Karimov: “Homosexuality A Vile Western Phenomenon”

by craig on February 8, 2016 in Uncategorized

The appalling President Karimov of Uzbekistan does not mellow in old age. He has just given a speech in which he describes homosexuality as a “vile western phenomenon.” The only news report I can find adds that he said:

“If a man lives with a man, or a woman with a woman, I think that something there isn’t quite right, or some change has happened,”

I am told by someone who was present that he went on to order a still harsher clampdown on gays by the authorities. I have personal friends who were taken in by police and severely tortured for being gay in Uzbekistan. Yet the British Home Office still routinely refuses claims by gay Uzbek asylum seekers.

Homosexuality was in fact an accepted feature of Uzbek society until colonial occupation by European Russians (something which many other of my Uzbek friends find hard to accept, but undoubtedly true). Karimov’s assertion is therefore the diametric opposite of the truth.

Guardian and STV journos Congratulate Murdoch Lackey on Blatant Lies About Me

by craig on February 7, 2016 in Uncategorized

For anybody who doubts the reactionary single voice the UK media has become, it should be obvious from what you see on the surface, eg the unanimity of attack on Corbyn, the SNP or Assange. But if that doesn’t help, look below the surface.

Ex-Hedge Fund manager, now Murdoch leader writer Oliver Kamm published a disgusting and blatant lie and smear about me. Very quickly, Nick Cohen, Hadley Freeman and Marina Hyde of the Guardian and Stephen Daisley of ITV were popping up sending him personal tweets to congratulate him on it.

Usually it is best to ignore the lies of far right Murdoch employee Oliver Kamm, but there is one lie about me which he has been spreading so assiduously I feel I have to counter it. In Prospect Magazine Kamm states that:

“Craig Murray, a former diplomat who’s imaginatively reinvented himself as a “human rights campaigner,” claims that the charges against Assange are founded on political correctness.”

This is absolutely untrue. I have said no such thing. What I actually said in an interview with Kamm was “Due to a mistaken kind of political correctness the British media refuses to publish all the details of the case.” You can hear it here.

There is a massive difference between saying that the media refuses to publish the facts due to political correctness, and saying that rape itself is a matter of political correctness. I abhor the latter view. As Nadira has asked me to remind you, my partner is herself a rape victim.

In this interview with LBC Oliver Kamm went on to insult and lambast me and say that I claimed that the rape charges were founded on political correctness. I tried to point out that I said no such thing, but LBC had cut me off. LBC later put up the version you hear on that link in which Kamm’s remarks are given in full and my own are edited. But it is very plain indeed that I did not say what Kamm goes on to accuse me of saying.

Kamm then tweeted that I had stated that rape is political correctness. Though this was plainly untrue to anybody who listened to the LBC link which he attached, he started to receive congratulatory messages from his friends on twitter. To anybody who has yet to catch on that the mainstream media functions in collusion, it should come as no surprise to learn that this Murdoch employee received personal tweets attacking me from Nick Cohen, Hadley Freeman and Marina Hyde, all of the Guardian, and from Stephen Daisley of STV.

Rape is an appalling crime. Any sex without consent constitutes rape.

But I do not hold that the truth or falsity of an allegation of rape may not be subject to scrutiny. Anybody who does hold that is handing unchecked power to the state to eliminate opponents. I do think it is deplorable that the British media has not published the detail of the case. Then people could learn this.

Kamm’s reactionary friends can congratulate him all they like. What he is doing is spreading a deliberate lie about me. But it may just lead to a few more people researching what is really happening in the Assange case, and that would be karma.

UPDATE

I contacted Prospect magazine and they have now changed the Kamm article to state what I actually said. It is still of course surrounded by Kamm’s ultra right wing mendacious interpretations, but at least it no longer says that I said something which I did not say. For the rest, Mr Kamm is entitled to spew the vile nonsense he is so well paid for by Murdoch, and his mates at the Guardian love him for.

Why the Assange Allegation is a Stitch-up

by craig on February 7, 2016 in Uncategorized

I am slightly updating and reposting this from 2012 because the mainstream media have ensured very few people know the detail of the “case” against Julian Assange in Sweden. The UN Working Group ruled that Assange ought never to have been arrested in the UK in the first place because there is no genuine investigation are and no charges. Read this and you will know why.

The other thing not widely understood is there is NO JURY in a rape trial in Sweden and it is a SECRET TRIAL. All of the evidence, all of the witnesses, are heard in secret. No public, no jury, no media. The only public part is the charging and the verdict. There is a judge and two advisers directly appointed by political parties. So you never would get to understand how plainly the case is a stitch-up. Unless you read this.

The original post with all the links functioning and some 2,000 comments is here.

There are so many inconsistencies in Anna Ardin’s accusation of sexual assault against Julian Assange. Before ever meeting Assange, she had been expelled from Cuba by its government as a suspected CIA agent. But the key question which leaps out at me – and which strangely I have not seen asked anywhere else – is this:

Why did Anna Ardin not warn Sofia Wilen?

On 16 August, Julian Assange had sex with Sofia Wilen. Sofia had become known in the Swedish group around Assange for the shocking pink cashmere sweater she had worn in the front row of Assange’s press conference. Anna Ardin knew Assange was planning to have sex with Sofia Wilen. On 17 August, Ardin texted a friend who was looking for Assange:

“He’s not here. He’s planned to have sex with the cashmere girl every evening, but not made it. Maybe he finally found time yesterday?”

Yet Ardin later testified that just three days earlier, on 13 August, she had been sexually assaulted by Assange; an assault so serious she was willing to try (with great success) to ruin Julian Assange’s entire life. She was also to state that this assault involved enforced unprotected sex and she was concerned about HIV.

If Ardin really believed that on 13 August Assange had forced unprotected sex on her and this could have transmitted HIV, why did she make no attempt to warn Sofia Wilen that Wilen was in danger of her life? And why was Ardin discussing with Assange his desire for sex with Wilen, and texting about it to friends, with no evident disapproval or discouragement?

Ardin had Wilen’s contact details and indeed had organised her registration for the press conference. She could have warned her. But she didn’t.

Let us fit that into a very brief survey of the whole Ardin/Assange relationship. .

11 August: Assange arrives in Stockholm for a press conference organised by a branch of the Social Democratic Party.
Anna Ardin has offered her one bed flat for him to stay in as she will be away.

13 August: Ardin comes back early. She has dinner with Assange and they have consensual sex, on the first day of meeting. Ardin subsequently alleges this turned into assault by surreptitious mutilation of the condom.

14 August: Anna volunteers to act as Julian’s press secretary. She sits next to him on the dais at his press conference. Assange meets Sofia Wilen there.

Anna tweets at 14.00:

‘Julian wants to go to a crayfish party, anyone have a couple of available seats tonight or tomorrow? #fb’

This attempt to find a crayfish party fails, so Ardin organises one herself for him, in a garden outside her flat. Anna and Julian seem good together. One guest hears Anna rib Assange that she thought “you had dumped me” when he got up from bed early that morning. Another offers to Anna that Julian can leave her flat and come stay with them. She replies:
“He can stay with me.”

15 August Still at the crayfish party with Julian, Anna tweets:

‘Sitting outdoors at 02:00 and hardly freezing with the world’s coolest smartest people, it’s amazing! #fb’

Julian and Anna, according to both their police testimonies, sleep again in the same single bed, and continue to do so for the next few days. Assange tells police they continue to have sex; Anna tells police they do not. That evening, Anna and Julian go together to, and leave together from, a dinner with the leadership of the Pirate Party. They again sleep in the same bed.

16 August: Julian goes to have sex with Sofia Wilen: Ardin does not warn her of potential sexual assault.
Another friend offers Anna to take over housing Julian. Anna again refuses.

20 August: After Sofia Wilen contacts her to say she is worried about STD’s including HIV after unprotected sex with Julian, Anna takes her to see Anna’s friend, fellow Social Democrat member, former colleague on the same ballot in a council election, and campaigning feminist police officer, Irmeli Krans. Ardin tells Wilen the police can compel Assange to take an HIV test. Ardin sits in throughout Wilen’s unrecorded – in breach of procedure – police interview. Krans prepares a statement accusing Assange of rape. Wilen refuses to sign it.

21 August Having heard Wilen’s interview and Krans’ statement from it, Ardin makes her own police statement alleging Assange has surreptiously had unprotected sex with her eight days previously.

Some days later: Ardin produces a broken condom to the police as evidence; but a forensic examination finds no traces of Assange’s – or anyone else’s – DNA on it, and indeed it is apparently unused.

No witness has come forward to say that Ardin complained of sexual assault by Assange before Wilen’s Ardin-arranged interview with Krans – and Wilen came forward not to complain of an assault, but enquire about STDs. Wilen refused to sign the statement alleging rape, which was drawn up by Ardin’s friend Krans in Ardin’s presence.

It is therefore plain that one of two things happened:

Either

Ardin was sexually assaulted with unprotected sex, but failed to warn Wilen when she knew Assange was going to see her in hope of sex.

Ardin also continued to host Assange, help him, appear in public and private with him, act as his press secretary, and sleep in the same bed with him, refusing repeated offers to accommodate him elsewhere, all after he assaulted her.

Or

Ardin wanted sex with Assange – from whatever motive.. She “unexpectedly” returned home early after offering him the use of her one bed flat while she was away. By her own admission, she had consensual sex with him, within hours of meeting him.

She discussed with Assange his desire for sex with Wilen, and appears at least not to have been discouraging. Hearing of Wilen’s concern about HIV after unprotected sex, she took Wilen to her campaigning feminist friend, policewoman Irmeli Krans, in order to twist Wilen’s story into a sexual assault – very easy given Sweden’s astonishing “second-wave feminism” rape laws. Wilen refused to sign.

At the police station on 20 August, Wilen texted a friend at 14.25 “did not want to put any charges against JA but the police wanted to get a grip on him.”

At 17.26 she texted that she was “shocked when they arrested JA because I only wanted him to take a test”.

The next evening at 22.22 she texted “it was the police who fabricated the charges”.

Ardin then made up her own story of sexual assault. As so many friends knew she was having sex with Assange, she could not claim non-consensual sex. So she manufactured her story to fit in with Wilen’s concerns by alleging the affair of the torn condom. But the torn condom she produced has no trace of Assange on it. It is impossible to wear a condom and not leave a DNA trace.

Conclusion

I have no difficulty in saying that I firmly believe Ardin to be a liar. For her story to be true involves acceptance of behaviour which is, in the literal sense, incredible.

Ardin’s story is of course incredibly weak, but that does not matter. Firstly, you were never supposed to see all this detail. Rape trials in Sweden are held entirely in secret. There is no jury, and the government appointed judge is flanked by assessors appointed directly by political parties. If Assange goes to Sweden, he will disappear into jail, the trial will be secret, and the next thing you will hear is that he is guilty and a rapist.

Secondly, of course, it does not matter the evidence is so weak, as just to cry rape is to tarnish a man’s reputation forever. Anna Ardin has already succeeded in ruining much of the work and life of Assange. The details of the story being pathetic is unimportant.

By crying rape, politically correct opinion falls in behind the line that it is wrong even to look at the evidence. If you are not allowed to know who the accuser is, how can you find out that she worked with CIA-funded anti-Castro groups in Havana and Miami?

Finally, to those useful idiots who claim that the way to test these matters is in court, I would say of course, you are right, we should trust the state always, fit-ups never happen, and we should absolutely condemn the disgraceful behaviour of those who campaigned for the Birmingham Six.

Kafka 2016

by craig on February 5, 2016 in Uncategorized

To my astonishment, the FCO Official Spokesman has just confirmed to me that the FCO stands by Phillip Hammond’s statement that the members of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention are lay persons, and not lawyers. Even though every single one of them is an extremely distinguished lawyer.

I confess I am utterly astonished. I know there is nothing more dull than an old buffer like me droning on about falling standards in public life. But when I was in the FCO, the vast majority of colleagues would have refused to advance what is a total and outright lie, about which it cannot be argued there is an area of interpretation, doubt or nuance.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office officially states that the members of the UN Working Group are all lay people, and not lawyers. Given a chance to retract, they confirm to me that this is their official position.

I repeat again the cvs of all the Working Group.

Sètondji Adjovi (Benin, Second Vice-Chair) Adjovi, an academic and practitioner specialising in international criminal procedure and judicial reform, worked at the International Criminal Court and at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda before his appointment to the UN WGAD.

Mads Andenas (Norway, Chair and member until mid-2015) Chair of UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention until mid-2015. Has previously held positions as Director of the Centre of European Law at King’s College, University of London and Director of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law, London. Professor at the Faculty of Law of the University of Oslo.

Mr. José Guevara (Mexico, First Vice-Chair) Guevara is a legal academic and practitioner who focuses on Human Rights Protection and International Criminal Law. Prior to joining the WGAD, worked in the NGO sector, Mexico City’s Ombudsman’s office and in government in the area of human rights. Guevara is the recipient of the Open Society Foundation’s New Executives Fund leading the Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights.

Seong-Phil Hong (Chair-Rapporteur, Republic of Korea) An expert member of the Asian Council of Jurists of the Asia Pacific Forum and legal academic, Seong-Phil Hong has specialised in the case for reparations regarding Japan’s Enforced Sex Slavery during the Second World War and accountability for human rights violations by the North Korean regime.

Vladimir Tochilovsky (Ukraine) A legal academic and practitioner whose expertise lies in international criminal justice and procedure. Tochilovsky was part of the Preparatory Committee and Commission that drafted the guidelines on criminal procedure for the International Criminal Court.

I honestly don’t know what to say, or to think, any more. When you have a government which believes it does not even have to pretend that its words and actions have even the remotest relationship to truth, I cannot conceive how society can continue to function in any direction other than fascist.

Philip Hammond’s Astonishing Lie

by craig on February 5, 2016 in Uncategorized

The official statement by the UK Foreign Secretary, Phillip Hammond:

“I reject the decision of this working group. It is a group made up of lay people and not lawyers. Julian Assange is a fugitive from justice. He is hiding from justice in the Ecuadorian embassy.”

These are the cvs of the group (including the ex-chair who started the work). Hammond’s statement that they are lay people and not lawyers is a blatant, a massive, an enormous, a completely astonishing lie. Yet nowhere has the media called him on this lie.

Sètondji Adjovi (Benin, Second Vice-Chair) Adjovi, an academic and practitioner specialising in international criminal procedure and judicial reform, worked at the International Criminal Court and at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda before his appointment to the UN WGAD.

Mads Andenas (Norway, Chair and member until mid-2015) Chair of UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention until mid-2015. Has previously held positions as Director of the Centre of European Law at King’s College, University of London and Director of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law, London. Professor at the Faculty of Law of the University of Oslo.

Mr. José Guevara (Mexico, First Vice-Chair) Guevara is a legal academic and practitioner who focuses on Human Rights Protection and International Criminal Law. Prior to joining the WGAD, worked in the NGO sector, Mexico City’s Ombudsman’s office and in government in the area of human rights. Guevara is the recipient of the Open Society Foundation’s New Executives Fund leading the Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights.

Seong-Phil Hong (Chair-Rapporteur, Republic of Korea) An expert member of the Asian Council of Jurists of the Asia Pacific Forum and legal academic, Seong-Phil Hong has specialised in the case for reparations regarding Japan’s Enforced Sex Slavery during the Second World War and accountability for human rights violations by the North Korean regime.

Vladimir Tochilovsky (Ukraine) A legal academic and practitioner whose expertise lies in international criminal justice and procedure. Tochilovsky was part of the Preparatory Committee and Commission that drafted the guidelines on criminal procedure for the International Criminal Court.

Leigh Toomey (Australia) An expert in the UN Human Rights system, Toomey has taught at the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law and has served as a UN human rights expert both in the capacity as an NGO representative and as a representative for Australia at the UN General Assembly and Commission for Human Rights.

It is worth noting that the UN decision accords very closely with the minority verdicts of the two dissenting UK Supreme Court judges in the deeply split UK Supreme Court decision on the case. So by calling the UN panel “ridiculous”, Hammond is saying the same of two UK Supreme Court justices.

You will not recall much media coverage of the dissenting verdicts in the UK Supreme Court decision. There was almost none. By contrast, the media are showing an obsessive interest in the dissenting Ukrainian member’s opinion in this UN decision.

Norwegian Professor Mats Andenas, the chair of the Working Group who started the work, has today stated that the UK and US put enormous political pressure on the members of the UN working group, which they had resisted courageously. Can anybody think of a reason why the dissenting Ukrainian member might have been less able to resist enormous pressure from the UK and US governments?

Establishment Family Values

by craig on February 5, 2016 in Uncategorized

There has been a touching display of family values in the establishment’s full-throated attempt to roar down the United Nations today.

Joanna Gosling of BBC News won my prize for the news presenter who exuded the highest level of shrill indignation that the UN should dare to query the actions of the British Government. There was not, of course, any acknowledgement by the BBC that she is married to Craig Oliver, Cameron’s spin doctor in chief.

Meanwhile, over at Sky, Joan Smith of London Women against Violence was allowed a mind-numbingly long and uninterrupted interview in order to express her unmitigated certainty of Assange’s guilt. Nobody mentioned that at the time of the war crimes WikiLeaks revealed, she was the long-term partner of the Foreign Office minister, Dennis McShane (subsequently convicted and imprisoned for expenses fraud). Nor that she was appointed to her right-on sounding position by Boris Johnson, to whom she has been close.

To complete the picture Joshua Rozenberg writes as the Guardian’s legal expert. His piece is full of outright lies, including the remarkable one that Assange’s case was predicated on a claim of diplomatic immunity. The Guardian does not mention that Rozenberg is married to Melanie Phillips, the most barkingly right wing columnist in Britain (she still believes, you may recall, that Iraqi WMD lurk in a secret chamber under the Euphrates). Rozenberg shares with her the most ultra of Zionist beliefs.

Neo-con family values. You have to love them.

Assange – A Fundamental Vindication

by craig on February 5, 2016 in Uncategorized

Julian Assange has never been charged with any offence. His detention has been unlawful since his very first arrest in the United Kingdom in 2010. There has never been any genuine attempt by the Swedish authorities to investigate the allegations against him. Those are the findings of the United Nations.

The UK and Swedish governments both participated fully, and at great expense to their taxpayers, in this UN process which is a mechanism that both recognise. States including Iran, Burma and Russia have released prisoners following determination by this UN panel, which consists not of politicians or diplomats but of some of the world’s most respected lawyers, who are not representing their national governments.

Countries who have ignored rulings by this UN panel are rare. No democracy has ever done so. Recent examples are Egypt and Uzbekistan. The UK is putting itself in pretty company.

It would be an act of extraordinary dereliction by the UK and Swedish governments to accept the authority of the tribunal, participate fully in the process, and then refuse to accept the outcome.

It is worth noting that the UN judgement vindicates precisely the arguments advanced by Assange’s lawyers before the UK supreme court, that there was no genuine judicial process in train against Assange in Sweden. I cannot express this better than John Pilger:

The Assange case has never been primarily about allegations of sexual misconduct in Sweden – where the Stockholm Chief Prosecutor, Eva Finne, dismissed the case, saying, “I don’t believe there is any reason to suspect that he has committed rape”, and one of the women involved accused the police of fabricating evidence and “railroading” her, protesting she “did not want to accuse JA of anything” – and a second prosecutor mysteriously re-opened the case after political intervention, then stalled it.

The British mainstream media has never fairly reported the ludicrous nature of the allegations against Assange. The establishment is very keen that the public do not know. It is worth noting that the only notice this blog has ever received from Google, that an article has been removed from search results, referred to the article in which I detailed and demolished the allegations against Assange. The UK mainstream media today are reporting with astonishment the UN decision and still refuse to report the details of the allegations against him, or the fact that they were dismissed by Sweden’s most senior prosecutor before being taken up (as Swedish law permits) by an openly politically motivated prosecutor from another region.

It is absolutely normal procedure, all around the world, for regime opponents to be charged with trumped up criminal charges rather than with political dissent. And not just in China or Russia. They tried it on me when I blew the whistle on torture and extraordinary rendition, with eighteen formal allegations against me, several of them criminal. Brigadier General Janis Karpinski, the most senior woman in the US Army, testified that Donald Rumsfeld personally approved the torture techniques used at Abu Ghraib and the very next day she was “caught shoplifting”. Scott Ritter, US Marine officer and WMD inspector in Iraq, was convicted of engaging, just after going public on absence of WMD, in online paedophile activity. We don’t know for certain what they did to David Kelly.

Anybody who believes the neo-con countries do not persecute dissidents is naïve in the extreme. The indignation at the UN calling them on it is both hilarious and chilling.

The Clinton “Fluke”

by craig on February 2, 2016 in Uncategorized

Hillary Clinton only “won” Iowa because she won all six coin tosses in tied precincts. What are the odds against six successive coin toss wins? I calculate 1 in 64, or you have a 1.5% chance of pulling it off. If I am right, do we really believe it did happen? That question is posed without taking into account the indisputable bias for Clinton of the Democrat machine which was organising the vote, and other startling irregularities, including the falure of the organising committee to staff over sixty caucus meetings. It all stinks, frankly.

I have been trying to think up a word to describe the kind of society we have now, in which a tiny number of extremely wealthy people control the politicians and manipulate the public through the mass media. Then I realised we already have a perfectly adequate word for it – plutocracy.

It is a plutocracy where 85 people own the same wealth as the other 50% of the population of the entire world, and the wealth gap still grows at astonishing pace. A reaction from the people who actually create that wealth is inevitable. The extraordinary concentration of capital has only been possible because of the existence of state mechanisms designed to promote it, and a popular movement to end that state bias was bound to happen. It was also predictable that it would be dominated by the young. To see youth mobilise for Scottish independence, for Corbyn or for Sanders has been life-affirming for me.

I might wish the movement for change to be sometimes better directed. But there is now a generational shift, a desire of young people for fundamental change, resisted by their elders. This phenomenon has not been seen so strongly since the 60’s. In the battle between the growing and the dying, there is only one ultimate winner. A good time to be alive (again). Almost makes up for struggling on through Thatcher and Blair…

Why That Particular Mankad Was Cheating

by craig on February 2, 2016 in Uncategorized

mankad

Even this picture does not give the idea of how close it was. The bat is moving forward (left to right), and you can see the stump has already moved forward a fair way. At the instant the stumps were broken, the bat was further back towards the crease. If it was out, it was by well less than a millimetre (on the line is out – you or the bat must be grounded behind).

Cricket is a game of marginal decisions. But this is different. At the moment when the bowler would normally have entered his delivery stride, the bat was still grounded well and truly within the crease. It is plain that the bowler had run up with no intention of actually bowling, but purely with the intention of completing a mankad. There was no early run by the batsman that triggered the mankad. The batsman was not attempting to steal an advantage. Had the bowler completed his delivery in the normal way, the batsman would still have had his bat grounded at the point of release.

I am not against all mankads on principle, but I do think that the accepted convention that the bowler gives a warning first if he feels the batsman is backing up too enthusiastically is a good one. Here no warning was given.

Zimbabwe needed two runs to win with six balls remaining and one wicket left. By this bit of cheating West Indies have knocked Zimbabwe out of the U-19 World Cup. I use the word cheating because I am convinced there was never any intention to bowl a legitimate delivery, while the batsman was plainly attempting to operate within both the spirit and laws of the game.

Feminism a Neo-Con Tool

by craig on January 7, 2016 in Uncategorized

UPDATE

Minutes after I posted this article, the ludicrous Jess Phillips published an article in the Guardian which could not have been better designed to prove my thesis. A number of people have posted comments on the Guardian article pointing this out, and they have all been immediately deleted by the Guardian. I just tried it myself and was also deleted. I should be grateful if readers could now also try posting comments there, in order to make a point about censorship on the Guardian.

Catching up on a fortnight’s news, I have spent five hours searching in vain for criticism of Simon Danczuk from prominent or even just declared feminists. The Guardian was the obvious place to start, but while they had two articles by feminist writers condemning Chris Gayle’s clumsy attempt to chat up a presenter, their legion of feminist columnists were entirely silent on Danczuk. The only opinion piece was strongly defending him.

This is very peculiar. The allegation against Danczuk which is under police investigation – of initiating sex with a sleeping woman – is identical to the worst interpretation of the worst accusation against Julian Assange. The Assange allegation brought literally hundreds, probably thousands of condemnatory articles from feminist writers across the entire range of the mainstream media. I have dug up 57 in the Guardian alone with a simple and far from exhaustive search. In the case of Danczuk I can find nothing, zilch, nada. Not a single feminist peep.

The Assange case is not isolated. Tommy Sheridan has been pursuing a lone legal battle against the Murdoch empire for a decade, some of it in prison when the judicial system decided his “perjury” was imprisonable but Andy Coulson’s admitted perjury on the Murdoch side in the same case was not. I personally witnessed in court in Edinburgh last month Tommy Sheridan, with no lawyer (he has no money) arguing against a seven man Murdoch legal team including three QCs, that a letter from the husband of Jackie Bird of BBC Scotland should be admitted in evidence. Bird was working for Murdoch and suggested in his letter that a witness should be “got out of the country” to avoid giving evidence. The bias exhibited by the leading judge I found astonishing beyond belief. I was the only media in the court.

Yet even though the Murdoch allegations against Sheridan were of consensual sexual conduct, Sheridan’s fight against Murdoch has been undermined from the start by the massive and concerted attack he has faced from the forces of feminism. Just as the vital messages WikiLeaks and Assange have put out about war crimes, corruption and the relentless state attack on civil liberties have been undermined by the concerted feminist campaign promoting the self-evidently ludicrous claims of sexual offence against Assange.

As soon as the radical left pose the slightest threat to the neo-con establishment, an army of feminists can be relied upon to run a concerted campaign to undermine any progress the left wing might make. The attack on Jeremy Corbyn over the makeup of his shadow cabinet was a classic example. It is the first ever gender equal shadow cabinet, but the entire media for a 96 hour period last September ran headline news that the lack of women in the “top” posts was anti-feminist. Every feminist commentator in the UK piled in.

Among the obvious dishonesties of this campaign was the fact that Defence, Chancellor, Foreign Affairs and Home Secretary have always been considered the “great offices of State” and the argument only could be made by simply ignoring Defence. The other great irony was the “feminist” attack was led by Blairites like Harman and Cooper, and failed to address the fact that Blair had NO women in any of these posts for a full ten years as Prime Minister.

But facts did not matter in deploying the organised feminist lobby against Corbyn.

Which is why it is an important test to see what the feminists, both inside and outside the Labour Party, would do when the leading anti-Corbyn rent-a-gob, Simon Danczuk, was alleged to have some attitudes to women that seem very dubious indeed, including forcing an ex-wife into non-consensual s&m and that rape allegation.

And the answer is …nothing. Feminists who criticised Assange, Sheridan and Corbyn in droves were utterly silent on the subject of Danczuk. Because the purpose of established and paid feminism is to undermine the left in the service of the neo-cons, not to attack neo-cons like Danczuk.

Identity politics has been used to shatter any attempt to campaign for broader social justice for everybody. Instead it becomes about the rights of particular groups, and that is soon morphed into the neo-con language of opportunity. What is needed, modern feminism argues, is not a reduction of the vast gap between rich and poor, but a chance for some women to become Michelle Mone or Ann Gloag. It is not about good conditions for all, but the removal of glass ceilings for high paid feminist journalists or political hacks.

Feminism has become the main attack tool in the neo-con ideological arsenal. I am sceptical the concept can be redeemed from this.

Locked In

by craig on January 7, 2016 in Uncategorized

I take my partying seriously, but Nadira has been extremely busy.

Coe Better Protected Than Blatter By Corrupt National Authorities

by craig on December 22, 2015 in Uncategorized

Why are the Metropolitan Police not feeling Tory Lord Sebastian Coe’s collar and trawling his hard drives? I blogged recently about his involvement in awarding the World Athletics Championships without a vote to the hometown of his long term paymasters and sponsors, Nike. Plus the £12 million his promotions company made from VIP hospitality packages for the Olympics, the VIP tickets for which were allocated by the Organising Committee of which he was the £600,000 pa chairman.

Now we have this, from the person Coe works closest with in the IAAF and who he has now promoted to head the President’s office since Coe assumed that title:

« Dear Papa,

Following our discussion earlier I have already had some thoughts and believe that we need to do the following, in the strict confidence and control within a small circle of senior IAAF staff only. This must be very secret.
(…)

4. Finally, as soon as possible, and ‘unofficially’ PR campaign to ensure that we avoid international media scandals related to the Moscow Championships especially in the British press, where the worst of the articles is coming from. This will require specialist PR skills (working only with me directly) from London, but I believe that if we consider using CSM we can also benefit from Seb’s political influence in the UK. It is in his personal interest to ensure that the Moscow World Champs is a success and that people do not think that the media of his own country are trying to destroy it. We can work extremely hard in stopping any planed ‘attack’ on Russia from the British press in the coming weeks.

5. Finally, I need to be able to sit down with the Anti-doping department and understand exactly what Russian ‘skeleton’ we have still in the cupboard regarding doping. I think that the time to have unveiled the various athletes was a long time ago and that now we need to be smart. These athletes, of course, should NOT be part of any Russian team for these World Championships and Valentin should be pressurised to make sure this is the case. If the guilty ones are not competing then we might as well wait until the event is over to announce them. Or we announce one or two BUT AT THE SAME TIME as athletes from other countries. Also we can prepare a special dossier on IAAF testing which will show that one of the reasons why these Russian athletes come up positive is that they get tested a lot !!! In the same way, we can make the point that the WADA laboratory is the responsibility of WADA not IAAF and that if WADA decides there really is a problem, we have a plan B to do the tests in Lausanne instead (Gabriel confirmed this to me yesterday).

Papa, as soon as I have an idea of the price of this unofficial PR campaign I will let you know, but I will do everything in my power to protect the IAAF and the President.

All the best Nick »

So what does the Establishment now wish us to believe?

a) As long-term Vice President of the IAAF, Coe had no idea the organisation was massively corrupt and the President was taking huge bribes to cover-up doping scandals.
b) Coe had no idea his close associate and now head of his office Nick Davies was writing to the son of the President proposing that Coe’s company and Coe’s “political influence” be used to keep doping scandals out of the British media.
c) Coe’s meeting, while Vice President of the IAAF, with executives of his sponsor Nike, to discuss awarding the World Athletics Championships to Eugene, had no bearing at all on the decision of the President of IAAF to award the games to Eugene without a vote.

All that is even less convincing than Sepp Blatter’s declarations of innocence. Yet there is an utter difference in the British media’s treatment of Blatter and of “Lord” Coe.

I wonder why?

Independence When – A Riposte

by craig on December 21, 2015 in Uncategorized

I have been in Cruden Bay the last few days, where Nadira had been for some time shooting a film she has both written and produced. It is a short drama, a harrowing tale of torture victims who have applied for political asylum in the UK and are now in immigration detention on the “fast track”. The script is based on numerous interviews with genuine torture victims, refugees, lawyers, NGOs and policemen. One of the things the film does is highlight the work of Medical Justice, who do quite amazing work.

The film now enters post-production and I will keep you informed.

It was a bit weird to be in Peterhead in December enjoying the warm breeze. I recall some years ago wondering whether the effects of climate change would really become indisputable during my lifetime. I think I have my answer.

The last thread on the SNP caused a very interesting debate, before it eventually declined into the usual suspects banging on about Freemasons etc. I took from those comments this contribution from Peter A Bell, which is quite thoughtful, apart from the lazy device of starting by stating an argument I had not actually made and then attributing it to me and characterising it as ludicrous. The rest is worth engaging with though, and when I get recovered a bit I shall engage with it. Meantime, fill your boots.

Of all the ridiculous conspiracy theories that roil in the minds of those with a taste for such nonsense few are more ludicrous than the notion that the Scottish National Party is actively engaged in thwarting the aspirations of those who would see Scotland’s rightful constitutional status restored. A pleasing reverie might be one in which these conspiracy theorists are locked in a room with those who just as fervently insist that the SNP is obsessively focused on the constitutional question to the exclusion of all else – there to beat the folly out of one another with rolled-up copies of their comic-book version of the world.

Reality comprises the grey-scale vastness between these two simplistic extremes.

Here is the news! The campaign for independence can proceed in a variety of ways. Some of those ways are more subtle than a chant of, “What do we want? Independence! When do we want it? NOW!”. The independence campaign was undoubtedly much more fun when it was such a distant prospect that we didn’t have to concern ourselves to much about the niceties of the process of becoming independent. It was all so easy when independence was below a far horizon and it was sufficient that we were headed in the right general direction. It’s all got al lot more complicated now that we are close enough for small course correction to matter.

Almost as laughable as the notion of the SNP having abandoned its commitment to independence is the idea that, having successfully navigated to within sight of our destination, we should now start questioning the party’s suitability for the task of completing the journey. Not that anybody has any sensible suggestions as to who might take up the role at this late date. Apparently, we must doubt the SNP simply because we can.

It’s all too easy to imagine Craig Murray as part of a committee inspecting the almost completed artwork on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and debating whether Michelangelo is the right man to finish the job. After all, he doesn’t seem as excited about the job as he was four years ago, talking more now about the practicalities of the task rather than the grand vision. There’s bound to be some enthusiastic youngsters who are itching to have a go!

The practicalities of becoming independent matter. They matter in a way that they didn’t really when I first engaged with the independence campaign half a century ago. The world has moved on. Things have changed. Not the least of these changes is that the British establishment is now engaged with the campaign as well. We are no longer just fighting for something. We are fighting against a massively powerful force utterly determined to preserve its power and status.

The ground on which the constitutional battle is being fought has also changed. In many ways, to the advantage of the independence campaign. Tactics must be adjusted accordingly. Never losing sight of the fact that the battle has to be won within the territory of the British political system. We need to fight clever every bit as much as we need to fight hard.

That is what the SNP is doing. It is fighting clever. Within the context of the British political system, size matters. Electoral clout is important. A massive mandate is a mighty weapon. The SNP must work to gain and hold this mandate in both the Holyrood and the Westminster arenas. It has a dual role as both the party of government and the political arm of the independence movement. It has to succeed in both roles. More than that. It has to succeed on a grand scale. If it is to be the lever which prises the millstone of the British state off Scotland’s back, the SNP needs exceptional political power. The kind of power which, to be perfectly frank, we would be sensibly cautious about handing to any political party. Needs must when necessity drives.

We have to put our trust in the SNP for the simple reason that there is nobody else. The people of Scotland have, by the exercise of their democratic power, chosen the SNP as their agents. There is unprecedented agreement that the SNP is best placed to defend and advance Scotland’s interests. There is not the same consensus about what those interests are. The party must seek to satisfy both those who are committed to independence and those who are not yet persuaded, even though they are happy to accept the party in its administrative role. There is no other party in a position to do this. Quite simply, there is no path to independence on any reasonable time-scale which does not have the SNP taking a lead role.

Once we reconcile ourselves to this hard fact of realpolitik, we start to see the SNP’s manoeuvrings in a different light. If the SNP group at Westminster appears to be “settling in”, maybe it’s because that’s how they have to appear in order to be effective. Bear in mind that they are struggling against the Westminster elite’s quite blatant efforts to sideline and exclude them. Vociferous protests and flashmob-style walk-outs might be great theatre. But does this not simply play into the narrative that the unionist parties and their friends in the media want to create?

As the Scottish Parliament elections loom, is it not appropriate for the SNP to be talking about the reasons voters should continue to trust them to run the country, rather than conforming to the unionist caricature of a single-issue protest party?

If the SNP isn’t saying much about a second independence referendum is that not because that particular ball is now at our feet? Has Nicola Sturgeon not made it abundantly clear that she wants the campaign for another referendum to be lead by the people rather than the politicians?

There is more than a bit of intellectual posturing about sniping at the SNP for supposedly abandoning the fight for independence. The party may not be perfect. But there is no rational reason to doubt its commitment to bringing Scotland’s government home. The lack of any justification makes this look like criticism for its own sake. I have to ask, what’s the point?

Is the SNP Campaigning for Independence?

by craig on December 18, 2015 in Uncategorized

I was watching This Week on the BBC last night, and Andrew Neil teased John Nicolson that the SNP had given up campaigning for Independence, and never mentioned it any more. I have known John since student days, and much respect him. He is a very professional man and put in a very professional performance on the show. He can be relied on, despite his arch asides, to follow a party line.

How did John reply to the charge that the SNP had stopped campaigning for Independence? Did he reply, “No Andrew, we remain fully committed to the goal of Independence and that is our number one priority.”?

No.

He said “we have to respect the decision of the electorate”, a line taken straight from Nicola Sturgeon.

The problem with this is that it is exactly the Blairite line. Liz Kendall argued in effect that the electorate voted Tory, so Labour have to be Red Tories to respect the electorate.

It is a trite phrase. Nobody would argue you should disrespect the electorate. But it then elides into a distortion. To respect the verdict of the electorate means to accept your loss on this occasion and the processes of the state proceed on that basis, without any attempt to subvert the democratic decision. It does NOT mean the losing side had to change its beliefs, go quiet, or stop campaigning ready for the next time.

Since the referendum I have spoken on many stages in favour of Independence across Scotland, under the aegis of a whole variety of organisations only a minority of which are anathema to the SNP. Yet it occurs to me that of all the distinguished people I have shared platforms with, I have not witnessed a single one of the SNP’s MPs argue for Independence. To my certain knowledge they have declined many invitations to do so.

The SNP instead is setting out its stall as a kinder and more efficient manager of the governmental institutions of Scotland within the UK. It is elevating managerialism into a cult. Forget Independence and admire John Swinney’s figures. This is reinforced by another managerialist subtext, “the only organised opposition at Westminster.” Opposing the Tories is undoubtedly a good thing. But all this is symptomatic of the SNP becoming over-comfortable within the governmental institutions of the United Kingdom. All the energy expended pointlessly on the glorified local council powers of the Scotland Act while our country is dragged into yet another neo-con war against the will of the Scottish people.

When the media were promoting a narrative of potential ill-behaviour by new SNP MP’s, Tommy Sheppard famously declared “We have not come to act up, but to settle up!” What precisely have the SNP MP’s done that showed a scintilla of desire to “settle up” and end the Union? Where are the Parnellite tactics? A more honest declaration would be:

“We have not come to settle up, but to settle in!”

John Nicolson was led on to discussing his prospects of re-election last night, in response to a joke about Michael Portillo’s defeat. Andrew Neil gently reminded him he was not meant to want to be in Westminster long term. I am willing to bet a million pounds with anybody that the SNP structure is already giving more thought to defending its Westminster seats than to ending the union before the next Westminster election. I think deep down everybody reading this will find they believe that too.

Leadership loyalists will respond with a) more managerialism – we run the country better blah blah blah – and b), the argument that the SNP has to entrench in power before trying again for independence and win trust by – more managerialism. Oh OK, that’s actually the same argument. They don’t have another one.

The problem with this is gravity. In politics no party remains at the heights of popularity forever. Events take their toll. I suspect that what Nicola agreed with Dave this week about extending the extreme surveillance state to Scotland will be a little wave of erosion once we get told of it. The SNP will, regardless of anything I think or write, sweep the Holyrood elections. But that will likely be the high point of their absolute dominance of Scottish politics.

Let me put it this way. It is definitely a possibility that the coming real domination of both MPs and MSPs will never happen again. If the SNP do not even try to use that dominance to deliver Independence, then what is the point of the SNP?

Oh sorry, I forgot. They manage the institutions better, and are an effective opposition at Westminster. That apparently is the point. But not what I joined for.

Our Proud and Fascist Heritage

by craig on December 17, 2015 in Uncategorized

Yesterday’s revelation that Prince Charles sees Cabinet Office memoranda denied to most ministers did not spark as much public outrage as might be expected. Part of that is because of the view that, by and large, Charles is a fairly decent old stick with some surprisingly progressive opinions.

The problem is, of course, that with a monarchy you have no choice what you get. The defence deployed yesterday across all media was that this is a longstanding practice, in place for many decades. What they did not tell you is that it was instituted at the insistence of the Prince of Wales who was the future Edward VIII, and at the very least sympathetic to fascism. Strange how the media omitted that bit, don’t you think?

I am given to understand that William has very much the private political opinions you would expect from an extremely rich and not very bright person educated at St Andrews University, that strange foreign neo-con enclave perched on the Neuk of Fife. The only university with not one but two professors on the board of the Henry Jackson Society.

Jack Straw Responds to Alex Salmond with Blatant Lie

by craig on December 16, 2015 in Uncategorized

Jack Straw continues to lie about his involvement with torture. On Sunday, Alex Salmond told Alex Marr on the BBC that an inquiry must discover what Straw and Blair knew. On Monday Straw responded in the Guardian:

Straw said Salmond’s comments were completely untrue. “The British government was never complicit nor condoned torture or other ill-treatment of detainees wherever they were held,” he said.

I can offer absolute and definitive proof that Straw is lying (redactions made by FCO):

Duffield-000

Duffield-001

mcDonald-000
The Foreign Secretary was Jack Straw. Simon MacDonald was his Private Secretary in the FCO.

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It has been a source of astonishment to me that journalists are prepared to continue to publish Straw’s denials of involvement in torture, when there is indisputable documentary proof that he is lying. I offered these documents to the Guardian years ago, but was not surprised when that Blairite rag refused to publish.

I was however surprised by this. When Straw criticised Salmond on Monday, I immediately offered these documents to the National as proof that Straw was lying. The National too refused to publish. Firstly they said that they had to consult their lawyers about whether the government would sue them. Then they said they could not work out how to condense the information into a short article (which begs the question why it had to be short). They then said they were too busy.

The reason I did not post for a week was that I was extremely dejected to receive an instant rejection, without interview, for the post of Chairman of the Scottish Human Rights Commission. This is an appointment of the Scottish Parliament and the decision is made by a committee of Scottish MSPs. It is a job for which I undoubtedly meet all the published requirements. I lecture regularly on human rights all round the world, and have been called to give evidence in person to the UK Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights, the European Parliament and the Council of Europe. I have a great deal of senior level public sector management experience, also a requirement.

When I published a few weeks ago that I had been considering my future while in Ghana, it was because I was considering applying for the job on the Scottish human rights commission. That would have entailed going back to being a public servant and ceasing political activity, including giving up this blog. I certainly can do this – for the 21 years I was in the FCO, nobody except those close to me knew my political views. I decided eventually that the chance to work on human rights in a positive way might enable me to do more good in the world than I am achieving as a campaigner. I definitely did not expect to get the job, but could not apply honestly without interrogating myself as to whether I really was prepared to meet the conditions.

I did not however expect an out of hand rejection for a position for which I was not only qualified but which was also junior and less well paid than previous public appointments I had held.

I did not necessarily expect to get the job, but to be refused without being interviewed is not something I expected, and it hit me hard. As a whistleblower you become a non-person. That is why the media publishes Straw’s denials of all knowledge of torture despite the existence of these documents. It is unpleasant to be a non-person, who cannot even be interviewed for a job for which they are abundantly qualified.

The SNP plainly have a major problem with me as a member. Before the SNP Conference in Aberdeen, I was approached by the Embassy of Ecuador. They wished to have a meeting with the SNP on behalf of the alliance of seven South American states including Ecuador, Venezuela, Cuba and Bolivia who have a broadly anti-imperialist stance and were interested in learning about the Scottish independence movement with a view to possible cooperation in international fora. It so happened the Spanish acronym of this group is ALBA! The Embassy know me through Julian Assange and I was their only contact in the SNP, so they asked me to arrange the meeting. I emailed every suitable SNP contact I could think of, and made a number of phone calls, over a four week period. I eventually received a one line rejection, and had to host the Ambassador myself (apart from a short reception the SNP hosted for the diplomatic corps, to which I was refused entry).

Taking all these things together – my repeated rejection as a candidate, the refusal to meet ALBA, my out of hand rejection (by a SNP led committee) for the human rights job, the National’s refusal to run my evidence of Jack Straw lying, I feel not just rejected but despised by the hierarchy of the Independence movement. As I have moved back to Scotland with the sole motive of carrying on the campaign for Scottish independence, I really have this last week been looking hard at myself and considering what the future may hold. I suppose I was naïve to imagine that the hospitality and exclusion shown to whistleblowers in Whitehall would not be mirrored in Holyrood.

Which leads me back to the minutes above. When I objected to, and tried to stop, the policy of getting intelligence from torture, I knew I was probably blighting my future in the FCO. But I did not fully appreciate that it would lead on to me being backlisted by the establishment – including the Holyrood establishment – for my entire life. It is rather a hard cross to bear. Fortunately I have much else in life to be thankful for.

BBC Bias

by craig on December 10, 2015 in Uncategorized

I am involved quite extensively in the making of what I believe to be a valuable independent documentary. It is based on George Ponsonby’s excellent book London Calling, and has the working title How the BBC Stole the Referendum. We have already done a few hours filming of my contribution.

The film is being directed by Alan Knight. It still requires some finance, having raised over £12,000 so far from crowd sourcing. If any readers of this blog can make a contribution, it would be gratefully received. I vouch for the good faith and commitment of the production team, though I am not in any sense connected with the management or finances.

I should like to ask for a couple of other bits of help as well. Can anybody find the BBC footage of the appalling Gavin Esler puff piece for the “Vote No Borders” PR campaign. The BBC broadcast it repeatedly on every TV news programme on 2 May 2014, but seem to have managed to erase all trace of it from the internet. It might also be useful if somebody could take a little video footage of the company nameplate of Acanchi Ltd at 24 Chiswell Street, London, EC2Y 4YX. Footage of the nameplate, the street sign and a little of the surroundings, just to visually establish it is in London. The technical quality of that little bit of video is not terrifically important.

UPDATE

See Gill R’s comment below. The company may be at Unit 311 Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, London N1 0QH. If anyone can easily get to either address and see what they can film it would still be helpful.

Carmichael: An Extraordinary Lack of Humility

by craig on December 9, 2015 in Uncategorized

Given that the election court had just found that he told a “Blatant lie”, Alistair Carmichael struck absolutely the wrong note in his statement after the case. He could have said:

“I did tell a lie, and it is something I deeply regret. I apologise to my constituents, to my family and to the people of Scotland for all the trouble my lie has caused. I have learned from it. I am grateful to the court for giving me aother chance, and I have now learned never to indulge in that kind of bad behaviour again.”

Instead, with extraordinary arrogance, Alistair said this:

“I am pleased with the decision of the court.

Although I was always confident of winning the last few months have been a difficult and stressful time for me and my family.

We have been enormously grateful for the tremendous levels of support received from local people, in both Orkney and Shetland, regardless of which political party they normally support…

This case was politically motivated. It was a deliberate attempt by nationalists to remove the last Scottish Liberal voice at Westminster, and is a mark of the unhealthy polarisation of Scottish politics since the referendum.”

Co-ordinated statements were put out by Willie Rennie and “Bomber” Tim Farron saying much the same thing. So the utter lack of any humility must have been deliberate. This is an orchestrated act of arrogance.

You will recall that I predicted that there was no way that Scotland’s deeply conservative and unionist judiciary would find against Carmichael. The reasoning behind their judgement is intellectually risible. They say that Carmichael only lied in denying a specific leak; he was therefore not making a false claim about his general character. If he had specifically stated that he never leaked he would have been making a false claim and disqualified.

Here is the pathetic “reasoning” of the judge Lady Paton:

They explained that if a candidate made a false statement that he would never leak an internal confidential memo, no matter how helpful that might be to his party, as he regarded the practice of leaking confidential information as dishonest and morally reprehensible, and he would not stoop to such tactics, when in fact that candidate had leaked an internal confidential memo containing material which was inaccurate and highly damaging to an opponent, they would be likely to conclude that the candidate had given a false statement “’in relation to [his] personal character or conduct” because he would be falsely holding himself out as being of such a standard of honesty, honour, trustworthiness and integrity that, in contrast with what others in Westminster might do, he would never be involved in such a leaking exercise.

“In the present case, when speaking to the Channel 4 interviewer, the first respondent did not make such an express statement about his personal character or conduct,” Lady Paton continued. “We are not persuaded that the false statement proved to have been made was in relation to anything other than the first respondent’s awareness (or lack of awareness) of a political machination. Accordingly we are not satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the words used by the first respondent amounted to a ‘false statement of fact in relation to [his] personal character or conduct’. It follows that we are not satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that an essential element of section 106 has been proved.

There are several glaring errors in this reasoning. The first is that if I denied knowledge of a murder I had in fact committed, I would be making a false statement about my general character whether or not I had added a condemnation of the morality of murder.

The second is that Lady Paton ignores the “conduct” in “false statement in relation to his character or conduct.” In denying knowledge of a leak he had in fact made himself. Carmichael was beyond any reasonable doubt making a false statement as to his conduct, even if we accept Paton’s argument it did not go to his character. Note that there is no reference to his “general” or “usual” conduct.

This is the judgement of a woman justifying a pre-determined stitch-up.

Despite al this, I would not be tremendously concerned about the result if Alistair had the decency to be a bit chastened by it. It is only because of our ridiculously undemocratic electoral system that representation is so skewed. You didn’t ought to get over 95% of the seats on 52% of the votes, and I am not sure what is gained by magnifying that other wrong. But any mixed feelings I have on those grounds are dispelled by the utterly inappropriate triumphalism the Lib Dems are displaying, as though to be found a blatant liar by a court is something to be proud of. The brass neck of it all is sickening.

Henry Jackson Society as Bad as Donald Trump

by craig on December 8, 2015 in Uncategorized

On Saturday I shall be speaking at a conference in Edinburgh on the changing face of racism, and how Islamophobia is now not only mainstream but actively promoted by government.

Donald Trump’s remarks have brought appropriate condemnation, but the Henry Jackson Society got there first. In February 2006 Douglas Murray, Associate Director of the Henry Jackson Society, stated :

“It is late in the day, but Europe still has time to turn around the demographic time-bomb which will soon see a number of our largest cities fall to Muslim majorities. It has to. All immigration into Europe from Muslim countries must stop. In the case of a further genocide such as that in the Balkans, sanctuary would be given on a strictly temporary basis. This should also be enacted retrospectively… Conditions for Muslims in Europe must be made harder across the board: Europe must look like a less attractive proposition.”

Douglas Murray also came out with a straight defence of the use of torture by Western intelligence agencies.

Yet the politicians who pretend to be outraged by Trump’s proposal to ban Muslims from the US, line up to support the man who declares “All immigration into Europe from Muslim countries must stop.” Not only Jim Murphy, but a role call of top Blairites sits on the Political Council of the Henry Jackson Society – Margaret Beckett, Hazel Blears, Ben Bradshaw, Chris Bryant, Gisela Stuart etc. All of course enthusiasts for bombing Syria. It astonishes me that the Labour Party is now complaining about “infiltration” by groups on the left when a large number of very senior figures can belong to an organisation which is avowedly neo-conservative, is linked to the US and European far right and is funded by the CIA.

The Henry Jackson Society is the go-to organisation for broadcasters looking for comment on Islamic affairs. I was both pleased and surprised to see the Henry Jackson Society named two days ago in a Guardian article on the mainstreaming of Islamophobia. Pleased because the maximum exposure is necessary to make people understand what people are getting when they see “independent” HJS staff interviewed on the BBC and Sky, and surprised because the Blairite controlled and US marketed Guardian doesn’t usually run this kind of stuff anymore.

I tucked it in to the back of my mind until I came to write this article. Guess what? The Guardian Editors have now excised all mention of the Henry Jackson Society from the article on the mainstreaming of Islamophobia. Interesting that, isn’t it?

The Henry Jackson Society seconds staff to the Quilliam Foundation. This extraordinary organisation is a career vehicle for “reformed jihadists” to milk huge salaries and luxury lifestyles from government money, in return for fronting an organisation run by the security services. Quilliam specialises in denouncement of Muslim organisations and talking up the Jihadi threat, offering “expert advice” on the government’s anti-free speech strategy. At the same time, it seeks to maximise the income of its directors. One interesting collaboration to make money was its collaboration with the current head of Pergida UK, and former head of the English Defence League, Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (Alias Tommy Robinson).

Quilliam have received millions from the taxpayer for their dubious “work”. But their application for Home Office funding to split with Yaxley-Lennon remains an episode beyond belief. Several of Quilliam’s staff are “lent” by the CIA-funded Henry Jackson Society.

Do come along to the meeting on Saturday. Methodist Church, 25 Nicolson Square, Edinburgh, EH8 9BX.

Sadly, Terrorism Is Easy

by craig on December 6, 2015 in Uncategorized

I wish a speedy recovery, both physically and mentally, to the people stabbed at Leytonstone tube station. It must have been horrifying.

The following comments are in part predicated on a presumption that the media reports of the incident are broadly true. This comes with a serious health warning. At this stage after another tube station incident, we were universally assured that various official “sources” and “eye-witnesses” had affirmed that Jean Charles leapt the barriers and ran through the tunnels, wearing a bulky jacket with wires sticking out. All of those turned out to be absolute lies deliberately spread by the Metropolitan Police and the Home Office.

But assuming this time the account of his shouting about Syria is not lies, what we can see from video is that a single man in a very silly hat, armed with a very small knife indeed, can carry out a vicious terrorist attack with apparently no need for planning at all. Not even planning enough to get a less tiny knife from his kitchen.

Because, sadly terrorism is easy. As I stated recently, if I were crazed enough to want to kill somebody tomorrow, and did not care how I did it, who I killed or if I died myself, I could kill a few people without too much effort or planning. That is why the continual propaganda about “seven foiled ISIS terrorist plots” or “4,000 active Islamic terrorists in the UK” is quite simply untrue. If all those terrorists existed, they would not be so entirely unproductive. What the authorities do catch continually are fantasists, often children, boasting and “plotting” online about being terrorists. That is quite a different thing. It is worth noting that nobody has been charged over any of these seven foiled ISIS plots. Strange that, isn’t it?

As for the man in the silly hat, I fear he is mentally unstable. That is no comfort to his victims. The truth is, of course, that it is always the little people who get hurt. None of the 1% who foment, promote and profit from war have ever set foot in Leytonstone Tube Station. But their agenda is forwarded today. By its continual acts of violence and repression, the neo-con state eventually goads a mentally unstable person into a nasty, vicious and pointless act. They then use that act to justify more wars and repression.

For the security and armaments industry it is a very profitable cycle.

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