Hand in Hand Spearfishing Democracy

The images of Theresa May being led up steps by the POTUS just reek of a craven diminished human being acting like a child. Trump’s visit has thrown up two simultaneous phenomena; the elite prostrating itself to global power and the people expressing their disdain for this collection of thieves and liars clinging to office. As David Lammy remarked: “History will judge Theresa May as an enabler, an appeaser and a sycophant.”

Normal relations even with the liberal media are breaking down. The Washington Post yesterday wrote of Sarah Huckabee Sanders: “It’s really time for her to enter the White House press room some day and find it empty. What would be the loss, to journalism or to the nation? The real work of covering this administration would go on. The daily briefings are now something beyond worthless; they are acts of complicity in a gangster presidency. No journalist with any self-respect ever should appear in that room again.” The Scotsman called Trump: “a racist, a serial liar, and either a sex abuser or someone who falsely brags about being one in the apparent belief that this will impress other men”.

Things are moving very fast now. The far-right trans-Atlantic attempt to unseat May is exposed. The Tory Dark Money is out there in plain view, the Mueller revelations are spewing out of the US, and public opinion is turning rapidly against this coterie of extremism. The massive protests seen this weekend across the UK are a huge embarrassment to Trump and his followers. New polling shows the Labour vote falling in Scotland and increasing in England (Theresa May’s favourability rating has fallen to an all-time low. Jeremy Corbyn is ahead by 7 points, according to YouGov – the latest Holyrood constituency poll by  shows: SNP: 43% (+1) Tories: 24% (-1) Labour: 21% (-4) Liberal Democrats: 9% (+3) Other: 3% (+1). The Brexit farce is reaching its inevitable farcical zenith, with England’s nationalist-right yearning for their No Deal Climax. New radical political forces are emerging in the US. The demographic time-bomb that is the Brexit inheritance and Generation Independence are coming home to roost. This makes for a potent mix this hot summer.

Some of the timing is exquisite.

Trump  is to go and meet Putin in a few days after leaving his trail of destruction in Britain.

Russian Indictments

The scale of the Russian revelations will no doubt trigger those who seek to support Putin and will soon be mewing about the Deep State and ‘Western Imperialism’. This is inevitable but unworthy of comment.

So, what do we know?

Jon Swaine reports: “The indicted Russians were on Friday also accused of hacking into the computer systems of American state election authorities and of companies that produced software used by states for running elections. They used techniques including “spearphishing” and spying software, before publishing the emails through well-known online accounts including Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks, which purported to be independent American and Romanian hackers. Rosenstein said both personas were in fact operated by the GRU. In February this year, Mueller’s team unveiled criminal charges against 13 Russians and three Russian companies for interfering in the presidential campaign, using social media and coordinating with low-level Trump campaign activists. Rosenstein said at the time that the Russians had waged “information warfare” against the US during the 2016 campaign, with the aim of “spreading distrust towards the candidates and the political system in general”. Mueller’s team has also charged Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman, with financial crimes. Three other Trump campaign aides have pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.”

The most recent revelations expose Trump further and the timing shows the Mueller team is playing a tactical game.

Mark Wilson at the New Republic writes: “On the cusp of President Donald Trump’s planned meeting with Russian autocrat Vladimir Putin, Rod J. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, released indictments with profound implications for relations between the two countries. As The New York Times reports, Rosenstein “announced new charges against 12 Russian intelligence officers accused of hacking the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton presidential campaign.”

The indictments go counter to alternative narratives put forward by both Trump and his supporters that the hacking could have been done by parties other than the Russian state.

“I don’t believe [Russia] interfered,” Trump told Time in December of 2016. “It could be Russia. And it could be China. And it could be some guy in his home in New Jersey.”

The indictments name the hacker Guccifer 2.0 as a Russian agent. Roger Stone, a longtime informal advisor to Trump who had contact with Guccifer 2.0 in 2016, has repeatedly argued against this view.

“I have some news for Hillary and Democrats—I think I’ve got the real culprit,” Stone wrote in Breitbart in August 2016. “It doesn’t seem to be the Russians that hacked the DNC, but instead a hacker who goes by the name of Guccifer 2.0.”

If the indictments hold up, then the attempts by Trump and Stone to suggest non-Russian sources for the hacking can be dismissed. Although the indictments do not charge any Americans, they do describe several Americans as interacting with the Russian government hackers.”

The attorney Seth Abramson writes: “The answer to the big question everyone’s asking tonight (“Why didn’t the White House have an appropriate response to today’s indictments?”) is simple: no bloc of GOP pols or voters is demanding Trump act appropriately, so politically he has no need to.”

He argues that without political force from within the Republican Party, Trump will cling desperately to power as he has no moral compass or sense of shame.

You Want it Darker

As the Trump regime falters his beleaguered ally Theresa May is fighting on many fronts. She is under attack from within her own party, even within her own cabinet as ideology trumps principle and professional politicians jostle for power. Her Brexit negotiations are entering the next critical phase and her key appointments are lashed to a commitment that can only end in national humiliation, all this goaded on by a press that is in turns averse to challenging power and slavish to the old order (see the Daily Mail, right).

The Tory Dark Money is in plain sight (if shockingly ignored by the state broadcaster). It means that it’s impossible to disentangle Brexit illegality corruption and manipulation, Scottish Unionism, Loyalism, and the nexus of far-right forces connected across the Atlantic and the racism from Trump’s lips and lurking behind Farage’s toxic campaign. All are bound together with a resurgent English nationalism which we’re not supposed to talk about. The entire Brexit moment “has been seen through glorious fantasies of imperial revival and layers of self-pity about imaginary oppression.” 

As Paul Mason notes: “Much though I dislike May she’s the PM – she’s being publicly destroyed by Trump/Johnson/Murdoch to install a pro-Trump Tory leader and make the U.K. a wrecking ball in Europe.”

He continued: “The people who should really feel insecure are Ukraine, Estonia, Sweden – if Europe can’t outline a common foreign policy response to Trump, Putin will begin his moves in Baltic/Black Sea.”

“What you are seeing Trump do is not a mistake – it is the injection of chaos into a rules based order; many European elites completely unprepared – France probably better than most.”

“Labour, SNP/Plaid have to stand ready to bring down May and resist installation of hard Brexit Govt by US diplomatic power. Tories no longer party of rules-based global system.”

This may be a challenging thought to some SNP supporters. We need to move beyond party boundaries in times of unprecedented crisis and seek unity. This does not mean supporting or agreeing with other parties – it means finding a National Opposition in place of a National Government. May has already intimated that she might seek to form a national government to defend herself against elements in her own party, and we should be clear to oppose such a defensive crisis-action.

Demographic Karma

For all the contemptuous self-satisfied posturing of gatekeepers like Piers Morgan and Andrew Neill and a dozen lower-graded scribes and schills, the harsh reality is that this era of toadying and wagon-circling is over. A whole generation of people who don’t subscribe to deference media dolled out by old men are emerging. The figures from the latest Survation poll are stark. And they act – in generational terms- as a mirror to Brexit. This is a generational a constitutional and political crisis rolled into one. It is a crisis of English national identity and a battle between the far-right and the forces for human decency.

Brexit is the petri dish for an unholy mixture of toxic dog-whistle politics and standing in the middle is our hapless Prime Minister grimacing as she looks about her, “an enabler, an appeaser and a sycophant.”

As the crisis deepens some people are sceptical of the analysis that we are in a ‘pre-fascist era’ and suggest that to say so is hysterical. Yet today it emerges that Trump’s own ambassador lobbied Britain on behalf of Tommy Robinson .

This suggests not just that Trump’s flirting with Britain First wasn’t some childish mistake, but a deliberate tactic. It also suggest that they think that the British government can overrule judges.

If all of this seems to go on and on without end, there are end-points in view. The Muller investigation and the Brexit ‘negotiations’ have very clear and determined time-lines to them. There is a limit to how long May can continue with this level of chaos, and she is protected only by the summer recess.

The outgoing Foreign Secretary wailed that “the Brexit Dream is dying”. But as Henry Mance notes: dreams don’t die, you just wake up.

And there are signs everywhere that people are waking up.

The extraordinary optics of a British Prime Minister being led up the steps as if to a symbolic sacrifice or some arcane ceremony reflects a political relationship: Britain as a supine state, a vassal state if you will.

At the start of the Force Awakens Daisy Ridley playing Rey teams up with John Boyega as the reluctant rebel Finn. As they try to evade capture he holds her hand – until – confused and pissed off she cries: “Why do you keep trying to hold my hand?” 

 

Comments (20)

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  1. Thom Cross says:

    One of your very best. Timely urgent and accurate in your analysis. Missing is “what is to be done?”.

  2. John O'Dowd says:

    It’s writing like this that makes Bella indispensable. Thanks Mike.

  3. Rob Ross says:

    Spot on, Mike. I hope DT’s conquest of the British Isles is nowhere as complete as he would like it to be, though I’m pretty sure that he won’t give up ‘working on it’

  4. Wullie says:

    “You’re my wife now Dave!”

  5. Sheena Gadday says:

    Thanks for this Mike. A good summary of where we are.

  6. Carroll says:

    As one of the 31%,reading articles like this lifts me up no end,I detest people like trump and the elite ,the younger generations seem to be up to this and with people like you exposing them there is hope for the world.

  7. William Purser says:

    Mary & I are in the 31%; we’re English born and have chosen to live in Scotland.
    Mike, please keep writing stuff like this; DLTBGYD. Vive l’Ecosse!!

    1. Aw, thanks very much, will try …

  8. May Ayres says:

    Good Grief! Is this a genuine photo of T. May with D. Trump? It could be an illustration from ‘The Handmaid’s Tale.’ Perhaps Margaret Atwood was more prophetic than even she realized.

    1. Wul says:

      I think the picture is real, but the bonnet has been added.

      PS: Does Trump have “difficulty with stairs” when he climbs them beside a man? Does he hold their hands too?

  9. SleepingDog says:

    In one take on Shakespeare’s Roman plays, he appears to be regretting the fall of the Roman Republic (albeit showing some of its flaws) into the age of Emperors, where citizens become subjects, and institutions are undermined. Associated with this is the fall of political or civic virtue. In the Republic, Romans would commit suicide rather than endure shame (which is what Brutus and other conspirators do in Julius Caesar). But moving towards the Imperial model of one-man-rule, political criminality replaces civic virtue, and shamelessness becomes the order of the day. Fatalism replaces personal responsibility as events appear more random or perhaps the Gods are deciding what goes from the clouds. The increasingly hedonistic populace, bought off by bread and circuses, are rapt by super-celebrity love stories like Anthony and Cleopatra, while officers no longer perform to their professional best so as not to upstage their thin-skinned leaders.

  10. tartanfever says:

    ‘So, what do we know?’

    See, this is the problem, you actually legally don’t know anything. You have allegations, which may or may not be proved correct with actual verifiable evidence. This has always been the argument against the Liberal/Clinton/Democratic Party stance, as championed by the likes of Glenn Greenwald. As of now, no provable, verifiable evidence has been produced to back up these allegations. If and when that happens all well and good.

    However, you either believe in innocent until proven guilty or you don’t, there’s no cherry picking. Asking for verifiable proof does not make you an apologist either.

    Otherwise, we could all be repeating the claims made against Paul Mason this week that he physically attacked some guy at a political meeting in Holland without any verification, or more seriously, see the UK government launch what was at the time illegal, but is now without doubt after last week’s OPCW report, an unquestionably illegal airstrike against Syria for an alleged chemical attack.

    While this website called for No military action against Syria, it did claim that the UK had the ‘moral authority’ to do so.

  11. Angus McHattie says:

    Difficult to understand what Trump”s end game is?

    I see the US encircling Iran, is that the trade off? US and Israel deal with Iran and Russia gets to except influence on its old possessions whilst the US retreats from NATO?

    Whatever the end game is, the uk can be seen as an unsubtle Trojan horse to wreck
    the EU. I don”t think the EU will fall for this and the uk could become further isolated economically, socially and diplomatically.

    Imagine if last week the Scottish press, bbc in Scotland and STV ran stories what on the state of the union and the risks Scotland faces by remaining in it, both short and long term analysis. I hasten to add, fair and unbiased analysis and presentation, not another fear projection.

    The uk government is in an utter shambles at the moment, the EU will dictate the terms of brexit and others counties will dictate the terms of any trade agreements due to the uk”s utter desperation and vulnerability. Not to mention that brexit was predicated by getting a good trade with US, with Trump in place, fat chance of that!

    That said, I am reasonably happy the uk is going down the tubes as the union will go with it, and hopefully Scotland remains in or rejoins the EU, tout suite!

  12. Alf Baird says:

    Virtually the whole of the UK media seems devoted to vilifying Donald Trump, with both the UK msm and alternative ‘progressive’ media acting as one. Its like a new UK public fashion or sport in which all ‘right minded people’ must join in the abuse and name-calling; but where exactly does it get us? While global geopolitics is interesting and important, this diverts Scots attention away from what really matters here, i.e. our country and who runs it. That is also in the context of the votes of Scotland’s people being ignored with respect to both Brexit and a desire for a second independence referendum. In light of this, key issues for all Scots just now are: why have the majority of Scotland’s MP’s and MSP’s not yet sought to instigate their intended withdrawal of Scotland from the UK parliamentary union, as is their/our constitutional right? And/or why have our elected representatives not called for a national election in Scotland to seek a mandate for independence? And, why are Scotland’s elected representatives and organisations in wider ‘civic’ society not making permanent sustained representation to the UN to gather international support (and advice) in advance of independence? Joining in a UK media-sponsored frenzy aimed at vilifying political leaders of other nations (and perhaps in this instance more especially, a Scot) seems a rather pointless diversion as far as Scotland is concerned and does nothing to address our main dilemma which is who runs Scotland.

    1. William Low says:

      I agree wholeheartedly with the questions that you pose Alf. Why indeed seek another referendum when the mechanism can be operated without recourse to such an approach. Why no engagement with others who would support the move? Why no development of the institutions required for a new country and our own currency? Why indeed, and where to go next?

      On the matter of Trump, he is by his words and claimed deeds a liar, racist, misogynist, Islamophobe, no friend to Scotland nor Europe and frankly not to be trusted. Other dictators did not start with the prison camps etc., but with the creation of division and hatred within the population. We do need to reject the unhealthy attributes and attitudes of Trump, but to respond with language and slogans like his does reduce our efforts to his level. As he goes down, so we must go up. Civility, humour and wit would better serve our cause.

      Sowing the wind is the easier approach, though reaping the whirlwind of unintended consequences could prove problematic. This version does deflect from who runs Scotland, why and to what end?
      We need to focus on the main issue, while at the same time keeping a cool approach on all other global issues

      Bill

    2. Jamsie says:

      Could the answers to your questions be anything to do with the fact that there is no sign of the people of Scotland voting for either another referendum or independence?
      The idea that somehow Indy supporting politicians can somehow dissolve the Union is ludicrous.
      It will not happen.
      Where would they seek asylum Catalunya?
      A majority of the electorate supports remaining in the U.K. and a majority of the electorate opposes a further referendum.
      As part of the U.K. the so called mandate enabled by the Brexit vote is clearly not credible.
      Hence no action on the lines you propose.
      Brexit will come.
      Scotland will leave the EU as part of the U.K. and when this happens that particular matter will be closed.
      Scotland will not be able to rejoin in any foreseeable set of circumstances given the fact that we remain part of the U.K..
      But even if Indy did come along the GCR already tells us we would become a third world country who in any event would not qualify for entry which both Spain and France have already told us.

      1. Me Bungo Pony says:

        Utter bilge water J.

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