Analysis Breaking comment

Video: one of last Siege of Leningrad survivors arrested for asking for end to war

Eight Russian police officers force Elena Osipova to leave anti-war protest

76yo Elena Osipova, one of the last living survivors of the Siege of Leningrad, knows the horror of war. Over the 872 days it lasted, more Russian people were killed and injured than the combined British and American losses in the entire war and the city was reduced to rubble.

So she knows what she is talking about when she demands an end to the war in Ukraine – and perhaps because of that and no doubt the esteem in which she will be held by the Russian people, she was singled out by Russian police. Eight officers arrested Ms Osipova and made her leave the protest:

Protests against the war continue in Russia and around the world. Meanwhile, Labour’s notional leader Keir Starmer, who appears to be trying to outdo Boris Johnson in sabre-rattling and eagerness for war, threatened to expel from the party any MP who attended tonight’s Stop the War demonstration against the invasion.

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  1. …..and Putin is bringing in new laws to jail anyone posting anything that the Kremlin deems as fake news about the illegal invasion of Ukraine for 15yrs. It puts all the fake histrionics about RT being taken off the air into perspective.

    1. No it doesn’t SteveieH. If you believe in Freedom of Speech & Diversity of Opinion you must question why RT was taken off air in EU, closely followed by GB. The ‘gruesome twosome’ of Johnson & Starmer are not only war-mongers, but share a propensity to ‘no platform’ anyone who may disagree with them on any issue; that is a classic sign of a ‘Fascist Leadership’. In a healthy democracy, Freedom of Speech’ is the cornerstone, but the Police, Crime, Sentencing & Courts Bill, 2021 will severely limit public right to protest.& as I grow older (& older) now in my 70s, I foresee a future that may well entail not only my time spent in continual active protest but time spent in prison resisting gov’t. Whatever happened to the Labour Party?

      1. steve101704 – I suggest you take a look at how Putin is currently clamping down on civil liberties and freedom of speech in Russia before you embarrass yourself any further.

      2. Stevieh: “I suggest you take a look at how Putin is currently clamping down on civil liberties and freedom of speech in Russia before you embarrass yourself any further.”

        In other words “we might be oppressing and repressing citizens’ freedoms and rights, but he’s (allegedly) doing it more” Doesn’t Wash!

        Not least because we have much more to “give up”.

        UK UK Gov’t to make some EMERGENCY “Covid Laws” permanent Fully backed – of course – by Sir Keir Rodney WEF Starmer – champion of neoliberal capitalism’s NEWWORLDORDER (for the Few, not the Man)

      3. “Section 30 gave coroners the right to have an inquest without a jury when Covid19 was a suspected cause of death, why they want this to be permanent I can’t see as yet. Except maybe to further erode the ideas behind the Jury system they’ve been attempting to undermine throughout the “pandemic”. Of course, it could als be amended to include any other disease they wish.

        “That is expected to be passed into law as part of the Judicial Review and Courts Bill.

        “Sections 53-55, though, empowered the justice system to hold trials over the internet, via audio or video link. Making this permanent has massive implications for human rights moving forward, not to mention leaving the system wide open for abuse and fakery (pre-recordings, deep fakes or other digital manipulation).

        “These will be added to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill”

        Credit Kit Knightly (here)

    2. SteveH
      We need to gaol MSM and toilet papers for fake news and propaganda, that’s after we have bankrupted them
      Why the hell we choose to support Nazis and the neo cons who have an ideology of continuous War for profit
      Millions die to keep the kleptocracy in the style they think they are entitled to

      1. Doug – FFS Grow Up, both the President and the PM of Ukraine are Jewish

      2. SteveH
        Are you saying Jewish people cannot behave like Nazis, that’s anti semitic and contra to all the available evidence
        Are you saying Jewish people have not been murdered by Ukrainian forces, then you are dangerously deluded

      3. Doug – Thanks for your evidence free ‘assertions’.
        What I’m saying is that it is inconceivable that a country full of Nazi sympathisers would elect a Jewish President and a Jewish PM.

      4. Stevieh : “FFS Grow Up, both the President and the PM of Ukraine are Jewish”

        As are most members of the knesset and the Government of Israel

        (“first time as tragedy, 2nd as farce (except for Palestinians))

      5. qwertboi – Could you please confirm that your latest ‘assertion’ is that Ukraine is full of Nazi Jews.

      6. “your latest ‘assertion’ is that Ukraine is full of Nazi Jews.”

        That’s not my belief at all.

        * I do believe that the governments which have been in power since 2004 have been uncomfortably close to fascism, or if you prefer, the same authoritarian blend of nationalism and right wing positions that Sir Keir has a taste for.
        *. I do believe tha from Obama onwards the USA has manipulated and courted these recklessly right-leaning governments.

        * I also believe tha since 2014 right-wing ‘people party’ types in Government in Ukraine have been agitting in support of US geopolitical aims. i) Nato-fication of Eastern Europe, and ii) closure of Russian Nord Stream gas distribution.

        *. The knesset and nazi-like nationalists in government point is an entirely different point, and was made to demonstrate that Jews can support nationalist right-wing apartheid-ism as easily as the Goyim.

        As you know, the UN has passed more Resolutions against Israel than against the entire rest of the world.

  2. Keev Starmer “threatened to expel from the party any MP who attended tonight’s Stop the War demonstration against the invasion”.

    What an insecure knobhead. For me, that would’ve been all the red rag that my bull needed!

      1. timfrom – Fair enough, but I was just pointing out that it was inaccurate.

      2. SteveH
        The war criminal didn’t object to Labour MP’s supporting ‘Stop the War’ at the height of the fake dossier
        Can you clarify what Temporary Embarrassment has failed to learn from ZERO WMD

  3. Elena is misinformed.
    Russia had to act to prevent further massacres of the people of the Donbas, whose offence in the eyes of the fascistic government of Ukraine is to speak Russian and to refuse to honour the Nazi collaborators who dominate, through terrorism (they rarely win more than 3% of the vote in elections) the government of Ukraine.
    During the past seven years in excess of 9000 Donbas residents have been killed by shelling and sniping by government supported militias.
    No doubt reciting these well known facts, along with the fact that NATO promised Russia not to expand after German re-unification would be enough to earn anyone listening expulsion from the Labour Party. Every increase in NATO membership has been a breach of solemn undertakings, excused, in the American fashion, on the grounds that Russia was too weak to resist.
    Expulsion from the Party has become a badge of honour. Membership is fast becoming a mark of shame.

    1. bevin – Thanks for so clearly disassociating yourself from the Labour Party, I would hate to think that anyone would confuse your f’ wit Putin apologist nonsense with the Labour Party’s policy.

      1. Do you have to be so ignorant of the English language that every second word is foul and abusive language mr aliases Steve h ..davidh sh…centrist dad and Steve Hall being just a few of your disguises to boost the argument and keep the money coming….regards😉😉

      2. Joseph – Don’t exaggerate, I have just used language that was appropriately descriptive.

      3. Then Steve Hall maybe you should be “moderated” as I am sick of the filthy language and thank God that you are not teaching young children in the Caribbean bolt hole and distorting one of the only things that the British empire brought to the attention of the World..
        and a real name would be appreciatedI have defended your right to free speech but in English please….regards former comrade

      4. Joseph – Get over yourself. Even China couldn’t bring themselves to support Putin at the UN. Have you seen the news that the ICC has opened an investigation into Putin’s war crimes.

      5. SteveH03/03/2022 AT 1:27 AM
        bevin – Thanks for so clearly disassociating yourself from the Labour Party, I would hate to think that anyone would confuse your f’ wit Putin apologist nonsense with the Labour Party’s policy.

        And the ONLY reason you’re not a Putin apologist is because you’re not living in Russia. Otherwise you’d have voted for him because he was best of a bad bunch.

        Morally defunct gobshite.

      6. Toffee – But you are the “Morally defunct gobshite” who is supporting Putin. You really shouldn’t assume that everyone is as gullible as you so obviously are.

      7. It’s ironic that the invasion of Iraq was based on totally fraudulent concerns, which practically the whole of the MSM went along with, and now we have an invasion (and one that could easily have been avoided) based on totally legitimate concerns, and the MSM (and StevesHill) play along with the false narrative being dissembled by the US and European fascists!

      8. Well…

        It’s up to YOU to find anything, anywhere, from me, in support of putin.

        Go on then.

      9. @stevieh – that’s good of you. bevin’s analysis is often incisive!

        Sadly, though, he is right. The starmerclique are denaturing Labour and turning it into something really rather disgusting, and cerainly not “for the Man, not the Few”, for Peace or Justice.

      10. qwertboi – don’t be silly Labour are consistently ahead in the polls

    2. Spot on bevin the hypocrisy of the west is mind boggling and the ignorance of modern history and current events is a reflection on the education of the country.Why anyone would continue to keep collanerating with the labour party is breathtaking….and hardly worth commenting on as they are happy with it.or they wouldnt remain.The so called left are so called!
      .Why they hang on in the PLP takes some believing as they are deservedly out on their formidable backsides before the next general election.

      1. Joseph – You are just another of Putin’s gullible idiots. What is it about authoritarian and narcissistic dictators like Putin that attracts the support of pseudo lefty f’ wits like yourself.

    3. bevin, over the past eight year 14,000 Donbass residents have been killed by by the Ukrainian Nazi Battalion. An army that has been trained and armed by US/NATO and by UK Special Forces. As you can see from the new Skwawkbox piece war crimes are being committed by both sides. However, if Ukraine had kept to the Minsk Protocol none of this would have happened. The West is responsible for this War. Please watch this lecture by Professor John Mearsheimer:

      1. What I’ve read on wiki about the minsk aggreements doesn’t relate at all.

    4. The Russians shouldn’t have even been in Ukranian Donbass. Yes its a messy situation and yes our corrupt capitalism encourages imperialism and violence but Putin is governing a mafia state that that bears no relation to western “democracies”

    1. Well at least she wasnt beaten to the ground with a trunchon zapped like they do in Britain with most demos that are soon to be illegal under the draconian laws brought in under the disguises of covid emergency powers and now permanent…till we have a Opposition party.

      1. Joseph – Under Putin’s new laws they would have shipped her off to a Gulag for 15 years.

      2. Typically steve davidh….behind the times and in the front pushing fascists propaganda …..There are no Gulags in Russia theye disappeared into the history of Stalin its a pity you didnt take advantage of the education system whilst it was free in higher education…maybe you were unable to understand the application form whilst f ing..and blinding like the moron you work for in the bunker at southside….Get a grip?

      3. Joseph – Is that really the best riposte that you could manage to come up with?

      4. …Joseph – Under Putin’s new laws they would have shipped her off to a Gulag for 15 years…

        Said without a thought for Assange and others

    2. Sorry Tony, I disagree. World needs nuclear weapons…

      Since 1945, America has taught the world that you must have nuclear weapons. As they threw their military weight around in the decades after, smart folks saw the lesson.

      Think of Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya, Vietnam and dozens of others.

      Now look at North Korea and other nuclear capable countries.

      No, the world is okay with nuclear weapons, it’s the Americans and their supporters who need disappearing.

      Isn’t that sad…

      1. Doesn’t look like the government of Vietnam agrees with you on that one. It has not sought nuclear weapons.

  4. Guess there’s a mistake here. The seige ended September ’44 and if she’s 76, was born in ’46.

  5. After tonight’s ‘stream of belligerence’, from Steve H, here’s some calm, clear thinking from JC :

    1. Yes George saw that great piece by Jeremy and when Putin was “On side” Putin had a state visit here and why there’s Cherie Blair PM’s wife kissing Putin on the cheek!
      What is disgusting now is anyone who dares to think is attacked as being Pro-Putin but it was only the Left who were raising the issue of Putin and Chechnya years ago oh and there’s Mr Blair again the first to rush to Moscow to congratulate Putin in the election there post Chechnya!
      We want peace and support the talks but the elephant in the room is the presence and influence of the Far Right in Ukraine and particularly in Donbas – see ‘’Natoland’ Tariq Ali, NLR Sidecar Blog, and ‘War in Europe and Raw Propaganda.’
      Many of us believe that this could and should have been avoided and sabre rattling by Western politicians and counter sabre rattling by Putin et al didn’t help.
      By pure chance I had just started reading a book by R. Farrow, ‘War On Peace’ which shows how the US in recent years have replaced a lot of their experienced diplomats with military personnel and throw in a few Neo-Con Hawks and perhaps this was also another fault line.
      The tragedy is that when the US says jump western politicians say how high?
      The only one (plus 11 Labour Lefties) who has shown common sense is Jeremy Corbyn.
      For most of us on the Left:
      Reason Does Not Sleep!

    2. Thank you for this George Peel – Jeremy Corbyn the voice of reason as always

    3. How much notice do you think that Putin is going to take of yesterday’s man.

  6. Elena Osipova – she survived the siege a baby ..

    It is not surprising that she is the oldest – conditions were
    such that very many died of hunger, cold etc.

    However I am turning off the TV every time I hear anything
    about the oligarchs – Corbyn and McDonald demanded a
    raft of sanctions against the oligarchs after the Salisbury poisoning
    and further – wanted the OPCW involved more than they were
    eg inspections .. As it was all they did was confirm the samples
    they were given were indeed the noxious substance.

  7. bevin, your view on the war in Donbas is clear but I am struggling to reconcile it with the information I have come across, from OCSE reports, from the involvement of Igor Girkin and the analysis of Piontkovsky. I recognise that, just as some might cheer on the Russian people protesting the war then so too should we in the West acknowledge that we need to look at our own culpability – if people can’t do that then it perpetuates the notion that war is the answer rather than the brutal acknowledgement that we haven’t looked deeply enough at ourselves to come up with a better answer. All by way of a preamble to evidence that I am trying to engage in good faith rather than instigate yet another exchange of volleys peppered with accusations as to who is an apologist or stooge for whom. Jaw-jaw does not generate the massive profits of its kinetic counterpart but I persist in thinking that, conducted respectfully, it can lead to a better understanding and a greater reluctance to turn to violence.

    1. One of the first enactments of the Ukrainian govt who ruled
      after Maidan Square was to outlaw the speaking of Russian ..

      I do not think that at all a helpful move towards peace!

      There was a civil war following – as the folks who lived in
      or near the Donbas wearily told the TV reporters .. which
      has not ceased and with deaths of children. The BBC did report
      this while this was brewing up ..

      But a Nazi govt in Ukraine – nope. The people were sick of
      corruption and elected someone who was not political. There
      was an attempt to manipulate him by Trump .. and Putin has
      claimed during a rambling speech that Ukraine is not a country.

      Zelenski is Jewish and is a Russian speaker. During the last few
      years a memorial to Babi -Yar was erected in Kyiv – a project
      which was not allowed by the Soviets – the memorial has
      since been badly damaged in the bombing

      1. Not sure that anyone has said that the Ukraine government is a Nazi one. There is evidence that one section of the Ukraine armed forces wears a Nazi insignia and that, straight after the coup, this group burned over 40 Russian-speakers to death and badly injured many more and that the Ukraine government has never tried to bring them to justice. There is also an element of the ruling group in Ukraine that reveres the Ukrainian WWII Nazi leader.
        All this doesn’t make the invasion right. Just gives some perspective on events.
        As for Zelensky – He’s a comedian so, before he became president, he had no experience of dealing with domestic politics, let alone international politics. I fear that he has been taken advantage of by the Ukrainian elite and by NATO and that he has been out of his depth.

      2. Jewish times shows the monument as untouched.

        Beware of propaganda

  8. Swawk needs to get a handle on this despicable war. It is being waged by the leader of a corrupt thugocracy, kleptocracy, dictatorship who shows clear signs of being mentally ill.If the left media is to suceed it has to be able to see trhough the fog of hatred of the everyday right wing corrupt capitalist “democracies” and recognise the devastating and planet threatening war that Putin is threatening. Where a people are fighting and losing there right to exist as any sort of democratic state you need to support them catergorically

  9. Oh dear. Here we go again.
    Many of us, whilst deploring the invasion of Ukraine, can see that there are no good guys and bad guys – in fact there are no good guys at all, other than most of the ordinary people in Russia, Ukraine, UK and the NATO countries.
    We are treated, again, to the simplistic mantra that anyone who points out the duplicity of NATO over the decades since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Nazi elements in the Ukrainian government or the fact that the Ukrainian people are the victims of a “Great Powers” power play, is a “Putin apologist”.
    At the same time he fails to make his position clear by answering a simple question –
    “Were you also taking the same position in 2014, when a coup overthrew the democratically elected government in Ukraine, and saying that that was disgraceful and that the Ukrainian people should have been allowed to exercise their democratic will in the elections which were scheduled for later that year?”
    Given the alacrity with which a response to most comments appears, I have to assume that we have a contributor here who is an apologist for Fascists (those who mounted the coup) and Nazis (Azov).

    1. To put it bluntly Squawkbox have been more than even handed in supporting the Anti war opinion and who among us can complain about that.Without anti war we could never reach a conclusion with so many bloodthirsty politicians wiilling to stoke the flames…and from a historic veiw always have done
      .Putin is no saint but he needs to defend the doorstep from a increasingly war like Nato and the USA.Dont forget that this crises as released the greatest bank robbers in history the USA and dont ever forget the massive amount of gold and oil that the Russian government have and the Americans would like to have.

      1. Joseph – Don’t be so naive. Putin is more at risk from the Russian people than he is from NATO. Just take a look at how Putin is clamping down on free speech and civil liberties in Russia. Ask yourself would Putin have invaded Ukraine if they still had nuclear weapons.

      2. SteveH
        They are neither a deterrent nor independent you pillock

      3. Doug – and your comment is relevant in this context because?

      4. SteveH
        Reminds me of Pierrepont the hangman, he came to the conclusion that the death sentence was not a deterrent
        What makes you think Nuclear weapons are a deterrent, what happens when someone calls your bluff, because that’s where we are now
        The biggest and most expensive Penis extension in the world

      5. Doug – Ask yourself would Putin have invaded Ukraine if they still had nuclear weapons.

  10. The United States has the Monroe doctrine by which in 1823 U.S. President James Monroe proclaimed the U.S. protector of the Western Hemisphere by forbidding European powers from colonizing additional territories in the Americas. In return, Monroe committed to not interfere in the affairs, conflicts, and extant colonial enterprises of European states. No don’t laugh.
    During the Cold War era, President John F. Kennedy invoked the Monroe Doctrine during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, when he ordered a naval and air quarantine of Cuba after the Soviet Union began building missile-launching sites there. Ronald Regan was the last President to Use it.
    Now we have the Masters of the Universe saying their sphere of influence covers the whole of the Western hemisphere from the tip of South America Tierro del Fuego to the United States which is well over 6,000 miles away and anywhere North, East and West of the United states including the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, and that European powers or any peer nation who challengers that doctrine [as Bidens National Security advisor said recently] will be dealt with decisively.
    In view of the above, the United States insist on the right of Ukraine to join NATO, Ukraine has a large border with Russia and historically has been the gateway for hostile armies to attack Russia, Nazi Germany was the latest to try and in defending themselves the Soviet Union lost 10.s of millions of citizens.
    But it is worse than that NATO would put in bases with Nuclear tipped missiles as they have done with Poland and Romania with a flight time of just 5 minutes to Moscow, just recently President Zelensky has mooted the acquisition of nuclear weapons.
    George Kennan US statesman foresaw the dangers when he said in 1998 the expansion of NATO would be an ‘epic fateful mistake’ and a “strategic blunder of potentially epic proportions” he was right.
    Quite clearly and rightly Russia views all this as an existential threat to its existence, a threat the United States has taken no heed of and ignores with contempt, this is a red line which Russians say will not be crossed and as a nation with huge self respect are prepared to fight anyone who threatens its existance’

  11. Quote “Even China couldn’t bring themselves to support Putin at the UN. ”
    China abstained, as did India, Iraq, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and 29 others.
    Abstention = neither support nor opposition. They seem to think it’s none of their business.

    1. @Goldbach

      It’s clear Luke missed the statement issued by Russia and China at the start of the Olympics. The joint statement fills many blanks on how the great game is going to pan out.

      Also, if Kiev does change alliance towards Russia, does this mean immediate sanctions for Ukraine? Either way, interesting times ahead.

  12. goldbach, as there is some ambiguity as to the ‘he’ you are referring to is, I am going to assume that it is not me, as I responded even-handedly to the question you posed, have asserted a position that acknowledges culpability on the part of the West and, in light of the material I have encountered, expressed scepticism as to the narratives being presented regarding the Donbas War. If you did indeed mean me, I’m quite prepared to evidence and explain how I arrived at my partial understanding and if, in the course of that I come to a better, different opinion then all to the good but the exchange of opinions is better served by coherent argument and sharing of sources that substantiate them rather than, as with a number of responses here, tarring someone who does not subscribe to one’s opinion as an apologist for Fascists or Putin. The fact that people are drawn to these positions is because they offer the solace of not having to think too long about the human implications of pursuing their ideologies and I come on here, sifting a lot of chaff from the wheat, to help with some of that thinking.

    1. You are right, Tim. I wasn’t referring to you. I apologise if the construction of my comments gave even the slightest impression. that I was referring to you. I was, of course, referring to the one whom some call the “resident troll”.
      I guess that it was the one I posted on 03/03/2022 AT 12:24 PM. The question I posed was one which I had asked him previously and which had elicited no response, and that is why I referred to his unwillingness to criticise the coup or recognise that the Odessa murders contributed to what is a dreadful situation in Ukraine.
      Keep winnowing.

  13. Excellent piece by Oliver Eagleton (Editor, New Left Review) on Novara Media.
    Part of Putin’s justification for invasion was “human intervention” which is exactly the same reason the US-Led West gave for going in, in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.
    So their world views “may have more in common than they care to admit.”
    As long as the Left always remembers – diverse working people of no country are our enemies.
    Diverse working people of the World Unite!
    Yours in Peace.

  14. Two points related to the conflict:
    1. It may be just me, but first with the enforced stasis of COVID and now the scarcity exacerbated by war, we have been presented with first a means and then a strong rationale to reduce our dependency on fossil fuels yet the openings both present in different ways have been sidelined (by the boosterish ‘build back better’ and ‘spend more on arms’ respectively. In a week when the IPCC published a yet more urgent report – – relegated to an ‘in other news’ slot, the public seems content to fixate on the bear and believe that the wolf is no longer a pressing concern. Energy (and food) security as occasioned by this conflict really should feed into our response to the world that we hope exists when the fighting stops.
    2. Having been warned that the fighting may not stop any time soon – and its a separate issue as to whether, if it has a long tail characterised by an occupation with a bloody resistance that fails to hold the public’s attention in the same way that the 8 year prelude to invasion struggled to – what is the appetite for Ukrainian support when it is presented as the reason our standard of living has decreased so significantly? Of course it is a contributory factor rather than the sole reason but no domestic politician would pass up the opportunity to deflect responsibility for rapid price increases, particularly if they are at the sharp end of an election cycle. (see also ‘because of COVID’ and according to taste ‘because of/not because of BREXIT).

    1. Russia will beat up Ukraine just enough to get what it wants, to get what could have been given quite cheaply anytime in the last 10 years
      Neo cons never ending war is to blame
      Good news is China prefers to win the economic war by investing in countries and people, what we don’t know is how they will treat those countries when they default
      Greece might offer some clues
      However China has chosen to deal with some less than democratic nations, so what happens when a despot defaults will be interesting, hopefully they will be disappeared and a more stable environment will emerge

  15. In response to post from Goldbach at 12.39pm
    today .. some person or persons have indeed
    said that the Zelenski Govt is a Nazi one ..

    As for him being “just a comedian” he has
    a law degree ***

    The irony is that Putin is in fact legitimising the
    existence of NATO by his invasion .. for Ukraine
    would not have been invaded if it had been a
    member. Not only that he claims to want Ukraine
    to be close to Russia because he loves it – so to
    encourage it to be close – he attacks it. To
    me this is typically controlling male behaviour
    sadly apparent from News Stories every day:
    “If you dont love me I’ll kill you!”

    What this highlights more than anything is the vile
    presence of Nuclear weapons and the existence of MAD.
    We only need one insane leader – or even just a mistake ..
    think Trump .. think Putin .. think a number of people,

    1. No you think .Holby fan….Biden,Johnson..macron..and the newly emboldened German war machine……and that dictator starmer…..try a couple of documentries for a change on the positions of a leader sorouned by overwhelming military force of two continents europe and America and wonder were h is duty should be.?

      1. I’m guessing that there must be a reason why Putin’s neighbours don’t want anything to do with him. Do you have any idea what it could be?

  16. HFM – A few points.
    Having met quite a number of solicitors, I can tell you that I would be happy for most of them to do my conveyancing and for one or two to represent me if I needed to appear in court, but I wouldn’t want any of them as PM.
    Can’t see the relevance of allusions to stereotyping psychology/gender politics in this matter.
    And regarding the “madman” trope – Scott Ritter is worth a read
    None of this excuses the invasion. It just helps to explain it.

    1. ” .. relevance of allusions to stereotyping psychology/gender
      politics in this matter.”

      This is not really about gender politics and I should not
      have made it appear that way..

      It can happen between ANY two human beings where
      one controls and abuses another .. the abuser claims
      to love another yet abuses them

  17. Just a quick shout to any Evertonians living in the Erdington constituency….Hurry up.. Get out and vote Nellist.

    You’ll feel better for it in the mornin’ 👍

      1. All the local papers in the West Midlands have a similar report. They talk of polling closing in a “really tight” election.


        Dave Nellist (TUSC) 360 (2.12%)

      3. ….. or at least manage to hang onto your deposit this time.

        1997 Coventry South Socialist Alternative 3,262 6.5% Not elected
        2001 Coventry North East Socialist Alternative 2,638 7.1% Not elected
        2005 Coventry North East Socialist Alternative 1,874 5.04% Not elected
        2010 Coventry North East TUSC 1,592 3.7% Not elected
        2015 Coventry North West TUSC 1,769 3.9% Not elected
        2022 Birmingham Erdington TUSC (will he manage to hold onto his deposit this time)

  18. Can someone check in case it’s April 1st.? I’ve just learned that Gavin Williamson is to get a knighthood.

    1. goldbach
      Queen Betty giving the Middle East Peace Envoy the highest honour in the land is a close second

      1. It must be April 1st.
        I’ve just watched a clip of a press conference where Jen Psaki says that the US has a “long-standing practice” of not supporting coups and unconstitutional transfers of power.

      2. Oh my God, that beats Kissinger getting the Nobel Peace Prize! As Tom Lehrer would’ve said, satire is indeed dead.

  19. NVLA – “Jewish times shows the monument as untouched.”
    The Times of Israel has reported that there has been some “damage at the site” rather than damage to the memorial.
    They’re not pleased but are not going overboard about it.
    Other quotes from the ToI –
    “The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations (sic) issued a statement on Wednesday expressing outrage over the “humanitarian tragedy” unfolding in Ukraine, while avoiding casting blame on Russia.”
    “Ukraine, Russia agree on humanitarian corridors to evacuate civilians.”
    The situation is pretty terrible but our media could do with stepping back a little and trying to report dispassionately. If the ToI can do it, why not?

  20. HFM – A few points.
    Having met quite a number of solicitors, I can tell you that I would be happy for most of them to do my conveyancing and for one or two to represent me if I needed to appear in court, but I wouldn’t want any of them as PM.

    Indeed. There’s far too many lawyers infesting parliamenr as it is… Off the top of my head I can’t name a single one that is/are any good at either law and politics.

    1. I could and should’ve made meself more succinct…

      PM? Wouldn’t go that far – Can’t think of a single one of them in the commons fit to be an MP

    2. PLP…..Parliamentary Lawyers Party …now we wonder how the labour party lost most of its members and is on the precipice of Bankruptcy.?

    3. If you want to become an MP in Starmer’s Labour Party you must demonstrate that you are ‘just like him’ in more ways than one, but first you must become a solicitor!

  21. Re Williamson and knighthood
    My understanding is that in the civil service the gong is despatched if you hang around long enough. This, however, reeks of ‘go quietly and we’ll see you right’. Anyone in receipt of an honour probably feels it has diminished in value following this announcement.

    1. Tim _ Gavin Williamson is an MP, he is not a civil servant. He used to be a Tory Whip, I wonder what he has on Johnson.

  22. Sir keir Rodney starmer the pancho villa of modern politics in Britain.
    The man who oversaw a revolution. in the labour party and later became a Bandit “

  23. Whoosh….Labour goes down again….
    Brasted, Chevening & Sundridge (Sevenoaks) council by-election result:

    CON: 58.7% (+4.5)
    LDEM: 37.5% (+1.2)
    LAB: 3.7% (-5.7)

    Conservative HOLD.

    Votes cast: 1,396

  24. Southchurch (Southend) council by-election result:

    CON: 64.3% (+1.1)
    IND: 18.4% (+18.4)
    LAB: 9.0% (-7.3)
    GRN: 5.5% (-2.2)
    LDEM: 2.8% (+0.1)

    Conservative HOLD.

    Votes cast: 1,595

  25. Whooosh…..Tumbling Labour.

    Downhall & Rawreth (Rochford) council by-election result:

    LDEM: 71.5% (+1.4)
    CON: 23.9% (+2.1)
    LAB: 4.6% (-3.6)

    Liberal Democrat HOLD.

    Votes cast: 1,107

    1. What happened to the left’s vote, they lost their deposit again. I suspect the lower than expected turnout was more to do with the weather than anything else.

      1. ALL your comments are in the wrong place, or don’t Fabians have a blog of their own?

  26. Whooosh And another :

    Rayleigh North (Essex) council by-election result:

    LDEM: 57.4% (+12.3)
    CON: 32.2% (-11.8)
    IND: 5.7% (+5.7)
    LAB: 4.7% (-6.1)

    Liberal Democrat HOLD.

    Votes cast: 2,888

    1. Thanks for the info but there was never any realistic prospect of Labour winning any of seats that you have listed. However it is pleasing to see that Redhill, Sunderland is back in Labour’s hands.

  27. How can anyone continue to defend Putin.

    Ukrainian nuclear plant, Europe’s largest, ablaze after Russian attack
    BORODYANKA/LVIV, Ukraine, March 4 (Reuters) – The largest nuclear power plant in Europe is on fire following a Russian attack, Ukraine’s foreign minister said on Friday, as he called for a security zone and firefighters to be allowed to tackle the incident.

    A generating unit at the plant has been hit during an attack by Russian troops and part of the station is on fire, RIA news agency cited the Ukrainian atomic energy ministry as saying on Friday.
    A plant spokesperson told RIA that background levels of radiation had not changed.
    Register now for FREE unlimited access to
    “Russian army is firing from all sides upon Zaporizhzhia NPP, the largest nuclear power plant in Europe,” Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba wrote on Twitter.
    “Fire has already broke out … Russians must IMMEDIATELY cease the fire, allow firefighters, establish a security zone!”
    There has been fierce fighting in the area about 550 kilometers (342 miles) southeast of Kyiv, the mayor of the nearby town of Energodar said in an online post. He said there had been casualties, without giving details.
    Russia has already captured the defunct Chernobyl plant, some 100 km north of Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv.
    The International Atomic Energy Agency said in a tweet that it was “aware of reports of shelling” at the power plant and was in contact with Ukrainian authorities about situation.
    Earlier, Ukrainian authorities reported Russian troops were stepping up efforts to seize the plant and had entered the town with tanks.
    “As a result of continuous enemy shelling of buildings and units of the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is on fire,” Orlov said on his Telegram channel, citing what he called a threat to world security. He did not give details.
    Reuters could not immediately verify the information, including the potential seriousness of any fire.
    As the biggest attack on a European state since World War Two enters its ninth day, thousands are thought to have died or been wounded, 1 million refugees have fled Ukraine and Russia’s economy has been rocked by international sanctions………………

    1. Once a war kicks off bombing and killing carrys on thats why only the USA have become the greatest killing machine in the history of mankind and often using chemical and biological , alongside the first to use the atomic bomb.
      Killing Russian soldiers after stripping them naked and shooting them in front of a camera is a War crime and should be punished…maybe the comedian actor President finds it funny but those of us that retain a sense of morality and decency wonder just what the Yanks have unleashed.Lewinsky must go before the I CC if its not been infiltrated by the USA or before a Russian court.

      1. I think you mean Zelensky, Joseph.

        Hasn’t Monica suffered enough?! 😛

      2. But Joseph – setting a nuclear plant on fire is endangering the
        surrounding countries and countries down wind – 100s of
        miles away. There were restrictions on moving animals in
        the western Highlands for years after Chernobyl.

        What you assert happened to soldiers is indeed a war
        crime if it happened – however where is the proof? What
        the Ukrainians have done – getting Russian soldiers to phone
        their mothers is a massive propaganda coup and surely far
        more likely?

    2. “How can anyone continue to defend Putin.”
      Who does?
      By the way, how can you continue to defend Ukrainian Fascists and Nazis? (no condemnation of the coup or the burning alive of people in Odessa, I see).

    3. SteveH
      Here’s my prediction
      The kleptocracy has given us a clear vision of how easily MAD works, not difficult when Putin is in the gang, dirty money always needs a launderette, that’s what binds them together
      This none war will end in days and weeks, then it will be business as usual
      Now remind us who owns your man

      1. SteveH
        14 million votes, 600,000 members, biggest party in Western Europe and all it took was 13 members to get rid of the Red Tory Nick Forbes
        He’s behind you

  28. fao StevieH – Putin & Biden; Johnson & Starmer; the Tweedle Dum, Tweedle Dee tribute acts. To quote you, please allow me to embarrass myself again with some more self evident ‘home truths’……. the common theme is that they are all compulsive liars. Your ass-umption that I support Putin is another demonstration of your paranoia & like Jeremy Corbyn I am a member of the ‘Stop the War Coalition’ (the clue is in the title). It is no surprise that News International & Sir Richard Sharpe’s BBC can dominate & control public opinion so easily. To object to the censorship/closure of any TV station does not make me an advocate of RT; my 2 favourite journalists write for the Daily Mail & I often fundamentally disagree with what they write, but always find their words challenging. .
    To quote ‘the Desiderata’. if you compare yourself with others you may become vain & bitter’,& I would hold Putin to account in much the same way as any other autocrat, but censorship is the traditional first weapon of choice for any dictator & would seem to be the personal favourite of Sir Kier Starmer. There is indeed ‘something of the knight about him’, as he breaks every promise he made as the ‘Unity Candidate’in the farcical leadership election, as all 3 candidates took instruction from the BoD..

    1. I suggest you have a look at the censorship that Putin has imposed in Russia before making any more nebulous comparisons.

  29. Labour wins Erdington By Election and sadly Nellist only gets 360 votes….

    However the biggest story of the night is the incredibly low turnout and the slump in Labour votes in a safe Labour seat.

    1997 – 23,764
    2001 – 17,375
    2005 – 16,810
    2010 – 14,869
    2015 – 15,824
    2017 – 21,571
    2019 – 17,720
    2022 – 9,413

    This is under half that Corbyn got in 2017.

    Starmer is Killing Labour.

    1. What’s really bad for democracy is that, according to the Birmingham Mail, the turnout of 27% (compared with 53.4% at the last GE) is the 7th lowest of any parliamentary election ever. Are the current incumbents turning people off politics in droves?
      The LP will fixate on the fact that their % vote has gone up, although it is still a lower % than in 2017.
      The CP will fixate on the drop in the LP vote, ignoring the drop in their own vote.
      The view that Starmer is killing Labour is perfectly arguable.
      What is absolutely clear, though, is that he, with support from Johnson, is turning people off politics. That’s what you get when they all agree on most stuff. Suits those who own us though.

      1. goldbach – At least the TUSC vote was consistent, yet another lost deposit.

    2. Yes perhaps in War environments people vote safe or rather the 30% who voted did.
      The Labour was vote down by 300 or so.
      I said TUSC was a poor option though Nellist has local connections.
      The name implies activists talking to themselves (like the name Left Unity) and may not resonate much with the public and some people have been used to voting Labour for years whatever the Leader.
      So in my view the Left didn’t put forward its best team and I think Breakthrough (mainly young Pro-Corbyn activists) would have been a better choice.
      But certainly a difficult background for an election.

  30. baz2001, I think the turnout is comparable with what you would expect for a by-election and it being a safe labour seat disincentivises people as the result can be pretty much taken as a given. From the figures above one could suggest that both Blair and Corbyn energised an electorate on the first appearance. The 9,413 votes actually represent an increase in the vote share from 50.3% in 2019 to 55% in 2022 so we may well see some clutching at this but the way in which FPTP just abandons anything but the winning vote means standing for anyone other than the two main parties is just self-harm.

    1. Tim White
      There are no longer two parties not here or in America, they have all been bought and paid for by the kleptocracy
      My question is when will we know we have entered dystopia
      When will we know it’s time to dust off the pitchforks
      When is enough enough already

      1. Doug – Don’t worry, maybe the TUSC will come to your rescue

      2. SteveH
        Your a moron
        JC and the Unions could wipe out Red and Blue Tories tomorrow, its built into FPTP, either by holding the balance of power or by winning 34% in every seat Ceterus Paribus

      3. The “boiling frog” scenario springs irresistibly to mind!

  31. Doug, I’m not given to dwelling on a prognosis as bleak as the one you present (though I’m curious whether you believe there was a prior state when we not oppressed by those in power, just by different means). Pitchforks are sharp as weapons but blunt as articulators of ideas: my preference has always been to widen the franchise, to allow more and more varied voices to have their say in the way in which we live in this world.
    goldbach, yes that is a low turnout rather than, as I assumed, par for the course. Starmer alone is not responsible for what could be argued is a growing disinterest in politics as practised in parliament; nowadays it seems that a conviction politician is someone who’s got fixed penalty notices hanging over them.

    1. Tim
      Democracy being the least worst system I’m interested in how you would protect it against corruption
      For me there is nothing new in this world, history repeats
      Here’s what needs to happen the morra
      Attack Red Tories by organising and triggering them
      JC has to put up or retire
      The Unions need to get JC to make a decision then we can move forward

      1. Doug – The problem is that JC is contenet to sit on the fence

  32. Doug,
    Would you believe my anti-corruption wand packed up this morning so I guess I have to wing it. I think part of the problem is complacency – when votes and seats are taken for granted then the impetus to deserve them diminishes. When it appears that everyone else knows the system inside out and all the loopholes it seems attractive to go along with the corruption that is priced in rather than rock the boat and insisting on a higher standard. The venal slime trails of MPs on the take are etched into the system. I was really intrigued by the reappearance of sortition (representation by drawing names from a hat akin to the way jury service works) in the excellent Baron Noir. If we consider we have an upper house predicated supposedly on their expertise or status and a lower house deemed to be populated by those judged to be the best politicians then would we really get a higher proportion of incompetents if the matter were the luck of the draw?
    There may be some merit in having a proportion of the Commons chosen this way rather than entirely (it sounds complex but not impossible) and, if this were the case, I’d institute PR for the elected representatives and abolish all funding other than a fixed subscription – say £10pa – for individuals. No Tory donors, no Union funds – the worth of a party has to be determined by someone dipping into their pocket each year rather than again the complacency that arises from the ongoing cosy bungs that keep Labour and Tory parties afloat. Because of the higher anticipated churn of both MPs and parties I think some of the playthings of the current system – health, education, transport, energy are the obvious ones, possibly defence, need a broader and longer consensus than the five year electoral term. If there are 10 or 15 year settlements that allocate a % of GDP to these various areas then the specialists in these fields can make long term strategy decisions rather than being beholden to the whims of the party in power (though with PR the likelihood is that coalitions rather than single parties would hold sway). I’d imagine that it would oscillate around a centrist position rather than give free reign to the imaginings of left and right, finally unshackled and believing that their vision can now be implemented but I’d favour inching forward in a consensual manner rather than spasmodically changing course each time one or the other parties gains power as has been the case previously (not completing dismissing the argument that the parties have morphed into each other – I think much energy is expended to churn things up so as to convince the populace that it was ‘your’ idea – is there anything more irritating that MPs saying they stole our ideas when in truth the opposing party have at least had the common sense to recognise what is most usually a self-evident good idea that could hardly be said to belong to anyone and have made damn sure not to ape the countless hundred other ideas of the opposition that are just plain bananas.

    1. Oh Christ, Right Wing Labour/The Trilateral Commission have given us SH now they’ve sent in reinforcements – a bore!

  33. Stop the War demonstration in London – Tariq Ali’s speech – spot on.

    1. ……. and here’s the perspective of the Filipino Vice-Presidential candidate regarding how the global south views the situation in Ukraine.

  34. Bazza, if your dismissive words are directed at me, then as to being a bore I’ll take that if it helps you working through your issues, but I’ll not take the Labour slur. So much sound and fury here is directed at salvaging or resurrecting the moribund entity known as The Labour Party when it should have been mercifully despatched years ago. My repeated desire for PR and for a plurality of voices that enfranchise the widest number of people is antithetical to the Trilateral Commission. If ‘Right Wing Labour/The Trilateral Commission’ constitutes the default dismissal of those who don’t step into line with your world view then it would suggest thinking unable to escape the gravitational pull of a reductive binary. Sorry (not sorry) for boring you.

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