Swastikas in British armed forces

This 23 June 2019 video says about itself:

Royal Marines scrawl Nazi swastika on the chest of a comrade

Royal Marines taking part in a multi-national exercise to prepare for any future conflict with Russia scrawled a Nazi swastika on the chest of a comrade during a humiliating initiation ceremony, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

By Thomas Scripps in Britain:

Royal Marines scrawl Nazi swastika on the chest of a comrade

Royal Marines from anti-Russia exercise daubed swastikas on chest

28 June 2019

A video leaked to the Mail on Sunday shows a disorientated British Royal Navy marine sitting on a toilet with a swastika scrawled on his chest. According to the Mail, the remainder of the video, thought to have been filmed aboard HMS Albion, features a series of “disgusting acts” in the ship’s corridors and sleeping quarters.

The marines were part of the Future Commando Force (FCF) taking part in Exercise Baltic Protector, described in the UK media as designed “to strike fear into [Russian Federation] President Putin.” The exercise saw the Royal Marines lead a force of 12,000 troops, 17 ships and aircraft simulating an assault on the Baltic and Scandinavian coastline.

A senior officer wrote to sailors, “The Commandant General Royal Marines has directed that anyone with the recent video from Ex BP [Exercise Baltic Protector]

in this case, not Exercise British Petroleum

is to delete it immediately. Anyone found forwarding it, particularly to public forums, will face disciplinary action. It includes booze, s*** and swastikas.

“If it reaches social media we can kiss goodbye to any additional responsibilities as well as runs ashore [Navy slang for social privileges]. Talk of it may kill FCF dead.”

These events confirm Winston Churchill’s doubtless well-informed description of the Navy’s traditions as “Rum, sodomy and the lash.” The Royal Marines are tasked with killing in the interests of British imperialism anywhere in the world, with unquestioning obedience and ruthless efficiency. They are suitably brutalised for that purpose.

More fundamentally, the leaked video reveals the fascist sentiment and culture which is increasingly finding a home in the world’s armed forces. Regardless of the perverse circumstances in which these facts have come to light, their serious implications cannot be ignored.

In Germany, current and former members of the army’s elite regiments were found to have established a far-right terror network preparing assassinations of left-wing figures and a fascist revolt for “Day X.” The plot had close connections with the Military Intelligence Services. It has also been discovered that elite police officers were secretly storing vast amounts of weapons and ammunition with the same intentions.

The same forces are at work in the UK military. The last time a video was leaked from the British armed forces, this April, it showed four soldiers from the UK’s elite Paratroop regiment using a picture of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn for target practice. The video was captioned “happy with that”, as it zoomed in to show Corbyn’s head peppered with bullet holes and with the soldiers laughing in the background. Like the Royal Marines, the soldiers’ unit, 3 PARA, specialises in counterinsurgency operations. It has a history of terrorising the working-class Catholic population of Northern Ireland during the Troubles.

In 2017, Serj Forster was accepted into the British Army having previously declared his support for a fascist terror group on social media. In a Facebook post from 2015, he wrote that he was “kicked out of college for spreading extremist ideas and recruiting for an extremist organisation and raising racial tensions.” He posted a photo of himself dressed in black with the caption, “The Blackshirts are back 88!”, referring to Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Fascists. The number 88 is a known far-right code for the Nazi salute, “Heil Hitler.”

In March 2018, Corporal Mikko Vehvilainen, described as an “outstanding” soldier during his deployment to Afghanistan, was jailed for eight years after being found guilty of recruiting for the banned far-right terror group National Action. Vehvilainen was tried alongside 2nd Battalion Royal Anglian soldier Pte Mark Barrett, who was acquitted of National Action membership but removed from the army. He had a cardboard swastika openly displayed on his windowsill at Alexander Barracks in Cyprus. Two other unnamed soldiers linked to Vehvilainen also faced charges but were internally disciplined and remained in the army.

Last October, the fascist founder of the English Defence League, Tommy Robinson, posted a video of himself with a group of young British recruits cheering his name. When one of the soldiers was dismissed in connection with this event, an “I am Soldier X” defence campaign was launched among current and former members of the armed forces. Robinson held interviews with anonymised serving soldiers and delivered a petition to Downing Street on behalf of this far-right campaign.

As in Germany, the growth of the far-right within the armed forces is a direct result of imperialist war plans and of the need to suppress the class conflicts they threaten to unleash. The British Future Commando Force and Baltic Protector exercise are key elements of a much wider anti-Russian military front, built-up behind the backs of the UK population on the spurious grounds of combatting “Russian aggression.”

British armed forces play a leading role in NATO’s “Enhanced Forward Presence” deployment, designed to threaten Russia’s western border with battlegroups in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. Britain leads the battlegroup in Estonia, where it has 1,000 soldiers deployed alongside Challenger 2 main battle tanks. Their forces were bolstered in March by the addition of four Typhoon fighter jets, now stationed at Estonia’s Amari air base. Five Apache attack helicopters were added the following month.

The Royal Marines have launched a ten-year joint programme with the Norwegian armed forces which will see over one thousand British troops stationed and trained in the Arctic each year. Britain will eventually have a brigade-strength deployment in the region. A fleet of submarine-hunting aircraft will be deployed to the Arctic next year. One of their roles will be to protect the UK’s “nuclear deterrent submarines.”.

In Poland, more than 150 British troops are deployed in a 1,100-strong battlegroup led by the United States. Further South, 150 British military personnel and four more Typhoon jets are stationed in Romania as part of NATO’s “Enhanced Air Policing” mission, targeted at seizing control of the Black Sea region.

Just over a week ago, British paratroopers took part in the largest airborne exercise since the end of the Cold War—in Croatia, Germany, Romania and Bulgaria. The operation involved more than 7,000 British, US and French soldiers, 300 vehicles and 40 aircraft and was designed to demonstrate to Russia how quickly NATO can move significant extra forces into Eastern Europe and beyond. These followed the 18,000-strong Sabre Strike exercise in Poland, Latvia and Lithuania last year.

One commando told the Mail on Sunday, “No wonder senior officers were desperate to destroy all the evidence that this Nazi ritual took place. Exercise Baltic Protector was supposed to send President Putin a message… This wasn’t a time to get drunk, daub swastikas on each other and do other unthinkable acts.”

In fact, the Navy’s crackdown on the circulation of the video flows from the recognition that fascist swastikas are wholly appropriate to military operations threatening an assault on Russia.

In January last year the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) held a meeting addressed by General Sir Nick Carter, the Chief of the General Staff of the British Armed Forces, insisting that the UK must actively prepare for war with Russia.

The British Army needed a “Strike concept” to “project land capability over distances of up to some 2,000 km.” Carter stressed. We “are copying what the Germans did very well in 1940”—a reference to the Nazi’s Operation Barbarossa, the 1941 war of annihilation against the Soviet Union which left 26 million Soviet soldiers and civilians dead.

A contemporary war against nuclear-armed Russia could not be waged in any way other than the genocidal fashion of the Nazis. And such a campaign would require the wholesale establishment of military dictatorship on the home front, with fascist gangs deployed to smash left-wing, anti-war protests. Events like those aboard the HMS Albion provide a partial glimpse of what is underway.

Still flammable ‘Grenfell’ cladding in Britain

Campaigners from properties with Grenfell-style cladding demanding safe homes for all in London, England – cladding on 8 out of 10 blocks have still not been replaced

From daily News Line in Britain:

80% of flammable towers have still not been reclad

10th May 2019

‘STILL almost 8 in 10 blocks with Grenfell type cladding have not had it replaced with over half of those with no work started at all,’ John Healey, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of Health told Parliament yesterday.

He was speaking after Tory Housing minister James Brokenshire made a statement to the House of Commons announcing a government fund providing £200m for the stripping of flammable cladding from private blocks.

However, the fund is not for stripping social housing tower blocks of flammable cladding. Hundreds of council and housing association tower blocks are still wrapped in flammable cladding leaving thousands living in fire traps.

To make matters worse the Tory government and the Tory-led Kensington and Chelsea Council still have not re-housed the Grenfell fire survivors.

Healey continued: ‘Who would have thought, after the solemn pledges made by the Prime Minister and other ministers in the aftermath of that terrible, dreadful Grenfell Tower fire that nearly two years on, still there are Grenfell residents in hotels and temporary accommodation, not in permanent homes.’

Emma Dent Coad, Labour MP for Kensington, tweeted that it was ‘shameful’ that residents had to wait 23 months for action, adding that the £200m fund was ‘measly’.

Only last weekend in Manchester there was a fire in a block with Grenfell-style cladding, luckily no one was killed.

And the tenants of the Manchester block called Vallea Court which has the same Grenfell-style cladding have said that they fear for their lives after a waking watch failed to rouse a number of people during the fire that broke out in the early hours of last Saturday.

People living in Vallea Court in the Green Quarter development were evacuated at around 5am when the fire started in the lift shaft on the 10th floor.

While fire alarms sounded on the floor where the fire was, they did not sound elsewhere, and most residents were woken by members of a waking watch who banged on their doors and sounded an air horn.

Joe Sharp, who lives on the eighth floor of the block, said he initially assumed the noise was from revellers returning from a night out.

‘I was eventually woken by the sound of people in the corridor,’ he said. ‘The waking watch don’t know who is in or not so if you don’t answer the door they are not going to stay there.’

Meanwhile, residents in nine blocks in Manchester’s Salford were told flammable cladding would be stripped in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy. Almost two years on they’re still waiting.

Dawn Lewis is 57 and has lived in Thorn Court for more than 20 years. She said: ‘At the beginning, I didn’t want to be here. My sleep was awful. I kept thinking that the alarm was going off. You wake up thinking you can smell smoke.’

The 22-storey block sits opposite the Salford Crescent railway station and is one of the nine Pendleton Together-run high-rises that failed to meet fire safety standards.

Julie Eddison is 46 and lives in Spruce Court. She has depression, anxiety and PTSD and says she feels ‘terrorised’ in her home.

‘Do I feel safe? No,’ she said … We are in a perpetual state of fear.’

When the fire alarm was set off during the night recently, Julie said she was ‘phoned awake’ at 3.20am by a friend.

‘The alarm didn’t wake me,’ she said. ‘You can imagine the terror.’

Racism in Blairite-Conservative British Change UK party

This 18 February 2019 video from Britain says about itself:

Angela Smith appears to describe people with ‘funny tinge’ in racism debate

Ex-Labour MP sparks immediate racism row on launch day of her political organisation, the Independent Group, while appearing on BBC’s Politics Live.

After self-styled Thatcherite Conservative politicians joined the Blairite ex-Labourites, the new name of the Independent Group became Change UK.

By Phil Miller in Britain:

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Change UK candidate ‘scared’ of black women

JEREMY CORBYN’S opponents were in meltdown last night after a second Change UK candidate was forced to resign for saying “black women scare me” and a third was found to have been repeating Islamophobic slurs.

Joseph Russo was the second Change UK candidate in 24 hours to be dropped for making racist remarks, while Nora Mulready was facing censure by the Muslim Council of Britain as the Star went to press.

The gaffe-prone breakaway party was originally formed by Labour MPs who defected over what they said was “racism” within the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn.

But Change UK’s own anti-racist credentials were dealt a fresh blow yesterday when its top Euro election candidate for Scotland was revealed to have made insulting remarks about black women.

Mr Russo stood down after one of his tweets emerged that said: “Black women scare me.

“I put this down to being chased through Amsterdam by a crazy black whore.”

In another tweet, he posted: “I wonder if there’s a c**t/anchovy correlation. One smells like the other.”

Ms Mulready meanwhile, who was slected as Change UK’s London candidate after she quit Labour for being too “anti-imperialist hard left,” spent her time in 2018 arguing that “immigration brings with it some very regressive cultural values” and suggesting [racist thug] Tommy Robinson had “hit [a] societal nerve.”

Astonishingly for someone intending to represent a city with a 12.4 per cent Muslim population, she also argued that fundamentalist Islam is inextricable from the Muslim faith, saying it was “a fallacy that Islamism has nothing to do with Islam” and fundamentalism could be “Koranically justified”.

Labour’s Neil Findlay, who is MSP for Lothian, told the Morning Star: “Clearly there’s a very worrying pattern emerging of TIG [Change UK] endorsing individuals with racist views.

“They were meant to ‘change’ politics but based on these remarks it looks like all they are doing is pushing it into the gutter.”

On Tuesday, just hours after the party’s Euro election launch, another of their candidates stood down over a racist tweet.

Professional boxer [and ex-Conservative party member] Ali Sadjady was caught saying: “When I hear 70 per cent of pick pockets caught on the London Underground are Romanian it kind of makes me want Brexit.”

Racism has dogged the party since its inception as The Independent Group in February when one of its MPs, Angela Smith, sparked uproar on day one, saying black people had a “funny tinge” in a discussion about racism.

She later claimed to have “misspoke”.

In response to the latest racism revelations, David Rosenberg from the Jewish Socialists’ Group said: “Several former Labour MPs cited Labour’s alleged anti-semitism as the reason they were leaving to form a new party.

“It’s a bit rich given that their new party has already faced such embarrassment over racism.

“On their launch day they had the ‘funny tinge’ comments.

“Now two candidates have resigned over racist comments about Romanians and black women.

“And from those who shouted loudest making allegations of anti-semitism, all we get now is silence when it comes to their own party.”

Trade unionist Liam Young also slammed the party, saying on Twitter: “The former Labour MPs who resigned calling Corbyn a racist should be damned for the disgrace that they are.

“It’s almost as if you have to be a homophobe, racist or sexist to be selected as a Change UK candidate.

“Roll on an election so we can consign them to the dustbin of history.”

Thursday, 25 April 2019: Tory racist attack on foreign students ‘bigger scandal than Windrush’. 34,000 FOREIGN students have had their visas cancelled and over 1,000 have been kicked out of the country as a result of the racist ‘hostile environment’ regime imposed by Theresa May while she was Home Secretary in 2014. When the scandal of the Windrush generation broke last year, charities that deal with immigration disputes warned that Windrush was just the tip of the iceberg and now it is emerging that even more foreign students have been subjected to the racist policies pursued vigorously by May and the Tories: here.

Why Change UK loves war. SYMON HILL exposes the ‘moderate’ party’s blood-soaked militarist voting record.

Can pine martens survive in Britain?

This video says about itself:

Baby pine marten

Cute little squatters living on the second floor in our cottage. Estonia, summer 2015.

By Peter Frost in Britain:

Friday, March 22, 2019

Nature red in tooth and claw

PETER FROST celebrates a rare British mammal and its struggle to survive in our countryside

The rare pine marten (Martes martes) is, for most of us, more easily seen on a television wildlife programme than in real life. They are mostly nocturnal, but if you are lucky and in the right place you may spot them when they are active during daylight in the summer.

Like many of our mammals and birds of prey they were driven almost to the point of extinction by greedy so-called country sporting interests seeking to protect grouse, pheasant and other shoots.

However, today wiser councel prevails and as pressure on these wild creatures is reducing they are able to re-establish themselves.

Now pine martens enjoy the highest legal conservation status and are protected in Britain under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, although that still doesn’t always save them from overenthusiastic gamekeepers and their greedy employers.

Today some mammal enthusiasts who are lucky enough to live in pine marten country can sometimes even encourage pine martens to visit bird tables laden with peanuts and raisins.

A native of Britain and Ireland, the marten is a member of the mustelid family which includes the far more common weasel and stoat as well as the polecat, otter and escaped but now common mink. Another close relative is the ferret, still occasionally kept for hunting and as a pet. Some ferrets have escaped and are living wild. The rare feral blonde variety are particularly attractive. I saw one recently and recognising just what it was took some time.

The pine marten is the size of a small domestic cat. Their bodies are up to 21 in (53 cm) in length, and their bushy tails can add another 10 in (25 cm). Males are slightly larger than females; typically, martens weigh around 3.3lb (1.5kg) – 3.7lb (1.7kg).

It has a slim body and it is claimed that even a fully grown adult marten can get through a three-inch diameter hole. Its fur is brown with a distinctive cream bib on the throat. The long bushy tail and prominent rounded ears and cheeky face make it quite easy to recognise. They live for approximately eight years.

You are most likely to find them in woodland habitats, but they will also live in scrub, rocky areas and on rocky crags where they take advantage of their supreme agility and climbing skills.

That climbing ability is also often seen high in the tree cover where they move and leap from branch to branch like some amazing circus trapeze artiste.

Pine martens prefer to rest and breed above ground and frequently den in tree cavities, disused squirrel nests (called dreys) as well as larger disused bird nests. Many local wildlife organisations erect purpose-built marten den boxes and these are often used as are owl nesting boxes.

Pine martens are largely solitary, coming together only to mate in July and August. During the summer mating season, they make shrill, cat-like calls.

Between one and five tiny kits are born the following spring. The kits stay with the mother until the autumn when they are fully grown and leave mum to establish their own territories.

Pine martens eat a wide variety of food and will consume what is plentiful locally. This may include small mammals, birds, insects and carrion.

They do eat bird’s eggs and have been seen to raid the nests of some rare species including ospreys but some superb film has been shot in Scotland showing a female osprey successfully defending her clutch of eggs from a pine marten. Truly nature red in tooth and claw.

Fruit such as bilberries, rowan berries and blackberries make up much of a pine marten’s summer diet, often resulting in its scats or droppings turning blue or red in colour.

Pine martens regularly leave their scats on forest trails or in prominent places like boulders to mark their territories. When they are fresh, scats may have a slimy appearance due to mucous binding them together. They may contain fur, feathers, bones or seeds.

Pine martens also prey on squirrels. It seems they take far more grey squirrels than the threatened reds. Greys are bigger, slower and spend more time on the ground than their red counterparts. Reds can move quicker and climb higher in trees where thin branches will not support the weight of an adult marten.

Studies are still to be conclusive but this could be great news for the endangered red squirrel as well as the ancient woodlands that suffer so much from grey squirrels stripping the bark of ancient trees.

The only natural predator of the marten in Britain, if we exclude gamekeepers, is the fox.

The pine marten arrived in Britain after the last Ice Age, around 10,000 years ago. The extensive woodland cover of the time made ideal conditions for the pine marten.

It seems incredible but at this time pine martens were the second most common British carnivore. Populations may have reached 150,000 animals. Today the population is less than 5,000.

During the 18th and 19th centuries, as woodlands were cleared and gamekeepers controlled predators, populations declined dramatically.

By the early 20th century, pine martens had become extinct in most of southern Britain and were confined to north-west Scotland and a very few English upland areas like the Lake District, the Cheviot Hills, the Pennines and the North York Moors.

In Wales, populations survived in areas that included Snowdonia, the Cambrian Mountains and Carmarthenshire.

From the 1930s, following a reduction in trapping pressure, pine martens began to recover in Scotland and the population has slowly expanded and re-colonised many parts of its former range.

Today, pine martens are found throughout much of northern and central Scotland, as far south as the Central Belt, with some populations in parts of southern Scotland. Pine martens have begun to spread over the Scottish-English border and recolonise areas of Northumberland and Cumbria.

Elsewhere in England and Wales pine martens have appeared again. Some have been reintroduced by wildlife organisations as well as by individual mammal enthusiasts.

Like so many of our native mammals they are fighting for survival and those of us who really love the countryside need to do all we can to help.