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Emma Barnett: A Classic “Philip Cross” Wikipedia Operation

High Tory, ex Daily Telegraph and Murdoch, expensive private school, Emma Barnett is BBC Politics’ rising star and stood in as host of the BBC flagship Marr programme on Sunday. She was there rude and aggressive to Labour’s Barry Gardiner. The “highlight” of her career so far was during the general election when on Radio 4 Women’s Hour she demanded instant top of the head recall of complicated figures from Jeremy Corbyn, a ploy the BBC never turns on the Tories.

The most interesting fact about Emma Barnett is that her exclusive private education was funded by her parents who were pimps and brothel keepers on a large scale, for which both were convicted.

I know of no compelling evidence as to whether Barnett was, or was not, complicit in her parents’ activities, which financed her education into adulthood. But that this background is interesting and unusual is not in doubt. However the MSM’s image protector, “Philip Cross”, has been assiduous in, again and again, deleting the information about Barnett’s parents from Wikipedia. Not only has Cross deleted the referenced information of her parents being brothel-keepers, he has repeatedly inserted the ludicrous euphemisms that her father was a “businessman” and her mother a “housewife”.

Cross has also deleted references to Barnett – who wrote for the Telegraph and then for Murdoch’s Times, being “right wing”. He has instead inserted claims that criticisms of Emma Barnett following her aggressive Corbyn interview were “anti-semitic”, in a classic Cross move to undermine any left-wing point. Naturally he had references from the Times and the Guardian – evidence free articles – to back up these claims – and naturally from journalists whose Wikipedia pages Cross curates. You get the circle?

On 21 June 2017 editor Alfonz-kiki complained that Cross’s continual whitewashing of Barnett’s entry was by “paid PR”. He pointed out that he had references on her parents’ brothels from the BBC and the Daily Telegraph. Alfonz-kiki is one of scores to have separately noticed and complained of Cross’s activities over years, but Cross has been defended by Wikipedia again and again and again.

Barnett is demonstrably right wing from her Murdoch and Telegraph columns. Her expensive private education – which got her where she is – was undeniably paid for by the proceeds of prostitution and by the trafficking in persons that led to the operation being closed down. But Philip Cross makes sure you can see none of that on Wikipedia.

In case you are saying that Cross is justified, Barnett’s parents activities were not her fault and ought not be on her Wikipedia page, let me remind you of one thing. The same “Philip Cross” edited my own Wikipedia page to state that my wife Nadira used to be a stripper, sourced to the Mail. Cross abuses family information, as all other information, to defame dissidents or to burnish Establishment defenders, not according to a moral code.

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Is GCHQ Embedded in Wikipedia?

Once upon a time, being a leader writer for the Times implied Jupiter like vision and magisterial judgement, thundering out opinions that changed events across the globe. Astonishing that now it is done by the empty, bombastic Murdoch lickspittle Oliver Kamm.

On 7 February I published an article calling out Kamm for publishing a blatant and deliberate lie about me. The very next day, 8 February, my Wikipedia page came under obsessive attack from somebody called Philip Cross who made an astonishing 107 changes over the course of the next three days. Many were very minor, but the overall effect was undoubtedly derogatory. He even removed my photo on the extraordinary grounds that it was “not typical” of me. Edits to Wikipedia articles can be seen by clicking the “view history” tab top right. Here is just a sample of the record of “Philip Cross'” obsession with me.

Screenshot (6)

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I don’t look at my own Wikipedia page, but was told about it yesterday. I therefore googled Philip Cross and was amazed to discover that he is allegedly an alias for Oliver Kamm attacking people online. Furthermore that Kamm has employed lawyers to threaten those who claim that he is Philip Cross, and by Kamm’s own account the Metropolitan Police have even warned off Neil Clark from saying Kamm is Cross. The Kamm/Cross affair was discussed on George Galloway’s show on Saturday. It starts 12mins 30s in.

It could of course be an extraordinary coincidence that Philip Cross, who has been named as Oliver Kamm, launched this massive attack on my Wikipedia entry the day after I outed Kamm as a liar on this blog.

But here is another extraordinary coincidence for you. On 6 August 2015 Philip Cross had launched an initial edit attack on my Wikipedia entry, with only about two dozen edits. What was my last blog post before that attack? The revelation that Murdoch lackeys at the Times had tens of thousands of fake twitter followers purchased for them. I have only criticised Murdoch’s Times operation twice in two years, and each one has been followed immediately by attacks on my Wikipedia entry from Philip Cross. I wonder if Mr Kamm’s lawyers would care to explain this?

I am not alone by any means. The magnificent Stephen Sizer has suffered fearful attacks for his stalwart stand against the oppression of Palestinians, at great risk to his livelihood in the new neo-con Welby Church of England. Sizer has been a constant target for Oliver Kamm. On 22 August 2015 Oliver Kamm published an attack on Stephen Sizer in the Jewish Chronicle describing him as “an insanitary crackpot.” Of course, something published in the Jewish Chronicle on 22 August will have been written a couple of days earlier – around 20 August 2015. On 20 August 2015 we find that “Philip Cross” made six edits to Stephen Sizer’s Wikipedia page. These coincidences really do build up, don’t they?

And just in case you are not convinced, in early February 2015 Kamm was launching a series of twitter insults at Stephen Sizer, including Kamm’s remarkable claim that Veterans Today – for which several of my ex-CIA friends write – is an “anti-Semitic website”.

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And lo and behold! Up pops “Philip Cross” on 9 February 2015 making 32 more edits on Sizer’s Wikipedia page.

Now I really do not care whether or not “Philip Cross” is actually Oliver Kamm or whether he is just Oliver Kamm’s bitch. For Oliver Kamm’s lawyers, my address is 89/14 Holyrood Road, Edinburgh, EH8 8BA. I should love to see Kamm explain all this in court.

Kamm has for years exhibited an absolute obsession with attacking John Pilger, the great Australian journalist. Just google “Oliver Kamm John Pilger” to see. And who has hundreds of edits on Jon Pilger’s Wikipedia page? Philip Cross. Cross has apparently his own twitter account. Here it is obvious that he shares Kamm’s precise views. Zionism, and accusing pro-Palestinians of anti-Semitism, is the single most dominant element along with attacks on Jeremy Corbyn, Julian Assange and Kamm’s other targets. Cross retweets the Jewish Chronicle, for which Kamm is a columnist, and notably Joan Smith, leading anti-Assange campaigner and former partner of convicted expenses fiddler and Israeli lobbyist Dennis McShane.

I genuinely had no idea that Kamm had an established reputation for years for weird internet trolling. For example he published readers’ reviews on Amazon of 19 of Noam Chomsky’s books, giving every one of them one star. That link is very well worth reading, incidentally. Did you know that Kamm has written that the invasion of Iraq was “the most far-sighted and noble act of British foreign policy since the founding of NATO”?

There are some very serious points to all of this. It is not just personal flim-flam. The first serious point is that it really is the most appalling comment on what Murdoch has done to the Times, that its leader-writer should be such a low creature as Kamm. A man who has not only written that the Iraq invasion was “great”, that Noam Chomsky is an “idiot” and that John Pilger is a “fraud”, but who genuinely appears to hold those views.

The second is a very serious point indeed about Wikipedia. “Philip Cross” is not just anybody who can, like you and me, make edits on Wikipedia. he is a senior editor with special administrative privileges. He uses this access on a continued basis to repeatedly and in enormous detail denigrate any individuals who hold anti-establishment views. Equally sinister, he bigs up and protects the reputation of those who promote the corporate media agenda. “Philip Cross” has not just edited, but according to Wikipedia “predominantly written” the hagiographic entries of

James Harding, Former Editor of the Times, now Head of BBC News
Katherine Viner, Editor of the Guardian
Paul Dacre, Editor of the Daily Mail
Amol Rajan, Editor of the Independent
and numerous other corporate media journalists.

Philip Cross may be Oliver Kamm. Or he may be someone who shares his views closely and echoes them in a synchronised way. Or he may be an identity which cloaks the activities of a group of people. But it is absolutely plain that “Philip Cross” is used systematically to attack the Wikipedia entries of prominent anti-establishment figures, and simultaneously to bolster the image of the corporate media. The purpose of “Philip Cross” is to ensure that an anti-establishment narrative does not take hold on Wikipedia.

The burning question is this. “Philip Cross'” activities and purpose are blindingly obvious. Actions such as the hundred edits to my page and removal of my photo, or the continued war on John Piger’s entry, are completely unjustifiable. Why then does Wikipedia continue to tolerate “Philip Cross” and grant him administrator privileges?

Oliver Kamm briefly held an internet admin account in his won name. It is particularly noteworthy that Kamm was contacted by email on 28 June 2007 at 17.25 in this guise by “slim virgin”, another Wikipedia admin account that has been widely reported to be a security services front. It ostensibly belongs to Canadian Oxbridge graduate Linda Mack, but impossibly high levels of activity (including once editing straight for 26 hours) have led many to conclude that Slim Virgin is a team – she averaged 100 articles a day, seven days a week, for a year! Linda Mack was believed by ABC News to have been acting on behalf of MI5 in monitoring their Lockerbie investigation while working for their London bureau. The admin page on which “slim virgin” contacted Oliver Kamm is specifically about his attacks on Neil Clark, which is where we came in.

There are just far too many coincidences and linkages for any reasonable person to conclude that nothing murky is happening on Wikipedia. We know for certain from the Snowden revelations that the government does carry out internet operations to promote its narrative and to degrade the image and reach of known opponents on the web. I know from personal professional experience that the security services work with trusties in the media. We have plainly uncovered something at the edge of one of these operations here.

UPDATE I have received twitter messages from “Philip Cross” that he is a person, not part of GCHQ, and that his activity on Wikipedia is often sparked by things he has read, including by Oliver Kamm. He also points out that I had blogged that I did not like my photo on Wikipedia (this is true). He states that Oliver Kamm’s influence on his Wikipedia activity is “not as great as it seems”. I have replied to “Philip Cross” asking if he knows Oliver Kamm, and why Kamm has any influence at all on his Wikpedia activity. I shall keep you posted.

FURTHER UPDATE “Philip Cross” has now replied that “occasionally, it is one of OK’s tweets that reminds me. There is no conspiracy here and I am not a paid editor.” No reply to if he knows Oliver Kamm.

Hat-Tips to Node, Clark and Squonk

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Wikipedia and the Power of Terminology

A friend just emailed me this link, in which my entry is used as an example of biases on Wikipedia:

http://suraci.blogspot.com/2007/06/wikiliedia-constantly.html

It is certainly true that my Wikipedia entry contains terminology which is expressly used to inculcate doubt. For example I “claimed” that Uzbekistan is not a functioning democracy. I should not have thought that was a dubious statement.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Craig_Murray

More significant, I think, is the curious entry that Murray “claims” he complained to the British government about the use of intelligence obtained under torture. This is a strange place to try to insinuate doubt. I have testified that I did this to the European Parliament and the Council of Europe in person, and in writing to the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, and on pretty well every major media outlet in the World. The British government has never, once, denied that I did this. I have also provided documentary evidence like this,

http://www.craigmurray.co.uk/documents/Telegram.pdf

This document was also submitted to, and republished by, the European Parliament, and the British Government has never denied its authenticity.

Furthermore my book, Murder in Samarkand, which details all of this, was submitted to the British government for clearance. They produced a document requesting what they distinguished as either factual or policy motivated changes. I have also published this document:

http://www.craigmurray.co.uk/documents/FCO_Comment.pdf

This is undoubtedly a real document as the British Government has claimed copyright over it. Other than where noted in this document (and I made most of the changes requested) there is therefore no dispute over the factual accuracy of Murder in Samarkand.

I do not however think it is necessary to believe in an institutional conspiracy at Wikipedia. The negative slanting of my entry is, I think, just the work of pro-Bush and pro-Karimov trolls.

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Le Mesurier Gets Cross

Perhaps the only fact on James Le Mesurier about which I would agree with the MSM war cheerleaders is that he was a very busy man. It is remarkable therefore that he found the time and inclination to follow “Philip Cross” on twitter. Given that “Philip Cross” has virtually never posted an original tweet, and his timeline consists almost entirely of retweets of Nick Cohen, David Aaronovitch and openly pro-Israel propaganda accounts, why would Le Mesurier bother to follow him?

“Philip Cross” has never posted any news other than to retweet columnists. He has never given an insight into a story. In addition to James Le Mesurier, why then were all these MSM journailsts following “Philip Cross” from before “he” gained notoriety for his Wikipedia exploits?

Oliver Kamm, Leader Writer The Times
Nick Cohen, Columnist The Guardian/Observer
Joan Smith, Columnist The Independent
Leslie Felperin, Film Columnist The Guardian
Kate Connolly, Foreign Correspondent The Guardian/Observer
Lisa O’Carroll, Brexit Correspondent The Guardian
James Bloodworth, Columnist The Independent
Cristina Criddle, BBC Radio 4 Today Programme
Sarah Baxter, Deputy Editor, The Sunday Times
Iain Watson, Political Correspondent, The BBC
Caroline Wheeler, Deputy Political Editor, the Sunday Times
Jennifer Chevalier, CBC ex-BBC
Dani Garavelli, Scotland on Sunday

Prominent Freelancers

Bonnie Greer (frequently in The Guardian)
Mason Boycott-Owen (The Guardian, New Statesman)
Marko Attilla Hoare (The Guardian)
Kirsty Hughes
Guy Walters (BBC)
Paul Canning

What attracted all of these senior MSM figures to follow an obscure account with almost no original content? No reasonable explanation of this phenomenon has ever been offered by any of the above. What a considerable number of them have done is to use the megaphone their plutocrat or state overlords have given them, to label those asking this perfectly reasonable question as crazed conspiracy theorists.

This week, on the day of Le Mesurier’s death, “Philip Cross” made 48 edits to Le Mesurier’s Wikipedia page, each one designed to expunge any criticism of the role of the White Helmets in Syria or reference to their close relationship with the jihadists.

“Philip Cross” has been an operation on a massive scale to alter the balance of Wikipedia by hundreds of thousands of edits to the entries, primarily of politically engaged figures, always to the detriment of anti-war figures and to the credit of neo-con figures. An otherwise entirely obscure but real individual named Philip Cross has been identified who fronts the operation, and reputedly suffers from Aspergers. I however do not believe that any individual can truly have edited Wikpedia articles from a right wing perspective, full time every single day for five years without one day off, not even a Christmas, for 2,987 consecutive days.

I should declare here the personal interest that “Philip Cross” has made over 120 edits to my own Wikipedia entry, including among other things calling my wife a stripper, and deleting the facts that I turned down three honours from the Crown and was eventually cleared on all disciplinary charges by the FCO.

I hazard the guess that at least several of the above journalists follow “Philip Cross” on twitter because they are a part of the massive Wikipedia skewing operation operating behind the name of “Philip Cross”. If anybody has any better explanation of why they all follow “Philip Cross” on twitter I am more than willing to hear it.

The “White Helmets” operation managed for MI6 by Le Mesurier was both a channel for logistic support to Western backed jihadists and a propaganda operation to shill for war in Syria, as in Iraq or Libya. Wars which were of course very profitable for arms manufacturers, energy interests and the security establishment. It should surprise nobody that Le Mesurier intersects with the Philip Cross propaganda operation which, with the active support of arch Blairite Jimmy Wales, has for years been slanting Wikipedia in support of the same pro-war goals as pushed by the “White Helmets”.

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The Forgotten Referendum – Ireland 1998

The problem with making decisions by the blunt and heavy tool of referenda is now very apparent. One self evident difficulty is how to cope with contradictory results. Scotland had two referenda in two years. In the first the Scottish people voted narrowly to remain part of the United Kingdom, in the second they voted heavily to remain part of the European Union. The two results are now incompatible. So how did the referenda help to set the legitimate course of political action? They did not.

There is another incompatible referendum which has gone virtually unmentioned in the UK. Following the Good Friday agreement, Ireland had a referendum in 1998 to amend its constitution to allow it to subscribe to the terms of the Good Friday Agreement. Ireland amended its constitution to remove its unfettered claim to its entire historic territory, in favour of a contingent peaceful process. Mutual EU membership and no border control was absolutely intrinsic to that agreement and to what the Irish voted for in their referendum. The vote, incidentally, was by much the same margin as Scotland’s vote to remain in the EU. So in resiling from its EU accession due to its referendum, the UK is negating referendum votes in Scotland, in Northern Ireland and in the Republic. The UK cannot arrogantly claim its referendum is more important than Ireland’s. The famous “backstop” is to maintain at least the shadow of the arrangements on the basis of which Ireland voted in 1998.

The other reason referenda are not useful is they are insufficiently detailed. The Brexit referendum said nothing whatsoever about the UK’s continued relationship with the EU. It said nothing about the Customs Union, about EEA, or even about freedom of movement. The referendum was called by David Cameron to buy off party splits in the Tory Party, but failed spectacularly even on those sordid terms. as someone who wants the UK to fall apart, personally I am enjoying the chaos, but it was not the planned result by those behind the referendum.

I am probably a horrible elitist. I dislike direct democracy and am quite profoundly Burkean. I believe democracy should work through the people electing representatives they trust, to use their judgement and experience and adaptability to make the decisions of government. This is not a popular position given the appalling calibre of politicians currently. That is partly due to the UK’s antiquated electoral and governance systems; but something else is in play as it appears to be a worldwide phenomenon. It is to do with neoliberalism eating away at societal bonds and institutions, and requires a great deal more thought to delineate. But of one thing I am quite sure: referenda are not the answer to the West’s malaise of government.

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A Longer View

A few weeks’ break gives you a perspective on British politics aside from the day to day excitements, and the long view is just horrible. An astonishingly inept and irrelevant government maintains itself by a series of straight lies to both Tory Remainers and Tory Brexiteers about its intentions. Both these groups know they are being lied to, but the show stutters on because all in the Tory Party are clinging on, with a death grip, to office if not to power. They are in turn sustained by a Northern Irish party of antediluvian beliefs that appears to have time traveled from the less enlightened parts of the seventeenth century, and whose leader’s idea of politics is to march at the head of a group of ill-educated bigots, who will muster far too few teeth in relation to number of feet, proceeding with drunken braggadocio along the streets of Cowdenbeath.

Meantime society is well on its way through an extremely painful process of transformation. Well-paid, long term jobs offering job satisfaction and career progression are almost as improbable a dream for people under 30 as appearing in the World Cup final or owning their own home. Employee protection, whether through organised labour with clout or a legislative framework to prevent employers from abusing their power, has dwindled in practice and is a concept well outside the Overton window. Our younger generation grasp for the prospect of a few months’ unprotected employment at low wages, as desperately as did their ancestors in the 1830’s.

It is as though there has been a deliberate rolling back not just of human progress, but of human sensibility.

Meantime the rich get richer at an unprecedented rate. The concentration of wealth is mirrored by a concentration of the ownership of housing. Media ownership concentration into an ever-tightening circle continues to exert social control, while the gatekeeper role of the big new media corporations of twitter, facebook, google and wikipedia is now being very openly abused to maintain the Establishment narrative.

In the international world, the interests of the City of London and the armaments industry shamelessly and openly drive British foreign policy, with the continuing economic dependence of the flimsy UK construct on the pandering services to the global 1% offered by the City of London remains always at the front of the government’s mind. At the front not in acknowledgement of the fact that London’s days as a major global financial centre are very plainly numbered as economic gravity moves East, but rather in desperate attempts to avoid the need for an economic re-orientation that would affect the distribution of wealth in the UK away from the core of the Tory Party.

The days of the United Kingdom itself are now numbered in a very short series of figures. Tory hubris at having climbed, on the back of an incredible concerted propaganda deluge, to 25% electoral support in Scotland, appears to have convinced them that Scots will endure any humiliation at all and not have the courage to stand up. The incredible arrogance involved in the Tory abrogation of devolved powers, against the express vote of the Scottish parliament, was captured by the jeers of “Bye-bye” at SNP MPs leaving the Commons in protest at the lack of debate. That “Bye-bye” will have a significance they did not intend.

Any political party with the slightest prospect of power, will always be influenced and infiltrated by those with a strong stake in the economic status quo wishing to defend it, while advancing their personal interest. That is an eternal truth and afflicts both the Labour Party and the SNP. But while the programme of neither the Labour Party nor the SNP is as radical as is needed, both do reflect a genuine discontent with the status quo and with an economic philosophy which emphasises above all the freedoms of the very wealthy. There is more genuine choice on offer to the electorate than has been the case in the UK as a whole for many decades, which explains the crescendo of reaction from the media and the de facto casting off of the practice of political neutrality of the BBC, which was prepared to be reasonably fair in treatment of political parties only when they were all neo-conservative.

Whether in the next decade the Labour Party is now sufficiently radical to contain the tensions racking the UK’s political economy, within a broadly constant political system, remains to be seen. It continues to be my view that the first great crack will open with Scottish Independence, and more radical societal change throughout the rest of the UK will swiftly follow that catalytic event.

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Philip Cross Madness Part IV

Mike Barson, keyboard player of the great ska group Madness, had his Wikipedia entry amended by “Philip Cross” to delete his membership of Momentum and interview with The Canary.

This apparently trivial incident raises an important question. How does the “Philip Cross” Wikipedia monitoring operation work? “Cross”‘s systematic attack on Momentum and The Canary is a matter of record, and his twitter feed proves it is motivated by a visceral hatred of the anti-war movement. But how would “Cross” discover that a reference to Momentum had turned up somewhere as improbable as the page of a member of Madness?

To get this by Google just would not work – try it yourself if you don’t know it relates to Barson, to Madness, or anything about them. To do a daily Wikipedia site specific Google search for the word Momentum might get you there after hours of effort. Are there tools within Wikipedia itself that could alert “Cross” to this sort of reference being added anywhere on Wikipedia, and if so are they available to the general public?

A number of people have opined in reply to my posts that the time spent to make all of Cross’s daily edits, as per the number of keystrokes, is not great. That ignores the colossal effort that goes into research and above all monitoring of Wikipedia by the “Philip Cross” operation.

Finally, this is an excellent example of the bias of Wikipedia. The information about Barson is totally true. He is a proud member of Momentum. It is also quite interesting and an important bit of his life. But according to Wikipedia’s pro-MSM rules, “Philip Cross” can indeed delete it because the information is not from an MSM source. In the unlikely event of the Times or Telegraph ever writing about Barson’s Momentum membership, it would of course be in a hostile attack to which “Philip Cross” could then link.

I hope you are understanding the Jimmy Wales methodology by now.

So, to add to the mysteries of how “Philip Cross” works every waking hour, never takes a single day off and is followed on Twitter by few people but including half of Fleet Street, we can add the mystery of how he has omniscience of left wing references appearing in unlikely places on Wikipedia. Go figure.

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The “Philip Cross” MSM Promotion Operation Part 3

“Philip Cross” has just 200 Twitter followers, but has more MSM journalists following him than are to be found among my 42,300 twitter followers. Despite the fact a large majority of “Philip Cross’s” tweets are mere retweets, with Oliver Kamm and Nick Cohen most frequently retweeted. “Philip Cross” has never broken a news story and the few tweets which are not retweets contain no gems of expression or shrewd observation. In short, his twitter feed is extremely banal; there is literally nothing in it that might interest a journalist in particular. Do not take my word for it, judge for yourself.

Why then does James LeMesurier, founder of the “White Helmets”, follow Philip Cross on twitter? Why does ex-minister Tristram Hunt follow Philip Cross on Twitter? Why does Sarah Brown, wife of Gordon, follow Philip Cross on twitter?

Why then do so the following corporate and state journalists follow “Philip Cross” on twitter?

Oliver Kamm, Leader Writer The Times
Nick Cohen, Columnist The Guardian/Observer
Joan Smith, Columnist The Independent
Leslie Felperin, Film Columnist The Guardian
Kate Connolly, Foreign Correspondent The Guardian/Observer
Lisa O’Carroll, Brexit Correspondent The Guardian
James Bloodorth, Columnist The Independent
Cristina Criddle, BBC Radio 4 Today Programme
Sarah Baxter, Deputy Editor, The Sunday Times
Iain Watson, Political Correspondent, The BBC
Caroline Wheeler, Deputy Political Editor, the Sunday Times
Jennifer Chevalier, CBC ex-BBC
Dani Garavelli, Scotland on Sunday

Prominent Freelancers

Bonnie Greer (frequently in The Guardian)
Mason Boycott-Owen (The Guardian, New Statesman)
Marko Attilla Hoare (The Guardian)
Kirsty Hughes
Guy Walters (BBC)
Paul Canning

Let me recap, The official story is that “Philip Cross” is an obscure and dedicated Wikipedia editor who edits every single day for five years. His twitter feed has never contained any “news”. Yet among the 160 followers he had last week before the media spotlight was turned upon him, were all these MSM journalists, many more than follow anyone but the most prominent individuals, more than follow an activist like me. Plus big figures like Sarah Brown, Tristram Hunt and James Le Mesurier. What does this tell us about who Philip Cross is.

The largest single category of Philip Cross’s historic 160 followers is anti-left and anti-Corbyn twitter accounts, especially those that specialise in making accusations of anti-semitism against left wing or anti-war figures. These include:

UK Media Watch “promoting accurate coverage of Israel”; ALT Putin’s Capitalist Wealth “@medialenswipe”; Antinat; Jeremy Corbin Prime Minister; Jewish News; Anti-Nazis Utd [which thinks I am a Nazi]; Labour Against Anti-Semitism; Jews Aganst Jeremy Corbyn. A very much larger number of individual followers of “Philip Cross” have twitter streams which predominantly consist of attacks on Jeremy Corbyn or the anti-war left in general, and of vociferous support for Israel. Of personal interest to me, there are at least seventeen of Philip Cross’s supporters who have made utterly unprovoked attacks on me on social media over the last twelve months.

So let us recap what we know. “Philip Cross” spends a quite astonishing amount of time on Wikipedia making malicious edits to the entries of anti-war or anti-corporate media figures, while at the same time polishing and protecting the Wikipedia profiles of corporate and state media figures. “Philip Cross” had done this obsessively for 13 years and not had a single day off, even at Christmas, for five years.

“Philip Cross” is not very active on twitter, mostly just retweeting, and as you would expect has therefore not had many followers. But an extraordinary percentage of that very limited number of followers are MSM journalists or senior Establishment figures. There is absolutely no reason on the face of his Twtter stream why Philip Cross would attract this particular type of following. His retweets are mostly of Nick Cohen and Oliver Kamm, and his followership is concentrated in the Guardian and Times, which nowadays have very similar neo-con agendas.

“Philip Cross”‘s own twitter stream makes no effort at all to hide the fact that he has the strongest of neo-conservative biases, hates the Left and anti-war movement, and strongly supports Israel. “He” is part of an active social media network trolling these views. The purpose of “his” continual Wikipedia editing could not be clearer. I suspect strongly that this particular Philip Cross twitter follower gives us a clue:

That is a twitter account founded by a collective of Guardian writers to attack MediaLens, whose Wikipedia entry “Philip Cross” has edited over 800 times. I suspect “Philip Cross” is a similar collective effort, which may hide behind the persona of a real life individual called Philip Cross. The intention of this effort to denigrate and demean alternative media and anti-war figures through their Wikipedia entries, and at the same time to burnish the Wikipedia entries of mainstream media figures, is proven without doubt, as is the continued complicity of Wikipedia in enabling and defending the long-term operation.

Analysis of “Philip Cross” tweets.

FOOTNOTE Since Philip Cross’s activity was brought into prominence throughout social media a few days ago, his Twitter followers have increased, mostly by people who dislike his activity wishing to keep an eye on him. I have disregarded these new followers, and it in no way diminishes my argument for trolls to point out that he now has left wing followers as well.

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The Philip Cross Affair

UPDATE “Philip Cross” has not had one single day off from editing Wikipedia in almost five years. “He” has edited every single day from 29 August 2013 to 14 May 2018. Including five Christmas Days. That’s 1,721 consecutive days of editing.

133,612 edits to Wikpedia have been made in the name of “Philip Cross” over 14 years. That’s over 30 edits per day, seven days a week. And I do not use that figuratively: Wikipedia edits are timed, and if you plot them, the timecard for “Philip Cross’s” Wikipedia activity is astonishing is astonishing if it is one individual:

The operation runs like clockwork, seven days a week, every waking hour, without significant variation. If Philip Cross genuinely is an individual, there is no denying he is morbidly obsessed. I am no psychiatrist, but to my entirely inexpert eyes this looks like the behaviour of a deranged psychotic with no regular social activities outside the home, no job (or an incredibly tolerant boss), living his life through a screen. I run what is arguably the most widely read single person political blog in the UK, and I do not spend nearly as much time on the internet as “Philip Cross”. My “timecard” would show where I watch football on Saturdays, go drinking on Fridays, go to the supermarket and for a walk or out with the family on Sundays, and generally relax much more and read books in the evenings. Cross does not have the patterns of activity of a normal and properly rounded human being.

There are three options here. “Philip Cross” is either a very strange person indeed, or is a false persona disguising a paid operation to control wikipedia content, or is a real front person for such an operation in his name.

Why does this – to take the official explanation – sad obsessive no friends nutter, matter?

Because the purpose of the “Philip Cross” operation is systematically to attack and undermine the reputations of those who are prominent in challenging the dominant corporate and state media narrative. particularly in foreign affairs. “Philip Cross” also systematically seeks to burnish the reputations of mainstream media journalists and other figures who are particularly prominent in pushing neo-con propaganda and in promoting the interests of Israel.

This matters because, an ordinary reader who comes across an article questioning (say) the official narrative on the Skripals, is very likely to turn to Wikipedia to get information on the author of the article. Simply put, the purpose of the “Philip Cross” operation is to make certain that if that reader looks up an anti-war person such as John Pilger, they will conclude they are thoroughly unreliable and untrustworthy, whereas if they look up a right wing MSM journalist, they will conclude they are a paragon of virtue and entirely to be trusted.

The “Philip Cross” treatment is meted out not just to left wingers, but to all sceptical of neo-conservatism and who oppose “wars of intervention”. A list of Cross’s victims includes Alex Salmond, Peter Oborne, John Pilger, Owen Jones, Jeremy Corbyn, Tim Hayward, Diane Abbott, Neil Clark, Lindsey German, Vanessa Beeley, and George Galloway. As you would expect “Philip Cross” is particularly active in making amendments to the Wikipedia articles of alternative media, and of MSM critique sites. “Philip Cross” has made 36 edits to the Wikipedia entry of The Canary and, staggeringly, over 800 edits on Media Lens. George Galloway remains the “Philip Cross” operation’s favourite target with a quite incredible 1,800 edits.

Just as revealing are the people who “Philip Cross” seeks to protect and promote. Sarah Smith, BBC Scotland’s uber-unionist, has had “Philip Cross” kindly delete references from her Wikipedia entry to family ties that (ahem) may have helped her career. Labour Friends of Israel’s Ruth Smeeth MP has had reference to the Wikileaks released US diplomatic cable that showed she was an informer to the US Embassy on the secrets of the Labour Party, deleted by “Philip Cross”. Right wing columnist Melanie Phillips had her embarrassing climate change denial excised by Cross.

“Philip Cross” not only carefully tends and protects the Wikipedia entry of Guardian editor Katherine Viner, who has taken the paper four square into the neo-con camp, Philip Cross actually wrote the original hagiographic entry. The Guardian’s MI6 contact, Luke Harding, is particularly looked after by Cross, as are their anti-Corbyn obsessives Nick Cohen and Jonathon Freedland. So are Murdoch hacks David Aaronovitch and Oliver Kamm.

There is no doubt that Kamm, leader wirter of Murdoch’s Times, is close the the “Philip Cross” operation. Many people believe that Kamm and Cross are the same person, or that Kamm is part of a multiple persona. Six times I have personally had hostile edits to my Wikipedia page by “Philip Cross” made in precise conjunction with attacks on me by Kamm, either on Twitter, in a Times editorial or in Prospect magazine. Altogether “Philip Cross” has made 275 edits to my Wikipedia page. These include calling my wife a stripper, deleting my photo, removing my reply to attacks made on me by Kamm and Harding among others, and deleting my refusal of all honours while a British diplomat.

Neil Clark and Peter Oborne are among many others who have suffered attacks on them by Philip Cross on Wikipedia simultaneously with attacks by Kamm on other media. Clark is taking Kamm to court for stalking – and “Philip Cross” has deleted all reference to that fact from Kamm’s Wikipedia page.

What is plain is that Kamm and Cross have extremely similar political views, and that the dividing line of those they attack and those they defend is based squarely on the principles of the Euston Manifesto. This may be obscure, but is in fact an important Blairite declaration of support for Israel and for neo-con wars of intervention, and was linked to the foundation of the Henry Jackson Society. Who do we find editing the Wikipedia entry for the Euston Manifesto? “Philip Cross”.

What is particularly interesting is that “Philip Cross”‘s views happen to be precisely the same political views as those of Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia. Jimmy Wales has been on twitter the last three days being actively rude and unpleasant to anybody questioning the activities of Philip Cross. His commitment to Cross’s freedom to operate on Wikipedia would be rather more impressive if the Cross operation were not promoting Wales’ own opinions. Jimmy Wales has actively spoken against Jeremy Corbyn, supports the bombing of Syria, supports Israel, is so much of a Blairite he married Blair’s secretary, and sits on the board of Guardian Media Group Ltd alongside Katherine Viner.

The extreme defensiveness and surliness of Wales’ twitter responses on the “Philip Cross” operation is very revealing. Why do you think he reacts like this? Interestingly enough. Wikipedia’s UK begging arm, Wikimedia UK, joined in with equal hostile responses to anyone questioning Cross.

In response many people sent Jimmy Wales evidence, which he ignored, while his “charity” got very upset with those questioning the Philip Cross operation.

Wikimedia had arrived uninvited into a twitter thread discussing the “Philip Cross” operation and had immediately started attacking people questioning Cross’s legitimacy. Can anybody else see anything “insulting” in my tweet?

I repeat, the coincidence of Philip Cross’s political views with those of Jimmy Wales, allied to Wales’ and Wikimedia’s immediate hostility to anybody questioning the Cross operation – without needing to look at any evidence – raises a large number of questions.

“Philip Cross” does not attempt to hide his motive or his hatred of those whose Wikipedia entries he attacks. He openly taunts them on twitter. The obvious unbalance of his edits is plain for anybody to see.

I have in the past exchanged messages with “Philip Cross”. He says he is a person, and that he edits in conjunction with Oliver Kamm tweets because he follows Kamm and his tweets inspire him to edit. He says he has met Kamm and admits to being in electronic communication with him. That excjange I had with Cross was some years ago. More recent communication with Cross (who has now changed his twitter ID to “Julian”

has been less forthcoming and he has not replied:

George Galloway has offered a reward of £1,000 for the name and address of “Cross” so he may also take legal action.

My view is that Philip Cross probably is a real person, but that he fronts for a group acting under his name. It is undeniably true, in fact the government has boasted, that both the MOD and GCHQ have “cyber-war” ops aiming to defend the “official” narrative against alternative news media, and that is precisely the purpose of the “Philip Cross” operation on Wikipedia. The extreme regularity of output argues against “Philip Cross” being either a one man or volunteer operation. I do not rule out however the possibility he genuinely is just a single extremely obsessed right wing fanatic.

Finally, it is worth noting that on Wikipedia, an operation to boost the mainstream media narrative and denigrate alternative sources has the massive advantage that only information from mainstream media sources is permitted in political articles.

In conclusion, some images from the edit pages of Wikipedia articles to give just a little flavour of what I am talking about:

I am slightly concerned lest I am myself getting obsessed. Do you find this as fascinating as I do?

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The Steele Dossier or the Hitler Diaries Mark II

The mainstream media’s extreme enthusiasm for the Hitler Diaries shows their rush to embrace any forgery if it is big and astonishing enough. For the Guardian to lead with such an obvious forgery as the Trump “commercial intelligence reports” is the final evidence of the demise of that newspaper’s journalistic values.

We are now told that the reports were written by Mr Christopher Steele, an ex-MI6 man, for Orbis Business Intelligence. Here are a short list of six impossible things we are asked to believe before breakfast:

1) Vladimir Putin had a five year (later stated as eight year) plan to run Donald Trump as a “Manchurian candidate” for President and Trump was an active and knowing partner in Putin’s scheme.
2) Hillary Clinton is so stupid and unaware that she held compromising conversations over telephone lines whilst in Russia itself.
3) Trump’s lawyer/adviser Mr Cohen was so stupid he held meetings in Prague with the hacker/groups themselves in person to arrange payment, along with senior officials of the Russian security services. The NSA, CIA and FBI are so incompetent they did not monitor this meeting, and somehow the NSA failed to pick up on the electronic and telephone communications involved in organising it. Therefore Mr Cohen was never questioned over this alleged and improbable serious criminal activity.
4) A private company had minute by minute intelligence on the Manchurian Candidate scheme and all the indictable illegal activity that was going on, which the CIA/NSA/GCHQ/MI6 did not have, despite their specific tasking and enormous technical, staff and financial resources amounting between them to over 150,000 staff and the availability of hundreds of billons of dollars to do nothing but this.
5) A private western company is able to run a state level intelligence operation in Russia for years, continually interviewing senior security sources and people personally close to Putin, without being caught by the Russian security services – despite the fact the latter are brilliant enough to install a Manchurian candidate as President of the USA. This private western company can for example secretly interview staff in top Moscow hotels – which they themselves say are Russian security service controlled – without the staff being too scared to speak to them or ending up dead. They can continually pump Putin’s friends for information and get it.
6) Donald Trump’s real interest is his vast financial commitment in China, and he has little investment in Russia, according to the reports. Yet he spent the entire election campaign advocating closer ties with Russia and demonising and antagonising China.

Michael Cohen has now stated he has never been to Prague in his life. If that is true the extremely weak credibility of the entire forgery collapses in total. What is more, contrary to the claims of the Guardian and Washington Post that the material is “unverifiable”, the veracity of it could be tested extremely easily by the most basic journalism, ie asking Mr Cohen who has produced his passport. The editors of the Washington Post and the Guardian are guilty of pushing as blazing front page news the most blatant forgery to serve their own political ends, without carrying out the absolutely basic journalistic checks which would easily prove the forgery. Those editors must resign.

The Guardian has published a hagiography in which it clarifies he cannot travel to Russia himself and that he depends on second party contacts to interview third parties. It also confirms that much of the “information” is bought. Contacts who sell you information will of course invent the kind of thing you want to hear to increase their income. That was the fundamental problem with much of the intelligence on Iraqi WMD. Highly paid contacts, through also paid third parties, were inventing intelligence to sell.

There is of course an extra level of venial inaccuracy here because unlike an MI6 officer, Steele himself was then flogging the information for cash. Nobody in the mainstream media has asked the most important question of all. What was the charlatan Christopher Steele paid for this dossier?

As forgeries go, this is really not in the least convincing. It was very obviously not written seriatim on the dates stated but forged as a collection and with hindsight. I might add I do not include the golden showers among the impossible aspects. I have no idea if it is true and neither do I care. Given Trump’s wealth and history, I think we can say with confidence that he has indulged whatever his sexual preferences might be all over the world and not just in Russia. It seems most improbable he would succumb to blackmail over it and not brazen it out. I suppose it could be taken as the sole example of trickledown theory actually working.

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2016: The Year the Media Broke

Rupert Murdoch’s bid for a full takeover of Sky TV demonstrates graphically that the extreme concentration of media ownership has not yet run its course. It also yet again underlines the extent to which the Leveson Inquiry was barking entirely up the wrong tree. There is no question to which the correct answer is increased government control over free speech. Any inquiry into the media should look first and foremost at its highly concentrated ownership and how to instil more pluralism. It is probably now too late to expect that a vibrant, diverse traditional media is achievable. We can however be cheered by the continuing decline of the political influence of the mainstream media, as illustrated by its “Fake News” panic.

Even five years ago, if the mainstream media carried a meme that was fundamentally untrue, the chances of persuading public opinion of its untruth were almost minimal. Similarly if they wished to ignore an inconvenient truth, it would be very hard indeed to get it out to a significant number.

Four years ago, when the official version of the Adam Werritty affair was front page news for days, causing the resignation of the Defence Secretary, I discovered that in fact the real scandal ran much deeper. Werritty – who had an official pass but no official position – had held at least eight meetings with Matthew Gould, now Cabinet Office anti-WikiLeaks supremo. Gould had at the time of some of the meetings been ambassador to Israel, at the time of others Private Secretary to two different Foreign Secretaries, David Miliband and William Hague. On at least one occasion it was acknowledged by the FCO that Mossad were also present. For the three meetings which occurred while Gould was Private Secretary, I requested the diary entries under the Freedom of Information Act. The meetings were held on 8 Sept 2009, 27 Sept 2010 and 6 Feb 2011. The FCO sent me, in reply to my Freedom of Information request, the diary entries for those three days with only the dates – the rest was 100% redacted, in the interests of national security.

The Cabinet Secretary, Gus O’Donnell, in presenting his report to parliament into Werritty’s activities, blatantly lied and listed only three of Werritty’s eight meetings with Gould. Yet, even though the Werritty scandal was a front page story, I could not interest the mainstream media in publishing the truth. I believe that was because it touched on security links with Israel. To be plain, I was offering officially verified information at no charge to all the mainstream newspapers and broadcasters, and the only outlet which would touch it was the Independent. Tellingly, this paper, not controlled by the big news corporations, has since gone bust.

The reason I revisit this all now is to point out that when I published the true facts about Werritty on this blog, it was read here by tens of thousands. But four years later, when similarly I wrote about the story behind the mainstream media version of the Panama Papers, it was read by hundreds of thousands on this site alone. I had simply pointed out that the leaker had erred in giving the Panama Papers to the mainstream media and not to WikiLeaks, and therefore we were not getting the full picture. Media attention was focused on extremely tenuous links to Russia (ring any bells lately?), and remarkably no major British or American corporations or prominent individuals were named. In the event the full papers never were published by their mainstream media guardians, only a redacted “database”. No major British or US corporations ever were named. Unlike on Fox/Werritty, I was able to reach many millions of people with my writings on the Panama papers through the increasing power of social media.

These are homely examples from my own blog. But the real effect was seen in the WikiLeaks releases of the Podesta and DNC emails. The mainstream media contrived to ignore the damning content of those emails almost completely, but they were shared by many, many millions through social media. We now have the hilarious situation where the mainstream media is still hiding the content and denying the influence, while at the same time promoting a meme that the leaks were crucial and all the fault of Putin. What the mainstream media cannot squarely face is that 2016 became the tipping point, the year when they no longer control the narrative, the year the traditional means of population control by the 1% stopped working properly.

2017 will see the Establishment reaction to this. Control of “Fake” news by social media, and “ghost banning” are two of the weapons which will be used. The obvious weakness of the people’s social media revolution is its heavy reliance on the corporations Twitter and Facebook. There is every evidence that their fellow billionaires are working hard and with success to ensure that the new billionaire controllers of Facebook, Twitter, Google and Wikipedia become properly committed to the corporate news management agenda. We have already seen governments move across the Western world to increase powers of internet censorship “to counter radicalisation”, and expect these to be both strengthened and deployed against non-official news.

The 1% have all the money and we don’t because they are powerful, unscrupulous, sociopathic and very resilient. 2017 I suspect will be the year it becomes plain that new social networking media beyond corporate control are required, but I am confident the internet will work that one out by its collective genius. 2016 will be seen as a turning point. But there are still a great many hard battles ahead.

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Obama Loses His War on Whistleblowers

Obama has waged a vicious War on Whistleblowers, the details of which are insufficiently known to the public. High level security officials, true American patriots like Thomas Drake and John Kiriakou have been handcuffed, dragged through the courts and jailed. William Binney had guns pointed at himself and his wife in their home. Chelsea Manning endures constant persecution and humiliation which meets the bar of cruel and degrading punishment. Edward Snowden pines in exile. These are just the highest profile examples. Hillary Clinton was the driving force behind Obama’s hard line attacks on whistleblowers.

Under Obama, whistleblowers face a total of 751 months behind bars — compared to 24 months for all other whistleblowers combined since the American Revolution. The protection of free speech and truth-telling has been wrenched away under Obama.

I am proud to be a whistleblower myself, and like Drake, Kiriakou, Binney, Manning and Snowden a recipient of the annual Sam Adams award. We have another recipient – Julian Assange – who is a most useful ally indeed.

Whistleblowers seemed a soft target. Indeed seven years into his Presidency Obama seemed to be winning the War on Whistleblowers hands down, leaving them serving time or marginalised and cast out from society.

But Obama/Clinton miscalculated massively. If you set up the super surveillance state, hoovering up all the internet traffic of pretty well everybody, that is not just going to affect the ordinary people whom the elite despise. There is also going to be an awful lot of traffic intercepted from sleazy members of the elite connected to even the most senior politicians, revealing all their corruption and idiosyncracies. From people like John Podesta, to take an entirely random example. And once the super surveillance state has intercepted and stored all that highly incriminating material, you never know if some decent human being, some genuine patriot, from within the security services is going to feel compelled to turn whistleblower.

Then they might turn for help to, to take another entirely random example, Julian Assange.

Obama/Clinton have perished politically as an example of the ultimate in political hubris. Downed by their own surveillance super state. Obama/Clinton’s War on Whistleblowers resulted in the most humiliating of defeats, and now they are political history. This is karma for their persecution of some of the best people in their nation. Good riddance.

All nothing to do with any Russians.

Disclaimer – though I reference fellow holders of the Sam Adams award, this does not indicate a joint effort or that individual award holders or the Sam Adamas Associates necessarily agree with actions taken.

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The Black Stones, and Other Ghosts of Beeston Regis

Tens of thousands of people follow this blog, direct and through facebook and twitter. I believe they mostly do so because of the posts I write which present facts the mainstream media elides, or a commentary designed to open up radical ideas for discussion. I am always very grateful that so many people are prepared to consider alternative ways of considering news and politics.

But it is also just an intensely personal blog, where sometimes I work through my own thoughts and experiences in life from a variety of motives, and in the hope that they may strike a chord with some people. Recent events have caused me to think back over my own childhood, and frankly I do not expect this next to be of much interest at all to the large majority of habitual readers. I am recording this because I want the knowledge to survive me, from a feeling that folk tradition is important.

I was looking up the postcode for Beeton Regis church to tell somebody how to get there, and in doing so came across the wikipedia entry for Beeston Regis. It includes this passage:

The strange story of Farmer Reynolds’ stone[edit]

Within the churchyard is a large stone being used to cover a grave. It is approximately 4 feet (1.2 m) long x 2 feet (0.61 m) x 18 inches (460 mm) high, being a rectangular block of granite, with circular depressions on the uppermost surface. On each side is inscribed the names of the grave’s occupants. This is originally one of a pair which stood at either side of a pathway in the yard of the farmhouse, in the grounds of the ruined Beeston Priory. The path itself led to what is now known as the Abbot’s Freshwater Spring Pond.

A local tale says that about 1938–41, when both boulders were in place, a farmer named James Reynolds often drove his horse and cart along this pathway. Several times, a hooded grey ghost would hide behind two boulders and would leap out from behind one of the stones at sunset, and try to grab the horse’s reins before vanishing. This, although terrifying the animals, seems not to have perturbed the man unduly. However, he ordered that the stone in question be laid upon his grave after his death, in an attempt at ‘laying’ the apparition. James Reynolds died in 1941 and, in accordance with his wishes, the boulder now lies atop his grave, his wife Ann Elizabeth also being interred there in 1967. There is no record as to whether or not the ‘exorcism’ was successful, and indeed, a local woman who knew the Reynolds could not confirm the story. The other stone of the pair can now be seen lying against the north wall of the churchyard.

In fact these stones were not originally in any of the places stated. The priory farm had a massive old tithe barn, right on the main Cromer road. The ancient road had become depressed through use below its hedgerows, and there was a grass verge bordering the barn, about a foot high and a couple of feet wide to the road. There in the grass and part embedded in the verge were these two large black granite boulders.

In the early 1960s we used to walk past them twice every day as we walked the mile to and from Sheringham Primary School. Legend was that they were haunted, and that after dark they would roll across to the other side of the road. This was associated with ghosts in some way that was not entirely clear, but linked to the monks of the priory. I therefore recognise the lines of the Wikipedia story. We were always scared walking past them at night and used to run past the spot.

At some point the stones were removed from the highway onto the farm itself – I believe about the time the tithe barn was demolished. At first the façade wall and great wooden doors of the tithe barn were left standing as it was contiguous with the farm wall. By the time the stones were removed from the highway I was either an adult or had an adult understanding, and was angry that these stones – which were an important part of community folklore – had been removed from the highway into the farm, as I was convinced they had been part of the highway and not on land belonging to the farm.

You have to know Norfolk to understand why these boulders had this mystic reputation. There are no boulders in Norfolk. The houses and churches are built out of flint beach pebbles. There is no source of granite for hundreds of miles. A primary school teacher whose name I remember as Donhau explained to 10 year old me that they are glacial erratics, left here by the receding last ice age, and it is undoubtedly true that the North Norfolk ridge is its terminal moraine. He also said that the apparently man made depressions in them were erosion by the ice. All of which makes sense, and it would make even more so if there were anything else remotely like them scattered around. But I see no contradiction between them both being glacial erratics and being used by the local Iceni for the sort of rituals Celts did with stones with depressions elsewhere. If they held the aura they did for the entire local community in 1960, how much more did they 2000 years earlier?

The legend of Black Shuck as recounted on the Wikipedia page is correct, although it misses out the universal belief that if you saw it you would die shortly after. But it misses the legend connected to Orban Beck. This was reputed to be bottomless, and the legend was that at night you could see a horse and cart being driven into it by a dead man. This again I am inclined to suspect was a folk memory of a Celtic chariot burial or ritual.

What I am struggling to explain to you was how, in what was then a very small and tight knit rural community, these legends were part of the everyday reality we lived in. I have been trying and failing to recall how I first learned them, but I think they were passed from child to child rather than taught us by adults, though they certainly were subsequently confirmed to us by adults. Of course they did not believe in them. But nor would they lightly scoff at them.

I am happy I recorded all that – I am still unsure of my own point, but I find the idea that this remembrance is now indelibly out there on the internet strangely reassuring.

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Support Diego Garcia Football

If you hate the corruption of FIFA and the commercialisation of football, hate the US air base on Diego Garcia, and are ashamed of the British forced deportation of the entire Chagos Islands population to make way for the base, you have an ideal opportunity to do a little good in the world by supporting the appeal to finance the Chagos football team to participate in the Conifa World Cup.

chagos team

This blog makes a point of never asking for money or taking advertising, yet has asked for donations for good causes twice in a fortnight. I apologise but I love this idea, both for the spirit of football and to support the islanders in affirming their right to be considered a nation and to return to their homeland. I have carefully checked it out and this football team – based in Croydon – really does consist of the Chagos community, and it is important to them in helping the young people preserve their identity.

Donate via this page using the “Sport Fund” option. Alternatively you can donate to the UK Chagos Support Group here.

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Why the Assange Allegation is a Stitch-up

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

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

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

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

Why did Anna Ardin not warn Sofia Wilen?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anna tweets at 14.00:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It is therefore plain that one of two things happened:

Either

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

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

Or

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

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

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

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

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

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

Conclusion

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

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

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

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

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

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Stella Creasy Demands I Retract Article

UPDATE

Ms Stella Creasy is offended by this article. At 8.14am this morning 5 December she tweeted:

“This is just an offensive and wrong article and I hope Mr Murray retracts.”

Nothing in it is wrong to the best of my knowledge, but if anything is, I should be most happy to retract it. Nobody has indicated anything is factually wrong so far. I have changed the title of the post to be literal rather than sarcastic, because that was the only thing about it that was “wrong”.

But offensive? Really? She must be a very shrinking violet indeed.

Given that the whole point of this article is to suggest that Ms Creasy believes she should be above criticism and above democratic accountability, for her to describe the criticisms in this article as “offensive” purely proves my point. It is not offensive. It is legitimate criticism of somebody who lives off my taxes.

For me, the inevitable conclusion is that a woman whose Wikipedia page states “Creasy has aristocratic family connections on her mother’s side, including with the Howards, Earls of Carlisle (through whom she is related to Polly Toynbee), the Cayzer family and the present (9th) Viscount Gort who is her fourth cousin” believes she is not answerable to the hoi polloi.

If she regards this article as “offensive” and something that should be retracted, and given she described the extremely polite vigil in the video below as “intimidation”, I think we can all form our own view of Ms Creasy and her sense of entitlement to rule.

For the benefit of the media, she is currently organising a “public meeting” with in fact a highly selected and vetted audience to be seen to be “open and democratic” and justify to her constituents her decision to blow up Syrian children. Expect wall to wall media coverage of stooges coming out saying she convinced them.

The original article of which she complained starts here:

There is a very natural temptation for members of the SNP to laugh without sympathy at the universal media hostility faced by Corbyn and his supporters. That is because we faced an equally massive and equally unrelieved torrent of biased media propaganda during the referendum campaign, and then the entire Labour Party, including its left wing, not only did not condemn the biased media but actively sought to promote it.

On top of which the corporate media is in utter confusion in Scotland, and still largely under instruction to boost Labour, it being at least unionist. The peculiar result of this is that an alien landing in Livingston and following the media would come to the conclusion that John McTernan must be leader of the country, given his ubiquity on media and the extreme deference shown to him, especially by the state broadcaster.

I am however of a peculiarly forgiving disposition, and take the view that two wrongs don’t make a right. What is by any standards fascinating is the way that the media use precisely the same tactics against Corbyn they used against the SNP. First you have the expressions of scorn, of incredulity that such a view could be held, the dismissive body language of presenters, the comment of “unelectable” presented as fact.

When all that does not work, you get the portrayal of anybody putting forward a view outside the neo-con consensus as fanatic, desocialised and violent. We experienced precisely this with the massive “cybernat” campaign of the mainstream media, in which independence supporters were presented as hideous thugs and bullies. This is precisely the narrative which is now being relentlessly deployed on all media for the last 24 hours against the supporters of Jeremy Corbyn. The narrative is reinforced by promoting a celebrity “victim”, preferably female and blonde. Step forward J K Rowling the first time, and Stella Creasy now.

Here is a shocking video of the hate-filled mob which besieged Ms Creasy’s constituency office, with the result that her staff dare not go to work and she herself felt intimidated.

Terrifying, wasn’t it? The truth is this was an extremely polite and quiet bunch organised in fact by the local vicar Stephen Saxby, who writes in Red Pepper:

This week I took part in a vigil with a wide section of the local community. I am deeply saddened by the misinformation about the vigil which has circulated in the media, and grateful to Sue Wheat for correcting the misreporting of the vigil.

I am also surprised that some in the party appear to be overly influenced by irresponsible coverage in the media, such as the Mail’s description of the peaceful people on our vigil being called ‘Hard-left hate mobs’ and the Mirror stating ‘Vicars, imams and net trolls target MPs’.

I am shocked by Tom Watson’s statement on Radio 4 today that ‘any Labour members on that demo should be removed from the party’.

At the same time as I condemn intimidation of MPs or their staff, I reiterate that the vigil was not intimidation, and condemn those who seek to portray democratic, peaceful actions as such. This is also is a form of intimidation.

For my part, I shall not be intimidated into not speaking on issues about which I am passionate and alongside others within and beyond the Labour Party.

I refute the erroneous allegations about me and about our peaceful vigil, and look forward to continuing to support Stella Creasy as MP for Walthamstow, and the campaigns to elect Sadiq Khan as mayor and Jeremy Corbyn as prime minister.”

It is astonishing that Tom Watson says that anybody in that video should be expelled from the Labour Party, and that the entire mainstream media has described it as “intimidation”. There really is a genuine attempt to delegitimise even the concept of dissent from the neo-con war agenda.

In truth, we all know that social media abuse does exist to a certain extent, just as abuse exists in every other form of human communication. But the one thing we learnt for certain from the Scottish referendum campaign, is that the media will report constantly any abuse allegedly from the anti-establishment camp, but will ignore the at least equally bad and quite possibly much worse torrent of abuse from supporters of the other side of the argument. The absolutely false connection of social media aggression uniquely to anti-establishment politics is an organised media propaganda trick as morally disgusting as it is pernicious.

The object to delegitimise a political view – be it Scottish Independence or Corbynism – is taken further in the current example. There is a concomitant media campaign to portray as an affront to democracy the idea of MPs facing reselection by party members – to portray the idea that an MP should have a lifelong right to the party nomination as norm.

This is a complete inversion of truth. The idea that MPs should be subject to reselection by members as the candidate at the end of the term for which they were chosen, is obviously in reality the more democratic. Should an MP be deselected, they have the democratic option to stand as an independent if they truly believe the voters were electing them, and not the party.

A final word on Ms Creasy. She has belatedly come out and denied the false reports all over the media that demonstrators gathered outside her home – though anyone who thought the Porsche Cayenne driving, Oxbridge Ms Creasy lives in a terrace in Waltham is very naïve. She is a fanatic supporter of Trident missiles and of any bombing opportunity going, and is precisely the sort of MP everybody should be trying to get rid of. Here is Andrew Neil exposing her for a shallow careerist fool:

Presumably that ranks as intimidation and abuse.

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Death Race 2015

Just between 2003-5, US forces killed 15 journalists in Iraq, the majority either Westerners or working for Western news agencies. The figure is from the mainstream American Journalism Review. 94 aid workers died in the Iraq conflict, according to Reuters. I don’t have a figure for how many of those were killed by the US forces, but many. Journalists and aid workers have been among the 2,540 people killed in “collateral damage” of drone strikes since Obama became President. Now the US has just killed medical staff and aid workers in Kunduz.

I do not want to downplay the horror and cold-heartedness of the grisly ISIL executions. But the United States military has killed more journalists and NGO employees than ISIL ever will. An inconvenient fact you will never see reported in the mainstream media.

Some of those US killings of journalists were not deliberate targeting. That is of little comfort to the dead people and their loved ones. Some were not accidental.

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T Without Clumpas

UPDATE

Someone has today amended the Wikipedia entry for T in the Park to reinstate Stuart Clumpas as co-founder with Ellis. That is still not quite true – Clumpas was the founder and Ellis worked for him – but it is certainly much better.

I appreciate this post is of limited interest to most people, but it is curious to me. There is currently a row about a decision to give 150,000 of Creative Scotland’s money to the highly commercial and profitable T in the Park festival. My take on that is that it was a bad decision within Creative Scotland.

The founder of T in the Park was an old university friend of mine, Stuart Clumpas. Stuart ran – with breathtaking brilliance – the entertainments at Dundee University students union while I was President. It seems incredible now, but we had the biggest bands in the country on a regular basis, including the world premier of a Mike Oldfield album, and the Pretenders while Brass in Pocket was number 1, Dexy’s Midnight Runners just as they hit, and much else. Stuart was truly amazing. With his collaborator John Reid he went on to establish an entertainments company – I used to hear these two students cooking up their plans over pints. Within six months they had the biggest nightclub in Dundee (Fat Sam’s), within a couple more the biggest in Glasgow (King Tut’s). Stuart went on to found both T in the Park and the V Festivals. I haven’t seen him since about 1984, rather to my regret. Last I heard, third hand, he sold his festival interests and retired down under.

Anyway, the point of that trip down memory lane is that the current controversy over T in the Park led me to look it up on Wikipedia. I found that, extraordinarily, the T in the Park page makes no mention whatsoever of Stuart Clumpas, and attempts to create the impression that it was founded by its current director Geoff Ellis, who it says “was involved from the start” and “organised the first T in the Park festival”. Well, he did some of the organisation, but only as an employee of Stuart Clumpas, who has been airbrushed from the T in the Park Wikipedia page as though he were a former Soviet leader taken out of the photo.

This is an interesting comment on the integrity of Wikipedia. But it is also an interesting comment on the integrity of Mr Ellis. That Wikipedia page had the unmistakeable feel of a promotional page which has been heavily written and edited either by Mr Ellis or by someone working on behalf of Mr Ellis. And if Geoff Ellis is the kind of shyster who would falsely claim to have founded T in the Park and edit out the real founder, does that cast a light on the morality of the rather dubious 150,000 payment?

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You Couldn’t Make It Up

Tony Blair names Henry Kissinger as his role model. Honestly, not kidding. It is of course literally true, as they were both responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands through neo-colonial war. What a pity he forgot to mention it when he stood for leadership of the Labour Party. On the other hand, it is the sort of thing Jim Murphy of the Henry Jackson Society is quite open about, and it doesn’t seem to hurt his career prospects either.

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Rusbridger – Handmaiden to Power

Rusbridger’s Guardian has become an unrepentant unionist, zionist, and neo-con New Labour propaganda vehicle. Particularly deceitful is their attitude to the security services and the “war on terror”, where Rusbridger stands revealed as a handmaiden to power. He was, a very senior Guardian source told me, particularly upset when I described him as “Tony Blair’s catamite”. Let me say it again.

Let me give you a specific case to illustrate my point.

On 2 August the Guardian published a piece by Jamie Doward and Ian Cobain which, on the face of it, exposed the British Foreign Office for lobbying against the publication of the US Senate report on extraordinary rendition, lest details of British complicity become public.

On the face of it, a worthy piece of journalism exposing deeply shady government behaviour.

Except that I had published precisely the same story a full 15 weeks earlier, on April 14 2014, having been urgently contacted by a whistleblower.

What is more, immediately I heard from the whistleblower I made several urgent phone calls to Ian Cobain. He neither took nor returned my calls. I therefore left detailed messages, referring to the story which I had now published on my website.

In fact, the Guardian only published this story after William Hague had written to Reprieve to confirm that this lobbying had happened. In other words the Guardian published only after disclosure had been authorised by Government.

Furthermore, in publishing the government authorised story, the Guardian omitted the absolutely key point – that the purpose of the UK lobbying was to affect court cases under way and in prospect in the UK. Both in civil cases of compensation for victims, and in potential criminal cases for complicity in torture against Blair, Straw et al, British judges have (disgracefully) accepted the argument that evidence of the torture cannot be used because the American do not want it revealed, and may curtail future intelligence sharing. Obviously, if the Americans publish the material themselves, this defence falls.

As this defence is the major factor keeping Blair, Straw and numerous still senior civil servants out of the dock, this sparked the crucial British lobbying to suppress the Feinstein report – which has indeed succeeded in causing a huge amount of redaction by the White House.

My mole was absolutely adamant this was what was happening, and it is what I published. Yet Cobain in publishing the government authorised version does not refer to the impact on trials at all – despite the fact that this was 100% the subject of the letter from Reprieve to which Hague was replying, and that the letter from Reprieve mentioned me and my blog by name.

Instead of giving the true story, the government authorised version published by Cobain misdirects the entire subject towards Diego Garcia. The truth is that Diego Garcia is pretty incidental in the whole rendition story. On UK soil there was actually a great deal more done at Wick airport (yes, I do mean Wick, not Prestwick). That is something the government is still keeping tight closed, so don’t expect a mention from Cobain.

I was fooled by Cobain for a long time. What I now realise is that his role is to codify and render safe information which had already leaked. He packages it and sends it off in a useless direction – away from Blair and Straw in this instance. He rigorously excludes material which is too hot for the establishment to handle. The great trick is, that the Guardian persuades its loyal readers that it is keeping tabs on the security services when in fact it is sweeping up after them.

Which is a precise description of why the Guardian fell out with Assange and WikiLeaks.

I suppose I should expect no better of the newspaper which happily sent the extremely noble Sara Tisdall to prison, but we should have learnt a lot from Rusbridger’s agreement with the security services to smash the Snowden hard drives. The Guardian argues that other copies of the drives existed. That is scarcely the point. Would you participate in a book-burning because other copies of books exist? The Guardian never stands up to the security services or the establishment. It just wants you to believe that it does.

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