A few months before the start of the 2014 Scottish referendum campaign the BBC decided to clear out a number of Scottish based presenters replacing them with reliable Unionists.
Broadcaster Sarah Smith, the daughter of the late Labour leader, John Smith who fitted the profile perfectly, was recruited at great expense from Channel 4 to anchor BBC2’s Referendum programme.
Sarah was ecstatic since she and her husband enjoy a close family relationship with her mother Baroness Smith with whom she lives, in Edinburgh and her Scottish based sister who is married to Lord John Robertson’s son.
She was married, on the island of Iona, by the Rev Douglas Alexander, father of Labour Party stalwarts Douglas and Wendy.
A picture of Labour Party links so strong it should have ensured she would be the last person on earth to be contracted by the BBC to present unbiased commentary in a referendum which could possibly bring an end to the party of her beloved father and all of her close knit family and friends.
The BBC – A Labour Party Fiefdom and the 2014 referendum
Including Smith the impartial BBC blatantly foisted a number of other high profile Unionist supporting television and radio presenters onto the Scottish public.
Two of the most prominent being Kisty Wark, a close personal friend of the Labour Party ex-first minister McConnell and James Naughtie, right wing unionist and chief executive of the British American Project.
Unfairly, the 2014 “Better Together” campaign was led by a group of Anglos all with a Unionist persuasion, who had long ago deserted Scotland for greener pastures.
People whose concept of Scotland and Scots mirrored the village of Brigadoon.
Not for them the re-birth of Scotland, as a democratic state taking its place in the world once more.
The Internet Social media hits back
A post on the “exposing anti-independence bias on the BBC” Facebook page asserted:
“The appointment of Sarah Smith to “assist” the coming referendum debate alongside Jim Naughtie is another instance of London based “talent” being shipped in to make the case for the Union.”
September 23 2007: It was the most poignant of walks down the aisle for Sarah the eldest daughter of late Labour leader John Smith yesterday as she was married yards from her father’s grave.
Family and friends who travelled to Iona for the wedding included:
Lord Chancellor Derry Irvine. (Mentor of Tony Blair and Peter Mandelson and architect of New labour)
Lord Gordon, former chairman of Scottish Radio Holdings.
Lord Robertson, former Secretary General of NATO.
Lord Robertson’s son, Malcolm, married Sarah’s younger sister, Jane, three years before, at Port Charlotte, on Islay.
Jane, 35, was Sarah’s matron of honour while her other sister, Catherine, was a bridesmaid.
Other guests included Sarah’s Channel 4 colleague Krishnan Guru-Murthy, and main presenter Jon Snow.
The traditional service was led by family friend Rev Douglas Alexander, the father of International Development Secretary Douglas Alexander and new Scottish Labour leader Wendy Alexander.
Marriage Simon Conway & Sarah Smith
back at BBC Scotland Things were not going well
In the months before the 2014 referendum BBC journalists and staff were at loggerheads with senior management over the role, identity and broadcasting profile of the BBC Scotland News and Current Affairs team.
Management and Staff consultation procedures had broken down on a number of occasions following accusations that management ruled by diktat and pronouncement which rendered fruitful discussion impossible.
Many organisational and programme presentation changes had been dropped on staff without discussion or warning.
An example being the surprise announcement that BBC Scotland “News-night “Scotland’ would be shut down soon. No discussion. No date of Closure. No staff briefing about their future. Staff made to sit on death row for months without knowing their fate.
Other worrying behaviour patterns developed. Scottish based journalists and staff employed for many years by the organisation were increasingly sidelined. Their views and opinions given very little purchase.
Staff became increasing aware that management had turned its face away from Scots who had made a great success of devolution. Preferring to promote retention of the union. The BBC had gone back 10 years.
The placement in the team, in leadership roles, of Unionist supporting presenters Sarah Smith and James Naughtie on very expensive contracts was paid for by the withdrawal of employment from some staff. This caused much consternation and unhappiness. Management and Staff union discussions failed to resolve matters and the unhappiness was manifest for some time.
Smith and Naughtie have qualities but they also have deep seated Labour Party and Unionist roots and backgrounds, and have not been engaged in the Scottish debate, having spent long periods living elsewhere but Scotland.
Their express dismissal of anything positive about the SNP was prevalent in their persona and this has never been challenged by management despite staff unease.
In the late 1990s, a “Scottish Six news” commanded cross party support from the then controller of BBC Scotland John McCormick. But the BBC said it was “not minded” to listen because such a move would be “bad for the UK”.
The Scottish Liberal Democrats called it a “classic London Establishment fix-up” and blamed a “control freak tendency”.
Scottish Government -BBC Scotland Controller in stand off 0ver Holyrood Building Video Tapes
BBC Scotland controller John McCormick is adamant that only a court order will force him to hand over unseen television footage to the Lord Fraser Inquiry into the building of Scotland’s new Parliament.
His steadfast refusal to hand over the Holyrood tapes has been greeted with anger by opposition parties in Scotland and immersed the BBC in a highly public row with the Scottish Executive.
Lord Fraser, whose inquiry opened in Edinburgh on Tuesday, is said to be “dismayed” by the decision to withhold material filmed over five years for a BBC series, which he said could be of “immense value” to his investigation.
With the BBC involved in a high-stakes stand-off, the issue could land up in the courts as a legal battle between the two sides looms.
McCormick, fully supported by BBC director general Greg Dyke, (in post from January 2000 until 29 January 2004, a position from which he resigned following heavy criticism of the BBC’s news reporting process in the Hutton Inquiry) said only a court order would make him change his mind. http://www.pressgazette.co.uk/node/24292
The Independent Electoral Commission
Employed by the BBC for 34 years, John McCormick was Secretary then Controller of BBC Scotland, 1992 -2004 before being appointed to the post of Commissioner in 2008, with the Electoral Commission, the independent elections watchdog and regulator of party and election finance.
The referendum held on September 18 last wasn’t so much an electoral process as an unfettered festival of jiggery-pokery and gerrymandering since the illustrious electorial commission is headed up by the former Controller of BBC Scotland whose best pal, (John Boothman) is a former apparatchik in Scottish Labour’s high command, and the Herald’s one-time business correspondent to boot. If you really must hatch a conspiracy theory, it might as well be both believable, and true, while at the same time hugely entertaining.
Eric Hobsbawm enjoyed a close friendship with fellow Marxist Ralph Miliband, father of Ed and David Miliband but they never agreed over the Hobcbawn’s refusal to condemn Stalinism’s 30 million dead, or the brutal Soviet invasion of Hungary in 1956, on the grounds that the socialist end always justified the means. Relations between them deteriorated when Hobsbawn suggested in an article in Marxism Today in 1983 that the Left might prefer ‘a Thatcher government to a reformist Labour government’ in which they had lost faith. Hobsbawn was invited to the Milibands’ for New Year’s Eve and the two ended up having a terrific row, but they later made it up. Like all Left-wing thinkers, Ralph Miliband knew how to explain away awkward events.
She became involved with the Labour Party at the suggestion of Ken Follet who introduced her to the late Mo Mowlam and her late husband John Norton. Between them they founded and ran the Tony Blair networking fund raiser, called The Thousand Club. In 1991, Julia persuaded the De Beers diamond mining and marketing conglomerate to become a major donor to the Labour Party.
More about the Tony Blair inspired fund raiser 1000 Club. McCaulay & Hobsbawm’s party-plan networking organisation for those with an annual £1,000 or so to give to Tony, which had existed since the early 1990s. It was described as a way to, “make middle-class participants feel like big shots” and we now know the sum falls far from that of a peerage. “The covering letter accompanying the club’s promotional literature in March 1996 – laden with such Blair clichés as, “young country” and, “new economy” — promised invitations to special summer and Christmas receptions, an annual conference dinner, campaign briefings and chances to meet members of the Shadow Cabinet. The reply-paid envelope was addressed to Hobsbawm Macaulay Communications in Soho’s Poland Street. Within five years, the event had grown considerably in stature. The 1996 dinner saw 450 tickets sold out a month before it was held in July. Hobsbawm Macaulay refused to release the guest list. “This is a private function”, an employee explained. “People who have bought tickets have asked not to have their names disclosed.” Names that did slip out included Bruce Shepherd, managing director of Shepherd Offshore; Caparo’s Swraj Paul; Ulster Unionist David Montgomery, chief executive of the Mirror Group; and Hanson director Peter Harper, the company’s linkman to Labour.”
Much of their work involved pandering to the vanity of the rich who wish to meet the famous: “But the prize for hypocrisy goes to the Labour politicians who condemned Prince Edward’s wife for exploiting her royal connections, while averting their gaze from the Chancellor’s wife, Sarah Macaulay. Over the years she and Julia Hobsbawm built up a successful public-relations firm. Early on, they had significant help, from Geoffrey Robinson, who was then buying his way into Gordon Brown’s favour and Tony Blair’s government. He lavished some £100,000 on fees to Hobsbawm Macaulay, partly in payment for organising his hospitality: once again, the rich met the famous.”(Bruce Anderson The Spectator, April 14, 2001) http://pinkindustry.wordpress.com/editorial-intelligence/
The summer of 1997 was an extraordinary time for Britain. Tony Blair had just won a triumphant election, the Spice Girls had goosed Prince Charles, and a bubbling London scene was busy ushering in a new era of Cool Britannia. Last but not least, Michael Bloomberg was about to burst onto the social scene. Bloomberg hired a modish public-relations outfit to set up his own private party network. Hobsbawm & McCaulay (HMC) offered a sort of bespoke introduction service to the city’s elite, organizing a series of discreet, informal dinners with social tastemakers like newspaper baron Conrad Black (now Lord Black of Crossharbour to you) and his wife, the conservative commentator Barbara Amiel, through to the influential art dealer Jay Jopling. “Mike wanted to be launched, and it was our job to introduce him, judiciously, to everyone who mattered,” says one who works with Hobsbawm, whom the industry describes as having “one of the most envied little black books” in London. “He was unknown one minute — and very hot the next.”
Hobsbawn is a member of the, “British American Project for the Successor Generation”, to give it its original, and now quietly forgotten, title, is an elite corporate/political talking and networking organisation. Its aims are to ensure that the left and liberal intelligentsia are not hostile to US foreign policy interests. It was founded in 1985. http://powerbase.info/index.php/British_American_Project
A survey completed after the referendum projected approximately 25% of those who voted , “No” did so in consequence of the extensive psychological brainwashing by heavily biased anti-independence media propaganda. The mainstream media outlet in Scotland, the BBC was singled out as being the most influential broadcaster. It follows therefore that a balanced media would have undoubtedly resulted in a massive, “Yes” vote. In any future referendum the, “Yes” side would be well advised to have in place robust systems designed to ensure a balanced media.
A Labour Party pedigree seems to be a predominant requirement within the BBC Scotland senior management team and a number of line managers and reporters, likely through nepotism and needs to be cleared out so that the organization fulfills it’s remit, to be accountable to the Scottish public. The organization also needs to be formally separated from London so that it can be truly independent. An over reaching Scottish body could be appointed, including members of the public.
Mainstream newspapers present an on-going problem going forward since they are owned by individuals, organizations outwith Scotland with result that editorial control is primarily unfairly biased against an independent Scotland. If only the, “Sun” could be persuaded to support independence next time ?? We live in hope.
24 January 2012: Paxman out of touch with constitutional realities. As Mark Hennessy of the ‘Irish Times’ dryly observes “Most people watching that interview with Jeremy Paxman – I’m sure Alex Salmond would be very, very glad if he was to get more interviews like that by English presenters. It’s certainly the picture of the patronizing Englishman, and that’s going. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akfN7bO_2Bc
9 February 2012: Patten meets Alex Salmond in BBC bias row. But the apology from BBC Reporting Scotland is still outstanding after they were censured by the BBC Trust and Patten has moved on. Evidently the BBC Scotland bias is Labour inspired. whilst in England the Tory Party reigns supreme. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUKMD0LDWWA
14 April 2012: This provides explanation as to the BBC Scotland bias against Independence. BBC Scotland has decided to correct the errors contained in an online article it published on Saturday, fully two days after one of the most blatant pieces of politically motivated articles ever published by the state broadcaster appeared as the number one story in Scotland, the corporation quietly removed the offending fiction and replaced it with fact. Comment on how the BBC used headlines claiming the Deputy F.M made statements when she did not say anything that the headlines claimed https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kY4P9pTdw4o
30 April 2012: Fantastic. I can verify BBC bias very clearly. Being a Yes supporter and following several of the movements happening around that, and seeing how popular they have become, with events on EVERY DAY OF THE WEEK attracting a fair number of people… The BBC has completely ignored them. Debate meetings happening with the No side pulling out at the last minute, and very little of a No grassroots movement to speak of. This instant a supposed grassroots movement for No came about, Vote No Borders, funded by a wealthy Tory backer and investment banker, the BBC had a report all set to go, which didn’t even ask how a brand new grassroots movement could have made £150,000 in money on the same day as launching its website… Just complete propaganda machine I’m afraid. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tG3XtCmqI64
14 Jun 2012: First Minister Alex Salmond is about to expose the Scottish Labour party’s hypocrisy over modern apprenticeships, when the live broadcast is inexplicably cut short by BBC Scotland. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57-0Or67iiw
20 October 2012: SNP party leader Alex Salmond gets a difficult interview with Andrew Neil on the future of Scotland, with respect to the proposed referendum on Scottish independence from the UK, or more specifically to Alexa Salmond, independence from Westminster! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q42xOo7HiCE
29 October 2013: BBC collude with Better Together presenting a clearly staged video report outside the local Scotmid. All involved were Better Together agents, some pretending to be members of the public for the benefit of the camera’s. http://wingsoverscotland.com/identity-parade/#more-43333 Check out Blair Henry and his photographic links to the Scotmid store used as background in the video.
22 January 2014: There are continual concerns at the running of the news operation which have now reached London but which simply don’t move Kenny McQuarrie whose job it is to guarantee an impartial and accurate news service without which there will be no BBC Scotland. It is the basis of the whole organization. http://derekbateman.co.uk/2014/01/22/breaking-newsbbc-threatens-academic/
13 February 2014: Question Time. Totally unbalanced discussion all anti Scot. Both Ireland and Australia used the pound after independence from Britain for a transitional period so why cant Scotland? The truth is they can but Westminster is using this as an opportunity to scare Scots into voting their way. They are making a big mistake and will pay for treating Scots like fools. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1qYhgoQw8AQ
11 March 2014: They didn’t want Scotland to know. The BBC executives were terribly sure about many things but didn’t seem to know much about this item. It’s almost impossible to believe that a directive has not been given to hide good news stories and emphasis bad news stories. If we lose the referendum on this basis, there is going to be so much hate about. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7a3apRD-ymk
11 March 2014: BBC bias on different ‘news /factual’ programmes standard answer followed by a rejection of the claim. Sure Nicky Clark is a political expert and his opinion was of such gravitas it could go without a chance to allow a differing opinion. Absolutely rotten to the core, no confidence in the BBC who will lose a potential £300million in license fee subscription. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RmuoZVJTc-Y
11 March 2014: The BBC is a UK Government publicly funded propaganda channel. Over the past few months there has been gross bias toward the Better Together No camp. It could also be described in other ways like though control or censorship through giving a very disproportionate amount of time to that pseudo Scotsman Alistair Darling, who is actually English and a millionaire. He can insult with total immunity, calling Yes voters Nazi’s and making really distasteful allegations. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HkHURxtyH14
1 May 2014: Despite attacks by pro-Union politicians over remarks made by Alex Salmond about President Putin dominating BBC news, the BBC edited this important response from Mr Salmond OUT of its news bulletins. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwsPTmLcAp4
11 May 2014: The BBC is the propaganda wing of the government. There’s no direct collusion which gives a sense of impartiality but there’s tacit acceptance in the BBC from the top down that they are that propaganda wing. Now, regardless of which political party is in power, the BBC does sway the stories the way that party wants them presented with a modicum of criticism of that party’s perspective, but the criticisms are wholly inadequate, almost intentionally so. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KqoIZxfT398
8 July 2014: Abuse of the armed forces of Scotland by Westminster. All members of the forces sent letter instructing them to vote, “No”. They will stop at nothing to keep Scotland shackled and treated with contempt. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PfP7u-QGRo
8 August 2014: Dan Snow, son of Peter Snow, husband of Lady Edwina Grosvenor (daughter of Duke of Westminster), great-great grandson of David Lloyd George, Oxford and Balliol, embedded in the British Establishment, mounts a campaign to get 200 rich celebrity pals to engage in nauseating sycophancy to keep Scots from voting to leave the UK that has done so well by Dan and his rich friends. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Uz0TsfjFOY
8 August 2014: An exclusive look into mainstream media bias and the techniques they use to influence the independence debate. ‘The Bigger The Lie’ focuses on the significant research of Professor John Robertson into media bias during the Scottish Independence Referendum. The film covers Professor Robertson’s meticulous approach to the research and the subsequent fall out. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ajd4R-9BEIw
8 August 2014: Unadulterated BBC bias in sickeningly sycophantic Radio 4 profile of ‘independent’ Treasury Head Sir Nicholas Macpherson – politically partial, empire devotee, vested interests, Eton-educated, 30,0000 acre estate in Wester Ross and bankers best friend all rolled into one. No friend of Scottish independence, this is the guy behind the currency union denial. . http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04f8fbg
20 August 2014: BBC News Scotland gives the negative dominance over the positive slanting the article against the, “Yes” vote.. An independence “Yes” vote would break up the BBC with “devastating” consequences for Scottish broadcasting. The prediction was made by shadow Scottish secretary Margaret Curran, Labour Party and former BBC Director General Lord Birt. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-28863806
4 September 2014: Jeane Freeman does a brilliant job here in the face of a hectoring Andrew Neil, the archetypal Brit/Scot journalist, worried about polls narrowing, making the fatal mistake of trying to patronize and bully one of the most incisive voices in Scottish politics. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=23m6CukRUGM
10 September 2014: The BBC are still spouting lies every chance they get. Breaking their own charter, is in fact breaking their contract with us, who pay for their services. We’re supposed to get NEWS not PROPAGANDA. It’s time for a campaign of non-payment of the licence fee. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WY64-t3QbcA
11 September 2014: There should be an independent inquiry into the BBC bias during the referendum. It is a matter of saving democracy at this point. I would have happily taken a ‘no’ vote in the referendum, but with all the bias and hate spewed by the media and people on the no side, I have turned from being on the fence moderate to an SNP supporter all the way now. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mzfSsd8hKtY
11 September 2014: BBC illegal activities exposed by the great Stuart Cosgrove The extraordinary bias shown by the BBC relates to their reporting the negative comments of business heads as factual major news when they are obviously simply opinions. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkZmxWX-JtE
13 September 2014: On the day of one of the biggest political rallies Scotland has ever seen:BBC national news reports ‘thousands from across UK in pro-union rally’ when it was actually an organized Orange Order march. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TSOu8f549iM
19 September 2014: Leaked news, mob mentality, cybernats and the baby news. We look at some of the dirty underground tactics that cropped up during the Scottish Independence campaigns. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SK6tWsTDf74
6 October 2014: WRITING OFF SCOTLAND explores the research of Dr David Patrick into press bias during the independence campaign. Carried out over Scotland’s most politically important year in centuries, the study’s findings are a shocking indictment of the role of the UK press in the independence debate. We all know newspapers take political positions but, uniquely for a western democracy, the entire media are against independence. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bYajHIcXMk
Douglas Garven Alexander was born in Glasgow in 1967 and grew up in Bishopton, where his father was the local Minister.
He attended Bishopton Primary and Park Mains High in Erskine. Aged fourteen he joined the Labour Party. In 1984, at the age of 17, he won a Scottish Scholarship to attend an international college in Vancouver, Canada, for two years. He returned to Scotland to study Politics and Modern History at Edinburgh University. After graduating he began work as a SPAD for Gordon Brown, a position he held for a year.
He was selected for education and training by the British American Project and remains to be a member of the exclusive and secretive political network.
He is also a senior member of the left leaning Fabian Society, a secretive organisation driven by the ideology of the supremacy of the “British State” over any other political formation.
Alexander Emerges From the labour Pack As Blair’s Protegy
Following the 2005 General Election he enjoyed the confidence of Tony Blair and in 2006 he was promoted to the Cabinet as Secretary of State for Transport and Scotland. At the time of the upcoming 2007 Holyrood Elections the Labour Government was in crisis. The Iraq invasion and the aftermath. Afghanistan a military and political disaster and Westminster scandals, (cash for honours) requiring Tony Blair to be interviewed by the police, gave warning of a humiliating SNP victory in Scotland.
The SNP lobbied Westminster seeking that the election process, in all respects be transferred to the authority of the Scottish Parliament. This was refused and the duty was subsequently delegated to, “Wee Douglas” who would also run Labour’s electoral campaign in Scotland.
Elections to Holyrood, in 1999 and 2003 had, (preventing voter confusion) used two separate ballot papers for the constituency and regional lists. Alexander and Scottish (Labour) government ministers decided that Local Council Elections would be held at the same time as the parliamentary election and both election selections would be printed on one ballot paper. Civil servants and an independent marketing firm warned that the ballot forms would lead to confusion and a higher-than-average number of rejected votes. The advice was ignored, Alexander and the Governing, (Labour) party claimed their changes would prove to be extremely popular. Civil servants and the, “Electoral Commission” were subsequently silenced.
In the election the SNP won by a single vote. Alexander was hugely praised by Labour Party mandarins since he had almost, “saved the day” for Labour. The elections, were however badly tainted by a chaotic voting process, blamed on the Scottish Office’s design of ballot papers. In excess of 146,000 votes were declared void. The largest in electoral history.
Seventeen MSP’s were elected to Parliament with majorities lower than the number of spoiled ballots in their constituency. There was a public outcry and, “Returning Officers” voiced their discontent about the election process. Wee Alexander, “Scottish Secretary”, the accountable person that organized the elections, stated there would be a statutory review of the election under the auspices of the Labour Party loaded Electoral Commission. The Scottish Electorate was outraged and demanded an independent inquiry. Tony Blair was forced to concede and an inquiry was commissioned.
Following an extensive, lengthy inquiry, an official report submitted by, Ron Gould, (a senior Canadian election official), heavily censured Alexander and the Labour Party stating that ministers in the Labour Scottish Government and at Westminster together with Mr Alexander’s political, “self-interested” moves, (as the Labour Party in Scotland’s election supremo), had abused their, “offices of state” making decisions about the election on “party political interest grounds”, with voters treated as an “after-thought.” So be warned. Alexander and the Labour Party are akin to “snakes in the grass”. They care only for the Party. The voter is a means to an end.
February 2 2007: Douglas Alexander is said to be furious that his attempt to introduce trials for his poll-tax-on-wheels scheme has been derailed by a Downing Street e-petition, which is approaching one and a half million signatures – up 100,000 in one day.http://order-order.com/2007/02/14/douglas-alexander-listens/
July 2007: Douglas Alexander wears girl’s knickers: that’s the response I am tempted to give to his ridiculous speech yesterday in which he said David Cameron was like a pig wearing lipstick. Clearly, it’s the kind of language Mr Alexander understands. Is this really the level of political invective to re-engage the electorate? Surely all it does is invite ridicule and contempt. Over the last few months Labour has attacked David Cameron as a chameleon, a sleazy estate agent (thus alienating around 70,000 estate agents in one go) and now a pig. Desperate times call for desperate measures, I suppose. On the day the Guardian publishes a poll showing the Conservatives at their highest level for 13 years, diddy Duggie Alexander really believes that calling Cameron a pig in lipstick will knock dishy Dave off his perch. http://iaindale.blogspot.co.uk/2006/07/douglas-alexander-wears-girls-knickers.html
September 20 2013: Damian McBride claimed in his memoirs that Douglas Alexander told Gordon Brown his sister would have to stand down to, “avoid further damage”. Alexander insisted he, “always supported” his sister, despite claims from Gordon Brown’s former spin doctor that he, “dispassionately” advised the then prime minister she would have to quit her role as the party’s Scottish leader. Wendy Alexander stood down from the post in 2008 because of a row about donations to her leadership campaign. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/politics/labours-douglas-alexander-denies-claims-2287977
January 14 2014: Conduct Unbecoming
Ed Balls and Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander had to be ‘dragged apart’ when they almost came to blows during a blazing row, it was revealed last night. Former Cabinet Minister Tessa Jowell was forced to intervene, saying she feared the Labour rivals were about to get into a ‘fisticuffs’. The dust-up happened when the Shadow Chancellor and Mr Alexander clashed in a private room in the Commons over the party’s policy on Europe.Mr Balls told Labour’s Shadow Cabinet he had Mr Alexander’s full support in toughening Labour’s stance on the EU. But pro-Brussels Mr Alexander accused him of lying and the two men slugged it out in a furious confrontation. The row was disclosed by Labour insiders after Mr Balls’s bid to soften his ‘bruiser’ image by praising Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg as ‘friendly and warm’.
Labour aides say animosity caused by the Balls-Alexander flare-up is disrupting the party’s preparations for next year’s General Election. Mr Alexander is Labour’s election chief and allies of Mr Balls say the Shadow Chancellor has been ‘shut out’ of the campaign. The row happened when Mr Balls led a Labour ambush on David Cameron by backing rebel Tory MPs in a Commons vote demanding a cut in the EU’s budget in October 2012. Mr Alexander accused Mr Balls of plotting the U-turn while he was on a trip to America. By the time Mr Alexander returned to the UK on October 28, Mr Balls had talked Labour leader Ed Miliband into agreeing to the policy somersault.
The day after, an article co-written by Mr Balls and a reluctant and jet-lagged Mr Alexander, spelling out the Labour switch, appeared in a national newspaper. Friends of Mr Alexander say he was ‘bounced’ into it. On October 31, 2012, Labour and Tory rebels duly defeated Mr Cameron in the Commons vote – but Mr Alexander was seething. The Labour duo squared up to each other in the Shadow Cabinet Room, and a Dame Tessa – who regularly acted as peacemaker between Tony Blair and Gordon Brown during their time in Downing Street – had to intervene. She said later she feared the pair would come to blows. ‘She said it nearly ended in fisticuffs and she had to drag them apart,’ said a source. Another Labour insider added: ‘Ed and Douglas were screaming abuse and jabbing fingers at each other. ‘Ed said the decision to vote with the Tory rebels was agreed in full by Douglas’s team. Douglas was incandescent and called him a liar. Ed denied it.’ If they had come to blows, Mr Balls, who is more heavily built than Mr Alexander, may have had the upper hand.
Although they are both aged 46, ‘Bruiser Balls’ is a keen footballer and is as aggressive on the pitch as he is when shouting and gesticulating at Mr Cameron in the Commons. “Deadly Doug” is a wily behind-the-scenes operator, but mild-mannered by comparison. Both were leading members of Gordon Brown’s inner circle, but relations collapsed during Mr Brown’s on-off General Election fiasco in 2007, with claims that allies of Mr Balls tried to blame Mr Alexander. Mr Alexander was accused of ‘betrayal’ by friends of Mr Balls when he led Blairite David Miliband’s failed Labour leadership campaign in 2010. Dame Jowell allegedly had to act as peacemaker between Tony Blair and Gordon Brown during their time in office
In 2005, Mr Alexander was the Minister for Europe who approved a cut in the UK’s rebate from Brussels and an increase in the EU’s budget. Two years later, Mr Balls attacked the EU’s ‘outdated budget’ – seen as a side-swipe at Mr Alexander. More recently, Mr Balls manoeuvred to push Labour towards backing an ‘in-out’ referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU, a move fiercely opposed by Mr Alexander. A Labour official said: ‘Balls presents a cosy image of himself playing the piano and chatting with his new best friend Nick Clegg. But it’s a sham. Everyone knows he is a political thug.’However, a supporter of Mr Balls hit back: ‘Ed’s ploy to link up with Tory EU dissidents was a success. This is sour grapes by Douglas’s camp.’
July 18 2014: Among the politicians most crucial to the fate of the United Kingdom, one of the least often considered is Douglas Alexander. The shadow foreign secretary has charge of Labour’s election strategy and long before next May Labour needs to look on course to form the next government. Ever one to promote a confusing soundbite he offered the view that, “politics that defines itself by difference holds no appeal for me”. http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/jul/18/douglas-alexander-interview
Alexander posted an article in the Daily Record on 23 July 2014. The content, full of spin is very revealing.
After he and Ed Miliband had their pictures taken with President Obama. “The backdrop to our discussion was the tragic downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17” [which killed 10 British people], “the continuing conflict in eastern Ukraine and the suffering engulfing Gaza.” He refers to a “wide-ranging and free-flowing exchange” (it lasted 25 minutes), “covering everything from these current crises to the need to tackle climate changes in the decades ahead.”
All of these giant issues are dismissed in three sentences. The remainder of the article – 22 sentences – is devoted to President Obama’s views on the Scottish referendum. This is built entirely on one gnomic remark by Obama: “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Everything that follows represents Mr Alexander’s thoughts on Scotland and the union, projected onto the President.
The article and the whole incident reflect poorly on Mr Alexander. When you are given a very short time with the President of the United States you should not waste any of it on what for him are trivial domestic British issues.
September 16 2014: Alexander attempting to defend the 3 amigo’s and their last minute offers. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKJ1Jvm408c
September 19 2014: Scottish referendum ‘a wake-up call to all of us’ Labour’s 2015 election co-ordinator says it’s worrying that voters’ overwhelming emotion is one of distrust and hatred of politicians.
September 22 2014: Alexander, in a speech to the Labour conference 2014 in Manchester thanked the english students and Labour Party fifth columnists that invaded Scotland in the course of the referendum in support of the Better Together campaign.
He said, “Conference, we gather here in Manchester just days after a defining decision for our country. The referendum campaign in Scotland was about more than party politics. It was about who we are, what we believe and what we hope for as a nation.
And when, as Scots, we sent out the call to our friends and comrades in the Labour Party you answered that call. By coming to campaign alongside us, you demonstrated solidarity in action.
September 24 2014: Labour Party conference mind numbingly boring. There were even fewer open by the time Douglas Alexander, the shadow foreign secretary and man charged with organising Labour’s election campaign, had explained all his wall charts.
“Sixthly,” he announced deathlessly, sounding more and more like General Haig’s aide-de-camp planning the Battle of the Somme. “Chin up, chaps, I’ve got a plan.
What will happen is this. At 7am on 7 May, I will blow a whistle and we’ll all go over the top and take the Jerry trenches by breakfast.
October 10 2014: Labour’s election coordinator Douglas Alexander has said the party will not take any voter for granted following a narrow victory over UKIP in the Heywood and Middleton bye-lection.
Labour held the seat with 11,633 votes, just 617 ahead of UKIP. He reluctantly conceded: “We have work to do… we need to tackle the alienation that lies at the root of the anger with the Labour Party that so many voters feel.”
But heed his words 24 hours later, “Labour’s narrow lead in the Heywood and Middleton bye election was due to a collapse of the Conservative and Lib Dem vote into support for Ukip”. Hows that for spin?
November 9 2014: Will Labour miss the bus on local issues? This says a lot about Labour’s recruits. Anyone who’d worked in or with local papers, or even just worked and had to get the bus there, would have a better idea what readers and Labour voters want.
It’s this problem at the top that has prompted Labour’s election supremo Douglas Alexander to deploy teams of community activists across the country to focus on local issues that can be converted into votes.
He knows Miliband isn’t charismatic and that some of the politicians can’t connect because they’ve only previously known their patch from the pages of a think tank report.
April 6 2015: Why did Labour Election Chief delete tweets slamming Nicola Sturgeon over alleged leaked memo comments?
Douglas Alexander deleted a series of tweets he posted attacking the SNP leader over the alleged claim that she would prefer David Cameron to remain as Prime Minister and her description of Ed Miliband as not “PM material”.
Ms Sturgeon, the French Ambassador and her Consul General have categorically denied she made the alleged comments..
27 Jan 2017: Prime Minister Theresa May pledged an end to ‘failed’ military intervention aimed to make countries more like UK as she addresses US law makers
In a later meeting with President Trump she told him that the UK will no longer answer calls from other Countries to intervene militarily unless the threat to the UK is real and immediate.
Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon, when asked about the policy said Britain shouldn’t be embarking “on foreign adventures for the sake of it”
Next morning, Interviewed on Radio 4 he withdrew his support of Mrs May’s new policy stating: “It has to be in the British national interest that we intervene in these countries or an ally that is asking for help.”
Note: There are 650 Scottish soldiers in the Ukraine providing training and support to the Ukraine armed forces. Which conflicts with the new policy since the Ukraine is not a member of NATO nor the EU
31 January 2017: Eastern Ukraine in Flames Again – Western Ukraine Forces Breach Peace Accord
The situation in the Donbas has deteriorated sharply during the recent days. Ukrainian security forces struck powerful artillery blows on the positions of the armed forces of Novorossiya and residential areas of Donetsk, as well as settlements of Makeyevka, Yasinovataya, Gorlovka and Dokuchaevsk.
A power line was damaged in the shelling, electricity supplies to the Donetsk filtering station were curtailed. Many homes were destroyed. Eye witnesses said that the scale of destruction and the intensity of the attacks mirrors that of the hostilities of 2014.
“What is the current situation?”
“They shell us all around the clock. It appears that they are completing a pre-planned mission to destroy water supplies. They targetted a major filtering station. There are other infrastructure losses, but the worst is civilian casualties. The OSCE monitors do nothing to stop the attacks.They confine their efforts to recording the results of the Ukraine forces attacks their expansion within the exclusion zone. It appears a full scale invasion is imminent
“Why has the situation worsened so dramatically in recent days? What are the causes?”
“The Minsk Accord is a legal document of little effect – this is the prime cause.
“What was the goal for President Poroshenko’s visit to Berlin?
“It is believed his urgent return had been planned in advance”.
Is the Ukraine President Expecting President Trump to intervene?
“Possibly, he wants to show the Trump administration that Washington will have to admit Ukraine’s activity. Ukraine has reformed its armed forces, and the Ukrainian army has been mobilized well enough. At the same time, we need 100 fighters on a conditional line of fire, but we have only 20 of them there.”
“The Kremlin, appears to be playing a subtle game. The People’s Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk contribute to the economic growth of the Russian Federation. We are an industrial region, and Russia should take us a little bit more seriously. As many as 40 percent of our residents remain devoted to the Russian world, but around half of the other residents are ready to return to Ukraine so they can live without war. and its attending horrors.j
30 Jan 2017: British Warship Deployed to the Black Sea – Nearing Ukraine Coast
A warship of the British Royal Navy is in the Black Sea:The “Diamond Class destroyer, equipped with rockets, is approaching the Ukrainian coast. There are around 60 marines on board.
It is thought the ship may form part of a larger formation tasked to support 650 British soldiers who are in the Ukraine participating in ‘secret drills’.
UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon claimed that: “The UK is sending a clear message that we are committed to defending democracy across the world and support Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity”.
This is the first ever such deployment since the end of the Cold War and is consistent with Prime Minister, Theresa May’s assertion that “Britain and America should stand up to President Vladimir Putin.”
The foregoing confirms recent claims by the Head of the Russian General Staff that there has been much increased activity of the NATO’s naval forces in the Barents, Baltic and Black Seas. Further stating that NATO has been adding to its military contingents, accumulating weapons and developing military infrastructure in Europe. http://www.pravdareport.com/video/30-01-2017/136739-diamond-0/
The Ukraine – A Forced Marriage of Two Independent States
At the end of WW2 the Province of Ruthenia was ceded by a restored Czechoslovakia, to the Soviet Union. The Ruthenian speaking Western province of Ruthenia was subsequently merged with the Russian speaking Province of Novarossya. A new State “The Ukraine” was formed.
Relations between the former provinces were never other than barely tolerant. A state of affairs not assisted by failing crops and famine in Novarossya which created the “Haves” in the West and “have-nots” in the East.
Forming part of many communist “five year plans” the USSR invested in agriculture in Western Ukraine and in heavy industry and shipping in the mineral and sea port rich,(coal and the Crimea) East.
This then is the country that gained it’s freedom at the time the USSR collapsed. The Ukraine has never really been one country. This being the case the Eastern State of Novarossya has every right to hold a referendum and declare independence from the State of Ruthenia.
Victoria Nuland, the US-Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs
Geoffrey R. Pyatt, the US Ambassador to Ukraine
February 2014: President Obama admits: US orchestrated a coup in Ukraine – overthrowing the democratically elected Ukrainian government – So that the Ukrainians would be brought on-side expanding NATO.
Obama told Fareed Zakaria, a member of both the Council For Foreign Relations (CFR) and Rockefeller’s Trilateral Commission, that the United States “brokered” the coup in Ukraine in February 2014.
Obama’s candid admission should not come as a surprise following the release of a surreptitiously recorded conversation between Victoria Nuland, the US-Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, and Geoffrey R. Pyatt, the US Ambassador to Ukraine.
The conversation centred on ousting Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych and replacing him with one of several hand-picked State Department choices. Nuland instructed Pyatt to “have the UN glue this thing” and then dismissively added “fuck the EU” for its role negotiating the crisis.
The U.S. orchestrated “transition,” as Obama characterized it, resulted in the appointment of fascists to key positions in the Kiev government and led to the current war in eastern Ukraine launched by Petro Poroshenko, the former confectionery magnate turned Ukrainian president.
Poroshenko’s war on those who do not accept the nationalist government in Kiev has thus far killed more than 5,000 people, although unofficial tallies are far higher.
In the not too distant past, the U.S. government attempted to hide its involvement in coups and the removal of democratically elected leaders. It relied primarily on the CIA to ferment coups and counter-revolutions.
However, since the advent of NGO and foundation spawned “colour revolutions” attributed to the people of target countries, while in actuality orchestrated by USAID and the National Endowment for Democracy, the U.S. government has admitted its role in overturning governments.
February 2014: Video – Brokered it & broke it – Obama on Kiev deal that paved path to bloodshed
The Ukrainians’ expression of free will didn’t come without a nudge from Washington after all – in an interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, Barack Obama acknowledged that the United States had “brokered a deal to transition power in Ukraine.’
But Putin was determined Eastern Ukraine, including the Crimea Peninsula, base for the Russian fleet, would not transfer allegiances to an expanding NATO. He authorised a peaceful takeover of the Crimea.
Following a successful referendum of the mainly Russian speaking population he formally annexed the Crimea returning it and the large Russian Naval base back to Russia.
The EU and the USA imposed sanctions on Russia – with the intention of forcing Putin to cease Russian aggression against the Ukraine. Putin imposed “counter-sanctions” on the EU and today, EU’s growth rate is stagnant and falling.
Putin then gave up on Europe, turned to the East and rapidly established a new banking and business treaty (BRICS) with China, India, Brazil, South Africa and a host of other nations.
With it’s new buffer zone around Southern Russia there is not a single reason why Russia should cooperate with the West and it can cut off gas supplies to Europe anytime they choose.
Inside Russia, which had freely opened its economy to European and US capital witnessed thousands of Western companies withdrawing investment and set about replacing them with companies from their new expanding partners. The US and Europe are experiencing shrinking economies by result.
The only potential saver for the West is the price of oil which, due to a massive worldwide glut has fallen well below the level Russia needs to sustain the country’s economy. But the same failing apples to just about every country in the World including the US and Europe.
Providing some relief recent events in the Yemen have increased market concerns about the availability of oil from Saudi Arabia and other OPEC countries and the falling oil prices of the past few months appear to be taking a significant upturn.
So it follows that Russia is winning the war of attrition forced on it by the US and Europe. The Ukraine will soon be abandoned to it’s massive debts and considered “collateral damage” in the USA-Russia economic and political shoot-out.
Once more the old saying, “every loser wins” aptly fits. The pro-western euphoria of perestroika embraced by President Gorbachev and Russia is unfortunately at an end and regardless of leadership any future business will be entirely pragmatic.
South Yemen and the bustling port of Aden was brought under British control in the 1800’s so that anti-piracy measures would be sustained protecting the shipping of the ever increasing British Empire.
The advent of the Suez Canal served to increase the importance of Aden and this remained to be the case until Harold Wilson’s Labour government decided, (in the aftermath of the aborted invasion of Egypt by the British) to introduce the, “East Of Aden” policy in the mid 1960’s.
British intentions, mainly driven by the socialist ideals and pan-Arabist doctrines of Egyptian leader Gamel Abdel Nasser precipitated a wave of Arab nationalism spreading to the Arabian Peninsula and the anti-colonial uprising in Aden in 1963.
In the years that followed, small, localised anti-British guerrilla groups with varying political objectives finally merged into two large, rival organisations:
Events Take A Turn For The Worse
At the end of 1963 the British High Commissioner of Aden was subjected to a grenade attack.
He was uninjured but there were 51 civilian casualties.
On that day, a “State of Emergency” was declared.
The NLF and FLOSY began a campaign against British forces in Aden, relying largely on grenade attacks.
The guerrilla attacks largely focused on killing off-duty British officers and policemen.
Much of the violence was carried out in the Crater, the old Arab quarter of Aden.
British forces attempted to intercept weapons being smuggled into the Crater but their efforts met with little success.
Despite taking a toll on British forces, the death toll among rebels was far higher, largely to inter-factional fighting among different rebel groups.
In 1964 an Infantry Brigade was despatched to Aden to establish control and to conduct land operations in wider South Yemen.
The Brigade remained there until November 1967.
By 1965, RAF station RAF Khormaksar had been increased to nine operating squadrons in support of the army.
These included transport units with helicopters and a number of Hawker Hunter fighter bomber aircraft.
At the beginning of 1967, the NLF provoked street riots in Aden.
The Aden police failed to establish control and the British High Commissioner deployed British troops to quell the riots.
But no sooner had the NLF riots been crushed than, pro-FLOSY rioters took to the streets.
Fighting between British forces and pro-guerrilla rioters continued until the spring of 1967.
Arab police mutiny
The emergency was further exacerbated by the Six-Day War in June 1967.
Nasser claimed that the British had helped Israel in the war, and this led to a mutiny by hundreds of soldiers in the South Arabian Federation Army on 20 June, which also spread to the police.
The mutineers killed 22 British soldiers, shot down a helicopter, and occupied, (to the exclusion of British soldiers) the “Crater”, an Arab town nestling in an extinct volcano.
Concern grew about the safety and security of British families and emergency evacuation plans were hastily evolved and actioned.
Following the mutiny, the Crater District remained occupied by an estimated 400 Arab fighters.
NLF and FLOSY fighters then took to the streets and engaged in gun battles, while arson, looting, and murder was also common.
Order was restored in July 1967, when the 1st Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders entered the “Crater” under the command of Lt Col Colin Mitchell and occupied the entire district overnight with no casualties.
The Argyll’s were ordered by Labour Party politicians in London, to leave the Crater District but this was ignored by, “Mad Mitch” on the basis it made no military sense to do so and armchair generals and politicians had no right to interfere with operational military decisions.
The British Public warmed to the Argyll’s but Lt Col Mitchell was the only officer commanding an army unit not to receive a commendation on return to the UK. A harsh punishment for a brave soldier by a petty Labour Government.
Withdrawal from South Yemen
Nevertheless, deadly guerrilla attacks by the NLF soon resumed against British forces, and the British left Aden by the end of November 1967, earlier than had been planned by Prime Minister Harold Wilson and without an agreement on the succeeding governance.
British casualties in the period of the emergency included 57 killed and 651 wounded, while local government forces lost 17 killed and 58 wounded
Casualties among the NLF and FLOSY are unknown.
Following the British departure, the NLF managed to seize power, and established the People’s Republic of South Yemen.
But the new oil-poor South Yemeni nation was starved of business and revenue, due to the closure of the Suez Canal, after the 1967 “Six Day War” and this precipitated severely disruptive economic circumstances for many years.
The Aftermath 1967 – 2003
Twenty-three years of police state thuggery followed, with the Soviet KGB replacing the British.
Even after Aden and the rest of the south merged with North Yemen, there was another civil war in the 1990s.
No wonder then the Yemen today is battered and bruised, and its people frustrated by the follies of their rulers. It is a forgotten place anchored to a forgotten time.
External Influences 2003 To date
After Yemeni unification in 1990, some Shiite tribes in the north of the country joined forces to fight the Sunni-dominated central government’s increasing influence.
In 2011, they supported an uprising against President Ali Abdullah Salih.
The fighting resulted in numerous casualties and further deterioration of the region’s already weak economy.
The Yemeni Zaidi Shias accused the country’s government of discrimination towards the Shia minority. and demanded official recognition of their rights including restoration of the Shiah Imamah that was abolished during the revolution of September 1962.
In the wake of Salih’s overthrow, however, they were excluded from a national dialogue on the creation of a new government.
When a draft constitution emerged in the summer of 2014, the Houthis protested. Above all, they opposed the planned new federal structure that merely provided them with a landlocked province.
The Houthis found a supporter in the ousted President Saleh, who hoped an alliance with the Houthis would help him topple his successor and return to the presidential palace.
2014 to February 2015
The Houthi rebels’ key opponents, supporters of the Sunni Hirak movement, had also been excluded from the national dialogue.
The southern Hirak, like the Houthis, also saw themselves as losers in the Yemeni unification process and indicated an intention to secede from the federation.
Houthis, went to war in February 2015, seized the capital Sana’a and took control the city of Taiz, in the country’s central belt and advanced further south before being held up North of Aden by troops loyal to Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who had fled from Sana’a to the southern port city, once a key way-station of the British Empire.
The Shiite-led Houthis, whose leaders have received training and weapons from Iran, now controlled Sana and nine of the country’s 21 provinces claimed they were advancing in order to prevent the expansion of jihadist militancy (al-Qaeda) in the country.
But it is unclear whether they really believed they could take on al-Qaeda’s Sunni tribal heartlands in the centre and east of the country.
But they had the upper hand against a government in disarray.
Their lightning strike on Taiz took Mr Hadi’s forces by surprise, though a coalition of local fighters and soldiers managed to hold the advance at al-Maqatirah, 60 miles north of Aden
The internationally recognised foreign minister of Yemen appealed for international intervention as the Houthi rebels, an Iran-allied rebel group advanced on Aden plunging the country further into civil war.
“They’re expanding in territory, occupying airports and cities, attacking Aden with planes, detaining whom they please, threatening and gathering their forces,” Riyadh Yaseen, Mr Hadi’s foreign minister, said in an interview with al-Jazeera.
“We have expressed to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the United Nations as well as the international community that there should be a no-fly zone, and the use of military aircraft should be prevented at the airports controlled by the Houthis.”
Britain and America confirmed they had pulled out their special forces.
A handful of SAS troops had been based in the country liaising with local commandos and US forces as well as providing protection to embassy personnel.
Philip Hammond, the Foreign Secretary, stressed the desirability of finding a “peaceful solution”.
The Houthis are Shia and allied to the Lebanese militia Hizbollah and Iran, which has gloated at the group’s success in taking the Yemeni capital.
Saudi Arabia is Iran’s main strategic rival in the Gulf.
Mr Hadi’s election as president of Yemen was a high-point of Western diplomacy during the Arab Spring, but has backfired badly.
He was vice-president to Yemen’s president of 30 years, Ali Abdullah al-Saleh, who for months resisted pressure from demonstrators to stand down but was eventually pressured into quitting by the GCC and its western backers.
Now Yemen is dangerously split between the Houthi-Saleh alliance, the recognised government, a separatist movement also based in the south, al-Qaeda, ISIS and militants.
Further complicating matters the pro-Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant faction have claimed responsibility (March 22) for a triple suicide bombing of mosques in Sana’a which killed 142 people and a gun attack in the south which killed a further 29 the same day.
26 March 2015: Saudi Arabia launches military operation in Yemen
Saudi Arabia launched a military operation in Yemen.
Other Gulf states and Middle Eastern countries, (Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, the UAE, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Jordan and Sudan) have said they are committed to the protection of Yemen from a Shiite Houthi takoever.
“The operation is to defend and support the legitimate government of Yemen and prevent the radical Houthi movement from taking over the country,” the Foreign Secretary said.
The military action was announced as reports surfaced that President Abed Rabbo Mansour Haddi had fled his Aden palace and left the country by boat, although his aides denied the claim.
Saudi consultations with the US were said to have taken place “at a high level” before the operation was launched, a Washington official told the Reuters news agency.
Yemen has become increasingly divided between a north dominated by Houthis and a south largely controlled by Hadi supports.
Former President Ali Abdullah Selah, who resigned in 2012 after protests, has been accused of backing the Houthi rebels in an effort to regain influence.
Saudi warplanes continued to bomb the Houthis on Thursday as part of their offensive “Storm of Resolve” to weaken the Shiite rebels.
Four naval vessels were additionally being sent from Egypt and were expected to be in the Red Sea soon, to secure the Gulf of Aden.
Washington, “commended the work of the coalition taking military action against the Houthis” and ensured Washington’s support in “intelligence sharing, targeting assistance and advisory and logistical support for strikes against the Houthis.”
27 March 2015: The air war that is already taking its toll on the civilian population of the Yemeni capital city of Sanaa is just the beginning, as Saudi Arabia is telegraphing their planned ground invasion of Yemen, and touting the number of Sunni Arab allies who will be going along.
The latest reports are that some 150,000 Saudi ground troops have massed along their border with Yemen, along with heavy artillery. Egypt also confirmed an undisclosed number of troops on transport ships off the Yemeni coast, who will join the invasion.
Egypt is not alone in joining the war, as a number of other Sunni Arab nations are reportedly involved, with an eye on fighting the Shi’ite Houthis, who control the capital city of Sanaa.
At present, Saudi Arabia and Egypt are confirmed to have help from Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Jordan, Morocco, and Sudan.
There are also reports of Libya’s government giving its approval, though they are unlikely to contribute troops, and Saudi state media also claimed Pakistan as part of the coalition.
News of the war sent the price of oil jumping, as while Yemen itself is not a major producer, Saudi Arabia is, and its own oil production is centred around the territory of its Shi’ite minority.
If fighting spreads to the Yemeni coast it could also imperil key shipping lanes.
Saudi officials are already trying to downplay the scope of the war, saying they don’t intend to 100% occupy Yemen, but rather to just fight a big war and weaken the Houthis in the hopes that President Hadi, who resigned in January, will take over again.
That seems unlikely, with Hadi having fled the country yesterday in the face of a minor Houthi offensive.
The more likely immediate impact of the Saudi intervention will be emboldening the Sunni Islamist forces in the country, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and ISIS, and giving them an advantage in expanding their territory.
10 Jul 2017: Saudi-America – The Rogue Nation at the Heart of All the Misery, Death and Destruction in the Middle East
Saudi Arabia is fully protected by the USA from any external aggression.
Probably the world’s most authoritarian regime, its repression of its own population and blatant aggression against its neighbours is appalling.
Its protector, the USA is also the country’s largest supplier of arms, munitions and just about every tool of war in existence, short of nuclear arms.
Of major concern to the UN in recent years is the use of the Saudi military machine against its neighbours
In this period a very significant amount of the aforesaid arms and munitions has been expended against a few thousand rebels in Yemen.
Total overkill by a so called Saudi led coalition who seem to be determined to destroy the rebels even if this brings about the complete destruction of the Yemen.
At the end of July 2017 more than 10,000 Yemeni have been Killed
10 Jul 2017: The Role of the Brits
Next in the supply line is Britain who have been training Saudi armed forces personnel and selling them many £ billions of tanks, aircraft, munitions, missiles etc.for countless years
The British government licensed £283m worth of arms sales to Saudi Arabia in the six months after an air strike by the Riyadh-led coalition killed 140 mourners at a funeral in Yemen.
A UN sanctions monitor told the security council that last year’s double air strike, which targeted both mourners and those who helped them in Sana’a, the Yemeni capital, violated international law.
It was one of the bloodiest attacks in a two year campaign waged by Saudi Arabia against Houthi rebels in Yemen.
Following the attack, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson advised Trade Secretary Liam Fox to grant four export licence applications to supply the Royal Saudi Air Force with equipment which could be used in Yemen.
Figures compiled by the Campaign Against Arms Trade show that from the time of the attack on 8 October 2016 until the end of March 2017, the UK government authorised exports including £263m worth of combat aircraft components and £4m of bombs and missiles to the country.
The figures exclude aircraft cannon equipment, targeting software, aircraft components and assault rifles exported under 24 open licences, which are seen as even less transparent.
Famine and Disease
31 Jul 2017: War-torn Yemen is facing a famine caused by the Saudi led coalition blockading ports preventing the supply of food and medicines into the country.
Time is not on the side of the UN who estimate over 70% of the Yemeni population are nearing starvation.
Added to the misery over 450,000 have been struck down by cholera with no sign of an end to the epidemic.
Seeking to justify the actions of the Saudi led coalition a spokesman said: “Weapons and ammunition is being supplied to the rebels by Iran using small shipping units and we are denying them this outlet.”
But there is no evidence of any such assistance reaching the rebels.
The Annihilation of Yemen by Saudi American Led Forces – The first 6 months March – August 2015
5 Mar 2015: The Saudi’s, inspired by newly appointed Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman attacked Houthi rebels in Yemen.
The campaign was expected to be executed swiftly and with minimum casualties.
But three years later the battles rage on with no sign of an end.
Below is a tabulated account of the first few months of the war followed by a statement of recent events which should give concern to any decent minded person.
The Arab nations need to call a halt to the war now or bear witness to a catastrophic disaster.
09 Mar 2015: Saudi Arabia agrees to host peace talks with Houthis militants at the request of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi after Houthi’s and Al-Qaida militants overran and held the city of Mahfad in southern Yemen for hours before an army counter attack pushed them out.
25 Mar 2015: The Saudi ambassador to the United States announced that his country had initiated air-strikes against the Houthi rebels in Yemen.
The Saudi operation has been named “Decisive Storm.”
The Saudi’s have gathered a 10-country coalition of Sunni states to bomb the Houthis.
26 Mar 2015: Warplanes from the Saudi led Arab coalition bombed Huthi rebels in support of Yemen’s embattled president, as regional rival Iran warned the intervention was a “dangerous” move.
Egypt also participated in the Saudi led campaign against Shi’ite Houthi militias in Yemen with its naval and air forces.
The US military rescued two Saudi pilots who ejected from their jet off Yemen’s coast.
27 Mar 2015: At least 21 Yemini, rebels were killed when residents in a tribal southern region opened fire on their vehicles.
Saudi warplanes targeted Houthi forces controlling Sanaa and their northern heartland.
In a boost for Riyadh, fellow monarchy Morocco said it would join the rapidly-assembled Sunni Muslim coalition against the Shi’ite Muslim group.
27 Mar 2015: Egyptian and Saudi Arabian warships have been deployed to the Bab al-Mandab straits off Yemen to secure a strategic sea passage.
28 Mar 2015: Saudi Arabia’s navy evacuated dozens of diplomats from Yemen and the United Nations pulled out international staff after a third night of Saudi-led air strikes trying to stem advances by Iranian-allied Houthi fighters.
29 Mar 2015: 38 killed in Yemen in clashes between rebel forces and tribes near a southern oil region.
Saudi led warplanes bombed the main international airport and struck a renegade troop base in Sanaa.
31 Mar 2015: Saudi led air-strikes pounded Yemen’s Shiite rebels for a sixth day, destroying missiles and weapons depots controlled by the rebels.
The UN human rights office in Geneva said that in the past five days, at least 93 civilians have been killed and 364 wounded in five Yemeni cities.
Air strikes hit a dairy factory near Hodeida killing 23.
A family eat breakfast outside their hut at a camp for people displaced by the war near Sanaa, Yemen September 26, 2016
01 Apr 2015: Saudi led coalition warplanes bombed Shiite rebel positions in both the north and south of Yemen, setting off explosions. Anti-aircraft guns returned fire.
03 Apr 2015: In Yemen Houthi forces pulled back from central Aden after warplanes from the Saudi led coalition dropped weapons and medical aid to fighters defending the southern Yemeni city.
An air strike on a village near Sanaa killed a family of nine in what appeared to be a hit by the Saudi led military campaign against Houthi militia.
Local militia forces said they killed 10 Houthis during the fighting which pushed the Shi’ite movement out of Crater.
They also said Houthis killed two medics and two patients when they opened fire on an ambulance ferrying casualties from Aden peninsula to hospital on the mainland.
04 Apr 2015: A Saudi adviser said Saudi Arabian special forces are involved in a military operation against Shiite Houthi rebels in neighbouring Yemen.
A second Saudi led coalition force pounded rebels in the south and dropped more arms to loyalist fighters.
05 Apr 2015: In eastern Saudi Arabia a policeman was killed and three were wounded during a raid in al-Awamiya, a predominantly Shiite town.
05 Apr 2015: In Yemen warplanes from a Saudi led coalition bombed Sanaa overnight on the eleventh day of the campaign against Iran allied Houthi.
A senior Houthi member said Yemen’s Houthis are ready to sit down for peace talks as long as a Saudi-led air campaign is halted and the negotiations are overseen by “non-aggressive” parties.
07 Apr 2015: In central Yemen warplanes from the Saudi led air coalition bombed a military base controlled by Houthi fighters and their army allies.
A website of the Houthi-run defence ministry said two students were killed at a neighbouring school.
Suspected al Qaeda militants stormed a remote border post with Saudi Arabia, killing at least two soldiers including the senior border guard officer.
08 Apr 2015: In southern Yemen warplanes from the Saudi led coalition struck al-Anad airbase overnight and targets in areas around the southern port city of Aden.
At least 22 people were killed in tank and mortar shelling by rebel forces on residential areas in Aden.
Warships from the Saudi led coalition blocked a vessel carrying more than 47,000 tons of wheat from entering a Yemeni port, demanding UN guarantees that the cargo would not go to military personnel.
09 Apr 2015: The Pentagon said the US has begun daily aerial refuelling for planes in the Saudi led coalition carrying out air strikes in Yemen.
10 Apr 2015: Yemen’s Houthi rebels killed 3 Saudi border guards in a mortar attack in Saudi Arabia’s Najran province.
12 Apr 2015: In Yemen suspected Al Qaeda militants killed an army colonel in central Shabwa province.
Saudi Arabia dismissed Iranian calls to end air strikes on Yemen as Saudi led attacks hit a military camp in Taiz, killing 8 civilians.
14 Apr 2015: Iran proposed a four point peace plan for Yemen and called for an end to Saudi led air strikes against Houthi rebels.
It comprised of a ceasefire, humanitarian assistance, an intra Yemeni dialogue and the establishment of a broad-based government.
18 Apr 2015: Saudi Arabia pledges to cover the entire $274 million in humanitarian aid sought by the UN for conflict-torn Yemen, where a Saudi led coalition has been bombing Shiite rebels for three weeks.
19 Apr 2015: A Saudi border guard was killed and two troops wounded by heavy gun and mortar fire from Yemen.
20 Apr 2015: In Yemen Saudi led air strikes on a missile depot in Sanaa, the rebel-held capital, sparked explosions that left at least 18 people dead and 300 wounded.
21 Apr 2015: Saudi Arabia announced that it would end almost a month of air strikes against the Iranian allied Houthis.
Hours later Houthi fighters captured an army brigade base loyal to the government in Yemen’s central city of Taiz following heavy fighting.
A Saudi air strike hit the brigade headquarters shortly afterwards.
22 Apr 2015: In Yemen rival forces fought on despite a declared halt to a Saudi led bombing campaign, showing how tough it may be to find a political solution to a war stirring animosities between rival Gulf powers Saudi Arabia and Iran.
The Houthi rebel movement said it wanted to return to UN sponsored peace talks but only after a complete halt to a month of Saudi led air strikes on the group.
The Saudi-led coalition bombed southern Houthi positions carrying out at least 12 air strikes.
23 Apr 2015: Warplanes from the Saudi led coalition pounded Houthi militiamen and military bases with at least 20 air strikes throughout Yemen, despite Riyadh saying it was winding down its campaign.
27 Apr 2015: In Yemen Saudi led aircraft pounded Iran allied Houthi militiamen and rebel army units in central Yemen and Sanaa despite a formal end to the air strikes.
01 May 2015: Saudi Arabia said its forces killed dozens of Iran-backed rebels from Yemen who launched their first major attack on the kingdom since Saudi led air strikes began last month.
04 May 2015: Senegal is sending 2,100 troops to Saudi Arabia as part of an international coalition combating Houthi rebels in Yemen.
05 May 2015: Saudi King Salman announced the establishment of a centre to coordinate humanitarian assistance for Yemen, and invited the United Nations to join in relief work for the Arab country.
05 May 2015: Yemen’s Houthi rebels fired mortars and Katyusha rockets at the Saudi city of Najran, killing at least 3 civilians.
A husband and wife were killed as a missile from war-torn Yemen struck their building in the Jazan region.
Five Saudi soldiers were reported captured by rebel fighters.
06 May 2015: Saudi led coalition warplanes struck Yemeni provinces near the Saudi border overnight, killing at least 43 civilians.
Another 9 people were killed and 18 were wounded in air strikes on a police academy in Dhamar province.
Aid agencies warned that fuel shortages could halt their efforts to tackle Yemen’s humanitarian crisis.
Houthi fighters entered Aden’s al-Tawahi district, one of the last strongholds of supporters of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.
Fighting across Yemen killed 120 people, mostly civilians, including at least 40 who were trying to flee Aden in a boat that was struck by Houthi shells.
07 May 2015: Saudi Arabia offers a five day humanitarian truce to the Houthi militia it has hit with weeks of air strikes in neighbouring Yemen, on condition that fighting across Yemen stops.
08 May 2015: The Saudi led coalition declared the rebel stronghold of Saada in Yemen a war zone and said its entire territory would from now on be considered a “military target,” urging all civilians to leave by 7 p.m. local time.
09 May 2015: The Saudi led coalition struck northern provinces of Yemen in a third consecutive night of heavy air strikes.
More than 100 air strikes hit areas of Saada and Hajjah provinces, including the districts of Haradh, Maidi and Bakil al-Mir.
11 May 2015: Saudi led warplanes pressed air strikes against rebel positions in Yemen, 36 hours before a scheduled five-day pause to allow the delivery of much-needed humanitarian aid.
The air strikes on a rocket base in Sanaa killed 90 people and wounded 300.
12 May 2015: In Yemen at least 69 people were killed and 250 others were wounded by explosions after Saudi led warplanes hit an arms depot a day earlier on the outskirts of Sanaa as bombing continued.
13 May 2015: King Salman doubled Saudi Arabia’s aid commitment to Yemen to $540 million on the first day of a humanitarian pause in a bombing campaign it has led.
A jet fighter from the Saudi led coalition struck a military convoy belonging to Shiite rebels and their allies in southern Yemen, straining the humanitarian, five day ceasefire.
21 May 2015: In southern Yemen Saudi led coalition warplanes carried out fresh raids on rebel positions as pro-government tribesmen advanced on Shiite Huthi strongholds in the north.
Saudi shells hit an international humanitarian aid office in northern Yemen, killing 5 Ethiopian refugees and wounding ten.
24 May 2015: In Yemen Saudi forces and Houthi militia traded heavy artillery fire overnight, which destroyed part of the Haradh border crossing, the main border crossing between the two countries.
In Taiz Houthi forces and pro-Hadi fighters fired tank and artillery shells at each other throughout the city overnight, killing 5 civilians.
Local fighters combating the Houthis in the south said they killed 8 Houthi fighters in an ambush in Dalea province.
26 May 2015: In northern Yemen 7 members of a family were killed in an overnight strike by Saudi led warplanes on a border village.
In the south the Saudi led air force launched nearly 20 raids on Houthi fighters in the port city of Aden.
27 May 2015: Saudi led air strikes killed at least 80 people near Yemen’s border with Saudi Arabia and in the capital Sanaa, the deadliest day of bombing in over two months of war in Yemen.
31 May 2015: In Yemen, aircraft from the Saudi led coalition bombed Houthi outposts throughout the country.
Yemen’s exiled government in Saudi Arabia said that senior Houthi officials are holding talks with the United States in neighbouring Oman to help end the nine-week conflict.
Human Rights Watch published new evidence alleging a Saudi-led coalition is using internationally banned cluster bombs in Yemen.
01 Jun 2015: In Yemen at least 8 civilians were killed and 20 wounded in explosions sparked by Saudi led air strikes on rebel arms depots in Sanaa.
03 Jun 2015: In Yemen Saudi led air strikes killed a group of around 20 Houthi fighters outside the southern port city of Aden and also shook the capital Sanaa in the north.
04 Jun 2015: In central Yemen warplanes from the Saudi led coalition pounded rebel positions as air raids intensified amid attempts to revive UN-proposed talks in Switzerland.
05 Jun 2015: Four Saudi troops, including an officer, were reported killed after an attack was launched from the Yemeni side on border areas in Jizan and Najran.
06 Jun 2015: Yemen’s dominant Houthi group and its army allies fired a Scud missile at Saudi Arabia which the kingdom says it shot down.
Eyewitnesses said around 10 Arab air strikes pounded Houthi positions in Aden’s Northwest suburbs.
07 Jun 2015: In Yemen 20 civilians were among at least 45 people killed in Saudi led air strikes on the rebel-held armed forces headquarters in Sanaa early today.
09 Jun 2015: In Yemen a series of air-strikes from the Saudi led military coalition targeted the Defence Ministry building, which is under control of Shiite rebels who control Sanaa.
The air-strikes also targeted the homes of military commanders allied with the rebels in the Northwest Sanaa district of Hamdan.
11 Jun 2015: In Yemen a Saudi led air-strike hit a public bus on a highway north of the southern city of Aden, splitting the vehicle in half and killing at least 20 civilian passengers.
Air strikes over the last 48 hours also hit a family travelling in a private car and a farmer driving a pick-up truck loaded with potatoes, also near Aden.
12 Jun 2015: In Yemen Saudi led air-strikes targeting Shiite rebels and their allies destroyed historic houses in the centre of, Sanaa, a UNESCO world heritage site.
The Saudi led coalition denied claims that it carried out the strike, suggesting a rebel ammunition cache may have exploded.
13 Jun 2015: In Yemen 9 people were killed when Saudi led coalition warplanes bombed a district in Sanaa inhabited by relatives of ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh. At least 60 people were reported wounded.
17 Jun 2015: Al Qaeda militants in Yemen killed two alleged Saudi spies, accusing them of planting tracking devices which enabled the assassination of the group’s leader in a suspected US drone strike last week.
Four car bombs hit three mosques and the political headquarters of the Houthi movement in Sanaa, killing and wounding dozens of people.
Jun 19 2015: In Yemen Saudi led warplanes bombed elite Republican Guard forces allied with the dominant Houthi faction.
Houthis reported that 9 civilians were killed in air strikes on the Razeh district of the northern province of Saada.
UN-sponsored ceasefire talks broke off in Geneva without a deal to end nearly three months of fighting.
24 Jun 2015: Yemen’s Shiite rebels launched two late night attacks along the Saudi Arabia border, killing three Saudi soldiers and one from the United Arab Emirates.
26 Jun 2015: In Yemen air strikes by a Saudi led force hit military bases across Yemen. 10 people were killed in air raids in Jawf.
06 Jul 2015: In Yemen Saudi led warplanes bombed the Sanaa headquarters of the party headed by rebel allied former president Ali Abdullah Saleh overnight.
More than 45 civilians were reported killed in a Saudi-led air-strike in Fayoush.
16 Jul 2015: In Yemen fighting intensified in the southern port city of Aden as Saudi backed troops pushed to drive Shiite rebels out of several neighbourhoods.
The Shiite rebels meanwhile fired rockets at the city’s airport, killing at least 3 people.
Senior members of the exiled administration flew into Aden to make preparations for the government’s return.
11 Jul 2015: In Yemen a UN proposed truce, aimed at delivering desperately needed aid to millions threatened with famine, failed to take hold.
The spokesman for the Saudi led coalition targeting Yemen’s Shiite rebels in air-strikes since March said the coalition is not bound by the new truce deal.
22 Jul 2015: In Yemen a Saudi military plane loaded with arms for fighters loyal to Yemen’s deposed president landed at Aden airport, the first flight to reach the embattled port city in four months.
24 Jul 2015: In Yemen Saudi led coalition air-strikes killed more than 120 civilians and wounded more than 150 after shelling a residential area in the Taiz province.
25 Jul 2015: Saudi led coalition forces announced a five day humanitarian ceasefire would take effect starting July 26 evening at the request of exiled president Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.
27 Jul 2015: Yemeni military sources Saudi led coalition warplanes hit positions of pro-government forces in south Yemen by mistake, killing 12 people on the first day of a humanitarian truce.
28 Jul 2015: In Yemen Saudi led warplanes resumed raids on rebels, who clashed with loyalists.
Air strikes targeted rebels north of Aden, rebels in nearby Lahj province and a rebel convoy near Sabr.
Other raids hit a building occupied by insurgents in Jaawala.
An overnight strike hit rebels in Marib east of Sanaa.
29 Jul 2015: From Saudi Arabia Yemen’s exiled President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi ordered that militias battling Shiite rebels in Yemen be merged with his national army, in an apparent attempt to unify ground forces.
29 Jul 2015: In Yemen Saudi led warplanes bombed targets in northerly Saada province.
A car bomb exploded outside the Ismaili Al Faydh Alhatemy mosque in an eastern district of Sanaa, killing 3 people and wounding seven.
The Islamic State militant group claimed responsibility.
Ismailis are a minority Shi’ite Muslim sect, as are the Zaydi Shi’ites, a community whose interests the Houthi group says it defends.
07 Aug 2015: A Saudi soldier was killed by shelling from across the Yemeni border, becoming the third death this week.
08 Aug 2015: In Yemen pro-government forces, strengthened by tanks newly supplied by the Saudi led coalition, launched an offensive to retake Zinjibar, the rebel-held capital of Abyan province.
A Saudi led coalition airstrike hit allied fighters in a friendly fire incident, killing at least 20 fighters on a coastal road as they headed toward Zinjibar.
17 Aug 2015: The Saudi military said 2 soldiers have been killed along the border by a missile fired from inside Yemen.
21 Aug 2015: In Yemen a helicopter from the Saudi-led forces battling anti-government fighters crashed along the Saudi border, killing the two pilots.
Huthi rebels said they have shot down a Saudi Apache helicopter.
25 Aug 2015: In Yemen about 100 Saudi forces arrived in Aden to help rebuild the local police force.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said it has temporarily suspended its activities in Aden after its office was raided by unidentified gunmen a day earlier.
Al-Qaeda dynamited a headquarters of the secret police in Mukalla.
26 Aug 2015: In Yemen al-Qaeda militants blew up an army headquarters and set up checkpoints in the jihadist network’s southeastern stronghold of Mukalla, Hadramawt province.
Yemeni army units allied to the Houthi militia fired a ballistic missile toward southern Saudi Arabia but the Saudi military said it intercepted it and retaliated with air strikes on Yemeni territory.
04 Sep 2015: President Barack Obama hosted Saudi Arabia’s new monarch for the first time and said that the US shares King Salman’s desire for an inclusive government in Yemen that can relieve that impoverished Arab country’s humanitarian crisis.
04 Sep 2015: In Yemen Iranian allied Houthis attacked a weapons storage facility in Marib killing 45 soldiers from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), 5 Bahrainis, 10 Saudis and 4 Yemenis.
06 Sep 2015: Saudi led coalition jets bombed a Houthi military position and army bases in the Yemeni capital Sanaa through the night and into this morning in what appeared to be further retaliation for the killing of dozens of coalition soldiers two days ago.
Note: The war of attrition against Yemen has now progressed through 5 x 6 monthly cycles.
Death and destruction in each period has spiralled and the situation in the country is now desperate.
The Telegraph – Sputnik News – The Guardian – Anti-War News