Letter from Britain: Increasingly Illiberal Establishment and the Challenge of Jeremy Corbyn

Britain prides itself on being a liberal state, tolerant of diverse points of view with a judicial system based on law and evidence, but its recent behavior has been anything but that, reports Alexander Mercouris.

By Alexander Mercouris

In London

Special to Consortium News

Britain is often considered an exemplar liberal state, prizing its tradition of tolerance, fairness and willingness to entertain dissent.

The British in their own self conception are the great pioneers of the rule of law and of human rights.

Nor has this view of Britain always been wrong. The British were genuinely horrified by the McCarthyite campaigns in the US in the 1950s, and British public opinion supported the civil rights movement in the US in the 1960s. The Britain I first saw in the 1960s was a genuinely tolerant, law abiding and liberal place.

The events of the last couple of weeks should however dispose of any notion that Britain really is the paradigm liberal state that it claims to be.

Political news in Britain over the last few weeks has been dominated by three concurrent scandals.

The Silence of the Skripals

The first—and the one which has attracted the most international attention—is the Skripal case, in which a father and daughter – Sergey and Yulia Skripal – became the subject of a massive international campaign after they were both found incapacitated on a public bench in the British provincial town of Salisbury, victims it is claimed of a deadly nerve agent attack.

The fact that Sergey and Yulia Skripal are Russians, that Sergey Skripal is a former Russian spy who defected to the British, and that the nerve agent used—supposedly A-234, one of the so-called ‘Novichok’ family of nerve agents developed in the Soviet Union in the later stages of the Cold War—immediately led to charges by the British government that the Russian authorities were responsible.

This is despite the fact that at the time when the first accusations against Russia were made the investigation of the attack on the Skripals by the British police had only just got underway, and as of the time of writing has still failed to produce a suspect.

The Russian authorities had previously pardoned Sergey Skripal and had themselves released him to the British—making any Russian motive for an attack on him difficult to understand. Meanwhile, anyone such as Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of biggest opposition party in Parliament, who dared question the rush to judgment found themselves immediately labelled a “useful idiot” or Kremlin stooge.

The disclosure that British scientists are unable to confirm that the nerve agent used to poison the Skripals was made in Russia—as opposed to being merely “developed” there—and that other countries such as Czechoslovakia, for example, also manufactured Novichok agents, has had no significant impact on the British government’s or the British media’s reporting of the case.

Johnson: Caught in a lie. (Photo: EPA-EFE/Maxim Shipenkov)

The suppression of all public questioning of the theory (as of the time of writing it is still only a theory) of Russian guilt has now been followed up by the effective disappearance of the two victims of the attack: Sergey and Yulia Skripal.

Not only have the British flatly refused the Russians consular access to them—violating both British and international law in the process—but after announcing news of their unexpected recovery, British authorities have ensured that no-one, even members of their family, has had access to them either.

There is no word of their condition or whereabouts, and, more troubling still, no discussion in the British media of what has become of them or that they have to all intents and purposes disappeared.

Sidestepping Parliament on Syria

If the handling of the Skripal case is troubling enough, the British government’s decision to involve Britain in Washington’s recent military strike against Syria is arguably more troubling still.

The pretext of the strike is an alleged chemical weapons attack which the Syrian authorities are alleged to have carried out against the rebel-held town of Duma, which is located in the East Ghouta area near Damascus.

The site of the alleged attack has since been secured by the Syrian and Russian militaries. Syria and Russia have both invited inspectors from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to inspect the site to establish whether or not a chemical weapons attack actually took place.

Yet notwithstanding that the OPCW was about to launch an investigation, which would have involved a site visit, and despite overwhelming opposition from the British public, only 20 percent of whom favoured a strike, the strike nonetheless took place with full British participation and without the British parliament being consulted in advance.

Moreover the British government made little secret that its decision to break convention and disregard Parliament was because it knew in advance that it would lose a vote if the decision to participate in the strike was ever put to one. 

Here something must be said about that strange British creature, the “constitutional convention.”

Though such conventions do not in theory have the force of law in Britain, since Britain’s constitution (unlike the U.S. constitution) is largely unwritten, they are almost invariably treated as if they did.

Any British government that on a question of war or peace deliberately violates the convention that Parliament should be consulted in advance before any decision is taken would, if the British political system were working properly, be in serious trouble (especially if it knew it would have lost the vote.)

Not so in this case. British reporting of the Syria strike was strictly circumscribed, so much so, that publicly questioning the claim that a chemical weapons attack took place or arguing that nothing should be done before the OPCW completes its investigation, or that Parliament should have been consulted before a military action, rendered one, like in the Skripal case, a “useful idiot,” “conspiracy theorist” or Kremlin stooge.

The Windrush Scandal

The third scandal—actually two scandals which have evolved together—is however the most revealing and interesting of the lot.

Over the last few weeks both the Conservative and the Labour parties have been targets of accusations of racism.

In the case of the Tories the allegations stem from what is called the Windrush affair.

As is true in most Western countries today, Britain has witnessed over the last decade a strong swing in public hostility against immigration. Much of the opposition to the European Union in Britain is driven by the British public’s belief that it is the EU that has made the increase in immigration to Britain—which has undoubtedly taken place over the previous two decades—possible.

Rudd: Forced to resign. But May survived.

The Conservative Party, since it came to power in 2010, has sought to respond to this sentiment—much of which has clearly racist undertones—by taking a strong anti-immigration position. The point figure is British Prime Minister Theresa May, who as home secretary (the minister responsible for control of borders and the police) introduced and implemented what is semi-officially called a “hostile environment policy” towards immigrants who have not managed to sort out their status.

The idea is to put as many administrative and other obstacles in the path of these people as possible to make their lives in Britain intolerable in order to force them to leave without having to take what might be legally challengeable action to deport them.

That this is a profoundly illiberal and even racist policy discriminating against people of non-British ethnicity should be obvious. It has however proved to be popular with a large section of the British electorate.

The electoral success this policy is believed to have brought the Conservatives was one factor in establishing May’s reputation in Tory eyes as a successful home secretary, and was one of the reasons why she succeeded David Cameron as prime minister after the Brexit vote in 2016 forced him to step down.

The policy of the “hostile environment policy” has, however, had the consequence of making victims out of some members of the so-called “Windrush generation” of immigrants, whose legal right to be in Britain is indisputable.

These are people from the former British empire and Commonwealth who were formally given the right to settle in Britain by the British National Act of 1948, and who take their name from a ship—the HMT Empire Windrush—which brought the first group of such immigrants to Britain in 1948 from the British colonies in the Caribbean.

In April 2018 it turned out that many of the records relating to these people had been “accidentally destroyed,” making it difficult for them or their children to prove their legal right to be in Britain.

The result was that they got caught up in May’s “hostile environment policy” with pressure placed on them to leave Britain (“self-deport,” as it is called) with threats that they might be deported if they did not.

When the scandal broke—in large part because the opposition Labour Party made an issue of it after it was leaked from a Home Office source to the media—a public apology was forced from the British government, and Amber Rudd—May’s successor as home secretary – was forced to resign. However, the prime minister, the actual author of the “hostile environment policy” which was the cause of the scandal, has emerged unscathed.

The ‘Anti-Semitism’ Exaggeration

This scandal has developed concurrently with a parallel one of alleged anti-semitism in the Labour Party, which is quite clearly targeted at the party’s leader, Jeremy Corbyn.

It is based on claims that Corbyn—who has a well-established record of outspoken support for the Palestinian people’s struggle for their rights—has tolerated or even fostered a culture of anti-semitism within the Labour Party. There are even occasional insinuations that he is an anti-semite himself.

It should be said clearly that the insinuation that Corbyn is an anti-semite is malicious and absurd. Corbyn has an outstanding record of anti-racism, and this has included a history of strong opposition to anti-semitism.

As for the allegations of anti-semitism by some members of the Labour Party, some of these allegations have substance but some appear to be legitimately contested, whilst all of the individuals involved have been marginal figures who carry little weight in the Labour Party. Their number has been tiny. Corbyn himself has moreover strongly condemned manifestations of anti-semitism within the party, and those who have been accused of engaging in it have been subjected to disciplinary action, and where the allegation has been proved, have been expelled.

Corbyn: Terror for the Establishment.

Nonetheless the anti-semitism campaign against Corbyn has been waged relentlessly for weeks, gaining huge publicity in the media, with Corbyn himself being the primary target of the attacks.

The anti-semitism campaign against Corbyn has moreover been waged far more relentlessly, for much longer, and with far more publicity, than has been the Windrush affair.

This is despite the fact that the Windrush scandal has materially affected large numbers of innocent people, whilst the anti-semitic statements of a very small number of marginal figures in the Labour Party have so far as I can see materially affected no-one at all.

Though anti-semitism should be shown no tolerance, it is impossible to avoid noticing the contrast between the relentless and unjustified criticism of Corbyn over the anti-semitism issue, and the gentle treatment of May over the Windrush affair.

The Change in Britain

The reality is that today’s Britain has become a profoundly illiberal place.

Very much like the contemporary U.S., the media and political establishment in Britain is today relentlessly hostile to anyone who challenges the established orthodoxies of (1) unqualified support for finance capital (concentrated in Britain in the City of London); (2) support for “liberal interventionism” i.e., the U.S.’s regime change wars; and (3) pathological hostility to Russia.

Even an issue like Brexit is often framed around these orthodoxies, with establishment opponents of Brexit blaming Russia—absurdly—for the result of the Brexit referendum, and opposing Brexit because it supposedly serves the interests of Russia.

Someone like Corbyn, who disputes these orthodoxies with his long established criticisms of the City of London, his refusal to join the rush to judgment against Russia in the Skripal case, his staunch opposition to all the regime change wars, and to the recent Syrian strike, is guaranteed the intense loathing of the British establishment, which manifests itself against him literally every day in defense of its threatened interests.

This disturbing picture does however come with a glimmer of hope.

Thursday’s local elections in Britain once again emphasised an essential truth, which is that the British establishment’s hostility to Corbyn and what he stands for is clearly not universally shared by the British public.

Both the Conservative and Labour Parties significantly increased their votes as compared to 2014, the year when these elections were previously held. In the case of Labour that remains a remarkable fact given the almost universal media hostility to Corbyn.

The reality is that since 2015, when Corbyn was elected Labour’s leader against the strong opposition of the leadership of his own party, Labour has electorally consistently outperformed expectations, most spectacularly in the general election last year. The breakdown of the local council vote suggests that if a general election were held this year Labour would beat the Conservatives and would emerge as Britain’s largest party.

Needless to say this is not how the British media is reporting the local council election results. On the contrary, all the talk is of how the local election results were supposedly “disappointing” for Corbyn because he did not achieve the impossibly high targets the media had set for him.

In light of the establishment’s hostility to him, and how his successes routinely get called failures, that should surprise no-one.

In reality the local election results reinforce the view that electorally speaking the British establishment is living on borrowed time.

Hannibal – otherwise known as Jeremy Corbyn – may not yet be at the gates, but he is drawing closer.

Alexander Mercouris is a political commentator and the editor-in-chief of The Duran.

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63 comments for “Letter from Britain: Increasingly Illiberal Establishment and the Challenge of Jeremy Corbyn

  1. May 11, 2018 at 10:45 am

    “The Britain I first saw in the 1960s was a genuinely tolerant, law abiding and liberal place.”

    This is simply wrong and, other than nostalgia, I cannot imagine why you would think so. I suggest you review the 1960s from the point of view of children (violence against children was normal), women (husbands could rape with impunity, police batted off serious violence against women as “domestic”), people on the receiving end of racism (“No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs”), homosexuals (it was illegal), etc.

  2. RenoDino
    May 8, 2018 at 12:32 pm

    You are too kind. England has become a monstrous place, all the more so given the height from which it has fallen.

  3. May 8, 2018 at 8:09 am

    Here’s an incredible article on a similar subject; I also can’t trust the foul manner by which Western administration (exemplified by the those of the US/UK) treat potential partners and saw enemies alike. What’s particularly disturbing nowadays is the press eagerly helping sewing the hot breeze parting from Langley and Whitehall, and at the same time cheerfully oblivious of the radioactive hurricane holding up in the wings.

  4. Professor
    May 7, 2018 at 6:09 pm

    With respect to Foreign Policy Britain is hardly a beacon of Liberalism. The trend this author is describing had it’s roots in the ground long before Tony Blair got on board with GW Bush and the Neocons. The Brits pretty much have to go along with whatever the USA says for many reasons . Rule of Law? That’s not one of them. May’s head is on the chopping block but she still has to stay true to her base. Immigration is a big issue for the Tories. Whoever wins the next election will have a hard time putting together a government and nobody knows what Brexit is actually going to produce.The British People don’t love Labor anymore and the Scots love it even less. Corbyn is having to shore up support from a new constituency and the success of the Liberal Democrats in the last elections does give pause to Corbyn’s expected coronation. I liked the article but the British Government has a long history, centuries of duplicity and deceit and their Intelligence Service is still an important player in the World. i like Corbyn better than May too. Like Obrador in Mexico I don’t know how popular he has to become to lead his nation, maybe it’s not possible because the USA might say NYET

    • kntlt
      May 9, 2018 at 12:48 am

      England is nothing if it isn’t the source of double standards. Here is one. When raping and pillaging India, the English living in and exploiting India called themselves members of the commonwealth and when the Indians came to England after their country was picked clean, the English called it immigration.

    • May 15, 2018 at 5:04 am

      I disagree with your belief that ‘nobody knows what Brexit is going to produce.’ There has been no development in the negotiation since March. Time is running out and our masters seem not to care.

      So, without really going out on a limb or taking a chance, I can say without fear of contradiction that the country is going on the rocks, the Tories will destroy it and it is going to be left to others to try and climb back into the comity of nations.

  5. Kieron
    May 7, 2018 at 1:57 pm

    The challenges to the present government in the UK are that the opposition leader and labour MP’s close to him, are showing Teresa May, Boris Johnson and some of their hawkish followers to be the untrustworthy war mongers they are. Whether it be the apparent falsifying of evidence on the poisoning of an ex Russian intelligence office and his daughter, the lap dog response to the unproven use of chemical weapons on civilians, resulting in the firing of one hundred plus misiles at a suspected chemical weapons production/storage facility (bright move that) the sale of arms used by the Saudi government used to slaughter innocent women and children in Yemen to the total manipulation of the main stream media in the country of ‘freedom of press’. Corbyn may not be perfect, but he’s a leader that won’t take the men,women and children of this country to an unjust war.

  6. Marshalldoc
    May 7, 2018 at 1:00 pm

    So glad to see Alex Mercouris on this site… so much more appropriate to his thoughtful analyses than the Duran (which also has lost, for whatever reason, Adam Garrie, who was almost as good)!

    • Catherine Welsh
      May 8, 2018 at 2:19 am

      Adam Garrie has his own news site now and is also on VK

      • Marshalldoc
        May 8, 2018 at 5:28 pm

        Could you provide a link to his site (I get nothing on DDG) & I don’t recognize “VK”…

        Thanks.

  7. Arnaud Malan
    May 7, 2018 at 10:43 am

    The 7 years Julian Assange has spent in the confines of the Ecuadorian embassy speak of the suppression British Establish ment holds ready for any dissent

  8. Vivian O'Blivion
    May 7, 2018 at 7:30 am

    Thanks Alexander.
    A nicely balanced, informative article.

    It may also interest the (presumably main) American audience of the nature of the Brexit negotiations as they are developing. For reasons those out with the Conservative cabinet can only speculate on, the only options being pursued with the EU are at the most extreme end of the spectrum.
    The Brexit vote was 52% Leave, 48% Stay. The hard Brexit, no customs union option is akin to asking an audience of 100 people whether the room temperature was too hot or too cold. On hearing that 52 people consider the room to be too cold, rather than adjusting the thermostat up by a couple of degrees, the janitor turns the room into a furnace.
    The most recent party membership numbers are newly available. Labour 552 K, Conservative 124 K, SNP 118 K, Lib Dem 101 K.
    With a dwindling and ageing membership, the Conservatives have fallen under the control of a fringe, hard right clique. Whether by lack of choice or lack of due diligence, a significant number of their elected officers turn out to be racist, homophobic nut cases. Fortunately, citizen journalists are unfailing in uncovering the dirt (something the msm is oddly incapable of).

    I can only concur, that the situation developing in the established media is of great concern.
    The Guardian is in the hands of the Blairite faction of the Parliamentary Labour Party and have been furiously peddling the false anti semitic propaganda for weeks.
    The BBC is a lost cause. It was targeted by your State Department for infiltration in the 1980’s via the British American Project, program. It is now a reliable mouthpiece for the executive state as opposed to a service for its citizens. All the examples you cite merely the most recent incarnations.
    The only hope lies in the development of a new citizen led mass media. Here in Scotland, we received early warning in 2014 of the duplicitous nature of our self declared “impartial ” mass media. Progress in developing those, glossy, professional outlets is frustrating slow but I am sure we will get there. At some point the plurality of passionate, informed, intelligent bloggers and site owners will work out a way of pooling their resources without loosing their uniqueness.

    • Professor
      May 8, 2018 at 1:54 pm

      Vivian de O’Blivion , well stated but don’t leave out Reuters they are dogged anti Corbyn as well. I mean who isn’t? , Who owns them. Guardian is clearly anti-Corbyn whether Blairite or just plain Capitalist , hard to say? Who could seriously call themselves a Blairite anyway What a mean spirited, sneering bore he has become. Those 500.000 new Labor Party members are like Sanders Democrats. Young probably , in for the long hall? , doubt it. Unfortunately, the Blairites and the old, creaky kneed, toady Tories won’t die off soon enough to give Corbyn and the SNP unfettered access to power. More likely, like in every other “Democratic” nation there will continue to be an unhealthy dance for two between the top Parties and representation of “The People” will not be realized. In such an environment the USA, Fascists, Neocons, MIC, Intelligence-Financial Class , Whatever you want to call it, (Except Zionist Capital) will continue dominate Europe and NATO and Britain will go along with Business as usual. My opinion.

  9. T.J
    May 7, 2018 at 6:39 am

    I would not be wholly enamoured by the English legal system or any part of the English establishment. Take Judge Lord Denning, Master of Rolls and the second most senior judge in England, pronouncements on the plight of the Birmingham Six and the Guildford Four. He may well have been in denial, or at the very least naive, when he upheld an appeal by the British West Midlands Police against a charge by the Birmingham Six for injuries they received in custody in 1979. He commented that accepting that police officers were lying was such an “appalling vista” that every sensible person in the land would say ‘that it cannot be right that those actions should go any further’. At another time he commented that “We shouldn’t have all these campaigns to get the Birmingham Six released, if they’d been hanged, they’d have been forgotten and the whole community would have been satisfied “. The Birmingham Six served sixteen years in prison even though the establishment knew at an early stage that they were innocent.
    The Guildford Four were released in 1989 following a miscarriage of justice. Despite this, Denning said that they were “probability guilty”. Tony Blair said of Denning “ that his judgements were a model of lucidity. He was prepared to use the law for its true purpose, in the interests of fairness and justice”. Tony Blair was hardly an arbitrator of what constituted fairness and justice. Perhaps he should have added that he was also an ardent protector of the establishment.

    • Mathew Neville
      May 7, 2018 at 8:20 pm

      The name “Judge Lord Denning, Master of Rolls and the second most senior judge in England ” rings a bell,
      Was he the Judge who “did” the Dr. Stephen Ward & Profumo trials way back ?

      Dr. Ward was ‘set up’. There was no real evidence against him, but he wasn’t so much tried for the criminal offences with which he was charged, he was tried because, in the view of the Establishment and some of the judiciary, he led an amoral lifestyle which they didn’t approve of.

      Amazing how the Establishment “types” seem to live in a completely separate world with “outdated” standards but are still respected & how the English Establishment is/was a National Disgrace.

  10. May 7, 2018 at 6:02 am

    Very good article. If I have a criticism, it is that he skips over the fact that some of the recent expulsions from the Labour party have been on dubious grounds.

  11. john wilson
    May 7, 2018 at 5:04 am

    You all may as well just give up because the MSM, governments and every other place source of information is now controlled by some unseen hand. The last dregs of alternative information like consortium news are already in the death throes and we are all completely SCREWED! We should just embrace it, like a man standing on the scaffold awaiting his end which will at least bring him release from his torment.

  12. exiled off mainstreet
    May 7, 2018 at 1:35 am

    In the final results the Tories, despite the existence of the media as a Goebbels-like propaganda ministry, actually lost seats despite the collapse of the UKIP party, whose voters returned to their former Tory homes. The anti-semitism thing is obviously phony. Any “anti-semitism” on the left is based upon the predilection of professional semites to support Israeli warmongering even to the point of threats of nuclear war, which might have been the logical end result of the false flag based on the Skripals, whom, as is indicated, were, in the end apparently abducted by British or international spy authorities and whose whereabouts are now secret, if the story was still believable. By the way, it is interesting that those shouting loudest about “anti-semitism” are the ones who favour British-backed wars aimed at semitic peoples, i. e, the Syrians.

  13. backwardsevolution
    May 6, 2018 at 11:52 pm

    We’ll soon find out what Trump and the rest of the idiots in the West do to Iran. Here is Iran’s Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif, in a five-minute video re Iran’s nuclear program and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) that the West and Iran agreed to in 2015. He states his case:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYOnXL6R-B8&feature=youtu.be

    Talk about being stabbed in the back.

  14. backwardsevolution
    May 6, 2018 at 11:38 pm

    Iran is now liable for 9/11 compensation to families? What? They continue to churn out lies:

    “A US federal judge in New York ordered Iran to pay billions of dollars in damages to families affected by 9/11, ABC news reported on Tuesday.

    Judge George B Daniels found the country liable to more than 1,000 ‘parents, spouses, siblings and children’ involved in the lawsuit. Daniels said the payment amounts to $12.5m per spouse, $8.5m per parent, $8.5m per child and $4.25m for each sibling, according to the ABC report.

    The lawsuit claims that Iran provided technical assistance, training and planning to the al-Qaeda operatives that conducted the attacks.

    However, the official investigation on the attacks, known as the 9/11 Commission Report, said that Iran did not play a direct role.”

    http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/us-judge-orders-iran-pay-billions-families-911-victims-1229904973

    • Realist
      May 7, 2018 at 1:31 am

      Yeah, you’d think the American propaganda machine couldn’t possibly top the amazing false narratives they’ve been constructing to create this imaginary world for the public to believe, yet here is one more whopper they’re dispensing to us, along with a monstrous punishment to Iran. Next, they’ll start telling us that Russia urged Iran to attack us on 9-11-01, and the clueless public just might believe them. Absolutely any lie and any military aggression is justified in the minds of the tyrants who have seized power and destroyed our government and way of life, as long as it accrues more power and treasure to them. They want Iran’s oil and strategic location at the crossroads of Eurasia and all of Russia’s many natural resources and will end the lives of millions in order to get these things. They want to be able to threaten China from both its eastern shores and the arid mountains of central Asia. (In the future, they’ll be looking for a foothold to threaten China from Vietnam, Thailand and the other countries of South Asia. They will just keep coming like the Terminator.)

      I recall distinctly that Iran was one of the very first countries to extend sympathy and offer help to the USA in the aftermath of 9-11. Both Iran and Russia offered immediate access through their territory for the US military to invade Afghanistan and attack the Taliban in addition to Al Qaeda, whether such action was justified or not, as the Taliban had offered to extradite Bin Laden upon receipt of evidence. Washington spit in their face. The world has rarely seen such ingratitude as displayed by the Washington warmongers, determined to destroy both their enemies and their friends, if it suits their wants. So, words of advice to NATO, the EU and even the Five Eyes Anglosphere, watch your back against the crazies in DC who profess to be your allies. They will turn on a dime and stab you in the back should it benefit them. The monsters who control our government certainly do not represent me, or any civilised person.

  15. May 6, 2018 at 9:24 pm

    One thing I sincerely hope Corbyn will do when he achieves power is to demand a political debate on the licensing terms of the UK media. They are clearly no longer providing a record of events as they were for centuries but have morphed into a new power centre in the country representing hard right opinion in preference to facts and that in a country that has actually moved to the left.

    The Hacked Off campaign has been side-lined by some journalists and the British people have been invited to deny redress to libel victims on the basis that if government or quasi-government people get to regulate the news media they will act evilly just as the news purveyors themselves have done. That’s real Ministry of Truth thinking.

  16. James R Coyle
    May 6, 2018 at 8:50 pm

    The obvious beneficiary is the Bank of Londons colony in Palestine. Therfore; one should not expect anything less from their media and political parties.
    A war in Iran is required to cover the final genocide in Palestine.
    This not difficult to see.

  17. JWalters
    May 6, 2018 at 8:44 pm

    Pushing a cover story into the public mind before any evidence is collected is a standard technique of intelligence services when they cover up their own actions. This was explained by deep insider Colonel L. Fletcher Prouty in discussing the instant dissemination of the Oswald theory in the JFK case.

    Blocking the international WMD inspectors is exactly what Bush II did immediately prior to attacking Iraq. Clearly this was to prevent their potential evidence from coming to light.

    The same tactics are used repeatedly, but the mainstream media does not report on them. Obviously there is a great deal of coordination.

    We have to ask, Who benefits? And what are their lines of control? They clearly control both the government and the press. That points to big money, i.e. big banks. For readers who haven’t seen it, the capture of British and American press and politicians is described at
    http://warprofiteerstory.blogspot.com

    • James R Coyle
      May 6, 2018 at 8:51 pm

      Thank you

    • john wilson
      May 7, 2018 at 4:36 am

      These days they don’t even need to block the weapons inspectors because the OPCW has been bought and is owned by the US and others. I expect the latest OPCW trip to Syria to come back with the result the US and British have already to them to don Namely, that there was a chemical attack etc.

  18. mike k
    May 6, 2018 at 7:28 pm

    The sad irony of it all is that the Powers That Be feel perfectly safe in ignoring the voices of those of us who know what is happening, and where it is heading. They know that (almost) no one is listening to our warnings. We are today’s Cassandras, doomed to know, but not be heard.

    Ah well, if we are speaking to the wind, so be it. It feels right to share what we have learned, whether it is received or not. Our refuge is in uncertainty……….maybe, maybe somewhere someone will read our message in a bottle, and say, Ahhhh that’s right, that is so true……

  19. May 6, 2018 at 7:28 pm

    Blessed are the peacemakers.

    • john wilson
      May 7, 2018 at 4:37 am

      What peace makers?

  20. Antipropo
    May 6, 2018 at 7:17 pm

    War criminals accuse others of war crimes. All the parties occupying Syria without the express approval of the Syrian government are committing war crimes every day they are there. Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria have effectively been rendered uninhabitable due to months of intense bombardment including the deliberate destruction of civilian infrastructure-which is itself a war crime. There are still thousands of bodies buried in the rubble, both those cities on the receiving end of “US liberation”.

    • exiled off mainstreet
      May 7, 2018 at 1:37 am

      There should be some sort of accountability for these facts, which, of course, are not mentioned by the official press propaganda power structure of the Anglo-American imperium.

  21. Delia Ruhe
    May 6, 2018 at 6:18 pm

    Clearly the West’s problem is no longer about a political lurch to the right, which has been happening since Reagan, but rather, about a lurch right off the edge and into the arms of fascism. I guess we old folks should have expected this: for the vast majority of the population authoritarianism is ancient history—a romantic time when the world was led by strong, charismatic leaders—FDR, Churchill, Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini—and Western populations were overwhelmingly white.

    Propaganda wasn’t the pack of lies it is today, but rather patriotic rallying cries that united each nation in support of its national patriarch and his wise administration. And did they rally! Men went to war while women manned the factories. Moreover, war wasn’t the bunch of messy little conflicts without purpose or ending that they are today; they were noble endeavours, fought by “the greatest generation” of genuine heroes, and they ended in “unconditional surrender” and ticker-tape parades. Why, in England, even the princesses Elizabeth and Margaret Rose were allowed to descend into the streets and celebrate with the commoners the victory that ended WWII.

    So let’s abandon that wishy-washy liberalism of ideals and laws that states only adhere to when it’s convenient. Let’s return to those happy times of yesteryear. Let’s have leaders whose authority goes without question. Let’s have wars of meaning and purpose—wars that produce genuine heroes and grateful citizens. Let’s have an establishment that we and our journalists implicitly trust.

    • James R Coyle
      May 6, 2018 at 8:46 pm

      Delia, you’re being sarcastic, I pray.

    • Mathew Neville
      May 9, 2018 at 5:26 pm

      Like WWI perhaps when we trusted the establishment & all mail was intercepted & opened “by them” ?

  22. Marilyn Goodman
    May 6, 2018 at 6:05 pm

    Brilliant article.. I have been shouting at the Msm coverage of the election results for the last couple of days.. So bloody biased. Am a great fan of the Duran keep up the good work.

    • john wilson
      May 7, 2018 at 4:39 am

      Marilyn, if you has any sense you wouldn’t be watching MSM because you know its all bias and lies.

      • PastImperfect
        May 8, 2018 at 5:33 am

        Know your enemy.

  23. ranney
    May 6, 2018 at 5:52 pm

    A wonderfully clear and informative report, helping to put the various pieces of news from Britain together to see the trend. I hope Mr Mercouris will be back soon.
    Maybe he can tell us if there is hope for Assange; or at least give us actual news about his health, and whether he’s about to be kicked out of the embassy.

    • john wilson
      May 7, 2018 at 4:43 am

      Ranney, you should watch ‘cross talk’ of RT as Mr Mercouris often appears on the programme with his insight and knowledge. There are quite a few other commentators of equal stature as well.

  24. May 6, 2018 at 5:42 pm

    Disappointed that this artice did not mention the obvious example of how Britain has become a ‘profoundly illiberal place’ – namely the treatment of Julian Assange, who we should not forget is a journalist. Britain has been a client state of the US since at least the late 1950s, but this has never been more evident than now, for it is the US that is driving much of this illiberalism in the UK

  25. rosemerry
    May 6, 2018 at 5:41 pm

    Please do not write “only a theory”!!A theory has evidence, enough to make it a likely correct explanation of not disproved.

    The accusations by PM May, FM Johnson and “Defence Minister” Williamson, besides being extremely offensive to a sovereign nation, were completely without any evidence at all, immediately were followed by punishment (expulsion of Russian diplomats) and gave no chance at all for the Russians to reply and refute the claims. The 50 questions asked by Russia have not been answered, the “victims” have been banished, unable or unwilling to speak to the Russian authorities or the public, the parks and other “contaminated areas” of Salisbury are crammed with men in “protective gear”, and the UK has moved on to other chemical weapons lies. As Belgian writer Jean Bricmont said in an interview on RT going Underground, the “West” used to be proud of its rational, fact-based explanations of events. No longer, it seems.

    • KiwiAntz
      May 6, 2018 at 6:52 pm

      They don’t need or require evidence? They rush to demonise Russia & anyone such as Cobyn, who challenge the lies & narrative, as they know full well that the Corporate Media won’t ask the tough questions to counter the lies & is complicent in the fraud? The UK & US use a warped reversal of the rule of law & justice by saying Riussia is considered “guilty until it can prove its innic” & viciously attacks anyone who strays from this narrative of groupthink BS? This is in direct violation of the recognized universal law of justice that states you must be considered innocent until proven guilty! Only Fascist Govts warp & twist laws to suit their own agendas & interests & that is what is happening here, the rise of Conservative fascism that Adolf Hitler would have been proud of?

  26. Martin - Swedish citizen
    May 6, 2018 at 5:14 pm

    Very important, informative!
    I understand that this situation has ruled for much longer in the US than in Europe. Also, there may be institutional differences between USA and Europe that can have been used to explain the situation in America, like the funding of campaigns. What are the factors that have changed in recent years to make Europe susceptible to this infection? Is all of Europe infected? Sadly, Sweden is in the same state as Britain (only we lack somebody like Corbyn). What about other parts of Europe?

    • john wilson
      May 7, 2018 at 4:51 am

      Martin, whilst Corbyn seems a decent man him self, you should remember that there are some very nasty people in his party who are essentially disciples of Tony Blair who caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people in Iraq with his lies about weapons of mass destruction. These same people have already tried twice to get rid of Corbyn. Make no mistake about it, had one of these slime balls been the leader of a labour government today, the Skripal affair and the Syrian chemical poisoning nonsense would have been the same.

      • Piotr Berman
        May 7, 2018 at 3:26 pm

        May be not EXACTLY the same, May and his crew having the heart in the right place (imperialism, mendacity) but the aptitude is lacking. Than again, perhaps they concluded that wracking brains to concoct more plausible narrative is a waste of time and brain cells, they can leave it to the press to paper over any weird aspects. Absolutamente!

      • Martin - Swedish citizen
        May 7, 2018 at 4:06 pm

        John Wilson, thanks for your comment, and I am sure you are right. Our social democratic government helped May push the decision in the EU to oust the Russian diplomats, they are totally in tune with the us.
        But what is it that makes the EU so conform with this US nonsense the last four years or so?

    • MA
      May 9, 2018 at 10:16 am

      Neocons aka Zionists are the common denominator on both sides of the pond.

  27. Lois Gagnon
    May 6, 2018 at 5:14 pm

    The Central Banker Empire is getting desperate with Eurasian economic integration coming to fruition. They will pull any stunt to delay it no matter how crude the methods. And they’re getting mighty crude.

    Our best hope is that the leaders of this band of desperadoes including the legacy press will make such utter fools of themselves that the public at large will no longer be able to swallow the swill. Once their credibility is totally shot, they will be forced to resign.

    I’d rather not contemplate the other scenario.

  28. robjira
    May 6, 2018 at 4:05 pm

    Here’s a great article on the same subject; I too can’t believe the scurrilous way in which Western leadership (exemplified by the those of the US/UK) treat potential allies and perceived adversaries alike. What’s especially alarming these days is the press willingly assisting sewing the hot wind breaking from Langley and Whitehall, and all the while blithely ignorant of the radioactive whirlwind waiting in the wings.
    https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/05/04/theresa-mays-lies-must-stop.html

    • robjira
      May 6, 2018 at 4:07 pm

      *sowing

  29. Jeff
    May 6, 2018 at 2:39 pm

    I hate to say this but I don’t think that your glimmer of hope is worth much. The “powers that be” in the US have succeeded in pushing their agenda for many decades now in the face of American public opinion otherwise. And, the US and Britain have both taken the same course. In the Skripal case, Britain continues to claim that Russia is the guilty party. They don’t got no stinkin’ proof and their original theory has been shown to be ridiculous and they’ve taken to the same chicanery they used in the Polonium case – classify everything to prevent any independent review and assessment of the evidence. But Russia is still responsible. The Americans are no better if not worse. The 2016 election meddling case is almost laughable. Our intelligence agencies “have determined” that Russia hacked the DNC servers. Again, they don’t got no stinkin’ proof but we don’t need no stinkin’ proof, do we? We can’t even prove that it was a hack much less who did it. Only Julian Assange knows. And the Robert Mueller “investigation” is even more ridiculous. He’s been at it for over a year now. And he’s issued indictments against a few Republican political operatives for their business relations with Ukraine (which is definitely NOT Russia) and he’s indicted 13 Russian trolls a-tweeting and 3 Russian companies for sending out tweets and facebook posts. Jesus H. Christ. Is that the best you got? If that’s all he’s got in a year, clearly you don’t want this guy persecuting a local murder or burglary. But it gets better. They figured that the Russian companies &etc would just ignore the summons since the US can’t enforce it in Russia but, two of the Russian companies didn’t and they demanded various bits of documentation from the special persecutor which prompted a two month delay. But just now, the special persecutor requested an additional delay because it was unclear that one of the companies had been given a summons to the court even though that company knew about the court date. It’s beginning to look like the government is just making shit up. The backdrop to this little Noh play is Cambridge Analytica. Now, no one has shown a connection between these Russian companies and individuals and the Russian government BUT…there are many contacts and contracts between the British firm of Cambridge Analytica and the British government. Cambridge Analytica hoovered up billions and billions of electrons of data from millions and millions fools on facebook, analyzed said electrons, AND provided said analysis to the Trump campaign. Now, that’s what I call meddling. For God’s sakes, don’t let a bunch of Russian amateurs in St Petersberg horn in on the party. Why hasn’t Mueller indicted Cambridge Analytica (before they, ah, buttoned up shop and destroyed all the evidence)? Why hasn’t the Congress in it’s righteous fury slapped sanctions on Britain for meddling in our election?

    I’d love to see Jeremy Corbin become the PM but do you seriously think that would make a difference? I know it would have in the past but I’m not so sure about now.

    • Realist
      May 6, 2018 at 6:00 pm

      Good perceptions, Jeff. Who needs any stinkin’ facts when you can just make crap up? And, when you’re caught in the lie you can just threaten the truth-tellers with reprisals of dubious legality, or simply come down on them like a ton of bricks, because you are the establishment, you are the power, there is no one to stop you and the media are complicit in your tyranny. It’s the same song and dance in the US, the UK and the entire EU, with shadowy figures in Washington calling the shots (it’s sure not the elected governments which are co-opted, prosecuted or protected as necessary to achieve the desired results).

      People get basically all their information about the world from the electronic media these days, and besides, most of the books and university courses have been revised to accommodate what the author of the article calls the “orthodoxy,” now generated in privately funded think tanks at the behest of the insider elites. The giant corporations which have come to own both the media and the government in all said countries have simply imposed an elaborate false narrative upon the entire population using that media and those bought politicians. With virtually everyone wired in to “social media,” or at least use of the internet, email, cell phones and text messaging and the universal espionage these services facilitate, the string pullers can fine tune their propaganda in near real time. Simply by eavesdropping on literally everything people communicate to one another over their electronic devices, they immediately know whether their BS is working and how to adjust it for desired results. In a mere twenty years they’ve taken us from the promise of world peace and cooperation amongst all peoples to the threshold of nuclear annihilation… and ALL BY DESIGN!

    • mike k
      May 6, 2018 at 7:04 pm

      I agree Jeff. The arrogance of power is now unlimited. They don’t feel bound to offer proof, or even rationality. “Because we say so!” is all they put out. Like it or lump it, we are in charge, and whatever we say goes! Great world to live in, eh?

    • john wilson
      May 7, 2018 at 4:56 am

      NO NO NO!! Jeff. In the past we had Tony Blair as Labour prime minister and look how that turned out. A million dead in Iraq and more millions injured and their country destroyed. The past, the present, the future, all governments are the same. Slime balls, criminals, murderers and thieves.

    • Piotr Berman
      May 7, 2018 at 4:04 pm

      “I’d love to see Jeremy Corbin become the PM but do you seriously think that would make a difference? I know it would have in the past but I’m not so sure about now.”

      IMHO, it would make a profound difference, even if immediate material results are bound to be disappointing. There is a widely follow school of thought that progressive policies are (mostly) desirable, but formulating them is futile if the party that could enact them cannot be elected. Bernie Sanders was immediately derided as unelectable, so electing him would put that argument to rest. And of course the same is the case with Corbyn.

      Russiagate seems to be a huge smokescreen to forget the fact that it was Clinton that was unelectable, or barely, barely electable, and the party establishment managed to not notice it, as it contradicted their notion of electability, often called triangulation. For all his fault, Sanders or Corbyn do not seem to triangulate (visibly triangulating is actually lethal).

      Corbyn was probably hated by triangulation fanatics back when he was a young MP getting photographed together with “Irish scum” and other folks that reasonable people avoid, but one point that motivated that hatred is his unwillingness to support British nuclear fleet, the Tridents. An Englishman who gives up on “Rule Britania, Britania rule the waves” is despicable! And he did not care about the royal family either. It is a bit hard to argue that in the absence of Tridents the English countryside would be overrun with Kossacks shooting everyone from their tachankas (some think tankers do it) but it is an axiom that love of the Tridents and royals is necessary to be electable.

      I would hope that electing Corbyn will be registered in media algorithms about “what is mainstream, what views are acceptable to present to vulnerable minds of TV audiences etc.

    • T
      May 8, 2018 at 4:14 pm

      > I’d love to see Jeremy Corbin become the PM but do you seriously think that would make a difference?

      No, for two reasons:

      1. The Labour Party’s parliamentary caucus and bureaucracy is full of BLiarites.

      2. Ask RFK, Olaf Palme, and Petra Kelly to explain the second reason…

  30. Zim
    May 6, 2018 at 2:38 pm

    Clear, concise, excellent essay. Thanks for the update. I agree with Joe above. Disturbing to see neoliberalcons running the show over there.

  31. Joe Tedesky
    May 6, 2018 at 1:23 pm

    Watching England follow in the foot steps of our American ‘crazies’ is troubling.

    It’s even more troubling seeing of how the English Establishment is demonizing Jeremy Corbyn. Why, as an American I could only hope that our American Government were to have a Jeremy Corbyn. In fact, an American Putin would be most preferred.

    Enough with the anti-Semitism charges. No one is rounding up anybody, especially the Jews. This constant bringing up of anti-Semitism only serves to water the racist charge down. The hypocrisy of it is most definitely to be found by Israel’s treatment of the Palestinian, and that’s the truth of it. It’s not a Jewish thing, it’s a human rights offense thing.

    England and the U.S. is now caught up in their own lies. Like my mother, who was raised on Billy Buck Hill had said, ‘one lie leads to another lie, until the truth jumps up and bites you in the ass’. Oh how right you were Mum.

    • Mild -ly- Facetious
      May 6, 2018 at 7:22 pm

      Alexander Mercouris — “The reality is that today’s Britain has become a profoundly illiberal place.

      Very much like the contemporary U.S., the media and political establishment in Britain is today relentlessly hostile to anyone who challenges the established orthodoxies of unqualified support for finance capital (concentrated in Britain in the City of London); support for “liberal interventionism” i.e., the U.S.’s regime change wars; and pathological hostility to Russia.”

      ::

      By Hook or By Crook
      Marcel Duchamp Oxman
      February 16, 2018
      (excerpt)

      “Each chapter I read made me more and more angry.” – Dr. Helen Caldicott, international leader of anti-nuclear and environmental movements, making reference to a book recommended below

      The new Cold War is different from the original one. Ideological conflict no longer pits Moscow against today’s enlarged “West”… since Russia’s elite unashamedly embraced capitalism after 1991. The Kremlin has ceased to stand at the head of a rival economic and social system that challenges the U.S. false promise of individual freedom and global prosperity for one and all.

      Today’s struggle between Moscow and Washington — corporate agendas and corrupt individuals on both sides blended into the mix — involves traditional nation-state competition for political and economic influence. The scope is no longer truly global: it is pretty much limited to areas bordering Russia — in Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia — and since 2015 to parts of the Middle East. The struggle is asymmetrical: NATO and the EU have extended their political and military alliances to areas that used to be aligned with Moscow; Russia’s response has been to sustain proxy armed groups in Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine — ensuring that all three are stuck in frozen conflicts which reduce their chances of NATO membership.

      Another difference from the latter half of the Cold War is that Russia is allied with China again, but their relationship is now pragmatic, not ideological. They see themselves as forming an axis of resistance to U.S. efforts at promoting regime change in foreign countries. While the U.S. has marginalized or ignored the UN in recent years, Russia and China have increasingly used the Security Council to defend state sovereignty and non-interference as indispensable principles of international law. This doesn’t mean that they haven’t violated or wouldn’t violate other countries’ sovereignty themselves on occasion — but neither state approved the U.S-led invasions of Serbia, Iraq and Libya, the last two of which produced catastrophes that are still unfolding.

      The take away for readers must be that because the U.S. broke its promise to Russia to not expand into Eastern Europe, and because increasing tensions over the territories cited above are not slated to be reduced… activists must — because the nuclear stakes are so very high and the nuclear weapons dynamic so unpredictable on several scores — attempt to — post haste — waste no time securing influence on the gubernatorial level in the U.S. …to attempt to change attitudes and policies. The federal level in the U.S. is closed to that, will NEVER alter its long-standing suicidal stance vis-a-vis Russia or China. And what is still possible via the electoral arena and through open public discussion in the U.S. is not an option in either Russia or China.

      We need concerned citizens to adopt a cold-hearted view toward U.S. nationhood. The dangers and the momentum being driven by U.S. hegemonic madness must be countered ASAP… without letting the equally nefarious and abominable Russian and Chinese policies off the hook.

      The author recommends William Blum’s Killing Hope, if anyone doubts the thrust of the message about U.S. policies in this article; its excellent respecting documentation concerning the original Cold War, and Noam Chomsky calls it “far and away the best book on the topic.”
      http://www.countercurrents.org

      • Joe Tedesky
        May 6, 2018 at 8:16 pm

        Thanks Facetious for the extra reading, and for helping me support my opinion.

        I say this a lot, but it’s true, the U.S. needs to join the rest of the world instead of bombing it. The U.S. also needs to take the profit out of war preparedness, but with that said many Americans scratch their heads out of bewilderment to how strange that sounds…with that said I make my point. Joe

      • Skip Scott
        May 7, 2018 at 8:00 am

        I am curious as to the “equally nefarious and abominable Russian and Chinese policies”. Can you, or does the author, elaborate?

    • Joe Tedesky
      May 6, 2018 at 10:10 pm
    • Joe Tedesky
      May 6, 2018 at 10:12 pm

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