from a “controversial figure.” “Controversial being, in the minds of Centrists, a synonym for principled.

    • OnlyHalfALooney

      Not surprising because the MSM has been part of the grand scheme/conspiracy since early Bilderberger days.

      And when I was at school the Bilderberg meetings themselves were branded as a “conspiracy theory” and a “fiction”. There was never any mention at all of them in the “serious press”. Of course, we now know that ournalists from the major publications were actually participating in them.

      I had a Dutch history teacher who told us incredulous boys about them back in the 1970’s in South Africa. Perhaps he was aware of them due to his Dutch background (it was all Prince Bernhard’s idea). It was not something you could learn from ordinary press, even in the Netherlands (except for small far left/far right newsletters perhaps). The history teacher got into trouble for “talking a load of rubbish”.

      • Dave Lawton

        OnlyHalfALooney
        January 22, 2020 at 08:36
        And Prince Bernhard was a ex SS Nazi who changed sides and was involved in the Lockheed bribery scandal.It seems to be a trait of these Bilderberger`s.Klaus Keinfeld was another one involved in bribery.I could make a list.

  • nevermind

    If someone does not agree with the argument that consecutive Governments have been chosen here by manipulative elements on behalf of the status quo obsessed establishment, please do try and persuade me.

    Ideally before its moderated out.

  • Cubby

    NEGLECT IN BRITAIN’S PRISONS A “NATIONAL SCANDAL”

    This is the headline for a discussion on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire this morning.

    What is wrong with this headline? Well I suspect most people in England watching this programme will not have given a moments thought to the headline and if watching will be thinking about the issues discussed.

    This is an EXAMPLE of the casual disregard and disrespect shown every day by the English media masquerading as British media to Wales Scotland and NIreland.

    The discussion was all about Englands prisons. Everyone taking part and everything discussed was about Englands prisons and the UKgov failure to provide funding for prisons, mental health etc etc. Nothing wrong with a discussion about England’s prisons in principle.

    The headline says Britain’s prisons. Not Englands prisons. Exactly what is Britain? The headline also says a National scandal. So is Britain the nation? No there is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and NIreland with its constituent nations of England Wales and Scotland and province of NIreland.

    So how is a discussion about Englands prisons described as Britain and the Nation by the BBC? Surely it is straightforward. The headline should say Englands prison and Englands scandal. Why was it not?

    The Britnat media continually mix up what part of the UK it is referring to. Are they really that incompetent? No it is done on purpose.

    • Republicofscotland

      A&E waiting times in England at an all time high, as they miss their targets again.

      It looks like the Red Cross will be calling it a humanitarian crisis this year as they did a couple of years ago.

      The Tories (Johnson) promise to up funding, yeah right. Chomsky said if you want rid of a publicly funded body, first you have to defund it, the public will then cry out for a replacement, in which the answer will be found in the private sector. Enter Trump and his US deal.

      https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/nhs-waiting-time-patient-delay-emergency-department-a9276366.html

      • Michael

        I always thought setting targets was a way for politicians to pass the blame for underfunding. Imagine not giving your wife enough housekeeping then setting her the target of giving everyone in the house three meals a day. If she doesn’t get enough money she can’t do it, but as she didn’t meet the target you set you tell her she’s failed. That kind of thing but on a national scale.

      • Mary

        Demonize the NHS, demoralise the staff, starve it of resources, and finally destroy it.

        That’s the Tory plan and it has been so since Thatcher reigned.

    • Cubby

      ROS

      Only in the UK – they don’t even use their own money for their anti Scottish propaganda.

  • Jones

    Assange is screwed under this unscrupulous Johnson government and Johnson will extradite him to suck up to Trump even though US will never extradite Anne Sacoolas, tories will use every underhanded trick to block Scottish independence referendum and will target prominent supporters with character assassinating propaganda, protest will be tolerated providing it is ineffective but if it becomes effective it will be stamped on hard and the police will be deployed politically not to diffuse but to destroy it, history tells us the English establishment are expert at hitting below the belt, meanwhile workers at greggs are having their £300 bonus robbed off them by a government that fought for bankers to keep their huge bonus’s and are having a consultation on making trespass a criminal offence.

    To those who put Johnson in power is this what you voted for.

  • Dungroanin

    O/T and to lighten the mood(?)… here come the Yanks again will they be overpaid, oversexed and over here? I’m sure there must be a Yes Minister episode about nato somewhere.

    Anyway…
    Here comes bullshit Deployment 2020 that will see 20k US troops landing in Europe in a exercise aimed at defending it from Soviet invasion!
    https://southfront.org/the-us-to-carry-out-biggest-deployment-to-europe-since-cold-war-defender-europe-2020-nearing-its-beginning/

    I think we should know how much it is going to cost us – the UK – to defend the EU we are abandoning – from a mythical dragon! What does Nicola and Scottish Parliament say?

    This while nato falls apart as its most important member Turkey bans nato ships going through its straits.

    Btw I see Craig is getting flak on twatter with smeary attacks as being anti-Israeli or pro Putin or something as the OPCW UN hearing with the lead investigator confirming the truth being completely ignored.

    Things fall apart – 9 days to a journey into oblivion…

    • Laguerre

      “how much it is going to cost us – the UK – to defend the EU we are abandoning”

      That seems a bizarre misconstruction. It would not be defending the EU any more than ourselves against the mythical enemy, no different from the daily functions of NATO since it was created. The fact that the enemy is entirely mythical and doesn’t exist is neither here nor there.

    • Tony_0pmoc

      Dungroanin,

      This link works. They probably changed it. I can find absolutely nothing re “Turkey bans nato ships going through its straits.” Maybe someone at Southfront made it up. However Southfront is worth reading. Just take everything with a pinch of salt, without confirmatory evidence from other independent sources.

      https://southfront.org/u-s-to-carry-out-biggest-deployment-to-europe-since-cold-war-defender-europe-2020-nears/

      Personally, I think its all nonsense. The West is not going to go to war with Russia, even though most of the neocon crazies, and various other religious lunatics want to.

      Tony

      • Deb O'Nair

        According to the graphic it looks like they’re planning on launching their offensive from Germany and then onto Poland, Czech republic, through the Baltic states and into Russia – pretty much the same route the Third Reich took in WW2. Not very subtle messaging.

        • Tom Welsh

          The difference between 1941 and today is that today, when the first enemy soldier or vehicle crosses the border of Russia, massive missile strikes will destroy the invading forces and their supports.

          If the enemy then resort to strategic weapons, Russia will retaliate and we all die.

      • Dungroanin

        Wasn’t SouthFront but via VeteransToday site who quote:
        ‘From Avia Pro:
        “Turkey began to block the passage of NATO ships from the Mediterranean Sea to the Black Sea, thereby indicating its position against the North Atlantic Alliance. According to the Nordic Monitor, restrictions on the passage of NATO warships from the Mediterranean Sea to the Black Sea are already in effect, and therefore, even US Navy ships cannot freely enter the Black Sea region.’

        Veterans also comment:
        ‘[ Editor’s Note: This is quite a strange story, especially with its having been kept out of the news for three days. These are the times when someone knocks on our door.’
        https://www.veteranstoday.com/2020/01/22/breaking-confirmed-turkey-closing-the-black-sea-to-us-navy-nato/

    • Tom Welsh

      Europe is not threatened by conventional military means. Instead, it is threatened by the entry of millions of illegal and quasi-legal foreigners with wholly alien religious and moral codes and customs.

      Conventional weapons and WMD are as useless against this invasion as an anti-tank rocket against AIDS.

      • Marmite

        Wrong again Tom.

        Europe is most threatened right now by bigotry and racism, privatisation and enclosure of everything, bad education, and a serious dearth of common sense.

        Consider the buffoonery of the Davos event, for instance. We have a very stupid American, probably one of the stupidest creatures on earth, Steven Munchkin is his name, saying ‘Greta should go study economics’. That, in a nutshell, says everything. That is the big problem we are facing, and the biggest threat to Europe. Because an economics that protects the status quo is not going to fix anything, but will certainly will continue to make things a hell of a lot worse, especially when it is combined with ongoing policies of austerity.

        The precariatisation of the 99%, keeping the masses as fearful as possible about their pockets, and the ‘division and conquer’ tactics that go with that, accompanied the scapegoating of foreigners. That is the biggest threat right now, not human beings that just want to live and protect their children, like anyone else.

        You speak of ‘alien religious and moral codes and customs’. It seems your own morals are very alien indeed.

      • Dungroanin

        The rest of the world has not only been threatened but actually brutalised by centuries of ‘entry of millions of illegal and quasi-legal EUROPEANS with wholly alien religious and moral codes and customs.’

        There are still many such dickheads still here – eh Tom?

  • Cubby

    BRITNATS LIE AND THEY LIE ALL THE TIME ABOUT NEARLY EVERYTHING

    The Head Britnat Boris Johnson says at Prime Ministers Questions ” once in a generation vote”. LIE

    The Head Britnat Boris Johnson says at Prime Ministers Questions ” £9 billion net comes from the UK to Scotland”. LIE

    Johnson like his pal Trump just lie their face off with absolutely no sense of shame.

    Shame on the people who voted for the lying racist fascist that is Johnson.

  • Cubby

    All three of the devolved governments voted not to give legislative consent to Johnson’s withdrawal bill. This was also backed up by the H of Lords. An attack on the principles of devolution.

    Blackford raised this at PMQs – Johnston said you voted no in 2014 so GIRUY. No one voted no in 2014 to give a fascist like Johnson and his successors a blank cheque to do what he wants to Scotland to infinity and beyond. They voted no because in the last minute infamous VOW they were promised devo MAX. So 6 years later not only has devo max not been delivered what little has been devolved is being rolled back. The winners of a referendum are the ones who are expected to keep their promise. Treacherous lying Britnats can not be trusted. So all this talk about federalism or new talking shops from Labour has been shown that it cannot be trusted to deliver anything. Ending the Treaty of Union 1707 is the only answer.

    Corbyn could not be bothered to raise this attack on the Labour Welsh gov at PMs. A true Britnat is Corbyn or is he? So the only place Labour is in government he can’t be arsed to defend it. Perhaps he really is an English Nationalist.

  • Brianfujisan

    When we here at Craig’s Portal… Delve into the Murky, Evil world of Politics, Wars, death, destruction, poverty Pain, Climate Chaos –

    Then Heaven comes along for few days at Doune The Rabbit Hole

    I sometimes worry about Whistle Blowers – AS THE NEXT PHASE BEGINS –

    Glenn Greenwald has been accused of hacking the cellphones of Brazilian prosecutors and public officials in a criminal case launched on Tuesday.

    Edward Snowden –

    Absolute red alert: This is unbelievably naked retaliation for revealing extreme corruption at the highest levels of #Bolsonaro’s administration, and an existential threat to investigative journalism in

    https://www.rt.com/news/478823-glenn-greenwald-charged-cybercrimes-brazil/

  • Deb O'Nair

    Pretty (obnoxious) Patel is pushing through some fascistic despotic law criminalising the possession of extremist material and literature.

    There is no legal definition of the terms ‘extremism’ or ‘extremist’ as they are entirely subjective descriptions. However, this does not stop the police from maintaining a list of ‘extremist’ organisations (e.g. Greenpeace, Campaign against the Arms Trade etc. etc.) nor using anti-terror laws to spy on ‘extremists’, such as the anti-fracking protesters.

    There are already laws in place regarding the possession and dissemination of terrorist materials and literature, e.g. you can get prosecuted for having an ISIS video on your mobile phone, you can also be prosecuted if you encourage other people to view such material.

    So, how is it that the British press can scream headlines such as “Shocking New ISIS Video Shows Child Beheading Christian Man”, and include stills from the video? Bear in mind that they are promoting this video (notice the use of the word “new”) and providing a little teaser by way of stills; presumably so that when readers go looking for said video they will know what to look for. It appears that the corporate media are not obligated to adhere to existing anti-terror legislation whilst Joe Public can expect severe punishment for same.

    • Jones

      reply to above^^ There is no legal definition of the terms ‘extremism’ or ‘extremist’

      Being a member of the Tory party would suffice. They will never understand ‘why’ you reap what you sow.

    • Tom Welsh

      A good working definition of “extreme” or “extremist” is “significantly different from the government line.

      Freedom of speech: they’ve heard of it. But they have no idea what it means.

    • N_

      The “British” media and Google and Yahoo all encourage people to look at stills and clips of obscenely inhuman actions such as the one you describe. This is an excellent example of schizoid culture. They encourage people to view images of horrible things that have happened by accident too, e.g. “baby falls in front of train”. It’s as if they want everyone to treat everyone else as an object, as the image of a victim in a horror film with which the viewer might at most have a morbid fascination. The emotion that is intended to be evoked is totally opposed to real compassion.

      That said, interestingly they encourage the viewing of images of murder and of the results of murder, but not of torture or rape.

      Yet.

      The authorities pretend to view the internet as an active medium when it is mostly passive, and when most of the “activity” there is is the “activity” of the controlled, of the punter who kids himself he’s making choices while in reality he is exactly where the advertisers and other propagandists want him. Any kind of proper engagement with decent sources on “influence”, from Dale Carnegie to Robert Cialdini, shows that a lot of persuasion works best when the target has been induced to “participate”. Ask any secondhand car salesman. The level of ignorance of this field among the educated (let alone the uneducated) is quite staggering.

      Personally I think possession of such images should be classed as a crime, just as possession of images of child sexual abuse already is.

      “Extremism” is a stupid word. I don’t think there is a statutory definition. Not sure about case law. There is certainly an official definition used by the executive arm though: “Extremism is the vocal or active opposition to our fundamental values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and the mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. We also regard calls for the death of members of our armed forces as extremist.

      Note the first “and” in the first sentence. This means that if a person says “sh*t on Steinerites” but does not oppose the “rule of law”, they can’t be an extremist.

      • N_

        The capitalist state uses magical thinking where useful, and “scientific” thinking where useful, just as it uses “let it all hang out” thinking and “ostrich’s head in the sand” thinking according to what works in what markets.

        The key to getting a grip on this is asking who does what to whom and why.

  • Deb O'Nair

    Regarding polygraphing terror suspects – there are three types of people that will *always* pass a polygraph test, those who do not lie, those who always lie, i.e. pathological liars, and those who have rehearsed a cover story.

    To rely on a polygraph test is to allow pathological liars and rehearsed criminals to be considered ‘truthful’. Besides all that there is no evidence that polygraph tests can detect lies anymore than an observant person. Even the producers of The Jeremy Kyle show admitted that they were only used as a gimmick because they did not work in the way people expect.

    Another aspect is that if you refuse a polygraph test then you are under suspicion even though polygraphs cannot be used as evidence.

    • N_

      The release of certain “ex-terrorist” prisoners is for other reasons than a belief they’ve become law abiding.

      The polygraph story serves the function of geeing up Daily Mail and Express readers, and the “Enoch was Right” brigade “Brexit” supporters in general, who love the thought of electrodes being applied to members of “the Other”. Actual use is probably good for non-graduate screw morale too. The state isn’t seriously going to release a person simply because he passed a polygraph test when they asked him “Do you still want to kill kufrs? and he replied “No”.

      A question to ask is why is there Israeli involvement in “deradicalisation” of former jihadist prisoners in Britain, when there is obviously no such programme in any Israeli prison.

  • Duncan

    Craig,
    Keiran Andrews of The Times.
    You must have rubbed this guy the wrong way.
    Figuratively speaking of course.
    What an ass he appears to be.
    I look forward to your rebuttal.

    • Robyn

      No need to worry about Julian, the Australian government is on the case. I know this because my Federal MP (Australia), in a rare response to one of my many emails about Julian to various of this cowardly disgusting bunch, I learn the following:

      ‘The Australian Government continues to provide Mr Assange with high level consular assistance in accordance with the Consular Services Charter. This includes monitoring his legal proceedings and visiting him in detention, and advocating on his behalf with respect to his right to fair and equitable treatment and due legal process. As these matters are the subject of law enforcement and legal proceedings, the Australian Government cannot provide ongoing comment.’

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