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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  • Athanasius

    I hate to burst your bubble, Craig, but the UK has not reverted to 18th century levels of corruption; it has simply reverted to its natural condition. It’s a foundational assumption of British people that honest government and an incorruptible civil service is a birthright, but in fact government in Britain has always been rotten to the core. The exception to that rule is the hundred and thirty so years from the accession of Queen Victoria to about the mid-sixties, early seventies. The first half of that period coincided with a Christian revival, the second half ran on the fumes of it. Outside that epoch, British governance was always rotten. The mistake most British people make is to conflate that brief period with the whole of British history.

    • Bayard

      “The first half of that period coincided with a Christian revival, the second half ran on the fumes of it. ”
      and the various after-effects of having fought two world wars. Otherwise, I agree totally.

    • DiggerUK

      Samuel Pepys’ master skill was how to remove incompetence from civil service functionaries, but leave all the corruption intact.
      But as you say, the corruption of old wasn’t eliminated, merely put into new bottles…_

    • GratedApe

      Pretty sure Craig – a historian civil servant – would know vastly more about this, but that’s quite a claim that Christianity was the prime mover behind reforming things then. Apparently the term ‘conflict of interest’ was coined decades before then. The adoption of examinations seems to have been delayed by objections that atheistic Chinese. Local council improvements seem to have been driven by various causes. I see some more churches were built for a while. Yet membership and attendance has been reducing since the mid/end C19th. Christianity has always been corrupt itself of course, including the history book that used to be second only to the Bible, to which a priest had centuries ago added a fake paragraph attesting to a Jesus’s resurrection or something.

      • Fraddie

        Craig was in government, making him untrustworthy, self-serving and corrupt – not Jesus Christ! Craig wants Britain flooded with immigrants – more Muslim fundamentalists and others who refuse to integrate – more division, more segregation, more atomisation – in short, whatever helps neoliberals easily control the country while making Craig look decent.

  • General Cologne

    Working, being productive under a capitalist system, voting, discharging civic duties in a capitalist society all means you are nothing but a slave.
    Karl Marx had never sought nor taken any gainful employment his entire life for this very reason.
    I am disgusted!
    Criminals are even less of a slave than the majority of sheeple in Western capitalist societies, especially those in the bad not-so-old United States where she has never known anything but capitalism and is herself the product and poison fruit of capitalism, so over there they feel very protective of the worst socioeconomic system that has ever existed, to the point of killing millions to make sure it endures.
    Is it not?

    • Courtenay Francis Raymond Barnett

      General Cologne,

      ” Karl Marx had never sought nor taken any gainful employment his entire life for this very reason.”

      Recall that Marx had a capitalist industrialist friend named Engles, who took care of him.

  • Jack

    In the end, in the neoliberal world it does not really matter what you vote for, it is the same politics fundamentally regardless of left/right.
    Western world are today led by people with no values nor knowledge of history.

    I just read this:

    Who would have thought that 1 the germans 2 the greens would invite neo-nazis 2023?
    “The German Foreign Ministry extended a warm welcome to Ekaterina Prokopenko, the wife of notorious Ukrainian neo-Nazi Azov regiment commander Denis Prokopenko, when she took part in a panel discussion last week, media outlet Junge Welt (jW) has reported.”
    Prokopenko also met with several prominent German politicians in Berlin, including Knut Abraham, who is a member of the Bundestag’s Foreign Policy Committee. The first Ukrainian-born member of the Berlin parliament, Lilia Usik, and a former MP from the Greens party, Marieluise Beck, were also among those to welcome her.
    Do not Germany realize they just play into the hands of Russia by this pro-nazi move?

    In the best of worlds the west are in dire need of real leftists to turn this around, not those faux-liberal-left like Starmer.

    • AG

      re: German Greens & authoritarianism

      longer entry.

      complicated matter.

      I don´t know the true extent of these connections – I assume some of Diana Johnstone´s work e.g. would illuminate here –

      but several senior members of the German Greens – the power core since 1998 – started with politics as members of the West German Communist “Bund” – the infamous KBW (Kommunistischer Bund Westdeutschland) – the most successful “Communist” party in Germany with a tiny voter turnout of 20.000 in the 1970s.

      They were a minor but strictly organized party. Nothing of anarcho-syndicalist tendencies here.

      The strongest of the so-called “C-groups” (K-Gruppen), Communist groups. Many of whom supported German terrorists of the RAF (yep same acronym as the British Air Force, often subject of insider jokes). -RAF (Red-Army-Fraction)

      But whereas those German RAF-folks either died or are living in the hiding since or were imprisoned, the political elite of these groups made careers in the Green Party in the 1980s.

      e.g. Marie-Luise Beck whom you mention (though I am not sure she was in fact member of this very group or rather some other), her husband Ralf Fücks, both are now monitoring and pestering news outlets on whether they are “democratic or not” and try to get them censored in some way with the help of the “Zentrum für Liberale Moderne” – Centre for Liberal Modernism – a major scandal German media like to conceal, because it is in fact state-funded – Jürgen Trittin (former minister for the environment, strong force until he had a heart attack 2010), some members of the Foreign Ministry under Joschka Fischer SoS from 1998 on, Reinhard Bütikofer, Krista Sager, party leaders in the 2000s, and several others.

      This is the old guard who took years to gain control over the Green Party after the KBW had dissolved in 1985.

      I would assume not everything they said and did was wrong throughout, of course. In fact their agenda was very welcome and progressive at times. But on the other hand people change. And we all know what power does to people.

      What turned the present ever more tragic.

      The humanistic ideals that make the substance of true “leftism” and were upheld by many supporters and sympathizers of these groups, have been abused, abandoned.

      One also has to mention that the “real” Communist Party of pre-war years was outlawed in Germany in 1956.

      The KBW was very pro-Mao and some of them pro Pol Pot.

      Now I don´t know about all of their members, about 5000 I believe.

      And in the 1980/90s usually voters were not aware of this.
      This is where the new Baerbock generation comes into play.

      A generation which did NOT undergo the theoretical training of the 1960s and 1970s that gave the KBW people considerable theoretical leverage at least in the sense that they had studied economics and Marxist theories profoundly.

      Baerbock et al saw ideals of the 1990s as a way to make careers.

      They seem not to understand the intricate interconnection between our wealth and the wars outside our zone of wealth.

      (So what is true for the British Empire and India for instance, of course is as true for Germany after 1945, in more complicated layered forms, naturally. Surprisingly with all their love for immigrants they do not seem to acknowledge the substantial correlations here. At least not in public.)

      It is interesting that these pasts of German Greens were used against them throughout the 2000s until recently by the conservative media. At some point, I missed it, they formed an alliance of some sorts.

      Because these attacks abated.

      Nothing worse than the Russians I assume.

    • frankywiggles

      They need to oust Scholz and the Greens over their partnership in the bombing of the Nord Streams – an act of treason against Germany.

  • David Warriston

    The Labour Party doesn’t believe in socialism; the Tory Party doesn’t believe in business anymore; the SNP seem cool on independence; the Communist Party hasn’t believed in revolution in the UK since 1951; and you’d be hard pushed to find a church minister who believed in God. So not much in the way of ideology.

    At a social level things are equally grim. The police are now dressed like combat troops, headteachers smile nervously lest they have failed to implement the latest edict and doctors and nurses exist in a state of continual exhaustion. Pubs, important social gathering points, are closing not due to any aversion to alcohol but because cheaper, illegal and more lethal alternatives exist.

    Solutions? The basic concept of Labour and Capital (as understood by Adam Smith and Marx) has to be grasped before any progress can be made. The spill over into questions such as land ownership and inherited wealth can then follow. The WEA used to do this stuff a century back but is anybody, the trade unions for example, doing that now? Without political consciousness there will be no revolution; maybe a revolt at best.

    The Paris police have shown what law and order means in effect: banker power over even the voice of bourgeois parliament. In such cases the people must be prepared to organise parallel militia and financial alternatives to challenge the status quo.

  • Dave

    Who do we vote for now? No idea. I am tempted to set my passport alight and put that in the ballot box: be a bit more radical than simply not voting.

    Corbyn gave me hope of real change, akin to European style social democracy, but he was shat on from all sides for years. I have no idea how he coped with the vitriol, when even his own MPs openly declared they wanted to break him as a man.

    I am determined however that Starmer and his saboteurs will not benefit from their treachery, and will be campaigning against Labour in a local marginal seat. On the bright side, Starmer is currently setting a precedent for very dirty tactics.

    In the meantime, for this and more personal reasons, I am back on the anti-depressants.

    • DunGroanin

      Don’t despair – that is what they want! A return to Blairite apathy.
      Get off the soma whether it is meds or football! (Obviously I mean safely and under supervision regarding meds for personal issues)

      Get graffiti-ing, wear badges, put up banners, make politics FUN and liberate the kids from lifetime of debt and servitude.

      If we don’t have a cheery hope and a bright future to look forward to it becomes an almost impossible task to believe that such change can happen.

      • Bayard

        “and liberate the kids from lifetime of debt and servitude.”

        I can still remember the time when the banks realised how much better the world would be for them if everyone was in debt, and introduced credit cards: “Take the waiting out of wanting!” was the slogan. They didn’t even ask their customers if they wanted them, but sent them in the post anyway. My mother, who had been a social worker, cut hers in half and threw it in the bin.

        • Lapsed Agnostic

          Students aren’t generally leaving university with £50k+ on their credit cards, Bayard – they’ve had to incur that amount of debt to pay for their tuition and accommodation. Unlike credit offered by banks etc, student loans also can’t be largely relinquished by claiming bankruptcy.

          • Bayard

            You totally miss the point. The introduction of the credit card was the beginning of a change in attitude towards being in debt, from something that was slightly shameful and to be avoided, to something that was normal and part of everyday life. Instead of saving up for things, you borrowed. Being £50K in debt is normal to today’s kids, precisely because of that change in attitude.

          • Lapsed Agnostic

            Thanks for your reply Bayard. I’m not even slightly missing the point. The point is that most of today’s students don’t have a choice but to take on £50k of debt if they want a degree, which they’re conditioned into thinking they need if they want any sort of career and decent lifestyle – even though, due to universal credit etc, if they have a kid and non-working partner, they’ll only be slightly worse off working 35 hours a week on minimum wage without a degree, than someone in the same domestic circumstances who has a degree and earns £35k a year (I can run people through the maths, if you don’t believe me). It doesn’t matter whether or not they take out any personal loans / credit cards etc. to fund consumption.

            Between 2000 and 2015, fewer than 5% of UK households had more debt than assets. Those debts would typically have only been a few thousand, and most of it could be relinquished through bankruptcy, with the bank/lender taking the hit. Nowadays, it’s entirely possible for a couple of graduates living together to have a combined debt of over £150k in their early 30’s, all from student loans – which they don’t have to begin paying back until they earn over £27,000 a year, but which will still have been accruing typical interest of over 5% APR these past ten years.

            Shame about what happened to Mark Wadsworth. I only found out about it a couple days ago from reading your blogpost. Pancreatic cancer doesn’t mess around, that’s for sure. Condolences to his family.

          • Bayard

            “The point is that most of today’s students don’t have a choice but to take on £50k of debt if they want a degree,”

            Agreed, it’s a big con, but that’s your point.

            “which they’re conditioned into thinking they need if they want any sort of career and decent lifestyle”

            And that’s mine, about the conditioning, which started with the introduction of credit cards. Today’s students would not be so accepting of such debt burdens if their parents and, in many cases their grandparents, hadn’t come to view being in debt as part of everyday life.

  • Matt

    to add insult to injury, in my constituency in the South East I’m now expected to provide photo ID when I vote in person, a solution to a non existent problem, I’ve no recollection of people impersonating others to vote in person.
    with no one to vote for and demanding ID I’m inclined to abandon voting for the first time in my life, it has proven a futile gesture when the candidates are always pre selected.
    we’ve not been able to earn a positive return on capital, if you take inflation into account, for 15yrs, hence we are no longer a capitalist country,
    democracy seems to be a sham too, a pantomime whose ending is rigged no matter how loudly you shout from the audience,
    if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck then it’s probably a duck, in my current mood it can duck off.

  • David Ganz

    “Ignorance makes a man join a party, and shame keeps him from leaving it.”
    — George Saville Marquis of Halifax in the second half of the 17th century, and still true.

  • Martin

    Right wing? You are having a laugh. Right wing would mean shooting illegal immigrants as they attempt to invade these shores, as the Italians did to the Albanians.
    Right wing would mean real jail terms and building of more prisons.
    Right wing would see deportations.
    Right wing would ban the globohomo/pedo literature in schools.

  • Jay

    Any prospect of Westminster politics turning in a moderate European social democratic direction ended with the rule changes for the Labour leadership. They have ensured there is no chance of another Corbyn leading Labour. Not even another Ed Miliband!

    Talk of PR being a panacea is a waste of air because a) it would just make Lib Dems permanent kingmakers. That’s the Lib Dems who proposed permanent austerity at the last election; and b) because PR is never going to be introduced by the Tories or Labour Right (unless they calculate it would ensure even greater protection of rule for the rich).

    Scotland is different in theoretically having the possibility of escape. However huge numbers of Scots seem to need to be ruled by posh Englishmen. That’s a national peculiarity for which I don’t think there is any answer by this stage.

    So how does change come about? Not through economic inequality becoming ever more grotesque. The US 2-party system shows how easily that can be managed. No, the only way I can foresee major change is through continent-wide popular rebellions against Europe’s subjugation by the US, led by Germans suffering the consequences of the Nord Stream terror attack. Under those revolutionary conditions all sorts of new thinking could emerge even in Britain.

  • Sam

    I’m not British, and I don’t live in Britain, but every British person I know is completely apathetic on politics. Pretty much, their lives revolve around a) getting enough to eat b) finding/maintaining a decent place to live and c) drinking alcohol + entertainment (TV, Tiktok, et al) stuff.

    Frankly, I don’t blame them. Britain doesn’t make anything anymore, doesn’t believe in anything, has no culture and has no imagined idea of a “future” except, perhaps, one with fewer foreigners around (and fewer foreigners abroad telling Britons what to do).

    If you take away all the money laundering that goes on via British territories and jurisdictions, there’s really nothing left of the country anyway. Hell, even most of the sheep are gone.

    • DunGroanin

      And football. Don’t forget the bleeding football, even when it is certain that we will never ever win a World Cup again.

      There is a chance that the youth now, the world p something’s are about to ‘break’ as they are finding that the lifechances of their parents and grandparents have been stolen from them, like Covid lockdowns did to many of their significant birthdays.

  • Neil Munro

    “Massive defence spending and help bomb the Russians? Tick, Labour policy.”

    Sorry, Mr Murray but massive defence spending has been necessitated by Russia’s ambition to restore itself as a “great power” and their consequent crime of aggression against Ukraine. Russia does not have a natural right to rule over its neighbours and if you don’t understand why the UN charter is worth defending then I can’t understand why I should trust you more than, say, Tony Blair.

    • Laguerre

      Your views remind me a lot of the Russophobic mania of the Crimean War 1854-1856. Once Sebastopol taken and the peace signed, everyone forgot about the problem, though nothing was achieved, and no difference made.

      • Neil Munro

        Nonsense, Laguerre. The Crimean War was conducted in an age of imperialism, to which the Russians want to return. The UN Charter was created after World War II with the aim of putting an end to that age. All the major powers signed up, including the Soviet Union, which became a permanent member of the Security Council. Russia as the successor state has an obligation to uphold that Charter. Comparisons with the Crimean War are invidious and betray a lack of sympathy for the people of Donbas whose lives have been destroyed by this current war. Your comment is as heartless as it is pompous.

        • Laguerre

          So what were *we* doing attacking the far away Crimea in 1854, if it was Russia that was the imperialist, much like today?

        • terence callachan

          Neil, if you want to find ambition to restore great power, look in the mirror – U.K. on the coattails of USA is the warmonger chief of the world. USA is evil: it has attacked many and more countries than Russia. Russia has been in Afghanistan and Ukraine, when threatened by USA moving into those countries, but Russia is not interested at all in expanding.

    • glenn_nl

      First, you are surely well steeped in NATO propaganda if you actually think we are in danger of invasion by Russia. Perhaps you’re completely unaware of how Russia has been surrounded by our hostile forces? Hard to know where to start if you really believe we need “massive spending” to defend ourselves.

      Second, you apparently think it’s just fine for America to rule over not only its neighbours, but the entire world. Or perhaps you don’t realise this is the state of things? You think it’s perfectly natural that America calls the shots in the south China Sea etc etc etc?

      • Neil Munro

        Oh, dear! Another one. Russia is not surrounded by “our” hostile forces. It is surrounded by smaller countries which were once part of its empire. These countries are not ours, but they rightly fear annexation or bullying by a resurgent Russia, which is why they decided to join NATO. We in the UK are junior partners in that alliance, more junior than we used to be, but it was nonetheless our historical choice to join it, rather than a choice that was forced on us, by contrast to the experience of the former Warsaw Pact countries.

        America does not rule over the entire world. It is simply the largest and most powerful state in the system of global capitalism. It is a bad system in many ways, and the rules of the UN which are supposed to govern states and ensure order are largely ignored. However, adding extra chaos with the idea that if you can conquer another country, you should do so does not make things better. It just causes even more war and suffering, as witnessed by two world wars. Grow up, you silly, self-indulgent anti-American.

        • Reza

          Sadly 90% of humanity (minimum) still don’t love NATO & its mission. We need many more like yourself, prepared to take up the white man’s burden & scold them for their childish ways.

          • Neil Munro

            Fake statistics. The UN votes by states. It does not give voice to individuals (Indians, Chinese etc). In recent votes on Ukraine, only a handful of states (Syria, Belarus, North Korea) vote with Russia, around 40 abstain, and the rest vote with Ukraine to condemn the invasion.

          • glenn_nl

            Reza said this was the opinion of humanity, Neil. Not UN votes.

            Surely you are grown up enough to understand the difference.

            Did you intend to be deceptive there, Neil?

          • Reza

            Now Neil, I wasn’t referring to governments nor to NATO’s antics in Ukraine specifically. But since that’s your bag you may be interested in these world maps highlighting countries supplying military aid to Ukraine and countries who recognise the State of Palestine.


            Rather striking I’m sure you’ll agree, and evidence we must redouble our scolding efforts.

        • SimonC

          Manners, Neil. It is self-evident to most thinking people that the USA, through it’s dollar/reserve currency hegemony, controls the world. It can literally print whatever amount it needs to corrupt whomever it desires. Russia almost fell for it in the nineties, but since then has been pushing back against the hegemon. I suppose if you border Russia and are allied with the hegemon then you should possibly be concerned, but the other option is to just not be a dick….

          • Neil Munro

            Control over the reserve currency is necessary but not sufficient to control the world. “Hegemony” to use Gramsci’s term requires not just control over money supply but also a monopoly on the use of force, which America is far from having, and also ideological buy-in from the dominated states, which is also very much incomplete. Apologies to anyone on these pages I have offended but if you are going to take an anti-establishment stance you have to think things through.

          • glenn_nl

            Military bases of the US:


            Military spending per country:


            Since a lot of these lesser countries (like the UK) are client states of the US, it’s had to argue the US is not utterly dominant.

            I wonder what the phrase “anti-American” actually means to a true believer, so maybe you can help me out here. Does pointing out the UK is a client state make me “anti-British” too?

            Does being Anti-British/American mean I hate British and Americans, or just disagree with aspects of the foreign policy of that country? Since you’ve used that against me, do tell – I like to know what I’m being accused of, exactly.

            Personally, I think the phrase is quite stupid and childish, and meant to appeal to an ignorant audience, very probably by either an ignorant or cynically manipulative speaker. But since it’s your phrase and you used it, please enlighten me.

            Telling a Mexican, French or Dutch citizen that they were being “anti-Mexican” etc. by dint of criticising their government would get you a good laugh, by the way!

          • terence callachan

            Simon, only those who vote with USA do so to preserve what trade they have with USA. If they don’t vote with USA, they suffer sanctions – a US global invention.
            USA have gone so far with their global threatening behaviour that they bully other countries to apply “sanctions” to other countries who don’t vote with USA.

        • Warren Peace

          You seem wilfully ignorant of post war US history. It’s difficult to know where to begin. The US is a globe spanning military empire with 800 military bases, currently waging economic war in 50 countries, and actively bombing 8, at last count. The stereotypical US strategy that has emerged involves destabilising countries that border US adversaries, typically thru coups and funding extremist groups and terrorists. The model for this approach was called The Afghan Trap, from the late 1970s, which involved sending jihadi terrorists (who threatened the Saudi monarchy) to Afghanistan, where they launched terrorists attacks inside USSR to draw the Soviets into a Vietnam-like quagmire and even things up in the cold war. (US was still bogged down in Vietnam, losing the war, losing prestige.) The plan worked well enough that US repeats it everywhere. You may note the similarity with Ukraine, a country that borders a US adversary, destabilised by US coups (2004, 2014) and armed, trained, and funded extremist groups, aka. NATO’s Nazis. If you want to know the future of Taiwan and the Coming War on China, it will be the same. Extremist elements are already armed and funded in Taiwan, but a military response from China still needs to be provoked. Future PR headline in West: ‘We must protect Taiwan from this unprovoked aggression by the madman Xi’?

          The danger from either Russia or China is minuscule. The danger that NATO playing nuclear chicken with both Russia and China at the same time will lead to nuclear annihilation of all life on Earth is significant.

          • Alyson

            Hmm I’m not sure your assessment of Taiwan applies. “We will invade Taiwan at a time of our choosing.” (Spokesman from SOAS) China has practised encircling Taiwan. (Recent exercise) Rare earths for phones and electric cars are abundant in Taiwan. US interests will be defended.

        • glenn_nl

          NM: “Grow up, you silly, self-indulgent anti-American.”

          Well of course. It is simply teenage angst to point out that the US spends more on its armed forces each year that nearly every other country on earth combined.”

          It’s nothing but a youthful indiscretion to argue that the US has more foreign bases than, erm – how many other countries have them, actually? Help me out here, Neil! How many does the US have compared with the next most dominant power?

          It is nothing but childish to question the number of countries the US has bombed, invaded, overthrown the government of, set up death-squads in, embargoed, sanctioned, and occupied in recent history (even living memory). And set that against the record of any other country.

          And of course, positively infantile to refer to the number of its own citizens the US imprisons (both per capita and in sheer numbers – take your pick!) compared with even the most despotic Official Enemy.

          It would be playground talk indeed, to question your point of “the rules of the UN which are supposed to govern states and ensure order are largely ignored.” – by asking which country is primarily culpable in such behaviour?

          The Adult Thing would be to accept America as the Leader of the Free World, to believe without question that the majority of nations in the world host US military bases by popular demand, that threats to world peace only come from outside US influence, that ‘order’, as dictated by the US, is entirely benign, and that the majority of the world is flat out wrong in considering the US to be the biggest threat to the world.

          Oh dear, indeed.

    • Shatnersrug

      Neil no one here shares you’re views on either NATO or Russia, if we did none of us would be here, now please go away, there are plenty of places for dullards but not here.

      • mark cutts

        You are beinga bit unfair SShatnershrug.

        Terhnically the US is bankrupt but who is going to going to send The Baillifs in to reclaim their gold or Bonds?

        Fortunately the non West ern world is navigating its way around the Swift system of settlements and arranging alternatives to this
        method of international payemnt and good luck to them.

        All they have to do is agree exchange rates and guarantee between themselves that creditors and debitors are protected.

        In fact the only way the US can get away with sanctions is due to the Swift system and any alternatives to the hegemony of the dollar are welcome in my view.

        In fact the sooner the better.

      • Neil Munro

        Hate to spoil your snug little group think. Only can’t share your indignation at sending weapons to a country fighting for its life against a nuclear armed neighbour that thinks nothing of sending prisoners into battle to draw fire.

        • Ezra K Teter

          I disagree with other posters in that I think that you should be free to spew your ignorance in the comments section. That being said, you have blood on your hands since you want to fight Russia to the last Ukrainian. Sending weapons into a war zone is not even remotely ethical. Ukraine would have kept a far larger amount of territory and lost far fewer people if it had just agreed to the ceasefire terms that Turkey was negotiating just a month into the war. In fact, there were numerous instances where the United States could have stopped this war but they chose to escalate instead. Russia was certainly wrong to invade but we were wrong to provoke them.

          • Coldish

            Thanks, Ezra. Ukraine had the opportunity to regain all its mainland territory (excluding Crimea) without a further shot being fired or a further life being lost. This was specified by the Minsk 2 agreement which Ukraine had agreed to and signed in 2015. However Ukraine chose the path of violence and continued to intermittently and sporadically bombard the separatist republics in the Donbas for seven more years, while rebuilding its own military. Throughout this time little or no attempt was made by the sponsors of the Minsk agreement, the governments of France and Germany, to get Ukraine to abide by the terms of the agreement. Those states thus share a heavy responsibility for the events of February 2022.
            In mid-February 2022 Ukraine abruptly escalated the intensity of bombardment, as recorded by the OSCE team which was monitoring the ‘ceasefire’ line. Until that point in time Russia had not recognised the independence of the Donbas republics and considered them to be still part of Ukraine. The Ukrainian escalation prompted the leadership of the republics to ask Russia for emergency help in defending themselves. Russia quickly responded by recognising the independence of Lugansk and Donetzk and coming to their aid, as is permitted by international law.

        • terence callachan

          Neil Munro, USA threatens countries around the world some four or five thousand miles away, who are never near the USA coast, with weapons – and yet USA patrols the China Sea and dead-end Black Sea. USA threatens other countries; it has no bounds. It’s all for control of trade. And now Russia, India, China – big populations – say “we are not going to be bullied by you anymore; we refuse to do all our overseas trade using the US dollar; we will use our own currency”. USA then offer to put USA-controlled NATO missiles on Russia’s border 400 miles from Moscow and want to do the same in Taiwan – China. Get real, Neil. Who do Russia, or China, or India attack? Nobody, unless you put USA missiles on their border.
          Let me tell you now, if NATO put USA missiles in Taiwan, or on China’s or India’s border, there will be war there too.
          Ukraine is five thousand miles from USA. I can tell you USA have zero interest in Ukraine people; it’s control of their land and resources they want – and a puncture in Russia’s trading with EU.

        • Jack

          Neil Munro

          Equally then you support Syrian government that is threatened by israeli nuclear power (and the US, Nato nuclear powers btw) and also Iraq under Saddam Hussein and North Korea today?
          Quit with the emotion bid, it does not fit you.

          Some other links on “prisoners” released:
          “Ukraine Releases Prisoners With ‘Combat Experience’ To Help Fight Russia”

          “These are animals, not people”: Zelensky frees convicted child rapists, torturers to reinforce depleted military”

    • Fraddie

      Neil, yes, Craig’s wording was interesting: “…and help bomb the Russians” as if Ukraine invaded Russia – pretty clear which side Craig is on! I don’t support our governments, but I don’t support the killing of civilians by Putin for political purposes.

      • Neil Munro

        Thanks, Fraddie. At least one objective person comments on Craig’s blogs. Most of them are just pseudo leftists filled with “Amerca is bad” feelings. They never stop to think about what the world would be like if America suddenly disappeared, and they had to live their lives the same way as Chinese, Russians, Indians or whoever. There’s just this naive assumption that if we get rid of the most powerful state, no one will fight, no one will try to take their place, no one will try to impose their values, no one will ever do anything bad ever again. It’s complacent, self-satisfied, smug thinking by people who have never really been threatened by anything ever. I say “pseudo” leftists because none of them ever seriously think about Marxism. None of them seriously analyse the Soviet experience or the Chinese experience. They just live in their little left liberal bubbles, moaning at the powers that be in their own countries, but if their own rights were ever infringed in the way that the rights of those who live in authoritarian states like China and Russia are infringed on a daily basis, they would be astonished. Any criticism of these anti-American states is just met with “whataboutery” as if whatever they do is justified by whatever America does.

        • glenn_nl

          Wow… you really are still pretty sore from the ass-whooping* you got earlier this week, eh?

          * Hope you like the Yankee term… for someone who enjoys fawning at their feet so much, I hoped it would cheer you up 😉

          • Neil Munro

            Oh, dear, Glenn! You are either so far to the left you are visible on my right, or the other way around. Anyway, your martial spirit has better uses. Why don’t you go and join Putin’s “volunteer” army, otherwise known as the Wagner Group. You would fit right in.

  • Mac

    The Michelle Mone thing was shocking. It was so blatant and crude and not a single fuck was given. That was when I realized just how far things had gone in the UK. I always knew the UK was much more corrupt than people like to think but I never thought I would see third world levels of corruption like that. Everyone involved in that whole deal should go to jail.

    Tyranny does not appear with a bang or a revolution. It gradually creeps over you until you suddenly become aware it is everywhere.

    Look at the politicians left standing after the good guys have been neutered by underhand means. Look at the wall-to-wall propaganda in the mainstream media. There is not even a chink of democratic light coming through anymore. It is a complete lock.

    We can’t even get the truth of the attempted Salmond stitch-up out there. The media blanks the truth just as it blanks Salmond and ALBA. If Salmond is ‘damaged goods’ in the public’s eye then what it really means is that it is the public that is damaged goods, too ignorant and too lazy to look for themselves and happy to be spoon fed shite from Sky News or the BBC. They say you get the government you deserve and they sure deserve it.

    I just don’t see how we are turning this around at this point, it is really far gone. We are in a very bad situation and I very much agree that it is going to get considerably worse. I am not sure about the ‘before getting better’ part.

  • Republicofscotland

    I’d say in Scotland we put pressure on the SNP to have a rerun of the leadership contest. I find it hard to believe that only 11.1% of the membership voted for Ash Regan the only candidate with an indy plan. Pressure must be placed to rerun the contest because Murrell was involved in aiding a live police investigation at the time, the contest was clandestine, the candidates had very little time to prepare, the funding was irregular, and Yousaf had help from the SNP’s HQ.

    In England the Labour party needs cleared out; it’s now just a neoliberal party disguised as a socialist party.

    • Dom

      It’s not disguised anymore as a socialist party. It’s overtly anti-socialist and there is no means of clearing out the neoliberals.

      • Republicofscotland

        Well they managed to clear out most of the socialists so if that can be done, then why not the reverse.

        The alternative is an American system of either party Rep/Dem both of which are virtually indistinguishable from each other.

  • Dom

    ” Of course there are good individual politicians in every political party – yes, including the Tories – but they are increasingly rare.”

    If you dare check the voting records of the good Tories since 2010.

    • Stevie Boy

      “I’m not arguing there are no decent people in the Tory Party, but they’re like bits of sweetcorn in a turd; technically they’ve kept their integrity, but they’re still embedded in shit” [Iain M. Banks].

  • Maria Smith

    Please do share the Denis Thatcher story! I shall vote Green in May and the next election. I don’t think they are a cure for all our ills but at least they seem to believe in something other than themselves.

    • DGP

      I hope you are not interested in matters related to the environment. The Scottish Greens are not, rather weirdly, very interested in such issues as destruction of our living systems, but – similar to most political parties – only interested in controlling public money and self-aggrandisement. In effect they are greenwashers. Their preferred vehicle for acquiring power is a relentless and frequently deranged zealotry in relation to the ideology of gender and parroting for Stonewall cult mantras. It’s the only topic of note in their grubby greenwashed world.

      You might be interested to note their complete failure to win a single election in Scotland, and their presence in Holyrood by virtue of the AV proportional voting system (a variant of the Scots expression ‘Mony a meikle maks a muckle’). While perfectly legitimate it is also disreputable, like slipping into a house by a window left open at the back of the building by a pal. I do support PR but I think the current system in Scotland needs some serious revision. The SNP has used this system shamelessly to promote some people of very poor ability, whose main political virtue is their malleability, and to disable individuals who might have disturbed the cosy cabal of cronies. But look where it has got them: the SNP has more or less collapsed in ignominious failure, their corruption exposed.
      As Craig Murray’s post says: ‘who can we vote for?’

  • Ebenezer Scroggie

    Now she’s really out of power.

    Not even as an MSP!


    I now wonder whether she’ll accept her invitation to sit next to Eck at the Coronation.

  • Ebenezer Scroggie

    I do wonder whether it’s mere happenstance that she quit just after it was made public that the auditors quit last October.

    Who’s going to pay her legal bills when the Gupta thing goes to the criminal court(s)? Cameron? Greensill?

    The £600k thing is now looking like small beer. The £170,620 campervan is looking like even less of a thing.

    Hell mend ’em.

  • Alastair Aitken

    Don’t vote .. or vote for increasingly minority organisations that will or might, in an increasingly fractured world/society, fight for or even, on Tralfamadore, achieve the change or policy initiative or discussion you think matters.

    This is not just already happening, it is an almost fundamental feature of the world we live in. It has been so since Homer, the great great grandfather of essentially European ethical sensibilities.

    So you decide not to vote?

    What do you do then?


    How much does this stuff matter?

    To you?

  • Bob

    Politics is dead and not just in the UK. Here in Germany it’s a similar story.
    Organisations like the WEF and their “stake holder capitalism” and their associates have carried out a sort of coup d’état in the Western political system.
    Like you say, it’s going to get a lot worse.

    • Jack

      Exactly. There seems to have happened something throughout the West around 2009-15 (give or take) where the left simply abdicated their true values/ideology for a more pro-rightwing, or at least liberal, conformist and non-radical creed.

      I reckon in 1-3 decades, the West will most likely turn into single-party states because political parties get more similar to one another by every day now, and US and EU bureaucrats will have the true power.
      Soviet union anyone? EUSSR.

      • Bayard

        All states are oligarchies. The best anyone can hope for is that the inhabitants have some chance of affecting who the oligarchs are. In most “democracies” all that voting does is change the human shield of elected representatives behind which the oligarchs hide.

  • Carl

    The commentariat are of course representing it as the very opposite: a return to the best of times in British politics with big business controlled technocrats the only option. The BBC as ever leading the way in manufacturing consent, running ads telling viewers how trustworthy it is in an age of “disinformation”. That’s the BBC who ignored the Labour Leaks, Hersh’s Nord Stream exposé and monstered Corbyn. Now telling us Rishi and Keir are pretty straight kinda guys who don’t sleep for worrying about the cost of living and housing crises, the NHS etc and about national sovereignty and human rights abroad. Britons of 2023 are fortunate these two brilliant men decided to dedicate themselves to public service and that we have the privilege to choose between them. The situation is the opposite of utter hopelessness.

  • Wally

    Well, you should start by voting for the best candidate standing in your constituency.
    Let’s hope that the best candidate isn’t a party placement.
    That’s the root cause for most of the problems in parliament, the folks behind the screen.

  • Bob (not OG)

    Who to vote for? As increasing numbers of people are recognising, it does not matter who you vote for (apart from to the immediate beneficiaries, i.e. the MPs themselves).
    It’s like a dog thinking “I’m sick of these fleas, maybe it’s time to give the tics a chance”. The parasite (the permanent security state/government) is now so well adapted to its host (the public) that no easy option exists to get rid of it.

    Such is the nature of the system we were born into. A system where not much physical effort may be needed to get enough to eat each day. The physical effort is reserved for the benefit of the owners of capital, for a reward of a tiny bit of capital and being afforded the ‘protections’ of the system, e.g. police, healthcare, pensions etc.
    Capital – Big Pharma, Big Oil, corporations generally – have, gradually but inexorably, bought government. To the extent that the same practices and jargon now exist throughout the public and private sectors. In both sectors, obedience is absolutely required… and so the system becomes more and more entrenched, resulting in the ‘Labour’ Party excising all remnants of the Old Left and all parties naturally converging to the same ‘accepted’ view (i.e. pro-capitalism, pro-Nato, pro-Israel, pro all kinds of silly ‘identity’ politics). Not pro-workers’ rights though, or pro-degrowth (the realistic but unmentionable truth), or pro-free speech/free media (see Assange, anti-free speech and anti-protest laws etc.).

    Some consolation can be had in knowing that physics won’t allow the existing system to continue indefinitely, the resources it depends on (FFs, minerals, metals etc., in short, nature) being finite. One way or another it will end, whether by overthrow of the government or by nuclear armaggedon – it’s just a shame that until then, the natural world will continue to suffer ever more destruction, pollution etc. (and in the latter case, unthinkable destruction).

    • Stevie Boy

      My parents, grandparents always used to say it’s important to vote, because it’s your right and people gave their lives fighting for that right. All very true.
      However, our enemies now have captured our so called democracies and infiltrated themselves into all parties such that the voting system has been effectively neutered and made worthless. Any vote nowadays is just there to provide a degree of false legitimacy and to fool the unquestioning masses into believing democracy still exists and that your vote can make a difference. This is untrue and all lies.
      Not voting won’t change things, but if enough people didn’t vote it would undermine the legitimacy of the existing corrupt establishment.
      Who to vote for ? None of them – They are all corrupt, incompetent, crooks – don’t support any of them.

      • Johnny Conspiranoid

        “Who to vote for ? None of them – They are all corrupt, incompetent, crooks – don’t support any of them.”

        You should vote for any rank outsider who looks like they may not be approved of. In time, if such a movement grows. then it will be infiltrated in some way.

  • Ebenezer Scroggie

    I’ve never been inside an election campaign battlebus, nor inside a campaign room.

    Now, having watched this video, I know what they look like.


    Kinda makes one wonder why the SNP didn’t deploy their battlebus during either the ’21 or ’22 elections. Hiring a proppa large bus, y’know like the ones where the occupants can socially distance in a pandemic, as they did, is so passée.

    Looks to me like the purpose of the wretched thing is to piss off the non-SNP-voting locals of the North Coast 500 route.

    • DiggerUK

      Sir Jimmy Savile always comes to mind when I see, or hear, of motor homes. I know Sir Jimmy was a great fan of motor homes, but beyond that connection I have no explanation for my strange reaction…_

    • Republicofscotland

      It’s very unlikely that the motorhome was purchased as a battle bus. The SNP could’ve had umpteen crew buses (transit vans) for the same money. To me it looks like a luxury purchase, that’s been parked up for two-years without use on Murrell’s mother’s driveway, to be used at a later date probably for going touring. Now that Sturgeon is taking driving lessons, and if the motorhome isn’t confiscated, she and Peter will probably use it for their own personal use. If it is indeed a SNP asset, it should’ve been sold and the money returned to the party’s finances.

  • Cott1

    If I am still around when the next general election occurs I will vote for ALBA. I don’t think they have much of a chance to do well but at least I will not vote for the shambles the SNP have become.

    I suppose it really boils down to using one’s vote to vote against a party rather than to vote for it.

  • Carl

    MPs got another £2,400+ pay rise this week. A 42% payrise since austerity began in 2010. Most pundits say their pay needs to increase further still to ensure we keep the best people in Parliament.

    • Bob (not OG)

      Yes, that’s one of the most galling aspects of it all. ‘The best people’ ha ha! It’s the same (or worse) in business, where one greedy bastard CEO rakes in millions – generated by all the drones way down the pyramid.
      They actually believe they deserve their obscene piles of cash because they’re ‘wealth creators’. WTF?

    • Stewart

      the best people according to whom?
      surely the “best” people would be serving their country for reasons other than the remuneration package?

    • Bayard

      “to ensure we keep the best people in Parliament.”

      Power is its own attraction. For centuries MPs weren’t paid. Indeed , it cost a lot of money to get elected, but there was no shortage of candidates. All that raising the pay means is that being an MP becomes attractive to people who simply want a well paid job where you don’t have to do very much.

  • Tom74

    The rule of thumb is: Vote for almost anyone who is being attacked or smeared in the media at election time, as they are most likely to threaten the established order. (Or don’t vote at all.)
    On the UK level, the script seems to have broken down a little over the last months, with Sunak seeming a much nicer and more competent fellow than May, Johnson and Truss, while Starmer hasn’t built up the expected Blair-like head of steam (which may well explain the manoeuvrings to stymie the SNP). Quite possibly, other things being equal, the next election will see a narrow Major-esque win for Sunak.

  • pete

    So who can we vote for? It’s a difficult problem, not least because what people say and what they do are two different things. Wes Streeting and the Hartlepool candidate being just two examples of a piss poor selection process based not on candidates beliefs or actions but on their electability. What is the point in voting for someone who purpose seems only be their own self aggrandisement or profit. The system is flawed, FPTP with two parties battling for some mysterious middle ground cannot possibly represent a nation as a whole, particularly because MSM favours a drift to the right. I haven’t been able to recognise the present Labour Party in any way as representing the diverse sections of the electorate marginalised by the economic forces alienating them.
    So not labour then.
    Living, as I do now, in Wales I will vote for one of the minority parties, if I vote at all.
    We need to add a section to the voting paper to select a None Of The Above option, in order to express our displeasure with the selection process and so that those elected will not be able to claim that voter apathy, indifference or implied approval is in some way responsible for the outcome of the election. A None Of The Above should act as a break on a stupid system.

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