All posts filed under: UK

Julian Assange Is Now The Litmus Test

Where you stand on Julian Assange is now a litmus test such as has not been seen since the Iraq War, which was itself a litmus test such as had not been seen since the Miners’ Strike. If you are not for us, then you are against us. If you are not one of us, then you are one of them.

What divides Brexiters and Remainers?

The Brexit roller-coaster ploughs on unpredictably with moves by the House of Commons to block the ‘no deal’ Brexit that most Brexiters voted for. The media often brand this a ‘hardline’ position but this is misleading since this is the only option that delivers a clean exit from the EU, one of the two referendum options available. Anyone taking the temperature of views in Britain could be forgiven for thinking that Remainers and Brexiters inhabit different planets but why might this be the case?

Brexit Endgame

Michael Antony This week, appropriately beginning 1st April, Brexit descended into farce after merely being a two-year comedy of errors. In fact it went beyond farce and became more like one of those Shakespearian tragedies like King Lear where doomed tragic heroes begin behaving like clowns and demented court jesters. The doomed tragic hero in this case is the United Kingdom itself and its venerable (some would say senile) parliamentary system. Brexit had two toxic characteristics built into it. The people voted to leave the EU by a clear majority, but they elected a parliament that was 75% in favour of Remain. This is because of the class bias of the Brexit vote (the Remain chattering classes versus the Brexit deplorables.) This required a superhuman abnegation on the part of MPs to implement the will of the people when they thought the people had gone mad. Some MPs were capable of this spirit of intellectual self-sacrifice for democracy’s sake. Most were not and fought tooth and nail to stop Brexit or water it down to …

BREXIT: ‘The People Have Spoken – The Bastards’

Frank Lee The whole brouhaha around Brexit has amply demonstrated the under-hand tactics used by the losing side post-2016 referendum. There seems no dirty trick that the PTB and their useful idiots will not employ in their ongoing campaign to keep the UK in the prison of the EU and keep the sinking ship of the EU afloat. The counter-revolution campaign contained of 4 discrete but interconnected segments. Project fear: This was successfully used in the Scottish Independence Referendum and has been rolled out again in an attempt to reverse the Leave vote in UK’s EU referendum campaign. After the Leave vote result, media immediately went into (hysterical) overdrive with its tales of woe and chaos regarding the ‘inevitable’ collapse of the UK economy. Visions were conjured up of empty super-market shelves, mass unemployment, capital flight, food riots etcetera. The end of civilization as we know it. A notable example of conjecture and scare-mongering being presented as hard ‘facts.’ Disinformation: The ‘experts’ from the political and media class assured us that life in the EU …

DISCUSS: Theresa May Promises to Resign

The weird world of post-Brexit vote UK politics swirls around some more. Now, in order to try to force her deal through the commons, May has pledged to resign as Prime Minister.

What If The United Kingdom Never Quite Left The European Union?

David Lindsay I am writing this from one of the areas the votes of which decided the EU referendum. We voted to reject 39 years of failure under all three parties, going all the way back to the adoption of monetarism by the Callaghan Government in 1977, the year of my birth. Brexit needs to meet our needs, which are for trade deals with the BRICS countries even while remaining thoroughly critical of their present governments, for integration into the Belt and Road Initiative, for full enjoyment of our freedom from the Single Market’s bans on such measures as State Aid and capital controls, for an extra £350 million per week for the National Health Service, and for the restoration of the United Kingdom’s historic fishing rights in accordance with international law: 200 miles, or to the median line. We must not be opposed in principle to trade deals with the United States, Canada, Australia or New Zealand. But the NHS and food safety standards are among the things that are simply not negotiable. Then …

Corbyn was right – TIG should have no role in our politics

Kit Knightly On Wednesday, following her latest series of total disasters, Theresa May called an emergency meeting of party leaders to deal with Brexit. Despite not being a party leader, and the fact The Independent Group not actually a political party, Chuka Umunna was invited. Jeremy Corbyn refused to take part in the meeting if Umunna was there. The press, and the chattering classes, dragged Corbyn over the coals for this decision. Mostly because it’s what they do, it’s a reflex at this point. But also because of a general misunderstanding about the reality of the “independent” group. The tabloids engaged their best hacks headline writers, displaying the limitations of their vocabularies (or demonstrating that they take orders from the same place): CORB WALKOUT Jeremy Corbyn ridiculed after storming out of Brexit talks as ex-Labour MP Chuka Ummuna was there” The Sun Jeremy Corbyn STORMS OUT of Theresa May’s Brexit talks in protest at Chuka Umunna invite” The Express While the quote-unquote more reputable papers had their laziest op-ed writers vomit out a few hundred …

Jess Phillips Emerges as Establishment Pick to Replace Corbyn

It seems The Times is willing to give column inches to any Labour MP willing to insult and undermine their leader, and is determined to try and tell the public which politicians are the “trendy” ones. To bring back that “cool Britannia” New Labour image. To force us to like them by clamouring about how progressive and normal and popular they are.

Beyond Reason

The Williamson case demonstrates only too clearly that anti-Semitism is no longer an issue that may be discussed in rational terms in the Labour Party. It is not enough to characterise anti-Semitism as a scourge. You are only permitted to claim that this scourge is endemic to the party and to accuse the leadership of “not doing enough”. The argument is that the leadership needs to act “more quickly”, which is to say without due process and merely on someone’s say-so. Unless you can combine a claim of rampant anti-Semitism in the party with a frontal attack on Jeremy Corbyn, you are implicitly damaging the party. These are the prescribed positions from which any departure is itself deemed to be anti-Semitic. The politics of Senator Joseph McCarthy irresistibly come to mind.

People’s Vote: Corbyn Signs His Own Death Warrant

Kit Knightly Throughout his leadership of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn has disappointed some of his most ardent admirers by his refusal to hang tough. Yes, he has played many situations with canniness and subtlety, but too often he has been soft, appeased and conciliated where it is either unnecessary, or worse, entirely counter productive. Too often he vows to “listen” to the problems of dissenting New Labour MPs, instead of asserting his authority. Too many times he has promised to “tackle antisemitism”, instead of bluntly telling everyone – “Labour is NOT antisemitic, this is a smear campaign”. Corbyn should know by now that he can’t win by playing their game by their rules. You can’t appease people who do not want to be appeased. You can’t clean up a smear campaign, and trying just spreads the smears further. However, none of his previous mistakes compare to the kamikaze of backing a people’s vote on Brexit, a huge mistake that undermines the Labour movement from multiple angles. Firstly, there is “The Independent Group” to consider …

OPEN THREAD: The Second Referendum

Labour released a statement today, saying that they will support a “people’s vote” on any possible Brexit deal: We will also be backing the Cooper-Letwin amendment to rule out a no deal outcome. One way or another, we will do everything in our power to prevent no deal and oppose a damaging Tory Brexit based on Theresa May’s overwhelmingly rejected deal. That’s why, in line with our conference policy, we are committed to also putting forward or supporting an amendment in favour of a public vote to prevent a damaging Tory Brexit being forced on the country. The Labour statement was predictable divisive – with some people declaring it a triumph for The Independent Group, the newly-defected “centrist party”: This *might* make the Independent Group the most successful political party of all time https://t.co/WdTNzL7gmo — Jonathan Freedland (@Freedland) February 25, 2019 While others see it as a massive blunder: If #LabourConference were to block #Brexit it would be worse than a crime it would be a blunder. A #KhakiElection would then follow. May for Britain …

George and the ‘ISIS Bride’

Kevin Smith Two things I gave up in the New Year after many years were smoking and reading the London Evening Standard. I used to pick up the newspaper at the tube station on the journey from work back to the sticks. ​The newspaper over the last year has got worse in many ways, not least the reporting of Syria and foreign affairs. It’s that bad that there should be an Off-Evening Standard – set up by people who read it so Londoners don’t have to. The Evening Standard is one of those newspapers which is so inept or/and dishonest on these matters it always forces me to pick up my pen and write just to get it out of my system. So in a way it’s a source of negative inspiration for my writing and last year I wrote this for Off- Guardian, about an article Jeremy Hunt published in it. However my son who works in London brings it home and the other day, venturing out into my garden for a crafty vape …

Leavings

Tony Benn used to say that he grew more radical as he got older. As in many things, Benn was unusual. People are generally apt to grow more reactionary as they get older. This is particularly true of MPs of all persuasions. For all its timid and marginal reforms of itself, the Palace of Westminster is still more like a traditional gentlemen’s club than any other institution. MPs are easily lulled by the comforts and the rhythms of the House.

Labour Splitters: Getting the Bland Back Together

As of this morning, seven MPs have officially resigned the whip and quit the Labour Party. They are now “independent”, apparently. Their names, if you don’t know already: Chris Leslie, Chuka Umunna, Luciana Berger, Mike Gapes, Angela Smith…and the other two.

Brexit: Who will speak for us?

David Lindsay It gives me no pleasure to say this, but it is clearly the case. No Deal is already off the table. That assurance has been given by the Chancellor of the Exchequer to the financial backers of the Conservative Party. Those people, unlike the trade unions, have no sentimental attachment to any political party. Routinely, they work in and with countries where much of what Jeremy Corbyn proposes is already in place. They have more than survived British Governments that were well to the left of his present position, Governments that in any case have to hold General Elections within five years. They would be at the front of the queue for State Aid. He holds no terrors for them. And the Liberal Democrats have undertaken not to support any future Motion of No Confidence in the present Government. Officially, that is unless Corbyn came out in favour of a second referendum. But that is like saying, “unless the Moon turned into green cheese.” The only real reason can be that Theresa May …

“Conspiracy theories” believed by “significant minority” hamper govt’s foreign policy plans

A revealing observation is contained in a recent UK government report UK FOREIGN POLICY IN A SHIFTING WORLD ORDER (published December 2018) and brought to our attention on Twitter. Apparently the regrettable tendency for a “significant minority” to believe in “conspiracy theories about their own government” is seriously hampering said government in getting support for its imperialist wars and mass murder! We just hope all those who have helped promote such insane ideas are feeling suitably repentant. senior official expressed concern a significant minority of Western citizens… increasingly believing in conspiracy theories about their own governments… affected Administration’s ability to achieve broad public support for aspects of foreign policy. https://t.co/o2qLNKHzqI pic.twitter.com/fjQafNeF4a — Read A Lie Too Big To Fail,JFK and the Unspeakable (@_jrvansant) January 17, 2019   The report can be found in full HERE. See section 107 for quote above.

Why is Theresa May still Prime Minister?

Theresa May’s government has a strong argument for being the worst in the history of our democracy. So why is it allowed to continue?

Discuss: Brexit deal vote looms

Tonight, any time now, the UK Parliament will vote on whether or not accept Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit “deal” with the EU. The deal, which essentially keeps us in the EU without any democratic say in how it’s run, has achieved the startling feat of displeasing everyone, remainers and leavers, from both left and right. The vote is expected to be a grim defeat for May.

The Dallaire Genocide Fax: A Fabrication

by Christopher Black, April 8 2018, via The Rwandan I first wrote this in 2005 and it was published by Sanders Research Associates in the UK. Since then the information in it has been deliberately ignored by writers in Canada and the US (apart from David Peterson and Ed Herman who supported me in my fight with the New York Times to get the truth out, and Mick Collins) who write on the subject and to whom I have sent this information and of course by the major media. Even those willing to criticise Dallaire on some level seem to want to protect him on this. I have the copy of the fabricated fax as sent into the UN for anyone to see and I have the transcripts of the cross-examination of the Belgian Army  Colonel Claeys during which it was shown to be a forgery by the British Army. Why writers and media continue to ignore the facts they will have to explain. But such, shall we say, negligence seems to be normal these …

Dad’s Army’s cover blown

A formidable and secret UK government-funded anti-Russian StratCom (strategic communication) enterprise, its cover having recently been embarrassingly blown, now presents itself as a bumbling Dad’s Army outfit. But don’t be fooled: this pussycat is a tiger. Tony Kevin This published-sources-based story has been around for a few weeks but has so far gone completely unreported in Australian media: which is odd, because it is in my opinion quite an important foreign affairs story for Australia. A lengthy set of files, made up of downloaded (or hacked) Integrity Initiative and Institute for Statecraft papers, was published online in late November by British contrarian writer Tim Hayward, as a ‘working file in progress’, under the title ‘Briefing note on the Integrity Initiative’, with authors Paul McKeigue, David Miller, Jake Mason, and Piers Robinson (who call themselves the ‘Working Group on Syria Propaganda and Media’). The URL is here. The authors introduce their set of papers as follows: A close examination of past and present posts held by individuals associated with the Integrity Initiative indicates that [TK- British] …