More BBC Dross

by craig on July 25, 2014 in Uncategorized

“You have had to live with the missile threat from Gaza for fourteen years now. But now you face a new threat, the tunnels Hamas have built running here from Gaza. How concerned are you about that?”

Incredibly, that really was a question asked by BBC journalist Stephanie Bell of an Israeli man, just broadcast on BBC1. So far over 600 Palestinian civilians have died compared to two Israeli civilians (one of whom was a Bedouin who as a matter of policy are denied air raid shelters). Yet the BBC continues to pump out the narrative that the “problem” is Hamas attacks on Israel.

There are many other more interesting questions Stephanie Bell might have asked. Here are some:

“Do you ever wonder about the lives of the Arab families who lived here before they were removed by force? Whether any of them are now living in Gaza and under those bombs and shells”

“Do you honestly believe that this land is yours because God said so?”

The BBC had also been reporting as credible Israel’s appalling denials that it massacred those families in the UN school, and completely unsubstantiated claim it was stray Hamas fire that did it. The UN have confirmed that Israel has regularly been hitting UN schools and medical facilities.

Two-Faced Flags

by craig on July 24, 2014 in Uncategorized

In my 55 years of life, I had never until yesterday seen a flag which was a saltire on one side and a union jack on the other. Yet last night thousands of them were distributed free at the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony. I have been told they are being given out at the swimming today, and possibly at other venues too.

Such flags do not normally exist. They had to be specially commissioned, and somebody had to pay for them. Who paid for them? Is it public money?

There is no doubt why these unique flags were commissioned, and why they are being given out free at considerable expense. It is to provide TV images of Scotland combined in the union, and to make sure that Scottish medals are greeted with media images of union jacks being waved with the saltire.

In the context of the referendum, only a hardened liar could claim that these unique flags were commissioned without a view to the campaign. This is enormous hypocrisy by the unionists, who have been bombarding the media for weeks with warnings to Yes supporters not to “politicise” the Commonwealth Games.

The BBC informs us that “political flags” are not allowed inside games venues. So saltires with a Yes will be confiscated. The BBC report states:

Well hold on, some flags will not be allowed to fly. Political flags.

Both sides of the independence debate have agreed not to use Glasgow 2014 for political gain anyway.

But even if you wanted to, well, it’s against the rules.

Glasgow 2014 Venue Regulation 6.18 states that no flags are allowed to enter a venue – or the vicinity of any Games venue – if they are normally associated with causes, affiliations or organisations.

Nobody can possibly argue that, at this time, a Union Jack combined with a Saltire is not an image strongly associated with a cause or association. So the rules are being quite deliberately broken, and somebody is funding that breach and doing it on a massive scale. It is vital that we know: who is paying for these flags?

Actually I am not sure why union jacks are allowed in at all. The rules are very clear. If you try to take in a Palestinian flag or a Dutch flag it will be confiscated. Again, to quote the BBC:

You are not allowed, however, to bring the flag of a country not competing in the Games

The United Kingdom is not competing in the Games. So there is a very respectable argument that union jacks should not be allowed in at all.

What is absolutely certain is that the two-faced union jack and saltire flags are very strongly associated with a political cause or affiliation. If they are allowed in, then Yes saltires should be allowed in too.

UK Complicity in Massacre

by craig on July 24, 2014 in Uncategorized

78 people died at Glencoe and we still sing about it over three hundred years later. Over 700 have been massacred so far in Gaza, 80% of them innocent civilians. The UN Human Rights Commissioner has made the very obvious, the unarguable, point that there is prima facie evidence of war crimes by Israel. These include the killing of four young boys playing football on the beach at Gaza, and the use of industrial nail bombs in civilian areas.

Yet the UK refused to support even having an investigation. Please note this was not a vote to condemn Israel, or to declare war crimes. It was a vote to have an investigation.

I am ashamed to belong to the UK. Just as having served the UK for twenty years and having worked my way up to be a proud British Ambassador, I became so ashamed at our complicity in torture and extraordinary rendition, I had to resign.

I want to be part of a country of which I am not ashamed

ignominy

Now imagine that board with Scotland on it and a green light next to it.

This is the British Foreign Secretary. He declares that Israel “has a right to defend itself” and that for the UN to investigate Israeli war crimes is “unhelpful”.

101721461-Philip_Hammond_530x298

This man does not represent me, or anything about me. Nor, emphatically, does that flag behind him.

Evil Cybernat Bully

by craig on July 23, 2014 in Uncategorized

shona

Evil Cybernat Bully Shona McAlpine has been stalking and harrying a poor innocent unionist. Doubtless this will be in the Daily Mail tomorrow.

I am fascinated by how the BBC are going to play the Commonwealth Games opening. There have been numerous warnings to Alex Salmond not to try to stoke up a wave of patriotism on the back of the Commonwealth Games, just as of course there was absolutely no effort to stir British patriotism around the London Olympics. There was absolutely no waving of union jacks, no jubilant celebration of home victories, no commentators getting all emotional at award ceremonies at the London Olympics, was there?

So I have no doubt the Commonwealth Games will be treated by the BBC, just as the launch of that useless expensive aircraft carrier was, as a unionfest. Any boos aimed at Alex Salmond will be gloatingly reported and tweeted, while the boos for Charles and Camilla will be turned off the soundtrack and ignored. George Osborne has already used the Commonwealth Games as a platform for anti-independence remarks, and Cameron is coming to Glasgow and will do the same, but woe-betide anyone who besmirches the political neutrality of the event with a pro-independence comment.

I have already seen a girl who plays badminton and a cyclist interviewed on the BBC to say they could not train or be financially supported in an independent Scotland. That some of the money that we send down to England actually comes back again seems to some cringing Scots like a reason for eternal grovelling gratitude. Training for elite sport is worldwide now, and doubtless some will still be done in England, also in the rest of Europe and in the States, for Scots sportsmen and women after independence. Interestingly I have seen no attempt by the BBC to interview any pro-independence Scottish competitors.

Ceasefire My Arse

by craig on July 23, 2014 in Uncategorized

When Gaza was being strafed by sea and air, 500 Palestinian dead to 1 Israeli dead. Since the ground invasion, that total has come down to 30 to 1 and a daily average of 6 to 1.

Suddenly all those, including Obama, who did not call for ceasefire when Palestinians were being killed like helpless fish in a barrel, urgently, desperately want one now from a new found humanitarian concern.

Some lives matter more than others, apparently.

UPDATE

I should add an important point. 90% of the Palestinian dead are civilians. All of the Israeli dead are soldiers with one exception, and he was a lawful target as he was conveying supplies to front line soldiers. The Palestinian resistance is perfectly legal and legitimate. The Israeli attack on civilians is a sustained war crime.

MH17 – Downed by Elite Collusion

by craig on July 22, 2014 in Uncategorized

The immediate cause of the MH17 disaster was a missile shot by pro-Russian forces who mistook it for one of the military aircraft they had been regularly shooting down. It is a terrible tragedy – and tragically not unique. There have been several such events in my lifetime, including the USS Vincennes incident and the Soviet downing of a Korean airliner.

The problem is that Vladimir Putin has revived the Soviet cult of perfectionism – the idea that the state simply cannot make a mistake. That Putin-backed forces could commit an error is therefore unthinkable, as that would imply that Putin made an error in backing and supplying them. Putin cannot make errors. We have therefore seen a stream of desperate propaganda stories emanating from the Russian media, such as the allegation that it was the government in Kiev attempting to shoot down Putin himself. These narratives are aimed at the domestic Russian nationalist audience, but are accepted by the small band of ardent Putin supporters in the West.

Many people in the West, myself included, have been shocked and alienated by the rampant and vicious immorality of Western foreign policy in what I might call the neo-con era, with the ascendancy of Bush and Blair marking a step change in the open use of military force to grab natural resources – a return to the Imperial heyday. The veneer of concern for democracy and human rights layered over Guantanamo, extraordinary rendition, the curtailment of long-cherished civil rights at home and the mass compound crimes of Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, led to a visceral revulsion.

Putin’s successful opposition to western designs on Syria and Iran gave the impression, quite probably correctly, that a revived Russia was the only effective obstacle to western hegemony, China being passive. But unfortunately this led some who opposed Western neo-imperialism to join in the hero worship of Putin.

The mechanisms of this vary. In my view, the largest number are people who are not psychologically equipped to fight over-mighty power everywhere, which is a lonely path, and prefer the much easier option of joining the entourage of a big power, and convincing themselves that power is good. It is comforting to feel part of a powerful team. Some of course are paid by the Russians, and you see them turning up on Russia Today both as presenters and interviewees, but these are a small section. Some were supporters of the Soviet Union.

What is perhaps most extraordinary is that, the very things which these people criticise most about Western society, Russia and Putin do much worse. At the most fundamental level, the disparity of wealth between rich and poor in Russia is far, far worse than the still appalling level it has reached in the West.

The total Russian economy is 20% smaller than the total British economy. Yet Russia has almost three times as many billionaires as the UK, and the Russian billionaires’ combined wealth is over six times the combined wealth of British billionaires.

Go figure. Yet the delusional continue to contrive to believe that Russia is an alternative to global capitalism.

Russia is not only a much more unequal society than the West. It also much worse in the field of civil liberties and media freedom. Scores of real journalists have been killed, mostly unheard of internationally. The free media has vanished. In the West, the field of opinion reflected in the mainstream media has narrowed right down. In the UK, Andrew Gilligan was sacked for telling the truth about Iraqi WMD, while his source was murdered. But the West is moving in the direction of autocracy; Russia is already there. It in no sense represents an alternative, freer society than the West.

Nor is Russia any less imperialist. Putin is in fact an extremely aggressive nationalist imperialist, as his annexations of Abkhazia and Crimea have shown. Highly significant is the legislation just passed to award Russian nationality to ethnic Russians in former Soviet states. That is racially based legislation. It means for example that 40% of the population of Kazakhstan potentially become Russian citizens, with similar figures in the Baltic states. It is highly aggressive and designed to have destabilising potential.

One fact which has become undeniably clear in the Ukraine is that the pro-Russian insurgency in the East is commanded by members of the Russian military and security forces like Strelkov who are Russian, not Ukrainian citizens, and they are under tactical and strategic supervision from Russia. Again, the self-hating fantasist tendency in the West manage to convince themselves that what is happening in East Ukraine is massive destruction of civilian populations by NATO forces.

People who are that removed from reality cannot be helped.

Much more dangerous are those who do have a grip on reality, who understand exactly what is really happening, and who don’t care. That sums up the position of almost all western governments. The truth is that the financial interests of all those Russian billionaires are completely linked in with those of the super-rich of the West. To take only the UK as an example, these are the people Tony Blair, Peter Mandelson and Boris Johnson lunch and have holidays with. These are the people who employ Gerhard Schroeder and David Owen as lapdogs.

Nobody is more annoyed than Angela Merkel at the downing of MH17, not because she cares about those dead people, but because of the massive effort she has put into ensuring that, whatever Russia does in Ukraine, German economic interests will not be affected. Germany gets most of its electricity from Russian gas, and both Siemens and Mercedes, on a daily basis, have been lobbying Merkel to make sure that nothing is done that hurts German economic interests. Cameron has been receiving the same lobbying from his banker mates. In both these cases, the politicians are being talked to by the people who finance them.

The result is that there has been a strong diplomatic push, particularly by Germany, to divert the question of sanctions on to matters of process. The problem is not Russia trying to annex bits of Ukraine and funding, arming and staffing the destabilisation of a European state. The Germans are seeking to define the problem down to whether or not Russia cooperates in various stages of the air crash investigation.

Putin will continue his dangerous expansionist nationalism because it is a self-trapping path for a politician to take; but also he is encouraged that whatever he does, nobody makes any serious moves to stop him. The people on MH17 were killed because of the pusillanimity of Western politicians, financed and guided by the financial elite.

The pathetic “sanctions” adopted by the US and EU so far have been specifically designed to be completely toothless. They target middle and lower ranking individuals without major western links anyway. None of the top ten largest Russian billionaires has been touched.

Russia’s richest man – Alisher Usmanov – is extremely close to Putin and as chairman of Gazprominvestholdings has been directly involved for a decade in pressurising Ukraine, and was also Putin’s chosen instrument for closing down the free media. But you won’t see Usmanov on any sanctions list – he has 10% of Facebook, 29% of Arsenal FC, the most expensive mansion in Surrey and numerous other western connections, not to mention he is Gerhard Schroeder and David Owen’s direct boss.

Much has been said of the 1.2 billion dollars contract for two amphibious assault vessels Russia has ordered from France. Amphibious assault! Where?

But, actually much more interesting, 1.2 billion dollars incredibly happens to be the combined value of four of the World’s largest luxury yachts, which met together off Cap Ferrat and Antibes from 10 to 16 June this year. They are Dilbar, Madame Gu, Grand Bleu and Hermitage.

In Putin’s Russia, government, organised crime and secret services are absolutely integrated. All were well represented at the series of meetings that took place on those yachts, where deals were done on everything from metal prices to heroin – and Ukraine. If US drones had wanted to do some good in the world, there was their target, but they were too busy killing some 16 year old kid, and numerous bystanders, in Waziristan or Yemen for a dangerous interpretation of the Koran. None of the people at those meetings will appear on any sanctions list, though they are the men who rule Russia with Putin. They will all still be very welcome in boardrooms in London, Berlin and New York.

If Europe had followed from the start the excellent leadership offered by Radek Sikorski, the passengers on MH17 would not have died. I should like to think that the European Council will start to listen to Sikorski now. But I doubt it.

MH17 – Curiouser and Curiouser

by craig on July 22, 2014 in Uncategorized

Pro-Russian forces have removed large parts of MH17, and then substituted or altered them before returning to the site. This is extraordinarily important.

I know and absolutely trust Natalia Antalaeva of the BBC. About one hour ago she broadcast live on BBC World that OSCE observers had witnessed that sections of fuselage were being removed from the site, taken away and later returned after having been replaced or altered. In particular a large piece of tail section had been taken away and later something had been brought back which, according to the OSCE observers, “looked different” from the original.

Natalia said she had herself witnessed rebel forces cutting up sections of fuselage and removing pieces, and cranes lifting large parts of the wreck.

Extraordinarily, a few minutes after this report, the presenter hurriedly added that the BBC had of course no idea why this activity was taking place, it could be for totally legitimate reasons such as searching for evidence. Then silence – there has been no repeat, it has not appeared on the strapline, it was not in the hourly bulletin, and having just googled it I can find nothing on line.

It seems to me that there is a determination to put the lid back on this one at least until after the EU foreign ministers meeting today. I am drafting a substantial post on MH17, possibly for posting tomorrow. The real story is the collusion of the financial elite in making sure nothing is done about Russia.

For Scotland, The Spirit of Tony Blair

by craig on July 22, 2014 in Uncategorized

New Labour has officially voted to support austerity, benefit cuts, government spending cuts, Trident missiles and rail privatisation, and done so without serious internal opposition. Polly Toynbee reckons that this is a sign of maturity, and that it is great that the party now has the approval of “Westminster” – her word, not mine.

She hails this as a return to the “spirit of 97″, and commends the wise advice of Tony Blair.

Scotland faces a stark choice between making its own way in the world, or continuing Tory economic policy that negates the idea of community.

You Don’t Say

by craig on July 21, 2014 in Uncategorized

After leaving the British diplomatic service because of my commitment to Human Rights, and horror at their abuse by the US and UK in the “War on Terror”, I applied for a job at Human Rights Watch. I travelled to New York for a job interview, which was chaired by Kenneth Roth. Rather to my surprise, it revolved almost entirely around Israel, and whether I would agree with the proposition that Palestinian terrorist attacks on Israelis were a major threat to human rights, which HRW should work against.

I replied that any criminal attack on a person was in effect an intrusion on their human rights. That in my view “terrorism” consisted of activities which had always been illegal, such as murder or conspiracy to murder, and that the “anti-terrorism” industry was already massive without Human Rights Watch joining in. I felt that HRW could best operate by continuing to expose abuse of power by authorities.

I didn’t get the job.

Anyway, HRW have now produced a useful paper cataloguing the fact that all recent “terrorist plots” in the United States have been agent provocateur operations initiated by the massive anti-terror industry to keep itself in business. Some convicted terrorists were even ideologically opposed to terrorism before being brainwashed into it by FBI agents.

This is all important and true, but the problem is that most of us have known this for years. HRW also steer clear of some of the glaring inconsistencies in the Tsarnaev narrative.

A completely different subject, but another example of the mainstream catching up with this blog eventually, Scotland on Sunday
has noticed the fact that Jean-Claude Juncker supports Scotland’s membership of the EU. The interesting thing is that the journalist, Andrew Whitaker, has apparently spoken to the same source that I spoke to two weeks ago, and got almost precisely the same answers.

“However, a high-ranking EU official last night stated Junker “would not want Scotland to be kept out”. The source said: “He’d be sympathetic as someone who is from a smaller country…

Scotland would be “exempt” from the process as it is already a signatory to core requirements for nation states in areas as such employment rights and equality legislation because of its 40-year membership of the EU as part of the UK.”

The fact is that the source I spoke to (apologies convention is they can’t be named) was absolutely the obvious place to go. Plainly James Cook of the BBC and now Andrew Whitaker eventually got there, but only after the entire media in Scotland had run with the opposite and entirely untrue story. But it was not at all difficult to discover the truth. It took me twenty minutes, ten days before any journalist even thought of it. Now we finally have some belated journalism happening by people who, unlike me, are actually paid to do it.

Political Puppets

by craig on July 21, 2014 in Uncategorized

Flechette shell darts

Massive demonstrations have taken place all over the UK against the continuing massacre in Gaza. There appears for the last three decades, to be a massive gulf between the attitude of the population of the United Kingdom towards the continuing genocide of the Palestinians, and the attitude of the political class across all mainstream political parties.

The divorce of the political class from the people – commonly referred to in the media as the decline of trust, as though it were the people’s fault – has been a huge phenomenon of recent times. In the case of the vocal and unreserved support of the political class for Zionism, it really does seem to be as simple as the constant pumping of pro-Zionist money to the politicians. Actually, this makes it a useful marker for how the entire rotten system works.

Gaza Invasion

by craig on July 17, 2014 in Uncategorized

CNN just announced that Israeli is launching a ground invasion “after ten days of Hamas attacks by land air and sea.” There was no questioning of that quite incredible statement. Talk about the big lie.

In a strange way I prefer this to the continued aerial bombardment, because at least the Palestinians will be able to fight back to some extent. I do hope the Palestinian defenders have a good deal of success against the Israeli tanks. Let us hope the IDF get a bloody nose like they did in Lebanon 2006.

UPDATE

The heroic Israelis have killed a five month old baby with a tank. Hope they are very proud of themselves.

Air Disaster

by craig on July 17, 2014 in Uncategorized

Grief is the only appropriate reaction to the death of so many people on Malaysian Airlines flight MH-17. The point scoring and guessing games are macabre. Of course, some people have to suppress grief and get to work urgently to secure the crash site from interference so there can be a proper investigation of what happened.

We have no idea what evidence lies behind the various statements as to who did or did not shoot down the plane. There is no evidence I have seen that it was shot down at all. This could relate to Ukrainian violence, it could relate to MH 370, it could be an unrelated incident. We really don’t know yet.

What is particularly ghoulish is the false grief, what I might call the triumphalist shroud waving, of those seeking gleefully to blame the side they do not support in the Ukrainian conflict. In the current total absence of evidence, this is abominable behaviour.

Stockholm Syndrome

by craig on July 17, 2014 in Uncategorized

Most of the Stockholm hearing into the Assange case yesterday was held in secret. It is plain from comments on my blog that many people have not grasped this point: if Assange goes to trial in Sweden it will be mostly held IN SECRET. There will be no jury. There will be a judge and two assessors. The assessors are nominated one each by Sweden’s main political parties.

It will not be like the Oscar Pistorius trial, where justice is open and society can form a fair view of the strength of the evidence against the member of society who has been accused. It will be a secret proceeding in which you will hear little more than the verdict. You will never know what the evidence was. All this is to “protect” the false accusers from the public obloquy they so richly deserve.

I have yet to hear a single one of those jumping on the “Assange should face a fair trial” bandwagon address the point that it will be a secret trial, stitched up in advance by Sweden’s political parties who are, to say the very least, CIA-friendly.

I am not therefore in the least surprised by yesterday’s Swedish court verdict, which Assange’s lawyers will appeal, probably pointlessly. The fix is well and truly in.

For me, the most important point at yesterday’s trial was about disclosure. The defence was applying to see the hundreds of texts from and between Anna Ardin and Sofia Wilen in the possession of the prosecution, including texts they sent when at the police station making their complaint.

Now in every other legal system I know, those would have to be shown to the defence. Weirdly, in this case they were shown briefly to defence lawyers, but they were not allowed to have copies or write anything down. What on earth can be the purpose of that? Can anybody explain to me any principle of law that might explain why defence lawyers should be allowed very quickly to read them but not have copies or ever see them again?

In the UK, the US, France, Spain, South Africa, Ghana and Russia those texts would have to be available to the defence. Anyone with knowledge of other jurisdictions would be welcome to contribute. The EU has made plain that the ability of Swedish prosecutors to hide evidence tending to innocence is contrary to the human rights of citizens. Accordingly, Sweden has been obliged to amend its law for the first time, to bring it a step towards civilised practice and institute disclosure. This has just happened, and this appeal by Assange was viewed as an important test case for the new duty of disclosure.

The Prosecutors however said that the new Swedish legislation makes plain that they do not have to disclose the case file to the defence. That appears to make some sense, in that the prosecution has to be free to set out its case in court. But it cannot possibly mean that the prosecution can make the EU obligation a dead letter, simply by hiding any evidence that tends to innocence inside the “case file”. That would negate the entire purpose of the new law, and Sweden plainly is still not meeting its international human rights obligation. The hiding of these texts should be a severe concern to anybody whose concern is genuinely for justice.

Finally we have the strange question of the refusal of the prosecutors to advance the case by taking up the offer to conduct initial interviews with Assange in the Ecuadorian Embassy. It is perfectly known procedure for investigative authorities to
travel to conduct interviews in other countries. It happens pretty frequently.

The question here is, what do they have to lose? If they travel to interview Assange in London, and they believe the interview clears up the questions outstanding, that may resolve the case. If they feel it does not clear up the case, then they are still a bit further advanced than they were before, having conducted the interview, and the difficulty of Assange’s physical location will have been no better of worse than today. For the cost of a short haul air ticket, it is truly worth a try.

The prosecutors’ argument against interviewing Assange smacks of desperation. They could not compel Assange to take a DNA swab in the Ecuadorian Embassy. Well, have they asked him if he is willing to provide a sample? Knowing Julian he will happily agree. (You would, incidentally, have to be extraordinary naïve to believe that the security services have not had Assange’s DNA on file for years.)

But what is the DNA sample for. There is no question of identity in this case. Nobody has ever argued that the man who Anna Ardin and Sofia Wilen eagerly got into their beds was Julian Assange. The argument concerns the wearing of condoms whilst there. Anna Ardin produced a torn condom, not at her first police interview but several days later, and by then weeks after it had allegedly been used by Assange. She had told police at interview that she “might” be able to find it. One does have to wonder about her sanitary habits that she was able to find an allegedly used condom weeks after the event. Strangely, the torn condom she eventually brought in had nobody’s DNA on it but her own.

Secret courts, no jury, no disclosure of evidence tending to innocence, refusal to interview Assange in London. To believe that this is a genuine attempt to pursue a crime, you need to have had every critical faculty removed.

The trolls will be out big time on comments now. I am more than happy for contrary opinions to be addressed, provided the commenter actually includes a response to the specific points which I make above. Otherwise they will be simply deleted.

They Really Do Hate Scotland

by craig on July 16, 2014 in Uncategorized

This blog exclusively broke the news that Juncker was much more friendly to Scottish independence, and that was a major reason for Cameron’s bitter opposition.

Unionists were in frenzies of delight this past 24 hours at Juncker’s statement that he saw no further enlargement of the EU for five years. Wings Over Scotland has done an excellent job of summing up the triumphalism of the media and of every senior Unionist politician you can think of.

The BBC deserves the massive criticism it has been given for unionist bias, but James Cook of the BBC deserves credit for asking Juncker’s office whether his statement included Scotland. The reply could not have been more clear. Juncker did not include Scotland in that statement. As Juncker had said before, Scottish independence is a matter for democratic decision and is an internal EU matter. Juncker was talking abut the length of time it would take applicant nations to meet the acquis communitaire, or body of EU law, regulation and obligation. Scotland, by definition, already does meet the acquis.

All this Juncker’s office told the BBC explicitly. What is implicit, and self-evidently true, is that Scotland’s independence is not an enlargement, it is just Scotland remaining in, requiring some internal readjustment.

This ought to be good news for everyone – including the unionists.

I can understand that there are people who genuinely love Scotland, but wish for reasons of history to retain the United Kingdom. I even understand some of those honestly believe Scots will be wealthier and happier in the UK. I think they are very wrong, but entitled to that view and some people hold it sincerely.

But such genuine Unionists, should they lose the referendum, would surely wish Scotland to remain in the European Union? That already guarantees the continuance of all the most essential links between England and Scotland, in particular full freedom of movement and settlement and trade and citizens’ rights. It is also important for Scotland’s future prosperity.

Surely a real unionist would want to retain the Union, but still want Scotland to remain in the EU if it became independent?

But instead, every professional unionist politician was gloating at the entirely fictitious prospect of Scotland being kicked out of the EU. They were absolutely delighted at the prospect. They really hate Scotland.

There are decent unionists. But the professional politicians are not decent unionists. They were delighted at the very idea that Scotland might be kicked out of the EU. Because actually they hate, despise and fear Scotland and the Scots. For them, Scotland only exists to pay for their very comfortable public funded lifestyles. The idea they may lose their power, influence and above all their money, horrifies them.

“You are going to vote for the Union!! You are going to vote for me!! If not, you are going to SUFFER, you bastards, SUFFER!!!”

I have a prize of two hundred pounds available to the first person who can show me an instance of the media reporting Juncker’s clarification with the same prominence, space and energy they devoted to splashing the Unionist scare story.

Gaza Conundrum

by craig on July 15, 2014 in Uncategorized

Egypt’s bloodthirsty military dictatorship, installed with CIA and Israeli support, offers to mediate. What’s not to trust?

Cage Prisoners and the Police State

by craig on July 15, 2014 in Uncategorized

I have repeatedly said that Peter Oborne is the best journalist working in the UK today.

Left and right are issues of economics over which well-meaning people can legitimately have a discussion and disagreement. A much more fundamental political divide is between those who serve the establishment of the super-rich who are mulcting the people, and those who oppose them. That is a question of right and wrong, not of the best way to achieve the general good. And on that vital measure, Oborne is firmly on the side of the angels.

Oborne has an important article in the Telegraph here on Cage Prisoners. I would only add to this that I have spoken at fund-raising events for Cage before, and will without hesitation do so again.

Five More Years of Tory Rule

by craig on July 15, 2014 in Uncategorized

In the UK, the Tories have edged into the lead in the latest Guardian/ICM opinion poll. While New Labour’s support for benefit cuts, government spending plans and the entire neo-con agenda means it makes no difference who is in power at Westminster, residual voter tribal loyalty to these moribund and corrupt parties remains the basic fact of “mainstream” politics, even after the voters have twigged the politicians are almost all self-serving crooks.

That is important for Scotland, as the perception of continued Tory rule at Westminster will increase the independence vote. By the Autumn it is going to be very clear the Tories are in power until 2020. But will that perception enter the public consciousness before September 18 2014? Charles Clarke, ever anxious to stab his colleagues in the back – a defining Labour trait – is doing his best to make it clear.

Hysteria versus Impunity

by craig on July 14, 2014 in Uncategorized

It is a mystery why the Observer failed to name Lord Greville Janner as the paedophile abusing boys from care homes. The facts of this particular boy’s continued molestation, and the existence of the letters to him from Janner, have been public knowledge for decades. I can only presume that Britain’s appalling libel laws, which function solely to protect the very rich from exposure of their misdeeds, are the reason for the Observer’s reticence. My own view is that the gross suppression of freedom of speech in the UK has been insufficiently considered as a major reason for the impunity which the wealthy and the powerful have enjoyed for so long.

Janner of course was for decades the leading spokesman for Zionism in this country. His response to the last major massacre of Palestinians in Gaza was to visit an Israeli settlement and blame Hamas rocket attacks. It is interesting to contrast Janner’s protection by the media with the case of David Mellor. For decades the media knew that Janner buggered boys from care homes, and did nothing about it. He remained the whole time the chosen spokesman for UK Zionism.

By contrast, David Mellor was the last British minister who ever told the truth about Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians. The immediate result was a tabloid campaign about Mellor’s perfectly legal, consensual and adult sex life, which destroyed Mellor’s career.

What do you think caused the extraordinarily different media treatment of the playful Mellor and the sinister child-buggerer Janner? Why is the Observer still protecting his name yesterday?

Despite the major evidence against him, there will be no prosecution of Janner because the establishment has accepted an argument that he is too senile. Interestingly enough, a man who knows a very great deal about the much more recent sex secrets of the establishment, “Lord” Edward Davenport, has just been allowed out of jail seven years early on the grounds of ill-health. I was in charge of British relations with West Africa as Deputy Head of the Equatorial Africa Department at the FCO, when the Sierra Leone Embassy was sold to Davenport, under very peculiar circumstances indeed, to become a kind of fantasy sexual pleasure palace for the upper classes.

The whole was one of the weirder things I had encountered in my life. At the time there was in effect no functioning government in Sierra Leone, and the flogging off of the extremely valuable building by the Ambassador was very obviously corrupt. Among the many strange things I was told at the time was that the purchase was funded by Freemasons to whom the building was important. I should say I have no idea if that was true or not, and took little notice at the time. I was told very firmly the FCO had no locus to intervene.

Do not worry, I am not myself going senile. The goings-on inside the former Sierra Leone Embassy after its sale link in to this topic in a number of ways, not only Davenport and Janner’s shared immunity from punishment on grounds of ill-health. But I should make plain I am not accusing Davenport personally of paedophilia or of organising it.

I received an email from a respected friend accusing me of stoking a wave of hysteria. I certainly do not wish to promote a witch hunt. But given that there has very obviously been a culture of impunity in this country for generations, under which the rich and powerful are simply let off criminal activity, a little hysteria is not harmful. Especially when ironically it has been caused by the establishment’s constant cries of paedophilia as their excuse for ever increasing state surveillance of ordinary people. Hoist with their own petard!

The impunity if still there. Where are the scores of bankers going to jail for involvement in Libor-fixing, or the dozens of other illegal scams they have run? It is an accepted thing that, once you are inside the golden circle, a blind eye is turned to a great deal. They all support each other. Whoever replaces Dame Lady Queen Sloshed-Butler, it won’t be one of us, it will be one of them.

I am not a Pacifist

by craig on July 13, 2014 in Uncategorized

I am an anti-militarist. But I believe violence in defence can be justified. The Israeli mass killings by bombing in Gaza are absolutely unjustified. I also oppose the random and ineffective rockets being fired from Gaza into Israel. But when Israeli ground troops actually move into Gaza, it is my sincere hope that the Palestinians kill as many as are necessary to stop them. That is justified, legal and necessary.

Scots Self-Hating Myths

by craig on July 13, 2014 in Uncategorized

200px-Georgemurray

This is Lord George Murray, painted in 1745. He is wearing a kilt.

GrantPiper_by_Waitt

This is the piper of Clan Grant in 1714. He is too.

Tartan type designs go back thousands of years among Celtic tribes, becoming more complex over time as technique developed. The kilt evolved from the belted plaid. Kilting – the sewing in of the pleats rather than gathering them under the belt – was an obvious convenience for people who could afford a separate blanket and apparel. Lord George’s 1745 costume is certainly kilted. The appearance of the small kilt – cutting off the piece over the back and shoulders – came in from about 1700.

Yet generations of Scots had it drummed into them that the kilt is not real at all, it is an entirely phoney Victorian invention dreamed up by the Prince Regent and Walter Scott. This denial of their own culture comes out viscerally, as in the reaction to the uniforms for the Commonwealth Games. Take Kevin McKenna in the Guardian:

“The modern kilt is a fey and ridiculous representation of the robust Highland dress in which the Jacobites went into battle against the Hanoverians”.

That is simply not true. Here is a light article on the kilt I wrote for the Independent a few years ago. If you look at the comments underneath, people simply spluttered and asserted the same denigrations they had been told. Scottish culture never existed. Bagpipes and kilts were Victorian inventions for shortbread packets.

Does it matter? Well, yes. It matters because it is a small part of a long term mis-education of a people about their own history and culture. It is of a piece with the absolutely untrue, but widely held belief, that there were more Scots on the English than Scottish side at Culloden (the real ratio was over 4 Jacobite Scots to every Hanoverian Scot in the battle), that the Jacobites were Catholic (less than 25%), that Charles Edward Stuart believed in the Divine Right of Kings (he explicitly did not). Most pernicious of all has been the airbrushing from history of the avowed aim of Scottish independence of the large majority of both the leaders and followers of the 45, including Lord George Murray.

I do not want you to misunderstand me. I have no yen for the Stewarts – my concern is how to get rid of the monarchy. But the generations of denigration of Scotland’s history, its reshaping to suit a Unionist agenda where the backwards and benighted Scots were brought in to the political and economic glories of the Union and British Empire, underlies so many of the attitudes to Scottish Independence today. Every culture has a right to reference its roots and history without ridicule – and the denial of the authenticity of genuine popular cultural heritage is a particularly pernicious form of ridicule, especially when it is built on lies drummed home in schoolrooms over centuries.

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