Wednesday, 19 February 2020

Disclosure Watch: Day 24

With less than three weeks to go until the fourth attempt to put me on trial, we still have no disclosure.

This post will appear daily until further notice.

Councillor Watch: Day 220

I hereby invite all Labour members of Durham County Council who believe me to be guilty of the criminal charges against me to email and say so.

I would not be able to reply to those emails, but every day the names of those who had sent them to me would appear here. So far, I have received none.

Our Heritage Has Been Severed?

If you think that BAME London is angry now, then just wait until it is told that the only alternative to the man who brought Andrew Sabisky into the heart of government is the man who refused to bring charges in relation to the death of John Charles de Menezes. Next year's Brit Awards will have to be hosted by Louis Farrakhan.

Although greatly reduced in every way, Labour could survive the loss both of the Red Wall and of London's Black Wall. But it could not survive both losses. It could not survive Keir Starmer. And we do not need it to.

Ours is the 2020 Vision of a new political party, a new think tank, a new weekly newspaper, a new fortnightly satirical magazine, a new monthly cultural review, a new quarterly academic journal, and so much else besides. I will be standing for Parliament again here at North West Durham next time, so please give generously. In any event, please email Very many thanks.

Tuesday, 18 February 2020

Disclosure Watch: Day 23

With less than three weeks to go until the fourth attempt to put me on trial, we still have no disclosure.

This post will appear daily until further notice.

Councillor Watch: Day 219

I hereby invite all Labour members of Durham County Council who believe me to be guilty of the criminal charges against me to email and say so.

I would not be able to reply to those emails, but every day the names of those who had sent them to me would appear here. So far, I have received none.

Audacity Without Hope

"A child is born without sex. A child is formed without sex in the beginning." So says Dawn Butler. 

Well, in 2009, she claimed to have been endorsed for her parliamentary seat of Brent South by someone called "Barak Obama".

A Funny Tinge

One year on from the foundation of Change UK, and none of them is still in the House of Commons. Nor is there a peerage in sight. At least, not yet.

Yet Labour is about to hand its Leadership to the man who thought that they were such a threat, he forced the party to adopt a second referendum and lose the North.

I will be standing for Parliament again here at North West Durham next time, so please give generously. In any event, please email Very many thanks.

Seeing Through The Lies

Craig Murray writes:

The Guardian newspaper has taken the art of obfuscation, false implication and the subtler forms of journalistic lying to new heights in its very extensive coverage of the Roger Stone sentencing saga. It has now devoted fourteen articles in the last fortnight to this rather obscure episode of American political history. 

Yet in not one of those articles – nor in more than a dozen articles about the Stone case that preceded it over the last few months – has The Guardian informed its readers what Stone was actually convicted of doing.

Stone was convicted of giving false testimony and misleading the FBI, because he claimed to be a conduit between Wikileaks and Trump when he was not. There was no conduit between Wikileaks and Trump. Stone was also convicted of witness intimidation, because once his fantasies got him into trouble he tried to browbeat my friend Randy Credico into backing up his tale. 

The Guardian has, in a feat of some skill, contrived to give its readers the impression that Stone has been convicted for Trump/Wikileaks links, when that is in fact the precise opposite of the truth. Stone has been convicted for fabricating the existence of Trump/Wikileaks links, of which there were none. 

The Guardian has hung its entire corporate personality on Clinton identity politics and its entire financial survival on building a new online customer base among the Clinton electorate in the USA. 

When even The New York Times had to admit the Mueller report utterly failed to substantiate Clinton’s inane claims that the Russians had caused Clinton’s election defeat, even when a judge dismissed the DNC’s lawsuit against said Russians as being supported by no viable evidence whatsoever, even when the entire world derided The Guardian’s massive front page lie about Paul Manafort visiting Assange in the Embassy, The Guardian has persisted in reporting as fact the preposterous conspiracy theory that its heroine was thwarted from attaining supreme power by the evil machinations of Vladimir Putin.

To maintain this stance in the face of all factual evidence requires great skill and dexterity from Guardian journalists. Fortunately for The Guardian it does not lack for fantasist Russophobe fabricators like Luke Harding or for more subtly corrupt spinners like David Smith, who last week wrote of Stone that “He was the sixth former Trump aide to be convicted in cases arising from the special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.” 

The oleaginous David Smith omitted to note what any half honest human being would consider a very pertinent fact – that not one of those convictions had anything at all to do with Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election, being either entirely unrelated tax and corruption matters turned up while trawling, or as with Stone being questions of process. 

Stone’s case is unique in that not only did his conviction not relate to any Russian interference, it was for promoting precisely the same ludicrous fantasy that The Guardian is promoting. It was illegal for Stone to persist in telling his lies on oath; there is no legal bar to The Guardian promoting the same Trump/Wikileaks/Russia fantasy ad nauseam.

Yet we have the spectacle of Julian Assange standing before a judge facing extradition to the United States and up to 175 years in jail for “espionage”, when everything Wikileaks has ever published has a 100% record for truth and accuracy. 

To finish with Stone, the ludicrous vindictiveness of the prosecutors in pushing for a seven to nine year jail sentence for an offence that was really no more than wasting investigators’ time with his fanatasies, was rightly called out by Donald Trump. 

The notion that Roger Stone threatened witnesses is problematical. Randy Credico, the only person Stone was convicted of threatening, has written to the judge asking for Stone not to be jailed and making plain he did not feel threatened. He had known Stone for years and was used to his blustering talk, which Randy never took as intended to be a serious threat. 

To consider those DNC leaks published by Wikileaks in which Roger Stone claimed falsely to have a part. What the leaks did reveal was the foul play and machinations of the DNC machinery in cheating Bernie Sanders out of the nomination – including jiggling the ordering of primaries specifically to give Hillary “momentum”, and giving Hillary debate questions in advance. 

Nobody should be surprised to see the same tactics being deployed against Bernie Sanders – whom I should be clear I support strongly – yet again. The “muddle” that led to CIA-linked Pete Buttigieg being able to claim victory in Iowa, for a crucial five days before the official tallies showed Bernie had in fact won was, I strongly suspect, merely a portent of what is to come. 

The fact the app that “misfired” was designed by four ex-Clinton staffers working for a company chaired by a Buttigieg team member is indicative of what we can expect over the next few months. The right have yet to decide on their champion to thwart Bernie. Buttigieg and Klobuchar are enjoying moments in the sun of media approval, and the DNC have now changed the rules to allow Bloomberg into future debates. 

That the Clintonites who have been deriding Sanders as not a Democrat, will actually switch to support Republican billionaire Bloomberg against Sanders, is something I expect to see play out over the next month as it becomes clear that neither Buttigieg nor Klobuchar can stop Bernie. 

Here in the UK, I predict Bloomberg-supporting Guardian editorials by April. Still more sinister, the Zionist propaganda machine has started to ramp up its attacks on Bernie. In Iowa the AIPAC-linked Democrats pressure group Democratic Majority for Israel sprayed money on TV ads attacking Bernie. It is a sign of the times that Bernie Sanders, bidding to become the first Jewish President of the United States, is attacked and undermined by extreme Zionists because of his entirely reasonable views on Israel/Palestine.

Despite all of which, opinion polls show Bernie with a clear lead heading towards the Nevada primary. I remain cautiously hopeful that the degree of cheating required to stop Bernie gaining the nomination would simply be too much to hide, and that the Wikileaks DNC revelations may ultimately, by showing up the dirty tricks last time, help Bernie to power this time.

We should, however, never underestimate the resources of the financiers and the security state which will be deployed against Bernie in the next few months. It is going to be a fascinating year in US politics. Either the Democrats will pick a right-wing standard bearer and lose to Trump, or Bernie will become President. I do not share the general fatalism on the left which deems the latter impossible.

Julian Assange Must Be Freed, Not Betrayed

John Pilger writes:

This Saturday, there will be a march from Australia House in London to Parliament Square, the centre of British democracy. People will carry pictures of the Australian publisher and journalist Julian Assange who, on Feb. 24, faces a court that will decide whether or not he is to be extradited to the United States and a living death. 

I know Australia House well. As an Australian myself, I used to go there in my early days in London to read the newspapers from home. Opened by King George V over a century ago, its vastness of marble and stone, chandeliers and solemn portraits, imported from Australia when Australian soldiers were dying in the slaughter of the First World War, have ensured its landmark as an imperial pile of monumental servility. 

As one of the oldest “diplomatic missions” in the United Kingdom, this relic of empire provides a pleasurable sinecure for Antipodean politicians: a “mate” rewarded or a troublemaker exiled. 

Known as High Commissioner, the equivalent of an ambassador, the current beneficiary is George Brandis, who as Attorney General tried to water down Australia’s Race Discrimination Act and approved raids on whistleblowers who had revealed the truth about Australia’s illegal spying on East Timor during negotiations for the carve-up of that impoverished country’s oil and gas. 

This led to the prosecution of whistleblowers Bernard Collaery and “Witness K”, on bogus charges. Like Julian Assange, they are to be silenced in a Kafkaesque trial and put away. Australia House is the ideal starting point for Saturday’s march.

Serving the Great Game

“I confess,” wrote Lord Curzon, Viceroy of India, in 1898, “that countries are pieces on a chessboard upon which is being played out a great game for the domination of the world.” We Australians have been in the service of the Great Game for a very long time. 

Having devastated our Indigenous people in an invasion and a war of attrition that continues to this day, we have spilt blood for our imperial masters in China, Africa, Russia, the Middle East, Europe and Asia. No imperial adventure against those with whom we have no quarrel has escaped our dedication. 

Deception has been a feature. When Prime Minister Robert Menzies sent Australian soldiers to Vietnam in the 1960s, he described them as a training team, requested by a beleaguered government in Saigon. It was a lie.

A senior official of the Department of External Affairs wrote secretly that “although we have stressed the fact publicly that our assistance was given in response to an invitation by the government of South Vietnam”, the order came from Washington. Two versions. The lie for us, the truth for them. As many as four million people died in the Vietnam war.

When Indonesia invaded East Timor in 1975, the Australian Ambassador, Richard Woolcott, secretly urged the government in Canberra to “act in a way which would be designed to minimise the public impact in Australia and show private understanding to Indonesia.” In other words, to lie. 

He alluded to the beckoning spoils of oil and gas in the Timor Sea which, boasted Foreign Minister Gareth Evans, were worth “zillions”. In the genocide that followed, at least 200,000 East Timorese died. Australia recognised, almost alone, the legitimacy of the occupation.

When Prime Minister John Howard sent Australian special forces to invade Iraq with America and Britain in 2003, he — like George W. Bush and Tony Blair — lied that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. More than a million people died in Iraq. 

WikiLeaks was not the first to call out the pattern of criminal lying in democracies that remain every bit as rapacious as in Lord Curzon’s day. The achievement of the remarkable publishing organisation founded by Julian Assange has been to provide the proof. 

True Lies Exposed

WikiLeaks has informed us how illegal wars are fabricated, how governments are overthrown and violence is used in our name, how we are spied upon through our phones and screens. The true lies of presidents, ambassadors, political candidates, generals, proxies, political fraudsters have been exposed.

One by one, these would-be emperors have realised they have no clothes. It has been an unprecedented public service; above all, it is authentic journalism, whose value can be judged by the degree of apoplexy of the corrupt and their apologists. 

For example, in 2016, WikiLeaks published the leaked emails of Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager John Podesta, which revealed a direct connection between Clinton, the foundation she shares with her husband and the funding of organised jihadism in the Middle East — terrorism.

One email disclosed that Islamic State (ISIS) was bankrolled by the governments of Saudi Arabia and Qatar, from which Clinton accepted huge “donations”. Moreover, as U.S. Secretary of State, she approved the world’s biggest ever arms sale to her Saudi benefactors, worth more than $80 billion. Thanks to her, U.S. arms sales to the world — for use in stricken countries like Yemen — doubled. 

Revealed by WikiLeaks and published in The New York Times, the Podesta emails triggered a vituperative campaign against editor-in-chief Julian Assange, bereft of evidence. He was an “agent of Russia working to elect Trump”; the nonsensical “Russiagate” followed. That WikiLeaks had also published more than 800,000 frequently damning documents from Russia was ignored.

On an Australian Broadcasting Corporation programme, Four Corners, in 2017, Clinton was interviewed by Sarah Ferguson, who began: “No one could fail to be moved by the pain on your face at [the moment of Donald Trump’s inauguration] … Do you remember how visceral it was for you?” Having established Clinton’s visceral suffering, the fawning Ferguson described “Russia’s role” and the “damage done personally to you” by Julian Assange. Clinton replied, “He [Assange] is very clearly a tool of Russian intelligence. And he has done their bidding.”

Ferguson said to Clinton, “Lots of people, including in Australia, think that Assange is a martyr of free speech and freedom of information. How would you describe him?” Again, Clinton was allowed to defame Assange — a “nihilist” in the service of “dictators” — while Ferguson assured her interviewee she was “the icon of your generation”. 

There was no mention of a leaked document, revealed by WikiLeaks, called Libya Tick Tock, prepared for Hillary Clinton, which described her as the central figure driving the destruction of the Libyan state in 2011. This resulted in 40,000 deaths, the arrival of ISIS in North Africa and the European refugee and migrant crisis. 

The Only Crime on Trial 

For me, this episode of Clinton’s interview — and there are many others – vividly illustrates the division between false and true journalism. On Feb. 24, when Julian Assange steps into Woolwich Crown Court, true journalism will be the only crime on trial. 

I am sometimes asked why I have championed Assange. For one thing, I like and I admire him. He is a friend with astonishing courage; and he has a finely honed, wicked sense of humour. He is the diametric opposite of the character invented and then assassinated by his enemies.

As a reporter in places of upheaval all over the world, I have learned to compare the evidence I have witnessed with the words and actions of those with power. In this way, it is possible to get a sense of how our world is controlled and divided and manipulated, how language and debate are distorted to produce the propaganda of false consciousness.

When we speak about dictatorships, we call this brainwashing: the conquest of minds. It is a truth we rarely apply to our own societies, regardless of the trail of blood that leads back to us and which never dries. WikiLeaks has exposed this. 

That is why Assange is in a maximum security prison in London facing concocted political charges in America, and why he has shamed so many of those paid to keep the record straight. Watch these journalists now look for cover as it dawns on them that the American fascists who have come for Assange may come for them, not least those on The Guardian who collaborated with WikiLeaks and won prizes and secured lucrative book and Hollywood deals based on his work, before turning on him.

In 2011, David Leigh, The Guardian‘s “investigations editor”, told journalism students at City University in London that Assange was “quite deranged”. When a puzzled student asked why, Leigh replied, “Because he doesn’t understand the parameters of conventional journalism”.

But it’s precisely because he did understand that the “parameters” of the media often shielded vested and political interests and had nothing to do with transparency that the idea of WikiLeaks was so appealing to many people, especially the young, rightly cynical about the so-called “mainstream”. 

Leigh mocked the very idea that, once extradited, Assange would end up “wearing an orange jumpsuit”. These were things, he said, “that he and his lawyer are saying in order to feed his paranoia”. 

The current U.S. charges against Assange centre on the Afghan Logs and Iraq Logs, which The Guardian published and Leigh worked on, and on the Collateral Murder video showing an American helicopter crew gunning down civilians and celebrating the crime. For this journalism, Assange faces 17 charges of “espionage” which carry prison sentences totalling 175 years. 

Whether or not his prison uniform will be an “orange jumpsuit”, U.S. court files seen by Assange’s lawyers reveal that, once extradited, Assange will be subject to Special Administrative Measures, known as SAMS. 

A 2017 report by Yale University Law School and the Center for Constitutional Rights described SAMS as “the darkest corner of the US federal prison system” combining “the brutality and isolation of maximum security units with additional restrictions that deny individuals almost any connection to the human world … The net effect is to shield this form of torture from any real public scrutiny.” 

That Assange has been right all along, and getting him to Sweden was a fraud to cover an American plan to “render” him, is finally becoming clear to many who swallowed the incessant scuttlebutt of character assassination.

“I speak fluent Swedish and was able to read all the original documents,” Nils Melzer, the United Nations Rapporteur on Torture, said recently, “I could hardly believe my eyes. According to the testimony of the woman in question, a rape had never taken place at all. And not only that: the woman’s testimony was later changed by the Stockholm Police without her involvement in order to somehow make it sound like a possible rape. I have all the documents in my possession, the emails, the text messages.”

Keir Starmer is currently running for election as leader of the Labour Party in Britain. Between 2008 and 2013, he was Director of Public Prosecutions and responsible for the Crown Prosecution Service. According to Freedom of Information searches by the Italian journalist Stefania Maurizi, Sweden tried to drop the Assange case in 2011, but a CPS official in London told the Swedish prosecutor not to treat it as “just another extradition”. In 2012, she received an email from the CPS: “Don’t you dare get cold feet!!!” Other CPS emails were either deleted or redacted. Why? Keir Starmer needs to say why. 

At the forefront of Saturday’s march will be John Shipton, Julian’s father, whose indefatigable support for his son is the antithesis of the collusion and cruelty of the governments of Australia, our homeland. The roll call of shame begins with Julia Gillard, the Australian Labor prime minister who, in 2010, wanted to criminalise WikiLeaks, arrest Assange and cancel his passport – until the Australian Federal Police pointed out that no law allowed this and that Assange had committed no crime.

While falsely claiming to give him consular assistance in London, it was the Gillard government’s shocking abandonment of its citizen that led to Ecuador granting political asylum to Assange in its London embassy.

In a subsequent speech before the U.S. Congress, Gillard, a favourite of the US embassy in Canberra, broke records for sycophancy (according to the website Honest History) as she declared, over and again, the fidelity of America’s “mates Down Under”. Today, while Assange waits in his cell, Gillard travels the world, promoting herself as a feminist concerned about “human rights”, often in tandem with that other right-on feminist Hillary Clinton.

The truth is that Australia could have rescued Julian Assange and can still rescue him. In 2010, I arranged to meet a prominent Liberal (Conservative) Member of Parliament, Malcolm Turnbull. As a young barrister in the 1980s, Turnbull had successfully fought the British Government’s attempts to prevent the publication of the book, Spycatcher, whose author Peter Wright, a spy, had exposed Britain’s “deep state”. 

We talked about his famous victory for free speech and publishing and I described the miscarriage of justice awaiting Assange — the fraud of his arrest in Sweden and its connection with an American indictment that tore up the U.S. Constitution and the rule of international law. Turnbull appeared to show genuine interest and an aide took extensive notes.

I asked him to deliver a letter to the Australian government from Gareth Peirce, the renowned British human rights lawyer who represents Assange. In the letter, Peirce wrote, “Given the extent of the public discussion, frequently on the basis of entirely false assumptions… it is very hard to attempt to preserve for [Julian Assange] any presumption of innocence. Mr. Assange has now hanging over him not one but two Damocles swords, of potential extradition to two different jurisdictions in turn for two different alleged crimes, neither of which are crimes in his own country, and that his personal safety has become at risk in circumstances that are highly politically charged.” 

Turnbull promised to deliver the letter, follow it through and let me know. I subsequently wrote to him several times, waited and heard nothing. In 2018, John Shipton wrote a deeply moving letter to the then prime minister of Australia asking him to exercise the diplomatic power at his government’s disposal and bring Julian home. He wrote that he feared that if Julian was not rescued, there would be a tragedy and his son would die in prison. He received no reply. The prime minister was Malcolm Turnbull.

Last year, when the current prime minister, Scott Morrison, a former public relations man, was asked about Assange, he replied in his customary way, “He should face the music!” When Saturday’s march reaches the Houses of Parliament, said to be “the Mother of Parliaments”, Morrison and Gillard and Turnbull and all those who have betrayed Julian Assange should be called out; history and decency will not forget them or those who remain silent now. 

And if there is any sense of justice left in the land of Magna Carta, the travesty that is the case against this heroic Australian must be thrown out. Or beware, all of us. 

The march on Saturday, Feb. 22 begins at Australia House in Aldwych, London WC2B 4LA, at 12.30 p.m.: assemble at 11.30 a.m.

Monday, 17 February 2020

Disclosure Watch: Day 22

With three weeks to go until the fourth attempt to put me on trial, we still have no disclosure.

This post will appear daily until further notice.

Kafka Comes To The Hague

Peter Hitchens sets out why you should be very worried indeed.

Transcendental Power

Kenan Malik sets out why the State should never have the power to revoke anyone's citizenship.

Subscription, Service

When the licence fee was first introduced, then there was only one television channel, so it was for all practical purposes a subscription service.

But it would now be technologically impossible to end the BBC's universality. You can set up a subscription service, but you cannot turn an existing universal service into one. It cannot be done.

Making the licence fee voluntary would make the BBC like ITV. But without the adverts. The possibilities for reorganisation would be endless.

The Left and the working class need to bypass both the municipal Labour Right and the Liberal Establishment both in education and in the media.

The EU referendum result and the two subsequent General Election results have confirmed that the workers, and not the liberal bourgeoisie, are now the key swing voters who deserve direct representation on local public bodies, on national public bodies, in the media, and at the intersection of the public and media sectors.

They have confirmed that Wales, the Midlands and the North are the areas that determine the outcome of national referendums and of General Elections, entitling us to direct and prominent representation both culturally and politically.

I will be standing for Parliament again here at North West Durham next time, so please give generously. In any event, please email Very many thanks.

Intelligence Quotient?

There is no such thing as IQ. I have never taken an IQ test in my life. I question whether anyone who sets any store by them is sufficiently intelligent to be allowed out alone, if at all.

The whole thing depends on “mental age”, whatever that may be. The IQ of children in numerous countries has “improved” dramatically over the years when IQ tests have been set, and therefore taught to, in schools. Indeed, that never fails to happen.

The publications of Mensa are a particularly rich seam of amusement. “More people than you might think are above average”? I’m guessing about half of them. “One person in 20 is in the top five per cent”? You don’t say! And so on.

But never try and tell the “I have a high IQ” lot any of this. Yet you would not have to, and indeed you never could, do anything to get a high IQ, even if such a thing really existed. Having it would be no cause for congratulation, still less for self-congratulation or for the creation of an international society for mutual congratulation.

I tried to tell you about the rise of eugenics, but you would not listen. Eugenics was also fundamental to New Labour. I remember Blairy Boys of my own generation coming out with everything that Andrew Sabisky is coming out with now, back in the day. If you understand that, then you understand a very great deal about Blairism.

To the best of my knowledge, Blairism was and is the only political movement ever to have been rooted in liberal Catholicism. Meanwhile, Sabisky is one of those extreme Anglo-Catholic traditionalists. Attempts at Catholicism-without-the-Pope always end up somewhere thoroughly unpleasant. It just depends where, in each particular case.

Follow Peter.

The Lanchester Review: The Escalating Class War Against Bernie Sanders

Norman Solomon knows what's what.

Councillor Watch: Day 218

I hereby invite all Labour members of Durham County Council who believe me to be guilty of the criminal charges against me to email and say so.

I would not be able to reply to those emails, but every day the names of those who had sent them to me would appear here. So far, I have received none.

Sunday, 16 February 2020

Disclosure Watch: Day 21

With less than four weeks to go until the fourth attempt to put me on trial, we still have no disclosure.

This post will appear daily until further notice.

Identify This

Richard Burgon's Peace Pledge would be is impractical. But of all the candidates for Leader or Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, only he has refused to submit, both to the Board of Deputies, which is at least a real body, and to the "Labour Campaign for Trans Rights", which is a Twitter account with no other identifiable existence. Only he, therefore, is worthy or a vote for either position.

That Labour has so much trouble over gender self-identification is because it has any internal dissent from the proposal. The party that is going to legislate for it appears to have none whatever. If anyone on that side votes against it, then it will be a handful of traditional Catholics and Evangelical Protestants, neither of whose positions has ever been part of the Tory mainstream, or ever will be.

I will be standing for Parliament again here at North West Durham next time, so please give generously. In any event, please email Very many thanks.

The Most Distressful Country?

Yes, in September 2003, Mary Lou McDonald spoke at a rally to commemorate Seán Russell, at his much-defaced memorial in Dublin, a statue that was decapitated a little over a year later.

But then, the Conservative Party founded the European Conservatives and Reformists, among whom were and are the Latvian Fatherland and Freedom Party, with its annual parade and wreath-laying ceremony for the Latvian Legion of the Waffen-SS.

You see, Fascism and anti-Fascism cut across the usual political divisions in Ireland as everywhere else, including Britain. Sinn Féin had Russell, and it was already in government in Northern Ireland in 2003. But Fianna Fáil had those to placate whom Éamon de Valera felt compelled to sign the German Embassy's book of condolence for Hitler in 1945. And Fine Gael is nicknamed "the Blueshirts" to this day. 

Fianna Fáil, by the way, is probably doomed. Few countries can sustain three really big parties, and Ireland is not one of them. If one of the Big Two is going to be 
Sinn Féin, then the other is going to be Fine Gael, or whatever succeeded Fine Gael.

Hitherto, Sinn Féin's core vote had been assumed to be around the 9.5 per cent that it took last May. Around one in 10 people in the 26 Counties had remained attached to the 32 County Republic of 1916. Until 1986, they had either forced themselves to vote for Fianna Fáil, or they had not voted at all. Since then, they had voted for Sinn Féin. They always would. But, it as held, nobody else ever would. Well, those days are gone.

And what of Britain? Once dependent on the DUP, the Conservatives now have to retain Consett, Crewe, much of Teesside, the old industrial towns of Cumbria, and great chunks of Lancashire, Greater Manchester, the West Midlands, and elsewhere. Only personal dislike of Boris Johnson prevented them from breaking into Merseyside, and he will not be there forever. The Conservative Party is now beholden to a very particular Irish interest, and it is certainly not the DUP.

Councillor Watch: Day 217

I hereby invite all Labour members of Durham County Council who believe me to be guilty of the criminal charges against me to email and say so.

I would not be able to reply to those emails, but every day the names of those who had sent them to me would appear here. So far, I have received none.

Saturday, 15 February 2020

Disclosure Watch: Day 20

With less than four weeks to go until the fourth attempt to put me on trial, we still have no disclosure.

This post will appear daily until further notice.

Timetable For Withdrawal

And so the war in Afghanistan was all for nothing. This is how these things always end. Yes, always.

After the First World War, the Kaiser himself may have gone into exile, but Field Marshall von Hindenburg was elected President twice, beginning as soon as the electorate was given the opportunity to vote for him. He had stood only with the written permission of his exiled monarch.

After the Second World War, full denazification would have caused German society to have collapsed. Quite the reverse occurred, with West Germany, NATO and the EU all founded in no small part by former, meaning recent, Nazi officers.

Over the Wall, one of the East German Bloc Parties, complete with reserved seats in the Volkskammer, was the NDPD, specifically for former Nazi Party members and supporters, although it was often observed that there were in fact more former Nazi Party members in the Communist Party than the entire membership of the NDPD.

In 1968, long after East Germany professed to have eradicated all trace of Nazism, the new Constitution still felt the need to commit it to doing so. No one in West Germany even pretended, not really. The fairly recent obituaries of Helmut Schmidt and Helmut Kohl have been as frank as they themselves always were. And then there was Austria.

But speaking of East Germany, when the Soviet Bloc collapsed, then who do you think carried on running many things at national level, and almost everything at regional or local level? Who was qualified to do so? Attempts to do these things differently, such as the debaathification of Iraq, have been unmitigated disasters.

By the end of this year, and no doubt a great deal sooner than that, the governments of both parts of Ireland will include people who hold that the Provisional Army Council is the sovereign body throughout all 32 Counties. In the Six Counties, which are within the United Kingdom, that has already been the case for 20 years.

Alas, though, scarcely a soul in the House of Commons understands what once almost all MPs would have understood implicitly.  But I will be standing for Parliament again here at North West Durham next time, so please give generously. In any event, please email Very many thanks.

Workers Must Seize This New Sovereignty

Doug Nicholls writes:

Last Friday, Britain left the EU and with that the Johnson government lost its legitimacy. The Tories were elected to get us out of the EU, to lay the basis for national independence. Their time is now up./ There are three things that will seek to prop them up.

At a technical, legalistic and constitutional level the profoundly undemocratic Fixed Term Parliament Act, passed in 2011 in the vain hope of keeping the Liberal Democrats in power for eternity, means that individual MPs can only be deselected if they commit a heinous crime and the Speaker of the House of Commons triggers a ballot which gets more than 10 per cent of a constituencies’ electorate to vote for a by-election.

It means also that only the government can call a general election, or the opposition if it achieves more than a two-thirds majority to do so.

Pre-December 13 2019, both main parties vowed to repeal this Act. They will not be so eager now.

At a political level, the Labour Party will not want a general election for at least five years. The thumping it got in 2019 for being so out of touch with the people will mean years of hopeless navel gazing.

People generally want a period of stability and growth as powers are repatriated to the country, foreign-imposed rules and regulations are removed and as we learn again to prioritise investment in our own people and productive economy.

An obstacle to getting on with things could be the separatists, particularly the Scottish National Party. They plan to create mayhem to further their desire to in effect build a hard border around themselves, abandon sterling, give back the British-wide subsidy and lie supine at the feet of unelected EU commissioners.

The crass stupidity of their project will have to be exposed – the separatists prefer Brussels to Westminster and seek to divide the country when maximum unity of purpose and solidarity is needed.

So the key now is to focus the progressive patriotism, the generous internationalism and the confident optimism that really underpinned the steadfast decision to leave the EU in a new way.

The working class as a whole ensured, despite the media, despite the entire Establishment hectoring and despite the attempted coups by hapless politicians and uppity Supreme Court judges, that the country could govern itself again.

This is the precondition of progress.

It will challenge trade unionists in particular to take up where we left off in 1976 when we had nearly 60 per cent membership density, 80 per cent collective bargaining coverage and helped retain controls on the flight of capital.

We will need to shake off the intervening years of learning to be subservient believing that all that could be done was to rely on the hidden hand of the market and the illusory magic wand of the unelected EU commissioners.

he challenge is not to give any power away again – and to assertively and confidently trust in our own power to run the country better than anyone else.

Real power begins in the workplace and with workmates and that sense of solidarity and democratic decision making that enables us to progress our cause.

Rather than looking up to lobby and protest, or pretend that giving up power to EU commissioners or even MPs can solve our problems, we have to feel it again in our own hands.

Trade union education when we were strong included politics, philosophy, economics and our history.

As unions transformed into empty houses and lobby groups, mechanical training took over in the unions. Social power structures were no longer analysed. Trade union training became about giving information to and from barrack-room lawyers to interpret this or that bit of legislation, forgetting that the whole legislative framework had become unjust.

When the sleeping giant wakes again as it is now, or whether the lions rise from their slumber depends on the sharpness of vision and intellect.

Union meetings should become vibrant, dynamic cauldrons of new debate about our shared future and organising centres of action and ideas to create an unstoppable new deal for workers.

Independent trade unionism, protecting its own interests, is the essential ingredient to take a newly independent nation forward. The 32 million workers in Britain, with all their incredible skills and ingenuity are the nation.

No-one, least of all Boris Johnson, can tell us what to do. We are self-reliant, we are strong. The defensive posture of the victims of 44 years of EU membership and government batterings are now officially over.

Correct Identification

Those of you who are blaming gender self-identification on "The Left", I don't know who you think has been in government for the last 10 years. There was none of this 10 years ago. None.

And all the organised, serious opposition to it today is coming from the Left. Good luck finding a quotation against it from any Conservative member of either the present or the last House of Commons, whereas doubts have been expressed with some force by serving and recent Labour MPs as diverse as Jess Phillips and Laura Pidcock, as well as by Joanna Cherry, who is very much on the left of the SNP. 

Expect a high abstention rate on the Labour benches, and some votes against, when the Conservative Government seeks to legislate for gender self-identification. But legislate it will, since the Conservative opposition, if any, will come from the tiny handful that is as God-bothering as I am, and often in the same vein, which has never been mainstream in the Conservative Party.

Selina Todd is the President of the Socialist Educational Association. Woman's Place was founded by Judith Green, Ruth Serwotka and Kiri Tunks, all of whom are trade unionists of several decades' standing, and all of whom, it is fair to say, will have voted for Jeremy Corbyn for Leader of the Labour Party. WPUK marched at last year's Durham Miners' Gala. Julie Bindel, Beatrix Campbell, Linda Bellos, Lucy Masoud: dyed-in-the wool left-wingers all. Years ago, I heard Simon Fanshawe give an after-dinner speech at one of Hilary Armstrong's Constituency Labour Party events.

Of course the Labour Party itself is lost. But there is a world elsewhere. Watch this space. I will be standing for Parliament again here at North West Durham next time, so please give generously. In any event, please email Very many thanks.

Councillor Watch: Day 216

I hereby invite all Labour members of Durham County Council who believe me to be guilty of the criminal charges against me to email and say so.

I would not be able to reply to those emails, but every day the names of those who had sent them to me would appear here. So far, I have received none.

Friday, 14 February 2020

Disclosure Watch: Day 19

With less than four weeks to go until the fourth attempt to put me on trial, we still have no disclosure.

This post will appear daily until further notice.

The N Stands For Neocon

Stewart McDonald is the Member of Parliament for Glasgow South, and he is the SNP Spokesperson for Defence. 

He is also a supporter of the discredited neoconservative propaganda site, Bellingcat. He is even a donor to it. Well, of course he is.

John Nicolson's personal position is explicable in terms of his ties to Daniel Patrick Moynihan, but that of the SNP in general deserves further examination.

I will be standing for Parliament again here at North West Durham next time, so please give generously. In any event, please email Very many thanks.

A Real Peace Pledge

I hope that Richard Burgon would still call me a friend, and like Dawn Butler he ought to be proud that he could not serve in the Shadow Cabinet of any of the Labour Leadership candidates due to their requirement of certification by the Board of Deputies. 

That Board has assumed in Britain the de facto sovereignty that will soon be exercised across all 32 Counties by the Provisional Army Council. Except that at least large numbers of people in both parts of Ireland have voted for Sinn Féin. Nobody in Britain has voted for Likud. Indeed, not all that many people in Israel still vote for Likud.

But Richard's Peace Pledge idea is just daft. What we need are MPs who would make it clear that they would vote against a Government in a vote of no confidence, even if that Government were of their own party, if it pursued military action other than in self-defence or pursuant to a United Nations Security Council Resolution.

And I am not sure about United Nations Security Council Resolutions. Military force should only ever be used in self-defence. Of course. Read Saint Thomas Aquinas. I will be standing for Parliament again here at North West Durham next time, so please give generously. In any event, please email Very many thanks.

Bank On This

I don't care what RBS calls itself. I care that public ownership turns out to have been just what it needed.

So when are, we, the owners, going to see that profit? How about dividing it evenly among every National Insurance number?

I will be standing for Parliament again here at North West Durham next time, so please give generously. In any event, please email Very many thanks.

Labour In Vain

Having lost the Red Wall, then you might have thought that Labour would be holding its remaining friends close. But no. 

First the feminists, or at least the ones who think that the existence of women is important to feminism. And now the Black and Jewish Left. 

Meanwhile, Boris Johnson has renationalised Northern Rail, and he is dropping hints about releasing Julian Assange and about repealing Britain's one-sided extradition arrangements with the United States. 

The Labour Party is finished. Watch this space.

Councillor Watch: Day 215

I hereby invite all Labour members of Durham County Council who believe me to be guilty of the criminal charges against me to email and say so.

I would not be able to reply to those emails, but every day the names of those who had sent them to me would appear here. So far, I have received none.

Thursday, 13 February 2020

Disclosure Watch: Day 18

With less than four weeks to go until the fourth attempt to put me on trial, we still have no disclosure.

This post will appear daily until further notice.

Councillor Watch: Day 214

I hereby invite all Labour members of Durham County Council who believe me to be guilty of the criminal charges against me to email and say so.

I would not be able to reply to those emails, but every day the names of those who had sent them to me would appear here. So far, I have received none.