The Real Britain

What differentiates each side in the referendum debate is attitude towards Britain rather than Scotland. We say pretty similar things about Scotland and express the same feelings whether unionist or nationalist. It’s when we think about the meaning of Britain that we find the deepest divergence of opinion.

Most people seem to have a fairly benign attitude towards the concept of Britishness whatever petty grievances they harbour. I do not. I keep my deepest resentment for the British state, that nexus of institutions, people and mentality that entrenches inequality, salutes the class system, conspires in war and protects its own. It doesn’t seem to matter very much who is in power, the overall results are similar – politicians with a conventional, compliant, establishment-minded viewpoint who see themselves as the guardians of all knowledge and authority, something the population dispensed with sometime in the 1980’s.

When we needed a left-leaning government we got a repeat of two years of Tory spending policy, two international wars, complicity in torture, the harshest crackdown on civil rights in the post-war era and abuse of executive power. When Blair needed support to save face in the aftermath of Iraq war and the Gilligan affair he found it in a former Diplock judge in a classic establishment stitch-up. Perhaps the biggest lie in politics is the claim of Labour to be a radical party of the left. Their record in office – which contains notable advances on early learning, tax credits, minimum wage and devolution – shows them in reality to be wet Tories in awe of corporate muscle, American foreign policy and reckless capitalist economics while pushing away the unions and chasing the establishment rewards of titles and lobbyists’ hard cash.

We are in the process of uncovering some of the darker secrets of the Blair and Brown years, things we guessed at or speculated but have been unable to confirm but, as ever, it seems the establishment is working diligently to delay and diffuse on behalf of their Labour cohorts.

The Gibson Report is one such meek and self-serving operation which started out as an attempt to uncover the grisly truth about British involvement in torture and rendition and which will now be handled by the compliant Intelligence and Security Committee which spoon-fed the security chiefs ahead of their public appearance by informing them of the questions in advance.

Within weeks of the election David Cameron announced the inquiry to be led by Gibson. He repeatedly rejected suggestions at that time that the ISC should conduct the investigation, telling MPs: “I do not think for a moment that we should believe that the ISC should be doing this piece of work. For public confidence, and for independence from parliament, party and government, it is right to have a judge-led inquiry.” He added: “That is what we need to get to the bottom of the case. The fact that it is led by a judge will help ensure that we get it done properly.” That is the opposite of what has happened as the establishment realizes how damaging to it the torture issue is.

Typical of the duplicity of the British was their courting of Gaddafi and intense behind-the-scenes talks to release Megrahi while condemning the Scottish government for doing so. There is the co-operation between MI6 and Gaddafi’s intelligence agencies and the UK’s involvement in the rendition of two Libyan opposition leaders and their families to Tripoli in 2004 back into the hands of the regime who tortured them , and any role Jack Straw, then foreign secretary, played in authorising those operations. He has denied any wrongdoing, although MI6 is reported to have confronted him with documentary evidence that he personally authorised the agency’s involvement in the Libyan rendition operations…a Labour Cabinet minister. I smell more state collusion is the statement from the retiring head of the FBI Robert Muller that more arrests are expected over the Lockerbie bombing. Really? We were told as soon as anti Gaddafi forces took Benghazi three years ago that they would search the files and find the evidence that Libya brought down Pan Am 103. Since then, nothing. Speculation and visits by the Lord Advocate, but not a shred of evidence let alone a suspect. Odd, don’t you think, that if they wanted an arrest they had in their hands Moussa Koussa, Gaddafi’s security adviser who would surely have known the truth? But then, he was MI6’s link man in Tripoli with whom they exchanged Christmas greetings and rendition victims so they couldn’t put him on trial. If the UK conspired with the US over the war in Iraq, does that indicate it would also conspire over Lockerbie? Are they so close that they are indistinguishable or isn’t that exactly what has been proved by Edward Snowden revealing the mass collection of private data….

There have been allegations of MI6 and MI5 involvement in a series of other operations in Pakistan, Egypt, Morocco and Bangladesh, as well as Guantánamo Bay and Afghanistan, which have resulted in terrorism suspects suffering severe mistreatment. In some cases – the most notorious being that of the British resident Binyam Mohamed – the allegations have been found to be true, while in others the government has paid sums totalling several million pounds in order to settle compensation claims out of court…the British state at work.

Meanwhile, even as further and deeper benefits and budget cuts are announced with pride – at the same time as the government boasts of recovery – we find that British officials  “lost their nerve” in tackling tax avoidance by global corporations and have presided over a £35bn tax gap as they pursue easy prey such as small businesses and individuals, the easy meat.

In a report that highlighted how the Treasury is owed missing tax payments of £35bn, the public accounts committee added that HM Revenue and Customs has left the state with another multibillion pound shortfall by failing to gather £2.6bn of an expected windfall from Swiss banks. How easy is it to savage those with no voice but to bend the knee to the corporate kings who make their own rules and decide how much they will deign to pay in taxes…

To me this is the British state, no matter which party is in power, self-serving and contemptuous of the people it is supposed to serve.

PS When will we get the report of the Chilcott Committee four and a half years since it started?

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0 thoughts on “The Real Britain

  1. Bugger (the Panda)

    Tell please Derek, do you believe that MI5/6 SIS are not all over this independence debate working away on the dark side for a NO?
    They have form you know from India to Ireland / N Ireland, including during the WW II.

    • Bugger (the Panda)

      p.s I wonder if Snowden has some dirty laundry on the UK and their involvement in Scotland with opinion from the USA?

      What a great scoop 4 weeks before the Referendum.

    • I too, think these entities are hard at work to try and thwart the will of the Scottish people. However, it goes deeper than just these entities. Yesterday I was having a look at re “Straits Times “, this give news from all over Asia. Just for fun I put ” Scottish Independence ” into the search bar, and yes items came up ” thousands march for Independence” was one, for example. However each News article in reference to the Independence issue when clicked comes up with ” Forbidden ” on the blank page.

      Another article was a recent Google article that they have had a huge rise in requests for deletions, mostly for political motives, and from many governments. So this confirms to me that my thoughts of someone in the security services has a full time job making sure any PRO Independence comments are deleted as they find them, globally . The British state is trying very hard to remove anything that could be seen as positive for the YES side of the referendum debate anywhere it is find including youtube and other online media. Couple this with the continual misrepresentations of the British Government AND the BBC along with the compliant MSM, then what you have is really a very large conspiracy. Shameful stuff.

  2. Bugger (the Panda)

    The Commons Public Accounts committee said. I”t has found out that so far this year, a measly £440million has been clawed back in unpaid tax from Swiss bank accounts instead of the forecast £3.12billion.”

    • Bugger (the Panda)

      Casual thought, how much of the shortfall would have been due from donors to the Tory Party and maybe the NO campaign?

      • That is an interesting thought BtP.

        It would certainly fit into the british establishment ‘scratch my back’ philosophy.

        If only we had investigative journalists in Scotland. In fact, even just a journalist at all.

        • Bugger (the Panda)

          We have Derek, and his Passport would still read “Journalist” in the Profession bit, if they still had that declaration.

  3. The real Britain is a State in terminal decline, a decline hastened by London’s insatiable apetite in power, wealth, influence, theft …Next September Auld Scotia can stand up and walk away from the debris of this ‘Failed State’

  4. An excellent article Derek. I was brought up in the belief that Britain was the best place in the world. As I grew older I began to realise that nothing could be further from the truth.

    When I began to travel it became obvious that not only was britain not the best place in the world, but that it was a declining power that is largely unliked by most of the rest of the world.

    I found that being Scottish when travelling was much better than being british. Scottish was welcomed everywhere I went, british ensured that locals would be as unhelpful as they could be, if not indeed downright rude.

    As the years passed I became increasingly aware of the insidious corruption that infests the british establishment. It seems that anyone that comes into contact with the british contagion becomes another zombie-like supporter of all that is wrong in british society. The core of this corruption and nastiness is westminster. It is a cancer at the heart of britain and the sooner the people of Scotland reject that cancer and begin the healing process that is independence the better.

  5. Let us not forget the castration of Kenyan men in the 1950s – the trial was last year in London – conveniently swamped by the London Olympics – they were still found guilty. The case of Malayan villagers massacred by the army is to come. Where is Grahamski when you need him?

  6. that should “the British Government” were still found guilty. Sorry!

  7. You have put into words what I have come to believe over the years. Britain is just a bagman and lachie of the good old USA, we hang about with the real gangsters pretending we are one of the big boys, the whole world knows we are just a poodle of the US and our reward, a seat at the top table, no power or influence just a seat.
    When the yanks need an alliance, to cover their illegal adventures we are it. Even Obama’s Kenyan family detest Britain for some of our colonial exploits in that country. Labour/Tory/liberal doesn’t make any difference we are controlled by unelected establishment figures, the the politicians have to cow tow to if they want a share of the grace and favours on offer. THE SYSTEM IS ROTTON TO THE CORE, PAST OUR TIME TO GET OUT!

    • Agree with the thrust of your point. Would say however that far from riding on US coat tails Britain taught them almost everything they know.

      People who think we live in a democracy are deluding themselves

  8. “I keep my deepest resentment for the British state, that nexus of institutions, people and mentality that entrenches inequality, salutes the class system, conspires in war and protects its own.”

    THIS – absolutely agree.

  9. Goodness gracious.

    The more we hear about the separatist’s bitter hatred of Britain the better.

    This isn’t about making Scotland better – it’s about getting a kick at Britain.

    Fill your boots, my separatist friends, the more your views are spread the more normal folk will recoil in horror at your bile.

    Altogether now: Britain is a cancer, it is evil, it is hated the world over…tinfoil hats at the ready!

    • Whereas from my so far limited experience of your contribution you seem to concentrate on just having a kick at those who want Independence and a new start for Scotland. Since you seem to be the self appointed spokesperson for the Union on this blog, why don’t you put forward the positives that you feel the Union holds for Scotland and we can have some real debate.

      • Mr McGraw

        It is for those advocating separation to make the case for it.

        I don’t have to argue FOR the union, you have to convince me and the majority of Scots that it is in our best interests to break up one of the most successful social and political unions the world has ever seen.

        So far the SNP have failed dismally to do so.

        Hardly surprising when you consider from where those who argue for separation start.

        Most Scots don’t feel aggrieved. Most Scots don’t think we are too wee or too stupid to stand up for ourselves in the UK. Most Scots are comfortable with being part of the UK.

        So far I have seen nothing from the YES campaign which worries me. The line about decisions affecting Scotland are best taken in Scotland had some traction until Europe was mentioned then the SNP just looked silly and a tiny bit racist.

        Looking forward to next year and the next ‘game changer’.

        Until then I hope you enjoy the festive period and the new year brings peace and happiness to you and yours.

        Grahamski

    • You really are quite pathetic. Although I suppose it is a well worn BT tactic to deliberately conflate issues. Try reading the post again. Pay particular attention to the word “state”. Do you really want us to believe you are stupid enough to confuse the British state with the island itself.

    • Bile! What like sending young people to kill and be killed for a lie at the order of a LABOUR British Government, like bile is doubling tax for the lowest paid by a LABOUR government, like the bile of driving people to suicide by the welfare activities of a British Government. That is a TORY/LIBDEM government supported by the people’s party – LABOUR!!! Kick at Britain you clown – Britain has kicked it’s way round the world for centuries and still wonder why people don’t like them – British Governments – clowns all of them supported by clowns like you who would rather do people down to support a political ideology of the Labour party long discredited. Tell us something of your views for the future of a socialist Britain. Tell us what benefit a social democratic Scotland could bring for the people in the rUK instead of pissing in the wind expecting a socialist Britain – have you noticed nothing about Britain in your lifetime?
      Well! Have you?

      • Still waiting Grahamski – have you noticed anything about Britain in your lifetime? Any socialism – any chance of socialism? Any honesty – any chance of honesty? Any peaceful intention? – Any chance of any peaceful intention? Well, maybe now that they have “successfully” concluded their latest humiliation in Afghanistan. Stop pretending there’s an empire, any intention at an equal society or any intention to tell you and the rest of us the truth?

    • Surely even you can see the sneer behind the masks of Osborne and Alexander. The sneer that says ‘I don’t believe a word of the mince I’m dishing out to you plebs but if it earns me the same amount of money as Blair, I’ll stomach it’
      As for Darling,,,,,,In the same vein as Mrs Merton interviewing Debbie McGee where she asked
      ‘Tell me Debbie, what was it that first attracted you to the multimillionaire Paul Daniels’
      ‘Tell me Alistair, what was it that made you give up being a Marxist and Trotskyite to become the Darling of the Tories

    • Grahamski; the very definition of a useful idiot.

    • “I don’t have to argue FOR the union, you have to convince me and the majority of Scots that it is in our best interests to break up one of the most successful social and political unions the world has ever seen.”

      Actually you do.

      The Edinburgh Agreement
      6. The Order enables the Scottish Parliament to legislate for a referendum with one question on independence. The wording of the question will be for the Scottish Parliament to determine and will be set out in the Referendum Bill to be introduced by the Scottish Government, subject to the Electoral Commission’s review process, as set out in the paragraphs which follow.
      12. Both governments agree on the importance of the referendum being overseen in an impartial way by bodies that can command the confidence of both sides of the campaign. The Electoral Commission is responsible for overseeing referendums held under PPERA.

      Electoral Commission
      “In the Commission’s report on the proposed referendum question, published in January 2013, we recommended that the Scottish and UK Governments clarify what process should follow the referendum in sufficient detail so as to inform people what would happen if most voters voted ‘Yes’ or if most voters voted ‘No’.

      We are aware that discussions between both Governments are taking place and there are signs that progress towards a joint position is being made.

      We welcome this progress and have asked that a joint position is agreed by 20th December. This would provide clarity by the expected time of Royal Assent to the Referendum Bill and the subsequent opening of the register of permitted participants for campaigners at the referendum.”

      So you’d better get on with it then.

    • Away for a few days but note you have no case to present.

      Hope you had a Merry Xmas

      Brian

  10. My many American friends seem to have two visions of Britain – 1) A far-away country packed full of eccentric nuts and 2) A dot on the atlas, useful from time to time because they speak the same language.
    But mention Scotland and their eyes glaze over and they’re off into the world of dreams…….. Never having left the States.
    I long for the day when we can present them with an honest vision of a vibrant, caring, truly democratic and independent Scotland.
    So here’s to Derek and his genuine hard work, forking out the real Britain.

  11. The NSA used GCHQ to collect data on USA citizens because their constitution prohibited this sort of activity.The only protection we Brits have from the same sort of surveillance is the chocolate poker Westminster Intelligence and Security Oversight Committee.That is all that stands between us and a totalitarian state security apparatus (even Vlad Putin claims that he can’t do this).
    We have to be spied upon because we are a hot bed of terrorist activity (in theory the committee decide what constitutes “terrorist” activity).
    This would be one of the major reasons why the Westminster establishment will never agree to a codified constitution which guarantees the rights of citizens (or subjects as they are known south of the border).
    European law needs to be strengthened to protect citizens from this sort of intrusive and potentially abusive behaviour because the chances of Westminster ever doing so are zero.
    Westminster represents a structure which has barely moved on since 1066 where power is retained by a minority who are only “constrained” by false promises made to the electorate every 4 years or so. In between these inconvenient activities,they can pretty well do what they like and do.
    Thanks Derek.

    • Bugger (the Panda)

      The Herald is owned by Newsquest in the UK which, in turn, is owned by the Gannet Group in the USA.
      Gannet is headquartered in Tyson’s Corner in Virginia. Gannet next door neighbour is the CIA in Langley just a few hundred yards away.
      Just saying.

      • You’re not some kind of conspiracy theorist are you BtP? 🙂

        • Not really but can you explain why our 2 “quality” dailies seem oblivious to the effect on sales that their rabid anti Scottish independencestance, which alienates a large percentage of their home market.
          Either they are suicidal or sales revenues don’t matter to them.
          This is not the BBC where a sales tax makes them oblivious to market forces.
          As the NSA and GCHQ seem to be as one and have pretty much limitless and unaccountable money to pursue whatever illegal and semi legal activities they deem necessary to support their paymasters, why not drop a few coins into a parent US company to influence one small newspaper’s editorial stance. Seems like a perfect psyops hypothesis to me?
          Incidentally, Ganet’s big US newspaper is USA Today in the only pan US press and of the most apolitical reduced banal and easily read style imaginable. No threat to the established order there.

          The fact that the two onrganisations are next door is just a coincidence,or is it?

          In N Ireland the UK Press were targeted by the IRA but seemed oblivious to the cost of their production costs and losses?

  12. Two points. Firstly the families who grabbed the land in England post 1066 are the same families who own it today. Secondly, did anyone watch the first part of the programme about the Lord Lucan murder mystery? The highly convincing portrait of the aristocracy and establishment figures was deeply disturbing and I don’t think anything has changed. These people look upon the ordinary voter and tax payer with utter contempt and view power as their right.

  13. Tom Paxton sang a song at a concert. If you are my age you will probably know that Spiro Agnew was a particularly useless Vice President of the USA. The song was called the Ballad of Spiro Agnew and it went
    This is the ballad of Spiro Agnew and all the things he has done

    It ended after a few moments silence.
    This is the Better together ballad of the benefits of the union

    (I will leave plenty of space)

  14. Makes you proud to be British, does it not?

  15. So do you think the Scottish government will be any different from the British one? Genuine question by the way. Alex Salmond to me seems as corrupt & dishonest as the rest of them?

    • Bugger (the Panda)

      Your post has nothing to do with this thread.
      It is just a Trolling toe dip and no one is really interested in your pretty feeble attempts at disruption so, kindly contribute or keep out.

  16. I thought they would trot off to Libya and come back with “evidence” backing up the fairy-story that Megrahi levitated an invisible suitcase on to a plane on Malta that morning. But then, there’s so much evidence in that case, I thought if they did that it was likely what they came up with would be seen to be faked. They haven’t done it – maybe they realise it’s just not possible to slot fabricated evidence into the case at this stage. They desperately want something to validate their tale about Megrahi and Malta, but they can’t come up with anything.

    The best they can do – oh we’ve got a couple of Libyan prosecutors to join our team. That was the big announcement they had for the anniversary. And Mueller really thinks they’ll be able to charge someone. Some day. Well, talk is cheap. They’ll never find the person who put the unaccompanied suitcase on to KM180 that morning, because nobody did any such thing. The plane took off with only the legitimate passenger luggage in its hold, and Megrahi was only at the airport to catch his flight home.

    The bomb was introduced at Heathrow, not Malta. In the afternoon, not the morning. When Megrahi was minding his own business in Tripoli. The evidence the investigators had all along but didn’t LOOK at, proves it. There has probably never in all creation been an investigation that has been so comprehensively fouled up by the people who were charged with solving the crime.

    And the Crown Office know this, and they’re trying to put off the evil day when they have to confront it. De Nile is not just a river in Egypt.

  17. Never confuse a people or point of geography with a state machine. Two different animals entirely. 🙂

  18. Just like to thank Grahamski for his pointing me in a new direction:
    “Britain is a cancer, it is evil, it is hated the world over” you have convinced me! Thank you

  19. Grahamski you have certainly convinced me so it is a YES for me Thanks for helping me make up my mind.

  20. The more I learn of the British establishment, and how it works, as demonstrated by the so called independence debate, the more I have come to detest it. Independence is imperative.

  21. “Fill your boots, my separatist friends, the more your views are spread the more normal folk will recoil in horror at your bile.”

    I was on holiday in Devon (yes DEVON in England) and I didn’t spit on anyone and no one felt the need to spit at me, your desperate attempts at turning a genuine disgust with Westminster (which btw a sentiment the Devonian gentleman who rented my cottage to me agreed with) into something which does not exist is quite sad really, do you think if you keep saying it, it will suddenly become true? you could repeat Scots Hate England an infinite amount of times and it would be no more true that the first time you said it, so change the record, your little faux diatribe is getting rather tiresome

  22. Grahamski here’s something for you to watch you parochial little twerp, maybe you’ll learn something about tory/liberal coalitions “Happy Lands” bbc iplayer aired on 15/12/13 @ 21.00

  23. For all scotsmen with a passion for their country and care what happens to their country (As Westminster doesn’t give a toss about us) then the YES vote has to be in your Hearts and Heads.
    The bile thats being branded about is from plastic scotsmen or wannabees who don’t know anything
    I’m sorry JDMAN but we don’t hate the english or England but we do HATE Westmister and the handouts that we get as though we are second class citizens.
    As I have said before “All true scots stand up and be counted and les get rid of our enslavers once and for all”

    • You’ve only really borne out what my post says, there IS no hatred of England and no matter how many times the bitter brigade insist there is it does not make it any more true, the despicable attempts to stir up animosity are quite disgraceful and show just how empty the no argument is,
      Im getting the feeling you took the opposite inference from my post by saying “Im sorry jdman but we dont hate the English”

  24. Michael. Yes I do believe Salmond is a much cleaner politician, due to the lack of evidence to the contrary. However being an honest and open minded person if you have any credible evidence I will be the first to ask questions. At one time I was pretty much a normal “British” socialist scot. Then I had my eyes opened, which opened my mind then the truth became evident, due to the arrogance of the establishment.

  25. Blighty the mighty, what a laugh. Henry 8 bankrupted the place over his taste in the most expensive luxury’s money could buy, how to sort that one eh?

    Ever heard of privateers? they had a royal charter to plunder foreign shipping, as long as they handed half of the loot to the crown. Once the crown got rich enough to establish a sizeable navy of it’s own to seize control of places like Jamaica and further the planters cause using slavery, they then outlawed the privateers who they had previously relied on, called them pirates and hung them. Respectability bought.

    They then almost bankrupted Blighty again over their insatiable demand for – of all things – tea!

    How to sort that one eh, flood China with opium against the Emperors will.
    When he fought back, the opium wars began.
    Opium barons built some of the finest houses in blighty, respected gentry no less.
    The riches gained helped further the empire until it no longer had need for the opium barons greed. So history repeated itself and the trade was outlawed, barons became outlaws, evil drug dealers. Respectability bought!

    The sad reality is that these islands have never been able to match production of wealth to production of evil greedy scum. There’s not enough wealth in the world for them.

    Nowadays it’s more slight of hand than blunt trauma but it’s corruption all the same. Huge profit made from the overseas territory’s (tax havens) funnelled through the square mile.
    And they tell us they want to crack down on tax evasion, are they going to start whacking each other on the head soon then?

    Robber Baron State, always was, always will be. Unless we wake up and smell the s**t in enough numbers. Vote YES next year!

    Time is running out for blighty again, I wonder how they will (fix) it this time eh!

    http://www.nationaldebtclock.co.uk/

  26. Hey Grahamski, keep bending over and taking it for the Norman elite.
    They’re proud of you, champ. 😉

  27. Yeah, I think and believe that MI5 and MI6 will be working on behalf of the NO campaign. What are your thoughts Derek.

  28. Anne the “security services in many guises” have as their prime objective “protection of the state (UK)”(anything goes & I do mean anything). We are a threat to the Westminster state and therefore a serious and legitimate target.

    This country is only governed by parliament provided the privy council on advice to the head of state ( UK) allows it to do so. If the government, the lords, the privy council & the head of state are all determined to keep Scotland’s oil then your chances of beating this crew is remote. They have most of the cards, if not all.

    The only way out is if the majority of Scots vote for independence and they allow it. However the state keeps the people in the dark feeds them lies and frightens the crap out of them, unless people waken up and realise the truth then we are beat. Remember what I said earlier secret intelligence services in many guises!!! (Press, tv, ect. And many more.

    This is very serious stuff, if the unionists are worried towards the referendum day, then expect some very unbelievable and nasty stuff to come into play. (Anything goes remember we threaten their state)

  29. Roibert a Briuis

    No recent posts from Derek 🙁 Have the bitter together lot kidnapped DB?

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