Comment Is Free, But Hidden 55


I thought that was a pretty stomping article for the Guadian CiF, in response to Matt Seaton’s invitation to me to write for them again. However I don’t quite see how anybody is going to read it. Not only is there no mention of its existence on the Guardian homepage, there is not even any mention of its existence on the comment is free page.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree

So comment is free, but deeply buried. There is not really any chance of anyone reading it unless they see my link or stumble across it from a search engine.


55 thoughts on “Comment Is Free, But Hidden

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  • MJ

    Yes, odd that. Reminiscent of the BBC omitting to mention that the play starred David Tennant and was based on your memoirs.

    Your piece does show up via the Guardian site’s own search facility. It is probably the most genuinely challenging subversive article that will appear in the MSM this election so the Guardian should be given some credit for publishing it at all.

  • JimmyGiro

    On a related theme, on ‘NewsNow’, a news portal that aggregates thousands of news stories nationally and internationally from hundreds of news agencies every 10 minutes, they had, a few hours ago, a story “Lesbian Paedophile seduced and sexually assaulted teenagers” that was their number one most read nationally.

    Even though this story is about a woman on the Isle of Wight, our main news paper, the IW County Press, which is typically the kind of local rag that would print “Man spits on pavement”, has managed to avoid any mention of it on their site. The story is a few days old, and this weeks print of the weekly paper, is due tomorrow as it is printed this evening.

    The Island is the stomping ground of the Hampshire Police force, which boasts the most ‘gay friendly’ force in the UK, and it is in some unholy alliance with our local rag: two tits good, two balls bad.

    If you want to see the future of a British police state, come visit the Isle of Wight.

  • paul johnton

    Sorry to bang on about it but what is your beef with the Guardian?

    “I get so angry about the Guardian” it’s the best we have, which isn’t saying much.

    Have you seen the Daily Mail recently?

    Regards Paul

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Jimmy. How about those with one ball, or three tits? What about nematodes, with whom we share around 75% of our DNA and who are hermaphrodites? And what about the policemen of Penzance, whose lot was not a happy one?

    The Isle of Wight clearly is host to a giant nematode plot spawned by lesbian earthworms and Gordon Brown.

    Thank the Lord for the Guardian, the Isle of Wight and the daily male.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    But seriously, Craig’s article is superb. The headline will have been composed by a sub-editor; they always get it wrong. Never mind about the hyperbolic headline – the article’s the thing. Spread it round, link to it, reference it; a gleam of truth amongst the persiflage!

  • Chris

    Craig,

    Saw your article on the front page of CiF, as Dreolin says, the last white dot in the centre colummn.

    Cracking article.

    Best wishes,

    Chris

  • Carlyle Moulton

    Craig.

    Many blogs have a blog roll, a list of sites that the author recommends. Craig consider adding a blog roll and including the Guardian Comment is Free site as its first or only entry.

    I have put Murder in Samarkand on special order at Dymocks in Sydney, but their computer system cannot find any publisher listed for the Catholic Orange Men of Togo. Could you please tell me the contact details for the publisher?

  • Carlyle Moulton

    Craig.

    Just finished reading your Guardian article, it is as usual for your comments absolutely excellent.

    It looks as if British “democracy” is quickly following the path that the US political system has trodden into extreme corruption and the ownership of all electable parties by a kleptocratic elite.

    In my view preferential voting as used here in Australia is the best system. The only modification I would suggest is that the option of leaving a seat unfilled (“a plague on all your parties option”) should be on the ballot and if no candidate after distribution of preferences has more than 50% of the number who voted the office should be left unfilled for the parliamentary term.

    I also think compulsory voting as in Australia is necessary to prevent further skewing of the political system towards the extreme right as in the US.

  • writerman

    I’m not sure about this voting lark anymore, or “democracy” for that matter. This may be an unfashionable attitude, but I can’t help it.

    In principle I like the concept of democracy, but when it comes to putting it into practice that things get difficult for me.

    The UK version of democracy, is rapidly evolving, or degenerating, into the US system, with a heavy, heavy, emphasis on the “representative” aspect.

    If, as in the US, around 50% of the electorate are so turned off by the choices available that they don’t bother to vote at all, that means that the electoral process/ritual only applies to around half the electorate.

    This means that one can actually win an election and form a government with electoral support from around half of the half that vote, or a quarter of the electorate. In the UK one can form a government with massive majority with as little as 40% of the votes caste, which on the face of it seems extraordianary. It’s almost like an institutionalised dictatorship, or minority rule. How exactly is that democracy?

    In reality things are far worse. Parties increasingly concentrate their energies and resources on the marginal seats which swing one way or another, compared to the seats that rarely, if ever change under normal circumstances.

    If I remember correctly, about a quarter of seats are classified as marginals, sorry if I’m wrong about this, it’s a long time since I lived in the UK permanently. What this means, in practice, is that a quarter of half of half the electorate, or about 12% of the electorate decide the outcome of the election, and one doesn’t even need a majority of this reduced electorate under the UK system. How democratic is that?

    Is “democracy” really a fantasy or utopia, that never really existed, doesn’t exist, and probably never will exist in practice?

    And that’s just a quick look at the voting system. Can democracy exist in a society where there are vast differences between the life conditions of the citizenry? Doesn’t democracy, a democractic society, require a high degree of social and economic equality for democracy to function properly. Surely democracy, equality and social justice are linked and support one another?

    Isn’t democracy if implimented properly a direct threat to the class structure and uneven spread of wealth in society? At least that was major criticism of the democratic folly from the ruling elite for centuries.

    If we define democracy very narrowly indeed we can say that the UK is a democracy with basic democratic rights for all, but is that enough?

  • dreoilin

    Craig,

    The link to your article on the Comment is Free page is even bigger this morning, with your photo added.

    But people are repeating what they’ve seen here – that there was no link – when it was there all along last night. Maybe you should amend/annotate your post as soon as you get a minute. Otherwise I wouldn’t blame the CIF people for getting a bit miffed!

  • dreoilin

    The link’s been moved now. They seem to be shifting them around. You have one of the hightest number of comments.

  • peacewisher

    Aren’t “The Guardian” proving your point rather nicely, Craig, by burying your article?

    A free media is a central pillar of democracy, and one of our more “liberal” and influential newspapers suppressing your opinion in this way during an election campaign just shows the current lamentable state of our democracy.

  • Vronsky

    “I’m not sure about this voting lark anymore”

    I’m pretty sure I’m not taken seriously on my advocacy of sortition, but I really must start to get stroppy and ask you all to give it serious thought. You need to work past your initial reaction (it’s awfully silly and cynical) and realise that in fact it solves many of the problems this blog agonises over. Of course it raises some new problems, but we could talk about those – perhaps they may be more tractable than the set we have at the moment.

    We have around 600 people in London running the country. They are self-selected. The fact that people voted for them does not mean that they were selected by the people – our ‘democracy’ only permits us to weight the alternatives we are offered and those alternatives are few to the point of singularity.

    The result is a government which is neither moral nor competent, and whose legitimacy is as specious as the divine right of kings. The 600 souls who represent us are less competent and less moral than the population at large, because there is a malign bias in their selection. A truly random selection of 600 people would be (on average) smarter and cleaner. The present system is not random – it systematically fixes the bar so low that only the dull or unprincipled can become MPs.

    Work as an MP should be akin to jury service: the service is brief, you and yours will have no exemption from the consequences of your decisions, you must remain a member of the world you you make judgements about. But as we have it now, politicians are a discrete sept: they regulate a world to which they do not belong. They have, as poker players say, no skin in the game.

  • anno

    Work as an M.P. should be akin to jury service.

    Yes our politicians see it like that. They have to open their minds to many unpleasant aspects of life, and their opinions can be overruled by the sitting judge. The expenses barely cover the bus fare and the sandwich. No0one gives you any thanks. So when Mr Dream-Lovely Friends of this or Friends of that lobby group comes and offers you a deal which is worth more than your day job, and a swift promotion through the ranks of idiots who work alongside you, you grab the script from them and before you know it, buoyed on by the smokescreen of false jeering and booing, you have condemned a million people to death row.

    It is exactly the same as jury service except that you have the relish of making decisions for the weapons of varies degrees of destruction of the British Armed Forces on the battlefield, instead of for the Ministry of Justice.

    As one M.P. once said to me in the back of the limo, ‘I didn’t want to be made just Minister for Cowpats.’ I’m afraid that ambition, vanity and greed are legally played upon by the lobbying system. It is outrageous that the lobbyists are permitted within a thousand miles of politicians. There should be a covenant for politicians like the Hippocratic oath, or a rule of confidentiality about court proceedings, to control the conduct of our politicians and it should be applied with as robustness as either of those two.

    Vronsky, what yu wrote is so important and fundamental to the future of this country, that I would say that the future of the UK is at stake if there is no change.

    Nobody in the world can possibly respect the state of the UK parliament. The mother of parliaments is a whore. Don’t tell Craig.

  • angrysoba

    Writerman,

    It’s fine to be doubtful about how well democracy has been implemented but that isn’t the same thing as saying democracy itself is bad. But if that IS what you are saying then surely you should at least propose something better.

    There are surely problems with living in a “democracy” (with or without scare quotes) of fifty million people in that any one person’s vote is necessarily watered down but being only one in fifty million is certainly not the same as being disenfranchised. Being “disenfranchised” does not mean the same thing as “no one else agrees with me”. It’s surely up to you to look at which candidate or party most closely agrees with you and vote for them. If there are none then find people who agree with you and try to run yourselves. Does that sound difficult? Of course it does. Of course it is almost impossible but running the country is almost impossible for almost anyone in almost any country. How could it possibly be otherwise?

    I’m sorry but I don’t understand how anyone can logically argue that they won’t vote because they are sick of trends in Britain to not vote, which is what you seem to be saying here:

    “The UK version of democracy, is rapidly evolving, or degenerating, into the US system, with a heavy, heavy, emphasis on the “representative” aspect.

    If, as in the US, around 50% of the electorate are so turned off by the choices available that they don’t bother to vote at all, that means that the electoral process/ritual only applies to around half the electorate.”

    From my understanding, that means anyone who cares about preventing the degrading of democracy would be more inclined to encourage people to vote not to sit at home and sulk about the fact that too few people do.

  • angrysoba

    Okay, this is the first time I have had a chance to look at the Comment is Free front page and I don’t see Craig Murray’s name up there at all.

    I do see a certain “Charles Crawford”, however.

  • Carlyle Moulton

    Churchill said something to the effect that democracy is the worst system except for all the others. True then true now.

    Maybe I am getting old but it is my impression that the political systems in the US, UK and Australia are becoming more corrupt and authoritarian with the US far in the lead.

  • mike cobley

    Writerman, we have to go back to democracy’s first principles, which are two-fold. 1) We the people need a mechanism by which we can remove a government and replace it with another of our majority choice, without violence, and 2) We need a system of government which addresses the basic civilised needs of the populace, and which provides rational processes whereby we can solve the problems we face. Taken together, these principles are the bedrock of what we choose to call democracy. For a deeper consideration, I recommend the book POPPER by Bryan Magee, specifically chapters 6 and 7. Few other philosophers have crystallised the ideas and ideals of the open society like Karl Popper.

  • Vronsky

    “I’m sorry but I don’t understand how anyone can logically argue that they won’t vote”

    I think you need to to explain this failure of understanding at greater length. If you are offered several choices and consider all of them iniquitous, surely it is necessary and rational to decline to choose? Remember Sophie’s Choice? She destroyed herself, because she chose between wickednesses at the invitation of the wicked.

    If you don’t like the available choices, you have to do something. My suggestion is above. I have no great hope of seeing sortition implemented, so SAOR ALBA. Free Scotland. The first requirement in the treatment of burns is to remove the patient from the fire.

  • angrysoba

    “I think you need to to explain this failure of understanding at greater length.”

    I did explain it at greater length. If you cut up the particular point I am making and even the very sentence of mine that you are quoting then you aren’t likely to see what I don’t understand.

    Basically, Writerman says this: “in the US, around 50% of the electorate are so turned off by the choices available that they don’t bother to vote at all, that means that the electoral process/ritual only applies to around half the electorate.

    This means that one can actually win an election and form a government with electoral support from around half of the half that vote, or a quarter of the electorate. In the UK one can form a government with massive majority with as little as 40% of the votes caste, which on the face of it seems extraordianary. It’s almost like an institutionalised dictatorship, or minority rule. How exactly is that democracy?”

    Which, as I understand, is bemoaning the LACK OF PARTICIPATION in the electoral system. And, at the same time Writerman seems to be saying that the voting in such a system is a waste of time.

    Vronsky, your argument that voting might be like choosing one of your children to die or allow all of your children to die is a separate issue to the one I am responding to.

  • Arsalan

    It only takes a small number of voters to win an election, but there is no point winning. In America you have two parties with no differences, here we have three with no differences.

    All voting will achieve is swapping one bunch of Zionist bastards for another.

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