New Labour’s Britain and The Silencing of Dissent 142


We all need to take a step back and see what kind of society we have become; in particular the Stalinist silencing of voices of dissent – even within our universities.

I have seen my past server host pull this website and my publisher pull my book, in attempts to silence my dissenting opinions. We overcame those, but they should never have happened. Now I have been telephoned by the University of Cambridge to be told that security staff will physically prevent me from entering the University of Cambridge to give a talk there.

What have we become? I have responded thus and am now off to Cambridge.

Dear Dr Elliott,

As I told you on the telephone, I was invited some weeks ago to speak this evening in a debate on the merits of the Afghan War. I learnt this morning that plans had changed due to a student occupation of a university building over University policy towards Gaza, and as the organisers of my debate were involved in the occupation, I was requested to switch my talk to the Law Faculty. I agreed to do so.

I then heard from you that the authorities had decided to exclude non-University members from the law faculty, and should I arrive to give my talk I will not be admitted; and indeed be physically prevented from entering.

I have given this some thought, and I have decided that the threat not to admit me to the University building is unwarranted.

As you may realise, I am Rector of the University of Dundee (and an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Lancaster School of Law). I am not personally intending to occupy your building for longer than it takes to give a talk, and certainly intend to cause no damage. I am not a health and safety risk.

I am invited to lecture at Universities and other prestigious institutions worldwide; normally universities are urging me to come, not seeking to turn me away! I understand that a number of people are looking forward to hearing me this evening. To threaten to exclude me is a denial of freedom of speech which I find very peculiar behaviour for the University of Cambridge.

Student occupations are hardly a new phenomenon, and normally can easily be resolved through amicable negotiation. I was quite astonished to learn that Cambridge University had responded by attempting to starve the students out. To try also to ban a guest speaker seems to me likely to inflame and prolong, rather than resolve, the dispute.

It seems to me that the easiest way out of the current difficulty of my visit is for you to extend to me an invitation to speak this evening on behalf of the Faculty.

With all best wishes,

Craig Murray


142 thoughts on “New Labour’s Britain and The Silencing of Dissent

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  • eddie

    I am happy to continue the debate if there is anything meaningful to respond to but as the occupation is over and as none of you have been able to give answers to my questions or challenge the facts that I have posted here there seems little point. The University won, there was no denial of free speech or “Stalinism” – Craig did not tell the truth in his post. It was a victory for common sense and the rule of law. If you read the occupiers’ blog (see link below) the comments are overwhelmingly hostile to the occupation. Occupations and shouting evil chants about the intifada are no way to build a mass movement friends. I hope that even you can see that. You alienate people and end up playing with yourselves in the backstreets.

    http://cambridgegazasolidarity.blogspot.com/2009/01/important-update.html#comments

  • Jon

    Craig – sorry for off-topic post, but I have no other way to contact you. Tried to email you today and got a “IP blocked” message from your Russian mail server:

    > This message was created automatically by mail delivery software.

    >

    > A message that you sent could not be delivered to one or more of its

    > recipients. This is a permanent error. The following address(es) failed:

    >

    > [email protected]

    > SMTP error from remote mail server after RCPT TO::

    > host mxs.mail.ru [94.100.176.20]: 550 Access from ip address

    > 85.92.xx.xx blocked. Visit

    >

    > (blocklist appeal website provided)

    I have appealed the block, and will try again if they respond positively. However I have read in these comments elsewhere that another person has had difficulty contacting you – if this is the case, I wonder whether you might change your provider… and somewhere perhaps a bit more liberal than Russia, I wonder?

  • mary

    Eddie’s view of the world January 2009

    ‘It never happened. Nothing ever happened. Even while it was happening it wasn’t happening. It didn’t matter. It was of no interest.’

  • Chris

    Eddie,

    this may come as a bit of a surprise but, well said, sir.

    “For the record I support a 2 state solution on the 1967 borders, an end to all illegal settlements, the walls to come down and all settlers to return to Israel unless they are willing to live under Palestinian rule and abide by their rules (with tolerance and with forbearance on both sides)”

  • Strategist

    Maybe I was being a little harsh on Eddie, I haven’t read all his posts in detail.

    My comments on not feeding Zionist or any other variety of trolls stand in general terms however.

  • eddie

    Well thanks. It is a surprise. I am not a zionist, extremist or right winger, however you may define those terms. I probably agree with you more than you may imagine. I have been a member of the labour party for years, but I believe in social democracy, liberty, equality, fraternity etc – all those old-fashioned notions that were so hard won. In danger of repeating myself, I just despair at the blindness or stupidity of those on the far left who seek alliances with groups and countries who would deny them their rights and liberties. You are in danger of sleepwalking into the past. My apologies to anyone if my language has been intemperate at times – that’s what the anonymity of the web does I’m afraid. I’m sure if we met face to face we would all be very polite! (perhaps not). This is my last post.

  • researcher

    Eddie’s disgusting posts can often be recognised in the first sentence when he personally attacks participants here. He is a transparent Supremacist, the basic belief behind Jewish religion and Zionism. His rethoric betrays years of training in propaganda techniques, foremost the big lie, followed by lies of all sorts, whenever they suit his agenda. When his lies are exposed, he usually changes the subject and does not reply. It is astonishing that he did not reply to Ruth’s question. Silence is usually his reaction to direct exposure. See my comments here:

    http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2009/01/boring_boring_b.html

    His aim is to distract, absorb energy and to pollute this board so people stop reading and participating. He is employed full time to sabotage the power of this board as Craig Murray attracts people from the highest levels of the power elite here.

    The banksters rule by launching, controlling and championing their own apparent opposition. Those repeatedly engaging in discussions with “Eddie” are part of the army of bloggers paid to obstruct real insights and opposition. The best way of dealing with people like “Eddie” is to repeatedly warn newcomers and casual readers that he is a Zionist shill and a notorious liar. His arguments are weak, and apart from exposing them as lies, debating them in endless circles is distracting and just gives him platform and recognition.

    He has been caught lying on numerous occasions, like above “there was no denial of free speech”.

    “Eddie” is a Zionist shill and a notorious liar.

    http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2009/01/boring_boring_b.html

    Thanks, Ruth, George Dutton and others for exposing him.

    What will be his next alias ?

  • Strategist

    >>This is my last post.

    Da-derr!

    Da-derr-derr-derr!

    Da-derr-derr de-de de-de de-de-de-derr

    Da-derr!

    Eddie, if you are a nice guy, get yourself out of Harry’s Place. It’s real bad company

  • mary

    @ Researcher

    Eddie says on ‘boring boring’ that he visits Harry’s Place, a very unpleasant locale in my opinion and best avoided.

    On a nasty article there today about the poor unfortunate with learning difficulties in Exeter who has been jailed for life for ‘terrorist activities’

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7859887.stm

    Eddie writes

    eddie

    30 January 2009, 4:27 pm

    I agree that the punishment seems harsh, but have they had any success in finding and prosecuting those who groomed him?

    By the way, is Benjamin in the sin bin?

    aaaaaaaaaaaaa

    BTW Eddie who is Benjamin – another troll?

  • George Dutton

    “I am not a zionist, extremist or right winger”

    “I have been a member of the labour party for years”

    Bit out of step with your party there eddie.

    This is my favourite eddie quote…

    “I have been a member of the labour party for years, but I believe in social democracy, liberty, equality, fraternity”

    Priceless…lol.

  • technicolour

    A little sad to see this degenerating into a “let’s insult Eddie” session. And who on earth would bother to answer the question “are you employed by the security services?”.

    In fact, Eddie has stimulated a lively debate. I guess he is a perfectly decent person understandably seeking an alternative to the current political rubble. He has made me think about the importance of holding the centre, as have other people who posted here about the polarisation in pre-Nazi Germany. It is notable, from reading Goodbye to Berlin, that most people thought the Communists would win, before the Nazis suddenly took power. Instead, further reading shows that Hitler’s party jumped from 12 seats in the Reichstag in 1928 to 230 in 1932.

    Hold the centre.

  • ken

    Have things quietened down a bit?

    Back to ‘Silencing Dissent’.

    The BBC news seems to be more and more outrageous in its selectiveness. Apart from the DEC appeal, I don’t complain much. That’s not good enough. This morning it went too far. So I sent off the following to the complaints dept. Perhaps not enough people do this.

    To: BBC complaints.

    The BBC made a huge, misguided fuss recently, claiming that it needed to decline broadcasting the DEC Gaza appeal to show its so-called impartiality in matters to do with conflicts around the world. Well, where is the impartiality in today’s News Front Page on the BBC website?

    In the run-up to the Iraqi provincial elections, eight CANDIDATES have been shot dead, this apart from other supporters and activists.

    One UK soldier is killed in Afghanistan.

    The BBC chooses to place on its front page today:

    “Iraqis vote in landmark elections.” “High hopes for peaceful polls.”

    “UK soldier killed in Afghanistan.”

    I repeat: “High hopes for peaceful polls.” Under the BBC’s judgement, does EIGHT candidates being killed during the elections actually constitute ‘peaceful’?????

    Please tell me precisely, why does the murder of Iraqi election candidates constitute ‘peaceful’ while the death of a UK soldier warrants (as it rightly should) its own headline?

    How, exactly, does that constitute impartial reporting?

    If, during the next elections in Great Britain, candidates are shot dead, Britain’s borders are closed, traffic is banned from London and curfews put in place, will the BBC use the word ‘peaceful’ in its news reporting?

    Thankyou

  • Stevie

    REMINDER:

    If you walk past a bookshop today (WH Smiths, Borders, etc) then please spare 2 minutes to pop in and ask them if they are stocking Craig’s new book. These stores will be having deliveries over the next week so and your enquiry may well influence how many copies they get in and how much publicity they give it. Thanks everyone.

  • Alan

    Eddie

    Respect!

    We must expose the SWP hard left which makes common cause with the misogynist antisemitic homophobic regimes in countries such as Iran.

  • technicolour

    Well I don’t think you can generalise about either the SWP or the “hard left”. George Galloway, for example, is a strange person. Mostly the left’s common cause is with the people suffering under these regimes, not the regimes themselves. And I don’t think that was Eddie’s main concern, anyway. Panicked by the idea of lawlessness (I share his concern) he is striking out at whatever he sees as a symptom; peaceful, well-meaning, traditional student protests among them.

  • George Dutton

    “George Galloway, for example, is a strange person”

    technicolour

    You say that as if it were a statement of fact…it is not it is just your opinion.

    It is my opinion that you are…”a strange person”…but I stress it is only my opinion.

  • technicolour

    Yes, I do think anyone who quotes Lenin and Chairman Mao in support of their opinions is strange. Even if I agree with the opinion.

    Of course, I am quite strange myself, you are right. How many people possess a solar powered lamp, after all?

  • technicolour

    But hey, Mr Galloway might have changed. You are right, it is only my opinion. My point about not linking the left in general, hard or not, to the support of homophobic brutal etc regimes still stands.

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