Happy Thoughts 16


craigandnadira.jpg

Coming back to London tonight after ultimately a very fruitful trip to Ghana, in which I was able to provide some useful (I hope) advice on changes to their offshore oil regime, so it will benefit Ghanaians more and big oil companies a bit less. Might post on that tomorrow.

Have to come back here in a week. But tomorrow morning I’ll see Nadira and Cameron, Emily will join us Saturday and I might even be able to track down Jamie in Dumfries.

Stoater of a post in my head about psychopaths – got to go to a meeting now but look out for it this afternoon.


16 thoughts on “Happy Thoughts

  • nextus

    What a beautiful photo, Craig! You both look so happy. Long may it continue!

    Great news that one of our alternative national treasures is returning home for a well-deserved rest, after good deeds done overseas.

    I look forward to your ‘stoater’ on psychopaths, which I’m sure will be characteristically illuminating and provocative. I hope you’ll resist the glib hypothesis, implied by some commentators in a recent thread, that attributes it to a simple lack of emotionality.

    Many survivors of childhood trauma manifest reduced emotionality, and are virtually incapable of tears, but they are quite the opposite of psychopaths: despite a seemingly robotic demeanour they tend to be social conformists who care for others more than themselves. Holocaust survivors are a prime example (examined in a classic study by Henry Krystal); there are many others. The trait is known as “alexithymia”, and it doesn’t make people psychopathic.

    At the other end of the scale, people who over-emote can be dangerously impulsive. Finely-tuned moral sentiments require much more than emotional lability.

    Sorry for presumptive pre-empting, but the misconception is sadly all too common.

    Anyway, welcome back to Blighty!

  • Neil Jackson

    Are you willing to be interviewed, Craig? I’m looking into the pipeline proposed in the 1990s to run oil from the Caspian, through Afghanistan and beyond to the Indian Ocean. My theory is that Western troop placements and commitments in Afghanistan are underscored by the wish to preserve another route to the region’s energy supplies (hence the nations supplying troops are oil users, as opposed to oil exporters). Tied into this is the collusion with local strongmen, such as those you’ve seen for yourself. My position is stated more fully here:

    http://www.windowsmediapc.co.uk/Conflict/index.html

    Regards, Neil Jackson

  • ingo

    you both look happy and relaxed, long may it last. My regards to all of you when you get together, especially the keyboard wizard little cameron.

  • Anonymous

    Glad you got back safely into the arms of your loved ones.

    Take a little time out to read John Pilger on Information Clearing House (Normalising The Crime of The Century.

    Did you know Mark Higson, another brave ex FCO man of courage?

    From Medialens

    Posted by David Manning on December 10, 2009, 11:21 am, in reply to “John Pilger: Normalising the Crime of the Century”

    Who would be a whistleblower?

    Buried by Steve Jacobi

    RADIO DRAMA REVIEWS ONLINE

    BBC Radio 4, 15 May 2009

    This true story of civil servant Mark Higson, recounted by his university friend Steve Jacobi, outlined a scenario reminiscent of Alan Bennett’s An Englishman Abroad. A brilliant student at Cambridge, Higson seemed destined for a prosperous future in the diplomatic service; however his career stalled once he discovered how the Conservative government had been selling arms to Iraq. Instead of letting things take their natural course (i.e. by hushing up the scandal in the ‘national interest’), Higson chose instead to blow the whistle on the affair by admitting in court that the government had been involved in illegal sales. Needless to say the whole affair was adroitly handled by the spin doctors: the Scott inquiry published its report in the late 1990s, absolving the government of most of the blame.

    However Higson’s life suffered as a result of his statement. Having resigned from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on a matter of principle, he found himself unable to obtain further employment. Increasingly prone to epileptic fits, Higson became more and more isolated. His marriage broke up, and press interest in his case declined. He died at the age of 42 as a result of another seizure, just as a journalist was coming round to interview him.

    This true story revealed the extent to which the diplomatic service were prepared to bury the facts if it was perceived to be in the ‘national interest’ – which in this case meant governmental interests. Truth or integrity counted for nothing in a world where only the fittest survived. Like Burgess in An Englishman Abroad, Higson stood up for what he believed in, and was cast out by his society.

    Performed with obvious sincerity by a cast including John Lloyd Fillingham (Higson), Michael Begley (Jacobi) and an oleaginous Malcolm Raeburn as the Man from the F[C]O, Buried was directed by Melanie Hines.

    aa

    Sunday, May 27, 2007

    In 1991 I worked with a guy called Mark Higson for around 18 months. In the 1980’s Mark was in charge of the Iraqi desk at the foreign office and was in a unique position to see the reality of what went on in the Arms to Iraq scandal in which ministers such as Alan Clarke and William Waldegrave were complicit. Mark resigned on principle at the corruption he felt was taking place. He became the chief witness in the Scott Inquiry into the sale of arms to Iraq. He quickly became almost unemployable and started to drink heavily. He lost his marriage and regular contact with his children in the early 1990’s.

    In what was must have been a very strange experience for him he came to work for us selling the training films we had made over the phone and became a team leader very quickly. But he was also drinking and empty vodka bottles were found in the cistern toilets. Eventually a senior manager asked him to leave. We had all known about his background. I remember coming back late from a meeting and he was being interviewed live by Channel 4 news outside our offices while the scandal was unfolding in the public eye.

    I kept in touch with Mark for a while afterwards and the last time I saw him we went to a rugby match together ?” in 1993 I should think. I read an excellent John Sweeney book on the crisis in which Mark was clearly the primary source of information.

    Mark went to live in Birmingham, living in fear of being followed by the secret services which he undoubtedly was being for a least a while. I remember him saying ‘there are more than two of us watching this game of rugby’. He ended up living in a bedsit in Birmingham on social security and he couldn’t get a job. He died in 2000 aged 40 having had, it is assumed, a seizure and cracking his head as he fell. A Cambridge high flyer, a successful early career, a happy marriage all gone in a few years.

    I say all of this for several reasons.

    I knew quite a bit about Mark (and the arms to Iraq realities) but didn’t know what had happened to him after 1994 (we chatted on the phone then). Thanks to Steven Jacobi’s excellent play on radio 4 about Mark recently I was able to know what became of him. Steven Jacobi was his oldest friend and closest friend. I contacted him after the broadcast and he hopes to lengthen the play and take it to the stage.

    A key point here ?” and totally relevant to the continuing carnage in Iraq ?” is that we made Saddam Hussein the man he became through supporting him in the Iran-Iraq war and keeping him supplied with arms. If he ever had WMD’s, and the evidence suggests that while they had gone by 2003 he had them (or was developing them) prior to this we can all guess where he might have got them from. Decisions made 20-25 years ago are being played out in real events now. Mark didn’t live to see the current fiasco. I wonder what he might have made of it.

    The final point is that Mark was a lovely, honourable man working in a ghastly, dishonourable environment. He made an appalling career choice which killed him. A highly intelligent man he could have done many things more in keeping with his personality. Mark’s story tells us the dangers of trying to be something you aren’t or are unsuited to being. A horribly sad end to the life of such a warm, friendly guy.

    Posted by Douglas Miller at 6:11 AM

    http://psychlogicaltravelling.blogspot.com/2007/05/mark-higson.html

  • mary

    Glad you got back safely into the arms of your loved ones.

    Take a little time out to read John Pilger on Information Clearing House (Normalising The Crime of The Century)

    Did you know Mark Higson, another brave ex FCO man of courage?

    From Medialens

    Posted by David Manning on December 10, 2009, 11:21 am, in reply to “John Pilger: Normalising the Crime of the Century”

    Who would be a whistleblower?

    Buried by Steve Jacobi

    RADIO DRAMA REVIEWS ONLINE

    BBC Radio 4, 15 May 2009

    This true story of civil servant Mark Higson, recounted by his university friend Steve Jacobi, outlined a scenario reminiscent of Alan Bennett’s An Englishman Abroad. A brilliant student at Cambridge, Higson seemed destined for a prosperous future in the diplomatic service; however his career stalled once he discovered how the Conservative government had been selling arms to Iraq. Instead of letting things take their natural course (i.e. by hushing up the scandal in the ‘national interest’), Higson chose instead to blow the whistle on the affair by admitting in court that the government had been involved in illegal sales. Needless to say the whole affair was adroitly handled by the spin doctors: the Scott inquiry published its report in the late 1990s, absolving the government of most of the blame.

    However Higson’s life suffered as a result of his statement. Having resigned from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on a matter of principle, he found himself unable to obtain further employment. Increasingly prone to epileptic fits, Higson became more and more isolated. His marriage broke up, and press interest in his case declined. He died at the age of 42 as a result of another seizure, just as a journalist was coming round to interview him.

    This true story revealed the extent to which the diplomatic service were prepared to bury the facts if it was perceived to be in the ‘national interest’ – which in this case meant governmental interests. Truth or integrity counted for nothing in a world where only the fittest survived. Like Burgess in An Englishman Abroad, Higson stood up for what he believed in, and was cast out by his society.

    Performed with obvious sincerity by a cast including John Lloyd Fillingham (Higson), Michael Begley (Jacobi) and an oleaginous Malcolm Raeburn as the Man from the F[C]O, Buried was directed by Melanie Hines.

    aa

    Sunday, May 27, 2007

    In 1991 I worked with a guy called Mark Higson for around 18 months. In the 1980’s Mark was in charge of the Iraqi desk at the foreign office and was in a unique position to see the reality of what went on in the Arms to Iraq scandal in which ministers such as Alan Clarke and William Waldegrave were complicit. Mark resigned on principle at the corruption he felt was taking place. He became the chief witness in the Scott Inquiry into the sale of arms to Iraq. He quickly became almost unemployable and started to drink heavily. He lost his marriage and regular contact with his children in the early 1990’s.

    In what was must have been a very strange experience for him he came to work for us selling the training films we had made over the phone and became a team leader very quickly. But he was also drinking and empty vodka bottles were found in the cistern toilets. Eventually a senior manager asked him to leave. We had all known about his background. I remember coming back late from a meeting and he was being interviewed live by Channel 4 news outside our offices while the scandal was unfolding in the public eye.

    I kept in touch with Mark for a while afterwards and the last time I saw him we went to a rugby match together ?” in 1993 I should think. I read an excellent John Sweeney book on the crisis in which Mark was clearly the primary source of information.

    Mark went to live in Birmingham, living in fear of being followed by the secret services which he undoubtedly was being for a least a while. I remember him saying ‘there are more than two of us watching this game of rugby’. He ended up living in a bedsit in Birmingham on social security and he couldn’t get a job. He died in 2000 aged 40 having had, it is assumed, a seizure and cracking his head as he fell. A Cambridge high flyer, a successful early career, a happy marriage all gone in a few years.

    I say all of this for several reasons.

    I knew quite a bit about Mark (and the arms to Iraq realities) but didn’t know what had happened to him after 1994 (we chatted on the phone then). Thanks to Steven Jacobi’s excellent play on radio 4 about Mark recently I was able to know what became of him. Steven Jacobi was his oldest friend and closest friend. I contacted him after the broadcast and he hopes to lengthen the play and take it to the stage.

    A key point here ?” and totally relevant to the continuing carnage in Iraq ?” is that we made Saddam Hussein the man he became through supporting him in the Iran-Iraq war and keeping him supplied with arms. If he ever had WMD’s, and the evidence suggests that while they had gone by 2003 he had them (or was developing them) prior to this we can all guess where he might have got them from. Decisions made 20-25 years ago are being played out in real events now. Mark didn’t live to see the current fiasco. I wonder what he might have made of it.

    The final point is that Mark was a lovely, honourable man working in a ghastly, dishonourable environment. He made an appalling career choice which killed him. A highly intelligent man he could have done many things more in keeping with his personality. Mark’s story tells us the dangers of trying to be something you aren’t or are unsuited to being. A horribly sad end to the life of such a warm, friendly guy.

    Posted by Douglas Miller at 6:11 AM

    http://psychlogicaltravelling.blogspot.com/2007/05/mark-higson.html

  • Roderick Russell

    MARK HIGSON: VICTIM OF ZERZETSEN TORTURE by MI5 / 6

    I found Mary / Douglas Miller’s comment on Mark Higson’s horrible and fatal experience with MI5 / MI6 to be quite illuminating. Phrases like ?” “he couldn’t get a job… living in fear of being followed by the secret services” ?” are all very familiar to me. What Mark was is a victim of Zerzetsen torture.

    Click on my name below and you will see a blueprint of how the MI5 / MI6 Secret Police in UK, and CSIS in Canada carry out zerzetsen torture on innocent citizens today. It is my story. Though not a sufferer myself, severe epilepsy and seizures, such as Mark suffered, are a common development for those who are persecuted with zerzetsen, and epilepsy is just one of the effects that MI5/6 try and induce in their victims.

    Zerzetsen is not the normal medieval form of torture that leaves marks, but a more sophisticated “Orwellian” form of No-touch torture that was developed by the former East German Secret Police “the Stasi” to persecute dissidents without leaving marks. As the Stasi reported zerzetsen is designed to cause ‘prolonged and severe suffering”. So it should be no surprise that some victims of this torture experience seizures. Many victims eventually commit suicide which MI5 / 6 intend to happen. On occasion victims are killed; but usually their murder is disguised as an accident.

    Click on my name below and you will see a blueprint of zerzetsen torture today ?” and note the huge amount of corroborative evidence available for verification purposes.

    You will note the complete absence of assistance from the press and human rights organizations that are scared. If the press had run his story or human rights organizations assisted, perhaps Mark would have been alive today.

    Roderick Russell

    #207, 1733 ?” 27 AVE. SW

    Calgary AB T2T 1G9 CANADA

    403.229.0864

  • David McCann

    Great to see you back Craig, and looking well with it, and that goes for your lovely wife as well.Thanks for accepting my invitation to speak to the Scottish Independence convention on Feb 4th at the Scottish Parliament. We are really looking forward to hearing what you have to say. Anyone reading this who would like to come along, just contact me through our website, and I will reserve a seat for you.

    http://www.scottishindependenceconvention.org

  • mary

    Another scandal. Another suicide of a servant of the state. There was an adjournment debate in the HOC last night on nuclear veterans. Has Mrs Denson widow of one of the pilots that flew a Canberra through a mushroom cloud achieved justice? It seems like a lawyers’ paradise judging from the sums of money in the £millions listed on page 2 here. Good for Siobhan McDonagh her MP.

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200910/cmhansrd/cm091210/debtext/91210-0021.htm#09121065000002

  • Rhisiart Gwilym

    Craig, I don’t want to see any more pictures of Nadira. It’s TF much! Have pity on us sad old gits and don’t torture us any more.

    Seriously, though — yes, congratulations as others have said already on such a great family. There is some justice in the world, then, when a valiant knight errant gets his just deserts.

  • Rhisiart Gwilym

    Craig, I don’t want to see any more pictures of Nadira. It’s TF much! Have pity on us sad old gits and don’t torture us any more.

    Seriously, though — yes, congratulations as others have said already on such a great family. There is some justice in the world, then, when a valiant knight errant gets his just deserts.

  • SPP

    On the topic of ‘Happy Thoughts’, I’ll be chairing a talk about the use of personal philosophy to increase happiness and wellbeing, in London on Sunday. Guest speaker is Lou Marinoff (best-selling author of Plato Not Prozac, and Therapy for the Sane). It’s open to the public and there is no charge. Click on the name below for more details.

    The Society also deals with moral politics, and in the new edition of the journal there is an article by Rupert Read on conscientious objection in the Israeli Armed Forces.

    It would great to see any Craig Murray supporters there – especially the crew from the Norwich campaign.

    Sam B.

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