Analysis

Barnard stands strong as TV hacks push idea that war is only option over Ukraine

Presenter claims western leaders have ‘bent over backwards’ to avoid conflict

Young Labour chair Jess Barnard stood strong on national TV this evening as a ‘mainstream’ media presenter tried to insist that all avenues for a diplomatic solution had been exhausted because western leaders had ‘bent over backward’ to find one.

Barnard was appearing because Young Labour have condemned Keir Starmer for his eagerness to support the Tory push for war – which many see as Boris Johnson’s attempt to save himself from the consequences of his lies and law-breaking – and she was the voice of firm reason, as an excerpt shows:

Solidarity with Jess Barnard and Young Labour – just about the only part of the party still functioning as an actual Labour section.

The UN Security Council will convene at 2am UK time to discuss a response to the Ukraine situation.

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82 comments

  1. Labour Youth section is the only part of this festering ditch filled with shit called the Labour party that deserves any respect whatsoever!!! I just hope they leave asap.

    1. …and Welsh Labour follow suit, as soon as possible. Followed by the Unions.

      The sooner Starmer, Evans Blair and Mandelson are left to rot in their own juices, the better.

      1. I agree but the Unions need to lead the way. That is where the money is. If they disaffiliate from Starmer’s Labour and take their money with them then Labour is finished and the Trade Unions can fund a socialist alternative.

    2. Can you negotiate & deal with a proven serial liar……….named Boris Johnson, not Putin?

    3. Thanks Jess, plus Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya,…

      All that wasn’t Putin.

      Was it, yanks…

  2. Andrew fully agree with you and I was impressed with the calm and collected way she answerd the extremely biased BBC interrogator.I have not seen a BBC broadcast for a long while and I was surprised that they are even worse than I remember.Thank God I don’t have to watch that drivel and pay for it from a idiot that thinks Wars a game of words.

  3. Maybe miss Barnard….could lend a hand to Dave Nellest in the erdington bye election.as shes better than banging her head against a fascist regime in the Labour party.IT..sounds like Dave has been swamped with support from left wing former and Labour party members and of course TUSC but I am sure that with even more help on the ground that Corbyn will be able to welcome an old comrade Dave Nellest to put forward a real change inside and outside
    of parliament..Daves one of the few who can shine a light on the bloated salarys and expenses of the mps in parliament and fight for the working-class people of Britain.especially the vulnerable,disabled and poverty state pensioners who will struggle to make ends meet through an appalling British winter and the Worst Labour party in living memory

  4. Why is no one pointing out the regime in Ukraine is no form of democracy we would recognize? Since the maidan ‘coup’ or whatever it’s called, the Ukrainian Communist Party, whose base was in the east of the country where the breakaway republics are, has been banned. In the last free election it received 3 million votes. Trade union organisations have been attacked by neo fascist gangs, Nazi organisations have been incorporated in the Ukrainian army, the Kiev govt. has refused to pay pensions for those who live in the breakaway republics yet it describes it as it’s territory and it’s people?

    Even Peter Hitchens a right wing journalist detailed the pernicious role the EU played in the coup against a democratically elected government in 2014 and warned of the repercussions. Successive Ukrainian governments have refused to enact the Minsk accord which would have given the eastern breakaway territories special status.

    Would you fight for Ukrainian ‘freedom’? I know I wouldn’t.

  5. Two thoughts about Ukraine. First, we don’t have the economic, military or political power to do anything effective even if we wanted to. Anything we do can only make a bad situation worse. And secondly, what conceivable British interest is there in the relationship between Russia and Ukraine to make it worthwhile trying?

    1. What about another futile charge of the light brigade & sell the film tights to Netflix? What was the British Army doing there?

    2. Short answer: Its not about the Ukraine. Its about Europe & the ability of a rapidly failing economic model running out of steam and attempting to continue and impose an unsustainable unipolar order by the only means possible – capture and control of other markets, more commonly known as other peoples territory and resources.

      For a deeper geo-political understanding check out Makinder’s World Island Theory and The great Game.

      A quick short analysis can be found here:

      https://www.unz.com/mwhitney/the-crisis-in-ukraine-is-not-about-ukraine-its-about-germany/

      Meanwhile, it would seem reasonable to bear in mind the following facts in the coming days when hearing bleating’s and hypocritical double standard cant about the ‘Principle’ of sovereignty from the usual Offical Narrative management suspects:

      The USA/UK/EU/Combined West supports independence separatists in the following situations.

      1. independence of Taiwan as breakaway region
      2. independence of Hong Kong and its ‘freedom fighters’
      3. independence of Kosovo
      4. independence of Kurdistan
      5. independence of Chechnya and other ‘separatist movements’ in/around Russia (though strangely they don’t support the independence of North/South Ossetia)
      6. independence of Xinjiang the Uighyur territory of China

      Its also worth noting the lack of support for independence movements in Catolonia (remember the viscous official responses a few years back? Which incidentally, led to pressure by the Spanish Government on Ecuador over its embassy asylum of Julian Assange because Wikileaks was pushing too many inconvenient facts into the public domain).

      Of course, this is wholly dependent upon operating the stated principle in a consistent way rather than on a selective pick and choose to suit basis. What’s sauce for the goose is not always sauce for the gander on this part of the planet.

      1. Dave, thanks for the Unz review link. Great article which, sadly, the uninformed, brainwashed, MSM-dependant masses will never get to see!

      2. timfrom,

        No worries. You might enjoy, if you have not already encountered him, the blog of Paul Craig Roberts who posts a lot of reasonably short but sharp, succinct, and insightful analysis.

        However, one thing to note: you might have to spend a little time trying to get your head around the fact that PCR was a functionary in the Reagan administration and sat on the Soviet era US ‘Committee of the Present Danger’ as you take in his arguments and analysis.

      3. Yes I know him, courtesy of his appearance(s?) on the Keiser Report a while back. I never would’ve thought I’d find any common causes with Conservatives, but the last few years have brought quite a few from their Libertarian wing (particularly during COVID-19 period) to my attention whom I find myself warming to. Same with Ron Paul in the US, Peter Hitchens, Jonathan Sumption, Charles Walker MP over here.

        It’s probably me just getting old. Funny game, politics, eh!

  6. The BBC is in full on sabre rattling war mode this morning. Even Byeline Times seems to have morphed into the Telegraph. What is it the British media love about the scent of war?

    1. I listened to the BBC Radio 4 ‘Any Answers’ on Saturday lunchtime & was forced to sit down & remove my cap……..I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. After listening to the sabre rattling war mongering elites on the panel I expected the usual platitudes of agreement but NO! Caller after caller was given a platform to articulately express their opposition to military involvement in Ukraine & the possibility that Putin could feel threatened by Nato expansion. Free & fair debate on the BBC (at least in part)? Que pasa?

  7. Major American Arms manufacturers have been putting out shareholder notices to declare how good this will be for business
    Jess was one against four rabid right wing warmongers
    How much do you expect to make out of this war and we wouldn’t expect anymore from the state broadcaster reading from the government’s script

    1. I don’t think the US Military-industrial complex (MIC) really expects weapon-using conflict on the ground. If they did, they would have allowed CreepyD Jo (President Biden) to say so, and he has gone to great lengths to cite economic sanctions as the only real ‘weapon’ he has (or considers using).

      Sure, the US MIC is no-doubt using the ‘crisis’ to big-up their share prices, but that means nothing other than the fee market – or rather, MSM-created mass hysteria – is providing them with too good an opportunity to sleep through.

      1. qwerboi
        This is Valhalla for MIC, they supply the weapons, Ukraine supplies the cannon fodder

      2. iF Russia continues to lead the way in oil and gas then the petro doller on which America print money on will collapse.
        Need we say more about another oil war by the US of A and its poodle Britain.and Nato.

    2. qwertboi
      How will they, Ukraine, pay for this extraordinary generosity from the West, who picks up the invoice

  8. Jess Barnard – excellent. Here we have a young woman who gives matters some thought and comes to a reasoned analysis of the situation. Contrast that with the mindless parroting of standard phrases by the Beeb, Biden, Johnson, Starmer et al.
    The situation in Ukraine/Donbas reminds me of the Serbia/Kosovo situation.. Like Kosovo, the Donbas area has a majority population from a different language group from the rest of the country. Like Kosovo, the Donbas feels oppression from the fervent nationalists in power. Like Kosovo, they set out to break away from the dominant group.
    There is one stark difference. In Donbas, Russia has sent troops in to the breakaway area to protect its integrity. In Kosovo the US bombed the living daylights out of Serbia.
    Let’s just be thankful that Russia didn’t take a leaf out of the US playbook and launch bombing raids on Ukraine.

  9. Yes looking at BBC News website last night and some of their correspondents some suggest may have crossed the line from journalism to political propaganda?
    1.Half of the population in Ukraine is of Russian decent or is Russian speaking.
    2.Since the US chose the Ukraine PM (see ‘Natoland’ New Left Review Blog Sidecar) 40% support joining NATO whilst 40% dont.
    3.When Gorbachev agreed to end the partition of Germany the US said NATO would “Not go one more inch East” but as the Natoland piece points out it had expanded 800 miles into the East in the last 30 years.
    4.The West by recently supplying drones to the Ukraine forces in the 2 disputed breakaway regions broke the Minsk agreement and thus probably international law, the Pro Russian Leaders in the 2 breakaway regions asked Russia to come in.
    5.UK farmers depend on nitrate for fertiliser from Russia, the West depends on Ukraine and Russia’s wheat plus many western companies are large shareholders in Russian companies including gas so sanctions will hurt everyone.
    6. There are 30 member states belonging to NATO and 40 partner countries, so that’s 70 countries out of 187 in the world so perhaps NATO has passed its sell by date and we need to build a World Security System that treats all countries as equals and with respect; perhaps instead of spending trillions on weapons we could spend it on human need?
    We need a peaceful resolution but this crisis (a good distraction for struggling leaders?) has exposed the dearth of political heavyweight Western Leaders, well apart from Jeremy Corbyn.

    1. Bazza The BBC is the mouthpiece of the right wing (Tories and Starmers Labour) and the establishment including the Jewish establishment. It’s biased reporting and the smears and lies it spread were part of the orchestrated campaign to destroy Jeremy Corbyn and crush Socialism .The BBC shamed itself and lost all credibility as a result.
      The fact that it is now spreading misinformation and half truths about the problems in Ukraine should be no surprise to anyone. Johnson wants to focus on the situation there in order to deflect attention from Partygate and also he is trying to come across as statesmanlike and strong ( no chance ) so the BBC is happy to oblige( particularly as their state funding is under review).
      The rest of the MSM will follow the BBCs lead which again is unsurprising. They are all playing a very dangerous game. However I don’t think it will come to anything given the EU’s dependence on Russian fuel and the Tories dependence on Russian donors.

    2. When I were nought but a lad 👦in a Catholic primary school just after the war my best friends were Stefan Zsabo Hungarian tDanny Michelski. Ukrainian Others were Italian and german with the polish kid.s ..and a large group of us Irish kids and the odd English Catholic survivers.
      My two best friends lived in Big houses in a working-class Bolton Lancashire
      .All of these two family’s quickly moved to the USA and disappeared from the school.One of the daughters of a German prisoner of war told me that unlike them they were Nazi scientists who had fled their homes after Russian liberation of the East.Now more than sixty years later we are discussing saving Ukrainian fascists that took the country by force and expelled a democratic elected government…..How times change for old men with long memorys of the real story about Ukrainian nationalism and Nazis in the USA.

      1. Might be confusing Bolton for somewhere else nearby, but was your Catholic school run by the Marist (order of Mary?) priests? As an unobservant Jew I went to a Marist College and it had quite a few non-Catholics from E. Europe. Your point resonates so clearly.

  10. No-one has yet mentioned the Azov Batallion. This was a paramilitary group that was heavily involved in the 2014 coup in Ukraine. They were subsequently integrated into the Ukrainian armed forces. They are not cuddly teddy bears. Their hero is a Ukrainian Nazi who collaborated with Germany during WW2 and wanted to exterminate all Jews. On their uniform, they wear the Wolfsangel logo – a Nazi symbol. There are credible reports of them indulging in torture and other war crimes against the Russian speaking minority in Ukraine and they are prominent in the sporadic hostilities in Donbas. Consortium News has a photo of two British Army officers in a meeting with senior Azov commanders. There are suspicions that the British Army is supporting and training the Azov Brigade.
    If you were a Russian speaker in Donbas, which would you prefer to have around, the Russian Army or the Azov Batallion? Come to that, if you were Jewish ………..

    1. Reply to Goldbach
      The Ukraine has a long history of antisemitism. They collaborated with the Nazis and participated in one of the worse atrocities of World War 2 – the massacre of over 30,000 Jews over two days in 1941 at Babi Yar a ravine in the Kiev area.
      Contemporary accounts record that the Ukrainian collaborators were as vicious, evil and depraved as the Nazis but as you have said the Ukraine, unlike modern day German, does not regard these collaborators as the lowest of the low. Instead it honours them, so clearly antisemitism still flourishes there. In my opinion we need to know more about the Ukraine’s current position in respect of antisemitism and other forms of racism before giving it our unqualified support .

    2. “Come to that, if you were Jewish ……….. ”

      The current president of the Ukraine is Jewish!
      He also comes from the Russian Ukrainian
      community.

      The persecution of the Russian minority has been
      denied ..

  11. Barnard is able to disengage from the hyperbole that makes the situation worse but the article here does seem to be misunderstanding the situation, particularly the phrase ‘the Tory push for war’. Gung-ho Western imperialism is not dismantled by handing a free pass to Russia and the Stop the War statement on Ukraine seems to be oblivious to the diplomatic efforts and sanction threats that are far more substantive than the token forces despatched to reassure those countries who also have borders threatened by the situation. The Ukrainian people should be free to vote for territories to cede to Russia, to join NATO and/or the EU or whatever else they democratically decide. Both East and West are doubtless using all manner of covert means to persuade the country to side with their respective causes but in terms of troop movements, it is disingenuous to imply that an encircling force of 150,000+ warrants no comment whereas a response of perhaps 5000 is overt warmongering.

    1. It would be nice but, sadly, the world doesn’t operate like that.
      This is to do with geopolitics and internal politics of the countries involved – including Russia and Ukraine. The main driver is the US. That doesn’t mean that there are “good guys” and “bad guys”. They’re all bad guys who have interests. It is in the interests of Russia to not have offensive nuclear-capable weapons deployed 5 minutes from Moscow and St. Petersburg. It is in the interests of Russian speakers in Donbas for the Azov Battalion to get nowhere near them. That’s clear.
      The question is “Why do the governments of the US, UK etc. regard it as in their interests to have the current situation.”
      It’s clearly not about democracy – think Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain etc.
      It can’t be about economics. The inevitable hike in oil prices that will result from this would be very unwelcome.
      My guess is it’s about being unpopular at home and wanting a diversion, and to look like tough leaders.

      1. Well, well. I’ve just seen a little bit tucked away in a BBC report. If it is correct, then Russia didn’t announce that it was sending troops into Donbas. What it said was that it was recognising the two republics and signing defence agreements with them, and that it would not send troops unless the republics came “under threat”. It appears to have taken the same position as the US and UK in saying that it will be sending military aid.

    2. Tom white…now I can see why you do not comment much..
      one hundred thousand on the ground in Russia whilst over five thousand foreign invaders in the former USSR threatens the independence of the ethnic Russian civilians in the East with Ukrainian Nazis.and Nato forces under the command of the USA….How times change and perceptions with western propaganda..Try again but try left rather than right.next time.

  12. Bazza – I think the idea that Ukraine is “really” parti of Russia won’t wash.

    There was a complete break up of several Empires after WW1. Putin
    is as we northerners say “talking through his hat” in his analysis of the relationshi[p
    of Ukraine to Russia during that time. Nationalism in Ukraine has been
    growing since then .. in spite of Russian speakers (of which the President
    is one). Surely the break up of any Empire and reduction of Colonialism
    is to be welcomed?

    After all Ireland has a high proportion of English speakers yet
    it is not part of the UK. One factor in the increase of Nationalism in
    Ireland is the Irish famine is the great Hunger in the 19th Century
    and the hunger in The Ukraine arising from Stalins policies is in
    living memory.

    It was reported that Putin was jumpy and nervous during his speech
    last night and my surmise is that his power base in the Krernlin has
    been eroded .. If anyone saw the brilliant BBC2 documentary on the
    machinations behind the scenes of the Govt of the Soviet Union
    between 1939 and 1943 it reminded me of that.

    As for the sanctions – there was a demand by Corbyn and McDonald
    during the Salisbury poisonings that there should be a sanction on
    individuals laundering their dirty money through London – and it
    was ignored .. There was a demand for the Magnitsky Act by McDonald
    which Starmer has evidently forgotten about in his criticism of Corbyn.
    This was not enacted until 2020 – by Rich Sumac but has not been
    implemented until now.

    1. I didn’t see Putin’s statement so I can’t comment on what he said. However, if he was talking through his hat, that would put him in good (?) company. Biden, Johnson et al are also doing that. They all play to the gallery, albeit different galleries.

    2. MFW where did I say Ukraine was part of Russia? Drawing from the ‘Natoland’ piece in NLR’s Sidecar Blog I shared some facts on the ground.
      Hasn’t the Right Wing in the West precipitated this by supplying the Ukraine forces in the breakaway regions with drones thus breaking the Minsk agreement?
      Perhaps Heavyweight Left Western Leaders like Corbyn could have secured a better, peaceful and earlier outcome?
      Agree with others is a massive distraction and by worrying citizens the Right Hope people will think they need them?
      It’s also bad for gas but good for the US fracking industry as the price of oil per barrel soars to nearly $100.
      Think we need a new World Security system and to end NATO and one that treats countries as equals and with respect.

      1. No you didn’t say Ukraine was part of Russia – but Putin did!

        I agree with her as to blood thirsty headlines and comparison
        with Munich – the MSM do not know their history! I am not
        surprised about the Neo Nazi elements in the country – it
        seems to be an infection of many of the ex- Warsaw Pact
        countries .. The resemblance between Ireland and the Ukraine
        only goes so far – though there were extreme right wing
        elements in the Loyalist faction.

        As for BBC questioner – isn’t it his job to challenge those he
        or she is questioning? The question is whether he challenged her
        “opposition” in the same way.

        The problem is the short time he had to talk to both of them .. not
        much is to be learned from a few questions .. There were some
        questions I would have liked to have put to her and no doubt to
        her opposition.

        I prefer “Hard Talk” which features Stephen Sakur and others –

        The irony to me its that it was Corbyn who was anxious for
        investigations into Russian Oligarchs (via the Magnitsky Act)
        and their relatives who are currently buying up UK property.

        The Tories belatedly passed a Magnitsy Act but did not implement
        it so why did Starmer not challenge this and the fact that there
        is a massive contribution to Tory funds from Russian sources?
        Instead he smeared Corbyn – for there has been far more effort
        made in attacking him – than in attacking the Govt! It should be
        noted that the Labour Party under Corbyn obtained most of their
        funds from small contributions from members.

    3. One area where this breaks down is in the example of the Republic of Ireland.

      Last time I looked there no armed neo-nazi’s in any part of the UK – including N. Ireland, seeking to force people from Ireland not to speak a particular language and openly discussing them as untermenschen who need to be cleansed from the entire territory of the island of Ireland.

    4. Here is an extract a speech that David Lammy gave in Parliament today.

      The twisted lies of imperialism” – David Lammy on Russia and the Ukraine crisis
      Putin is not unique. He is the figurehead of an ideology that is being emulated by despots and dictators around the world. Putinism is imperialism. Putinism is authoritarianism. Putinism is ethno-nationalism. The Russian regime represents an fundamental geopolitical threat. But we will not defeat the broader threat until we tackle the ideology that underlies it. Part of our message to Putin must be that his actions are a historic mistake.
      https://labourlist.org/2022/02/the-twisted-lies-of-imperialism-david-lammy-on-russia-and-the-ukraine-crisis/

      1. David Lammy speaking for NATO lecturing on Imperialism – what a load of shit, but it takes one to know one, Uncle Tom!

  13. To paraphrase President John F.Kennedy who told Nikita Khrushchev in October 1962, ‘if you don’t get those weapons out, then we will’ the western press applauded. What if Putin told Biden & his EU chums to do the same in Poland & Ukraine?

    1. This represents two things:

      1, Only half the facts of this event.

      What actually occurred, and you can look this up, is the first move was made by the USA installing missile bases in Turkey and Italy.

      The then Soviet Union countered by initiating the process of reciprocating this provocative and existential threat to their peoples and territories via installation of similar facilities in Cuba. The deal in which the SU removed those facilities from Cuba was not one way but part of a reciprocal quid pro quo in which the original US installations were removed from Turkey.

      Which leads to:

      2. The fact this was and is still not widely known is a testament to the narrative management of Western elites and their tame fifth column media since at least the time of Berney (whose techniques and theories of the perception management of populations through Official Narrative propaganda – he even wrote a book of that title – was enthusiastically taken up by a German chap in the 1930’s who I think went by the name of Goebbels) .

      1. Apologies to Dave Hansell. I typed my little bit about this, was called for evening meal, came back and pressed “Post comment” and then up popped your comment.

    2. Yes.
      What the CIA and Kennedy didn’t know at the time was that the missiles in Cuba did have nuclear warheads. They thought that the warheads hadn’t arrived when that threat was made. The outcome, of course, was that the USSR withdrew the missiles amidst great fanfare, and the US withdrew its missiles from Turkey very quietly.
      Let’s hope a similar compromise is arrived at this time.

  14. John McDonnell lets the side down again, along with some more usual suspects, trying to win approval from NATO-loving centrists in a letter in today’s Morning Star (print version, headlined “Russia is posing a threat to Ukraine”) Check it out if you can.

    However I can’t provide a link. If YOU can find the letters page on their website, you’re a better man (or woman) than I…!

    1. 11 Labour MPs on the left of the party have pulled their signatures from a Stop the War statement that criticised NATO expansionism after being urged to do so by the chief whip amid the war in Ukraine.
      Diane Abbott, John McDonnell, Richard Burgon, Ian Lavery, Beth Winter, Zarah Sultana, Bell Ribeiro-Addy, Apsana Begum, Mick Whitley, Tahir Ali and Ian Mearns had all signed the statement by the organisation once chaired by Jeremy Corbyn.

      1. Blimey that’s a surprise. What’s this, dissention in the ranks? Risky…

      2. timfrom – A very short lived dissension in the ranks. At least they all remained in solidarity with each other when they collectively withdrew their support. 🙄

  15. Just read some common sense at last from this afternoon from Jeremy Corbyn in Parliament (ignored by the media).
    Jeremy said the Russians should immediately withdraw from the breakaway areas but the UK should be pushing for getting back to Minsk 2.
    He also said we should stop expanding NATO into the East.
    JC – the only political heavyweight in the West?

  16. Joseph O’Keefe, I prefer a qualitative rather than quantitative approach to posting. It’s disingenuous to note the 100,000 Russian troops in Russia and pass over the thousands more in Crimea, Belarus and Moldova and then note the thousands of NATI troops in former Russian territories – the word ‘former’ does have some pertinence in this context. And as for choosing left over right, I prefer to come to some understanding of a situation and then form an opinion rather than simply take a side.

    1. Tim – I think that what has happened here is that, despite your desire to come to some understanding of the situation, your words can easily be viewed as promoting the “poor little Ukraine” narrative. As I’ve said before, there are no “good guys” in this. If you go to Ray McGovern’s website you will see extensive analysis of the Russia/Ukraine situation stretching back for months, if not years, and, as you would expect from a former senior CIA analyst, it will help you come to more than a little understanding of the dynamics of what is/has been going on in the region.

  17. Listened to Joe Biden. He said who on God’s Earth would take over other peoples’s land and declare it a country?
    Er you and your ancestors Joe, you know when you stole the land of Native Americans by the use of genocide?
    After Gorbachev agreed to end the partition of Germany the US promised that NATO would not expand one more inch more to the East but in the last 30 years it has expanded 800 miles in the East so perhaps most people think Russia has legitimate concerns.
    And once again Jeremy Corbyn (and eleven other Left MPs) with Diane Abbot today talked common sense in Parliament when they said Russia should withdraw from the breakaway areas plus there should be a ceasefire there and the UK Govt should press for getting back to Minsk 2 (which for eg outlawed sending arms ie drones to one side) and NATO should not expand to the East which I think we can all support.
    As a left wing Democratic Socialist I have little time for the Western and Russian capitalist Leaders but NATO should be replaced by a World Security System which treats all countries as equals, with respect and dare I say as friends.
    Diverse working people of no country are our enemies.

    1. Bazza- You have said “Listened to Joe Biden. He said who on God’s Earth would take over other peoples’s land and declare it a country?”
      Who did he say it to? Was it the Israeli ambassador?

    2. “NATO should be replaced by a World Security System which treats all countries as equals, with respect and dare I say as friends.”

      But we’ve tried what you say Bazza .. its called the UN and unfortunately
      it seems that the “independent” countries act according to their own
      interests while the UN Secretary General and staff and others struggle to keep
      the peace.

      At one time the Labour Party members really supported the UN
      and thought it had a place in the World. I attended a Peace meeting addressed
      by some of the old Labour Party grandees – and the UN was referred to with
      reverence by themselves – a sentiment which was supported by the audience.
      (The meeting was disrupted by some Nazis and it was notable that the older
      members of the audience sat down quietly throughout the chair throwing and
      violence ..)

      The Labour Party STILL supports the UN and I do not think
      any other organisation would be able to do better.

  18. It was in his news conference shown on BBC News Channel about 7.00pm Tuesday.

  19. Thanks goldbach, will follow that up. I hope I was not falling for the presumed innocence of Ukraine though even if it were comprehensively mired in culpability, the violating of sovereignty, as a country becomes the plaything of other powers has, as is becoming ever more apparent, detrimental consequences for the populations of all countries concerned: though instances can be found across the piece, our country’s enthusiasm to escalate fuel costs (which those making the decisions can weather without concern) is in stark contrast to the reluctance to pivot away from the substantive financial buttressing received in terms of party funding, property deals and financial underpinning of institutions.

  20. Thank you too Goldbach – I will read what you suggest
    with interest.

    I have already been reading up about Ukraine and it does
    indeed have a complex history. For example when the
    Soviets invaded Poland in an agreement with Hitler they
    annexed a chunk of it and this is now part of the Ukraine
    and it is now a country with disparate parts. After the split
    of the Soviet Empire there was a rush to privatisation – to
    the detriment of the population who suffered economically.
    There was an allegation that it was the “Party” members
    who were often at the front of the rush to privatise – to
    their own benefit. It became a destabilised society where
    corruption flourished .. not surprising considering the
    the break-up. What those who suffered found helpful in
    some parts of the Ukraine was the Greek Catholic Church
    who acted as intermediary in many disputes.

    It is now 30yrs since the Ukraine broke away – and the
    rise and rise of Oligarchs was one result of the upheaval
    as it was in Russia. However there does appears to be
    some kind of unity in the Ukraine and this does not include
    being dominated by Russia and the corruption involved –
    as was evident in the Maidan where a demonstration was
    stamped on .. and the fact that there was fascist involvement
    does not invalidate the legitimate aims of the demo. There
    again the Greek Catholic Church provided a different account
    from the account reported on Russia Today.

    I have also been watching the documentary about the rise
    of Nazi-ism and the last episode featured the characters
    of Stalin and Hitler and their viewpoints. It appeared that
    the length of time he has been a leader has distorted the
    view of Putin and it is possible it is not shared by other
    members of his regime. The Ukraine has a right to its
    sovereignty as a previous poster stated and Putin no right
    to invade it.

    1. So far, at least as far as we know, Russia hasn’t invaded Ukraine.
      Let’s see what transpires.

      1. But the Russians HAVE invaded Ukraine – the separated
        East is still part of it although it felt it has a connection to Russia.
        The fact that Russia Haas “recognised” it does not affect that ..
        The UN would no doubt have something to say – except it
        is constrained by the way the vote can be veto-ed

        I guess the Eastern part of the Ukraine is also more Greek
        Orthodox than the West .. a difficult split of the
        Christian Church which has repercussions even now ..

      2. A strange situation. Invasions are usually characterised by armies fighting each other.
        I have seen plenty of claims that Russian troops have “invaded” Ukraine but no reports of any fighting between Russian and Ukrainian troops. Nor have I seen reports of Ukrainian troops retreating to avoid having to fight..
        The US is pretty good at spying, so you would imagine that they could provide photographic evidence of an invasion, or even of mass troop movements into Donbas. If they have it, they haven’t produced it yet. Maybe they will at some point. Let’s wait and see.
        What we do know is that the Minsk Agreement, which was brokered by France and Germany in 2014, has been ignored by Ukraine though they had signed up to it. They made no effort to set up provision for Luhansk and Donetsk to exist within Ukraine as autonomous regions. Instead they kept on with low level attacks which were ramped up in recent months.
        As for the UN – they are just a talking shop – see Palestine.

  21. PS Ive just watched the recording of PMQ and see that some
    ghastly Tory woman MP has been spreading lies about what
    some MPs have said about the Ukraine .. daring Starmer to
    discipline them. He is so stupid I guess he might ..

    Some good questions in the House though – among them
    a Qn from the leader of the SNP about dirty money and the
    Tories. Johnson ended the session by throwing a dead cat on
    the table .. and it was this that inspired the Tory woman to
    rant on with her smears and lies.

  22. NATO is about supporting Western capital and Putin though a nationalist (who has reasserted central control) is about supporting Russian capital.
    We must always remember the first casualty of war is the truth (applicable to this crisis too) but
    I have been reading disturbing reports on Neo-Facist involvement in the Ukraine Govt and in its army and it is argued they have been driving policy to attack the use of the Russian language, have been renaming streets to remove Russian symbolic names etc (it is also suggested they are virulently anti-Semitic too) and I watched a video today showing a Ukraine army base in Donetz flying a Nazi flag so perhaps we can see why Russia may want to go in to protect citizens.
    Ideally they shouldn’t but perhaps in such a context you could understand why they would want to.
    By chance I have just started reading a book on how the US got rid of many experienced diplomats and replaced them with military appointments which may explain much, then throw in Neo-Con Hawks in senior positions and perhaps we can see why the world is in such a dire political state.
    And of course ending the German-Russian gas pipeline offers a boon to US Fracking profits who need oil to be $80+ Dollars a barrel.
    There must be an economic payback?
    NATO should go but my concern has always been to try to find a replacement which the Left needs to address and we could do with an urgent conference.
    Perhaps within the context of working people of no countries are our enemies, the UN could be proactive instead of reactive and facilitate a consultation amongst diverse working people in every country on how we can build military security in every country, in every region, and globally.
    One that serves us not capital and the rich and powerful.
    Neo-Liberalism’s greatest victory was to stop the Left from dreaming so perhaps it’s time to start dreaming again and this time on war and peace.

  23. Corbyn and McDonald wanted to ostracise the oligarchs
    and stop them laundering their money through London –
    this was a few years ago!

    At last the Tories are striking at a few Oligarchs – but not enough!

    The deputy opposition leader (currently in exile) said a while
    ago that they should be targeted rather than state assets as
    Putin could not make propaganda from the former.

    Obviously too – the Russian people are not responsible
    for all this..

  24. I have glanced through the McGovern piece and he is wrong
    in stating that the West does not appreciate a
    Russian/Chinese alliance .. they do and it has been
    discussed.

    However he predicates one of his assertions “so long as Putin is
    not stupid enough to invade The Ukraine” Well he has now ..

  25. So tragically it has begun.
    If only diplomacy had been given a chance instead of sabre rattling on both sides.
    When partition ended in Germany NATO promised Russia it would not expand one more inch East but in the last 30 years it has expanded 800 miles East.
    Perhaps also the Elephant in the room is the presence of the Far Right in the Ukraine Govt and army which to Russia is a red rag to a bull and as well as claiming to protect citizens in the breakaway areas, this perhaps from their perspective has given them a justification for going in there?
    Many of us would have preferred a peaceful diplomatic solution but let’s hope that’s as far as they go and Putin has just said he wants to “DeNazify Ukraine.”
    Of course Corbyn the other day (before Russia going in) talked a lot of sense saying they should withdraw from the breakaway areas and the UK Govt should press for a return to Minsk 2.
    And that NATO should not expand further East.
    So it’s all so tragic and was probably avoidable with good diplomatic skills but as I mentioned the US has got rid of most of its experienced diplomats and replaced them with military personnel and some Neo-Con Hawks so no wonder the world is in such a poor political state.
    We need a new global security system ideally facilitated by the UN.
    Yours in peace.

    1. Indeed. Not supporting governments with Nazi elements in it ought to be a red line for any self-respecting country like ours. We should stay well out of this local spat. Ukraine is still not a NATO member any more than it was last week, but let’s not let a technicality get in the way of a good war, eh!

      1. Yes, that’s right, Steve, you logical genius, just as you’re an apologist for NATO’s imperialist ambitions and an apologist for Nazi scum, to boot!

      2. timfrom – I make no apology for supporting the UK’s membership of NATO, the majority of the UK’s electorate agree with me on this.

        On the Kremlin’s imperialism
        Posted on February 23, 2022 by J. M. Korhonen
        Greetings from a Finnish leftist!
        The international situation has apparently left many people in the English-speaking countries confused. I write this thread in the hopes of sharing a perspective I believe is widely if not unilaterally shared in Finland, most leftists included.
        What we see happening in #Ukraine right now is, to put it bluntly, Russian (or more precisely, the Kremlin’s) imperialism. If no other evidence convinces you, I beseech you to read a translation of Putin’s speech yesterday.
        This has very little if anything to do with NATO, and almost everything to do with Putin’s desire to reinstate the Russian Empire. He has consistently maintained in public that it was a “mistake” to “allow” the former Soviet republics to become independent.
        Now he said out loud that Lenin made an error in 1917 when he let the former Russian territories “go.” One of the countries that gained independence from Russia in 1917, by the way, was Finland.
        What Putin seems to fear the most, rightly so, is that democratic revolution reaches Moscow. Thus, democracy itself is a threat to him.
        He is not really afraid of NATO military forces: we can objectively demonstrate that the deployment of NATO forces to countries close to Russia used to be laughably minuscule before 2014.
        Only after Putin’s blatant 2008 and 2014 breaches of post-World War II convention of not redrawing the map of Europe with a sword did NATO even step up military deployments. Still, the deployments were mostly cosmetic.
        The post-2017 “enhanced forward presence” in the Baltics, for instance, consisted of four battalion task groups. Independent analysts have now counted about 125 similar Russian army groups massing along Ukraine’s borders.
        The most powerful nuclear weapon states in the world really do not fear an attack by other nation states. But what frightens Putin and his band of kleptocrats is the very real possibility that the Russian people decide to get rid of them.
        Democratic, successful countries bordering European Russia are a menace to him personally. They show the Russians an alternative, and can serve as sanctuaries for dissidents that Putin would like to invite for a tea by the window.
        This is the reason why Putin is doing his best to undermine the European Union, for instance. He cynically supports the European and American far right, up to and including support from clandestine intelligence services and financial assistance………….

        read the full article here
        https://jmkorhonen.net/2022/02/23/on-the-kremlins-imperialism/

  26. How true is it that there are Nazi elements in the Ukraine
    Govt – are they any worse than in the Hungarian Govt –
    which is straight forwardly antisemitic? The President of
    the Ukraine is Jewish – and is partly of
    Russian-Ukrainian extraction ..

    There were certainly Nazi elements in the Ukraine during
    WW2 – how many have survived is uncertain. The book
    “A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian” besides being
    funny is also compassionate about events during WW2.

    There are also events pre-WW2 to consider – the
    Great Hunger – the Holodomor

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holodomor

  27. “Another naive apologist for Putin’s imperialist ambitions.”

    Who?

    Putin is mainly suffering from paranoia is the opinion
    of many in the West . He has isolated himself – terrified
    of COVID it seems – and he is beyond any sensible
    advice.

    1. He means me. For an introduction to Ukrainian nationalism, try this.

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svoboda_(political_party)

      Svoboda and Right Sector were heavily involved in the Maidan coup of 2014. Their hero is Stepan Bandera, Nazi collaborator in WW2. Worth looking up.

      Also worth Wikipedia-ing are the Azov Battalion, based in Mariupol on the Sea of Azov coast, which is actually IN the Donesk oblast.

  28. Concerning religion and ethnicity – it is not really
    me that emphasises Religion but PUTIN.

    In his maudlin speech about the relationship between
    Russia and the Ukraine he finishes off:

    .. Ukraine is Russian and ORTHODOX
    (caps are mine) l

    In the excellent WhyskySour (?) discussion involving
    Aaron Bastarni (?) a speech by the Nigerian Diplomat to the UN
    is applauded. The diplomat admits that there IS a relationship between land and Ethnicity but says it has been disregarded in Africa-
    and far more so than in any European State. He says ideally
    the relationship would be respected but this would mean years
    of blood shed while it is sorted out. Instead they decided in
    Africa that they would stick to the borders assigned by the
    Europeans powers who colonised the State – in other
    words the lesser of two evils.

    (I will try to find the link to the original discussion
    involving Bastani.)

    1. I have checked and the UN speech is linked to a Novara
      piece “TyskySour”(?) , It is the Kenyan Ambassador who gave
      the speech!

      Sorry about the errors ..

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