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The Disgraceful Far Right “Journalist” Stephen Daisley

I shall blog about last night’s Panorama shortly. But first I should like to draw attention to STV’s disgraceful Stephen Daisley, who I last mentioned joining in a mainstream media Twitter hatefest against me for revealing that MI5 were targeted on the SNP.

Well Daisley has been at it again, this time with a seriously nasty tweet about the mysterious murder of Hilda Murrell. It was sent to Murdoch shill David Aaronovitch, to whom Daisley tweeted

Yep. “Hilda Murrell. How the State silences dissent one elderly rose grower at a time.”

Whatever you believe about the Murrell murder, it is not something Daisley – a broadcast journalist – should be making jokes about. It is also fascinating that both Daisley’s tweet about me and his tweet about Hilda Murrell were both in defence of the security services and both sent to David Aaronovitch.

Aaronovitch found the Murrell joke so hilarious that he retweeted it at 3am on 25 September. Which is a pity for Daisley, as he apparently woke up, remembered he was a broadcast journalist, and deleted it. At any rate the retweet is on Aaronovitch’s twitter stream but the original not on Daisley’s.

It is however instructive to look at Daisley’s twitter stream. It is amazing to me that a supposed “journalist” working for a broadcaster would be so completely open about their anti-SNP, unionist, anti-Corbyn and far right agenda. Daisley is only very small beer, a stinking, sweating foot-soldier of the forces of reaction. But if you can stand it, the way the unionist establishment interacts and thinks is revealed very clearly from a study of his twitter feed. Messages are exchanged with Aaronovitch of Murdoch, Nick Cohen of the Guardian, with John McTernan of the Blairites and with J K Rowling of the 1%, and a great many others. The SNP and Corbyn are smugly derided by all. These well-paid state supporters live in a cosy Panglossian paradise and have contempt for anyone who is not “in”.

The other thing that comes out of the feed is this peculiar obsession with Israel. Of all the media attacks on Jeremy Corbyn’s “anti-Semitic connections”, Daisley’s attack is the most astonishing. STV should be deeply ashamed to carry this; it breaks every rule of good journalism. It is a bizarre hotch-potch of mostly deliberate lies and misrepresentation, and crucially there has not been a single attempt to contact any of the people named to obtain their side of the story.

To tackle just two of about sixty wild inaccuracies. Daisley accused Raed Saleh of a “blood libel” which Saleh has repeatedly denounced and stated that he has never said, and which a British court found there was no evidence that Saleh has ever said. Nonetheless Daisley regurgitates this Israeli propaganda.

Daisley quotes Paul Flynn as questioning the loyalties of Matthew Gould, appointed as British Ambassador to Israel. But this is gross misrepresentation by Daisley. What Flynn queried was Gould’s avowal that he was a “committed Zionist”, not his ethnicity. Would we appoint an Ambassador to Cuba who declared himself an avowed communist?

Daisley also perniciously omits what Flynn had said at the start of his remarks which sets the entire context, which was that Gould had held eight secret meetings with Liam Fox and Adam Werritty, of which the FCO refuses to disclose the subjects discussed and who else was present. Daisley knows that, and his censorship of that context is inexcusable as it completely distorts what Flynn was saying in order to portray Flynn as an anti-Semite.

The last few paragraphs of this attack on Corbyn beggar belief in their lack of balance. There is no nod whatsoever to the plight of the Palestinians, the illegality of the Israeli settlements he names, or the Israeli attacks on Gaza. The Israeli government itself would not dare publish anything so unsubtle and totally one sided. That STV should do this, in the context of an attack on Jeremy Corbyn, is absolutely incredible.

I know Daisley is a very, very insignificant figure. But the humdrum media enforcers of the establishment are vital to their ability to keep the 99% working for the 1%. That such a hate-filled and crazed right-winger as Daisley should be employed by mainstream broadcast media says a huge amount about the society we live in.

UPDATE HOW THE UNIONIST ESTABLISHMENT WORKS

As if to confirm the thesis outlined below, at 10.57am today, Duncan Hothersall, Labour’s New Media Czar in Scotland, retweeted Stephen Daisley’s approving tweet of an extract from Tory Secretary of State David Mundell’s Tory Conference Speech:

Good Stat: More people voted No in Indyref than have ever voted for any party in any election in Scottish history.

The tweet carried the Conservative Party Conference hashtag, so there is no doubt Red Tory Hothersall knew he was spreading Blue Tory Propaganda. The seamless web of Red and Blue Tories and mainstream media functions as usual. It is delightful to be proved so completely right so quickly:

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Trump and the Media

With no sense of irony, a “liberal” media which rightly excoriates the President of Gambia for failing to accept an election result, continues to do precisely the same thing in the case of Donald Trump. No invective is too strong to be cast against a man whose election the “liberal” media did everything possible to prevent.

With the happy resignation of Stephen Daisley, a strong contender for worst journalist in the World is now Jonathan Freedland of the Guardian. He takes the irony to an entirely new level. He claims that Trump will destroy the legacy by which smaller nations “long looked to the US to maintain something close to a rules-based international system.” He completely ignores the fact that the greatest single hammer blow against the rules based international system was delivered by Freedland’s idol Tony Blair, when he supported the invasion of Iraq without a Security Council Resolution and in the specific knowledge that, if the matter of force were properly put to the Security Council, it would not merely meet three vetoes but lose a majority vote.

The UN, and the rule of international law, have never recovered from that hammer blow, which Freedland enthusiastically cheered on. Nor has Freedland apparently noticed that the smaller nations rather detest than worship the USA. It has invaded and bombed them, interfered in their elections, supported right wing coups and armies, run destabilising CIA drug rings in them, and armed and even sometimes led dictatorial death squads. Look at all those US Security Council vetoes and the resolutions that never got to a vote because of threatened US vetoes. Look at all those General Assembly votes that were everyone against the USA, Israel and the poor occupied Marshall Islands. Freedland’s hymn to the Pax Americana is a sick joke. For much of the world, a period of American isolationism would be extremely welcome.

I am thankfully too clear-headed to like Trump because of the extraordinary campaign of vilification to which he has been subjected. Freedland has no shame about repeating the lie that Trump kept Hitler’s speeches by his bedside. I was in a position to know for sure that the “Russian hacking” elements of the extraordinary “Manchurian candidate” rubbish which the entire establishment threw at Trump was definitively untrue. I had the background and training to see that the Christopher Steele dossier was not only nonsense, but a fake, not in fact produced seriatim on the dates claimed. The involvement of the US security services in spreading lies as intelligence to undermine an incoming President will go down as a crucial moment in US history. We have not yet seen the denouement of that story.

But none of that makes Trump a good person. He could be an appalling monster and still be subjected to dirty tricks by other very bad people. There is much about Trump to dislike. His sensible desire for better relations with Russia is matched by a stupid drive to goad China.

Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric did tap in to the populist racism which is unfortunately sweeping developed countries at the moment. The very wealthy have succeeded in diverting justified anger at the results of globalisation on to immigrant populations, who are themselves victims of globalisation. By shamelessly tapping in to the deep wells of popular atavism, the elite have managed the extraordinary trick of escaping the wrath their appalling profiteering and extreme levels of wealth should bring. His words on race in his inauguration address were good, but does he really mean them? His anti-Muslim rhetoric remains deeply troubling. His ludicrous boast yesterday that he would end radical Islamic terrorism is precisely indicative of the counter-productive stupidity that feeds it.

I am a free trader and dislike the march of protectionism. But on the other hand, international trade agreements have become routinely not about tariffs but much more about the allocation of resources within the states concerned, mandating a neo-liberal model and giving extraordinary legal status to multinational companies. The collapse of the current model of international trade agreement, if that is what Trump really heralds, has both its positive and negative aspects.

It is of course a major question whether the establishment and his own Republican party allow him to do anything too radical at all. My own suspicion is that after all the huffing and puffing, nothing much is going to change. The key intra-party battle will probably be over the only policy he affirmed in any detail yesterday, the return of New Deal type state infrastructure spending. The idea of a massive state funded programme of national infrastructure, particularly in transport, to get heavy industry back on its feet, is the very antithesis of neo-liberalism. I think yesterday cleared up the question of whether Trump really meant it – he does. Will he be allowed to do it by a party committed to small state and balanced budgets, is a huge question. As Trump is also committed to tax cuts, it implies a massive budget deficit – with which Trump might well be comfortable. If Trump does succeed, it could fundamentally shift the way western governments look at economics, turning back the clock to the happier days before the advent of monetarism.

So that is Trump. Much that is bad but some fascinating things to watch. I suppose the reason I can’t join in the “it’s a disaster” screams, is that I thought it was already a disaster. The neo-liberal, warmongering orthodoxies did not have my support, despite Obama’s suave veneer. The pandering to racist populism of Trump is bad, and we must keep a watch on it. He may turn out not really to be different at all. Like all politicians, personal enrichment will doubtless be high on his agenda. But I do not start from the presumption the world is now a worse place than it was last week. I shall wait and see.

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The Ugliest Face of Unionism

It is very hard to understand why The Spectator would wish to pay Nick Cohen substantial money to write a column defending Brian Spanner and Stephen Daisley, and claiming the SNP has destroyed free media in Scotland.

To start with the most astonishing, Nick Cohen vociferously denies that “Brian Spanner” is a misogynist. Yet his own article contains a series of appalling tweets from Spanner, sent to Cohen by John Nicolson MP in an effort to make Cohen see sense. They include these tweets:

Margaret Curran: is she a victim of FGM? She is a torn faced cunt.

Mhairi Black is a nasty little fuck.

Poor Roseanna Cunningham. The change really has made her a bitter shovelled old cunt.

Plainly Cohen’s repeated assertion that Spanner is not misogynist is simply a lie. Cohen’s argument – that Spanner could not be misogynist as he is a friend of J K Rowling – is nonsensical. For those who were not already aware of her appalling neo-con politics, Rowling’s friendship with whoever “Spanner” really is might give some worrying indication of Rowling’s character. But it can in no way be said to prove Spanner is not misogynist. I am not sure it is possible to imagine more misogynist material than the above.

Long term readers of this blog will know that Daisley and Cohen are old comrades in arms. Daisley, Cohen, Murdoch attack dog Oliver Kamm and the Guardian’s Hadley Freeman indulged together in a mainstream media anti-Craig Murray hate fest on twitter.

A year ago I published about Daisley:

It is amazing to me that a supposed “journalist” working for a broadcaster would be so completely open about their anti-SNP, unionist, anti-Corbyn and far right agenda. Daisley is only very small beer, a stinking, sweating foot-soldier of the forces of reaction. But if you can stand it, the way the unionist establishment interacts and thinks is revealed very clearly from a study of his twitter feed. Messages are exchanged with Aaronovitch of Murdoch, Nick Cohen of the Guardian, with John McTernan of the Blairites and with J K Rowling of the 1%, and a great many others. The SNP and Corbyn are smugly derided by all. These well-paid state supporters live in a cosy Panglossian paradise and have contempt for anyone who is not “in”.

Cohen’s fury that a member of his neo-con clique should be denigrated, leads him to deny the existence of the most extreme misogyny imaginable. It also leads him to make the laughable assertion that the SNP control the media in Scotland. In Scotland the BBC, STV and 80% of the newspapers are viciously anti-SNP. Plainly that is not enough for Cohen. He hates the SNP for providing an alternative to unionism, he hates Corbyn for providing an alternative to neo-liberalism, and he hates the idea of anybody criticising the neo-con cheerleaders. His pathology is simple enough. But why does the Spectator pay him for it?

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The Unionist/Zionist Media Nexus In Action

For those of you who believe that we have a diverse media, I present without much comment these tweets between Murdoch, Guardian and Independent television employees. It is interesting that their two less famous sympathisers who are included in these exchanges are both primarily motivated by support for Israel. Simon Myerson’s twitter ID self-describes him as “Ocean_Going Zionist QC”. Tomas Doran’s twitter ID self-describes him as “Friend of the Jews.” Of course Freeman, Daisley and Cohen have all been specifically cited on this blog in the past for their dreadful anti-Palestinian propaganda. All of these people are also fierce opponents of Scottish independence.

It is not the content of the twitter spat that is important – it is the links between these mainstream journos who pretend to represent opposing views, but combine to attack anybody who actually does so.

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

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.

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Assange on Scotland

Julian Assange has asserted that MI5 are active against Scottish nationalists, as the independence movement is seen as a threat to the UK. Happily, Julian being Julian there is now some traction for this in the corporate media. When I posted on it last week I received nothing from the corporate media except dismissal and abuse over twitter.

I think it is worth repeating some of that twitter abuse for the benefit of anybody who has not fully appreciated the vitriol felt across the entire unionist media establishment towards anybody who queries the narrative they are paid to peddle.

If this doesn’t shake any residual belief in media impartiality, nothing will:

“Craig Murray is mad shocker.” James Bloodworth, The Independent
“Zooooooooooooooomer” Euan Mccolm, The Scotsman
“Craig Murray is obviously an MI5 plant. WAKE UP PEOPLE.” Kevin Schofield, The Sun
“Makes the X files look like Panorama” Rob Corp, BBC
“Cybernat bullying is an MI5 false flag operations, says former British Ambassador. Many Nats believe this stuff.” Iain Martin, the Daily Telegraph
“If you must tweet links to Craig Murray’s MI5 guff, take the SNP twibbon off your profile. That party rejected him as a candidate and rightly so.” Stephen Daisley, STV
“The comments under Craig Murray’s latest rant are really something.” Ross McCafferty, Daily Record

Is it not strange that such a broad spectrum of the mainstream media react with instant vitriol to the very notion that the security services are active against the Scottish independence movement, when we know for certain that environmental campaign groups have been heavily penetrated by agents and agents provocateurs? When such tactics have been used against the Irish Republican movement for decades? When our intelligence services were up to their ears in torture and extraordinary rendition and repeatedly lied about it? When Edward Snowden has revealed the massive scale of surveillance by GCHQ?

In the days when the corporate media had a monopoly on the dissemination of information, simply shouting “conspiracy theorist”, “tinfoil hat” and “lizards” at somebody, excluding them from corporate media access, would be enough essentially to prevent anybody from reaching the public with information. But that no longer works in the age of new media, and especially it doesn’t work in Scotland after the referendum experience.

The fact that my comments on MI5 dirty tricks were so instantly and so unanimously rubbished by the corporate media are more likely to make people realise there must be something to hide. None of the so-called “journalists” I have quoted above has ever tackled the fact that I blew the whistle on torture and extraordinary rendition, and that the government and security services lied about it then, with the support of establishment journalists. In fact I challenge all the named journalists above to say what they think about the sanctioning of intelligence from torture by Blair and Straw, and whether I was truthful in my whistleblowing. Perhaps some of you might be able to contact them to point out the challenge.

For the avoidance of doubt, let me spell this out. I have certain knowledge from an inside source that disruption of separatist activity in Scotland now features in MI5 tasking. The “tasking” of the security services – and that is what it is officially called – is a very formal written exercise conducted by the Joint Intelligence Committee on an annual basis, though it is possible (but very difficult) to insert new tasks in-year.

I have personally taken part – often – in Cabinet Office meetings of JIC sub-committees determining tasking, though in my case more for MI6 than MI5. It is a system I know very well. None of the “journalists” abusing me above has ever sat on a JIC committee. None of them actually know anything about it. None has contacted me to ask me why I have stated there is an MI5 anti-SNP operation. It is so much easier to collect your pay packet, quaff another Merlot and drunkenly catcall “zoooomer!”

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