Scotland and Me 173


I left Scotland during this election campaign simply because I thought I could do more good campaigning explicitly for Gaza in a seat where Starmer could be punished for his genocidal zionism.

Scottish independence and the freedom of my own country remains the cause closest to my heart. But although Scotland suffers the drain on its resources of every kind that it has suffered every day of the pestilent Union, Scotland’s little children are not currently being blown into pieces. I am therefore justified in my prioritisation of Palestine at the moment.

I formed an alliance for Palestine with my old friend George Galloway. We have had very different positions on Scottish Independence in recent years, though he used to be for it. George told me, and indeed the media, he has given up campaigning against it.

I was happy to support the Workers Party in England because I supported more of their manifesto than that of any other party there, and particularly the re-nationalisation of all natural monopolies.

It was the intention that more of the Independent pro-Palestinian candidates across the country would stand as Workers Party, though with the election being called so quickly structures and alliances for the Left had to be cobbled together.

I did not actually join the party and I did not use the party’s leaflets or its red white and blue branding (except in small imprints of the party logo). I very definitely refused to wear a red white and blue rosette! My campaign concentrated very heavily on Gaza.

It has to be said that the political situation in Scotland is a toxic mess I was glad to be out of for this election. The SNP absolutely deserved the kicking they got.

Support for Independence remains defiantly around 50% as it has done this last eight years, despite the SNP having squandered every single chance to take it forward. The key moment was when Brexit occurred against the will of a very large majority of the Scottish people, expressed in a referendum. That was the moment to declare Independence, against the hated Johnson government.

It is not that Sturgeon bottled it. It is that she had no interest in Independence. She was far more interested in building an extreme cult of personality, featuring hoardings, conferences and vehicles plastered with giant images of herself, and forming a Praetorian Guard of ultra loyal supporters fuelled by a highly charged culture wars agenda.

That included the effort to jail Alex Salmond based on false accusations, which were orchestrated from ****’s office and **** HQ. Were I to fill in the blanks they would send me back to jail.

By accident or design, those most strongly opposed to Nicola’s side of the culture wars agenda also happened to be the most radical supporters of Independence, who were driven from the party en masse, which enabled Sturgeon to continue the conversion of the SNP into a de facto devolutionist party.

Scots are not stupid people, and given the choice between two parties, Labour and SNP, neither of which appeared willing to do anything in practice about Independence, they voted in this election for the one less obsessed with weirdo culture wars, and with a leadership less under criminal investigation.

The SNP were also not helped by the fact that those who left for Alba included nearly all the actual footsoldiers. In the constituency where I live, all of the ward captains who organise the leaflets and posters in their wards left for Alba. It turned out that the SNP’s remaining culture wars enthusiasts were less big on canvassing in the rain.

However Alba itself got nowhere. The ostensibly pro-Independence space is too crowded by the SNP while the media and electoral system militate against new parties. In my view Alba is also over-obsessed, from the other side, with culture wars issues that ordinary people are much too sensible to spend much time thinking about.

One thing that saddens me about the SNP rout is that the party’s talent lay heavily at Westminster, which is where the accident of timing sent many great activists after the 2014 referendum. The SNP benches at Holyrood make me groan, being a result of Sturgeon’s outrageous selection procedures.

Nobody is more sympathetic than me to mental illness (I am bipolar myself), but a situation where a candidate wins over another who got ten times the votes, because the mentally ill get preference, strikes many people as not entirely sound.

So it is a huge mess. I am not sad I missed this election in Scotland, because nothing I could do would have helped. My hope is that this huge defeat will wake the cult up to what Sturgeon did to the party and her monumental failure.

That can lead to a reconciliation to reunite the Independence movement in an SNP which becomes again a broad church, and again focused on gaining Independence, not only at elections.


The Scottish parliamentary elections are two years away. We have that period to capture the 30-40% of Scottish Labour voters who support Independence. I have no doubt disillusion with a Starmer government, elected on 34% of the UK vote (and just 1 in 5 of eligible voters) will set in very, very quickly.

Scottish Independence is still coming within my lifetime. I shall be home soon.

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173 thoughts on “Scotland and Me

1 2
  • wordwhisperer

    Ode to Craig Murray

    Craig Murray don’t worry
    everything will turn out
    the good that you do
    will always hold much clout
    your kindness your goodness
    these paths that you chose
    to stand up for suffering
    never wasted on those
    people who need – a someone like you
    who is using a platform
    to make sure they do
    use it for goodness- for humanity and love
    yes Craig never worry as God is above
    in favour be mindful – you are on his list
    where deeds that you’ve done
    never will be missed –
    You – with the Big Guy
    carry favour tis true
    blessed be forever
    Craig Murray that’s you –

  • Leftworks

    I’ve been communicating with a Twitter account that claims the victor in Blackburn was backed by Jack Straw and significant elements of his customary support. Is that something you are planning to write about / document?

    • Mr Mark Cutts

      Well it must have been worth over 20k to Jack Straw in order for him to get out of bed and assist the Candidate? His Good Lady Wife was in deep at the PO too I believe so all were in politics and the PO to serve the public.

      Sir Fear Starmer should be his Moniker now as his and the New ( not Corbyn ) Labour Party have been and are more scared of the Markets and the rich and powerful than they are of the electorate.

      So, yes they will dis-appoint and they will continue the near 43 year old tradition of austerity. And of course crawl even further up the US’s backside.

      Did you know that the Reds have taken over France? It’s in the MSM’s newsfeeds.

      I live in France and the Tabacs and Bars and cafes are still open. No-one I know is crying into their wine glasses and soaking their baguettes. Perhaps I’ve missed something?

      I’ll wait for tomorrows Daily Mail for info.

      • will moon

        “ that the Reds have taken over France”

        Mark there is a great Louis Malle film called “Milou en Mai” (1990) about the “uprising” in 1968. It’s main premise is based on the observation you make above. A posh family in a big country house host the flotsam and jetsam generated by the civil disturbances at the centre. It is a examination of the French class system written as a comedy. I found it very funny and very touching

  • Jules Orr

    An election that surely ends the myth that Scotland is more left-wing than England. Scots embraced Blair and now an even more explicitly right-wing Westminster establishment hero Sir Keir Starmer. A hardcore anti-indy, pro-austerity, pro-war, pro-genocide nut.

    But in 2019 they returned more MPs for Boris Johnson than for Jeremy Corbyn. Politically, they’re the same as the English.

    • DunGroanin

      ‘P***y whipped’ is what comes to mind with most Scot’s I know here in London, they fear their own shadow, as if any independence means there will be no money for benefits and free education etc they still get over the border!

      It’s the Stockholm syndrome.
      There is only one way of getting many of them to wake up from that brainwashing – a hard intervention by their fellow Scot’s doing as the Irish had to a century ago.
      A unilateral Declaration of Independence would do.
      A border guard to stop the English and Scottish traitors from invading.
      A national currency and bank that could create its own money.
      A massive charge for the English nuke subs to remain but they should be told to leav the it in a few years anyway.
      Control of coastal waters economic zone and fisheries and of course all the remaining oil and gas!

      It’s that EASY really – many colonial nations have done it.
      It is psychologically harder for the Scot’s because they have the guilt of being many of the imperialist colonisers for the English Crown all these centuries! Many still benefit from that and are loyal Crown servants.

      Don’t panic!
      Admit the crime, repent and reclaim the independence for future Scottish peoples sakes!
      Or else they are truly…..
      Doooooomed!

  • James Galt

    The mandate of the Starmer government is shaky – they got less votes than Corbyn did – Labour is in long term decline every bit as much as the Tories. Even the leader of this “landslide” got far less votes in his own constituency than last time.

    The Tory vote halved and Farage divided the rest – that is why Starmer is where he is.

    In Scotland the SNP got the kicking they deserved but Labour was the gainer of tactical voting on a vast scale – the social media is full of orange types saying how they had to hold their noses to vote Labour this time – the Labour “Triumph” in Scotland is even more paper thin and illusory than in the rest of the UK. UK politics is still every bit as broken as it was before, the wheels will come off Labour even quicker than the Tories.

    A default landslide – nothing more.

    • Townsman

      The flaw in this view is the “tribal” nature of voting in the UK. Both Tories and Labour have their core voters who vote the way their family and friends have always voted – manifestos, performance in government, etc mean nothing. The people who voted for Michael Foot’s Labour Party also voted for Tony Blair’s Labour Party, for example. Except for the name “Labour” they had practically no policy in common.
      However, the Labour “tribe” is bigger than the Tory “tribe” and in a FPTP system it makes the Labour Party indestructible.

  • Ian

    Just about sums up the fractured, exhausted mess that Sturgeon and Lloyd have engineered. I know hope springs eternal, but for the SNP to gain any credibility, and be even a remote contender, they will surely have to clear out all of the desperately inept heirarchy, all who have been associated and complicit in the debacle of the last ten years. To even suggest Swinney, along with the jaded old guard, has a chance of reinventing the party seems beyond absurd.
    A whole new generation, with no connections to the past, needs to emerge, with some quality people who can articulate economic and political realities to which people can relate and support. We haven’t seen that for eons now. The chances are more that they will hobble along, eventually pass the chalice to Kate Forbes, strenuously avoiding the root and branch reform of the party and its internal democracy that has been routed. It will take a real activist to turn that around. The idea that somehow they can regroup for the next Holyrood elections is delusional, unless they embark on a radical change and throw out all the carpet bagging, comfy slackers.

    • Squeeth

      Stopping the SNP from being the SNP will take more than getting rid of the bourgeois tendency. If that is all that is done, it will be back to the Salmond version with its hopeless indecision about using the £, remaining in NATO and joining the EU. An independent Scotland that is explicitly based on the Irish version of independence as a parasite on the British economy convinces no-one. Without a serious commitment to a different sort of country, rather than the status quo in a tartan skirt, independence is pointless for the majority of the people. (Remember them?)

  • Fiona Ewan

    I have to agree on 99%,. Of your thoughts. I don’t feel everything about Nicola Sturgeon is fair. But she took her eye off the ball. And a lot of her staff and her husband. But one thing I give her credit for ,was standing up every single day and talking to the people of Scotland through covid.And yes unfortunately a lot of thing’s were not handled great. And I feel this took far to much out on her mental wellbeing. But I do believe she was a excellent speaker. But now what’s important is to listen to Scottish people and make it abundantly clear. Every vote for independence, regardless of the party is to put every vote count. And stop the egos.

    • DunGroanin

      Sorry Fiona you still have your rose tinted blinkers on.

      She tried to jail Salmond!
      With a criminal conspiracy of liars.
      Who perjured themselves in court sand got away with that perjury! Still do!
      She and her Crown cabal jailed our host for reporting the case and alluding to that conspiracy.
      The whole controlled mass media and their stenographer Barbies and Ken’s collude in that!
      So that you and like minded suckers don’t even see that still?
      You don’t deserve independence! See my post above just now which explains more.
      I hope you and others who still think as you try and understand.

  • M.J.

    “Support for Independence remains defiantly around 50% “. This actually supports the Unionist position. Let me explain.
    It would follow logically from the statement that support for remaining in the UK also remains defiantly around 50%. But we must allow for the bias of Scottish Nationalism in the statement. (Don’t take my word for it. The author by his own testimony told the late Queen herself that he was a Scottish Nationalist). Therefore most likely, support for Independence remains defiantly UNDER 50%. Therefore support for remaining in the UK also remains defiantly OVER 50%.
    I conclude logically that the MAJORITY of Scots defiantly continue to support REMAINING in the UK. (QED). Hurrah!

  • Goose

    Just watching BBC news presenter Geeta Guru-Murthy (sister of Channel 4 news’ Krishnan) valiantly trying, albeit to no avail, to pin a former Starmer adviser down, on where he stands on the left | right spectrum. “He looks at the evidence,” he says, “Yes, but even then, there are choices when presented with that evidence and competing alternatives: does he go left or right?” she queries. The guy waffled on about how Starmer is pragmatist who shuns ideological solutions.

    We’ve basically got a PM whose only aim is semi-competent management until the Tories recover. What a missed opportunity. And why can’t folks see it? How long before the wheels come off?

    At least in Scotland and Wales, health is a devolved matter, limiting what that grubby little oink Wes Streeting can do to undermine it. I see Douglas Alexander is back : https://scottishlabour.org.uk/people/mps/ none of these people will truly be of the left; some have spent years fighting the left within the Labour party, for example, Johanna Baxter. And Ian Murray was all set to join breakaway ‘ChangeUK : the Independent group, under Corbyn, only getting cold feet at the last moment. Look at them, would you trust any of them? Centrism is basically the home of the politically deceitful.

    • Goose

      cont..

      I had to double check, because Wales has different legislation that dates back to 1969, when the Welsh NHS was separated from the English NHS. Legislation about the NHS is indeed made by the Scottish Parliament.

      After Humza’s ignominious fall, which is still hard to make sense of (Gaza?), just imagine if after a vote of no confidence, Holyrood and Westminster elections had taken place simultaneously last Thursday; and the awful Blairite Anas Sarwar was now First Minister. Armed with a stonking Holyrood majority to follow Streeting’s lead. Scots seem to be suffering collective amnesia about the New Labour years : Jim Murphy, Kezia ‘designer labels’ Dugdale; the private complaints that the Scottish Labour party were being treated more like a ‘branch office’ by their masters in London.

    • Tatyana

      Goose, re. “semi-competent management”. I see many non-competent politicians in the West. About this one new PM of yours I thought that ‘Starmer’ sounds like a comparative adjective.
      As if there’s Starm and Starmer. Like Dumb and Dumber.

      • Goose

        He only became an MP in 2015, quite late in life after a career working closely with the UK security services as the country’s chief prosecutor as DPP at the CPS.

        With the moderate centre-right agenda he’s pushing, it’s hard to fathom why he bothered? In the election he ran promoting the nebulous sounding ‘change’ which was cover for the precise opposite.

        Every stage of his journey to the top has involved subterfuge: total dishonesty. He lied to the membership by presenting himself as a very loyal, very left-wing colleague of Jeremy Corbyn. Then as soon as he became Labour party leader, he dumped all his pledges; claimed he was never a friend of Corbyn, and lurched to the right. He’s brought back notorious New Labour era right-wing figures into his confidence, people like Peter Mandelson, a man who is still a bête noire of the party’s left. His team have made sure there are no anti-war, or anti-Zionism candidates by rigging the selection processes using underhand methods like suspending constituency parties on spurious grounds.

        The whole thing stinks.

        • Stevie Boy

          In 2015 Jeremy Corbyn became Labour leader.
          Blairites, Zionists, UK/US Security Services went into meltdown.
          Corbyn must be stopped. Enter the Blairite, Zionist, Security Services tool: Keir Starmer.
          Coincidence or planned ?

          • Goose

            Stevie Boy

            They didn’t go into meltdown really, until after 2017’s result. A bit like the panic over the Scottish referendum in 2014. The establishment were expecting Corbyn to get thrashed because they themselves couldn’t identify.

            Did you notice how Starmer never really engaged directly with the public in the campaign?

            Instead, he campaigned like the then PM, Theresa May, did in 2017; speaking before selected audiences at workplaces; empty aircraft hangars etc. Compare this to Corbyn’s impromptu soapbox style campaigning in 2017 and 2019. Corbyn also had to fight his way through a media scrum each morning just to reach his car, no security detail in sight. Starmer was shielded like he was already the PM, which tells you something.

          • Goose

            Stevie Boy

            I’d be less cynical, had he run for the party’s leadership as a Blairite centrist, and won a mandate for that fair and square. It’s the deception used to trick the membership into voting for him that’s so obnoxious to my mind.

            If, as Galloway believes, Starmer will at some point try to commit the UK to a major war, then I think there will be a very hostile reaction from those who held their noses and voted Labour, despite deep concerns. I’ve mentioned it before, but Starmer pledged : a ‘Prevention of military intervention Act,’ precisely to allay members’ fears he’d ‘do a Blair’ by joining some US-led military adventure without the UN’s authorisation. Blair burnt through all his goodwill, forcing the calamity that was Iraq through parliament. Starmer doesn’t have the goodwill and popularity to begin with.

          • will moon

            “Corbyn also had to fight his way through a media scrum each morning just to reach his car”

            All the footage I have seen of Corbyn leaving his house to go to the House he was on a bike Goose! – no car in sight

          • Urban Fox

            @ Goose.

            Galloway is talking through his hat.

            The UK categorically has no means whatsoever, to fight a war.

            In case you hadn’t noticed, the UK armed forces, are in an absolutely wretched state. It would take ten or twenty years to rebuild them. Assuming the competence to do so still existed.

            So rest easy knowing, such decisions of war & peace are out of Britain’s feeble hands.

            All Starmar can do on his own, is rattle an empty scabbard and send a merge amount of rapidly inflating monopoly money & a small jumble of equipment to Kiev.

            Much of which will promptly be stolen.

          • Goose

            Urban Fox

            I suppose it comes down to how you define ‘major’.

            The UK is already participating in military action against Yemen’s Houthis. Were Biden to pitch a plan to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities after the November election; at their upcoming meeting in Washington this week, do you think Starmer would dare refuse? Because, these things are usually planned a year in advance, due to the logistics and planning required to get extensive military assets in place for a major military campaign. Plus they have to set up an agreed pretext to sell the war to a war-weary domestic population – usually a false flag.
            And it’s agreed face-to-face for the utmost secrecy. Many believe Cameron’s 2012 trip to Washington, laid the plans to attack Syria in September 2013.

          • Phil Espin

            Urban Fox. Britain is currently fighting Russians, Gazans, Syrians and Yemenis. But you aren’t allowed to know that. The fighting comes in various forms, provision of arms, know how, logistical and planning support, training and use of “special forces”. It’s what are government does and they believe it’s none of our business.

          • Goose

            Phil Espin

            Many parliamentarians have suggested increasing use of special forces deployment is a way of avoiding parliamentary and public scrutiny. Boots on the ground being incredibly controversial and divisive. It’s completely outrageous that in a democracy, highly trained military personnel are being sent into these hot conflict zones; being killed or seriously injured and the only people who know about it, are the top brass and PM of the day.
            Every other western country with similar forces: US; France, Denmark et al have thorough democratic oversight. There is an argument for pre special operation secrecy, but the MoD wouldn’t even countenance reviews of operations, by the Defence Select Committee. They’re acting like a state within a state.

            Another thing that is unique to the UK, and not in a positive way.

        • Urban Fox

          Phil Espin & Goose

          I put that more in the realm of espionage, than major conventional war or even expeditionary war.

          The UK has a fetish for “special forces” but they’re not Sardukar, despite all the propaganda nor all that numerous.

          Our assurance on any front is shameful & a needless expense. However it doesn’t amount to much in material terms.

          The only NATO military power worth the name is the USA, but since they couldn’t fight the Russians either that pretty much settles that.

          Iran would also be too hot to handle, who else is left?

  • Republicofscotland

    It would seem that Alex Salmond just can’t let go, he voted for the SNP candidate in Thursday’s GE.

    Meanwhile SNP MP troughers who lost their seats at the HoC trough, are eyeing up a seat at Holyrood in 2026 via the List Vote, it may even be the case that some current SNP MSPs will be deselected (they are not living up to Sturgeon’s ultra low standards) to allow some of the ex-SNP MP troughers to stand in their constituencies.

  • Yvonne A Ridley

    Frankly Craig, like you I was shocked by the result and Alba’s poor performance. What I found even more discombobulating was those who claim to be for Indy absolutely wallowing in the results.
    I think in Alba we need to draw a line under the sand and move forwards, onwards and upwards. The party has offloaded most of the toxic individuals & their self destruct buttons.
    They have run out of roads and bandwagons to jump on and dismantle once on board.
    Now that they’re politically homeless they’ll probably form their own party on their final journey to irrelevance.
    Meanwhile we’ve got to get Alba match fit for independence – Salmond’s initiatives and gaming of the system have been nothing short of genius. Alba is the only party that can move the independence clock forwards.
    I guess we have to move forwards with the party and give it the support it needs. After what we’ve just encountered in England, I think we can help do that.

    • Lapsed Agnostic

      Thanks for gracing us with your presence, Yvonne, and congratulations on saving your deposit in Newcastle Central & West – when that result came in I knew we were in for an interesting night as regards Independent/Workers Party candidates.

      I, too, was more than slightly surprised that Alba didn’t do better – I had thought that Neale Hanvey & Kenny MacAskill would at least save their deposits. Before 2024, has there ever been a British MP who’s stood for re-election and come eighth, like poor Kenny did in Alloa & Grangemouth with only 1.5% of the vote?* (The only reason he didn’t come last was due to Galloway telling fibs and standing Workers Party candidates against Alba ones.)

      One of candidates that beat him was the Independent Eva Comrie, who’s formerly of Alba but who recently left for reasons that may be known to you. I’m surprised that she hasn’t joined the Party of Women, but maybe Kellie-Jay Keen is too mad even for her. Overall, the only consolation for Alba was that the two Independence for Scotland Party candidates (who don’t come with any toxic trans baggage on either side of the debate) did worse. Hopefully, the Scottish Parliament election in 2006 will be a lot better for Alba and the ISP.

      * Contrast this with the result in Na h-Eileanan an Iar (that’s the Outer Hebrides for those who don’t speak Gaelic), where Angus MacNeil came third as an Independent. Now I’m no expert on the ultra-Proddy sects you get around there, but I wouldn’t have thought that the Independence supporters would have much time for Catholics (let alone Catholics who kiss and fondle a 17-year-old and an 18-year-old in a hotel room aged 36, whilst their wife is in hospital giving birth to their third child; have at least one subsequent extra-marital affair, and probably several others; and cause serious injury to another 17-year-old by dangerous driving) once they’re shorn of their SNP branding, but he got over 10% of the vote. I suppose it could have been all of the extended family on Barra turning out for him.

      • Lapsed Agnostic

        * That should be the Scottish Parliament elections in 2026 obvs – too much in the way of England penalties win celebrations last night.

      • Cynicus

        “Contrast this with the result in Na h-Eileanan an Iar (that’s the Outer Hebrides for those who don’t speak Gaelic)…”
        =========
        No. That’s “The Western Isles” in translation from Gàidhlig!

    • Brianfujisan

      Hi The Israeli Labour is very Powerful..I have been approached thee times in Glasgow’s George ( Freedom ) Square by Zionists..For Carrying a Palestine Flag..the last time It almost got Ugly…Because I had enough..and I’m more than fit for the wee bastards

      • M.J.

        Did you tell them about the books and Youtube videos of Ilan Pappe and Miko Peled? Or the film Israelism with Simone Zimmerman? If they’re young, the seed might take!

          • M.J.

            That’s a shame, because if you had mentioned one or two of those names or just the film “Israelism”, it might have stuck in his mind. He might well have been a Zionist because he was brought up that way, with the Zionist lobby influencing his education, offering free “heritage” trips to Israel etc – the film explains all this happening to American kids. But like much of the younger generation of American Jews, he could have been educable. Maybe remember it for next time.

  • Republicofscotland

    Salvo are I presume in the process of producing evidence to the international community that the Treaty of Union was illegal from day one. This evidence cannot be denied, and frightens the life out of the English government.

    The international community cannot act upon it but it can acknowledge that the Treaty of Union is infact not legally binding, that will open the door for Scots to go ahead with dissolving what never existed in the first place.

  • Peter C.

    Well, I’m glad you’re moving back to Scotland Craig.

    As for your seeming faith in Alex Salmond and Alba I fear it is misplaced. Salmond, who I used to hold in very high regard, is no democrat at heart. He was instrumental in blocking Sara Salyers move to have the Claim of Right and Sovereignty of the People of Scotland incorporated into Alba’s policies. The story of how that came to be is very interesting and I would advise seeing if you could contact Sara Salyers and find out how that block came to pass.

    Suffice to say that Salmond believes and wants Parliamentary Sovereignty to be the basis of government in an independent Scotland — and Sovereignty of the People be damned!

    For what Sara was proposing see this: Sara Salyers Speech at Alba Conference

    And for the upshot of the block being applied see this: Going Public And Why? Sara Salyers Resigns From Alba

    From my reading of the situation as it now stands I think that Salvo and Liberation Scotland (Movement) will press the case for independence for Scotland, and will win that case.

  • Rosemary MacKenzie

    Welcome back to Scotland, Craig! There is a lot of work to do there. The 50/50 yes/no split is just the beginning – when the independence push comes on strong, I think a lot more people will join the yes side. I found this article by Keith Woods https://keithwoods.pub/p/the-great-british-betrayal. It came up on X/Twitter a few days ago. It seems to me to be a very good analysis of what’s happened in Britain over the last 40 plus years. I’m not so comfortable with his stance on immigration – to me that is a consequence of empire, and complicity in destabilization of countries the US doesn’t like. (Mass immigration can destabilize societies if its not managed properly). Michael Hudson, Richard Murphy and others also write about neo-feudalism etc. What interested me, among other things, was his comparison of the current UK economy – London centric, financial, with Germany. Germany maintained its industrial base and the whole country benefited. Sad thing is that Germany has had its industrial base cannibilized by the US because of the Ukraine fiasco – lost its cheap energy. Ukraine has been devastated for its fertile land and resources. This was all to get at the vast resources belonging to Russia? – Albright said years ago that the Russian people shouldn’t believe that their resources belonged to them! So the US managed to provoke Russia into a war, devastate Ukraine, wreck the European, and German economies. Meanwhile, maybe its mic is flourishing but I don’t see much else. To get back to Scotland. In 2016, Scotland voted to remain in the EU. I’m not so sure full membership of the EU is such a good thing right now. Scotland was also going on about joining Nato – I’d say task number one is to get the nukes off the Clyde and boot out nato. Scotland is part of a very corrupt political system and needs to get out of it. Lee Kuan Yew, first PM of Singapore said the more money available to political parties from donors, the more corruption is present and lasts into the government. The government has to pay back the corporate money in kind. Sorry to rabbit on but there is so much to think about and I haven’t even got onto Gaza. I’d be interested in anyone’s view of the Woods article if you have time to read it. There was a child’s story, I remember from decades ago about a Shetland pony running around London neighing Scotland Forever. Scotland Forever!! and Independent! Have a rest Craig, but Scotland is waiting if you have the energy!

    • Jules Orr

      A shocking read that Keith Woods article, thank you for linking Rosemary. The UK’s economic model is grotesque and all the signals are this Mandelson-Reeves regime is just as ideologically committed to rentierism and PPI, if not more so. That is why Starmer and the media are gaslighting us that he is not led by doctrine. (I agree the article is sullied by the white nationalist stuff at the end.)

      • Rosemary MacKenzie

        Yes, it’s very well put together but I think many people are aware, in parts about what, was going on! It did evolve over 40 years.

        • Jim O'Donnell

          Just taking this opportunity of adding our own appreciation for your very valuable link, courtesy of Keith Woods, Rosemary, however, and at the risk of sounding possibly and pompously pedantic (whilst by no means wishing, in the peremptory process, to absolve entirely, ‘she’, who once enjoyed her own – perfectly palatable and platonic – ‘special relationship’ with the still sorely missed Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook, back in the day, lest our unsolicited intrusion should be in any way misinterpreted as tantamount to an unwarranted apologia for the callously credentialled, former Secretary of State) I would caution that your accusatory and acquisitive ascription of Albright’s asinine assertion (or if you like, ‘Rumsfeldian’) concerning the rich repositories of Mother Russia’s natural resources, is arguably apocryphal, as Joshua Keating claims in this Foreign Policy Magazine article ?

          https://foreignpolicy.com/2007/11/07/russian-spies-can-read-madeleine-albrights-mind/

          • Rosemary MacKenzie

            She made other very nasty comments on the deaths of Iraqi children. Apocryphal or not regarding Russia’s resources, she was a pretty unpleasant individual. Didn’t know she had any sort of relationship with Robin Cook.
            Believe he had far more integrity than she ever had.

        • Laguerre

          Yes, I thought it was clearly expressed, but it did miss out some important elements. Firstly that most of the North Sea Oil bonus went on paying the dole for the miners and other industrial workers of everything that Thatcher closed down in destroying her enemies. Secondly that increasing use of computers in the 80s and since allowed much closer control, and more profits, over the whole sectors of finance and industry. And then he seems to have a thing about immigration, but I couldn’t be bothered to try and work out what he was really thinking.

          • Goose

            Off topic, but on the subject of popular uprisings…

            Based on the exit polls it looks like the New Popular Front will emerge with the most seats after the French second round of voting. Clearly the fear of a far-right victory, and the risk of that tarnishing France’s image, paid off. Turnout was staggeringly high by normal second round standards, at around 68%, recently it’s been as low as mid-30s.

            Reading this though (link) it appears the NPF aren’t all that radical at all.

            Polish PM Donald Tusk tweeted: Moscow will be disappointed. Some of these politicians are clearly obsessed with Russia. Is that goading really appropriate behaviour for an incumbent PM?

      • Squeeth

        All of this was predicted in the late 70s, when the papers and the state broadcaster still contained reportage rather than mere journalism. It was presented as an either/or between turning Britain into a colony or spending money on the manufacturing industries of the future (which meant competing with the Septics). Liarbour, of course, did the job it exists for, to throw elections or to adopt state policies put forward by the Tories (officials).

  • Republicofscotland

    Starmer’s off to a flyer, as we expected.

    “KEIR Starmer has been slammed for appointing a disgraced former Labour politician who claimed expenses for pornography viewed by her husband to his Government.

    The Prime Minister has revived the political career of former home secretary Jacqui Smith by appointing her as Higher Education Minister and giving her a seat in the House of Lords.

    Smith quit Gordon Brown’s government in 2009 at the height of the expenses scandal, after she was found to have misused the second home allowance to fund her family home.

    She apologised to the Commons that year for wrongly claiming the cost of pornographic films watched by her husband at her family home and said she had repaid the money in full.

    Smith’s return to Parliament means she will again be entitled to expenses as a member of the House of Lords on top of the £361 daily attendance allowance.”

    • Goose

      Republicofscotland

      She was a very authoritarian home secretary too. Blunkett, Straw …they all vied for the Sun’s headlines, praising their latest illiberal initiatives.

      From an English perspective, Blairite Alan Milburn’s return is the most unwelcome. Milburn has been tasked with thinking the unthinkable on NHS reforms. But everyone already knows where Milburn stands on further private sector involvement. Starmer’s also just made Douglas Alexander a business minister, despite Alexander’s nine year absence from parliament.

      It’s literally just New Labour 2.0, headed by a boring civil servant; serving up reheated Blairite leftovers. Some change, huh?

      • Urban Fox

        You’re too kind – *rotten* Blairite leftovers, is more apt.

        It’s just continuity neo-s**tlibism, rather like Yugoslavia after Tito died. The status quo was sacrosanct, even as the system decayed rapidly.

        After Tito comes Tito, was the bitter joke. In the UK it’s after Blair comes Blair.

        Only the lying, thieving & murdering old war-criminal is still around. Badly aging and with a f**king mullet on his dome, so he’s even unpleasant to look at nowadays.

        So the good news is nothing much will change under Starmer, the bad news nothing much will change under Starmer.

        All the evil crap the Tories would’ve done, Starmer will do.

        Until the whole rotten Westminster mess implodes, under the weight of it’s deceit, corruption & incompetence.

        • glenn_nl

          “Blairite scum” is the correct term.

          The only message Tory HQ and their stooges in the press have on Kid Starver is that he’s ‘boring’. If only! I would love to have a boring administrator at the head of government, steadily doing the job of getting the state running properly for its citizens. Are we such a silly people, that we need an entertainer running the show?

          Not wishing to be cynical for its own sake, but I literally have no idea what Starmer actually wants or stands for, apart from serving power.

          • Urban Fox

            Oh, I can name a few.

            He stands for Israel, Ukraine, NATO, “our democracy” & “our values”.

            Domesticly it’ll be some dystopic version of status quo neo-liberalism. All under the pretense that his “election” is a 1997-style promise of a new dawn, after a generation of tory misrule & sleaze.

            Of course in 1997, people didn’t know what they were getting with new “labour”& were optimistic. In the wider context of a country that was much better off.

            Now hardly anyone believes the official regime BS, given that nothing in the UK really works anymore. In an increasingly precarious & impoverished society.

            Which Labour can’t fix and are fully complicit in creating.

  • wallofcontroversy

    So why didn’t the voters in Scotland turn out in force to vote for Jeremy Corbyn when they had the chance? Instead of backing Corbyn in 2017, it was the Tories who were given a boost by Scottish voters, yet now the Labour Party has ceased to be a progressive option, the nation has switched its support back to the Blairites again. Make of that what you will.

    • zoot

      they hated what Corbyn was offering. when they voted for perpetual English rule in 2014 it was on one very strict condition: that English rule must be delivered by Old Etonian Tories or the Labour Right and must always include austerity, privatisation, mass inequality, needless wars etc.

      • David Warriston

        That’s pretty near the mark. John McLean, Tommy Sheridan and Alex Salmond have all offered the Scottish people an alternative to Westminster rule and been jailed (or in Salmond’s case nearly jailed) for their efforts. We could probably add Willie McCrae to that list.

        The response by the Scottish people to these events has been muted, to put it politely.

        • David Warriston

          Apologies for missing Craig Murray himself from that list of political martyrs. The message has long been clear: any attempt to change the political landscape of Scotland is a crime.

      • Squeeth

        Given the fascist nature of FPTP, it seems facile of you to infer that the will of the people can be divined from ‘election’ results.

  • DavidH

    “highly charged culture wars agenda… that ordinary people are much too sensible to spend much time thinking about”

    I’m with Mr Murray on that one. Although a certain slice of “ordinary” people on both sides, egged on by the keyboard-warrior hype, do seem persuaded to take it rather emotionally. As Mr Murray has said in some excellent pieces before – if you’re that interested in other people’s genitals, there’s something weird going on.

    The underlying principal of treating people with respect and understanding should usually suffice for most people’s daily interactions, along with a careful legal approach to areas where changes could be dangerous or unfair – like violent prisoners or women’s sports.

    Similar to gay marriage – it happened, we worked it out, the world didn’t stop turning, nobody is marrying their budgerigar.

  • Coldish

    It’s sad that Craig was elbowed out of the way in Blackburn, but should we not congratulate Adnan Hussain on his defeat of the Labour candidate? It means one more potentially anti-Starmer voice in parliament.
    George Galloway has been trying to persuade Jeremy Corbyn to lead a new nationwide left movement, which could be built around the newly elected independent pro-Gaza MPs. It is easier for the elites to ignore a lone voice than an organised opposition.

    • nevermind

      Firstly, can I thank here the many Volunteers from Blackburn who helped us to achieve our 7140 third place. We worked hard with no days off for five weeks solid.
      Adnan Hussain was lucky that only 53% of voters engaged in this election. The difference between Kate Hollern and her m was 136 votes, with 176. Spoiled votes, a very anarchic result indeed, the spoiled ballot papers win. I now feel tired and knackered, but proud to have helped making it possible to introduce a fair cultured campaign, regardless of sectarian divisions, religious intolerance and lies.
      We played a straight bat and the last week was electric as our support multiplied.
      Once again thanks to all those who supported us actively and with a few pennies. Take care and do the right thing for Scotland.

      • Lapsed Agnostic

        Apologies for being pedantic, nevermind, but our host got 7105 votes, Adnan Hussain’s majority was 132, and the number of spoilt votes was 163:

        https://www.blackburn.gov.uk/elections-and-voting/parliamentary-general-election-results-4-july

        Our host is also lucky that AH scraped over the line*, or he would forever have been accused of splitting the pro-Palestinian vote and letting Labour in.

        On a related note, your campaign needs to make sure that *every penny* donated to it is accounted for in its election return, and that everyone who donated over £50 was on the UK electoral register at the time. Of course, this is easier said than done. There’s every chance that Labour will come after the Independents that have embarrassed them in this election – I reckon they’ll start with Feinstein and move on from there. Look at what happened to people involved in the *Tory* campaign in South Thanet in 2015: Marion Little only avoided a jail sentence because she was caring for her terminally ill husband, and poor Craig Mackinlay had to spend three years of his (pre-sepsis) life being dragged through the courts even though candidates who don’t act as their own election agent have no legal responsibility for campaign finances.

        * Do you know if there were any recounts? I still can’t believe that the runners-up in Basildon & Billericay and Poole didn’t appear to demand any after losing out to winning margins of only 20 & 18 votes respectively.

          • Lapsed Agnostic

            Thanks for your reply Bayard. Sorry, I’m not sure what you’re referring to. Is it the apparent lack of recounts in Poole and Basildon & Billericay? If so, I’m not sure that any sticks or carrots were involved, since the election in Poole may have been won by the Labour candidate, but B&B was secured by the former Tory chairman Richard Holden – or Billericay Dickie, as I suppose he’ll be called from now on.

          • Bayard

            I meant that the runners-up must have had some incentive not to ask for a recount, or perhaps it was simply apathy.

        • Greg Park

          “Our host is also lucky that AH scraped over the line*, or he would forever have been accused of splitting the pro-Palestinian vote and letting Labour in.”

          Craig Murray was a better candidate than Adnan Hussain by any reasonable measure. On the key issue of the Gaza genocide, there was no better candidate standing for election anywhere in the country. But I doubt there was any other issue on which Craig considered Adnan Hussain his superior.

          • Lapsed Agnostic

            Thanks for your reply Greg.

            Re: ‘Craig Murray was a better candidate than Adnan Hussain by any reasonable measure.’

            …except by the reasonable measure of getting the most votes. If our host had received more votes than AH, but not enough to win, it would have been the latter who could not unreasonably be accused of splitting the vote.

          • Lapsed Agnostic

            Also, has Adnan Hussain or any of the other victorious Independent candidates been doing the Hasbara’s job for them for free by claiming on TwitterX that Hamas etc ‘almost certainly’ carried out rapes on October 7th on the basis of no credible evidence whatsoever, but because sexual violence always happens in war*?

            * No it doesn’t – see, for example, The Falklands.

            (I wonder how long this comment will last)

    • Stevie Boy

      Isn’t it the case that the electorate, as opposed to the people, don’t really give a toss about Gaza ?
      Jeremy Corbyn has a reputation as a respected, honest socialist, George Galloway doesn’t, go figure.
      Whilst we have FPTP we don’t have democracy and are cursed to keep doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome.

  • Katherine Perlo

    Considering your remarks in ‘Scotland and Me’, are you planning to leave Alba and (re)join the SNP? Thanks for clarification.

  • Robert Hughes

    Welcome home, Craig: good to have you back.

    In this “time of monsters” your passionate humanity & intelligence is need more than ever.

    • Goose

      Of interest : Labour expected to drop challenge to ICC over Netanyahu arrest warrant

      https://www.theguardian.com/law/article/2024/jul/08/labour-expected-to-drop-challenge-to-icc-over-netanyahu-arrest-warrant

      This move was one of the more despicable final acts of Sunak’s govt; alongside their ongoing general disinterest and indifference to the death and carnage in Gaza. Patrick Wintour may be jumping the gun though, as it’s not official..yet. But such a move would be welcome and indicate a different approach.
      The fact it’s even in doubt, under Starmer, illustrates how much Labour have ‘changed’ …and not in a good way. Labour have moved away from the Miliband /Corbyn commitment to recognise Palestine unilaterally, without certain criteria being attached to that recognition. Labour’s new position is to recognise ‘only’ as part of a peace process and final deal. This is clearly a sop to Israel and Netanyahu, for how likely is a land for peace deal? It effectively gives Israel a veto over UK recognition! Although, as always with Starmer, it’s couched in deceptive language, suggesting the very opposite.

      • Jimmy Riddle

        Goose – whatever the Labour position concerning the current conflict, I recall (couple of days ago in a newspaper article) that Starmer stated that he favoured a two-state solution. The practical problems with this are clear – the USA/UK alliance will force a solution where the Palestinian state gets miniscule territory, etc ….in contrast to the Zionist state of Israel, but even if the allocation were ‘fair’ (in some generalised sense) it still stinks of discrimination and segregation.

        Normal decent people (of course) would like to see a single state, which is a normal ‘secular’ democracy (with all that that entails) and find the idea of dividing the territory based on ethnic and religious considerations sick and abhorrent. I’m wondering – do you know what the Palestinians want here? What sort of solution they would like to see.

        • Stevie Boy

          “a two-state solution.”
          To see why this is a huge, sick, political joke, look at the maps here:
          https://ifamericansknew.org/history/
          The ‘only’ solution is a fully democratic, single state, ‘Palestine’ with equal rights for everyone: Muslims, Jews, Christians, etc. Anything else is apartheid and doomed to eventual failure.

      • Jack

        Absurdly enough, Sunak’s OWN legal team claimed months ago that Israel violate international law
        UK government lawyers say Israel is breaking international law, claims top Tory in leaked recording
        https://www.theguardian.com/world/2024/mar/30/uk-government-lawyers-say-israel-is-breaking-international-law-claims-top-tory-in-leaked-recording

        In the best of worlds, there should be an official investiagion/audit/hearing who all these pro-israeli politicians actually serve, where they get their lobby-money from and for what reason, what strings are attached when the israeli money is given to politicians? It is insane how this corruption, obvious fifth-column type of subversive actions going on right in the open.

        As far as Labour dropping the bid against Netanyahu? Forget about it. Just fake PR to calm the pro-palestinian fractions in Labour/votes now.
        Remember that Keir was PART of the reason why Tzipi Livni, the israeli FM back in 2008 was free to travel to the UK even though she was involved in human rights abuses in Gaza:
        Censored: Keir Starmer’s emails about Israeli war crimes case
        The Crown Prosecution Service is refusing to release files on how Starmer blocked the arrest of former Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni over alleged war crimes during the brutal bombing of Gaza in 2008.

        https://www.declassifieduk.org/censored-keir-starmers-emails-about-israeli-war-crimes-case/

        In other news poor Keir approached in the gym locker room ,
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VdRvUMLN-o0 running out of the room like a scared rat after being questioned what he thinks of what Israel do in Gaza. Pathetic man.

        • Republicofscotland

          Jack.

          Starmer and much of his cabinet are already in the pockets of the Zionists.

          “Pro-Israel lobbyists have donated to 13 out of Labour’s 25 cabinet members since they were first elected to parliament, Declassified can reveal.

          The list of recipients includes prime minister Keir Starmer, his deputy Angela Rayner, chancellor Rachel Reeves, foreign secretary David Lammy and home secretary Yvette Cooper.

          Jonathan Reynolds, who will oversee arms exports to Israel as UK trade secretary, is another beneficiary, alongside Labour’s election mastermind Pat McFadden, whose responsibilities now include national security.

          Some of the donations were provided by Labour Friends of Israel (LFI), a lobby group which takes MPs on “fact-finding” missions to the region.

          Reeves, McFadden, Reynolds and technology secretary Peter Kyle were recently listed as vice-chairs of LFI.

          Other major funders include pro-Israel businessmen Gary Lubner, Trevor Chinn, and Stuart Roden.

          The total value of the donations amounts to over £600,000.”

          https://www.declassifieduk.org/israel-lobby-funded-half-of-keir-starmers-cabinet/

          • Rosemary MacKenzie

            Replying to Stevie Boy. That is a major part of the trouble. These kind of “donations” are the hallmarks of corruption. They should be illegal. Political parties should have a set amount only paid out by the state. Independents and emerging parties should be funded by the state also. There must be some way of managing this fairly. Also, calling first past the post democracy is a complete travesty!

          • Squeeth

            Does anyone know if wealthy donors to political parteis use their money or are passing on money from elsewhere?

  • tonyopmoc

    “Nobody is more sympathetic than me to mental illness (I am bipolar myself)”

    Well that is completely normal, if you are highly intelligent. You respect both sides of your brain, and your soul – God if you like – is Piggy in the Middle. The important thing is to Smile, if you can and do go on, when the worst thing you can possibly imagine happens..and She is Dead. (My wife is fine and so are so are our Grandchildren)

    Meanwhile a surprising lot of people some of which, I thought would have at least some empathy can’t undestand..and be happy, like I am to witness

    Julian Assange – FREE MAN

    https://www.sott.net/image/s35/709928/super/assanges.jpg

    Tony

  • Geoffrey

    Watching the news last night, and seeing the pictures from the bombed Ukrainian hospital with people with dusty faces passing out injured children, I thought that I’ve seen these pictures before somewhere. They look very similar to the pictures of The White Helmets passing survivors out of a bombed building in Syria.
    Same production company ?

      • Republicofscotland

        Stevie Boy.

        The missile that hit the cancer hospital was a Ukrainian anti-missile, it broke up and landed on the hospital it wasn’t a Russian missile, of course with the warmongers gathering today (Nato) its a Godsend to them that they can twist the story to match their narrative.

        Unsurprisingly this was said by a UN rep.

        “Analysis of the video footage and an assessment made at the incident site indicates a high likelihood that the children’s hospital suffered a direct hit rather than receiving damage due to an intercepted weapon system,” said Danielle Bell, head of mission for the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine.”

        • Stevie Boy

          Yes, I’m aware. The Ukranians have multiple past form with positioning their arms and military in the midst of public areas, this is known as human shields in a sane world. The same sort of things the Israelis do. Remember Gonzalo Lira, he used to report on the ground about such activities, wonder what happened to him …
          We know the UN/ICC/ICJ appear to have become tools of the West, we’ll see what they come up with !

        • Rosemary MacKenzie

          Oh my, it’s a cancer hospital now, it was a children’s hospital yesterday – all fake news. So why didn’t they (msm,western govts, etc) respond with such horror when it was GAZA?!?! Article in the Lancet, reckons that at least 8 percent of the people of Gaza have died, many of them children. And there are children growing up and trapped in that horrific battleground, many of them having lost their parents, brothers, sisters etc.

        • Tom Welsh

          “Analysis of the video footage and an assessment made at the incident site indicates a high likelihood that the children’s hospital suffered a direct hit rather than receiving damage due to an intercepted weapon system”.

          Ever since the Skripal/”Novichok” farce, it has been well known that “highly likely” from the British Government means “not”.

    • DunGroanin

      Was a western air defence missile as proved by the videos of the incoming strike.
      There is zero doubt and Ukraine has ordered all cctv footage banned having first encouraged its spread yesterday – many more precision strikes on the armaments factories in broad daylight so the whole population could see with their own eyes and … smart phones.

    • Greg Park

      Yet the liberal commentariat in the USA are telling Americans that Genocide Joe is indisputably a good man who has done a very good job. What does this tell us about them?

  • Steve Hayes

    There is an opportunity for independence that will open up. We have a new Government promising to achieve the highest growth in the G7 by, apparently, tweaking planning rules. Ha ha. The UK economy has shrunk on a per-capita basis over a Parliament for the first time, if I have this right, since Napoleon was around. This is because as existing investments and assets come to a natural end, managers are assessing where to put their replacements and concluding not in Brexit Britain. Port Talbot being a high profile example where, most likely due to rules of origin, the business seems to be going to the Netherlands. This isn’t going to change and the effects are cumulative. So halfway through the next Parliament and facing problem upon problem, the governing party will be casting around for something credible to propose to fix the mess and the only real answer will be joining the EU accession queue and accepting the requirements for new members. But why go into the EU as one unit whose government only represents the interests of London? Why not as three independent units, each with its own representation at the top tables. In everyday terms, inside the customs union, single market, Schengen and the Euro, it only means passing a tin sign with a circle of stars at the border. (NI has its own choices to make and the Republic is reportedly the second richest member of the EU, after Luxembourg.)

  • Tom Welsh

    “She was far more interested in building an extreme cult of personality…”

    Scotland offers very poor soil for any such programme. I can’t think of any successful cult of personality there since, perhaps, John Knox. And even he wrapped himself in the cloak of God.

  • Colin Alexander

    Yvonne A Ridley wrote on here about the Alba Party: “The party has offloaded most of the toxic individuals & their self destruct buttons.”

    What she is referring to is that Alba’s leadership drove out dedicated independence supporters due to the Alba Party’s toxic cult of the leader. Others, who did not resign in disgust or distress were expelled from the party without due process being followed.

    Alba was supposed to be democratically led by its members. Organised on the basis of democratic internal elections. However, Alba’s leader, Alex Salmond, interfered in internal elections. The party was then accused by senior office bearers of vote rigging and a lack of transparency. Alex Salmond again intervened to decree the NEC voting figures should remain a secret and so attempted to close down discussion of members’ legitimate concerns regarding vote rigging.

    Craig Murray remained a member of Alba, despite the constitution saying he shouldn’t be because he stood for the Workers Party of Britain that was in opposition to Alba. Alex Salmond, in violation of the Alba Party constitution, gave him special permission.

    Both Yvonne and Craig are devotees of the Alex Salmond “cult of the leader”. It is the Alba Party that has become toxic under Alex Salmond’s control.

    I am not suggesting Craig Murray was personally involved in any dishonesty, bullying or vote-rigging but, as a close friend of Alex Salmond, it appears he’s given Alba’s leadership tacit approval by staying silent when his friend abused his power and Salmond cult members like Yvonne Ridley went on Twitter / X like attack dogs to publicly denounce other Alba members, after they dared to speak publicly of their concerns about corruption and bullying in Alba, following the failure of the party leadership to properly address their privately raised concerns.

    I’m genuinely sorry to say Craig’s silence on Alba’s leadership and standing for the Workers Party has changed how I regard Craig. Though, I appreciate it must be hard for Craig, seeing his close friend abusing power and causing good people so much distress that they had to leave the party for the sake of their health.

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