Daily archives: March 18, 2009

Motion of Support For Torture Truth Formally Tabled in Scottish Parliament



Date of Lodging: 18 March 2009

Short Title: University Rector’s Torture Evidence

S3M-03730 Bill Wilson (West of Scotland) (SNP): That the Parliament

supports the request by the rector of the University of Dundee, Craig Murray, to give evidence to the Westminster Parliament’s Joint Committee on Human Rights on the subject of the UK Government’s policy on receiving intelligence obtained by torture abroad and considers that Mr Murray is offering first-hand eye-witness testimony with documentary proof of a secret and reprehensible policy of attempting to benefit from torture, endorsed and directed by UK ministers.

Bill Wilson MSP has also put out this press release:

University Rector Must Present Torture Evidence, says MSP

Dr Bill Wilson, SNP MSP for the West of Scotland, announced today that he had just lodged a motion calling for the Rector of the University of Dundee, Craig Murray, to be allowed to present evidence of the UK Government’s involvement in torture to Westminster’s Joint Committee on Human Rights.

Dr Wilson commented, “I have long admired Mr Murray’s principled stand against UK complicity in human rights abuses, a stand that lost him his job as British Ambassador to Uzbekistan. He has clear evidence of the fact that the UK Government is prepared on a regular basis to receive intelligence from torture.

“I agree with the suggestion by commentators on Mr Murray’s website that the fact that he is not being allowed to present his evidence to the Joint Committee on Human Rights strongly suggests that the purpose of this committee is not to uncover the truth but to bury it, to ‘prove’ that the government isn’t involved.”

Mr Murray commented on Dr Wilson’s Motion: “It is essential that people are told the truth about some of the terrible things that have been done in their name, if we are to avoid such outrages in future. There is a degree of integrity on this issue being shown in Holyrood that appears so far lacking in Westminster.”

I can make contact details for Bill Wilson available to anyone who wants them. I am very grateful for this support, which makes it still more difficult for the government to pretend that my evidence does not exist.


MSPs Robin Harper, Dr Christopher Harvie, Christina McKelvie, Stuart McMillan, Joe FitzPatrick, and Bill Kidd have now added their names to Dr Bill Wilson’s motion calling for my evidence to be heard.


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The 207, A Bendy Bus

Yesterday, as I often do, I took the 207 bus from Ealing Common to Shepherds Bush. Coming back again, I decided to make a survey of something I had noted many times.

Of those who could not have been too old or too young to pay, only 17 of the 42 people I managed to watch touched in an Oyster card on the bus. Now the remaining 25 could have had pre-bought paper tickets or travelcards, but I very much doubt that many of them did. I never see any significant percentage of passengers at a stop use one of those machines.

I hate Bendy Buses. They are a disaster in terms of road safety. Not only have they maimed or murdered hundreds of cyclists, but on numerous occasions when I have tried to cross on a little green man I have had to negotiate my way past thirty metres of bendy bus parked right across it.

On top of that there is evidently a widespread perception that it is OK to ride them without paying. I should say that I have never seen one of London Transport’s claimed random ticket inspections.

I do not approve of fare-dodging. Public goods need to be financed. And these completely inappropriate monstrosities need to be off our roads sooner rather than later.

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Unicef Must Break Ties With Child Slavery Supporters Barcelona FC

Kudos to pitchinvasion.net for an excellent article on the disgusting decision by Barcelona FC to accept sackloads of cash to promote Islam Karimov, the world’s most vicious dictator.


Pitch invasion were building on an article in the Observer by Kevin O’Flynn, who is almost the only sports journalist who ever tackles the seamy underside of the beautiful game.


Kevin O’Flynn’s reckoning of salaries in Uzbekistan as £25 a week is an official statistic. Some urban folk get that. Most of the population live on much, much less. For this poor and terrorised state to be spending hundreds of millions of pounds of money stolen from the Uzbek people on building a glamour football club to glorify the President’s daughter, is obscene in the extreme.

High among the many horrors of the Karimov regime is the mass use of child slavery to pick the State – ie Karimov family – owned cotton crop. Hundreds of thousands of children are forced into the cotton fields for weeks in conditions that mirror those of black slaves in the USA in the 19th century. Uzbekistan is the second largest exporter of cotton in the world.



The situation is so appalling that even Walmart and Tesco have joined a voluntary private sector boycott in the US and UK of all items containing Uzbek cotton.

Barcelona should be ashamed of the collaboration with Karimov. They carry the Unicef logo on their shirts. The irony of Unicef being advertised on a team that is paid to glorify the leader of the world’s largest system of child slavery, is staggering.

Unicef must break their ties with Barcelona. Now.

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