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Current location: Scotland
Member since: Sun Sep 6, 2009, 11:57 PM
Number of posts: 2,643

Journal Archives

John Major's incendiary speech branding Brexit a 'historic mistake' in full

The former Prime Minister has torn strips off Theresa May in a speech to Chatham House. Here it is in full


In Scotland, I believe a hard Brexit will encourage a second referendum on independence. This may seem improbable at the moment, but it would be reckless to ignore the risk.

... Many years of painstaking effort went into the Irish Peace Process which, even apart from Brexit, is at a fragile moment. Uncertainties over border restrictions between Ulster and the Republic are a serious threat – to the UK, to the peace process, and for Ireland, North and South. A special deal will be necessary.

... I can’t ignore what I learned in Government. Nor can I forget the people who voted to leave Europe in the belief it might improve their lives. If events go badly, their expectations will not be met, and whole communities will be worse off. The particular fear I have is that those most likely to be hurt will be those least able to protect themselves.


Freedom of speech is absolute in our country. It’s not “arrogant” or “brazen” or “elitist”, or remotely “delusional” to express concern about our future after Brexit . Nor, by doing so, is this group undermining the will of the people: they are the people. Shouting down their legitimate comment is against all our traditions of tolerance. It does nothing to inform and everything to demean – and it is time it stopped.



A sober, rather than incendiary, IMO, look at the uncertainties ahead and the inadequacy of preparations.

Major also echoes what some of us here have said about May's desperate hunger for a hurried trade deal with Trump, pointing out the obvious: that the UK is very much a junior partner in the "special relationship", that ironically, we're of less use to America out of the EU than within it, and that goodwill from the Trump administration is likely to depend on our willingness to fall into line with its agendas, so it's a funny sort of "independence" the Brexiters think they've won.

Tapper burns Spicer on Twitter


Jake Tapper ✔ @jaketapper

I imagine it must be really annoying when someone puts out false info about where you were born. Must really bother you!!

cc @BarackObama https://twitter.com/seanspicer/status/835583586602532864

Sean Spicer ✔ @seanspicer

For the record @nytimes @grynbaum can't even get where I was born right and failed to ask https://twitter.com/michikokakutani/status/835568432808660992

These Couples Are About To Find Out If They Can Live Together In Britain After Five Years Of Waiting

The Supreme Court decides on Wednesday morning if thousands of married couples where one spouse is not British can live together in the UK.

Satbir Singh eats his breakfast every morning with his wife Gitanjali even though she lives more than 4,000 miles away. Propping up his iPad, he tucks into his porridge in his house in northwest London and talks on FaceTime to Gitanjali while she eats lunch at her desk in Delhi. Most days, this is the closest they come to normal married life.

For the last five years the couple have been trying to live together in Britain and failing, thanks to strict earning requirements that were introduced to spouse visas in 2012, when Theresa May was home secretary. On Wednesday morning at 10am the Supreme Court will announce a decision in a test case that could change their lives – and thousands of others – forever.

The 2012 rule change means British citizens must earn at least £18,600 a year to bring in a non-EU spouse. It has taken the Supreme Court more than a year to reach a decision on whether this is unlawful.


Yup. But as I said, beware.

Here's Mensch on Twitter in a more ... er ... lively phase not so long ago:

I want precision bombing raids. Bank hacks. Massive cyber war. Russia is a paper bear cub let @Potus show Putin what alpha means https://t.co/gLXbjHxKvi

— Louise Mensch (@LouiseMensch) December 10, 2016

Putin should, in my view, be completely removed by the USA, by any means necessary. Regime change in Russia. Flex American muscle. https://t.co/YDlflTEeZX

— Louise Mensch (@LouiseMensch) January 5, 2017

She's since deleted those tweets for some reason, but they live on in Google's cache.

ETA: DOH! DU messes up any URL that includes a tweet URL nowadays, even if it's embedded. Just Google any phrases from those two tweets and the cached version comes up in the top four or five results.

And then there was the time ...

Louise Mensch blames Corbyn supporters for anti-Semitism - turns out it's her own offensive search history

Former Conservative MP Louise Mensch has faced widespread ridicule after accusing Jeremy Corbyn supporters of anti-Semitism - over Twitter searches that turned out be her own.

Ms Mensch posted a series of screenshots showing what she said were autocompleted twitter searches alongside the name of Mr Corbyn’s fellow Labour leadership contender, Liz Kendall.

The supposedly autocompleted phrases alongside the @lizforleader handle included “nazi” and “Zionist”, which Mensch implied was the work to Corbyn’s supporters.

However, twitter users were quick to point out that Twitter doesn’t quite work that way and that, in fact, Mensch must have searched the phrases herself.


I could go on.

She's built up a decent reputation recently on the back of one particular scoop thanks to informants. But she could go off the rails again at any point, and nobody here should go with her.

"Secure" Trump website defaced by hacker claiming to be from Iraq

Source: Ars Technica

Someone calling themselves "Pro_Mast3r" managed to deface a server associated with President Donald Trump's presidential campaign fundraising on Sunday, The server, secure2.donaldjtrump.com, is behind Cloudflare's content management and security platform, and does not appear to be directly linked from the Trump Pence campaign's home page. But it does appear to be an actual Trump campaign serverits certificate is legitimate, but a reference to an image on another site is insecure, prompting a warning on Chrome and Firefox that the connection is not secure.

The page, now displaying an image of a man in a fedora, displays the following text:

Hacked By Pro_Mast3r
Attacker Gov
Nothing Is Impossible
Peace From Iraq

The source code contains a link to javascript on a now-nonexistent Google Code account, masterendi, previously associated with the hacking of at least three other websites. As Italian IT journalist Paolo Attivissimo pointed out, an archive of the script shows it to be a snow animation script, not malware.

Read more: https://arstechnica.com/security/2017/02/secure-trump-website-defaced-by-hacker-claiming-to-be-from-iraq/

Image of the hack:

The server - http://secure2.donaldjtrump.com/ -was still offline at time of posting. Trump's other servers are still operational.

Which all goes to prove that bragging about your yuuuge abilities to counter hackers is just waving a red rag at a bull.


Meanwhile, Trump is still using his old, unsecured phone for some communications, possibly the one he was using when his Twitter account was hacked in 2013, his "cyber tsar" Giuliani was one of 14 Trump staffers who had their passwords leaked during 2012-2016, and Giuliani's own commercial website is rumored to be far from secure ...

Japan's interpreters struggle to make sense of 'Trumpese'

As political leaders in Japan pay close attention to how U.S. President Donald Trump will go in office, so, too, are interpreters who have had a nightmarish experience translating his disjointed speeches.

“He rarely speaks logically, and he only emphasizes one side of things as if it were the absolute truth. There are lots of moments when I suspected his assertions were factually dubious,” said Chikako Tsuruta, who routinely covers Trump-related news as an interpreter for CNN, ABC and CBS.

“He is so overconfident and yet so logically unconvincing that my interpreter friends and I often joke that if we translated his words as they are, we would end up making ourselves sound stupid,” Tsuruta, who is also a professor of interpreting and translation studies at the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, said in a recent interview.

Like Tsuruta, English-Japanese interpreters recall being dumbstruck by Trump’s disregard for logic and facts as well as his unabashed use of a litany of sexist and racist remarks during the election campaign.


I have no idea either, but

I've posted this before here. There are similarities in the MO:

Donald Trump 'paid students £20' to protest against wind farm near his Scottish Golf course

And in 2013, this notice appeared on Craigslist and Job Hustler before an anti-wind farm demo Trump planned in New York:

Earn Quick and Easy $20 for an hour or less of work
Wednesday December 31st, 1969

Our firm needs 100 volunteers to attend and participate in a rally in front of the British Consulate/Embassy in Midtown Manhattan on the East Side on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 12 noon. The event is being held in order to protest wind turbines that are being built in Scotland and England. Your participation will be to ONLY stand next to or behind the speakers and elected officials/celebrities that will be speaking at the rally.

It is a really simple job and easy money for anyone who is around Manhattan at the time. We need all of our volunteers to RSVP for this event. It is VERY important that you RSVP because we have had people confirm spots and fill spots on the first day of the advertisement in the past. If you have participated in one of our events in the past (Ovation) please make a note of that in your RSVP email and we will email EVERYONE back to confirm your attendance.

We look forward to hearing from you all and again, the money is quick, the job is easy and we pay in CASH at the end of the event.

Looking forward to seeing you next Wednesday!


Trump and Japan's Abe plotted their North Korea missile response on a crowded dining terrace

Source: The Week

When President Trump learned that North Korea had fired a midrange ballistic missile into the Sea of Japan on Sunday morning, Saturday night's dinner was being served on the terrace at Mar-a-Lago, his private club in Florida. This is how he dealt with the first national security emergency of his administration, according to CNN:

Sitting alongside Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, with whom he'd spent most of the day golfing, Trump took the call on a mobile phone at his table, which was set squarely in the middle of the private club's dining area. As Mar-a-Lago's wealthy members looked on from their tables, and with a keyboard player crooning in the background, Trump and Abe's evening meal quickly morphed into a strategy session, the decision-making on full view to fellow diners, who described it in detail to CNN.

Trump's National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and chief strategist Steve Bannon left their seats to huddle closer to Trump as documents were produced and phone calls were placed to officials in Washington and Tokyo. The patio was lit only with candles and moonlight, so aides used the camera lights on their phones to help the stone-faced Trump and Abe read through the documents.... Waiters cleared the wedge salads and brought along the main course as Trump and Abe continued consulting with aides. {CNN}

Read more: http://theweek.com/speedreads/679763/trump-japans-abe-plotted-north-korea-missile-response-crowded-dining-terrace

Trump's team discussed response to North Korea missile test in front of diners at Mar-a-Lago

At Mar-a-Lago, Trump tackles crisis diplomacy at close range

(CNN)The iceberg wedge salads, dripping with blue cheese dressing, had just been served on the terrace of Mar-a-Lago Saturday when the call to President Donald Trump came in: North Korea had launched an intermediate-range ballistic missile, its first challenge to international rules since Trump was sworn in three weeks ago.

The launch, which wasn't expected, presented Trump with one of the first breaking national security incidents of his presidency. It also noisily disrupted what was meant to be an easygoing weekend of high-level male bonding with the more sobering aspects of global diplomacy.

Sitting alongside Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, with whom he'd spent most of the day golfing, Trump took the call on a mobile phone at his table, which was set squarely in the middle of the private club's dining area.

As Mar-a-Lago's wealthy members looked on from their tables, and with a keyboard player crooning in the background, Trump and Abe's evening meal quickly morphed into a strategy session, the decision-making on full view to fellow diners, who described it in detail to CNN.


Aside from this revelation that if you want to know how the president handles an international crisis, you just need to book dinner at Mar-a-Lago when he's visiting and hope you're lucky, the article also explains Trump's advisers' decision that he would not make the formal statement prepared for him to follow Abe's speech.

Trump's delivered statement on North Korea differed from the printout of intended statement

There's been a lot of comment on what's been seen as a very subdued and brief statement from Trump following Japanese Prime Minister Abe's remarks on the North Korean test this evening. Trump said:

I just want everybody to understand and fully know that the United States of America stands behind Japan, its great ally, one hundred percent. Thank you.

Judging by a sheet headed "POTUS REMARKS" an aide was carrying that was caught by a Reuters photographer, it looks like it was intended that he make a much longer and more detailed statement:

Sourced from this Twitter thread:


Reuters photog captured White House aide holding “POTUS remarks” document that differs from what Trump said alongside Abe

Why didn't Trump deliver the statement as written? From what I can decipher, it doesn't seem to be particularly controversial. This may not be significant, but it seems a little strange.
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