Wednesday, 18 July 2018

The Balance of Power

Last night's four Labour rebels are complete outliers, representing the anti-Marketeer tradition on the Old Labour Right rather than the usual Labour opposition to the EU by which Jeremy Corbyn is unsurprisingly surrounded. The MPs from that, figures such as Dennis Skinner and Ronnie Campbell, know that Corbyn is one of their own, and are utterly loyal accordingly. 

Anyway, Labour people do not vote on Brexit. Nor do most Conservatives. That is why 17 million people are not going to vote for UKIP, just as 16 million people are not already voting Lib Dem. In general, the electorate is bored beyond endurance by the whole subject. 

That boredom set in during the week before the referendum, and it has only intensified since. Leave and Remain alike have been the stuff of pub bores and male virgins since before a single vote in either of their causes had been cast.

That said, the referendum was swung by the areas that in so doing rejected 29 years of Vote Leave's and of UKIP's Thatcherism In One Country, going back to the Callaghan Government's turn to monetarism in 1977. The answer to that is already on course to be delivered, with the polls now pointing very clearly indeed to a Corbyn-led Labour Party as the largest party in the coming hung Parliament.

We need our people to hold the balance of power. I need £10,000 in order to stand for Parliament with any realistic chance of winning. My crowdfunding page has been taken down without my knowledge or consent. But you can still email davidaslindsay@hotmail.com instead, and that address accepts PayPal.

Shadows

The BBC named Sir Cliff Richard before he had been, as he never was, arrested. Not charged. Arrested. Think on. 

The heavily orchestrated front page lynching of Sir Cliff not only made it impossible for him to receive a fair trial, but was possibly the greatest act of playground bullying that this country had ever seen. The cool kids in Fleet Street, on the BBC and on Sky had waited a very long time for that. Longer, in fact, than most of them could remember, or than well over half of them had been alive. 

There is a strict canonical text of the history of this country's ubiquitous popular music. To be honest, I generally prefer the canonical acts to the apocryphal and pseudepigraphical ones. But that Authorised Version is incomplete to the point of falsehood. 

Look at the charts in any week, month or year since pop music can reasonably be said to have begun. The apostles and prophets of the given period are all there, of course. But so are all sorts of other people, and not as novelty acts: they took themselves entirely seriously, as did the fans who bought their records by the bucket load. 

Cliff was originally so cool that when my father, as a curate in 1950s Leicester, was deputed to take the church youth club to see him, they became so excited that they smashed up the theatre and broke my father's arm, which was never right again. In causing my father to be permanently injured, Cliff succeeded where Rommel, Mussolini and the Stern Gang had all failed. 

But for most of British pop's history, Cliff has been the towering, the supreme, the definitive uncool act. Even stations dedicated to oldies have written policies of not playing him, bizarrely describing the long-dead as more enduring than a man who still performs live and who continues to record. 

His response is to be the single biggest-selling British solo artist ever, and the third biggest-selling act in British chart history, beaten only by the Beatles and by Elvis Presley. He has had more Top 20 hits than any other artist. 

Only he and Elvis had hits in all six of the first decades of the UK Singles Chart. Only he has had a Number One single in each of five consecutive decades. In this country, he has sold twice as many records as, say, David Bowie, and well over twice as many as the Rolling Stones. Now, give me Bowie or the Stones any day. But the numbers don't lie. 

Moreover, he is only three years older than Paul McCartney, he is only two years older than Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, and he was born in the same year as John Lennon. Yet he has been famous since well before any of them ever was.

Let's face it, we are talking about being seriously famous here. Seriously rich with it, too. All as, and by being, something approaching an unperson to Everyone Who Matters.

Look how a Billy Graham Crusade was dragged into this long-predictable attempt at a takedown. And look how that event, already too ghastly in itself, has managed to surpass even that by being held in Sheffield

No wonder that it was played out on television. Anyone would assume that it were the script for a work of fiction. One of those ones which are not as clever as they think they are, and which are only about laughing at the common people.

If Sir Cliff had been guilty, then he would have deserved whatever he had got from the courts. At least the same is deserved by Bill Wyman. He was 47 when he repeatedly and flagrantly had sex with a girl who, at 13, was probably younger than the alleged victim in this single instance. 

Notice how, while the man who had the effrontery to have a hit with Stairway to Heaven featuring a wobble board has been imprisoned and ruined, Jimmy Page himself has never faced any action whatever in relation to his 14-year-old girlfriend of yesteryear. Rolf Harris has rightly been stripped of his CBE; Page was awarded his OBE long after everyone knew about him. 

I have often had cause, in relation to a wide range of artists, to wonder whether I can love the music while hating the drugs. I have decided that I probably can. But I am starting to doubt that. The elevation of Sex, Drugs and Rock'n'Roll into a kind of national and global substitute for politics, patriotism and religion has led both to the worship of idols and to the persecution of heretics.

Trial Date Watch: Day 77

14 weeks after I had again been due to stand trial, I now no longer have a trial date, even though it is rightly a criminal offence to fail to attend one's trial.

Had I been tried, as expected, on 6th December, then, even had I been convicted, I would already have been released, since I would by now have served even the whole of a wildly improbable six month sentence.

The legal persecution of me, which has been going on for over a year, was initiated only in order to deter me from seeking public office or to prevent my election to it, and its continuation is only to one or both of those ends. Amnesty International is on the case.

Until there is anything to add to it, then this post will appear here every day that the post is delivered.

Libel Watch: Day 132

The Leader of Durham County Council, Simon Henig, was so afraid that I was going to be elected to that authority, that he faked a death threat against himself and dozens of other Councillors.

Despite the complete lack of evidence, that matter is still being pursued by the Crown Prosecution Service as part of the attempt by the sacked Director of Public Prosecutions, Alison Saunders, to secure a Labour seat in one or other House of Parliament.

If I am wrong, then let Henig and Saunders sue me. Until they do, then this post will appear here every day that the post is delivered.

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Ending The Drought

If Labour had won the 1979 General Election, then there would have been a National Grid for water. The Labour frontbench is once again committed to the public ownership of water, and Labour is on course to be the largest party in the coming hung Parliament.

Therefore, we need the balance of power to be held by those who would not support any Government that did not give effect to that renationalisation in order to create that National Grid.

I need £10,000 in order to stand for Parliament with any realistic chance of winning. My crowdfunding page has been taken down without my knowledge or consent. But you can still email davidaslindsay@hotmail.com instead, and that address accepts PayPal.

Making The Penny Drop

Someone called Penny Mordaunt expects the Catholic Church to change Her Teaching to suit her.

In this case, to suit her unpleasant theory that the problem with the world is that it contains people, or at least the wrong sort of people, and that women ought to poison themselves in order to be available permanently for the sexual gratification of men.

On surrogacy, on pornography, on prostitution, and on gender self-identification, the lines of communication with feminist thought are now open. We are on the same side.

Once we have won on those, as we can and we will, then we can starting winning on everything else, too. We have always had the arguments. And now, we have the audience, too.

Hold Your Fire

By all means remove Donald Trump at the 2020 Presidential Election, if you can find anyone better. By all means look very hard for someone better.

But Trump's removal from office, or, and let us be frank about this, his assassination, would result in something akin to a Second Civil War in the United States. A war in which the opponents both of Trump and of the Deep State would have no side, yet in which huge numbers of them would still be killed.

Although I do love the insistence by the Bannonites and the Coulterites that they would win the Second Civil War, as if it were obvious that that would be the case. Did the liberals lose the First Civil War? Did the victorious Army march under the Confederate Flag?

Trade Bill For What?

Does the Bill before the House of Commons this afternoon require the Government to pursue a trade agreement with each of the BRICS countries while remaining thoroughly critical of all five of their current Governments, and to report back to the House regularly on the progress of that pursuit?

And does it likewise require the Government to pursue the integration into the Belt and Road Initiative of all four parts of the United Kingdom, of all nine English regions, and of all of the British Overseas Territories and the Crown Dependencies?

If not, then what is the point of it? Even allowing for the fact that the present "Government" is incapable of writing even such basic provisions into the original text, how can there be no MP willing and able to table these obvious and necessary amendments?

I need £10,000 in order to stand for Parliament with any realistic chance of winning. My crowdfunding page has been taken down without my knowledge or consent. But you can still email davidaslindsay@hotmail.com instead, and that address accepts PayPal.

Berning Out?

To be on the Left is to believe in economic equality and in international peace through the democratic political control of the means to those ends.

In the struggle for the universal good that is economic equality, the leading role belongs to those who suffer most by its absence, namely the working class, and the leading role within the working class belongs to the trade union and co-operative movements.

In the struggle for the universal good that is international peace, the leading role belongs to those who suffer most by its absence, namely the working class and the youth. 

Each of those struggles has always been fundamental to the other, and it always will be. The anti-racist and anti-imperialist struggles have always been fundamental to each and both of them, and they always will be. All other identity issues are subordinate within this, if they can be, or they are precluded by it, if they cannot be.

Holding these views, I rejoiced at the emergence of Jeremy Corbyn as a serious candidate for the Leadership of the Labour Party in 2015, ending a 21-year period during which Britain had had no political debate as such. Both economic policy and foreign policy had been off the agenda, and that despite the widespread unpopularity of the catastrophic economic and foreign policies that had been pursued as if they had been self-evident.

But what of Bernie Sanders? He, too, has opened up the debate. But by his siding today with the "intelligence community", with the Deep State and its military-industrial complex, against President Trump's pursuit of détente with Russia, he has indicated either a fundamental lack of understanding of the relationship between inequality at home and war abroad, or the most outrageous opportunism. I strongly suspect the latter.

For Sanders, who would have been the Democratic nominee for President in 2016 if the Democratic National Committee had not rigged the process against him and who would then have beaten Donald Trump, has transformed the party that he did not join until he was 73, and whose candidate he has beaten every time that he has ever been elected to anything.

His position would broadly have been the bipartisan consensus by now if Ronald Reagan had never happened, and it still could be within 10 or 15 years. By 2020, it will look like the middle of moderation next to the last neo-Dixiecrat Clinton supporter ever to run, and someone from much further to the left who was only in active politics at all because of Sanders.

Missing The Point

Vince Cable and Tim Farron were not incompetent when they missed last night's votes. They have already called for a National Government. Clearly, they have already been offered one. 

Conservative Eurosceptics, no one running your party has ever wanted you. And between the Lib Dems and disgruntled Blairites, they can perfectly easily replace you.

BeLeave It When You See It

Vote Leave was a star vehicle for the never previously pro-Brexit figures of Boris Johnson and Michael Gove. It may have been the "official" Leave campaign for that reason, but it had nothing to do with why the areas that swung the referendum voted Leave.

We voted to reject everything for which it, and UKIP, stood. We did so because we had already experienced the ravages of Thatcherism In One Country for 39 years and under all three parties, beginning with the Callaghan Government's turn to monetarism in 1977.

The dear old Crown Prosecution Service has already declined to prosecute the freely admitted electoral overspending by the Conservative Party in 2015, which really did make the difference between a hung Parliament and an overall majority. Therefore, do not hold out any hope of a prosecution in this case.

Détente Bad, Cold War Good

Craig Murray writes: 

The entire “liberal” media and political establishment of the Western world reveals its militarist, authoritarian soul today with the screaming and hysterical attacks on the very prospect of détente with Russia.

Peace apparently is a terrible thing; a renewed arms race, with quite literally trillions of dollars pumped into the military industrial complex and hundreds of thousands dying in proxy wars, is apparently the “liberal” stance.

Political memories are short, but just 15 years after Iraq was destroyed and the chain reaction sent most of the Arab world back to the dark ages, it is now “treason” to question the word of the Western intelligence agencies, which deliberately and knowingly produced a fabric of lies on Iraqi WMD to justify that destruction.

It would be more rational for it to be treason for leaders to blindly accept the word of the intelligence services. This is especially true on “Russia hacking the election” when, after three years of crazed accusations and millions of man hours by lawyers and CIA and FBI investigators, they are yet to produce any substantive evidence of accusations which are plainly nuts in the first place.

This ridiculous circus has found a few Facebook ads and indicted one Russian for every 100,000 man hours worked, for unspecified or minor actions which had no possible bearing on the election result. 

There are in fact genuine acts of election rigging to investigate. In particular, the multiple actions of the DNC and Democratic Party establishment to rig the Primary against Bernie Sanders do have some very real documentary evidence to substantiate them, and that evidence is even public. Yet those real acts of election rigging are ignored and instead the huge investigation is focused on catching those who revealed Hillary’s election rigging.

This gets even more absurd – the investigation then quite deliberately does not focus on catching whoever leaked Hillary’s election rigging, but instead seeks to prove that the Russians hacked Hillary’s election-rigging, which I can assure you they did not. Meanwhile, those of us who might help them with the truth if they were actually interested, are not questioned at all.

The Russophobic witch hunt has its first real life victim in 29-year-old Maria Butina, whose life is to be destroyed for chatting up members of the NRA in order to increase Russian influence. 

With over 20 years of diplomatic experience, I can tell you that every country, including the UK and US, has bit part players of its own nationals who self-start in a country to make their way, and if they gain any traction are tapped by their national security service as potential “agents of influence”.

I could name quite literally scores of such people, but have no desire to get anyone in trouble. The elevation of Butina into a huge threat and part of a gigantic plot, is to ignore the way the United States and the United Kingdom and indeed all major governments’ Embassies behave around the globe. 

The war-hawks who were devastated by the loss of champion killer Hillary now see the prospect of their very worst fear coming true. Their very worst fear is the outbreak of peace and international treaties of arms control. 

Hence the media and political establishment today has reached peaks of hysteria never before seen. Pursuing peace is “treason” and the faux left now stand starkly exposed.

Trial Date Watch: Day 76

More than 13 weeks after I had again been due to stand trial, I now no longer have a trial date, even though it is rightly a criminal offence to fail to attend one's trial.

Had I been tried, as expected, on 6th December, then, even had I been convicted, I would already have been released, since I would by now have served even the whole of a wildly improbable six month sentence.

The legal persecution of me, which has been going on for over a year, was initiated only in order to deter me from seeking public office or to prevent my election to it, and its continuation is only to one or both of those ends. Amnesty International is on the case.

Until there is anything to add to it, then this post will appear here every day that the post is delivered.

Libel Watch: Day 131

The Leader of Durham County Council, Simon Henig, was so afraid that I was going to be elected to that authority, that he faked a death threat against himself and dozens of other Councillors.

Despite the complete lack of evidence, that matter is still being pursued by the Crown Prosecution Service as part of the attempt by the sacked Director of Public Prosecutions, Alison Saunders, to secure a Labour seat in one or other House of Parliament.

If I am wrong, then let Henig and Saunders sue me. Until they do, then this post will appear here every day that the post is delivered.

Monday, 16 July 2018

Court Out

"Which one do you trust, Vladimir Putin or the "intelligence community"?" Neither, and nor should you. Although Putin never said that there were weapons of destruction in Iraq.

The Republican Establishment knows that it can bide its time. If not in 2020, then certainly in 2024, the nominee will be one of its own. There's only one Donald Trump. There'll never be another.

Whereas the Democratic Establishment is in the full hysteria of those who know that they have lost. Between whatever ghastly old Clinton courtier they put up, and a very left-wing candidate indeed who would have been unimaginable before Bernie Sanders, then Sanders could have the 2020 nomination sewn up as the middle-of-the-road option. 

In any event, that courtier will certainly not be the nominee. And the whole court knows it.

Lateral Thinking

A spaceport in the North of Scotland? Really? Have we nowhere more equatorial than that? Well, yes, as it happens, we have.

St Helena is nicer than Ascension Island, which is a fairly desolate place. But Ascension is closer to the Equator.

And the situation there could do with some coverage. The community there has been roundly abused.

White Paper White Flag

The Brexit White Paper barely lasted half a week. Published on Thursday evening, it has been binned on Monday afternoon by the acceptance of all four of the ostensibly pro-Brexit Conservative amendments. A certain number of anti-Brexit Conservative MPs now look likely to vote against the Government instead. What a complete and utter shambles.

No one in the Conservative Party has ever been against the EU itself. They have only ever wanted what they saw as better terms. And as far as most of them are concerned, these are those terms. On their watch, we are about to become a colony.

But that will give our liberation struggle a huge network of allies all over the world. And thankfully, the most consistent and coherent Brexiteers already know them all. Indeed, the undisputed Leader of the British Left (and who thought that there would ever be one of those?) is already one of their three or four most influential figures on earth. So all is not lost. 

That said, while Jeremy Corbyn's party in the country is now overwhelmingly either like that or willing to be led by the people who are, much of his parliamentary party is still not of that view, nor is it likely to be so for quite some time to come.

There is going to be another hung Parliament. We need our people to hold the balance of power in it. I need £10,000 in order to stand for Parliament with any chance of winning. My crowdfunding page has been taken down without my knowledge or consent. But you can still email davidaslindsay@hotmail.com instead, and that address accepts PayPal.

Trump Is Right To Meet Putin

Rand Paul writes:

President Trump meets with Russian President Putin today, days after meeting with our NATO allies in Europe. Both meetings are important, and both cause confusion among politicians and those who report on them back home. 

Foreign policy is difficult. It comes in many shades of gray, and those who treat it like a team sport do harm to our safety and to our politics. Politicizing international affairs is a dangerous game, but that hasn’t stopped far too many in Washington, who seem to have forgotten that a vital part of keeping America safe and secure is avoiding war through strong and consistent diplomacy, from playing politics.

One way they do this is to insist we not meet with or speak openly to our adversaries on the world stage. I disagree. Dialogue is especially important when hundreds of millions of lives are at stake, as is the case in relations between the United States and nuclear-armed Russia.

So I applaud President Trump for both chiding our NATO allies and greeting its expansion with skepticism, and I applaud him for sitting down with President Putin. We should be doing more of this self-examination and dialogue. 

Throughout history, including during the height of the Cold War, both sides maintained constant dialogue and communications. Even during the Cuban Missile Crisis, we had diplomatic relations and constant communications. 

Unfortunately, over the last two years, some have fueled a hysteria that has created such a paralysis regarding Russia that regular meetings and communications have ceased, and one can be accused of “collusion” merely for agreeing to a routine meeting with elected Russian officials who might be visiting Capitol Hill.

The hostile climate created by Russophobes has resulted in a vacuum in cultural, educational and even legislative exchanges, while elected officials from both Washington and Moscow are now on so-called “ban lists.” Nothing will be achieved through each country shutting the door to the other. 

We must find a way to keep our historic allies, while realizing that threatening Russia through NATO expansion is not the answer. As Georgetown Professor Charles Kupchan stated, “From Moscow’s perspective, NATO has ignored [Russia’s] vociferous objections and expanded … bringing the world’s most formidable military alliance up to Russia’s borders. … Moscow perceives a threat … helping fuel the confrontational turn in the Kremlin’s foreign policy and renewed rivalry with the West.” 

Of course, we don’t have to make decision based on whether they will or will not make Russia mad. But we should at the very least recognize the impact of our actions before we take them. There seems to be a lack of thought and rush to action among some critics of the president’s meeting with Putin. 

Russia doesn’t need to be considered our friend. But we certainly have overlapping interests – Syria, Islamic terrorism and energy – that require us to have an open dialogue and relationship. I am thankful that President Trump is once again willing to go against the political elite in Washington and keep the lines of communication to Moscow open.

In just a few weeks, I will take my own trip to Russia in an attempt to discuss common ground with their leaders and help prevent further, unnecessary escalation of tensions. We will discuss trade, cultural exchanges and how to better work for peace and prosperity in the world.

I look forward to consulting with President Trump in between his visit and mine and to working with diplomats from both countries to have a successful trip and better relationships. Millions of lives could be at stake.

The Lanchester Review: Climb Down From the Summit of Hostile Propaganda

The great Norman Solomon is on fine form.

Taking The Empire Biscuit

Until the First World War, they were called German biscuits. In Ireland, they still are.

The Parliament of the United Kingdom reserves the right to legislate for the British Overseas Territories, all of which remain so voluntarily. But that right is not used in practice. They run themselves. Apart from the perfectly scandalous situation on the Chagos Islands, the word "colony" has not properly applied in decades.

By contrast, the Government's proposal, predicted from the start by some of us, is that the United Kingdom be turned into a colony of the European Union, a rule-taker but not a rule-maker, and into a satrapy of the European Union, paying while having no say. 

The laws made by the EU without our participation would indeed apply here. Reams and reams of them, directly affecting great tracts of daily life and making, for example, the 2017 Labour manifesto impossible to implement. 

Meaning that our struggle against that state of affairs would have become an integral part of the anti-imperialist struggle worldwide. The same would be true if we came to have a Prime Minister, most obviously Boris Johnson, who had been installed by the Head of a foreign State, most obviously Donald Trump.

In either case, it would be beside the point that this had been passed by Parliament and signed by the Queen. All empires have been built on the treachery of local rulers who have sold their people and their people's land in return for the preservation of their own wealth and local position. 

Thankfully, the people who have always opposed the EU, and who have done so by reference to things that it has really done rather than to fantasies or to sentimental twaddle, are the people who are also most embedded in the anti-imperialist struggle worldwide, and one of them is the Leader of the party that is currently ahead in the opinion polls.

Alas, though, while his party in the country is now overwhelmingly either like that or willing to be led by the people who are, much of his parliamentary party is still not of that view, nor is it likely to be so for quite some time to come.

There is going to be another hung Parliament. We need our people to hold the balance of power in it. I need £10,000 in order to stand for Parliament with any chance of winning. My crowdfunding page has been taken down without my knowledge or consent. But you can still email davidaslindsay@hotmail.com instead, and that address accepts PayPal.

It Is Not Trump Who Has The Russia Problem

Tim Black writes: 

US president Donald Trump is in Helsinki for a one-on-one (plus translators), no-advisers-allowed meeting with Russian premier Vladimir Putin. And seemingly everyone is convinced that Russia is undermining liberal democracy, indulging in nefarious interventions around the world, and even dead-set on reviving some larger Russia, for which the annexation of Crimea was only the start. 

Everyone, that is, except Trump. So, on the eve of this most black-boxed of presidential tête-à-têtes, his own Justice Department issued an indictment of 12 Russian intelligence agents for hacking the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign. Senators and 18 Democratic members of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs have called on Trump to abort the meeting. 

And, perhaps most remarkable of all, Trump’s own team constantly expressed a fear of Russian aggression. Just this past week, Trump’s director of national intelligence, Dan Coats, compared the danger of Russian cyberattacks to the terrorist threat posed to the US in the run-up to 9/11.

In his trepidation, Coats was merely following Trump’s former national security adviser, General HR McMaster, who warned last year: ‘Russia and China are determined to make economies less free and less fair, to grow their militaries, and to control information and data to repress their societies and expand their influence.’ 

Likewise, defense secretary Jim Mattis, secretary of state Mike Pompeo, and current national security adviser John Bolton, have all been sounding the alarm about Russia’s intentions, and urging Trump to go in hard on Russia’s electoral meddling.

Yet Trump seemingly refuses to toe his team’s line, let alone that of Congress or the Justice Department. Instead, he seems content to accept the Kremlin’s contention that ‘the meddling never happened’, or, as he put it in November, ‘Every time [Putin] sees me, he says, “I didn’t do that”, and I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it’. 

More striking still, some worry that Trump may even recognise Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2015 as legitimate, despite the US, the EU and NATO all condemning it as a violation of international law and subsequently imposing sanctions. Trump, however, has said that Crimea ought to be part of Russia given the majority of Crimeans speak Russian. ‘That is not the position of the United States’, countered Bolton. 

And that’s the problem. Regarding Russia, Trump’s administration, which is meant to be articulating the ‘position of the United States’, seems torn in two, with Trump one on side, and everybody else on the other. It is as if there are in fact two positions of the United States on Russia. Trump says simply ‘if we can get along with Russia, that’s a good thing’. Everybody else says you can’t trust Russia, because they’re the bad guys, usually with a reference to Putin’s past as a KGB agent.

Trump will be having a spectacularly private chat with Putin. Everybody else will be working on possibly public agreements and disagreements with Moscow. As the New York Times puts it, ‘Trump is wholly untethered from his administration when it comes to dealing with Moscow’. But too many seem to misunderstand the reasons for this untethering. 

They seem to think that it has something to do with Trump the person. So they psychoanalyse him, speculating on his attraction to Putin’s machismo, his desire to see reflected in the Russian president some of the qualities – strength, cunning, and sheer butchness – that he himself would like to have. 

Others go deeper into more conspiratorial territory, either outright turning Trump into some lurid parody of the Manchurian Candidate, or alluding to the Kremlin’s possession of a recording of some tawdry hookers-and-hotel escapade which it might or might not be using to blackmail him.

Yet perhaps it is not Trump who has the Russia problem. Perhaps it is not Trump who has the Putin fixation. In fact, it is the American political class, indeed the political and media classes of much of the West, which has developed – or rather revived – an obsession with Russia as The Enemy.  Have they not turned it into an object of evil, determined to undermine and corrode the institutions of the West? 

Hence Russia is blamed for the bloodshed in Syria, despite the West’s considerably larger role in the unravelling of the entire Middle East. It is condemned for the conflict in Ukraine, despite NATO and the EU’s longstanding provocations. And, above all, it is held responsible, in some distant behind-the-scenes way, for the election of Trump, Brexit and every other Western popular revolt of recent years. 

That is why Russian meddling in the US presidential election has become such a crusade for the US political establishment. It explains away the very real estrangement of the political class from those they have for too long failed to represent. It explains away their failure to speak for the whole of society, rather than just a professional, middle-class coastal strata. It explains away the domestic reasons for the erosion of the political establishment’s grip on power. 

Trump is no political visionary. But neither is he part of the political establishment. After all, he was the beneficiary of people’s turn against the establishment. And, as such, he is not overdetermined to see Russia as the enemy, the baleful power upturning the world. 

He stands apart from almost everybody else in Washington DC and in Western foreign-policymaking circles in approaching Russia and Putin as a state entity that it might be possible to deal with. And that is too much for too many to bear. 

Domestically it is too much for those politicians, and their cheerleaders, who have found in the spectre of Russian electoral meddling a readymade excuse for their own political fall. And internationally, it is too much to bear for those Western political elites, seeking refuge in NATO and the EU, which have found, in facing down the spectre of Russian military malignity, a raison d’être

The split in Trump’s administration reflects the deeper split between those who have a need to conjure Russia up as an existential threat, and those who, in Trump’s case, clearly do not.

Trial Date Watch: Day 75

More than 13 weeks after I had again been due to stand trial, I now no longer have a trial date, even though it is rightly a criminal offence to fail to attend one's trial.

Had I been tried, as expected, on 6th December, then, even had I been convicted, I would already have been released, since I would by now have served even the whole of a wildly improbable six month sentence.

The legal persecution of me, which has been going on for over a year, was initiated only in order to deter me from seeking public office or to prevent my election to it, and its continuation is only to one or both of those ends. Amnesty International is on the case.

Until there is anything to add to it, then this post will appear here every day that the post is delivered.

Libel Watch: Day 130

The Leader of Durham County Council, Simon Henig, was so afraid that I was going to be elected to that authority, that he faked a death threat against himself and dozens of other Councillors.

Despite the complete lack of evidence, that matter is still being pursued by the Crown Prosecution Service as part of the attempt by the sacked Director of Public Prosecutions, Alison Saunders, to secure a Labour seat in one or other House of Parliament.

If I am wrong, then let Henig and Saunders sue me. Until they do, then this post will appear here every day that the post is delivered.

Sunday, 15 July 2018

The Big Meeting, Indeed

I have entered the Durham Miners' Gala in some colourful company in my time, but being danced in by the Kurds was a new one even for me. They have promised to send me the pictures. Burnhope literally embraced me, and a Shadow Cabinet member took only one breath, both to compliment my suit, and to tell me that I was very, very, very bad for, well, you know why.

If the media ever bothered to report what was always the largest political event of the year, then they would have had a proper scoop yesterday. After the video message from Bernie Sanders, the great Ian Lavery took the opportunity to promise that the next Labour Government would reopen the mines, utilising clean coal technology. 

When Jeremy Corbyn rose to speak, then he did not correct that in even the most jocular terms. Made possible by a real Brexit, and not by Theresa May's version, that is now the stated policy of the Labour Party: to reverse the defeat of the miners in 1985.

Before at least 200,000 people in the baking sun, Ibrahim Dogus was excellent in the Kurdish cause, Howard Beckett stormed the barn, Dennis Skinner was greeted like a rock star and presented with a painting of himself, Jennie Formby and Frances O'Grady reminded us that working-class women had had to fight for another 10 years in order to win the right to vote, Matt Wrack moved us for the second year running over Grenfell Tower, and Emily Thornberry was rapturously received as befitted a former barrister for the Durham miners during the Strike. That is real working-class culture.

And then there was Corbyn. Oh, but there was Corbyn. He delivered the speech that I had waited my entire life to hear. Based on the reaction, so had everyone else there. Relatively few of those, however, either were or will be Labour MPs.

There is going to be another hung Parliament, and we need our people to hold the balance of power in it. I need £10,000 in order to stand for Parliament with any chance of winning. My crowdfunding page has been taken down without my knowledge or consent. But you can still email davidaslindsay@hotmail.com instead, and that address accepts PayPal.

Traitorsgate

That is as good a name as any for the scandal, both that this country is currently in the grip of treason, and that no one appears to be saying so.

At this moment, the Head of a foreign State is on our soil, ostensibly to play golf, but in reality to conspire and collude with those who wish to remove Theresa May as Prime Minister and replace her with Boris Johnson. Donald Trump has stated this quite openly.

Yet, despite the fact that he is not on a State Visit, he has been allowed a photo opportunity with the Queen in order to confer legitimacy on his undisguised scheme to install his own colonial puppet, who was an American citizen for most of his life.

To install him, specifically, at the head of what would still nominally be Her Majesty's Government. Paleoconservatives, what has the monarchy ever done for you?

Childishly imagining that a mere commonality of language made for a "Special Relationship", we allow all of this to go on in plain sight. 20 years after the abolition of capital punishment, the theoretical existence of which precluded treason trials in practice, it is now very high time for one.

Despite the clear evidence, no one would take a formal complaint of this kind seriously if it came from a member of the general public. I need £10,000 in order to stand for Parliament with any chance of winning.

My crowdfunding page has been taken down without my knowledge or consent. But you can still email davidaslindsay@hotmail.com instead, and that address accepts PayPal.

King Billy No Mates

Dissident Republicans may have attacked the home of Gerry Adams, but the great majority of the week-long annual riot in Northern Ireland has been the work of the people on whom the Government depends for confidence and supply. Some of those have even opened fire on the Police.

If "they're not the DUP," then for whom else, exactly, do they vote? Nor could the DUP do without their political muscle, which one newly elected MP, from a prominent paramilitary family, thanked explicitly in her acceptance speech last year.

Unrest of the kind that we have seen in Northern Ireland would be the only news if it were happening in England, Scotland or Wales. That it has barely been mentioned is for two reasons.

First, everything to do with "The Twelfth" would come close to bringing down a Government dependent on the DUP if it were shown on national television. It is public holiday for the specific purpose of committing sectarian violence. 

Bonfires are topped with the flag of a friendly neighbouring state, and also feature the pictures of elected local politicians. Confederate flags are routinely and increasingly paraded, and Swastikas are not unheard of.

Yet without this electoral bloc, Theresa May would not be Prime Minister. In which case, people would say, Theresa May does not deserve to be Prime Minister.

And secondly, we are in every sense disengaging from Northern Ireland.

Having the DUP effectively in government for a year has crystallised the sense, which has always been there, that we did not really have anything in common with the place, but had merely inherited it as a kind of unwanted stepchild, troublesome and expensive.

We are rapidly approaching the point of either putting it up for adoption, or just kicking it out without a further thought.

Free Kicks

My hymen remains intact. If England had been in the World Cup Final, then even I might have tried to watch it. But no. I have still never seen more than a few seconds of any professional football match, and I have still never watched a single moment of one on purpose.

I was a pencil thin child, but my teacher in the final year of primary school berated me in front of the class on a daily basis for being "fat" because I could not play football. 

He is probably dead, but not so the secondary school PE teacher (who also taught English, which he barely spoke) who gave me a report saying that I "possessed little physical ability" as if I had been a quadraplegic. I was regularly walking eight or 10 miles in an afternoon, and sometimes more.

By the time that I was in the Sixth Form, then the school did not have a library. It was, however, still kitting out at least seven football teams, ferrying them around, and all the rest of it. 

And my Durham college used its preferential public funding to send the football team to Amsterdam for a week during term. A little over 15 years later, the Principal's lavish funeral was presumably paid for by that city's drug dealers and pimps. If not, why not? After all, he had been very good for business.

Saturday, 14 July 2018

Trial Date Watch: Day 74

More than 13 weeks after I had again been due to stand trial, I now no longer have a trial date, even though it is rightly a criminal offence to fail to attend one's trial.

Had I been tried, as expected, on 6th December, then, even had I been convicted, I would already have been released, since I would by now have served even the whole of a wildly improbable six month sentence.

The legal persecution of me, which has been going on for over a year, was initiated only in order to deter me from seeking public office or to prevent my election to it, and its continuation is only to one or both of those ends. Amnesty International is on the case.

Until there is anything to add to it, then this post will appear here every day that the post is delivered.

Libel Watch: Day 129

The Leader of Durham County Council, Simon Henig, was so afraid that I was going to be elected to that authority, that he faked a death threat against himself and dozens of other Councillors.

Despite the complete lack of evidence, that matter is still being pursued by the Crown Prosecution Service as part of the attempt by the sacked Director of Public Prosecutions, Alison Saunders, to secure a Labour seat in one or other House of Parliament.

If I am wrong, then let Henig and Saunders sue me. Until they do, then this post will appear here every day that the post is delivered.

Friday, 13 July 2018

Her

Yet another old stalwart has matter-of-factly told me that "of course" North West Durham will be "a Tory seat 10 years from now, if we don't get rid of Her." It is always "Her".

They hated Hilary Armstrong. I mean they hated her. But they would never not have voted for her. They never expected her to lose them the seat, still less would they have been resigned to that as an inevitability. And at least they always called her by her name. Not so with "Her".

But I do not stand against people. I stand for things. And I need £10,000 in order to stand for Parliament with any chance of winning. My crowdfunding page has been taken down without my knowledge or consent. But you can still email davidaslindsay@hotmail.com instead, and that address accepts PayPal.

The White Paper: A Deeply Dangerous Document

The Morning Star editorialises:

Theresa May’s white paper on EU withdrawal is a deeply dangerous document which should ring alarm bells for everyone on the left. 

It should do so equally for anyone concerned with the future of the British economy. The white paper locks manufacturing, agriculture and fishery products within EU regulations in perpetuity. 

It keeps services, above all financial services, outside. This can only lead to a continued run-down of Britain’s productive economy and a further rise in an ultimately unsustainable finance sector.

The political consequences are equally disastrous. The white paper would block the Labour Party’s radical industrial programme. 

Labour’s promise of public ownership and state aid for industry has done more than anything else to galvanise support for Jeremy Corbyn and for the reborn Labour Party. It has also raised political hopes for the left across the EU — at a time when the right and the extreme right are in the ascendant. 

As revealed in The Times on May 7, a key concern of “senior EU officials” involved in the negotiations has been the potential impact of Labour’s programme of state aid and public ownership on internal political cohesion inside the EU. 

They fear the ability of a Labour government to regenerate regional economies, use public procurement for public betterment, require regional purchasing, impose collective bargaining and ban blacklisting employers. 

This is the kind of the political alternative wanted by the left and the trade union movement in Spain, Italy, Greece, Belgium and France. And it is precisely what Theresa May’s white paper will stop. 

Nothing could be more misleading than her statement yesterday that the white paper “absolutely delivers on the Brexit people voted for. They voted for us to take back control of our money, our law and our borders and that’s exactly what we will do.”

For virtually all that matters in the economy, “our law” will remain EU law. On financial services the white paper boasts that Britain has more than any other nation. It does. It transacts 37 per cent of all global foreign exchange trade, 16 per cent of cross border trading and 38 per cent of interest rate derivative trading. 

But the great majority of this is done by banks and finance companies owned and controlled from outside Britain. Britain also hosts a disproportionate number of hedge fund operators.

A last minute change in the white paper, made on Wednesday, delaying the printing and causing the Commons’ chaotic suspension yesterday, has removed the obligation to follow EU directives on financial services. 

According to the Financial Times last week, a powerful lobby had developed that was fearful of tougher EU regulations in the future, once Britain’s vote was removed, that would curb speculative profits. This last minute change shows its political power.

Will the new commitments ease the immediate problems of manufacturing industry? Perhaps. For the big, mainly externally owned, companies in motors and aerospace it will make it easier to manage supply chains. But at what cost?

It is a total myth to say that all is well in British manufacturing. Productivity is lower than in 2007, currently still falling, and much lower than in most competitor nations. 

The reason is a lack of investment as profits are sucked out of industry into the financial sector. Only state intervention can reverse this.

May’s white paper is truly undemocratic. It will effectively reverse the referendum result and will end our freedom to elect a government committed to public ownership, to an effective industrial policy and to reversing a generation of neoliberal attacks on working people.

Mr Trump, Tear Down This Alliance

Tom Luongo writes: 

NATO is obsolete. Donald Trump made this argument back on the campaign trail. This week, in his typically hyperbolic manner, he dressed down the organization for its hypocrisy over its mandate, which is to counter any aggression from Russia. 

But, the potential threat of a Russian invasion of Europe is nil. And, literally, everyone involved in this farce of a summit knows this. So, Trump was right to call out the hypocrisy, but wrong about how to solve it. 

Attacking Germany over the Nordstream 2 pipeline is nonsense. Trade, especially energy trade, stitches economies and peoples together. But to Trump energy is different. Energy is a defense issue. As such, it should be tightly controlled and only deployed to the benefit of those he approves of (or is allied with) against those he doesn’t (China). 

And this is what is fundamentally wrong with geopolitically-dominant thinking. Everything gets reduced to the metaphoric chess board. People stop thinking about their individual needs and can only think in terms of nations and governments.

And it makes it easy for authoritarians like Trump, Vladimir Putin, Angela Merkel and all the rest to push the public’s buttons, openly stoking people’s in-group/out-group bias against their own best interest. 

This is ultimately what allows for equally odious people like Donald Trump and Angela Merkel to achieve and maintain power.

NATO is obsolete because the thinking behind why it is necessary is obsolete. It’s not Russian aggression that everyone has to be worried about, it is the aggression of those who have to this point mismanaged everything they were empowered to take care of in the first place, i.e. the very politicians at the meeting. 

The US has subsidized European social welfare states by outsourcing their defense. We, in turn, empowered a corporatocracy built around selling increasingly unnecessary weapons back to them under the false rubric of the evil Russians. 

Trump’s position about NATO members not "paying their fair share" is beside the point. NATO’s budget would be far better spent contracting Russia to build the Nordstream 2 pipeline itself than bullying Italy into buying another tank it doesn’t need. 

This is nothing more than him trying to turn an obsolete NATO into yet another Keynesian job creation program. “Buy more of our over-priced, under-performing crap like the F-35 (a plane that should be considered treason by any rational metric of the term) so we can destroy even more precious capital while everyone goes broke issuing more debt to keep the party going a little while longer.” 

In Trumpspeak however, this comes out as “Jobs. Yuge jobs!” It would be better in the end to just give the engineers rocks to throw at windows the assembly team builds. At least there wouldn’t be the massive waste of raw materials. Glass is recyclable after all, though not profitably.

His real complaint, however, is on an imbalance of trade between the US and Europe. This is something he can’t fix without giving up the very source of the power he’s wielding with reckless abandon right now: the US dollar’s status as the world’s reserve currency. 

Triffin’s paradox is real for the country that issues the currency that liquefies world trade. And for that to occur, that country must run a trade deficit to issue more currency. Dollars go out, goods come in. 

The trade deficit is an accounting anomaly, and as Martin Armstrong consistently points out, can be manipulated by the interplay between it and the country’s current account. 

The question isn’t the amount of money going out it is the value for that money in the goods received for it. In that respect, the only economic respect that matters, the US gets paid handsomely. 

The endless preening and virtue signaling by dead-ender politicians trying to justify their existence while mouthing the will of the lobbyists and rentier-class financiers who stand behind him is worse than nauseating. It is culturally and psychologically destabilizing. 

Resistance to change by the bureaucracy is on daily display on both sides of the pond. From the Peter Strzok hearings to Theresa May’s betrayal of Brexit, none of these people want their ox gored while they continue to live at the expense of others for their benefit, not those they supposedly serve. 

Trump has a real opportunity to quell his critics on the left and from libertarians like me to remake the way the business of geopolitics is done when he sits down with Putin next week.

His performance at the NATO summit was, as always with him, three steps forward and two steps back. He’s needs an unfettered five-k jog in Helsinki. 

And that means cutting through the nonsense, stopping the demagoguery and getting down to the real business of putting our own houses in order.

And that means for Trump, regardless of the agreements he gets from his European counterparts, to pull the US out of NATO, to tear down this alliance that is an albatross around the neck of everyone who lives under the weight of it.

For That, Thank You Trump

Simon Jenkins writes:

Donald Trump is a pig, a liar, a woman-hater, a racist, a monster of bombast – and did I mention a disrupter and total bastard as well? Does that feel better? Comment on the current US president seems to require a wallow in the pit of competitive contempt. But it just plays his game.

I regard Trump as an aberration, a temporary trauma afflicting US politics. He honours the thesis of the historian Arthur Schlesinger, that America’s constitution often drives the republic to the abyss, only to drag it back again.

But even monsters can ask the occasional good question. Thus Trump this week on Nato, a body so mired in platitude and waffle it has lost sight of its true purpose. Trump wants to know what Europe really regards as its defence policy, for he thinks it takes America for a ride.

Nato was founded in 1949 in response to Stalin’s blockade of Berlin. It was meant to “keep the Soviet Union out, the Americans in, and the Germans down”. Since then, it has welcomed the American nuclear shield, at vast cost to America.

Otherwise, its only military achievements have been the breakup of Yugoslavia and the loss of a squalid 17-year war in Afghanistan. Neither has anything to do with the North Atlantic. Nothing better symbolised this than Theresa May’s bizarre gift to Trump this week of 450 British troops for Kabul.

Nato was about deterring an attack on Europe from Russia. In 1945, the west agreed the Potsdam settlement, accepting the Soviets’ “sphere of influence” over eastern Europe. Thus when Russia invaded Hungary in 1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1968, there was no question of Nato, or Europe, retaliating. The iron curtain was iron.

Come 1989 and the collapse of Potsdam Europe, Nato did not approach a broken Russia to agree some new settlement. It did the opposite.

To protests from Russia’s weakened leader, Boris Yeltsin, it gathered former Warsaw Pact states under its wing and advanced its border east towards Russia. It embraced Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary, then the Baltic states, Romania and Bulgaria. It was like Khrushchev stationing missiles in Cuba.

Only Germany counselled caution. Nato’s provocation was so blatant as to be an open invitation to any new populist leader in Moscow to exploit Russia’s bruised patriotism: hence Vladimir Putin. He and his kleptocratic cronies are virtually a Nato creation.

But the fact that America was party to the provocation does not invalidate Trump’s question. What is Nato’s policy beyond needling Russia and feebly relying on the American shield?

It is astonishing that, three decades after 1989, Europe is almost back to a cold war with Moscow. As winner of the last war, Nato was primarily responsible for lowering tension and making peace. Instead it revelled in victory.

If Europe wants to hire an America nuclear shield, it should deal with America over how to pay for it. But the current tit-for-tat hostilities with Russia are playing with fire, and counterproductive.

Europe’s land forces are so weak they would be wiped out by Russia in a matter of days. So is Europe really expecting Washington to order a nuclear barrage against Russian “grey area” incursions into the Baltics, let alone a conflict with Orbán’s Hungary or Erdoğan’s Turkey – both Nato members?

This is not realistic, any more than was American intervention during Russia’s incursion in Ukraine or Georgia. That is why Orbán and Erdoğan are wisely cosying up to Putin. Nato is adrift of realpolitik.

Trump is effectively telling Europe that its Nato is as outdated as the Congress of Vienna by the time of Bismarck.

He is wrong to rabbit on about spending 2% or 4% of GDP on weapons. This helps no one but the defence industries – spending should meet plausible threat, not some vague budget target.

But no more helpful is Europe’s belligerent posturing towards Moscow, such as Britain’s reaction to the mysterious Wiltshire poisonings.

Entrenching Putin behind a siege economy is not a defence policy. Better to go down the route of detente, recognise Russia’s sphere of influence and be just a little nicer to Putin. Whatever Trump’s motives for advocating this, he is surely right.

A sensible Nato would have a firefighting force to handle separatist and frontier squabbles such as Kosovo, not a main force conflict with Russia. Attempts to set up a European joint force, of which there have been half a dozen since the 1950s, have been fiascos.

Britain and France should end their meaningless nuclear deterrents. Their submarines, aircraft carriers and fighters are costly boys’ toys.

At present the only role of conventional forces in Europe has been to yield to American blackmail, to join in Washington’s neo-imperial out-of-area wars, mostly against Islam. Trump used to be against these.

Defence planning famously fights the last war but one. Britain’s navy is still fighting the Battle of Jutland and its airforce the Battle of Britain.

The money wasted on useless procurement is stupefying. The United Kingdom is perfectly safe from any existential attack: there is no evidence of a Russian design to occupy Britain.

Britain needs a decent coastguard, better border security and first-class counter-terrorism. It needs to guard its cyberspace. But its soft power is considerable and its diplomacy respected.

When Britain is over its Brexit crisis, defence relations with Europe will need an overhaul. As a first step, it should start thinking the unthinkable about Nato. For that, thank you Trump.

The Holes In The Official Skripal Story

Craig Murray writes:

In my last post I set out the official Government account of the events in the Skripal Case. Here I examine the credibility of this story. Next week I shall look at alternative explanations.

Russia has a decade long secret programme of producing and stockpiling novichok nerve agents. It also has been training agents in secret assassination techniques, and British intelligence has a copy of the Russian training manual, which includes instruction on painting nerve agent on doorknobs.

The only backing for this statement by Boris Johnson is alleged “intelligence”, and unfortunately the “intelligence” about Russia’s secret novichok programme comes from exactly the same people who brought you the intelligence about Saddam Hussein’s WMD programme, proven liars. 

Furthermore, the question arises why Britain has been sitting on this intelligence for a decade and doing nothing about it, including not telling the OPCW inspectors who certified Russia’s chemical weapons stocks as dismantled. 

If Russia really has a professional novichok assassin training programme, why was the assassination so badly botched? Surely in a decade of development they would have discovered that the alleged method of gel on doorknob did not work? 

And where is the training manual which Boris Johnson claimed to possess? Having told the world – including Russia -the UK has it, what is stopping the UK from producing it, with marks that could identify the specific copy erased? 

The Russians chose to use this assassination programme to target Sergei Skripal, a double agent who had been released from jail in Russia some eight years previously. 

It seems remarkable that the chosen target of an attempt that would blow the existence of a secret weapon and end the cover of a decade long programme, should be nobody more prominent than a middle ranking double agent who the Russians let out of jail years ago. If they wanted him dead they could have killed him then. 

Furthermore the attack on him would undermine all future possible spy swaps. Putin therefore, on this reading, was willing to sacrifice both the secrecy of the novichok programme and the spy swap card just to attack Sergei Skripal. That seems highly improbable. 

Only the Russians can make novichok and only the Russians had a motive to attack the Skripals. 

The nub of the British government’s approach has been the shocking willingness of the corporate and state media to parrot repeatedly the lie that the nerve agent was Russian made, even after Porton Down said they could not tell where it was made and the OPCW confirmed that finding.

In fact, while the Soviet Union did develop the “novichok” class of nerve agents, the programme involved scientists from all over the Soviet Union, especially Ukraine, Armenia and Georgia, as I myself learnt when I visited the newly decommissioned Nukus testing facility in Uzbekistan in 2002. 

Furthermore, it was the USA who decommissioned the facility and removed equipment back to the United States. At least two key scientists from the programme moved to the United States. Formulae for several novichok have been published for over a decade. 

The USA, UK and Iran have definitely synthesised a number of novichok formulae and almost certainly others have done so too. Dozens of states have the ability to produce novichok, as do many sophisticated non-state actors. 

As for motive, the Russian motive might be revenge, but whether that really outweighs the international opprobrium incurred just ahead of the World Cup, in which so much prestige has been invested, is unclear. 

What is certainly untrue is that only Russia has a motive. The obvious motive is to attempt to blame and discredit Russia. 

Those who might wish to do this include Ukraine and Georgia, with both of which Russia is in territorial dispute, and those states and jihadist groups with which Russia is in conflict in Syria. The NATO military industrial complex also obviously has a plain motive for fuelling tension with Russia. 

There is of course the possibility that Skripal was attacked by a private gangster interest with which he was in conflict, or that the attack was linked to Skripal’s MI6 handler Pablo Miller’s work on the Orbis/Steele Russiagate dossier on Donald Trump. 

Plainly, the British government’s statements that only Russia had the means and only Russia had the motive, are massive lies on both counts. 

The Russians had been tapping the phone of Yulia Skripal. They decided to attack Sergei Skripal while his daughter was visiting from Moscow.

In an effort to shore up the government narrative, at the time of the Amesbury attack the security services put out through Pablo Miller’s long term friend, the BBC’s Mark Urban, that the Russians “may have been” tapping Yulia Skripal’s phone, and the claim that this was strong evidence that the Russians had indeed been behind the attack. 

But think this through. If that were true, then the Russians deliberately attacked at a time when Yulia was in the UK rather than when Sergei was alone. 

Yet no motive has been adduced for an attack on Yulia or why they would attack while Yulia was visiting – they could have painted his doorknob with less fear of discovery anytime he was alone. 

Furthermore, it is pretty natural that Russian intelligence would tap the phone of Yulia, and of Sergei if they could. The family of double agents are normal targets.

I have no doubt in the least, from decades of experience as a British diplomat, that GCHQ have been tapping Yulia’s phone. Indeed, if tapping of phones is seriously put forward as evidence of intent to murder, the British government must be very murderous indeed. 

Their trained assassin(s) painted a novichok on the doorknob of the Skripal house in the suburbs of Salisbury. Either before or after the attack, they entered a public place in the centre of Salisbury and left a sealed container of the novichok there. 

The incompetence of the assassination beggars belief when compared to British claims of a long term production and training programme. The Russians built the heart of the International Space Station. They can kill an old bloke in Salisbury. 

Why did the Russians not know that the dose from the door handle was not fatal? Why would trained assassins leave crucial evidence lying around in a public place in Salisbury? 

Why would they be conducting any part of the operation with the novichok in a public area in central Salisbury? Why did nobody see them painting the doorknob? 

This must have involved wearing protective gear, which would look out of place in a Salisbury suburb. 

With Skripal being resettled by MI6, and a former intelligence officer himself, it beggars belief that MI6 did not fit, as standard, some basic security including a security camera on his house.

The Skripals both touched the doorknob and both functioned perfectly normally for at least five hours, even able to eat and drink heartily.

Then they were simultaneously and instantaneously struck down by the nerve agent, at a spot in the city centre coincidentally close to where the assassins left a sealed container of the novichok lying around.

Even though the nerve agent was eight times more deadly than Sarin or VX, it did not kill the Skripals because it had been on the doorknob and affected by rain. Why did they both touch the outside doorknob in exiting and closing the door? 

Why did the novichok act so very slowly, with evidently no feeling of ill health for at least five hours, and then how did it strike both down absolutely simultaneously, so that neither can call for help, despite their being different sexes, weights, ages, metabolisms and receiving random completely uncontrolled doses? The odds of that happening are virtually nil. 

And why was the nerve agent ultimately ineffective? Detective Sergeant Bailey attended the Skripal house and was also poisoned by the doorknob, but more lightly. None of the other police who attended the house were affected. 

Why was the Detective Sergeant affected and nobody else who attended the house, or the scene where the Skripals were found? Why was Bailey only lightly affected by this extremely deadly substance, of which a tiny amount can kill? 

Four months later, Charlie Rowley and Dawn Sturgess were rooting about in public parks, possibly looking for cigarette butts, and accidentally came into contact with the sealed container of a novichok. They were poisoned and Dawn Sturgess subsequently died.

If the nerve agent had survived four months because it was in a sealed container, why has this sealed container now mysteriously disappeared again? If Rowley and Sturgess had direct contact straight from the container, why did they not both die quickly?

Why had four months searching of Salisbury and a massive police, security service and military operation not found this container, if Rowley and Sturgess could?

I am, with a few simple questions, demolishing what is the most ludicrous conspiracy theory I have ever heard – the Salisbury conspiracy theory being put forward by the British government and its corporate lackies. 

My next post will consider some more plausible explanations of this affair.

Disclosure Is Coming

The Crown Prosecution Service is going to get what has long been coming to it. Do not let this opportunity go to waste. The Crown should have 12 weeks from charge in which to present its case, or be told that it had no case, so that the accused should never have been charged. 

And the decision as to whether or not to charge should be made by the Police, who have always been on record that they would not have charged me. Any high street firm of solicitors would have a partner whose specialisms included prosecution, and such work would be built into the firm's ordinary caseload. The Crown Prosecution Service would be abolished. Or, one might say, disbanded.

There is going to be another hung Parliament. We need our people to hold the balance of power in it. I need £10,000 in order to stand for Parliament with any chance of winning. My crowdfunding page has been taken down without my knowledge or consent. But you can still email davidaslindsay@hotmail.com instead, and that address accepts PayPal.

Trump Trip Truths

I don't half get around. I recognised people on both sides of the gates of Blenheim Palace last night. 

And I was going to write that, although he could have a British passport if he wanted one, a foreign national who cost us this much to protect ought not to be allowed to come here at all.

But no. The reaction to the demonstrations against Donald Trump is serving as a useful illustration of why he won. The Establishment treats all dissent as seditious, and any protest as potentially insurrectionary. 

I can tell you for a fact that the poorly accommodated Police Officers who have been seconded to this pantomime are more likely to take to the barricades than the protesters are. 

Those entirely peaceable people largely agree with Trump about the global economic and strategic order. Their candidate for President of the United States would, of course, have been the man who would have beaten Trump, Bernie Sanders.

Sanders stands in the tradition that, in the countries in which it has enjoyed some electoral success and quite considerable political influence (Britain, Germany, Scandinavia, the Benelux), is known interchangeably as Social Democracy and as Democratic Socialism. 

While it would have had to have been called something else in the United States, perhaps "Soccer", nevertheless it is where American politics from the New Deal onwards would have ended up if Ronald Reagan had never happened.

Indeed, in the broadly Scandinavian form advocated by Sanders, it is economically to the right of every Conservative Government in Britain since the War, including the present one.

That raises an interesting question. Sanders has brought into political life, and to prominence within it, people who are well to his left and who are considerably younger than he is.

In the race for the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2020, will he be outflanked by them on both counts? Or will he turn to his advantage his relative moderation and his vast experience?

Trial Date Watch: Day 73

More than 13 weeks after I had again been due to stand trial, I now no longer have a trial date, even though it is rightly a criminal offence to fail to attend one's trial.

Had I been tried, as expected, on 6th December, then, even had I been convicted, I would already have been released, since I would by now have served even the whole of a wildly improbable six month sentence.

The legal persecution of me, which has been going on for over a year, was initiated only in order to deter me from seeking public office or to prevent my election to it, and its continuation is only to one or both of those ends. Amnesty International is on the case.

Until there is anything to add to it, then this post will appear here every day that the post is delivered.