Daily archives: July 28, 2008

Nadira and I in Edinburgh

Nadira takes her Arcola sell-out show, the British Ambassador’s Belly Dancer, to the Edinburgh Fringe, where it is playing at the Gilded Balloon from 30 July to 24 August at the somewhat unusual time of 1.30pm. I do hope you will go to support her if you are around Edinburgh for the Festival.


Nadira has her own micro-website on Bloggerheads:


There are still tickets available for my appearance at the Edinburgh Book Festival on 12 August:


I shall be talking about my new book, The Catholic Orangemen of Togo, and revealing some of the information which apparently Tim Spicer and Schillings are attempting to block.

We shall both be available socially in Edinburgh for the next month for those inclined to a pint or a glass of wine and a chat about the way the world is going!

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Jack Straw, Impresario of Torture, Lurks Towards No. 10

Having studied Jack Straw, from closer or further away, over a period of some years now, I have come to the conclusion that he is a simple careerist who believes in nothing other than personal advancement – and so is perhaps the perfect embodiment of New Labour. There are consistencies in his record – such as his close support of British Aerospace over many years, including at key moments over Hawk jets to Indonesia and the burial of the Saudi bribes investigation. But that relates simply to personal interest and the need to fund that Cotswolds mansion.

It was Straw who oversaw the noxious “Dirty Dossier” on Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction and travelled to the Security Council to tell lie after lie, to help precipitate the invasion and cause the deaths of hundreds of thousands. He was centre stage then. But usually, like an impresario, he is behind the stage making things happen.

While I was British Ambassador, I was officially informed in a high level meeting in the FCO on 7 March 2003, that it was Jack Straw who instructed Sir Richard Dearlove, Head of MI6, that in the “War on Terror” we should use intelligence obtained by torture by foreign intelligence agencies. It was Jack Straw who arranged the framework for extraordinary rendition torture flights. And it was Jack Straw who repeatedly lied about both of these to the House Of Commons.

That capacity for duplicity is in full use again now. At least three Labour MPs, with apparent access to all the dark facilities of the Whips’ office, are canvassing their colleagues for Straw to “Quietly” replace Brown as Prime Minister, and are taking care to use the formula: “Of course, Jack doesn’t know anything about this and you mustn’t mention it to him.” That is even more transparent than most of Straw’s lies.

If Brown has any balls, he’ll drop the slimy one in an Autumn reshuffle. But then Brown’s balls have repeatedly been shown to be miniscule, ever since Granita.

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