The Death of the British Imperial State 290

All Empires end in ignominy. The United Kingdom is drawing to a close, not with a bang but with a fart.

A century from now, the dominant historical narrative will be Chinese, and Chinese historians will puzzle over how Boris Johnson fell over a lie about what he knew of sexual harassment by a very junior member of his government. Learned papers will be written over whether this was truly the cause, or whether the underlying socio-economic crisis caused by inflation and Brexit was the real determinant. Chinese books (or their technological equivalent) will be written on the crisis of neo-liberalism and how western society reached unsustainable levels of concentration of capital and wealth inequality.

Acres have been written in the mainstream media about Johnson’s lying and personal immorality, but there is very little serious effort to understand why so many in society have been prepared to tolerate this. The answer is that neo-liberalism has succeeded in destroying societal values, to the extent that anti-social and even sociopathic behaviour no longer appears peculiar.

In a society where authority condones, and constructs a system to enable, personal fortunes of US $200 billion or more while millions of children in the same country are genuinely hungry and poorly housed, what values is the socio-political structure telling people to hold? What value is placed on empathy? Ruthless ambition and resource grabbing is applauded, encouraged and held up as the model to be followed.

More and more, you are either part of the elite or you are struggling.

In the UK, the Thatcherite dream of mass property ownership is abruptly canceled. Social mobility and meritocracy are changed from an opportunity for large scale social advancement by multitudes, into Hunger Games. Where significant numbers of young people see their best shot at financial comfort as selection for Love Island, how do we expect them to be repulsed that Johnson was having multiple affairs while his then wife was struggling with cancer?

Johnson is explicitly a devotee of the great man theory of history. But in fact his startling political career is in itself merely a symptom of the decline of the United Kingdom, from great Imperial power to the breakup of the metropolitan state (the latter of course started to take formal effect in 1921).

Brexit was just a convulsion, as the United Kingdom went through the psychological trauma of accepting its change in status from great power to reasonably senior European state. There is a great treatise to be written on this and the consequent wave of populist English nationalism.

You may like to note the constant Tory use of the phrase “world-leading” in risible circumstances, the fact that even yesterday Starmer felt the need to comment on government collapse while planted between three Union Jacks, the constant militarism and fetishisation of the armed forces on TV, and the desire for reflected glory by fighting a great war to the blood of the very last Ukrainian.

Peter Oborne’s meticulous compilation of Johnson lies shows how peculiar it is that the crisis should come over a comparatively minor lie about knowledge of bad sexual behaviour, in which Johnson for once was not personally involved. But it is quite wrong to think of Johnson as unique. Oborne’s wonderful book The Rise of Political Lying chronicles the massive attack on governmental standards perpetrated by the charlatan Tony Blair.

Johnson is just a part of a process. As the power of an Empire disintegrates, so do its mores. Since the second world war, over sixty states have become independent of British rule. The pink bits on the map (“this colony is where your tapioca comes from”) they showed me so proudly at primary school have shrunk and shrunk and shrunk. Thank God children are no longer taught to sing “Over the seas there are little brown children” in need of conversion (I really was taught that, I am not making stuff up).

As the UK’s military, economic and political power have collapsed, so have its political mores – both for good and for bad. Johnson is but a turd spewed to the top of the gushing sewer of British decline.

Every one of those sixty states that have left British rule, was warned that it would struggle without the UK. No state has ever wanted to return to British rule. Fellow Scots, take note.

I also want to make plain to my English readers – and remember I am half English myself – that I genuinely believe the breakup of the highly artificial British union will be very beneficial to England. Scottish Independence and Irish reunification are coming soon. Welsh Independence is fast gathering support.

It will take the break-up of the UK to jolt the great power nostalgia and silly patriotism that underlies so much of Tory support – and that of other right wing union jack fetishists like Starmer. Only the shock of the formal closure of the British state will precipitate the psychological change needed for England to become a modern, forward looking, middle ranking European state with concern for domestic and international fairness.

The UK has been in socio-political turmoil since 2016 and is now entering profound economic crisis. These very days are the end-time of the United Kingdom. Rejoice!

I shall leave the last word to that great radical Percy Bysshe Shelley


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290 thoughts on “The Death of the British Imperial State

1 2 3
  • Banagher

    Könnte der Rücktritt von Boris Johnson eine neue Chance für Julien Assange sein?

    [ Could Boris Johnson’s resignation be a new opportunity for Julian Assange? ]

  • Ebenezer Scroggie

    The British Empire ended with the fall of Singapore.

    The Scottish participation in the British Empire was part of that failure too.

  • Mist001

    So Johnson *might* resign but he’s currently staying on as caretaker PM. What I would love to happen now is for Starmer to receive a Fixed Penalty Notice from Durham Police. Starmer has publicly and emphatically stated that he will resign if that happens, so then both parties in the UK will be leaderless!

    • Goose

      What do you make of the bizarre rush to eject him from No.10?

      How does Raab have more democratic legitimacy than Johnson to be interim leader?

      No one demanding it seems able to explain.

      • Goose

        Both Starmer and Sturgeon are calling for Johnson to go immediately, with Starmer set to call a VONC to try to force it – a vote which Labour will surely lose due to the Tories’ 78 seat majority, and the fact turkeys don’t vote for Christmas. Labour will just look weak.

        Neither Cameron or May came under similar pressure when they hung around until a successor was chosen. And arguably, with the EU referendum result (Cameron) and Brexit unresolved and the extension clock running down (May), there was more reason to expedite the process back then.

        Why do Starmer and Sturgeon think Raab, as interim PM, is so vital to the national interest? What difference does it make who is interim leader? Honestly baffled by their demands.

        • Deb O'Nair

          46(ish) Tory MPs voted against him in the 1922 confidence vote and over 50 have since resigned the whip, they are the ones who will look foolish if they then vote for Johnson in a confidence motion.

          • Feliks

            It’s a bizarre move from Starmer. He’ll be bringing a vote of confidence in the Government not Johnson. As the vast majority of that government have committed to a change of leader/Prime Minister no Tory will have any qualms against voting it down.

      • tom welsh

        Positive feedback. Sunak and Javid resigned, obviously by prearrangement. That was a tacit challenge to the rest of the cabinet: “Stay in office and align yourself with Johnson, meaning you will never get another government job. Or resign with us, and be considered for a post in the next cabinet. Provided you resign quickly enough…”

  • DunGroanin

    It is all highly choreographed. As was the pointlessly detailed performance by Starmer yesterday.

    That a mockingbird, Mason gets a call on air, to announce it. The rest of the fawning crew having conveniently been memory holed and off to collect their Langley rewards (LK), while piers moron and Peston still perform.

    I am receiving texts demanding my level of satisfaction with the NHS ? A negative curses it further. A positive that they can get away with further strangulation. Either way it is slaughtered and the best steaks are being parcelled up.

    They will find another pliant late stage Dominate Roman Emperor to shower us with bit more bread and circuses. A Guaido is available, as is I’m pretty sure the clown Zelensky any day now – but we’ll end up with an anti democratic GKD or Shapp shifter or another petty patel – probably the long planned coalition.

    Whatever, we will never have ‘democracy’ unless we dump Fptp and have genuine PR where EVERY vote counts.

    The Dutch and French grassroots are in revolt – largely un-reported. We meanwhile have been Austerity brainwashed into ‘I’m alright Jack and devil take hindmost’ daily barbarity, as we have bicycling delivery wallahs to bring cheap mcnastyfoods to feed ourselves for wages and work conditions that have reversed most of the last centuries gains for the poorest.

    The last minute cancellation of holidays and destruction of our disposable income by cartel price rises of basics whilst the magic money machine BoE invents interest rate rises to control that inflation- designed to create a miasma of chaos that will allow the further fascistic control.

    Our last GE was wholly fixed as was the BrexShit referendum in 2016.

    The legitimate PM of the country is JC.

    The most important political prisoner of the C21st is jailed without trial in the centre of the rancid empire – JA.

    We have instigated a Nazi regime and proxy war in a last ditch attempt at grabbing chaos in EurAsia having further ravaged the MENA and with our bloody fingers all over the globe.

    I shall be celebrating with the 1812 overture and Prokofiev at the social this afternoon and to paraphrase that other poet ‘oh come happy bombs’ to cleanse the land of the bastards who have taken control since the 70’s! Ura!!!

    • Bayard

      Even with PR it’s still not democracy. At least with FPTP, you get to see the person you are voting for. With PR, you are voting for a party and they can and will put up any old rubbish as candidates. Indeed, I am surprised that there is not more enthusiasm in Westminster for PR, as it would be perfect for a professional political class.

      • tom welsh

        Political parties themselves are antithetical to democracy. Instead of being loyal to his constituents, an MP must be loyal to his party. (Indeed, he can’t even realistically stand for election without the endorsement of a party).

        Make political parties illegal, then voters must vote for specific individuals whom they trust. Any attempt to organise a party should be treated as treason and dealt with accordingly.

        • Bruce_H

          Sorry to disagree but I am convinced that without strong political parties democracy is impossible. It’s only withing a party that political programs can be devised and debated, as societies become more and more complex no individual or loose group of individuals can devise realistic measures… the result being that once elected such a government only then starts thinking about what to do, with results that we see time and time again.
          An example of this is in France where Macron was just elected but on the vaguest of platforms, his “mouvement” is not an authentic, structured party so people voted on spec… or to be exact fewer and fewer people voted. Against Macron was the movement “les Insoumise”, which is a sort of party but not structured in the traditional way and which has aspects of populism with Melenchon as the “leader”. All of which means voters vote without knowing really for what and the resulting popular deception puts another nail in the coffin of real democracy.

      • ET

        Bayard, there are different forms of proportional representation. PR in Ireland, as an example, allows you to vote for candidates in order of your preference. You could vote for different candidates from different parties in your order of preference if you were so inclined. Or just one candidate or as many as you like. Rather than me explain it clumsily take a look at the following link.

        All the candidates are known before hand. You are not voting for a party who later chooses a candidate, you are voting for a listed candidate. It takes longer to get through the counts as it’s a bit more complicated but it is definitely more representative.

        • LG

          PR is never representative.

          Once the election is over the horse trading starts, and all the things people want are shelved, with all the things politicians want put to the top of the list.

          The result is rule by minorities and minions.

          The purpose of FPTP is to force *politicians* to do the horse trading *before* the election until you get two grand coalitions. People then choose between those two. Those that refuse to take part are then ignored as the minorities they undoubtedly are.

          Instead of PR, we should be having run offs so we get down to just two candidates per constituency. Then the final vote on that – after a period of horsetrading to come up with the final manifestos.

          The final pitches from the final two are important, and lost with transferable vote schemes.

          • Laguerre

            There is no horse-trading before the election. They are just fixed, ancestral, coalitions, that have existed since long before I was born. Oh, and refusals to make a coalition with another party, 2010 being the exception that makes the rule. That’s why it is so easy for a minority movement to infiltrate the party, like Militant or the ERG. They have long learnt that is impossible to succeed as an independent party, and UKIP have now ended up taking over the Tory party.

        • Bayard

          In my mind a better system than the Irish one is multi-member constituencies, or to continue the racing analogy, an each-way bet. Each constituency returns three or four MPs, but everything else stays the same, so that when the ballots are counted, the candidates with the most votes would be returned. Parties would be wary of running more than one candidate, as that would split their vote. However such a system, despite its being already in use in local elections, would be unpopular with the political class as it is unlikely to return the large majorities in parliament they need to do what they like.

          • ET

            The constituencies in Rep. of Ireland elections do return 3, 4 or 5 TDs (MPs) depending on the size of the constituency. The parties do run multiple candidates and indeed splitting the vote is an issue they have to consider and it doesn’t always work out for them. People don’t always vote along party lines and can give their first preference to a candidate from one party and their second (and subsequent) to one from a diferent party or independent or whatever.

      • Nick

        Opponents of proportional representation always pick some strawman form of PR that they think they can knock down.

        But even the worst kind of PR is better than FPTP, in which a party that gets about 40% of the votes cast can get absolute power for 5 years. Beats me how anyone can call that “democracy” with a straight face. (“Landslide” Tory victory with overwhelming parliamentary majority in 2019 with 43.6% of the votes cast; “Landslide” Labour victory with overwhelming parliamentary majority in 1997 with 43.2% of the votes cast.)

        • Bayard

          All voting systems have their disadvantages. Pointing these out is not opposing them, any more than ignoring them is supporting them.
          Any system of PR that doesn’t simply involve voting for a party will never be fully proportional. It all depends how far back down the spectrum towards FPTP you are prepared to travel.

          • ET

            “Any system of PR that doesn’t simply involve voting for a party will never be fully proportional.”

            How are you defining the concept of proportionality? Why is voting for a party proportional and voting for a candidate not?

          • Bayard

            Because things can’t be proportional in isolation, they have to be proportional to something. If you are voting for a party, PR means that the number of seats gained by a party is proportional to the number of votes cast for that party. If you are voting for a candidate, they can only occupy one seat, even if they win, so the number of seats gained can’t be proportional to anything.

          • ET

            You are limiting proportionality to parties only Bayard. In a constituency, PR-STV means that the candidates returned are in proportion to the preferences of the electorate in that constituency. Indeed you have contradicted yourself.

            • “With PR, you are voting for a party and they can and will put up any old rubbish as candidates.”
            • “Any system of PR that doesn’t simply involve voting for a party will never be fully proportional.”

            Do please try and reconcile both those statements you have made. There could be a situation where I might give my first preference to a candidate from one party and my second preference to a candidate from different party based on my estimation of the candidate’s sincerity rather than their party affiliation. PR-STV allows me to be proportionate about my voting decisions. FPTP systems don’t allow me that.

          • Bayard

            “PR-STV means that the candidates returned are in proportion to the preferences of the electorate in that constituency.”

            No they aren’t. You can neither have a proportion of a single vote, nor of a candidate, nor of a seat. Within a given constituency, who gets elected is not proportional to the number of votes or preferences they receive, it is determined by that number. In addition, you can’t have a fraction of a candidate, so it matters not how you run your ballot, the proportion of the votes cast or preferences give for a single candidate of the total number will always be the same as the total number. Nor can you say that candidate X got 26% of the votes or preferences, therefore candidate X should have 26% of the seats on offer, because candidate X can only hold one seat, whereas you can say that Party Y got 33% of the votes cast therefore Party Y should have 33% of the seats on offer, because Party Y can hold as many seats as it can win.

            I think you need to refresh yourself with the meaning of “proportional”, as used in “proportional representation”. BTW, “proportionate” is a totally separate word and nothing to do with it.

          • ET

            “I think you need to refresh yourself with the meaning of “proportional”, as used in “proportional representation”. BTW, “proportionate” is a totally separate word and nothing to do with it”

            Thanks for the english lesson but I think you’ll find, should you be bothered to look it up, that my use of proportionate was deliberate and mindful of the nuanced difference.

            In PR-STV there are multiple candidates who stand for election from different parties, independents and others. I may prefer one party over another and give all my preferences to candidates from that party. Or not. I may prefer to vote for just one candidate from that party and give my second and subsequent preferences to other candidates not from that party “proportionate to my preference,” based on my estimation of the individual candidates.

            “The term proportionate also means corresponding in size, degree, or intensity” but is usually chosen for quantities that are difficult to measure. It is also used to describe something that is made that way by an active agent.”

            I am the active agent and I give my voting preference proportionate to my, difficult to quantify, personal preference.
            Those elected will be proportional to the votes/preferences they received.
            The english lesson is gratis.

            You can bang on with your limited view on proportionality relating only to numbers (of first preference votes) and I will bang on about how PR-STV gives me, the voter, a more nuanced way to express my franchise proportionate to my preferences. There are legitimate critiques of PR-STV but your’s isn’t one of them. It is generally accepted as giving a more accurate view of the electorate’s voting preferences than any other system. You want to confine me to voting for one party only, I want to be able to vote from a selection of candidates possibly from across the political spectrum. You want your preference of party I want my preference of candidate. PR-STV

            “enables [the electorate] to convey a wealth of information about their evaluations of the parties and candidates on option instead of merely being able to say ‘Yes’ to one option and ‘No’ to the rest.”

            For some pros and cons you could take a look here:


  • nevermind

    The BBC is already in hustings mode, all morning on Radio Norfolk they were asking ‘what do you think should happen, who do you want to see taking over next’?
    Well, same backward looking society will try its best to install the next shit show for us, nothing will change until the 10 million, facing fuel poverty and hunger, make something happen that will change society.

    @ Banagher. Nein, das system wird die gleiche justiz auferhalten, Suella Bravermann wird das als eine persoenliche Pflicht verantworten, vieleicht wird Sie die neue Kanzlerin…. who knows, or we might end up with useless Lizzy who is not quiet sure were Ukraine ends or Russia starts.

    [ @Banagher. No, the system will receive the same justice, Suella Bravermann will be responsible for this as a personal duty, maybe she will be the new Chancellor…. who knows, or we might end up with useless Lizzy who is not quite sure where Ukraine ends or Russia starts. ]

    • Goose

      They all have zero charisma – maybe that’s the point – to make Starmer look interesting by way of contrast?

      IDS 2, aka Ben Wallace seems the current Tory favourite with cold fish Penny ‘Mordor’ Mordaunt running him close in second.

      Tories are always looking back – trying to find a new Churchill or Thatcher. What they fail to grasp, is neither would have lasted two minutes in today’s world, dominated as it is by social media. They’d both have been torn to shreds.

      • tom welsh

        Wallace is the logical choice, as he would reduce the UK to a cold dead field of ashes quicker than anyone else.

        • Bramble

          The BBC were in Garstang campaigning for him this morning – obviously he is NATO/America’s choice as the maniac most likely to nuke Russia.

          • JohnA

            A few years ago, Wallace tweeted that Corbyn was a decent guy. Now he has had to withdraw from the race as a consequence. Corbyn must be monstered yesterday, today, and forever more. How dare a socialist even dream of making the country a slightly less terrible place in which to live?

  • DiggerUK

    The death of the imperial state is a drawn out affair. Here, in the middle of Europe, we live in the graveyard of imperial ambition. The European Union is the last throw of the dice for that Imperial European ambition.

    Now we have a first, a mutiny of the command in the ruling party in Westminster… and the mutineers win!?! Johnson will now know exactly how Caesar felt as the knives went in.
    Johnson has a working knowledge of history, he must also know exactly how King John felt when he was made to sign Magna Carta Liberatum (subsequently watered down and eviscerated).

    This has all the hallmarks of a watershed moment in British politics, but don’t ask me what happens next…. maybe her indoors is packing to run off with the gardener as I write…_

  • Jams O'Donnell

    Nice one Craig. Except that I doubt if Chinese historians will bother themselves with the arcana of tory politics in the early 21st century especially where it concerns so obvious a petty crook as Johnston.

  • john

    So, who’s the new boss?
    For me, it’s a toss up (no pun intended), between the the clear globalist candidates:
    Ben Wallace, representing the muscle, and,
    Rishi Sunak or Sajid Javid for the money men.

      • mark golding

        Well spotted Goose. In fact this demoniac snakelike bunch ‘Le Cercle’ is coupled to the British/American secret services for the purpose of using terror organisations to advance or support various commitments and guarantees such as the expansion of NATO, the US miliary presence in Europe and recently fortifying stability to Eastern Europe’s new democracies.

        Nadhim Zahawi is involved in backing this Cercle monster and I believe Bozo or Boris de Pfeffel Johnson will become/is involved with Iraq oil by serving the Standard Chartered bank in Kurdistan.

        • Lapsed Agnostic

          Thanks for your reply, john. Looks like I might have spoke too soon about TT. Here he is looking like death warmed up – despite the fact that it’s high summer, and he spends plenty of time in France with his kids and French Mrs – being interviewed by Sky’s Sam Coates:

          Can you imagine if the last thing you saw on a TV screen was his grim visage, like at 0:00, telling you that “as a result of our military actions in Ukraine, Syria, Iran, Kazakhstan etc etc, I have to inform you that this country is now at war with Russia. Goodnight and good luck. God save the – [signal cuts out as the first 800 kiloton warhead hits Central London]”? Stuff of nightmares.

          Unfortunately, it appears that not enough of his ‘friends’ have told him: “Please don’t stand Tom because you are a mad, warmongering **** and, if elected by the rabid blue-rinsers, will likely get us all killed.” Hopefully, his failure to make even a scintilla of a gracious remark about Boris, who after all is still a member of the “very, very strong Conservative family”, will have been duly noted by the Tory rank and file. In the unlikely event there’s any of them reading this, I feel I must tell them that probably the only things “waiting to be released” if Tugendhat ever becomes PM would be the nukes.

          Anyway, to lighten the mood, now that TT has thrown his ‘hat’ into the ring, I propose that he henceforth be known on these pages as Tom Tugend – or Tom Tug-end, so people know how to pronounce it.

          (OT: I see on the news that former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe has died after being shot. As far as I know, former British PM Tony Blair is still alive.)

  • Fred Dagg

    “There is no constitutional mechanism for the Prime Minister being removed.”
    — Mark Pritchard MP, a few minutes ago on Sky News.

    The silver lining: BJ’s behaviour may prod the moribund campaign for a written UK Constitution into life. My (delusional) punt: the right of citizens to bear arms.

      • Fred Dagg

        The objective way to judge the “rightness” of something is to look at the class fractions that are opposed to it. To take just two examples from the US Constitution:

        In the case of the 1st Amendment guaranteeing free speech (protection under which the Guardian was quick to take advantage of – guardian.COM – after the “hard-drive affair”, whilst nevertheless continuing to rail against free speech in its pages), it is liberals who are increasingly calling for its amendment/abolition because of the threat that it poses in the hands of jumped-up little oiks at the Grayzone, Consortium News, et al to neo-liberal/neo-con narratives.

        In the case of the 2nd Amendment guaranteeing the right citizens to bear arms and to organise themselves into a non-State controlled militia, it is liberals who are increasingly calling for its amendment/abolition (under the whimpering guise of “saving all the poor children”) because of its profoundly Communist spirit. Of course, the US population has now been subject to 150 years of anti-Communist propaganda and so it is no wonder that a majority of NRA members think that they are “fighting Communism” by being armed. Should these “sleeping members of the proletariat” suddenly realise that they are, in one respect, Marxists, one can only imagine the speed with which the 2nd Amendment would be removed. If only liberals had some imagination!

        Nearer to home, the same liberal cohort opposed Brexit and gave us Boris Johnson for 3 years by doing everything possible to delay/prevent the implementation of the Referendum result whilst, with a characteristic lack of self-awareness, blaming everyone else for being “so stupid” (effortless assumed intellectual/moral superiority over others is another universal liberal trait – how impressive they are!).

        In conclusion: the (intellectual) working class/”middle class” (with the exception of their Communist constituency) are not the (manual) working class’s political friends. They run the capitalist mode of production “on behalf” of capitalists, do “quite nicely, thank you very much” out of it, are the primary recruiting ground for the “political class” that shamelessly parades its corruption and avarice worldwide (not just in the UK) and have no intention whatsoever of voluntarily letting the unwashed fuck up a good thing. They will only move aside at the point of a gun – this is the simple, historical truth whether you want to hear it or not.

        • Fred Dagg

          It follows that anyone who proposes that nationalism, (a change in physical geography without a change in the economic system), is the solution to society’s problems is either politically naive or calculatedly disingenuous.

          • Fred Dagg

            “Physical geography” should, of course, be replaced by “cartography”!

  • John Monro

    No-one can predict geopolitical changes 80 years ahead. The commonplace view that it will be a Chinese hegemony then is misguided and very simplistic. Linear extrapolations of present day trends for 80 years? They’re useless. Do I know what the world will look like in 80 years? No, so I’m not going to pretend I can. The Chinese state, its society, its economy is not robust, and is built on some very shaky foundations. It’s political stasis. Its environmental damage and rapaciousness. Its material needs. Its financial skulduggery. Global warming, water shortages, food shortages, desertification will provide China with such existential problems that merely existing, never mind being a powerful nation, will be a triumph. And of course, that applies to the rest of humanity too.

    • Brian c

      Craig is probably thinking of what China has already achieved in the past generation and of its mighty long-range developmental plans, which are being executed at quite a lick at home and across Eurasia. It’s possible he compared that to the trajectory of the United Kingdom, Europe and the United States and perhaps reflected upon our leaders’ response to Chinese development, which is in equal measure embarrassing and terrifying.

      • John Monro

        You’re probably correct, he’s making a contrast and his “predictions” are merely a rhetorical device. But humanity is sailing very quickly into seriously dangerous waters. Johnson’s resignation is just another ridiculous diversion from paying attention.

    • Wally Jumblatt

      China will break up when the regions start fighting each other. That is definitely less than 20 years away.
      I’m sure most of China is p***ed off with Shanghai and Beijing – and probably Hong Kong too

      • Akos Horvath

        China won’t break up and neither will Russia. The country that will be decolonized soon is the UK, after the Scots leave. And I also doubt the EU will last as long as the COMECON/Warsaw Pact did. With this level of delusion you qualify for the post of the last PM of the UK.

    • Nick

      I agree with you, but for a completely different reason.
      Chinese culture has never had any interest in hegemony. China has been the richest, most powerful country in the world before, and probably will be again; but it never had any ambitions to project its power far beyond its natural borders.
      Americans judge everyone else by their own despicable standards. They think that because wealth and power turned them into the world’s bullies, it will have the same effect on any other country. We do not need to believe them.

  • Goose

    All the UK MSM echoing the exact same line : John Major says Johnson cannot stay on as caretaker Prime Minister.

    Telegraph, Independent, Guardian, BBC… who is pulling the strings?

    • Goose

      House of Commons recess dates for the 2022-23 session of Parliament

      Summer – Rises 21 July 2022 Returns 5 Sept 2022
      Conference – ” 22 Sept 2022 ” 17 Oct 2022

      The House rises in 2 weeks, briefly returns, then rises for conference and they have a new leader.

  • Johnny Conspiranoid

    ‘Mental Ben’ Wallace looks the keenest for a banker’s proxy war with Russia and China so its likely that all this is designed to put him in power.

    • Goose

      Brilliant for HIGNFY and assorted satirists?

      When Tory MPs have whittled them down it’ll be between Jeremy Hunt and Ben Wallace, and Ben Wallace will win when it goes to members.

      Get a few quid on it, accumulator (final two and winner) and thank me later.

        • Goose

          There goes my prediction.

          Ben Wallace has decided not to run. It looks like it’s all being laid out on a plate (dish?) for Rishi Sunak.

          None of them have the ease and appeal of Johnson. I’m no fan of Johnson, but Johnson had that personableness – passing the test of, ‘could you have a laugh over a drink with this person in the pub?’ so important to a leader’s electoral appeal. It’s why the ultra bland, sanctimonious hypocrite Starmer is struggling, despite him having the PLP and media’s support – advantages Corbyn never enjoyed.

          At the last election in 2019, Johnson made Corbyn look tired and defensive, whereas Johnson, boosted by a supportive media, was a picture of sunny Brexit optimism. Very superficial stuff for most here, and Brexit hasn’t bathed the country in the promised prosperity – it never could. But it’s faux populism that usually decides elections.

    • Goose

      Penny Mordaunt is the dark horse, but she wouldn’t be a popular leader.

      They are likely to find out, Johnson’s ability to connect with certain voters was an undervalued electoral asset. Anecdotal admittedly, but our regional TV news tonight, talked to lots of voters, many of whom still like Johnson and think he’s been betrayed by his party in the face of a media onslaught.

  • Doug

    It’s certainly pleasing to witness England tearing itself apart, and making itself look even more glaikit in the process. If only Scotland’s political representatives had the guts to execute the coup de gras on the so-called united kingdom

    • Andrew H

      BJ resigning is not England tearing itself apart. On the contrary it is just demonstrating that we are still a democracy – that public opinion matters. It should be noted that the resignation is not related to policy failure, but more to do with public trust. The conservatives are likely to remain in power in the next election – Labour has framed itself as a coalition of socialist worker and neo-liberal and that is just way too hard for the average voter to grasp. Over the longer term Johnson and his lying are a problem for the tories because there is a gradual erosion of trust – sooner or later the public will elect the unelectable just for change. This is how a functional democracy works.

      • Laguerre

        “On the contrary it is just demonstrating that we are still a democracy – that public opinion matters.”

        LOL. Only Tory opinion matters in this case. That’s British democracy of today.

  • Republicofscotland

    Will he or won’t he resign, has been on the lips of the Britnat media about Boris Johnson all day, I personally don’t give toss whether he stayed or went for it means nothing to the indy movement. It doesn’t matter who they put in Number Ten they oppose Scottish independence; it’s a core principle the Jocks mustn’t be allowed to dissolve the union, never ever.

    The current wretch in Number Ten Johnson, even though he was under fire yesterday, and sycophant after sycophant resigned, putting him under more pressure, Johnson still took the time to write to our FM to tell her no way will I issue a S30.

    I couldn’t give a monkeys who replaces Johnson: they’ll just be another arsehole that we’ll need push aside if we want to exit this bucket of shit union.

  • TonyF117

    Dear Craig,

    I am intrigued by B Johnson’s inconsistent attitude towards Russia.

    We heard again today about Johnson’s friendships with the Lebedev family, among other oligarchs. Yet Johnson has since befriended the neocons in Washington in their ambition to damage Russia by means of Ukraine and their puppet comedian Zelensky. Now Europe and the UK are burdened with the impact of sanctions against Russia in existentially important supply chains.

    Given the impact of sanctions against Russia even now, before winter, how do you see the future?

    How do you think the demonising of China will work out?

    • Courtenay Francis Raymond Barnett


      When you ask:-

      “Given the impact of sanctions against Russia even now, before winter, how do you see the future?”

      May I suggest that Germany has both – the gun that it can put to its head and pull the trigger ( which it almost has done) – or it holds the key to an economic solution which it can use.

      Let me explain.

      When the US sells arms to Saudi Arabia to bomb the shit out of Yemeni civilians – and turn a blind eye to the Khashoggi murder – where is the morality and/or principle there?

      So, on a point of ‘principle’ the US demands that Germany must commit economic suicide by refusing to buy much cheaper oil and gas from Russia and then quite soon push the German economy into recession and ensure that some German industries close permanently.

      Sounds like a good policy – or – am I missing some facts?

      P.S. How do I see the future? A cold winter in Germany if they finally pull the trigger already aimed at the head!

    • Andrew H

      There is nothing inconsistent about UK’s (or BJ’s) attitude towards Russia. Russia has effectively started the first major war in Europe since 1945. In terms of legality, invading Ukraine isn’t quite the same as invading NATO, and conversely supplying weapons and imposing trade sanctions isn’t quite the same as putting NATO troops into Ukraine. Prior to this invasion, Russia was not considered a serious threat to European stability. Virtually all Europeans including UK have had positive dealings with Russia (but worsening in recent years as Putin has clung to power). The prevailing mood was that engagement, investment, economic and scientific inter-dependency was the right approach. Unfortunately, in war it is not possible to do business (UK wasn’t trading with Germany in WW2). Make no mistake this is war (and if Putin didn’t understand that an invasion of Ukraine was total war on Europe, then he made a mistake). The European economy will bite the bullet of severing economic relations with Russia, because there is absolutely no other choice. Lets not blame Washington.

      Russia never was China. Russia had a lot of scientific and industrial collaboration with the west (the space station being just one example – but across the board there has been lots of scientific collaboration). With China the situation is different since there is a lack of trust and general suspicion that China is stealing scientific research and is more capable of turning theory into industry. We know Russia wasn’t stealing – because of the many joint engineering projects. All gone, because you can’t start a war and expect trade to continue.

      • Courtenay Francis Raymond Barnett

        Andrew H,

        When you say:-

        “The European economy will bite the bullet of severing economic relations with Russia, because there is absolutely no other choice. Lets not blame Washington.”

        My real point is – what equivalent bullet is the US biting?

        It is the European economies paying the vast majority of the price – with no realistic chance of a military victory in sight in Ukraine.

        That is the point!

      • Goose

        But we all can surmise what’d happen, if say hypothetically Mexico were behaving as Ukraine has.

        With China training Mexican troops, plus plans afoot to station vast Chinese military capability on the US southern border; whether they were deploying defensive or offensive capability (a distinction NATO rely upon) would largely be irrelevant. Calls in the US for an invasion and for the overthrowing of the anti-US Mexican govt, would be inevitable and deafening. The US simply wouldn’t allow Mexico to enter into a deep military alliance with China, or turn a blind eye to that military hardware on their southern border.

        So yes, Russia’s invasion is wrong, but let’s not pretend the US would stand by and tolerate similar behaviour. It’s possible to sympathise with some of Russia’s arguments about provocative NATO expansionism, while still holding a view the invasion is completely wrong and illegal.

        • Courtenay Francis Raymond Barnett


          ” So yes, Russia’s invasion is wrong, but let’s not pretend the US would stand by and tolerate similar behaviour.”

          Indeed – so just have a review of the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis for an empirical reference point.

          • Goose

            And now, if anyone mentions Russia as having valid security concerns that went unaddressed prior to the invasion, the online digital narrative enforcers pop out to claim only a Putin shill could possibly hold such a view.

            Glenn Greenwald highlighted this in this thread:

            NATO seems to be controlling a vast army of online ‘narrative’ enforcers/vigilantes/propagandists’ who unbeknownst to citizenry are basically policing opinion. Insomuch as misinformation & disinformation actually exists online, the military’s insensitive cure is worse than the disease.

        • Andrew H

          “But we all can surmise what’d happen, if say hypothetically Mexico were behaving as Ukraine has.”

          There is no possibility of the US sending tanks into Mexico regardless of whether it forms an anti-US coalition with China or whoever. It would be a total disaster. Mexico is a huge country and the border with the US is over 3000 km long.

          The Mexican army is well equipped and even it mostly avoids entering parts of Northern Mexico that the drug cartels control. Any invasion by the US would be against a well equipped army supported by heavily armed and battle hardened drug gangs. It can’t possibly end well.

          Then consider that there is a large Latino population in the US, especially in the southern states (over 20 million). The US economy is also heavily interwoven with the Mexican economy – virtually all tvs/flat screens are assembled there for starters.

          So, although the US might not be happy about a military coalition between Mexico and China there is little it could militarily do about it. In many ways an invasion from Mexico into the USA is a more realistic scenario – due to climate and water crisis. Is the US prepared to shoot 10’s of millions of migrants forcing their way across the border?

          • Goose

            I didn’t claim it’s a realistic scenario.

            I’m merely pointing out that put in Russia’s predicament, with a deeply hostile neighbour, backed by a superpower adversary, the US would in all likelihood act similarly. They’d probably intervene wearing the cloak of the humanitarian, by shaping US public opinion in that direction, through the MSM. And the entire Western world’s media would echo US propaganda, then would likewise support what ever military actions the US felt necessary. Ostensibly they’d reluctantly intervene to save lives and prevent genocide? This was basically the playbook in Syria, and in every other liberal intervention eg. Libya.

            It’s widely reported Donald Trump repeatedly raised the possibility of invading Venezuela in talks with his top aides at the White House. And tensions are ratcheting up with Iran once again, as the JCPOA nuclear talks have seemingly stalled. The US hasn’t given up throwing their military weight around, like Russia. The West just has better propagandists when they do.

          • Andrew H

            “The US hasn’t given up throwing their military weight around”

            On that we can agree – the invasion of Iraq/Afghanistan set a terrible example for Russia to follow. Nothing good came out of either of those invasions, vast sums of money were spent for nothing and the repercussions continue to haunt US foreign policy.

            “The West just has better propagandists”

            Really? Even at the time of the Iraq invasion few people bought into the weapons of mass distractions story, and many NATO countries refused to participate. Once the war got under way the Rumsfeld updates never improved in credibility. What is propoganda if it is not believable? Ok, I agree, the Russian propoganda on Ukraine is even worse.

          • pretzelattack

            yeah the US would never invade Mexico, or any other country south of the US border. that’s sarcasm.

          • mark golding

            ” the invasion of Iraq/Afghanistan set a terrible example for Russia to follow”

            No, Russia has not lied itself into war with Ukraine.

            To be clear Russia did not start the Ukraine war. A US-backed, far Right led Revolution in Ukraine helped bring us to the brink of this current war. The US has, since the Maidan Revolution attempted to isolate Russia by supporting the integration of peripheral parts of the former Soviet Union into European and Atlantic institutions. The Information stored clearly brings to light and discloses Yanukovych’s eastward turn was the trigger that lit the fuse for US/UK proxy insurgency.using the far right.sector. In fact British military intelligence reveals army trained marksmen were in the Ukraina Hotel and I suspect were culpable in the shooting of specific protestors. Forensic analysis proves this.

            For decades, Washington and allied governments have pursued their strategic and economic interests under the cover of promoting democracy and liberal values abroad that meant supporting benign pro-democracy movements like those in Ukraine. In fact the crucial goal of nudging Ukraine’s foreign policy westward is sine qua non for US/UK foreign policy and may include the use of tactical nuclear weapons to avert victory for Russia in Ukraine.

          • mark golding

            Most UK/US citizens bought into the WMD claim and terrorist support claims that provided a clear path for the West to destroy Iraq and displace millions of families..

            Let me remind you of Western propaganda and as a precursor take a look at the Sri Lanka protests where thousands stormed the president’s residence in Colombo.

            The gate-keepers of the oligarchic empire, the neo-liberal barons that rule over us are terrified that we will one day notice that there are a whole lot more of us than there are of them, and that there’s really nothing they could do to stop us if we decided to replace them with a system which benefits ordinary people instead of an elite few.

            The economic downturn and the multilateral incompetence that has crushed, ravaged and ruined working citizens in the UK will indeed force these ordinary people to rebel and tap out the rich peers and their media machine which consistantly attempts to hack our minds into a false sense of security.

      • Akos Horvath

        The first post-WW2 major war in Europe was the illegal bombing of Yugoslavia. Started by NATO, including the UK. We all know that the Anglos have a pathological hatred of Russia. But you are now a third-rate power outside the EU, so who cares.

        The support for Ukraine is very thin among the European populations. And this will further erode as this corrupt neonazi regime swallows more and more of our money like a black hole.

        At the end of the day, Russia and China will remain important sovereign countries, while the EU is now officially a US-controlled overseas territory and the UK will break up with the Scots leaving. I am watching with glee the disintegration of the UK.

        • Andrew H

          Nonsense. There was civil war for many years in Yugoslavia before NATO intervened and put a forceful end to it. Many say NATO should have intervened earlier. The failure to stop the Srebrenica massacre is considered to be a failure of UN (and NATO). NATO’s intervention cannot be compared with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – In particular NATO never sent troops to Belgrade, did not demolish any cities and did not attempt to annex territory into other European states. NATO’s intervention did not send millions of refugees into Europe – in fact it created the conditions for them to return. Yugoslavia was always an artificial construct – put together by great powers. Russia in contrast sent troops to Kharkiv/Kyiv/Kherson where there was no fighting – moreover even in 2014 Russia sent troops and weapons into Donbass to support a separatist movement.

          • Shaun Onimus

            “moreover even in 2014 Russia sent troops and weapons into Donbass to support a separatist movement.”

            This is Western propaganda. No Russian troops were in Donbass before Feb. 24. You might have had volunteers joining the separatists but neither Russian troops or weapons were sent before Feb. 24. They got arms from Ukrainian defectors who saw how silly it was to sit and kill their own countrymen at the orders of fascists. They gained support in troops from the defectors. True heroes do exist.

          • Andy

            Shaun Onimus

            90%+ voted for Viktor Yanukovych in these regions, only to watch him forcefully removed in a coup in 2014.

            Our own govt and EU’s blatant disregard for this democratic fact – by clumsily taking sides in a civil war… is outrageous.

            A false narrative has been created in which Ukraine was happy and united before Russia came along. Even Zelensky’s 2019 mandate isn’t as presented in our media. Zelensky won 73% against the then discredited Poroshenko ; 12% of Ukraine’s total electorate were excluded from taking part (the rebellious East). Zelensky won 73% on a (62-12) 50% turnout, so 36% of Ukraine’s total electorate backed him.

          • Pears Morgaine

            Shaun the separatists themselves have admitted receiving training and weapons from Russia, prior to the invasion it was acknowledged that thousands of Russian ‘volunteers’, mainly former or serving service personnel, were fighting on the separatist side. They could hardly have held out for so long without help from outside.

          • Pears Morgaine

            “A false narrative has been created in which Ukraine was happy and united before Russia came along. “

            They were at least living in a state of peace.

          • Shaun Onimus

            Pears, Andrew claimed separatists received weapons and troops from Russia. Not training and volunteers. Thanks for shifting goalposts but it’s out of scope from this conversation.

          • Bayard

            “They were at least living in a state of peace.”

            all those not living in Donetsk or Luhansk, you mean.

          • Andy

            Just a correction: It’s actually a 54.5% turnout if you assume the 62% turnout figure cited on Wikipedia is derived from those eligible to vote i.e. 88% of the total electorate (12% excluded). Add them back in (without a vote) and turnout drops to 54.5% not 50% apologies.

    • Andrew H

      Perhaps this analogy will work for you Tony: If you have a friend and he beds your partner – he is no longer your friend and if you used to rideshare to work then that is not happening anymore.

      • Courtenay Francis Raymond Barnett

        Andrew H,

        I think that there is a disconnect in what you are saying, for reason(s):-

        1. It is convenient for the US to revert to a ‘cold war’ posture and assist at the same time arms sales for its own military-industrial complex.
        2. Indeed, having stated 1 to 3 above Article 2 (4) of the UN Charter has been violated by Russia – by design – if I might add.

        Over to you.

        • Andrew H

          “1. The US is fully aware that Zelensky cannot achieve a military victory over Russia.”

          On that you are wrong: the US and UK absolutely believe Ukraine (Kyiv) will not fall to Russia. The US has even re-opened its embassy. In the beginning there was doubt, but after the Russian withdrawal from Kyiv it became clear that Ukraine wasn’t going to lay down arms and so the best policy was lend lease. Please note at least one Russian defence expert predicted this (there is a pdf link somewhere published before Feb 24 in which the author points the possibility of lend lease. Not sure if this was Mikhail Khodaryonok??). There are plenty of Russian military experts and Putinists that don’t believe a Russian victory is possible – the US is naturally more optimistic.

          The US is not trying to define what a satisfactory conclusion to the war is, and really has no power to. It is up to Ukraine to decide if and when it wants to negotiate – even Zelensky is probably not fully in control – if he agrees to something that the generals don’t accept then the war will go on – albeit with less western help. Wars typically stop when everybody has had enough rather than when the peaceniks have had enough – see Afghanistan/Syria.

          History should be noted. US lost in Vietnam, Soviets and US lost in Afghanistan. The US had everything over the Taliban but still could not overcome a concerted and determined insurgency.

          • Courtenay Francis Raymond Barnett

            Andrew H,

            “On that you are wrong: the US and UK absolutely believe Ukraine (Kyiv) will not fall to Russia.”

            So prolong the war – keep sending Ukrainians to their deaths ( Russians too) – and in a few months or a year – the bodies on the ground and in the graves will answer our debate.

          • Laguerre

            Yes, why not nuclear weapons, as the conventional weapons are insufficient to achieve the victory you so ardently desire. In any case the NATO does not have adequate industrial capacity to produce the conventional weapons needed (in terms of quantity).

          • Andrew H

            Laguerre asks:

            “Why not nuclear weapons?”

            The US/NATO is not going to provide Ukraine with nuclear weapons. That part seems obvious. Also NATO will not directly intervene with NATO troops or war planes. There are things that NATO will do to support Ukraine and things it will not.

            NATO has far greater industrial capacity for manufacturing weapons than Russia. There is simply no comparison. US military budget seems to be about 700 billion compared with Russia’s which is about 70 billion. That’s not even counting other NATO countries. The US is the world’s largest arms dealer (and manufacturer). The US + European industrial system is also far more capable of scaling up (we are not at war so can focus on the industrial side). There is no parts shortage with electronics. Even Ukraine’s own home-grown arms industry is ramping up more effectively than Russia’s – there seems to be many more Stugna-P systems in use today and a lot of other stuff that wasn’t seen at the start of the war. Where they are building this stuff I don’t know – but it wouldn’t surprise me if they already have a factory in Poland, where it is out of reach from Russian missiles.

          • Bayard

            “NATO has far greater industrial capacity for manufacturing weapons than Russia. There is simply no comparison. US military budget seems to be about 700 billion compared with Russia’s which is about 70 billion.”

            You cannot compare two countries’ manufacturing capabilities by comparing their budgets. By and large, NATO’s arms industry is privately owned, therefore it’s primary aim is to make money for its shareholders as it is the aim of every private company anywhere in the world. That is what they exist for. Russia’s arms industry is by and large state owned, therefore its primary aim is to make weapons.

          • Lapsed Agnostic

            You also can’t compare the US computer industry in the 80’s with that of the Soviet Union, Bayard, because the former was only set up to make money for shareholders, whereas the latter was established to make fantastic computers for the Soviet people.

          • Pears Morgaine

            “the latter was established to make fantastic computers for the Soviet people.”

            For which most of them are still waiting.

          • Pears Morgaine

            “Russia’s arms industry is by and large state owned,”

            Was. Now mostly privatised but state owned industries don’t necessarily produce more and better; think British Leyland.

          • Lapsed Agnostic

            Thanks for your reply Pears. In fact, Bayard is largely right on this one. In recent years, much of the Russian defence industry has either been re-nationalised or become majority-owned by the Russian State: e.g. Almaz-Antey, Russian Helicopters, United Aircraft Corp, United Shipbuilding Corp etc. But don’t forget, of course, that as with all enterprises of any size in Russia, if the owners of privately-held defence companies go against Kremlin wishes, they will soon find out who really owns them – in the unlikely event they didn’t already know.

    • Goose


      Quite ridiculous how the The guardian have been running articles questioning Johnson’s links to various Russians, the obvious implication being he’s somehow soft on Russia. He’s taken what is probably the hardest line in Europe of any govt, in support of Ukraine.

      This is what Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said today: he hoped “other people would come to power in the UK, professional and able to make decisions through dialogue.” He added that the British Prime Minister “does not like us very much and neither do we him” . The spokesperson for Russian Foreign affairs, Maria Zakharova, said she sees in the situation in the United Kingdom proof that the “liberal [Western] regimes are in a deep political, ideological and economic crisis” .

      • Bayard

        The Guardian going on about Boris’s Russian links is just them continuing with the old lie about Russian support for Brexit.

    • Nick

      I am intrigued by B Johnson’s inconsistent attitude towards Russia.

      Dear TonyF117,

      Johnson’s personal inclinations/beliefs have nothing to do with British foreign policy, which is decided in Washington.

  • Froghole

    The chief difference between Johnson and Starmer is that Johnson is guileless enough to wear his dishonesty on his sleeve. Starmer, by contrast, is cut from not dissimilar cloth, yet poses so effectively as an ‘honest’ man (or as a man who believes himself to be honest): viz. (i) his persecutions of Assange as DPP; (ii) his assertions during the Labour leadership election that he would accommodate Corbynite opinion (the membership having waxed as a function of Corbyn’s presenting a genuine alternative to neoliberalism), before purging the Corbynites and transforming the party back into a neoliberal ramp with ‘progressive’ characteristics; and (iii) his recent announcements about the UK’s relationship with the EU, where (it seemed to me) he was speaking with forked tongue.

    I have some sneaking sympathy with de Maistre’s assertion that a nation usually gets the government it deserves. Given the transformation in the manners and morals of the British political class, what does that say about the present state of the national character?

    However, Johnson is not a complete outlier. Blair, Wilson, Macmillan, Eden, Churchill, Lloyd George, Disraeli, Canning, Walpole, Bolingbroke, etc., etc., were all, in their own times, and at various points in their careers, pilloried for being pusillanimous chancers with, at best, a casual relationship with the truth. Johnson has exceeded them, partly because of his tendency to flamboyant self-parody, and partly because (thanks to his Grub Street career and the internet) the evidence of his malefactions cannot be swept away as easily as those of his predecessors.

    • Courtenay Francis Raymond Barnett


      Sounds like you hit the nail (Johnson?) squarely on the head.

      Question – will he sink quickly – or – will you have to hammer some more to get rid of him now?

  • Courtenay Francis Raymond Barnett

    Andrew H,

    “More weapons for Ukraine = shorter war + lives saved”


    Time will tell.

    • nevermind

      What Andrew meant is that more petrol on the fire will extinguish it
      His knowledge of combustion, as well as his personal interests, seem to interfere with his understanding of what is substantually keeping us alive.
      Does Andrew H. have a personal interest in arms manufacturing, or is he just eager to create bangs? do tell us…

      This is not new years eve and missiles/grenades are not fireworks.

    • Bayard

      It is true only insofar as Ukraine is going to win this war, hardly a surprising standpoint for someone who thinks that the US has never been an imperial power. What Ukraine needs is not weapons but trained and competent soldiers and no NATO state is going to supply those.

      • Andrew H


        “It is true only insofar as Ukraine is going to win this war”

        Indeed, my position is entirely logical given the US/UK/Ukraine assumption of Ukraine winning. Terminating conditions being a) Russia runs out of heavy weapons OR b) no more patriotic vatniks willing to die OR c) Putin miraculously dies. Also if one considers that the end game is a stalemate when Russia stops advancing – the more weapons Ukraine has the sooner this stalemate will be achieved, and the sooner Russia will start offering solutions that don’t involve complete capitulation by Ukraine.

        Regardless of the final outcome, I think it is useful that the USA/UK/NATO position with regards to arms supply is clearly articulated, so that both Ukraine and Russia can make informed decisions based on that. I think there are still more things that the US can do to help protect Ukrainian lives and tip the balance in Ukraine’s favour.

        • air defense systems for civilian centers (coming)
        • training (coming)
        • system to triangulate Russia’s anti-drone EW systems (or just provide GPS coordinates, surely GCHQ must be able to help?)
        • is it possible to echo locate the movement of trains by listening to the ground?
        • something to effectively and efficiently clear vatniks from dug in trenches?

        Bayard adds:

        “What Ukraine needs is not weapons but trained and competent soldiers and no NATO state is going to supply those.”

        Again, being clear about what NATO won’t do will help leaders to make informed decisions.

        Nevermind asks:

        “Does Andrew H. have a personal interest in arms manufacturing, or is he just eager to create bangs? do tell us…”

        No, I have zero investments in arms manufacturing. I am losing significant money like many others. S&P 500 is down from over $4700 at the start of the year to $3900. Even the gold bars I finally bought don’t seem to have made money – at best, I am a pretty mediocre investor – at least I don’t have bitcoin. On the other hand, I am not willing to turn a blind eye to Russia’s aggression for the sake of cheaper gas, preserving my retirement savings and ending economic recession. Also, I am of the opinion that if Ukraine falls then there will be even greater negative consequences for the west and my personal finances (what are we going to do with millions of refugees? and there will be many more if Russia captures the whole of Ukraine). If it is any comfort I don’t actually have any input into the decision making process, so my opinions truly count for nothing.

        I do however enjoy watching vatnik ammo dumps and tanks explode. I understand they are not fireworks, but it is clear that any vatnik still in Ukraine is there very much by their own choice. (There was some room for compassion in the first weeks – some were ill-informed about the situation and some were conscripts but that is no longer the case. Also one might feel sorry for anyone on the Moskva – these sailors may not have had much choice or knowledge).

        On the negotiating front I would really like to see direct negotiations between Ukraine and DPR/LPR without the involvement of Russians. Here I think there is room for practical compromise without Russia’s imperialist ambitions. This wouldn’t result in Russia withdrawing, but it might help to stop the senseless slaughter of DPR/LPR.

        • nevermind

          why so obsessed with the Russian invasion of Ukraine Andrew? I cant remember you making any points here on the blog when it came to the invasion of Iraq or the 24/7 attacks on Libya to dispose of Ghaddafi and his family in Sirte, so your concern here is somewhat tinged.
          You seem to care less for Libyan and Iraqi people, whilst being obsessed with Ukraine’s people, whom we indoctrinated since the 1950s to become fascists Banderites and right sector Asovskis.

          You further seem to see nothing wrong with the ignorance of western proponents partial to signing Minsk 1 and 2, who pledged to work to get a ceasefire in the Dombas and these agreements implemented. This was followed with diddly squat, ignorance of the never-ending hostilities there, and ignorance of Putin asking the west for 5 years to get together and hammer out a long-term European security agreement.
          How about showing some balance. You sound like a hypocrite, elevating Ukraine’s concerns over and above those felt by Iraqis or Libyans.

          • Andrew H

            When all reason has been exhausted then there are whataboutisms. I wasn’t aware that this blog even existed back in the days of the Iraq invasion – I became aware of this blog at the time of the Salisbury incident (probably after reading something in the Guardian about conspiracy theories).

        • Bayard

          “Indeed, my position is entirely logical given the US/UK/Ukraine assumption of Ukraine winning. Terminating conditions being a) Russia runs out of heavy weapons OR b) no more patriotic vatniks willing to die OR c) Putin miraculously dies.”

          It is logical, that, should I buy a ticket, it is possible that I might win the lottery. However, that doesn’t mean that it is any way probable and any scenario that depends on it happening, such as me retiring to the Caribbean on a private yacht, is not worth spending more than a few idle moments contemplating.

        • Feral Finster

          The DPR and LPR were only reluctantly goaded by Russia into accepting the original Minsk Accord (which Ukraine broke as soon as it could) and Minsk-2 (which Ukraine announced that it would never fulfill).

          Forgetting the rest of your fantasies, why you think that the LNR or DNR would be more partial to negotiation with the Ukrainians that daily shell their apartment blocks, schools and markets remains unexplained.

  • Mare

    Good riddance to the British Empire.
    Long overdue.
    The havoc it has wreaked on so many lives and lands the world over.
    And please do let the door hit you on the way out!

  • Greg Park

    Alastair Campbell being cheered by all the Sensibles again, this time for condemning “the worst PM in history, a liar and a crook”… The centrist icon also declares “There has to be massive change to politics and media”, confident everyone’s forgotten his actions 2015-19.

    • tom welsh

      Tony Blair was infinitely worse. Surely murdering millions of civilians is worse than being a liar and a crook. In any case, being a liar and a crook is more or less the minimum entry requirement.

  • peter mcloughlin

    “As the power of an Empire disintegrates, so does its mores.”

    And it is for power that states go to war: except power is an illusion. That is why all empires eventually face the conflict they’re desperate to avoid – defeat. Nothing in history has changed, the pattern’s the same. Unless it does, humanity is facing WW III.
    For more on this search: A free ebook: The Pattern Of History and Fate of Humanity

  • Ottomanboi

    The British state has been through existential crises before in its three centuries, some more grave than this. Never underestimate the helping hand to survival offered by its opponents ineptitude or procrastination in going for the jugular.
    Just can’t see «the Scots» overcoming their fear conditioned, neo-calvinist caution and wielding the blade. More likely to be the action of a latterday Cromwell bent on quite different intent. The Scots, if recent history is a guide, will sullenly fall into line.

  • Ottomanboi

    Re Ukrain, prior to the 20th century you’d struggle to locate the territory on a map.
    It is a communist/soviet invention based on notional borders dreamt up by ultra- nationalists who believed in ethnic cleansing the Polish, Russian and Jewish populations. The Ukrainian nationalist involvement with the Nazi race policies was a continuation of the project.
    Ukrain could end up as Europe’s Palestine, a country created out of the detritus of regional politics with no meaningful past and no functional future.
    Internationalization will, as with Palestine, set the problem in concrete.

    • Feral Finster

      The irony is that Zelenskii has mused about Israel as a model for a future Ukrainian state.

      Three guesses as to who will play the role of “Palestinians”.

  • Goose

    More signs of the UK’s democratic decline…

    From 2016’s Tory Leadership contest – choosing a PM after David Cameron resigned:

    Before the Conservative Party members were due to cast their votes, Leadsom withdrew from the contest on 11 July. May was appointed party leader later that day.

    They wouldn’t, they couldn’t ? Could they?

    PM Jeremy Hunt uncontested?

    • Greg Park

      Would not surprise me. The centrist establishment will not allow an inch from here on in. They are already feeling safer, more secure and more in control than they have done for the last 6 years. Bozo and Corbyn have been dispatched. Starmer safely exonerated by a crude whitewash. They will now want to guarantee that ultra reliable deep state elites are firmly back in charge across the whole of Westminster. Establishment Tories are more than capable of emulating Starmer in rigging leadership elections to that end.

      • Goose

        The UK establishment are their own worst enemy, by rigging democracy and creating two identical parties.

        Imagine if Jeremy Hunt becomes PM..

        Starmer vs Hunt at PMQs – the political equivalent of the Stepford wives.

        • Goose


          Domain Name:
          Registry Domain ID: 2663481587_DOMAIN_COM-VRSN
          Registrar WHOIS Server:
          Updated Date: 2021-12-23 T11:31:20Z
          Creation Date: 2021-12-23 T11:31:19Z

          The creation date being the relevant part. Whether it’s related to today’s Ready4Rishi isn’t clear. But this is politics and would it really surprise anyone if it were?

          • Greg Park

            Ready 4 Rishi, state-shrinking ex Goldman Sachs and hedge fund manager married into a billionaire family.

            Might be the prompt for a great wave of pro democracy demonstrations across China.

  • john

    Ozymandias’ folly is now being perpetrated on a scale which encompasses the US, Europe, and Australasia, IMHO.

    I remember the ’80s in UK, experiencing MT in collusion with RR begin to facilitate the shift to globalization on behalf of international capitalists. Sure, where a man invests his capital is his business alone, but it becomes a huge problem for working populations when simultaneously the import tariffs which protect local industry are removed.

    Fast forward 40 years and mr global has now completely subverted the democratic representatives of the aforementioned bloc, but despite his strenuous military and financial efforts has failed miserably to do similarly with the political powers in Russia and China.

    Now, our democratic representatives are committing suicide on our behalf with economically illiterate and militarily incompetent moves against these powers.

  • Republicofscotland

    From a Scottish perspective on Johnson.

    We need Boris Johnson to hang on, or at least attempt to hang on as PM, which might happen, and according to Labour’s Angela Rayner if that happens Labour will call for a vote of no confidence in the government.

    It then relies on a bit of luck, that Labour, the Lib/Dems, the Greens and even the SNP will join that no vote of confidence along with the disgruntled Tories within the party that resigned or expressed a lack of confidence in Johnson as their leader.

    I’d be hoping that Johnson or the opposition would then try and call for a GE, which for us would bypass the possibility of a poorly organised (in which yes would lose) indyref; we’d skip that completely, saving at least a year and go straight to the GE, and again I’d hope that Sturgeon would be screaming for it to be a plebiscitary one on Scotland dissolving the union.

    The problem is that the Tories will have also worked out all the scenarios on Johnson’s tenure teetering on the edge. I would also expect some sort of legal challenge from Westminster on holding a plebiscitary GE.

    Once again Westminster is in turmoil, lets see what our supposedly independence party (SNP) does to capitalise on it – not for their own gain for a change, which is the norm now, but to get Scotland out of this union.

  • Rare Beastie

    Listening to Any Answers this afternoon with the true blues getting to dominate the programme as if it was a coffee morning in a Conservative Club and and alternatives views getting rudely cut short, not unusual but blatant editorial counter to the tone of the Any Questions audience who were rightly angry at the present situation…and the lies coming from Jacob Rees Mogg, blithely promoting Fracking again as a solution to soaring energy bills and quantative easing US style (thats going well isnt it…so why are they back to proxy wars for oil and gas?)

    Given the “contributions” that were allowed to get soapbox campaigning for the next Tory PM it seems fairly obvious now that we are in for a military coup in the form of one of the ex services candidates.

    I don’t agree that spending money we don’t have on sending long range missiles to Russia via the Ukraine will end the conflict. The UK is in for a right-wing militaristic government as they will earn so much from the weapons manufacturers backing them and they have been preparing for civil dissent for years.

    I agree that so many have known nothing more than the neo-con style of Thatcherism in all its guises and many of those who have had it better Down South are oblivious to the rest of the country or even what created the uneven boom and how it was financed. The progressive voices that want to wipe the slate clean as far as parliamentary structure and real democracy goes and start from scratch, hopefully not as the United Kingdom are getting smothered. I too grew up with propaganda at school that even as an 8 year old I found suspect and distasteful a “geography” book called New Worlds To Conquer. I was looking forward to geography I thought it would be learning about the vast biodiversity and topography of the World; sadly it was about shipping resources from countries called the Empire to Britain. I made my own silent sit-down protests each morning assembly as a Scot in exile at an English primary school by refusing to stand up and sing hymns because it reminded me of English imperialism and control. When we went for lunch and I could not stomach the waste products that they produced as supposed school dinners and would not eat Sago, we would be scolded at the table then lectured the following day in assembly that starving children in Africa could have eaten that food that we would not eat even then although I might have had the wrong continent I thought “well why did you ship their food here?”

    • tom welsh

      Russia is able to destroy the entire UK within 1 hour by sending over a handful of ICBMs (each with multiple independently targetable thermonuclear warheads). Those missiles could not be intercepted.

      Russian authorities, including members of the Duma (Parliament), have begun speaking openly about destroying Central London.

      I always find it amusing that “Duma” means “thought” whereas “Parliament” means “speech”. Which is more useful in a government?

  • Dan Hennessey

    I don’t normally comment here, I usually just apperciate your insight and agree with most of your opinions.

    However I think you have posted the most important comment I’ve ever seen and I’ve seen a lot.

    “neo-liberalism has succeeded in destroying societal values, to the extent that anti-social and even sociopathic behaviour no longer appears peculiar.”

    This is the at the core of the malaise of our current society, I do see the seeds of change but neo-liberalism has such persistent and pervasive power I don’t think if change happens it will be easy or pretty. Recognising the problem is the first step in fixing it though.

    Thanks for your efforts, Mr Murray, you are appreciated.

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