Sorry, Johnson Will Not Disappear 948


It is currently popular among those who make money writing media articles about politics, to argue that Boris Johnson will implode next year and be replaced as Tory leader by someone more rational and conventional. I very much doubt this: the most important reason for that doubt being the power of the atavistic English nationalist forces that Johnson has unleashed in British politics. Astonishingly, despite the UK government’s hideously inept performance in the Covid crisis, and the corruption and looting of the public purse on a massive scale for which the pandemic has been used, the Conservatives still lead Labour in the UK opinion polls.

Partly that is due to Sir Keir Starmer having no apparent policy other than to ensure that no party member ever criticises Israel. But it is mostly due to the fact that Johnson’s supporters do not care what happens to the country, as long as they can see news footage of black people being deported on charter planes and immigrant children washed up dead rather than rescued. The racist brand is very, very strong in England. Cummings and Johnson’s plan to appropriate it and target the areas of England with lowest levels of educational achievement as their new political base still holds up as a political strategy. Look at the polls.

Tory MP’s care about themselves. They will ditch Johnson extremely quickly if he becomes a perceived electoral liability and therefore a threat to their own jobs. But as long as the Tories are ahead in the opinion polls, then Johnson is secure. The idea that there is a norm to which politics revert is a false one. Many of the same pundits who are assuring us now that Johnson will depart, also assured us that his kicking out moderate and pro-EU Conservatives from his party, and removing Remainers from his Cabinet, was a temporary move to be reversed post-election. There is in fact no going back to the norm.

Even the dimmest Labour Party members must now realise that Starmer lied when he promised he would carry on with Corbyn’s radical economic policies if elected to the leadership of the Labour Party. The Corbyn phenomenon was interesting. It arose as a reaction to the massively burgeoning wealth inequality in UK society and the great loss of secure employment opportunity with rights and benefits available to the large bulk of the population. That situation continues to worsen. Brexit was in large part a cry of pain resulting from the same causes. But Brexit in itself is going to do nothing to improve the social position or economic prospects of the working class.

Whether the novelty of Brexit will in the long term continue to be enough to channel the desire for radical change away from actual programmes of redistribution of wealth and ownership, I doubt. I suspect the Starmer project will falter on public reluctance to yet again embrace a choice of two Tory parties, and Starmer will be ejected as Labour leader before he can become the third Blue Labour PM. In the meantime, I can only urge those in England to vote Green. I can certainly see no reason to vote Labour and validate the Starmer purge.

As a former professional diplomat, I am going to be astonished if there is not a Brexit deal announced very shortly. It is plainly highly achievable given the current state of negotiations. The EU have moved very far in agreeing that an independent UK body, as opposed to the European Court of Justice, can be responsible for policing UK compliance with standards regulation to ensure against undercutting. The “ratchet clause” sticking point, where a mechanism is needed to ensure the UK does not undercut future improved EU regulatory regimes, can be resolved with some fudged wording on the mutual obligation to comply with the highest standards, but which does not quite force the EU to simply copy UK regulation in the improbable event it becomes more demanding than the EU regime. By making the obligation theoretically mutual the “sovereignty” argument about UK subservience to EU regulations and standards is met, which is the ultra Tory Brexiteers biggest fetish. Fisheries is even simpler to solve, with obvious compromises on lengths of agreement periods and quotas within easy grasp.

It should not be forgotten that David Frost is not the plain loutish Brexiteer he has so spectacularly enhanced his career by impersonating domestically, but is the smooth and effective professional diplomat he shows when actually interacting with Barnier. It could only be an act of utter lunacy that would lead Johnson to eschew a deal that the Express and Mail will be able to trumpet as a massive victory over Johnny Foreigner. I expect we shall be seeing a union jacked apotheosis of saviour Johnson all over the media by a week from now at the very latest – another reason he will not be leaving office.

It is of course, all smoke and mirrors. By expectation management, a deal which is a far harder Brexit than anybody imagined when Theresa May set down her infamous red lines, will be greeted by a relieved business community as better than actually blowing your own brains out. As I have stated ever since the repression of the Catalan referendum, I can live with leaving the EU and live with abandoning its political and security pillars. I continue to view leaving the single market and losing the great advantage of free movement as disastrous.

One thing that has been very little publicised is that, deal or no deal, the UK is going to fudge the worst consequences by simply not on 1 January applying the new rules at the borders. There will not be immigration checks on the 86% of truck drivers entering the UK who are EU citizens, for the first six months. Otherwise the queues by mid January would scarcely be contained by Kent itself. Similarly, the UK side will not be applying the new customs paperwork on 1 January except on a “random sampling” basis. Those who are eagerly anticipating chaos on 1 January will thus probably be disappointed. In fact the deleterious economic effects of Brexit are quite probably going to take some time to show through in a definite way. I do not believe we will see either empty shelves or major price hikes in the first few weeks.

My prediction is this: Boris will agree his thin deal and at the end of January the Brexiteers will be gloating that the predicted disaster did not happen. Effects on economic growth and employment will take some time to be plainly identified, and it will be mortifying how readily the Tories will twist the narrative to blame the EU, and also to obtain English nationalist support for the notion that this gradual pain is worth it in pursuit of a purer country, with less immigration. That may sound crazy to you. But is it not crazy to you that the Tories are still ahead in UK polls after the last year? Mark my words; hope that Boris Johnson will simply vanish is very misplaced.

There is of course the possibility that Johnson is indeed completely bonkers and will not agree any deal at all, in which case 1 January chaos is unavoidable and all bets are off. I should be very surprised indeed. But then I did not think Trump would be mad enough not to concede the US Presidential election. Trying to predict the irrational mind is a pointless undertaking. I don’t think Johnson is that irrational; but I have been wrong before.


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948 thoughts on “Sorry, Johnson Will Not Disappear

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  • Goose

    Of the subject of Scotland and having to deal with Johnson over the next few years. He’s quite adamant that no Section 30 order will be granted, regardless of how well the SNP perform in the upcoming 2021 Holyrood elections. As I understand things, in that scenario, the SNP are to hold a referendum without Westminster’s express approval “early in their next Holyrood term”. The SNP have stated recently they “will not accept a Westminster veto”.

    Aside from the controversy, without express UK govt approval won’t the UK agencies be given free rein to interfere in such a poll to either rig or discredit the result? No doubt assisted by UK media and tabloids. The SNP will need to take far reaching voter verification measures, possibly invite UN observers etc, to prevent it being turned into a total fiasco.

    • Goose

      I ponder this, because it’s hard to believe Johnson’s govt would just sit back in London and let things unfold, as the SNP would no doubt hope.

      It’d be seen as a huge Cobra level crisis and it’s hard to believe all the UK’s formidable resources wouldn’t be deployed and in play trying to prevent the break-up of the UK. If independence looks inevitable based on polling , discrediting( questioning method, ballot stuffing) will be the preferred option.

        • Goose

          It’s a serious concern, as if it’s a clear vote for independence, casting doubt on the result, amplified by the MSM may be the unionists’ last, best hope of scuppering it.

          Issues around voter eligibility/authentication/ count verification all need to planned v.carefully and be beyond reproach to avoid tampering and mischief. There’s clearly ferocious opposition in Westminster from senior Scots like M. Gove and Lord Forsyth, Ken McCallum a Scottish civil servant has recently been appointed DG of MI5, in a move that may or may not be connected with opposing independence? I presume he’s not an SNP or independence supporter?

          • Goose

            I know it won’t happen, but I honestly think we’d be better served with a random selection of the population: a jury-like system of govt comprised of ordinary folk. People who don’t know each other, don’t crave wealth/power and hold no allegiances to anyone or any group. They’d certainly be less corrupt and debate issues more seriously, thoroughly and honestly than the lobby fodder, greasy pole careerist creeps in parliament; many of whom possess no particular skills or expertise outside, or even inside parliament, whatsoever.

  • Crispa

    After the latest u – turn I can hear Sir Humphrey in the background, “Well Prime Minister, now if we call it a new variant, which we could n’t predict would be spreading so quickly, we can then legitimately put into place all the things that you were advised to do but rejected a few weeks ago in favour of a Xmas free for all. That will let you off the hook and will help you to keep your job for a bit longer.

    • Shatnersrug

      I do wonder if leaving it to the last minute was always the plan to keep his own ministers from undermining him. He secretly closed schools on Thursday evening which again I think is a diversion tactic. It’s so nice that the PM is more concerned about internal party politics than keeping us safe

        • BrianFujisan

          Because we don’t want to die by the hands of any sociopath Tories.. Sadly tens of thousands already have… Starved or frozen.. more likely both..

          YOU EAT YOU FREEZE..
          STAY WARM YOU STARVE.
          EITHER YOU DIE.. HAWHAWHAW

          • Mary

            Quite so Brian. Well said.

            Johnson and the rest of them are cruel Tories. They should be locked up.

          • Rhys Jaggar

            Trust me Mary, in the late 1980s I was working with a bunch of avowed Labour Party members in Scotland and they considered a salary of £53 a week something not to be complained about. I chose between eating and socialising and slept in my 5 season sleeping bag to keep warm.

            I have experienced the cruelty of the Labour Party first hand and they are exactly the same as what you say Tories are.

      • Courtenay Barnett

        ” It’s so nice that the PM is more concerned about internal party politics than keeping us safe”

        Indeed – that is the process.

          • N_

            The Tories aren’t as divided as they were in 1940 before Churchill took office with Labour support. Possible scenarios are that Johnson does a Challenor (retires for “health reasons”) or either he or Sunak invites Starmer into government. I don’t think Tory Central Office or the ’22 or the Carlton Club would have the slightest problem with Starmer being in the cabinet. As a former DPP Starmer probably knows more than many other senior Labour politicians about who calls the shots in the country and how they do it. He’s always managed to keep his “royal brown” lips closed about it. He’s not going to kick up a fuss and say “Hey, what on earth do you mean, we’ve got to pay off ABC to bring XYZ in through Dover?”

      • Ronny

        “the PM is more concerned about internal party politics”

        Which is why Cameron called his stupid referendum, without which Johnson would never have got near Downing Street.

  • N_

    It’s looking like No Deal. The betting markets at Smarkets give an implied probability of 42%. Double that would be more realistic. The Torygraph reports as follows: “Britain and EU can agree ‘mini’ deals to ease chaos of no-deal, says Michael Gove.” Oh thanks, Michael – just send the foreign types whatever you want them to sign. Draw a royal crown in the corner to make them think you’re doing them a favour. Tell them to hand the signed document back to a Queen’s Messenger.

    This is the kind of sh*t talk we hear from a senior cabinet minister when Britain really is in the biggest trouble it’s been in since WW2. Such talk isn’t anything to do with negotiations. It’s preparation for propaganda blaming foreigners for food shortages and probably for power cuts too. I would like to thank in advance everyone in France, the Republic of Ireland, Germany and anywhere else in the world who donates food to help British people. Hopefully some of it will get past the spiv pals of the Tories who will be lining their pockets.

    • N_

      And this!! “‘We hope our EU friends will see sense and come to the table with something themselves,’ says UK PM.”

      Next this joker Boris Johnson will be saying that Emmanuel Macron had a mysterious “holiday” in Israel organised by an Israeli “former diplomat” and since he can’t keep his todger in his pantalons he keeps having to force young women to sign non-disclosure agreements, or that Angel Merkel doesn’t have a clue what’s going on because the German secret service doesn’t trust her with its intelligence reports.

      • Giyane

        N_

        I’m beginning to think the best way forward is for No Deal to happen, and then each part can reapply to join the EU on very disadvantageous terms. Now that the Tories think only they can access the banks and financial markets and only they can access no 10, through dodgy algorithms, the Tory dogma poo is permanently stuck on., or oozing out like toothpaste , Philoctetes style.

        The leftest we’re ever going to get , ever, is inside the EU. The Tories are manifestly deranged, believing in the power of their own self- deceptions. The only way to hijack the hijacker, the foaming right of the Tory Party, is to ambush the ambushers while they are celebrating drunk or cocained.

        • M.J.

          To get back inside the EU there wil have to be public support. I grant you, if we crash out and disruption and shortages follow, there might then be public clamour ro rejoin But it would not be easy, because the government would not only have to fall, but Starmer would have to see it coming and shift to a rejoin position in good time.
          The least inconvenient solution may be a deal which Boris manages to get through despite a thin majority, and if the discontent on the Tory benches leads to a lost vote of confidence, then Starmer might be able to support a second referendum on the EU, and support any “Rejoin” movement.

          • Jeff

            There is public support. In fact we voted remain. (Scotland that is, (it’s north of Watford somewhere)).

          • Goose

            Shadow foreign secretary Lisa Nandy says Labour would probably support a Brexit deal but called on the government to “get its act together”.

            A truly bizarre position given Labour fought the last election proposing another referendum with ‘remain’ as an option. Now they’re making clear they’ll rush to Johnson’s rescue, to push literally any deal across the line. Admittedly, Labour lost that last election, but doing a 180 and potentially sharing the blame for a bad deal(that has little public support) makes absolutely no political sense. If there’s a deal that emerges and Johnson risks losing a vote on that deal due to a Tory backbench revolt, anything could be possible, including a change of leadership and /or another election. Starmer’s willingness to be Johnson’s loyal servant just entrenches the impression he’s just some establishment placeman.

          • Fred

            The bookies are already taking bets on: “Will there to a UK Referendum to rejoin the EU before the 31st December 2021?”

    • S

      N_, I don’t know how you can confidently deduce no deal. Sure, if it was no deal it might look a bit like this (although I’d expect a bit more panicking). But if there is a deal then it would also look like this, because both sides need to show that they have fought to the last to get the very best deal for their side.

  • N_

    Britain is being quarantined… The Dutch government has banned air travel from Britain because of the VUI202012/-01 strain, starting at 6am today until at least the New Year.

    • Y_Front

      Britain is being annexed, cut of from the Rest of the World. Britain is now officially a rogue nation off the coast of mainland Europe. Famine follows shortly. Fill your bellies while you can.

    • Rhys Jaggar

      It’s part of the EU war on the UK, nothing to do with Covid19. There is zero evidence ‘the new variant’ is any more dangerous than the last one. It just suits the EU to play hardball.

      • Giyane

        RhysJaggar

        Exactly. Johnson’s ‘ I don’t care ‘ attitude looks pretty stupid when 3000 lorry drivers are stuck in Dover.
        Time to barney with M. Barnier.

  • nevermind

    the new strain looks completely different than the original one. It is said to have originated in Wymondham at an outbreak in Banham poultry in September.
    Since it has been treated with antibodies in a Cambridge victim of this type of morphed virus. The patient died and it was found that the virus has become ‘used’ to this kind of treatment.
    What is not known whether the efficacy of the currently available vaccines is diminished and to what extent.
    Watch this closely as this could throw vaccination into an almigty spin.
    The next weeks are crucial to see whether those who had the second dose get reinfected with it.
    A word of caution to those who want to plan ahead for next years summer, try and keep an open mind, this beasty is not going away for a while.

    • Mary

      Whereas the situation on Surrey where I live is bad. We are now in Tier 4.

      ‘More than 600 new cases in Surrey as most of county prepares for Tier 4 restrictions

      The Government said a further 534 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Saturday, bringing the UK total to 67,075.

      Separate figures published by the UK’s statistics agencies for deaths where Covid-19 has been mentioned on the death certificate, together with additional data on deaths that have occurred in recent days, show there have now been 83,000 deaths involving Covid-19 in the UK.

      The Government said that, as of 9am on Saturday, there had been a further 27,052 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK.

      It brings the total number of cases in the UK to 2,004,219.’

      https://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/surrey-news/more-600-new-cases-surrey-19490847

      • N_

        “Most of Surrey” means everywhere in Surrey is in Tier 4 except for Waverley, which is in Tier 2. Waverley is one of the richest places in Britain. It is richer even than Guildford, for example, where the bourgeoisie can find it hard to employ proletarians to skivvy for them simply because it’s practically impossible to rent accommodation in the area when your only income is what a bourgeois is willing to pay a cleaner (“maid”). It is a very different part of Surrey from say Reigate or Woking.

        (Waverley also contains Frensham Great Pond, well worth a visit. There are some beautiful walks in that area, including along the Hog’s Back.)

        But wait…what tier is St George’s Hill in Weybridge in? That’s like a kind of Kensington Palace Gardens exclave! Surely it’s not in Tier 4? Mind you, I couldn’t imagine the police getting past the oligarchs’ guards or even trying to.

        A toffee-nosed family or two in Waverley probably told Whitehall to f*** off.

      • Rhys Jaggar

        Mary, the total weekly deaths in UK and Wales went DOWN the first week in December vs November. There is zero evidence of calamitous death rates in England and Wales and I assume also not in Scotland, or we would have all heard about it.

        All the ‘tests’ are PCR tests, they are not medical diagnoses of illnesses.

        10000 and more people die every week in England and Wales at this time of year, you know.

        • glenn_uk

          A tiny dip, doubtless through the measures introduced in November. Are you still insisting that people die upon contracting C-19, rather than weeks later? Maybe you simply lack the ability to understand that deaths lag behind infections by several weeks.

          Why don’t you “sceptics” (aka willfully ignorant) people head down to the Covid wards and find out for yourselves? Strange that not one of you miserable cowards has taken up the challenge.

  • nevermind

    I have called this person who died of the new strain a ‘victim’, because tyhis much bungling and Bullington bravado is nothing but coordinated killing.
    If this vaccine roll out is so important, why the heck is it not being rolled out massively and every day, regardless of the collective addiction to masticate during yule time and new year.
    Where are the trained army air force and navy medics? and why are they not helping to vaccinate the cohorts waiting for it over Christmas? and what is happening in these expensive Nightingale hospitals that currently are mothballed for lack of staff?

    Maybe they need help from abroad but are too idle and stagnantly stupid to ask for it.

    https://www.medi-jobs.de/stellengesuche.php?plzort=&land=&berufsfeld=&beruf=&einsatzgebiet=&jobart=&was=&seite=1

    Thanks for the links Mary and Brian, Caitlin Johnson has hit the nail on the head, shes is a journalist whose pen is led by the thoughts of us all.

    • Laguerre

      “If this vaccine roll out is so important, why the heck is it not being rolled out massively and every day, “

      Because they haven’t actually got very much of it. Just enough for the Tories, their chums, the Royal Family, and Murdoch, with a heavily publicised light sprinkling in care-homes. No-one knows when new supplies will be coming, after the first 800K doses for 400K people. Britain will not be priority for the Belgian Pfizer production, as the EU financed the development, not UK.

  • N_

    Who do Big Pharma’s politician boy Matt Hancock and Big Pharma’s science boy Chris Whitty think they are, telling Londoners they shouldn’t leave London? Is there any other lawful activity these scumbags want to tell us all we should stop?

    Oh look, Hancock and Whitty are alumni of the same university. What a coincidence.

    Meanwhile, British state radio today ran a piece presumably on the instructions of Tesco or the supermarket cartel saying that selling stuff in supermarkets was all about being nice to people and giving many the only community they’re ever going to get nowadays.

  • Laguerre

    “It is currently popular … to argue that Boris Johnson will implode next year and be replaced as Tory leader by someone more rational and conventional.”

    Having thought about this for a bit, and read much of the thread, I still do doubt that Johnson is going to last, till the next election in 2024, for example. He is just staggering now from one débâcle to the next, like a punch-drunk boxer on the ropes. I can’t see that the vital electorate, Tory MPs, are going to tolerate that for another four years. It’s quite unheard of in British political history. That does not mean though that he will “be replaced as Tory leader by someone more rational and conventional.” There isn’t anyone like that, a Biden. The likely replacement may well be even worse. But that doesn’t mean necessarily that he can survive till 2024. He’s getting a bit embarrassing for the backbenchers, whatever they may be saying in public.

    • Piotr+Berman

      Biden as a replacement figure? In UK, parliamentary custom require some live of intelligence from PM, something close to average. Biden started at the average, but the years took its toll.

  • Martin Kernick

    Craig, I hope you and yours are well and in good spirits and that Christmas still brings you its cheer during this difficult time. A huge WELL DONE to you for all your efforts to fight evil over this last year.

    • Courtenay Barnett

      TO CRAIG MURRAY AND ALL OTHERS FROM THIS ARMCHAIR REVOLUTIONARY

      AND

      Peace to all Men and Women of Good Will

      To Our Muslim brothers and sisters

      SALAAMU ALAIKUM

      To Our Hebrew brothers and sisters

      Happy Chanukah

      To my African brothers and sisters in and out of Africa

      Happy Kwanza and Kwanzaa

      To our atheist and agnostic brothers and sisters

      Have a good day

      ( and if you are of a group that I forgot or did not specifically mention – good will to you nevertheless, but send me your details and you will be included next time in the list above – promise)

      And to Our Christian brothers and sisters

      MERRY CHRISTMAS
      CHRIST IS BORN
      . . . + . . .
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      . . “####”###”####” .
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      . “#:. “####”###”####” .:#” . .
      . . “#######””##”##””#######” .
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      . “#:. … .:##”###”###”##:. … .:#” .
      . “#######”##”#####”##”#######” . .
      . . “#####””#######””#####” . .
      . ” 000 ” . .
      . . . __000___ . . .
      /. 000 ./|
      /_______/ |
      | Barnett| /
      |_______|/

      This email is sent as a “love gift” for Christmas 2020. It is also a “health gift” – the best gift a human can have – compliments of Dr. Courtenay.
      There are six gifts in this package.

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      Fever grass – also known as lemon grass – makes a tasty tea, and as a lotion does wonders for the skin. It naturally assists with a good night’s sleep. When rubbed on the skin as a lotion, it has anti-fungal properties and naturally cleanses the skin. Dr. Courtenay recommends “Country House products” out of Jamaica, for this lotion: [email protected]

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      • N_

        Thanks for this! I will research papaya seeds and also banana skins. A Jamaican friend swears by fever grass. There are papaya leaves too – decocted (i.e. boiled to make a tea, not just infused, for those who don’t already know) they are used medicinally in Australian aborigine culture.

        But you left pagans out of your greetings, @Courtenay! Happy Solstice to you!

        • Courtenay Barnett

          N,

          ” But you left pagans out of your greetings, @Courtenay! “

          Permit one more year – and next greeting shall include pagans.

        • Courtenay Barnett

          N,

          Christianity actually, in relation to 25th December, has links to a pagan festival. So some argue that Christmas is pagan in disguise. Most of the celebrations at this time of the year is steeped in pagan traditions. Again again some argue that such traditions have nothing to do with Christ or GOD.

          It seems that whether one believes in a supreme being or some sort of divinity, need not be necessary to make a historical assessment of the point about ‘pagan traditions’.

          N.B. Consider this: https://historycollection.com/10-christian-holidays-beliefs-steeped-pagan-traditions/

          • M.J.

            Speaking of Xmas, did anyone get a clear view of the Great Conjunction (claimed by some to be the Star of Bethlehem that the magi saw) ?

          • Alistair MacDonald

            Thanks Courtenay, you’re on a fine mission, may you be repaid with great joy. A sojourn spent in tropical Kenya convinced me of the efficacy of papaya, which grew in delightful profusion over the tin roof of our house and provided the family with a breakfast of champions keeping us all in rude health.
            Now, mystery person, the spelling of your name suggests to me that your gender may be female, not that it matters I’m just curious, cos we’re a’ Jock Thomson’s bairns, and good luck with that if my hunch is wrong and you’re just an algorythm. But I digress.
            Staggering archeology recently unearthed at Tap o’ North has revealed a settlement of several hundred homes and has brought the mystery of the Picts back into sharp focus, who were and still are these lost figures from history? may I suggest a traditional health libation that they almost certainly inbibed. It consists of pure Heather honey, as good as, if not better than the antipodean Manuka, and fine old Usquabeath,aka the water of life, topped up with boiling water. Most efficacious if drunk whilst reposing in a hot bath safe from winter’s chill.
            So maybe a wee shout out for our lost Pictish ancestors for forceing the Roman Empire to adopt a defensive position behind a muckle great wall to keep them at bay, and may the quest for the lost Tribe of Alba continue to astound us all. Happy New Year!

  • N_

    The Netherlands, Belgium, France, Italy, and Germany have now banned flights from Britain.
    That is as relevant to “No Deal” as it is to “New Strain”.
    I did predict airports would shut. They might as well shut Heathrow tonight. The oligarchs can always get chauffered along fast lanes to private jets at other airfields. (They don’t often “fly commercial” anyway.) At least they won’t have to travel on packed trains out of King’s Cross getting told how naughty they are by Twitter using journalists and celebrity politicians and scientists.

    They’re in a sense the same issue: the quarantining of Britain (with a massive dollop of self-blockading eagerly awaited by many of the psycho “I know my knuckles drag along the ground but us white people are discriminated against, right?” contingent among Leave voters) and the corollary in a country that imports half its food: empty bellies.

    • N_

      From midnight tonight, France is suspending ALL traffic between Britain and France by any means of transport. The Port of Dover is already shut to those who want to take lorries to France. Owners of companies that pulled their lorries out of Britain before tonight will be breathing sighs of relief. How many lorries stuck in Kent will be torched for insurance reasons?

      But that’s just money. There are far more important considerations. The number of lorry drivers who are stuck in Kent may be so great that existing toilet facilities are insufficient. Logistics UK has said it is “very concerned about the welfare of drivers travelling from the UK to France at this time and is urgently seeking more information for our members”. The government has already accepted that the absence of sanitary facilities for lorry drivers in Kent is an issue. An even more important issue is that few keep much food in their cabs. Good souls in Kent should prepare for donating food to these guys who may be among the first to be hit by food shortages – this week, before Christmas.

  • N_

    Guardian: “Matt Hancock said the talks had been derailed in recent days after the EU ‘put in some unreasonable demands’ on fisheries, but that he was still hopeful of an agreement before Christmas. ‘I’m sure that a deal can be done, but obviously it needs movement on the EU side,’ he said.

    What is the point of that kind of statement? He could simply say “We still have some differences to sort out, but we are continuing to talk and we hope to reach an agreement.” There is no external notion of “reason” that can sensibly be appealed to here. Nor is the British side some kind of superior imperial court to which the foreign side “puts in” its petulant requests before backing out of the room and waiting for a ruling to be handed down. Hancock probably doesn’t even know what’s going on in the official talks, let alone in manoeuvres in more important places. He’s just trying to tell the home market that the EU is unreasonable and intransigent and therefore the collapse of the British economy is their fault, their fault, their fault. That’s unless the foreign johnnies see sense, in which case the world is good and the straight-backed British negotiators proved their mettle against the unprofessional “try it on” continentals. (And sorry but from the point of view of those who are able to line their pockets BIG TIME in the next few weeks there is HUGE synergy between “No Deal” and “New Strain”, and “the world is good” is unlikely to be in any British politician’s Christmas message this year.) Hancock sounds like he writes for the Tory gutter press.

    I see David Frost, or Baron Frost to give him his official title, went to the same university as Hancock, Whitty, Johnson, and Gove.

  • Dungroanin

    “It could only be an act of utter lunacy that would lead Johnson to eschew a deal that the Express and Mail will be able to trumpet as a massive victory over Johnny Foreigner. I expect we shall be seeing a union jacked apotheosis of saviour Johnson all over the media by a week from now at the very latest “

    Surprised it hasn’t happened yet?

    Bozo’s job is not to be turned over like Trezza was and have no further extensions which would lock in the various new level playing field EU regulations becoming fully active in 2021. That would be a complete failure of decades of planning.

    He is no witting lunatic. But a willing one. But there is no way he will be allowed in a room with Merkel and the other leaders by his minders – not again.

    On the queues, they are not going to be for incoming goods as the EU paperwork for exports won’t change too drastically and as CM says that will not be checked at this end anymore than they are now. A dumb tit for tat would be suicidal – these Tory wall constitutents would suddenly rouse from their just-in-time certitudes.

    The queues are at our end – as the lorries will not clear the EU landing port gates without the correct clearances – that means the next ferry/train can’t land its lorries as there would be no space.
    Never mind these which are refused and sent back!

    Interestingly there are screams of death from Scottish shellfish exporters who have their precious cargoes, expected in continental hyper markets for the traditional Xmas fare, already caught up at the Chunnel today, the 20th. The Europeans tend to have their feast on Xmas Eve night. So everything fresh tends to be bought on the 23rd, shops close early Xmas eve. So if the fish is not in the shops in 48 hours it will be a total loss.

    That’s BrexShit in spadefuls of Tear5.

    It is not going to stop and more of Kent will need concreting into parking.

    I am hoping that the silver lining will be cheap fish platters in our fishmongers by Xmas eve.

  • N_

    The betting market at Smarkets now gives an implied probability of 52% for No Deal.

    The minimum critical interpretation if you forget about billionaires, the ruling class, Thomas Malthus, profit, the dynamic of capitalism, and the falseness of the claim that the state upholds the general interest, and you imagine you are a bit simple in the head but your heart is in the right place, is that “the Tories have totally f*cked up Brexit”. But go to the Labour Party’s website and what do you get? They ask for money, they show you a photo of some knight of the realm former prosecutor, they play a film of the White Cliffs of Dover, and they say “Jobs Jobs Jobs”. They’re simply not an opposition.

    I hope everybody who comes to this blog keeps their spirits up, because hard times lie ahead.

    Happy Solstice everyone!

    • Squeeth

      I expect that the remainergasm that some people are looking forward to will be a dismal fizzle. To be fair, in March I predicted that the virus would be an anticlimax too….

  • N_

    Evening Standard: “The Food and Drink Federation warned the border closure could cause ‘serious disruption’ to UK fresh food supplies“.

    Or in short, food shortages. No vegetables in the shops. Probably by the day after tomorrow at the latest.

    The Eurotunnel is shut. France has stopped all movements between France and Britain. Ferries and flights between GB and the Republic of Ireland have stopped. Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy and Austria have stopped flights between those countries and Britain.

    A Downing Street spokesperson said: ‘The Prime Minister will chair a COBR meeting tomorrow to discuss the situation regarding international travel, in particular the steady flow of freight into and out of the UK.’

    What flow of freight would that be? Is a ship carrying a boxful of baked beans coming in from the Channel Islands? Or Gibraltar maybe? The freight of most of the food that until today used to be imported into the country has STOPPED.

    • N_

      Correction: it seems freight ferries are still sailing between GB and RoI, but not for non-freight passengers.

      Eurostar say “the plan is to resume all our train services to and from the UK on Wednesday 23rd December.” Either they are taking the p*ss, or more likely they don’t understand what has hit them. France has closed its border to all travel from Britain – initially for 48 hours, yes, but it’s highly likely it will be extended. Remind me again which county in England has been worst hit by the new strain?

          • Giyane

            Wikikettle

            A taste of Tory de-regulation, mad cow disease, everything in fact that the EU is opposing in the current Bexit talks.
            The Tories hate EU health and safety regulations and EU workers rights regulations. Something around these issues has gone wrong in the poultry farm where the new strain of covid started.

            In April I blissfully thought I could get some work in the fresh air picking vegetables and I applied for work locally..
            It later emerged that the farm camp populated mostly with Eastern Europeans were made to share a single toilet and most of them got covid.

            I’m very bored by repeating the words of Tory wanker Steven Dorrell MP who told us on TV 10 years after billions had been spent culling cows with BSE, from.eating Thstcher’s reconstituted sheep offal, that nobody could have predicted the consequences of feeding herbivores with animal offal.

            Tory greed and hatred of the cost of health and safety is exactly what the brexit arguments are about. Tories have no brains, and the EU is 100% never going to let Tory idiocy get into their food chain.

            This might be the turning point where Tories finally have to admit their stupidity and agree to EU rules.

  • Giyane

    A likely story. BBC world service says Assad is making and exporting the Daesh’s favourite amphetamines to Libya. Something about this story reminds me of two Israelis I heard joking about the West Bank Palestinians in 1978. Their society had become completely dysfunctional because of Israeli oppression.

    The BBC said this was a drug favoured by Syrians whose society has been ripped apart by Western proxy Islamists. The supposed destination of these drugs was Libya, whose society is also being ripped apart by Western proxy Islamists.

    The message is clear, the blame for social breakdown is on the shoulders of the dictators, never on the shoulders of the neo-liberals who conduct illegal lethal war by proxy . Islamists believe in the total destruction of the existing society as a first step in reforming that society to their fanatical ideas. Better , in their warped minds, to have a totally dysfunctional drugged population that is ready to fight than a stable society that won’t fight.

    Yes, Assad and Gaddafi were dictators, ruling stable societies with extreme harshness, but the islamists want a destroyed society where all the wealth and women are at their personal disposal. The type of society that the Pharaohs built the pyramids with, theocratic slavery.
    I hate Christmas , the one time of the year that Christian humbug is worn on everybody’s sleeves. This is what your wonderful society is doing to the Muslim world. Amphetamines and enslavement so that we can pump the oil.

    • Wikikettle

      Giyane. The majority eat animals. The majority will always be indifferent to the truth despite it being more accessible today. They are desperate to have a normal Christmas. All we arm chair warriors can do is either join the likes of Chris Williamson and Jeremy Corbyn and become active in local politics or keep on wringing our little fingers on the key pad. A few will try and have personal revolutions, casting their eyes on themselves, changing their eating and drinking habits. Perhaps this pandemic will open their eyes to how the majority of folk have to live in the South without clean water or supermarkets and jet plane holidays.

      • Giyane

        Wikikettle

        In the teeth of Brexit gloom I can find nothing more useful than Steve Bell’s latest cartoons. Prince Charles’ letter Dear Pa; 301220 Bollocks ( rime of the ancient mariner ) Express to monte carlo depicting the utter nihilist ruin of No Deal Tory insanity; and the skeletal unicorns’ zombid incongruity with Blojo Santa’s words ” the power of sweet reason will get this thing over the line “.
        Not everybody’s cuppa, I know.

        • Giyane

          Kempe

          You can have first refusal if you like. What’ll it be , buggery or decapitation. Hanging drawing or quartering. Getting your eyeballs squeezed out?
          It’s hard to imagine what punishment would be suitable for someone who has bombed his own country to oblivion. But unfortunately his Intel ( from where ? ) is much more sophisticated than his weaponry ( from where? ).

          I suspect another case of the West backing opposing forces , sitting back and watching while they slog it out for a decade.

        • Republicofscotland

          Kempe.

          I think Assad will win it, he’ll undoubtably be seen as a hero, by the Syrian people, defending his country and his people from illegal invasions by foreign forces, which murdered thousands of his fellow country men and women.

          • Republicofscotland

            Johnny.

            Yes if anything the illegal invasion and mass murder of Syrian’s by the Great Satan (Consecutive US Administrations) will have had the opposite affect instead of demonising Assad their vile actions will have strengthened his hand in the country to an almost hero status.

      • Jammy Dodger

        The same BBC who ran that fake story about ‘Assad gas attacks on the civilian population’. Now proven to be complete and utter hogwash. As the BBC say on their website: “Why you can’t trust the BBC”.

      • James Dickins

        “Giyanne Don’t believe anything on the BBC. Syria had parliamentry elections this year and will hold a presidential election next year.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2020_Syrian_parliamentary_election

        _____________________________________________________

        1. You are right: don’t trust the BBC over Syria; cf. https://thegrayzone.com/category/syria/

        2. You are wrong: Syrian elections are a sham. The Assad regime would never voluntarily relinquish power in Syria. (Just because the Saudi/UAE-backed, and ultimately Western-backed, jihadis are worse than Assad doesn’t make Assad good.)

        • Giyane

          James Dickins

          Interesting that the war hawks immediately re-group in a think-tank where like cat-fish in a swamp they lie low in the mud , only to resurface again.

          Trump’s instinctive hatred of being conned served the world well for four years and proves that he was not a neo-con , because he had no think-tank from which to extract false justifications for war.

          Interesting that his hiring of generals and advisors who could have been described as neo-cons like Bolton, was not translated into neo- con activity.

          Why interesting? Because it proves that think-tanks are only for thinking , and Presidents are fully responsible for their military actions. Obama’s Prostrate Gland recently performed by the artist himself on the radio, keeps telling us he was unable to resist political influences, that Trump did manage to resist. How so? Because the entire book from beginning to end is a pack of political pork sausage pies.

    • Rhys Jaggar

      What the BBC says about the Middle East should be filed under ‘lies, damn lies and utterances from MI6 Wood Lane’ until proven otherwise….

    • Rhys Jaggar

      And where is the evidence that the ‘mutant’ strain is more dangerous? Show me the body bags, please.

      The death rate in the first week of December DROPPED by 500, it didn’t go up.

      Show me the data, stop spouting the propaganda.

      • glenn_uk

        You want to see body bags? Head on down to your largest hospital nearby, ask for the morgue. Spend some time in the Covid wards while you’re there, offer to help out being a porter – you don’t need PPE, right?

        People don’t drop dead as soon as they’re infected, I thought an expert like you would know that. If you’re infected in December, you might die a month or so later. How can you be so belligerently ignorant?

        Wanting to violate people’s dignity in death by wishing to see them in body bags indeed… you are one sick puppy.

        • John Pillager

          And you are one incredibly naive puppy dog.
          The governments lie, media lies…. but suddenly they are all spot on and telling the truth?
          No way.
          It’s business as usual but on steroids.

          • Clark

            Imagine for a moment that there really was a pandemic (clue – there is); would the government and “news” media have to pretend that there wasn’t before you’d believe that there was?

            It’s a very quaint idea that “government and their media stooges always lie”, but in this case overlooks all the doctors, nurses, paramedics, virologists, epidemiologists, pathologists, coroners, statisticians, lab technicians, and all the assorted support staff… Even a few medical workers who comment at this site.

      • Clark

        Here’s the data; see Figure 3: Deaths not involving COVID-19 remained below the five-year average in Week 50

        Number of deaths registered by week, England and Wales, 28 December 2019 to 11 December 2020

        https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/deathsregisteredweeklyinenglandandwalesprovisional/weekending11december2020

        It’s not looking good:

        https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/

        Positive tests are going up twice as fast as in mid October, and the death rate has been following the positive test rate with a lag of two or three weeks.

        If you have a conspiracy theory about who’s fudging the statistics, please name names in all the countries affected.

  • Cubby

    A message to Sturgeon – show some bottle and close the border NOW – properly close it not just words.

    Britnats insisting Scots must die at the same rate as England – that is the one country UK.

    We will never know how many lives would have been saved if Scotland was an independent country but Norway with only about 400 deaths in total for the pandemic gives us some sort of benchmark. 400 deaths in Scotland is happening about every two weks at present.

    CLOSE THE BORDER

      • FlakBlag

        1. Using plague deaths _against_ a separatist agenda is not an attractive stance.

        2. Most Scottish separatists are motivated at least in part by a desire to escape jingoistic British (ie. English) nationalism.

      • Cubby

        fwl

        Having people you love dying is not very attractive either. Anyone dying unnecessarily is not very attractive to me but your type of comment is exactly why Sturgeon does not have the courage to do what is necessary.

    • N_

      In a few days you’ll see the results of the closure of trade traffic between Britain and the continent. Imagine if the Scottish border were closed. Britain imports half its food, mostly from the EU. Did you bother finding out what proportion of its food Scotland imports? Please brush up on your logic skills, because the argument you are attempting to make based on a comparison of Scotland with Norway is specious. The southwest of England has had a relatively low rate of reported “with Covid” deaths. Don’t tell Mebyon Kernow, eh? Mind you, maybe get in touch with some of the bourgeois in Waverley in Surrey. Tier 2 now. Independence tomorrow!

    • Kempe

      Nicola declared the border closed two days ago and previously on the 20th November. Truth is Police Scotland have neither the power or the resources to enforce it. All they’ve managed to do is increase patrols.

      Norway never closed it’s borders but with a population density of 15 per square kilometre (Scotland 65 per square kilometre) the disease was always going to spread less than in a more densely populated country.

      • Cubby

        Kempe

        Population density is a factor but far from the overriding factor. Japan has very densely populated cities I suggest you have a look at their number of deaths.

        • Republicofscotland

          Well Cubby that’s me kicked off WGD for telling it like it is, their rose tinted view of Saint Nicola on that blog shows astonishing naivety. Its like they think everything will be just fine because St Nicks in charge.

          • Cubby

            ROS

            Mr Kavanagh ban you did he? I voluntarily left when he started to not post comments of mine when debating a point with him. Anyone who uses his power as site owner to make it look like he is winning a debate is not worthy of me posting. Apart from that he knows fine what Sturgeon has been up to re the Salmond persecution but chooses to wheest for Indy and let the mob on his site run out of control in complete denial of the truth.

            A very good string of comments of yours on Wings today.

          • Cubby

            ROS

            I had a quick look and I see it was his “I dont give a toss” if you think you are being censored post. When I read it I wondered if I should make a reappearance but quickly thought no point these people are so embedded in their beliefs that no amount of facts will make any difference.

            Certainly no point in debating with Mr Kavanagh as he knows the truth. No idea if James Kelly SGP knows the truth. I think both of them like to hold on to their National newspaper writing gig with the paper that supports Sturgeon – sorry independence.

          • Republicofscotland

            Thank you Cubby for your interest, being a persona non grata on a unionist site would be seen as a badge of honour, however WGD is a indy site and therefore I’m a bit sad that my views were seen as unpalatable because I didn’t pay homage to Saint Nick aw well, that’s the way it goes.

        • Kempe

          People in Japan wear masks when they have a cold so universal mask wearing wasn’t a problem and nobody saw it as a civil liberties issue. They are however in the grip of a third wave which looks set to be worse than the previous two put together.

      • Republicofscotland

        Sturgeon is far too gutless to close the border and protect Scots from this new Covid variant that’s running amok in England, it all smoke and mirrors from Mrs Murrell as usual.

        • Kempe

          It’s already got to Scotland and may have done so before it was identified. Eighteen confirmed cases already with, no doubt, many more to come.

          • Republicofscotland

            Yes that’s right, it just shows that without full control of your borders you’re basically at the mercy of others, all the more reason to become an independent nation. Sturgeon has handled this virus just as badly as Johnson, the big difference is that the British Nationalist media has saw fit to give her oodles of airtime, and her sympathetic manner towards the public has seen her popularity soar. Sturgeon is no Jacinda Ardern when it comes to handling the virus, that’s for sure.

      • Ken Kenn

        Build a wall?

        The English ( and I have to say that it is the English ) have managed – temporarily I hope – to build a Dover version of Sangett in Southern England.

        No wonder the rest of the world is startled.

        But look on the bright side.

        Apart from a collapsing economy – a Covid crisis – a crap Brexit and a queue of trucks ( only 175 this morning _- Priti Patel ) the year has gone splendidly for the Tory government.

        Give ’em a chance they’ve only been in ten years.

        No celebrations in the Telegraph re: One year on for the tory government.

        I had my bunting and party hat ready but not a word of encouragement from the Express or The Mail.

        Anyone heard about ‘ Track and Trace recently?

        Thought not.

        What a sodding mess.

        To cap it all – Novichok in underpants.

        I’m not dead old – but wow what a bloody year.

        Next year will be more interesting.

        As Bart Simpson used to say – ‘ Prepare to be dazzled!’

    • Tam

      What’s the difference though when Sturgeon kept the airports open to invite Covid-19 in, now she keeps the border open to invite this novel mutant deadly virus in.

    • N_

      Tell you what, Cubby. Just don’t eat. And shake your fist at anybody you see driving a Tesco lorry. Deprive Tesco of their market north of the border and then the company won’t send so many of its filthy English lorries up north to stock its Scottish stores. And then you can wave a flag over the disused buildings, shouting about a “declaration” made by a bunch of landowners in the 14th century, and perhaps also when wearing a Viking hat and saying you want to be like Norway. Alternatively get to know some Scots who live near the border and ask why independence was rejected by such a huge majority in those areas (66%-34% in Dumfries and Galloway, and 67% to 33% in the Scottish Borders). Could it be that more people there have wider horizons?

      • Cubby

        N so speaks the spokesperson for the British Nationalists – the real true nationalist who isn’t a nationalist. The UK currently in the middle of creating 27 new borders and the British Nationalist complaining about wanting to close a border to save lives.

        Channel 4 when talking about the virus in UK and the high rate of infections in the the south of England very neatly shows a map with the rate of infection colour coded. Scotland is cutoff at the border not shown at all – they clearly think Scotland is not important enough to show or is it just because it will show the difference between Scotland and England.

        N very kindly highlights the problem – we are not generally worthy of consideration by the media or England but when for health grounds there is a case to close the border the British Nationalists go berserk and talk about Scots starving. Sturgeon knows this and panders to nutters like N.

        • Alfie

          Channel 4 shouldn’t be cutting Scotland off of a UK map – is a national channel! The Scotland region is one of the advert segmentation slots.

      • Jeff

        Maybe becaise 1 in 4 people in Dumfries and Galloway come from ‘elsewhere’…and bring their little englander colonial ideas and voting preferences with them…..
        English Scots for Yes tries to educate, more power to them.

  • OnlyHalfALooney

    Do Bellingcat and the Powers That Be seriously expect us to believe that one can just call up the FSB and they’ll confess to (not) killing Navalny?

    How stupid do they think we are?

    By the way, MPs representing every party in the German parliament (strangely except the AfD) are calling for Assange to be released.

    Also there’s a headline story on the Daily Beast in which Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield (founders of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream) call for Assange’s release.

    The Powers That Be want us all to forget “the evil rapist” (as they’ve got many gullible people to believe through the compliant/controlled media). It is a reminder that we must not. His freedoms are our freedoms!

      • Goose

        Just reading through the Bellingcat piece, It’s interesting stuff, but I’m not a Russian speaker so I don’t know how credible the conversation and veracity of it is? Whether some FSB officer would discuss operational details over the phone, idk? It seems sloppy and odd behaviour for anyone trained in spycraft.

        Bellingcat’s report is lacking in objectivity too, as you’d expect. They say the same the FSB officer wasn’t involved in the deed itself and some of it reads like he was tricked into answering hypotheticals, post event, without a slam dunk admission. They state ‘Key Confessed Facts’ – which sounds like a slam dunk, but it just highlights that they routinely,operationally, follow Navalny around the country: who he meets with etc, presumably as person of interest, since there are many allegations, he’s working in cahoots with foreign intel.

        Quite why UK based Bellingcat obsessed with what happens in Russia to Russian citizens, and Russia in Syria is another matter, it’s as though someone is trying to start a catastrophic war for some sick reason, and Bellingcat are happy to be a conduit for that. It comes after the hacking allegations, for which the basis for attribution remains shrouded in mystery.

        The US and UK, and obviously Navalny, quite openly want to discredit Putin with the Russian people, but with sanctions, the efforts to stop Nord Stream 2, including secondary sanction threats against third party European companies, does anyone think ordinary Russians will be warming to the west and western ‘values’? Even if Putin resigned today Russians probably elect someone who’d take an even harder line against the west given their country’s treatment.

        • Goose

          Can’t be bothered to watch the whole 50 minutes but does he at any point admit his colleagues were responsible? The idea they were following Navalny movements closely is beyond dispute.

          In the part I watched he keeps saying he’s not privileged to that information and is then repeatedly asked to engage in conjecture about what actually happened and how events unfolded – he states he didn’t know either the method used or time of poisoning.

          Harding and Bellingcat call the clean-up a ‘cover-up’, but surely if any politician or spy was subject to a mystery poisoning or sudden onset illness like this, then clothing is taken away for analysis automatically, as we saw with Salisbury sealed off and a house destroyed.

          I’d fully condemn Russia if they did do this btw.

          • Goose

            M: Do you think this was a mistake — the method of administration?

            K: Well, this is not my call.

            M: What is your opinion?

            K: This is what my superiors have decided, therefore, it is probably correct. The method is a good one.

            ^ Damning part of the transcript – if accurate. It looks like Russia was responsible.

            Insanely stupid reckless stuff against a relatively minor opposition figure. Navalny should pursue a criminal case against all those involved.

          • OnlyHalfALooney

            M: And on which piece of cloth was your focus on? Which garment had the highest risk factor?

            K: The underpants.

            M: The underpants.

            K: A risk factor in what sense?

            M: Where the concentration could be highest?

            K: Well, the underpants.

            The crotch of his underpants, because they would have been worried Navalny might have lost urine when he collapsed! They knew he had been poisoned. The medics administered an antidote (probably atropine) immediately when he landed.

          • Giyane

            Goose

            Who put the novichok on Navalny’s underpants? Hetty Jakes?
            Jakes is a medieval word for toilet.
            Someone’s been double pulling both my legs simultaneously for a very long time.

            Bonjour Emmanuelle. Ca va biennial aujourdhui, mon vieux? Fermer la frontier s’il vous plait. J’ai besoin d’une crise existentielle toute de suite. D’accord? Merci merci. A demain.

            YCNMIU.We have established the existence of a magical Russian toxin that can be spooned onto door knobs, so why not spoon it onto Navalny’s pants to keep the whole country laughing? How can anyone take Boris Johnson seriously? Bedroom farce maybe?

            We have a few lettuces in store anyway, why not close the borders so we can fudge Brexit while nobody’s looking. Like living inside a Carrie On film .

          • Goose

            @OnlyHalfALooney and @Giyane

            I know the reason they focus on the underwear is because that’s where bodily fluids/secretions are likely to be present, if anywhere, thus if you are going to find something that’s where the highest concentration would be, it’s probably standard procedure. Hence why I didn’t focus on that part of the conversation.

            K: This is what my superiors have decided, therefore, it is probably correct. The method is a good one.

            Is the line which is most damning imho, it’s the nearest thing to an admission. Think of all the replies he could’ve given if they didn’t know who’d carried this out. He’d have certainly referenced that fact rather than implying his ‘superiors’ decided the method.

          • Goose

            Suppose it depends how you interpret this line:

            M: Do you think this was a mistake — the method of administration?

            And specifically whether K’s reply is a comment on the ‘administration of the poison’ – as I understood it , or the administration procedures he was instructed to follow by his superiors in the cleaning. It could be interpreted either way and as a non-Russian speaker I don’t know what the emphasis was, or even whether it it’s been transcribed correctly. Navalny is asking him to comment (give his opinion) on the administration of the poison, I think?

  • N_

    Add Canada, Russia, India and Spain to the countries that have banned traffic coming from Britain.

    Meanwhile is a single newspaper even mentioning the demands of the City of London in the Britain-EU trade negotiations? Or are they too busy talking about fishing boats?

    Come famine time in Britain, the trail of guilt was always going to point to the City.

    • glenn_uk

      What happened to your bold assertion that we WOULD all be starving to death by last September? Decided to forget about that I suppose.

      That’s one of the things I love about your posts. None of this “I think…” or “It’s possible that…”, no – just THIS will happen, THAT will occur, they DID do this, they WON’T do that, with the authority of the all-seeing, all-knowing, intellectual rock star you clearly consider yourself to be. No matter how many times you’re flat out wrong – which is nearly 100% – it never stops.

      Don’t you think you’ve inflicted enough of your nonsense for now? Have you really got nothing else to do with your time? Take the rest of the year off and do us all a favour.

    • BrianFujisan

      Piotr+Berman and Martin
      Craig is ok ..He was Active on Twitter earlier .. Telling of his Wife’s first film – Locked In – Its a Very moving Film I watched it at Doune The Rabbit Hole festival , along with Nadira.. It’s worth a Look

      ” Nadira’s first short film, Locked In, is now available on Amazon Prime. It is based on several true cases including Jahongir Sidikov where readers of my blog successfully campaigned to save a man’s life.
      MP “Gordon” in real life was Jeremy Corbyn.”

      https://twitter.com/CraigMurrayOrg/status/1341041427434917888

  • N_

    The racist brand is very, very strong in England. Cummings and Johnson’s plan to appropriate it and target the areas of England with lowest levels of educational achievement as their new political base still holds up as a political strategy. Look at the polls.

    That’s exactly what the SNP have been doing for a long time in Scotland. There was almost certainly a high correlation between the Yes vote in 2014 and “low levels of educational achievement”. That statement shouldn’t take long to verify or refute if somebody has got figures for how the population in each of the Scottish local government areas breaks into graduates and non-graduates.

    For starters:

    • Glasgow – yes 53%, no 47%
    • Edinburgh – yes 39%, no 61%

    Which city has more graduates?

    Glasgow is a fine place but one shouldn’t forget that 58% of council tenants there voted for council housing to be got rid of in the city after they were promised that all necessary repairs would be carried out, some of which had needed doing for years. Then when the council did get rid of all the properties, the next stage was “Had you there, suckers!” and of course the repairs weren’t all done. Perhaps the SNP should promise a free bevvy and some packs of oxycodone to anyone who votes for them?

    • FlakBlag

      Your casual light hearted vilification of the lumpen proletariat makes me doubt your Marxist credentials, but I do acknowledge that those without critical thinking skills are more likely to be duped into voting against their own best interests.

      Edinburgh is in some ways not a Scottish city, it is a British imperial outpost, particularly (some of) the upper and middle classes. I lived there for seven years, amongst the aforementioned lumpen proletariat. Edinburgh has a degree of social stratification that is uncommon in other lowland Scottish settlements.

      I suspect that any correlation between academic achievement and a desire for Scottish independence has more to do with class than understanding, if indeed such a correlation exists, I have read articles that assert the opposite. Those who benefit more from the established order are more likely to wish to retain the status quo. Also, as Noam Chomsky pointed out, western education systems select for obedience and passivity (I would add credulity). It is largely obedient, passive and credulous Scots who voted No.

      • U Watt

        Maybe, but go much deeper into the Union Jack huddle, past all the credulous sheep and instinctive reactionaries, until you finally reach the dark core. It is there, among the Billy boys and florid Sir Tristrams, that you will find our greatest Marxist thinkers and rebels, lauding the eternal British state and spitting poison at “rebellious Scots”. It is the highest form of Marxist thought.

        • Giyane

          U Watt

          The refined essence of Marxism is that politicians need sex and land. Nationalise the land and distribute it amongst these political divvies . Only a milli-whisker away from the current Tory government.

          Sorry. The Home Secretary spoilt my breakfast this morning. Her voice is so repulsive I think I might have to marry a man.

    • Cubby

      N says Glasgow is a fine place but a pity it is inhabited by Glaswegians. Shades of the usual British/English colonial supremacist mindset. Glasgow would be an even better place if it wasn’t part of the UK and it wasn’t ruled by the BRITISH NATIONALIST Labour Party in Scotland for so long. A party that still tries to claim it is Scottish but is registered and controlled by London.

      Starmer recently confirmed that the colonial English mindset is alive and kicking in the British Labour Party when he said you jocks ain’t getting a vote on your right to self determination. Not now not ever. Don’t know why he doesn’t go full on black shirt – it would be more honest – of course he is following Labour traditions.

      Labour back to promising home rule again – first promised two centuries ago. Or is it federalism? What a joke of a party. Labour voted against more devolution in the Smith Commission (that followed the Vow in 2014) than the Tories. The party of devolution my arse.

      • giyane

        Cubby

        Why are you annoyed by a mechanical toy shop full of clockwork puppets that make all the right movements of climbing up the greasy pole of power but the pole is just a wooden dowel?

        The Tories are able to conduct any war they like by using proxies, Erdogan being considerably more right wing than Hitler, serves them fine. The ongoing British war in Yemen and Syria doesn’t get a parliamentary debate, the draconianness of Bojo’s Tiers system is as much playschool as you’ll get in parliament.

        Nicola Sturgeon resembles a red sea anemone which can just about summon the power to extend or contract its tentacles in a rockpool, fixed on a rock , and dependant on the tide. as she poses for daily press releases about covid 19. The sea returns after five years when she gets another election , after which politics goes back to sleep again.

        The thing about politics is , there is no politics, just snippets of fatuous bitching. Anybody with any ideas is bought up, or if unbuyable, like Alex Salmond, threatened with prison for the crime of existing.
        Fair play to Craig for taking a break from posting. He’s made his point very clearly, The idiot in power is not going to budge on anything , because real power of commerce and banking has put him there and it’s hard to find enough pathetic distractions of like and football, to keep the public’s interest engaged in the illusion that they can participate in anything that’s really going on.

      • Bayard

        “Don’t know why he doesn’t go full on black shirt – it would be more honest”

        Well, Labour’s traditional colour is red, so mix that with black and you get brown. The new Starmabteilung!

    • Republicofscotland

      Actually N, I think you’ll find that both Edinburgh and Glasgow had a high proportionate of graduates around 2014, higher than many English cities, infact Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen were all in the top ten that year, so that blows a hole in your stupid theory. Next time, and there’s always a next time with you, provide the figures don’t ask other to do what you should be doing yourself.

      https://theconversation.com/scotland-the-brainy-why-are-there-so-many-graduates-in-edinburgh-and-glasgow-24685

      • giyane

        RoS

        There are two centres of human intelligence, the brain , i.e. the computer, and the heart, the conscience. I wouldn’t have thought the academic brain has much influence on politics. The conscience or lack of it in Boris Johnson’s case determines one’s politics. Sturgeon appears to be pretty near to Johnson on the conscience level, but clever enough in the academic intelligence to pretend that he/she and his/her party have a conscience, which they categorically do not.

        The endless lists of troughers, in the Scottish press, in the Scottish legal system, in the Scottish administration all reflect high levels of academic achievement in Scotland. But that’s no benefit to politics. Good politics doesn’t come from that intelligence and people like Craig who use their conscience generally do not have the skills at total deception which get people rich and important.

        I think what N_ was trying to say was that people of academic bent always deceive people of good heart but low academic achievement. All I can say is Lucifer must have been sitting in Sturgeon’s Right pocket and Alaistair Campbell in her Left pocket when she dreamt up the plan to accuse Uncle Salmond of rape. And of course after the innocent verdict both of them have long since run away.

        • Republicofscotland

          “I think what N_ was trying to say was that people of academic bent always deceive people of good heart but low academic achievement.”

          Thank you Giyane for that response, however I choose to believe that not all academics are that way inclined, there must be academics out here in the past and present who have the worked for the benefit of all folk such as Clement Attlee.

    • Jeff

      Who’s the racist now? “If you vote Yes you’re thick. You’re better off with food banks and Trident. Stay in the union!!”

      A true British Nationalist speaks. All hail!

      • Ken Kenn

        Quite intersting that ‘ Blue Collar Tories ‘ were twittering last night re: The Bloody French and the politics of Brexit.

        Apparently from now on they are only going to buy British goods.

        As one wag said : You have always had the right to buy British goods.

        Anyone fancy buying Irish Coconuts? – I have a cousin – as my Muslim friends always tell me after I’ve bought something.

        Scottish bananas too.

        These idiots claim to be patriots but they sure as hell don’t know their history.

    • Cubby

      N

      You seem to have a passing interest in statistics etc. Remind me again how many Labour MPs there are in the House of Lords and what % of the total this is?

  • Republicofscotland

    O/T.

    UN Special Rapporteur on torture Nils Melzer write a letter to US President Donald Trump asking him to pardon Julian Assange.

    Here is that letter for those of you interested in this matter.

    “Mr. President,

    Today, I respectfully request that you pardon Mr. Julian Assange.

    Mr. Assange has been arbitrarily deprived of his liberty for the past ten years. This is a high price to pay for the courage to publish true information about government misconduct throughout the world.

    I visited Mr. Assange in Belmarsh High Security Prison in London, with two independent medical doctors, and I can attest to the fact that his health has seriously deteriorated, to the point where his life is now in danger. Critically, Mr. Assange suffers from a documented respiratory condition which renders him extremely vulnerable to the Covid-19 pandemic that has recently broken out in the prison where he is being held.

    I ask you to pardon Mr. Assange, because he is not, and has never been, an enemy of the American people. His organization, WikiLeaks, fights secrecy and corruption throughout the world and, therefore, acts in the public interest both of the American people and of humanity as a whole.

    I ask because Mr. Assange has never published false information. The cause for any reputational harm that may have resulted from his publications is not to be found in any misconduct on his part, but in the very misconduct which he exposed.

    I ask because Mr. Assange has not hacked or stolen any of the information he published. He has obtained it from authentic documents and sources in the same way as any other serious and independent investigative journalists conduct their work. While we may personally agree or disagree with their publications, they clearly cannot be regarded as crimes.

    I ask because prosecuting Mr. Assange for publishing true information about serious official misconduct, whether in America or elsewhere, would amount to “shooting the messenger” rather than correcting the problem he exposed. This would be incompatible with the core values of justice, rule of law and press freedom, as reflected in the American Constitution and international human rights instruments ratified by the United States.

    I ask because you have vowed, Mr. President, to pursue an agenda of fighting government corruption and misconduct; and because allowing the prosecution of Mr. Assange to continue would mean that, under your legacy, telling the truth about such corruption and misconduct has become a crime.

    In pardoning Mr Assange, Mr. President, you would send a clear message of justice, truth and humanity to the American people and to the world.

    You would rehabilitate a courageous man who has suffered injustice, persecution and humiliation for more than a decade, simply for telling the truth.

    Last but not least, you would give back to Mr. Assange’s two young sons the loving father they need and look up to. You would also reassure these children, and through them all children of the world, that there is nothing wrong with telling the truth, but that it is the right thing to do; that it is honourable to fight for justice and, indeed, that these are the values America and the world stand for.”

    For these reasons, I respectfully appeal to you to pardon Julian Assange. Whatever our personal views and sympathies may be, I believe that, after a decade of persecution, this man’s unjust suffering must end now.

    Please, use your power of pardon to right the wrongs inflicted on Julian Assange, to end his unjust ordeal and reunite him with his family!

    I respectfully thank you for considering this appeal with foresight, generosity and compassion.

    Please accept, Mr. President, the assurances of my highest consideration.”

    • Goose

      He’s detained solely because the politicians can get away with it without a huge public outcry.

      What’s most shocking about his arbitrary detention (United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD)) is it reveals how they’d treat everyone if they could get away with it. Impunity for some and arbitrary detention and cruel treatment for others. We’ve barely moved on from the Middle Ages when you strip away modern niceties and the charade that is process. The ‘old boy’ links between the judiciary and political establishment have rotted away faith in the judicial system for many. They say it’s an independent process, but I’d wager if Biden’s team let it be known he thinks this would set a bad precedent stymieing the work of investigative journalists who are handling leaked documents, as Obama apparently did, thenlo and behold, he’d walk free.

      • Stevie Boy

        IMO, Assange will only be released when ‘some politician, somewhere’ decides it’s politically advantageous to them for him to be released. Justice and the law has nothing to do with it.
        There again, let’s hope I’m proved wrong in the New Year.

        • Goose

          It’s all political.

          What’s lost in all this is if Manning hadn’t leaked those diplomatic cables etc – in the public interest – as he saw it, Assange(WikiLeaks) wouldn’t have had anything to publish, talk about ‘shooting the messenger’.

          Some liberals in the US, mainly Hillary supporters, hate Assange because they’ve confused the FBI’s controversial reopening – 11 days before the election – of the investigation into HC’s use of an insecure private email sever to conduct official govt business, while secretary of state, with the wholly separate publication of the chair of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 U.S. presidential campaign, John Podesta’s emails – which showed the DNC closing ranks to thwart Sanders. In both cases DNC Podesta leaks and the inappropriate use of a private email server, any wrongdoing had absolutely nothing to do with Assange. He’s the establishment’s whipping boy.

          • JohninMK

            Support for Assange seems to be growing in the US. These are the last few paras of a long and detailed analysis of how they got to here

            “As soon as the Mueller probe ended, on April 11th, 2019, a planned and coordinated effort between the U.K. and U.S. was executed; Julian Assange was forcibly arrested and removed from the Ecuadorian embassy in London, and the EDVA indictment was unsealed (link).

            As a person who has researched this three year fiasco; including the ridiculously false 2016 Russian hacking/interference narrative: “17 intelligence agencies”, Joint Analysis Report (JAR) needed for Obama’s anti-Russia narrative in December ’16; and then a month later the ridiculously political Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) in January ’17; this timing against Assange is too coincidental.

            It doesn’t take a deep researcher to see the aligned Deep State motive to control Julian Assange because the Mueller report was dependent on Russia cybercrimes, and that narrative is contingent on the Russia DNC hack story which Julian Assange disputes.

            This is critical. The Weissmann/Mueller report contains claims that Russia hacked the DNC servers as the central element to the Russia interference narrative in the U.S. election. This claim is directly disputed by WikiLeaks and Julian Assange, as outlined during the Dana Rohrabacher interview, and by Julian Assange on-the-record statements.

            The predicate for Robert Mueller’s investigation was specifically due to Russian interference in the 2016 election. The fulcrum for this Russia interference claim is the intelligence community assessment; and the only factual evidence claimed within the ICA is that Russia hacked the DNC servers; a claim only made possible by relying on forensic computer analysis from Crowdstrike, a DNC contractor.

            The CIA holds a massive conflict of self-interest in upholding the Russian hacking claim. The FBI holds a massive interest in maintaining that claim. All of those foreign countries whose intelligence apparatus participated with Brennan and Strzok also have a vested self-interest in maintaining that Russia hacking and interference narrative.

            Julian Assange is the only person with direct knowledge of how Wikileaks gained custody of the DNC emails; and Assange has claimed he has evidence it was not from a hack.

            This Russian “hacking” claim was ultimately so important to the CIA, FBI, DOJ, ODNI and U.K intelligence apparatus…. Well, right there is the obvious motive to shut Assange down as soon as intelligence officials knew the Mueller report was going to be public.

            This is why Julian Assange deserves a pardon, so he can tell his story.”

            https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2020/12/22/a-reason-to-pardon-julian-assange/#more-206401

    • Cubby

      ROS

      An excellent letter. It certainly would be strange if appealing to Trumps better side worked but as other posters say below it will only work if it works for Trump in some way.

  • nevermind

    I’d rather support Norwich against Watford on Boxing day, it will take me away for a couple of hours during this pathetic holiday.
    Cant stand xmas, hence Im wishing you all a great solstice break, every day we will get a little more sunshine, natural vitamin D and we have Beltane to look forward to.

  • Goose

    Boris Johnson has been accused of cronyism after he gave a peerage to a former Conservative party co-treasurer in defiance of advice from the Lords Appointments Commission. – Guardian

    They’re referring to Peter Cruddas, who resigned as party co- treasurer in 2012 Sunday Times ‘Kitchen suppers’ cash for access story broke.

    Quote : Johnson had created 52 new peers this year – taking the total size of the Lords to more than 830 – despite a cross-party agreement three years ago that numbers should over time be reduced to 600.

    … the other six new Tory peers are: the former MP and minister Sir Richard Benyon; the former MEPs Daniel Hannan, Syed Kamall and Dame Jacqueline Foster; Stephanie Fraser, the chief executive of Cerebral Palsy Scotland, and Dean Godson, the director of the Policy Exchange thinktank.

    Hannan and Godson are former colleagues of Johnson’s from the Daily Telegraph. When they arrive in the Lords they will join Charles Moore, the paper’s former editor, and Veronica Wadley, a former Telegraph executive, who were also made peers earlier this year.

    The five new Labour peers are: the former MPs Jennifer Chapman (now Keir Starmer’s political secretary), Gillian Merron (now the chief executive of the Board of Deputies of British Jews) and Vernon Coaker; the former MEP Wajid Khan, and Judith Blake, the leader of Leeds city council.

    And the four new crossbench peers are: the Rt Rev John Sentamu, the former archbishop of York; Sir Simon McDonald, the former head of the Foreign Office; Sir Terence Etherton, master of the rolls, and Sir Andrew Parker, the former head of MI5.

    Johnson’s cronyism is off the scale, they really don’t care, and worse, don’t have to, because the press simply won’t hold the Tories to account. And why on earth is Starmer appointing to a HoL he is sworn to “abolish” in his 10 Pledges?

    • Goose

      Vernon Coaker says he’s honoured to be made a peer and enter the House as a Labour Lord.

      Coaker was one of the most hawkish Labour MPs in the HoC : Almost always voted for use of UK military forces in combat operations overseas; Consistently voted for the Iraq war; consistently voted against investigations into the Iraq war; voted for replacing Trident.

      One of those Labour MPs, you wonder as to why they’re even in the Labour party.

      All Starmer’s appointments and promotions are like this. Why members can’t accept they’ve been duped and revolt, idk?

    • Mary

      McDonald – Known to Craig of course.

      ‘The other face of evil is Simon McDonald, head of the UK Diplomatic Service. You probably now think I am indulging in hyperbole. But no, I am not.

      Simon McDonald was the Foreign Secretary Jack Straw’s Private Secretary at the time of the implementation of the British government’s extraordinary rendition and intelligence from torture programmes. When I became the only member of the UK’s senior civil service to make formal objection to these programmes, it was Simon McDonald who managed Jack Straw’s response in continuing to use torture.

      I have indisputable documentary evidence of this, plain despite redactions by the British government censors (redactions which primarily remove all references to the CIA).’

      https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2016/04/two-smooth-faces-of-evil/

      • Ken Kenn

        Jack ‘ Supreme Court ‘ Straw.

        Only the British could come up with a Supreme Court without a written Constitution but there you go.

        Jack doesn’t get out of bed for less than 20k.

        Blair gets out of bed for a lot more.

        Advice: Stay in bed Jack or become PM.

        Slimey – the epitome of – you train them we buy them

        • Goose

          Do you remember both(Blair and Straw) saying on TV and radio in 2019, they couldn’t wait to clear their names over claims they authorised torture?

          Then May, in virtually her last act as PM, inJuly 2019, announces there will be no new judge-led inquiry into allegations UK agencies were complicit in the extraordinary rendition of terror suspects after 9/11, and not only that , but the government is under no legal obligation to do so. To the fury of Conservative former ministers, advocacy groups and opposition politicians…. but not a peep out of Straw or Blair? I thought they wanted to clear their names?

          The fact the govt is terrified of investigating anything, including recently rejecting a public inquiry into collusion over Patrick Finucane’s murder, suggests there was something very wrong with the chain of command in the UK for a long time. They seem to be trying, belated, to put things on a statutory footing, but the impression is, that for years there was basically free rein, outside any political control or oversight.

          • Goose

            Either that or fears that under investigation the archives will reveal further crimes that will shock and horrify the nation?

            Ultimately, they are public employees after all, and whatever the politicians promise in terms of total immunity, public outrage can melt away Superior orders, or the Nuremberg defence. And politicians will put themselves first.

          • Giyane

            Goose

            ” The archives will reveal further crimes that will shock and horrifying the nation. “

            May is already politically dead after Windrush. Cameron and Hague sensibly retired to their country retreats. Johnson can always claim that the torture rendition brainwashing was before his time.
            The sacking of senior Tories over Brexit allowed the algorithm election 19 to get a clean slate from all those Nazi style , Zionist, torture allegations.

            Posh boy social heroes of covid Bojo and Sunak would be very hard to tar with the brush of Mengele style psychosis inducing medical experiments on rendition captive Muslims.

            But Hey! This is England, white cliffs of Dover etc..the restoration of Israel was pre-ordained. But there is one small catch. Jesus pubh will reappear , this time in adult form, and blow their tiny minds.

          • Mary

            As I have said before the place for these assorted war criminals is a dock in the Hague, followed by imprisonment in a cell on a cold island with a strong light overhead on 24 hours a day.

          • Mary

            The four security guards referred to below should also go off for trial at te Hague and prison.

            ‘The list of 20 people who have had their crimes pardoned includes ex-members of Congress convicted of corruption, two people charged in the Russia investigation that shadowed his presidency, and four security guards who opened fire on unarmed Iraqis.’
            https://news.sky.com/story/president-trump-pardons-ex-campaign-aide-former-congressmen-and-security-contractors-12170894

            I think of John Newsinger’s book ‘The Blood Never Dried’.

          • bevin

            A lot is wrong: basically the caste of ambitious men who felt that they were born to rule an empire on which the sun never etcetc, never got any smaller. So they had to come home and practise their work, securing the realm, here. Some went to the Middle East and founded the White Helmets. Others taught Arab TV stations how to make effective propaganda, others took jobs at The Guardian, others descended in Northern Ireland and set up death squads. Others ran undercover missions in the Unions or the “Leninist” parties.. and so on. The net effect is to have the authoritarians who used to run India and much of Africa all gathered together at home, hence Blair (A district Officer manque if ever we saw one) Starmer (Superintendent of Police in Rhodesia) and their like. The country is now run by the security services “Isn’t that right Jeremy?”

          • Goose

            @Bevin

            Quote : The country is now run by the security services….”

            More likely ‘run FOR the security services; they’re the one ‘constant’ that’s there regardless of the stream of low quality politicians who naively, pass through coming and going. FVEYs appears to have ambitions to become something more; something beyond just a framework for intel sharing and cooperation it emerged as, into something quasi-political without public accountability. There is a real risk democracy is already lost , to security service overreac/ managerialism; with cabals of closely aligned politicians working hand in glove with intel chiefs as equals rather than public servants.

            Corbyn was obviously potentially a fly in that ointment (arrangement) If intel people feel have to prevent politicians winning power by interfering in elections and freely derived public mandate then they’re overreaching: the interventions of Dearlove, Pompeo and the Peter Strzok and Lisa Page messages, suggest this is the case.

          • Goose

            Maybe the reason we’ve heard so much about evidence-light Russian meddling, which, if it exists at all, is on a minuscule basis. Is because some need it to justify their own rigging and meddling to themselves and among themselves.

            Democratic elections , whether you like the candidate(s) or not is about letting the chips fall where they may. Otherwise it’s just a performative charade carried out every 4 or 5 years.

  • Ben

    I repeat, ad nauseum, Julian’s claim to be a journalist threatens all journalism. His fake status should be recognized as just another Trump falsehood

    “I absolutely agree with Poitras that the Espionage charges, as charged, pose a real risk to journalism. But the government is going to use the CFAA charge to explain how Assange’s methods are different from journalists. And Poitras’ own actions may well be part of that proof.”

    https://www.emptywheel.net/2020/12/22/the-wapo-solution-to-the-nyt-problem-laura-poitras-misrepresentation-of-assanges-18th-charge/

    • Giyane

      Ben

      Ad nauseam. ” lie , lie , and keep lying , until you convince them you are telling the truth ” Arab proverb about the British posh capacity for blatant untruth.

      Julian Assange was treacherously betrayed by his supposedly more reputable journalist colleague Luke Harding who published the logs in unredacted form.
      It’s kinda boring I know posing as a mind-fucked Blair character, that the Guardian is a journalist even though it published names, while Assange isn’t a journalist even though he redacted the names, and both were doing exactly the same thing, exposing USUK warcrimes for the public good. 1st amendment . Case closed

      • bevin

        The lies will soon dry up Giyane when Marcy Wheeler gets the job she’s been working so hard to get after Biden is installed. Its from her that Ben gets all this rubbish.

    • JeremyT

      If you watch Collateral Murder, you’ll see that it was edited. (indeed, that’s one of its rebuttals). The clue is in the word.
      Check out Craig’s extradition reporting. He’s had his own difficulties with the accreditation of his journalism. That emptywheel you link to… again it’s in the word!

    • TomJoad

      True journalists operate live in front of soft focus cameras, with spectacular crime scene analysis props behind them, like in CSI TV movies. They phone high ranking secret service agents, and lure them into revealing classified details and strategies (like putting the world’s most deadly poison in someone’s underpants) about a spectacularly botched operation (again!), while their co-“journalists” are pulling faces of amazement as detail after detail is revealed. That is real journalism. Worth broadcasting all over the world.

      Assange, Fisk etc. All fake news…

    • JeremyT

      Ben’s problem is that the US position in international policy has lost credibility. Refusal to cooperate with the ICC means that effectively all states are hostile states. Even Israel has spies in the US.
      Extradition processes are therefore beset with bad faith. Any activity in foreign lands, contact with foreign governments is compromised. Any US journalism therefore is cast into a sea of untruths, fakery and sophistry. Journalistic assessment of the legal position in the US isn’t worth the US internet it is scratched on.

      Here in the UK we have a US-born hack at the head of government. We refuse ICC and UN judgements on Diego Garcia, Iran tank debts, etc. in similar fashion.

      Ben’s role is to counter the growing sense of abuse of the person and the process. Over the locked down festive season we are left wondering whether Baraitser’s decision is in any way going to be the result of an ‘open’ ‘democratic’ hearing.

  • N_

    Some of the lorry drivers stuck in Kent are having difficulty getting sanitation and food.

    The poshboy regime says they’re doing fine. They – and in particular, Hungarian drivers – have posted to Facebook saying otherwise, asking for help. Friends have been bringing them food.

    How long before the gutter press says “Ugh – look at the dirty foreign lorry driver taking a crap by the side of the road”? (Gotta wonder how long a Guardianista would last without focaccia and a jacuzzi.)

    • Giyane

      N_

      Doing night shifts for Carillion in those – 4 degrees winters without toilet or refreshment facilities, easier than you think for this Guardian perusing electrician.
      Which is the more shameful, crapping on the verge or perusing the Guardian, in your eyes?

      • N_

        How many days has it been already? Some were probably already queued up for days before the French ban. This article from Sky News portrays them as “angry” and getting into “scuffles” with the police and threatening to block the port, with zero recognition of them as human beings who need food and sanitation. They are also implicitly portrayed as stupid, like subhumans, as if incapable of understanding that the British police can’t force the border open. Sky News. There are bound to be stories now that they are dirty and unhygienic not because of socially enforced conditions but because they are foreign scum. All it takes is a mutant virus story (remember this is Kent), and we are talking about a couple of thousand guys put in a camp guarded by the army, with the media saying they’re the types who don’t use toilets anyway because they just poo similarly to dogs.

  • Tom74

    Just when you thought Johnson’s regime couldn’t get much more corrupt, Daniel Hannan gets a peerage. I guess shilling for Brexit is qualification enough these days – but it’s a sick joke when you consider that virtually everything Hannan has spent years saying was just ‘Remainer’ scaremongering has actually come to pass.

    • Republicofscotland

      Tom74.

      From what I’ve heard about Hannan today he vehemently opposed the NHS, he’s all for increasing privatisation in it. As Johnson was ennobling the likes of his brother, I noticed today that Trump pardoned four Blackwater personnel for their civilian killings in Iraq and two other folk who received prison sentences to do with the Russia did narrative.

  • Carl

    If you are still trailing Boris Johnson in the polls after all the people he’s helped kill and render unemployed, and despite you having received gushing support from the media, it is surely time to accept what has long been obvious.

    There is no longer an appetite for triangulating extreme centrism, a politics of mimicking Tories as closely as possible, afraid of its own shadow.

    • Vivian O'Blivion

      The latest YouGov, Westminster voting intention poll (field work 21st to 22nd Dec) gives Labour a 4% lead but I doubt this is telling. Average of YouGov polls since beginning of November (11 polls) give Labour an average lead of 0.5%, so a tie really.
      Certainly, if Knight of the Realm, Sir “Keith” Starmer can’t out perform the worst Prime Minister in modern times, something is far wrong (with Starmer & his iteration of Labour).
      How’s things in Scotland? Average of the last eight YouGov, Scottish sub-samples (composite sample size >1,000) gives: Con 19%, Lab 15%, LibDem 5%, SNP 52%.
      If more folk listened to Scottish Labour Leader, Richard Leonard at FMQs, I would confidently predict that Labour would be in single figures. The man is an imbecile’s apprentice.

      • Carl

        A point behind the Tories in yesterday’s Survation poll …. despite this being the exact iteration of Labour we were told the country was crying out for.

        • nevermind

          the Tories should be 20 points behind by now but with Zio Sta/urmer about, that will not happen. Lets hope they don’t appoint him without an election.

          • Goose

            Starmer’s personal ratings are rightly falling. He’s widely and rightly viewed as indecisive and an opportunist, who is smugly wise after the event.

            Don’t understand why anyone would warm to him really, ‘man of the people’ he ain’t. A barrister by profession, they’re normally cold, distant as they don’t talk the public unless registered for “public access”.

            Since he is clearly on the political right doesn’t anyone else find it odd he gave up a v.good legal career to become a Labour MP under the hapless, centre-leftish Ed Miliband in 2015?

            Why did he become a Labour MP?

          • Monteverdi

            https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/may/15/labour-activists-urge-keir-starmer-to-stand-for-party-leadership

            Interesting that only weeks after being elected an MP for his very first time in 2015, after being picked for a safe Labour seat, it was being reported that ‘activists’ were pushing his name forward for the Labour Leadership to replace Ed Miliband.
            This sounds pre-planned and very, very fishy ??

            * https://www.independent.co.uk/news/multimillionaires-who-keep-blair-in-his-office-1352967.html

            * He also received £50,000 from the well known Blairite-Zionist Sir Trevor Chinn in 2020 to further his bid for the Labour Leadership. Chinn ceased donations to the Labour Party in when Corbyn was elected Leader.

          • Goose

            Fair to say Ed Miliband made enemies in the establishment with his abrupt U-turn on supporting intervention in Syria in 2013. He’d attended briefings with military top brass alongside Cameron and Clegg. Reports those senior figures were absolutely furious with him.

            Ultimately, the vote in the HoC was lost because Tory MPs also rebelled in sufficient numbers, but Ed Miliband’s opposition was far braver than he realised at the time.

            Purely conjecture , but it may partly explain why the establishment wanted rid of Ed Miliband from the leadership and thus Starmer was sent in. He ended up being a sleeper in Corbyn’s cabinet however, by the looks of things.

  • Goose

    Trade secretary supports UK, not international, courts determining presence of genocide overseas..

    Apparently Truss and the FCO are at loggerheads.

    Palestine, and Yemen next then, Liz?

    • Goose

      I don’t know exactly what’s going on in Xinjiang, China, and therefore don’t seek to minimise it.

      But the selective outrage over human rights abuses from the likes of Truss and Labour politicians like Lisa Nandy is just so hypocritical, when the UK is propping up most of the brutal despots and regimes across the Middle East via electronic surveillance know how and assistance and special forces training. Also , helping the Saudi war on Yemen, where millions face starvation and disease, and deepening ties with Israel as they illegally seize more and more land.

      If we had a MSM journalist worth their salt, they’d put this hypocrisy to them.

      • Goose

        The technologically sophisticated surveillance assistance is particularly obnoxious, as it’s mainly used to monitor pro-democracy activists and other human rights protesters, often resulting in jailings and torture.

        It sounds utterly nonsensical, but the US and UK are actively trying to prevent democracy taking root in these countries, instead seeking to cement dictatorships in place because they’ll toe the line. We can only hope US policy will change under Biden towards Saudi and Egypt, Bahrain et al, but it’s far from certain it will.

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