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UK Supreme Court rules Scottish parliament cannot hold 2nd independence referendum

Brit Scot flags
© unknown
The Choice
Scotland remains split on whether the country should be independent.

The Supreme Court has ruled that the Scottish government cannot organise its own independence referendum.

In a blow for First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, a panel of five judges said that as constitutional matters are "reserved" to Westminster, the Scottish Parliament cannot legislate for a second referendum. Announcing the unanimous ruling, Lord Reed said:
"The Scottish Parliament does not have the power to legislate for a referendum on Scottish independence."
The case was brought to the court after Sturgeon set out plans to hold a second vote on independence on Oct. 19 next year. She said if that were not possible, the SNP would make the next general election a "de facto referendum" on whether Scotland should be independent.

Arrow Up

UK providing Ukraine with cutting-edge weapons - media

missile
© AFP/Philip Coburn
Brimstone missile • Royal Air Force’s Marham Airbase, Norfolk, UK
The UK has supplied Ukraine with high-precision Brimstone 2 missiles, the British media reported on Monday. Video released by the military showed the delivery of an advanced version of the projectile compared to those already in use with Ukrainian forces.

According to reports, London began shipping earlier versions of the missile to Ukraine about six months ago. While originally designed to be launched from aircraft, these projectiles are typically fired by Ukrainian troops from modified trucks. They are used to destroy enemy tanks and other military vehicles.

Each Brimstone 2 missile reportedly costs approximately £175,000 ($207,110).

It has two modes of operation: it can either hit targets by tracking a laser or select one from a pre-programmed list with the help of radar. The system can scan the battlefield and independently select the most appropriate target while sparing civilian vehicles and military equipment of secondary importance.

During his visit to Kiev at the weekend British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak unveiled a new military aid package worth £50 million.

Eye 2

Conrad Black: Klaus Schwab's obsession with pushing global governance

Klaus Schwab in Davos
© Arnd Wiegmann/Reuters
World Economic Forum founder Klaus Schwab in Davos, Switzerland, on May 26, 2022.
Last week at the G20 meeting in Indonesia, as U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping wasted their time talking about global warming, a subject the People's Republic does not take seriously, instead of the origins of COVID or the status of Taiwan, to my utter astonishment, the face and voice of the "Great Reset" appeared. This is the jargon for the readjustment in the world towards so-called stakeholder capitalism that is the ambition of the conveners of the World Economic Forum (WEF). The forum began in 1971 as a conference where a few political leaders and celebrities from different industries and activities gathered and the occasion was paid for by admission fees happily tendered by a selection of prosperous people from different countries who wished to rub shoulders with the prominent featured guests. It was a winning commercial formula and it grew and grew. It never moved to a more commodious and stylish place than the dreary and remote Swiss town of Davos.

It is now a virtual world's fair of global political, industrial and even cultural leaders, surrounded by wealthy and eager camp-followers attracted to "networking." Davos was the creation, and remains the fiefdom, of a pleasant but not rollickingly gregarious German-Swiss, Klaus Schwab. He has always claimed that his objective is entirely to further international and interdisciplinary understanding, with no ulterior motive and not the slightest interest in self-enrichment, just selfless and tireless efforts to promote human understanding and the inexorable progress towards a better world.

Comment: See also:


X

Bolsonaro contests Brazil election loss, wants votes voided

Valdemar Costa Neto
© AP Photo/Eraldo Peres
Valdemar Costa Neto, the leader of President Jair Bolsonaro's Liberal Party, speaks during a press conference regarding an investigation carried out by the party pointing out inconsistencies in voting machines used in the general elections, in Brasilia, Brazil, Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022. Bolsonaro is contesting his defeat in the October election and calling on the electoral authority to annul votes cast on most of the nation's electronic voting machines, citing a software bug that other experts have said didn't affect results.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is contesting his defeat in the October election and calling on the electoral authority to annul votes cast on more than half of electronic voting machines used.

More than three weeks after losing a reelection bid, President Jair Bolsonaro on Tuesday blamed a software bug and demanded the electoral authority annul votes cast on most of Brazil's nation's electronic voting machines, though independent experts say the bug doesn't affect the reliability of results.

Such an action would leave Bolsonaro with 51% of the remaining valid votes — and a reelection victory, Marcelo de Bessa, the lawyer who filed the 33-page request on behalf of the president and his Liberal Party, told reporters.

The electoral authority has already declared victory for Bolsonaro's nemesis, leftist former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, and even many of the president's allies have accepted the results. Protesters in cities across the country have steadfastly refused to do the same, particularly with Bolsonaro declining to concede.

Comment: And the people are pissed:
See also:


Stormtrooper

Leaked messages show Trudeau ministers discussed sending tanks against trucker convoy protesters

Trudea tank
Text messages between Two of Justin Trudeau's ministers, Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino and Justice Minister David Lametti reveal that there were conversations as to whether tanks should be brought in to face protestors during February's Freedom Convoy protest.

The revelation came during the Emergencies Act inquiry. The short conversation between the two ministers took place on Wednesday, February 2. The Emergencies Act would not be invoked until February 14.

Comment: Throughout the "pandemic", ordinary working-class Canadians were treated with utter disdain and made into second-class citizens by their government, so it is not surprising that ministers considered sending in military tanks to use against their own population. One wonders how far Canadian elites would have taken this, were they not being watched closely by the entire world during the trucker convoys.


X

London Mayor Sadiq Khan wants to regulate speech on Twitter

Dame Cressida Dick and London Mayor Sadiq Khan

Dame Cressida Dick and London Mayor Sadiq Khan
Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London who has presided over some of the worst increases in knife crime, has called for Twitter to be regulated and for speech to be policed.

Khan, who regularly ignores his constituents to post hot takes on social media, issued a warning to Twitter's new owner Elon Musk on Sunday hours after former President Donald Trump had his account restored on the platform.

Labeling Trump a "dangerous far-right politician who has a history of inciting violence," the mayor stated that the former president should not be allowed to use any form of social media and called for a broader, sweeping set of regulations to police online speech.

"The return of Donald Trump to Twitter shows why we desperately need new regulation of social media and online speech," wrote Khan in his massive missive, ignoring the fact that Trump maintains a strong online platform on Truth Social and whose speeches continue to be featured by the mainstream media.

Comment: The slide into open totalitarianism has been so smooth that they don't even need to hide it. All you need to do is talk about "saving lives", "protecting our democracy," and other meaningless nonsense. For some reason, there are still people who believe their leaders can't possibly be evil totalitarians, thus giving said leaders the freedom to be openly totalitarian without all the fuss of any significant public outcry. Khan is the desperate one. Desperate to maintain a public monopoly on information and "truth." He's a sorry little jackboot totalitarian.


Newspaper

Russia is not 'state sponsor of terrorism' says US ambassador, contradicting EU parliament resolution

Beth Van Schaack

The country does not fit America's criteria for such a designation, according to Washington's envoy for global criminal justice
The US cannot designate Russia as a "state sponsor of terrorism" since it simply does not fit the relevant criteria, the US Ambassador-at-Large for Global Criminal Justice Beth Van Schaack told a briefing on Tuesday, while commenting on a similar initiative by European lawmakers.

The EU parliament adopted a resolution calling Russia a "state sponsor of terrorism" on Wednesday.

"The designation of a state sponsor of terror in terms of the way US law defines it is not a good match for Russia here," Van Schaack told journalists. Washington is currently "exploring other potential designations" that would allow it to potentially impose further sanctions on Moscow, the ambassador added.


Comment: The US (and the West more generally) seems to be a glutton for punishment when it comes to sanctions.


Arrow Up

Electric War

Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
Into the rose-garden. My words echo
Thus, in your mind.
But to what purpose
Disturbing the dust on a bowl of rose-leaves
I do not know.

T.S. Eliot, Burnt Norton
Electric War
© REUTERS/Stringer
Spare a thought to the Polish farmer snapping pics of a missile wreckage - later indicated to belong to a Ukrainian S-300. So a Polish farmer, his footfalls echoing in our collective memory, may have saved the world from WWIII - unleashed via a tawdry plot concocted by Anglo-American "intelligence".

Such tawdriness was compounded by a ridiculous cover-up: the Ukrainians were firing on Russian missiles from a direction that they could not possibly be coming from. That is: Poland. And then the U.S. Secretary of Defense, weapons peddler Lloyd "Raytheon" Austin, sentenced Russia was to blame anyway, because his Kiev vassals were shooting at Russian missiles that should not have been in the air (and they were not).

Call it the Pentagon elevating bald lying into a rather shabby art.

The Anglo-American purpose of this racket was to generate a "world crisis" against Russia. It's been exposed - this time. That does not mean the usual suspects won't try it again. Soon.

The main reason is panic. Collective West intel sees how Moscow is finally mobilizing their army - ready to hit the ground next month - while knocking out Ukraine's electricity infrastructure as a form of Chinese torture.

Those February days of sending only 100,000 troops - and having the DPR and LPR militias plus Wagner commandos and Kadyrov's Chechens do most of the heavy lifting - are long gone. Overall, Russians and Russophones were facing hordes of Ukrainian military - perhaps as many as 1 million. The "miracle" of it all is that Russians did quite well.

Every military analyst knows the basic rule: an invasion force should number three times the defending force. The Russian Army at the start of the SMO was at a small fraction of that rule. The Russian Armed Forces arguably have a standing army of 1.3 million troops. Surely they could have spared a few tens of thousands more than the initial 100,000. But they did not. It was a political decision.

But now SMO is over: this is CTO (Counter-Terrorist Operation) territory. A sequence of terrorist attacks - targeting the Nord Streams, the Crimea Bridge, the Black Sea Fleet - finally demonstrated the inevitability of going beyond a mere "military operation".

And that brings us to Electric War.

Attention

Zelensky trapped by Moscow and Washington

zelensky
© President of Ukraine official Website
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky
The evolution of the balance of power on the Ukrainian battlefield and the tragic episode of the G20 in Bali mark a reversal of the situation. If the West still believes that it will soon defeat Moscow, the United States has already begun secret negotiations with Russia. They are preparing to let go of Ukraine and to put the blame solely on Volodymyr Zelensky. As in Afghanistan, the awakening will be brutal.

I was talking to an open-minded leader of the European Parliament in Brussels ten days ago, and I listened to him tell me that the Ukrainian conflict was certainly complex, but that the most obvious thing was that Russia had invaded that country. I replied by observing that international law obliged Germany, France and Russia to implement resolution 2202, which Moscow alone had done. I continued by reminding him of the responsibility to protect the populations in case of failure of their own government. He cut me off and asked me: "If my government complains about the fate of its citizens in Russia and attacks that country, will you find that normal? Yes," I said, "if you have a Security Council resolution. Do you have one?" Disconcerted, he changed the subject. Three times I asked him if we could talk about the Ukrainian "integral nationalists". Three times he refused. We parted courteously.

Cardboard Box

U.S. Army's weapons contract reviews accelerate to replace Ukraine aid

Greenfield
© Sergei Supinsky/Reuters
Linda Thomas Greenfield examines explosive ammo and weapons in Kyiv
The U.S. Army is accelerating its weapons acquisition process to speed through a backlog of contracts needed to replenish U.S. stocks of weapons depleted by arms shipments to Ukraine, a U.S. official said on Monday.

Doug Bush, the chief weapons buyer for the Army, told reporters the accelerated contracting effort hinges on running processes simultaneously that used to be run in succession and is based on lessons learned from the coronavirus pandemic.

Ukraine has relied heavily on the Unites States for weapons, with Washington sending about $17.9 billion worth of arms since Moscow launched its invasion of the country on February 24.

According to recent Pentagon contracting data, $2.6 billion worth of contracts have been awarded to replace weapons rushed to Ukraine since Washington began using a special Presidential Drawdown Authority, (PDA) which allows quick weapons transfers without congressional approval in response to an emergency.

Comment: US taxpayer monies continue to fund a sinkhole war without approval nor permission from the people. Now Biden is bypassing Congress as well.
The disbursement of $4.5 billion in economic aid for Ukraine approved by Congress in September will begin in the coming weeks, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said on November 22.

The funds will help the government of Ukraine by strengthening economic stability and supporting essential public services, including salaries for hospital workers, civil servants, and teachers, as well as social assistance for the elderly and vulnerable, Yellen said in a statement.

The disbursements will bring total U.S. direct budget support to Ukraine to $13 billion, all in grants, she said.