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

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

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  • Reason

    In the 70s we were able to drive around without our cars being under surveillance by number recognition cameras.

  • MJ

    By the way Eddie:

    “It was MJ who raised issues of conspiracy theories, not me, and this led on to the Protocols and the lie that Jewish people were warned about 9/11” is untrue.

    If you read back, you’ll see that it was you who raised these things as a totally specious non sequitur because I happened to refer to banks. You complain of people of people putting words in your mouth, but you are by far the worst offender on this score.

  • Reason

    In the 70s victims of crime didn’t have their details stored on the DNA database.

    In the 70s we couldn’t be arrested for minor things, so our details could be stored on the DNA database.

    In the 70s we could take a 500 ml bottle of water on a plane.

    In the 70s we didn’t have all our telephone calls monitored.

  • Other John

    I think, if anyone should be kicked from this forum, it’s Eddie. He’s got an agenda and deliberately lies, wasting all our time.

    When I wrote that Palestine was taken over by hundreds of thousands of Jews entering that country illegally, Eddie replied:


    England was once 99% non-Norman – look at it now. The USA was once 100% non-European – what are you suggesting, that we ship out all the Normans and the Europeans? Very clever…”

    Eddie is all over the place in the above statement. First, he claims England was once 99% non-Norman. So, he considers the Norman invasion of England – effectively a French invasion, as the Normans were supported by France – as a perfectly acceptable way for countries to conduct themselves, and countries should still be invading each other today. But notice, these are COUNTRIES Eddie is talking about, NOT a religious group attempting to create a religious state. Also, Eddie compares the “old times” with a modern era that has established international laws and the U.N. to mediate conflicts and impose law and order (in theory, anyway – the U.S. veto often puts paid to that idea), with an era that had none of that. Nevertheless, Eddie is saying that MIGHT MAKES RIGHT – imperialism and colonialism rock!

    Eddie says the U.S.A was once 100% non-European. When the U.S. was 100% non-European, there was NO U.S.A! The Europeans conquered the Native Americans and took over.

    However, this comparison is misleading, as Palestine was not an undiscovered land that was unrecognised as having a people. Palestine was an existing country recognised by other nations. Eddie’s analogy is simply wrong. Israel harps on about its right to defend itself, but Eddie supports those that denied that right to Palestine. We can see where Eddie is coming from, can’t we?

    Eddie concludes: “The history of Palestine/Israel is not as simple as Israelis ‘stealing’ Palestinian land.”

    Yet, the historical examples that he gave me are just that.

    Eddie then writes: “…but hold the front page, war is horrible. Shock. Horror.”

    If it were Eddie and his family suffering as a result of this conflict, he would NOT be so facetious or contemptuous, then. However, when Jews get killed, such “wars” are not so acceptable. Eddie’s double standards are evident for all to see.

    Eddie continues: “As for Jewish terorism, I take it that you therefore condemn Castro for his ‘terrorist’ tactics in taking over Cuba and Mandela for his ‘terrorism’ against the South African state? You can’t have your cake and eat it. Many states around the world have been born in terrorism.”

    So, here, Eddie seems to be saying that the Palestinians were liberated by Jewish terrorists – Freedom fighters, according to Eddie – in much the same way blacks were “liberated” by Mandella and Co.

    Let me quote again from the 1948 U.N. report to Ralph Bunche:

    “The Arabs, initially living in peace with the Jewish minority, have been increasingly victimized by the Jews who, now that the British are leaving, are turning their savage behavior against them.”

    “The initial Arab response to Jewish harassment over the past year has been very slow in coming, but it seems to be quite inevitable, and a terrible civil war is foreseen.”

    Eddie then says: “War is war and if hamas had not been lobbing missiles into Isreal for years it could have been avoided.”

    Quite amazing how Eddie condemns a few missiles coming from the Palestinian side, but accepts the dropping of huge bunker-buster bombs and a terrifyingly powerful rain of missiles from the Israelis.

    Israel has broken many ceasefire agreements, as well as stolen land, but people like Eddie promulgate lies that Hamas is entirely to blame, and that Israel is willing to make the concessions necessary to bring about peace – like murdering hundreds of Palestinian children in cold blood, for instance.

    This is not “war” – this is conquest!

    Israel is deliberating targeting the Palestinian people NOT Hamas. The bombing of Gaza was planned months in advance. It is now reckoned that the blockade on Gaza might have been merely the groundwork for the recent assault, an attempt to weaken Hamas fighters by starving and denying health care to everyone in the Gaza strip.

  • MJ

    Benjamin Franklin could have have had modern Britain and the Eddies of the world in mind when he said:

    “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety, and ultimately will have neither”.

  • eddie

    Oh dear, are those the best things you can come up with – cctv and not being able to take water on planes? Poor you. Personally I like the fact that we have cctv as it means that thugs can be apprehended and put in prison. Also, cctv is supported by a big majority of the population as it makes them feel safer (74% support in a YouGov report last year). Your list is pathetic frankly.

    Well, against your list how about the human rights act, the internet, equalities legislation, higher standards of living, improvements in medical treatment and mortality, the freedom of information act. I could go on, but I think I have proved my point that we are blessed with more rights and freedoms now than we had in the seventies. Your list is a drought, mine is a deluge.

    John my point about Normans and Americans was what is called an analogy, albeit slightly hyperbolic (something you seem to find praiseworthy in Craig), and makes the point that once an area is populated by certain peoples it is going to be very difficult to ship them out. It’s the kind of thing advocated by the BNP and everyone knows it’s unrealsitic.

    Palestine was never an “existing country” – it has never been a state. It was part of the Ottoman empire, and I suggest you read up on the 1948 UN partition plan and the Israeli declaration of independence that led to the invasion by several Arab states. The rest of your rant is barely worth responding to, as you are once again putting words into my mouth, except to say that re: your last sentence I can assure you that Hamas fighters would be the very last Palestinians to feel the effects of hunger. I can assure you of that.

    Going back to the original subject of this post, I understand that the protestors may be evicted today. Good. That means ordinary students can get back to work – there are many reports of non-occupying students being thoroughly pissed off with the occupation and confirmed reports that protestors have assaulted other students.

  • eddie

    Stop Press. The protestors have now given up and ended their occupation. A victory for common sense and the rule of law. Well done to Cambridge University for standing up to bullying and intimidation.

  • MJ

    “Your list is pathetic frankly”

    CCTV: DNA databases; telephone intercepts. Hardly a pathetic list I would have thought, and we were just plucking a few ramdom items.

    In an earlier post Eddie you said “I grew up with the Holocaust and the notion of “never again””.

    I really do suggest therefore that you look again at the rise of Nazism in 1930s Germany. Let me jog your memory with a few salient facts. Before Hitler, Germany was a liberal democracy with basic human rights seemingly enshrined in its constitution. Hitler was democratically elected. Within a few months however Germany was hit with a major terrorist event. In 1933 The Reichstag building was burned to the ground. Exploiting the public’s natural shock and fear caused by this event, Hitler almost immediately introduced a complex raft of legislation (the Enabling Acts) that undermined the country’s basic liberties to be undermined. Almost overnight, the familiar trappings of a Police State were introduced: surveillance, huge increases in police powers, control of the media, stifling of dissent etc. Hitler then embarked on series of invasions of neighbouring and other countries on a variety of pretexts. In the case of Poland I believe it was because of Jewish Communist (he almost always used the two terms interchangeably) terrorists massing on the German/Polish border.

    Does none of this sound worryingly familiar to you? I should point out also that those mad conspiracy theorists who dared to suggest that the Reichstag fire was the work of agents of Hitler himself are today more politely called historians. Doesn’t the introduction of the Patriot Act in the US, only a month after 9/11 – a piece of legislation so long and complex it just had to have been drafted before 9/11 – remind you so vividly of the Enabling Acts that it sends a shudder down your spine?

    Never again Eddie, never again.

  • writerman

    What I find strange and difficult to comprehend is the allure of rabid tribalism, that evolves into exaggerated nationalism, twisted xenophobia and fervent chauvinism. Then, this seeting stew explodes and people burst forth in a frenzy which makes them capable of almost anything, any act of ghastly brutality becomes almost santified. Blood must be spilled to protect our blood. Blood begets blood. Round and round in the swirling vortex of blood.

    Racial or nationalist/religious extremists are so self-righteous, especially when it comes to their ‘right’ to kill. They seem to have very simple, morally clarified veiw of the world, that turns them into one-eyed men, blind in one eye to their own faults and crimes, but extraordinarily aware of the crimes of the enemy, the others, the ‘not of us’ hordes.

    It’s a manichean worldview – good vs. evil. We are good – therefore what we do is good, everything. This gives us the moral right to annihilate the bad, even the children of the bad, because, after all, they will grow up, so why not kill them now?

    So this rightists are seething with anger, parnoia and hatred. They have no hearts and can kill with a shrug, because on has convinced onself one is engaged in a ‘holy war’ a ‘crusade’ against the forces of evil in the world.

    Of course, they are barely rational and arguably borderline psychopaths, sad souls with no love in their stony hearts, believers in some special truth that’s been revealed to their tribe by a non-existant deity, who’s really Satan.

  • eddie

    MJ no, none of that worries me because your analogy is false. This is not Hitler’s Germany. As I have shown above, freedoms have been extended since the seventies.

    Writerman I tend to agree with you. Look at this text for example. These are words spoken by Ken Livingstone’s favourite cleric Sheikh Qaradawi (see link below). Is he a rightist or a leftist in your opinion? I must admit, I am finding it hard to tell the difference these days.

    “Oh Allah, take your enemies, the enemies of Islam. Oh Allah, take the Jews, the treacherous aggressors. Oh Allah, take this profligate, cunning, arrogant band of people. Oh Allah, they have spread much tyranny and corruption in the land. Pour Your wrath upon them, oh our God. Lie in wait for them. Oh Allah, You annihilated the people of Thamoud at the hand of a tyrant, and You annihilated the people of ‘Aad with a fierce, icy gale. Oh Allah, You annihilated the people Thamoud at the hand of a tyrant, You annihilated the people of ‘Aad with a fierce, icy gale, and You destroyed the Pharaoh and his soldiers ?” oh Allah, take this oppressive, tyrannical band of people. Oh Allah, take this oppressive, Jewish, Zionist band of people. Oh Allah, do not spare a single one of them. Oh Allah, count their numbers, and kill them, down to the very last one.”

    Frightening stuff, eh?

  • George Dutton

    “I really do suggest therefore that you look again at the rise of Nazism in 1930s Germany”

    A LOT of Tories thought Hitler was…” He thinks the regime absolutely fantastic”…until they realised they couldn’t control him as his plan was to put them up against the brick wall as well.

  • writerman


    I tend to agree with you about the content of this ‘speech’ or whaterver it is, if it’s accurate and true. It’s insane. But then people ranting do tend to get caught up in the spirit of things. This doesn’t mean I’m trying to excuse this kind of intemperate language.

    On the other hand only today I was reading about a couple of religious pamplets produced for the Israeli Army by a pretty militant rabbi, and his words didn’t seem that far removed from Qaradawi style. The main difference being that the rabbi actually has a direct and concrete influence on young men armed with real weapons. I’m not sure how much real influence this Qarawadi chap has.

    Clearly there are extremists who use violent and ghastly language on both sides of the conflict, both Jews and Arabs. So that’s what I think about that. What do you think about the statements of Lieberman relating to Arabs? These seem rather extreme to me.

  • eddie

    Writerman – I would condemn all such extremist statements but this guy and those like him also influence young men who go out with guns and suicide belts. 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) and all those who take a more extremist position should be rounded up and shot (actually, that last bit was a sick joke).

  • Other John

    MJ wrote: “Excellent post Other John, am awaiting Eddie’s response with interest.”

    Thanks MJ. But I didn’t want that copy posted – I rushed it before going out – but too late now!

    A couple of sentences I wanted to add were:

    “Israel is NOT a country like other countries ?” it’s a RELIGIOUS STATE FOR JEWS. Jews can go and live there for merely being Jewish, i.e ostensibly religious ?” the rest of us can’t!”

    Anyway, I’ll read Eddie’s replies later – perhaps! – I don’t want to get into a slanging match with Eddie and ruin this forum for others. Also, I hate politics, so reading and writing about this stuff stresses me out.

    (I caught a glimpse of one of Eddie’s comments – about the fact that he loves CCTV – that’s enough for me to not bother with him again.)

  • MJ

    No probs Other John, it was a great post anyway. Your omitted sentences are nevertheless a fine addition.

  • Ruth


    You haven’t answered my question.

    Are you employed by the government? In particular the secret services?

  • George Dutton


    “Pro-Israel media: Bloggers join media war”

    “Some 1,000 new immigrants and foreign-language-speaking Jews volunteer to army of bloggers set up by Absorption Ministry and Foreign Ministry with the stated objective of flooding blogs with pro-Israel opinions”…

    And some living in the UK..I bet.

    I would bet that Craig Murray’s blog would be a prime target.

  • Ruth

    Yes, that’s true but I think the secret services would be more interested because of elements from his book and where they lead. One of particular interest is where Sandline got its start up funds. But there are more.

  • Strategist

    Guys, guys!

    Eddie is a troll from a glee club called Harry’s Place. Debating with him his pointless. If you reply, particularly if you put energy into your reply, he has won.

    There’s only one way to beat a troll, but fortunately it’s very easy. Do not feed him by responding to his posts.

    If you don’t feed him he will post a few more times, escalating his level of outrageousness to get a rise out of someone. If no-one responds, he will eventually go away. If he keeps getting fed, he will keep coming back.

  • eddie


    Strange definition of troll. I have tried to keep to the topic subject – i.e. freedom of speech and the alleged “Stalinist” trend in the UK. It is only where others have gone off topic (e.g raising absurd conspiracy theories) that I have responded. It seems the problem is that none of you guys can answer legitimate questions put to you or counter my arguments in any meaningful way. I refer you to paragraph 2 of my post at 2.24pm, as just one example. Two fundamental points that have not been answered by anyone here are, firstly, Craig’s UNTRUE allegation that he was denied freedom of speech at Cambridge University. Secondly, his absurd notion that this represents a “Stalinist” silencing of dissent. Of course it is easy to shout troll when you have lost an argument. But you are right that I have won.

  • Ruth

    I’ve just found this extract from the Cambridge News about the sit-in:

    A letter signed by Christopher Warnes and Priyamvada Gopal, of the English faculty, said:

    “These students are showing motivation, drive, commitment, perseverance and principle in abundance – exactly the qualities we as teachers value most in our students.”

  • George Dutton

    “Coming out of the Closet – Anti-Zionist and Proud!”

    “Forgive me if I’m a little late with this piece ..I’ve been out of commission lately and only come up for food and water…others online have probably already posted this piece. But even so it’s worth re-circulating.”

    “Rethinking Zionism” by Philip Weiss is a refreshing piece, but as far as I’m concerned, zionism doesn’t need to be “rethought” it needs to be dismantled and driven from humanity’s lexicon.”

    “Until then however, it’s good to count Weiss among the growing numbers of people around the world who are unabashedly Anti-Zionist and Proud!”…

  • nobody

    C’mon folks,

    There’s no way Eddie is a troll. It only appears that way. And yeah, if the question was, ‘In what way does Eddie differ from a supporter for all things Fascistic’ we’d be stumped for an answer, sure. Same-same for the question, ‘How does he differ from a hell-bent zionist apologist for genocide?’ Scratching your head again? If anyone’s watching, just pretend you have an itchy scalp.

    If I may, I can solve the dilemma. As everyone knows, trolls have a mad propensity for typing with the capslock key on. And since Eddie never types with the capslock key on, ipso facto he’s not a troll.

    Therefore it’s quite right you go on feeding him. Since he’s not a troll etc. Feed him questions, wait on the results, rise to his baits, engage him in endless arguments, and otherwise give him lots of attention. And all safe in the knowledge that any resemblance between him and a fascism supporting zionist troll defending the indefensible is purely coincidental.

    Sighs of relief all round.

    Now feel free continue the debate, such as it is.

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