So Now Who Do We Vote For? 252

I can’t recall such utter hopelessness in UK politics, with every political party in the grip of a self-serving cabal of the political class interested purely in personal interest.

The Labour Party is entirely taken over by the Wes Streeting tendency. Its method is to find the most right wing racist in Hartlepool who ever once voted Labour for reasons he is unsure of, and give him everything he wants that might lead him to vote Labour again.

Attack on liberal judges and left wing lawyers? Tick, Labour policy.
Hard Brexit? Tick, Labour policy.
Lock up disruptive climate protestors? Tick. Labour Policy
Kick out refugees quicker than the Tories? Tick, Labour policy.
End support for strikes? Tick, Labour policy.
More public spending cuts? Tick, Labour policy.
Massive defence spending and help bomb the Russians? Tick, Labour policy.

This is combined by throwing in some Labour policies to please the corporate paymasters that not even our right wing nutter in Hartlepool wants, such as massive privatisation of NHS services.

Those of us who are older and left wing will never forget the way that Margaret Thatcher destroyed the social democratic consensus in the UK and shattered British industry as a deliberate policy to that end. But I knew Margaret Thatcher a bit, and I can promise you she was nowhere near as right wing as Keir Starmer.

(Denis was. I once got gloriously drunk with Denis, and ended up hiding on the floor of the car that dropped him back off to a furious Margaret who was late for a State banquet. That is a tale for another day).

One of the very few things Boris Johnson said as PM which was both true and interesting was that Starmer was responsible, as Director of Public Prosecutions, for the decision not to prosecute Jimmy Savile.

This was not merely true, it is impossible sensibly to deny. Yet the entire media and political class rallied round Starmer to attack Johnson when he said it. That was when I first realised Johnson would shortly be out and Starmer foist relentlessly upon us.

As for the Tory Party in power, I don’t know what to say. The United Kingdom has reverted to 18th Century levels of corruption – and of nobody being surprised or alarmed by corruption.

A global pandemic was unashamedly utilised as a means to make vast, corrupt profits for politicians and their friends. I am taking not of millions, nor of billions, but of tens of billions of pounds in excess profits, some of it for vastly over-priced equipment, some of it for indeterminate services, some of it for non-functioning equipment, and much of it that simply cannot be traced at all.

Yet nobody seems to care. The media scarcely mention it, opposition politicians are very strangely silent, the public seem mired in apathetic helplessness. The Good Law Project bang away wonderfully, but in the face of a police and judicial system that does not seem to care either. It is like punching a gigantic, lightly inflated bladder.

Other than looting the public purse, the Tory Party merely enacts a strange set of performative cruelties, where ministers of visibly low intelligence punch down on whichever group drifts into
their sights next, but continually on desperate and sodden refugees.

I used to be a Liberal and my political thought remains steeped in that tradition – Grimond, Beveridge, Keynes, Hobson, Mill, Hazlitt, to name but a few. I left the party when Clegg took over and swung it hard to the right, and I now see no reason whatsoever why anybody would vote for it. I see no evidence of thinking of any kind, let alone radical thinking, coming from the Liberal Democrats.

As you know, I have since 2015 been warning people that Sturgeon had no interest whatsoever in Independence and was turning the SNP purely into a personality cult and a careerist vehicle for the Scottish political class, while gaining popularity through the dead end of Clinton style identity politics.

OK, so I have been proven right. How does that help us? The SNP is so far in the grip of the careerists, albeit by foul means, it is in no sense a radical alternative nor a threat to the United Kingdom.

So where does hope lie? The Green Party in England, (as opposed to the Scottish Green Party which has broken off links with it and contains several of the most unpleasant people on the planet), seems to me to consist of decent and well-motivated people who I could vote for if I lived in England.

The same goes for Plaid Cymru in Wales. In Northern Ireland, while some of my friends say that Sinn Fein have become over-comfortable with the personal luxuries of limited power, I still think the weight of history and community engagement will keep them basically straight.

Il faut cultiver mon jardin and I shall put my back into supporting the Alba Party, but the challenge of breaking into the political system from scratch is a huge one.

But that is it. Of course there are good individual politicians in every political party – yes, including the Tories – but they are increasingly rare. UK politics are a bust. To find someone you can even consider voting for, you are looking for party mavericks, or at the minority nationalities and their representatives.

Yet it is only a few years since Jeremy Corbyn was promising real change on one hand, while on the other Scotland looked able imminently to regain national freedom. From there to hopelessness is quite a giddying plunge.

I urge you to believe that the current, dreadful state of affairs is not permanent. The draining of hope from the sham democracy in which we live does not mean permanent stasis. The exploitation economy and the massive growing wealth gap are not a sustainable dynamic.

Change will come. It will not come through the exhausted charade of the Westminster political system. I do not believe the dystopian nightmare of permanent corporate control which we face, will be able to set its concrete over us before people notice and resist.

I do however now believe things will get worse before they get better. Considerably worse.


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252 thoughts on “So Now Who Do We Vote For?

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  • alexey

    Exactly my thoughts more eloquently put. Where is there a policy to vote for if you are interested in, say, sensible things that will help the majority of people who live and work in this country. Who is putting forward nationalisation of the utilities or rail companies? Who is going to do something about tuition fees? Make using tax havens an offence? Who is going to deliver pay rises that just bring up salaries to what we need to buy? (even Thatcher gave public sector pay rises when first in power)? Who is going to invest in the NHS rather than sell it off? There is literally no party to vote for, no policies to vote for, nothing other than the status quo. Voting is pointless. I’m going to go through the ritual and if there isn’t a minority party on the left to vote for, the ballot paper will be spoiled.

    • General Cologne

      Craig, shouldn’t be coy, it’s not about who to vote for.
      If you as much as live, i.e. eat and shit, under Capitalism and nothing more, you are still complicit in perpetuating the worst socioeconomic system that has ever existed.
      Because you still generate profit for the capitalist exploiter, however little you try to achieve or to (not) contribute to society.
      It’s no use and there is no cure but total destruction of everything.
      Heads must rock and roll.

        • General Cologne

          At this time my suggestion would be a re-basing of capitalism.
          Said re-basing to be achieved by rounding up and executing all billionaires (including and especially the likes of Musk, Gates, Bezos, Buffet, Soros, Google goo dudes etc.), all multimillionaires, and possibly all millionaires, possibly with members of family and issue. Top politicians too? Especially where overlap.
          Their assets to be seized, without compensation, of course, for lack of any survivors to compensate, and to be distributed among all members of society equally.
          Then start over, repeat as needed but in about a 100 years’ time.

  • Robert Dyson

    You amplify well my own views. From the feeling of hope I had with Corbyn/McDonnell to the current cesspit in less than four years is crushing. I agree on the English Green Party, one of my sons does leafleting for them. I too will focus on personal work for now as I don’t expect to be around when at last things start to get better. Let’s keep connected.
    “Only connect! That was the whole of her sermon. Only connect the prose and the passion, and both will be exalted, and human love will be seen at its height. Live in fragments no longer.”

        • JohnA

          Nato has never acted in defence of its member states. It is an aggressive imperialist enforcer. I would have voted Green until they endorsed Nato. Can never vote for them now.

        • Stevie Boy

          NATO should be closed down. It only exists to provide the USA with a faux justification for its hegemonic agenda. No USA, No NATO.
          Are the USA’s enemies really our enemies ? If so, why ? Justify to the people why another nation is perceived to be our enemy and we have to spend huge amounts on the MIC – let’s spend that money on diplomacy and peace.

          • Ebenezer Scroggie

            Well said, Stevie Boy.

            NATO was set up as a defensive alliance in the 1940s when there was a perception, wrong as it turned out, that the Soviet advance through Germany in 1945 had such momentum that they might get carried away with themselves and steamroller through territory which was occupied by the United States.

            The meme or trope that we in Britain should be afraid that any day now we should expect a knock on the door from a fur-hatted soldier with snow on his boots demanding to know where our daughters are lasted an astonishingly long time.

            NATO became a monster.

            When WarPac, its only excuse for existence, evaporated NATO should have been dissolved immediately.

            The Russians made a catastrophic blunder when they believed the bullshit that NATO would not expand “one inch” beyond the newly acquired East Germany.

            Now NATO has become, by far, the greatest threat to world peace.

            Would an independent Scotland, if we the people of Scotland had wanted such a ghastly prospect of becoming a cold water version of Cuba, side with NATO? Or would it have the way of the Iceland? The SNP position, as with so many other things, is rather obscure.

            NATO would quite certainly have insisted on retaining Faslane and Coulport and access to the RAF air defence radar data from Buchan and Saxa Vord data in real time as well as the unmentionable SOSUS relay station(s).

            Would a Cuba-style castaway have acceded to such demands from NATO in the knowledge that to do so would make us a prime first strike target for the Russian nuclear arsenal?

            How big a bribe for it take for SNP to accept such a deal? A Billion? Ten Billion? Enough to make up for the lost Barnett Billions? More?

        • Bayard

          “We always have to vote for the least worst.”

          Voting isn’t (yet) compulsory. Either vote for something that you feel represents a change for the better, or don’t vote. I’m hoping that the next election will be marked by a record turnout, the lowest ever, that is.

          • Robert Dyson

            No party represents me perfectly so I always vote against the worst. If enough people do that it gets better.

          • Stevie Boy

            Robert Dyson. Yes, a lot of us have probably done that in the past. However, in the current political climate that doesn’t work. The worst is actually all of them !
            Only vote for what you believe in will always work. Currently what I believe in is provided by ‘none of the above’, so I won’t vote – my conscience will be clear.

          • Bayard

            “Currently what I believe in is provided by ‘none of the above’, so I won’t vote ”

            Amongst the very many reforms to the electoral process that will never happen, having “none of the above” as an option on the ballot paper, with a proviso that the ballot has to be re-run with different candidates if that option gains the most votes, is one of the good ones, another being able to vote against the candidate you dislike the most as an alternative to voting for the candidate you dislike the least.

          • keaton

            another being able to vote against the candidate you dislike the most as an alternative to voting for the candidate you dislike the least.

            This is called “alternative vote” and is widely used, including in Scottish local elections. There was even a referendum in 2011 on instituting it for Westminster elections.

          • Ultraviolet

            I keep getting told I have to vote Labour to get rid of the Tories. If I do that, then I am using my vote to support the destruction of Corbyn and the withdrawal of the very policies I believe this country needs.

            So tell me Robert, how the hell does that lead to things getting better?

  • Kathy Percival

    Please do keep on writing and I will keep on sharing. (Sorry, but it is all I can do just now.) I fear that you are right, and I worry for my offspring’s generation. We are stuck with first past the post, going backwards (I am a Historian, I can see just how much) and no one seems moved to change it. I am desperately seeking a Green candidate to vote for, whilst knowing that won’t happen. Our constituency boundaries have been re-drawn, and gerrymandered, from a marginal red-wall seat, that used to be solid Labour (where at least I know my vote might have counted), to one of the safest Tory seats in Cheshire. It is the frightening lack of a decent opposition, and those who do are marginalised and excluded.

  • Vivian O’Blivion

    A glimmer of hope lies in the public waking up to the invidious character of Poststructuralism and its handmaiden Identity Politics.
    All of the mainstream parties listed as being beyond redemption are irredeemably wed to Poststructuralist dogma. The Greens in England & Wales unlike the Scottish Greens have retained the good sense to exercise some caution with regard to Identity politics.
    Blind adherence to the tenets of Poststructuralism were the first domino to fall in the cascade that led to the downfall of the lavender Ceaușescus. A rapist calling themselves Isla Bryson, with a boaby prominently on display in tight leggings alerted a there-to-with somnolent public.
    Starmer is a rabbit in the headlights. He is aware of the chaos that gripped Sturgeon’s NuSNP but frantically thrashes around trying to triangulate a position that’ll satisfy all. He needn’t bother, the Identity politics zealots know no compromise.

    • SleepingDog

      Course leaders at the Centre for Gender History at the University of Glasgow approvingly quote as their authority ‘historian Thomas Laqueur‘ who claims that the European Enlightenment invented the idea of two distinct sexes, and before that everybody thought there was only one sex. Laquer is apparently an authority on masturbation, I presume of the pseudo-intellectual as well as physical variety.

      • David Ganz

        I know Thomas Laqueur, a fine historian, whose book on death everyone can learn from. Your jibes are unfounded, but the Mail would love them.

        • SleepingDog

          @David Ganz, what jibes, and how are they unfounded? Do you agree with Laqueur’s one-sex two-sex theory (I have not read his book)? Did he not write Solitary Sex – A Cultural History of Masturbation? What has his book on death got to do with it?

          • David Ganz

            Professor Laqueur published his first book on Sunday Schools. His book on sex was written when Foucault was at Berkeley and many historians there were exploring how constructions of sexuality had changed over time. His book on masturbation explored the same phenomenon, and probably helped those who feel guilt about it to see how the hostility changed and developed, and more recently melted away in most Western countries. The book on attitudes to dead bodies and their disposal raises questions which we will all have to face. All 4 books are very richly documented. To make fun of an author without having read him, while now widespread, is seldom helpful: if I was wrong to call that a jibe I am happy to apologize. I am happier to urge people to read Laqueur, it broadens the mind.

  • Jay

    Yeah it’s bleak. The Extreme Centre/ UK state has outmatched all its adversaries of the last 15 years since the 2008 crisis – from Scottish indy, to Corbyn, to the unions. And through Sunak and Starmer it will also inch its way back into the EU and undo Brexit, its one partial defeat.

    • Jay

      Is there anything more emblematic of the total redemption and victory of the Extreme Centre/ UK state in 2023 than the fact the most listened-to politics/current affairs podcast in the UK is now one hosted by Iraq war criminal Alastair Campbell and MI5 chimp Rory Stewart? It is like nothing has happened.

  • Ian English

    Looking at how the Greens have behaved in Germany over Ukraine I’d give that option a wide berth. They are part of The Extreme Centre. As for belittling individuals who live in Hartlepool, you’re acting like the sneering Liberal elite that likes to feel righteous and morally superior.

    • Jay

      The German Greens are definitely their model/ trajectory. It was well publicised that at their recent party conference they voted overwhelmingly to abandon their longstanding policy of opposition to NATO.

    • Lapsed Agnostic

      In the 2021 Hartlepool by-election, Ian – which was won with over 50% of the vote, and the biggest post-war swing by far to a governing party in a by-election, by a Yorkshire Tory with no connection to the monkey-hangers – the likeable (if you ask me) former Corbyn-era Labour MP Thelma Walker, who was running as an Independent but was endorsed by the newly-formed Northern Independence Party*, declared herself (almost certainly correctly) to be the only socialist candidate standing, but couldn’t even muster 1% of the vote, and indeed only got two votes more than a recently-convicted sex offender Independent, who claimed that he was only standing “to see how much publicity I can get” (quite why he’d want that I’ve no idea). At the same time, every single one of the Tory candidates for the local council that stood got elected. Even by Teesside standards, Hartlepool voters really are something else.

      For what it’s worth, if I’m still living in England, I’ll probably be voting Green at the next General Election (assuming they have a candidate standing).

      *She wasn’t able to stand for them since the silly (Brighton-based) northern monkeys weren’t apparently able to fill in an Electoral Commission party registration form without messing it up.

      • Ian English

        H’Angus the Monkey would have got my vote. I was hoping Sammy the Stag would stand in my town. Perhaps a football mascots party is the way forward. Cyril the Swan facing Lenny the Lion at PMQs would show how much contempt we have for politicians.

        • Lapsed Agnostic

          Thanks for your reply Ian. H’Angus of course famously beat the Labour candidate to become mayor of Hartlepool in 2002. I guess you’re a Mansfield Town fan (I had to check Sammy wasn’t Ross County’s mascot – he’s called Rosco). Good luck for making the play-offs in League Two – although today’s draw at bottom club Rochdale won’t have helped in that regard. Enjoy the rest of Easter Monday anyway.

          • Ian English

            Many thanks for the support. Mansfield Town needs all the support it can get. Sammy the Stag now has Samantha Stag to keep him company and provide gender balance.

          • Squeeth

            This is the first time that I’ve seen Mansfield mentioned without it being about an armed marriage or a murder. Lucky for me that I grew up in Mansfield Woodhouse. ;O)

      • Lapsed Agnostic

        Thanks for your reply Boss. Hartlepool has probably changed a bit since your day – usual story: too few jobs; too many drugs. I’ve only been there a couple times, but remember thinking: this is a little bit rough – at the time I was living in central Middlesbrough, a used hypodermic’s throw from Gresham ward.

        I know Peterlee / Horden a bit better. It’s tragic what’s happened in Horden (especially to the Numbered Streets) this past decade:

        It wasn’t the pit closing in the 80’s* that destroyed the community, but the bedroom tax (you can have a look on Streetview and compare what it was like in 2013 to now). People thought they couldn’t live on £60 a week, instead of £75, and left to find one-bed flats somewhere or other where they knew no one. The tragedy is compounded by the fact that with a bit of thought and a change in diet (for the better) most of them could have managed – at least before the recent cost-of-living crisis. The local Conservative Club (as seen at 3:45 and located near the Numbered Streets) is still doing good business apparently (video was filmed during lockdown), which, to my mind, is like the bereaved parents of 1st-century Bethlehem drowning their sorrows in the King Herod pub. I still think it can be turned around (especially now that the new train station has opened) but then I’m an optimist. Enjoy what’s left of the Easter break.

        * I only found out a few years ago that ‘Red Hill Mining Town’, the curtain-raiser on side 2 of U2’s 80’s milestone ‘The Joshua Tree’ album, was about Horden. I always used to think it was about somewhere in the Mojave Desert.

  • TheBlogg

    I used to think of myself as completely of the Centre, appalled by Tory greed and contemptuously amused by Labour rules and procedural devices, and I happily voted for Grimond / Charlie Kennedy Liberals, though in over 50 years of assiduous voting I have never yet voted for anyone who has actually won. Corbyn enthused me to vote Labour in the last two elections, but now the overton window has lurched so sharply to the right that I am left fairly rootless. I have a good Green candidate to vote for in the local elections, but beyond that I simply don’t know. I’m too old now to emigrate.

    Perhaps the best hope I have is for a hung parliament, in which Starmer has to recruit the LibDems, at the cost of a proper PR vote referendum (which I think would win). That could prompt a complete reset of parties, which might save us all – but I don’t expect to live long enough to see that happen.

  • Goose

    We’re shaped by our awful two-party system. A system created in a different era, that now only functions to lock-out and prevent meaningful democratic choice & change.
    Everything that’s going wrong or bad in the Anglosphere: corruption – corporate lobbying, judicial interference; intel agency overreach; unprincipled, unpopular party careerists; growing inequality, xenophobia; zero meaningful debate, voter disenfranchisement – can all be laid at the door of FPTP, and specifically, the collusion of the gruesome dominant twosome. Supporting proportional representation should be a basic demand from any party wanting our votes.

    • Ian

      I would’ve said the same thing until recently. I live in Scotland and Holyrood with PR has been just as poor as the rest of the UK. It could be that the binary nature of the independence question forces us into binary mode?

      • Stevie Boy

        IMO, the problem is twofold: ‘The Party System’ and FPTP.
        PR is definitely a step in the right direction BUT if the PR choices are for Political Party’s then you run into the same old, same old problems, ie. Politicians whose loyalty is to the Party, never to Policy or the people. Maybe a Swiss Referendum based system would be better.

        • Jimmeh

          I used to favour PR; until I looked into it a bit more carefully (I agree that FPTP is dreadful).

          PR usually means some kind of party-list system; that would result in candidates chosen centrally by their party machines, not by consituency parties; that in turn would make it political suicide for a representative to break ranks with the party leadership. As far as I can see, the only other true PR alternative is multi-member constituencies, which probably means much bigger consituencies. I don’t see how an independent can ever be elected under party-list.

          I favour instead one of the systems referred to variously as ranked voting, instant runoff or AV. These are not true PR, but they avoid concentrating power in the hands of party machines, which I think would be worse than FPTP.

          I also favour regional assemblies in England, and much more devolution of power to local authorities. I see that as a step that would favour greater political diversity.

          In the past I’ve nearly always voted Labour. Labour’s purge of Corbyn and socialism has put an end to that. I won’t be voting for Steer Karma’s party.

      • Jimmeh

        > Holyrood with PR has been just as poor as the rest of the UK

        Wrong sort of PR. Holyrood operates a party-list system, which gives party aparatchiks total control. I want STV, which isn’t really PR, but I don’t care about theoretical purity. I just want a voting system that (a) doesn’t hand all power to party bosses, and (b) gives a fair chance to small parties and independents. I’m afraid Labour won’t bite; they seem to prefer winner-takes-all, even though Labour usually loses elections.

    • Bayard

      “Supporting proportional representation should be a basic demand from any party wanting our votes.”
      I’m puzzled by the enthusiasm for PR, when it has never demonstrated that it produces any real reduction in the control by the local elite of the polities where it is used. FPTP has the (single?) merit that it is very simple and requires nothing more than a counting of the votes to determine the winners. Any PR system would put us on the slippery slope towards electronic voting, with its widespread opportunities for corruption. There are other electoral methods, like multi-member constituencies, which combine the simplicity of FPTP (being essentially first, second, third and fourth past the post) with the representational advantages of PR.

      • Stevie Boy

        IMO, Electronic voting systems (EVS) are not a problem. It’s the dodgy contracts given out to dodgy companies with links to security services that are the problem. It’s not difficult to implement secure communications and to ensure one person, one vote. After all banking systems and others like Amazon work just fine, such that we are happy to use them on a day to day basis.
        A bit of a dig into the electronic voting systems used in the USA highlights that it is the companies given the contracts that are the real problem – as they say, GIGO.
        We could virtually guarantee that if the UK was to go down the EVS route then contracts would be handed out to companies with USA or Israeli links, not something that would give me confidence.
        What are we really voting for at a GE ? A new government or “650 idiots who prefer to deal in facile virtue signalling and consensus politics about trivia rather than tackling real issues.” Maybe the GE should be limited to the explicit, executive roles needed to provide a functioning government, then let the executives staff their offices appropriately within budget constraints. Run the government like a company based on relevant experience, merit and performance.

        • Bayard

          Electronic voting does have one flaw, which is that it is untraceable. Once your vote becomes 1s and 0s, how do you know what happens to it? You have to trust that it will translate into results in a ballot. Paper votes have a physical existence.

          • Steve Hayes

            That’s very true. Even more fundamental is that counting paper ballots is pretty easy to understand. I’ve attended counts. Any method used to rig it would have to involve a lot of people in a lot of places, some of whom might blab. In contrast, a computer is a mysterious box ministered to by just a few high priests. As someone who works with the things, I’ve tried to come up with a rat proof concept but it always falls foul of the need to prevent people showing how they voted. That’s a vital protection against the sale or coercion of votes.

      • Steve Hayes

        Yes, that’s it, or at least what the electoral system wonks recommend. Single Transferable Vote with multi-member constituencies as, I think, used in the Irish Republic. Its two huge advantages are: 1 – if the constituencies are reasonable sizes, there’s an inbuilt barrier that generally keeps out the looniest fringe parties. No Israel. 2 – it’s the voters who get to rank the candidates put forward by each party. In contrast, with a list system the candidate at the top of a major party’s list is almost guaranteed election while the one at the bottom has no chance and the candidates’ priority becomes backstairs crawling to get higher up the list. This is something I’ve personally seen happen in the now defunct Euro elections. A third advantage is that it keeps some geographic link with our representatives, but now with a choice of who to take a problem to.

        • Bayard

          I was thinking more like the system already in use for town and parish councils. There is a list of candidates, you vote for one with a non-transferable vote and the five or whatever candidates with the most votes go to Parliament. This has the advantage that, in most constituencies, parties wouldn’t risk fielding more than one candidate and thereby splitting the vote. It is a simple, traceable system that is already in use and does not require voters to do anything different to what they already do under FPTP.

          • Steve Hayes

            In the system we have locally here, you’d have five votes and the main parties would put up five candidates. If people simply vote on party lines, one party is going to win them all – no real difference from FPTP. If it’s just one non-transferable vote, it’s going to be a complete lottery. A party with massive support might win anywhere from one to five seats purely depending how the votes spread across their candidates.

          • Bayard

            “If people simply vote on party lines, one party is going to win them all – no real difference from FPTP. ”

            Yes, that is why it is important that voters only have one vote. Even in a “safe” constituency, the “safe” party would only win the number of seats that is less than its majority divided by the votes for the party that polls the second highest, assuming that party fielded a single candidate. People generally vote on party lines, so it is fairly safe to assume that the votes would be evenly spread across the candidates, indeed it would be in the party’s interest to make sure this is the case. Given that a “safe” five member constituency could only be created by rolling five “safe” single member constituencies into one and given that the “safe” party would have to count on getting at least 84% of the vote and that only if it was spread evenly between the candidates; so, in practice it would have to be 90% of the vote to do as well as they did under FPTP. There are not many places in the UK where you could find five contiguous constituencies with that level of support for a single party.

      • Squeeth

        If winning required a minimum of 50% of the votes of the electorate plus one it would encourage candidates to get the vote out rather than keep it in.

      • Jimmeh

        You don’t need electronic voting machines to implement STV. It’s hardly more burdensome to implement by hand than FPTP. Although, admittedly STV isn’t ‘pure’ PR.

    • Yuri K

      The advantage of the two-party system is that it creates an illusion of choice w/o actually providing one. The more voters are divided along the party lines on a variety of secondary issues, mostly cultural, such as abortion laws, transgenderism in schools, gun control and so on (in the US), the less they are able to notice that whatever the election outcome is, they are still ruled by the same gang of corrupted super-mega-rich who get richer and richer with every election cycle.

  • glenn_nl

    Don’t forget that sure path to success – “naming and shaming” drug users.

    Hosts on the consistently excellent US podcast The Majority Report ( ) were puzzling over why Britain now has two right-wing parties, just the other day. Damned if I could explain it, other than sheer opportunism at the top of Labour – they know the Tories are finished, and know that the support of the Establishment and corporate press will make them a shoo-in.

    It is extremely hard to find any source for optimism. The treatment of Corbyn seems designed as a lesson for anyone even entertaining the idea of progressive politics. Having a completely disillusioned electorate, unengaged and cynical, is doubtless seen as a good thing. But maybe that’s just my personal cynicism.

    • Kristy

      I agree. It’s the FPTP system. No alternatives can emerge. Red or Blue, take your pick, they’re the same. The referendum on the AV system was attacked by the media. The ignorant were led by their noses.

        • Ultraviolet

          It was; but it was also obvious that if we did not vote to move away from FPTP then, we would never get the chance again. I curse to hell the damn fools in the no to AV, yes to PR campaign, the Labour party for not wholeheartedly backing it, and the idiots who just wanted to give
          Clegg a kicking.

      • glenn_nl

        Indeed – that referendum was set up to fail. Any sympathy for the LibDems was gone after they got into bed with the Tories, betraying everyone who had voted for them. As Cameron said at the time, the current election process “has served us very well!” By ‘us’, of course, he meant his lot.

        So it was the Tory Establishment and corporate press against a now totally discredited LibDem party motion. What a surprise that it failed.

  • Squeeth

    The Liarbour Partei has never supported a strike, Callaghan began Thatchlerism in 1976 and ended the (rhetorical) commitment to full employment.

  • DiggerUK

    I have never been able to tolerate the cavalier attitude many have towards drunks and alcoholics. It can only be classed as a serious defect in my eyes.
    How can rational thought ever prosper in such an inadequate?

    An alcoholic, is an alcoholic, is an alcoholic…_

  • Alex Birnie

    Craig Murray is a talented wordsmith, but his inner hatred is sometimes exposed by the language he employs.

    According to Mr Murray, “the Scottish Green Party contains…..some of the most unpleasant people on the planet”.

    Leaving aside the fact that Mr Murray doesn’t name names (he often casts sleekit innuendos leaving the readers to ponder about the identity of his target), is he seriously suggesting that some of the people in the Scottish Greens are as evil as the likes of Putin, MBS, Xi etc …… men who have had their own countrymen murdered?

    Please name these Scottish Green monsters, Mr Murray. We need to know, because these monsters are actively influencing the Scottish Government. If you don’t name them, then you’re a sneaky cad.

    Despite the doom-laden prognostications that Murray sets out, Scotland will be an independent nation, as soon as a majority of Scottish voters have demonstrated that independence is the sovereign will of the Scottish people.

    We can then start building the social democracy we all crave. Speaking personally? I hope that the emergent political parties of independent Scotland follow the example of the SNP and refuse to touch Murray with a barge pole. The thought of this sleekit wee rat standing on his hind legs, pontificating in Holyrood, makes me want to boak.

    • Squeeth

      Hasn’t the British government legalised rape, torture and murder by its servants? Your list of evil people is rather facile.

      • Alex Birnie

        I’ll be happy to add any names to the list if I agree with them, but you’re avoiding the main argument. Murray has averred that several (unnamed) – (as usual) – Scottish Greens are the most unpleasant people on the planet.

        I’ve gone through the list of Scottish Greens that I know, and to suggest that any of them are “the most unpleasant people on the planet” says more about Murray’s mindset than about them.

        So, your facile answer leaves the question unanswered. Just who ARE these Scottish Greens who are “the most unpleasant people on the planet”?

        I didn’t think anyone could overtake Stu Campbell for sheer unadulterated nastiness, but Craig Murray is fast coming up on the rails……

        • Bayard

          Craig is at least talking about people he knows about directly and has probably met. Your list of monsters is, by contrast, three people you know nothing about except what you have heard through totally biased media.

          • Alex Birnie

            Couple of points….. if you are suggesting that thr likes of Putin, Xi and MLS AREN’T murderous thugs, then you are taking your mistrust of media to a ridiculous extreme.

            Secondly, Murray isn’t talking about people “he has probably met”. He has made a scurrilous attack on members of the Scottish Greens, whom he DOESN’T NAME!!

            This is typical of the mudslinging bar stewards who are parasitic growths on the indy movement, of which Murray is now a leading light.

            Who is he talking about? Patrick Harvie? Is Harvie to be ranked alongside Putin? Is Maggie Chapman a murderer like Xi? Has Ross Greer had a political opponent killed and hacked to pieces as MLS did?

            If you can swallow an absolutely SHITE statement like “The Scottish Greens contain some of the most unpleasant people on the planet”, then you are beyond the boundaries of common sense.

            We must all hold our politicians to account, but now that the Internet is polluted by self appointed arbiters of good and evil, we need to credit these people when they are speaking truth to power, but equally, we need to call them out when they spout absolute garbage as Murray has done here.

          • Bayard

            “….. if you are suggesting that thr likes of Putin, Xi and MLS AREN’T murderous thugs, then you are taking your mistrust of media to a ridiculous extreme.”

            If you think the media are not capable of consistently lying about anything, then you are being extremely naive. Sure those three are not particularly nice men, but nor are most people who climb the greasy pole of politics to become the leaders of states. How many deaths was President Obama responsible for and he’s one of the better ones?

            As to the rest of your hyperbole, others have answered it better than I already. The very fact that you and others know who Craig is talking about shows that he had no need to name names. Those who know, know. Those who don’t know, don’t care, by and large.

    • Dawg

      Alex B, your hatchet-job critique wrongly conflates “unpleasant” with “evil”. People can be unpleasant in myriad ways, most obviously to the bodily senses, without being evil. Assuming that Craig’s criticism is more weighty than calling the Greens stinky, noisy, or ugly – although he may mean that too (quite aptly in some cases) – the more cogent interpretation is that their behaviour is unpleasant, e.g. by being deliberately confrontational. Some protestors would argue that it can be very moral to be deliberately nasty in the service of an important campaign. (Iirc, Jesus was unpleasant to the money-lenders in the temple, for commendable reasons.) So not necessarily evil, then.

      See what you make of this brief video clip of someone being extremely unpleasant outside Holyrood:

      I would suggest there is also something quite unpleasant about blinkered Sturgeonites who instinctively fulminate against an avowed independence campaigner who criticises their beloved golden calf. But I wouldn’t brand them evil for doing so. Mistakes can be well intentioned.

    • Cynicus

      “the most unpleasant people on the planet”?
      Have you never heard of poetic licence?

      Allowing for that, Craig is bang on the money. The Scottish Greens, individually, are extremely unpleasant people. I will exempt from that description those who stood by the best and most gifted of their number, Andy Wightman, before he was forced out.

      Would you care to name them, if that is the preferred pronoun?

    • DGP

      I was a SGP member up until the expulsion/resignation of Andy Wightman over his reluctance to accept the zealotry over Tyrans policy (spelling is deliberate).
      It is noticeable that the SGP under Harvie, Slater and Chapman are implacably supportive of Trans rights. Andy Wightman could not agree to a policy which could not be challenged. There is an absolute embargo on any kind of dissent within the SGP. Andy was a real asset to the SGP due to his excellent work on Land ownership in Scotland and his forestry knowledge.

      Organised debate on gender etc/ is no longer permitted. I had an email ‘exchange’ with the the local parliamentary candidate and she would not even reply, as I suspect that she would have fallen out of favour had she done so. It would have not been permitted. So in short there is a deeply oppressive/corrosive absolutist atmosphere around the TRANS issue in the SGP. I am not sure who Craig is referring to but there is only Harvie, Slater, Chapman and Greer to consider within formal politics, Harvie and Slater have been appointed ministers in the Sturgeon government. There are a number of extreme Trans activists who have attached themselves to the party because of the party policy and some of these have a reputation for extremely unpleasant campaign techniques/behaviour. These may be the people referred to.

      As for the political /government appointments, I have no comment on Harvie other than there are rumblings of a not very appealing character up close. I think he would be regarded as an ‘effective’ party leader – he makes the speeches, but verges on the authoritarian. I suspect he is the prime enforcer within the Trans policy and commands the support of other zealots. Naturally the party is now a magnet for trans activists/zealots. The focus and expertise has moved away from the traditional environmentalist hippyish tree-hugging types. Neither is it like the environmentalism of Andy Wightman, who put a professional analytical solidity to the environmentalist perspective, but his departure signalled an end to that. Neither is it strongly “extinction rebellion’ (see Clark’s post below) preferring the conformity and benefits of government position.
      I have met Maggie Chapman who is quite knowledgeable, incisive and sharp witted around green matters. Her passion can sometimes feel threatening although I always had the impression of her heart being in the right place. Ross Greer is less active, but also I think his instincts are fine. He has gone to a lot of trouble to campaign against the utterly absurd and inappropriate Flamingo Land attempt to develop within the Loch Lomond National Park. I hope he succeeds.

      Finally Ms. Slater, whom I dont know or her exact expertise. She comes, as far as I know, from a corporate background and has experience in Engineering projects in Orkney/ Pentland firth related to Tidal power.

      Recently she was seen entering into a PFI agreement with a cadre of business/banking types from London with a view to restoring/rewilding areas of land in the borders, and expanding an area of temperate west coast rain forest. This is mixed up with carbon offset schemes which I must assume the bankers are hoping to sell to major polluters. It is very questionable that this is a good scheme. It seems an expensive way to achieve little in terms of abatement of atmospheric carbon. It is unknown what kind of planting will be carried out, what species and techniques will be employed and it has the appearance of underwriting commercial forestry for wealthy landowners, something that would not be acceptable within the current environmental/independence context of a move to a restoration of natural environments. It has been condemned by such well-informed voices as Grubby Greenwash. I have been trying to get more information on the detail of how the 2 BILLION will work but I have not been able to get anything so far.
      So far, not impressive from Ms Slater who has, as far as I know, no expertise or experience of the complexities of land-use environmental restoration in Scotland – although one must expect that she has taken advice from the usual suspects.

  • Vivian O’Blivion

    Almost all mainstream political parties in the UK are compromised by the US, permanent state through a combination of the British American Project and the State Department’s International Visitors Leadership Programme.
    In this, I don’t place the blame with external forces, ie the State Department and CIA, but rather assert that these agencies are the cut-outs through which our own permanent state (notably MI5) exercises control. This is an area of debate amongst spook watchers but I believe the case of wee Simon Bracey-Lane conclusively proves that the British and American security services work on a quid pro quo basis.
    On a structural level all political parties are open to the cultivation of careerist individuals by external agencies once well remunerated positions become available. The salaries of MPs and MSPs attract legions of middle class humanities graduates, devoid of genuine political conviction. Crafted manipulation these individuals through introduction to the IVLP produces the required results for the permanent state. Individuals who seek personal promotion rather than a fixed political agenda are easily tutored on the limits of acceptable thought.
    We now have a First Minister, Cabinet Minister and junior Minister who are IVLP alumni.
    I was sceptical of our host’s proposal to ditch “Short money”. I now see this as essential. The SNP receives £1.2m / annum in Short money from the British state.

    • Squeeth

      True; in Hull you join Liarbour or live in perpetual opposition, hence the city council being so right-wing that there’s no need of a local Tory (Officials) partei or Tory (Officials) MPs.

    • Goose

      I’m sure the US State Dept see this interference in allied countries as simply taking steps to protect their interests. The UK accepts this interference, presumably because they know the ‘special relationship’ allows them to punch above their weight on the world stage? Hence why it’s so attractive to ministers. The Empire may be gone but this special relationship allows the British elite to pretend it never really ended.

      It’s not just the UK. As we’ve seen with the farcical lack of cooperation over the Nord Stream investigation; with Swedish, Danish and German political elites prostrating themselves before the US. Presumably fearing some unspecified punishment or economic sanction, were any of them to break ranks and attribute blame.

      The UK two-party system can never be a vehicle to challenge these ‘bigger than domestic politics’ UK – US arrangements. Another reason why we need PR, to enable voters to change the current crop of subservient politicians, for some who’ll at least acknowledge what’s going on therefore starting a debate.

      • Jimmeh

        > the farcical lack of cooperation over the Nord Stream investigation

        It’s not a farce, and there’s no need for any investigation; everyone knows the USA was behind it, and Norway were probably involved. Nobody wants any proof to turn up; that would just result in some very expensive lawsuits involving Russian and German gas traders.

    • Stewart

      Interesting comment. Robin Ramsay has talked a lot about the British American Project – in common with the WEF’s young global leader programme, alumni seem to have greatness thrust upon them regularly.
      I think we need to start thinking beyond nation states.
      Western “intelligence” agencies are certainly working for somebody, but it’s not their respective nation states, is it? The corporate hirelings and sock-puppets that compose our political class know next to nothing about what goes on in Millbank or Vauxhall – the idea that they can somehow tell them what to do is risible.

      • glenn_nl

        Don’t talk daft. Social Security in the USA is the most successful, popular and efficient public programme ever created. The state pension scheme in the UK is severely underfunded compared with our European counterparts, but still provides against total poverty.

        Pretending that it’s all a Ponzi scheme is a tired old right-wing myth, peddled by those who want the entire thing abolished, plus their stooges and useful idiots of course (the latter of whom have no idea what they’re talking about – I give the benefit of the doubt and put you into that category).

        • Stevie Boy

          “A Ponzi scheme is an investment fraud that pays ‘existing investors’ with funds collected from ‘new investors’.”
          The UK State Pension pays ‘pensioners’ from funds collected from the NI/Tax contributions of the ‘current workforce’. Note: To get a full state pension you have to have worked and made NI contributions for 35 years.
          The UK State Pension is based on the ‘obviously’ false premiss that there will always be more contributing workers than pensioners. A Census is held every ten years so that the government is always fully aware of the expected future population.
          Incompetence, Corruption, Ponzi Scheme – take your pick.
          As Aden said “where has the money gone ?” [Note rhetorical question]

          • glenn_nl

            All robins are birds.
            All eagles are birds.
            Therefore, eagles are robins.

            That’s your logic, right above.

            Ponzi schemes are where the money coming in is going straight back out – no investment, no bonds, no decades of interest in a growing economy – nothing. If you cannot tell the difference then – like a number of other subjects we’ve come across recently – that’s your problem.

            Perhaps you could explain why every civilised country has a state pension scheme? No, don’t bother trying. Waste of time.

          • Stevie Boy

            Okay, I won’t waste time pointing out the obvious logic failures and incorrect assumptions.
            Just to say, i believe state pension schemes are a good thing and they’re not exclusive to civilised countries, whatever that may be!
            The thing is, a pension scheme whether state or private has to work, ie. It has to provide the agreed benefits to its members. The UK system isn’t really working because it was set up on an obviously false premiss. It appeared to be working whilst the baby boomers were all working and contributing but now that they are all retired it doesn’t work. This is not a mystery, as I mentioned the census identified this issue more than 50 years ago. And it’s not unique to the UK. There is not one financial system that is fixed and will work for all times, and pension systems are no different. They need to evolve and adapt. The current pension issues are just a heads up on a much bigger pension problem on the horizon – how is the UK going to pay the pensions of the millions of new citizens rocking up in boats on the south coast?
            The current (Ponzi-based) pension system cannot survive. We are going to need a system more in line with the private sector schemes. Or maybe your massive intellect has a magic solution that a dumbass like me cannot see?

          • Bayard

            “The current pension issues are just a heads up on a much bigger pension problem on the horizon – how is the UK going to pay the pensions of the millions of new citizens rocking up in boats on the south coast?”

            That’s not a bug, it’s a feature. The problem with the government’s non-fund pension scheme, is, as you point out, an ageing population. Each generation pays taxes to fund the previous generation but one’s pensions. Currently, due to insufficient productive sex on the part of the inhabitants of these isles twenty years ago, we are faced with a shortage of working-age adults to pay the pensions of their grandparents’ generation. Without a time machine, this problem is insoluble unless we import working age adults. Importing has the added benefit in that we have had to pay neither for these adults’ upbringing, nor their education. We don’t even have to pay to bring them here; they do that, out of their own pockets. What’s not to like?

          • Clark

            Stevie Boy, April 10, 23:43 –

            “…the millions of new citizens rocking up in boats on the south coast”

            “Millions”? This overstates the numbers by at least a factor of a thousand. And people desperate enough to make such a hazardous boat crossing don’t become citizens; they live in fear of being discovered and deported. I think someone’s been reading the wrong tabloids.

          • MrShigemitsu

            Taxes don’t *fund* UK govt spending, whether state pensions, schools, benefits, the NHS, or anything else.

            After setting a budget, approved by parliament, the gov via the Paymaster General, creates the currency required for departmental spending at a BoE keystroke, literally spending it into existence.

            Taxation imposed in the usual way on initial and subsequent transactions, hoovers up the excess currency *after* the spend, so that gov spending can continue, ad infinitum, without causing inflation. Other than enforcing ubiquitous acceptance of the national currency, that prevention of inflation is actually the main purpose and function of tax.

            There will never be a shortage of pounds to pay pensioners; any shortage would more likely be in the *real resources* that need to be produced by the working generation to provision not only itself, but the generations above and below it.


            As an aside, if there really is a generational imbalance and a scarcity of labour, then the hope would be that technology would automate many production and administrative jobs, leaving humans to do those tasks like caring and education that are best suited to being done by people rather than the machines or AIs that can do the rest.

          • Lapsed Agnostic

            Re: ‘Millions? This overstates the numbers by at least a factor of a thousand.’

            Factor of at least 50, Clark. Around 40,000 people turned up in small boats last year.

          • Clark

            Lapsed Agnostic, thanks for that figure, which I couldn’t find easily, so I took a guess at it being in the low thousands. I’m surprised it’s as many as that. It’s dreadful that so many people are so desperate.

          • Lapsed Agnostic

            Thanks for your reply Clark. The numbers have increased hugely over the last couple years as the smuggling gangs have become much more efficient. Last year, apart from the circa 13,000 Albanians (most of whom will have been recruited by drug gangs), the vast majority of the people in the small boats would have claimed asylum, with most of them getting those claims granted, meaning that eventually they could become British citizens. Now the government are about to outlaw such asylum claims. Meanwhile, around 800,000 people arrived in the UK legally last year.

          • Lapsed Agnostic

            Thanks for your reply Clark. There were about 90,000 asylum applications in the UK last year. The majority of asylum seekers still come in on lorries, vans and increasingly cars – usually with their drivers having been paid off by the gangs. That will probably be reduced this year as the fines are increasing from £2000 per ‘stowaway’ to £10,000. However, when you consider that the chances of being caught are probably less than 1 in 20 per trip*, it should still be a profitable business model for the drivers and the gangs – just not quite as profitable for the latter as the boats.

            * The amount of heroin passing through Folkestone that gets intercepted is less than 2%, and what is usually comes from tip-offs.

    • Bayard

      1. There isn’t and there never was, a national pension fund. Pensions are, and always have been, funded out of general taxation. “National Insurance” is simply another tax on labour, as evidenced by the introduction of compulsory pension contributions a few years ago (which are, effectively, another tax on labour – making labour one of the only things to have three separate taxes levied on it).

      • glenn_nl

        Hard to spend any of it either, without paying at least one form of tax. The likes of fuel have at least two. So when you earn money and buy fuel with it, you’re effectively paying tax on those earnings at least five times.

        What I really like is when you pay tax on tax. VAT isn’t charged on the base amount, it’s charged on that _plus_ the fuel duty tax.

        • Bayard

          “What I really like is when you pay tax on tax. VAT isn’t charged on the base amount, it’s charged on that _plus_ the fuel duty tax.”

          Yes, because fuel duty really adds value, doesn’t it?

        • MrShigemitsu

          All net financial assets come initially from govt spending currency into existence.

          In order to prevent the massive inflation that would occur if continuous gov spending were untaxed, taxes are imposed on each initial and subsequent transaction along the spending chain.

          Until at any positive tax rate, all the initial spend has been returned to the Exchequer, so that the whole spending process can continue, hopefully ad infinitum, without being inflationary.

          That’s why you feel like you’re taxed twice; at the point of earning, and again at the point of spending – because you are. But if you weren’t, you would soon encounter massive inflation, as more and more untaxed govt spending poured into the economy – inflation that would *feel like being taxed* because your money would soon buy you less.

          So you either have your currency sucked away by tax (preferred option), or by inflation. No escape I’m afraid!

  • MIO

    Unfortunately your last sentence rings true. It is a question of how much worse.

    It could be to a level we cannot yet imagine. For an historical analogy, how about Britain c 400 AD..? But even that scale of catastrophe might fall short.

    I grant you individual lives are not lived as catastrophe, but over time the material effects are catastrophic – the destruction of the NHS being closest to my heart right now.

    As for parliamentary politics I would love to place faith in the greens but my local examples are not convincing, nor have they any connection with trade unions or what is left of the organised working class. I don’t see how they can succeed.

    Besides, I knew a media person who once earnestly explained to me why the local green candidate was not telegenic enough to appear on television. Gate-keeping opinion at every level.

    I fear it will be revolution or war – or both; and the war has already started.

    Only a revolution could overturn the trend we are on, and there is no appetite for that in Britain or the US or Europe (France being the honourable exception).

    We are riding a tidal wave. Physics, chemistry and biology will have the last word, and will determine where we end up, both individually and as a society.

    I’d love to find some optimism in the way the dice are stacking up, but I can’t see it.

  • 100%Yes

    Someone on Wings posted the Coatbridge event the other night. I listened to Mr Salmond and his comments on our territorial waters which Tony Blair gave to England, saying the prize is Independence and that we might have to give up on what Tony Blair gave away, I would add if this is Alba Party policy that part of Scotland remains part of England so we can become Independent then the Alba party aren’t the party to be negotiation ever when Scotland becomes Independent. When the people vote for Independence its the whole of Scotland that becomes Independence.

    • DGP

      As I understand it (possibly faulty)it is to do with the way the land border was extended into the north sea to define Scottish/English waters, which meant that a large area of the North sea extending up to close to the Firth of Forth is claimed by England. I believe there are international conventions about how the process is carried out. Is it possible that the Blair/Dewar agreement could be contested in some international jurisdiction in the event of achieving independence? I am not sure but perhaps Craig could offer an opinion.

  • Reza

    “The entire media and political class rallied round Starmer to attack Johnson when he said it”

    So true. Every Tory politician and newspaper gaslit us that it was an outrageous smear of a good man. That was when it should have been clear to everyone how much Starmer is one of theirs. The Tories had been delighted he allowed Savile to escape because the latter was an establishment darling in whose antics both Thatcher and King Charles are deeply implicated.

    However it is unlikely Starmer had to hold his nose when helping Savile because he had already demonstrated a very relaxed attitude to child rape. As DPP he had previously stepped in to get Lord Janner and numerous other paedophiles off the hook. Even when the spotlight was fully on him he selected Mandleson as his chief advisor despite the latter’s well known close friendship with Jeffrey Epstein.

    Has anyone ever heard the Tories or their media utter a word about that? Make of that what you will.

    • DGP

      I was astonished yesterday when I read that Mandelson had connections to Jeffrey Epstein and according to the report had visited the infamous isle It was the first time I had heard this, The same comment said Mandelson had been a close confidant of `Starmer when he was preparing for the turn over of the Labour party. I must admit that Mandelson provokes uncomfortable shivers down my spine- and always has.

    • nevermind

      What of the undercover cop, who sired children due to his job, having relationships with protesters?
      It was Starmer who slung it into the long grass; he is far worse than Bozo and Rishi combined.
      One could question his professional knowledge of EU arrest warrants and his subsequent actions when a Swedish prosecutor, not a judge, applied for an EAW.

      He knew every perverse crime committed by JSavile and still could not get himself to bring some decisive action.
      Was that because JS hobnobbed with PM Thatcher for years? or was it that others like him, high up in society warned him not to?
      Starmer is a rightwing Zionist fanatic who has shown himself to be on the fringe of Atlanticist criminals. He has not an iota of support for a Human rights act, imho. and his cold shouldered ignorance of Julian Assange’s plight proves it.
      The pest on all his houses!

  • nevermind

    I used to write from my mobile and from my computer. I now have had two contributions from my computer erased For a ‘security checking’ purpose.

    I have had a privacy setting for some time now and would like to know what rhis ckeck has come up with?
    Have I got some virus?
    Have I been hacked? Maybe the mods can tell me what has changed that my computer has been outed.
    Just now my mobile has been gotten to as well. Has the security check been taken over?

    [ADMIN: A higher level of Cloudflare security checking than intended for current blog comments has been in force the last few days and that has caused some comments to be eaten. Should be fixed now]

    I keep my mobile and computer activities seperate for a reason. I will not write this all over again.
    The simple answer to the question is:
    Alba, Salvo, and Liberarion Scot should fill this political vacuum and present their policies early, prepare to be challenged on them and take the debate down to local communities.

    The responses of a ‘desperate to hang on to Scotland’ Westminster and their media charlatans will look ever more out of place as people realise the futility of ‘same as it ever was’. Own your policies early, don’t leave it to the last moment when the unionist electoral mood music plays their tune.

      • glenn_nl

        May I suggest always copying the text into the buffer (if not another app, email draft or whatever) before hitting SEND in the comments? If something goes wrong, just paste it back in again. It’s an overhead of mere seconds, and you will find many occasions that you were very glad indeed that you did so.

    • glenn_nl

      I don’t know about “impossible to ignore” – they managed to ignore 2,000,000 of us who marched against the Iraq invasion and occupation.

      They’re just too entrenched – politicians cannot take a view further away than the next election. It’s simply not in their interests, or those they serve (not us, incidentally!) to do so.

      It’s like expecting capitalism or the mythical “free market” to solve society’s problems. By its very nature it is incapable of doing so.

      Not that I disagree with XR, good luck to them. But I don’t see anything happening on a global scale until way, way too late (as if it were not already). Jeez, even something as blatantly obvious as a deadly virus found plenty of idiots all too willing to pursue the bosses’ line of “get back to work!” and ludicrously thought the whole thing was a truly massive hoax.

      • Clark

        Glenn_nl, I agree; the massive demonstrations in cities all over the world were ignored, the US and UK governments proceeded with the devastation of Iraq.

        But the protests weren’t entirely ineffective; when the Cameron government wanted to devastate Syria, it couldn’t get the votes. However, that was years after the Iraq demonstrations; far too slow.

  • DGP

    Like many people I have been digging into the recent SNP past performance. I am ignoring the deplorable Salmond affair (it needs some kind of impartial enquiry with full disclosure and witnesses under oath) and just focussing on assessing day to day events, the kinds of things that require an incisive general competence, proper record keeping (minutes etc), transparency, I mean the kinds of things that happen in all organisations e.g schools colleges various institutes, university departments, voluntary organisations trade unions and political branches, sports clubs ,being run decently and above board. If you read around I am pretty sure most people would agree that proper governance of the SNP under Murrell, and the government under the leadership of Nicola Sturgeon have collapsed. Minutes are probably altered or couched ambiguously, appointments are ‘fixed’ for narrow personal political reasons. Unfathomably expensive adverse decisions are made.

    Impressions are slippery things, but it seems to me that in my parental generation there was a greater attachment to integrity often to the point of being pernickity and tedious in pursuit of propriety. Pennies and halfpennies were prisoners of the treasurer and there was a pride in carrying out functions with great precision. Underlying all this was a community, and a wish to act in a way that recognised the complex weave of common interests in that community.

    I have a sense that there was the common experience of WW2 which may have had a cohesive effect on that generation. I remember an individual who arrived on the local scene with great pomp and sensation with the wartime rank of Captain. Within a few days the ex-sevicemen had sussed out his bogus affectations and service record and from that day on he was greeted with an ironic ‘salute’ and an exaggerated “morning captain”. As an object of ridicule his presence was very short lived.

    I became aware of the breakdown of this community cohesion in the 80’s contemporaneously with the arrival of the 1979 Tories and Mrs Thatcher’s ascendency. The exact mechanism for this shift are obscure but I suspect it was partly connected with Thatcher and the slow ending of that WW2 generation dying off, and their influence waning.

    I noticed the decline in standards in the organisation I was connected to then -Aberdeen City- cronyism became a noticeable feature and competence declined, again I suspect due to the aging of long established incumbents who knew what they were doing. This coincided the parachuting in of unknown characters from distant places with modern corporate “management” skills, at that time called “change management” We can’t get away from the fact that there was a huge shift in technology at that time as computerised systems overtook old, laborious manual systems but at that time it was far from certain that this digitisation was effective or cost beneficial.

    It is noticeable that public life and personal conduct has become devalued and the kinds of fiasco we are learning about regarding the SNP, while shocking, are not confined to that organisation.I sense this is a global phenomenon.

    It seems to me that the recent history of Scottish politics has been notable for the collapse of apparently impregnable ruling groups. First the long-dominant Tories were eliminated (probably pre- devolution). The Labour party then became an apparently impregnable force in the early devolution years, followed by a dramatic exposure of inadequacy and incompetence then we have the ascendancy of the SNP and their apparent incontestable political dominance, now collapsing around our ears.

    I am wondering if this process is functionally related to some ill-defined weakness in our politics as a result of the underlying native desire for independence, that cannot be answered in the context of the electoral/political system in the UK or the devolution settlement. It might be interesting to make a comparison with the early stages of Irish independence which were also marked by this kind of widely swinging instability. Obviously it would require a very good historian to analyse all the competing forces at play.

    I agree with the suggestion that the leadership contest should be re-run but I think the current leader would pull the centre pole of the already shaky SNP tent out like some modern Goliath collapsing the temple, and create even greater mayhem.

    I actually also think there is an urgent need for the SNP to withdraw entitrely from Westminster, and force an electiion over most of Scotland, for a withdrawal/resignation of the entire SNP cohort in Holyrood, again forcing an election. I also think Humsa should publicly decline to attend the coronation, go to the competing AUOB rally and make a commitment to independence. No MPs should attend the coronation. It is utterly inconsistent with the independence of Scotland. It would be great if some activists were to deface the stone of Destiny – an absurd medieval fancy, and symbol of Scottish subjugation. The monarchy is on its last legs with the absurdity of ‘Prince” Harry hovering around like Banquo’s ghost, clearly of a different paternal lineage to the rest of his family, that holds doggedly to the medieval fictions and hocus pocus of the importance of paternal lineage.

    I don’t for one millisecond think that Humza has the courage or integrity to take such a course of action. I fully expect him to bow to the new crowned king and serve out some time before his ascent to the house of’ ‘Lords’.

    Oh, we do live in a time when so many scales are falling from so many eyes.

    • Vivian O’Blivion

      It’s true, I was engaged a few years ago as a contract Project Manager in the supposedly highly regulated Petrochemical sector. My younger associates were mildly bemused that I insisted on all meetings being minuted with invitation to edit before formal distribution. They were used to and comfortable with a top-down, dictatorial management style where “facts” were variable at the whim of senior management.
      Robin McAlpine is if the opinion that the shoddy keeping of statutory records by the Scottish Executive (shoddy implies unintentional whereas I believe it may be entirely purposeful) will prove their eventual downfall when a properly constituted enquiry is convened with powers to compel evidence and forcefully censure miscreants.

    • Alex Birnie

      I didn’t fully understand the logic of your post, but feel free not to vote SNP, and I’ll continue to vote for them, not because I think they are fantastic, but simply because, apart from the Greens, the alternatives are so dreadful.

      I’ve never voted tory. Since the passing of Charlie Kennedy I can’t see the point of voting Lib Dem (aka tory lite), I hate what Blair, Brown and now Starmer have done to the Labour party. I voted for Salmond in 2021, because although I thought what he had done in trying to split the SNP vote was appalling, I’d have rather seen him in Holyrood than Tess White. Having realised just how unpopular Salmond was in his own backyard, I’ll not make that mistake again. In addition, I couldn’t vote for a party that had so many narrow minded bigots in it, or which had so many people willing to ride roughshod over the democratic will of the Scottish voters. (Read a few of Murray’s blogs on the “way forward” to see what I mean.

      I think the Scottish people will express their sovereign will for independence soon. At that time (NOT when Craig Murray decides it’s time), independence will be declared and the SNP leader will be the one declaring it – not a handful of bigots and extremists.

      • Cynicus

        “Since the passing of Charlie Kennedy I can’t see the point of voting Lib Dem….. I hate what Blair, Brown and now Starmer have done to the Labour Party”
        You are a very selective hater. Why don’t you hate what Ian Blockhead’ s SNP did to Charles Kennedy before, during and after the 2015 general election?

      • DGP

        I think that is the essence of the post by Craig. With the SNP Implosion who the hell does one vote for if independence is the goal. I don’t understand your squeamishness re Alba and Salmond. i don’t doubt that the Salmond affair was a politically motivated stitch up. If I hesitate re Alba it is purely to do with the possibility of registering the urgency of an independence movement, i.e. the strength of Alba as a vehicle for independence. I am awaiting developments at the moment. See my post above for my assessment of the sgp. Basically unsupportable under the Harvie totality and its associations, and poor record of policy development, i.e. they are not actually a green party, they are a bolt hole for trans activists who are dabbling in the shallows of Fascism. They are a Greenwash party and I am doubtful of their commitment to Independence.

        Not sure what you mean by ‘bigots’. I can only assume you mean people who do not accept the idea of trans rights. This is an intensely difficult subject which is very slowly coming to a resolution, although I suspect it will take another year to settle down. There are certain irreconcilable conflicts still being resolved.
        There are legal, medical, biological, philosophical and social dimensions to be sorted out. I will await developments if ever I call anyone a bigot. Bigotry actually has two cutting edges. A bigot usually calls out the intolerance of others while being (him or herself) intolerant.

    • Bayard

      “Impressions are slippery things, but it seems to me that in my parental generation there was a greater attachment to integrity often to the point of being pernickity and tedious in pursuit of propriety.”

      That’s very much my impression, too. We have gone from people asking themselves “What should I do?” to “What can I get away with doing?”

  • Frank Waring

    I visited Tunisia recently. According to Wikipedia, Tunisia is a ‘unitary part-presidential representative democracy’. According to our articulate intelligent educated guide, the Tunisian man/woman in the street has become so appalled by the financial and moral corruption of the political class, that there is popular campaigning to abstain from voting altogether and in consequence the turnout in the last elections was 17%. Is that what’s going to happen here?

    • Laguerre

      The political systems in UK and Tunisia are not much like one another. Tourist guides are not there to tell you the truth, but to entertain you on your holiday.

  • DunGroanin

    Watch out!
    The Greens!! ???
    Like the Greens of Germany??
    It should be obvious to anyone that the Greens in the Collective Waste have long been part of the controlled opposition – with an ever increasing role in steering towards corporate future profits.
    Remember the darkly funded XR? That was not that long ago. Aimed at garnering the youth away from actual politics of the Corbynite revival of political consciousness in the young. That Greta Elfin creature launched at Davos? Brought up in luxurious life and moulded by her unscrupulous parents to capture a worldwide audience. The recent StopOil protests aimed at softening up the public to accept whole new draconian fascist laws? The ever increasing Woke culture variations.
    Greenpeace have long lost any relevance, fully controlled now.
    All these charities we used to subscribe to – claiming to save African children, bring fresh water, hell even the Donkey, Tiger and Gorrilla sanctuaries! RedNose and Feed the World with millionaire pop stars who have reverted to their billionaire lifestyles without solving ANY problem!
    Don’t watch afternoon TeeVee with endless advertisements aimed at the old, in between their funeral plans?
    From that posh tosser of the Eighties to the current Brighton Belle, the greens are now just cheerleaders for the $100 trillion grab of the remaining wild resources of the South Americas and arctic regions.
    The GND is not so removed from the great Covid scam or the now fully developing wider world war that we have been subjected to accepting as frogs slowly being boiled.
    We know they were all lies and all these donations ended up with 6-figure-pay executives, parachuted in as spooks or ex-politicians being paid off.
    The Greens are supporting the bonafide Nazis in Ukraine. The mass murders in Yemen. The water stealing in Ethiopia, the apartheid regime in Israel, the ever-increasing GM AgroIndustrial complex of the Blackrock & co. The destruction of environments and rivers by supposed green energy.
    Helping setting up the Carbon Neutral bullshit money-grubbing financial schemes.
    You know these Finks and Goldsmiths who came to Glasgow a few years ago and celebrated the great ‘wins’ from that stitch up…

    So … can I offer a constructive opinion?
    OK, there is grassroots politics. 10 millions DID vote for Corbyn. Even a winter election, a traitorous Starmer and other front-stabbers and mass-media monstering nearly didn’t stop them. But postal votes did! I’m sure even the SNP needed that fix with Hamza.
    These who were put off by the propaganda ought to repent, and try and make amends.
    The Gillette Jaunes haven’t dissipated under Lockdown and Lockstep. The French will happily kick their republic into touch and go for the sixth! Their petite emperor running away to find relevance from China, having being arse-kicked out of Africa!
    There are many such forces and in various countries with sufficient populations, and they will rise.

    What can we do?
    Take control of the grassroots Labour local parties.
    Or setup a whole new party.
    One that sees that Old World is done.
    That the New is inevitable and here.
    One that escapes the propaganda and racism against the majority of the world’s population and their multipolar World Order with actual Laws applicable to all equally without exception.
    One fit for the C21st. One that doesn’t hate these who are ostracised by the Exceptional Collective West and its supposed liberal leaders and media.

    It is the only future that would actually deliver a REAL environmental-friendly ‘green’ life on Earth for our grandkids.

    It’s supposedly darkest before the dawn, so yes let it get darker more now! Even though the Northern Spring and Rebirth starts today!

    Let’s not despair and get ready to kick back.

    I suggest the absurd unelected head-of-state’s imposition upon us supposed democrats is a good place to start.

  • Grhm

    Re the Greens – I gave up on them when they rejected Ken Livingstone’s application to join them. If Ken’s not good enough for them, I’m certainly not!
    I’m hopeful that some kind of major formation of the left will emerge before the next general election. Chris Williamson’s decision to join the Socialist Labour Party rather than standing as an independent or starting his own party is a positive sign.
    If only Jeremy Corbyn were to do the same, tens of thousands of us would follow.
    [Apologies if this is a duplicate comment: my first attempt mysteriously failed to appear so I’m trying again with a different browser]

  • Stevie Boy

    “The Green Party in England”, no, no, no. They ain’t green, and they ain’t nice. More like Green Tories.
    IMO, the acid test for politicians is their position on Assange and Palestine. Followed closely by their positions on Covid, Climate, NHS and Immigrants/Refugees. Their responses save me wasting time voting for any of them – not that I’m prepared to play the game of providing photo ID to exercise my democratic rights. We’re going to hell in a handcart, but I’m not going to provide tacit approval.

  • Hmmm

    Oh Jeremy Corbyn… just when we REALLY need him. He is betraying us all by failing to start a new progressive party.
    All he needs to do is build it, and we will come.
    He is single handedly extinguishing hope

    • DiggerUK

      @Hmmm, we are well rid of Corbyn. He talked the talk, then fell flat on his face when attempting to walk the walk.
      For me, he looked a busted flush after his limp performance when interviewed by Andrew Neil. Add that to his and Momentum’s betrayal by going for a confirmatory referendum on Brexit and it was obvious it was game over.

      He failed, that’s all we need to remember him for. Good riddance…_

      • Dom

        “Good riddance”

        Luckily for your kind we’re left again only with ghouls who despise everything Corbyn stands for and who did everything they could to destroy him. Yaaaaay, DiggerUK’s got Blairite and Tory ‘winners’ to choose from again.

    • Jimmeh

      I deeply regret the treatment Corbyn received from Labour and the press; but let’s not kid ourselves that he was party leadership material. He had just two styles: techy, bad-tempered stridency, and low-intensity moralising. I don’t think even Corbyn thought he was the ideal party leader. McDonnell, on the other hand, was calm, intelligent and lucid. It beats me why he didn’t take up the mantle.

      • Dom

        Ha ha. MacDonnell showed himself over and over to be a credulous and craven weakling, an enthusiastic useful idiot of the Right. Legitimated both their scams to destroy the left – their AS “crisis” and Try Again second referendum policy. Legitimated and rehabilitated Alistair Campbell, pooh-poohed any suggestion Blair is a war criminal. Got nothing at all in return. Absolutely zilch. A ridiculous figure.

      • DunGroanin

        What Corbyn achieved in increased political consciousness amongst the youth and many of us aging socialist democrats driven to apathy by Blairites – was writ large in the largest political party membership in Europe!

        Blair never did that, no one else could have, all who might have followed him including very respected talented women were hounded out of their seats.

        Even now The Great Knight Dope’s greatest daily task is to try and get rid of that membership and restore the apathy. He is gate keeping and the fascist state that he works for is staffed by such unelected, nepotistic organisations that are now beyond any pretence of meritocracy open to all who may wish to serve.

        Some regular sheepdogs always on duty here to keep the Narrative controlled.

        As I intimated above I think with the demise of the Old Royals it is time to head our society towards a freedom from forelock tugging, Downton Abbey worshipping, restoration of the aristocrapy beliefs and finally join the C21st and the new multipolar world. The horrendous culpability of our masters in the Ukraine calamity should be the fuse that finally drags on an out of centuries of worship of all these false gods.

        Hereditary Powers must end. We must raise our eyes from our very tiny little navels.

        • pasha

          I heartily endorse all you say.
          Interesting sidelight: Recently it was the 20th anniversary of Robin Cook’s death. Somewhere, I saw a photo of him just before or after he delivered his resignation speech over Bliar’s illegal Iraq war. Guess who was standing just behind him? Jeremy Corbyn. It caused me to reflect on the untimely deaths of two of Labour’s greatest figures who never made it to Downing Street, John Smith and Robin Cook. I wondered how it is that such Labour figures have this curious propensity to drop dead before their time, and why such a fate never overtakes Tories, no matter how appalling.

          • DunGroanin

            Cook was a great Health minister and tried his best at the FCO – he got bumped off.
            After being compromised, a number of that incoming cadre suffered similar fates once in office, replaced by the yes boys and girls and their minders.

            Smith was a great performer in the Commons and on the tv, with his Scottish whisky gargling shtick playing better than Kinnocks Welsh Windbaggery… BUT I am not convinced by his pedigree, given how his progeny has followed the path of Deep State Crown loyalty, unionist, anti-Corbynite … such are the generational panoramas that reveal much about those who are socialist poseurs as their children and grand children seem to end up living it high and against the supposed principles of their Fathers. There are so many examples.

            Maybe Mandy, Mossad thug Campbell’s masters did for Smith? So they could get Bambi and Brown to deliver the murderous neo-con project long planned. There is still fog around that pre-Blair era. I do know that the Clintons had been long groomed CIA /Bush snr, stalwarts to pull the trigger on the chaos and death we have seen over the last 30 years currently culminating in the Ukraine – thank goodness.

            Once such cynicism is observed it becomes very clear that we the masses are subjected to film-flam, as a means of neutralising any real revolutionary change.
            We don’t know how to riot like the French – because we are the fascist state that lives in a delusion of freedom and light, believing simplistic fantasy tales of Evil and Good, and us always on the right side! Hence my rant in my post above regarding the Green ‘hope’.

      • Bayard

        “but let’s not kid ourselves that he was party leadership material. ”

        Indeed he wasn’t, mainly because he wasn’t a lying bastard.

    • Jimmeh

      > He is betraying us all

      I don’t think so. Corbyn is a Labour loyalist, and remains so despite the way they’ve traduced him.

      Unfortunately, Corbyn isn’t leadership material. Many Labourites would ignore any whip he tried to impose on them, on the grounds that he’s never respected the whip himself. For my part, I find the whip system thoroughly objectionable.

      Anyway, he never wanted to be leader. He only stood to avoid a coronation.

  • pasha

    The UK is a wholly-owned, largely occupied subsidiary of USCorp: Oceania’s Airstrip One in literal fact.
    The issue is not politics, or the political system, or right v. left, it is the fact that the USCorp now makes and enforces the law wherever it touches. This used to be known as fascism — Mussolinian corporate fascism, not the racist Hitlerian fascism, which is what we have in Ukraine, Poland and much of the territory formerly known as Eastern Europe (and in many parts of the UK if the truth be admitted). This has been true since Thatcher started a horrible and utterly unnecessary war on the other side of the globe, merely to ensure her re-election.
    Therefore, you will have gathered, nothing will or can change until the power of USCorp is broken. This can happen only through its own stupidity and delusional insanity, which its attack on Russia and, soon, China, can only hasten. Can the breakdown happen without the crazies resorting to nuclear war? Yay or nay, things are about to get very ugly indeed, and stay that way for the foreseeable future.

    • Ebenezer Scroggie

      The US is indeed a fascist state. Quite overtly if you know where to look.

      The name comes from the Latin fasces. This is shown as a bundle of rods bound tightly together by leather straps to represent the people held in bondage. The two axes represent the superiority of the military over the people. The English word Axis does not mean a pivot of rotation. It’s the plural of axe in Latin.

      Most Americans don’t recognise their country’s fascism, even when you show it to them personally.

      Next time you see the House of Congress, take a look at the fasces on the wall to each side of the dais. That’s fascism in yer face, but Murricanes are trained not to see it. An Imperial version of the fasces is also on the inside wall of the Oval Office. It does not have the axes because it was illegal in Rome for anyone to bear a weapon with arm’s reach of the Emperor. Similarly take a look at the statue of Abraham Lincoln, specifically the upright pillars of the armchair. There too is the Imperial version of the fasces. No axes because they would be within arm’s reach of the Emperor.

      The fasces symbol is all over American governmental institutions, both civil and military, the people are brainwashed and trained not to look or to see.

      Quite why Airstrip One feels a need to have those two wonky Blaircraft carriers is something which I can never understand. Britain *IS* an aircraft carrier ferfuxake. The British Empire came to an end with either the fall of Singapore or the hauling down of the Union flag in Delhi in the 1940s. Big aircraft carriers are an imperial thing which only very major countries have any use for. Britain is not a very large or major country. Quite a pissy wee place, really.

      • Bayard

        “The English word Axis does not mean a pivot of rotation. It’s the plural of axe in Latin.”

        Sorry, nope.
        axis (n.)
        1540s, “imaginary motionless straight line around which a body (such as the Earth) rotates,” from Latin axis “axle, pivot, axis of the earth or sky,” from PIE *aks- “axis”

        • Ebenezer Scroggie

          In the context of fascism, axis refers to the axes of the fasces. That’s why Italy and Germany in the 1930s and early 1940s were referred to as “the Axis countries”.

          The idiot boy Shrub was given a stupid line by his script writers when he blurted something about Iraq and Iran being “the axis of evil”. He, like so many of his fellow Americans and others, does not recognise the symbology of fascism in America for what it is.

          The US is very fertile soil in which to nurture and cultivate fascism.

          • Ebenezer Scroggie

            Some examples of the fascism symbology in everyday American life:

            In the Oval Office, above the door leading to the exterior walkway, and above the corresponding door on the opposite wall, which leads to the President’s private office.

            The grand seal of Harvard University inside Memorial Church is flanked by two inward-pointing fasces. The seal is located directly below the 112 m (368 ft) steeple and the Great Seal of the United States inside the Memorial Room.
            The walls of the room list the names of Harvard students, faculty, and alumni that gave their lives in service of the United States during World War I along with an empty tomb depicting Alma Mater holding a slain Harvard student.

            The National Guard uses the fasces on the seal of the National Guard Bureau, and it appears in the insignia of Regular Army officers assigned to National Guard liaison and in the insignia and unit symbols of National Guard units themselves. For instance, the regimental crest of the 71st Infantry Regiment (New York) of the New York National Guard consisted of a gold fasces set on a blue background.

            The reverse of the United States “Mercury” dime (minted from 1916 to 1945) bears the design of a fasces and an olive branch.

            Two fasces appear on either side of the flag of the United States behind the podium in the United States House of Representatives.

            The Mace of the United States House of Representatives, designed to resemble fasces, consists of thirteen ebony rods bound together in the same fashion as the fasces, topped by a silver eagle on a globe.

            The official seal of the United States Senate has as one component a pair of crossed fasces.

            Fasces ring the base of the Statue of Freedom atop the United States Capitol building.

            A frieze on the facade of the United States Supreme Court building depicts the figure of a Roman centurion holding a fasces, to represent “order”.

            The main entrance hallways in the Wisconsin State Capitol have lamps which are decorated with stone fasces motifs.
            At the Lincoln Memorial, Lincoln’s seat of state bears the fasces—without axes—on the fronts of its arms. (Fasces also appear on the pylons flanking the main staircase leading into the memorial.)

            The official seal of the United States Tax Court bears the fasces at its center.

            Four fasces flank the two bronze plaques on either side of the bust of Lincoln memorializing his Gettysburg Address at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

            The fasces appears on the state seal of Colorado, USA, beneath the “All-seeing eye” (or Eye of Providence) and above the mountains and mines.

            The hallmark of the Kerr & Co silver company was a fasces.

            On the seal of the New York City borough of Brooklyn, a figure carries a fasces; the seal appears on the borough flag. Fasces can also be seen in the stone columns at Grand Army Plaza.

            Used as part of the Knights of Columbus emblem (designed in 1883).

            Many local police departments use the fasces as part of their badges and other symbols. For instance, the top border of the Los Angeles Police Department badge features a fasces. (1940)

            Commercially, a small fasces appeared at the top of one of the insignia of the Hupmobile car.

            A fasces appears on the statue of George Washington, made by Jean-Antoine Houdon which is now in the Virginia State Capital

            Columns in the form of fasces line the entrance to Buffalo City Hall.

            VAW-116 have a fasces on their unit insignia

            San Francisco’s Coit Tower has two fasces-like insignia (without the axe) carved above its entrance, flanking a Phoenix.

            The seal of the United States Courts Administrative Office
            In the Washington Monument, there is a statue of George Washington leaning on a fasces

            A fasces is a common element in US Army Military Police heraldry, most visibly on the shoulder sleeve insignia of the 18th Military Police Brigade and the 42nd Military Police Brigade.

            US “Mercury” dime reverse.

            The Mace of the United States House of Representatives, designed to resemble fasces.

            The seal of the Senate. Note the crossed fasces at the bottom.

            The Lincoln Memorial with the fronts of the chair’s arms shaped to resemble fasces

            The emblem of the Knights of Columbus

            The seal of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts.

            Above the door to Chicago’s City Hall

            Shoulder Sleeve Insignia of the 18th MP Brigade

            Shoulder Sleeve Insignia of the 42nd MP Brigade

            Statue of George Washington at the site of his inauguration as first president of the United States, now occupied by Federal Hall National Memorial, includes a fasces to the subject’s rear right.

            Despite the near ubiquity of the fasces throughout the USA most Americans just don’t see the fascism and imperialism of their own country. The US has hundreds of military bases in more than a hundred countries around the world. By far the biggest empire the world has ever known.

          • Lapsed Agnostic

            The Fasces was an ancient Roman motif symbolising the rule of law, Ebenezer. It was adopted by institutions in the early US who wanted to emulate the Roman Republic. It was later appropriated by Mussolini’s Fascists. If you’re accusing the US of being fascist on that basis, you might as well accuse the Hindu and Jain religions of being Nazi because swastikas appear in their iconography.

            The term ‘Axis powers’ originates from a speech by Mussolini after his pact with Hitler, in which he stated that European countries would revolve around the Rome-Berlin axis.

      • Stevie Boy

        An aircraft Carrier cannot exist in isolation – it’s too vulnerable. It needs a carrier support group. The Chinese carriers, for example, are supported by, at least six ships: two Destroyers, two Frigates, a support/supply ship and a nuclear attack submarine.
        The UK ‘defence’ forces are so weakened that it cannot provide a viable support group and has to rely on foreign nations to support its carriers. All that money just to enable us to show the world how useless we really are.

    • JeremyT

      “When will you stop being antisemitic?” is hardly a fair question. Electoral discourse was blanked from the getgo.
      Oven-ready Al dePfeffel J didn’t even have to submit to questioning!

  • Xavi

    You don’t offer clues as to what successful resistance to neoliberal dystopia will look like. Any dissent to the left of Streeting will certainly be branded illegitimate and racist. The Jewish Labour Movement has already informed the Green Party that any new left-wing members it admits are antisemites. If the Greens are not entirely coopted then journalists will make sure that is the only thing the public thinks about whenever the Greens are mentioned. As for street protests, a new raft of laws has been instituted to criminalise and crush. Under these conditions what scope is there for the change you anticipate?

  • General Cologne

    Maybe, it’s time to cultivate your own garden , Craig’y.
    Another, and more radical, idea is attaining transcendence through a mass suicide of all of us, the 99 percent underprivileged, so that the one percent of the politicians and the billionaire idiots like Musk and Gates and Googles, Buffets and Bezoses then live in horror and misery before they die in fear because they will have no one left to exploit and no one to serve them.
    Suicide is painless
    It brings on many changes

  • Ebenezer Scroggie

    There is a ghastly dearth of good quality politicians throughout the UK, of whatever political creed.

    To my chagrin, the best of ’em in my lifetime have been ones with whom I disagree politically.

    Wedgie Benn was a good ‘un, but only if you listened to what he actually said and if you ignored the bullshit synopses published by the MSM.

    Tam Dalyell, whom I knew personally and not only because he was my constituency MP but because he and I annually swapped bee colonies to improve our breeding stock, was another good ‘un. He was a dogged seeker after Truth in such important matters as Belgrano and PA103. He didn’t give a flying fuck about his party’s official line. He ploughed his own furrow.

    Ken Livingston was another one. As with Benn, it was best to listen to or to read what he actually said and to ignore the MSM edited and corrupted version.

    Dennis Skinner was a brilliant parliamentarian. There are none today.

    Note that the common characteristic of all of those politicians was their intellectual honesty. I can’t think of a single politician in either Westminster or Holyrood today who shows an ounce of intellectual honesty.

    I greatly wish that Craig Murray would throw his hat into the ring and become a proper politician. He, almost uniquely, has that intellectual honesty which is so conspicuously lacking in both London and Edinburgh.

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