Wednesday 28th of September 2022

artificial fat little britain as boris will perform a miracle in the brexit desert...

bread and fishes

Boris Johnson, GMOs and Glyphosate: Irresponsible, Negligent and Criminal?

from Colin Todhunter

In his first speech to parliament as British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson said:

Let’s start now to liberate the UK’s extraordinary bioscience sector from anti-genetic modification rules and let’s develop the blight-resistant crops that will feed the world.”

Johnson reads from a well-rehearsed script. The ‘GM will feed the world mantra’ is pure industry spin. There is already enough food being produced to feed the global population yet around 830 million are classed as hungry. 

Feeding the world effectively, sustainably and equitably involves addressing the in-built injustices of the global food system.

The never-ending push to force GM on the public under the guise of saving humanity is a diversion that leaves intact the root causes of world hunger and undernutrition: neoliberal deregulation and privatisation policies, unfair WTO rules, poverty, land rights issues, World Bank/IMF geopolitical lending strategies and the transformation of food secure regions into food deficit ones, etc.

Even in regions where productivity in agriculture lags behind or concerns exist about climate change, numerous high-level reports have recommended that (non-GMO) agroecological practices should be encouraged to enhance biodiversity and deal with food and climate crises.

However, pro-Brexiteer Conservative politicians talk of the essential need for Britain and the world to adopt GM is little more than an attempt to justify a post-Brexit trade deal with Washington that will effectively incorporate the UK into the US’s regulatory food regime. 

The type of ‘liberation’ Johnson really means is the UK adopting unassessed GM crops and food and a gutting of food safety and environmental standards.

It is no secret that various Conservative-led administrations have wanted to break free from the EU regulatory framework on GM for some time. 

Back in 2014, Genewatch exposed collusion between the government and transnational corporations to force GM into Britain above the heads of the public. 

This is despite numerous surveys over the years showing that most of the British public remain sceptical of GM, do not see a need for it or reject the technology outright.


It would be reasonable to ask why GMOs are even on the market in the first place given that, in his book ‘Altered Genes, Twisted Truths’ (2015), US lawyer Steven Druker set out in detail how GM could well be based on the greatest scientific fraud of our age. 

This is something environmentalist Dr Rosemary Mason points out in a recent open letter to Dr Jonathan Jones, Head of the Sainsbury Laboratory in the UK, and his colleague, fellow US-based plant scientist Jeffrey Dangl.

In April, Jones received the go-ahead from the British government to carry out field tests on GM potatoes in fields in Suffolk and Cambridge. He was given permission to proceed despite Druker’s findings and Caius Rommens, former GMO potato scientist with Monsanto, raising serious concerns about genetic engineering.

In a new report by Mason, which she has sent with her letter to Jones, Rommens is quoted as saying:

We also assumed that theoretical knowledge was all we needed to succeed, and that a single genetic change would always have one intentional effect only. We were supposed to understand DNA and to make valuable modifications, but the fact of the matter was that we knew as little about DNA as the average American knows about the Sanskrit version of the Bhagavad Gita. We just knew enough to be dangerous, especially when combined with our bias and narrowmindedness.”

If that was the state of knowledge (or lack of it) at Monsanto, then what of glyphosate-based Roundup, the company’s weedicide widely used in conjunction with GM crops? 

We already know from the ‘Monsanto Papers’ that ghost writing, cover-ups and duplicity seemed to be the order of the day as the company sought at all costs to protect its multi-billion-dollar money-spinner from being taken off the market.

If genetically engineered ‘Roundup ready’ crops – are introduced to fields in Britain, the use of glyphosate could accelerate even further. In her various reports over the years, Mason has shown the massive increase in the use of the weedicide in farming and the correlation with a huge spike in various diseases and conditions in the UK.

Mason wants to make it clear to Jones that when plant physiologists like him say that that glyphosate/Roundup only affects plants, fungi and bacteria and doesn’t affect humans, they are wrong.

She says to Jones:

You claimed, together with Monsanto and global pesticide regulators, that Roundup only affects plants, fungi and bacteria because they had the shikimate pathway which is absent in humans and animals. But humans and animals have trillions of bacteria in their gut: the gut microbiome, the collective genome of organisms inhabiting our body.”

Mason states that obesity is associated with low diversity of bacteria in the microbiome and glyphosate destroys most of the beneficial bacteria and leaves the toxic bacteria behind. In effect, she argues, Roundup (and other biocides) are a major cause of gross obesity, neuropsychiatric disorders and other chronic diseases including cancers, which are all on the rise.

Her report refers to numerous studies, including a paper in Nature to argue that obesity is associated with low bacterial richness in the gut (Chatelier, E.L. et al. Richness of human gut microbiome correlates with metabolic markers: Nature, 2013). 

Mason also draws attention to a multi-author study (Wang, Y. et al, The Gut-Microglia Connection: Implications for Central Nervous System Diseases: Frontiers in Immunology, 2018) which postulates the microbiome has relevance for both gastrointestinal and brain disorders, including autism spectrum disorders, Parkinson’s disease and even demyelinating disorders of the central nervous system.

She adds:

Glyphosate disrupts the shikimate pathway within these gut bacteria, without which we cannot survive. Glyphosate is a strong chelator of essential minerals, such as cobalt, zinc, manganese, calcium, molybdenum and sulphate… Two key problems caused by glyphosate residues in our diet are nutritional deficiencies, especially minerals and essential amino-acids, and systemic toxicity.”

Mason refers to Dr Don Huber, an expert on glyphosate and a senior US plant scientist, who explains that Roundup, as a mineral chelator, probably causes cancer.

Some years ago, Huber wrote to the US Secretary of Agriculture about a pathogen new to science that could significantly impact the health of plants, animals and probably human beings. He argued it is widespread, very serious and is in much higher concentrations in Roundup Ready soybeans and corn – suggesting a link with Roundup.

Rosemary Mason’s 20-plus page report is wide raging in scope and refers to various published peer-reviewed papers to support her arguments (it can be read in full on the site). 

Aside from the effects of (the widespread prevalence of) glyphosate and other agrochemicals on human health – especially and disturbingly the exposure and impacts on children and child development – she discusses the environmental costs, including pesticide run off into seas and oceans, the ongoing destruction of the Great Barrier Reef, algae blooms and the fungicidal action of Roundup which is destroying the means by which trees communicate and look after each other.

In relation to sanctioning the continued use of glyphosate in Europe, Mason notes that it was totally unacceptable, possibly negligent or even criminal, for the European Union to have allowed a group of plant scientists on the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed (PAFF) – whose knowledge of human physiology was so lacking that they did not recognise that glyphosate has effects on humans – to make decisions that affect human health.

PAFF’s role was pivotal in the decision to re-licence the use of glyphosate in the EU in 2017. Although a list of its members is not made public, as a phytopharmaceuticals committee involved in the authorisation of pesticides, Mason presumes plant physiologists were amply represented and held sway.

Finally, it is worth mentioning that in the UK between May 2010 and the end of 2013, the Department of Health had 130 meetings with representatives of the agrochemicals/GM sector.

If Mason’s letter to Jones tells us anything, it is that the British public need to think long and hard about whose interests are really being served when Boris Johnson and others in high office extol the ‘virtues’ of GM agriculture and its associated chemical inputs.


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they had enough with agent orange...

Vietnam, one of Australia's largest markets for wheat exports, has banned the use of the widely-used herbicide glyphosate. 

Key points:
  • Australian grain growers value Vietnam as a trading partner
  • Glyphosate is one of the world's most widely used and rigorously tested chemicals
  • Australia's grain growing peak body says the safety of glyphosate is well-established

The Vietnam Government's decision to ban glyphosate means all herbicides containing glyphosate will not be imported into the country, according to Vietnam's Plant Protection Department.

Vietnam is Australia's fourth largest grain trading partner overall and any change to the glyphosate restrictions on imports could have an impact on Australian growers.

However Australia's grain growing peak body, GrainGrowers, said the safety of glyphosate was well-established and it was confident the ban would not affect the export of grain to the country.

GrainGrowers chairman Brett Hosking said there had been rumours for some time that Vietnam was looking at banning the chemical.

"They're a really valuable trading partner and so we respect their right to make decisions about how they manage things like glyphosate in their country," Mr Hosking said.

"There is already a standard around the world for residue limits and all grain exported out of Australia is tested and we know very confidently that the grain we export meets those thresholds for residues."

"Glyphosate isn't a product that commonly finds itself in grain residues," Mr Hosking said.

Glyphosate is one of the world's most widely used and rigorously tested chemicals and Mr Hosking said he wasn't aware of any other country where there was a glyphosate ban in place.


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Glyphosate is the most used herbicide or pesticide in the world, with hundreds of millions of pounds being used every year across the globe. While the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer has determined that glyphosate is probably a cancer-causing agent in humans, the chemical remains in widespread use.

Still, several countries around the world have taken steps to limit glyphosate use or ban it altogether. The legal status of glyphosate and Roundup is ever-evolving, so check back frequently for updates to this page.

In This Section

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I certainly banned any weedkiller in my uncertified organic garden...

shutting down democracy...

The Queen will be asked by the government to suspend Parliament days after MPs return to work - and a matter of weeks before the Brexit deadline. 

The BBC's political editor, Laura Kuenssberg, says it will make way for Boris Johnson's new administration to hold a Queen's Speech - laying out the government's future plans - on 14 October.

But it means MPs are unlikely to have time to pass any laws that could stop the prime minister taking the UK out of the EU without a deal on 31 October. 

A No 10 source said: "It's time a new government and new PM set out a plan for the country after we leave the EU." 

The idea of shutting down Parliament - known as prorogation - has caused controversy, with critics saying it would stop MPs being able to play their democratic part in the Brexit process. 

Laura Kuenssberg said only a small number of government ministers knew about the plan and it was going to cause a huge row.


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enjoy summer for a bit longer...

The prime minister's decision to suspend Parliament has prompted an angry backlash from MPs and opponents of a no-deal Brexit.

It sparked protests across the country, a legal challenge and a petition with more than a million signatures.

The government said the five-week suspension in September and October will still allow time to debate Brexit.

But critics said it was an "undemocratic" attempt to stop MPs from blocking no deal.

Cabinet minister Michael Gove told the BBC the suspension, which was approved by the Queen on Wednesday, was "certainly not" a political move to obstruct opposition to the UK leaving the EU without a deal.


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"a political move to obstruct opposition to the UK leaving the EU without a deal?"

Nah... It was a move to let MPs enjoy summer for a bit longer...


destroying democracy with a ballsy move...

ballsy move...

Demonstrations have been taking place across the UK against Boris Johnson's decision to suspend Parliament in the run-up to Brexit.

Thousands of protesters took to the streets in cities including Manchester, Leeds, York and Belfast. 

Parts of central London were brought to a standstill, as people chanted: "Boris Johnson, shame on you."

A small group of counter-protesters, marching in support of the prime minister, also arrived in Westminster.

Mr Johnson's plan to prorogue Parliament prompted an angry backlash from MPs and opponents of a no-deal Brexit when he announced it on Wednesday.

If the prorogation happens as expected, Parliament will be closed for 23 working days. 

Critics view the length and timing of the suspension - coming just weeks before the Brexit deadline on 31 October - as controversial.


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boris is a little broken teapot...

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday did not win the approval of enough members of parliament to go ahead with an early election.

298 MPs voted in favour of an early election, while 56 lawmakers voted against it. At least 434 UK lawmakers needed to vote in favour of early election for it to go ahead.

After the vote, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn is the first opposition leader in UK's history to refuse an election and urged Corbyn's colleagues to think about "unsustainable nature" of their position.

Johnson also suggested Jeremy Corbyn consider the election idea once again.

Earlier, the UK House of Commons has adopted a piece of legislation to delay Brexit beyond 31 October in the absence of an agreement with the EU, that has now been submitted to the House of Lords for approval.

Following the decision, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated that there must be an election on 15 October.

Since assuming office, Johnson has been pushing for withdrawal out of the EU by the 31 October deadline even without a deal. Since he lost the parliamentary majority, the prime minister can no longer guarantee that UK lawmakers will ratify any potential deal, should Brussels agree to renegotiate.


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The Europeans would be loonies (who knows!) to let the UK go yet with another proposal for shooting itself in the foot. The little English teapot has lots of dark cash statched away somewhere. See:

enact brexit, with a kick up the arse: the city of london corporation and its banks have done much damage to the world..


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bojo — living in hope...

(28 AUGUST 2019)

Boris Johnson’s letter to the House of Commons




Dear Colleague,

I hope that you had an enjoyable and productive summer recess, with the opportunity for some rest ahead of the return of the House.

I wanted to take this opportunity to update you on the Government’s plans for its business in Parliament.

As you know, for some time parliamentary business has been sparse. The current session has lasted more than 340 days and needs to be brought to a close — in almost 400 years only the 2010-12 session comes close, at 250 days. Bills have been introduced, which, while worthy in their own right, have at times seemed more about filling time in both the Commons and the Lords, while key Brexit legislation has been held back to ensure it could still be considered for carry-over into a second session. This cannot continue.

I therefore intend to bring forward a new bold and ambitious domestic legislative agenda for the renewal of our country after Brexit. There will be a significant Brexit legislative programme to get through but that should be no excuse for a lack of ambition!

We will help the NHS, fight violent crime, invest in infrastructure and science and cut the cost of living.

This morning I spoke to Her Majesty The Queen to request an end of the current parliamentary session in the second sitting week of September, before commencing the second session of this Parliament with a Queen’s speech on Monday 14 October. A central feature of the legislative programme will be the Government’s number one legislative priority, if a new deal is forthcoming at EU council, to introduce a Withdrawal Agreement Bill and move at pace to secure its passage before 31 October.

I fully recognise that the debate on the Queen’s Speech will be an opportunity for Members of Parliament to express their view on this Government’s legislative agenda and its approach to, and the result of, the European Council on 17-18 October. It is right that you should have the chance to do so, in a clear and unambiguous manner.

I also believe it is vitally important that the key votes associated with the Queen’s Speech and any deal with the EU fall at a time when parliamentarians are best placed to judge the Government’s programme. Parliament will have the opportunity to debate the Government’s overall programme, and approach to Brexit, in the run up to EU Council, and then vote on this on 21 and 22 October, once we know the outcome of the Council. Should I succeed in agreeing a deal with the EU, Parliament will then have the opportunity to pass the Bill required for ratification of the deal ahead of 31 October.

Finally, I want to reiterate to colleagues that these weeks leading up to the European Council on 17/18 October are vitally important for the sake of my negotiations with the EU. Member States are watching what Parliament does with great interest and it is only by showing unity and resolve that we stand a chance of securing a new deal that can be passed by Parliament. In the meantime, the Government will take the responsible approach of continuing its preparations for leaving the EU, with or without a deal.

The Leader of the Commons will update the House in the normal fashion with regard to business for the final week. For now, I can confirm that on Monday 9 September both Houses will debate the motions on the first reports relating to the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc) Act 2019 (NIEFA). Following these debates we will begin preparation to end the Parliamentary session ahead of a Queen’s Speech.

The Business Managers in both Houses will shortly engage with their opposite numbers, and MPs more widely, on plans for passing a deal should one be forthcoming. Decisions will also need to be taken about carrying over some of the bills currently before the House, and we will look to work constructively with the Opposition on this front. If agreement cannot be reached we will look to reintroduce the bills in the next session, and details on this will be set out in the Queen’s Speech.

As always my door is open to all colleagues should you wish to discuss this or any other matter.

Boris Johnson

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See also: dying on stage like a bad yellow comedian...

a bridge to the other side...

As London Mayor, Boris Johnson developed a knack for promising — and sometimes delivering — infrastructure that critics deemed inefficient and expensive. 

Key points: 
  • Plans to link Britain and Ireland by bridge have been mooted since the 1800s 
  • Boris Johnson has asked the civil service to assess a bridge's costs and risks 
  • Experts say that the bridge has the potential to heal British tensions over Brexit


Critics have called them Mr Johnson's "vanity projects": such as the failed Garden Bridge over the Thames, the rollout of hybrid-diesel London double-decker buses that initially malfunctioned (since discontinued), and the world's most expensive cable car running for a kilometre in East London. 

Today, it appears that history may be repeating at a national level — this time with a bridge linking Northern Ireland and Scotland. 

In September, Britain's Channel 4 revealed documents which showed that both Britain's treasury and transport departments were asked to advise on the costs and risks of a possible bridge.


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the need to take drugs to face bojo's freak show...


Rapid Fire (UK edition): Send in the Clowns; BoJo in Whiteface; a Glimmer of Hope



From Chris Floyd visiting recent Facebook posts:


1. Feigned Incompetence as a Cover for an Agenda of Extremist Evil
(Williamson can hardly fiddle the science when he can't count to two)

In Covid Time, the UK government has become an endless freak show of third-rate goobers and bug-eyed extremists trying to hide their actual, unconscionable strategy – "Do as close to nothing as we can get away with and let the pandemic 'cull the herd'" – behind a series of threadbare obfuscations which they don't even try to pretend are true. You often hear people declaim in outraged wonder, "They simply *can't* be as stupid as they seem, can they?" My response used to be a shrug and a cynical chuckle, "Oh, yes, they can, and they are!" But I don't really believe that anymore. I don't believe their actions in the pandemic are due largely to stupidity or incompetence. I think, by and large, the people in the government today are acting with studied deliberation to advance the morally depraved agenda they have pursued (often openly) throughout their lives: to destroy the very notion of a greater common good and impose the rule of unaccountable elites.

To do so, they act ruthlessly and continually – and above all, with knowing, deliberate deceit – to degrade and undermine any institution or entity that might offer even the slightest opposition or alternative to their extremist ideology. This includes, most emphatically, the idea of government itself, as a vehicle for enhancing and enriching the lives of ordinary citizens. (In this, of course, they are simply copying – like the witless little toadies they are – their masters on the American rightwing.)

Like their masters, they believe – and have said so, over and over, for years and years – that the only legitimate function of government is to promote the profit and power of the privileged few. They will claim that they believe this blinkered, stunted ideology will produce a better result for the common folk in the long run – but this claim is just another example of their strategy of deceit. Dig deep enough into their own writings, and those of the transatlantic "think tanks" funded by oligarchs and corporations from which they draw their inhumane tropes, and you will find, everywhere, an overarching belief in the inherent superiority of a privileged few (based either on money, genetics, race – or all three) along with an often visceral disgust for the rabble and their unimportant "needs," their stupid aspirations for a better life. No one exemplifies this better than the man actually in charge of the operations of the UK government today, the unelected "advisor," Dominic Cummings. His blog is like a festering cesspit from which the night mind of these depraved extremists bubbles up in raw form.

So while it's always tempting to laugh at their clownish ways, their bumbling, their "gaffes," the reality is not funny at all. Exactly like Trump, they have clowned their way into power, spouting obvious and outrageous lies ("£350 million a week!" "Oven-ready Brexit!"), and are using their buffoonery as a shield and distraction to cover their dangerous and destructive policies.


2. BoJo the Bouncing Whiteface Clown
'I hear you': Boris Johnson to Black Lives Matter protesters

This is the racist goober who called black people – in print, in national publications, in the 21st century – "piccaninnies," wrote about their "watermelon smiles," and said the problem with Africa is that "we're not in charge anymore." His public racism has always been FAR more crude and open than Donald Trump's dog-whistles. It's absolutely sickening to watch him waddle out to read off a few insincere words – knowing he'll go straight back to his minder and controller, Dom Cummings, a eugenicist who believes openly in the genetic superiority of an elite "2%" who should be groomed to rule society. Given the ugly filth that Johnson is happy to spew in public, God knows what he and Dom say behind closed doors. What an abysmal collection of third-rate, evil-minded, death-dealing hacks.


3. A Glimmer of Hope for Tormented Minds
We can no longer ignore the potential of psychedelic drugs to treat depression

This is absolutely vital research, which holds the promise of immense and profound benefits for the human race. It has been put on hold for 50 years, caught up in culture wars, sensationalism and polticization, which meant that reputable scientific institutions were not allowed to follow up on the promising breakthroughs of the 1950s. It's as if research into the proper application of penicillin was simply frozen for half a century after its discovery – think of all needless human suffering that would have entailed. The same thing is true here. I've been following Carhart-Harris's research (and that of others) for some time; it would be unconscionable not to explore the hope it offers for the positive, non-draconian treatment of many intractable and often tormenting mental ailments.



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See also: a better stylistic intellectual wheel... in of civilisation and CHAOS...

the worst brexit outcome except for the USA, china, etc...

This time, though, it doesn't look like common sense will prevail. Johnson has ruled out another extension of the transition period and both sides will theoretically need to agree on a wide-ranging trade agreement in the next few months. Normally such a process takes years.

Large, complicated, delicate issues are at stake: the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice; future collaboration on foreign and security policies; and what has seemed to be the most controversial question thus far: How much cod may Danish and French fishermen harvest from British waters. London and Brussels should have been on their way to a compromise long ago, but instead, they are further apart than ever. If nothing changes, cross-Channel trade will collapse at the end of the year, and growth will slow. In the UK alone, long-term growth could fall by around 7 percent, according to official estimates. This slump would come on top of the deepest recession since the end of World War II. It would be a "double dip," another hard blow for the economy.


The idea of producing a paper of several hundred pages at a dramatically staged EU summit in October is completely unrealistic, especially because the treaty would then need to be translated into all official EU languages and ratified by the European Parliament.

As a result, Gabriel Felbermayr, the president of the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, sees only one chance for a halfway tolerable outcome: the EU must rely on a mini-treaty for trade in goods, which could be supplemented in the next few years with further agreements on services and data protection. "Great Britain is the largest European economy after Germany," the economist says. "For this reason, the EU should accommodate the British and grant them concessions, for example on the free movement of workers." Felbermayr adds: "No deal would be the worst outcome for everyone."



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See also:


Too many concession to the Poms and the EU loses its pants... The Pound parity to the Euro has to be fixed, in order to minimise the damage...

a fox in the GM boris-henhouse...


Claire Fox’s peerage reflects the emergence of an extremist clique as pillars of Johnson's Brexit establishment. Report: Jonathan Matthews

Were you surprised when one of the very first things Boris Johnson did on becoming Prime Minister was to declare his desire to “liberate” the UK “from anti-genetic modification rules”? 

If it left you wondering, “Where did that come from?”, then you should pay careful attention to the wave of revulsion that has just greeted his handing of a peerage to Claire Fox, the sister of Fiona Fox, the director of the Science Media Centre. It could provide an explanation.

Atrocities defended, genocide denied

Fox’s ennoblement “offends me and many others deeply”, tweeted Colin Parry, father of one of the children murdered in the 1993 IRA bombing of Warrington – an atrocity that, as we previously reported, both the Fox sisters actively sought to defend. Warrington North MP Charlotte Nichols said, “Surely the Prime Minister must understand the hurt that giving her a seat in the House or Lords will cause to the families of those who lost their children in this heinous attack?” 

And the sense of outrage extended well beyond Warrington. In The Times, David Aaronovitch complained that making someone who’d stood in solidarity with republican terror part of Britain’s legislature “sticks in the craw. It chokes us.” 

Survivors of the Bosnian war also expressed their anger about the decision to make Fox, who published articles denying the Srebrenica massacre and similar war crimes, a Baroness. And so did London’s deputy mayor, Tom Copley, who tweeted, “With a few honourable exceptions this is the most appalling list of peerages I’ve ever seen. Packed full of cronies, and at least one genocide denier. Claire Fox has never apologised for denying the genocide of Bosnian Muslims.”

So why would Johnson go out of his way to honour someone so toxic? That question becomes even more puzzling when one considers other aspects of Fox’s record – like the ones featured in a series of tweets by the award-winning foreign correspondent and columnist Ian Birrell: “She ran a magazine that libelled ITV journalists by alleging they faked evidence when exposing some of the worst atrocities in Europe since WW2. It also opposed gun controls after the Dunblane massacre … Fox herself has defended Gary Glitter's right to download pornography of abused children. She argues in support of climate deniers…”

Tight-knit, on-message, and installed in Downing Street

The key to this puzzle may lie in the fact that Claire Fox and her sister Fiona, also a genocide denierand even more prominent than Claire in defending terrorism, are not lone mavericks. They are part of an ideological clique so tight-knit and on-message that a number of commentators – and some ex-members – have branded it a ‘cult’ or ‘sect’. And it is a sect that enjoys a remarkable degree of influence. So much so that Fox’s disturbing views cannot be dismissed as isolated fringe beliefs far removed from government and the levers of power.

As Ian Birrell notes: “Munira Mirza, another of her [Fox’s] follow travellers in this sect, is installed in Downing Street as one of the PM's closest aides. Extraordinary that the modern Tory party wants to be associated in any way with pro-terrorism, pro-child abuse, pro-genocide views.”

Part of the network

The sect is sometimes labelled “the RCP network” (or “LM network”), because like Claire and Fiona Fox, Munira Mirza is said to have been a member of the Revolutionary Communist Party prior to its dissolution in the late nineties. And like many of its members she was part of the network that emerged in lock-step out of the RCP and its magazine Living Marxism – later called LM. The extent of Mirza’s commitment is reflected in the 30 or so articles she has contributed to LM’s equally controversial successor, the Spiked website. And just in case anyone was in any doubt, Spiked’s editor openly acknowledges Mirza as a “friend of spiked”.

Spiked is known to have received substantial dark money funding from the Koch brothers. The support of rightwing billionaires for what was once a tiny Trotskyite splinter group becomes less perplexing once one realises that under the guidance of its founder and leader, the sociologist Frank Furedi, the RCP’s ideology evolved into an ultra-libertarianism opposed not just to controls on guns and child pornography but on science and technology, and corporations and capitalism. This is combined with an almost visceral loathing of environmentalists, who are seen as the enemies of progress because they encourage public concern and strict regulation.

Pillars of Johnson's Brexit establishment

These aspects of their ideology have long enabled the Furediites to attract corporate funding, collaborate with corporate front groups and right-wing think tanks, and more recently to align themselves with the Brexit Party – Claire Fox was one of their MEPs – as well as elements within the Conservative Party. And it’s the Furediites’ enthusiasm for a hard Brexit that has helped turn them into pillars of Boris Johnson's Brexit establishment.

The extent of Munira Mirza’s political influence, in particular, is undeniable. Even though it was Brexit that took her into Downing Street, she was first hired by Johnson when he became Mayor of London in 2008. She then worked with him, starting as an advisor and going on to become deputy mayor for education and culture, throughout his 8 years as London Mayor. By 2018 she was even being tipped as a possible London Mayoral candidate herself.

As Andy Beckett notes in a recent Guardian article, Johnson doesn’t underplay Mirza’s influence on him, calling her “extraordinary”, “ruthless”, and one of “the five women who have shaped my life”. And it is not only Johnson’s life that she has helped to shape. Mirza co-authored the Conservatives’ 2019 election manifesto, which, according to Beckett, had “clear echoes of the RCP’s preoccupations and polemical style”.

Since the election she has headed up Johnson’s Downing Street policy unit and is widely thought to be Johnson’s most important adviser after Dominic Cummings. Mirza’s husband – himself notorious for his involvement in organising orgies for the wealthy – also works closely, if somewhat secretively, with Cummings, as one of the “misfits and weirdos” Cummings has sought to recruit.

Shared agendas

It was to Cummings that Johnson’s unexpected proclamation of his intention to “liberate” GMOs – a desire he flagged up in each of his first three speeches after becoming PM – has generally been attributed. That’s understandable given Cummings’ well-known technophilia, his long-standing interest in eugenics, and his obsession with making the UK a leader in tech development. For Cummings this is a key advantage of getting the UK out of EU regulations: “Post-Brexit Britain will be outside this jurisdiction and able to make faster and better decisions about regulating technology like genomics, AI and robotics”.

But Johnson’s other main advisor is probably just as relevant to his espousal of GMOs and to the speed with which his government has set about trying to deregulate gene editing. Just as with Cummings, getting free of EU regulations over radical new technologies has been a key part of the RCP network’s enthusiasm for Brexit. In fact, they have been seeking to position themselves for years as advisors to the British government on how to bury the precautionary principle, beat back environmentalism, and deal with what they see as the public's “irrational” fear of technologies like nuclear energy, human cloning and genetic engineering.

That’s why you can find members of their network like Fiona Fox directing the Science Media Centre since 2001, Tracey Brown directing Sense About Science since 2002, and Bill Durodié describing himself as an “Advisor to the Prime Minister’s Cabinet Office Strategy Unit study The Costs and Benefits of Genetically Modified (GM) Crops”, during the UK government's last public debate on GM crops which culminated in 2003, to which Tracey Brown also contributed in an advisory capacity.

Back in 2003 Durodie, who lambasts the precautionary principle and public input into decision-making about technology, and Brown, who has shown herself perfectly willing to work with the tobacco industry, were able to gain input into the public debate in order to try to muddy its waters. But now with a public consultation on the deregulation of gene editing due to take place this autumn, we have Munira Mirza sitting at Boris Johnson’s right hand, perfectly placed to help set the terms of that consultation.

Undemocratic and underhand

That hardly bodes well, given that Mirza belongs to an elitist “vanguard” that believes citizen involvement in this kind of decision making is positively undesirable, and which has a long history of manipulating debates. Meanwhile, Johnson’s other key advisor, Dominic Cummings, is also notorious for his ruthlessness in manipulating public discussion.

In 1999, as the GM debate raged in the UK, LM’s science correspondent lamented the fact that “so few” were standing up to public concerns over GM, given that “The GM debate is the terrain upon which society's relationship to science and human endeavour is currently being worked out.” Two decades later, the few are still working to bypass the many – hoping to remove all safety checks and labelling through deregulation of gene editing, thus denying farmers and citizens meaningful seed and food choices while simultaneously removing focal points for further pushback against the unchecked power of the corporate and political elite.


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Note this article has not been checked by Gus for fake news and opinions, especially in regard to former Yugoslavia where a lot of US and European disinformation were used to go to war, eventually creating more damage than there ever was. Read from top.



and the winner is... boris...

Arguments will rage over Christmas dinner about who won in the Brexit trade talks, but Brits can be happy to have taken back control of their money, migration and sovereignty. The rest is the price of success in these key battles.

In the aftermath of the battle for a fair Brexit trade deal, there will be plenty of argument over who came out on top, but having spent 10 years in the boiler room of the campaign to extricate Britain from its membership of the European Union, my view is that the UK should be celebrating a triumph, albeit quietly. It would be unseemly to gloat.

The 1,246-page document detailing Britain’s new relationship with the EU will be pulled apart like a Christmas turkey, and there will be plenty of disagreement over what are the best bits and who gets what, but in the three key areas that drove Brexit, we came out on top, have no doubt.

These are things that are close to my heart, after a decade working on developing messaging, drawing out the real issues and turning that into something people could understand and, most importantly, use to convince their friends and family that they were on the right side of the fight.

The Brexit side needed support in numbers and it was no use trying to propagate divisive arguments that would damage our cause – we needed things people could agree on. No-brainers.

And it was important that these were unequivocal issues where a clear winner could be determined, so that when the dust settled and an agreement reached, we could see clearly if our objectives had been achieved.

There were three areas of engagement. What mattered to the British people was the seemingly unreal figure of £350 million a week the UK sent to the EU as its membership fee ( though, granted, part of that was returned in kind), the lack of control we had over our immigration system and, finally, the legal handcuffs we wore when we were shackled to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) – a foreign court in a foreign land dictating how we should live our lives.

Time and again, these were the big issues that they wanted to discuss – on their doorsteps, at campaign stalls set up in town centres and at public meetings across the country.

Those millions of people who felt these issues undermined British nationhood will be pleased with the outcome of Boris Johnson’s trade deal. Because we have won hands down on all counts.

We are no longer a member of the EU, so that membership subscription is no longer due. We have taken back control of our borders and, instead of an open-door policy, from January 1, we have an Australian-style points-based system for migrants. And lastly, we are no longer bound by EU law or the judgments of the ECJ. Hip, hip, hooray!

So, ignore the clamour and nitpicking about fishing rights, the Northern Ireland border or maintaining a level playing field through government subsidies, these were very much fringe matters in the years leading up to that June 2016 referendum. There was just too little understanding or too much apathy about these issues to make them any use in drumming up enough support to convince a majority.

We took matters that people could digest easily and share with others. The things that concerned regular folk were not the operation of financial services or the ability of the City to trade freely. In fact, the public in general despised the banks, having been screwed so badly back in 2008 – Joe Public no longer has an emotional attachment to the idea of ‘The City’ as a world leader.

So, if we have lost out in any way in the area of financial services under the agreed trade deal, then it won’t mean a fig to Sid and Shirley of Stockport.

And neither will the prolonged argy-bargy about fishing territories, which took up way too much time and effort in relation to the paltry 0.12 percent of gross domestic product this sector contributes to our economy. Although, unexpectedly, we seem to have swung that one as well.

My feeling is that French President Emmanuel Macron was the reason for this. Alone among the European leaders, he knew of the disproportionate and historical attachment our island nation has to its fishing territories and coastal towns. So, he held out to try and screw us as the clock ticked down.

Then, he mis-stepped, slamming the French border shut over an outbreak of a coronavirus variant in the UK without first checking with Brussels. They were not amused and even went so far as to chastise l’Empereur.

That was handy for British negotiators and embarrassing for the EU team at a very sensitive moment in the talks. Who knows, maybe it was enough to put Macron on the back foot and concede the numbers needed to finalise the fishing to-and-froing, and with that, the entire trade deal, just so he could save face with Brussels.

If the rash behaviour of the puffed-up president did prove instrumental in the UK securing a brand new £660bn trade deal, that really would be the glacé cherry on top.



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How the EU got conned by Boris will be explained in years to come...


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and the loser is the UK...


Opinion: Even with a deal, Brexit remains a sham

The UK's exit from the EU won't be quite as hard as some had feared. Nevertheless, the move remains a historic mistake, writes DW's Bernd Riegert.


Britain's prime minister and European Union negotiators apparently love Brexit drama. They can prove to an annoyed public, particularly in the UK, that they fought to the end to preserve their own interests. The Christmas Eve deal could have been made three or even six months ago. Aside from a few marginal changes surrounding fishing rights, it's more or less what the EU offered the UK over the summer.

With a blend of chutzpa and naive populism, Britain's impish prime minister, Boris Johnson, is presenting the deal to his citizenry as a resounding success. The promises from the Brexit referendum in 2016 will all be implemented, he says. That is wrong. The deal is a classic compromise, like all trade agreements. No single regulation is better than what the British already had as members of the EU. The comprehensive agreement that is now set to take force is a slimmed-down internal market that sets the stage for both sides to move further apart from one another in the future. From climate protection and science to transportation and the fight against terrorism, the UK and EU want to continue their trusting cooperation. Whether this trust is still justified after the UK's antics during the negotiation process remains to be seen from the European perspective.

Victim of neo-nationalism

One example of those who lose out in Brexit is British students, who can longer participate in the Erasmus exchange program. It was deemed too expensive for the UK government. It will also now be more difficult for young academics from abroad to study at expensive British universities. That will ultimately be a higher price for British society to pay than whatever the Erasmus fees cost.

This sensible program was one of the many sacrifices made at the Brexiteers' altar of neo-nationalism. The shrewd populist Boris Johnson pulled at the British public's sovereignty heartstrings. He claims to have taken back control that the UK — but, in truth, he never really relinquished to Brussels. No EU member state is ruled by a diffuse occupying power in distant Belgium. Everyone collaborates on legislation. Everyone is beholden to the court of law. Nobody is forced into membership.

The misleading notion of sovereignty

Johnson is now talking about how Great Britain has become independent again. Independent from whom? The prime minister and his Brexit cronies are clinging to an idea of sovereignty from the last century, when British ships ruled the seas as part of a global empire. Today, any state that wishes to participate in trade and international relations must give up a small portion of its sovereignty to enjoy the benefits of cooperation. Membership in the World Trade Organization, the United Nations, NATO, and also the EU, comes with obligations and rights both big and small. Nobody has to give up independence and statehood for this.

In the same vein as the Brexiteers, there are the populists in countries like Poland and Hungary, who also feel patronized, occupied or even enslaved by the EU, an organization to which they voluntarily belong.

In the middle of a pandemic that has hit the UK hard once again, Boris Johnson should have realized that there are more important things than chasing nationalist fantasies. The links between Britain and the EU are too close. Just two days of the Channel Tunnel being shut showed him how vulnerable the UK is. This experience may have spurred London to reach an agreement with Brussels. A hard exit from the internal market into a world of WTO rules would have been a death knell for the already badly shaken British economy.

Hot air

A year ago, after Brexit became official, Boris Johnson spun the yarn that the UK would throw off the EU shackles and negotiate lucrative trade deals around the world. What has become of that? Nothing. There is not even the idea of an agreement with the two other largest trading partners outside the EU: China and the United States. The UK has signed agreements with Singapore and Japan, but they are almost identical to deals that the EU had already negotiated with those two countries. The British simply copied them. These two agreements also only account for a small fraction of annual trade volume.

The bottom line is that Brexit is and remains a sham. The British were better off with the EU — and without the bloviating Boris Johnson.



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deregulation of GMO in britain is stupid...


Genetic Engineering, Agriculture and Brexit: Treachery in Our Midst

Colin Todhunter

The UK government has launched its public consultation on the deregulation of gene editing in England. To kick things off, somewhat predictably Environment Secretary George Eustice recently spun a staunch pro-industry line at the Oxford Farming Conference by stating:

Gene editing has the ability to harness the genetic resources that Mother Nature has provided in order to tackle the challenges of our age. This includes breeding crops that perform better, reducing costs to farmers and impacts on the environment and helping us all adapt to the challenges of climate change.”

In the wake of Brexit, he attacked the EU’s stance on genetic engineering in agriculture by saying:

Its potential was blocked by a European Court of Justice ruling in 2018, which is flawed and stifling to scientific progress. Now that we have left the EU, we are free to make coherent policy decisions based on science and evidence. That begins with this consultation.

Eustice’s statements form part of a long-term pro-genetic engineering-deregulation propaganda campaign. It follows on from Boris Johnson’s first speech to parliament as prime minister in 2019 in which he proclaimed:

Let’s start now to liberate the UK’s extraordinary bioscience sector from anti-genetic modification rules and let’s develop the blight-resistant crops that will feed the world.”

The type of ‘liberation’ Johnson advocates forms part of the usual neoliberal evangelism which this time revolves around the adoption of unassessed genetically engineered crops and food, while overseeing the gutting of food safety and environmental standards, especially in light of a potential post-Brexit trade deal with the US.

It is no secret that various Conservative-led administrations have wanted to break free from the EU regulatory framework on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) for some time. In 2014, Genewatch exposed collusion between the government and global agribusiness giants to force GMOs into Britain above the heads of a highly sceptical public.

In response to Eustice’s comments, GMWatch stated on its website that deregulation would result in no or few safety checks and probably no labelling for gene-edited products. This is despite dozens of top scientists having warned that they could be dangerous for human health and the environment in a 2017 Statement on New Genetic Modification Techniques.

Commenting on the government’s recent press release sent out to journalists to publicise the consultation process, the Beyond GM campaign group said:

the mendacious propaganda material on the benefits of genome editing… which was sent to journalists throughout the country… will be widely taken up as fact, preventing any intelligent public debate during the consultation period.

The press release is in GMWatch’s view “a pack of lies from beginning to end” based on unsubstantiated ‘jam tomorrow’ claims that gene editing has the potential to protect the nation’s environment, pollinators and wildlife. These claims ignore the reality that the first gene-edited crop to be commercialised (Cibus’s SU canola) is gene-edited to survive being sprayed with toxic herbicides. GMWatch argues that there is no gene-edited crop available anywhere in the world that offers environmental benefits.

It is telling that all the claimed advantages of gene-edited crops of the future are already available in the form of agroecological farming methods and high-performing conventionally bred crops. Agroecology offers system-wide solutions that tackle the now well-documented system-wide health, nutrition, social and environmental problems inherent in the model of industrial agriculture supported by corporations behind the genetic engineering project.

However, the UK government shows no interest in these solutions.

GMWatch notes that the government press release claims that gene editing is not genetic modification. The industry has put much effort into spinning this next generation of genetically engineered crops in this way. It wants at all costs to avoid the bad press and negative public perception that has surrounded the first generation of transgenic GMOs by avoiding the GMO tag.

However, gene editing most certainly falls within the definitions of GMOs from technical, scientific and legal (in the EU) standpoints. In fact, the EU and existing UK definition of a GMO does not depend on whether it contains foreign DNA. EU law defines a GMO as an organism in which “the genetic material has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally by mating and/or natural recombination”. Regardless of what the government says, gene-edited organisms fall under this definition.

Moreover, the government is wrong to claim that gene-edited organisms do not contain foreign DNA. This can happen intentionally (in the case of certain types of gene-edited organism) and unintentionally, as a result of the inherent inaccuracy and imprecision of gene-editing procedures. To support this claim, a compilation of peer reviewed evidence has been posted on the GMWatch website in the article ‘Science supports need to subject gene-edited plants to strict safety assessments’.

As for the government’s claim that gene-edited organisms only contain “changes that could be made more slowly using traditional breeding methods”, GMWatch says:

We look forward to their proof that the unintended outcomes of gene editing could happen in traditional breeding. They include large deletions, insertions and rearrangements of DNA, as well as unintended incorporation of foreign DNA and entire genes.

Long-time campaigner Jim McNulty of the Genetic Engineering Network is scathing in his assessment of how the UK government is currently acting. He says:

When we look at this administration, filled to the roof with fraud, corruption and cronyism, we now have Boris Johnson trying to make or break the rules on new gene-editing techniques.

He adds that the Brexiteers in government wasted no time in setting their pro-GMO agenda:

Within a week of leaving the EU, the UK moved quickly to challenge and compete with our former European partners. The US is refusing to regulate the new genetic engineering techniques, just like they did with the first wave of transgenic GMOs. We in Europe, in the mid-90s, were faced with untested, unstable and unregulated GMOs in soy and maize going into two thirds of EU food products.

It was a mammoth task to bring politicians, supermarkets and all government bodies on board to regulate the original wave of GMOs.

McNulty explains:

We succeeded because in the UK, Germany and France campaigners and activists demanded action. The media, retailers and politicians buckled under the massive pressure of public opinion that we created to bring that about.

The US also felt the pressure:

Because the EU and its markets were the prize and there was so much anti-GM sentiment, GMOs were driven out and EU lawmakers have never changed their position. Science and public opinion won.”

McNulty argues that we now see treachery in our midst: a former member state has seen fit to bury 25 years of evolving laws and regulations founded on a science-based approach and the precautionary principle.

The consultation will close on Wednesday, 17 March at 23:59 and can be accessed here.....



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Hopefully EUROPE and other countries such as Australia will ban import of GMO tainted foods and crops from Britain. Let the Brits eath their own modified shit.

a clown and a priest — both abusing our nature...

The long-running German satirical show Extra 3 recently featured a sketch with the following voiceover: “From the people who brought you The Crown – the epic saga of the Queen – now comes the ridiculous story of this guy, a notorious buffoon at the head of a country … The Clown.”

The word “clown” has often been used in a flippant or dismissive way with regard to Boris Johnson. But the underlying paradox is that it is only as a clown – a fool in the oldest and deepest sense of the word – that his character can truly be understood. What happens when you make the clown king is what we in the UK have been witnessing in real time. With the success of the vaccine, though, a new question emerges: can one archetype transform into the other? Can Johnson creep away from his clownish past altogether?


Clowns, of course, are very serious and important people. At their simplest, they remind us of the silliness of things: that the world we have created is ridiculous. They reassure us in this observation by appealing to our innate understanding of the absurd. They relieve the endless tension and trauma of reality.

At a deeper level, the clown is the mirror image of the priest. Both represent two ancient sides of our nature. Both elucidate what it means to be human. The priest summons, celebrates and interrogates the sacred; the clown does the same with the profane. The one is concerned with the eschatological, the other with the scatological. The priest propounds abstinence and fasting; the clown gluttony and indulgence. The one solemnifies sex, the other carnalises. As David Bridel, founder of the Clown School in Los Angeles, says, clowns are often roundly welcomed because they “remind us that we are as practised in falling over, shitting and humping, as we are in prayer and purification”.


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Free Julian Assange Now !!!


In most respect, priests abuse our angst, while clowns dismiss them with stupidy that make us laugh. But the question remains "is Boris a clown or a sociopathic idiot?"... Britain is badly served with any of these impression at the top of the ladder....




the golden fleece...



BEER WE GO! Boris Johnson tells Brits lockdown easing WILL go ahead on schedule and vows ‘in a few days’ time, I’ll be down the pub’

BORIS Johnson today said lockdown easing will go ahead on schedule and vowed to be back down the pub "in a few days' time".

An upbeat Prime Minister said he can't wait to go to the barbers when hairdressers reopen and sip his first pint in his local on April 12.


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Obviously, as seen on TV, Boris has not seen a hairdresser in yonks, probably since the posting at top, two years ago.