Craig Murray http://www.craigmurray.org.uk Vauntie Cybernat, Former Ambassador, Human Rights Activist Sun, 26 Oct 2014 00:32:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.7.4 Decade of Dissent http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2014/10/decade-of-dissent/ http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2014/10/decade-of-dissent/#comments Thu, 23 Oct 2014 11:26:58 +0000 http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/?p=31483 It is ten years since I ended my FCO career by going on the Today programme and blowing the whistle on CIA/MI6 complicity in torture. It was on my 46th birthday, and I was in my second year as an Ambassador and my seventh as a top Whitehall civil servant, a member of the Senior Civil Service.

Looking back now, what is most striking are the blatant lies by the FCO that they were not obtaining intelligence from torture. As the BBC reported:

In one he claimed MI6 had used information passed on to it by the CIA but originally obtained in Uzbek torture cells – something strongly denied by the Foreign Office.

I do not think there is a single person in public life or social media nowadays who would not accept that the FCO were simply lying. Jack Straw was blatantly to lie about it to parliament. But ten years ago the public and media knew much less than they know now. Nobody outside secret circles had ever heard the words extraordinary rendition. It was a year later – May 2005 – before the New York Times revealed the CIA was sending people to Uzbekistan to be tortured, precisely as I had stated.

It sounds incredible, but in October 2004 many people believed it was Craig Murray who was a liar, not Jack Straw. Again I do not think there is a single individual today who does not understand that Jack Straw was lying through his teeth. But back in 2004 life was hard for me.

After going on the Today programme I went on the run, in fear for my life. I am not paranoid, remember David Kelly. I first stayed with my old friend Andy Myles in Edinburgh, then I think Chief Executive of the Scottish Liberal Democrats. He was phoned the next morning by the FCO. When he denied knowledge of my whereabouts, they not only said they knew I was staying with him, they said which bedroom I was sleeping in. Ten years ago today I was hiding in Aviemore in the house of my old friend Dominic.

That was the start of a decade as a dissident where I have devoted my life to exposing, and trying to counter, the evil of the neo-conservative policy pursued by our political class at the behest of the corporations who fund them. I have suffered a huge loss in money, status and most of the other normal aspirations. But what I have gained is invaluable. I have respect and love, while Blair and Straw will forever be despised.

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Unprofound Thoughts on Fracking http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2014/10/unprofound-thoughts-on-fracking/ http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2014/10/unprofound-thoughts-on-fracking/#comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 08:32:15 +0000 http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/?p=31477 I hope I don’t pretend to have expertise on everything. On fracking I have none. My entirely amateur views on the subject are that the major risk appears to be pollution of aquifers. The UK seems too seismically stable for earthquakes or volcanoes to be a serious concern. I am not terribly worried about the local environmental consequences of the installations – human activity of all kinds detracts from the natural environment in a sense. This spot was doubtless a great deal more pleasing aesthetically before Dundee was built upon it. But then Dundee has a great deal more human utility.

It is also plain to me that humans are going to have to burn fossil fuels for a while yet, despite the very obvious fact that we also need to put much more energy and resource into developing renewable alternatives.

So I am not opposed to fracking in principle, which I know will upset some people. But nor can I understand the hurry. Fracking is being undertaken on a very large scale in the United States and elsewhere. Onshore fracking is not actually a new technology at all, but its widespread use is new. Given concerns especially about the effects on underground water supplies, why don’t we just wait for thirty years and see how it turns out elsewhere? That should give time for a good accumulation of evidence.

The hydrocarbons are not going anywhere – they will still be there in thirty years time and I predict will be a good deal more valuable. So my entirely unprofound, non-fundamentalist and dully pragmatic view on fracking is that there should be a thirty year moratorium. Then we can think about it.

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Independent Perth http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2014/10/independent-perth/ http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2014/10/independent-perth/#comments Sun, 19 Oct 2014 09:28:43 +0000 http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/?p=31473 I spoke to a really uplifting Perth for Independence meeting yesterday – over 300 people, more than attended Cameron’s “Rally to Save the Union” in the same city during the campaign. There is no sense of defeat at all in the Yes campaign and it retains its spine-tingling energy intact.

Many interesting contributions including – a continuing feature of this campaign – several first time speakers, and more female than male. In my own talk I said that anyone who voted No because they believed “The Vow” was stupid beyond belief. Scotland will never be given by Westminster its revenues from oil and whisky, and any devolution settlement based on Scotland keeping and spending its own taxation but excluding taxation from oil and whisky, would undoubtedly be arranged by Westminster to result in a net cut in public spending in Scotland.

I have in any case not the slightest interest in any arrangement which does not give Scotland control of its own foreign and defence policies, and leaves us still as participants in continual aggressive war, torture and extraordinary rendition.

It remains my view that Scotland’s innate dislike of the astonishing wealth gap of British society, the rise of UKIP and the shift to the right of the Westminster parties, the danger of leaving the EU and European Convention on Human Rights (and thus expulsion from the Council of Europe), all contribute to a political, cultural and social divergence which make independence inevitable. It is coming in a much shorter timescale than people realise.

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Massive Growth in Non-Existent Crime http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2014/10/massive-growth-in-non-existent-crime/ http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2014/10/massive-growth-in-non-existent-crime/#comments Fri, 17 Oct 2014 08:42:52 +0000 http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/?p=31471 It is lead news in every outlet of the mainstream media today that there is a massive increase in terrorism – as everyone can plainly see from all the bodies littering our streets.

I can also tell you that there is a massive increase in the threat of deadly asteroids about to hit Britain and destroy us all. My unimpeachable evidence for the existence of this massive asteroid threat is my own anti-asteroid activity. I and my dedicated team have visited 268 sites this year where we thought an asteroid was about to strike. That represents a 40% increase on our activity last year and therefore the media can say a 40% increase in the asteroid threat.

Thankfully due to the brilliance and never-ceasing vigilance of my anti-asteroid team the world has been saved. We can continue to do this if given a further 15% budget increase to 32 billion pounds and the right to arrest anyone anytime who looks a bit dusky, and take Theresa May to pose in their home.

There will also be a new crime of denying that asteroids are dangerous or looking at videos and pictures of asteroids. Anybody found guilty of looking at asteroids in other countries will be found guilty of treason and hung drawn and quartered.

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Birthday Drinks http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2014/10/birthday-drinks/ http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2014/10/birthday-drinks/#comments Thu, 16 Oct 2014 13:45:22 +0000 http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/?p=31468 Tomorrow is my birthday and campaigning has taken me to Dundee away from family and friends. If anybody wishes to buy me a birthday pint or chaser, I shall be in Mennies of the Perth Rd tomorrow from 7pm.

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BBC Propaganda http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2014/10/bbc-propaganda/ http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2014/10/bbc-propaganda/#comments Thu, 16 Oct 2014 09:21:33 +0000 http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/?p=31462 Please read and consider very carefully this brilliant dissection of the BBC’s propaganda blitz on Syria, at the time when the security establishment were trying to propel us into war against Assad, before they decided it was just as profitable to have a war against Assad’s enemies. For the security establishment and arms industry, any dream will do.

I do not agree with every single point made, but I do think every single point is worth considering and agree with a lot of it. My own opinion is that there was a genuine attack, but that the coverage of it was deliberately enhanced and exaggerated to a very large degree. The smoking gun remains the two versions of the soundtrack of Dr Hallam’s “live” interview. The failure to acknowledge that the “charity” featured is directly linked to one of the fighting rebel factions is less spectacular than some of the other possible fabrications, but in itself an appalling dereliction of journalistic integrity.

It is vital to remember the context. This massive propaganda broadcast, entitled “Saving Syria’s Children”, was put out by the BBC just before the crucial vote by the Commons on the government’s request to go to war with Syria, in order to “save Syrian civilians”.

Please do read the main page and I do urge you to follow all the links through because this is very, very important. Particularly in Scotland, millions of people have awoken to the fact that the BBC is purely an organ of state propaganda. The important next step is to acknowledge that the BBC’s dishonesty extends well beyond the subject of Scottish Independence.

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Polly Toynbee, Counter-Revolutionary http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2014/10/polly-toynbee-counter-revolutionary/ http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2014/10/polly-toynbee-counter-revolutionary/#comments Wed, 15 Oct 2014 09:04:40 +0000 http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/?p=31459 It is amusing that Polly Toynbee attacks Russell Brand on the grounds there is a real difference between Labour and the Conservatives, on the day Ed Balls argues immigrants must be kept out by amending the EU treaties – in the same paper!

I have never been a great fan of Russell Brand’s media persona, and for a revolutionary to be shacked up with Jemima Khan’s millions is perhaps some kind of extended exercise in post-modern irony as performance art. But Brand’s perception that the neo-con political parties are all the same is absolutely correct, and his is almost the only voice the media will broadcast saying it. When I have been saying precisely the same thing for a decade it is not news. News, apparently, lies not in what is said, but whether or not it is a celebrity who says it.

Not voting is a perfectly reasonable choice. I would prefer that people voted Green, or independent, or SNP in Scotland or Plaid Cymru in Wales. But Brand’s option of not voting is also valid – the entire system of corporations, media and politicians is designed to block real change.

Polly Toynbee is a very rich woman compared to the rest of us, with a great deal of inherited wealth and a Guardian salary well into six figures, for writing a constant stream of tribal pro-Labour drivel. She quotes with approval John Lydon’s observation:

it’s clear, if you’ve got a pile of money in the bank, you vote for people with piles of money in the bank

Which is absolutely true, and why Polly Toynbee votes Labour. Another irony which flies over the head of the humourless old moneybag-toting harridan.

Toynbee is delighted to discover that the rambling Lydon is not really a revolutionary. The rest of the world had known it was only a money-spinning pose for forty years, and he is pretty right wing.
Extraordinary that Toynbee points out the strangeness of treating Russell Brand as a political guru, and then sets up John Lydon instead. The silly old bat really, really doesn’t get irony, does she? Or is Polly Toynbee in fact herself some kind of monumental performance art installation, designed on every level to project the futility and hypocrisy of New Labour?

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The Blog That Reaches the Parts… http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2014/10/the-blog-that-reaches-the-parts-2/ http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2014/10/the-blog-that-reaches-the-parts-2/#comments Tue, 14 Oct 2014 06:42:51 +0000 http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/?p=31457 No other blog can do this :-)

There is a one minute cut in the middle. This may have been an accident, but it excludes the bit where I say that the Labour Party in Dundee was telling people not to vote Independence or the SNP would let all the black people in. If this was cut deliberately as it repeats a racist comment, I think that is a mistake. To fight racism you need to face it squarely, and the extreme shame of Labour should be exposed as widely in possible.

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Neo-Con Speed Dating http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2014/10/neo-con-speed-dating/ http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2014/10/neo-con-speed-dating/#comments Mon, 13 Oct 2014 16:08:40 +0000 http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/?p=31453 The TV debates for the Westminster election will offer you a dazzling range of neo-con policies from right wing to very right wing. Conservative, Labour, Liberal or UKIP, any flavour of corporate neo-con control that you like. It is a kind of weird speed dating circle between Cameron, Clegg, Miliband and Farage.

If it had been UKIP with thousands of supporters on George Square yesterday, does anybody doubt the rally would have received much more coverage. The decision about the election debates could not offer starker proof of my thesis that UKIP is an antibody produced by the establishment in response to voter disillusion with the lack of real policy difference between mainstream parties. Protest is to be diverted into a right wing channel that really offers no difference at all.

The fact that UKIP and the Lib Dems are to participate in the electoral debates, whereas the Greens, Plaid Cymru and the SNP – all of which offer genuine alternatives to the neo-con narrative – are not, is indefensible. The SNP will win more MPs than the Liberal Democrats and the Greens will have more votes. UKIP have just won their first ever elected MP – which means they have finally caught up with the Greens. Given equal media access, I expect the Green vote would exceed the UKIP vote too – which is precisely the outcome the broadcasters are desperate to avoid.

The voters must not be shown that other choices, other visions, other policies are possible. You can choose any neo-con you wish.

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Naomi Wolf http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2014/10/naomi-wolf/ http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2014/10/naomi-wolf/#comments Mon, 13 Oct 2014 12:50:43 +0000 http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/?p=31447 Here is Naomi Wolf speaking yesterday in Glasgow.

According to Statcounter, so far at least 1,956 people have watched the youtube of my own speech from this website alone – yet the Youtube webcounter is currently showing 288. Can anyone explain this?

With thanks to Node, this is the transcript of my speech:

Thank you very much. It’s great to be here. It’s fantastic to be following Pat. What a speech. You know, we had Jim Murphy and Dougie Alexander saying that Nationalists are all violent and intimidating, whereas actually we’re sitting down to Pat, talking about medieval history and Noam Chomsky.

We have not lost. We are still here and we are still fighting for independence, and we have built with 1.6 million people the biggest social movement in Scottish history, and it’s going forward.

Two weeks before the vote, the Financial Times published that for the first time ever in the United Kingdom, there were now one hundred billionaires, and the Financial Times seemed to be proud of that. It is a disgrace that there are one hundred billionaires in the country where we have food banks because children are going hungry. We are here because we want to create a country which has no hungry children and no billionaires.

The reaction to the referendum result has been for politics at the Westminster level to move still further to the right. We have seen Ukip make advances in the last few days and when you see Ukip campaign on the ground, their strategy, their entire propaganda, is purely based on racism, and it is appalling that they are getting elected in England in bye-elections, and the response to that at Westminster has been to say that everybody should move further to the right and onto the same ground. We’ve got the Labour party saying they’re going to be tougher on immigration, everybody striving to be more racist than the next person. I was in Dundee campaigning and I was told by an old lady she’d been told do not vote for Independence because the SNP will let all the black people in, and that was the Labour party who were saying that.

We have got to recover the moral ground. We have got to build an ethical country, a country we can be proud of – in its politics, in its multi-culturalism, in its inclusion, in its social provision for those more needy, we have got to change.

I’m not interested anyway, frankly, in a few more powers for the Scottish parliament. For me it makes no difference at all if they can change income tax a penny this way, a penny that way, if they’re still sending our children to fight and die in illegal wars.

We have to move towards a future, a future of independence. I don’t just have hope, I have certainty that we’re going to get there, and next time as we campaign as a country, it goes forward, we’re going for full and true independence.

We are saying “No to Trident“, but we are also saying “No to Nato“. We are also saying “No to the pound sterling,” we’ll have our own currency. And we are saying “No to the queen“, we don’t need her. And I’ll tell you this, when the queen was purring down the telephone to David Cameron, that was not purring, that was the death rattle of the monarchy in Scotland.

We are moving forward. We are going to win, and we are going to be a free and independent nation. Thank you.

As regulars here know, my forte is the one hour talk. You can’t develop an argument in five minutes. But my basic thinking, which I tried to get across to people, is that the Tory leaning SNP supporters of Broughty Ferry and their ilk voted No anyway. A genuine argument for the Scotland we want, promoted with real passion, is more appropriate now than Independence Lite, or the “don’t worry nothing will change” approach.

No Nato, No Pound Sterling, No Monarch should be the motto.

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Hope Over Fear Rally http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2014/10/hope-over-fear-rally/ http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2014/10/hope-over-fear-rally/#comments Mon, 13 Oct 2014 08:06:17 +0000 http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/?p=31444 That was not purring – that was the death rattle of the monarchy in Scotland.

I was rather proud of that one. A fantastic day in George Square yesterday. I am grateful to whoever in the crowd took this video.

I do not know whether the organisers were taking any closer video or if it will appear. The sound quality was actually rather poor in the square itself. If you went further back than this, you could not hear the speakers at all.

There were 8,000 in the Square most of the time, but attendance over the seven hour period was much higher than that. I met a great many people, particularly in the pub last night, who had missed my speech because they had either left before it or arrived after it. But the atmosphere throughout the day was electric and extremely positive.

I am wondering whether a permanent occupation camp in George Square – right through to Independence – might be a useful initiative. I am looking for somewhere to live in Scotland anyway….

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An Ugly Mood http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2014/10/an-ugly-mood/ http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2014/10/an-ugly-mood/#comments Fri, 10 Oct 2014 08:08:51 +0000 http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/?p=31437 In Heywood and Middleton, a classic Labour northern English seat, UKIP and the Tories combined got 51% of the vote. In Clacton – a deprived coastal area – the Conservatives and UKIP got 83% of the vote.

It is not that Labour and the Lib Dems offer an alternative that is in any significant way less devoted to corporate interests and serving the economic needs of the super-rich. The large majority of voters, and especially those who do not bother to vote, have by now worked out that the difference in their lives is negligible if they have a different member of the political class with his or her nose in the trough at their expense.

But everybody who has seen an actual UKIP campaign knows that their grassroots appeal is simply racist – they promote the idea that it is not the billionaires and ultra-wealthy who are sucking the resources from society, but rather the poor of a different colour. The Conservatives are striving, particularly through rampant Islamophobia, to compete for the atavistic vote.

UKIP is an antibody produced by the political establishment and their paymasters, to counter public disillusion with a dreadful and worsening unequal society. UKIP’s task is to divert public anger away from their exploiters towards specific groups of the poor. It does so very effectively. UKIP’s success yesterday will lead to a race among the mainstream parties to scapegoat vulnerable social groups – immigrants, benefit claimants, unemployed – and to compete in external xenophobia. The next government of the United Kingdom will be right wing to a degree which would have seemed unthinkable for the majority of my life.

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Progress On All Fronts http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2014/10/progress-on-all-fronts/ http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2014/10/progress-on-all-fronts/#comments Thu, 09 Oct 2014 07:37:11 +0000 http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/?p=31433 Many thanks to everybody who sent me advice, texts and illustrations on reformatting The Catholic Orangemen of Togo. Apologies I was unwell again so could not respond for a couple of days – and more than 100 emails were received, including several from people who have done substantial work. It will take me some time to work through. I will send individual replies but please be patient. I am however feeling very much better now and seem to have my energy back!

I am going to speak at the Hope Over Fear rally at George Square, Glasgow on Sunday.

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The Catholic Orangemen – Help Wanted http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2014/10/the-catholic-orangemen-help-wanted/ http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2014/10/the-catholic-orangemen-help-wanted/#comments Tue, 07 Oct 2014 08:28:58 +0000 http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/?p=31431 I want to bring out a paperback version of The Catholic Orangemen of Togo. It remains available free online in various places. Unfortunately I cannot find an electronic version of the original text, it being somewhere on what has become a large collection of dead laptops.

I therefore subscribed to Adobe Professional and tried to convert one of the online PDFs, but the result was gobbledegook. Can anyone help me with this, and provide a version I can work on in Word or any other programme which works with Open Office Writer? I need to make a couple of corrections and reformat.

If anybody is really clever and can change the text on the cover artwork to a flame orange that can be read, that would be great too.

The contact button at the top of the page works to get me.

Thanks x

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The Purpose of Politics http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2014/10/the-purpose-of-politics/ http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2014/10/the-purpose-of-politics/#comments Tue, 07 Oct 2014 07:32:13 +0000 http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/?p=31429 A stark example of the entire purpose of modern politics; careers for the political class. Lib Dems may agree to a referendum on EU membership because it “reflects the thinking of English Lib Dem MPs in seats where they face Eurosceptic pressure”. That is, nothing to do with their beliefs, just trying to save their jobs. Exactly like the Westminster Labour establishment in Scotland.

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Lack of Forgiveness http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2014/10/lack-of-forgiveness/ http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2014/10/lack-of-forgiveness/#comments Sun, 05 Oct 2014 08:26:59 +0000 http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/?p=31422 This blog is severely hampered by flu. I hate flu. In a globe-trotting life I have had a number of illnesses that became life threatening – peritonitis, typhoid, cholera, cerebral malaria, pulmonary embolism, pulmonary hypertension (thankfully misdiagnosed) severe arrhythmia. I was once declared dead and awoken by a cockroach eating my nostril as I lay naked on a corpse trolley in Kaduna. I refuse to die because of the thought of the people – Jack Straw, Islam Karimov, Alisher Usmanov, Tony Blair, John Reid etc – whose day I know would be momentarily brightened by news of my demise. But for sustained misery and feeling really, really awful and uncomfortable, a week with the flu, while not nearly as dangerous, is pretty well as unpleasant, at least to me.

As I lie in a sweaty bed, my thought are perhaps unsurprisingly not happy and light. I am paying keen attention to all the proposals for how to move forward the Independence movement after that check, and am struck by all the calls to reach out to No voters and bring them in.

I have no idea how to reach out to No voters because I find the majority of them stupid beyond my understanding. This is not because they desired an end result different to that I desired. That is a perfectly legitimate choice. It is because, by voting No, they are going to get an end result which is not what they wanted at all, and that was very obvious. Asking me to reach out to these unbelievably thick people is like asking me to go for a drive with someone who, against my advice, drove the wrong way down a motorway, causing a lot of people to get hurt as a result.

Through their No vote they are going to get five more years of Tory rule – which most of them absolutely did not want. And it is going to be Tory rule that lurches further and further to the right. It seems no proposition was too right wing to be applauded to the rafters by the Tory Conference.

Tax cuts for the rich. Benefit cuts for the poor. Openly declared government in the interests of multinational corporations. Censorship of the internet and severe restrictions on freedom of speech. The government intercepting all communications. Even more detention without trial. Permanent war in the Middle East. Leaving the European Convention on Human Rights and in consequence the Council of Europe – the first country to leave the body set up in 1946 to prevent the rise again in Europe of just the sort of proto-fascist measures the Tories wish to impose. To be followed by leaving the European Union.

All of these are direct consequences for Scotland of the No vote. This is much more profound than the entirely predictable and immediate dishonouring of the pledges on Devo-Max by Cameron, Clegg, Miliband and Brown. Brown’s call for a petition to request him to work for what he assured the electorate was already “a done deal” is beyond contempt. It should do for his reputation what the tuition fee betrayal did for Nick Clegg.

Frankly I have no interest in any devolution measures that do not give Scotland control of its oil and whisky revenues, and those are not on offer. But there were people who voted No – 23% of No voters them according to Ashcroft – because they wanted the promised pretend “powers”. Well, you are not going to get those either.

Mostly, of course, those stupid No voters acted under the crass assumption, against all modern precedent, that the opposition could win a general election from a position of just 2 per cent ahead, eight months out. And the even more incredible belief that the Labour Party was still in some significant way different from the Conservative Party.

The consequences of what is coming will fall disproportionately on the poor, with even greater escalation of the UK’s astonishing wealth gap. There will be still more damage to the social fabric that Scots hold dear.

Now there are hard-hearted right wingers in Scotland, in the Tory Party and the leadership of the Labour Party, who wanted everything that is coming in terms of neo-con policy prescription. Those No voters who are wealthy and successful and want to get ahead further on the backs of the poor, made the correct intellectual choice to achieve their ends. They are deeply unpleasant sociopaths, but they are not stupid.

But those No voters who voted No because they believed a fair and caring society was achievable within the present structures of the UK, are so stupid I am astonished that their cerebral cortex can transmit a signal that sparks respiration. They are probably not capable of ever noticing their error.

I am not going to reach out to you, No voter. You are either evil, or quite extraordinarily thick. You will forever be a long way beneath my notice. This will be the last thought I ever give you. To quote a great line from Casablanca:

Peter Lorre: You despise me, don’t you Rick?
Humphrey Bogart: If I gave you any thought, I probably would.

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Alex Salmond v Poll Tax http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2014/10/alex-salmond-v-poll-tax/ http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2014/10/alex-salmond-v-poll-tax/#comments Fri, 03 Oct 2014 08:40:00 +0000 http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/?p=31418 Alex Salmond is right to move to block attempts by Labour councils to use the new voter registrations for the referendum to catch people for twenty five year old Poll Tax default. The truth is the Labour Party is motivated not by a desire to collect the tax, but by an intention to chase the newly enfranchised back off the voters register. The Poll Tax is universally acknowledged as unjustifiably inequitable and punitive on the poor – that is why it was abolished. The very idea of digging out these ancient debts is disgusting.

The Guardian report by Labour Party hack Severin Carrell states that

David O’Neill, president of the Scottish councils’ umbrella organisation, the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (Cosla), was furious, branding it “the oddest decision ever to come out of the Scottish government”.

Carrell fais to mention that O’Neill is a senior Labour Party politician. The referendum showed Labour and Tory to be united in Scotland. Seeing the Labour Party now determined to pursue poor people for Thatcher’s tax should drive home the lesson.

The Scottish National Party at Westminster voted unanimously against the current bombing of Iraq – which will cost the money to be saved by freezing desperately needed benefits for a year. Alex Salmond is not perfect, but again and again he shows himself the most senior politician in Britain who has some genuine beliefs founded in humanity, and acts upon them.

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Theresa May Must Resign http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2014/10/theresa-may-must-resign/ http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2014/10/theresa-may-must-resign/#comments Thu, 02 Oct 2014 10:39:11 +0000 http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/?p=31414 There was never any doubt that the accusation of terrorism against Moazzam Begg was, once again, a tissue of politically motivated lies. What is still more appalling, I am told by a Home Office source that the decision to arrest and detain him was taken by Theresa May herself. This involvement of politicians in the abuse of individuals by the state is appalling.

Jacqui Smith did the same thing as Home Secretary, grandstanding about her role in the front page arrest of twelve Muslims in the North West of England, not one of whom was charged with any offence. The “bomb ingredient” the police found on that occasion turned out to be nothing but sugar.

Theresa May was lording it at the Tory party conference with a ludicrous speech about combating the “terrorist menace” which we are bombing Iraq to enhance, not decrease. At the same time as being acclaimed for further attacks on civil liberties, she was responsible for the completely unjustified imprisonment of the Muslim community’s most elegant spokesman against abuses, including torture, of state power against Muslims.

The other disgusting aspect of this case is the complicity of the judicial system with the state in the abuse of liberty by right wing politicians. There are no longer any effective checks on executive power in the British state. To cap this cycle of total power, Sky News last night were suggesting (and I understand behind the Murdoch paywall it is being propagated today) that Moazzam really is a terrorist and had been released as an appeasement to aid Islamic State British hostages. This total lie is a further snide attack by the terror state.

The truth of the persecution of Begg, who was detained to stop him researching British complicity in extraordinary rendition to Syria by Blair and Straw, is evidently something the Establishment does not want to enter a wider public consciousness.

In any decent society, Theresa May would have to resign over her involvement in the appalling mistreatment of Moazzam Begg. Instead she is touted as a future Prime Minister for the toughness on “terrorism”. That tells you everything about what a stinking, corrupt society the United Kingdom now has become.

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A Helot Society http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2014/09/a-helot-society/ http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2014/09/a-helot-society/#comments Tue, 30 Sep 2014 11:49:35 +0000 http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/?p=31410 So we are back with a vengeance to notions of the undeserving poor. Electronic cards are to ensure that the poor can only spend their benefits on basic necessities like food and clothing, and not on a lifestyle of alcohol and illegal drugs.

Having lived a rather spectacular life encompassing both ends of the social spectrum, I can state with utter conviction that consumption of illegal pleasure-giving stimulants is far higher among the very wealthy than among the very poor. The notion that only the rich should be allowed to have any enjoyment in life is deeply offensive. It is fine for the Bullingdon Club to get plastered on Krug and cocaine and smash up restaurants. That is all jolly japes and high spirits. For a desperate man to seek solace in four cans of Tennant’s strongest or a bottle of Buckfast is however a dreadful sin and sign of social irresponsibility.

The high streets of our poorest towns are strewn with betting shops, bargain booze outlets, pawnbrokers and payday lenders. For anybody to believe that state compulsion of the patrons is the answer to the problem is the ultimate counsel of despair. Forget giving people a better hope, a greater chance, more socially useful pleasures. Just ban the little solace they have now. We have a government which holds a large section of the population in contempt; which cannot imagine that given a different birth, these people might have been sitting next to them in the Bullingdon Club; in short, which has no notion whatsoever of human dignity.

This latest move against benefits claimants is consistent with the entire development of the modern British economy. High wage economies generate a self-sustaining high domestic demand which keeps the economy growing. Our three main political parties postulate a low wage economy, with a minimum wage below the level which can sustain a family. The low wage economy is defended as a guarantee of strong international competitiveness and thus export performance. In fact Britain’s low wage model is entirely different, and the vast majority of those on low wages have no relation to exports. What Britain has developed is a model where a thin layer at the top are on extremely high remuneration. This of course includes bankers and the financial services industry, but also through the cult of managerialism, CEOs and directors have vastly increased their remuneration. For the multiple between the highest and lowest paid in a company to be 70 – the cleaner on 15,000, the core level majority on 20,000 and the CEO on 3,000,000- is now absolutely routine.

Even the public sector is ruled by this pretence that executive work is harder, more stressful, more uniquely difficult than core work. Well, I have been an Ambassador and a barman, and I can tell you which was hardest work. University vice chancellors are on over 300,000. Local councils regularly have a score of people on over 100,000.

We have no media willing to take on the triumph of greed. The most “left wing” of British newspapers, the Guardian, pays its editor total remuneration of over half a million per year and “star” columnists 300,000, while exploiting interns and junior staff, and squandering 35 million pounds a year of C P Scott’s great endowment in losses – straight into its senior staff’s pockets.

Britain has developed a new kind of low wage economy – one where the bulk of those on low wages work to provide services to those on very, very high remuneration. In a sense it is very old. We have become a helot society. It should be stressed that low wage is a deliberate policy. There is absolutely no reason why those in work could not be paid more. The economy would not crash. In Norway the median wage of the lowest 10 percentile is over 20,000 pounds, while the multiple between the lowest ten percentile and the top ten percentile is less than one third what it is in Britain. The UK’s astonishing and accelerating wealth gap is a result of deliberate ideological policy, founded on a notion that those at the top are possessed of rare and extraordinary abilities – whereas in truth, in the UK more than anywhere, their main achievement was usually to be born into the right family.

The concomitant of that worship of the rich is the belief that money measures worth; that if you have a low income then you are scum. That is the attitude that underlies these benefit smart cards. It is truly disgusting.

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The Rush to Violence http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2014/09/31406/ http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2014/09/31406/#comments Thu, 25 Sep 2014 12:22:08 +0000 http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/?p=31406 Between 4 and 20 August the Saudi Arabian government beheaded 19 people. Saudi Arabia, which has funded and armed ISIS from inception (initially with CIA support), is now bombing alongside the USA in Iraq and Syria.

Forget the war technology porn regularly being broadcast by western media, with those spectacular photos of missiles erupting from ships into the night sky. Those missiles and bombs eviscerate and maim innocents as well as combatants, children as well as terrorists. The West always first denies, then regrets, “collateral damage”. The propaganda can be laughable. During the invasion of Iraq I remember a news propaganda item about how a cruise missile can enter a specific window, being followed by the next item – the US had apologised to Syria for two missiles aimed at Iraq which had hit Syria by accident.

If we can accidentally bomb the Chinese Embassy in Serbia, we can – and do – hit civilian homes near the proposed target. Being eviscerated by a piece of flying shrapnel is no less terrible than being beheaded by a jihadist. Let us not pretend that our violence is somehow nicer. Children will be dying under our bombs soon.

Other than the two extraordinary crazed Nigerians, there have been no recent Islamic motivated terrorist attacks in the UK and even a slowdown in the propaganda of phoney attacks. This was a threat to the major financial interests of the security industry, in both its governmental and private branches.

There can be no greater nonsense than the idea that the Caliphate poses a direct threat to the UK. This is even more crazy than the claim that Saddam Hussein posed a threat to the UK. But by seeking to join in the bombing campaign, and initiating a new round of fake “anti-terror” arrests in London, the British government is doing everything it possibly can do to try to provoke terrorist violence on British streets. The interests of the security state are therefore secured. I am longing for somebody to explain to me the precise mechanism by which our bombing Islamic countries helps prevent terrorist incidents in the UK. The way it can provoke such incidents seems to me too obvious to need stating. Indeed it says a great deal for the wisdom and tolerance of Britain’s Muslim communities that it has not provoked more. They could teach government a great deal about the good sense of not resorting to violence to gratify passions and earn short term acclaim.

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