Blogito Ergo Sum? 236


I am afraid that the result of Norwich North by-election has severely dented my appetite for blogging. When I put my views to the electorate and asked for their support, I could hardly have been more comprehensively rejected. I was convinced we could get a respectable vote of 7% in Norwich North and have something to build on.

I am not interested in the smug self-satisfaction of believing I have access to a knowledge or analysis denied to the “ordinary” people. Nor do I think that people in the UK have lost their capacity for sensible judgement, or that political discourse needs to be dumbed down to try to achieve a wide appeal. The fact is that Norwich North showed that no significant minority of the general populace has any interest in what I have to say.

So the urge to give comment and information on the sick farce of the Afghan elections, the extraordinary and cynical charade over the Lockerbie “bomber”, or even the hope destroyed in University admissions this year, has been nullified by an awareness that what I think is of no account.

It is not a case of feeling sorry for myself. It is a long overdue hit of realism. I have frequently complained, for example, that the damning evidence I gave on the British government’s complicity in torture was almost totally ignored by the mainstream media. The reason is that the media is not manipulative, it is merely making a shrewd and correct commercial decision that almost nobody cares.

There are moments that change lives. I was fairly stoic at the Norwich North count. I was then struck by a catharsis. After the declaration of results, the candidates made their speeches from the platform. When it came to my turn, Chloe Smith walked off the platform and stood in front of me and the media pack noisily formed around her. The officials started chatting among themselves about what they were doing at the weekend. I was left in the position of having to make the customary comments to a noisy room in which most backs were turned on me and only a very few were politely pretending to listen.

I cannot get out of my head the idea that my blogging is but the virtual equivalent.


236 thoughts on “Blogito Ergo Sum?

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  • JimmyGiro

    There are worse things in life; imagine being ‘popular’ for no reason, the curse that catches up with all parvenues.

    Would you betray the measured choice of those hundreds that voted for you, all because you failed to be meretricious?

    If you want an army, beat a drum and offer prizes for the most blood spilled; if you want to be considered wise, make do with the 1%. Any more will be a compromise on your own integrity, and those that care as you care.

    If blogging was about numbers, then Stalin would have been right when he said: “Quantity is its own quality.” Alternatively if you want quality as your guiding light, then Chairman Mao maybe closer to you with: “It is good to anger your enemies, as it makes clear the demarcation between your virtues and theirs.”

    “Keep bloggering on”, as Churchill might have said.

  • JimmyGiro

    Alan Cambell wrote:

    “I could have told you that ages ago, mate.”

    Did it take that long for the cheque to clear, or your balls to drop?

  • George Dutton

    Craig

    You do make the difference in more ways then you think…Believe me.

    If not for people like you where would we be?. You have already made many aware of what is going on. You have been proven to be right on all you have said about torture.

    “Stay true unto yourself” and you will never lose. Craig, you did not lose…Believe me.

  • Art Hawkes

    Ignoring any religious spin, I guess Jesus the Christ felt much the same when he was ignored by the mass of the population. You were denied a fair, or in fact any, hearing by the media, especially the publicly funded BBC, so it is not surprising that the folk of North Norfolk knew little about you. I heard Malcolm Muggeridge on radio once comment that ‘the majority is always wrong.’ Don’t give up Craig. You owe it to yourself to continue blogging. We are not living in a democracy and we need at least one person to remind us of the fact. I want to vomit when I hear our politicians claiming, in our name, that we are fighting them over there (Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan or wherever) so that we don’t have to fight them over here. Rubbish. I am not the only person who didn’t want British troops in those countries, killing brown people until they agreed to what the corporations, and foreign governments wanted. I choke on the lies spouted about Lockerbie, 7/7 and 9/11, about keeping us safe with intrusive CCTV and endless databases. Al Qaeda is a fabrication of the security services. Why would a Terry Wrist organisation call itself ‘the toilet’? I could go on but most of it is already out there, and, typically, ignored by the media.

  • anne

    If anything, I thought that your bid for Norwich North took your attention from the more important issue of what goes on here on your website. The beauty of the internet is that people can find and talk to others, anywhere in the world. It’s not a question of commanding huge numbers so much as disseminating information and exchanging ideas.

    Keep on blogging: your posts will continue to show up on Google; the number of your followers will grow. Your opinions are more likely to get noticed from your blogging than from standing for Parliament.

  • Uzbekistani

    You did not lose, Mr Murray. Every ordinary Uzbeks who know you were praying for your victory, and every Uzbek regime officals were holding their breath out of fear of your possible victory. If you can scare the dictators, torturers and killers of peaceful people with your words of truth and courage to tell the truth then you are more powerful than kings. You deserve BIG respect and I envy you because I have no qualities of yours.

  • mike cobley

    Craig, I think you’re wrong. You said yourself that mainstream news media were filtering and framing the entire by-election in terms of the usual suspects, and shutting out any inconvenient candidates with their inconvenient views. The turnout was 45%, set against the GElection turnout which was 61%, itself not especially wonderful. Don’t you ever wonder why the media have never carried out investigations/documentaries on the subject of non-voters? I would love to hear what they have to say, rather than regular voters – in that Norwich North turnout it seems clear that the main parties are down to their core vote, whose loyalties are scarcely in doubt. What happened to that 16% who decided to sit this one out? Who were they? Were they evenly distributed across all political views, or skewed towards one or another party?

    I have myself stood in local elections (aye, I’m a Libdem, so sue me), and once had the honour of gaining 180 votes in the last regional elections held in Scotland (I stood in Knightswood, part of Donald Dewars old consituency), so I’ve got some idea of what you feel. It still remains the case that we have to find that firm place to stand, and a strong enough lever with which to move the world.

  • andy pearson

    im in agreement with all the above we the sheepie are wakeing up slowlyand with people like you me us planting the seeds well its happening all around us slowly slowly catchy monkee o yeah check out john harris tpuc.org to see the bigger pictureweve all been sold out

  • cmain

    Ian Cobain and the Guardian have been giving more coverage to the torture issue recently. Without your campaigning, would that have happened?

    I hope before long you will regain your appetite.

    Best wishes.

  • joe90kane

    The greater the obstacles, the greater the humanity needed to overcome them.

    Intellectual honesty and responsibility, and the morality that goes with them, have nothing whatsoever to do with public popularity.

    Imagine if the likes of Prof Chomsky based his activities, and his compassion and care for the welfare and well-being of the victims of his own government’s policies (foreign and domestic) on whether or not it was going to make him popular in the public eye – this world would be a lesser place without him and his special talents.

    Likewise Craig, think about the difference your own efforts make for the victims of our own government, at home and abroad. It may not be much. It may be a great deal but, personally, I always give the victims the benefit of any doubt and do with I can for them.

    The only personal benefit I’ll ever get from trying to help others in need is maybe a ‘thank you’. That’s it.

    Never doubt for a second you don’t make a difference Craig. The victims you are trying to help never do.

    And don’t forget, there is a whole industry specially constructed to stop awkward sods like you asking awkward questions in the public arena and generally making a nuisance of yourself trying to hold that powers that be to account. I’ts called the corporate news media.

    Use your own special talents in the most efficient and effective way you can. For instance, Prof Chomsky couldn’t organise a piss-up in brewery. He doesn’t like admin and that sort of thing. What he can do, he sticks to like glue, and the reults are wonderful.

    Do what you do best Craig, is all I can say. Don’t burn yourself out.

    Sorry for going on, except to say (as an SNP supporter myself) what are your views on the SNP-minority Scottish Government’s releasing Mr Megrahi from jail?

    ps

    Being unpopular has never stopped the Palestinians struggling against vast, almost impossible odds, in their pursuit of peace and justice.

  • Christine

    Please continue blogging, I think the space it is providing for people to exchange and discuss information about topics that are going to continue to affect all our lives is very important. Those of us who have little of importance to add, appreciate being able to have some access to these discussions. At present your blog does not seem to be attracting many ‘nuts’ and regular posters seem to be able to deal with them fairly effectively allowing the general level of comment to be of a high quality.

    I suspect you are right to think that at the moment most people do not pay much attention to the matters you cover, most people are busy with their lives and if they are anything like me, find it very difficult to consider that all the propaganda we have grown up with might be just that. Despite the experience and evidence of the last couple of decades I still find it difficult to accept the fact that my country together with others has chosen to slaughter and displace so many innocent people, so of course our leaders are not concerned about lies and torture.

    We may not want to know this truth but we do need to receive it and a lot more.

  • hawley_jr

    The many Iain Dales, eddies and Charles Crawfords of the world will be chuckling at this post; and the Karimovs, Usmanovs, and Schillings comfortably continuing in their ways.

    Get angry.

    Your blog is a beacon to those of us who have identified the arseholes of the world and see the danger to humanity.

  • gosstrop

    Dont be so hard on yourself Craig.

    Cobley made the important point about how your message and your very candicacy was shut out by the mainstream media.

    Breaking into the three-party closed shop is always going to be tough for fringe candidates not riding on the back of a big national or local issue, or where the mainstream party machines are united in doing you down. You have to have a stick with which to beat the mainstream candidates.

    The Tories have been been clever in spinning the expenses scandal into an attack upon the government when in fact all the parties throughly abused the system and all of them should have been rejected by the voters.

    There are many good bloggers out there who hold down a day job. Not many of them are successful politicians.

    You need to ask yourself what you really want. You can be like Iain Dale or Guido, a party hack pretending to be a journalist. Not the same as being the winning candidate in a by-election, but you will be patronised by the political establishment and you wont be ignored by the media pack.

    Or you can be a full-time policitician and turn the blog into your personal diary in between chasing by-elections around the country.

    Or you can be a proper journalist and commentator and wait for the right cause in the right place at the right time to stand up and tell the people what you believe in.

    Personally I would prefer that you carry on being yourself. The party machines and the media set out to marginalise you and make your views seem irrelevant. They succeeded. Thats what they do for a living. Get used to it.

    You became a blogger in the first place because you had something worth saying. You still do. Anyone who has ever read or heard what you have to say knows that your views arent irrelevant. Your time will come.

  • George Laird

    Dear Craig

    Remember when the Labour Government shafted you?

    You got back up and done well.

    You lost but it isn’t the end of the world.

    You can stand again, soon enough there will be a General Election.

    You have to get your brand across on the doorstep, face to face with voters.

    Although you were a good candidate, people have to believe that you would make a good MP.

    The Tories had more money, bods on the ground and experience.

    So why feel upset or down, if you are serious about being an MP then the people have to know it.

    How?

    Stand again!

    Was standing a gimmick?

    If not start learning the tricks of the trade to have a better campaign.

    Yours sincerely

    George Laird

    The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

  • sahar

    Keep going Craig..nobody gets any thanks for speaking the truth. Do it for yourself. I read all your blogs and find them useful and interesting.

  • johnny anomaly

    Stop being a twat and pull yourself together. This is one of the most important blogs there is.

  • KevinB

    Yup, being disrespected as being of no significance by Chloe Smith must have really hurt.

    It is a sad fact that the great majority of the public care more to have their prejudices confirmed than to understand the truth about important issues.

    If we all start to suffer seriously this might or might not change.

    You are probably right about blogs too. The ‘audience’ is pretty static and consists mostly of people who already agree with you.

    What matters, I think, and what will continue to change society is saying what you think to ordinary people you meet every day. This kind of activity has an important (if immeasurable) impact.

    As someone who has been a member of 9/11 Truth (UK) for some years I have seen slow but significant change on this issue over the years. I have long stopped going to meetings where much preaching to the converted takes place but there was a time when it was genuinely dangerous to raise 9/11 anomalies in public. I even received a threatening visit at 5am one winter’s morning from a leather-jacketed person. He didn’t say a word but I knew what he was about and where he came from.

    Today knowledge of ‘false-flag’ terror is not exactly common currency but it is very much ‘out there’ and I would say that very large numbers of the thinking classes are open to ideas and evidence to which their minds would have been closed a short couple of years ago.

    I focus on money issues now. Understand the money and you will understand what is driving political events.

    Deeper, and equally or more significant, is the ‘spiritual’ dimension…..but I know that’s a place you don’t like to go, Craig.

    However, we should not be too downhearted. We are headed for very difficult times but in the end the truth will surely win…..I know successful city people who see themselves as part of a criminal machine.

    They will play the game for now….but if (or when) civilisation crashes they will turn on this machine and smash it with their own hands.

    …..so let us continue to do what we can. It is not possible to do more.

    But ‘giving up’ just because we can’t rule the world (or get elected) would be a sin.

  • William

    I agree with the general sentiments. Voices like yours are rare and therefore desperately needed. If you give up Craig they will have won. Please don’t give them the satisfaction.

  • MJ

    As Burke said: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men stop blogging”.

  • Tom Griffin

    Elections, especially FPTP elections are about power first and foremost. Even David Davis struggled to get heard in that context and he won!

  • writerman

    Craig,

    I feel pretty much the way you do, unfortunately. You have to understand that you were a player in a ‘game’, sometimes dubbed ‘democracy’, which is rigged, managed, and controlled. Whilst, many people agree with your views, which are really very reasonable and moderate, that doesn’t mean that they would vote for you, or anyone like you, except under extraordinary circumstances, which as yet, don’t exist.

    Your role isn’t in traditional politics, in my opinion, individuals without a party behind them, have a very hard time in British politics, unless they are exceptionally tough and determined, like George Galloway. I don’t think you are cut out for the rough and tumble of politics as practiced in the UK, your skin simply isn’t rhino, thick, enough.

    You should stick to what you do best, which is writing agitprop.

  • writerman

    Finally. I don’t believe in ‘democracy’ anymore, at least not in the managed, diverted, and controlled form, it’s evolved into.

    Society is not going to change by voting, especially not to the degree which is required by the multiple environmental, economic and social challenges we face as a civilization.

    What’s required is a revolt – a Revolution, on a scale similar to what was seen in eastern Europe when Stalinism was overthrown. We need the same kind of changes, if we are to stand any chance at all of surviving as a civilization.

  • alan campbell

    Craig

    Why bother with this campaigning blog lark? For the most part it’s just a bunch of haggard masturbators sat around agreeing with each other. I’ve just knocked one out myself.

  • Bob Morris

    Not so.

    Zero Hedge, a financial blog in the US written by people using pseudonyms, has succeeded in forcing the issues of Goldman Sachs’ predatory behavior, High Frequency Trading, and more into the mainstream press and the Halls of Congress. Congress has been investigating. And the initial attack came from Zero Hedge. This is not exaggerating.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/

  • james

    A fair reflection I’d say, however, not a reason to give up and join the masses. Chin up mate, some of us care…

  • Richard Clarke

    Don’t give up Craig. In Feb 1989 some freedom loving people in East Germany might have felt like losing hope when Chris Gueffroy was shot trying to escape.

  • Anonymous

    tough decision:

    vainglorious self indulgent dilettanteism or roll up your sleeves and settle for making a fuckin’ difference.

    did you lose an election or did they eat your balls?

  • Rob

    No Mr Murray, you’re wrong. You were outgunned by electoral machines – that happens.

    The internet is quite a different animal. You should persevere. People with difficult and complex things to say are commonly ignored – persistence is the key.

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