Search Results for : quilliam


Quilliam Foundation Threaten Webhosts To Close Down This Blog

Having failed to intimidate me, the Quilliam foundation have now written to my webhost in the Netherlands, threatening to sue them in England (English law claims effective universal jurisdiction on libel). They are demanding that my webhost pays damages to the Directors of the Quilliam Foundation.

You will recall that Alisher Usmanov got this website temporarily closed down by threatening my then webhosts. I hope Quilliam will find my current webhosts made of sterner stuff, but repetition or mirroring of the Quilliam Foundation posts would be helpful at this stage. Here they are:

http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2009/11/public_money_go.html

http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2009/11/all_blogger_ale.html

http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2009/11/quilliam_founda.html#comments

http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2009/11/we_are_instruct.html#comments

http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2009/11/murray_to_quill.html#comments

Plus this one. of course.

I do not libel. All the money spent by the likes of Alisher Usmanov and Tim Spicer on lawyers’ letters to threaten me, my publishers and my webhosts has never resulted in anybody going to court against me, despite the fact I have always maintained the truth of what I have written and never bowed to threats to remove it. It is all still on here because it is all true.

I have written this to my webhosts:

There are loads of posts on my blog about this, and all my correspondence with them.

Key points:

At the time I pubklished my blog post, they had NOT filed their accounts

They filed their accounts six days AFTER I blogged that they had not filed them

At the time I blogged, their accounts were overdue and they did not have an extension ?” they applied for the extension THE DAY AFTER my blog that they had not filed their accounts ?” six days later they filed accounts

I have not at any stage accused the directors of stealing money. I have said that too much money goes into rewarding the Directors. Perfectly fair comment on a taxpayer funded organization ?” and a comment made by hundreds of others, repeatedly (google the Quilliam Foundation)

This is legal bullying. Having failed to intimidate me, they are trying to intimidate you

My own view is that, unless bloggers are prepared to stand up to this kind of intimidation, the internet is in deep trouble. The bad news is that English law claims the right to prosecute anyone anywhere in the world for posting to the internet as it can be read in England. This is a disgrace, and several US states have passed or are passing laws to protect their citizens from it. It is not impossible they would get your arse into an English court if they really wanted to make themselves infamous.

I am refusing to back down because I am quite confident that they are bluffing, and if they did go to court they would lose. I have in my five years of blogging received about sixty letters like the one you just got, and nobody has ever taken me to court, let alone won. It is called “chilling” ?” people are so terrified of UK libel law they usually back down when they get such a letter.

I cannot pretend it is one hundred per cent risk free to call their bluff. But if we give in the first time a wealthy institution pays a lawyer 500 dollars to write a letter, what is the purpose of our internet activity?

Craig

There is an interesting article in today’s Independent by Johann Hari about former “Islamic extremists.” Hari too notes the extraordinarily wealthy lifestyle of the Quilliam directors.

The most famous former Islamist fanatic in Britain is Maajid Nawaz ?” a high-cheekboned 31-year-old who walks with a self-confident strut. I make an appointment with him through his personal assistant, and he strides into the hotel lobby where we have arranged to meet in an immaculate and expensive suit. He seems to blend perfectly into the multi-ethnic overclass who use expensive hotels like this as their base…

We are served tea by the kind of effusive waitress who works in high-end London hotels. Maajid does not acknowledge her.

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/johann-hari/renouncing-islamism-to-the-brink-and-back-again-1821215.html

I get the impression Johann didn’t like Nawaz very much.

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Murray To Quilliam: Put Up Or Shut Up

Another libel lawyer’s letter arrived late this afternoon from Clarke Willmott for the Quilliam Foundation, funded by your taxes (if you are a UK taxpayer). As with their first one and their email, I give it in full so you can see their side of the story:

Download file

They now acknowledge that they only filed their accounts six days after I blogged that they had not filed them – a fact they left out of their first letter. They do say that they had an extension to file late from Companies House. That seems their one good point. The rest is easily refuted. I have replied thus:

Dear Michael Clarke,

I refute your points entirely. My blog posts are part of a wider political debate surrounding the Quilliam Foundation Ltd. The view that Mr Husain has swung from one extremist view to the opposite has been very widely reported and deplored in blogs and on newspapers. Anyone who one year supports Islamic terrorism, and the next year supports the invasion of Iraq and the occupation of Afghanistan, cannot be fairly described as stable. Indeed the one thing both viewpoints have in common is a support for killing people for political ends.

The view that the Quilliam Foundation is counterproductive in achieving its aims and thus a waste of taxpayers’ money, and that its Directors are over-remunerated, is also so widely expressed as to be the received wisdom about the organization. Indeed in paying a social parasite like a libel lawyer, it seems only to confirm that Quilliam has more taxpayers’ money than sense.

I am very sorry that you wish to waste more taxpayers’ money in trying to defend Quilliam’s non-existent good name. Of course you will profit personally: why should you not get on the taxpayer funded gravy train too? If you wish to claim this particular action is financed by other donations, I refer you to the concept of fungibility.

I view your proposed action as an appallingly illiberal attempt by a government funded organization to silence an outlet for political dissent in the UK.

I also insist that you tell me whether you had advance knowledge of the plan for Mr Ed Jagger to telephone me falsely pretending to wish to be able to make a donation, apparently in order to attempt to elicit financial information. If you do not refute in simple terms any involvement, I shall report you to your professional body. Please tell me if that is the Law Society or the Bar Council. I expect you have an obligation when asked to give information on where to direct a professional complaint.

If you wish to serve papers on me, you will find me for the next three weeks at C878/3, North Ridge, Accra. After that I shall be at home at 30 Whitehall Gardens, Acton, London, W3 9RD. My wife is now there alone with our young baby, and any action by you or your clients which upsets or harasses her before my return is something which I will take very, very seriously indeed and I would take every possible and imaginative action within the law to ensure that you would greatly regret.

Thank you for recommending me to get a solicitor. Sadly unlike your clients I am not rolling in taxpayers’ cash and I have no money for a solicitor. As Mr Jagger telephoned me to offer a donation, perhaps you might ask him if he could fund a solicitor for me? That would be kind.

I have nothing more to say to you and will enter no further correspondence with you, nor read any further correspondence by you. Please stop this pathetic and futile attempt at bullying and go to court. I have no doubt that Jack Straw (who you will be aware sacked me as British Ambassador precisely for not holding the views your clients are so well paid to propagandise) will make sure you get allocated a judge entirely on your side.

Craig

The only sad thing about this episode for me (other than the waste of time and energy and a certain distress to my family) is that the general opinion of Quilliam is so low, this appalling behaviour can’t make them much worse thought of.

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Quilliam Foundation Lie and Cheat

Yesterday afternoon I received an unusual phone call. A man telephoned me and said that he had been following my blog for some time and was most impressed by it, and would like to know how to make a donation. I replied truly that I was extremely grateful, but the website really was just me, and therefore I did not request donations, unless for some specific expense like an election campaign.

You may be surprised to hear that people do not generally phone me up out of the blue and offer cash, so I was a bit suspicious. I did go on and suggest that if he wanted to be helpful he could buy my books, but he lost interest in the conversation very quickly in a manner that just seemed wrong compared to his initial eagerness.

So when I got a letter today from lawyers threatening libel action, I wondered if this was an attempt to get financial information on what funds they might target. So today I phoned him back. He gave his name as Ed, so I asked directly if he was Ed Husain or Ed Jagger of the Quilliam Foundation. At first he replied “I am not Ed Husain”. I had to ask again before he admitted he was indeed Ed Jagger of the Quilliam Foundation.

I put it to him that he had lied when he phoned and said he wanted to make a donation. He said that he just wanted to establish my contact details for the lawyer. I said that if he had asked me openly and honestly, I would have told him. He concluded by saying that any further communication should be through our lawyers (which will be tricky as I can’t afford one: Unlike Jagger I am not funded by taxpayers’ money.)

I don’t suppose there is any law against Mr Jagger telephoning and lying to me about wishing to make a donation. Indeed I would write it off as a harmless ruse, and amusing he had been caught. But for an organisation funded by the taxpayer to telephone someone and lie to them is quite a different thing.

Should anyone wish to make that point to Mr Jagger, the number from which he telephoned me was 07780 685592.

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All Blogger Alert: Quilliam Foundation Lawyers Threaten Libel Action Against This Blog

The Quilliam Foundation, which receives very large amounts of public money, has decided that a good use for some of its funds is to take libel action against me. The lawyer’s letter from Clarke Willmott insists that I pay damages to the directors personally, rather than to the Foundation. Interesting.

Download file

Anyway, the lawyer says that the Quilliam Foundation has indeed filed accounts. I shall reply asking the lawyer for a copy of said accounts. Interestingly the lawyer claims that a Mr Ed Jagger had contacted me to say thiswas untrue. In fact, to my knowledge I have never had any contact with Ed Jagger.

If I (and the Company House website) am wrong in saying that Quilliam had not filed accounts, of course I apologise without any need for a lawyer. However it makes very little difference to my view on Quiliiam. To save Clarke Willmott a search, here is part of an earlier article I wrote about them and their attack on a fellow blogger:

My own view is that those who have adopted religous fanaticism – for whatever religion – display an absence of good judgement.

Ed Husain is by his own account a former religous extremist. He is one of the leaders among those who realised that, having tried to make a mark in the world through religious fanaticism, they can make more money and career progress by turning traitor on their former beliefs and colleagues, and jumping on the anti-Islamist gravy train.

Both the original fanaticism and the high profile and lucrative betrayal are evidence of a sociopathic character.

Husain is now a wealthy man. The government set him up in the Quilliam foundation and has thrown more than £1 million of taxpayers’ money at it. He is in great and lucrative demand on the mainstream media.

The Quilliam Foundation is the branch of New Labour tasked with securing the Muslim vote and reducing British Muslim dissatisfaction with New Labour over the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. If they wanted to do that whith New Labour money, that would be their own business. But I object fundamentally to their doing it with my and your money.

The party political nature of the Quilliam Foundation is shown in their astonishing and completely unbalanced attack on Osama Saeed, a prominent SNP candidate and a friend of mine. They try to portray him as an Islamic extremist.

If Osama is an Islamic extremist, then I am a Blairite

.

http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2009/04/new_labour_corr.html

I might add that, for an organisation set up ostensibly to advocate Western values, they have a very shaky grip on free speech. Apparently they have Michael Gove, Douglas Murray and other Tory pro Iraq and Afghanistan war neo-cons onboard as well as New Labour.

My post about the accounts is here.

http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2009/11/public_money_go.html

I will amend it when I get back to London to reflect their claim that they have in fact filed accounts. I can’t do that here as to add to an old entry triggers a site rebuild which is not practical on my very slow African internet connection.

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New Labour Corruption and Quilliam

My own view is that those who have adopted religous fanaticism – for whatever religion – display an absence of good judgement.

Ed Husain is by his own account a former religous extremist. He is one of the leaders among those who realised that, having tried to make a mark in the world through religious fanaticism, they can make more money and career progress by turning traitor on their former beliefs and colleagues, and jumping on the anti-Islamist gravy train.

Both the original fanaticism and the high profile and lucrative betrayal are evidence of a sociopathic character.

Husain is now a wealthy man. The government set him up in the Quilliam foundation and has thrown more than £1 million of taxpayers’ money at it. He is in great and lucrative demand on the mainstream media.

The Quilliam Foundation is the branch of New Labour tasked with securing the Muslim vote and reducing British Muslim dissatisfaction with New Labour over the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. If they wanted to do that whith New Labour money, that would be their own business. But I object fundamentally to their doing it with my and your money.

The party political nature of the Quilliam Foundation is shown in their astonishing and completely unbalanced attack on Osama Saeed, a prominent SNP candidate and a friend of mine. They try to portray him as an Islamic extremist.

If Osama is an Islamic extremist, then I am a Blairite.

For New Labour to have even the faintest hope of a respectable performance at the general election, they must protect their Scottish base against the SNP. This pathetic attempt to smear the SNP as connected to Islamic extremism is a blatant abuse of taxpayers’ money.

It is also desperate. Here is one of the “extremist” comments of Osama which they highlight:

“The aim of Islamic law, contrary to popular belief, is not punishment by death or amputation of body parts. It is to create a peaceful and just society, with Islamic scholars over centuries citing its core aims: the freedom to practise religion; protection of life; safeguarding intellect; maintaining lineage and individual rights. This could be the basis for an Islamic Bill of Rights.”

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/scotland/article6157961.ece?print=yes&ran

They also criticisng Osama for saying the “Danish cartoons” should be banned. I disagree with Osama on that one, but I also disagree with Nadira and every other Muslim I know on that one. Freedom of speech, sadly in my view, is not absolute in this country – witness the government’s banning of Geerst Wilders. Osama’s view on this is not extreme, it is mainstream.

The real scandal here is not Osama Saeed, who is a good man dedicated to freedom and to bringing Scotland’s Muslim community into its mainstream politics. The real story is the blatant misuse of taxpayer funds by New Labour.

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Interfering with Laura Kuenssberg

Last night the BBC was reporting on the Conservative manifesto. This is a document whose most striking pledge is to fill in some of the potholes in roads that have proliferated due to massive cuts in local authority funding, and to give free hospital car parking to those visiting a terminally ill relative. Just think of the last one. How do you prove your relative is terminally ill? What if there is a chance they might get better? The administration of this system is going to require people to have some form of certificate or token that all hope is now lost. For the car park. The Tories are all heart.

As the News continued, Laura Kuenssberg told us that the battle lines between the parties are now clearly drawn, and the major division is over how much the government “should interfere in the economy”.

Interfere. Not intervene. Not regulate. Interfere. It is a very deliberate choice of word. Let me turn to the Oxford English Dictionary:

Interfere

1) Prevent from continuing or being carried out properly
2) Handle or adjust without permission
3) Become involved in something without being asked
4) Sexually molest

Words matter. Kuenssberg chose a word with powerful negative connotations and no possible positive meaning, to describe the alternative to the Tories. Kuenssberg talking of government interfering in, rather than intervening in, the economy is in itself a very strong and explicit declaration of Kuenssberg’s belief in an Ayn Rand, “Britannia unchained”, free market, ultra neo-liberal world view. To explicitly frame the choice in the election as between the Tories and “interfering” is just another example of the way the BBC slants their election coverage, permanently.

Now I started to draft an article three days ago, before that particular Kuenssberg propaganda masterclass.

Here is what I wrote as a draft three days ago:

“Maybe I am just unlucky. I have had television news bulletins transport me to hear vox-pops featuring former Labour voters in Dudley who now want to vote Conservative to GET BREXIT DONE. I have seen vox pops in fishing wharves in Peterhead and Grimsby, in dismal cafes in Hartlepool, in bingo halls in Yarmouth, in pubs back in Dudley, on high streets in Wakefield, in a shopping mall in Thurrock, in hardware stores back in bloody Dudley again. The country is full of people who want to GET BREXIT DONE, and who will NEVER VOTE LABOUR AGAIN.

The strange thing is that I have not seen a single vox pop from Richmond, featuring an educated woman who is switching from a lifetime of Tory voting because they have become a far right party and are going to crash the economy with hard Brexit. But there are many people like that in Richmond, and indeed all over London, and throughout much of southern England. They exist but are not worth vox-popping, apparently. Because they are not the broadcasters’ chosen “narrative”.

The BBC, ITN and Sky will doubtless defend the very obviously targeted demographic and destination of their “vox-pops” on the grounds that this is the “narrative” of the election. But that is a self-reinforcing prophecy. The public are relentlessly being told that what ordinary people want is to “GET BREXIT DONE” and to vote Tory. But that is actually only what about 40% of the people want. We just aren’t being shown the other 60% as the broadcasters focus relentlessly on areas with the highest leave vote, and on vox pop subjects with the least possible education.”

While that passage was atill on the stocks, last night, alongside the Kuenssberg analysis, the BBC gave us a vox pop from the Rother Valley that fitted perfectly the above description. It came from a Yorkshire Labour seat that voted Leave. It featured Labour voters who will now vote Conservative. The ladies interviewed were perfectly primed with precisely the main Tory slogans. A lady told us she wanted Boris so we could “get Brexit done and get on with domestic reforms”. Another ex-Labour voter told us she would vote for Boris because “he may not be trustworthy, but I like him”. Trust and likeability are two factors the pollsters regularly measure. It is important for the Tories that voters prioritise likeability over trust, because Johnson’s Trust numbers are appalling. How fortunate that the BBC happened to find a little old lady in the Rother Valley who could express this so succinctly!

Or maybe it is not so surprising. With the mainstream media as such a reliable echo chamber of public slogans, perhaps it is not surprising to find the public just echo them too, as they do in North Korea. The state media in the UK is of course not the only propaganda outlet. Billionaires control 87% of print news media by circulation, and are aggressively Tory for obvious reasons of self-interest.

This leads to the incredible circularity of the “Newspaper Reviews” that take up such a high proportion of broadcast news output. The broadcasters “review” the overwhelmingly right wing print media. And who do they invite to do the reviewing? Why the billionaire employed journalists of the overwhelmingly right wing print media, of course! So we have the surreal experience of watching journalists from the Times and the Spectator telling us how great an article in the Daily Mail is, about how Corbyn is a Russian spy and Scotland not really a country at all.

If that was not bad enough, we then get deluged by “commentators” from “think tanks” which are again billionaire funded, like the Institute of Economic Affairs and scores of others, sometimes with money thrown in from the security services, like the Quilliam Foundation and scores of others. It is a never-ending closed circular loop of propaganda.

The truth is that it largely works. Social media is overwhelmingly sceptical of the government narrative, but we still live in a society where the power of mass broadcasting and even print retains a remarkable amount of influence, particularly on the old and the poorly educated. It is no coincidence that it is precisely the old and the poorly educated that are the targets of Cummings’ “Brexit election” strategy. If it comes off, Kuenssberg and her fellow hacks will have proven that the power of the mainstream media is as yet unbroken.

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Mental Meltdown at the Mail

The terrorist attack on worshippers from Finsbury Park Mosque has led to a welcome, but I fear temporary, distancing from Islamophobia of its most ardent exponents. That is the background to this quite extraordinary leading article in today’s Daily Mail.

But it is difficult to understand what can have motivated the Mail to publish such a blatant lie which can bring nothing but immediate ridicule. Claims of a “different world view” are qualitative, although many will find them risible. The massive percentage of shared content is simple to verify. But the out and out lie is that the Mail Online and the Mail have a different publisher. Both are published by Associated Newspapers Ltd. This is an extract from their last published accounts:

I suspect there is more behind this peculiar meltdown at the Mail than just panic at their association with Katie Hopkins. But it would be a huge advance if the mainstream media as a whole were to re-assess the publicity and access they give to dedicated Islamophobes. Douglas Murray still features regularly, particularly on the BBC, despite statements like this one:

“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.”

The horrible killing at Finsbury Park has given us a few weeks’ pause. Next month, the media will be back to following an agenda on issues affecting the Muslim community which is dictated by the right wing shills of the Quilliam Foundation, Henry Jackson Society, Migration Watch and UKIP.

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BBC Glories in Death

The BBC appear enraptured by the apparent death of Ronald Fiddler in Mosul fighting for Islamic State forces. Fiddler was a former inmate of Guantanamo Bay, so this “vindicates” the War on Terror. The BBC are leading every news bulletin and giving us full spectrum security services propaganda. We have MI6 mouthpiece Frank Gardner, the discredited neo-con chancers of the Quilliam Foundation and the far right professional supporter of military attacks on the Middle East, Afzal Ashraf, all giving us their views every half hour on the BBC.

It has never been disputed that Ronald Fiddler was tortured in Guantanamo, which is partly why he was paid substantial compensation by the British government. It does not seem to have occurred to the BBC as worth any consideration that the fact Fiddler emerged from Guantanamo and apparently became a supporter of violent Islam, does not in any sense prove that he was a violent islamist before being tortured in Guantanamo. Yet that Guantanamo was the cause of his extreme alienation is on the surface highly probable.

The BBC did not interview Moazzam Begg or Clive Stafford Smith or anybody who might have something thoughtful to say on the subject. Instead they went solely for self-reinforcing voices of the right wing establishment, the most pro-invading the Middle East voices that could possibly be found.

750,000 civilians face the assault on Mosul in the next few days. The rebel forces being attacked have precisely the same religion, precisely the same philosophy, and in a significant number of cases belong to precisely the same organisations as the rebels who were driven out of Aleppo by Assad forces and the Russians. Yet the assault on Mosul is apparently a wonderful thing, to be cheered on by the propaganda of embedded journalists, while the precisely analogous assault on Aleppo was an appalling and irresponsible massacre. It must be very strange to stretch your conscience to work in the BBC; a peculiar and remarkable kind of talent.

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The Wacko Right Nexus

Ted Cruz has not really registered much with the public in the UK. But anybody feeling comforted by his apparently making ground against Donald Trump is in for a shock. Cruz is on the right wing fringes even in the United States – so much so that John McCain called him a “wacko”. He is an avid climate change denier, wishes to increase US military interventions abroad, wants to criminalise abortion and supports control of the internet – he described net neutrality as “Obamacare for the internet”.

It is therefore interesting that the Chairman of Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign is one Chad Sweet, who is also a Director of the Quilliam Foundation USA, established by its British counterpart.

The Quilliam Foundation is a group led by people who claim to be former Islamic jihadists who have now reformed. It is the go-to organisation for the BBC and Murdoch’s Sky News whenever Islamic matters, and particularly terrorism, are aired on the media. It is presented, quite falsely, as a neutral and technocratic organisation.

It is in fact deeply sinister. While it has provided a lifestyle of champagne and well-cut silk suits for its “ex-jihadist” directors, it has pandered to right wing Islamophobia in every statement it has ever made. It received millions of pounds of UK government funding, not very well accounted for, and employs “ex” members of MI6. I have it from a very good security source that funding comes from the CIA, and there is certainly an open stream of funding from far right American bodies.

Quilliam were involved by the government as “experts” in drawing up the government’s Prevent strategy, which directly seeks to curtail expression of “radical” opinion in British universities and seeks to place a spy in every classroom. It has led, among scores of such incidents, to the arrest and detention of a Muslim student of security studies for reading a book on terrorism in Nottinghamshire University Library, and the police being sent to an eight year old Muslim child’s home because the teacher heard him use the word terrorism. Only last week the National Union of Teachers took a definitive stand against the Prevent strategy.

There is no doubt the air of anti-Muslim paranoia Prevent inculcates will increase resentment and alienation among young Muslims, which is the opposite of what is sensible. But the corporate media can always call up the “experts” of the Quilliam Foundation when they want the government line to be supported.

The link between Quilliam and Cruz does not surprise me in the least, but is completely contrary to the official image of Quilliam as presented by the media.

Their support for Prevent is of a piece with their contempt for freedom of speech. After I first criticised Quilliam, I received a telephone call from one of their staff attempting to get my personal financial details, including account numbers, by pretending to be making a donation. They also tried to get this blog closed down by attempting legal action against its hosts.

The nexus of far right interests, and their reach, is ever fascinating. I guess we all pray for Bernie Sanders.

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Henry Jackson Society as Bad as Donald Trump

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.

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Liquid Lies Revisited

There never was a liquid bomb plot. It was proven in court not to exist. It was a fabrication of the minds governing a Pakistani torture chamber.

It is only a week ago that, as the terrorist industry sought to terrify us with the idea that jihadists from Syria would attack the UK, I wrote that:

“The patent absence of any genuine Islamic terrorism in the UK to fight is an obvious threat to the funding of this huge industry. Hence the current hype about the threat from Birmingham school governors or British residents fighting in Iraq and Syria. We have the usual propagandists for this threat thrust upon the airwaves again – Frank “Goebbels” Gardner and even the utterly discredited “Quilliam Foundation” who have been back on the BBC. At the moment they are peddling the utterly untrue line that 9% of those who travel from the UK to participate in fighting abroad, on return get involved in terrorist activity in the UK. Frank Gardner has been repeating this ad nauseam”

Now the terror industry has moved to ramp up this entirely false fear with worldwide headlines about a new threat of bombs on planes. The BBC and Sky both link this to the great “liquid bomb plot” of 2006. Everybody remembers that massive story that dominated the headlines for weeks. It was described by the British security services as “Bigger than 9/11”. Today BBC News described it as a “plot to bring down seven airliners simultaneously”.

22 people were arrested in Stasi style raids conducted on their hones at 2.30am. These included a 22 year old woman with a young baby. The Home Office proudly proclaimed that the Home Secretary, Dr John Reid, had been awake all night and personally directed those raids on sleeping families with children.

You may recall that the tabloids – directed by Rebekah Brooks and Coulson – ran front page stories about the evil Islamic mother and the liquid explosive in her baby bottles. These evil Muslims are so heartless they are prepared to blow up their own babies!! John Howard, Australian Prime Minister, said “That would be an appalling reflection on the lack of humanity of that child’s parents.”

Except it was all untrue. The chemical traces the police claimed to have found on the baby bottles proved to be Sodium Dichloroisocyanurate, normal baby bottle sterilising solution, from Boots. The woman was found not guilty on all charges. Neither the tabloids, the police, nor Dr John Reid and John Howard have ever apologised. Of the 22 people arrested in those darkest night raids, only eight were ever charged – fourteen were released without charge, there being no evidence against them. Of the eight who were charged, five were found not guilty. Three were convicted as terrorists – but there was nothing in their plans about blowing up aircraft. I am not personally convinced of the safety of their convictions anyway. They may have been unpleasant fantasists, but not much else. These three certainly had no practical plan or method to bring down seven aircraft, despite the BBC repeating that lie continually at the moment. The recent death of Gerard Conlon reminds us all of the horrifying willingness of English juries to convict the demonised other, be they Irish Catholics or Muslims.

This is what I blogged just three days after the story broke. Everything I wrote here proved to be true:

“None of the alleged terrorists had made a bomb. None had bought a plane ticket. Many did not even have passports, which given the efficiency of the UK Passport Agency would mean they couldn’t be a plane bomber for quite some time.

In the absence of bombs and airline tickets, and in many cases passports, it could be pretty difficult to convince a jury beyond reasonable doubt that individuals intended to go through with suicide bombings, whatever rash stuff they may have bragged in internet chat rooms.

What is more, many of those arrested had been under surveillance for over a year – like thousands of other British Muslims. And not just Muslims. Like me. Nothing from that surveillance had indicated the need for early arrests.

Then an interrogation in Pakistan revealed the details of this amazing plot to blow up multiple planes – which, rather extraordinarily, had not turned up in a year of surveillance. Of course, the interrogators of the Pakistani dictator have their ways of making people sing like canaries. As I witnessed in Uzbekistan, you can get the most extraordinary information this way. Trouble is it always tends to give the interrogators all they might want, and more, in a desperate effort to stop or avert torture. What it doesn’t give is the truth.

The gentleman being “interrogated” had fled the UK after being wanted for questioning over the murder of his uncle some years ago. That might be felt to cast some doubt on his reliability. It might also be felt that factors other than political ones might be at play within these relationships. Much is also being made of large transfers of money outside the formal economy. Not in fact too unusual in the British Muslim community, but if this activity is criminal, there are many possibilities that have nothing to do with terrorism.”

Despite the fact I was right and the entire mainstream media was wrong, I was directly attacked by highly paid alcoholic warmonger Nick Cohen in the Observer as a “conspiracy theorist”.

The famous “liquid bomb plot” was used by both the UK and US governments to drive through yet more anti-civil liberties legislation, despite the fact that the plot did not actually exist and the technology of home made portable and easily deployable binary liquid explosives is a myth.

The mass hysteria whipped up by the mainstream media and appalling neo-con politicians over the “liquid bomb plot” did a huge amount to boost the massive budgets of the terrorist industry. The media never carried the news of the non-existence of the plot, so there was never any downward pressure on those budgets as a result. The patent lack of Islamic terrorism in the West is becoming a threat to those budgets now. But, Hell! The liquid bomb myth worked last time, didn’t it? Why not use it again?

That the BBC can recycle as fact the “liquid bomb plot to blow up seven airlines” is sickening enough. But then they did something that was so jaw-dropping as to be unbelievable, even given the total lack of ethics at the BBC. To make sure the “fear” really sunk in, they showed a “reconstruction” of the liquid bomb plot. A section of aircraft fuselage was mounted on the ground, and then an explosion blew out a big hole in it. Text labelled it “reconstruction” underneath.

How can you have a “reconstruction” of something which never happened, and was shown in court not to have happened? I should love to believe that this BBC ploy is so ludicrous it did not work; but I have a sad feeling that 90% of people probably believe the “liquid bomb plot” did exist, as Tony Blair, George Bush, John Reid, John Howard and the entire media told them it existed, and nobody has ever told them it did not.

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Lord Byron, Terrorist

The brief wave of Islamic terrorism in the UK followed our invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, and effectively stopped when those occupations ended. In every case of actual terrorist attack, the terrorists involved cited those invasions as a key part of their motive. There may yet be another residual attack, but as a campaign it is over, and historical perspective will show it related purely to our invasion of Islamic lands.

Yet we have suffered a week of media propaganda aimed at repeating the mantra that Isis’ success in Iraq will lead to terrorist attacks in the UK. The only apparent purpose of this mantra is to justify some degree of US/UK intervention in Iraq’s current civil war. As it was the US/UK invasion which caused this civil war in the first place, this is ironic. As any form of UK intervention is the only thing that might in fact provoke Iraq related terrorist attacks in the UK, it is a crazed argument; the absolute opposite of the truth.

The brief period of Islamic linked terrorism in the UK killed about eighty people – a tiny percentage of those who died in the UK from Irish linked violence in the 70’s and 80’s – but had two disproportionately dreadful effects. The first was a massive reduction in civil liberties in the UK. The second was the spawning of a vast and parasitic security industry, both within government, and in the private sector but government funded.

The patent absence of any genuine Islamic terrorism in the UK to fight is an obvious threat to the funding of this huge industry. Hence the current hype about the threat from Birmingham school governors or British residents fighting in Iraq and Syria. We have the usual propagandists for this threat thrust upon the airwaves again – Frank “Goebbels” Gardner and even the utterly discredited “Quilliam Foundation” who have been back on the BBC. At the moment they are peddling the utterly untrue line that 9% of those who travel from the UK to participate in fighting abroad, on return get involved in terrorist activity in the UK. Frank Gardner has been repeating this ad nauseam.

This claim is absolutely unfounded. It is brought to you by the same people who claim there are 4,000 active terrorists in the UK, or that MI5 foiled 34 active terrorist plots.

How gullible do you have to be to believe that in the last seven years this 4,000 committed terrorists in the UK, with their 34 active plots, managed to kill nobody at all, except for the two deranged and utterly disorganised Nigerians who murdered the unfortunate Lee Rigby? The other 3,998 must be the world’s least productive terrorists. Surely between 3,998 fanatical and committed murderous terrorists they could at least have injured somebody? The truth is that in the last seven years Irish political violence has again killed more people in the UK than Islamist political violence.

If you have 4,000 totally non-productive fantasy terrorists, then it is not surprising that you think that one in nine of those who go to fight abroad are involved in such “terrorism” in the UK. In fact, the terrorist threat in the UK is miniscule and the entire narrative is a nonsense. You have a much greater chance of drowning in your own bath than of being killed by a terrorist. The death of Gerald Conlon should be a sobering reminder of the willingness of English juries to make completely improbable terrorist convictions on the say-so of the authorities.

There has probably not been a war abroad in the last two hundred years in which some UK resident did not go and fight. The BBC and Sky news headline today is about someone from Aberdeen who went to fight for Isis. That is meant to terrify us about terrorism here.

Nonsense.

Somebody else from Aberdeen went to fight in a war abroad. George Gordon, Lord Byron, went to fight for the Greek revolt against Ottoman rule, and died of fever in a Balkan swamp. (Under Blair’s “anti-terror” legislation, that would have made Byron guilty of terrorism in the UK). In the same decade George De Lacey Evans went to fight for the Spanish Infanta against her uncle. Several Britons including David Urquhart fought against the Russian invasion of Circassia. I am talking in all these cases of politically motivated volunteers, not mercenaries. A number of British residents fought in the Franco-Prussian war. Several Britons fought for the Confederates in the US civil war – almost certainly some fought for the Union as well, but I can’t claim to know of them. Garibaldi had a Welsh officer called Griffiths. We should all be terrifically proud of the Britons in the International Brigades in Spain. British residents fought on all sides in the recent civil wars in the Balkans. I should be astonished if some British residents of Ukrainian and Russian heritage had not gone to join militias there at present.

Nor should we forget that the same political establishment which so deplores Britons going abroad to fight, has legalised, massively encouraged and financed the mercenary activities of hired killers like Tim Spicer and Tony Buckingham. The hypocrisy is rank and stinking.

The dreadful violence and destruction the West has inflicted and promoted in recent years in its efforts to gain control of the mineral resources of the Middle East continues to play out. Those who see communities with which they identify abroad engaged in military conflict will always produce a small number of people going to join the fight. This is in no sense unusual, and in no sense a threat to ordinary citizens in the UK. The link to terrorism here is entirely a fiction. The unfortunate thing is that the mainstream media allows no outlet for people to mock its false assertions and point out its sinister agenda.

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Ludicrous Claims Department

Yet another example of the appalling standards of modern journalism from the Guardian, with journalists not thinking about what they write, and of the fakery of the industry of “analysts” that leech off the “War on Terror”.

Zhukov has analysed some 30,000 violent attacks in the Caucusus region and found that in most cases there is substantial chatter between instigators followed by a claim of responsibility for the incident

Really? 30,000 attacks analysed, including researching the internet traffic of the perpetrators and their public statements?

That is rather a lot of work. Firstly you have to identify the attack and identify the perpetrator. Then you have to access their internet use and go through it looking for relevant reading, comments or relevant messages.

Let us presume you have such good access to the security services that they do all of that for you, and serve up the results to you on a plate, and that you trust their diligence, honesty and analytical ability sufficiently to work just from what you were given. If you were being served up ready to analyse dossiers of relevant internet traffic of perpetrators of attacks, how many such dossiers could you in any meaningful way analyse in a working day to form a view on the individual? Perhaps four?

Now let us presume four weeks holiday a year and five working days a week. It would take you 33 years of solid work, doing nothing else in your professional life, to analyse thirty thousand cases. That is to make the startling assumption that there is meaningful material on as many as thirty thousand cases to analyse, and you have access to it.

30,000 attacks analysed? Bullshit. Pure bullshit.

To compound which the Guardian also brings us that silk suited leech on public funds, Ed Husain of the discredited Quilliam Foundation. What passes for mainstream media analysis on security issues is risible.

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Behind Imran’s Hounding

Pulling Imran Khan off a plane in Canada, and making him miss his Eid fundraising lunch in New York, is pretty crass of the United States, a country that claims its foreign policy is motivated by freedom. The idea that low level US immigration operatives needed clarificiation on Khan’s well-known views on killings by US drones in Pakistan is plainly nonsense. But this wasn’t routine or an error; Khan wasn’t questioned at a desk on arrival in New York, he was pulled off a plane by US operatives in Canada. It was an exercise in humiliation.

But if you look under this event you find some interesting, creepy crawly creatures.

From the Toronto Sun report linked above:

The American Islamic Leadership Coalition from Phoenix, Ariz. wrote to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton earlier this week, pressuring her to revoke the U.S. visa granted to Khan because of his sympathetic views towards the Taliban.

The American Islamic Leadership Coalition followed this up with a press release with the notably un-Islamic contact name of Gregg Edgar of Gordon C James Public Relations.

From Wikipedia on Gordon C James:

James grew up in Phoenix, Arizona and moved to Iowa in 1969 where he served several years in the Iowa National Guard. James worked in the real-estate management business in Des Moines, renting space to presidential candidates in town for the caucuses. In 1978, he met and rented space to former President of the United States George H. W. Bush (then Ambassador Bush).[1]
After the 1988 election James worked as Lead Advance Representative at the White House for two years under President George H.W. Bush and Director of Invitations and Ticketing for the 51st Presidential Inaugural Committee.[2] James was also employed as deputy director of events for the 54th and 55th Presidential Inauguration.[3] In 1990 he founded the public relations firm Gordon C. James Public Relations.
In 2004, James was employed by former U.S. Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove to improve U.S. public relations in Iraq during the transition of governments.[4] For more than five months he served as the Director of Advance and Special Events in the Office of Strategic Communications and Director of the Presidential Palace Studio for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad, Iraq. While there he advised Ambassador Paul Bremer and was responsible for coordinating the Ambassador’s relations with Western and Pan-Arab media outlets and produced several events including the signing of the Tal (Iraq’s Declaration of Independence) and 100 Days to Sovereignty, the countdown to the transfer of power from the CPA to newly founded Iraqi government.[5]
In 2004 James assisted in several political stops with the Bush-Cheney campaign and in 2005, he was employed as lead advance representative for President George H.W. Bush and President Bill Clinton’s tour of the Tsunami-hit regions of Indonesia.[6]
James has traveled to five continents as a lead advance representative for President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush.

There are some Muslims in the American Islamic Leadership Coalition. In Phoenix with Gordon C James is M Zuhdi Jasser, of Syrian origin but for eleven years a medical officer in the US Navy. And the AILC has another interesting Syrian, leader of “The Reform Party of Syria”, Farid Ghadry. The AILC website includes the quote:

“Gossip is he is the next president of Syria”

Ghadry lives in Washington and is the author of such fascinating blog posts as “Israel Builds for Nobel Prizes, Arabs are Suicide Bombers”.

Like the Quilliam Foundation in the UK, doubtless the AILC has hoovered up plenty of public funds for its useful work for the security services. BUt the idea that it genuinely represents a strand in Islamic thinking is ludicrous. It is marvellous what being an establishment shill can do for your media profile though. Zuhdi Jasser addressed his largest mass rally of supporters – highly optimistically estimated by the media as three dozen – in a New York rally in support of NYPD’s controversial surveillance and agent provocateur operations against Muslims. Rather than laughing at it, the tame mainstream media covered it infinitely better than they cover anti-war rallies 1,000 times larger, and portrayed it as a genuine sign of Muslim community support for the surveillance.

Just as none of the mainstream media reporting the current Imran Khan story – most of whon quote the AILC – say anything about who the AILC really are. What do people working in the mainstream media think the purpose of their existence actually is?

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Prevent: A Totally Illiberal Strategy

I have now ploughed through all 120 pages odd of the Government’s new Prevent Strategy, which manages to be even more illiberal and more turgid than the original. It claims that the last Prevent Strategy was misguided – but for all the wrong reasons. Rather amusingly, it starts with a message of endorsement from Lord Carlile – who also endorsed the last strategy which it criticises so strongly. The truth is, Carlile will endorse anything for any government which gives him status – he loves status – “It has my considered and strong support” he concludes his endorsement – you have to imagine saying it with marbles in your mouth and a degree of insufferable pomposity – “It has my considered and strong support”- wanker.

The report has many errors. but its fundamental flaw is iits explicit assumption that terrorism is actuated by a hatred of democracy.

” There is evidence to indicate that support for terrorism is associated with rejection of a cohesive, integrated, multi-faith society and of parliamentary democracy. Work to deal with radicalisation will depend on developing a sense of belonging to this country and support for our core values. “

That may in part be true; but with stunning intellectual dishonesty the government refuses to tackle in the report the fact that terrorism in the UK has been driven by disgust at British foreign policy, and especially the invasion of Iraq, and the continuing occupation and civilian deaths in Afghanistan. This is not speculation on my part; the 7/7 bombers not only referred to this specifically in suicide videos, they also indeed cited extraordinary renidition and torture as motives of their actions.

The Prevent Strategy ignores this and instead chooses to adopt the stupidly simple mantra of George W Bush to explain terrorism; “They hate our freedoms”. This is precisely the sole cause of terrorism which the Prevent Strategy defines as the problem. When the problem is defined fundamentally wrongly, you can hardly expect the solutions to be correct.

And those conclusions are stunningly illiberal – much more so than the mainstream media has picked up This is a direct quote. I am not making it up:

But preventing terrorism will mean challenging extremist (and non-violent) ideas that are also part of a terrorist ideology.

The (and non-violent) is there in the original. Really.

So peaceful support for a united Ireland should not be allowed, because it is “also part of a terrorist ideology”? That is absolutely the implication of the report. But it is plain it only applies to Muslim groups, on the grounds that they “pose the greatest threat” to the public,

So what it means is that believing that the UK should be governed by Sharia law, even if you hold that belief totally lawfully and without violence, and wish to campaign for it through democratic means, should not be allowed.

But it goes further than that. Universites, healthcare providers, NGOs and faith groups are to be vigilant in searching for those who hold such beliefs, and reporting them to the police. We have already seen where this leads. At Nottingham University two students were thrown out for researching information on Al Qaida on the State Department website, and then a lecturer was sacked for defending them.

Pages 15 to 19 cover support for terrorism and the drivers for it. There is one single phrase in five pages that acknowledges western foreign policy as a motivator for terrorism, but this is then ignored, while all the other factors are treated at great length. The opinion polls cited on pages 16 to 17 on Muslim attitudes to terrorism refrained from asking any question about western foreign policy or giving any chance for respondents to refer to it.

There is an accidentally hilarious part of the report where it denies that Prevent is used for spying on Muslim communities. That, they say, falls under a related programme called Pursue, and should not be confused with Prevent! But twenty odd pages after their lengthy passage claiming Prevent has been unfairly accused of spying, which is the task of Pursue, we find:

“Taking action against propagandists and radicalisers requires careful coordination between work in the Pursue and Prevent areas” p. 52

Which is something of a giveaway.

There is also yet another example of the Tories fulfilling their pledge to reach the target of 0.7% of GDP spent on development aid, by classifying war and “security” expenditure as development aid.

The Department for International Development (DfID) also has a role to play. Although its main purpose is to reduce poverty, overseas development work in some areas can help to build resilience to terrorism through programmes that strengthen governance and security,

With my interest in the university sector, it is some of the stuff on universities I find most chilling. It is full of reasonable sounding propositions that reveal the feeble grasp of a limited intellect:

Universities and colleges have an important role to play in Prevent, particularly in ensuring balanced debate as well as freedom of speech.

There is no obligation on universities to provide “balanced debate”. Do they have to have a creationist speaker at every lecture on evolution? There is still less of an obligation on them to ensure balanced debate in the extra-curricular activities of their students. Does there have to be a Tory speaker at every meeting against the cuts? And remember, that the Prevent Strategy makes plain that the “extremist speakers” they wish to guard against specifically include speakers with a non-violent ideology.

But the great news is, that restrictions on what you are allowed to think at university are all for your own good:

to ensure that all institutions where there is risk of radicalisation recognise their duty of care to students to protect them from the consequences of their becoming involved in terrorism, and take reasonable steps to minimise this risk;

This incredible piece of Orwellian justification for the end of academic freedom is breathtaking in its audacity. The practical consequences could easily be transposed into a manual of the Third Reich, of Stalin’s Russia or Pinochet’s Chile. Again I am not making this stuff up, this is what the report says about universities:

work with the police and other partners to ensure that student societies and university and college staff have the right information and guidance to enable them to make decisions about external speakers.

support local police forces in working with those institutions assessed to be at the greatest risk;

Under New Labour I had the peculiar experience of finding myself banned from entering a Cambridge University building, and therefore delivering a speech to a large crowd of students who gathered in the foyer to hear me as I shouted through the open doorway. I honestly did believe that the Lib Dems and even the Conservatives would be better. I was very, very wrong.

This new Prevent Strategy is a document which sadly proves that the staff of MI5 and the Home Office are, on average, not very bright, and will always favour their own power over liberty. Media reports have focused on the decision to withdarw government funding from those organisations viewed as “extremist”, because that is what the government press release said, and no mainstream journalist will ever actually read the report.

In fact I favour withdrawing that funding. Personally I don’t think the government should fund any faith group or institution.

One organisation which will still receive plenty of government funding under the Prevent programme is the Quilliam Foundation,. This taxpayer funded body attempted by subterfuge to gain personal financial details from me. That says all you need to know about Prevent, which is a secret service led programme.

In fact, if the government got much smaller, and stopped funding attacks on foreign countries, we would all be vastly safer, which would be a real “Prevent Strategy”.

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Newsnight Spoiler: Islam Channel Islamic Propagandists Shock Horror!!

With support for the ludicrous occupation of Afghanistan flagging, government efforts to ramp up Islamophobia become ncreasingly febrile. Now we have the deeply unlovely taxpayer funded Quilliam Foundation

http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2009/11/quilliam_founda.html

being paid by Newsnight to produce a piece exposing the Islam Channel as a biased and unbalanced source of Islamic propaganda. It will be hitting our screens sometime in the next week.

I am really glad the government funds the Quilliam Foundation. Without their sterling work, we might all have been taken in – I am sure that I for one thought the Islam Channel was Movies for Men plus one hour.

Just as with Andrew Gilligan’s execrable piece on the East London Mosque,

http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2010/03/muslims_found_i.html#comments

I have no doubt that we will learn that the Islam Channel contains people who are homophobic, have regressive views about women, want to impose sharia law on the UK, etc.

Nobody deplores theocratic government more than I do. Faith may motivate individuals but religious dogma should not be imposed on society. But many good Muslims believe that, for the proper order of society, the laws established by Mohammed to govern Medina 1500 years ago should be imposed universally now.

They are quite entitled to believe that, just as I am quite entitled to disagree. Probably a majority of British Muslims would agree with Quilliam that precise laws need to be updated for modern times and maybe it is unrealistic anyway to want to impose Islamic law in a country with 3% Muslims. But some deeply religious Muslims want to proselytise and impose, just as Livingstone wanted to impart Christianity and Christian values on an Africa where Christians were at the time a tiny minority. We are more than entitled to think they are wrong, but the proponents of sharia law are in their own eyes trying to save us from our sins.

What we have seen in the “War on Terror” is a growing intolerance of this Islamic proselytising, and increasing efforts to ban groups or outlaw activity which seeks to campaign for fundamentalist Islam. Yet at the same time we are urging young Muslims to eschew political violence and engage in the political process. If we forbid the outlet of political organisation and activity such as campaigning and broadcasting to the tiny groups of extreme Muslims, we grant them more publicity than they merit (as Newsnight is about to) and appear to justify those among them who argue that there is no freedom in the West and the way forward is violence.

Still there’s good money in it for the Quilliam Foundation and hacks like Gilligan. And it all feeds in to the ridiculous line that killing Afghan civilians keeps us safe in the UK.

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47 – Nil, 47 – Nil, 47 – nil, 47 – nil, 47 – nil, 47 – nil

Been doing some filing. Thought you might like these statistics relating to legal threats received by this blog since it started five years ago. These figures also include letters from the Treasury Solicitors threatening action under the Official Secrets Act and other legislation.

Dedicated to Jack Straw, Alisher Usmanov, Tim Spicer, the Quilliam Foundation and nine other bad people with something to hide, who have wasted money trying to frighten this blog out of telling the truth:

Number of letters received from lawyers threatening legal action 47

Number of lawyers involved 11

Number of lawyers told to go ahead and sue or prosecute 11

Number of suits/prosecutions brought Nil

Number of apologies and retractions issued Nil

Damages Paid Nil

Number of flasehoods published Nil

Who says it is not fun running a blog?

Of course, some of these rich criminals and mercenary killers have succeeded in hindering me by legal bullying of other people. Alisher Usmanov had us closed down for three days when he got my webhost to close down the site by threatening legal action. (The Quilliam Foundation tried to pull the same trick but found I now have a much more robust webhost).

Ultra wealthy mercenary killer and war profiteer Tim Spicer threatened my publisher into preventing commercial publication of the Catholic Orangemen of Togo. But he backed down when I published it in full online.

Britian’s notorious libel laws are designed to inculcate fear in those who would publish the truth. But, as with most situations in life, a lack of fear makes things much less fraught.

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The Convicted Criminal Alisher Usmanov

For the first time yesterday the mainstream media had the guts to take on billionaire Alisher Usmanov, whose hyperactive libel lawyers succeeded for a few days in closing this blog down.

Channel 4 yesterday showed a Dispatches programme on the Russian oligarchs, which for the first time in Bruitish mainstream media put the case that Arsenal shareholder Usmanov is a convicted blackmailer and racketeer. You can see the programme here:

http://www.channel4.com/programmes/dispatches/4od

Sadly I cannot see it in Ghana (I get a not available in your area message) so I do not yet know how much of my own interview in the programme got past the Channel 4 layers. It is however typical of Usmanov that I can find not a single comment on the programme in the mainstream media or even in any of the Arsenal blogs. All of the major Arsenal blogs have in the past received threatening letters from Schillings, Usmanov’s solicitors.

I shall be posting at the end of this week on a US racketeer, Gene E Phillips, and his corrupt – and so far succesful – attempt to rip off billions of dollars from the poor people of Ghana. I gave an interview on this to the FT last week and I am hopeful they will be running a less detailed expose on Thursday, on which I will follow up.

Meantime, it is worth noting that libel bullies the Quilliam Foundation and their pathetic lawyers Clarke Willmott seem to have skulked away. Not one of the individuals – including Jack Straw, Tim Spicer, Allisher Usmanov and Ed Hussain – who has set the lawyers onto this blog has ever dared to go to court.

That is because this blog does not libel, it tells the truth, and not one of them dares to face the truth in court, even with England’s notoriously oppressive libel laws on their side.

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We are instructed by our clients to prosecute an action against you for libel.

I replied briefly to Quilliam’s lawyer’s letter threatening me with libel action:

http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2009/11/all_blogger_ale.html#comments

Thank you,

I should be most grateful if you could send me a copy of the Quilliam Foundation’s accounts, which you say have in fact been filed.

Craig

That drew this response:

From: Rachael Gregory [mailto:[email protected]]

Sent: Thursday, November 12, 2009 4:39 PM

To: [email protected]

Subject: The Quilliam Foundation

Dear Mr Murray

Thank you for your response to our letter.

We are instructed by our clients to prosecute an action against you for libel. Full particulars are supplied in the letter that you have acknowledged.

Our client is not obliged to engage in correspondence with you about its accounts beyond the statement (made in our opening letter) that accounts have been prepared and have been filed at Companies House, in accordance with the law..

You may direct your request for a copy of the filed accounts to Companies House but in the meanwhile, our client requires a substantive response to the serious matters that are raised in our letter to you of yesterday’s date.

Yours faithfully

Clarke Willmott LLP

Rachael Gregory

Secretary

______________________________________________

Clarke Willmott LLP

1 Georges Square

Bath Street Bristol BS1 6BA

tel: 0845 209 1394

fax: 0845 209 2519

email: [email protected]

www.clarkewillmott.com

______________________________________________

To which I replied thus:

Clarke,

Thank you. Had you noticed that your clients filed their accounts six days AFTER I had posted my article saying that they had not filed their accounts? Just trying to be helpful. I would also point out that Mr Jagger telephoned me and lied to me about why he was telephoning me ?” see the latest article on my website.

Craig

It appears to me that, even for a libel lawyer, Clarke Willmott was acting with questionable ethics by writing to me saying that accounts had been filed, yet not disclosing that they were filed six days AFTER I published that they had not been filed.

On the substantive question of whether the primary effect of Quilliam is the enrichment of its cosseted directors, that certainly is the general tone of this piece from the Times. The Times says the Directors salaries are 85,000 pounds a year.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article5549138.ece

85,000 POUNDS A YEAR SALARY. From the FCO. That’s 20,000 pounds more than my salary from the FCO for the much more onerous, responsible and dangerous job of being British Ambassador to Uzbekistan. Remember Quilliam is funded from our pockets as taxpayers.

The Times says:

The foundation refused to discuss individual earnings.

They are going to find that in court we are going to discuss their salaries, pensions, expenses and emoluments in very great detail indeed.

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Public Money Goes AWOL

Hat-tip to MPACUK. UPDATE – Quilliam have filed their accounts since I wrote this. They are now in compliance.

Interesting to note that, contrary to the law, the government “War on Terror” neo-con propaganda vehicle The Quilliam Foundation has failed to file any accounts for the last three years (or indeed ever). This despite receiving a great deal of taxpayers’ money, mostly to remunerate its cossetted directors.

This from the Companies House website

THE QUILLIAM FOUNDATION LTD

PO BOX 60380 35-50 RATHBONE PLACE

LONDON

WC1A 9AZ

Company No. 06432342

Status: Active

Date of Incorporation: 20/11/2007

Country of Origin: United Kingdom

Company Type: PRI/LTD BY GUAR/NSC (Private, limited by guarantee, no share capital)

Nature of Business (SIC(03)):

7484 – Other business activities

Accounting Reference Date: 31/03

Last Accounts Made Up To: (NO ACCOUNTS FILED)

Next Accounts Due: 20/09/2009 OVERDUE

http://wck2.companieshouse.gov.uk/e473a907f36923b62b946aa6bc8ba453/compdetails

How do you feel about grants of public money being given to a private company whose address is a PO Box and which does not have accounts?

(UPDATE: Amended in response to comment from Control below, with thanks to Charles)

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