Daily archives: November 29, 2008

Jack Straw is an Habitual Liar

Jack Straw, so called Justice Minister, denies that he had any foreknowledge of the arrest of Damian Green.

Jack Straw denied directly to the BBC in the documentary “The Ambassador’s Last Stand”, and denied to the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, that he had any part in the false accusations laid against me or in my removal as Ambassador for raising human rights concerns. Yet, as detailed in Murder in Samarkand, I have obtained documents in Jack Straw’s own handwriting, directing the process, and he held at least three meetings with Sir John Kerr to organise it.

On being sacked, I very openly leaked a number of government documents concerning UK policy, the use of torture material by our intelligence services, and the government’s attempts to frame me. Most of these documents were classified more highly than the documents leaked to Damian Green, like this one for example:


Yet when I leaked a number of highly classified documents, openly on the internet with my name and address, did the police come knocking at my door? No, they did not. They consulted Home Secretary John Reid, who consulted Foreign Secretary Jack Straw. They concluded that they should seek to kill the story, and not generate publicity by arresting me.

Does anybody really believe that Ministers decided whether someone as obscure as I should be arrested, but were not consulted on whether Damian Green should be arrested?

Jack Straw is a serial liar. Do not believe him.

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A Small Fightback

There are important similarities between the Damian Green case and that of Sally Murrer. Sally is the local journalist who was harassed, strip-searched and intimidated by local police, because she was given information on the police bugging of a Member of Parliament.

As her lawyer said in court “The measures used by Thames Valley Police against Sally Murrer are familiar in authoritarian states where the police are used to discourage the media from reporting on issues of public interest using confidential sources”.

That is absolutely true. The fact that Sally has been cleared in Court after a defence based on the European Convention of Human Rights is a small fightback for liberty. But her unnecessarily brutal treatment by the police (what possible reason can there be for strip-searching a journalist?), and her ordeal have already done that totalitarian work. She has announced she no longer has the confidence to continue journalism.

The extraordinary thing is the way that the media have failed to give Damian Green, let alone Sally Murrer, the prominence they deserve. Media inattention to startling human rights abuses is of course another characterisic of a police state. Indeed we have been treated to an egregious BBC commentator telling us that, after the Bombay incident, the Indian people are demanding “More stringent anti-terror laws and more powerful anti-terror police, as we have in the UK”.

Happily, the blogosphere reflects the concern of the educated public much better than the once free media. And the isolation of the Nu-Lab hacks and trolls on these issues is startling.

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