Paranoia 16


I am having a lot of communications problems lately. A number of conversations in the last three days led me to work out that, although I appear to be receiving a fair number of emails, the vast majority of emails I am sending are not getting through. I have sent 78 individual emails in the last three days, and received just two replies. Meanwhile people have been chasing me for replies which I had in fact sent.

The strange thing is that my mail.ru and tiscali.co.uk email addresses are equally affected.

At the same time, people are repeatedly telling me that they are phoning my mobile phone, and leaving messages, when it is not ringing, or showing any missed calls, nor are there any messages.

Finally, five different cheques sent to me in the last two months have not arrived in the post. Because they are cheques, I had chased up. I do not know how much other mail is not getting through. Interestingly no attempt was made to pay in any of the missing cheques anywhere before the issuers could cancel them, and I have switched to BACS payments.

All of this can happen to anyone through technical faults with phones and emails. Sadly the Post Office does not have the Royal Mail culture of public service. I feel downright stupid even blogging about it. But, as the old joke goes, just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you.


16 thoughts on “Paranoia

  • Roger Whittaker

    The only way to be sure about this kind of thing is to test it with trusted addresses. I'd me more than happy to help. Please get in touch (roger at the domain above) and we can test with email, post, etc.). I'm an IT professional.

  • Tom

    I'll be happy to help out too, Craig. I will say that I live fairly near you and I've lost post – our local post office has recently introduced new working practices that have caused absolute chaos – we've lost a parcel, a CD sent by a work colleague and this week's Private Eye that I know about.

  • kazbel

    I've noticed that blogs on certain political subjects all snarl up at the same time and that e-mails from certain correspondents take a surprisingly long time to reach me. Of course, it could just be coincidence that this happens – but it no longer seems likely. I'm an insignificant pacifist and a reasonably respectable middle-aged Quaker – unlikely to achieve anything politically except as an occasional presence and witness on demonstrations. Yet I and people I know have been detained by the police on peaceful demonstrations. At most I'm a minor irritation. You've a high profile and people listen to you. Look at all the CCTV cameras and the way demonstrators are routinely detained by police. In the past few years, I've come to realise that surveillance and harassment are routine. It's usually absurd. But didn't you expect this to happen?

  • kazbel

    I've noticed that blogs on certain political subjects all snarl up at the same time and that e-mails from certain correspondents take a surprisingly long time to reach me. Of course, it could just be coincidence that this happens – but it no longer seems likely. I'm an insignificant pacifist and a reasonably respectable middle-aged Quaker – unlikely to achieve anything politically except as an occasional presence and witness on demonstrations. Yet I and people I know have been detained by the police on peaceful demonstrations. At most I'm a minor irritation. You've a high profile and people listen to you. Look at all the CCTV cameras and the way demonstrators are routinely detained by police. In the past few years, I've come to realise that surveillance and harassment are routine. It's usually absurd. But didn't you expect this to happen?

    P.S. I'm being stopped from posting this on the grounds that I have posted too many comments in too short a period of time. ?????

  • kazbel

    sorry about the double posting – but I received this message when I first tried!

    Comment Submission Error

    Your comment submission failed for the following reasons:

    Too many comments have been submitted from you in a short period of time. Please try again in a short while.

  • The Antagonist

    You're having communication problems too, huh, Craig? Mails sent to me experience considerable delays before they arrive or bounce entirely and have been doing for some time now. Outgoing mails too are severely delayed, if they arrive at all.

    Email copies of comments left on my blog, which are addressed to me and sent by the Blogger.com software, have been known to bounce back to the person that left the comment when, technically, their email address never forms part of Blogger-emailing-me a copy of the comment equation.

    Who'd have a thunk a lowly blogger, dissident and July 7th truth activist would have much in commmon with the rightly outspoken Ambassador to the Central Asian Republic of Uzbekistan? Then again, you had many questions about the alleged suicide bombings in Tashkent the July 7th Truth Campaign has rather a great number of similar questions about the alleged suicide bombings in London on 7th July 2005.

    Having just finished reading Murder in Samarkand — an excellent and highly recommended read, along with Daniele Ganser's NATO's Secret Armies — it would seem there are rather more parallels between the modus operandi of Karimov regime and the pernicious and despotic regime under which we find ourselves living right here, right now, in the UK.

  • The Antagonist

    You're having communication problems too, huh, Craig? Mails sent to me experience considerable delays before they arrive or bounce entirely and have been doing for some time now. Outgoing mails too are severely delayed, if they arrive at all.

    Email copies of comments left on my blog, which are addressed to me and sent by the Blogger.com software, have been known to bounce back to the person that left the comment when, technically, their email address never forms part of Blogger-emailing-me a copy of the comment equation.

    Who'd have a thunk a lowly blogger, dissident and July 7th truth activist would have much in commmon with the rightly outspoken Ambassador to the Central Asian Republic of Uzbekistan? Then again, you had many questions about the alleged suicide bombings in Tashkent the July 7th Truth Campaign has rather a great number of similar questions about the alleged suicide bombings in London on 7th July 2005.

    Having just finished reading Murder in Samarkand — an excellent and highly recommended read, along with Daniele Ganser's NATO's Secret Armies — it would seem there are rather more parallels between the modus operandi of the Karimov regime and the pernicious and despotic regime under which we find ourselves living right here, right now, in the UK.

  • greengorilla

    I hate to have to agree with WriteOn but our society is moving away from 'liberal consensus politics' to a new totalitarianism in which technology is being used to surveil and harass us both in groups and as individuals.

    In many ways Britain has taken on all the worst characteristics of a Third World banana republic, in policing, loss of basic liberties, the judiciary, a mortgaged foreign policy and de facto occupation by another power.

    The Tisdall article is an accurate reflection of this state of affairs.

    For the last six years I have been warning folk that this is what's happening: first Muslims, animal rights campaigners, anti-war and environmentalist protestors … and then everyone else.

    I'm sure that an awful lot of people sense or know what is happening but feel helpless to do anything about it.

    We need to create a new political movement for the protection of Peace, Justice and Civil Liberties. Maybe this could be modelled on the growth of Solidarnosc in Poland thirty years ago.

    The sooner this happens the better. Time is running out fast.

  • Sabretache

    Like Tom my profile is pretty low key compared to yours. However, I know exactly how you feel and, subject to remaining self-aware about the sorts of feelings engendered, I'd say you are right to be 'paranoid' – although that is perhaps too strong a word. Anyone with a profile considered a potential threat, as defined and judged exclusively by our politicised police and security services, must expect to find themselves subject to their attentions – both passive surveillance a not-so-passive.

    In my case I had a national profile in the defence of hunting and soon became aware of just how nasty, underhand and downright dishonest the authorities could be when determined to frustrate this that or the other perfectly legal organising, communicating or protest activities. In fact I can honestly say that the experience of those 5 years turned what had been pretty much a lifelong attitude of support for and trust in, the State on its head.

    I have learned that the police will ALWAYS be given the benefit of any doubt, even (perhaps especially) by the public at large. They therefore KNOW what they can get away with (literally murder in the case of poor Charles de Menenez and others) and so routinely do. Likewise – or probably even more so – the security services. I have also learned that, when it comes to the things I cherish and value above all others, The State and its enforcers are emphatically NOT to be trusted.

    In these times of calculated, orchestrated, ramping up of fear about our phoney 'war on terror' it is niave to think that any effective dissenting voice (and yours is most certainly effective) will not be carefully monitored and, to the extent that it becomes a real irritant or 'threat' to the prevailing orthodoxy, frustrated. In extremis it will be silenced one way or another.

    I would have though that you, as an ex-ambassador to a country that rehearses the cruder forms of such enforcement, would have been only too aware of all this. Depressing stuff really but so far as I can see, it ain't going to change for the better any time soon.

  • hayate

    This sort of thing has been happening on and off since 2002, but it is very difficult to pinpoint whether it is genuinely caused by technical problems or by malicious 3rd parties unless one really knows their way around computer operations or has a friend with free time who is.

    Minimize use of microsoft software and use multiple email accounts with duplicate mailings. Doesn't stop professionals, though.

  • nextus

    Yes, Craig, I can certainly identify with your predicament. The issue is very topical for me right now. The vast majority of messages I've sent recently (whether by post or email) have elicited no reply, response or acknowledgement. Hundreds of precious hours have been wasted crafting messages to people to no avail and it's probably been my biggest obstacle for the past few months. In the past, when I assumed there was an innocuous cause for the silence, I was occasionally reliably informed that messages had been circulated warning people not to contact me – in different organisations, but all stemming from the same ultimate source. The news shook me badly, and impacted on my health. Baseless rumours are particularly virulent when you are denied the chance to counter them. It is horrible to be treated like this, especially over a period of years.

    There is a cute irony here, Craig, which may be instructive to reflect on. I expect you remember that a couple of months ago I sent you a lengthy and confidential account of how my complaints about institutional bullying were being continually stonewalled by officials, including your predecessor, and made a fresh appeal for your help. A long time passed with no response. I eventually asked someone to check whether the messages had got through, and was advised you probably received them but were just too busy to respond. I followed it up with an incidental question that elicited a single line of advice, which I thank you for (and which I acted on). But there was of course a notable similarity to the pattern of non-response I had highlighted. I suspect most people who failed to respond to me were just too reluctant to be embroiled in a serious complaint, and I can't see that that would apply to you. I trust your record of moral rectitude and your reputation for cast-iron integrity, and accept that you have your own reasons for not passing comment: you may be too busy, consider the matter too trivial, or just think you have little to add. It would help to plan my way forward if I knew which, though. Otherwise it's hard to know whether you believe I'm fanatical or deluded, as some people would have you believe.

    Confidence means "faith together" and I find it difficult to have faith alone.

    On a lighter note, I encountered a microcosm of the 'conspiracy of silence' phenomenon last week. Two years ago, I provided the entertainment at the post-election BBQ of a local politician and friend, playing guitar and singing for hours to a fantastic reception. By an odd twist of fate, I ended up at his celebration dinner for his recent electoral success three weeks ago, and was invited to play at the next BBQ. I looked forward to it and made preparations. Last week I was talking about how I was looking forward to it, when someone accidentally let slip that it had already taken place. His wife quickly admonished him, saying they had been instructed not to tell me about it. Yikes! The paranoia alarm started clanging and I could feel my stomach tightening. Why was I being deliberately shut out? Truth is I don't know, so it's a playground for paranoia. (As it happens, Craig, the last time I spoke to the politician concerned, he said he would mention me when he was next in touch with you, but now I'm so wracked by self-doubt I'd rather the topic didn't come up at all!)

    The adage "just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you" is sometimes apt, but it's hard to know when to apply it. I'm presently finding it hard to endure the onslaught of self-doubts caused by the continuing roar of silence. So, yes, I can identify with your predicament. 😉

  • Craig

    Mmm, my emails now seem to have stopped getting through at all to anybody. That suggests it is a different problem to some mailservers blocking them.

    Craig

Comments are closed.