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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  • Tom74

    Curious piece, given that in this, the first year since the UK left the EU, UK GDP is forecast to have shrunk by 11 per cent and millions have been forbidden from even spending Christmas with their families. I don’t remember even the most ardent Remainers suggesting such an appalling situation – yet this article makes it sound as though nothing has happened.

    • Mr V

      Because 11% is not that much. Small enough sum so it can be blamed on Covid and EU, not on Brexshit. Not enough shyte hit the fan for people to really take note. Sure, the poorest will be much worse off but they will be too busy just surviving and the rest can be deafened by rabid propaganda constantly repeated in UK media that were in vast majority captured by far right. Who will dare to say things are going bad when most of the press will be crowing how good the Bozo in charge is? Anyone stupid enough to think de Spaffle shouldn’t be fired immediately will buy the new propaganda wave too…

      • Colin Smith

        The 11% that has gone will be most of the stuff that pays for the remaining 89%. The economy is only kept going by printing money to keep vast amounts of non jobs apparently still in existence, much like the old Soviet economy. With governments now empowered to do whatever they feel based on a whim of manufactured evidence nobody in their right mind will take the medium to long term risks required to provide a functioning society. Brexit is utterly peripheral in consequence, only in the deranged minds of the committed headbangers.

  • giyane

    “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 “

    As Gandalf would have said.

    Craig has close contacts inside the Tory Party not only because of his good service under Thatcher and knowledge of his job as a diplomat, but also because it was a Labour administration that sacked him when he was well within his rights to make the objections about torture that he did. I have no doubt that the majority of Tory MPs would have every sympathy with his moral stand even if their bread was buttered by subservience to warmongering Clintons, Obama and indeed Biden.

    I am confidant that his close contacts inside the Tory faction will have informed him of the trade deal masterplan. I hope they can also save his skin from the petty tyrannies of the Scottish Judiciary.

    The emergence of evidence 1/ that insiders in the Labour Party plotted against Jeremy Corbyn, 2/ deliberately thwarted the processes of dealing with accusations of anti-semitism in order to accuse the leadership of inadequacy, and 3 / extended their disloyalty to the Corbyn brand into the heart of Scottish politics will not have gone unnoticed in the Tory Party. As an outsider from Scotland , it is easy to see that the rot that has set in to the campaign for Scottish Independence is actually Labour rot, not Tory rot.
    Johnson is probably legally obliged to oppose the break-up of the Union, It is Labour that has supplied the inspiration for all these weird embarrassments like privatisation of the NHS, GLBT rights, banning of free speech and abusing the justice system, not Tories.

    I have one diplomat in my family who advised me very strongly to dissasociate myself from Craig Murray, and he is from the Welsh Methodist side. Craig’s mortal enemies were Straw and senior diplomats loyal to the Democrats in Washington and the Bush Blair confederacy. With Starmer, that boil is about to burst, exposing a deep and poisonous abscess underneath inside the Labour Party, with vicious attacks on Corbyn from opportunist zionists like Starmer and vicious attacks on Corbyn’s foreign policies from nasty characters like Nandy who see personal political advantage in supporting illegal interventionist wars in Muslim countries.

    The appallingly ruthless way that Johnson has conducted negotiations, is a million times less ruthless than Starmer’s total rejection of the democratic vote to Leave the EU in 2016.

    • Dungroanin

      giyane, I see you are finding it hard to maintain your demeanour – you seem very disappointed for some reason, are you?

      “ Starmer’s total rejection of the democratic vote to Leave the EU in 2016.”

      I believe he is continuing his wrecking ball inside the house effort with the hypocrisy of approving the all but hard BrexShit, Deal In Name Only and officially backing the birth of the satanic beast of Tax Haven U.K. – which was the ONLY purpose of BrexShit.

      Regardless of Tory/NuLabInc support for it.

      What’s the latest briefing and narrative manufacturing by the DS? Spill it! as I’m sure you would have got it from your diplomat relative.

      Here is the confirmation of the Singapore on Thames elements from the hard BrexShit:

      And here is how to counter the planned fireworks and celebrations to fool the public that this is great for them and the worlds majority of peoples.

      • Giyane


        Tory wants tax haven , Labour abolishes it next time round. No problem, unless Labour wants to use the tax haven. I’m not disappointed, I’m allergic to lying.

        As to the family diplomat, I was sent to an expensive and highly political public school in order to become that type of total twerp, that has no time for Craig Murray’s pernicious, in their eyes, truth-telling. But my allergy to lying , a thing seen by them as the highest prowess of human intelligence, an absolute mastery of deceit exercising body soul and mind like a beautiful piece of engineering , cancelled out other Brownie points.

        Hence Christmas, for me is a massive social disappointment. Craig once described being Muslim by comparing it to being gay. You are a pariah and everyone and his wife thinks they can look down their nose at such a distortion of a human being. BoJo can smugly drink his rum , toasting in the glow of achieving rocket propulsion to his whopping lie of Brexit. Forgetting the toasting he is going to get in Jahanam, for breaking international relations and lining his pockets with mammon.

        My granddaughter summed it up well. ” Boris boring.”

        • Dungroanin

          It is not easy to abolish what is ‘legal’.

          As the road to BrexShit has just shown.

          NuLabInc back under control of Blairism returns to the barefaced comfort with the ultra rich and associated pork barrel politics of all controlled 2 party states.

          Any approval by the Official Opposition under a Knight of the realm, now, ties the hands of these who would object against the setting up as the Thieves Market used to be under the Church in Southwark.

          We are being invited to be thick as thieves and setting it up as a Overt Legal entity under our Law Courts and with our Reserve Currency officially. Pirates and Scoundrels feasting upon the Worlds Wealth Stealers whilst offering them a safe haven.

          It is what BrexShit was for. You seem to blinkered to that truth. I am sure there is something in Islam about such actions whilst in this World?

          • Giyane


            Get rich quick scams erode our morality bank credit while increasing our money bank credit. That’s a bit like deliberately taking poison.

            We are under the misconception that we are in control of our destinies, and Muslims ask for good destinies all the time, so if we control our destiny why do we have to ask all the time?

            Bojo and his mates set up the UK as a tax haven, which attracts all the criminals in the world. Britain is now Sicily. The rich have to live in concrete prisons and have security guards. How long before they start to regret what they’ve done?

            There’s always a hard way and an easy way. The easy way is to ask for what’s good for us in order to avoid what causes us harm.
            I bet Blair wishes he’d chosen the easy way instead of driving through his own decision.

            Because unfortunately there is a thing called double-bind which locks us by pride into being unable to escape from the destinies we ourselves have chosen.
            All he would have to do is just say he was wrong, but for all his millions, he is totally unable to utter those simple words without trying to excuse his actions.

    • Blissex

      «Starmer’s total rejection of the democratic vote to Leave the EU in 2016.»

      Which total rejection? Keir Starmer’s official EU policy is the same as that of the ERG, committed and loud support for hard brexit, opposed to soft brexit as endorsed as a compromise by 60-70% of Labour members and voters, and Johnson has just delivered Starmer’s policy:

      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.

      At the next election Starmer’s New, New Labour will proudly campaign on their 100% support for hard brexit.

  • John Giles

    If economic contraction and higher unemployment occur it is entirely down to Tory austerity policies.

    Not due to leaving the (also entirely neoliberal) EU.

    The government could cause full employment if it so chose.

    • Giyane

      John Giles

      The full employment austerity package was based on a very real reduction in the value of wages. Covid has decimated the hospitality sector in all its forms, thereby destroying the Tory austerity full employment plan.

      I was surprised that in the US $70k is the threshold of poverty and entitlement to covid welfare handouts. Tory full employment austerity policy, in which benefits form a major part, is to enable Theresa May’s just about managing to just about manage on about a quarter of the US poverty line wage. In the US employers demand 100% submission to corporate tyranny and zero transgression of petty rules in exchange for a job.
      Europeans would never tolerate that level of tyranny., and the Tories know that very well.

      • Courtenay Barnett


        Stated as simple as possible – you can’t place something on nothing – it will collapse. That is the ultimate reality of monetarism and supply side economics.

        It is cozy and convenient to embrace Milton Friedman and the Chicago School or even a newer modern day variant of same – but ultimately there still needs to be a real productive economy. Derivatives chasing a bubble shall never get the real job done.

        Think about this and get back to me.



  • Gav

    I think perhaps it’s not so much about entertainment (or distraction), as more about the financial markets. Controlling the ebb and flow and ensuring the best possible outcome at the right time – one of the main purposes of the mass media. It makes one shake one’s head at the infantile kneejerk reactions of markets to such bullshit, but when you’re in the game, the scramble to act quickly and predict similar responses comes naturally, without much alternative.

    Yellow and green journalism. Citrus, if you will. Not worth a damn to the majority of us.

  • George Craik

    Meanwhile this from Dimitry Orlov.

    Russia just put up another firewall against the madness gripping the West. A new law will effectively block #MeToo by making it #MeTooInJailForLying. It reads:

    “Libel connected with accusing a person of committing a crime against sexual inviolability and sexual freedom of a person or a serious or very serious crime shall be fined up to 5 million rubles or imprisoned for up to 5 years.”

    Recently in the West numerous careers, reputations and lives have been ruined using unproved accusations of sexual impropriety. In Russia such accusations will now bring on an automatic criminal investigation and if the accusations cannot be proven to evidentiary standards used in criminal law then a large fine or a jail term will be imposed.

    • Kempe

      Also a good way of deterring anyone from making legitimate complaints which I suspect is the real intention. You don’t think five years a bit excessive?

      A number of very real and very nasty sexual predators have been unmasked which I think we’ll agree is no bad thing.

      • Giyane


        When 2 have tangoed and one of them claims that the tangling was against their will that should be investigated. The problem is when 2 people are living in a legally signed contract and one party secretly breaks the contract by consistently sleeping around, babies are born under undisclosed paternity etc, the guilty party is extremely unlikely to admit what they have done.

        In this case the crime can be covered up and infinitum. The courts are unable to ever discover the facts because the guilty parties regard the issue as trivial, and the admission of guilt embarrassing and a danger to their professional reputations.

        Some feminists regard this tool of secrecy as a necessary equaliser in the struggle for equality.
        The two crimes of sexual abuse and later , marital abuse are inextricably intertwined. Sexual abuse is probably the cause of later marital abuse.

        English Law in its wisdom decided not to bother trying to unravel the issue and to let sleeping dogs lie. Russian law is recognising that covering up one abuse, often leads to another form of abuse. Any investigation of any of these issues is likely to help justice to be done . Suppressing the truth , as English Law now does, means that predators know that the abuse they committed will never come to light as a result of ongoing marital problems.

        • Kempe

          Utter rubbish. One party in a relationship ‘playing away from home’ is not sexual abuse. It’s grounds for divorce or for the other party to walk out yes.

          How many other Harvey Weinsteins might there be out there? Powerful men using their position to abuse women and girls then using NDAs to cover themselves? Do you think Russia is devoid of such vermin? Now they have a new law to deter their victims from seeking justice.

          • giyane


            I did not say: One party in a relationship ‘playing away from home’ is sexual abuse.
            I said that childhood sexual abuse can be the cause of later marital abuse. The problem is laid at the door not of the perpetrator but at the door of an innocent third party.
            Watching the antics of Nicola Sturgeon against Alex Salmond is like putting your google into Chinese. You know from their position on the page what the words probably mean.
            It is extremely clear to me that Sturgeon is trying to divest herself of some psychological trauma at the door of Alex Salmond.

            But of course being British, nobody can actually think that or even allude to the possibility of any trauma ever possibly having occurred to anyone. We do after all live in the best of all possible worlds, much better than any of the foreign worlds from whom we have divorced ourselves. The limit of your British comprehension is that because nobody is allowed to discuss what’s going on, divorce is inevitable. Who wins? The perpetrator of sexual abuse, every time.

      • S

        I’m also glad that the nasty predators are unmasked and that senior colleagues no longer find it appropriate to make “risky” jokes. But can you be tried for libel for reporting something to the police or reporting it to your employer?

        • Giyane


          The British are unable to be rational on prudish matters like these. If a child is sexually abused then they grow up expecting, or maybe wanting , abuse in later life, depending on what processes of healing may have already happened.

          So the nasty abuser, preferring not to be exposed either to justice or a kick in the balls, selects women or men to perve on who they think is going to panicked into passivity caused by psychological overload.

          It’s always possible that a victim might be searching for an opportunity to try to resolve a previous abusive experience now that they are in a position of more power.

          That’s when the British mind refuses to think about it any further , because it exercises Victorian no no’s they refuse to re-engage with.

          Your “nasty pervert” is a person who is sensitive to sexual ambivalence, which the “victim” may not be ready , after the event, to acknowledge.

          The Russian fine or imprisonment is there to deter the victim from unintentionally gambling the success of the sexual encounter. Don’t do it, you might end up in jail. Victims of child sexual abuse should immediately report any unwanted erratic advances to their work colleagues or friends.
          To our Tatiana, the answer is simple, apply boot to balls, metaphorically or otherwise.

          British hypocrisy stinks and instinctively refuses to discuss these issues.

      • bevin

        The sentence, a maximum I take it, does seem excessive.
        But the principle that the woman is always to be believed, which appears to be operative in many of these cases is a bad one. In fact proposing sanctions for making false allegations is reasonable. Talking of which had Salmond’s case been held under these rules it is not unreasonable to believe that many of the allegations made against him and proven false, would not have been made without more forethought on the putative victim’s part.
        Russians have a rich experience of dealing with people making false and malicious charges to discredit political opponents, perhaps we can learn from them?

        • Kempe

          Russians also have a rich experience of their government using trumped up charges to silence opposition.

          There are already laws in place to deal with anyone making false charges: wasting police time, perverting the course of justice etc. You wonder why Russia specifically needs to extend libel laws to cover this.

          • giyane


            ” Russians also have a rich experience of their government using trumped up charges to silence opposition.”

            Thank you for that rich vein of political irony. Golden comedy.

        • Twirlip

          George Craik wrote:

          “If the accusations cannot be proven to evidentiary standards used in criminal law then a large fine or a jail term will be imposed.”

          There is a very big difference between that and “sanctions for making false allegations”.

          In areas such as this, it is notoriously hard to prove anything. Therefore, punishing someone for being unable to prove an accusation is not only Draconian, but entirely unjust and unreasonable; whereas it is entirely just to punish a person who has been proved to have made a false accusation.

          So it is important to know which of the two descriptions of the new Russian law is accurate.

      • Bayard

        “A number of very real and very nasty sexual predators have been unmasked which I think we’ll agree is no bad thing.”

        Ah, the “if it saves one life” argument. Yes, it is a bad thing, if together with a few “very real and very nasty sexual predators” being unmasked, a large number of innocent people have their lives destroyed.

  • Vivian O'Blivion

    What’s next? Tory MP, ERG member and über gammon Andrew Bridgen says freedom of movement with the EU should be replaced with new deals to establish freedom of movement with Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The dog whistle has been dispensed with. All wogs begin at Calais!
    Withdrawal from the Erasmus exchange scheme is pure xenophobic spite.
    English nationalism has been unleashed and it ain’t pretty.
    An aside; I remain to be convinced that Bridgen isn’t monozygotic twin to Mark Francois.

    • nevermind

      Could not agree more Viv O’bliv, to deny students to take part in the Erasmus exchange program is to deny them an education experience that can not be replaced. It is to be seen whether Chinese education policies will slowly creep into the academy’s portfolio.

      I despair at the Goebbels MSM that has existed here for a while, some of it so bad it makes you want to rip these rags off the shelfs. Journalism is now akin to writing fairytales, devoid of any facts or verifyable figures and marching alongside the bibice.
      One wonders when we will see nightly torchmarches.
      3 days ago in Bristol, a young black woman and her child boarded a bus, but she did not have the full fare and was asked to leave the bus. The driver called the police and six officers, 3 of them female, took the child away and proceeded to handcuff the woman.
      A video of this disgusting police mob was made, put online, it was removed almost instantly, but it is still in existence, I have seen it yesterday and was appalled.

      The child was screaming in distress of being removed from mum, she was taken to the police station and later released without a charge. I dont know what happened to the child.
      Disproportional policing with a racist slant? or a sign of lack of intelligence to seek alternatives. people on the bus were outraged? the videotaker was asked whether he had permission to film it his reply was’ Im sure she would want me to film this’ ….
      England at christmas. Not one of bobbies took the opportunity to pay the paltry fare, that would have been too easy and resulted in cheer and goodwill, dare I say an increase in trust in the police force.
      Instead you saw mindless overwhelming force being applied, what a sad state of affairs in a City that has a checkered past and should know better.
      wishing you all well, organise locally and offline. 2021 will see trust in authority evaporate like industrial alcohol, volatility galore.

        • nevermind

          I have seen the video, it is clearly apparent that the person taking it on their phone was harrassed and.physically pushed, but he perseverred.
          why should 6 officers want to force a young woman to the busfloor and apprehend her with their combined weight?
          What a shambles when members of the public are asking the police why they are traumatising a young child.
          where they trained by the IDF as well?

          • Giyane


            Are you saying that 6 police officers physically assaulted a black woman in front of a bus load of people and bus company CCTV?

            They’re toast.

            In my wife’s workplace a black lady’s credit card was refused by the machine and she started to get distraught. My wife phoned the owner who asked for name address and phone number and said she could take the goods.

            It is not a crime to not have the fare. Maybe she lost a fiver which is spring loaded to jump out of ones pocket. Nor is it a crime to get distraught. The police should have calmed her down.

            Physical assault against a non-violent female passenger is however an extremely serious crime. I hope they are sacked or disciplined.

            Bristol might be a nice city but the police in nice cities are taught zilch about community relations.

          • nevermind

            No I said the person taking the video from outside the bus was physically pushed by another officer. 6 police officers inside the bus were keeping this unfortunate woman pinned to the ground by force.

        • Bayard

          “They claim to have offered her a lift and placed the child in the care of another family member. “

          It’s Mandy Rice-Davis time again!

      • Giyane

        The ubiquitous CCTV camera prevents the bus driver from waiving the missing 50 p of the bus fare. I heard a manager say recently that CCTV is peace of mind. To the manager maybe but the driver can be sacked for defrauding the bus company. The disgusting thing about cctv is that the people monitoring them are tucked up in cosy offices while the driver is squeezing his vehicle between illegally parked cars and brainless pedestrians.

        The police are probably also being monitored by cctv much of the time and this all means nobody can have any mercy. It’s not racism against one race it’s corporate racism against entire humanity.

        • duplicitousdemocracy

          Giyane, in different post, (I was unable to reply to that particular one) you suggested that 6 officers caught on video, causing severe distress, if not actual assaulting a young black woman would be ‘toast’. Having followed the unlawful killing/murder of Christopher Alder, unfortunately this would not be the case.
          Early retirement was the worst punishment given to the officers who neglected Christopher and left him to die on the police station floor. All of it caught on CCTV but I don’t think the monkey noises that the police officers made were allowed to be heard at their disciplinaries/court cases.

          • Giyane


            Thank you for reminding me of the details of that case. Last time I visited the area round St Paul’s in north Bristol I thought what a rich community spirit of Caribbean, Muslim, New Age hippy and others, and I thought to myself what a nice place to live, but too expensive, being in the south.

            And then that atrociously dilapidated Tesco telling the community to get lost.
            Mr Tesco obviously doesn’t value racial harmony as much as the inhabitants.
            A little bit of neglected north stuck in the area below the M4. Gentrification awaits.

      • Twirlip

        “I despair at the Goebbels MSM that has existed here for a while, some of it so bad it makes you want to rip these rags off the shelfs.”

        Once I was so disgusted by what I saw on the front page of the Daily Mail in a supermarket that it occurred to me to pick it up, take it calmly to the checkout, pay for it, then stand in the middle of the supermarket, call for everybody’s attention, slowly rip up the disgusting sheet of lies, hatred and blinkered ignorance into small pieces (explaining as well as I could why I was doing so), and then politely ask for a rubbish bag, tidy away the mess I had made, and quietly walk out.

        I didn’t do it, not only because I am a coward (which I am), but because I didn’t think it would be an effective demonstration. It would probably only lead to me being perceived as mad (which I also am, a bit). But perhaps if a lot of people were to do something similar at the same time, it might work?

      • Colin Smith

        Do you realise that Erasmus is being replaced by a Turing scheme that is open to the whole world, and allegedly targeted at the lower opportunity students. Erasmus has been a massive subsidy to the internationally mobile middle classes, who were largely already well travelled between international schools, second homes and regular holidaying.

      • Ben

        Media is just giving the public what they want and the Public can either purchase the Laundry Detergent they sell or refrain…

        The viewer/readership enjoys having their ears tickled so you’d better not dispense accurate information.

    • Dungroanin

      And the ones they really want – the Hong Kongese – there are hundreds of thousands who have the right and will be encouraged to be part of the new HK / Singapore on Thames / Freeport’s that BrexShit was the main reason for. Heck even their high rise coups have been built along the river to make it a home from home.

      As for us indigenous Europeans? We can eat shit and be grateful and don’t question our superiors or even look them in the eye and be grateful for a ‘hug or handshake’.

        • Dungroanin

          Because they are the minions born of the Opium Trade and Slavery where the largest fortunes were collected and the Nastiest Banks made fortunes from exploitation of South East Asia.
          They are industrious and not to be handed as a resource to the Chinese.
          They are needed to form the HK guerrilla brigades to ferment unrest around China and they are cheap as chips and easier to expend.

          They will also be the servants that most Brits won’t want to be in the new Tax Haven State of Singapore on Thames. Along with as many Indians as are needed to do the real dogsbody shit cleaning work the Hong Kongese are coming!

    • Bramble

      Withdrawal from the Erasmus scheme is just a means to ensure that the Grand Tour is reserved for the toffs again. The cheapo substitute will presumably resume a supply of cheap labour to the former colonies.

  • Duck

    Craig : “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.” AND “While in the FCO, he believed Iraq had WMD and acted on that basis; once he left in the evening he did not.”

    Our minds have been conditioned by the MSM to accept two contradictory beliefs at the same time. “Reality” shows like “Britain’s got Talent” are a good example. Part of our mind knows that the judges’ reactions are false and rehearsed but we learn there is great entertainment to be had if we ignore that knowledge. In other words, we get pleasure from pretending to ourselves that what we know to be false is true. Big Brother, Dragon’s Den, etc – all these so-called “reality” shows actually train us to deny reality.

    We know that Corbyn isn’t an antisemite, but we gain from believing that he is. We know that there is something seriously wrong with the Covid narrative, but we accept it nonetheless.

    • Johny Conspiranoid

      This is how ‘everybody can be in on it’ at somewhere like the FCO or WHO. Everybody who works anywhere has to go along with management policy even when they know its rubbish. Taking part in tacit conspiracies like this is the gateway to taking part in non-tacit ones after you’ve been promoted.

  • Stevie Boy

    The Tony Blair syndrome.

    “While in the FCO, he believed Iraq had WMD and acted on that basis; once he left in the evening he did not.”

    Doublethink: “The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them….”
    – George Orwell, 1984.

    RIP: George Blake.

    • Dungroanin

      Blair learnt from Blair.

      Blair was propagandist of the Empire and like a good hypnotist he invented the spiel that would suggest what was required, overtly, that’s how ‘suggestion’ works.

      Blair (O) was not a revelarer, but the shamanic wizard casting the spell.

    • Goose

      You can never justify what he did, people died because of his betrayal, but if Blake thought society too unequal back then what would he make of it now? Now the counterweight of communism in the east is no more and inequality has skyrocketed. The Economic Policy Institute found last year(2019) : CEO compensation has grown 940% since 1978 Typical worker compensation has risen only 12% during that time.

      As a Tory MP said only recently; the young won’t defend capitalism if they’ve got no capital. Reported in June 2020, the Five Eyes intelligence network of Australia, the US, Britain, Canada and … has agreed to discussions about a co-ordinated strategic economic response and an economic pact. Do people defending the status quo think we’ve arrived at perfection?

      • Squeeth

        Big boy’s games have big boy’s rules; the Russians won. Anyone willing to risk their life for the British state is a fool waiting to be left in the lurch.

    • Giyane

      Stevie Boy

      George Blake. An article linked to on here below in the Tory Spectator Disneyland took me to a piece by a Tory wonk called Tyrone, praising Boris’s genius in clawing back sovereignty from the EU. It was Russia that protected Syrian and Iraqi sovereignty when Obama was sending Daesh to wipe clean the colonial borders between the two countries. If only Boris’s love of sovereignty extended to other sovereign nations.

      If George Blake defended Russia’s right to choose it’s own method of governance without its sovereignty being abused and questioned by Western governments, I agree with him and so should Bojo.

      BTW Germany and Turkey organised the assault on Syria, and that is the main reason I voted Leave in the Brexit referendum.

  • Xavi

    Turns out stopping Brexit was such a point of principle for Sir Keir that he commited to voting for Bozzer’s deal 36 hours before he could actually read it.

    True Remainiacs have been left beached and nude, unrepresented by erstwhile leaders for whom it was never about stopping Brexit.

    Another glaring fact around which omerta is strictly observed by a fake political and media class. They’re lovely, aren’t they?

    • Goose

      His backing is made all the more bizarre by the fact it’s very much an ERG model deal. Thus passing it poses no serious challenge for Johnson.

      A thin deal with zero tariffs and no quotas is all the ERG wanted, along with equivalence – giving non-EU countries access to European financial markets – those arrangements are to be settled later. Sunak has said the UK would grant equivalence to EU and EEA financial services firms, ensuring they can continue to have access to UK markets. Important because it’s worth £26bn a year to the UK. The problem they’ve got is the EU would like to take away that business in financial services for itself. The stated reason it’s not sorted is there is no legal mechanism in place: the EU is introducing a new equivalence regime in the middle of next year in June 2021, so they’ve said they can’t look at equivalence right now even if they wanted to.

    • Blissex

      «stopping Brexit was such a point of principle for Sir Keir that he commited to voting for Bozzer’s deal 36 hours before he could actually read it.»

      No such point of principle! Keir Starmer’s official EU policy is the same as that of the ERG, committed and loud support for hard brexit, opposed to soft brexit as endorsed as a compromise by 60-70% of Labour members and voters, and Johnson has just obediently delivered Starmer’s policy:

      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.

  • Den lille abe

    Reading the comments on the article people commented on gives a lot of mixed feelings.
    First you, the British public voted as you did, and you opted for out. That can not be discussed, it is a fact. And out you go. When it comes to your politicians it is more difficult, a nation that is run by a bunch of criminals, a media dominated by one side (Right), I better understand the outcome.
    Difficult, nay impossible, times lies ahead for Britain, to paraphrase “You just dont walk out of Mordor”…
    But the European Union was and is not a bad idea, we have now (almost) had peace for 75 years, we trade with each other and we have become wealthy. I know, some are left behind, but it is the duty of the well off to see that everyone gets a chance.
    Now at this point we have the greatest health crisis ever, seemingly spreading over the world, and few nations being able to stem it. We will only defeat this with an international effort.
    God knows what next year brings, I am not optimistic.

    • giyane

      Den Lille Abe

      By coming out of the EU we the British public have put the kibosh on Blairites of Bullingdon boys launching illegal wars in alliance with our EU friends, maybe for a generation. If it had not been for the pain which would have been caused by tarriffs to business, we would have been made to pay for a large rise in food and other costs. The Bullingdon boys have been made to run around like headless chickens providing food and toilets to lorry drivers , a humbling experience for them as laughing stock to the entire world. Oh we were’nt ready for it this week , we thought Armageddon was coming next week. I doubt we’ll be seeing much democracy after this. Much too unpredictable. Stick to algorithms.

    • Wikikettle

      Den lille abe “peace for 75 years”. You mean within within EU, while inflicting barbaric wars of aggression and regime change abroad ! A pox on all of your houses.

      • Coldish

        Thanks, Wikikettle. It was Germany that fired the starting gun for the brutal civil war in Yugoslavia by recognising the unilateral declarations of independence by Croatia and Slovenia, but the rest of the EU soon fell into line. That was in the early 1990s, but by the end of that decade we had several EU nations joining in a savage and one sided (not to mention illegal) military assault on what was left of a once proud European nation.

        • IMcK

          Yes indeed and in addition to those perceived interests of the EU nations, all of it driven by and in support of the interests of the global hegemon, the US

  • Eric McCoo

    Excellent grown up article from Craig on a subject he knows about. This is another one.

    “The EU knew what it stood to lose and backed down

    My political position today is a horror at the establishment tsunami of lies that tried to undercut Britain’s negotiating position (the threat of no deal), Johnson did a fantastic job. It’s a disaster that he has been captured by the globalists over the massively over hyped pandemic.

    • Republicofscotland

      Cameron, May and Johnson have left folk in the UK worse off, and added more red tape to their lives if they want to move in and out of the EU., and for what reasons, to show just how exceptional English exceptionalism really is, or is to fill their own boots on a US trade deal that will see our supermarket shelves flooded with inferior produce from the States

      As for your inane remark about the pandemic, why not try walking through an ICU in England or Wales and ask the staff in them if the pandemic is massively hyped

  • Republicofscotland

    This falls in our favour, pity then our FM isn’t interested in independence.

    “THE UK will not be able to veto an independent Scotland rejoining the EU.

    The confirmation is provided in the full text of the treaty agreed by Boris Johnson’s government and Brussels, which has now been published in full.

    The 1246-page document, which is subject to the approval of MPs and MEPs, includes a passage about the possibility of new countries joining the EU.

    In Article FINPROV.10, “Future accessions to the [European] Union”, it states that the bloc will notify the UK of “any new request for accession of a third country to the Union”.

    • Eric McCoo

      That’s right, the FM isn’t interested in independence. That’s why despite her incompetence and endless lies, she will stay in power. She’s a Teflon coated globalist

      • Wikikettle

        Perhaps, when she is forced/found out, she will get a revolving top job in NATO (Robertson), a charity paying big bucks (Milliband) as reward

        • Giyane


          I think she might offer an estate in Scotland to Donald Trump with a title and planning permission for a castle and manage the hi-tech dungeons for him.

    • Shatnersrug

      Ha! Well I think the depravity of the last 5 years have caught most of us on the hop! I thought that. Now I no longer believe anything. I can no longer really comment on anything. I’m at a loss

  • frankywiggles

    Craig, I know you will be consumed in the new year with your case and with great issues like Scottish independence and Julian Assange. But I wonder if at some point in 2021 you could offer some insider information about this smooth shapeshifter known as Sir Keir Starmer.

    In particular, what is his function to the CIA that he should occupy a position on its secretive Trilateral Commission? The knight’s movements in the national security shadows are deened not to be of interest to the general public according to both wings of our professional media and political class, liberal and conservative. But what are your thoughts on who this person is?

    • Doctor K

      He seems to me an obvious CIA/MI6 plant, set up to neutralise the Labour party. How the membership voted for him is the mystery…unless of course that election was fixed. I am having great difficulty taking anything from official sources at face value any more: coincidentally just now reading Umberto Eco’s “The Prague Cemetery”, an effective vaccination against any infection of complacency.

      • frankywiggles

        There is actually a strong parallel between Starmer and Simonini in their cynical use of ‘the Jews’ to their own ends.

        It’s pretty obvious Starmer has no moral centre, which is probably why he attracted the interest of the CIA. Camus said a man without ethics is a wild beast loosed upon this world, and we’re now l back to having two of them at the very top of British politics.

        • Doctor K

          The central character is a forger who in the 19th century produces documents for any organisation who will pay him (though he isn’t too fond of the Jesuits). Today he would be working for the security services, the police, the conservative party, etc. It is implied that he died when setting off an explosion to implicate a radical group. One of the intriguing aspects of the novel is that almost all of the dozens of characters apart from Simonini himself actually existed, and the fiction is wound into 19th century history. It probably takes two readings at least (for me anyway), but read it and you’ll never take a report by the newspapers or the BBC at face value again without thinking “who is pushing this story and why?”.
          “Use of the Jews” – yes, point taken.

          • John A

            “The central character is a forger who in the 19th century produces documents for any organisation who will pay him”

            That is a perfect description of Bellingcat.

  • Dave

    To be honest I thought the ‘pandemic’ would be used to stop Brexit by extending the transition period, as the EU refused a favourable deal and Parliament would reject a No Deal, but then again if this is a “thin deal” with a review in 5 years perhaps that is what we have and why for practical purposes Labour support it as it offers the prospect of re-joining, albeit I agree Labour Remain against Corbyn were often Israel firsters under guise of remain.

    • Goose

      The incongruity of the hapless Anneliese Dodds’ scathing critique of the deal, only for her to finish with the fact the party would fully support it – as per Starmer’s edictum… guess they’re all ERG now?

      At the last election Starmer argued for another referendum with a ‘remain option’ remember. To go from that position to backing an ERG deal Brexit…. is, quite a journey.

      • Goose

        Guardian : Keir Starmer faces Labour frontbench revolt over Brexit deal.

        He faces understandable anger from both wings of the party. Reported three otherwise loyal to his leadership may resign from his shadow cabinet amid deep unease expressed privately by many others.

        No prizes for guessing how he’d have operated in the vote on Syrian intervention had he been opposition leader at the time. Clearly he’s just a conservative of the reactionary variety, who’s somehow ended up leading the Labour party. Expect no progressive policies or socially liberal agenda were he to become PM. Quite frankly, everyone in the Labour party is wasting their time while he remains leader.

          • Goose

            Plant or not, he had to win a leadership and that’s on the membership.

            If they feel they were duped by his clearly misleading campaign, why not make their feelings known? Don’t accept this ‘don’t rock the boat’ argument some are making; with 4 years to go until the next election, it’s patently ridiculous.

          • Coldish

            Bramble: if he was a plant, the planting would have been primarily aimed at neutralizing, or replacing, Ed Miliband, the then Labour leader, whose views on foreign military adventures must have been anathema to the UK security chiefs.

        • Graham

          What is your advice on how we rock the boat?

          I’m very disappointed with my Labour membership and considering packing it in. Never voted for Starmer. Live in a safe northern rotten Labour town were the poor are blighted by gambling machines yet our parachutist MP is lobbied by the betting industry. We have two Labour MPs and word on the street is that the other one has ‘pocketed’ millions while professing to be of humble means. (Doubt I can give names in this context)

  • nevermind

    @ Clark, good to hear from you. Hope you are healthy’ish and still with XR/codepink.

    Has Squonk now permanently jumped off the cloud? or has it been too much work, which is understandable?

  • Glasshopper

    An Indyref 2 win would make it 1-1.
    There would have to be Indyref 3 based on the actual deal Scotland would get with the UK and the EU.
    Good luck finding anyone to vote in favour of that.

    • Giyane


      A more efficient way of doing it might be to find the right leadership and then trust them to negotiate the right deal?

      • Glasshopper

        There is no “right” deal. They would have to make huge concessions to the UK on “independence” and would then get shafted by the EU. Most Scottish people would not vote for it because it would have nothing in common with the Moon On A Stick peddled by the SNP.
        Craig Murray is already upset that the nukes would stay, but that is the tip of the iceberg.

  • Norm

    Just an example:

    “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.”

    Tortured language, to say the least.

    If you take money from readers, please consider hiring a capable English-speaking editor. It would be an act of mercy.

    • Giyane

      Craig probably reads the government’s legal prose. And it probably is deliberately unintelligible. Maybe its quicker and easier to mentally cut and paste Tory wonk think than to try to explain what that contorted prose is trying to conceal. These Brexit issues are loaded with dogma and spin which if he were to conceal it or translate it would not properly convey the pure loneliness the of Tory faith which is:

      Everything is controlled by the market, but when you see the market failing, rest assured that somebody is squeezing lots of lovely money by telling lies. If that is the meaning of government words, how anything but incomprehensible gibberish convey its meaning?
      It’s all written in wonk code.

    • Wikikettle

      Norm. No doubt you are an ex Ambassador, who gave up a glittering career for principles over financial security. Norm, you are no doubt a published historian and investigative Journalist in the mold of Robert Fisk. Norm, you are no doubt a Man for all Seasons. Norm, you no doubt have a very distinguished and experienced worldwide readership commentating on your articles. Norm, no doubt the Queen offered you not one but two Honors. A very tortured Norm indeed…

    • Twirlip

      I found that sentence perfectly comprehensible on a first reading. It is logically structured and grammatical, [grump] unlike much that one hears on the BBC nowadays [/grump]. But perhaps if you do an Orwell-style rewrite, I’ll agree that it was unnecessarily complex. Perhaps splitting it into two sentences (first describing the non-tariff friction in a separate short sentence, instead of in a subordinate clause) would have made it more readable, on its own, but that would have interfered with the structure of the paragraph. What do you suggest?

    • Iain Stewart

      Tortured language, to say the least.
      I think it’s called extraordinary rendition. Read « Sikander Burnes » all the way through and you’ll be C2 proficient in Craigspeak.

  • Goose

    On the media class…

    Know it’s a familiar opine, but John Harris’ guardian article titled : Throughout history Britain’s ruling class has created crisis after crisis – just like now, nails it imho.

    George Orwell’s take on the British elite features : “What is to be expected of them is not treachery, or physical cowardice, but stupidity, unconscious sabotage, an infallible instinct for doing the wrong thing. They are not wicked, or not altogether wicked; they are merely unteachable.”

    Why this weird UK ‘class system’ continues, wreaking its havoc domestically, limiting potential,and abroad without reform is the real mystery: a lack of creativity, ignorance of the alternatives ; a craven media who refuse to allow debate of the alternatives?

    • Ian

      John Harris is consistently very good. But he writes for The Guardian so according to the rules of this site he must be a Blairite or a class traitor or something terrible.

      • Goose

        Harris didn’t care much for Corbyn.

        Although, whether that was due to Guardian Oxbridge snobbery, or because he genuinely thought Corbyn unsuited to leadership as with Corbyn’s old friend Chris Mullin – Mullin believed Corbyn didn’t have the aptitude to be PM, idk? All the guardian’s journos, with the exception of Owen Jones and Gary Younge , churned out anti-Corbyn pieces. Strangely, even Polly Toynbee, and she’s been urging Labour move leftwards for donkey’s years – maybe she only wants to fantasise about a left-wing govt, rather than actually making one a reality.

        • Bayard

          “Strangely, even Polly Toynbee, and she’s been urging Labour move leftwards for donkey’s years”

          I think it was not because Corbyn was left wing, it was because he wasn’t part of the Establishment and had bypassed the vetting and grooming procedure that successful candidates for leadership are supposed to undergo. He was not “sound”, or “a safe pair of hands”. He cared more about his fellow man than he did the Establishment. He had to go and the fake anti-semitism campaign was simply a handy topical weapon, with ready-made support and funding from outside.

      • U Watt

        He became a Lib Dem when Corbyn tried to change Labour, despite all their services to Cameron and Osborne. He’s almost a parody of the Guardian.

      • Bramble

        He is both. He bent over backwards to ensure Johnson won the 2019 election; no report from the blasted hinterlands of the red wall constituencies failed to include hate-filled attacks on Jeremy Corbyn by the patriotic turn coats.

  • M.J.

    How’s this for a conspiracy theory?
    In 1988, the Cold War is being lost. So the Russians come up with a long-term plan. They provoke Mrs Thatcher into making Eurosceptic speeches that will lead some people to make a career out of Euro-bashing and ultimately call for Brexit (and so split the West). After the 2016 US election they think that the Cold War has been won after all – by them.
    But things don’t go according to plan. Trump is unwilling to read his Top Secret Daily Brief, never mind copy it for them. He won’t do any more for them than an agent of influence might. Then his real test comes – Covid – and he fails, leading to electoral defeat. Come January 20th 2021 he’ll be useless, and I wonder what will happen to him.
    And we still have to think about the unexpected Jokers in the pack – defectors! That should send shivers down the backs of traitors as well as enemy agents.

    • bevin

      “How’s this for a conspiracy theory?”

      Worse than rubbish. You include within it three more conspiracy theories, all of them promoted by imperialist propagandists. Not that I’m suggesting a conspiracy – merely stupidity., honestly come upon in the media and elsewhere in a culture shaped by the ruling class.

      • M.J.

        One big advantage of Western Democracy is, you don’t get banged up for criticising the government. So if you would describe your general loyalties as “anti-Western”, maybe it’s time to reconsider. Because the “ruling class” here won’t poison you or cut off your head for criticising them. They might even listen to you!

    • Johny Conspiranoid

      “They provoke Mrs Thatcher into making Eurosceptic speeches”

      How would they do that?
      A look at the geopolitical shows they have won the Cold War so what need do they have for Trump?

      • M.J.

        To answer your questions in order:
        (a) By using agents provocateurs, both in parliament and even private correspondents outside.
        (b) They might well not, after 20th January – which is why I wondered what would happen to him. Then again, he might attempt a comeback in 2024, if he can maintain the loyalty of his base.
        OTOH a defector or two might spill the beans and ruin everything.

  • bevin

    “Why this weird UK ‘class system’ continues, wreaking its havoc domestically, limiting potential ,and abroad without reform is the real mystery:..”

    Are you kidding? There is nothing mysterious about the origins of the class system- the convenience of living off the labour of others- or its persistence: the power that the exploiters have to rule society. And their interest in doing so.

    • Courtenay Barnett


      ” Are you kidding? There is nothing mysterious about the origins of the class system- the convenience of living off the labour of others- “

      And so do not forget me – the Windrush Generation ( actually ‘generations’ continuing over centuries – and still doing so
      ( unacknowledged in the wider scheme of things ) – then what of the poor Haitians who had to pay reparations to France and the US for the audacity of having liberated themselves from slavery?

      If you want to consider more – it was only in 2015 that the Bank of England cleared the 1838 debt from having paid the slave owners of the then British West Indies their price for their loss of their property ( i.e. the chattels ( human beings they had lost for reason of Britain’s emancipation of the slaves). Now the same Britain resists the just call for payment of reparations.

      And so it continues to this day – Vietnam – Iran – Libya – Syria – and on and on and on it goes.

      • Bayard

        “it was only in 2015 that the Bank of England cleared the 1838 debt from having paid the slave owners of the then British West Indies their price for their loss of their property”

        Nice bit of spin there. It was an accident of history that the bonds that were issued to finance the compensation of the slave owners were not dated, i.e. there was no date at which the government could pay the money back and cancel the loan without the agreement of the borrower and so some of the borrowers had chosen to continue drawing the interest. The last of these bonds were paid off in 2015.

        • Giyane


          Something very wrong with idea of choosing to prolong the misery of slavery just because they were legally allowed to do it.

          • Bayard

            The irony of the abolition of slavery was that, for the most part, the former slaves exchanged actual slavery for wage slavery.

        • Courtenay Barnett


          ” Nice bit of spin there.”

          Without any rancour and with quite factual references, I think that I was actually accurate.

          So, a bit of irony did arise when I read your comment. What can I say – ” Nice bit of spin there.”

          Cheers mate.

          • Bayard

            CB, your spin had nothing to do with the subject in hand, but just because it was slavery doesn’t mean that anything bad you say about it has to be true, repellent though the whole concept was and still is. Just to spell it out, the debt wasn’t only paid off in 2015 due to size of it, as you imply, it was only paid off in 2015 because of the way that the money was borrowed, nor was that particular bond issue tied to the compensation of the slave owners. The government had plenty of other expenditures at the time.

          • Courtenay Barnett


            I am not a novice at argument – after some 40 years in the courts across three jurisdictions.

            You are absolutely astounding – but not in the least surprising. You actually provide me with further evidence of precisely what my article articulates – and you are living proof and by reference to your line of reasoning which is now online – you are highly illustrative ( for all and sundry to see and finally determine) in your responses and by reference to your line of reasoning and resistance.

            For that I truly thank you and honestly shall remain grateful, when people of conscience consider and then for all the assistance which you unwittingly have given to my cause – I thank you.


          • Courtenay Barnett


            Let me ask you this – are you a rational and/or logical person?

            “The government had plenty of other expenditures at the time.”

            So – of course then the Government paid off in the way which was most expedient for the Government at the time which then led to the final pay off in 2015.

            I give up with you – for as we would say with local wisdom in Jamaica – you are playing ‘fool to catch wise’. Shall willingly translate in the event that you do not fully comprehend.


          • Bayard

            What is your evidence that the bonds paid off in 2015 were ring fenced to the compensation paid to the slave owners?
            Basically what we have here is that some government bonds, which were sold at the time that government paid a large sum of money to slave owners, were not redeemed until 2015. Unless these were specifically sold as “slave owner compensation bonds”, there is nothing except the coincidence of timing, to link them to that expenditure, which was not, despite your incredulity, the only government expenditure of the time.
            In any case this is all irrelevant. You were implying that the bonds were only finally redeemed in 2015 because of the huge size of the debt, when in actual case, the reason that the debt hung around for so long was the nature of the bonds.

          • Courtenay Barnett


            “Abolition meant their profiteering from human misery would (gradually) come to an end. Not a penny was paid to those who were enslaved and brutalised.

            The British government borrowed £20 million to compensate slave owners, which amounted to a massive 40 percent of the Treasury’s annual income or about 5 percent of British GDP. The loan was one of the largest in history.”


          • Bayard

            All you say is true, however it does not link the bonds bought back in 2015 to the money paid out.
            The government was in debt in then and it is in debt now. It has been in debt throughout the intervening period. If the bonds had been bought back earlier, they would just have been replaced with other bonds.

          • Courtenay Barnett


            The bonds were issued to facilitate the payment ( reparations if you prefer) to the slave owners who were about to lose their ‘property’ (i.e. the soon to be freed slaves)..

            The date of issue and the straight line link back to the period and then the final pay off in 2015 is the point.

            You are trying to delink at best and obfuscate by hiding the facts behind a suggestion of merely overall general and national debt. Not the point and not consistent with the historical facts.

            Anyway, your line of reasoning is not new – for many a person, despite the known horrors of plantation slavery in the West Indies – are still in denial.

            All the best mate.


          • glenn_uk

            If you want some evidence, take a look at this:

            Britain’s Forgotten Slave Owners S01 E02 The Price Of Freedom Official :


            You can see the producer of this documentary series go over the actual documents that innumerate the price of individual slaves, their value being set according to age and so on, so that their “owners” can be properly compensated for this loss of “property”.

    • Giyane


      Gaslighting is manipulating someone until they doubt their own sanity. I had never looked that up before, so thanks. I must have been too busy being gas lighted to find out.

      Gaslighting used to be a tool of patriarchy,.but nowadays it’s called woke. You must be mad if you can’t even see how black is white.

      The Patron ( male ) Saint of Gaslighting
      (BBC) makes his solstice address to his woke priestess ( TV and Radio presenters ) to stick to their brainwashed scripts, and never let an opportunity to kick non- wokeys like Jeremy Corbyn in the blokes.

    • Goose

      Pathetic that he’s jumping on the unevidenced, mass misinformation / disinformation bandwagon.

      We are constantly told by traditional media and politicians that we a drowning in a sea of online misinformation / disinformation, yet they rarely provide examples. Sceptics of official narratives have often been proved correct. How many retractions do newspapers make? How many fake stories have the Guardian and BBC pushed out over the years from the Assange – Manafort meeting that wasn’t to the BBC’s “staged” Douma attack coverage.

      It’s the traditional MSM’s way of trying to stay relevant by attempting to close down discussion that rightly questions their narratives and agendas. Nuttier, Icke-esque views have always existed in society: ” The end is nigh” placard holders etc. A healthy society can tolerate wacky opinions without branding them a threat to civilisation and/or trying to ban them.

      • glenn_uk

        You only need to read this blog’s comments to see plenty of disinformation, unevidenced nonsense and theory-free conspiracy theories. And that’s with the mods stopping the lunatics completely taking the place over.

        What happens to people calling for sanity? They get shouted down as establishment stooges, MI5, etc. etc. .

        It’s not healthy to go promoting raving nonsense in the middle of a pandemic, for instance. It costs lives, and makes for the very opposite of a healthy society. Likewise, promoting the Q-anon style of BS undermines people’s faith in elections, which is also not very good for a society, when a sizeable proportion of the population believes (without evidence!) that the opposition “stole it”. Just as a couple of examples.

        • zoot

          q anon is an inevitable outgrowth of the very real paedo shenanigans of intelligence agencies and political and cultural elites. when people see the media narrowing the boundaries of the epstein story so blatantly it is bound to set minds racing.

        • Goose

          I’ve not seen any of the wackier discussions of vaccines, 5G or any of that kind of Alex Jones, Icke-esque stuff here.

          As for posing questions about election results, it’s legitimate when politicians are posing the very same questions. The postal vote in the UK and US is, by common acceptance, wide open to fraud.

          Ultimately it’s Craig’s blog. Of the stuff that is discussed here, he’s not forcing anyone to come here to either contribute or read comments. The guardian’s once lively CiF increasingly features arbitrary and censorial moderation policies which are driving people away.

          In general, most of those complaining about misinformation don’t credit people with the intelligence they perceive themselves to possess. The MSM(including BBC) just hate the fact they haven’t a monopoly on the population’s attention anymore.

          • Clark

            “I’ve not seen any of the wackier discussions of vaccines, 5G or any of that kind of Alex Jones, Icke-esque stuff here.”

            Oh it’s here, though its proponents tend to self-censor the more extreme nonsense – or they get censored, or have their comments moved to the Discussion Forums. But from glenn_uk’s comment:

            “What happens to people calling for sanity? They get shouted down as establishment stooges, MI5, etc. etc.”

            Seriously? You’ve not seen that happen here? It has happened to me repeatedly; that and snide insinuations to the same effect.

            “Sceptics of official narratives have often been proved correct.”

            I think what you mean is that “scepticism of official narratives has often proved justified” ; the “sceptics” themselves (which includes the small minority of the truly habitually sceptical) have wildly conflicting views, and couldn’t all be correct.

        • nevermind

          the people undermining elections are those who cheat in them and ensure that no other but the FPTP system exists, Glenn_uk no need to ‘undermine’, that is done by the political parties themselves.
          If you are talking about America again, it might be a good idea to focus on what shambles is happening here under the nincompoops in cabinet.

        • Goose

          On establishment stooges… I assume you are alluding to comments about Starmer.

          What other explanation for his behaviour can you offer?

          Starmer runs a very professional, expensive campaign promoting himself as a more erudite version of Corbyn; pushes 10 very radical pledges; talks about not veering right and how Corbyn was unfairly demonised by the Tory press. Then upon winning the leadership appoints a right-wing shadow cabinet , starts to purge the left, sacks RLB, suspends Corbyn, orders his MPs to abstain on the third reading of the Covert Human Intelligence Sources (CHIS) Bill; abstains on the overseas operations bill. And now in his latest move, offers Johnson support for his ERG Brexit deal.

          How do you explain his Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde like behaviour?

          • Goose


            How on earth can anyone trust his 10 pledges when he won’t oppose things like that? This so-called ‘Third Direction’ reads like a UK variation on Superior orders, aka the Nuremberg defense – it wouldn’t survive an ECtHR challenge – In Liberty and Privacy International’s recent challenge, UK judges were divided over it. It can never be right to murder and rape UK citizens to maintain some deep cover.

          • Goose

            Makes you wonder about Starmer’s time as a legal officer for the campaign group Liberty. He was a member of Doughty Street Chambers from 1990 onwards, primarily working on human rights issues.

            How does someone go from that background to these abstentions?

          • Stevie Boy

            Come on Goose, you can hardly accuse Starmer, or even Johnson, of Jekyl and Hyde like behavior.
            It’s always been 100% apparent from day one that these people are untrustworthy, liars with their own agenda ? Or maybe no-one else noticed that ?

    • Republicofscotland


      Well he has a point the BBC have been disinforming the public for decades now, its a state broadcaster no different from RT or Aljazeera, all of whom are pushing their own agendas as well.

      You just have to look at the Skripal/Novichok bollocks that emanated from the BBC to see what they really are, and that doesn’t even include the run up to the 2014 Scottish indyref and beyond where the state broadcaster lied continuously.

        • Republicofscotland

          Brian RT has its own agenda just like any other state broadcaster, one of their agenda’s is to report as much negative news on the EU as possible, Russia wants the EU broken up so it can do business with individual nations, making it much easier to get a deal.

    • Ingwe

      Oh the irony of the DG of the BBC warning of dangers of misinformation. When the fucking BBC does virtually nothing else but misinform and carry false news. And as for its policy of omission………

  • Stevie Boy

    Here’s an excellent nomination for hypocrite of the century:

    “Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said:

    We are deeply concerned that members of the Shenzhen 12 were tried in secret today, having been given just three days’ notice of their trial. Diplomats from Britain and a number of other countries, tried to attend the court proceedings but were denied entry.

    The Shenzhen 12 have not had access to lawyers of their choosing, raising further serious questions about access to legal counsel in Mainland China. We expect China to uphold the rule of law and conduct trials in a fair and transparent manner, consistent with the basic requirements of international human rights law.”

    Two words – Julian Assange
    Two more words – Harry Dunn.

    • Goose

      That’s the trouble with all US/UK politicians lecturing Russia, China , Iran et al , we have to be consistent in our human rights approach for criticism to carry real weight and not be seen as hypocritical

      It’s like the reported, still under investigation, compromised supply-chain cyber intrusions – attributed(no evidence provided as yet) to Russia. Can our agencies honestly say we’ve never abused company supply-chain or put pressure on our on companies to cooperate?

      Last year, operation Shadowhammer was revealed, affecting popular manufacturer Asus’ auto-update client ,and potentially hundreds of thousands of devices – 600 MAC addresses(Lan side) were the real targets. Many network devices – such as routers – have auto-update baked in to the FW so the user can’t even turn updates off – so much depends on trusted CA certs and no country should be undermining trust.

    • Rhys Jaggar

      Whose European future is that? Is it the Italians? How about the Greeks? How about the Poles and Hungarians??

      All this blaming everything on the English is very pathetic, very juvenile and totally failing to face up to the enormous deep-seated problems in the EU bloc:
      1. The currency is too strong for the vast majority of nations, everyone suffers to let German exports clean up.
      2. The ECB is in a pretty parlous state of money printing, which is going to wreak havoc on every single person who has not salted their assets away into safe havens, once inflation lets rip.
      3. Greece is bankrupt for three generations to come, Italy can’t do anything in the EU so all its youth emigrate to places like Hong Kong.
      4. The tourism sector has been wiped out by the pathetic EU charlatans claiming Covid19 is a plague.
      5. The EU has done its best to blight Nordstream II, when it had nothing to do with the EU at all, it was a simple trade deal between private actors in Germany and Russia. But the EU nutcases were prepared to let US vandals make all kinds of threats instead of telling them to eff off home and take Facebook with them.
      6. Et al, et al, et al.

      All so easy blaming England for 40 years.

      Now you can start blaming Barnier, van der Leyen, Verhofstadt, Merkel and a few others….

      • Bayard

        “But the EU nutcases were prepared to let US vandals make all kinds of threats instead of telling them to eff off home and take Facebook with them.”

        Probably the US having military bases in lots of EU countries had something to do with that.

      • Doctor K

        I suggest you pop along to your nearest hospital and tell them not to worry because covid is a hoax.
        Then do report their response.

  • Duncan+Spence

    I wonder what you think about the idea that Scotland is being set up by the usual channels of power and patronage to become an independent state in name alone, with continuing intimate connections with the residual UK’s security architectures? Almost as if the SNP is deliberately becoming to Scotland what the Tories are to middle England.

  • doug scorgie

    December 27, 2020 at 19:16
    “Every country has the government it deserves.”
    — Joseph de Maistre

    Maistre regarded monarchy both as a divinely sanctioned institution and as the only stable form of government.
    So he was a bit of a cabbage . (Savoy I believe).

    • Ben

      Doug: Allow me to be more specific

      “The government you ELECT is the government you deserve.”

      Thomas Jefferson–

      I fear the electorate votes primarily to fix blame on someone else. Quite a challenge for good persons seeking unselfish office.

      • Giyane


        Now that we understand clearly that the US was never intended to be a democracy, and that the amendments to the constitution were designed to protect the rights of the electorate from the interests of the representatives, Jefferson’s comment is merely a justification for keeping power in the hands of the privileged, who would ‘ know best ‘.

        Yeah, good idea. Blame everything that goes wrong on the stupidity of the electorate Vietnam, Iraq, South America, in whose name the privileged classes wreak havoc. It is this complete lack of accountability that allows Trump to make so many arrogant mistakes and Biden swing into office and re-ignite all those unnecessary wars the electorate hate.

        The US system stinks.probably because it was founded by religious fanatics who hated the hypocrisy of the Brits. ‘” Goog persons seeking unselfish office ” does not mean people like Jeremy Corbyn fighting for what is right. No, in the context of US politics, unselfish means serving the cause of US hegemony, not serving the cause of what is right.

  • vin_ot

    SNP politicians have established a lucrative racket which they will not surrender without an enormous struggle. They are in almost uniquely enviable position as careerist neoliberal politicians: endowed with all manner of material benefits and high status while being lauded and cheered to the rafters as bold freedom fighters. Any objective observer would conclude this well padded cabal has zero incentive to deliver independence and every incentive to prevent it. The polls suggest they are under no pressure to do anything but enjoy the rewards of their canny opportunism.

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