The Fake Political and Media Class 323


This blog has been silent for three weeks so nothing would stand between the “bold” predictions in my last article, and the proof that they were true. I am in fact neither particularly prescient nor brilliant. To anybody with serious experience of diplomatic negotiation, it was very obvious a deal was fairly easy. As I predicted, the level playing field mechanism is solved by it not only being a case of the UK following EU standards, but of mutual rights. In the entirely improbable circumstance of Tory UK adopting higher environmental, social or safety standards than the EU, the UK will have resort to a range of measures against unfair competition; just as the EU can in the much more likely scenario of the UK failing to keep up with evolving improvements in these areas. The same goes for state aid. The mutual obligation undercuts the “sovereignty” argument and squares that (silly) circle. Elsewhere, a few tonnes of fish here or there was never going to outweigh the manufacturing interests on both sides. So this very limited agreement, covering the 22% of UK/EU trade that is in goods, was always a shoo-in.

As I also predicted and still predict, the media will now go wild about “Johnson’s Christmas Triumph”.

What I want to discuss with you is not the agreement itself, nor the process of reaching it, but the quite extraordinary fact that a deal which was always going to be made, was the subject of pretend cliffhanger drama and tension by the entire professional media and the entire professional political class, both government and opposition, not just in the UK but right across Europe and on other continents as well.

Sane, sober and alone, any serious professional political journalist knew that this deal would be made and broadly what it would look like. So did Keir Starmer, Nicola Sturgeon, Bill Cash and Nigel Farage. Yet absolutely everyone has been pumping out this false narrative of cliff-hanging tension, as have the national ministers of EU states in the EU Council and the Members of the European Parliament.

Why? I think this really is quite a profound question. And I think the answer is that the professional media and political class – the latter an ever burgeoning number, battening on to the body politic at our ever increasing expense – have become simply a form of entertainment. High politics is no more than a form of reality TV, where both those taking part and those reporting on it know that dramas and crescendos have to be manufactured to keep the plebs interested and keep the golden goose laying. The politicians and the political journalists have a joint interest in putting on a show over artificial crises. The worrying thing is, they manage to convince themselves, at least some of the time, to their own professional gain, that the version they are promulgating of what is happening, is reality.

Let me add a few thoughts to this. The first is that I do not think that anybody except a very few utter nutters really believe, for example, that Jeremy Corbyn is personally a racist. Yet the mainstream political and media classes pump out the anti-semitism slur in a continual stream. This forcefully reminds me of the run-up to the Iraq War, when I asked an FCO colleague working directly on Iraq how he managed to do his job when he knew full well that Iraq had no Weapons of Mass Destruction. He replied to me that he was an avid player of “Football Manager”; while in the game he really was immersed for hours and the manager of Arsenal, once he left the game of course he knew he was not. Walking into the FCO to work was the same. While in the FCO, he believed Iraq had WMD and acted on that basis; once he left in the evening he did not.

In a sense this game, where the political and media class connive at contrived dramatic happenings, replaces and covers for the absence of real differences in politics, as will be illustrated when Starmer’s Labour votes for Johnson’s Brexit Deal. Just as they have failed to oppose even the granting of powers to kill and torture to the security services, or the granting of amnesty to those who commit war crimes. When you do not really have an actual opposition, you will get pretend political events. I am also reminded of those in the SNP who pretend to be absolutely committed to Scottish Independence, while having not the slightest intention of doing anything towards that goal that may jeopardise their comfortable and well-paid political careers.

I stand by my prediction that phasing of implementation of procedures will mean that the non-tariff friction that is, despite this agreement, going to make UK trade in goods with the EU much more logistically difficult, will not have immediate effect, so in the early part of 2021 Brexiteers will be gloating that predictions of doom did not happen. I also stand by the prediction that the real effects will come through slowly and surely and increase both inflation and unemployment in the second half of 2021. This agreement of course covers goods only – the UK financial services industry will become still further oriented towards servicing non-EU clients seeking minimal scrutiny. The EU will now be able to impose a transaction tax as a brake on reckless trading in derivatives. London will become the high risk centre for the dodgy money and the fast buck, to an even greater extent than it is already.

Johnson will now surf a jingoistic media wave and be hailed a great success. Which, for us Scots, makes it still more certain he will never agree voluntarily to an Independence referendum. Anybody who now argues the route to Independence must only lie through the agreement of Downing Street, is arguing the Unionist Case.

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323 thoughts on “The Fake Political and Media Class

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  • Goose

    What’s with the Union Jacks everywhere, no less than four behind Johnson, in the Cabinet room too..

    Welcome to the future?

    Labour too now chasing the flag-wavers https://twitter.com/AngelaRayner/status/1341707498324189185

    They say “Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel”

    Any crime or misbehaviour was tolerated as long as it was committed by one who kept shouting that he loves his country – any individual who questioned the behaviour of the country or government, a traitor.

    • Bramble

      Ironically the guy who correctly said that patriotism is the refuge of scoundrels was also called Johnson. A very different sort of man, however. And I suspect he would have been even more scornful of that romantic delusion, nationalism, too.

      • Tom Welsh

        Patriotism, n. Combustible rubbish ready to the torch of any one ambitious to illuminate his name. In Dr. Johnson’s famous dictionary patriotism is defined as the last resort of a scoundrel. With all due respect to an enlightened but inferior lexicographer I beg to submit it is the first.

        – Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”, 1906-11.

    • Kim Sanders-Fisher

      Patriotism is the tool of divide and rule that the ruthless British Empire used to subjugate so many around the globe. In the UK it achieves the same goal of seeding division through ‘othering.’ If you become the target of someone who accuses you of being unpatriotic, I have a bold response: I just tell them I am a “Peaceful Patriot of the Planet!”

  • Aidworker1

    Craig you’re correct as normal!

    I’ve lived in Africa for many years (as have you!) and African people are so aware of blatant corruption.

    I genuinely think we’re worse than Africa now but people are blinded my media to this.

    Thank-you for your blog – Merry Christmas and Happy Hogmanay!

    • Ann Owen

      Yes, I too lived in Africa for some time-in Nigeria. I got a job in a school., courtesy of ‘dash’, but that, I think, is the point-it was all courteous and quite open and we all knew what was happening. In a sense it was almost innocent,
      The corruption in the so-called UK is far more profound, and endemic in the system of governance that has developed over centuries and become embedded in our social structure.
      Unfortunately, most of our readers/viewers of the MSM have become beguiled by the ‘circuses’-whether the government can provide all the ‘bread’ that will be needed in the future is another matter..

      • Blissex

        «I got a job in a school., courtesy of ‘dash’, but that, I think, is the point-it was all courteous and quite open and we all knew what was happening. In a sense it was almost innocent»

        The corruption in less advanced countries is *to individuals*, transactional, bribery in a narrow sense. In advanced places it is *to groups”, and it is systemic rather than transactional, self-dealing more than bribery. Two example of the latter:

        * At some point one member of the Hogg dynasty lost the position of deputy governor of the BoE for bank supervision because of having failed to disclose a conflict of interests: that another Hogg (the brother IIRC) was a managing directory of a huge bank. I am sure that was an innocent oversight: how could they have regarded it as a *conflict* of interests? They were both Hoggs, looking after the common interests of their dynasty and of the rest of the “The Establishment”.
        * The “Help to Buy” policy of the Conservatives put to work quite a lot of public funds to result in large property price increases for property owners and amazing boom in profits for property developers. There was I am sure not a penny of bribery involved: the tory ministers, the tory property owners, the tory property developers involved were simply part of the same group, looking after their common interests. Elegant group self-dealing, rather than vulgar individual bribery.

        In the USA the situation is even more advanced: the Supreme Court that the payment of money or even periodic retainers from private interests to politicians for generic “ingratiating purposes” is a human right protected by the USA Constitution, and constitutes bribery only if specific advantages were agreed in advance.

      • Cynicus

        “…most of our readers/viewers of the MSM have become beguiled by the ‘circuses.”

        ……..
        Yes, but no well-run circus would appoint the clown as ringmaster.

  • Stewart

    “the professional media and political class – the latter an ever burgeoning number, battening on to the body politic at our ever increasing expense – have become simply a form of entertainment. High politics is no more than a form of reality TV”

    I agree, of course, but this should not be news to anyone with a modicum of critical thinking ability. Neil Postman wrote the definitive critique in 1985: Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amusing_Ourselves_to_Death

    • Blissex

      «Neil Postman wrote the definitive critique in 1985»

      A brief restatement of the same thought by another author, Chuck Palahniuk “Lullaby” (2002): “Old George Orwell got it backward. Big Brother isn’t watching. He’s singing and dancing. He’s pulling rabbits out of a hat. Big Brother’s holding your attention every moment you’re awake. He’s making sure you’re always distracted. He’s making sure you’re fully absorbed… and this being fed, it’s worse than being watched”.

  • Eric McCoo

    ‘I am also reminded of those in the SNP who pretend to be absolutely committed to Scottish Independence, while having not the slightest intention of doing anything towards that goal that may jeopardise their comfortable and well-paid political careers’.

    That is the absolute truth. Sturgeon is a fawning globalist who has as much interest in Scottish independence as Jacob Rees Mogg.

  • 6033624

    Yes, it IS exactly as you’d said. I was still shocked to see that despite everything that was said about fishing rights, our fishermen will only gain an additional 17% and this will take a further five and a half years to achieve. Nice timing as to be just beyond the end of Johnson’s term! He’ll never have to deal with it.

    Of course that’s assuming he doesn’t manage to win another term for the Tories. After nearly fourteen years, austerity, Brexit and COVID you’d think that even the south east will get Tory fatigue and vote for a change. But Starmer’s performance leads me to believe that might not necessarily be the case.

    Starmer, having stated Labour policy to be a second referendum, when it wasn’t, then went on to lead the charge for this change in policy in the nick of time for it to be the reason why Labour were so badly pummelled in the GE. But NOW instead of abstaining or voting against the deal, he is whipping for Labour to vote FOR the deal?? Having alienated one side of the party he’s finishing the job by alienating the rest. Given this and his ability to miss the open goal that is Boris Johnson at PMQs I could see the Tories actually managing another term with a much reduced majority. Starmer and his colleagues have so damaged Labour in their attempt to wrest the leadership from Corbyn that it might never recover.

    But it’s as you said, the disconnect between the press and the actual truth of the matter is ever widening. It’s reality TV without the reality.

    • Blissex

      «Starmer, having stated Labour policy to be a second referendum […] NOW instead of abstaining or voting against the deal, he is whipping for Labour to vote FOR the deal??»

      The current official statement of his policy on Europe is: “Labour wants to get Brexit done. We want the government to succeed in securing a deal in the national interest and to protect the Good Friday Agreement. Like the rest of the country, we want to move on from Brexit and see the UK making future trade deals across the world.

      «Having alienated one side of the party he’s finishing the job by alienating the rest.»

      I think that the goal in which he believes is the PASOKification of Labour, reducing it to a smaller size so it will never be again a threat to thatcherism and will always have to govern in coalition with the committed thatcherites of the LibDems. The goal I think was described by Thatcher as “There Is No Alternative”.

      • bevin

        Correct:
        Starmer, who incidentally bears a distinct resemblance to the young Herbert Hoover, is working every day to wreck the Labour Party. Not that there is anything new about this: Blair and Mandelson had the same objective, which they came very close to achieving, and the Party has always included an influential, often dominant faction committed to killing off everything distinctive about the Party.

        • Mr Shigemitsu

          For almost all of its history, the Labour Party has existed precisely to *prevent* socialism in the UK; once you realise this, everything it does makes perfect sense.

    • Blissex

      «After nearly fourteen years, austerity, Brexit and COVID you’d think that even the south east will get Tory fatigue and vote for a change»

      Political strategists talk of “vote moving issue”: voters might holler and whine about this and that, but their vote is usually driven by a single top issue. Many Conservative voters are “Remainers” or regardless utterly despise and detest Johnson, Gove and the ERG, but they vote Conservative because the Conservatives have a sterling record of balloning property prices, property rents, and stock prices.

      There has been no austerity for tory voters, but 10 years of booming living standards, and their are confident that the Conservatives will minimize the impact of brexit and COVID on “their own”; like austerity, COVID and brexit will hit mostly the servant classes, that don’t vote Conservative or don’t vote at all.

    • Stuart MacKay

      The whole issue of Brexit is a toxic tarpit of nationalism and Starmer needs to get it resolved and off the table as an issue as quickly as possible. There is simply no way the Labour Party can function while people are still consumed by it. The current, thin-deal is probably a good thing for Labour in general as from now on, with the UK standing proudly alone, any opposition to the Conservatives can now be over individual deals and negotiations rather than the EU vs UK grand debate.

      Having said that, Starmer and the Labour Party are now restyled as “less nasty than the Conservatives”. So in the short term they’ve completely sold out the people who work for a living. Longer term though there is still some hope that they can return to a more traditional stance. However the fate of the Labour Party seems to parallel the fate of the unions so although the road to a recovery in their fortunes is now open I am not sure they will able be able, or willing to do anything about it.

  • Laguerre

    I am not sure the EU side was all that bothered about the media circus – it was just a question of making sure no great follies were made in Johnson’s last minute deal drama. That is what seems to have happened. It is true that Brexit did come back into the EU press – the french is what I saw, from which it had been absent for months, nay years. But the manufactured drama was entirely British, not continental.

  • M.J.

    I’m relieved that ordinary people have been spared the disruption and hardship that could have followed a ‘no deal’. I don’t think the negotiations were a pushover at all. My sympathies are with Michel Barnier and Ursula Von der Leyen – any one who voted remain would share their sadness at what has happened.
    However, if hardship does bite in the longer term (beginning with the loss of Erasmus studentships for UK undergraduates) there may be pressure not only for Scottish independence (I have no confidence in any prediction about whether or when this might happen) but also for rejoining the EU in the longer term (something I’m more confident about). The pressure may be demographic: as the generation that mainly voted Brexit dies out, the generation that mainly voted Remain will come into power. Thus we could be back in the EU before the middle of the present century. Whether it might happen during my own lifetime, I’m not certain. But let’s see what happens.

  • Celine

    Craig, why were you silent for 3 weeks? Politician are the same shit here and there. Corruption is endemic and part of their DNA. Power= corruption. Such is life. Merry Christmas!

  • nick

    you have a low opinion of services – we are not all a like. We’ve been moving to Europe for the past year, that will keep moving, funds in particular. The more dodgy/pirate ones you like to focus on is a difference kettle of …. fish

    the UK will be poorer

  • Blissex

    «So this very limited agreement, covering the 22% of UK/EU trade that is in goods, was always a shoo-in.»

    But that 22% and it being very limited as to that 22% too, “Canada style”, also was the reason why it was a real possibility that no agreement was as real a possibility as the “shoo-in”: it matters relatively little either way, so the Conservatives were not very invested in it, and there was a political point to be made by “walking away”, “Australia style”.

    «the non-tariff friction that is, despite this agreement, going to make UK trade in goods with the EU much more logistically difficult, will not have immediate effect, so in the early part of 2021 Brexiteers will be gloating that predictions of doom did not happen.»

    The Conservative government, eagerly supported by New, New Labour, has already essentially suspended customs checks for the first 6 months of 2021.

    • Laguerre

      But the French and Belgians have not suspended customs checks for the first 6 months of 2021, or any time. There will be significant transit time added in port (30% errors in customs declarations is common). I saw one continental transport owner interviewed today saying he had already cancelled 10 truckloads to Britain, and he would not be sending any more. No doubt he will once he gets over his strop, but on a reduced scale.

  • snake

    Re: “High politics is no more than a form of reality TV, where both those taking part and those reporting on it know that dramas and crescendos have to be manufactured to keep the plebs interested and keep the golden goose laying. ” <=connects top down political theatre with bottom up entertainment and information controlled media. A feed back control system that keeps the voting, working and surviving governed public in check.

    Of 9 layers that govern the nation state only two are public at all,. The government is connected to 7 private interest layers, and the public it serves. The 7th layer is the voting, working and surviving governed public itself, and the 5th layer, is only quasi public, because it serves as the control system interface between the seven privately owned layers which use the 5th layer to govern the voting, working, surviving governed public( in the 7th layer.

    The nation state system divides 8 billion people into 256 cells, each cell a managed privately directed, named nation state. The 7 private layers develop within each nation state, but each such layer is globally attached laterally, vertically connected upward and downward.

    So the agreement you are discussing was solved not by the nation state representatives but by the private parties interest and the resolution was made to look as if the visible politicians had something to do with it.

    I think it is important to adopt identified layers into the analytical dialog because layer by layer analysis better details the subject activities that determine actual governance and at the same time provide a sort of checklist.

    Private layer 1: global nation state franchisor sets rules; establishes local nation state goals

    Here are bankers and their quasi governmental bureaucracies, NGOs, established functioning national governments in interactive cooperation with the needs of the global corporations listed the major market and exchanges.

    Private Layer 2: oligarch <= national (wall street beneficiaries who use their wealth to conform

    national outcome consistent with global powers). The nation (i. e. local banking and monopoly powered corporations control access by the deplorable governed to opportunity.. (opportunity is a privilege open only to a few) Officer vs enlisted. pseudo elected presidents. Also the road and bridge building, trucks, ships, and plane contractors and transport providers..they have the privilege of license, access to money, and qualification to do business with government. CIA and Israel.

    Private Layer 3: the copyright and patent monopoly powers (90% of the Assets of market traded

    corporations are monopoly powers (as in intangible assets. relatively new, this layer encompasses the legal privilege to privately own all technology and is at the heart of the modern feudal system. 5g. driverless vehicles, space travel

    Private Layer 4: the think tank and other private organizations the bureaucracies regulate, fund

    and direct. Millions even $billions in private money flows and is matched by government funding. Its is where the secret services, home land scammers and university system bureaucracy resides.

    public layer 5: the elected person government that legislate, regulate, and enforce against the governed public.

    Private Layer 6: Intergovernmental Bureaucracies limit and direct elected power to global goals.

    this is the huge government bought and paid for bureaucracy.

    public layer 7: the 340,000,000 members of the highly public.

    Private layer 8: Stimulus restrain economic system control

    Private layer 9: media addresses diversity via content provider diversity used to control of narrative, limit

    information visible to target groups and keep the highly disparate minds of the governed deplorables individually_pacified. (content providers have access to funding, use many proven techniques. To science; w\ enables CPs to coordinate psychology with propaganda; to maintain crowd, mind, political and thought control (CMPT) control. Layer delivers massive financial support to the media, in that every market visible entity contributes $ trillions in yearly tax deductible advertising to support CMPT content over media which is used to control the governed deplorable.

  • Ray A

    So, as inflation roars through the land, will we be able to tell the difference between BREXIT Inflation and COVID Money Pump Inflation? Both ways we are f****d!

    What Craig fails to mention about the fake politics and media types is that they are traitors. They are the enemy of ordinary people and need to be treated as such: no fraternising; no …

  • Cor !!

    Surely a first practical step towards disassembling this panto would be to scrap the gravyier than thou HoL? In the meantime we remain the rear half of the panto horse under a daily barrage of tory rosbif farts from in front, they even have a starmer waiting in the wings to choke us with jerk/curry/gefilte versions to give us plebs the illusion of choice.

  • Vivian O'Blivion

    Well, the deal is still to be ratified at various levels in Europe.
    Britain (population 66.6m) has purchased membership of the EEA (in all but name) for handing over fishing rights that will be worth £145m / annum to the British at the end of a five year transition period.
    Norway (population 5.4m) pays membership dues to the EEA of £750m / annum.
    Perhaps one of the smaller nations in the EU will look on and see little Norway being f****d over to the benefit of the big two and wonder which small nation will be next.
    Alternatively Norway’s EEA deal is up for re-negotiation in 2022. What’s to stop Norway saying “Nah, we won’t be paying £750m / annum, we’ll settle the bill for a few thousand tonnes of fish instead.”.
    By giving in to British demands (leveraged by German and French need for tariff free access for manufactured goods) Brussels is storing up a whole world of trouble. If you pay the ransom, the kidnapper just comes back for more.

  • Anne

    Sorry, Craig, but if your beloved Jeremy had not been so stubborn and sexist last year, the UK and the EU would have had a much better deal under Theresa May, frictionless trade between the UK, Ireland, Northern Ireland and the whole of the EU.

  • Mary

    This clown at Sky News was up at dawn today writing a puff piece about Johnson. YCNMIU.

    Brexit: Boris Johnson says trade deal is his Christmas present for the country
    An agreement was finally struck at 1:44pm on Christmas Eve following nine months of often bitter negotiations.
    https://news.sky.com/story/brexit-boris-johnson-says-trade-deal-is-his-christmas-present-for-the-country-12172450
    Friday 25 December 2020 06:36, UK

    The author was previously with the Sun. Enough said. https://news.sky.com/author/tom-gillespie-726

  • Republicofscotland

    Johnson’s Eu deal is all smoke and mirrors.

    “Economically, that means the UK becoming more competitive. And yet Boris Johnson just signed a deal that is specifically designed to ensure that the UK doesn’t gain a competitive advantage over the EU because the consequence will be tariffs on UK products. Johnson is celebrating the ability to significantly move away from EU law and, at the same time, celebrating that he got a zero tariff deal. That doesn’t make sense if the moment you use the first one, you lose the second one.”

    https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/this-brexit-deal-does-not-bring-real-sovereignty-%e2%80%93-whatever-boris-johnson-wants-you-to-believe/ar-BB1cdYyk?ocid=msedgdhp

  • Peter

    “Sane, sober and alone, any serious professional political journalist knew that this deal would be made and broadly what it would look like. So did Keir Starmer, Nicola Sturgeon, Bill Cash and Nigel Farage. Yet absolutely everyone has been pumping out this false narrative of cliff-hanging tension, as have the national ministers of EU states in the EU Council and the Members of the European Parliament.

    Why? I think this really is quite a profound question.”

    Personally, I think it is because the British and European Establishments were/are totally opposed to Brexit and they sought to maintain a thoroughly negative view of it in the public imagination in the hope that somewhere along the line it would be turned over, with or without – most probably with – a second referendum.

    It is a hope they will not have given up on as, for instance, Starmer has refused to count out campaigning for a return to the EU.

    • Blissex

      «the British and European Establishments were/are totally opposed to Brexit and they sought to maintain a thoroughly negative view of it in the public imagination in the hope that somewhere along the line it would be turned over, with or without – most probably with – a second referendum.»

      That embodies the usual mistake of the conspiracy theorists, that conspiracies are all-pervasive, instead of working at cross purposes. With Brexit even more than other policies the Establishment had powerful factions both in favour and against it, and the same for having an exit deal or just walking away, and that’s why our blogger’s certainty that a deal was inevitable was misplaced: the anti-deal faction in the end lost, but it was not negligible.

      «It is a hope they will not have given up on as, for instance, Starmer has refused to count out campaigning for a return to the EU.»

      As Starmer is an arch-brexiter, as he is currently pursuing the votes of hard-brexiter affluent tory voters, this is the official statement of his policy towards the EU:

      Labour wants to get Brexit done. We want the government to succeed in securing a deal in the national interest and to protect the Good Friday Agreement. Like the rest of the country, we want to move on from Brexit and see the UK making future trade deals across the world.

      • Peter

        @ Blissex

        Thanks.

        “… the Establishment had powerful factions both in favour and against it …”

        Fair point, but I think it’s clear that the anti-Brexit ‘faction’ was dominant – see BBC, Guardian, Times, Starmer.

        “As Starmer is an arch-brexiter … “

        If you believe that you haven’t been watching.

        Starmer fought tooth and nail against Brexit while he was Shadow Minister for Brexit. His “Labour wants to get Brexit done” position is just a demonstration of his, as with most politicians, facility for duplicity.

  • Christine Hudson

    Craig thank you for all your interesting and thought provoking posts during 2020. I hope you and all those who post comments have a good and restful Christmas. I look forward to more excellent commentary on our sorry situation during 2021.

  • Chris Downie

    For those who still believe the current SNP leadership will deliver independence, I have a ton of snake oil up for grabs, at a special Xmas discount. Haw-haw-haw! *Humbug*

    I hate to say it, but I’m not convinced Rev Campbell is correct when he says a Vote of No Confidence will bring her down after the enquiry, as it won’t have gone unnoticed among unionist MSP’s that she is the ‘safe’ bet (or at the very least, the least-worst option) for them, so I think we have to be prepared for a possibility that she would survive such a vote, at the behest of a few forward thinking unionist MSP’s.

    Then things get very complicated, as she would “lead” us to the next election, with another limp promise of a Section 30 order, which of course Johnson will refuse, as will any potential successors.

    • Republicofscotland

      Yes Chris that’s a good point, the likes of Rennie, Leonard and Ross, will see that Sturgeon is the great bringer of false promises when it comes to independence, and along with the Greens who are now obsessed with the trans issues, they might back her in a vote of no confidence, and blow our chances of getting her out and replacing her with a leader who actually wants independence.

      I’m hoping the that the British nationalist MSP’s at Holyrood, are not quite aware of her true agenda, which I’d say isn’t that much different from theirs, and if the vote arises they vote her out.

    • Stuart MacKay

      On paper she has to go but keeping her in power is obviously in the best interest of everyone opposed to independence. However there’s a lot of change coming in the next 6-12 months, assuming the Essex/London and South African variants of COVID-19 don’t negate the vaccination programme. Consequently “events” are now out of the politicians’ hands. Sure we have a deal but that’s only a framework for future interaction. We have yet to see how that will play out in practice. We know that disentangling the economies is going to take some time. For example, the whole “Seed Potato” crisis still has to play out. If the EU quietly puts pressure on companies to “Buy EU” then trade could start to dry sufficiently quickly that serious questions start to be asked as why the SNP has dropped Scotland in it.

    • Johny Conspiranoid

      How does a political party end up being taken over by people who are secretly (at the begining anyway) of the opposite persuasion to the purpose of the party? Can you explain this without a conspiracy? Has anybody writen a book about it?

  • doug scorgie

    Goose
    December 24, 2020 at 18:04

    “Labour could have also tackled concentrated media ownership during their 13 years in power, had Blair rejected getting into bed with Murdoch.”

    —————————————————————

    Blair also got into bed with Murdoch’s wife didn’t he?
    Maybe that was a reward from Mr Murdoch for services rendered?

  • DiggerUK

    Despite the elitist fury of the political, business and legal elites, ordinary people, through Brexit, have shown themselves capable of making a change in politics and history.
    The elite, who have benefited from the smashing of blue collar living standards in the last thirty odd years, still claim that Brexit is the result of uneducated racists.
    Well, I am one of those “scum of the earth” who welcomed Brexit. I am not uneducated, I am not racist. Up yours, the ballot box has decided.
    If you don’t like the ballot box, pick up the bullet box.

    Trumps victory in 2016 had identical liberal elites claiming that Russia, with the assistance of Wikileaks, was how the venal house of Clinton was defeated. That opposition to the house of Clinton was described as uneducated, racist and most infamously of all as “deplorable”

    I support neither Trump or Johnson. Merry Xmas and a happy New Year…_

  • doug scorgie

    Stewart
    December 24, 2020 at 19:30

    “I agree, of course, but this should not be news to anyone with a modicum of critical thinking ability.”

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    Stewart, the right-wing politicians in the UK and the USA hate the very idea of plebs having the ability to think for themselves which is why Critical Thinking is not taught in our schools:
    ———————————————…

    Texas GOP: “We oppose the teaching of higher order thinking skills, critical thinking skills and similar programs…[which] have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.”

    http://convention.texasgop.org/
    ————————————————————————————————————————————
    Republicans know that under-paid poor people who can barely afford to put food on their table do not have the time to sit-down and process the information that is given to them. That makes the propaganda of theatrics in the 24-hour news cycle even more powerful.
    It is amazing how people can completely and utterly reject the science of climate change, placing the lives of the future inhabitants of this planet in danger. The overall general lack of critical thinking skills has turned most Americans into to sheep because they do not process what they are told, they simply accept it.
    The Threat of Conservative Anti-Intellectualism | The Typescript
    ———————————————————————————————————————————–

    “…there are very apparent differences in the education delivered to working- and middle-class children. Even when they attend the same schools, the working classes are to be found in the bottom sets and streams where they experience a very different education to the middle-class children concentrated in the top sets. But largely as a result of a school choice system based on postcode, we now have working-class schools characterised by a narrow curriculum, teaching to the test, and an excessive focus on discipline. Recent research in the UK points to a disturbing social class difference in the pedagogy experienced by different social classes, with the working classes more likely to experience a pedagogy of poverty that pays little attention to critical thinking skills and adopts a “drill and kill” approach.”

    British education: still selecting and rejecting in order to rear an elite | British Politics and Policy at LSE

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